iknowho Speaker Series 2017: Career Strategy to Head of Marketing

Beth Price


On Wednesday 22 February, we ran the second of our Speaker Series Events. The topic was Career Strategy to Head of Marketing, and our expert panel for the evening was:

Aaron Fuller, Head of Marketing, Qantas Assure at Qantas
Hayley Goodman, Marketing Director, MTV & Comedy Central ANZ
Jayne Andrews, Marketing Director, Carnival Cruise Line
Sally Byrne, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Amatil Alcohol & Coffee

The night was a huge success with a fantastic turnout and a great opportunity for us to catch up with clients and candidates alike. Thank you to those who joined us, we hope you enjoyed the night and took away some great tips from the panel.

Here’s a summary of the evening, if you have any questions please get in touch anytime.

What one personal attribute has ensured you have reached the top of your game?

Aaron – push the envelope, push the status quo.
Sally – self-esteem, believe in yourself and your worth.
Jayne – hard word – be prepared to do the shit jobs others do not want to do, and give it your all.
Hayley – being a holistic thinker – be a diplomat, it is all about being part of a team and not an individual.

Of the moves so far in your career, which was the toughest role to move into?

Hayley – I found moving from Executive to Manager level was the toughest. Having to form a holistic view, and understanding that marketing has a large remit so you have to be prepared to wear different hats. You need to be open to keep improving and learn that you will never know everything.
Aaron – moving from Hollard to Metlife, it was a big culture shock and career step shock.
Jayne – moving agency to clientside was the biggest challenge – I had wanted to do this for some time and luckily had a contact that gave me a chance.
Sally – for me it was the lifestyle and work change when I had kids, I had 2 kids under 2 when I decided to go back to full-time work. I felt like I was in fog for a while, but the fog cleared and I came out the other side.

a) Who helped you/mentored you/ inspired you throughout your career journey AND how important is mentorship or having someone to give you guidance?

b) How did the mentoring come about, did you seek it out or was it provided to you?

Hayley – I look for a mentor in any place I work. You need to have someone you are comfortable to talk to and vent to. For me, it is about respect for that person, and they can be at any level not just someone in the position you want to be in.
Sally – I never lent into a formal mentor. I have what I call a ‘board of directors’ which are people I turn to for all different aspects of life/work. From business, balance etc. These are people I respect and value their opinions. The ‘mentors’ that are natural are the richest.

When hiring for your team what are the key characteristics and skills you look for in people?

Jayne – right culture fit and a balance for the skills I lack.
Aaron – I look for people that ground me, that can tell me when my idea is rubbish. They need hunger, humility, humour and wanting to grow.

You lead a team now, what do you do to drive a strong culture in your team?

Aaron – give them free range to do what they want and trust them.
Sally – incentivise the team, not individuals, and at CCA we have this from the top down, no one is incentivised as an individual. I also do an individual WIP – so it is SIP, DIP (Sally’s work in progress, Dave’s work in progress) etc. It is important to focus on them and how they are doing.
Jayne – challenge I face is offering a culture that can grow and progress. I give my team the opportunity to learn other skills by giving them projects outside of their job – so the Digital exec will work on a solely print project. This gives them new skills and keeps them interested.
Hayley – make sure you are listening to everyone, and lead by example.

Diversity is a very hot topic right now. Did you ever come up against any diversity issues, or were you aware of any within the businesses you worked in? What would be your advice to managing these scenarios?

Hayley – making sure everyone in the team is the right fit regardless of gender, race etc. Make sure they are comfortable being themselves.
Aaron – I look to Alan Joyce on diversity (CEO of Qantas), I went to a seminar where he was asked a question on this topic and his answer was ‘if a gay catholic Irishman can become CEO then anyone can'.
Sally –I believe to become diverse, you need to push the reset button and be bold.

Is a sideways move a good career move or are you better off staying in the same role for longer and waiting for an opportunity to open up?

Aaron – you have to think of the long game, you want your career to be a long one so if you need to take 2 steps back then do it if it will get you to your end goal. The money in the long term means nothing.
Sally – it’s the ‘company you keep’, the literal company – if it is a backwards or sidewards step, it is the company to focus on; is it the right cultural fit, can you see the progression, have you got passion for it?

What advice would you give to the would-be head of marketers here today as they go on their own career journey?

Jayne - always say yes to everything and do it to the best of your ability.
Aaron – Bryce Courtney words from his book with Ian Kennedy, The Power of One to One ‘create don’t compete’ and ‘comply not confirm’ resonate with me. You need to be brave and stand out.
Hayley – know your strengths and develop your weaknesses and surround yourself with people that support and balance you. 
Aaron – when speaking with those above you, don’t assume from others’ judgement on how to deal with a certain manager, what to say or not say – be yourself.

How important is Networking?

Jayne – ask yourself ‘if I lost my job tomorrow, how many people could I call to help me out’. You need to make the effort throughout your career to network and keep in touch. Make an effort when you come across good people.
Hayley – networking is not only good for progression but also helps you in your day to day job – marketing is about people.
Aaron – Bring back the long lunch!