Everyone loves a good origin story. Just ask Marvel or DC who have created an entire industry specialising in superhero/supervillain origin stories!
While my story doesn’t start with a radioactive spider bite or a desperate escape from an alien planet, it does involve travel, a few twists and turns and some special abilities that have helped me swoop in and save the day for many small business owners.
It all started on the other side of the world in London. The daughter of a successful small business owner, I grew up surrounded by entrepreneurial types and was raised to love the art of business. Given my upbringing, it’s probably no surprise that I landed my first job in marketing and advertising in the late ’80s, working amidst some of the biggest agencies of the time.
I started out when advertising was ‘growing up’ and art was meeting science, as customer behaviour was scrutinised, segmented and psycho-analysed. Copy and design were tested, and brands were given personalities and positioned as the customer’s ‘friend’. I was immersed in it all and I loved it!
After making the move to Australia (the weather really is so much better here), I worked on a variety of projects. I cut my teeth with a mail, courier and logistics start-up (DX – later acquired by Toll), worked on the launch of FlyBuys (a Coles Myer/Shell joint venture) and contributed to the development of a whole bank loyalty program at the Commonwealth Bank.
I have also worked in the public sector, delivering content for an app for the Office of Environment and Heritage and contributing to business disruption programs for local and state governments. I joke that there isn’t anything that I haven’t done in terms of marketing discipline or business type but, to be fair, it’s not that far off the mark!
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All jokes aside, I love working with different clients. From volunteering on PR and fundraising for the local neighbourhood centre to complex digital transformations for legacy businesses, I enjoy getting to know new businesses, coming to grips with different industries and working out how to overcome a variety of issues.
I can’t help but take a deep dive when working with clients. I have an insatiable need to work things out and discover the how and why behind everyone I work with. Perhaps that’s why I thrive on challenges. I’ve always been the one tackling the “too big” problem, asking the “too hard” question and not bothering to put off the “too involved” task.
After years of honing my craft, I decided to put my skills to work in my own business and I established Marketing Sense in 2012. Since then, I’ve worked with a variety of business owners from different industries, of all shapes and sizes. While each client has been very different, their challenges have been remarkably similar. I’ve loved every moment of working with them to improve their marketing and grow their business.
Many origin stories focus on how special abilities are developed, usually through a transformative event. In my case, my ability to thrive on challenges, get to the bottom of issues and help businesses re-discover their ‘why’ is a result of many years of personal and professional experience.
When I think back over my life, it’s no surprise I ended up in marketing. As a curious kid, I liked to research and learn and was certainly never afraid. You could say marketing ticks all my personal and professional boxes!
- I love to read and research
- I’m not afraid to try out new things
- I am an eternal student
- I am curious
- I will work and work until I get to the bottom of things.
These personal qualities, combined with my varied experiences both in the UK and here in Australia has helped me develop a wide-ranging set of marketing skills, including:
- Curiosity – I understand how things work to get the best results
- Empathy – I can get into your customer’s head to create a powerful message
- Lifelong learning – I’m willing to learn and grow to adapt to a changing world
- Courage – I have the bravery to back myself and try something new
- Strategy – I have big picture thinking and can identify a clear vision for a brand
- Accountability – I can back up my recommendations and change tack when required
- Communication – I have the ability to share my vision and help lead the way.
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My passion for business began from an early age, with my parents’ businesses. During my childhood, business was a large part of family life. My brother and I were always on the perimeters of what was going on, with dinner table conversation centred on business matters (i.e. the effect of new tax laws, whether to lease or buy machinery or when to hire new staff).
Before I hit 15 years of age, I had already worked as a papergirl, a ‘ding dong Avon calling!’ rep and as a shop assistant in a market, a toy shop, a video shop and a chemist. I had even taken on invoicing, all whilst still at school! It seemed I was always destined to work in, on or around small businesses, a drive that became stronger after dabbling in agency land.
As an artistic person who grew up in a business environment, I see business as an art. As Andy Warhol said, “being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art, working is art, and good business is the best art.”
There is an art to business and I’m passionate about helping fellow business owners fine-tune their processes and marketing to perfect their art. That doesn’t mean using a cookie-cutter approach to marketing or copying what everyone else is doing.
While I use a solid sales and marketing system, the strategy and tactics I harness are unique to each business. Who you talk to, the value you bring, the opportunity you have in the market, your key messages and how you connect with your audience are all very different for every business.
I don’t believe in going through the motions when I work with small business owners. There’s no point taking a half-hearted approach as the outcome won’t deliver the results you’re looking for. I work one-on-one with each client as I appreciate that every business is different. I care about what you are trying to achieve and genuinely want to help solve your marketing challenges.
I get a real thrill from helping small business owners create an effective marketing strategy, identify tactics that work for their needs and see them thrive as I:
- help them grow and develop;
- explore possibilities together;
- work to an individual’s strengths while growing their capabilities;
- empower them to make decisions;
- encourage them to get clarity and focus; and
- challenge their thinking.
I believe in getting the foundations right and not rushing straight to tactics. All business owners need to first understand the strategy guiding their efforts, so they don’t waste time and money on marketing activities that won’t deliver the results they want. I’ve watched too many business owners get this wrong and pay a heavy price for not having a solid strategy in place.
That’s why I work towards a goal and go deep. I take time to unpack things, develop a strategy and create a marketing plan. I then work towards understanding what is working and what’s not (this is where analytics plays a crucial role), with a view to creating a systemised and repeatable approach to marketing.
Whether you’re a start-up, a large corporate or a small business, the marketing planning process always remains the same. Sure, there are parts that change and move such as:
- external factors – the climate/environment you are operating in, the competition, the target market and market issues.
- internal factors – your business strengths and weaknesses in the market, competitive opportunity and resources.
However, at its core, the marketing planning process is the same for every business I work with.
Sometimes, I can unpack this quickly – it’s not uncommon for something to jump out at me and shine bright during the analysis phase. This is because I have been doing this for a long time, so I can scan, process and correlate the situation quickly as I’ve developed a keen intuition. After so many years in marketing, my analysis and creative problem-solving skills are well-honed!
NEED SOME GUIDANCE WITH YOUR MARKETING?
Take advantage of our free 15-minute discovery call and discover what your business needs to grow.
I believe that a great business and brand is created through personality, soul and a strong market position, as your brand needs to connect with human beings. I help businesses and brands to develop creative ideas that connect to people, make a positive impact, motivate action, drive curiosity and get people talking.
I work in partnership with businesses, utilising my strengths in strategic thinking and problem solving to identify how to grow your profile, build your knowledge and help you develop the skills to find success on your own. My job is to help you set goals, develop strategies, execute campaigns and work with you to get the best possible result for your business.
Together, we can get your marketing working, one step at a time.
Marketing Sense is here to guide your small business toward marketing success and help you create a marketing strategy to supercharge your business. Give us a call to discuss your needs and download your FREE copy of our Brand Statement Worksheet to get crystal clear on your business, your offering, your audience, and your competition.
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