Me & My Job - Simon McArdle, marketing director, Hozelock

Simon McArdle, marketing director, Hozelock - image: Hozelock
Simon McArdle, marketing director, Hozelock - image: Hozelock

- How did you get started in the industry?

I inherited a passion for gardening and fish-keeping from my grandad. This led to a BSc in aquatic biology and a job with Barton Grange Garden Centre in Lancashire. From there I moved to aquatic specialist Cyprio, before joining in the Hozelock marketing team after it was acquired by Cyprio in the 1990s.

- What advice would you give to others starting out?

A degree is a huge investment, so pick a subject you are passionate about. Then, when you're at the foot of the career mountain, you can do worse than to have the worst job at the best company. Invest time in every task and ultimately you'll be rewarded.

- What does your typical day involve?

I'm in the office 75 per cent of the time. Currently we're focused on new product development so me and my team are either briefing consumer research, interpreting the findings or refining the launch plans with our agency partners.

- What takes up most of your time?

We have a team of about 25 marketers, designers and engineers, and we're running 39 development projects to bring to market over the next four years.

- What's the best aspect of your job?

I love working in a company that is obsessed with finding and meeting consumer needs.

- And the worst?

That we can't do everything straightaway. We have to prioritise our launches. It's frustrating.

- What is your greatest achievement?

I'm really proud of our new brand positioning launched last year. With our design studio and agency Haines McGregor, we used ethnographic studies across Europe to make a connection between the consumer and Hozelock. We call it Gardening for Life. It looks new, but totally familiar.

- How do you wind down after a hard day?

Gardening with my family. I'm training the next generation.

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