Ever wondered about the FT's Global Marketing Director (B2C)?

This month we caught up with Fiona Spooner to hear all about her role and how wfh has been for her with two children under the age of 7.

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What does your morning routine look like? 

At the moment, mornings in this house are focused on getting everyone up, fed and in front of the appropriate screens depending on who has the first call! I have a 4 year old girl and a 7 year old boy at home so I try to get the children set on their school activities first so that I can then focus on work. My son has a 9.30am Google meet with his class every day which means I’m often reading my emails while half listening in to that, to try and figure out what fronted adverbials are. 

What food outlet are you most looking forward to visiting when you’re back in the office?

I really miss good Japanese food. Our office is next to St Paul’s and there’s a great Japanese restaurant there called Koya which I hope will still be there by the time we get back. I’d also be really happy with a Wagamama!

What does an average working day have in store for you?

I’m not sure there’s such a thing as an average working day at the moment. I enjoy the variety though and my days are usually made up of meetings with my own teams and agencies but also teams across the business from editorial and customer care to product, tech & data. We’ve been building more cross-functional teams and encouraging more asynchronous working so we can collectively be more efficient and not be in days of back to back video calls.  

What is the most random thing on your WFH desk? 

Lego. There’s just lego everywhere.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

The people, hands down. I work with the best people which I always knew but was even more clear last year when Covid hit - resilient, passionate, creative, innovative, kind, bright, brilliant people.

Who was your last email from?

James (FT’s head of trading & performance) updating us on the great numbers we are seeing so far this year and asking who wants to join a team postcard club. This is what lockdown has done to us. 

 What is the best piece of advice you have received? 

A long time ago, in the middle of a particularly busy campaign launch, a friend left a post-it note with TTGLOAF on the window next to my desk = Try To Give Less Of A F@*k.
I’d say it’s the best advice because I still use it now and I find myself sharing it often. Being passionate about what you’re doing is so important but so is perspective and sometimes all we need is a gentle reminder to focus our energy on the things that make the biggest impact and try not to worry so much about the things that don’t or that you aren’t able to influence.

 And the best piece of advice since Covid hit that’s helped with your sanity?

Force yourself to take some time out. The FT has been an amazing employer through this pandemic and provided a lot of wellbeing support to everyone. Now we also have an additional 5 ‘wellness days’ to take in Q1 as we acknowledge that everyone needs to take some time out and can’t keep working at the pace we have been. Block the time out in your diary, stick to it and don’t feel guilty about it.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

I had no idea. I knew what I didn’t want to be (doctor/lawyer/dentist/banker) but I had no idea what the alternative options were. I had no real concept of most of the jobs in this industry until I started working in it. We launched the FT News School with The Brooklyn Brothers last year to give young people a better understanding of the opportunities in the news industry, nothing like that was around when I was young and considering my career options.

What’s your current favourite campaign and why? 

I love No7’s Unstoppable Together campaign that launched in the US this week. This recession is disproportionately affecting women, with 4 times more women than men having lost their jobs last year. I love the powerful creative but also their commitment to provide inspiration, resources and practical tips to help women back into the workforce.

Marketing predictions for the year?

As marketers we always need to understand our audience but this year, that will be even more important than ever. Customer needs, habits, personal and financial circumstances are changing - we need to adapt and respond to them. The growing influence of socially conscious consumers whose expectations of companies and company leaders is also evolving, we need to act responsibly and build trust with our customers, throughout and beyond this crisis.
And a light hearted one to finish on – If you could have any super power?

Teleportation, for sure.

Read more from the Financial Times here.


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