Me & My Job - Tony Stacey, marketing manager, National Garden Gift Vouchers

Tony Stacey, marketing manager, National Garden Gift Vouchers  - image: HW
Tony Stacey, marketing manager, National Garden Gift Vouchers - image: HW

How did you get started in the industry? I have always tried to promote companies and industries in which I have a personal interest. The philosophy of marketing my hobbies, which include football, home improvement and gardening, has taken me to Southampton FC, B&Q and now the HTA.

What advice would you give to others starting out? Be a good listener. Customers tell you what they want from your business, bosses try to pass down knowledge and the media provides you with industry trends. Harnessing these information streams will put you in good stead.

What does your typical day involve? It is split between marketing the National Garden Gift Voucher scheme to consumers and supporting garden centres to maximise their sales.

What is the best aspect of your job? The variety. I work with 2,000-plus garden centres of all sizes, from large chains to small independents. Each requires a unique solution to maximise sales, and this keeps me on my toes.

And the worst? Rainy days. My best efforts at driving footfall to garden centres can be hampered by continual rain.

What has been your biggest achievement at work? I ran a very successful "design a Christmas card" competition for under-12s that enabled garden centres to engage with a younger audience. I'm getting requests to run it again this year.

How do you relax after a hard day? Planning for my wedding has left me with very little spare time. I like to watch Everton FC or do a spot of gardening.

What does the future hold? Gardening is a healthy, relaxing and sociable pastime in which the vast majority of people can participate. With the pace of life getting faster and the cultural desire to become greener, gardening will go from strength to strength. With a bit of luck, it will follow the route cooking took a few years ago. We simply need to find our industry's Jamie Oliver.


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