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In-House Delegate Profile
Product Manager, comparethemarket.com
CMC Alumni - CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing
In-House Qualification Programme 2015 – Pass rate 100%
Soffia Bowring graduated with a 2.1 in Fashion Marketing and Branding from Nottingham Trent University, and then spent a year working in the IT industry within a marketing department. “I didn’t have an immediate opportunity for progression, and quickly realised that the majority of senior roles required a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) qualification – something that I didn’t have”, says Soffia.
“Then a friend recommended I consider BGL (the insurance company that owns both well-known and new, disruptive brands such as comparethemarket.com and Beagle Street). The Marketing Graduate Scheme at BGL offers the chance to study for the CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing, alongside three varied rotations, and they have a number of employee benefits such as free fruit, awards balls and a subsidised on-site gym!
“We met our CMC tutors in the first two weeks and began our assignment seminars straight away. Over a three day period we covered all of the upcoming modules required and were able to ask questions throughout. Our assignments were tailored to complement our rotations within BGL. It’s important to know that the CIM is recognised nationwide.”
In a lightning fast 16 months, Soffia completed her CIM qualification and three diverse rotations within BGL: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) at comparethemarket.com, Marketing Planning at Beagle Street and Customer Experience at hoyhoy.nl in The Netherlands.
Soffia continues: “As part of the CRM team I was managing the business’s weekly topical emails amongst other tasks. Working with a number of key stakeholders from Brand, Product, Legal and Compliance, I was able to build a network within the business and had the responsibility of working with our agency to send out communications. It was always a great feeling going home on a Friday knowing that thousands of people were also going to see the work I had helped to create.
“The idea of Planning petrified me if I’m honest – I hadn’t crunched numbers since A-Levels and I (wrongly) thought it was just going to be a sea of Excel spreadsheets. In fact I was also involved in PPC and media buying and this meant regular trips to London, learning about paid ads and TV buying.”
Transferring to The Netherlands in the Customer Experience (CX) team, Soffia’s work was all about the customer journey and improving conversion, working on initiatives like introducing WhatsApp, organising a customer event and leading the Customer Listening Programme. She gained hands-on experience of tools such as Google Analytics and then used the figures to conduct A/B tests and help change the layout, text and design of the website.
Soffia graduated early from the Graduate scheme to join comparethemarket.com as a Product Manager working to drive comparethemarket.com’s Energy, Digital and Mobile products.
Her advice: “You don’t need to know a lot about a particular industry such as insurance, you just have to have a strong work ethic, an interest in further education and enjoy marketing! If you’re looking to be pushed, to overcome challenges and build your own career, marketing is a good place to be, and there’ll be lots of fun stuff on the way too!”