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A Day in the Life of…. Caroline Leonard, Marketing Manager at Spearline

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Tuesday 12 March 2019

Caroline Leonard Spearline

What does a Marketing Manager at Spearline do?

In general, I am responsible for developing customer retention strategies and managing communication plans that are in line with Spearline’s corporate objectives.

Spearline is an award-winning technology company located in West Cork that provides software services to measure the quality of telecommunications audio and other customer experience elements for large contact centres, conferencing service providers, and telecom carriers.

The main focus of my role is to raise awareness of Spearline’s products and services with our customers as well as designing strategic communication plans for new product launches.

My work involves managing an annual programme of customer research with the goal of developing a deep understanding of our customers and their key drivers.

 

What were your key career moves to get to your current role?

I have always been interested in business, and in particular marketing. I have a Bachelor of Commerce with a marketing specialism and a Master’s in Business Studies in Marketing from NUI Galway. I am also an associate member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

I am a commercially-driven marketer with over 16 years’ experience gained in the software, education and construction industries in Ireland and the UK.

Before  joining Spearline, I spent over 11 years working in London. The first two years were spent with a software company in the TV & film industry as their Marketing Services Executive.  

I then moved to Pearson, the world’s leading education company. I spent almost 10 years with Pearson in London working in various marketing roles. I was initially hired as a Senior Marketing Executive and worked my way up to Marketing Manager level and eventually to Head of Marketing for Pearson Work-based Learning, a strategic business unit part of Pearson UK.

It was during my time at Pearson that I developed my leadership and recruitment skills as I was responsible for leading high performing, results-orientated marketing teams across multiple sites in the UK.

 

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Database maintenance! Sounds dull, but it’s something that is absolutely essential in my role. I am always trying to proactively maintain the data hygiene and integrity of our CRM data, including establishing rules and operational routines to regularly cleanse and strengthen our customer database.

I, along with the rest of the Spearline marketing team, am constantly brainstorming and thinking of new and innovative ways to connect with and engage with our customers. There is a great culture of sharing best practice in Spearline where we all learn from each other on what initiatives worked well and which ones didn’t.

 

What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?

Being a strategic thinker with an eye for the finer details is essential.

It is important to be commercially-minded with strong planning, organisational, time management, teamwork and communication skills.

Tracking and measuring marketing effectiveness are also crucial as a marketing manager needs to be aware of which campaigns are generating the desired results, which ones aren’t and where to change course.

 

Describe a typical working day.

As the majority of Spearline’s customers are located around the world, my day usually begins with a review of all ongoing campaigns to see what responses or requests for information have come in overnight and to action and prioritise as necessary.  After that, there’s really no such thing as a typical day!

I will catch up with the CMO and the CTO to give them an update on how current campaigns are performing and to review and strategise our customer communications and research plans for the month and year ahead.

 My day may also entail briefing a PR and communications agency in relation to organising publicity campaigns to raise awareness of the Spearline brand and to increase our profile in new and existing international markets.

 

What do you love most about your role?  

I am very fortunate to work with a company that is 100% focused on our customers.

Our customers know better than anyone else what it’s like to interact with Spearline. My role involves capturing this interaction in written case studies and testimonials to showcase the positive experiences our existing customers have with Spearline’s people, products and services.

 

Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?

We have a number of exciting new products and services that we will be releasing this year  and I’m looking forward to informing our customers about these to make their experience and interaction with us even better.

As Spearline continues to expand, I’m looking forward to the challenge of evolving our marketing strategies to reflect the changing needs of our current customer base as well as targeting new prospects.

 

To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

I’m very lucky to be surrounded by so many successful business people both in my personal life and in my working life.

Growing up, my father ran a successful motor franchise dealership in West Cork. From him I learnt about the importance of listening to your customers, providing an excellent customer experience and adhering to the very high standards that come with the responsibility of looking after a global brand.

Marjorie Scardino, the former CEO of Pearson is someone I looked up to during my time there and still do. Marjorie was the first female CEO of a FTSE 100 company. She had a calm and natural leadership style who transformed Pearson in to one of the world’s most successful learning companies.

Spearline’s co-founders Kevin Buckley and Matthew Lawlor have been huge source of inspiration to me since joining the company. They’ve both demonstrated that through a winning combination of hard work, technical expertise and entrepreneurial spirit that anything is possible.

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