Leaders in Conversation with Anni Townend

Anni Townend in conversation with Annabel Venner, Marketing Consultant

April 28, 2021 Annabel Venner Episode 18
Leaders in Conversation with Anni Townend
Anni Townend in conversation with Annabel Venner, Marketing Consultant
Show Notes

The power of vulnerability and open conversations with Annabel Venner

The latest guest on the Leaders in conversation podcast is Annabel Venner, an expert Marketing Consultant and Chair of The Marketing Society Fellow.

Having carved a successful 25+ year career in marketing, Annabel has worked for well known brands including Coca Cola and Hiscox before more recently moving into consultancy. Anni and Annabel became acquainted through the Marketing Leaders Programme, a joint venture between The Marketing Society and Accenture Interactive, of which Annabel is a regular speaker.

In this incredibly open conversation, Annabel talks about both her personal and professional experiences, including highs and lows, love and loss, and all that’s shaped her in between. 

Looking back to her early experiences, she explains how growing up on a farm in Kent with her parents and two sisters gave her the opportunity from a young age to experience risk taking, for example learning to drive a tractor or operating farm machinery. 

An openness to risk is something that has motivated her professionally since. That’s why when offered the opportunity to work in Asia for three months, both Annabel and her husband agreed she should absolutely do it - challenging the archetypal gender roles in the family. For both partners, the period was a success. Annabel further evolved her marketing skill set and presented her children with a positive woman role model, while her husband cared for and nurtured them.

Annabel reveals how observing her own father as someone who helped those around him in the family and the community, sparked her passion for wanting to support others. As well as being a Marketing Consultant, she is a committed mentor and advocate of the marketing profession, seeking to help those early in their marketing career through various initiatives.


The power of vulnerability

Annabel opens up about bereavement, having tragically lost her husband to cancer in summer  2020 and more recently her mother too. She reflects on the importance of community and how those near to her provided an invaluable support network through such difficult times. She also shares how bereavement helped her to gain power through vulnerability, connecting to her emotions and self. 

Through loss, Annabel began to reevaluate the things that matter and she has learned to tune in to what she enjoys, which is why she has stepped more into the mentoring and charity work. And of course, caring for an allotment with her two teenage boys.

Listen to the full episode to discover:

  • The process of bereavement, loss and adapting 
  • Learning how to grow through vulnerability and why Annabel is teaching her sons about the value of vulnerability and emotions 
  • The importance of open conversations whether around the dinner table or having tough conversations in the boardroom
  • Challenging gender stereotypes and embracing the role as the ‘breadwinner’ as a woman in business
  • Why leaders need to create safe environments where people feel empowered to take risks
  • Her career inspiration and aspirations and reconnecting to what matters


Annabel also offers three pieces of advice for other leaders:

  1. Embrace risks or at least take hold of opportunities 
  2. Don't be defined by your professional life and your job - really understand the bigger side of who you are
  3. Bring your whole self and be vulnerable 



Discover more and connect with Annabel

To find out more about Annabel’s work Consulting, Mentoring and Speaking visit  www.annabelvenner.com or get in touch with via email: [email protected]