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Drew Campbell: Thinking Outside The Pizza Box

03/24/2016 10:26 EDT | Updated 03/25/2017 05:12 EDT

Over the past few weeks, I have been introducing you to some trailblazing professionals, in my ongoing effort to change the perception of the word "millennial." These six adventurers, ground breakers and revolutionaries are changing their industries with their unique views as young professionals. Last week, you met Kendra Nicholson, the "fairy beer mother," and this week, I have the pleasure to introduce....

drew campbell

Meet Drew Campbell

Marketing Manager of Digital, at Boston Pizza International

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_drewcampbell

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/campbelldrew

Drew is in one of the toughest and fastest growing jobs out there -- digital marketing. His work with Boston Pizza has been seen worldwide -- with memorable campaigns like the Pizza Game Changers (which showcased prototypes for 8 Boston Pizza innovations) and The Trophy Model spots. But it's his innovative, creative and "outside the pizza box" marketing style that have helped him stand out from the crowd.

Caitie Drewery: What was your journey to get where you are today?

Drew Campbell: I had zero intentions of getting into marketing. There I said it. Unlike the impressive, proactive business grads that roam the halls of countless universities across Canada, competing in various industry competitions and networking early career leads, I had no plans to spend my early post-university days cranking out briefs or scouring industry trade magazines for brand mentions. 

When a short-term opportunity presented itself to participate on an experiential team at FUSE Marketing Group, my adult-self convinced me to take the chance for the increased "experience." After four years, I decided to make the unpopular agency move and "sell my soul" to the client side in order to learn more about the realities of the corporate world.

CD: Do you feel like you have had an advantage being a millennial in the marketing industry?

DC: Absolutely. The restaurant category isn't known as a technology pioneer in the marketing space, but tends to be fast followers on several trends and opportunities. Millennials in every industry have been great at encouraging countless established brands to consider new ways of doing things while driving profitability. Within Boston Pizza, a millennial's value is in provoking new thinking, but also acting as the voice of our millions of millennial guests.

CD: One of the things I hated most when I was first starting out was networking. But it's such a valuable way to make contacts and learn about industries. How can someone rock a network event?

DC: Don't be "that guy/girl" at every networking event who talks about how many Twitter followers you have. For that matter, don't be the one who is on Twitter throughout the entirety of those same events.

And network down. Even though you think that you've only been in the industry for a month, there's someone that's only been in it for one day and would like to meet you. If you've ever been lucky to be given a good piece of career advice, pay it forward to someone else. Each month, I meet with one person who is early on in their career. It's a habit that I noticed a few of my successful 'leaders' did in their past and those conversations tend to be mutually beneficial in terms of great networking, coaching and professional development.

CD: And what advice would you give to me if we met at a networking event and I was looking to get my foot in the marketing door?

DC: To get into the industry, get creative. You aren't going to stand out by applying with the 200 other applicants via a LinkedIn submission. Don't set your sights on meeting the CEO, but look for junior-mid level team members and ask to meet them. There are great new resources (ie. like my friend Dave Wilkin and his organization, 10,000 coffees) that make meeting professionals, peers, etc. significantly easier. It's about being creative. And it's okay not to know everything, but you just need to do something to stand out. Your personality and culture fitting within an organization is just as important as what you know.

CD: What does the word "millennial" mean to you?

DC: The perception is that millennials are entitled, distracted narcissists and not motivated by a corporate dollar. It is an entirely exaggerated stereotype. Just as the cast of Happy Days or Family Ties didn't speak for the generation of our directors or VPs, the cast of Silicon Valley or Suits aren't authentic voices of this generation.

Like the new kid on the block, Millennials need to acknowledge the bizarre stereotypes about them in order to be more graciously welcomed by their peers. Don't like the tedious formalities of a task? Use that millennial spirit to develop a more efficient way to do it... Don't want to be known as lazy and unreliable? Suck it up and be the first one in every morning... Don't want to be known as selfish? Make sure your annual goals include a communicated benefit to the organization.

  

CD: A few years ago, you went to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Was that as amazing as it sounds?

DC: The practical side of me would say that it was an unrivaled unique experience in the South of France in late June where Rosé flows like water while million dollar yachts shepherd billion dollar clients across the horizon. However, the obnoxious, adult side of me would say that it was an incredible, inspiring professional experience of witnessing the "best in class" marketing/advertising professionals. Any confidence over writing a witty subject line, social post, etc. from a piece of creative back home was replaced with the reality that you're a small fish in a big pond of funnier, more creative, more athletic, better partying fish. It was a motivating experience and considerably increased my vision of where a person's career could go down the road.

CD: What are the best pieces of advice about marketing you have ever received?

DC: Stephen Brown -- President of FUSE Marketing Group -- "Being a good leader is like throwing a good party - the right people, right environment, right chemistry... and right music. You're responsible to set up the scenario to make people their best."

Jim Treliving -- Co-Chairman of Boston Pizza / Dragon's Den cast -- "Be emotional about work, practical about money and instinctual about people."

CD: Bonus question -- what show are you binge watching right now?

DC: At the risk of poor taste, expectations for Season 2 of Narcos are extremely "high."

 

The Drew Campbell Crib Sheet -- My Top Takeaways

Drew's path certainly hasn't been linear, but his career journey mimics the journey a lot of us millennials have taken to find the right working environment. Being recruited for a job straight out of university simply doesn't happen anymore. You've got to be creative, forward-thinking and a bit of a networking genius. Drew has some great advice about how to get that first foot in the door, and then, how to stay there. Here's the four quotes that stuck out most to me:

"To get into the industry, get creative. You aren't going to stand out by applying with the 200 other applicants via a LinkedIn submission."

"Like the new kid on the block, Millennials need to acknowledge the bizarre stereotypes about them in order to be more graciously welcomed by their peers."

"Millennials in every industry have been great at encouraging countless established brands to consider new ways of doing things while driving profitability."

"If you've ever been lucky to be given a good piece of career advice, pay it forward to someone else."

Next time, meet a total mover and shaker in the nonprofit world -- Rudayna Bahubeshi. She's a world traveler, a leader, a political junkie and one of the most enthusiastic and driven women I have ever met. Discover how she got where she is today and how the heck she gets all of her energy and inspiration.

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