Meet Cerri!

black and white image of woman with shoulder length hair

Here at Prospect 13, we pride ourselves in being a team that is passionate and proud of everything we do.

That’s why we think it’s about time you got to know the people who are at the heart of it all with a ‘meet the team series’.

You’ve met Lisa and Jen, now it’s time to meet Cerri McDonald, our Founder and Managing Director…

Tell us a bit about you?

I’m a 40 something, born and bred Aberdeen quine.  A family girl at heart, I have lived and worked in the Granite City all my life – my husband Graeme and I did consider working abroad in our earlier career years, but I didn’t want to leave my nearest and dearest.

Graeme and I were true childhood sweethearts and started seeing each other when I was just 15 years old… much to our two teenage daughters Becky and Katy’s surprise that Mum and Dad have been together since their age!

Following a 20-year career in marketing and communications, primarily in the energy sector, I started Prospect 13 when I was made redundant in August 2018. Today, I’m a proud business owner, in control of my own destiny, building a team of talented marketing professionals and doing what I love.

You’ve been in a ‘marketing’ role for over 20 years now, any advice to aspiring marketers?

Marketing today offers very different career opportunities compared to when I started to build my own experience and knowledge. The choices are vast, and you can specialise in some fast-changing fields that will always keep things interesting and fresh.

I believe in any job you are always learning, but in today’s digital marketing landscape in particular, learning is constant. For any fresh-faced marketer, it is vital to keep on top of the latest trends, technology, and solutions.

Also, you should always think like the customer. What do they want, need or desire? What problems do they face? How can your product or service help?

Lastly, never curb your creativity for anyone. Let the creative juices flow – always!

What’s your favourite memory with Prospect 13?

Wow, there have been so many memories, milestones and achievements that will always mean so much to me. But if I had to pick one, I would say when we hosted the Virtual New Day Awards Ceremony during lockdown in May 2020.

What started out as a small online vote to award and recognise some of the amazing community initiatives which were spearheaded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, turned into something special. I never quite expected the awards to gain such a huge level of interest, but the local community truly embraced it which was wonderful. We had an overwhelming response, with our online engagement reaching over 100,000 people.

Back then it was just me, Grace and Lisa, all working remotely from home during a time we would never have imagined would still be impacting our lives now. The business was growing fast, but between us, we worked so hard to pull it off as we all felt passionate about doing our own small bit.

The girls will tell you; I needed a good few prosecco’s before I went live for the first time on Facebook! I was petrified. But what a buzz when it was all over, and the positive energy and feedback received made it so worth it.

What’s been your biggest challenge at Prospect 13 so far?

There is no question – managing the speed of growth has been my biggest challenge to date. A nice challenge to have but it is not easy.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to yourself when Prospect 13 was just you and your laptop?

That’s a good question!

Like many new business owners, I didn’t think wide enough. There should be no boundaries, only opportunities when you are starting a new venture. If I could do it again, I would explore more and open my mind to think differently.

I would also remind myself to never under value my knowledge, expertise and skills.

What is something the team may not know about you?

I’m an open book so my team and anyone that spends time with me pretty much know all there is to know!

One thing that I do hold dear to my heart is that I keep in touch with my Primary 2 teacher. When I was six years old, we moved house and because my teacher had a soft spot for me, she was a little upset I was leaving.  Once we were settled in our new home, my Mum encouraged me to write to Mrs Gordon (now Mrs Dunsdon) to let her know how my new school was.  We have been writing an annual letter at Christmas ever since.

Mrs Dunsdon or Morag as I now call her, formed a big part of my ambition as I always strive to have something exciting or an achievement to share with her and this has been going on for more than 30 years! Morag attended our wedding; we write birthday and Christmas cards and send gifts for special occasions.  It is a unique relationship, and I am very thankful to my Mum who made it happen all those years ago.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

As I said in an earlier question, family is everything to me. Any downtime I have I spend it with them. I love lazy weekends, walking by the coast, then home to watch movies or read a good book snuggled on the sofa.  But on the flip side, I was a raver in my younger days, so I do love getting with friends to party and lose myself in the music of our youth! So, it just depends on my mood!

Everyone in our wider family appreciate good food so we also enjoy eating out together and trying new restaurants.  Equally, I love cooking and entertaining, so we often have family and friends round to sample new dishes and cocktails – I have quite the gin collection!

What are your future goals with Prospect 13?

Prospect 13 has grown quickly in the last two years, and we have been very focused on strengthening our team to continue delivering a quality marketing support service to our diverse, growing client base. This year we are going to spend some time re-positioning our own brand – we do it every day for our customers, but we are always at the bottom of the list!

Prospect 13 is a very different business today from Cerri at her kitchen table with a laptop back in 2018 so it’s time for us to ensure we are marketing ourselves effectively as well as our clients. I would also like to continue increasing our human connections as I believe real relationships with customers, suppliers, media, influencers, prospects, and young professionals are vital for us to stay at the top of our game.