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?


Who?

Louise Schultze, CEO of iBidAM.com.

When and where did you work in marketing?

At Palace Cinemas I was national membership/marketing manager. At Target Budgeting Solutions I was senior executive, marketing and profiling – I was a highly sought after profiling expert to the major players in the advertising industry.

Highest marketing level reached?

VIP on the Marketing and Communications Executive Committee International. 

What do you do now?

I’m the CEO and founder of iBidAM.com. As a profiler, when I was commissioned to do a case study on the next big wave seven years ago, one of the biggest categories was small business. I was laughed at when I said that in 10 to 15 years time over 70% of households would have a small, micro, sole-trading, freelancing, contracting type business coming from one of the occupants.

My analysis indicated that the single largest need of a small business is marketing and advertising. Large firms needed to do something to cater for their lack of education in this area. When I couldn’t get anyone to listen, I built the only website in the world where every service provider in the marketing and advertising industry (from designers to printers to commercial production houses in Australia) can tender for small businesses’ advertising and marketing needs. 

iBidAM has also created the very first industry pricing structure standard created by the service providers themselves. It has the largest sourcing database for the industry, and the only free education advice line for small businesses. Users can actually call someone with a degree in the industry and get real advice with real strategies, which is free and a genuine first of its kind. No more so-called advertising and marketing gurus and experts. 

Did you choose your path or did it choose you? 

We always choose our own path. I guess my will is to want things to change for the better – for people to be more responsible for themselves and for equality. These principles have deep down driven iBidAM’s concepts and ideas.

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

Using external resources to complement my abilities. My professional profiling skills have come in handy quite a bit too.

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

No. I would be working in third world countries, social services or doing aid work.

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

It was hard dealing with clients who wouldn’t listen to the experts. They know their business but they aren’t always the best people to connect their business to a market place. It’s a learned skill.

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

Stand for something. The more we are a part of pushing commercialism the more in debt society becomes. In desperate times people do desperate things. If you want to market something, choose something that will benefit society as a whole. This will fulfil you more and you will be less likely to leave and feel disillusioned by it all.

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

I’m happy with what I have achieved with iBidAM thus far especially now that it’s going global. As I use 70% of the profits I make from iBidAM to fund resources and facilities for underprivileged children and environmental projects, I hope that I can be more involved in this work in the next few years with a new CEO in place.