Case study

Direct marketing communications manager — Sarah Boyle

Sarah's degree prepared her well for a career in direct marketing. Discover what advice she would give to other graduates looking for a career in marketing

How did you get your current job?

When I graduated, I spoke to the university's careers department and they helped me to improve my CV and writing it in a way that would appeal to potential employers.

I started to apply for roles advertised on jobs sites. Some of the recruiters approached me with several different roles and put me forward for interviews. Motorcycle insurance specialist Carole Nash was one of these and ultimately I felt that it was the role that best suited my skills.

Having some experience within the industry is very useful, especially when it comes to interviews

How relevant is your degree to your job?

My studies were very relevant; many of the jobs have a minimum requirement of a 2:1 degree in marketing. I also found that my studies provided me with a good understanding of key marketing disciplines that were discussed during the interview process.

Case studies and assignments completed at university also provided me with examples of how these disciplines worked and I could apply these to answers in the interview.

What do you do day-to-day?

Each day is always slightly different, however a typical day can involve sending information to our external agencies, this can include daily SMS campaigns, or on a monthly basis the information that will be used for that particular month's direct mail campaigns.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

My original role at Carole Nash was as a marketing communications executive; this involved looking after communications for personal lines. After a year of being in this role I was promoted to direct marketing communications manager, a new position, which includes elements of what I used to do, but focusing more on the management of direct mail.

I would like to learn more about optimising email and SMS responses through additional training courses. This will increase my knowledge on conversion rate optimisation and give me a better understanding of what makes a good email and what the target audience is looking for.

What do you enjoy about your job?

With direct mail constantly changing and evolving it's nice to see how campaigns change from the beginning to the end project and creating more opportunities by exploring new ideas for campaigns.

What are the most challenging parts?

Managing more than one project at a time can be challenging, combined with tight deadlines and turn-around times this can become stressful, but it is also what makes the job more interesting.

What advice would you give to others who would like to get into this career?

Having some experience within the industry is very useful, especially when it comes to interviews. It is good to be able to provide examples detailing where you have previously used skills required for the role. I gained this experience by working for a marketing company in my third year of university, however even a work placement of a few weeks will help to give you a feel of how marketing departments work.