In this blog I take a giant step towards craziness and introduce you to the person behind Zest Marketing… that would be me, Kerry Marchbank.
If there is something you would specifically like to know that I haven’t covered, please get in contact, I would be happy to answer your questions.
How did you start the day today?
Well, after scooping my daughter off her bedroom floor a couple of times during the night (she has just moved to her big girl bed), I got the kids off to nursery and stopped off at the nearby Royal Victoria Country Park overlooking Southampton Water for a quick hill running interval session (recommended by my “friend” Holly)… ouch! Home to a hot shower and now I’m at my desk feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
So tell us a bit about you…
From a professional standpoint, I am a marketing freelancer.
From a personal perspective, I am married to James with two children (Harvey who will soon be 5 and Amelie who is 3). I live in a lovely sailing village on the River Hamble in Hampshire, but was born Kerry Olivia Jago in Brixham, a charming fishing town in Devon (I am 100% Devonshire dollop).
I love to live, like to have fun, care about being fit, enjoy the company of others and have an innate sense of adventure.
How did you get into marketing?
Marketing first entered my world at the age of 13 (in fact we are surrounded by it from birth but I wasn’t so savvy back then) when I opted for Business & Information Studies at school. I developed an interest and uncovered a natural flair for it. Eight years later I graduated from the University of Plymouth as Marketing Student of the Year and have since put 20 years’ experience under my belt.
I still absolutely love marketing and get a buzz from helping a business boost its growth and market position through smart marketing.
What is your main strength?
In all honesty I am a strong marketing all-rounder, but more recently my professional mission is to create engaging content-based marketing that connects with your audience, at the right time and with the right outcome.
I mostly work with organisations that want to establish a strong position as an expert brand in their market. I help them to pinpoint their strategic positioning, define their messaging framework and articulate this through a wide range of content based marketing campaigns. This could be anything from websites to sales collateral, seminars to webinars, market reports to blogs, presentations to video content, case studies to infographics, email to snail mail and so much more.
What types of companies do you work with?
Marketing can pretty much work for any business in any sector, but I primarily work with technology, telecom, professional and recruitment service firms that target business, professional and public sector audiences. Over the years I have had the pleasure of working both in-house and as a consultant, helping over 50 organisations in a range of scenarios, including:
- Design and marketing agencies that need to add capability and capacity on a flexible basis.
- Start-ups and small businesses ready to do grown-up marketing, on a project or retained basis.
- Large established marketing teams in corporate and public sector organisations that need flexible capacity for specific projects or campaigns.
- HR teams in organisations that need to bring a brand and marketing spin to their talent attraction and employee engagement initiatives.
What is it like to work with you?
I think this is better done by the people who have experienced my approach. Scanning my recommendations on LinkedIn (why not check them out yourself), I have pulled out the following top four trending themes:
- Real marketing star: Marketing Savvy, Customer Orientated, Excellent Work, Well Informed, Commercially Focused, High Standards, Bright
- Can-do attitude: Hardworking, Perseverance, Driven, Effective, Responsive, Supportive, Focused, Organised, Takes Ownership
- Ideas into action: Creative, Innovative, Imaginative, Intuitive, Eye for Detail, Focused on Outcomes, Substantial Contribution, Fantastic Results
- Extremely rewarding experience: Personable, Pleasure, Interesting, Fun, Enthusiastic, Positive, Passionate, Upbeat, Patience, Graceful, Refreshing
Note: no money exchanged hands in the production of these recommendations!
What attracted you to freelancing?
Back in 2003 I reached a bit of a career crossroads. Although still a relatively young marketer, I felt it was a good time to share marketing success as a freelance marketing consultant! I could relate to the benefits to me as an individual, but more so to the potential client (read my blog about this).
I am proud to work with some truly astounding businesses as well as some brilliant people. I have helped clients successfully embrace opportunities and address a range of challenges with marketing. What’s not to love???
From a personal standpoint, I have obtained valuable experience in a wide range of business environments and sectors. I also have a great deal of flexibility which is always a bonus with a young family!
What one piece of advice would you give to a client right now?
That’s tricky because every organisation is at a different stage of marketing maturity, working towards different goals. But if I were to give a blanket piece of advice it would be to start with strategy.
So many companies hear about a channel and jump in feet first without knowing what they want to achieve or how they will achieve it, in my opinion they are completely wasting their time. When they realise results are thin on the ground, they’ll probably try the next thing they hear about with the same outcome.
I get it. Doing the groundwork takes time with no immediate tangible results, and if you are eager to get started then you probably feel like you aren’t moving forward while you are laying the foundations. I believe that is better than wasting time, effort, resources and cash with blind marketing. Take time to work on a well-considered marketing strategy that will pack a punch and deliver your value with impact, and ultimately get you to where you need to be faster.
30 Second Interview
Scariest moment in your career: Two weeks into a new job on a very bumpy flight (in a very small plane) from Southampton to Leeds trying desperately to not be sick on my Director sat next to me.
Favourite language: Body language speaks volumes about a person or a situation! Otherwise, the lovely and useful… Español being the second most natively spoken language and the first language for more nations than any other!
Best ever journey: Walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! It was one of the hardest things I have ever done (40km at altitudes up to 4,200m) but it was worth every foot step – recounting such a fascinating history and delving into the lost world of the Incas… breathtakingly amazing.
Worst ever journey: A ‘five hour’ boat journey in Cambodia which took 12 hours, several mechanical interventions, no toilets or food – but the best way to witness real life alongside one of the country’s main life sources.
What would you do with a time machine: I would definitely go back in time… probably to the Swinging Sixties for the “cultural decade” and the start of an on-going social revolution – really interesting… and fun I would think!
If you could change: The UK media… they have far too much influence mostly with negative or concerning consequences (mentioning no names).
Your favourite place: I think this would have to be in the mountains attached to a pair of skis with the dramatic white mountain scenery surrounded by clear blue skies – you can’t beat it! Otherwise anywhere near the sea!
How do you relax: With a glass of wine and good company!