Meet Head of Food Marketing, Andy

We spoke to Andy, Head of Food Marketing, to learn more about his role, why he originally applied for a role at M&S and why M&S is the best business to work for as a marketeer.

Hi Andy, tell us more about your role at M&S

I’m the Head of Food Marketing for M&S. As part of my role, I look after a number of different areas. The first is Customer Insight which is how we understand more about our customers and they way they shop with us. I look after our own brands which is everything from Percy Pig and Colin the Caterpillar through to Gastropub and Collection. I look after the way we do new store marketing and the way we market our franchise stores and cafes. And I’m responsible for what we call ‘Masterbrand’ which is anywhere where we show up as an overall one M&S brand so that might be through our loyalty programme, Sparks, or it might be when we talk to customers about sustainability through our ‘Look behind the label’ initiative.

What do you love about your role?

What I love about this role is what I’ve always loved about working in retail which is the sheer variety of it. In any one day, I could be looking at something that’s years away that we’re developing or it could be something that will land in stores tomorrow. I could be talking and listening to customers, analysing data or working with colleagues from across the business and I really thrive on that variety.

If you weren’t in your current role, what role at M&S and would you like to try?

I don’t have a dream role that I’d like to go into because I love the job I do now. That  being said, I did spend the day in the Percy Pig costumer in store recently. I thought I was going to be quite hot and bothered in there but it turned out to be one of the best days of my career so far. If you’ve got that Percy Pig costume on, everyone in the world smiles at you and that’s the best feeling.

Why did you originally apply for a job at M&S?

If you work in Marketing, you always want to work for the very best brand. And there is no better brand than M&S. We have a combination of an amazing heritage with nearly 140 years of history. If you stopped anyone on the street, and asked them to tell you a bit about M&S and they would be able to tell you something that they love about the brand. That is a real privilege as a marketeer.

Equally, it’s not just a backwards looking business. There are so many exciting projects happening across the business. I was really proud when recently YouGov independent research showed that we were the number one brand in the UK across all sectors. For any marketeer, that’s a dream.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to a role at M&S?

I’ve found it to be the most exciting place I’ve worked at any stage of my career. The transformation we're going through as a business is really impressive. And that scale of transformation makes it a really exciting and dynamic place to work. You see the results through our sales, through the way that we’re talked about externally and through our customers. Whether you’re at the start of your career or you’ve been in the industry for many years, the freedom you will get to make the changes that are needed, to act with pace and for the business to back you 100% makes every day really exciting.

What makes M&S special?

There are several things that makes M&S special. At its heart, it’s the nature of the products we offer to customers and the way that we offer it to them. In the food department, we have a number of competitors, but no other business offers quite that same magic that M&S does. When you walk into one of our stores, you know that every single product has been chosen, developed and sources by M&S buyers and experts.

And finally, what’s your favourite M&S product?

This changes almost every week! At the moment, my favourite product is the Blissful Blackcurrant Sundaes. They are beautiful all butter pastries with blackcurrant filling, vanilla butter cream and topped with a Viennese biscuit. I was going to say that I love these for afternoon tea but, in all honesty, they’re perfect at any time of the day.

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