Julie Hutson has been taking brands to consumers for over two decades and as part of the team at ProActive™, she continues to work her expertise. We asked her a few questions.
How long have you been in the business of activations?
I’ve been working in FMCG since 1998. This said, the business of marketing is in my blood and I’ve worked in all aspects of sales and marketing at a number of multinational companies including Nestle’ and Unilever both in South Africa and the UK. I also held the position of Brand Manager for Act II popcorn. I launched the product into the South African market which provided me with the invaluable opportunity to spend a large portion of time involved in both the sales and the marketing of the product and compare best practices with the US and European industries. The experience put me in good stead as I was on both sides of the fence – gaining valuable knowledge in marketing as well as sales.
What do you love about what you do?
I love creating a concept and also trying something completely different and watching it grow successfully. I love being part of the process of putting together a disruptive plan; collaborating with agencies, creatives and planners.
Also, in terms of marketing it’s not just about how pretty the campaign looks, it’s also about effecting sales and getting the product to move off the shelf and into consumers’ hands. I love how a successful campaign positively impacts sales figures and our unique reporting system gives an accurate ROI, allowing us to present precise figures to clients.
What are your strong points?
I am very good at seeing the bigger picture, the wood for the trees, so to speak. I am also a stickler for detail. In this game, the attention is in the detail as well as the over-arching campaign. It’s important to understand the process and ensure that the planning of an activations campaign results in the seamless implementation thereof. I also have an open mind, I never say that a seemingly impossible activation is impossible and I keep calm under pressure.
What have been the highlights of your career?
I am experiencing a career highlight with the project I am currently working on… watch this space. It was also an incredible experience being the Brand Manager for Act II. It literally took me all over the world. I took the brand to trade shows in Mexico, Europe, Africa and beyond. It was an eye-opener in terms of worldwide standards and thinking on your feet; over and above brand presentation, brand presence and brand penetration.
What are you goals for the next ten years?
My immediate goal is to grow ProActive™ within the Western Cape. We are doing amazing things and I want to continue to show that ProActive™ can literally work with any brand anywhere in the country and across Africa…. with professionalism, innovate ideas and outstanding reporting capabilities, which is key for ROI. It’s a very exciting time to be in the industry because advertisers, agencies and consumers are open to new things, in fact, they expect it.
For more information on how ProActive™ can activate your brand, call Julie Hutson on 0861 776 826 or go towww.provantage.co.za follow @ProvantageSA