Meet Bronwen Edwards: our new Head of Digital Marketing
Growing up in country Victoria, Bronwen Edwards had limited exposure to the corporate world, but found her passion for marketing and technology when she moved to the city. We spoke to Bronwen during her first week as Head of Digital Marketing for Idea Science about her journey into digital marketing and the technology space, and what she’s looking forward to in her new role.
Q: Welcome to the Idea Science team! First, tell us a bit about yourself.
A: I’m originally from a little town in country Victoria called Horsham but now based in Sydney. Over the years I’ve taken a few breaks to go travelling and have been lucky to see a lot of the world, from Europe to South America and South East Asia. Because travelling hasn’t been an option more recently, I’ve channelled my pent-up travel energy into cooking from all across the world.
Q: So how did you find yourself in the digital marketing space?
A: I actually moved to Melbourne to study psychology but soon realised it wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I took some time out to work and landed a job for the fire brigade of all places in a marketing assistant role. That’s really what piqued my interest in marketing – I loved working in communications, organising events, and the whole creative side of marketing. And I suppose there’s also an element of psychology in marketing too. From there, I knew that marketing was the space I wanted to be in and went back to university to sort out my degree.
It’s funny, in the country there are essentially three main professions – a teacher, a tradie or a nurse. Anything in the corporate world is just so foreign. But when you get to the city it’s a whole new world of opportunity and it changes your choices from there. I feel really lucky to have landed a few job opportunities that opened my eyes to what I really enjoy and am passionate about.
Q: It sounds like you’ve worked in a few places before making your way to Idea Science. How has your career progressed?
A: After the fire brigade I spent some time as a marketing manager at a law firm, and then went over to London. In the 3 or so years I was there, I worked at KPMG, Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis. They were all quite different companies but similar in that they were big multinationals with large brand and marketing teams.
When I came home to Australia, I started in a marketing role at American Express where I ended up leading our marketing automation platform rollout in the APAC region. This was really a lightbulb moment for me – I loved seeing how marketing, data and technology came together, and being able to see and measure the results of what we were doing. I doubled down on this by joining Marketo where I spent five years consulting to and advising a huge array of customers on their marketing automation journey.
Q: What are you looking forward to most in this new role?
A: To really dive deep into people’s businesses and challenges, and to work out how to resolve them through the lenses of technology, strategy and marketing is really rewarding. I think there’s a huge opportunity to do that at Idea Science. I love the approach that the team takes in terms of getting in deep and being able to solve problems, and I’m excited about doing that with such a vibrant group of people who are passionate self-starters. I’m really curious and excited to learn, and help our customers learn as well. The team is very results-driven while still being able to have a bit of fun and a laugh, and I think striking the right balance is so important.
Q: How do you think digital marketing will change in the next year? Are there any trends you see gaining traction?
A: COVID really did just change the world – if anything it made a lot of organisations rethink how they could reach and connect with their customers and prospects once face-to-face was no longer an option.
I feel like virtual events became the channel of choice initially as a necessity, but are now definitely here to stay, either in their pure form or as hybrid events. Virtual events are a great channel for marketers as they have the ability to reach a much broader audience and are incredibly cost effective. Plus, this last year provided a catalyst for event platforms to really invest in their technology and to truly transform the virtual event experience.
I think we’ll continue to see more human-centric interactions and communications too, as we’ve seen with the rise of conversational marketing. Marketing automation has always been about creating a two-way interaction that is about both engaging and listening to the customer to drive a personalised experience. Chatbots allow marketers to take this to the next level with the ability to be more real-time and, when done well, can create a human-like experience.
The other trend is around data. Having access to and the ability to use data effectively has always been at the core of creating a personalised experience, but the main things that have changed in this area are the new technologies and capabilities, plus the usability and accessibility of that technology for marketing teams. There are so many solutions out there now that allow you to easily integrate data to build your single customer view, and also more creative ways for using that data, so there’s no excuse not to think more creatively about how you craft a better customer experience.