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#BehindtheSelfie: Roxanne Norman, head of digital for Food Lover's Market

This week, we caught up with Roxanne Norman, head of digital for Food Lover's Market.
Image supplied: Roxanne Norman, head of digital at Food Lover's Market
Image supplied: Roxanne Norman, head of digital at Food Lover's Market

Norman and her team manage the digital remit for Food Lover’s Market, FreshStop, Manhattan Coffee, Market Liquors, Diamond Discount Liquor and Liquors and Food Lover’s Eatery.

We found out more about her career, inspiration and how she keeps busy away from the work desk…

Tell us a bit more about what you do?

I manage the team that is accountable for delivering the customer online experience of the Food Lover’s Market, Food Lover’s Eatery, Market Liquors, Diamond Discount Liquors and FreshStop brands.

I ensure that the online impression matches the beautiful in-store experience. I believe that the online space is where brands have the opportunity to show more of their heart, values and unique stories.

So in between the more sales-driven campaigns - such as the ever-popular Ten Buck Tuesday promotion - that is what I aim to do. I also look over the Customer Care team, as the marketing department and customer care department works closely together. It is beneficial to be able to cast a customer perspective on every piece of marketing that leave our desks because we are so aligned.

What’s really behind your selfie?

A 30-something wondering what TikTok is all about.

Growing up, what did you want to do?

I wanted to be a marine biologist because I loved sea animals. While I didn’t take that route, I did retain care and concern for the environment. When the series CSI was having its heyday, I wanted to be a forensic investigator and did my Grade 11 job shadowing at a local police station, which changed my mind! I do recall the exact moment I knew I was going to do marketing - I was 18 years old and on a gap year in London.

How did you end up doing what you do now?

Fundamentally there were two points that swayed me:

Moving from working for a company that sold various chemicals and components to Hotel Verde – Africa’s greenest hotel. I realised that I could not sell a product that I didn’t believe in and that didn’t align with my values. Even now at Food Lover’s Market, I believe in the product we sell which encompasses whole foods, and healthy eating - in a shopping environment that puts fresh produce first. It was 2015 when I saw the signs that digital marketing was going to be a significant force in businesses.

The company I was working at had just hired their head of digital, Melanie Mack. I approached her for guidance on how I can move over into the digital marketing space, and she was patient and insightful in sharing what steps I could take to enter the industry. After that, I did have another general marketing job, where I was actively bringing social media and web presence into the role where it suited the company’s portfolio.

Soon after that, I started working at Food Lover’s Market. The timing was perfect. Digital marketing was making big moves to find a space in the Food Lover’s marketing mix and getting it to where it is now has been my journey and responsibility.

Tell us a bit about some highlights of your career.

My first overseas work trip to receive a Gold Award at the World Responsible Tourism Awards.

I sat on a panel to nominate the best performing local business in Kingston as part of Kingston First, a local Business Improvement District. It was the first time I was recognised for my profession outside of my actual job.

Most recently, I reached my five-year milestone at Food Lover’s Market. Now some might not think “staying in one place” is such a highlight, but for me it truly is. Like any millennial, I did my job-hopping – adding to my Dad’s grey hairs! His generation worked at one company until retirement. The achievement for me is sticking it out, going up against my own figures, beating my own objectives to do even better against the processes I’ve introduced. A proud moment for me was to present to over 300 colleagues at our annual internal conference and to have a voice at the FreshStop quarterly forum.

When you’re not busy working, what do you do? How do you socialise these days?

Now that times have recently changed to no masks, I have seen an upswing in events in Cape Town which allows us a chance to support our local talent again. Braving the cold of winter, I’ve enjoyed seeing local DJs and bands over the past month.

I like to cook, shop (for food!), read and hike.

What are you watching/reading/listening to right now?

I have just finished Lauren Beukes’ Afterland. She is an international best-selling, proudly South African, author. If you don’t know Lauren’s work, please give it a read! I also recently enjoyed The French Girl by Lexie Elliot.

Podcasts are where I keep up with our ever-changing, fast-paced industry and I listen on the drive to work. Social Media Examiner is a must-listen for anyone in the social media space.

What’s your favourite gif?

What are you hoping to achieve for the rest of the year?

I started my BPhil Honours In Marketing with IMM GSM in January so I hope to finish that by December. It has been an eye-opening experience to study with the industry experience I already have and to add context to the theory is invaluable. n August, my friends and I will take on the beautiful four-day Otter trail hike.

In the position I am in, with the double whammy of FMCG and digital marketing, I think it is important to escape technology and connectivity completely to refresh your energy and creativity. I think it might be more of a special experience than we are even anticipating.

About Emily Stander

Lifestyle Editor and M&M Assistant at Bizcommunity | My first loves are writing, music and video games | Get in contact: emily@bizcommunity.com

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