Not long after being listed in the Power 100 Next Generation list, I took the biggest leap in my career. I left my job as national communications manager at Mini and took some time out.
I discovered a love for forging my own path, so it seemed obvious when I came back to London that I would work with start-ups.
After building my experience working with start-up companies, I was offered the chance to build the marketing function at ClearScore. So far, it has been the most challenging and fulfilling role I’ve ever had.
It’s an honour to be asked to share some lessons, especially as I don’t have it all worked out. But here goes.
Know your numbers
What are the unit economics you’re working with? What is the cost to acquire relative to the lifetime value of a customer? This arms you with a solid framework to make commercial decisions and is important for the credibility of your discipline in the organisation.
Know the 'why' that drives your company
It’s not to make profit (that’s just an important byproduct). Your role is to project this to your customers, and being clear on this will help you focus your energy and resources in the right places.
For ClearScore, our "why" is to help "solve money" for people – something that no other company has cracked yet. Which brings me on to the next point.
There are a million and one things you could be doing. The proliferation of new channels and routes to market makes the picture more complex. But focusing on the activities, product features or channels you’ve identified as the most important means you can be the master of each thing you do, which gives you an advantage.
Create a bold testing culture
I’ve learned the value of testing absolutely everything. Cultivate a culture where people are pleased when something breaks, because you’ve tested the edges, you can bank the learning and you’re building a clearer picture of how your business works.
If it's core, consider doing it yourself
No-one will care as much about your mission as you do. Assess what you should outsource versus what you can build internally.
TV builds brands
There’s no better tool to fuel growth than TV. At ClearScore, we have built our three-million strong user base and 30% awareness on a foundation of TV advertising and PR. For reach and awareness, it’s still king.
Start from 'no-one cares'
One of the biggest challenges is to cut through the indifference people feel about advertising. It has served me well to remember this when assessing creative proposals. Our job is to find out what matters to a customer and where they may be open to hear from us for a chance to have a genuine connection.
A change is as good as a rest
Seek interesting problems and don’t be restricted by your experience. Forward-thinking companies know a skilled marketer can move between industries and only becomes more valuable from the breadth gained in doing so.
Anna Kilmurray is head of marketing at ClearScore. She featured in Marketing’s Power 100 Next Generation in 2012.