Marketing Consultant & ex-Global Brand Director, Hiscox • London
Annabel currently runs a marketing consultancy after an impressive career spanning three continents, including 11 years at Hiscox Insurance and 9 years at Coca-Cola. Annabel was made Chair of Fellows for The Marketing Society in 2020.
In this episode, Annabel discusses the in-house vs agency debate, it’s relevancy to facing localised content challenges, as well as marketing technology’s important role in helping brands maintain agility in a rapidly changing business environment.
Vice President of Brand Communications - Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena • Atlanta
With stints at Jive Records, Red Bull, Habitat for Humanity International and now the Atlanta Hawks, Janet Smith has had an impressive career in entertainment and experiential marketing.
CMO at IAG • Sydney
As CMO at IAG Insurance and ex-CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, Brent Smart knows how to change the fortunes of businesses from the inside out.
CMO Unilever International & CEO Unilever Korea • Singapore
Aseem leads marketing, innovation and digital communications for Unilever International, responsible for managing brand building for a billion dollar portfolio.
Start-up advisor and ex-CMO Virgin America • San Francisco
Luanne Calvert has decades of experience shaping some of the world’s leading brands. She was Google’s first Creative Director, and served as CMO at Virgin America for 6 years.
Board Member, Advisor & Internet pioneer • São Paulo
An internet pioneer in the 80s and ex-CEO of Walmart.com in Brazil, Paulo Silva has over 25 years experience leading high performance teams across Latin America. He’s currently the founder and managing partner of RockOn Advisors.
General Manager - Australia, Tourism New Zealand • Sydney
Andrew heads up Tourism New Zealand's marketing and business operations in Australia. His 20 year career has seen him work on iconic brands such as Red Bull, Stella Artois and Beck’s.
Senior Marketer in Multicultural Beauty • New York
Lamar has helped some of the world's most iconic brands tell their stories through digital channels, including L’Oréal, Pepsi, Oreo and Nike, and is currently focussing on multicultural beauty.
Senior VP, Def Jam Recordings • New York
A music industry veteran, Jeff’s illustrious career has seen him hold senior positions at Columbia Records, Bad Boy Recordings and Syco Entertainment.
General Manager - Digital, Media & Marketing, AFL • Melbourne
With almost 20 years global experience specialising in the digital media and advertising technology sector, Sarah is currently overseeing the core news, content, creative and production teams of the AFL.
Co-Founder of Been There Done That • London
An ex-Grey veteran, David’s career has also spanned stints at Mojo, BBDO and Bates. He set up Been There Done That in 2014 to provide a new model for brands to access creative strategy.
Marketing Consultant • Sydney
With extensive experience working for global brands like Virgin Mobile, eBay and GoDaddy, Tracy is currently consulting for some of Australia’s fastest growing tech companies.
Hello I'm Annabelle Venner, I'm a marketing consultant and I've previously worked at Hiscox, which is a global insurance company, and Coca-Cola.
So I think my approach to marketing has changed significantly over the sort of my career, particularly the last ten years. You’ve got a lot more demand to do things faster and consumer habits are changing, so how do you become really agile, you know long gone are those fixed one-year plans. You also need to respond to the environment, you know if you think about the impact COVID has had, consumer behavior changed really quickly, so how do you respond to that?
And the other one is just sort of the demand of the business. Businesses are evolving very fast now, and so you need to look at where you’re spending your money, where you're putting your team resources, and make sure that you're going to get maximum returns.
Some of the changes I've seen recently in terms of clients teams have been around the growth of in-housing certain functions. So as a marketer, when I'm thinking about in-housing or not, there will probably be three areas that will be very focused on that will be the most important one. One will be about the quality, “Do we have the right skill set and kit internally to produce it to the same qualities that our agencies do?.
The second area is speed, and often you can produce work a lot quicker in-house, the sign off process is much quicker and you can often get it right the first time more easily.
And the third area is probably cost. You should be able to produce a lot of content, in house at a cheaper cost than your agencies do.
In my time at Hicox, we grew a central team and we in-housed areas such as analytics, building simple websites, doing some design and video production, because we believed we could do it probably faster and probably cheaper than a lot of agencies could do. But I still really value client and agency partnerships and I think if you get the right one you can create amazing work, and often you need those partnerships to be external.
The in-housing we did at Hiscox was definitely beneficial. One of the biggest challenges that we faced was around the sort of global, centralised versus local model. We had direct businesses in the UK, US, and Asia, and you always have that tension over what should be done centrally and possibly could be done by in-house teams versus what you allow the local markets to do. We found the model that worked best for us was definitely having the work developed locally and that was then a barrier to us wanting to in-house more than we had done already.
So if I reflect on my final few years at Hiscox, we used a lot of marketing technology. We probably had 70 pieces of marketing technology that we used across all the business units. But the main ones we were focused on was around really maximising conversion of anybody that came to or phoned our contact centre or came to our website, we were using technology to help us work out what was the best way to display information on our website, to look at customer behaviour as well, social listening to see how our brand was being talked about by consumers.
I think marketing technology has a key role to play in terms of some of the more strategic challenges marketing teams and businesses are facing.
I think another area it can help in, is this global-local piece. So if you’re producing any content centrally, what's the best way to then disseminate that to your local markets? What's the most effective way for them to then localise it? and Therefore make it more relevant to their customers or to the challenges that they are specifically facing.
The other area is just in terms of responding to consumer behaviour, it’s constantly going to change, and I think marketing technology can allow you to then evolve, how you approach it from a media perspective, how your advertising needs to change, how you need to engage with consumers going forward.