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Rachel Slaney

Head of marketing, The Dune Group

What does your job involve?

My role is incredibly diverse. From managing the media planning for [footwear chain] Dune’s advertising campaign, to planning photo shoots for all of our core brands, to press days, store events and in-store communications, my job is to set the strategy for each season and then to oversee all PR and marketing activity for The Dune Group’s brands [Dune, Bertie, Shoe Studio, Pied A Terre and Chelsea Cobbler].

What skills do you need?

With such a wide array of brands, the key skill is to be highly organised. The ability to build and maintain good relationships – not only with external suppliers and press, but more critically with all departments within the business – is crucial. 

What do you like and dislike about your job?

I love that no two days are ever the same. As for dislikes, at the moment that would have to be the size of my inbox.

How did you get to where you are today?

After leaving university with a 2:1 in Business Management, I was fortunate to be offered a place on the Arcadia graduate marketing management training scheme. This was a year-long programme which gave me the opportunity to gain an understanding of how a fashion retail business is run. I spent time on the shop floor but was also given the opportunity to gain experience in buying, merchandising and finance, before focusing on PR, research and brand marketing. I was then head-hunted by [lingerie brand] Gossard to be an assistant brand manager.

At the time, Gossard was a marketing-led organisation, with the marketing department responsible for a wide array of strategic decisions such as range planning and pricing, to sales channels and growth opportunities. Experiencing such a commercially focused and strategic role early in my career ensured I have remained a commercially focused marketeer. After a year working in Scandinavia looking after the [lingerie group] Sara Lee Intimates brands, I was appointed marketing manager at [casualwear retailer] Crew Clothing and it was here I learned the strength of multichannel. My role evolved to encompass full profit and loss responsibility for the direct sales [online and catalogue] channels. 

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

The autumn 11 Dune advertising campaign. Only six months into my role at The Dune Group, we had successfully appointed media agency The7stars and managed the creative execution and media planning of the first press advertising campaign for our core brand – Dune. Seeing the first ad run in Vogue was fantastic.

What is your ambition?

I love PR and marketing and the fast pace of retail, so I’m already on my ideal career path. I have plans to grow the Dune brand internationally over the next three years.

What three words sum you up?

Passionate, organised and customer-focused.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Be open-minded and flexible. You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. You have to be open to taking risks with your career.  l

CV

2010 Head of marketing, The Dune Group

2005 Head of marketing, Crew Clothing

2004 Marketing manager, Sara Lee Intimates, Scandinavia

2002 Assistant brand manager, Gossard, Sara Lee Corporation

2001 Marketing co-ordinator, Dorothy Perkins, Arcadia Group

2000 Graduate marketing management trainee, Arcadia Group

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