The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North

Meet The Business Guru Training The Next Generation of Marketers in The North East

Lisa Eaton
March 2024
Reading time 4 Minutes

Living North meet Newcastle-based marketing powerhouse Lisa Eaton

Lisa has established Fabric Academy, a learning platform that teaches those in the indusrty how to build a marketing strategy from the ground up.

Now a leading figure for marketing in the North East and beyond, Lisa has had a long and successful career. ‘I have been in marketing for 20 plus years. Ten years ago I set up my own marketing agency which was very focused on building marketing strategies. That was kind of our niche area,’ she explains. One of the primary barriers she faced when trying to grow was a lack of strategic marketing talent in the area. ‘So I started doing a bit of a research project around what academia was teaching in marketing and what our industry leading bodies were teaching. I realised that the marketing curriculum was very out-of-date and really misaligned with what the industry needed in order for marketers to succeed.’

Lisa wasted no time in addressing this. ‘In 2020, I decided that we would fill this skills-gap by building a training academy. Initially, the academy was for the agency. It was a talent pipeline into the agency. But we recognised really early that there was a huge gap in the market for this skillset, not even just UK-wide but globally, and so we built Fabric into an online training platform.’

Read More: Meet Barnsley-Born Ballet Dancer, Tala Lee-Turton

Getting the academy running was no small feat, and Lisa worked tirelessly to make it the success it has become. ‘It wasn’t my first business, so I had a good grasp of taking an idea from concept stages into reality, but there was obviously a huge part of building a tech business that I hadn’t been through before,’ she explains. ‘There was a huge amount of work that went into building the technology for the learning platform, a huge amount of work that went into building the content, the actual product itself, the training program and of course we had to build a brand and a website and all of the marketing collateral to support the product market launch. So it was a full-on year, that first year, and there was me and one other person. We were a tiny team because the business was bootstrapped for all of the time that we did that.’

Since its launch, Fabric Academy has gone from strength to strength. Initially, it was aimed directly at marketers, but soon large businesses began to take note of its benefits. ‘We started to get a lot of interest from businesses and we realised our route to scale was business-to-business,’ Lisa explains. ‘So the business pays for the academy, everything from one or two learners to full entire marketing teams. We teach them how to build marketing strategies from the ground up and then we support that with coaching, mentoring, monthly master classes and additional learning from there.

‘So marketers go through the programme and we teach them to build a strategy and they physically build a live strategy for the organisation they’re in whilst they’re on the programme with us. We coach them and assess them (they submit to us three times throughout the programme so they can’t go wrong), and the business is then gaining a really valuable piece of work at the end of it, and we give our marketers all the tools, the templates and the frameworks that they’ll need. They have these skills that they can apply over and over again in the business as maybe a new product launches or a new geographical area becomes a target – anything the business wants to achieve really.’

‘We give our marketers all the tools,
the templates and the frameworks that they’ll need’

For Lisa, staying in the North East means a lot. ‘I’ve always been in Newcastle, I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve had all of my businesses in Newcastle,’ she says. ‘I have a really strong business network here in the North East and I genuinely think it’s an amazing place to build businesses because we now have global connections at our fingertips and the talent from our local universities is exceptional. As I say, support from the business community that we have up here in the North East is amazing, so it was always the only choice for me to build a business here.’

Drawing on her years in the industry, Lisa has wise advice for young women just getting started. ‘Be brave and be bold. Go out and look for the jobs that are your dream job and even if they’re not recruiting at the time or you can’t see any recruitment, find creative ways to get in touch and make yourself visible to them,’ she says. ‘Most of my top hires that have worked out to be star employees have been individuals who approached me when we weren’t actively looking for people. They just caught my attention and I knew they were great and so made a role for them. Don’t think if there’s not a recruitment strategy out there that people won’t consider you.’

Quick-Fire Questions

What can you not live without?
Yoga, daily walks, reading a great book, red wine and my family.

Do you have a hidden gem in the area?
I love the Simonside Hills and Rothbury, or spending time at the Northumberland coast.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Get a coach or mentor as early as possible. Travel everywhere possible before having kids!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.