Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Best Marketing Tip: “It’s fine to be a Jack of all trades”, Sam Dolan, Head of Marketing at Aunt Bessie’s

By NDA columnist Tom Ollerton, founder, Automated Creative

In her career, Sam Dolan has been at the helm of many great food brands like Lurpak and Cravendale, more recently moving to Birds Eye, where she is Head of Marketing at Aunt Bessie’s. Throughout her various roles, she’s always learnt from others and discovered that it’s absolutely fine to be a generalist marketeer, a “Jack of all trades.”

Sam shared during her interview that she finds too many marketeers are concerned with specialising and being experts in particular areas. However, her top tip is simply: “Relax. It’s fine to be a Jack of all trades.”

You can drive marketing initiatives and create successful work without being an expert in every detail of it. Wherever you’re going, you’ll drag people in along the way, from supply chain to media agencies, creative agencies, and so on. As Sam puts it, “there are people that have been paid good money to… be experts.”

The key is to know when to turn to others and how to engage the right people into your projects. The latter is a skill in itself, knowing a little about a lot and being able to contact the right people to get the job done.

Sam and I also talked about her favourite books – one of them being Adam Morgan’s The Pirate Inside: Building a Challenger Brand Culture Within Yourself and Your Organization.

Having worked on both challenger and established brands, Sam recommends that all young people starting out in marketing develop this challenger mindset, as there’s always a competitor coming up behind you regardless of the brand you manage. Moreover, the right mindset can help massively along the way, when plans fail and when you need to keep driving forward.

Find out more about Sam’s favourite books, top marketing tips, and her return to traditional direct mail marketing at Aunt Bessie’s by listening to the podcast here.

The Shiny New Object podcast is a production of Automated Creative, an adtech platform that turns brands’ media impressions into marketing intelligence. Find out more at