The New Marketing Talent Award from the Veterinary Marketing Association (VMA) recognises a new marketer who has demonstrated marketing flair within the veterinary and animal health industry. Generously sponsored by British Dairying magazine, this year’s award winner is Debbie Cox, Business Development Manager for Battlab.
After graduating with a degree in Veterinary Nursing Science, Debbie took the leap into industry where her recent move to BattLab gave her the opportunity to explore the world of marketing. Of her award submission, Debbie says: “I saw this opportunity on LinkedIn and thought it would be a way to evaluate the work I have been doing in my new role at BattLab, take stock of what’s worked well and what’s not. Not for one moment would I have thought I would win!”.
Debbie also shared some advice to other new marketers in animal health, “Choose to work for a company who are open to ideas not necessarily the company with the biggest budget. Try things, what’s the worst that can happen?! Consider entering for the VMA New Marketing Talent award; you never know, you may well win!”.
The award was hotly contested, with very strong competition from finalists Sophie Lo Curto (Colourful CPD) and Amber Tennant (College of Animal Welfare).
The annual VMA Awards were held virtually this year but will be back as a live event on 18th March 2022 and hosted by comedian Russell Kane.
Who is our VMA New Marketing Talent Winner 2020?
Name and job title:
Debbie Cox, BattLab Business Development Manager.
I do have a couple of charity roles which does not leave me much time, however I love walking the dog and am partial to a few cocktails while watching the world go by.
How did you find yourself in your current role / what led you into the animal health industry?
I have always felt the human animal bond is very special, as Veterinarians and Veterinary Nurses we have the ability to enhance and extend that relationship. Industry is an opportunity to work with so many like minded professionals. Being able to share what we do at BattLab and how that can optimise a pets health makes my job very satisfying. Having exciting, innovative and new services to convey to clinicians is a worthwhile challenge to be involved in.
What achievement are you are most proud of in your business life?
At this point the New Marketing Talent Award is high on the list, its an opportunity to enhance my skill and learn from others is boundless. Securing my first industry role still stays with me as a proud moment, it was so outside of my comfort zone having to work in a global brand. I met and learnt from many people who gave me their time and wisdom, I am very lucky to have had that opportunity at a relatively young age.
What do you feel are the main marketing challenges facing the animal health industry today?
Covid has changed the way our clinicians interact/consume the materials/messages marketing teams create. It has challenged companies to add real value to clinics and have a more bespoke approach as clinics are able to engage at different times to differing degrees. The structure of our key congresses has been impacted, traditionally a time for big marketing projects associated with product/service launches, has meant we have moved away from the typical pattern of ‘doing business’. Not being afraid to park ideas or try new ideas, flex, measure and adapt, the pace of all have now increased.
What one thing do you feel the animal health marketing personnel could do better at?
Communicate more with one another to help grow their people. I appreciate where companies are direct competitors it’s a challenge but there are always opportunities to collaborate. I am very excited to be invited to the VMA Committee as this is the type of forum that offers this opportunity, the association has some great ideas to help facilitate communication.
Do you have a favourite mantra?
What gets measured gets better.
Do you have / would you like any pets?
Treacle the Patterdale and one husband who is still in training.
What one thing do most people not know about you?
I almost had my arm amputated following an accident when I was younger, luckily the arm works perfectly well now.
How did you come to apply for NMT?
I saw this opportunity on LinkedIn and thought it would be a way to evaluate the work I have been doing in my new role at BattLab, take stock of whats worked well and whats not. Not for one moment would I have thought I would win.
What was your experience of the process of applying for NMT?
Amazing, hard work but worthwhile. The process drives you to ask questions of yourself, measure your performance and evaluate your work. I have felt more confident about my work and have engaged with other marketeers for their help and feedback. The process also made me question about where my ‘blind spots’ are and what will I do to work on those skill that need developing.
What will you do with the £2k bursary? How will this help you professionally
I would like to enrol from my CIM Level 3 award and look to attend some non-industry marketing events to open my eyes.
What did you do with the £500 personal award?
Not too sure, perhaps a meal out with my husband who also doubled as my camera man and a new toy for Treacle. I would also like to do something for the BattLab team when restrictions ease a little.
What is your advice to other young / new marketers in the industry?
Choose to work for a company who are open to ideas not necessarily the company with the biggest budget. Try things, whats the worst that can happen. Consider entering for the VMA NMT award, you never know you may well be lucky and win.