Q&A Debbie Clare, Head of Marketing at AEC

Written by: Marketing Week
Published on: 24 Oct 2016


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AEC are a leading independent health, safety, environmental and risk management consultant operating worldwide.  With a reputation based upon delivering great service and ensuring our customers are well prepared for the legal and compliance aspects of business, we stand by our strong values of honesty and integrity within this very important area.

AEC work within the area of consultancy for asbestos, Legionella and water hygiene, occupational hygiene, fire safety and high level health and safety auditing.  In addition, we are the UK’s largest provider of training within this industry.

Debbie Clare

Marketing Week asks Debbie what is it like to work for the 19-year-old business.

Marketing Week (MW): What attracted you to work at AEC?

I’ve worked with the business for 15 years and I’m still learning and developing today.  The marketing role I undertook also allowed me to get very close to our customers and our sales team, for a marketing professional this allowed me to connect in a stronger way.  

It’s been a great experience to see the business grow and we are always looking forward to the next phase of our development.  Although we are legislative / technical business, we have such a lot to say and give to our customers and as we provide a number of services, no two days are ever the same.

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MW: What’s unique about working in the marketing team at AEC?

DC:  As AEC are privately owned and a well established and growing business, the marketing professionals will have a great opportunity to bring their ideas to the marketing strategy and plan.  The marketing team will make a great difference to the business and will be actively encouraged to identify new markets / grow the business in key areas and provide opportunities for the business – everyone is accountable for delivering results.

Your own imagination is the only limit, we actively encourage you to be the best you can be. There is very little red tape in terms of putting forward good ideas and getting them implemented and it’s a pleasure to see them working and delivering good return on the time that has been invested.    

AEC are currently recruiting for two very special marketing professionals who really want to progress and grow with the business and the role.  The new marketing team will have a dedicated person to support activities within our Manchester office and also our London office.  Each office will have a dedicated person, with both people based in Manchester.  The marketing professional who is dedicated to London, will travel between our offices and will spend time each month at the London office, or visiting events / customers In the London area.

MW: How is marketing viewed across the business?

DC: The marketing team is a core part of the business and has a voice on the board of directors.  I work very closely with the marketing team to ensure that they are supported in their creative ideas and delivery and they also see the return on their investment.  The marketing team are encouraged to work closely with other key areas such as our sales teams, our management team and the technical site team to ensure that AEC continues to stay ahead as a strong leader in the market.


MW: Where is the business moving too over the short to medium term?

DC:  AEC has always been a growing business, but it really has never been a more exciting time to join the company.  We have so many things to share with our customers and are currently expanding a number of our services and focusing on growing our presence in the London area, including adding a brand-new asbestos in soils service.  The ability for a marketing professional to use all aspects of marketing to raise awareness of the business and engage with our customers will be a key part of the role.  

There are a number of key areas for growth within the immediate short term and a key area will be focused on our office in London where a dedicated marketing support will raise awareness of AEC within this region.
Another area that we will be focusing on is the growth of our training business, AEC has invested over three quarters of a million pounds to significantly increase our training facilities at our head office at Trafford Park, Manchester.

Our market leading new technical training facility is now under construction, and will effectively increase the size of our practical training facilities by a factor of six. This will house realistic training aids replicating the conditions that asbestos surveyors, air testers and general asbestos managers and workers will encounter when out in the field.

We’ll have facilities where delegates can interact with realistic domestic, commercial and industrial workplace environments.

From a marketing perspective, this facility will allow us to provide a great experience and discussion point with our customers.

MW: Do members of your marketing team work in other departments to gain an understanding of the wider business?

DC: All members of staff at AEC are given a dedicated training plan to ensure that they understand the technical and legislative aspects of the business and to understand why our customers need our services. 

Members of the marketing team will also spend time with key departments in the business to see how they can be a part of influencing their success.  As a training business, we also ensure that some of the theory behind our services and industry is delivered in a strong and

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MW: What career progression opportunities do you offer employees at AEC?

DC: AEC reward great performance, people are our greatest asset.  We encourage our staff to be the best they can be.  This is encouraged via training / line management support and appraisals.  We have many examples of great career success stories.

I personally, had 12 years marketing experience before joining the business and my first role was within a sales and marketing role.  I quickly learnt that the opportunities to succeed and grow within the business were available and I was promoted to a manager within the first few years and then became a member of the director team in 2008, responsible for sales, marketing.  My role remains similar to this today and I also look after the resourcing side of the business with the management team in place.  I continue to develop and be challenged within the role and my mantra has always been, if you want something, you can achieve this.  AEC as a growing independent health, safety, environmental and risk management consultant can offer this.

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