CIM is giving marketing professionals across the North the chance to meet one of their ’50 North East Marketing Greats’, Lookers’ Group Marketing Director Heike O’Leary.

Heike is judging the Not-For-Profit category at the upcoming CIM Northern Awards in Manchester on 09 November and will also be meeting with guests and sharing some of her trade secrets.

Heike, who is based at the national motor retailer’s North East head office in Newcastle, has been instrumental in re-branding the group over recent years. This has involved the creation of a new logo, a distinctive tone of voice and a hugely successful TV and radio campaign; all of which has helped the company register its eighth year of consecutive growth.

She has also overseen the establishment of a multi-talented in-house marketing team that includes its own designers, copywriters, digital executives and a dedicated media buyer.

Heike boasts a wealth of blue chip marketing experience, having previously worked for adidas, Callawy Golf and a London-based marketing agency, with which she dealt on a strategic level with clients such as Debenhams, Nissan, Ford, Bally, Karstadt and Citibank.

As a result, the CIM has named Heike one of its ‘50 North East Marketing Greats’. It’s part of a campaign that highlights the importance of a strategic marketing function as a way of inspiring both existing marketing professionals and young people considering a career in marketing.

Each ‘Marketing Great’ is profiled in an online case study which includes their words of wisdom for aspiring marketers, alongside their career story.

Heike joined Benfield Motors, which subsequently merged with Lookers, in 2014. She has initiated a number of on-going projects with local universities and sponsored CIM’s student competition, ‘The Pitch’, in 2015.

She said: “Building a compelling brand proposition for a successful £4bn turnover business from scratch was both a massive challenge and an incredible privilege. There are not many precedents in brand marketing history and I was immensely relieved and delighted when the universal feedback from colleagues was a sense of pride to work for Lookers, particularly when they saw our very first TV advert.

“It’s a huge honour to be supporting the CIM Northern Awards as I’m a huge advocate of celebrating the power of marketing in creating an enhanced and fully engaging brand proposition.”

Diane Earles, Network Manager for CIM, said: “Developing our original ‘Great North East Brands’ initiative, which ran for a number of years, ‘Marketing Greats’ provides a regional platform for marketing to be recognised as having a key role in business growth while celebrating the number of senior marketers located in the North East.”

The 50 ‘North East Marketing Greats’ profiles can be found at www.cim.co.uk/NEmarketinggreats