Staff Reporters
3 days ago

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Andrew Hicks, Woolworths Group

One month into becoming Woolworths Group's first CMO, Andrew Hicks oversaw its widely successful Lion King campaign, and has since spearheaded its important relief efforts.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Andrew Hicks, Woolworths Group
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Andrew Hicks

Chief marketing officer
Woolworths Group

In January, Woolworths reclaimed the title of Australia’s most valuable brand in Brand Finance’s annual index, and this is due in no small part to Andrew Hicks.

Hicks became Woolworths’ first chief marketing officer in June 2019, an appointment that mirrored rival Coles, which had named its first CMO—Tourism Australia marketer Lisa Ronson—one month prior.

The long-time Woolworths marketer, who first joined the retail group in 2008, was promoted from his role as director of marketing for food and supermarkets, a role he held for nearly four years, during which time he landed the brand several awards.

Shortly after Hicks took up the new CMO role, Woolworth’s rolled out its standout campaign of 2019 with the launch of its Lion King Ooshies. These 24 collectable toys—released in partnership with Disney to chime with the release of the Lion King film—went gangbusters in Australia with some of the rarest collectables being auctioned online for thousands of dollars. The campaign was credited with bumping Woolworths’ quarterly sales and market share.

Lion King toys aside, Hicks said the most critical thing he has achieved since taking up the role is developing and acting on the brand’s purpose in a year that has brought on a number of unforeseen challenges—from bushfires, to drought and the impact of COVID-19.

His work has included striking partnerships with the likes of DHL, Australia Post, Qantas, Sherpa and Meals on Wheels, as well as local governments and community groups, to support customers in need. Preceding the events of 2020, last year he oversaw the launch of Woolworths Discovery Garden, in which the supermarket gave away tens of millions of seedling kits to children to encourage sustainability and healthy eating habits.

Hicks also initiated an internal restructure at Woolworths Group that brought together marketing and government affairs/ industry relations, a move he said elevates the importance of brand and reputation to the business, and allows it to better serve the communities it operates in.

Hicks also contributes to industry improvement as a board member of the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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