Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Marketing the Marketers: Fi Taylor, Marketing Consultant

NDA has launched a new series on NDA, Marketing the Marketers, talking to the marketing and comms leaders behind the success of our leading companies. Next up is Fi Taylor, Marketing Consultant. Fi has 12+ years of experience in digital marketing, including senior leadership roles at the likes of Teads, Verve and Silverbullet.

What exactly does your job entail?

Having recently stepped into the world of Freelance, my role as a Marketing Consultant is super varied (which I love!). At its core, my main role is to support businesses of all shapes and sizes in bringing their vision to life through marketing.

This encompasses everything from the strategic development of a marketing plan to executing the many components within the marketing sphere, including the design and build of sales collateral, thought leadership, insight generation, internal and external communications, social media, and event and partnership management.

Currently, I work for a mixture of businesses; the majority reside within the (m)adtech landscape, and others within beauty and wellness. One day of the week, I’ll be creating pitches for a data-management project, the other I’ll be running the socials for a beauty business! It’s a huge privilege to be a freelancer, as it enables me to wear various hats all at once – and keep learning (which is essential for any good marketer!)

What campaign or piece of marketing/communications are you most proud of in your career and why?

Great question, and not an easy one to answer!

I would say my main achievement to date, is building the Silverbullet brand from the ground up, and witnessing the business become a global, trusted organisation. When I joined Silverbullet back in 2018, it consisted of a small group of data experts, who’d spent two years building up a little gem of a consultancy, designed to help businesses better understand the power of data.

My role was to provide the business with a voice and identity, and to ‘land and expand’ the business into new global markets. Since, the organisation has undergone four website renovations, two re-brands, and built a product! Tired? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.

Another proud moment for me (if I can be cheeky and have two), is the general marketing support I provided for my amazing friends Chloe Grutchfield and Rhys Denny, who set up a business called RedBud in 2018. Although my part in their success was small, we managed to create such a strong brand identity and vision for the business, that after two years in action, it was acquired by the leading consent management organisation, Sourcepoint. Being part of that journey, albeit in a small way, gave me a sense of pride.

Who has been your biggest inspiration in your career to date and why?

I have been so fortunate in my career to work with some incredibly talented people – selecting one is going to be difficult.

My first venture into AdTech marketing was at the leading SSP, PubMatic, where I met the incredible Rhys Denny. For those of you who don’t know, Rhys is one of the best (if not the best) salespeople in the industry. Not only is he one of the funniest people I know (don’t tell him that), but he also has one of the most impressive networks I have ever known, and he has been so kind to let me join him across various parts of his career whenever he has needed marketing support.

This also brings me to give a shout-out to Ian James, who is currently the CEO at Silverbullet, and whom I have worked with over the past eight years. Ian, too, has brought me along with him on part of his career journey and has taught me so much about the business world that I will forever be grateful.

But, the person who has truly inspired me – and given me confidence in various aspects of my career – is Chloe Grutchfield, General Manager at Permutive. I had the pleasure of working with Chloe at Verve back in 2016, and then subsequently working with her on projects over the last few years.

Chloe made me truly believe I was a great marketer, and she was never too busy to support me in my role, or as a friend. Chloe is, quite frankly, a product genius, and one of the most intelligent and inspirational people I know. She goes above and beyond, and her work ethic is infectious. If you haven’t crossed paths with Chloe yet, I suggest you should. She’ll blow you away.

What is the biggest challenge in your sector and how is your company helping to address it?

Most of my clients reside in the wonderfully-complex world of (m)adtech – and it is riddled with challenges! That’s what makes it so interesting, right? And, one of the biggest challenges I feel is hindering many, is the unwillingness to adapt and change. In an industry arguably witnessing one of its biggest shifts since it’s the dawn of the digital age, there’s a common attitude from many businesses who prefer to ‘stick with what we know’ and ‘wait to see what happens’.

If the global pandemic taught us anything, is to not be afraid of change – not to be scared of challenging the status quo. Let’s step back in time for a second; in 2018, after years of data breaches and consumer backlash, the GDPR finally came into force, threatening to take legal action against those not willing to play by the rules. Since, (after a slow start), businesses started to crumble under the weight of these new restrictions, many falling victim to its legal fines. A few years later, Google announced the deprecation of the third-party cookie, changing the very foundations of marketing and advertising technology for good. And, although this depreciation has been delayed a thousand times, it will happen. It should happen.

For far too long we have practised bad forms of targeting and ill-thought-out methodologies which has led to widespread consumer backlash and a growing lack of consumer trust. It’s now time to change. Those who are not willing to adapt, run the risk of being left behind.

The only way to encourage change is to provide education on the ‘what’ and ‘why’. Silverbullet – who remain one of my clients today – spends quality time with their clients to educate them on this very topic. From in-depth workshops to lunch and learns – and everything in between. What’s more, they take the heavy lifting off their client’s hands, to become an extension of their team and train up key stakeholders along the way. We’re not expected to face these challenges alone. And businesses such as Silverbullet have been built specifically to support businesses safeguard against future threats.

What is the biggest opportunity in your sector and how is your company helping to make the most of it?

Beyond creating a better future with marketers and advertisers alike in the adoption of a well-oiled first-party data strategy, the Silverbullet team have built a privacy-first product solution, named 4D, which solves for the future without the humble cookie. 4D, the advanced contextual targeting and insights platform, was built from a data DNA, and designed to help businesses reach consumers at scale, with 100% compliance.

Many will have seen the resurgence of contextual targeting, and many have raised their eyes, believing it to be an outdated and unreliable tool based on keywords and nothing more. But the advancements within this technology sector is, quite frankly, huge. Keywords are just one component of a much bigger solution, and brands can now utilise next-gen contextual products to deliver smart, relevant, and empathetic campaigns within display and video.

How important, and why, are the following in helping you promote your own company:

  1. The press: The press is undoubtedly important on so many levels, but it has to be done right in order to drive success. Utilising press channels and partners can help you bring your voice, POV and message to life. I’m a huge advocate of the amazing PR agencies available (such as Bluestripe!) and encourage marketers to utilise their teams to ensure your press strategy stretches far beyond press releases. When done right, the press can elevate your business to the next level.
  • Events: Events can be extremely powerful, or extremely pointless. The issue for me (if I may), is, particularly when it comes to the mid-size to larger events, they all say the same thing. I don’t think I have been to an event in the past 4-5 years and come away inspired. I remember being on in an event meeting back in 2017 when I worked at Verve, and the event organiser asked the panellist to ‘all agree and get along’. I remember being shocked and frustrated that we’d lost the ability to have a healthy debate! I am really looking forward to seeing how events adapt and evolve for the new marketing age. However, on the flip side, I think events are truly the key when it comes to networking. The pandemic stole that away from us, but now we can mingle again, this should be a huge priority for most businesses.
  •  Your company’s owned media: This is a big one for me, as many of my clients don’t have huge marketing budgets, and so owned content and media are key. For me, some of the most successful campaigns I have managed over the past few years have been whitepapers and ‘How to Guides’ that I have written in conjunction with my amazing peers. Owned media is not to be sniffed at, nor seen as a secondary marketing channel. I urge any marketer to consider upping their owned media strategy – because after all, you are surrounded by incredibly smart people within your organisation – why pay for someone else to write for you when you have the brains at your fingertips?