November 12, 2019 3 min read

If you’ve ever wondered what the key differences are in the client-side marketing role are, then Vanessa Pagliaroli, Brand Marketing Manager, has the answers for you. She’s worked in various industries and shares what she learnt along the way.

Finding the Right Fit

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: for example, email being the main form of communication, meeting heavy environments and the time to complete work. When you’re in school you’re taught the skills we need to succeed in our careers, but the day to day corporate etiquette and practices are an entirely different skillset that can’t be taught – they are learned.

Vanessa smiling at a park.When I started my career at Mercedes-Benz Canada, it was 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 several 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 the Olympics.

Retrospect & Reward

Every marketer needs to have innovation. 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. 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.

Then there’s also collaboration. At all the companies I’ve worked at and in all of my roles, every project requires teamwork to some extent. Being able to be a solid team player and collaborate, especially when there’s differing opinions is critical for building your brand and ensuring the best outcome of the work. When you can effectively collaborate, magic happens.

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 with that work.

Stay Relevant

Vanessa smiling and sitting on a city bench. Marketers need to think of digital and mobile-first. More and more marketers are having to be more agile, be alert on new and emerging trends 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. 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 and 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.

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.

Also in The Storybook

Working from Home: Improve Your Video Backgrounds & Lighting for Your Video Meetings
Working from Home: Improve Your Video Backgrounds & Lighting for Your Video Meetings

August 10, 2020 5 min read

Needless to say, one of the many results of working from home in the last few months has manifested itself in all things videos: video meetings, video backgrounds, you name it. If you have a webcam or a smartphone, suddenly video meetings are possible with zero excuses. All at once, everyone is scrambling to figure out the best practices for shooting at home - from video backgrounds to more technical inquiries (am I on mute?). What once used to be the last resort for videography and exclusive to YouTubers, video home production has skyrocketed to an essential skill any young professional should have in their wheelhouse
Figuring Out Your Career Plan While Balancing High Career Expectations from Those Closest to You
Figuring Out Your Career Plan While Balancing High Career Expectations from Those Closest to You

August 03, 2020 5 min read

It seems like everyone and their mother is constantly asking you about what your next steps are in your career plan. You have some idea on what your career development plan looks like, but you don’t have all the answers. When you talk to your friends, classmates, or trusted colleagues, that layer of ambiguity seems normal. 
Meet Vickram Agarwal: Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer & Adventurer
Meet Vickram Agarwal: Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer & Adventurer

July 22, 2020 4 min read

I started my marketing career at General Motors, two weeks after my last day at university. It all happened so quickly; I barely had a chance to catch up. I love the automotive industry and wanted to experience everything it had to offer, so after a few years in manufacturing, I moved over to retail. I always wanted to be my own boss… at age seven I drew up a business plan to start a bakery and convinced friends to lend me money. In 2011, after reading Richard Branson’s ‘Losing My Virginity” twice, I quit my job and started a marketing consultancy.