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? 

Samantha Hardman, Creative Director, Bento Group

When and where did you work in marketing?

I worked in marketing for approximately ten years, most recently as Senior Manager at ANZ. 

Highest marketing level reached?

Senior Management Marketing, Online & Digital team. I was responsible for all marketing activities for the digital channel across multiple regions. 

What do you do now?

I’m the Creative Director for clothing label Bento. 

Did you choose your path or did it choose you? 

Depends on how you look at it! I genuinely feel fashion is my calling. That said, it was something I actively left marketing to pursue. 

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

Understand your customer. Too many designers get caught up in the art of the medium and forget that at the end of the day, it’s a commercial venture. 

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

It’s a tough call, but I think so. 

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

Best – seeing a campaign through from inception to delivery and having it exceed your wildest hopes in terms of delivery. 

Worse – the monotony and the politics. 

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

Never forget to sell yourself like you would sell your product. You are your own brand. 

Also, whilst you may not like the answer, remember: it’s always free to ask. 

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

Satisfied, challenged and excited. I’m thrilled with my current roles, but I still have aspirations for the business and my career along with it.