In this careers feature, Liz Foster asks the question, with the number of corporate marketing roles shrinking as you climb the ladder, where do all the brand managers go?


Amy Anderson, client services manager, The Saltmine Design Group

When and where did you work in marketing?

I started out in trade marketing at British American Tobacco (BAT) in New Zealand and moved in to brand marketing from there. When I moved to London in 2004 I worked for BAT again, in both sales and marketing roles, before joining their Global Duty Free business based out of Switzerland.

Highest marketing level reached?

Brand manager/European account manager

What do you do now?

I’m a client services manager at The Saltmine. Our USP is that all client services managers have been brand managers ourselves, so we understand our clients’ challenges and how we can help them achieve their marketing objectives in a smarter way.

Did you choose your path or did it choose you?

I hadn’t thought about that before, but I guess it chose me. When I moved to Sydney in October 2008 I wanted a change of role and industry at the same time (it seemed like a big ask considering the global financial crisis was starting to take effect). The first recruiter I met with knew Sara, client services director and owner of The Saltmine,(LINK) and suggested I meet with her as he thought we’d get on well. We must have because here I am today! Before that I would have never have seen myself going ‘agency side’.

What’s the most important skill that you’ve taken from your marketing days?

Definitely project management. The ability to manage many projects for one brand was one thing but the challenge of managing many projects for many brands is another. Good time management, prioritisation and working to multiple project timelines is essential.

If you had your time again, would you climb the corporate marketing ladder?

Working for a large global FMCG company, I was fortunate to move countries and in and out of brand and trade marketing roles several times over 7 years. I gained great experience across multiple brands and markets during this time and travelling all around Europe as part of the job was a bonus too. I wouldn’t change a thing, I definitely I wouldn’t have given this up to move vertically up the corporate ladder.

I thought I’d miss working for a big corporate but I really enjoy the relaxed environment of working for a smaller company and the chance to work with some great marketers across some of Australia’s most loved brands.

What were the best and worst parts of your role as BM?

The best part was seeing months/years of planning launching in market. Seeing a project in market always made the hard work along the way seem worthwhile.

The worst, the company politics that prevented great ideas coming into fruition. I guess that’s part of big corporate business.

What career tips would you offer an aspirant or current BM?

Develop good cross-functional relationships. Taking time to understand what other people in the business do always comes back to help you at some stage.

Now that youve left the world of brand management, are you satisfied with your current role? If not, what are your future career aspirations?

The part I love most about my current role is seeing the clients’ brief come to life in our studio. I get excited every day when I see brands being refreshed or created in front of my eyes.

I can’t imagine why I’d ever want to go back to working on one brand when I could be working on all the best bits of many brands.