Spark's head of brand, communications and experience Sarah Williams is no stranger to thinking long-term when it comes to marketing. As one of this year's TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 'Marketer of the Year' finalists, we spoke with her about how Spark continues to add value for its customers and celebrate the country's uniquely New Zealand qualities.
Why work at Spark?
Because it’s a challenging, fast-paced company with huge ambitions. It’s also a company that’s not afraid to disrupt itself and that’s been proven through bold moves like changing from Telecom to Spark or more recently moving the whole company to Agile. Spark also understands the commercial value of long-term brand building which is something I am very passionate about.
What inspires you in your work?
Doing great work that pushes the boundaries and working with amazing people both inside and outside of Spark. There is a direct correlation between creativity and effectiveness so I try to keep up with what is considered world class. It’s a constant reminder that you don’t always have to have the biggest brand or biggest budget to do great work and often some of those perceived challenges really help define the work and help make it amazing.
What lessons have you learned over the past year in your role?
Don’t get too comfortable, change is always on the horizon. But equally don’t be afraid of that change, it can lead to amazing opportunities to learn. Given the rate of change in the marketing profession, we all need to be comfortable with continuous learning and not always being the expert.
Do you have a favourite piece of work in your time? What is it?
Kupu – Te Reo App which launched in Māori Language week in September. Kupu is an app that translates the world around you into Te Reo Māori. The app combines Google Cloud Vision and translate API’s along with the knowledge from Te Aka Māori Dictionary to give the Māori language translation for photos you take on your phone. Kupu can also play audio examples to help with pronunciation. Such a simple idea that had so much heart go into it and many partners to help make it a reality.
What excites you about the future of marketing at Spark?
Completing our transformation from a traditional telecommunications company into a true digital services company and in doing and becoming even more useful in New Zealanders lives.