nesma was the Corporate Sponsor and Category Sponsor for The Marketing Director of the Year and Best Example of CSR at the North East Marketing Awards. It's an event we look forward to each year as it celebrates individuals and teams who are changing the landscape of marketing in the North East through creativity, innovation and passion.
Rob McInally won Marketing Director of the Year, and his team at NorthStandard also won Brand Creation of the Year (in-house). Veronica caught up with Rob after the event to learn more about the person and the business.
Who put you in for the award?
It was Sally Teasdale, NorthStandard’s Brand and PR Manager, with the assistance of our local PR agency, Karol Marketing.
How did you find the judging process?
The judging process was very thorough and quite challenging but in a positive and supportive way. It was also an excellent opportunity to explain more about NorthStandard, profile our 160+ year history in the North East, and demonstrate our ongoing connections to the region.
I love to get into the minds of great people like yourself. What are your guiding principles for work and life?
My guiding principles have been a combination of pursuing marketing excellence, keeping my eyes on the horizon and valuing the perspectives, support and input from friends and colleagues.
I know you are right behind your team from a leadership perspective. How do you create a learning and development culture to nurture your talent?
A thriving learning and development culture within any marketing team is the bedrock for future success internally and externally. The marketing team culture we are building at NorthStandard is a dynamic blend of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity that fosters and encourages employee well-being, a healthy work-life balance, and continuous professional and personal development and trainingsupported by effective and open communication, another cornerstone of a positive culture. An open and transparent environment fosters trust and collaboration, and our regular team meetings and feedback mechanisms help ensure everyone’s voice is heard and ideas are welcomed. Investing in the team’s happiness and growth will pay dividends through the incisive marketing strategies and campaigns they can create for the business.
Recently, a friend took on a marketing director role and wasn’t sure whether they were up to the job. What advice would you share with others looking to take on a role like yours?
Firstly, being a marketing director is a continuous learning journey. So, learn to embrace challenges, stay adaptable, and strive for improvement. More specifically, I suggest building strong relationships and networks, keeping updated on developing industry trends and fostering a sense of creativity and innovation in all that you do.
You have navigated a fantastic merger, making NorthStandard no. 2 in the maritime insurance industry. What do you expect 2024 to look like in terms of marketing?
The integration following North P&I’s merger with one of its largest competitors, ‘Standard Club’, to form NorthStandard in February 2023 is still underway as we work to seamlessly bring together two such successful organisations into a single, larger business that has been shaped to support a strong in-house expertise base across the world.
In terms of marketing, we’re continuing to bring our global offices together. We are in the early stages of planning a complete refurbishment of our Newcastle headquarters, based on the Quayside. This investment will reaffirm our commitment to the North East and to our people. 2024 will also see the expansion of our extended product portfolio worldwide, the launch of new digital services, including our new website and the continued development of the NorthStandard brand across our key global markets.
The North East Marketing Awards is an annual event, and as well as sponsorship, Veronica volunteers her time to be on various judging panels. She is constantly inspired by how much she learns from the experience and always feels motivated by the innovations, solutions and ideas that are presented throughout the process. In addition, she thoroughly enjoys the chance to engage in discussions and debates with other industry experts.
There are lots of reasons why winning awards is good for business. As with all awards, these awards recognise the hard work and achievements of individuals and teams. A win or nomination can have a substantial morale-boosting impact that drives them to even more remarkable successes, so we will watch the team at NorthStandard very closely and follow their achievements in 2024.