Job Interview

Article excerpt

Name Chris Meredith

Job Pathfinder

Company The Fourth Room

Why did you decide to move from the client to consultancy side?

It became ever clearer that the focus for most client-side marketing jobs is managing the status quo. Opportunities to create step changes in company performance are rare. So I decided to look for other ways to exploit my strategic skills.

What qualities do you need to succeed in this industry?

The Fourth Room has a very particular mission: 'helping clients see today what they can be tomorrow'. This calls for strategic skills and clear insight and imagination. You have to be creative, but you also need to be able to bring clients with you, so they're in the right frame of mind to accept what we're saying. Our solutions often go way beyond what the clients were thinking about. 'Show, not tell' is our mantra.

What was your big break?

I had become a marketing director on the client side, but I always knew that it would be a challenge to get a consulting firm to accept that I had far more to offer than simply 'client experience'. I decided to get in touch with Wendy Gordon, who had earlier made a big impression on me with research she did for me when I was at Bacardi-Martini. When we met, I discovered that The Fourth Room's values, style, and approach exactly matched my own. I felt at home. My big break was when Wendy, and the other founding partners of The Fourth Room-Piers Schmidt and Michael Wolff-offered me this job.

What are the challenges that Fourth Room faces in its sector?

We don't have any direct competitors, so the challenge doesn't come from other consultancies. …