Written by Teresa Zawieja, Social Media Executive
The Royal Mint is not all about coins.
The interview with Carly O’Donnell, the Head of Marketing Communications at The Royal Mint, is part of Marketing Hero Wales. It’s a series of interviews presented by The Cusp on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing from a Welsh perspective, take a look at our LinkedIn profile and watch other MHW videos.
What’s the biggest success in your career?
It changed over the years. However, for now, it’s definitely the unveiling of the first portrait of King Charles III. It was something huge as it’s never happened in the last seventy years. There was a lot of pressure, especially in being respectful to both the Queen and the King. It turned out to be a great achievement, and the response from the media was unbelievable.
Were there any challenging moments throughout the years? How did you overcome them?
Working for Virgin Atlantic definitely wasn’t a strong point in my career. Even though my social media posts presented a very luxurious life, I wasn’t very happy with my personal life. It then affected my position as well, and now I feel like I wasn’t the best manager. I turned down a promotion offer, left London and felt that everything was failing. However, now looking at that “it was the best decision I’ve ever made”.
It takes a lot of courage to admit that. However, now in the Royal Mint you seem like you are doing a great job. What is it to work for a company with such a great heritage and significance?
There’s definitely a weight of responsibility. However, it’s quite different from previous companies that I’ve worked for. EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic are quite established organisations and you don’t shape their brands that much. Obviously, with the Royal Mint, people have some kind of perception of what we do. However, making coins is only 5% of our business. We also produce collectible coins, jewellery, and are involved in gold investments and auctions. We also are currently working on taking the gold back from electronics, rather than mining it from the ground.
How do you tell the story of the Royal Mint in a cohesive way?
It’s a challenging task. As I said, there’s already some kind of connotation that our company has. It does not always precisely portray who we are now. There’s focus on rebranding by presenting particular divisions of our business and putting more spotlight on the gold and silver, rather than coins. Another feature we use in our marketing is our britishness. Especially when targeting the USA customers, who often associate the UK with premium companies. Moreover, we also aim to develop the business in the country, by supporting local manufacturers.
Even the Royal Mint has to change?
Definitely. The last five years are a time of fast paced change. If we didn’t decide to take that path, we wouldn’t see those enormous profits that we registered this and last year.
Story telling seems like a big part of the Royal Mint’s marketing. Do you think AI is any kind of danger when it comes to writing skills?
As someone who works in marketing, I think we all like those new, shiny things. However, sometimes we need to take a step back and evaluate if it is good for the company and the customers. It is the same with the AI. It can definitely be a good tool to improve writing skills, but it will probably never replace this emotional intelligence that people can convey.
How do you use innovation, from the channel perspective? How do you incorporate them with the legacy?
Nowadays not using technology in marketing is not the greatest move. You need to adopt it, and look at what Google and Meta are doing. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind. It can be challenging, but you shouldn’t be afraid to take some risks.
What is the marketing tip you could give to everybody?
Know your value and what you are bringing. Constantly check your skills, develop them by discussing with people what is happening in the business. This is something that you can take with yourself for another role.
The full interview is available to watch on our LinkedIn profile. We hope you enjoyed it and learnt something from Carly O’Donnell from the Royal Mint. We would like to leave you with very important lesson from our guest:
“Leaving London felt like failing. Leaving this big glamorous job felt like failing. But I wasn’t happy, so I had to make that change. And honestly it was the best thing I’ve ever done.”