With 13 years marketing experience under his belt, Mark Anderson, Head of Marketing at Southeastern Railway, took the time to speak to OMD UK about making the leap from leisure to travel, some recent campaign highlights as well as offering up some top tips for anyone looking to get into marketing.
Hi Mark. As a relatively new member of the Southeastern Railway team, what have you found to be the most interesting aspect of your role? How does it differ to your previous position?
From LEGOLAND to the railways was quite a leap! That said, marketing on the railway is about delivering value and enhancing customer experience against huge operational constraints much like a theme park. The most interesting part of my role so far has been meeting really passionate people across Southeastern and in the towns and attractions we serve. South London, Kent and East Sussex is a great area to promote!
When it comes to marketing Southeastern, what’s your primary goal and how are you using media to achieve this?
We have two main objectives as a marketing team and media plays a key role in helping us to achieve them both. Firstly we need to raise awareness of our great value off–peak fares which we’re doing effectively through above the line campaigns and always on OOH and digital. Our recent #hiddengems campaign was really well planned to include radio S&P and airtime which delivered great results. Our second priority is building a positive reputation which, whilst challenging, we are helping to drive through innovative digital advertising such as our recent campaign with Spotify.
What do you see as the key challenges facing the UK railway industry in the next five years?
That’s a tough one but one thing’s for sure the railway industry needs to put passengers at the heart of everything it does. One way to do this is to invest in real-time digital marketing that reaches passengers at the right time with the information they need. We’re looking forward to using new media channels to do a similar job with our off-peak fare promotions.
And finally, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into marketing? Have you received any advice that has helped your career?
As marketing becomes more embedded with consumer experience, it’s important that marketers have a broad understanding of the industry they work in. As marketers we can grow our influence beyond creative and colours and into real business growth drivers so long as we get involved in projects and discussions outside of the marketing/brand silo. So my advice is be nosey, ask questions and proactively demonstrate what our consumer way of thinking can really do in any business.