Paws for thought with Jennifer Roebuck

Recently I caught up with Jennifer Roebuck.  She is an talented and experienced senior marketer who recently set up her own consultancy after working for FCUK as a Marketing Director for the last 2 years.

Jennifer is a commercially driven, creative marketing executive with a successful background in the achievement of business growth and change; Jennifer’s experience includes 18 years of digital and brand marketing experience and 8 years running successful Ecommerce businesses in fashion retail. Industry experience covers fashion retail, telecommunications, consumer finance, music and loyalty. Jennifer has also held several positions in private equity backed start-up companies.

1. Where did you get your start as a young pup?

I studied textile design and marketing in University. After a few years of trying my luck in clothing design, I decided I needed to earn some real money and was given an opportunity to join a start-up during the early days of the Internet boom. I am still very grateful for that opportunity. I worked for some very talented marketing professionals who taught me a lot about branding, digital marketing and the life of a start-up.

2. Why did you choose this business?

In the end, I think Marketing chose me – it was a chance opportunity and timing. Even now I wonder if I am not better off living the life of a creative free spirit, but there must be some connection I have with marketing, as I have managed to stay employed for almost 19 years. The creative aspect of marketing appeals to me the most, as long as I have some involvement in the creative development side of things, I am engaged and motivated. Since I started working in more lifestyle oriented industries, I have enjoyed my profession more. A connection with the brand and product is important to me.

3. If you weren’t working in marketing, what would you be doing?

I would be designing clothing and shoes. My shoe obsession is bordering on crazy. I also have an interest in cooking and health, so something in that space would be great.

4. What campaign do you think is the ultimate dog’s dinner?

Some of the Chanel campaigns have been pretty disappointing. When they selected Brad Pitt as their face of Chanel N. 5, many of us in the marketing community were confused. All PR is good PR they say.

5. What campaign do you think belongs in the doghouse?

Not sure if this is the same as above? Is Doghouse one notch above a Dog’s Dinner? I was not to keen on the M&S leading Ladies campaign a few years ago. I think it was a brand fit if executed correctly, the actual issue with that campaign was the creative production approach; it looked odd in the end – like none of the talent wanted to be part of it. I’m sure that is not the case, but there were more authentic ways to execute on that concept.

6. If you could teach this old dog a new marketing trick, what would it be?

No new tricks here, despite all the new shiny toys we have, the same rules apply. You need a strong brand strategy where authenticity, transparency and consistency are key. With so much information available to people now, brands have to be clear on what their purpose is in the consumers life and then live up to that expectation consumers expect from a brand.

7. What app really gets your tail wagging?

Flipboard, love it!

8. Which social media network are you most likely to spend your time on?


9. What campaign has left you with your tail between your legs, and what did you learn?

ALS – Ice Bucket Challenge. It was exceptional from a participation, vitality and effectiveness perceptive. It just emphasized the importance of a good idea. Even if it is executed with low production values, it can be a success.

10. Which digital challenge keeps you up at night?

The light on the iphone not turning off :). Well, if I have to give a serious answer, I guess it is the number of social media channels and how you can tackle them all in an authentic, engaging way.

11. Where do you see digital going in the future?

I think digital is already mainstream and it will move from becoming a “channel” to a way of life as more and more things become digital. There will be no excuse for people to not understand digital. However, people who are digital should no longer sit in silos within organizations.

12. Who or what is top dog in digital right now?

I think good brand execution and strong communication ideas are top dog. Digital is an enabler, without a quality idea, its just a channel.