- Spotlight On: Emma Foster, Marketing Director, Kohler Mira Ltd
Interview with Emma Foster, Marketing Director, Kohler Mira Ltd
To start Emma, I just want you to tell me the single best thing about your role as a Marketing Director…
My team! I’ve got a great team and I enjoy nothing more than getting stuck into projects with them and seeing their hard work come to fruition. I love to challenge people and to see them develop and grow throughout their careers.
What was your route to marketing? Did you study marketing specifically? Was it always something you wanted to do?
I did a business studies degree with a Marketing bias in the final year. From that point on, I loved Marketing and knew it was something that I wanted to do more of. I did a year in industry in a marketing insights role and came to Kohler Mira as a temp. During my time with the business I’ve worked in every sub-team in marketing including; product marketing, channel marketing and marketing communications and am truly honoured to now lead the team as Marketing Director.
What would be your advice for someone studying marketing and looking for a role within marketing?
Go for it! Marketing is a fantastically interesting career choice. There are so many different facets to what we do & I personally love being part of the heartbeat of the organisation.
I learnt a huge amount from my year in industry (the third year of my four-year degree) and I’d really encourage anyone to think about how they can gain that real experience in the workplace. At Kohler Mira we have a great Business Admin apprenticeship scheme as well as a long-standing history of offering university placements. If you’re serious about Marketing, get out and find a way to experience it.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
Make a decision! Someone once told me that the best thing you can do is make a decision and that it is what the people working with you want you to do.
I’ve always taken this advice on board and now I try to ensure I am not only decisive but that the team understand the reasons why I take the decisions that I do.
What are some of the key marketing trends you are seeing at the moment and how do you think these will evolve over the coming years?
There are so many trends, but I think the key ones for us to be mindful of are sustainability, not just from an environmental perspective but also from the point of view of how any business sustains itself in the tough marketplace we find ourselves in today, and connectivity and personalisation. I don’t see either of these disappearing in the coming years, they are increasingly important to consumers & I see them continuing to evolve. How we as marketeers react and drive those trends will be really important.
Digital marketing is a key part of the marketing plan now…but I wondered what your thoughts are on more traditional methods of marketing, direct? Print adverts? Do you think these are still an important method of reaching customers?
For me it all comes down to understanding your audience and ensuring that you communicate with them in the most appealing way that will inspire them to engage with your brand.
In retail, we are seeing the increase in omni-channel, e.g. Wayfair and Amazon opening stores…how do you see this playing out in the future?
Again, for me it comes down to understanding your shopper. People shop in different ways depending not only on their typology but also depending what they are shopping for.
I think that showrooming will always have a role, there are certain purchases that you want to touch/feel/see, for me it is how experiential marketing evolves that will be interesting in the future.
What are your thoughts on social media and influencer marketing and the ‘vanity vs sanity’ debate?
I think there is a place for influencer marketing, but it absolutely has to be authentic, as with all forms of marketing, consumers see through it if it is fake! In these uncertain political and economic times, I think consumers are turning to brands and people they can trust.
And what about customers? How do you think they have changed? Are they still brand loyal or is their focus on price and where they can ‘find it cheapest’?
That depends on the shopper and what it is they are buying! There is no question that big brands to do well in tough times and for me that comes back to trust. People want to be sure that they are buying something that will be good quality.
Finally, what’s the best book you’ve ever read that has affected the way you work?
Essentialism by Greg McKeown. I love the simplicity of the message, “how can we do less and accomplish more?” I am a big fan of ensuring everyone has absolute clarity about the vision, the strategy and what the team is trying to achieve and then prioritising to make sure we are focusing on the things that will really make a difference.