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Sharing Marketing Wisdom – featuring Robyn Pulford

Our Q&A with Robyn Pulford, Marketing Communications Manager at Invivo Healthcare.

The purpose of article series ‘Sharing The Wisdom’ is to feature, showcase and share knowledge, expert views and wisdom. Local. Authentic. Insightful.

Ania @ ADLIB Could you please introduce yourself as well as your background?

I am originally from the east coast of South Africa and moved to the UK in 2014. After finishing school, I went on to study marketing management.  Once completing my studies I worked in a variety of industries (one of the many benefits of a career in marketing) – including telecoms, exportation and interiors. In the last year, I moved into the healthcare industry, something I have since become increasingly passionate about.

My professional interests lie in marketing strategy, data analysis, user research and user experience – the latter being heavily influenced by my recent studies in UX Design. I love crafting creative comms that stir emotion and encourage deeper thought in the reader. I also enjoy advocating for the user as well as brand transparency. 100% of my creative and strategic thought processes see me placing myself in the mind of the user. What is the user looking to achieve and how can we give them the tools to do that?

Never one to turn down the opportunity to learn a new craft,  I have picked up a variety of skills in the last 12 years of my marketing career.  This thirst for new knowledge and innovation has enabled me to adopt a truly holistic view of marketing, brand & communications.

Ania @ ADLIB: In an attempt to capture some of the Wisdom you’ve gained as a professional so far, what are 5 “stand-out things” you’ve learned that you’d like to pass on to your peers as well as the future generation of talent within your sector?

1. Stay curious.

Modern society is evolving at an unprecedented rate, keeping up with various innovations in creativity and new platforms is crucial to seeing your brand and marketing strategies succeed. Subscribe to relevant podcasts, read LinkedIn articles, get involved in Fishbowl discussions, sign up for industry newsletters – keeping up to date has never been easier. 

Conversely, don’t spend time learning about and adopting every new marketing channel or trend there is. Always assess a new channel or trend and its suitability to your brand first before delving deeper. You don’t need coverage on every channel, especially if your target market isn’t on there.  

2. Don’t get too comfortable.

Comfort is widely perceived as a positive thing – and in many instances, it can be. But, speaking from personal experience, too much comfort can stifle your creativity. Ask yourself, does your current position challenge you? Are you learning something new every day/week? If you are someone who thrives off new experiences and growth, working in a position that doesn’t see you answering yes to the above questions often translates to being too comfortable and ultimately – bored. I believe a job should help you grow and evolve, not keep you stagnant and stale. 

3. Work for a purpose-led brand.

Working for a purpose-led brand that not only brings value to customers lives but local communities and society at large can drastically influence your passion for it. Feeling connected to your brand and its purpose will influence your work and creative thought processes in so many ways. For me, working for a company that cares about restoring human health and ecology has been a game-changer for my career. Knowing that everything I do feeds into a team effort to achieve that mission has made me see my job as so much more than just a job.

4. Don’t see burnout and stress as a badge of honour to be achieved.

Learn to set boundaries and choose to work for a company that respects them. Marketing professionals should be able to set aside time to allow their creativity to flourish – some of my best ideas have come from moments of unfocus. Becoming overworked is so easy in marketing; there is so much to learn, so much to create and so much to craft. To avoid becoming overworked I have adopted various organisational strategies and excellent tools. There are many tools out there that can help you with remembering important dates, assigning tasks, scheduling and collaboration – find one that works for you. 

5. Be okay with making mistakes.

To err is human. You will make many mistakes in your career, some big, some small. Whilst marketing can be seen as a kind of science, even the most well thought out and researched campaigns or strategies can land absolutely flat. Embrace the lessons mistakes can provide, don’t beat yourself up. Acknowledge them, learn what you can from them and move on.

Ania @ ADLIB: What is your take on the importance of role models?

I don’t personally see value in having role models. Each of us is entirely unique and emulating someone else doesn’t honour that. In the age of influencer culture, it is so easy to pick a public figure to follow and imitate but what value is there in emulating someone whose circumstances are entirely different to yours? Why be a ctrl+C when you can be a ctrl+B?

The mistakes you make, the things you learn and the people you meet in your career will inspire you and help you define your own approach, entirely unique to your personality. Having a mentor can also help this; someone who has a personal relationship with you and truly wants to see you succeed.