Q&A with Helena O’Dowd: Director of Growth and Retention, Marketing

Helena shares some insights about her role, working at Nine and the road ahead.

Tell us about your role and what it entails?

The role as Director of Growth & Retention is a newly created role that spans all of Nine, responsible for working closely with the marketing teams to identify ways to drive growth (and retention) strategies across Product & Technology, Media Efficiencies, Measurement tools as well as partnerships, and big ideas.

What does an average day in your role look like?

What I love about the role is the variety and the broad cross-section of people I get to work with each day. The workday can consist of receiving briefs that come in from the Group into the Media & Partnerships team to work on their next marketing campaign, to working with Domain that is cross-sectional with sales and agency, to ways of working with external partners such as the NRL and giving back through Nine’s social impact programs.

What excites you about working at Nine?

I’m very proud to be working for Australia’s largest locally-owned media company. I get excited about the incredibly smart and passionate people I get to work with each day. I also get excited when I think about the role we play in the lives of people and the responsibility we take in ensuring our content is accurate, fair, real and entertaining.

I also really enjoy the volunteer work that I do with Two Good Co. Nine supports their work program, where mentors from Nine support women who are entering the workforce after a period of homelessness, trauma or domestic violence. The time I offer to the program gives me a great sense of achievement and helps me to realise that the issues I deal with each day are often not as complex as they need to be. 

What is one of the craziest or most exciting things you have done at work?

Many may not know this is my second time at Nine. One of the most exciting things I did the first time was helping to launch 9GO! 9Networks first multi-channel. It was a moment in time to reach a much younger, youthful audience using the show Vampire Diaries as the launch program. A lot has changed since then. Outside of Nine, convincing my client at KFC that the most valuable asset they could own was the NRL video board. The deal was negotiated almost 10 years ago, and it’s still going strong!

What is one of the best pieces of advice you have received?

Oh I’ve received so many along the way. The one that sticks with me most was from my late father – he said ‘don’t expect a thanks, but if you F**K it up, you’ll be told, so if you hear nothing, have the confidence in yourself you are doing an ok job.’ In an industry that is fast paced and busy, this has helped me just get on with it and not wait for praise – although who doesn’t love a thanks. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Less going out and more sleep / exercise!

What is an unknown fact/skill about you?

When I find the time, I play the piano. 

Outside of the office, what are your hobbies and passions?

Cooking, Travelling, Music and most importantly, spending time with my family

What do you aim to achieve with your team within the next 12 months?

If we can be well on our way to supporting the wider marketing team(s) with improved product & technology martech capability, setting ourselves goals to deliver better collaborative thinking that drive improved business results with a team in tow that is motivated and driven for success – I’ll be stoked!

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