2023 Up-&-Coming Marketer of the Year finalist – Georgia Rafe, Tonkin+Taylor

Deadset on a career in Public Policy but later shifting to Marketing gave Georgia Rafe, Digital Marketing Specialist at Tonkin+Taylor, a different perspective on the industry, making her a standout finalist for the 2023 Up-&-Coming Marketer award. We chat to her about this move and what it takes to be a marketer new to the scene. 

How or why did you get into marketing – what sparked your interest?

I started differently. I was on the path to working in Public Policy, something I was passionate about. 

However, while working at Tonkin+Taylor, I got exposure to all parts of the business, including the marketing team. I started naturally gravitating to marketing through conversations with the team, and since I started, I haven’t looked back. 

In my opinion, marketing is the perfect combination of creativity and analytics. I love how psychology crosses over to how people can be influenced through different tactical elements, such as emotive storytelling.

Briefly give details of your marketing career to this point.

I started out in marketing in 2021, working as a marketing coordinator. As a coordinator, I got work across our team, dipping my toes into client experience, creative design, event management, and content marketing parts of our overall team. 

Learning the fundamentals in these areas was so valuable. I was then allowed to pick where I wanted to specialise. 

Content marketing always stood out to me as something that would tie everything I learnt together. I am now a digital marketing specialist; I am the first to have this job title at Tonkin+Taylor, which has been an incredible opportunity to learn and implement new tactics and learn as I work.

What do you love about marketing? Is there a specific type of marketing you particularly enjoy or specialise in, and why?

This is a tricky question, the more I learn about marketing, the more I love it. Specifically, I love how you can create meaningful campaigns that link to a strategy. Creating a meaningful campaign requires a deep understanding of the audience and their drivers and how you can influence them. 

Doing an end-to-end campaign is something that excites me, from ideation implementation to reporting back the results to influence future campaigns. I have been able to do this a few times while working at Tonkin+Taylor, and we have a few more in the works.

Is there a specific project you’ve worked on that stands out for you?

Working on our first in-house campaign stood out for sure. Our sponsorship campaign for Building Nations 2022 called ‘Walk The Green Road’ was the first time our team got to experiment with new ideas of emotive storytelling in our tactics. 

Our team worked together to create our first billboards, paid actor hero video, and Microsite. We had such a wide variety of tactics I specifically managed the social media campaign, the EDM campaign, and the Google ads. Working on a campaign on this scale was such a good learning opportunity. Overall, it was amazing to see how our team can use all their specialities to create a meaningful campaign.

What do you think has been your most significant achievement throughout your career?

I am most proud of my involvement in Tonkin+Taylor campaigns on the ‘Walk the Green Road’ Campaign. As well as my work on the most recent GO2024 ‘Find Your Future’ campaign as they helped me learn so much and develop my skills in digital marketing.

What are some of the biggest challenges you, as a young marketer, face in your role?

Imposter syndrome is something I have struggled with. Resulting in me doubting my abilities. To counter this, I remind myself of my accomplishments, focus on continuous improvement, and seek support from mentors and peers to boost my confidence.

What advice would you give to other young marketers newish to the industry?

Learn Continuously: Marketing is an ever-evolving field, so make a habit of staying updated on the latest trends, tools, and techniques. Attend conferences, read industry blogs, and take online courses to enhance your knowledge and skills.

Be Creative: Marketing requires creativity. Think outside the box and come up with unique ideas that can capture the attention of your target audience. Don’t be afraid to experiment. With the growing trends in AI, creativity will be more valued than ever.

Stay Customer/Client-Centric: Always keep the customer/client in mind. Understand their needs, pain points, and preferences. Tailor your marketing strategies to provide value and create a positive customer/ client experience.

Balance Creativity and Analytics: Effective marketing balances creative storytelling and data-driven analysis. Don’t solely rely on gut feelings or intuition; let data guide your decisions while maintaining your creative flair.

Where will your career be headed in the next 5-10 years?

My career in marketing will continue to evolve over the next 5-10 years. I have a strong passion for this field and a deep interest in staying at the forefront of marketing trends and technologies. In the short term, I aim to further specialise in digital marketing, as it holds tremendous potential for reaching and engaging with audiences effectively.

As I progress in my career, I aspire to take on leadership roles, guiding and inspiring teams to create impactful marketing campaigns. I want to leverage my creativity and analytical skills to develop strategies that resonate with audiences while delivering measurable results for the organisations I work with.

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About Bernadette Basagre

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles, The Register and Idealog. To get in touch with her, email [email protected].

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