The Full Version of my Career. So far...
I have summarised my career more succinctly on the home page but if you want to read the full version its here below. You could also look me up on Linkedin
Hi Im Shona. I have lived and worked in London for almost 20 years which utterly shocks me! Where does the time go? Most of that has been spent living in SE London. Im also now the Mum of 2 kids.
I am originally from the West Country. Typically I came to do a degree and never left. Im sure there are many like me in London. I did my Undergraduate in Linguistics, gaining a 2.1 from the University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies. I then did my Professional Qualifications in Marketing via the Chartered Institute of Marketing as I worked.
My career has been quite diverse so far, although no more so than lots of women I know who have had kids and decided that their former life doesn't really work for them anymore.
When I started my career post graduation in 2001 I was attracted to Media, and first worked within an Outdoor (now known as Out of home) advertising company Clear Channel UK. At that time Clear Channel consisted of Bus stop advertising panels, large roadside billboards & Taxi side advertising. I was part of a large team, 15 or so specialising in different aspects of Marketing for this company.
I started off writing marketing materials to showcase the benefits of using Outdoor for clients who may have been considering TV, Press, Online for their budget. The kinds of things might be brochures, case studies, website copy & sales presentations.
After a while I moved from the client communications part of the marketing team into the research team.
The purpose of this group was to study via a tracking study, the effects of advertising on consumers.
Understanding their propensity to purchase based on seeing advertising. Understanding how many people saw the ad campaign and their thoughts on it.
We worked alongside a large research agency to deliver these results. The research team would go out with the ad sales teams into ad agencies to give these results back to the clients. Based on this feedback ads were changed creatively for future campaigns. It was a really interesting job. I loved the variety of clients I worked with,from Unilever to Birmingham International Airport.
I left Clear Channel in 2004 and moved over to a Publisher - Emap where I worked as Research Manager looking after the B2B titles in their portfolio. This was a more senior role & involved a mix of desk research, primary research & commissioning agencies externally to carry out work. Again there was a strong element of working with the titles that made up the portfolio to help them understand and action any insights. I would say my career highlight at EMAP (and maybe in life) was being invited along to an event in Las Vegas where I interviewed Architects for 2 days and stayed in an amazing hotel on the strip and did lots of fun day trips (Hoover Dam, Lake Mead) & wined and dined in the evening and saw live music in the evenings. It was awesome! My low light was probably working on a drainage services ad campaign where we discovered the wrong creative had been tracked during the research and totally negated the results. This was uncovered live during the report back to the client. Yep low light right there.
Having only worked in Media up to that point I felt like changing it up and interviewed and got the role of Customer Insights Manager at AXA Insurance based in the City. That was a great role, again very much involved in a large tracking study, this time of small businesses who bought the services of AXA via the Glasgow Call Centre, so I spent a fair amount of my time flying up and down to Glasgow to spend time with my team. This was before Skype. I loved my time with AXA, and it was from there that I went on maternity leave for my first pregnancy in 2008.
After I came back I didnt find the culture easy for a working parent, again this was before a lot of the things that are now counted for granted, mobile working involved dialling up from home & phone calls. It seems mad to think back.
In 2009 I took a job at CBS Interactive heading up the Insight function. CBS are a big American firm known for their TV channels in the US, the team I was part of in London worked on a portfolio of websites. My job was to understand the users of the sites, how they felt about the content, how involved they were with it. Researching new markets, new customer listening tools, & quite a lot of product development.
Then life intervenes. I was made redundant at the start of 2011 and with a very young child at home to consider I made one of those crazy life decisions and decided that rather than staying in the business of working for others I’d like to strike out on my own. I had my sliding doors moment when having interviewed for a BIG role and finding out I’d got it, I walked away instead.
My new direction? Well, I’d always loved food, and decided that the empty shop I passed each day with my baby in the pram would benefit from being turned into a neighbourhood cafe deli specialising in being family friendly. Never being one to do things by half I raised the funds, and spent a year developing the business idea. The Dish & the Spoon Cafe opened in May 2012 and was very popular and well recieved. We offered daily breads, coffee, cakes, local produce all sourced by me, and very family friendly with a toy corner & daily kids classes. I was the manager and worked there daily. In August 2016 I closed that business due to it not being financially viable.
However I decided to keep the premises as I had put so much into it and still had a lease. I reopened it as Space at 61 which is a multifunctional events space, and almost 3 years on is still going offering a space for hire to entrepreneurs needing a place for their events, locals wanting space to celebrate their birthdays,& a thriving networking group that meets every month.
And finally! In July 2018 having met so many amazing small business people who wanted to put events on at Space at 61 but didn't have the Marketing experience I had, I decided to launch my own Marketing services agency with me as the owner & practitioner. So here we are! See I told you it was quite a different career path.
And now onto you!
Why are you here?
If you have got in touch with me there are three quite distinct camps you may fall into
You are new to your business and want Marketing advice on how to plan your marketing from day one
You have an established small business and may feel that something is holding your business back from achieving your potential, be that in terms of sales or brand awareness
You work for a large business and want to seek outside expertise on a by project basis
How can we work together?
I offer a free 20 minute phone consultation to get to know what you are looking for, you can book that in by emailing email@example.com
If we decide to go forward together I charge my time at £180 per day working on 6 hours or for small business clients I charge £30 per hour for all consultancy work including meetings.
What Services do I offer?
If you are a new business then I can help you to identify your ideal customer, write an annual marketing plan that breaks down into quarterly objectives, help you understand tools such as your website, your mailing list, social media marketing & writing for your business including website copy & blogging.
We can meet up and discuss in person your needs & create a bespoke plan that suits you from any of these above items.
Established Small Business
Your business is already producing a product(s) or service. You have clients. You may have blocks to success on the Marketing front. Maybe you have tried some different social media activities but found the results demotivating, maybe you get enquiries but experience a lot of quiet periods. Maybe you are really busy work wise but feel disorganised about getting your brand out there to those who dont know you?
For any of the above the answer comes in better understanding your customer, in understanding what they pay attention to online, what appeals to them in a service provider, and being around consistently so they pay attention and look forward to hearing from you.
I can provide you with consultancy services to address these issues & help lift your business.
I can join your team by the day on an ad hoc basis, for all enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again for your enquiry, I hope I have covered everything but please feel free to email any questions. I look forward to working with you soon.