On completion of my degree in Sociology and Social Administration at the University of Bristol, I joined Robert Maxwell’s new Cable Television network as a Marketing Assistant. This was the precursor to SKY and it introduced me to the world of media and advertising. I quickly learned that if I was to progress, I would need to gain professional marketing qualifications and it was while at Kingston Business School, studying for my postgraduate qualifications in Marketing, that I decided I wanted a career in advertising. Once I had gained my postgraduate qualifications and professional diplomas from the Market Research Society and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, I secured my first position as a Junior Advertising Executive at WWAV Rapp Collins in London, the UK’s largest direct marketing agency. Two years later, I was offered a position at the American ad agency, Leo Burnetts, in Covent Garden, working on the Kelloggs, Mercedes and Dell computers accounts.
After four years at the agency and promotion to Account Director (known as a ‘suit’ in adland), I joined Saatchi & Saatchi in Charlotte Street working with Hewlett Packard, Toyota and British Airways. During my ten years at Saatchis, I spent three years leading their first Digital Agency Saatchi & Saatchi Vision. In 2000, I was promoted to Board Director at the London agency and given responsibility for Procter and Gamble’s Ariel business across Europe and the notorious Sunny Delight soft drink! Although working in London, my wife, Heather, and I decided to raise our family in Whitstable where we still live.
In 2004, I was given the opportunity to move to Canterbury and join the city council as Head of Communications. My role also included responsibility for Museums and Art Galleries, the International Office and the Lord Mayor’s Parlour! It was a unique and varied post at a time when the council was able to attract the Tour De France, secure HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund) funding for the redevelopment of the Beaney Institute and build a new Marlowe Theatre. From there I joined Christ Church in 2008.
My early experience of direct marketing techniques and digital communications has led to an ongoing professional interest in audience segmentation and effective targeted communications. Through good use of audience data and digital channels, we can develop effective communications designed to meet their needs and build our business. These techniques are now critical to our success in the higher education sector.
As Director of Marketing and Communications, I have responsibility, together with my senior department managers, in leading and coordinating the University’s student recruitment activities. Our specialist teams work closely together to support the faculties and professional services to deliver a seamless prospective student and alumni experience. The Department includes Admissions, Outreach, Student Recruitment, Corporate Communications, Digital Communications, Design and Production and Alumni services. Together we help build the University’s business, brand and reputation.
The Department is focused on coordinating the delivery of the University’s student recruitment numbers. The increased marketisation in the sector requires us to innovate and adopt new practices, such as CRM and social media engagement. We are also strengthening our relationships with important ‘feeder’ regional schools and FE colleges.
Its ability and resilience to adapt to changing needs in the sector and wider economy, and meet new challenges.