Case study

Head of marketing — Gareth Roberts

Gareth's management qualification has led to a successful career in marketing within the motor trade industry. Discover how he uses his degree in his role

How did you get your job?

After graduating with a BSc in management I was taken on by Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, a car leasing broker, as a systems analyst. After 18 months in this role I was promoted to pricing and relationship manager, which I carried out for a further two years.

I was then approached by Leasing Options to join them as their head of pricing and online marketing. I progressed to head of marketing and I have been in this role for over two years.

What's a typical working day like?

My role is to negotiate and structure deals for vehicles so I spend lots of time on finance systems. I manage a pricing team to ensure the website displays the most competitive price and I ensure that all marketing products go out on time and with the correct information.

I also manage the agency that looks after our pay-per-click (PPC) and SEO to ensure they are performing as we would like.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

This role is ideal for me; I have a huge interest in cars. Spotting deals, securing batches of cars and ensuring that they are marketed well and sold is all part of the role. The variation is great and I meet a lot of new people. There is never a dull moment.

What are the challenges?

Ensuring that the pricing is up to date and competitive when it is changed constantly by the manufacturers, dealers and funders is a massive challenge. Our pricing team has to be very agile to react quickly so that we don't market any deals we can't do.

The motor industry is based on relationships so you get to meet and talk to lots of people who are very down to earth. The market we are in is very competitive, it's constantly changing and this makes it very exciting to be involved in the industry.

How relevant is your degree?

The management course I studied was very varied with modules across many different subjects including marketing, law, accounting and corporate finance.

The modules in marketing were probably the most relevant but the whole course gave me a firm knowledge of business and management overall.

How has your role developed?

In the past two years my role has changed as we have grown as a business. We have taken on new staff in the marketing and pricing department, which I am responsible for. We have massively increased the size of the sales team, which means my role is key to ensuring that they all have enough quality leads to convert.

I aspire to manage a larger team with more responsibility towards director level.

What advice can you give to others?

Try and take modules and courses in a variety of subjects within your degree, at the time it may seem a waste of time but you don't know what will come in useful at what point in your career.

It's amazing the skills that you do remember and use from your studies.

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