Starting a new job always brings with it a whole new set of challenges: new processes, a new team and new objectives. It can take several weeks, if not months, to feel properly settled.

But when taking on a new role on an interim basis time is a luxury marketers don’t have. Whether brought in to drive strategic change or provide temporary cover, the one thing interim roles all have in common is a very definite end date. Any goals have to be met in the time frame required, so hitting the ground running is a prerequisite.

“You’ve got to expect the unexpected,” says Sam Bridger, who has been an interim marketer for more than a decade, working at brands including Whitbread Restaurants and Avios. “No matter what a brief looks like, inevitably you’ll get there and find things that will throw you off course, whether it’s internal politics, a change of strategy or a team where marketing is trying to do one thing and sales is trying to do something else.

“There will always be something that you’ll have to deal with, but you have to be mindful of the fact you’ve got a very short space of time in which to do it so you’ve got to focus on the objectives you’ve been given.”

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