Clare Quinn is Electronic Customer Relationship Manager at giffgaff gameplan. After graduating from the University of Brighton with a degree in International Business, she worked as an Office Manager for a creative marketing agency, before moving into client services. Now working to save people money at giffgaff gameplan, we spoke to Clare about her career to date.
What’s your current role?
I currently oversee giffgaff gameplan’s eCRM (electronic customer relationship management), where I’m responsible for leading and developing their eCRM requirements.
This involves acquiring and retaining customers through an online email strategy that ladders up into gameplan’s brand values and business objectives.
What’s a typical day in your current role?
Day-to-day I work with the brand, website, product, research, design/UX, developers, data and legal teams at gameplan – all these people help me glean member insights, tips, and messages that then feed into my communications with customers.
I collate and simplify lots of information from different departments and members and turn it into a list of priorities and actions.
How has your career developed to get to where you are now?
After graduating, I started working at a boutique creative direct marketing agency as an office manager. I worked my way into the client services team as an apprentice and learned the basis of what I know today. It was a great experience and I was lucky enough to be exposed to a real mix of brands – everything from Manchester United to Viking River Cruises.
I also read lots of books which I took inspiration from such as ‘Confessions to be Advertising Man’ by David Ogilvy, followed all the creative award entries, and spent time with like-minded people at ‘women in business’ breakfasts. It all fed into the knowledge base I’m able to draw upon today.
How was your university experience? How has it shaped your working life?
I went to university at the age of 22 after having an extended ‘year out’, so by the time I went to university I was really looking forward to studying again. I chose a subject I knew very little about – ‘International Business Studies with Spanish’ – purely because I wanted to learn more about the business side of things. A year in Madrid as part of my course was also a factor!
I discovered throughout the business studies course that my favourite area was ‘marketing’ due to it’s creative side, so I decided I would focus on working in that area after graduating.
How friendly and supportive did you find the university environment?
I made great friends in Brighton who are still some of my best friends today.
Occasionally, I managed to fit in some work and I found group assignments really helped in developing skills in ‘how to get the best out of others’, which tends to be one of the most difficult things to master.
I’ve drawn on that experience a lot when I’ve needed to get things done in the workplace.
Where have you taken advice and inspiration from?
I became great friends with someone who grew into a useful mentor at the first marketing agency I worked at. I often found talking to them was the best way to overcome challenges.
I’d really recommend trying to find someone like-minded who can mentor, support and inspire you along the way.
What advice would you give to others starting their careers?
I learned a while ago that it’s ok to trust my intuition. Not everyone will always agree with you, but if you truly believe in an idea and you can back it up, then you should push as hard as you can and not give up.