Interviews

Tom Probert

Head of Marketing at Dyno Services

Ben Somerset-How

Client Director

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creativebrief: Why did you choose a career in marketing?

Tom Probert: I have always been fascinated with what makes people tick and realised during my time at University that by understanding people and their motivations you have an amazing opportunity to affect change. From the moment I realised that, Marketing felt like an obvious career path.

creativebrief: What do you think makes a successful career in marketing?

Tom Probert: An inquisitive mind, a personable approach and the ability to understand how to generate value. Combine that with the capability to adapt and learn at an ever increasing pace whilst keeping everything grounded in what matters to people. 

creativebrief: And who is a great example of this?

Tom Probert: Matt Hart. He demonstrates this brilliantly with the work that he is doing with Better Ideas Faster.

creativebrief: What do you think are the main challenges facing marketers today?

Tom Probert: The speed of change and our ability to adapt, balancing the huge volume of data we have available with actionable insight.

creativebrief: How do you keep up with constant stream of innovation in marketing comms?

Tom Probert: Not as well as I would like. I spend a good 30minutes first thing most mornings reading through Twitter feeds and industry websites to keep an eye on what is being said. That said, over the last year my involvement with the Marketing Academy has given me unparalleled access to mentors, coaches, industry experts and peers that have provided a constant stream of insight and inspiration.

creativebrief: How does this impact your relationship with agencies?

Tom Probert: It enhances them as we have an ongoing and open dialogue on things we have seen that either inspire us or we feel could be adapted for the good of our business. 

creativebrief: How do you know if you’re getting the best from your agencies?

Tom Probert: Success is when they feel empowered to make decisions and recommendations that are rooted in the commercial reality of what is right for my brand and business. They give me honest feedback even if it’s tough to hear and they challenge me to think about the decisions I make whilst coming to me proactively with suggestions on how to enhance our efforts further.
I’m therefore getting the best when we act as a unified team, focussing on how to deliver amazing work for our consumers and Dyno franchisees and having some fun along the way.

creativebrief: Of your recent work, what makes you particularly proud and why?

Tom Probert: The commercial success over the last year in Dyno has been particularly pleasing. We’ve worked with our agency base to get our marketing spend working a lot harder which has played a big role in reengaging the franchise network in the work my team are doing. I’ve also invested considerable time in building a strong team around me which makes me excited about what the future holds.

creativebrief: How do you think marketers can raise the profile of marketing within their organisations?

Tom Probert: You could argue that no other function within a business has such an opportunity to bring people together around a common cause given the breadth of internal stakeholders that the marketing department has. If the department is therefore really clear on the value that it delivers to the organisation and prioritises accordingly the results and profile should be self evident.

creativebrief: Do you see yourself as a generalist or a specialist, does it matter?

Tom Probert: My career path definitely suggests that I am a generalist as I have had the opportunity to work in multiple functions across multiple markets, brands and industries. Whether it matters or not depends totally on the individual and where they want to take their career. Ultimately I believe you need a mix of both in a team to succeed.

creativebrief partner the Marketing Academy is a non-profit organisation which provides a unique forum for industry leaders, marketing gurus, entrepreneurs and inspirational people volunteer their time to inspire, develop and coach the next generation of future leaders. The Marketing Academy gift a maximum of 30 ‘Scholarships’ each year to the fastest rising stars in the marketing, advertising and communications industries. A team of high profile mentors and coaches develop these stars through a process of mentoring, coaching, networking and personalised learning. 86 mentors, 30 Coaches, 20 Judges, 36 companies and an owl called Merlin all provide their time, resources and knowledge to assist in shaping the minds of our future leaders. Furthermore as a vital part of their curriculum all Scholars volunteer at least one day per year through our Donate28 initiative to work with charities who need bright young marketing minds. For a full list of the individuals involved, see the Sherilyn Shackell interview.