The Marketing Institute: What does a Marketing Campaigns Manager do?
Alan Morris: As Marketing Campaigns Manager for Laya Healthcare and Laya Life I am responsible for lead generation, both online and offline, using our various marketing channels. At the core of this is the planning and delivery of all our consumer facing marketing campaigns. I work directly on our advertising creative work and media planning but I also coordinate the delivery of all the other campaign elements (PR, social media, research) with the other members of our marketing team. I have a lot of interaction with external agencies (digital, creative, research, media) so this gives me huge variety in my role. There is never a dull moment and always something fun and interesting going on.
MII: What were your key career moves to get to your current role?
A.M: I've had a pretty varied path to get me to where I am today. I started my working life in AIB on their graduate programme where I was involved in their B2C and B2B internet banking offering, which gave me a really good understanding of how to speak to the consumer over digital channels. Next I joined the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), a quantum leap from the banking sector but this is where I cut my teeth on the more traditional methods of advertising (radio, press, event management, trade shows). When the opportunity came along to join a national brand like Laya Healthcare, the variety and hands on experience I had built up over the years really stood to me. It goes to show that marketing is a really transferable skill between different sectors.
MII: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?
A.M: I find the biggest challenge in marketing today to be attribution. Like every other company that uses multiple marketing channels, it’s always hard to attribute performance to a particular channel with absolute certainty. While digital allows for measuring to a greater degree in theory, I am yet to see a perfect way to attribute performance across a multichannel marketing mix, particularly when you mix traditional and digital channels. Its getting better and there are improvements all the time but I am yet to hear about the perfect attribution model.
MII: What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?
A.M: To be effective I need to be good at planning to make sure that the multiple deadlines my projects entail are met. As I deal with a lot of internal stakeholders and external agencies I need to be good at coordinating opinion and feedback to make sure that each piece of creative we produce meets all the high standards and approvals we set against our campaigns . As I work with multiple account mangers across multiple marketing agencies, relationship management is also a key part of what I do. Making sure the work gets done and our brand and values are being promoted and protected at all times by everyone involved in the campaign is one of the most important parts of what I do, while also maintaining that positive working relationship with everyone involved in the campaign. And finally an understanding of the customer is vital in any marketing role. Laya Healthcare prides itself on being customer obsessed and myself and all the rest of the marketing team are at the forefront of delivering this.
MII: Describe a typical working day.
A.M: Most of my working days kick off with a bit of exercise at home or going for a quick run in the morning. Then it’s off to creche with my little boy and on into the office to start my day in our offices in Little Island in Cork. Then its full throttle from there on. Generally we will have a number of campaigns in the pipeline for Laya Healthcare and Laya life so I’ll spend a good bit of my day on the phone to our various agencies in Cork and Dublin. This can be dealing with media plans, creative work like scripts or storyboards and even things like picking locations for video shoots or picking voice over artists for various piece of creative work. These days in marketing there is a huge emphasis on reporting and metrics so a portion of my day is always spent reviewing performance against target both online and offline and identifying any areas for improvement. Our industry is changing all the time so there are regularly items in the news or activity from our competitors that keeps us on our toes as well, so very often my day starts one way and finishes very differently!
MII: What do you love most about your role?
A.M: I really enjoy the competitive industry that we work in. There are only a small number of health insurance companies in Ireland so there is a constant effort by all insurers to keep moving forward and to capture the imagination of the consumer ahead of our competition. This brings a huge amount of variety into my role and allows for huge opportunities at being creative and innovative with our marketing.
MII: Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?
A.M: It’s hard to say. I’m really satisfied in my current role. The people I work with challenge and impress me every day and even though I am based in Cork where there is a brilliant marketing community, my role also gives me great exposure to the Dublin marketing environment when dealing with our agencies based up there. I am still learning every day and always feel challenged working with a brand I truly believe in. While the majority of my current role is consumer focussed, I would like to develop my skills more across the corporate side of our business which is a big part of what we do as a company.
MII: To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?
A.M: I work with a brilliant marketing team in Laya Healthcare, so finding inspiration locally is never an issue. I also believe that Irish agencies hold some of the best international creative and media planning talent that you can find, so I am constantly inspired to learn more and to push our brand’s creative barriers by our agencies' wise words and guidance.
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