CAREERS: Job interview

Name Steve Boocock

Name Steve Boocock

Job title Head of retail marketing

Company Q8 Petroleum (GB)

How did you get into marketing?

I had designs on a career in marketing when I left university in 1986

and applied to several FMCG manufacturers for junior marketing/brand

management positions.

But they were highly suspicious of my physics degree and I had little

success. My first marketing role came in 1988, as sales promotion

manager with 7 Eleven, at a time when the company was expanding rapidly,

and my biggest consumer campaign there involved releasing 20,000

numbered yellow plastic ducks into the River Thames for a duck race.

What qualities do you need to succeed in this industry?

Alongside overall technical marketing skills and abilities, you need an

open mind, excellent interpersonal skills, a clear yet adaptable vision

of the future and the ability to communicate well with your team, peers,

colleagues, agencies, suppliers and customers.

What was your big break?

My big break was moving to Q8 in 1994, where I found an enterprising,

innovative culture in which all levels of staff are encouraged to think

for themselves and where what I do makes a difference. I think that kind

of culture is difficult to create; it strikes the right balance between

tight management on the one hand and creativity and innovation on the

other. I now have wide ranging responsibilities - my role as head of

retail marketing encompasses retail marketing, product management and

customer services as well as corporate branding, communications and

public relations.

What are the challenges Q8 Petroleum faces in its sector?

The UK downstream oil industry is highly competitive. Q8 is currently a

relatively small player in the UK, so our challenge is to be totally

customer-focused in whatever we do, to be quick on our feet and to meet

the needs of our customers faster, smarter, simpler and more flexibly

than our larger competitors. Everything we do has to be commercial and

relate directly back to a business benefit.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

My future could go in either of two directions - onwards and upwards, in

which case I see myself as a marketing director within an FMCG

organisation, or alternatively, having emigrated to New Zealand or

Australia, to be running my own diving school.

Which individual has influenced you most in your career?

The marketing director of 7 Eleven when I first began my career - Mike

Goring, who is now a director with Arcadia. I remember Mike as an

inspirational leader and a superbly effective communicator and manager

of people.

What would be the one piece of career advice you would give?

To believe in yourself and your abilities and develop technical


Above all, enjoy your job.

What has been your biggest achievement?

Developing, piloting, researching and launching Q8’s new national retail

consumer promotion, Q8GO, in six months from start to end, which was a

total team effort from all those involved.



Store and area manager, 7 Eleven


Sales promotion manager, 7 Eleven


Store Manager, HMV (UK) Ltd


Buying and merchandising manager, Q8


Head of retail marketing, Q8


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer