Dulcie Howman at NOMO

Name: Dulcie Howman

Age: 22

Job title: Marketing assistant

Company & location: Zertus UK

Education: Digital Marketing at Fashion Retail Academy

Why did you decide to go for a career in food & drink? I applied for various marketing roles, but this particular one with Zertus meant that I could begin my marketing career in an industry that I had a real interest in… snacks, of course! And as one of our brands, Nomo, falls within the ‘free-from’ category, which I feel is an underrepresented but growing area, I knew that it would be fascinating range of products to be involved in. I have to be passionate about what I do and working in the world of confectionery and snacking is a great way for me to kick off my marketing career. 

Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): My job is to help track the success of our products and help market and promote them to both the trade and consumers. I’m lucky to work on multiple brands, as such my role is varied with lots of fresh challenges and opportunities to learn something new alongside a great bunch of colleagues. 

What does a typical day look like for you? On a day-to-day basis my role involves (among other things) campaign planning, budget and sales tracking, community management and product licensing. I liaise with lots of our teams including design, project management, sales, innovation and digital marketing to help bring all of these things to fruition. I’m also involved in promoting products directly to the industry and public via trade shows and face to face campaigns. 

“While consumers were enjoying our Christmas 2022 ranges, we were already working on products for the end of 2023”

Tell us about how you went about applying for your job: As soon as I saw the role I knew I had to apply. I submitted my CV and a cover letter and shortly after got an email saying they would love to interview me for the marketing assistant role. Of course, I immediately accepted. Prior to my interview, I was asked to prepare a short marketing case study of one of the company’s brands and then had to show my resulting work in the form of a presentation during the interview.

The interview itself was conducted via Teams by two brand managers and the marketing controller. It was pretty daunting being screen to screen with three people I hadn’t spoken to before, but they were all really friendly and put me at ease. My presentation allowed me to demonstrate my research skills, marketing knowledge and understanding of the food & drink industry. Each interviewer asked some additional questions, and some were quite tricky, but I did my best to relate my skillset to the position. 

What’s the best part about working for a food & drink company? It’s so interesting seeing how a new product develops from end to end, from the idea stages right through to the marketing and sales and seeing the product on shelf. Thinking up new ways to promote existing products is also an interesting challenge. And, of course, sampling new products is an excellent perk of the job. 

And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? One of the things that has surprised me is how far ahead everything has to be planned. I realised this was the case in the fashion industry, where designers think about collections well over a year in advance, but I didn’t appreciate just how much forward planning is necessary in the food and drink industry. While consumers were enjoying our Christmas 2022 ranges, we were already working on products for the end of 2023. 

What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? Go for it! I never expected to learn so much so quickly in this role (having a great team obviously helps!). There’s a lot in the food and drink industry that needs to happen behind the scenes to get products out there, and even if it’s something you feel that you don’t have a huge amount of knowledge about, go in with an open mind, ready to learn as much as you can. If you are adaptable, you can use your skillset to build a great career in the industry.

What’s your ultimate career dream? My goal is to learn as much as I can along the way from people who really know their stuff and one day step into their shoes as a marketing director.

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