Louis, director of Market Development at SAS, has been supporting Free Hype, a student club at UCL, which takes on charity marketing briefs so students can give back while building their experience. Louis met with the Free Hype team to discuss how they can take their work to the next level and he will continue to advise them as they work on client briefs in the future.
Alex Daish, founder of Free Hype said, 'Having Louis talk to us gave Free Hype a real shot in the arm. He reminded us that we all know how to do things right. We just have to remember to keep questioning ourselves and make sure what we are doing stays really focused.
We caught up with Louis to get his thoughts on marketing for good and to learn about his experience of working with Free Hype.
What inspired you to participate in Marketing for Good?
I’ve been lucky enough to spend most of my career in marketing, sales and general management roles with a marketing bent, and it’s all been hugely enjoyable, challenging and rewarding. Because I personally have gotten so much from marketing, I wanted to give something back and try and instill the same enthusiasm that I have for it in folks who are just embarking on their careers. In some respects it’s an extension of the work that I’ve been doing with the LSE for the last eight years, and I love it!
Why did you choose to work with Free Hype?
The guys at Free Hype are hugely enthusiastic and have a genuine desire to help charitable organisations and good causes get their voices heard in their communities – it’s a laudable raison d’etre. They’re also like sponges – keen to absorb any bit of help or knowledge that will in turn help them to have a greater impact on the communities that they’re supporting. They’re combining this with their full-time studies at UCL. I really respect the fact that they’re trying to build up their marketing experience and learn by getting their hands dirty, running campaigns on zero budgets whilst still studying. Hopefully the work they’re doing now will inspire them to go into the profession after they graduate and become tomorrow’s marketing leaders.
What challenge were they facing?
The main challenge that came up time and again, was just trying to really understand their client objectives and, in turn, setting relevant objectives for their own campaigns. Much of the campaign activity they were undertaking didn’t have defined goals and outcomes. As a consequence of this, whilst there were a load of great activities being undertaken, oftentimes real opportunities were being missed.
How were you able to help them address that challenge?
Most of what we spoke about was really just making sure that they asked the difficult questions when accepting their briefs: really drilling into the meaning of what their clients say and understanding what they wanted to achieve. It really goes back to what Stephen Covey said: 'Seek first to understand; then to be understood'. I think that just by applying this mantra to what they do, they’ll become much more effective.
How have you benefited from the experience?
It was really great to meet the guys and have the opportunity to feed off their enthusiasm – it becomes a virtuous circle: they get to see things from a slightly different perspective, challenge their own thinking and formulate their own solutions to their problems, and you feel really great knowing you’ve had the opportunity to give them a few anecdotes about your experiences that they can apply to their own paradigms.
What would you say to other marketers considering getting involved?
As Nike says, 'Just do it!' It’s hugely rewarding both professionally and personally. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would happily do it again.