I started my career as an intern at Mercedes-Benz Canada as a Loyalty & CRM intern. In this role I was responsible for working with an agency to develop the quarterly issues of the Mercedes-Benz magazine and any direct mail offers that were sent to existing clients. After interning for 6 months I was hired full-time as the Integrated Brand Marketing Coordinator – in this role I was responsible for working with the different product departments to ensure their messages were features in any larger brand campaigns. After spending a little over a year at Mercedes, I moved to Holt Renfrew as the Customer Experience & Loyalty Coordinator – during my time at Holts I helped to launch the Holt Icon Loyalty Program and worked on a number of different public promotions (i.e. Black Friday, Boxing Day) and targeted campaigns. After two years at Holt Renfrew I joined RBC, where I spent the first two years as the Marketing Manager of Cards- In this role I was responsible for all above the line marketing for the credit card portfolio. In October of 2018 I changed roles and moved to the Brand team where I now work on larger integrated mass campaigns such as Olympics.
My biggest challenge was finding a marketing position on the client-side that I would be happy with. Client-side opportunities, especially intern positions, are much rarer than they are on the agency side. Once I landed my first job at Mercedes, the biggest challenge was adapting to the practices for corporate culture - i.e. Email being the main form of communication, meeting heavy environments and the time to complete work. When you’re in school were taught the skills, we need to succeed in our careers, but the day to day corporate etiquette and practices are an entirely different skill that can’t be taught but are learned.
What motivates me to stay in marketing is seeing a project come to life. Taking an idea from inception and building a strategy behind it that becomes an entire campaign is one of the most rewarding feelings. When you’re in marketing it’s great because you always get to see the product of your work.
What every marketer needs to have:
Innovative thinking forces marketers to get outside their comfort zone, take a risk and get things done. Innovative thinking forces us to think creatively, which means problems get solved differently and strategically.
At all the companies I’ve worked at and in all of my roles, every project requires team work to some extent. Being able to be a solid team player and collaborate, especially when there’s differing of opinions is critical for building your personal brand and ensuring the best outcome of the work. When you can effectively collaborate, magic happens.
Marketers need to think digital and mobile first. More and more marketers are having to be more agile, be alert on new and emerging trends in order to ensure the work they are producing is relevant to the market. It’s important for marketers to be curious, ask questions and educate themselves as much as they can on technology trends as the landscape is constantly changing and as a marketer you want to be at the forefront.
The advice I would give someone looking to be the next “me”, is speak with as many people in the industry as you can by booking informational interviews – this will allow you to not only learn more about the different roles that exist but in turn enables you to grow your professional network. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get uncomfortable – that’s when you’ll learn the most about a topic and yourself.
Success for new marketers
Getting your foot in the door, rolling up your sleeves to do the work and being recognized as the person who really wants to do a good job and learn. The more meetings/conversations you can listen in on, projects you can raise your hand to be a part of will serve you tremendously in the long run.
Launching a new royalty program during my time at Holt Renfrew and working on the Avion integration for the RBC Olympics campaign in 2018 were the moments I am most proud of. There’s nothing like seeing your work on TV and hearing the positive reactions from friends, family and co-workers and your name being associated to that work.