Member interview with Steph Halliday

Hi Steph! Can you tell us a little about Denholm and what they're up to at the minute?

Denholm Associates is specialist recruitment consultancy, unique in the market as we put marketing principles at the core of all our delivery. We have supported the marketing community in Scotland (and internationally) for 20 years and have been trusted advisors to a number of marketing society members – as both clients and candidates - across that time. In more recent years, we have responded to the demand from our core marketing client portfolio, to offer wider professional recruitment support, and now proudly offer our partners specialist delivery across Finance, Technology, HR,  Procurement & Supply Chain, and Business Services – with the same fundamental principles underpinning all our delivery.

In 2021, we have seen a significant increase in opportunities across market sectors – a welcome trend as we enter the period of recovery following the events of 2020. We have seen significant demand for Digital skills, perhaps unsurprisingly, given the need for organisations to respond to the challenges of the pandemic, but similarly we have seen an unprecedented commitment to hire across all disciplines which has meant we have been working on a huge range of assignments and created new and exciting partnerships with a variety of clients.

Why did you join the Marketing Society? 

I have been a member of the Marketing Society for many years – as someone who delivers specialist support to the marketing community, the Marketing Society provides an invaluable platform to gain insight into the market, offering a multitude of opportunities to continually develop knowledge and understanding of both marketing practises, and also the commercial landscape in Scotland. Additionally, membership and affiliation with the Marketing Society offers our business the unique opportunity to work in partnership with the Society itself, and of course, it’s members to identify opportunities where we can proactively add wider value to the community – to work in true partnership as market experts.

What’s been the biggest benefit for you and/or the team? 

The opportunity to continually develop and learn – as members who offer support to the industry, but who are not necessarily ‘professional marketers’, membership ensures we are active participants in the community; ensuring we are up to date with market developments and dynamics, and subsequently that we can offer the most relevant and informed support to our clients and candidates as possible. It’s also great fun – being a member of the Marketing Society offers the chance to get involved with a variety of industry events and forums, which for myself and the team at Denholm, is… fun!... And always offers great insight and the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships.

The Society is always seeking to inspire members with the latest thinking. What campaigns or innovations have you seen recently that have inspired you? 

There have been so many ground-breaking, thought-provoking campaigns over the last year, it’s a tough job to select one! And, as a recent judge on the panel for Marketing Society Scotland ‘Pioneering Spirit Award’, I was fortunate enough to be presented with a variety of international campaigns to review, which just highlights the incredible creativity out there… but for me, to pick just one, simple and powerful campaign, I’d say I’ve been particularly moved recently by the Tesco ‘Pop To Your Local If You Can’ ad campaign, created by BBH. It was a campaign for England, but the sentiment was so powerful, it reached beyond borders. And was uniquely reflective of where we all are right now.  

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone new to marketing as a career, what would it be?

Keep an open mind and keep learning. Particularly in the current market. As skills and experience are in high demand, we are seeing an increased flexibility in what (and who!) clients are looking for. There is now more opportunity to transfer skills and experience between market sectors which can not only offer candidates more opportunities, but can also offer organisations the chance to consider innovative approaches to their own traditional delivery.


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