Lorna quickly progressed into marketing after studying English and Professional Writing at University. Following several years as marketing manager in the public sector, Lorna decided to take a career break to have children.
In order to manage the balance of raising children and continuing her marketing career, Lorna decided her next step was to make a move into freelance marketing and communications consultancy.
What attracted you to a career in Marketing?
I got into marketing without actually realising at first. Since I was in my early 20’s I have worked in sales for various companies and in particular generating new sales. Over the years these sales jobs started to involve more and more research into the markets and learning how to target the most relevant customers. I found that by doing the same amount of actual sales work I was getting much better results when I was more selective about who I approached. In January 2014 I was asked by my current employers to take over the marketing role full time.
Tell us about your route in Marketing?
When I started my current role, although I had a number of years of on-the-job experience, I did not have any recognisable professional qualifications. Wanting to do things the correct way I enrolled on a CIM marketing course at college and have just completed the introductory level certificate which was very interesting as the language used in the classroom is quite different to the boardroom.
Briefly talk us through a typical day as in your current job
When I arrive into the office I check my emails to see what has happened over the night. All enquiries that come in to us through our websites are directed to my email inbox which I then distribute to the sales team, this is so that I can track what is working and the quality of leads we get from different sources. I also check our social media platforms – Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook – to see what is going on and if anything needs my attention as it is very important I find it to reply to every single direct message or comment. At some point each morning I will have an informal chat to one or more of my directors about business in general and what we can do to increase trading levels. I receive weekly reports from our accounts department detailing all new accounts that have been opened. I then contact each one of these individually to make them aware of all the products and services that we offer. As part of my job I also look after the day to day running of our websites; as we have four of these which are all run independently this can be quite a time consuming job and this, paired with compiling case studies and editorial features for trade only publications accounts for the majority of my time.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced throughout your marketing career and how have you overcome them?
To date, the single biggest challenge I have encountered is trying to persuade my board of directors on the merits of social media and digital marketing in general. As our company was formed in the 1980’s we have had to alter the way we work with each technological advancement, however, social media had never played a part until I joined and none of the directors personally use these platforms. This is still a work in progress, but I do feel that I am winning them over slowly but surely.
What would you describe as your biggest personal strengths and assets that have ensured success in your career?
The ability to diversify has always stood me in good stead. As situations around you change it is crucial that you are constantly open minded and always open to new ideas and ways of working. I have found as well that taking a moment at the start of any project to be clear in your mind what is needed can save lots of problems later on when alterations are required.
If you could give a single piece of advice to someone looking to get into their own marketing career what would it be?
I would personally strongly recommend doing a professional course in marketing. Even though I was doing marketing work before I received my qualification the theory has made me look at things slightly differently and appreciate the effort that goes into marketing campaigns. Also, don’t look at Marketing as being all glamorous like in television programmes such as Mad Men, this is not how it is in the real world. The majority of marketing can be quite tedious and repetitive plus frustrating when you see people who work within sales being recognised for the background work that takes place behind the scenes. Marketing is however, the perfect place to be when it comes to organising sales strategy and campaigns as this is dictated by what you do.