Hello. I'm Sharon Hayward.
I'm a freelance marketing consultant, based in Southampton. I hold a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing), am a certified Google Partner and hold a mini MBA in Marketing Strategy.
My background includes marketing experience gained in companies ranging from start-ups to FTSE 100 and spanning healthcare, travel & leisure, hospitality, training providers, marine, financial services and not-for-profits. I draw on this breadth of experience to help support clients.
For some clients, we work together to prepare a marketing strategy which I lead the delivery of, leaving them free to focus on running their business. For others, who may wish to do the implementation themselves or who have an in-house marketer, I can provide mentoring, support or simply accountability through regular progress checks.
I have an established network of other freelancers and agencies offering, for example, graphic design, website development and videography, who I bring on projects where additional expertise is required.
considered purchase services specialist
Most of my recent career has focussed on marketing 'considered purchases' - particularly professional services, training courses and experiences.
With these types of purchases, it is usual to see the customer conducting extensive research before purchasing, as the decision of 'making the right choice' is important to them. Understanding the psychology and search patterns exhibited by these types of customers enables me to get your product or service seen.
By working across industries that share a customer purchase pattern, I can draw on cross-sector learnings to help give my clients an advantage in their own industry.
a scientist at heart
With a 1st class BSc (Hons) degree in Genetic Engineering, I've always been drawn to numbers and logical processes. Applying this scientific approach to a marketing environment has always been my unique skill.
I'm comfortable analysing data and easily spot trends and patterns, which I enjoy converting into meaningful and actionable marketing insights.
traditional marketing training
My career started as a graduate marketing trainee at Boots The Chemist, with roles in traditional product, brand and trade marketing within both beauty and healthcare categories. I launched over £1m of new products in 1400 stores, developed a new No7 lip gloss range and grew category sales for Nurofen.
I then launched and managed a co-branded VISA credit card for Austin Reed menswear before becoming the marketing manager for Carling Beer at Coors Brewers where I took a different (more analytical!) approach and significantly streamlined the new product development process.
start-ups and SMEs
In 2010, I decided to explore the fast-paced world of SMEs, focusing on high-value, considered purchases within the marine and leisure travel sectors, providing strategic direction and guidance on social media, digital marketing, websites and email campaigns.
After a sabbatical in Sri Lanka providing marketing consultancy to entrepreneurs, I realised I love the variety of working with different clients, and that my varied experience was a true asset and Digital Platypus was born.
I'm a positive, enthusiastic person with a curiosity and a genuine passion for every brand I work on. In my spare time I can usually be found on on the water sailing, yacht racing or paddle boarding.
Read some case studies of how I have helped other organisations, or please get in touch if you'd like to discuss how we might work together. If you're not ready for me just yet, please connect on LinkedIn and let's stay in touch.
Sharon is an experienced marketing professional with a passion for helping others to grow.
Sharon is customer focussed, and offers a unique breadth of marketing experience and skills, if you are looking to improve customer acquisition or conversion rates for your business, please get in touch.