Jo Robinson - Marketing Campaign and Content Manager
What is your name?
What company do you currently work for?
What is your job title?
Marketing Campaign and Content Manager
Provide a brief description of your business
Sodexo is a facilities management company, providing a range of services including food and hospitality; cleaning; security; property management and technical services.
Describe your career pathway after leaving school
I had quite an unusual pathway; I left school when I was 14 to study at home, before going to college in Wales to sit GCSEs. I then attended two further colleges, gaining a mixture of Highers and AS Levels which earned me a place at the University of Aberdeen to study Psychology. I took a year out to work and travel before starting my course; I started as a Kitchen Porter in a restaurant, moved on to be a Sales Assistant in a deli and finished the year as a Mortgage Assessor in a well-known bank! I held part-time jobs while studying my degree (in retail and office admin) and after graduating I got a job at Aberdeen College (now North East Scotland College/NESCol) assessing student funding applications. After a year, I moved on to work for a national charity as a fundraiser. I stayed in the charity world for 7 years, eventually becoming a Senior Corporate Partnerships Manager with the RNLI, where I managed a national team. In 2016, I left to join VisitScotland as their Regional Director; during my time there I went back to university to study Digital Marketing Leadership. I worked with a number of small businesses to develop their digital marketing strategies, and this year I became a full-time Marketing Campaign and Content Manager with Sodexo.
What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?
A good grounding in English, because I do a lot of checking over written content and writing it myself for various audiences.
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
I like the fact that it's both data-driven and creative. It plays to my strengths and my interests; I like planning and producing content and thinking about what will work well for the audiences I'm speaking to. I also like researching competitors and what's happening in the digital marketplace, and keeping up with trends.
Why did you want to work in this industry?
While at VisitScotland, I developed a new appreciation for how important digital content is in influencing behaviour. I was lucky to have worked with many very talented colleagues who inspired me to learn and develop skills in a growing and rapidly advancing digital marketplace. I felt that focusing on digital skills would equip me for a range of job roles for the future, and give me an edge over other marketers.
Did you ever want to pursue another career?
I went to university intending to study BSc Psychology and become a counsellor. I didn't enjoy the first year that much; I had chosen History and International Relations as other subjects to study in first year because I felt my knowledge in these areas was lacking. I didn't expect to enjoy those subjects much more than Psychology, but I surprised myself, and for second year I dropped Psychology entirely and switched my degree intention to MA History and International Relations. I've never regretted it; these subjects gave me a fantastic grounding in global politics and I developed strong analysis and critical thinking skills which have served me well in life as well the workplace.
What does a typical day in your role involve?
I always listen to the news in the morning to make sure I'm informed about important topics, and I'll try to scan Twitter and industry news sites several times a week to keep on top of what's happening in the facilities management world.
I usually have a piece of content waiting for approval, so I'll spend some time reviewing that and leaving comments for the designers and copywriters to action.
The rest of the day will likely be spent replying to emails, tweaking presentations and strategy documents and I'll probably have a couple of video-calls with colleagues about upcoming campaigns or business development opportunities.
If we've a major campaign coming up then I'll have my head down, working with teams across the organisation to make sure all the content is ready to go and activity launches on time. I'll also be keeping an eye on how current campaigns and webpages are performing.
What skills are required to do your job?
Attention to detail, good English and writing skills, and the ability to work under pressure, plan and prioritise. This job wouldn't suit someone who disliked structure and desk-based work. Most importantly, you need to understand human behaviour and how to engage and influence people, so strong interpersonal skills and empathy are a must.
What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?
I would say marketing is a great skill to have as it can take you anywhere. All businesses and organisations need people who can communicate with customers and stakeholders, so you can work across all different industries and of course different geographies! Your skills will be transferable and in demand as more and more organisations recognise the benefits of having good people in communication roles who can talk to and influence their audiences across multiple channels.
Any other comments?
Choosing a career or an industry feels like a really important step when you're just starting out. I've changed jobs dozens of times and switched sectors several times too, and each time you just learn a new way of doing things. My advice to people at the start of their careers is to not overthink it; do what you enjoy, or think you might enjoy, because it's not the final step - it's only the next step for you. A great podcast to listen to on this topic is Squiggly Careers - the hosts also have a website, which has lots of career resources.
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Here at DYW Moray, we'd like to encourage those of you who are employed in Moray to share your career story with us so that we can promote these to Moray's young people. Go on, share your career story now!