Marketing with a purpose

Sometimes, an introduction from someone you truly respect in your business network (Thank you, Ann-Marie) leads you on a journey to meet a person with whom you instantly connect. In the case of our newest Associate Director, Gillian Burgis-Smith, it was just that. While we share many values, mirrored upbringings, and aligned experiences of the built environment, we come from totally different directions to reach the same destination.

We focus on building the Built for Marketing team based on the criteria of “exemplary knowledge and experience.” We communicate to the built environment sector because we understand it through years, in some cases decades, of being within it. Our marketing and communications, both in the UK and Europe, have a purpose. The purpose is to guide clients to be the best they can be – technically, creatively, digitally, sustainably, and now, guided by Gillian, with a focus on neurodiversity and inclusivity.

Built for Marketing is building an outstanding community; we are so much more than solely a team.

“Marketing with a purpose” was Gillian’s four-word summary of how we will be working in partnership together. “Marketing with a purpose – the purpose of being, a personal story with a lasting legacy that relates to change, creativity, and community built with care and compassion” – Gillian Burgis-Smith.

Gillian’s Journey to here

Gillian’s motivation changed from wanting to make her adoptive parents proud and showing the boys at technical college that she wasn’t meant to be in the needlework class to convincing the local authority Chief Architect that she was capable of making the move from a clerical trainee to a technical assistant. Now, with over 30 years of international career experience, she has become a Principal Architect, strategist, and change agent. But, and it’s a big BUT!

It wasn’t until a change was forced upon her that she started to uncover the difference between motivation and purpose.

In 2019, Gillian had an unexpected stroke in the office and was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

From that moment on, day-to-day existence changed. She started to look for opportunities to blend craft, purpose, and passion.

This included looking at challenges too.

This became a mission to right missed opportunities through creating environments and experiences where everyone could reach their full potential. This continues to lead her to similar organizations and individuals with shared values, including Built for Marketing, IFIP (International Forum of Inclusion Practitioners), Neurodiversity in Business, Ability RE, and Citizens with Experience.

Having always been blessed with a growth mindset, but even more so now, it was linked with a sense of purpose. Like our brains, she realized that “our purpose in life” is as unique as our fingerprints.

“My recent path has been so rewarding, learning and living around neurodiversity, neurodegeneration, and neurodivergence. Looking at hypo and hypersensitivities across our nine senses and more recently, learning about two additional senses. Listening, researching, and sharing lived experiences and how these relate to the physical built environment – from people, products, processes, spaces, cultures, and our internal environment.”

For individuals, teams, and organisations looking for a purpose, you may want to ask yourself the following:

  1. What is my/our passion, and how can I/we pursue it?
  2. What brings joy and happiness?
  3. What do individuals, communities, and societies need that I’m/we’re good at or can become good at?
  4. What can I/we do to help others?
  5. How can I/we harness a growth mindset?

If you are looking at purpose in relation to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (visible and invisible) (IDEAs), or it’s an area you, your team, or your organisation wants to explore, then reach out directly to

We are offering work sessions and calling you to action, to find your drive and purpose, delivering on both ESG and CSR.

Philosophers have sought and debated “the purpose of life” for centuries. We explore action through an IDEA’s lens. What matters to both BFM and Gillian is co-creation with individuals, teams, and organizations to discover purpose and reach full potential as it relates to people, products, environments, and experiences.

To find out more about Gillian

Contact Gillian by email