Ebony de Thierry profile web

Ebony de Thierry

Master of Management Studies

Global Director of Growth Marketing at Les Mills International

Auckland, New Zealand

Ebony de Thierry profile web

From humble beginnings, Ebony de Thierry (Ngāpuhi, Pākehā) has worked hard to forge a successful business career at Les Mills International.

Recently promoted to Global Director of Growth Marketing, Ebony’s role involves leading the company’s acquisition strategy and digital media channels across 110 countries.

"Digital marketing is massive at the moment; there are always new ideas and initiatives to try out, because the digital space is constantly evolving. I really enjoy the variety of my job and the fact that I’m constantly learning,” she says.

Raised in a single-parent household and the only one in her high school year to go to university, Ebony wanted to study somewhere that made her feel safe and comfortable.

“I wanted to be a business woman, but I didn’t know what that meant, nor had any role models in my life to guide me,” she says.

Aware of its great reputation, Ebony decided to enrol in a bachelor's degree at Waikato Management School (WMS), feeling “scared and alone but hungry for success”.

“I think WMS set me up for some incredible growth as a person. Whether it’s meeting my best friend or being pushed right outside my comfort zone, I don’t think I would be the person I am today without WMS.”

“My degree definitely set me up with the skills and expertise I’ve needed to forge my marketing career. My biggest learning experience, however, was understanding who I was as a person and building the confidence to make my way in the business world.”

Ebony says the relationships she made through the Māori management student club, Te Ranga Ngaku, and the Māori mentors were key to her personal development.

She wanted to give herself a point of difference in the competitive job market by completing a Master of Management Studies (MMS) specialising in Marketing.

A highlight of her studies was a two-week research trip to Canada - funded by a University of Waikato scholarship - where she met indigenous people from several Ottawa tribes.

“Prior to that I’d had minimal travel, but it really opened up my eyes. It was one of the big motivators for me to travel and see the world.”

The trip to Canada also inspired the topic of Ebony’s marketing thesis; looking at the relationship between material consumption for pleasure or social identity and the subjective life happiness of Māori millennials.

After graduating from her master’s degree with first class honours, Ebony began work as an advertising account manager at Bettle in Hamilton, developing multi-channel campaigns for clients. She then moved up to Auckland for a marketing executive role at Westpac, managing their website content and customer experience.

Keen to broaden her horizons, in late 2014 Ebony headed overseas to London to pursue her dreams of travelling the world. She became the digital marketing manager for Vitality UK, managing all aspects of their digital marketing strategy, website content and performance.

On her return to New Zealand in 2019, she was snapped up by Les Mills International as their performance marketing manager, and has since been promoted three times.

“Little did I know that during the Covid pandemic, demand for our at-home fitness app, Les Mills On Demand, would increase by 900 percent!”

Ebony de Thierry profile web

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