What do SMEs really want? For our Leaders’ Insights series, we called on Ruth Fuller to offer some digital expertise.
Ruth Fuller is managing director of Fuller Marketing, a company founded in 2015 to provide senior-level marketing that doesn’t break the bank.
With an MSc in advertising and marketing from Dublin Institute of Technology, Fuller has added to her digital prowess over the years, taking up roles in Radical and Minelab, to name a few.
Just last April, Fuller Marketing took home the silver award in the An Post Smart Marketing Awards 2017.
‘We are acutely aware that marketing must carry its own weight in producing and owning results. This is the environment that we thrive in … it’s the work we love to do’
– RUTH FULLER
Describe your role and what you do.
As a hands-on managing director of a fast-growing marketing business, my time is split between short-term tactical and long-term strategic work, supporting our clients’ interests. Responding to new business queries, daily team briefings, client meetings and real-time campaign reviews are all part of the day-to-day operations of the company.
How do you prioritise and organise your working life?
I love the early morning. Long before the team comes to the office, you will find me at my desk. I’ve learned to dedicate this time to thought-heavy creative work. Once I’ve emptied my bank of the avalanche of ideas that came to mind over night – some terrible, some brilliant, I like to think! – I then get to work on the task elements for the day.
I limit emails to three times a day (morning, midday and evening) to maximise efficiency. The rest of my time is spent on highly collaborative work, meetings and campaign management. I love to be accessible to clients throughout the day. The immediacy of the direct connection to agree, explain or clarify is still the best timesaver I know.
What are the biggest challenges facing your business and how are you tackling them?
Aggressive growth to the level that we have experienced is, in itself, not without challenges, but we have met these head-on. We surmount any associated obstacles with hard work, an active recruitment policy and continued investment in our people.
What are the key industry opportunities you’re capitalising on?
We are fortunate to have expert skill sets within the business that range from cutting-edge digital to international business development strategy. One of our formative strengths is that we offer 3PM (third-party marketing) services to business, so we are the team that will sit at the table with management, take the project, campaign or the full marketing function, and work through opportunities and actions to deliver measurable sales and revenue boosting activities. We are acutely aware that marketing must carry its own weight in producing and owning results. This is the environment that we thrive in … it’s the work we love to do.
— Fuller Marketing (@MarketingFuller) April 26, 2017
What set you on the road to where you are in the technology industry?
Having trained in traditional media, the digital technology offered to marketing was too tempting to avoid. After immersing myself in the latest technologies and trends, implemented by the biggest brands in the world through agency work in Dublin, the call of the Rebel County was too strong!
Initially moving in-house as marketing manager for EMEA in the consumer electronics industry, the role quickly led to a promotion as head of global digital and subsequently head of consumer marketing worldwide. The opportunity that technology brought to international marketing outreach was immense. The opportunity to travel and learn was an eye-opener. During this time, I was able to identify a tangible gap between the services that marketing agencies provide and the needs of SMEs.
It was this insight that led to the birth of Fuller Marketing. Fuller Marketing aims to bridge this gap. In essence, we offer senior-level marketing expertise at the price of a junior marketing person.
The demand for digital technologies expertise coupled with skills shortages in that industry in Ireland has meant that hiring expert in-house digital marketers has become very expensive. We offer a solution to this, by way of 3PM.
What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
Not backing myself to make this move earlier. Since starting Fuller Marketing, I have honestly never looked back. I have learned that it’s important to trust my own instinct.
How do you get the best out of your team?
Commendation and reward for exceptional work. We put people first and ensure employment conditions can support individual needs. I am very fortunate to have a team of talented, experienced and conscientious people. If you are lucky enough to find such people, who possess enthusiasm, creativity and a willingness to do the best work, then you should hold onto them for all your worth, as, with them, you can take your clients to the stars and back!
STEM sectors receive a lot of criticism for a lack of diversity. What are your thoughts on this and what’s needed to effect change?
And rightly so! There is a skills shortage in STEM. STEM is crucial to Ireland, and the world’s future economy. Corrective action is needed at a school level to influence subject choice ahead of the Leaving Cert, which allows all students to choose relevant third-level courses. BT Young Scientist and iWish are doing great work in this area. As iWish put it, “offering choices, chances and changes” will turn the wheel in the right direction for the future of Ireland and its position within the global economy.
Who is your business hero and why?
There are dozens! Some of my favourites include Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Michael O’Leary, who are all innovators and visionaries. We also have some amazing home-grown talent such as Bob Savage, Dell EMC; Gillian Keating, iWish and RDJ; and Alan Cox, Core Media, to name a few.
What books have you read that you would recommend?
What are the essential tools and resources that get you through the working week?
Analytics, Insights, PowerPoint (shameful!), Excel, ad-bidding tools, avocado and coffee.
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