Ask the expert - Hybrid marketers: What does it take? Part 5/5

For the final part of the Q&A series, we are talking to Jackie Cook, founder of CQ Strategic Marketing and speaker at the CIM’s ‘Rise of the Hybrid Marketer’.

Jackie holds an MSc in Marketing Management, is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the CIM. She has over 25 years of marketing experience in engineering and manufacturing and professional services.

Jackie is joint Head of the Pride for the Lyons Den, a networking group for senior business leaders in the Sheffield City Region. Since 2012, she has also been involved with Connect Yorkshire, a networking and personal development group across South and West Yorkshire.

Jackie is a STEM Ambassador for young people developing their career and a mentor for the CIM.

How did you start your career in marketing?

By accident! I was working in professional services as a secretary and started helping the marketing department who were always snowed under, and I found that it was something I enjoyed. 

About six months later I applied for a newly created marketing assistant role.

My new marketing boss encouraged me to take the CIM qualifications and I started the CIM Certificate (level 4) a few months later.

Take us through your career journey, how did you become such a marketing advocate?

After completing my CIM (Level 4 & 6) qualifications, I went on to complete a master’s in marketing management at Sheffield Hallam University.

This supported my progression into multiple marketing manager roles before I took the leap to set up my own agency. I have over 15 years’ experience working with engineering and manufacturing companies and nine years’ professional services experience. Now I provide specialist advice as a consultant to these industries.

I’ve utilised networking opportunities across Yorkshire and beyond to build connections in industries where marketing is less of a business priority but needed more than ever to support growth.

I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of working with the more complex and typically less marketing savvy industries.

While working in these industries I’ve also supported STEM programmes as an ambassador, and I am a proud member of the work-wise Foundation Executive and Get up to Speed Committees, driving engagement to get the younger generations excited about careers.

I’ve found this very rewarding on a personal level, along with mentoring for the CIM, but this has also added to my expertise in the industries I market.

What does a hybrid marketer mean to you?

Being a hybrid marketer is about having an overall understanding of all aspects of marketing. This does not necessarily mean you have to be an expert in all areas, but you must understand how all tactics integrate to form a strong strategy.

If you are advising a business at a strategic level, you need to be able to understand which of the marketing tools or techniques are relevant for that business to achieve the forecasted or expected results.

In addition, to make recommendations, you also need to understand the wider business priorities and objectives of the company you are working with to be able to address pain points and give considered advice that suits their needs.

What skills are required by the next generation of marketers considering there is such a constant change?

With the constant change in tools, there is a continuous need for learning, and it is paramount that all marketers at any level continue to develop their skillset and keep up with the latest trends.

Core marketing strategy skills and techniques are as important as ever. Refresher courses, CPD and networking, are vital for marketers to understanding what is changing in marketing and business, so that you can adapt your strategy and campaigns as necessary.

What advice would you give to a fresh marketer?

It is really important as a developing marketer to spend time getting to know the industry you are marketing. To be able to advise and showcase authority and audience understanding in your campaigns.

You need to get under the skin of your audience and understand their needs and problems. This way you can provide relevant, informative, engaging and even inspiring campaigns that speak to the heart of what the customer or client wants.

I would say be proactive in your career. You are the sole driver of the direction of your career and only you can shape the career you want. Employers, studying and experience aside, in order to progress you need to pursue new challenges to stretch yourself. Only you have that power.

More from this series

Check out our blog to read more of our ‘ask the expert - hybrid marketer: what does it take’ Q&As.   

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