Daniella Archer on balancing creativity with organisation

Daniella Archer on balancing creativity with organisation
Want to learn from the best? Our interview series is the best place to get advice from those with their finger on the pulse of what's new in the comms arena.

Daniella Archer, Marketing Manager for Teesside Hospice, checks in with us to chat about the complexities of marketing within a nonprofit organisation, alongside sharing her advice for those at the start of their career (clue: creativity is key). 


Why did you choose to pursue a role in marketing? For example, has it always been your passion or was it pure happenstance? 

It didn’t really happen conventionally for me. When you’re 18 you have to make this big decision about what you want to do for the rest of your life, but it’s not that easy. I thought I wanted to be a Fashion Designer (but I think all little girls have this dream) after two years, I realised it wasn’t for me and ended up working at my local Football Club.

After a couple of years, I got involved with sponsorship and branding, it was really interesting and things progressed from there. I now work for Teesside Hospice and I can’t imagine being involved in any other role, every day is something new and interesting!


What personal skills or attributes do you think are most important in the marketing sphere? Why these skills/attributes in particular? 

Being organised is vital. You are constantly working on new projects, some can be longer-term than others. Knowing where you are with everything is really important. Very often you’ll be hit with last-minute challenges. If you’re organised it means you can handle changes that can be sprung on you last minute, or from out of nowhere. Allowing you to be able to react as quickly as possible.


What sort of challenges do you face in your role? Is there a particular challenge that you experienced in the past that stood out? 

Working for a non-profit organisation, which helps people within the local area, and translating what we are really about is the biggest challenge. A lot of people think a Hospice is a place just for end of life care, it’s not. At Teesside Hospice, we do help people who are at end of life, but we also help local people with terminal illnesses. Help them to live as well as possible, for as long as possible. Being able to communicate this message to our supporters is really important to show the impact we are making on peoples lives, and helping understanding the real impact we’re making.


How is the role of marketing perceived in your organisation? 

I think over the last year, globally everyone has realised how important marketing is within an organisation. I came into this role through the pandemic and I think everyone in the organisation knows the importance of marketing and how it can help the success of the Hospice. Although I do believe when other departments are caught up in their day to day work, marketing can be forgotten about, so you just have to keep reminding people you’re there and want to help make the hospice as successful as possible.

Marketing is the central point between the supporter and the care programmes we provide. Without marketing, we wouldn’t be able to get the message out about the excellent care we provide and receive the support and funding we do within the local area by local people. This can be done online and offline. Many more people at the Hospice are realising the importance of social media to the success of the Hospice and using this as a platform to shout about what they do, and engage in conversations with other professionals, raising the brand awareness of Teesside Hospice. There is always work that can be done on this, but I feel we’re slowly getting somewhere.


At React & Share, we’re obsessed with measuring our efforts to prove our worth to internal stakeholders - what measurements do you think marketing teams should be presenting to their board?

Every month we present figures to the board of trustees, this includes income through marketing campaigns and social media stats.

We do month on month reports of the social media to track how we are doing. This is key to find the success of every marketing campaign you are doing. This includes social media, paid adverts, email, website conversions and offline press release. Making sure you have an idea of how every marketing aspect is doing, is key to the success of the Hospice. Also, at the end of the day, that’s what everyone wants to know. There is no point doing something again (exactly the same) if it was a dive at first.


What advice would you give to those at the start of their career in marketing? 

Research and be passionate. You need to love/believe in the product or service you are marketing. Try to be as creative as possible, write things down and come back to them, if they still seem like a good idea, pursue them. If not develop and adapt it. Nothing is ever a stupid idea, it just needs developing to fit better.

Also, don’t worry if people change wording or text, this happens in EVERY campaign, and it doesn’t mean your work isn’t good. Every brand has its own tone and messaging and people who have been with an organisation may know that tone a little better. Sometimes you can’t see changes when you’ve written it yourself, so don’t be hard on yourself!


What do you think the secret of success is when working in marketing? 

I don’t know if anyone will ever be able to tell you the true secret to marketing as I think it’s very different in each organisation/industry, but being creative and thinking outside the box is really important. As well as being VERY organised, so just make sure you have a good balance of both and I am sure you’ll be able to smash anything that comes your way.