Alice ter Haar, Senior Manager EU Marketing, Deliveroo

"One of the key opportunities now is thinking about marketing outside of what we would consider traditional marketing and looking at yourself as a growth function."

Izzy Ashton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Creativebrief: In your current role as Senior Manager, EU Marketing at Deliveroo, what is your primary focus?
Alice ter Haar: The focus for the whole company and for us in marketing is rapid and sustainable growth. Our team’s key role in this, particularly at the beginning but it remains true today, is driving brand awareness. Five years ago, we were a completely unknown brand in a pioneering field doing business in a completely new way. Marketing’s primary job was to tell people about who we were, what we did and why they should care about us. We’ve come a long way since then, but this is still just the start of our ambitions to make Deliveroo a global household name.
Creativebrief: How has your career path led you to Deliveroo? What had you been up to before that from graduating to where we are now?
Alice ter Haar: I did a season in Ibiza when I graduated from university and then worked for quite a famous British photographer called Terry O’Neill. There were three of us in a dingy office in the middle of Mayfair and it was amazing. Then I joined a partnerships agency called Cherry London. I had to do cold calls and I hated it. Even as somebody who’s extroverted and relatively confident, it’s just difficult and scary. But actually, building rapport and pitching to someone over the phone was such an important skill to learn. I also realised how important culture is to a company and how important it is to me, personally. I decided I would see what life looked like on the ‘dark (client) side’. I went to Whitbread and Beefeater, the restaurant chain. That’s where I got introduced to the Marketing Academy. I had a brilliant boss who really believed in me there. But I was living in London, commuting to and from Luton. I missed the dynamism and pace of the companies I’d worked for in London. I realised FTSE100 land was not the best fit for me as a person. That’s when I applied for the Marketing Academy scholarship for the first time. I got through to the final round, but I didn’t get on. But not getting on was the best thing that could’ve happened to me, because I then spent the next two years exploring and figuring out who I was. I went on an accelerated leadership programme run by Sarah Ellis from Amazing If. It was an eye-opening experience that helped me to piece together my values and see how these are represented in your career. One of the great things about working for a big, established company, like Whitbread, was that they were great at learning and development. They invested in a career coach, Debbie, for me for nine months and she was incredible. It’s almost like career therapy. And that was then what led me to Deliveroo some three years ago. I remember clearly when I got the email through for the International Marketing Manager position. I saw the job and I had this very guttural sense of knowing that was my dream role. That weekend I ordered, the experience was flawless, and I was like “shit, this is really cool”. Luckily, I got the job, and the rest is history.

One of the key opportunities now is thinking about marketing outside of what we would consider traditional marketing and looking at yourself as a growth function.

Alice ter Haar
Creativebrief: What was it that attracted you to marketing?
Alice ter Haar: I think it’s in my blood to a certain extent. My mum’s always been in comms and I used to stick stamps on press releases during my school holidays. It always felt like it was a very creative and fun environment, very people orientated. Fundamentally, the reason marketing does it for me is because, at its core, it is about connecting with people. I’m a big talker, I love communicating. Marketing is a brand’s personality, the way it to talks to the people who use it, its customers! Having that dialogue and interaction, that’s the bit that really excites me. What’s becoming more and more clear is how numerical and analytical [marketing] is. Especially when you’re in a tech company where you have all the data you could possibly want at your fingertips, in real time. The dynamism, and how you can use data, has completely changed the discipline.
Creativebrief: In your time at Deliveroo what has been the highlight project that you have worked on?
Alice ter Haar: I joined in April 2016. In the September, I was lucky enough to be part of the core team that led Deliveroo’s rebrand globally. That was a very proud moment and an incredible experience to be part of. It’s been great to see it stand the test of time. That doesn’t mean we got it all right, but the core elements lasted. I’m also proud to be coming up to my ‘third birthday’ at the company. A fast-paced workplace that is constantly evolving has its challenges, so I’m proud to continue to be part of Europe’s fastest growing company. We’re many times the size we were when I started. Sometimes you take a step back and you realise that you’ve helped create the ‘juggernaut’ you see in front of you. It’s no longer three of you sitting in a room doing the budgeting for the quarter; it’s now yearly planning cycles with the CFO.
Creativebrief: What work has really stood out to you in the industry this year?
Alice ter Haar: I thought what KFC did with the anagram of their name was genius. How you turn what could’ve been a PR disaster into one of the most genius bits of marketing in a very long time is a phenomenal achievement. What I loved about it was its reactivity and lack of bullshit. I also loved the infamous Spotify 2017 campaign that used data brilliantly. “To the person that listened to the World is Over 12,000 times when Brexit was announced.” What they did that was so clever, super topical and funny.

What’s becoming more and more clear is how numerical and analytical [marketing] is...The dynamism, and how you can use data, has completely changed the discipline.

Alice ter Haar
Creativebrief: What do you think is the biggest challenge that marketers face today?
Alice ter Haar: One of the key opportunities now is thinking about marketing outside of what we would consider traditional marketing and looking at yourself as a growth function. As a discipline, we are expected to be more commercial, more analytical, more numbers-driven and to really understand and prove the value we're driving. We want to demonstrate our value by making the right decisions for the company that can go beyond what we might’ve typically thought of as ‘marketing’.
Creativebrief: The Marketing Academy. Talk to me about your highlights from that year.
Alice ter Haar: The Marketing Academy Scholarship was a truly life-changing experience. I had come out of a long-term relationship just as I went into the process and I’m glad that I did because it was almost again like therapy to help me to figure out who I was and what I wanted. It couldn’t have come at a better time. You emerge from it with this sense of “I can do anything, I can be anything that I want to be”. And that’s empowering and inspiring. I’m now doing a lot more for the Academy itself like hosting events for them. The scholarship programme showed me my passion and purpose are in personal development. I’m on a mission to spread the magic of The Marketing Academy aka personal development to hopefully show others its transformational power for themselves.
Creativebrief: You mentioned obviously starting in the Marketing Academy, having your eyes opened to that world and what the possibilities are. What’s happening for you now in that space?
Alice ter Haar: I’m doing a lot of keynote speaking and also running workshops. My most recent was on how to take action on your personal development. Participants came out of it with their own personal development plan, ten-year vision and a letter to their future selves. I continue to blog, vlog on LinkedIn and I’m excited to build and grow this side-hustle alongside the day-job that I love at Deliveroo. I’m lucky to work in a company which gives me the encouragement and flexibility to pursue this whilst working full-time. It can be full on sometimes, but luckily, when you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. Two of my proudest moment from the side-hustle so far have been speaking at WPP’s Stream (un)conference in Athens and my first published article in Campaign magazine on the importance of personal brand.

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