Information and insights company TransUnion Africa has announced the appointment of Amy Beck as chief marketing officer and a member of the company's executive team, effective 10 January 2022.
Amy Beck, TransUnion Africa's newly appointed chief marketing officer
We chat to Amy Beck to find out what she's most excited about her new appointment and the approach she will take in the role as CMO going forward.
Congratulations on your new appointment, how are you feeling about it?
Simple: E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y E-X-C-I-T-E-D! To be working at a company that has such a positive impact on so many people’s lives is a real privilege. TransUnion helps makes trust possible in the modern economy. It does this by providing an actionable picture of each person so they can be reliably represented in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We provide solutions that help create economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment – and at a time when the economic landscape has changed beyond all recognition and the technology supporting how we transact and interact has accelerated, it’s a really exciting place to be.
Could you briefly tell us about your career?
Born and bred in Joburg. A Saint Stithians Girls College and University of Cape Town (UCT) graduate, I then travelled the world. Doing this, almost, rite of passage, I then returned back to my hometown where I started off as an event manager. I grew into the role of production manager relatively quickly and subsequently, key account manger operating on Exco level at one of the top experiential agencies at the time within a very short time frame.
My dream was always to do my MBA and this led to me taking up a full time study opportunity at GIBS where I focused on marketing, management and entrepreneurship. I then started my own consultancy and a media tech company, which was extremely successful for a number of years. I worked on some incredible strategies, campaigns and product launches during these years, specifically with SAB and BMW. I was then approached to join AB-Inbev to start their in-house agency, draftLine – a data-led creative digital agency which I built, managed and grew over the last few years. And now, here I am! TransUnion Africa – my new home!
What will your new role entail?
What won’t it entail (LOL!). Marketing has come such a long way over the years that it has now become synonymous with the success of the business as a whole. Although I will be responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of TransUnion Africa’s marketing and communications initiatives, one of my primary responsibilities will be to generate a strategy that will ensure revenue growth by increasing sales through successful marketing activities for the entire of TransUnion Africa; using market research and insights driven and informed by data, pricing, product marketing, marketing communications, advertising and public relations. As much as revenue is one of my primary responsibilities, so is my team.
My personal purpose is one of Oprah Winfrey’s: “To be a Teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could ever be”. My role is to empower my team so that they can be the best versions of themselves. If my team succeeds, we succeed.
How and when did this come about?
Whilst on maternity leave, an old (and exceptionally well-revered) colleague contacted me to see if I would be interested in doing some consultancy work for TransUnion. Having come out of an exceptionally demanding and high-pressured job at AB-Inbev, five months of maternity leave started giving me itchy feet. Thus, I implored the opportunity with TransUnion specifically because of its ‘Information for Good’ purpose. Initially, I was given the opportunity to work on TransUnion from a B2C perspective as well as two fundamentally, exciting and ground-breaking new product initiatives; D&B Hoovers and Corporate Insights.
The first being an enabler that makes (and takes) companies from acting local to being global – it firmly makes ‘your circle bigger’. The latter, revolutionary to fraud detection within both corporates and state. TransUnion most certainly had me at “data” and my colleague, Philippa Hudson-Bennett (who was actually my first ‘real’ boss) was instrumental in this career move and opportunity. So, I owe her whilst she nurses her second baby boy.
What excites you most about taking on this role?
Data, data, data. No, but seriously, data – the notion of ‘Information for Good’ resonated with me the day I ‘walked’ into the office. The incredible solutions, the people and one of the most inspiring and incredible mentors and leaders in today’s day and age, Lee Naik, TransUnion Africa’s CEO. I was lucky enough to do consultancy work within TransUnion and be exposed to all the incredible facets of the company and people before being offered this incredible opportunity.
I am excited to put marketing in the context of the broader business rather than an end in itself and to not only bring awareness of TransUnion and our products and solutions to a wider customer base, but also to ensure we foster a customer-centric culture that lives and breathes exceptional customer experiences.
I am excited to collaborate with people and teams from across the entire business to create a unified marketing vision that is committed to a customer-centric culture. Every department has an impact on the overall customer experience in some way, and it is my job to bring each team together as experience leaders to ensure that customer engagement is the primary goal.
We have the right people in TransUnion to take it to the next level – so, I am most certainly joining a force to be reckoned with.
What do you love most about your career, the industry and what you do?
For me, it’s about seeing insight and effort come to life. About resonating with consumers and in turn, watching campaigns perform. The thrill of reaping rewards as a team for hard work that has real tangible results. Optimising as you go, the continuous consumer and digital landscape challenge, understanding consumers and businesses on a granular level and tapping into their interests and needs in order to resonate with them to ensure you are always relevant.
What are your biggest career highlights?
Building draftLine, AB-Inbev’s in-house digital agency. A multi-million rand in-house agency which grew from 0 to 115 people; won numerous awards; became a global best practice in multiple areas all within three years; the people; team and leaders I met along my draftLline journey, working as an agency lead with the legendary Qhawekazi Mdikane (now CMO, Momentum Corporate) on solidifying Castle Lite as one of the first music property owners catapulting Castle Lite to double-digit growth and its position in the market today and, of course, my game changer … doing my MBA at GIBS with exceptionally talented individuals!
What approach will you take in your role as CMO going forward?
In a world of rapidly advancing technology, changing customer attitudes, and unpredictable trends, marketing is evolving at an unprecedented speed. The approach is to strategically align ourselves as an integral part of the growth strategy for TransUnion and believe the success of our future lies in ensuring that we stay true to ourselves, to our core purpose of ‘Information for Good’ and, to ensure we stay relevant through the use of data and insight-driven marketing that enables us to read our customer signals at scale and make them actionable in real-time.
As marketers we can still be gut inspired, but it’s critical to be a data-driven organisation in order for us to grow, to find white spaces, to lead change efforts across the whole organisation, to play an active and integral role in shaping the company’s public profile, to help manage complexity, and to build new capabilities within the areas that drive the businesses regional growth strategies.
Here are five key points to my approach:
- Push the work! Put all ideas on the table and don’t stop thoughtfully debating them until they reach the best possible place they can go.
- Teach each other. Adopt a teaching mindset in all our conversations, never sell, yell, or compel.
- Steal other people’s problems. Talent waits for a brief. Genius steals a chance.
- Get dirty. Get into the weeds of problems. Nothing is too insignificant for your enormous talents.
- Lastly, ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything’ (Colin Kaepernick).
What can we see from TransUnion Africa in the near future?
A revolutionary brand that will continue to be a disruptor and leader in digital transformation whilst connecting with customers on a more personal level.