Introducing WiseTalks, interviews with awesome marketers who share their tips, stories and frustrations.
Today we’re starting off with a bang, featuring Helen Dibble, the brains behind Incredibble Marketing in Manchester, UK. You can find her at
www.helendibble.com (new site goes live April 12th) and @dibbledabbles on Twitter.
Helen has built two in-house marketing teams from the ground up, delivering critical infrastructure and strategic direction. Since starting her own business she’s enabled dozens of organisations achieve clarity, audience and brand story. Her articles have been featured on the Huffington Post.
In her own words, “I help people tell their stories. Incredibble Marketing offers content creation, strategic planning and workshops that enables businesses to get really clear about who they are. I also offer training on content creation and marketing habits.”
How did you decide to get into marketing?
Decide? I fell into it. I had just handed in my final year dissertation and there was a career fair the following week. This was 2005 and even then the media pedaled terrifying stories about graduates not getting jobs out of uni. So I prepped my CV and along I went.
The MD of a software company stepped out in front of me as I walked by and practically sold me the job. Two weeks later I was Customer Support and Marketing Executive. I didn’t know what marketing was for first six months. I distinctly remember Googling it and thinking….oh! NOW I get it…
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Check Asana—task management software—and meditate for ten minutes
What’s something that everyone loves but makes no sense to you?
Competitor analysis. While it’s great to know what your market is doing and use it for inspiration, I’d rather focus on what my audience is up to than the sales guy next door. What do my customers want??
Tell us about your biggest #marketingfail.
In-house marketers face a tricky balance: There’s lots of doing to be done—marketing can be very administrative for long periods of time—so you have to be doing lots of doing. You develop habits that protect the to do list instead of looking around for new ideas.
But then your boss asks you for a new idea, something creative—which, of course, marketing needs because those creative angles are essential to make all that ‘doing’ worthwhile’—but jumping from one to the other is HARD. Switching from doing to thinking is not easy.
Really good creative thinking demands risk (and therefore resilience), curiosity and decision making. You don’t get those skills from doing.
My worst experience as a marketer came when I failed to make that switch time and again over a period of two years. It led me to hate my job. But since starting my own business I’ve been developing training programmes that enable marketers to overcome these obstacles.
What part of your work do you love the most?
Facilitating a room of senior managers. Working with them to extract stories and watching those ‘ah ha’ moments about who they are and what their audience wants is pure magic!
How often do you try new marketing techniques?
All the time. I love to wing it in workshops. Experience has told me you can only plan so far, so I will prep until I feel confident and positive about what’s going to happen, but eagerly move with feel of the room. This often leads me to a new concept or set of exploratory questions with no idea of the outcome. Often, these new concepts come from outside the marketing industry—innovation and storytelling are two favourite places I often look to for inspiration.
Stay tuned for more WiseTalks and don’t forget to follow Helen at @dibbledabbles.