Drawing on her experience in the food industry, Angela Irwin, General Manager Marketing and Communications for Tegel Foods Ltd, finalist for Marketer of the Year at 2022 TVNZ – NZ Marketing Awards says shares how marketing allows her to unleash her creative side while also enjoying the thrill of strategising.
How did you feel when you found out you had been nominated?
Surprised was my first reaction, and a bit chuffed that someone thought my work worthy of recognition. I was also slightly horrified at the thought of having to talk myself up!
Briefly, give details of your marketing career to this point.
I started in food and most of my career has involved food, from hands on product development to pack design and communications for food products. I worked in Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) for many years at McDonald’s and then Burger King, had brief stints in other retail with Noel Leeming and Farmers and while I enjoyed aspects of those roles I was drawn back to food with Tegel.
Why do you love working for Tegel NZ?
We get to do everything. Nothing comes to us from parent companies or overseas markets. We are responsible from strategy to implementation and all steps in between. And it’s a great bunch of people. We’ve worked through some challenges over the last few years and it’s a complicated business so success doesn’t come without a lot of co-operation across departments.
What do you love about marketing? Is there a specific type of marketing you particularly enjoy, or specialise in, and why?
I’m a bit of a wannabe creative so I love anything to do with design or creative and working with our agencies on advertising development. I really enjoy the strategic planning process and developing the future direction of our brands.
What do you think it takes to be an award-winning marketer?
I don’t really know. Being a good strategic thinker, having a vision for the future? I also think a great deal of patience and persistence. I don’t think one good campaign makes a great marketer, I think the ability to continuously improve on the last great product, the last piece of great advertising is what makes you better as a marketer.
What do you think has been your most significant achievement throughout your career?
I feel very lucky to have worked with some amazing brands in New Zealand and I’ve taken away something I’m proud of from all of them.
What are some of the biggest challenges you as a marketer face working within the industry that you do?
Working with a live animal comes with a raft of challenges not experienced by other FMCG businesses but from an FMCG perspective, we have to ensure we are aligned with our customers strategies, that what we are delivering is also going to help them grow their categories.
Tell me about a marketing initiative you have recently worked on that has realised great success, and why you think it has done so?
The launch of Tegel Take Outs premium range in 2020 has been a phenomenal success for Tegel. It came from an insight around New Zealanders love of fried chicken, involved new technology to allow product development team to deliver an exceptional product and it made that “fakeaway” experience at home truly authentic at a time when many of us were not able to leave the house. The sub brand now has six Stock Keeping Units (SKU) in the top 10 in the category and has grown at 33 percent latest Moving Annual Total (MAT).
Where do you see your career headed in the next 5-10 years?
I am loving what I am doing right now and see so much opportunity still for poultry in New Zealand and Internationally. My focus is on bringing the great plans the team have put together to fruition. I also want to keep learning, particularly in the media space which is changing so rapidly with technology.