The Marketing Institute: What does a Head of Marketing at laya healthcare do?
Lorraine Walsh: As Head of Marketing I am ultimately responsible for the laya healthcare brand. We would also ensure that the customer is at the heart of every business decision in order to deliver on our brand promise of looking after you always. Promoting the brand and delivering on innovations to make the customer experience better is a key component of the role.
MII: What were your key career moves to get to your current role?
L.W: I started the first part of my Marketing career in a research company in Amsterdam. I became a customer service advisor in BUPA Ireland (now laya healthcare) for 6 months and over the years, I went onto become Marketing Executive, Brand Manager, Marketing Manager and then Head of Marketing for laya healthcare. The company has had some brand transitions over the years and I’ve been lucky to have been part of that.
MII: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?
L.W: We all want to make things easier for our customers in a timely way, but good innovations can take time – so getting an exciting innovation to your customer in a simple yet impressive way can be a challenge.
MII: What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?
L.W: I believe that you need to think strategically while being able to deliver the strategy operationally. Strong listening skills, attention to detail and remaining objective are important. Enthusiasm and positivity go a long way to bringing people on board with your ideas. Strong communication skills are a must of course.
MII: Describe a typical working day.
L.W: It’s very varied. I could be brainstorming a new member benefit, organising an event, reviewing web analytics, getting a press release signed off, reviewing a sponsorship contract with our lawyers, presenting to the senior management team, signing off on a new TV storyboard and script, reviewing survey results from customers, doing an evaluation paper for something that I want to roll out in the business, meeting with my team, calls, meetings and from time to time eating cake for someone’s birthday!
MII: What do you love most about your role?
L.W: I love the people in the business and the team. A strong culture and a willingness to do the right thing by the customer makes my role so much easier. I take great pride when the brand (and the overall business) is performing well; it’s a real sense of accomplishment.
MII: Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?
L.W: I tend not to overthink it; I believe that if you do the best job you possibly can to the highest standards, you will get recognized. I’d like to learn more about coaching in the coming years.
MII: To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?
L.W: I don’t have one specific person, but there are many people over the years who have inspired me in different ways - I’d like to take different qualities from all of those people and pop them into a potion and drink it! But we all do the best we can and I know I’m never finished learning from other people.
You can read all the A Day in the Life features here.