1. What inspired you to pursue a career that embraces marketing?

My main motivation was the idea of impacting consumers lives. I have always been fascinated by the power of brands and advertising, especially creative work that is able to build an emotional connection with people. For me, Marketing has been a great career path because it allows me to tap into many of my passions and provides me with lots of learning opportunities to continue growing and developing myself further as an individual, as a marketer and as a leader. 

2. What are the biggest challenges currently facing your marketing team?

We are living in unprecedent times with a lot of external challenges such as crisis of living costs, high inflation, pressure on supply chain, HFFS restrictions, big shifts in the media landscape etc with all hitting at once and at a very fast pace. This scenario really tests our ability to deal with ambiguity and flexibility to respond quickly to changes, also our creativity to come up with solutions as and when challenges arise. Furthermore, the market is extremely competitive, and consumers have never had so many options to choose from, which means we need to work even harder to stand out with very compelling reasons to why people should buy our brands over others.

3. Science vs Art: With scientific data-driven marketing at one end of the spectrum and genius creative ideas at the other - which side do you lean towards?

I’m definitely a creative type and love all forms of creative expression. However, as a big data enthusiast, I think it’s important to be able to identify when to lean towards one over another as well as combining them both to get to the best output possible. We are experiencing a fast-paced evolution when it comes to data-driven marketing with a sea of new technologies and tools coming up everyday. At the same time, the creative industry is also booming with up-and-coming talents, small agencies and new challenger brands, leading to a flood of amazing ideas out there. Competition to grab consumers’ attention is really tough so you need to go the extra mile to be able to cut through - that’s why fuelling creativity with data can get you ahead of the game. 

4. The Metaverse: are you ‘in’, ‘out’ or ‘not sure’? And please tell us why.

I’m all in for experimenting with new technologies and evolving marketing tactics in new digital spaces. However, I’m resistant to use the term Metaverse as it’s more like a hyped-up brand name that has rather a generic and vague definition, and often mistakenly used to define what the industry would call just ‘gaming’. Naming aside, I’m very excited to see what the future holds and how all these new technologies will continue to evolve, especially how they become more accessible to consumers, what role brands can play and how the industry will address all growing safety and ethical concerns.

5. How is your approach to marketing affected by times of economic turbulence and increased cost of living?

More than ever, we marketers must be able to deliver real value to consumers not only because they are savvier and have higher expectations from brands but also because we can play a role in helping them to navigate these turbulent times. From a business perspective, it’s important to pay attention to return on investment and seek cost-effective strategies that are able to support our core business to retain existing consumers as well as recruiting new ones. My agencies must be tired of hearing me saying ‘fewer, bigger, better’ but I’m a firm believer this is the right mindset that will help us to win in the current scenario.

6. How do you adapt a business and marketing strategy to embrace the latest trends and keep ahead of the competition?

The key to success is being able to balance long term focus with short term response whilst keeping consumers at the forefront. It’s very important to have a long term strategy and vision to define the direction of travel, however we need to be able to pivot whenever necessary and adapt to stay relevant and deliver great results in the short term.  It’s important to reflect on proven, successful tactics that have worked before but we should not limit ourselves to those as things evolve and shift so rapidly these days. That’s why I love the idea of pioneering and experimenting with new approaches, especially under the concept of ‘test and learn’, which allows me to do things differently and be innovative. If it works, happy days, it might be the beginning of something special. If it doesn’t work, also happy days as it’s served a purpose of teaching me something new. 

8. How important is storytelling when maximising your customers’ engagement with a campaign?

Storytelling is incredibly important to drive engagement. I’m a massive fan of storytelling and brand building so for me they are the perfect combination to deliver successful campaigns that allow brands to create a connection with their audience. The most successful creative works bring a relatable and authentic insight that capture consumers’ attention with a well-crafted narrative that will stay with them over time and make them feel more invested in the brand. When you hit that sweet spot, you are better able to create lasting connections and consumers naturally will get more involved.

10. From a marketing perspective, what’s coming up for your brand or business in 2023-4?

This year will continue to be about navigating society and industry challenges whilst bringing value to consumers as they become more mindful of their choices. We will focus on ensuring that strong sales fundamentals are in place to protect our business, and keep pushing the bar on creative excellence to surprise and delight our consumers with some more exciting activations throughout the year across multiple touchpoints. One thing in particular I’m excited about for this year is continuing to build more direct relationship with consumers via data and digital activations.

Little Grey Cells is Tim Healey’s weekly profile interview platform where leading marketers share their valuable insights and experience, presented by Worth Your While.

Outsourced Marketing Director and best-selling author Tim Healey collaborates with senior marketers to help them have more time, less stress and clearer marketing strategies through his consultancy Shoot 4 The Moon Ltd. Book your meeting.

You might die tomorrow so make it worth your while. Worth Your While is an independent creative agency helping brands do spectacular stuff people like to talk about. wyw.agency.