Remarkable Marketers: Meet ING Australia’s Fiona Nicol

Remarkable Marketers: Meet ING Australia’s Fiona Nicol
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Welcome to a brand-spanking new editorial series from B&T, presented by Carat Australia.

There are some pretty remarkable people in our industry, each offering their own unique perspective to adland.

While we spend so much time learning about our peers’ career highlights, B&T thought it high time to dig a little deeper, and find out what makes the shining stars of our industry tick and, at times, tock.

So, for the next few weeks, we will be publishing a series of personal profiles.

Get ready to laugh, cry and be taken on an emotional rollercoaster as we hear more about adland’s most remarkable marketers.

ING Australia’s head of marketing, Fiona Nicol: The Forensic Psychologist

I actually study psychology and if I could do anything – other than marketing – I’d like to be a forensic pathologist. No, it’s not all about dead bodies but it’s about trying to find an answer or looking at thing from a different point of view.

The one brand I truly love is [upmarket jeweller] Tiffany’s and why? Because I’ve seen research that found the turquoise teal colour [Tiffany’s trademark packaging] actually makes women’s hearts beat faster and it’s just amazing that a brand can do it.

The visual cues say everything; the colour is so strongly associated with the brand, it’s a visual cue and everyone instantly knows what is.

When it comes to what works in marketing, there’s never a one size fits all formula. Getting back to my psychology background, you really need to understand your audience and what makes them tick. And what doesn’t work?

It’s a generic statement but I’d probably say masses of printed material like direct mail. Again, I don’t think a blanket approach no longer works.

I’m really motivated by a sense of achievement, and that boils down to getting things done. It’s great to see the fruits of your labour actually get results. That’s very satisfying.

The best day of my life was when I got a job overseas, based in the UK. It was working for Zurich and it was for a role as their marketing communications director.

They’d restructured their business and they’d gone from a decentralised to a centralised model. I applied from Australia and I didn’t think I’d have a hop in hell and I got it.

In the past, I’ve ignored feedback. I remember I once applied for a job and I was told not to go to this particular company as it had a particularly bad reputation and I was assured by the company that they acknowledged that and they were desperate to change and that’s why they wanted to bring new blood in.

Once I got there I learned that was anything but the truth. They did not want to change.

And my favourite ever ad? There was an ad campaign, in the early 2000s; Mercantile Mutual was changing its name and they used Billy Connolly.

He just cut through all those traditional advertising campaigns about changing names and rebranding and basically said I don’t need to tell you this, it’s really boring, but X is now Y. It was just wonderfully done.

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