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The Warehouse Group’s Michelle Anderson on the changing times

The Warehouse Group’s chief digital officer Michelle Anderson is an experienced marketer with years of experience on the group’s different brands. As one of this year’s TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards ‘Marketer of the Year’ finalists, we spoke with her about how The Warehouse Group’s approach to marketing has changed and the lessons learned along the way.

How has The Warehouse Group’s approach to marketing changed in your time?

It’s changed the most in recent years. We stopped treating digital as a separate business unit and integrated the team into the marketing team. Digital is really just another channel and like all other channels, it has a role to play in your communications strategy and the marketing mix within it. 

We also moved from pushing out large volumes of product and price advertising across our channels and started to balance our messaging with more brand and emotional content to really connect with our customers.

What inspires you in your work? 

My inspiration comes from a number of sources. I’m passionate about people – the team and our customers. I get to work with super talented people in one of the largest marketing teams in the country and on great brands – The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and Torpedo7. I also look to the world around us, what other brands are doing both locally and internationally, what our insights are telling us and how we can leverage data and technology to deliver great campaigns into market.

What lessons have you learned over the past year in your role?

We’ve been through a large amount of change in the marketing team over the last 12 months. We restructured how we work, how the teams interact, our systems and processes. When you embark on a journey like that, how you lead the change is really important. Being there for your team, communicating the vision, creating the way are all fundamental to building a strong and engaged team who delivers great work and has fun doing it.

The other lesson would be the importance of really knowing and understanding who your customers are and the role you play in their lives. With our move to an Everyday Low Price pricing model, from Hi-Lo discounting, knowing your customers and how this change would resonate with them was fundamental to a successful transition. Twelve months into the change we are seeing positive results.  Our foot traffic continues to be strong across stores and online, and transactions have increased year on year.

What is your favourite piece of work in your time? 

It would have to be our “Where Everyone Gets a Bargain – Every Day” campaign for which we won the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards Retail Category this year.

What excites you about the future of marketing at The Warehouse Group?

Everything! We have built really solid foundations across the disciplines within marketing, which we are starting to leverage. Areas such as strategy, creative, media, lifecycle marketing, data, analytics and more. So with the customer and customer experience firmly at the centre of what we do, I’m excited to see how our brands evolve.

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