Stuff New Zealand brand executive of new products Brittany Damon was one of this year's TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards' finalists for 'Rookie Marketers of the Year'. We talk to her about her contribution to Stuff, challenges she's overcome and her advice for young marketers.
How did you get into marketing? What sparked your interest in getting involved in the industry?
I’d like to say my interest to study marketing was something I knew right from the start, but like most high school graduates, I didn’t know what I wanted to study or even what I wanted to do for my career. It wasn’t until my second year of university, that I decided to give marketing a go – there was such a variety of options and career paths that interested me. I was always curious learning about how people think and behave unconsciously and how to market a product to them that they didn’t even know they needed.
How did you come to work at Stuff?
It wasn’t easy getting into the marketing industry straight out of university without prior marketing experience. My journey was a long one, trying to find an organisation that had a developed marketing team, and I was keen to get involved with somewhere using the latest marketing tools and systems.
In 2015, I landed a role as a sales coordinator in the Stuff sales team, learning all the products and working alongside advertising agencies to gain knowledge on best practice. From there, I managed to take my knowledge to move into a media planner role in the marketing team. Looking back, this was the pivotal moment in my career, drawing off my sales and advertising experience to run and optimise successful campaigns. Later I moved into my current role as brand executive – new product; being the conjoint between marketing and our joint venture partners to manage the workflow of all the marketing activity as well as tracking success. I’ve now been at Stuff for three years.
Stuff has launched a range of different products over the last couple of years. Have you contributed to these launches?
A significant and new part of the Stuff business is to leverage our audience and diversify into new revenue streams, and this is how my role came to be. In the last year, we have launched three new joint ventures within just a few months of each other, adding to our existing portfolio. In my role, I sit alongside other departments in the company, working together to launch a new product, from the brand identity and value proposition to working with designers to create the advertising assets and media schedules to launch these products to market. My role is a vital part of the process, managing the daily tasks and working with our joint venture partners to make recommendations, while leveraging off Stuff’s media assets.
What would you consider to be your favourite part of working in the marketing at Stuff?
I get to work on a variety of new products and businesses and no two days are ever the same. The marketing leaders at Stuff are also very supportive and encourage collaborative working as well as equipping younger marketers with the skills and tools they need to excel in their careers. I’m always encouraged to trial new things and come up with fresh ideas and recommendations for our brands. Although I am still a young marketer, the team has always encouraged me to share my ideas and recommendations without the fear of failure.
I also love how up with the play Stuff is in terms of technology – our offices are equipped with the latest in tech and it makes it so much easier having meetings and communicating with colleagues based in other offices around the country. We’re a fully digital business and all our work is done online. I’ve come to find technology and our partners in that space really can make all the difference towards an easy or hard work-life.
What’s been the most challenging thing to deal with in your role?
The most challenging part of my role would be managing such a mix of people in our senior stakeholders and our joint venture partners. Although at times it has been difficult, managing multiple opinions and some difficult stakeholders, it has pushed me to develop my interpersonal skills; understanding ways to deal with so many different types of people. Being across such a mix of projects has also seen my project management skills excel and I’ve also learnt how to resolve conflict quickly and manage situations to get to the best result most efficiently. At the end of the day, we are all working towards the same goals and I have learnt to adapt and work in a way that respects everyone and supports a wide variety of personality traits.
What advice would you give other young marketers out there trying to make their way in the industry?
Constantly seek to learn and try new things. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share new ideas, and most of all don’t let your age be the reason for holding back and not challenging the status quo. You are more capable than you realise and have many skills and talents to bring to a project or campaign – your younger age and experience adds diversity and a different way of thinking. Trust in your capability and don’t be afraid of failure – this has been my mantra that has empowered me and opened doors to many opportunities that have shaped me into the young marketer I am today.