FRESH Perspectives: Amy Elizabeth Hauser
Welcome to the second edition of our FRESH Perspectives series. FRESH Perspectives is designed to give top insights from VIPs, industry influencers, marketing leadership, and all around amazing people.
Today, we're profiling Amy Hauser, General Manager of Marketing & Sales Support at Maersk Line. Maersk Line is the global container division and the largest operating unit of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group. It is the world's largest container shipping company employing approximately 89,000 people with reported profit of USD 2.3 million in 2014. The company was founded in 1928.
FRESH: Tell us a little about what you're working on these days.
AEH: Communications, marketing and business development are my biggest functions. Maersk Line, Limited focuses on the US Military and US Government as our primary audiences, and as a public company, we also report to our investors, shareholders and employees. I work on a wide range of projects--everything from crisis communications, to company-wide presentations and customer specific messaging. Our communications are at times global in nature or very targeted to US Senators, Congressmen and other government officials to influence their votes on specific opportunities that influence the maritime sector. I'm also overseeing content creation and web production for the US Government Division of Maersk Line. And we're building two new offices, so I'm working to develop new branding for these spaces.
FRESH: What are the two biggest issues marketers are facing today?
AEH: A big challenge is diminishing budgets and decreases in government spending. We have to make sure the US Government has funds allocated to continue to do business with us. If budgets don't get passed, we can't work with companies to transport cargo, such as humanitarian aid.
We have a two-pronged approach of reaching out to lobbyists and government officials to raise awareness so that we can transport their cargo. A larger industry concern is that in peacetime economies, there isn't as much cargo moving back and forth. So business is diminished.
Secondly, email marketing is a challenge. Our emails can't get through firewalls because these are government employees and their firewalls are ironclad.
To solve for both problems, we've really focused on event marketing. This has been a good fit for us. We have a full time lobbyist on staff, but once a year we do a congressional "Sail-In" where we meet with congressmen and staff and talk about our issues. We also have several industry meetings and tradeshows in which we display our booth, our CEO attends and we get face time with key influencers and decision makers.
FRESH: What things did you learn from your early big brand experience?
AEH: I've worked with Coca-Cola and Concha y Toro, both huge international companies. At these brands, everything you do with marketing has an international impact, which is just like Maersk Line. Global strategy matters, but the details are most important to drive awareness. You can't get mired in the strategy and forget about executing the details.
I've learned that relationships matter in working with the public. I've had the experience of working with colleagues from tiny countries, like Papua New Guinea, to the Global Sustainability team located in Singapore and the video production team in Copenhagen. In every project, the details are incredibly vital. Cultural sensitivity is important and every action across the globe has an impact so we have to be aware of what’s going on. Even though our communications are mainly in English, we often translate press releases and shore side communications into regional languages for our colleagues and customers.
FRESH: What's your proudest accomplishment at Maersk Line?
AEH: After we went through a fierce reorganization, the executive management team didn't think we needed a marketing function. I had to be dynamic and prove my value to the team. Out of 9 people, I was chosen to lead Marketing and Communications as the face and the voice of the brand. I have leveraged this experience to step up and take on a lot more responsibility.
FRESH: Where do you think marketing is headed?
AEH: There is a lot of discussion about how mobile is becoming the powerhouse and data-driven marketing will become more sophisticated. Still, good content is key for any successful campaign. Because there are so many restrictions in place regarding how we communicate with our audience (the US government), we have decided to really focus on event marketing. For us, there's nothing better than getting in front of people. There's so much online interaction that people are starting to crave a more human experience to feel more connected to each other and to brands. I'm focusing more on phone calls, sending thank you letters and getting people together for lunch instead of emailing newsletters or whitepapers.
FRESH: How has Minty Fresh played a role?
AEH: Rightfully so, our leadership was sensitive about spending money on marketing following the reorganization. When things settled, it was very important to update our messaging and positioning. Minty Fresh did a great job of helping us say more with less content. Minty Fresh also was very instrumental in focusing us in on what we wanted to do. In conversations with Minty Fresh, we were provided with many options in regards to website design. Minty Fresh was able to make suggestions I hadn't even considered or known were possible because of their technical expertise and knowledge. All of this development ultimately paved the way for their beautiful site redesign. And it was less expensive than we estimated.
FRESH: What are your goals?
AEH: We're opening two new offices. We want to get settled in the new space. We also want to continue to align further with the messaging from Maersk Line headquarters. I'd like to make more connections in Copenhagen and develop videos specifically about US Flag shipping and Maersk Line, Limited. My goals are to increase visibility within Maersk Line, publish meaningful and compelling content and increase our division’s business with the US government and military, one Senator at a time.