TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2018: Rebecca Barnett goes from strength-to-strength to win Rookie Marketer of the Year

Rebecca Barnett always knew she had a future in the media and marketing industries. A keen squash player who grew up in the Hutt Valley, Barnett developed an interest in advertising early in life. The bright lights of television started to take her fancy in her teenage years and she became especially interested in pursuing a career in broadcasting. But after finishing school, a Bachelor of Marketing Communications at Massey University in Palmerston North beckoned and she hasn’t looked back.

Creative by nature, Barnett was drawn in by the creative side of the marketing industry, and she loves to see solid results from hard work. Only three years out from finishing her degree, she’s still finding new ways marketing can spark her interest.

“I love stuff you can see, so it’s great to see positive return-on-investment and how marketing can make a real impact. When you think about marketing as a teenager you think of big brands and that’s what first interested me. Being in the workforce I’ve realised there is a whole other world of digital that is really exciting as well.” 

Barnett thanks luck for getting her foot in the door at Loyalty NZ, along with an internship programme she undertook while studying that prepared her for the demands of working in the industry. Barnett worked as a business intern at Property Brokers in Palmerston North for ve months in her final year of university. Getting first-hand business experience before entering the industry is something she would recommend to all aspiring marketers.

“The internship helped me a lot. It gave me a lot of practical experience in the workplace and helped prepare me to work really hard on the job.’

At Loyalty NZ, Barnett started out in an entry-level administration role as a rewards coordinator for the Fly Buys e-commerce store, and little more than a year later had proved herself to be an ambitious and capable marketer. She took up the newly established position as rewards marketing executive last March, which is a hybrid marketing and commercial team. Now she leads rewards sale campaigns.

The Loyalty NZ rewards team manages the Fly Buys e-commerce store which sees 820,000 reward redemptions annually. Barnett was part of the team that increased redemptions by 6.7 percent in the 2017/2018 year.

“I started o in a heavily administrative role with a lot of data entry, and after a while, I started to run some campaigns and play in the marketing space. I was lucky to enter a team that let me progress so quickly.”

Barnett has been more than willing to step up to the challenges of a new marketing executive. She says she has learnt a lot on the job and is proud of all the new skills she has been able to add to her arsenal.

Over the last year, Barnett has been instrumental in developing an e-commerce- based sale strategy for the Rewards Store. As the loyalty market becomes increasingly competitive, Fly Buys needed a rewards proposition that stood out by offering members more value. Barnett negotiated sale pricing with suppliers which were extended to members in monthly rewards flash sales.  

And the numbers support her role in the team. The value of the sales items have delivered an incremental $3.7 million in revenue for Loyalty NZ with the most successful sale to date being April’s Big Brand sale with 3.1 million points redeemed on sale items.

She has also worked on the delivery of marketing assets such as EDMs to up to 500,000 members, and social and digital advertising.

“The diversity of the work is really great. In my role, I get to work on the day-to-day running of the e-commerce store as well as other channels like TVCs, print and radio. The fact I get the opportunity to work on that with the team is special. I get to own campaigns from start to finish.”

Only a few years into her career, Barnett is already starting to carve out her marketing niche by being commercially focused and analytical. Her interest in the data side of marketing surprised her, but Barnett has embraced the challenge of the fast-paced and deadline-driven work. It’s a space she intends to stay in.

“I definitely want to stick with Loyalty NZ and work my way up to bigger and better campaigns. I want to remain customer-centric and create some great marketing results that provide value to the company.”

One of the reasons Barnett has been able to flourish in her short time at Loyalty NZ is because she is so comfortable within the company, she says. She realised early on how important it was to embrace company life, and is on the social committee, in the netball team and has been on a company ski trip. And she is a trusted member of staff, well respected by senior management.

“It helps your self-esteem and gets your name out there, which will build your confidence when talking to people who are high up in the organisation.

“You have to be prepared to work really hard and work your way up. If it’s a supportive company you’ll be able to progress.”

Barnett’s enthusiasm for the industry, combined with her creativity and passion will no doubt see her shoot to great heights in the world of marketing. 

Rookie Marketer of the Year
Rebecca Barnett (Loyalty NZ)
“The winner! Rebecca is an incredibly impressive data-driven marketer who’s as at home taking about margin improvements and incremental revenue as she is products and offers. Rebecca impressed the judges with the breadth of her influence, from the positioning of the Fly Buys rewards store to supplier negotiations. Rebecca demonstrated the impact that a smart data-led marketer can have on a business.”
Briana Millar (Tonkin + Taylor), Brittany Damon (Stuff), Hannah Gray (J H Whittaker & Sons), Tom Belson (All Blacks Tours) 

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