Getting to know... Laura Giffard

To showcase the calibre of Worshipful Company of Marketors members, this ‘Getting to Know’ series is a monthly interview exploring the careers of our members, asking them about their careers, why they joined the Marketors and why they would encourage others to join the city livery. 

Laura GiffardWhat did you want to do when you were growing up?

I used to want to be a criminologist or a beautician. I don’t think much has changed, I’m still completely focused on understanding people’s behaviours and mindsets, as well as helping them and their businesses be their best!

When and why did you join the marketing profession?

I really discovered Marketing during my MBA in Entrepreneurship. Having built my career in hospitality I had thought I’d open a bar or restaurant, but my studies made me realise how much I enjoyed flexing my strategic and creative muscles to connect businesses with people. On graduating (with a distinction in all marketing modules!) I joined the world of agencies and never looked back.

Who is your marketing hero?

Probably Steven King of JWT, one of the founders of account planning. His paper “What is a brand” has really guided my thinking over the years. He made a powerful case for the connection between brand and profit and called for marketers to join up their efforts rather than simply chase after the latest techniques.

This still resonates with me strongly now. I see marketers worrying about the digital era, chasing all the latest technologies, afraid of getting left behind. But while our channels may be evolving, we must remember we are still people talking to people. We could all do with revisiting this paper and reminding ourselves why it’s important to stop rushing and instead focus on developing our long-term vision – channels and techniques will follow to deliver the sales.

What’s been your most significant achievement?

Without a doubt starting my own business and becoming one of the 0.1% of women-owned creative agencies. Being surrounded by a close-knit team on a drive to shake up the agency world and deliver some outstanding creative along the way is so exciting and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds.

In your view, what are the major challenges facing marketing professionals today?

We need to recognise our own value. As a profession we’re very unconfident, almost apologetic for being marketers and trying desperately to position ourselves as data, finance or technology experts. We need to focus on what we do best: communicate and connect.

Don’t get me wrong, knowledge of new channels and new techniques is vital, but my belief is that a really good marketer is a brand strategist who puts people first. If we remember our value others will see it too and we’ll start to see more marketing professionals in the boardroom where they belong.

When and why did you join the Worshipful Company of Marketors?

I first encountered Livery Companies through my husband who is a Draper, and I was fascinated by their rich histories and charitable activities. The Worshipful Company of Marketors seemed like a natural fit for me, providing the opportunity to contribute my expertise and meet like-minded people.

The social side has been wonderful. The Marketors just love to have good time. Everyone gets on really well and non-members who come along to our events are always warmly welcomed. We have fun but we’re also making a difference to the world. I love all the outreach work that we do, the mentoring, the work with schools – it's such a wonderful organisation to be a part of.

What role do you see the Marketors playing in the city?

I see the Marketors really bringing marketing to the boardroom, building the profession’s profile in the City and beyond. Modern Livery Companies are very special. We are preserving history and adapting our activities in a way that is meaningful and relevant today. I’m really enjoying this year’s calendar of speakers as well as the growing partnership with the Museum of Brands.

Who should consider joining the Marketors? And what does the livery offer that person?

The Marketors is for anyone who knows marketing is their vocation, is passionate about people and is interested in history. The fellowship offers friendship and professional development that goes beyond ticking boxes. There’s vibrant debate and exchanges of big ideas – all things you don’t generally get time to do in your day to day life.

In the past 12 months what has been your standout moment, with the Marketors?

I can’t take all the credit, as lots of people contributed to making it happen, but my standout moment has been launching the Younger Marketors initiative. We now meet four times a year over drinks (anyone who is ‘young at heart’ is welcome to join!) and it’s been brilliant to see members who perhaps previously weren’t as engaged now become familiar faces at Great Events.

In this Master’s year, the chosen theme is ‘Optimism, Offers, Opportunities’. What does the theme mean to you?

To me, there's no truer statement to be honest. I've seen it at work in my entrepreneurial life. If you put positivity out in the world, positivity comes back. If you adopt an optimistic mindset you begin to attract opportunities. If you surround yourself with confident, optimistic people, you can achieve great things.

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About Us

The Worshipful Company of Marketors is a City Livery Company. Members of the Company are on the way to achieving, or have achieved, mastery and excellence within the Marketing profession.