Profile: Simon Sproule, director of marketing and global communications at Aston Martin Lagonda

Simon Sproule heads up the marketing and global communications for Aston Martin Lagonda. He will be making the keynote speech on 29th April at the PR360 event, about how the integration of marketing and communications is a benefit for businesses.

“At the age of eight I wrote a letter to put it into a time capsule at school" says Simon Sproule
“At the age of eight I wrote a letter to put it into a time capsule at school" says Simon Sproule
But how did he get where he is and was it his passion for cars or PR that has put him in the enviable job of promoting the car brand James Bond drives?

At the age of eight I wrote a letter to put into a time capsule at school. I wanted to be a foreign correspondent or an airline pilot..

Simon Sproule, director of marketing and global communications at Aston Martin Lagonda

Sproule says: "At the age of eight I wrote a letter to put into a time capsule at school.  When I went back 15 years later it turned out I wanted to be a foreign correspondent or an airline pilot. I loved the media from an early age, wanted to travel and I ended up bizarrely not so far off."
He is now director of marketing and global communications at Aston Martin, drives a V12 Vanquish and has worked for 17 years in some of the far flung places of the world, from Japan to the US, and working in comms for various motor companies.

I was going to motor shows as soon as I could walk.

 Simon Sproule, director of marketing and global communications at Aston Martin Lagonda
Sproule says: "I grew up in a family where my grandfather was in the motor business and I was going to motor shows as soon as I could walk."

This love of the motor industry saw him washing cars at college for money and even working as a car salesman after university, which he admits "was a bit of shock for everyone."

However, his move into communications was an accident after he answered a job advert looking for a researcher for a TV company.

"The primary role was working on Ford’s in-house TV network in the early 1990s, which was ahead of the curve. I spent all my time at Ford looking for stories for this TV channel."

It was two years later that he was offered a job as a press officer at the car company. 

Sproule says: "This was really before computers,  I was answering the phones and faxing stuff to journalists.  That was when I first became an on-the-record spokesman."

During his career, he spent three years at Jaguar Land Rover, 11 years at Nissan in various roles and short stints at both Microsoft and Tesla Motors before joining Aston Martin Lagonda.

One of his career highlights was heading up global communications for Nissan in Japan during 2010.
 
He says: "The opportunity happened early in my career at 35 and it was a huge challenge as it was moving to Japan and working for a large multinational corporation. I was working for a charismatic leader in Carlos Ghosn. It was a massive turning point in my life both personally and professionally and I loved it. It was the first time I had global scope as I suddenly had to understand Indonesia, China, South American and Australia."

He is now the director of marketing and communications at Aston Martin Lagonda - the British car brand driven by James Bond and one of the most famous, as well as iconic, luxury brands.  

There are an awful lot of very rich people in the world.

Simon Sproule, director of marketing and global communications at Aston Martin Lagonda

The major challenge in his current role is to convert the brand profile and support growth of the company while protecting the exclusivity of the product. The brand sells to less than 1 per cent of the global population but, as Sproule admits, "there are an awful lot of very rich people in the world" and the target is to get Aston Martin on their radar.
He adds: "We have to appeal to more female buyers and more younger buyers. It is taking this 102-year old brand and ensuring it becomes relevant to a whole new generation of customers." 

A major push is to tackle the younger buyers of Aston Martin, who are now more likely to be in their 40s.
Sproule says: "Generation X is the first video game generation; this is the generation that grew up with punk and then emerged to new romantics and grew up in the 80s."

Sprouse operates an integrated marketing and communications team with the aim of achieving this strategy. 

This is the topic he will be talking about at the PR360 and something he would advise new people coming into the sector to consider.

He says: "I run integrated internal communications, external communications, marketing, social and digital. I would ask that people entering into corporate communications go into the business understanding the importance of integration. For this to work it requires a mind shift and teaching our young people not to think like marketeers or corporate communicators but to think in a multichannel way."

He believes the only thing stopping this strategy of integrated marketing and communications within businesses is internal politics.

Sproule adds: "You can still have specialists but it needs to be brought together under a holistic strategy that looks at the total communication picture."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in