Career Journey with Marketing Leaders – Episode 7 with Andrew Isidoro
Welcome to the seventh edition of ‘Career Journey with Marketing Leaders’, where we sit down with CMOs and Senior Marketing Leaders from the CMO & Marketing Director Forum.
Each publication will ask them five questions about their career journey to date, greatest campaign, biggest failure, challenges facing CMOs and the advantages they hope to take in 2023.
I’m delighted to welcome our next guest, Andrew Isidoro, the Chief Marketing Officer at Blexr.
Alex Marriner: Tell us a little about your marketing career and journey to where you are today as Chief Marketing Officer at Blexr.
Andrew Isidoro: I’ve always been interested in marketing since a young age, so it was a natural path for me to earn a BA in Advertising and an MSc in Digital Marketing.
Although my career path wasn’t straightforward, I eventually stumbled into digital marketing. I started working at a digital agency in Cardiff, where I learned about SEO. From there, I moved to larger agencies and eventually landed a position at Gocompare.com.
I managed SEO and, during my tenure, took on additional responsibilities such as affiliates, social media, digital PR, outreach, and CRO.
Dyson then recruited me to establish their SEO function from scratch. I built the function globally and travelled the world to assist local market teams in developing their capabilities to capture more organic demand.
Since then, I’ve held various marketing acquisition roles, from fast-growing startups to large brands such as The AA.
In March 2022, I accepted the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Blexr as part of a new executive team tasked with taking the business to the next level of scale in the iGaming space. I’m enjoying every minute of it!
AM: Tell us about a campaign that you’re proud of.
AI: One of the most enjoyable campaigns I ever ran was a Digital PR piece at Gocompare. We embraced comparison as a mechanic and partnered with an agency called Verve Search to create a series of creative campaigns that compared everything from the characteristics of billionaires to the deadliest films.
One of the hooks of the latter campaign highlighted that Guardians of the Galaxy was the deadliest film ever, causing such an online uproar when Reddit got hold of it that we went viral, causing Gocompare’s servers to struggle under the traffic.
Numerous articles were written online debating the topic we had started. Even James Gunn, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy, became involved organically as he ferociously defended his film’s new accolade on social media.
Not only was it a highly enjoyable campaign, but its impact on our SEO performance generated an ROI that I could only dream of replicating.
AM: What are the key challenges facing CMOs in 2023?
AI: I think CMOs still face the same two challenges as before.
Firstly, finding great talent that can deliver real impact continues to become even more difficult.
Secondly, accessing consumers is becoming increasingly fragmented and harder to measure. This is compounded by a cost of living crisis, a polarised political spectrum, and technological advancements beyond anything we’ve seen previously.
It’s a pretty disruptive landscape, which can be painful for our existing mental models and processes. However, it also presents a huge opportunity for those who can evolve quickly.
AM: What are the most significant opportunities you hope to take advantage of this year?
AI: It’s about doubling down on our brand marketing efforts. This involves everything from the experience our users have both on and off our site to how we deliver value to partners outside of our existing value chain, how we invest in our brands across channels, and ultimately how we can embed our Blexr way of thinking at every level of the industry.
AM: What has been your biggest marketing failure? And what were the key learns you gained from that experience?
AI: There are far too many failures to note here, but one of the most impactful to my thinking was when I was part of the marketing team at Gocompare.
Our opera singer had become synonymous with annoyance. Hence, our creative team pivoted from his character and focused on a new idea centred around the “Llandofsavingmoney” as a nod to the business’s Welsh heritage.
It was a lovely research-backed idea with excellent creative execution, backed by other channels, including ATL, digital, and experiential marketing.
On paper, it should have been a significant shake-up, but in reality, it flopped. As the SEO, I saw our brand search plummet rapidly despite extensive ad spend and saw the impact that had on our revenue and bottom line. Gio returned quickly after.
I remember attending a conference shortly after where the legendary Dave Trott said, “The only bad advertising is one that leaves the consumer indifferent.” That has stuck with me ever since.
Alex Marriner is the Director & Leadership Search Consultant at Acquire Digital Talent.
Acquire Digital Talent is a people-first Leadership Search Firm that exclusively partners with Technology companies and Consumer brands to build Digital & Growth Marketing Leadership teams. Our expertise and reputation ensure successful delivery across niche, critical and executive appointments from Seed to Series A and beyond.
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