Having moved on from her role as General Manager of Restaurant Brands Ltd into the role of GM International at Tourism NZ, 2022 Marketer of the Year finalist Angela Blair reflects on her career thus far, what she’s learnt from working across iconic global brands and where to from here.
How did you feel when you found out you had been nominated?
New Zealand has an incredible pool of smart, creative and effective marketers so I was very honoured to be nominated for the Marketer of the Year Award.
Briefly, give details of your marketing career to this point?
Varied marketing career that covers both public and private sector with industries including retail, media, telecommunications and QSR. Most recent senior leadership roles have been leading marketing teams across B2B with Vodafone before transferring experience and skills across to a B2C role with Restaurant Brands.
Why do you love working for Restaurant Brands Limited New Zealand?
I love working on such iconic global brands in an organisation that is truly marketing led. The variety is incredible with every day being different, especially when you are working across four brands that are each at different stages of growth. In such a fast paced environment you also get to see in almost real time the impact of many of our marketing initiatives.
What do you love about marketing? Is there a specific type of marketing you particularly enjoy, or specialise in, and why?
Throughout my career I have enjoyed working across all marketing disciplines but central to all of my roles has been my love of understanding the customer and the variety of opportunities you then have to engage with them. I believe there has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing and currently I am really enjoy exploring the opportunities relating to digital experiences and personalisation.
What do you think it takes to be an award-winning marketer?
Firstly a clear vision and well-articulated strategic approach with an ability to make the difficult decisions on what NOT to do. Additionally, you need to be a motivational leader who is able to inspire teams to not only execute to a high level but also to continually challenge themselves, and be curious about new approaches.
What do you think has been your most significant achievement throughout your career?
The work I am most proud of is leading the globally recognised turnaround of Pizza Hut New Zealand. By focusing activity around ensuring the Pizza Hut brand was RED (Relevant, Easy and Distinctive) we were able to deliver outstanding growth across sales, brand and customer metrics. The work was also recognised with regional awards for top sales performance and a Global Marketing award.
What are some of the biggest challenges you as a marketer face working within the industry that you do?
I think all senior marketers are facing similar challenges with the key one being recruitment of great talent. It’s important that we ensure we have a strong pool of young talent coming through but also that we encourage diversity that better matches our changing population.
Tell me about a marketing initiative you have recently worked on that has realised great success, and why you think it has done so?
We recently completed the gamification of the 6&Shout cricket activation for KFC. In the first year this was very successful activated at live games due to it centring on a key moment, the six being hit, that engaged the in stadium audience as well as the commentators, networks and AV audience. With a change in how people engaged with sport both live and online as well as the risk of audience free games due to Covid we looked to recreate the excitement through a digital channel. The engagement and app downloads far exceeded targets, with the success attributed to the wider reach of the digital version reaching casual fans through to fanatics. As the same time the focus remained on the key moment and retained the reward for a customer who could personalise this through selecting the zone themselves.
Where do you see your career headed in the next 5-10 years?
My philosophy relating to career is simply to always be moving forward, continually learning and challenging myself. I’ve always enjoyed being a part of teams and organisations that are facing significant change or disruption.