On a recent visit to the BP Rolls Group in Andover FOXY’s Steph Savill met their Group Marketing Manager, Louise Ellison (right in photo).
A consummate marketing professional with an impressive education and work experience, Louise is relatively new to the automotive industry.
What particularly interested Steph was her route into this industry and what she thought of it compared to her earlier agency and fashion days.
Q1 Please tell us about you and your early years
I grew up in Andover and went to the Media School at Bournemouth University where I studied Multimedia Production. After graduating, my early career was spent in creative agencies working on branding and marketing campaigns for the likes of Vodafone, Microsoft, Schwartzkopf and P&O Ferries.
Q2 What did you do before you entered the motor industry
I come from a marketing background and previously worked in creative agencies working on brand marketing campaigns for the likes of P&O, Vodafone, Microsoft and Schwartzkopf.
I then spent 6 years as Marketing Manager for an international precision engineering company.
I took a career break in 2012 to have a baby, and then ran my own retail business for 4 years – a women’s clothing boutique. Last year I made the big decision to close my shop having decided that I needed a better work/life balance and a regular wage.
I started looking around for a new challenge, and was most impressed by the marketing opportunity at BP Rolls.
Q3 What was your first job in the motor industry
This is my first job in the motor trade. I’m six months in and I love it!
Q4 Please describe your job today
As Group Marketing Manager for BP Rolls, my position is varied as I cover all divisions of the business which is primarily automotive, including our garage service and MOT Test Centre, accident repair centre, commercial vehicle repairs, paint shop and fleet graphics divisions.
As part of the senior management team I am also involved in strategy and decision making as well as implementing our marketing activities.
No two days are the same and there is always something to do. One minute I might be shooting photographs to support a Group promotion, the next I might be out on the road on a client visit to write a case study.
I’m involved in social media, advertising, general marketing communications and we have just launched the award-winning CitNOW software system – a 360 degree video application to help us illustrate the implications of car damage and essential repairs to our customers.
BP Rolls is a family run business, established in Andover for over 50 years and with a heritage in the motor trade that has been passed down through generations.
Over the years the company has expanded to 120 staff across 5 sites in Andover, and another in Newport, Wales.
Q5 What advice would you give other women who are interested in working in the motor industry but don’t know how to go about this
Just go for it. It was a bit daunting at first coming into a male dominated environment, but everyone has been very welcoming, and supportive.
I’m proud to be the Female Business Ambassador, and take pride in ensuring our team delivers first class customer service. I think it’s important to constantly review how we do things and I like to take the time to look at everything from a customer perspective.
I do a lot of business networking and particularly love talking to women about their experiences with other garages, good and bad, so that we can continue evolving and improving our offering.
The last 6 months have been a steep learning curve for me. I have learnt a lot about cars of course and I’m even contemplating a vehicle maintenance course, so I can really get to grips with basics!
Thank you for your insight Louise. We wish you well with your car maintenance classes – another blog opportunity perhaps!
About BP Rolls
To visit the Groups website
To see their FOXY Lady Approved garage listing
To see their FOXY Lady Approved accident repair centre entry