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How to Leverage Your Diverse Experience in a Marketing Leadership Career?

Marketing & Communications Leader Series Podcast


Welcome back to 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 at how they got started in marketing and the strategies that led them to success in their industries. 

Marketing & Communications Leader Series Episode 3: Noreen Biddle Shah

In this episode, EMR's MD Tom Brockton interviews Noreen Biddle Shah, former Head of Marketing & Communications at Numis, who recently joined Carne Group as their Chief Marketing and Communications Officer (CMCO). Find out more about Noreen's path to success, how she balances her work whilst acting as the Non-Exec Director position at Solent University, as well as the founder of Reboot, an organisation supporting ethnic minorities in financial and professional services workplaces. 


How can a diverse background benefit your marketing and communications career?

Embarking on a career journey after graduating from university often involves exploring diverse roles and opportunities. Many professionals like Noreen, who obtained a degree in communications, find themselves navigating through different avenues within the marketing and communications landscape. 

From internships to entry-level positions, each experience offers valuable insights and skill-building opportunities. Whether working in an agency or in-house, you can gain firsthand knowledge of various aspects of marketing and communications. This diverse exposure will not only hone your skills but also shape your understanding of industry dynamics and trends. Through perseverance and a willingness to embrace new challenges, you can carve out unique career paths filled with growth and development. 

Noreen's journey exemplifies the importance of adaptability and continuous learning in crafting a successful career in marketing and communications. She honed her skills during her tenure at State Street, where she held roles in corporate communications and marketing, learning from industry leaders and gaining insights into global marketing strategies. At Numis, Noreen spearheaded a successful rebranding initiative, leveraging her expertise to shape the company's brand identity and communication strategies. In her current role as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Carne Group, she continues to drive innovation and excellence, bringing a wealth of experience and strategic vision to the organisation's marketing endeavours.


How to approach strategic decision-making in marketing leadership?

Using a blend of data-driven analysis and strategic foresight is a great approach to decision-making. 

By harnessing insights and collaborating with key stakeholders, you can ensure that your decisions align with the organisation’s goals and resonate with the C-suite. This strategic mindset, coupled with a deep understanding of market dynamics, will be instrumental in driving impactful marketing initiatives throughout your career.


Why is a versatile work experience important in marketing and communications?

In today's ever-evolving business landscape, professionals are often required to navigate through diverse experiences that shape their career paths. 

Noreen's journey exemplifies the importance of embracing versatility, adaptability and resilience in your career. From navigating crisis communications to working in diverse teams, you can gain invaluable skills and perspectives by taking on various roles throughout your career. This will in turn pave the way for your success in marketing and communications leadership.


How ro balance the demands of these roles with your personal life?

Noreen candidly discusses the challenges of juggling multiple roles, including her non-executive directorship and her commitment to Reboot while also being a mother. To maintain work-life balance, she emphasises the importance of passion, efficiency, and prioritisation and establishing clear boundaries.

Some days, yes, it gets too much, but then I have to go back and try and re-prioritise or just say... “not a superwoman, I can't do it, apologies”... But I had a very honest conversation and, in response, they were fantastic and said how can we make it work for you. So we found a really great compromise and off I go to make it work.


Empowering advice for aspiring marketing leaders

Drawing from her own experiences, Noreen offers invaluable advice for aspiring marketing and communications leaders. 

From overcoming self-doubt to leveraging individual strengths, marketing professionals need to embrace their unique journey and pursue continuous growth. 

By fostering a supportive network, seeking mentorship, and seizing every opportunity for learning and development, aspiring leaders can chart a path to success in today's competitive landscape.


Listen to the full interview with Noreen Biddle Shah above, and follow EMR on LinkedIn to hear about future podcast episodes. 

If you want to listen to any of the other episodes, check them out here:


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