For Tamra Lindsay, marketing in FMCG combines multiple passions of her - people, communicating, creating and food. She first became interested in branding when she worked as a supermarket checkout operator as a student.
“I was so fascinated by the connection people had with their favourite products, and the despair they experienced when they were out of stock,” explained Lindsay.
After graduating from university, Lindsay joined Vodafone, working in corporate account management. However, she felt that she was a marketer at heart, which led her to pursue brand marketing at Dulux, before becoming the brand manager of Whittaker’s.
“I’ve always worked in manufacturing and innovation environments, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Marketing is a more satisfying job when you can get your head around everything behind getting the end product to the customer.”
At Whittaker’s, Lindsay is able to nurture her ambitious drive through continuously expanding the brand. A key focus of her role is the development of Whittaker’s Australian market, where she is tasked with the mission of growing the brand and its sales. She also looks after the New Zealand market, which presents a different challenge. Rather than mainly focusing on growth, instead Lindsay needs to constantly draft up new ideas that will continue to surprise and delight Kiwi chocolate lovers.
“It’s a fun task and the work will never be over.”
During Lindsay’s time at Whittaker’s, she said that she greatly admires Megan Sinclair, the product development force behind the brand for the last 15 years. Through working closely with Sinclair, Lindsay has learned the importance of curiosity, creativity and initiative, as well as the magic that occurs in an environment that allows ideas to flow organically.
"Surround yourself with people from across the business and take an interest in what they do,” is Lindsay’s best advice for other marketers.
“Whittakers is a lean and collaborative business. Getting close to the manufacturing environment allows us to innovate quickly and communicate effectively.”
If Lindsay could go back in time, she wishes that her younger self had more confidence in her abilities.
“Back yourself more. Understand that your ‘softer’ skills like creativity, empathy and tenacity are important and outweigh inexperience. It might sound obvious, but thinking outside the square, or being a little different, are real strengths and a part of what makes you unique.”