Power 100: Nxt Gen 2013

Amy Hinsley, Asda

Position: head of broadcast and digital advertising, Asda

Date of Birth: 05/10/83

As the marketer who led last year’s controversial Christmas campaign, Hinsley is a key marketing force at the supermarket. She can also be credited with bringing a discourse regarding overworked mums at Christmas time to dinner tables across the land. Since expanding her role to encompass digital, she has played a key role in growing the retailer’s digital footprint.

Describe herself as: Passionate, creative, honest.

Q: What are the biggest trends affecting your business?

A: We have an obsession with saving our customers money. So, I am constantly aware that they face ever-decreasing family budgets, and this is at the heart of all our communications. It’s our job to ensure we deliver on our promises to offer the very best value in their weekly shop.

Q: Are there any trends or new media platforms you believe are overrated?

A: In terms of current retail trends, I don’t believe that customers should have to spend to save. For example, promotions, deals and vouchering don’t stack up any more as shoppers look for real value. Our marketing communications have to be able to deliver the truth of our business – the lowest prices, day in, day out, no gimmicks.

Q: What attracted you to marketing as a profession?

A: When I was a little girl, I dreamt of being a film producer and working in Hollywood. After a reality check from my mum, I did a broader degree in media at Lancaster University, which I loved, and discovered a passion for advertising.

Q: Describe your typical day.

A: There is no such thing as a typical day in retail. My job is really fast-paced. I work with the food teams to taste new products, visit suppliers and talk to customers to understand what makes our products great. One day I will be in the office looking through scripts and storyboards from our creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi, and the next I’ll be in the middle of a field up to my knees in mud shooting an ad. And when the ad is all done and dusted, where else can you get immediate feedback on your work from 180,000 colleagues?

The process of shooting a TV ad is the best part of my job. Nothing compares to seeing an idea come to life in front of you and then seeing it on TV.  

Q: How are you changing the media channels you use to better reach your consumers?

A: We’ve had to diversify our communications away from just TV or print into radio, digital, social and outdoor, as our audience now interacts with us in different ways and at different times. An ‘Asda mum’ is just as likely to engage with Asda on her mobile as she stands at the school gates as she is to watch a TV ad during Coronation Street. We have to ensure we are hitting all those touchpoints in a meaningful and engaging way.

Q: What are the biggest marketing challenges you face?

A: How our customers shop is changing, but the core challenge of showing our great value and driving traffic is still central to all our communications. My job is to engage and connect with our customers, but also to show them that it’s not just about going into an Asda store, but that you can shop with us in a number of different ways – online, on your mobile, through Click and Collect. How we get this across in our marketing communications is key.

Q: What skills do you think are most important to get ahead in marketing today?

A: Dedication, hard work and a passion for your customer and brand. Take your work seriously, but yourself lightly.

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