Fujifilm channel manager earns top Marx

Fujifilm channel manager earns top Marx

ombining work with a hobby means Fujifilm independent consumer electronics channel manager Helen Marx is never bored.

“I really like taking photos of people and landscapes. I’ve been involved in taking a lot of the photos that Fujifilm has used over the past two years in the marketing material that we have developed, so there’s a lot of focus on portraits and group shots. But I have a love of great landscapes – everywhere you turn you’re always trying to frame things for the perfect photo.”

The 22-year-old looks after resellers such as Harvey Norman, Retravision and JB Hi-Fi at head office and store level.

“I’m going through looking at the range, making sure the channels are competitive and they have got the right range in store as well as looking at any marketing opportunities and cataloguing. There is so much to do, which makes it interesting and diverse.”

As such Marx is on the road most of the year.

“I had about five working days in Auckland last month because a lot of the time I’m doing the whole North Island. I go to places like Wellington, New Plymouth, central North Island, Hamilton and Whangarei.”

She says this has been fantastic, as prior to this she spent 18 months in the office talking to customers on the phone.

“Getting out there and talking to the retailers means you learn a lot more. Our big focus is the digital print model, which is proper frontier printing, and digital cameras are obviously a huge area. I also look after new lines like inkjet paper and optical media.”

Marx started at the company as a marketing assistant two years ago.

“My boss got promoted, so I ended up looking after a lot of the digital camera categories under his supervision.”

And as Fujifilm changed to adapt to the evolution of photography into the digital area, Marx landed a role to develop trade marketing and communications, but two months later was appointed to the channel manager role.

Becoming a channel manager at a young age has been both exciting and challenging, she says.

“It’s encouraging that if you work hard you can work your way up. The industry is fast-paced and you feel like you’re moving fast with it. The challenge is my relative inexperience compared to some other people I’m up against and getting across that you do have a grasp for the company and what’s going on.”

Some people still have a negative perception of Generation Yers, says Marx.

“I haven’t found it so hard now that people know I’ve been with Fujifilm for a couple of years and have the background.”

Outside of work she has a number of hobbies, such as badminton, which she has played for 12 years. Although she has learnt to play the drums, Marx says she does not have time to join a band.

Snowboarding and dancing complete the list. “Snowboarding is more of a learning curve at Snow Planet in Auckland. I used to do both jazz and hip-hop dancing, but hip-hop is the main focus now as I’m not really into the leotards you have to wear for jazz.”

Dancing is a stress release and it gives Marx a chance to be creative, she says. “I have such fond memories as a kid of having a couple of hours out to think and dance.”

Along with work and activities, Marx is finishing an honours degree in marketing part-time. After completing a Bachelor of Business in marketing at AUT she won a scholarship to do honours.

“I’m having a year off to cement myself in this job and then I’ll go back to finish the second year in 2008. But I’m also planning a trip to Europe next year, as I really want to check out Italy, France and Spain.”

Fujifilm has provided two mentors for Marx.

“The person who hired me and is now sales manager, Peter Bonisch, was my first mentor. In my first year I reported directly to him and he has certainly been a big influence. Later on I was working closely with Kelly Swinnerton who is our marketing services manager. She was fantastic to learn from.”

Looking to the future she would like to stay at Fujifilm.

“I’d like to think in five to 10 years I could be marketing manager, as I just love the marketing side of Fujifilm.”

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