Brenda McDevitt in the hot seat

Brenda McDevitt, SPAR marketing manager, is this month's guest in the hot seat. A graduate from the University of Ulster with a degree and masters in marketing she initially took up a position with Greer Publications, followed by a marketing management role with a QS firm. In 2003 she joined Henderson as Marketing...

Brenda McDevitt, SPAR marketing manager, is this month’s guest in the hot seat.

Briefly outline your career to date

I graduated from the University of Ulster with a degree and masters in marketing and initially took up a position with Greer Publications, followed by a marketing management role with a QS firm. In 2003 I joined Henderson Group as Marketing Executive looking after below-the-line activities for all retail brands. Now I have responsibility for the marketing and branding activities for the SPAR brand. I’m also about to temporarily take on the role of Marketing Controller, so I’m looking forward to that challenge.

What does your current role involve and what is a typical working day for you?

I manage all marketing activities associated with the SPAR brand. Generally my day goes – tea, meetings, e-mails, trade visits, negotiating costs, project sign off, creative briefings, more meetings, more tea and occasionally a Tim Horton’s Boston Cream donut!

What professional and personal qualities does it take to do your job effectively?

Having thick skin helps! Seriously, you do need to have a good personality to be able to deal with all the different people you encounter. Professionally, you need to be a creative, multi-tasker with good negotiation skills.

What has been your greatest career accomplishment to date?

This year SPAR launched the ‘Sorted’ advertising campaign. I’m very proud of my involvement in this campaign and love seeing the TV or billboard posters when I’m out and about. When you are involved in a project from initial briefing, outlining budgets and conducting consumer research, it’s nice to see it coming to life. The SPAR Sorted campaign is live at the minute and the research to date is very positive with both retailers and consumers, so I take great pride in that.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

If you’ve got your health, your family and friends, you should want for nothing.

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