How does someone who studied marketing, psychology and food science end up in the agribusiness sector? Let’s ask the woman herself.
Artikel & Swint is a full-service agribusiness advertising agency. Katie said it’s all about strategic marketing and design.
“We have a focus on servicing the agribusiness sector because it’s been, in terms of the advertising world, a bit neglected in New Zealand. As an industry, it hasn’t really had anywhere it could go to that understood what it needs.”
Nick Symister, Founder and General Manager, started the business in Timaru down in the South Island in August 2017. Katie has been with the company since November 2017.
They now have a total of seven staff, two of which are in the Soda Inc. coworking space. Katie is full-time and her Waikato based colleague, Ben Strydom, works part-time.
“I started off with Artikel & Swint in Timaru and then got the opportunity to come up to the Waikato,” Katie said.
She said her role meant she had a face to face relationship with Artikel & Swint’s clients.
“We have inhouse designers and clever web developers and I’m the liaison between them and the clients.
“It’s about finding out what their marketing challenges are and how we can help them. We do a lot of website work. Lots these rural businesses set up websites in the late 90s early 2000s and then sort of forgot about them and they don’t have that mobile optimization any more, which is so crucial in today’s mobile world.
“I also do lots of social media management and Google Adword campaigns, so it’s really varied which keeps it interesting.”
Katie studied Marketing, Psychology and Food Science at Otago University.
“It was quite a mixture. I’m really into research, the consumer behaviour and the psychology in marketing is my real passion. I like to figure out why people are buying what they buy,” she said.
Before her role at Artikel & Swint, Katie worked for Colmar Brunton giving her a good base of knowledge in market research. She then went overseas with her partner Evan Buckthought.
“We went away to do an OE in England and we quickly realised that England was quite similar to New Zealand, but we didn’t have our friends and family around.
“We weren’t right in London, we were about two and a half hours south west in a place called Salisbury, so we didn’t really get that London experience. But we stuck it out in England for eight months and then went to France and became chalet hosts for five months – cooking, cleaning, and running around after British ski bunnies! It was really awesome.
“We went on to do 10 months overland backpacking. We started in Turkey and worked our way up the eastern side of Europe all the way to Sweden, across to Norway and then back down to Spain.
“We saw a lot in 10 months and came home with very empty pockets, but very full travel diaries. It was very cool.”
After the experience of a lifetime, Katie seemed to just fall into her role at Artikel & Swint.
“I don’t really know what got me into marketing, but I’m still here and I enjoy it!”
When Evan was offered a role in the Waikato she was keen to keep her job, regardless of having to move islands.
“Nick [Katies boss] found Soda on TradeMe and because he knew I was going to be up here on my own he thought it would be too hard to work from home, and I 100 percent agree. Nick wanted me to be able to go into an office so I could really focus on my work, during work time.
“I think Soda is amazing. It’s an amazing location, I walk to work every day which is awesome, it’s just so central to everything.
“I’m happy that I get to do what I want to do even though I moved up here to follow my partner – he had a great job opportunity, but I still got to keep my job.
“I’m loving Hamilton and I’m loving Soda. It’s a super inclusive environment and everyone is really lovely, it works really well for me,” she said.