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Tansy Drake

So, how did you end up in marketing?

I didn’t really have a set career in mind after university, but marketing is something I’d always kept an eye open for. I’d had some experience advertising plays and other projects at university, so I knew it was something I enjoyed.

Why Innocent Drinks?

I grew up near our headquarters in Shepherd’s Bush, so I’d always known about the company and thought they were great. I went to Fruitstock (Innocent Drinks’ annual charity festival in Regent’s Park) the summer before I got the job and found out all about them.

I initially went for a job as a People’s Champion (customer services) and had quite an informal interview with two of the managers here. I was really enthusiastic and got the job – soon after that I moved into the creative team. I’ve been working here for about three years now.

What does your job involve?

Our creative team is quite small, so I’m able to take on quite a bit of responsibility. We have three designers, two copy editors, and a manager working on our projects. I deal with internal communications and I’m also responsible for making sure the production of all our packaging and other printed goods runs smoothly. This means I check the copy and colours before things go to print and have to keep in touch with our printers to make sure nothing goes wrong! I also get to work on some of our bigger advertising campaigns.

How active is your role?

It all depends on whether we’re doing any new products at the time. I’m in the office most of the week and I always seem to be dashing around doing different jobs! I also visit our printers a couple of times a month.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Definitely the atmosphere here – there’s a real buzz about the place. Everyone is vibrant and go-getting, which makes it a fun place to work. I’ve worked in various offices since being at school and have never been comfortable with dressing really smartly and that whole corporate image. At Innocent Drinks you can come to work in your pyjamas if you really want to!

What’s the most satisfying moment in your career so far?

When I was a People’s Champion I worked on a project figuring out the company’s carbon footprint. Our brand is all about being environmentally friendly and using sustainable produce, so it was really important for us to do this. We looked at everything from how our oranges are grown and how stuff is transported, to getting our products to the shops.

Anything make you stressed?

Deadlines! Although I imagine that’s the same in any business. Things always take a little longer than you expect and I’m a perfectionist.

What does the future hold?

I’m happy where I am at the moment to be honest. I love working here, so I’m not really thinking further ahead than that. I’d like to think there are opportunities to move up the ladder here and advance my career.

Have you taken any professional marketing qualifications?

No, it’s not really something I’m considering at the moment. We do get a generous training budget here, so I can learn about things I’m keen on. I’ve just taken a Dreamweaver course and I also have French lessons once a week – we have offices all over Europe, so it might come in handy one day!

Innocent also has an in-house training academy. When I first started I went on a three-day course that was run by various heads of department. They taught everything from negotiating skills to organisation techniques.

Has working in marketing lived up to your expectations?

Definitely. Working for the Innocent marketing team is great and it’s very rare that the outside image of a company matches up to the reality. I genuinely love my job and I know it sounds a bit naff, but everything we do really does come from the heart.

What’s the biggest myth about the job?

It’s definitely not as glamorous as people think, but that’s the way I like it. I’m sure it can also be quite ruthless and competitive at some marketing companies, but it’s quite relaxed here.

Does your work follow you home?

Kind of. Everyone is always thinking of new ideas, but I think that will always happen if you’re passionate about your job. You want to champion the company and you’ll always be trying to do your best for it.

How does your job impact on the business?

Marketing is all about a company’s brand and the values behind that brand. My job is to remind people of what we do and also the fact that we are real people. We don’t really believe in ‘spin’, just about talking to customers. People are bombarded with advertising all the time and it’s easy to switch off – you need to keep things fresh and exciting. On the back of all our packaging we have promotional text that we’re constantly updating as a way to talk to our customers – we always see it as ‘90 words to cheer someone up’.

What qualities do you need to survive?

You need to be pretty creative and have a proactive approach. You also need to be genuine in what you do and having a sense of humour is really important.

Any advice?

Be persistent. Maybe pick out three companies you want to work for and approach them. Really think about why you want to work for them. You may have to work somewhere else in the meantime, but you’ll be picking up valuable skills for the future. Having a broad background of experience is important. I’ve had all kinds of jobs in the past – everything from waitressing to working in a fishmongers – and you develop all kinds of different qualities.

Most importantly of all, don’t panic! I used to worry when I finished university that I wasn’t in an amazing job immediately, but with hard work and commitment you’ll get there in the end.

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