My mentor is Andrew Marsden, formerly marketing director at Britvic Soft Drinks. He is now president of the Marketing Society and runs his own consultancy business, Andrew Marsden Consulting. I worked with him when I started my career as a brand manager in 1996. In fact, he appointed me to my first brand manager role, looking after Still Tango and Ballygowan.
Andrew is the most well-seasoned, well-connected marketing man I have ever met. He loves his wine, is always up for a laugh and is generally right most of the time.
The biggest lesson he taught me is that brands create businesses and businesses create economies. The role of marketing is therefore central to business strategy. Our job is to leave the brand in better shape than it was when we were first allowed to look after it.