Darren is an experienced marketer, having worked both client and agency side to deliver digital and traditional campaigns. Over his 18 years in marketing Darren has worked with international brands such as Land Rover, Saint-Gobain and Etex, through to Australian and locally owned businesses.
Whether it’s a product launch or brand communications, he helps clients develop and implement campaigns that meet objectives and generate outstanding results. With an eye for numbers, Darren ensures every campaign is continually optimised to make your budget go further.
Describe what you do at Forte Marketing?
I am a marketing specialist with 18 years in marketing. I work with clients and the team to develop marketing campaigns that get results, and digital projects (websites, SEO, PPC, CRMs… all the acronyms) to give clients a competitive edge and/or operational efficiencies.
I am a firm believer in having a plan. Typically when developing campaigns for clients, you will find me at a whiteboard as I like to draw out ideas, timelines and processes. I firmly believe that marketing goes beyond making something look appealing, it needs to function well, be effective at storytelling but ultimately, get results.
More often than not, the team will work together to cement the strategy, outlining the marketing channels, messages and other elements of the campaign.
Depending on the client, project or campaign, I will then prepare the different elements. This can include copywriting, digital advertising, web development, social media and email. Having exposure to both traditional and digital marketing, I am hands-on with most marketing tools, advertising platforms, CMS and CRMs.
Co-founder alongside Louise Ottewell, we work together to direct the continual growth of the business and enhance the reputation of our brand.
What solutions do you deliver to clients?
- Project management
- Website development
- Email Marketing
- Marketing campaigns
- Copywriting for social media, web, email and marketing collateral
- Digital content
We all have different ways of working - how would you describe your approach to work?
I like to work on campaigns and projects with goals or objectives. Some clients are very precise with KPIs whereas others are simply trying to attract more business and generate more awareness.
I also like problem-solving and looking for ways to make our clients’ marketing or digital tools even better.
Measurement is a key aspect of what we do here, as we firmly believe marketing is a client’s competitive advantage.
What did you do before you started at Forte Marketing and what most appealed to you about joining the team?
I have always worked in marketing. My very first marketing role was as an intern at an Advertising Agency when I was 18. I had just begun my degree in Business and Marketing and knew I had to get hands-on experience. I got lucky, as I was working at Leicester City Football Club part-time whilst I was studying and the former Chief Executive owned the agency. I joined a small PR team, working on drafting media releases and then following up with journalists to ensure they had received the release. I remained there for the three years I was at university, gaining exposure in advertising, PR and direct mail. I then secured a graduate placement with a health supplement and sports nutrition retailer, with over 500 stores in the UK. Most of my time was spent organising in-store promotions as well as some merchandising.
I have worked for other agencies since, managing six international websites for Land Rover, including Australia, New Zealand, China and Russia; plus house builders, education recruitment agencies and international manufacturers.
After travelling the world, I decided I needed more commercial exposure, so I then moved to the client side. I have held a series of senior marketing positions in market-leading building material manufacturers Saint Gobain and Etex. This provided excellent exposure to developing and executing marketing plans, whilst also having direct feedback that allowed me to focus on analysing the impact on sales.
I moved to Australia in 2016, and Louise and I met on one of my first consulting projects. It was quickly apparent we had complementary skills and a sense of humour. Then after months of whiteboarding, thousands of coffees and heaps of sugar, Forte Marketing was born.
What is your greatest source of enjoyment at Forte Marketing?
Working with the team… we are pretty out there. The word Forte means ‘a thing that excels’, and that goes beyond Louise and I. We have built a small team of marketing professionals who perform their specialism to the highest standards.
Both Louise and I are musos. In music, Forte means loud and strong. Marketing is our strength and we do it with passion!
I love being able to help clients achieve success in their business.
Can you tell us about the most memorable moment of your career?
Attending one of the first photoshoots for the Range Rover Evoque in a large infinity studio, for the web-based ‘build and design’ tool. At the time, I was responsible for their Australian, New Zealand, Chinese, Russian, Middle East and North Africa, German and Austrian websites. Ensuring everything functioned across different languages was a challenge, particularly those languages that read right to left.
My time at Marley Eternit as Marketing Communications Manager, was really special. Not necessarily a defining moment, but they were just a pure joy to work for. They are one of the UK’s most established and respected building material manufacturers and everything they did, was done with a touch of class. Who would have thought roof tiles and cladding could be sexy, but our objective was to be architects’ first choice. Their products featured in BMW ads and were used by some of the world's most prominent architects; as well as your typical house and commercial builders.
If you were a superhero, what would be your superpower?
Persistency… quietly competitive, I never give up.
What would you typically be doing and where would we find you when you’re not at work?
In the studio or at the gym…. Music production and fitness are my two favourite pastimes. I also enjoy swimming and being outdoors with my family, or at the pub with mates.
I’m quite active… but then I also like carbs so, needs must!
Tell us something surprising about yourself.
I’ve been to 29 countries (I’ll list them in case some are questionable ha ha):
- Czech Republic
- North America
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong