Sharing Marketing Wisdom – featuring Hayley Milne

Our Q&A with Hayley Milne, Marketing Manager, at ADM Protexin.

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?

After graduating from Kingston University in 2007 with a 2:1 BA (hons) in media and cultural studies, I went on to gain a Masters in Creative Advertising at Falmouth University College – one of the best years, I learnt so much. When I finished though, I knew I wasn’t ready to slog it out in London, working internship after internship unpaid, sadly my finances just wouldn’t allow it. Instead I took the opportunity to work and travel at the same time and joined First Choice as an overseas holiday rep – I know what you’re thinking, party, party, party. I can say it definitely wasn’t that way at all, don’t get me wrong, there was lots of sightseeing and we had plenty of fun, but the life lessons learnt overseas were incredible. Long shifts – some days 20 hours, looking after customers whose airlines had gone bust whilst on holiday, volcanic ash disruption, fog diversions, countless baggage handler and airport staff strikes, deaths in resort, country uprisings, you name it, in five years I was a part of it and I wouldn’t have changed a thing – it gave me such a better understanding of people and how to speak to people from all walks of life. But after 5 years, I hung up my clipboard and applied for a job in what is now TUI UK’s head office as their brand manager, looking after the destination brand marketing.

For 2 and a half years I looked after every part of the overseas branding experience, from literature, point of sale material, signage, through to uniforms and merchandise for Thomson and First Choice and their 9 sub brands across 36 destinations worldwide. I led re-branding projects and the evolution of printed literature to a digital platform.  A blow to my dream world came in the form of redundancy when TUI UK became part of the larger TUI group in 2015. As the saying goes, when one doors shuts, another opens, and a fantastic Brand Manager position became available in a small family run probiotic company, managing their two brands for human healthcare down in the heart of Somerset.

5 years later I’m still with ADM Protexin (previously Probiotics International LTD), taking the human hero brand, Bio-Kult from strength to strength. With the past two years gut health has really come to light and the importance of maintaining a sense of overall health and wellness has really jumped into the spotlight. In the past 18 months I’ve launched 5 new products to market as well as managed the day to day marketing plans of the existing products within the range. Managing myself and a team of one – my wonderful marketing exec – I look after everything that goes into our marketing plans, from events and exhibitions (when they’re up and running) consumer literature, literature for healthcare professionals, point of sale material, social media, advertising placements, new marketing campaigns, PR, website management, and digital campaigns. It’s a really fantastic role and one that is continually evolving.

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?

The feeling of being an imposter never quite leaves you. But you’ve got this – you’re here doing what you do and you’re rocking it. You deserve to be where you are.

Never stop learning and acquiring new skills. Especially in the world of digital, it’s such a quick moving platform which is constantly evolving. Make time for you to ensure you don’t get left behind!

Keep it simple – the best marketing messages are always the simplest one. But, it takes a lot of work, headaches and going around in circles to get to that stage.  If someone thinks you’re job is easy, take it as a compliment that you’re nailing it!

If you have an idea or a suggestion shout it out. Yes, listen to your colleagues, mentors, your, boss and their boss – but don’t assume just because they might have more experience than you, that their way is the best way. Change and evolution is key to keeping things fresh and reaching new levels.

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

I think having role models is really important, especially when you’re starting out. Having someone there that you can turn to for advice and guidance is really key. That said, not everyone is an ideal role model, if you have someone who has stopped learning, and is stuck in their way of doing something, this can lead you into dangerous grounds and prevent you from growing and achieving your potential. I feel I’m in a really good position right now to have a new role model – yes even after 8 years in the industry, I still like to have a role model. My current line manager, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from a different background. The knowledge he is imparting is fantastic, so I’m sat here like a sponge soaking it all up and hopefully passing it on to the next generation!

Written by