Andrea Quaye, vice president of marketing at Anheuser-Busch InBev, has been awarded the Marketing Leadership and Innovation Award for 2019!
Andrea Quaye has been awarded the Marketing Leadership and Innovation Award for 2019. Image supplied.
“Over several years, it is clear that Andrea Quaye was personally involved in her brands’ successes and has been an active contributor to their market positions in South Africa,” says Andrew Human, CEO of the Loeries. “She is a worthy recipient and outstanding example of the leadership, dedication, loyalty and commitment to a brand that is required to go beyond the ordinary.”
Quaye spoke to us in this exclusive interview and listed some of the highlights in her career leading up to this moment and shares what motivates and inspires her marketing team at AB InBev the most when it comes to creating innovative, award-winning work.
Congratulations! Please tell us how you feel about the win and what this award means to you.
Thank you! Two years ago, in the middle of the SABMiller and AB InBev combination, I set out the challenge to our marketing team and agency partners to deliver socially relevant and creative work that makes our brands famous and most loved by consumers.
Winning the 2019 Marketing Leadership and Innovation Award is recognition for an amazing group of marketing professionals at AB InBev Africa and our talented creative partners.
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You are an economist by training, how did you make the switch to marketing and how did your background in economics impact your career in marketing?
I stumbled into marketing in the late ’90s after a good friend of mine recommended I apply for the graduate trainee programme at Unilever in Durban.
My economics background has been fundamental in shaping me as a commercially minded marketer with a passion for growth.
Where would you say your specific areas of expertise lie?
The art and science of marketing is something I have been studying and applying for over 20 years. Because a large portion of my career has been at AB InBev and Unilever, my expertise is definitely in fast-moving consumer goods – where consumer-centricity, brand-building and innovation give you the edge so as to grow.
What achievements stand out to you and are you most proud of when you look back on your career?
I’ve had many highlights in my career, but there are two that stand out for me:
The day our brand health and sales intelligence numbers showed positive growth of Carling Black Label; after four years of blood, sweat and beers we went from Red to Black, on one of SA’s most iconic brands.
And secondly, was to see the level of consumer acceptance of our purpose-led “NoExcuse” campaign and attending Cannes for the first time last year and going on stage to collect a Grand Prix for the same campaign.
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What do you think motivates/inspires your marketing team at ABInBev the most when it comes to creating innovative, award-winning work.
I am lucky to work with a very young, passionate and dynamic team – and what impresses me about them is their ability to be humble yet hungry. When they create innovative and award-winning work what motivates them are the results on the scoreboard; market share and brand health metrics.
Why do you think so many brands are getting purpose wrong and why do you think ABInBev is getting it right?
At AB Inbev, we focus on building our brands for the long-term. We are humbled to be leading some of the most iconic brands on the continent and we treat them with that respect. What I have learnt about purposeful work is at its best when the brand at its best self is able to solve the cultural tension.
Therefore consumer insights capabilities and a clear understanding of the brand’s DNA with a strong dose of bravery make for a magic condition for this type of creativity to flourish.
As it is Women's Month, can you please comment on the issue of gender equality specifically in the marketing and advertising industries. Do you think enough is being done and how can the industry do better?
Gender equality and diversity is something very close to my heart, not only do I strive for it personally but I also use my position to influence active change in our industry.
Gender equality and diversity is a win-win for us because it means that we will have more diverse people around the table and we know that more diverse teams are better at solving more complex problems. More diversity/equality better results.
For there to be real gender equality in our industry, it needs to be leader-led and, at this point in time, most of the advertising and marketing leaders are men, so I believe that men should also verbalise the need for diversity.
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