Staying at the cutting edge
My name is Jackie. I was asked to write an article about my years of working in marketing by Lanie the Editor of SOCIALight Magazine. I met her, virtually, of course, whilst we both took part in Google’s Squared digital marketing leadership course. As you can imagine everything on the course is online. Your course work, case studies and classes, along with your team work. You meet your team regularly via hangouts.
One of the highlights for me was the reaction when I told my group I was 51. They were surprised at me upskilling at this age. The truth is I always want to learn and never want to stand still in business. If you do, either you are not skilled enough, or someone else is doing what you do better.
I believe that change is also good for every business as we need to evolve and adapt with technology and the changing needs of our customers.
This is all on the on Google’s course curriculum but I’ve been doing this since the 80’s and is possibly the reason I’ve been working in publishing for 35 years.
I think the fact that I’m adaptable has taken me on the journey through change within the industry. This has included surviving rounds of redundancies and restructures which have not been pleasant experiences. I’ve seen lots of friends leave the business, but most of these people just didn’t want to adapt to technology and learn new skills.
I started working when I was 17. I didn’t want to go to university so I took a job at a publisher’s as an office junior. There were no computers, no internet or mobiles. Just good old fashioned office phones, face to face chats and lots of bits of paper. I loved the buzz of this office, the drive of the relentless deadlines and I enjoyed earning money.
Although it was only the 80’s, technology and innovation had already started to shape the industry. The dawning of the desktop publishing and the Apple Macintosh PCs arrived at our office and I was desperate to be part of this new world. I was pretty shocked at the resistance to change from many of my colleagues. I could only see the benefits to making the processes more efficient and learning new skills. Being one of the youngest in the office, I learned fast and that’s where my journey of adapting to change began.
After a few years I realised that I wanted more of a career and to be a decision maker, so I decided to do the diploma in marketing with the CIM.
I soon got my first job working in the Daily Record newspaper in the promotions department. The Daily Record was selling over 700,000 copies every day across Scotland. It was BI (before internet) so papers were still a big deal.
The job was so varied. I did everything from copywriting to working with creatives on brand work and media agencies booking sizeable campaigns.
One of the most unexpected jobs was to escort the first ever Big Brother winner, Craig Philips on a tour of Scotland as part of our sister paper, The Daily Mirror’s exclusive buyout of his story.
Everything was so different in terms of insight. The campaigns were born out of gut feeling between the Editor, marketing and creative agency and evaluated looking at the sales of the newspaper. If it didn’t work, we just didn’t do it again.
Fast forward 20 years and I’m working for Reach PLC who publishes 9 national newspapers and 50 websites across the UK. The role of marketing is to look at ways to build the brand trust for our news brands in a digital world full of fake news. We analyse our data in real time, look at what’s driving traffic and try and strive to beat yesterday’s page views. We write everything so that it’s optimised for search and wrestle daily with Facebook’s algorithm.
Every day there are new challenges and rising to these challenges is what gets me out of bed every day and I’ve no plans for a lie in just yet.