Andy Murray, Asda’s Chief Customer Officer, explains how our communications are changing to put customers first.

Putting customers first in our decision making has ALWAYS been at the forefront of our thinking in Asda. Early last year we held up a mirror to see how we looked to our customers when they engage with our brand.

It was clear we had some work to do and that we needed to change. Part of that work was a back to basics approach and improving retail fundamentals. For my part, we reduced the amount of marketing activity, which often became noise rather than offering relevant solutions for customers.

There are three areas we have set in motion ambitious plans in order to better meet our customers’ needs.

First is to become even more relevant to more customers’ needs. We have a wide range of products across multiple categories and we must do a better job going beyond the familiar to connect those categories and products to the needs of our customers. Secondly, to help save customers time by becoming simpler and more seamless to shop and finally, to increase our customers’ trust that Asda does the right thing in all areas that matter to them, from consistency of experience, to how we support our local communities to our responsibilities to our shared planet.

As I look at trust, time and trips, I felt one of the things we could do better is communicate in ways that more closely resemble today’s customer journey. No longer is it good enough to have discrete silo communications in channels. Customers move fluidly across screens and channels today and expect we do the same.

Over the last year we have built an internal customer and marketing organisation that is less channel centric and aligned to foster and launch ideas that are more salient to our customers’ needs.

The next step in our journey is to create an agency partner ecosystem that helps us drive growth in a new way of working, where big creative ideas come to life in ways that match how we want to engage with customers across channels, both physical and digital.

We have been fortunate to have world class partners over this past year help us make great adverts, digital content, press and point of sale. We couldn’t have achieved the turnabout in results in 2017 without their help.

But we need to fundamentally change the way our ecosystem works to reach and engage customers differently than we do today.

I have kicked off a procurement process with a select group of potential and current partners to see how we can achieve our ambition of relevant, inspired and engaging content throughout the customer journey.

I am truly excited about the work we are undertaking to build a team of partners with a shared ambition for growth and the passion to serve our customers.