March’s Interview with a Marketer is the talented Sloan Newman. He’s currently managing marketing for Fox Plumbing and Heating in Seattle, and will be the president of the American Marketing Association, Puget Sound chapter, from July. His background and education in international marketing means our conversations are filled with examples of great campaigns from all ’round the world.
Can you give us a quick day in the life of Sloan Newman?
A. My day usually begins with a 6am yoga class. Once that is done then I leave and head-off for the office. I spend my first hour or so reviewing any mail or phone messages that are pending and then start my day. I manage a number of different responsibilities for the marketing of Fox Plumbing & Heating.
My focus depends on the day of the week. We create in-house blogs, traditional mailings, digital advertising, and television advertising, and I manage all of these pieces. At the beginning of the week I’ll spend most of the day preparing copy for the website, or organizing an upcoming marketing event. By Wednesday, I shift my focus to managing Fox’s online presence. I work on social media and writing the blog that is posted weekly on Thursday afternoon.
During lunch, I take the time to manage the Puget Sound American Marketing Association, as President-Elect. After lunch I’ll spend my afternoons reviewing the internal and sales communications pieces for Fox Plumbing & Heating. Currently, Fox is the only plumbing and heating service company in King County, WA to use iPads for all of their technicians in the field. That means managing close to 30 iPads daily. I manage everything from messaging for sales material to ensuring that each technician has the right apps to be able to do their job.
Most evenings, I’ll leave Fox to go to one of the chambers of commerce in King County. I represent the company to multiple stakeholders, to ensure that we have a presence at a in the community. When I don’t have evening appointments, I like to escape to have some private time with my family.
What’s your “can’t live without” marketing skill or tool?
Experience. I’ve had the luxury of being educated by some of the best marketing minds across the globe. My mentors include professors like Nial Caldwell of Lord Ashcroft International School of Business, Mark Gross previously of Wunderman in Seattle, Larry N. Newman of MS&L of New York City (retired), Don Bates of Gould+Partners in New York City, and Juliet La Marque, CEO of Life Healthcare Communications in Windsor, UK. These and over a dozen more have helped me to develop as a marketing professional. Each of my mentors have been key me about this profession.
There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t pull at least one lesson from my mentors about how to be effective in my career. The opportunities that I’ve had working and learning from these individuals is my greatest marketing tool. And my one major skill is the ability to say, “Let me think about it.”
How did you become a marketing manager?
I’d say, “It’s kinda necessary to be a marketing manager if you want to be a marketing director at some point.” I’ve always enjoyed leading and managing things. When I was in school I was president of the honor society, on the student board and captain of the fencing team. I’ve just always enjoyed taking the lead on things. But when it comes to my career, I’ve worked hard to get ahead of the curve so that I could manage and lead others. Even know, I’m considering what I can do to become a marketing director.
I first became a marketing manager when I completed my Masters in Marketing Strategy and Communications. I think that my employers realized that my dedication to my craft and profession meant that I could be trusted to make the right decision. Even today, I have to make tough calls between making the right decision over the decision that I want to make. And understanding the larger picture of what is at stake, that’s what makes both a great manager and a great leader.
If you could work for any brand/agency, which would it be and why?
Since I worked for MS&L of London, I’ve always wanted to work for Publicis and have a corner office, on the third floor of the Publicis Worldwide office in Paris on Champs-Élysées. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I really want to work for M&C Saatchi with colleagues who are changing what marketing and advertising means in London. I’ve always enjoyed working with my peers, and the chance to work alongside some of the best and brightest in the industry is what I’d love to do.
You’ve just been elected the new President of the Puget Sound American Marketing Association chapter (congrats). How have you found being a member helps your career?
The Puget Sound American Marketing Association has been an invaluable tool to my current position at Fox Plumbing & Heating. Plumbing and heating is local and as-needed; there is almost no proper marketing research done on this industry. There’s some on local marketing and some on as-needed services, but very little that combines the two.
Because of the lack of literature on this topic, I spend a lot of time adapting other marketing methods to this industry. Having other marketing professionals to discuss, hire or work with on projects has been invaluable to my career. I’ve already hired several members to work with on, and I’m hoping to hire even more PSAMA members in 2015.
What’s your hot tip for aspiring marketing managers?
I’d defer to Strictly Ballroom for the following quote, “A life lived in fear is a life half lived.”
Just because an idea, or marketing concept hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t. Today we find ourselves living in a world that makes knowledge and opportunities available to everyone. It doesn’t matter where you live or where you’re from information is available. If you keep your eyes open and pay attention, then you’re likely to find a really great idea that you can adapt to your marketing plan.
Want to ask Sloan how to promote air conditioning in Seattle, or how to join the PSAMA? Ask him on Twitter.