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The Rapport Report
Welcoming Fiona Proudler as an Advisor to Rapport
We’ve recently added to our Advisory Board again, and are beyond excited to welcome Fiona Proudler to the team. Fiona is a veteran agency marketer with over three decades of experience in marketing and digital advertising for an array of UK and international brands, and most recently served as CEO of AmazeRealise (now Kin + Carta Connect), which reached £35MM ARR under her leadership, with over 350 team members in five cities, including the U.S. No small feat. But have one conversation with her, and you quickly realize what she might be most proud of is being Glaswegian! Regardless of what city has her loyalty, Fiona understands the crucial building blocks needed for a business to grow and succeed. Her experience covers every sector from tech to retail, ecommerce to beverages, and media to sport. In January she decided to pay that knowledge forward by launching her own consulting practice and also serves as a Virtual Brand Marketing Director™ for leading brand agency Tayburn.
We’re incredibly lucky to have someone with such extensive experience on board to help us take Rapport to its next stage, and she’ll be providing invaluable insights to our Executive Team. Here are some welcoming words from our CEO and CFO:
“Bringing on Fiona is really fleshing out the leadership team to support our phenomenal growth. Her digital agency background and experience in sales and marketing is already making a positive impact with the team and our customers.” - Gregor Hofer, CEO
“Fiona brings a cocktail of gravitas, energy, and insight to our business, which is rooted in her stellar career in building, selling, and growing digital solutions. More than that she makes hard work fun and has already generated a creative buzz amongst the colleagues she has been working with.” - Alan Murray, CFO
Similar to our last advisor announcement we wanted to get Fiona’s take on why she’s excited about what we’re working on at Rapport, our Speech Graphics technology, her insights on business and marketing, and COVID-19’s impact on the future of AI and use of avatars. Fiona, welcome to the team!
You recently made a switch to advising and consulting. What excites you most about being an Advisor? And in your opinion, what makes a great advisor?
You get to my age, and you realize you have a lot of experience, and you want to share it. You don’t want people going through some of the pain and heartaches you have! For me the only good advisor is one who delivers proper honest truths alongside pragmatic affordable solutions. I struggle a bit not to want to jump in and do the work too–I need to learn that the best advisor imparts the guidance and empowers the recipient to run with it.
You mentioned in an interview that as you get older, you're more selective about how you're spending your time and who you're giving your time to. What was it about Rapport you found compelling and worthy of your time?
No surprises, my decision came down to the people, the fit. I was lucky enough to instantly connect with Alan as CFO and feel we were like-minded. The more I started to interact with the rest of the team, it felt like a new work family I could make a difference to. The fact that it was in an industry I am comfortable and experienced in (tech) made it an easy decision.
What excites you the most about this industry as a whole? What will it look like in the next year? The next 5 years?
The pressure. I love that you’re in a race to be first, best, and biggest all the time. That it’s changing so fast there is no room for complacency. That it demands excellence at every turn–strategically and creatively, and in delivery. And it is packed full of the brightest talent I’ve ever come across. I wish I could tell you what it will look like in the years ahead. Best answer is to say–different, of course! You need to expect the unexpected.
In your opinion, how has COVID impacted how we might see AI or the use of avatars implemented in everyday business?
COVID has simply made us more comfortable using technology (the internet) for everything–removing our human interactions because we couldn’t be together due to the social distancing and lock down regulations. This means we’re more open to interacting in every way with technology, which presents great opportunities for business/brands to accelerate their use of AI/avatars in customer servicing.
With your extensive executive background and marketing experience, what are the top three mistakes you see companies make when it comes to brand?
These are three I often see:
- Thinking that brand is a logo or a strapline.
- Seeing marketing and digital as two separate disciplines.
- Focusing marketing efforts on doing lots of activities as opposed to the right (fewer number) of brilliant activities.
Fun Question we ask everyone: What's your favorite animated film?
Shrek. After all I’ve a character named after me. And I don’t mean Donkey.