180 seconds interview……………

Q. What made you design a website on your work experience?

A. It’s an idea I’ve had for a number of years. I found it hard to condense my experience into a 2 page CV and with the competitiveness of the market you have to stand out. Marketing is about creativity, lateral thinking, and adding value to an employer. I’ve done this on so many occasions but finding the channel to express it through conventional means is very difficult. But then again, Marketing isn’t about being conventional! I’ve seen CV powerpoint presentations on the internet but nothing like this, so I could be a first!

Q. Your experience is very varied. What is Stephen Cullen about?

A. Simple! I’m a 360º marketer! I’ve held roles in brand and Private label management, Trade Marketing, Account Management, Digital Marketing, web design and development and CMS Management. I’ve also managed people and trained staff in face to face and telephone sales.

Q. Doesn’t that make you unfocused?

A. On the contrary, it makes me more rounded and valuable to an employer. You can’t be strategic without hands on experience, but don’t forget that exposure to other people and just observing how they approach their role is also a great developer. 13 years in digital marketing and web development, 10 years in traditional marketing, 5 in Account Management, and 2 in Line Management isn’t unfocused – its in-depth!

Of course at times the roles have overlapped, but that’s why I can offer an integrated Marketing solution. Without the experience how else could you do it?

Q. What does an integrated marketing strategy mean in practice?
A It simply means that I can design websites, drive traffic through paid and organic search, study the results through site analytics and make the appropriate changes to the site navigation while improving the performance of landing pages. From acquisition, to contact and engagement. Of course everything has to gel, and my brochures, email campaigns, direct mail shots, and staff initiatives are all timed to build upon each activity. The complete 360º really.

Q. So what brands have you worked on?

A. I’ve been lucky. In brand management I had responsibility for launch programmes for the Crosse & Blackwell Healthy balanced beans range, and managed Libby’s corned beef and cured ham in cans. At Britvic I project managed trade promotions for the Pepsi range, 7-UP, and Tango. I’m also fortunate to have been part of the global launch of Pepsi Max where as part of the management team I presented the global Pepsi Max launch to Tesco. But perhaps my proudest association is with the Orange man “You know when you’ve been Tango’d” campaign which is still remembered today. I was in Trade Marketing then and had sole responsibility for delivering our campaign into national stores.

I was 6 years with global market leaders VELUX Roof Windows who own the market in the UK. I followed this with a 1 year contract with the Scottish Borders Council before moving to regional market leaders ESPC. I now work for Standard Life pensions on their award winning transactional pensions websites. So yes, I feel my background offers something valuable to the party.

Q. Can you demonstrate career progression within employer organisations?

Yes, At Nestle I started as a Sales Rep and was then invited to move to Croydon to become Private Label Executive. After a 6 months trial I was promoted into the more prestigious brand marketing within the Foods Division. At Britvic I began as Trade Marketing Executive and after an 18 months observation period I became National Account Executive on their largest Account Tesco which was then a £26m business. I reported to their only Senior Account Manager before being rewarded with my own Accounts Budgens and Norman’s Superwarehouses while still retaining responsibilities for TESCO.

At VELUX I began as Trade Product Manager, then became Marketing Services Manager, and was finally promoted to Commercial Manager for the UK and Ireland within the After Sales Department. Since then I’ve been serving a second apprenticeship specialising in the digital landscape. With economic developments and limited opportunities most have been pretty much specific with no place to go. That has to change!

Q. How do you keep yourself up-to-date with the digital Market?

A. I write a monthly online report covering the digital landscape across all sectors. This goes to Senior Managers including Customer Services and Marketing Director level within Standard Life, and across my team of peers. Feedback is always good, and I believe it makes interesting reading. I also get daily alerts from eConsultancy.com where membership allows me access to their Best Practice Guides, and market research reports, and I receive updates from online groups via Linkedin, Google alerts, mashable, seomoz, and anyone I choose to register with!

Q. If you had to choose only 1 strength what would it be?

A. I recently sat Gallup tests which described my core strengths as strategy, achiever, learner, relator and maximiser. But I always say that if a gun was placed at my head and I had to perform or the trigger would be pulled, I’d say let me present. I’m very enthusiastic and persuasive on my feet and you need that gift to make things happen. When I presented to the Board of the ESPC I was told the members considered it to be the best presentation they had seen in the 35 years of the company and I was then invited to present to the Member firms in front of an audience of 140 people. I know I can generate enthusiasm, and there are of course other examples but I could go on forever.

Q. What annoys you most?

A. An inability to make progress for anything other than business reasons, employers who offer a job which doesn’t resemble the one described at interview, and people who don’t try.

Q. If you got an interview do you think you could sell yourself?

A. Is this a serious question?

View my CV or this.
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Contact me

0785 234 9011

email me: 360creativemarketing@gmail.com

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