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How to Become a Successful Leader Within The Marketing and Communications Industry


Marketing & Communications Leader Series Eepisode.1: Bee Patel

We are pleased to be launching EMR's Marketing and Communications Leader Series. In this podcast, we dive deep into the journeys of exceptional senior marketing and communication practitioners. Join us as we take a closer look as to how they got started in marketing and the strategies that led them to success in their industries.

To kick off the series, EMR's MD Tom Brockton interviews Bee Patel, who currently holds the position of the Global Director of Brand & Communications at AlphaSights. Find out more about Bee's path to success and gain invaluable advice for navigating a career in marketing and communications. 


How to craft your path to a successful career in marketing?

Bee's journey began with a degree in business management. Fresh out of university, she found herself drawn to the world of recruitment, initially delving into IT recruitment, due to its promising financial prospects. However, it was during that time that she discovered her passion for marketing. Working alongside a contractor within the firm ignited her interest, prompting her transition into the field of marketing. 

Starting from scratch, Bee learned the
basics of website development and content creation. She then transitioned into a role within a large technology organisation and continued to ascend the ranks, accumulating a wealth of experience encompassing event management, demand generation, and strategic leadership.

Her career journey culminated in her current role as the Global Director of Brand & Communications at AlphaSights. She manages a global team and heads up all things communications and branding.

How to approach decision-making and strategy in a marketing role?

When crafting a marketing strategy, it’s crucial to understand the business strategy, including the business goals and objectives, and the strategic direction that the organisation is taking. 

Understanding "the why" helps me to bring in the team, get that buy-in from my team in terms of the marketing goals and strategy that we set.

Once we have clear goals and vision, it’s important to revisit previous campaigns to see what has worked well in the past and what hasn’t. We also need to look at our competition and what they are doing, which will help benchmark but also potentially identify any gaps. And last, but not least, we need to have a good understanding of the available resources and platforms, and the expertise within our team.

What are the key skills and experience required for a successful marketing career?

Bee emphasises the significance of empathy and persuasive communication. These skills can help us   foster meaningful connections with both internal stakeholders, but also with clients. 

Whether you're in sales or marketing, being an active listener will help you really get to know your target audience; like what are they feeling and what's important to them, and then what pain points are you trying to solve for them.

Aspiring marketing and communications professionals need to hone their writing skills, particularly in crafting concise and impactful messaging. 

By prioritising empathy, communication, and adaptability, individuals can position themselves for success in the competitive industry of marketing and communications.

We're in that world where change is all around us. So it's just having a wits about you, being curious and embracing that the fact that change is going to continue as we progress.

How to navigate boardroom dynamics?

Communicating effectively with non-marketing stakeholders, such as board members, requires speaking their language and presenting ideas at a macro level. Explain how a marketing activity is going to help the business.

So a good example would be, and it's one that I've used quite often is rather than talking about PR or media relations, talk about the corporate reputation, the business reputation as an example. And suddenly you've got ears perking up around the room.

The devil is in the details. Go to a boardroom meeting armed with all the data and every granular detail possible around a particular project, but present at macro level. This will allow you to give the details when asked and help build your credibility in the room.

Another great tip is to never go with just a single idea as business decision-makers, at senior board level like to have options. 

By translating marketing initiatives into tangible business outcomes and demonstrating flexibility in response to feedback, marketing professionals can foster trust and collaboration at all levels of an organisation.

How to balancing work and personal life?

Outside the office, Bee is a devoted mother of two. She shares a framework for achieving balance between her personal life and her marketing career. It's the three P's: prioritising, planning and preparing.

So ensure that you are prioritising everything that you are doing day and night, whether that's personally or professionally, and then planning in that order. So work out what the five things that you need to get done today or this week and then plan whether it's using your diary time blocking, whatever works for you, make sure you plan them in to get them done. And then finally is prepare for the unknown because it will occur, whether that's at work or whether that's your son forgetting his homework or having a sports day, prepare for the unknown.


Further advice for aspiring marketing or communications leaders

Whether you’re an aspiring head or director of marketing and communications, or young professional at the start of your career, Bee offers the following advice:

  • Study the core principles of marketing and communications
  • Hone your persuasion and negotiation skills 
  • Work on your personal brand
  • Take pride in everything you do


Listen to the full interview with Bee Patel above and follow EMR on LinkedIn to hear the next episode in this series. 

Want to listen to any of our other podcast episodes? Find them below: 


Let EMR help you with your executive search and recruitment


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