Our ‘Profile: A Day in the Life of’ feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working across performance marketing. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry. This week we head to Berkshire to meet Waitrose online marketing executive, Asil Azad.
Job title and company:
Digital marketing executive, managing affiliates at Waitrose
In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?
Waitrose offers groceries, wine by the case, flowers, garden products and everything for pets with bespoke online sites.
What are the company’s unique selling points?
Waitrose prides itself on it’s unique offering around quality and value, working with specially selected suppliers to offer award-winning ranges. Waitrose is part of the John Lewis Partnership making us one of the largest employee-owned companies in the UK. There’s a lot more to Waitrose than you’d imagine– we do a lot of charitable work, we have our own farm, and we blend the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise of a specialty shop.
Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?
Waitrose has seen success in 2014 with the opening of 18 new stores and 14 to follow and the introduction of our Click & Collect service for John Lewis order from Waitrose branches Waitrose also opened our second Waitrose Cookery School in addition to London, in Salisbury. We’ve also recently announced the creation of 2,000 new jobs as we grow and expand our business, at a competitive time in our industry.
We launched our award-winning specialty wine, champagne and spirits website – WaitroseCellar.com in May offering a range of over more than 1200 which includes many awarding-winning wines, top rated and exclusive to Waitrose, which our customers really enjoy and sets us apart from our competitors.
Waitrose Cellar recently winning several awards at Drinks Retailing Awards picking up 4 awards this year including Online Retailer of the Year and Supermarket Drinks Retailer of the Year, demonstrates the strength of the range, helpful tips and advice and success of the new website features. We’ve also launched a dedicated pet food and accessories website called WaitrosePet.com and WaitroseGarden.com which sells garden plants, accessories & outdoor furniture.
Duration in current role:
Where are you based?
I live in North London, and work regularly between Bracknell and London
Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at:
I’ve held a number of freelance agency and client-side roles over the past 6 years’ working for some truly iconic companies like British Airways, DigitasLBi, plus a few others, gaining a wealth of experience in various positions, specialising in developing international e-commerce strategies across travel and retail.
What are your main job responsibilities?
My role is predominantly involves the day-to-day management of the various Waitrose affiliate programmes across Cellar, Pet, Garden, and Flowers & Gifts. This includes managing channel performance against KPIs, working with our marketing agencies, building good relationships by working directly with affiliates and various suppliers.
Take us through what you get up to on a typical working Monday:
Mondays are usually my busiest day of the week, and the most clockwork of all- wake up at 5am and listen to BBC Radio 1 as I drive the hour and a-half commute from North London to Bracknell getting to the office by 7:30. First thing I do, is check channel performance against our targets making sure we’re on track with things, review coverage on some of our key affiliate websites. I also read-up on some general industry news on websites like The Grocer or Retail Week before everyone starts arriving in the office by 8:30/9am. Then follows a day full of back-to-back meetings, status update calls with our affiliate network to make sure things are on-track, various ad-hoc tasks, and some desk time to catch-up on all the emails and projects I’m working on before I leave the office at 4/5pm to beat the traffic on the M25 and will probably work a little bit more when I get home in preparing for the rest of the week.
What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?
The Guardian, The Drum, and E-Consultancy.
What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?
- Ambition – it’s slightly clichéd, however hard-work and determination is what I think is important for anyone to succeed.
- Skills – make the most out of what you have, that’s your selling point. Think about how your skills fit into the bigger picture of the industry or organisation, and how best you can learn new things from colleagues, friends, or from the internet. Do keep abreast of new technologies and innovations, and apply insight into how it can be applied to your current and future roles.
- Luck – everyone’s got some sort of luck.
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years’ time?
I’m quite privileged and humbled to have had the opportunities that I’ve gained career-wise, in working for some very well-respected companies who excel in their verticals. I want to continue building a successful track record and hopefully step into a more senior management position.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I’m a massive tech and gadget geek; I love to bake, and I used to live in Amsterdam.