The first in a series of Flavourmag presents Google’s Top Black Talent live on Air Hangouts was held on June 26th for black students, graduates and young professionals. This is a series dedicated to showcasing top role models across industries including technology, law, marketing, PR, music and fashion, to help you gain insight into career possibilities and learn key skills to get ahead.

This first talk focused on Marketing with special guest speakers J2K from Roll Deep, Sade Salami from Google, Maurice Hamilton from SMC Group, Taniqua Bennett from Brand Blush and Rich Wilson from Ignite all offering their insight into the world of marketing.

Sade Salami who currently works in the Google’s UK marketing team got her degree in Media/Arts & Music Sound Recording but fell into marketing through events and organising parties. At Google Sade says it is a fast paced job but she enjoys the face-to-face and online events.

Maurice Hamilton from SMC Group first got his start running a PR agency which helped record companies build their talent. He later turned this into a procurement agency, helping the music industry and talent work with big brands. At SMC Group his role is to connect entities with brands on a global scale.

Taniqua Bennett from Brand Blush did her degree in Marketing and Psychology – later studying Cosmetic Science. Through helping re-launch a brand for 8 years, she became Global Sales & Marketing director for Sleek make-up and is now a Marketer & Cosmetic Scientist for Brand Blush a company she created. Her journey has been about progression.

Rich from Ignite’s started in Marketing but is career path was not an easy transition. Once he finished his degree in 2001, he went travelling for two and half years, returning to the UK to teach English. He would later teach himself how to build websites and this in turn helped him get into Marketing. He became a digital producer and now works on global events for Ignite.

J2K is a musician and member of Roll Deep but decided to create Crep Protect a spray designed to help maintain the quality of your trainers. His marketing strategy was to appeal to his audience. Targeting the urban market and their love of trainers, Crepe Protect is now in major retailers Debenhams’s and Bank fashion. Celebrities including Tinchy Stryder, Wiley, Reggie Yates and Joey Essex are all fans of the brand.

Here are key questions our guest speakers answered on how to get into Marketing below;

What are the key skills you need to work in marketing?
M: Patience, working with musicians and actors on the corporate side takes patience. There can be tricky clients.
T: Put the consumer first. You have to be aware of what is going on at ground level and always be on top of your game in research.
R: Have a passion for the field you’re in. Be passionate about it.

What is the best advice in regards to starting own business?
T: Make sure you have a plan A, B, C. You also need to understand what position to play and where you sit in the market place. What is the flag that you’re flying? Try to find your space and stick to that. But be flexible to move and shake.

Which song best describes your work ethic?
R: ‘The Only Way Is Up’ by Yazz. It’s about energy, movement and you always have to push the boundaries. In marketing they say there is never is a new idea. You can create an idea by putting a new slant on it.
T: Beyoncé ‘I Was Here’. You have to be passionate about leaving a mark and getting known for something.
M: Marvin Gaye ‘Where Are We Going’. Marketing is consistently a journey.

What is the best advice to give a social media marketing intern?
R: Find your voice. If it is on behalf of the company it might be many voices but make sure it is unique. Don’t be afraid to be playful with your words. Excitement and engagement is key.
M: Put in the hours, show your commitment. We look for someone that is willing to work the extra time and do things that people would not normally do.

Any tips on how you can get into the marketing industry?
R: Volume. Hit people with your CV and if you have any cool ideas try and verbalize that. For instance we had an intern who connected light bulbs to a twitter feed so every time you tweeted a light bulb went off. We thought that’s a cool idea let’s get them in. Also build up a portfolio with whatever your niche is and do something different
T: Don’t be afraid to network up. People email me on LinkedIn. I like enthusiasm and passion and I’ve taken on people on that basis before. Get networking – a lot of this industry is about who you know and a lot of opportunities come that way. Don’t be afraid to approach people.
M: Think outside of the box. Send your CV out worldwide. If you’re willing to commit to this industry, you should be willing to travel as well.
S: Never give up. Just keep going. Some people get disheartened when they don’t get a response but keep on going.

Finally CV expert Mildred Talabi also gave the Hangout audience four tips into perfecting your CV;
1. Know your target. Be clear on what your employer is looking for and know your market.
2. Create an introduction that is engaging. The personal profile should be short, sharp and punchy. It has to grab the attention of the employer.
3. Make sure the looks do not kill you. It is 50/50. The presentation is just as important as the content. Also please aet rid of Times New Roman – look for more lively fonts.
4. No spelling mistakes on your CV- one thing you do not do.

Flavourmag presents Google’s Top Black Talent live on Air Hangout next event is scheduled for August 28th. You can apply to be in the audience at

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