10 questions with.. Dave Pickering

1. What was the first company you set up/job you had?

I thought of myself as a bit of an entrepreneur whilst I was a teenager, but none of my ventures made me a millionaire! I had a car valeting business, sold mobile phone contracts, and even made some money as an odd job/handyman.

My first proper job was working as an IT engineer, earning just £150 a week! Very different from what I do now.

2. If you weren’t working in this industry what would you be doing instead?

If I didn’t have to worry about paying my mortgage, then I would probably spend my time doing volunteering in the local community and working on my garden!

3. What gets you out of bed in the morning? (/What do you love about your job?)

My alarm usually gets me out of bed in the morning, but what really motivates me is adding value and making a difference for customers.

4. What are you most proud of?

Professionally, I’m most proud of managing the biggest crisis of my career when the Buncefield Oil Depot exploded 200 yards from the HQ of my then employer. Fortunately, nobody was killed, but our office was devastated by the largest explosion in peacetime Europe! I was responsible for communications support following the disaster recovery policy being invoked and had to deal with customer, employee and press enquiries. Definitely one to chat about over a beer!

5. Tell us what has been your biggest career mistake.

I’ve only had one real career mistake… but we don’t talk about that!

6. If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who has just started out in the industry, what would it be?

One of my very first managers told me to build my professional network as early in my career as possible. It’s advice I’ve followed and it’s so very true – success in business is what you know multiplied by who you know.

7. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Marketers today?

The sheer volume and pace of technology change. Knowing what to invest in and what not to, and being brave enough to try new things.

8. What recent work has struck a chord with you this year and why?

The new Co-op branding – it’s like a nostalgic trip back down memory lane with the old blue cloverleaf logo from 1968 making a comeback. The rebrand is bringing the Co-op back to its original roots, but with a modern twist on how the brand is perceived. The first advert is lifestyle focused and is designed to show that they have everything covered:

Let’s hope the Chief Exec can deliver on his promise to give back to the local communities and members that make them who they are.

9. Tell us one thing someone would NOT be able to find out about you from looking at your Social Media profiles.

I work closely with my local town council to organise public events like fireworks displays. I am also the Chairman of a local resident’s association and a trustee of local charity The Bus Shelter MK – www.thebussheltermk.org (sorry, shameless plug).

10. If you were stranded on a desert island and could take any three people with you, who would they be?

I hate this sort of question. I’m such a pragmatist and I wouldn’t want to be stranded very long anywhere. So, I’d probably take a raft builder, a sailor and someone to row!

Dave Pickering | Head of B2B and Commercial Manager | 15th June 2017