In the immortal words of Ronan Keating, “Life is a rollercoaster, you just gotta ride it”.
Roughly translated for an audience of marketing professionals, this means sometimes the best growth and development comes from embracing the non-linear career path – and here to advocate for this was Amy Wright, Brand & Marketing Manager for Bobux.
Her career has taken her on the aforementioned rollercoaster ride, from corporate organisations such as Carter Holt Harvey and Taura Natural Ingredients, to government organisations including New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and Wellington City Council.
It’s also taken her overseas to bigger challenges, both personally and professionally, before she landed with Bobux – a New Zealand owned and operated kids’ shoe brand that specialises in podiatrist approved, premium footwear that’s designed with foot health in mind.
Honest and engaging, Amy spoke largely about the learnings from her own unique journey. It was a lot packed into an informative, fast-paced hour, but she left us with some great top five takeaways:
1. Let creativity be your true value driver
This is the unique aspect that marketers bring to the table. As marketers, it is important to get creative with new ways of engaging target audiences too – something Amy experienced working at Bobux. With a small team and small marketing budgets, social media has been a key platform for their growth and sales, and as part of this developing clever ways of content curating.
Two examples she spoke of were:
Both were a huge success for the brand and their sales, proving the power of creative, engaging social media content.
2. Know your ‘why’
So often marketers are focused on their clients’ ‘why’, but it is equally important to reflect on your own ‘why’ or brand ethos. And, if you can align your personal brand with the work you do, it’s a jackpot!
3. Don’t let fear get in the way!
Fear never goes away, but don’t let it influence your decisions. For Amy, this moment came several times through her career – once when she moved back to Tauranga from Wellington and started working at Taura Natural Ingredients, and when she was head-hunted to leave the company for a German competitor five years later.
She notes there were a few ‘sleepless nights’ and an internal battle about heading to the opposition and if it was the right move. When she realised there was no disrespect, that leaving came from her desire to live and work overseas and further her career development, the decision was made to take the leap.
It proved to be a challenging experience, learning German and working in a company that didn’t understand its own brand and unique storytelling, but in the 18 months she was there it gave her huge experience and, she says, the learnings were worth it.
4. Embrace or create networks
The people you meet, the places you work – you never know how they may return to play a key role in your life later on, and can help create a strong network around you.
One of the best connections Amy forged was with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE). Having dealt with them a lot during her time at Taura, to help her understand B2B best practice and international export marketing, it was a network that become invaluable to her role (she would later work there for two years after her stint in Germany).
She also highly recommends the New Zealand Story as a resource for marketers. Because they have nailed the proposition, it helps add a depth and integrity to the positioning of your brand if you are marketing overseas (beyond New Zealand being a place of rolling green hills and sheep), and there is good research around different overseas markets available too.
You can find out more here: https://www.nzstory.govt.nz/
5. When in doubt, go back to four Ps of marketing (Price, Product, Promotion, and Place)
Stick to what you believe is true and hold on to that vision – plus, add in a bit of perseverance for good measure. This is particularly true on a personal level because you never know what life will throw at you.
This happened for Amy, when NZTE made her and the marketing team redundant after a restructure. Thrown into a tailspin, Amy packed up her life and travelled to India where she taught English to monks.
A time of reflection, it put life into perspective and made her incredibly conscious of the privilege we have access to, spurring her to want to do meaningful work that aligned to her ‘why’.
And, long story short, here she is at Bobux, a place she says feels exactly where she was supposed to be.
The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to ride the rollercoaster.
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