Interview | 16 Aug 2017

Mark Terry-Lush on innovation & building Chinese super brands

Posted in Industry news, Top tips, Tools & Advice, Motivation & inspiration, Interview, Client,

Mark Terry-Lush, Co-Founder and MD of The Honey Partnership,a social-led, China-inspired marketing services agency,  shares his industry insights and career moves. They have a reputation of making super brands while helping them seize opportunities to grow and globalise.

In our quick fire industry insights series, Alice Weightman, the CEO and Founder of The Work Crowd, asked Mark to share the secret to his success, what changes he predicts as well as the opportunities for the PR and Communications industry.

View the entire interview below: 

Talking about his career, Mark accredits his success to a number of defining career moves and a culmination of experience gained across digital, social, advertising, PR and experiential. This has given him both the expertise and foresight to build a truly integrated and global agency.

‘There are probably two or three defining moments that really got me to where I am today. The first was working for The Internet Advertising Bureau. Through osmosis, I learned about search, social and internet advertising, which gave me a great grounding in digital.’

'I took this to my PR business and we created an integrated PR, Social and Experiential agency.’

Working with international ad agencies and a trip to Beijing after winning his first Chinese client expanded Mark's horizon completely. These experiences inspired him in incredible ways.

'The second defining moment was working with some international ad agencies on some big-ticket pan-European ad campaigns for TV and the press. '

'Before they were doing any kind of social or digital work, they wanted PR and experiential to amplify their campaigns. I was then catapulted into a world of borderless communications and putting together teams to work across Europe. It was fantastic'.

‘Lastly, in 2006 I won my first Chinese client and I went to Beijing. I was completely bowled over by the experience and inspired, helping this particular business promote itself in the West'.

'I took these experiences and put them together to create a new agency, The Honey Partnership, with my co-founders.’

Having been inspired by China’s acceleration with technology to build their own brands, Mark and The Honey Partnership have in the last year retained 28 Chinese clients, from start-ups to major global businesses, promoting them worldwide.

There is an incredible amount of consumer technology, innovation and entrepreneurship that’s happening in China right now. They are creating some of the next generation technologies that we’re all going to be using and integrating into our lives. They were once seen as copying the West, but now they are the innovators.’

‘Whilst they’re incredible at manufacturing, inventing and innovation, they have some challenges when it comes to brands and brand building. That’s where The Honey Partnership comes in. We’ve seized the opportunity, setting up offices in China and the US. We have particularly strong relationships in Shenzhen, the silicon valley of China.’

'We are also learning from the Chinese. They are so advanced at social media. Equally, we are learning from their way of working and how they communicate.’

As far as key changes in the communications industry go, Mark sees that “hybrid” employees are incredibly important for its future success. 

‘We can no longer just take people who are classic account directors or account managers who see outreach as the mainstay or other forms of consultancy. We need them to be social in their behaviour from the ground up. We are seeing this social behaviour with the younger generations, but it is much harder to find it at senior levels. Our challenge is recruiting senior people who are social at their core.’

Talking about how the people in the industry will develop in the future, Mark believes:

You’re going to see people who are real hybrids. They can do the PR, they can do the social, they can create content, they can create strategy, they can plan and can captivate the client with their creative ideas.’

This concludes the first series of our Industry Insights videos. Sign up for our monthly newsletter (on the form at the top left-hand side of this page) to keep updated with our future instalments.

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