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  • Role: Marketing Manager
  • Location: London
  • University: -Non UK-
  • Degree: BA Leisure Management

Angela Morris

Witnessing the growth of the Fifteen restaurant chain from its beginnings, Angela talks to Inside Careers about forging a career in marketing within an ambitious social enterprise which has replicated chains through franchising in Amsterdam, Cornwall and Melbourne.

Where did you study?

I am Australian and have lived in the UK for seven years, of which I’ve been with Fifteen for six. I graduated from the University of Technology in Sydney and completed a BA in Leisure Management.

What did the degree entail?

I studied modules in accounting, research, methods, event management, advertising and marketing.

So the aim was to find a job in marketing upon graduating?

Yes, that’s right, I was aiming to find full-time employment in marketing and events. After graduation, I worked for a few internet start-up companies. In Australia I worked for BMCMedia. At the time it was the largest online marketing company. I was a Site Manager which means I had to look a group of websites, predominately travel and entertainment and generated advertising revenue on their behalf.

Keen to forge a career in marketing and events full-time, I moved to London. I began working on a contract basis, for six months, in the marketing department of Linklaters. Beginning as a marketing assistant, I assisted the legal team and it is probably where I became fanatical about presentation. I then decided to study at the London College of Fashion.

What did you study?

I chose to take a foundation course in buying and merchandise. I believed this would bring a good angle when beginning to search for a marketing position. And it did, as I now manage the global merchandising for Fifteen restaurants in London, Cornwall, Amsterdam and Melbourne.

Whilst studying, I had to find work part-time so began working for Fresh Partners two days a week as a researcher. With a passion for research I was expected to source potential new clients as well as finding markets for those clients.

Alongside my role with Fresh Partners I worked full-time with Fifteen, where I started out on the restaurant floor, always with the aim to work on the business side. It was always acknowledged what I wanted to do and I was offered the position of Marketing & Communications Manager.

It must have been an incredibly exciting to work alongside a celebrity chef and his social enterprise…

It certainly was! The role was newly created so that was quite nerve-wracking but I had always loved the buzz of Fifteen and everything that it stood for. I remember when we first opened in 2002, around the time of the TV series, we were logging more calls than Heathrow and BT combined.

So what does a typical day entail for you?

My days are incredibly varied but my main areas of responsibility cover marketing, web management, branding and merchandising, communications and internal communications. So I am responsible for sourcing creative agencies, sourcing products sold in other restaurants, acting as the main press contact and dealing with media enquiries.

One of my main responsibilities includes maintaining the website; managing the communications strategy for future web developments, project managing the global Fifteen website and executing email campaigns, newsletters and developing the online promotional material to measure effectiveness. Considering around 68,000 people look at the website every month, it is essential to maintain the site for its users.

In general, from day to day I act as a marketing ‘helpdesk’ which involves alleviating any problems which may arise.

Sounds like quite a busy role, with it must come some stressful times no doubt?

It is a broad spec but having a passion for the brand is essential. I have found I am one of those people who can never say no I do find myself with a number of tasks to tackle everyday. It is hard to summarise what I do as it is a multi-skilled role.

Of course, the job has positive aspects too…

It sure does. The idea that we are inspiring everyday through training 20 new apprentices does leave quite a mark on what you do. I particularly struggle with people’s perception of what Jamie Oliver does. But I am passionate about what Fifteen does and am constantly ensuring we are seen as a credible restaurant. There is a real excitement about what we do at Fifteen and I feel like we are a ‘family’ striving towards a goal.

No doubt there are some perks to the job?

Yes, we do a get a discount in the restaurant and we have a ‘pass it on’ scheme for employees, sessions in which we are taught how to cook.

What would say to graduate considering a career in Marketing?

From my experience, I think getting as much experience as early as possible is crucial when joining this profession. During university I took on part-time jobs and fresh out of university I took on extra courses in merchandising as well as getting restaurant experience at Fifteen. Marketing is a competitive industry to enter but graduates should not get disheartened.

How do you see your career developing within the Fifteen organisation?

In the short term, I plan to build an intranet site for Fifteen employers which will allow us to share ideas as a company.

I can also imagine the company will be taking a more strategic direction which is where I would like to develop. Penny, our CEO, has worked as a Marketing Director for Café Direct and The Body Shop and her background lies in marketing and campaigning.

We are moving into a new phase so no doubt the marketing direction will unfold over the next few months. Personally, for me, I have never had a mentor and have worked on my own for a few years so Penny’s arrival could spell a new direction for my career too. Taking on the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) qualifications is another goal to pursue over the next year or so.

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