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Marketing Mavericks was a supplement in the latest mag, featuring some of Australia’s most daring and bold marketers. Today, we’re bringing you Dulux director of marketing and innovation Helen Fitzpatrick.
Working across brands such as IBM, Qantas, PwC and BP throughout her career, Helen has without a doubt cemented herself as a marketing maverick. Now, as the director of marketing and innovation at Dulux, a role she has held for four years, Helen focuses on leading significant consumer, digital and market transformation across the group. Though, when she was younger she wanted to be a vet or zookeeper, Helen is certainly roaring in the marketing sector.
Thinking about the most innovative campaign I’ve been a part of at Dulux, in all honesty, I’m not sure there is one. It’s been more about helping the entire business focus on what really happens for all our consumers when they are thinking about home improvement projects, and then empowering the team to think differently, commercialise the big idea and going after it.
On my greatest “light bulb” moment over my career, I think it’d have to be the power of bringing really diverse individuals together in a team and help them find a role together. I’ve been lucky to lead some incredible teams in the past few years, including my current team at Dulux, and it’s a constant focus of mine to find ways to harness the creativity and talent of people to get the best results.
If I could offer one tip for marketing graduates, I’d say stay as close as you can to your customer at all times. Learn how your business can grow profitably and understand your direct role in this so you can help them do it. Take the chance to get real-life, frontline practical experience in your category; operational roles give you a unique perspective which gives marketers a real edge.
What always works and what doesn’t? Challenging the status quo when the data and insight support it and use these to get big ideas moving, always works. What doesn’t work is challenging something for the sake of it. There’s nothing more annoying than agitating for change with no context!
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Trust your gut – be decisive and you’ll always be ready to deal with whatever happens next.
Favourite ad of all time?
HBA insurance. The kid with the crocodile story gets me every time.
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