Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Meredith Cranmer, Managing Partner of BEcause Brand Experience.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
BEcause Brand Experience is an experiential marketing agency based in Sydney. We create engaging brand conversations and live experiences, designed to change behaviors and get people talking. I worked for the London office of BEcause for 5 years before moving to Sydney 3.5 years ago to do a joint venture start-up.
Typically, my day-to-day touches all areas of the business with a particular focus on business development, marketing and new business. I could be meeting with a client to discuss their brief and how experiential marketing could help them answer the challenge, leading a creative brainstorming with the team, developing our marketing plans and looking at future opportunities for the agency.
How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?
Looking back, I got the events bug quite early on in my career. Working at the MediaWorks in NZ as a broadcasting graduate, I conceived and staged an event up the Sky Tower in New Zealand. It was an outside broadcast, charity breakfast. They (Skycity) had never done anything like it before. I naively pitched the concept and delivered the event without realizing that it was a pretty big deal for a 20-something starting their career! I loved the adrenaline, practical creativity and ‘live’ aspect of the event. Seeing how an idea flies in the real world and how it instantly impacts peoples thoughts and behavior felt very powerful to me.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! I love going to music festivals, exploring new places, camping and trying new things – be it a new restaurant that has opened, music or pawing through magazines. I do love a good bit of people watching/listening on public transport, too. I’m naturally curious – my friends would probably say nosey, so tend to like asking heaps of questions to solve creative problems.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?
I’ve had many different people help me in my career at different times. My parents, in particular my mum, always encouraged me to embrace opportunity and not be afraid to give things a go.
The turning point in my career was when I joined BEcause in London. Sharon Richey, the CEO and Founder of BEcause, employed me as an account director on one of the agencies biggest accounts. Her story and management approach has been incredibly inspiring to me. She actively develops the people around her, always playing to their strengths and never taking things too seriously. I remember being at an event with her one night and telling her that one day I’d like to have my own agency. In the years that followed, I did just that under her wing, starting BEcause in Sydney.
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?
Moving countries and starting a fresh has definitely been a challenge. I left NZ to go travelling around Australia after gaining just one year’s work experience in broadcasting. After meeting my now husband in Australia, I moved to London with him. Despite buckets of enthusiasm, I didn’t find it easy to get a career-led job. Not knowing how the job market worked there, and with little contacts and local experience, I found it quite tough. I ended up temping for quite a long period of time for a local council on the IT help desk. Not exactly what dreams were made of. I did however learn that turning your computer off and on is a legitimate form of advice when things are going wrong!
When I left the UK and moved to Sydney to start BEcause, I did so again rather naively without any local market experience or contacts. The stakes were much higher with this move as I was venturing out on my own for the first time.
How did you overcome these?
I tried to meet as many people as possible who could help connect me in some way. Basically, I networked like crazy and always followed up on pieces of information or referrals. I’m not afraid to ask for help and always find it so humbling how people will go out of their way to lend you a hand when you need it most. So many people have helped me in both small and big ways. I try to remember to thank people and take the same approach when people ask me for my help. What goes around really does come around.
What are your goals for the future?
I would like to continue to grow BEcause, both locally in Australia but also expand into another market overseas. I love to travel and meet new people, combining this with work is the best of both worlds!
Globally, BEcause have launched a fundraising initiative for the marketing industry and its partners called ADD Positivity. It aims to make a positive impact on the lives of others by raising money for education-based charities. I’m hoping that our local team get behind the initiative and lay the local foundations for what is such an exciting, collaborative idea.
On a personal level, I’d like to tick off South America from the travel bucket list and one day go to the Burning Man festival.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
Hustle. Work hard. Say yes to everything and get involved. Be open to gaining different experiences along the way. I believe life experience is just as important as on the job experience so get out there any try new things and take the opportunities that life presents you.