Please meet the Customer Marketing Director at Guiness Nigeria Plc who will be sharing with us her work life and a bit of her personal life. See interview below;
What are your responsibilities exactly on your Job?
Manage trade marketing services for the beer and series business, everything that happens at outlet level. It includes visibility (materials, posters, billboard). I manage the strategy and implementation of putting all in. Also manage activation (promotion in outlets) and commercial planning (Trade marketing is the bridge function between marketing and sales As a commercial planner, I ensure the three functions are working effectively.)
Describe your typical work day/week
Typical work day is extremely busy, a lot of meetings, working, trying to do emails, working on specific outputs like report analysis, trying to put together a plan, strategy and also in between, manage people, keep in touch with the team, making sure they deliver their duties, support them.
“It is not only about my own output, I also ensure others deliver their own output as well.”
Work time schedule: Typically work is from 8am to 8:30pm. Work is predominantly during the week but since beer business is a business of entertainment and beer sells mostly in the night and during weekends, we have to go out sometimes at those periods.
What is the most important quality to do your job?
Several qualities basically but the most important ones are to multitask quite effectively and persevere. In the face of many challenges, obstacles and trying to get people to do their work, you will need to persevere.
Tell us about your background
Work background has been brand management. Been in the business for 22 years. Started working for campaign for democracy and committee for defense for human rights. From there, I went into banking and realized I didn’t want to be a banker so I stumbled into brand management. I have worked for quite a lot of multinationals in the field of brand marketing. I have worked for Heineken, Coca-Cola, BAT, Airtel and Guinness.
“I went into banking and realized I didn’t want to be a banker”
I was privileged to go to school for a very long time abroad, from the age of 11. But my educational background has nothing to do with where I am, I have failed many times but I pick myself up after every failure and try again. For me there’s no end, I work like a duracell battery. No matter how many times I fail, I must pick myself up and carry on. First degree was in history from the University of Warrick and studied16th century European history, American slavery and anti-slavery) Then proceeded to do MBA at Imperial College (University of London)
“No matter how many times I fail, I must pick myself up and carry on.”
What is the difference between young people in the market nowadays and the adults we had about 10 years ago?
The corporate world has become much younger, young people get opportunities these days than 10 years ago, back then, you will work for many years before you get to any high position. Today a lot of young people are able to break barriers and achieve a lot within a relative short amount of time. Those who are talented have more opportunities now. Also, the economic situation in Nigeria now is more vibrant than back then.
“A lot of foreign investors have come into Nigeria and it has impacted the labour market at a corporate level.”
There are more opportunities for people and people stay in an organization for an average of 3 years before moving to another place, next opportunity and challenge.
Is your work harder because you are a woman?
Initially, I thought there was no difference, but now, I think I would have gone higher if I were a man. Women always need to work harder to prove themselves. I am suspecting so. Women need to work harder to get to the same level as men. Also, because my family is important to me, I put a lot of focus on my job and a lot of focus on my family thereby I sacrifice a lot like social life, going to parties.
“Women always need to work harder to prove themselves.”
To manage a team is not easy. What advice could you give to a young manager?
The most important thing for me to manage a team is empathy. When it is time to work. I don’t take nonsense and at the same time, I have empathy for the people I work with. I don’t look at their work only in terms of output that they have to deliver.
“The most important thing for me to manage a team is empathy.”
I also look at it as a leadership journey. I have to coach, motivate and impact them to be the best they can be, getting them to enjoy what they do and working with a face of joy basically.
What is your advice to keep a client satisfied?
To keep customers, clients and consumers satisfied, you have to understand what they need. To get sustainable value, you have to put customer needs at the center of what you do. Know the actual item customers want, the price should also suit the customer’s pocket.
This article was edited by Aisha Aburime