Thursday, February 4, 2010

Neil McGuinness

Advertising and Marketing Communications Manager (Europe and Middle East), BP Solar


Today’s small world means than a native of Ireland, working for a British company, can wind up in Spain (after an earlier role in Chile) to help develop a fresh international marketing approach for a new energy division.  And now Neil McGuinness, Advertising and Marketing Communications Manager (Europe and Middle East) of BP Solar, is not only at ease having tapas in Madrid’s barrio Salamanca, but he’s working to convert “a world of sunflowers” to a professional business-to-business message about alternatives with the help of their agency, GyroHSR.
McGuinness is an enthusiastic marketer with a dedication to making things happen.  He says, “Being progressive and innovative are a huge part of what BP stands for so it's really exciting knowing you can explore new marketing possibilities.  It's also about drawing on the experience and best practice among your peers, and I'm lucky to be able to share with a fantastic team at BP Solar and at BP Group.”
He also may have the best reason to be passionate about international marketing today. It’s the excitement of learning.  “Everyday's a school day when you're dealing cross border and cross culturally.”
Yet he believes that the risks any marketer takes should be backed by research. “It's not much good basing an investment of a lot of marketing dollars on instinct alone. My geography covers Europe and the Middle East, and right now we're using our stand out value, as well as our excellent track record, to support those markets. Our primary risk is centered around new market launches and the delivery of increased brand awareness during a time of economic uncertainty. It's a risk we're willing to take in order to show our commitment to driving grid parity and setting the base to deliver our business objectives both in 2010 and the future.”
When asked about the challenges of marketing multinationally, Neil McGuinness has a straightforward answer: “Know your market.”  He continues, “It's also about being relevant in an environment that has different behaviors depending on where you play. Balancing your brand globally with your relevancy in local countries requires a lot of insight.  Banking everything on local relevancy could lead to inconsistencies across your global brand.”

A Dubliner turned Madrileño, the secret of McGuinness’ success may be in the fact that “I come from stock where people still listen to each other and have time for each other. I try to carry that into my work (despite deadlines!).”

His work history is fascinating in light of where it has taken him.  “Before now I was part of the Investor Comms team for Santander in Chile and also in Marketing Comms at Pioneer Investments. I left the finance world a couple of years ago to work with Terrence Higgins Trust, a health charity in London.  My move to BP Solar was ideal because it brings together the corporate experience I already had and my chance to add value globally to energy diversity.”


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