Get To Know: Trupanion CMO Alison Andrew
As pet insurance provider Trupanion’s CMO, Alison Andrew is charged with developing channels of business and producing marketing tools for pet shelters, breeders and the veterinary community. Founded in 2000, Trupanion offers pet owners medical insurance plans for their beloved cats and dogs, based on each animal’s specific needs. Andrew has spent the last decade […]
As pet insurance provider Trupanion’s CMO, Alison Andrew is charged with developing channels of business and producing marketing tools for pet shelters, breeders and the veterinary community.
Founded in 2000, Trupanion offers pet owners medical insurance plans for their beloved cats and dogs, based on each animal’s specific needs.
Andrew has spent the last decade working for the biggest pet insurer in the world. Using her previous work experiences, Andrew aims to make Trupanion the undisputed pet insurance authority.
CMO @ Trupanion
- Age: Late 30s (+sales tax)
- HQ: NW Ballard Way, Seattle, Washington
- First Job: PR at an equestrian center
- Apple or Android? Apple
- Hobby: Watching Scotland play rugby & baseball
- First Car: Peugeot 106
What mobile device can you not live without?
An iPhone needs to be switched off; you can live without it. What I can’t live without is my best friend!
Can we take a peek at your phone’s home screen?
Which apps do you use most often for work?
Skype and FaceTime because of their ease of communicating face-to-face with our 60+ sales team across North America, Puerto Rico and my six Regional Directors.
It also has been amazing to keep in touch with home – I moved from the UK in October 2012 – and without it, I may have jumped on a plane home, so it has definitely helped my work.
What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?
Daily Mail website to keep up with UK news, and it also has a US version.
What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?
Sales results from the previous day.
Take me through your typical workday.
Talking and lots of it. With almost 100 people across all teams, I spend a great deal of time on the phone in meetings with my teams and other departments, and walking the floor (our office is totally open).
I always avoid sending emails when I can pick up the phone or walk over to someone. Face-to-face interaction is imperative when you are leading from the front. Only around 10% of my time is spent at my desk.
What does your desk look like?
It is surrounded by photos of my sister and my adorable niece and nephew, along with photos that represent projects I am working on.
By naming projects, it helps me flip from one to another during the workday and week. My favorites are “Beckham” and “Clooney.”
What has been the most exciting work development during the past year?
Bringing together the sales and the marketing functions of the business; endeavoring to ensure great communication whether you sit next to me or thousands of miles away; and, uniting a large team behind a common purpose.
It is incredibly hard but fantastically rewarding.
How many miles have you traveled in the last 12 months?
30,000 miles? My favorite place so far has been Nashville. It was a work trip to a conference with animal shelters. I kicked off the development of this channel for Trupanion, and it was great to meet so many passionate people who devote their work to tackling the huge problem of unwanted pets.
As a Brit, this was also a fantastic experience. Music everywhere and real, live cowboys, and folks who called me “Ma’am,” along with great food and a buzzy atmosphere.
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
Am I doing the best that I can by my team? They are utterly bloody brilliant, talented, passionate, compassionate, hardworking with unswerving loyalty. Am I always recognizing that enough, and doing everything that I can to help them realize their dreams?
Can you tell us about a campaign or work project you’d like to do over?
No, you can always revisit a campaign and think afterwards what you could have done a little bit differently, but mostly, if you spend too much time looking backwards in a fast paced environment you are going to run into something you didn’t see coming.
Brilliant and empowered teams, well supported and structured with a clear vision and purpose, execute to a high level.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your team would be surprised to know?
I once was the lead in an operetta at school and had two years worth of voice training lessons. Last weekend’s team karaoke performance would make this a surprising fact.
Tell me about the people who have been most influential in your career.
My Mum and Dad. Fearless and bold, they just celebrated 50 years of married life where they traveled the world and always took opportunities when they arose.
When I told them I had been offered a job in Seattle they were adamant that I should take it, and never have a “what if” or “if only” in my life (even though it broke their heart to see me go).
What traits does a person need to succeed in your position?
Get qualified, and get your team qualified. You can’t just get away with being good with people.
Marketing is a really sexy science, so understand your numbers. Make the CFO your best friend. Innovation is just a word until you deliver. Have a GSD culture (Get S–T Done!).
Why did you go into marketing?
Because I love it. I love the mix of creativity and science. I love building big, fabulous things that serve our customers well. I love the diverse mix of activities that my team does that drives the business.
I love building teams who are passionate and skillful and empowered.
What other career would you like to try and why?
Screenwriting – in 2011 I took a year off working and went to film school to learn screenwriting. I loved it.
Films are magic. When I stop working I want to continue writing – preferably sitting by a beach with a glass of Sancerre and letting my imagination fuel the art of scriptwriting. My first script is a thriller, the second outline is a western.
What’s the last business book you read?
Anything by John Seddon. He is an intellectual giant when it comes to business systems.
Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign or video caught your eye recently?
A friend forwarded me a YouTube link to the John Smith’s Bitter “Top Bombing” video to remind me of home.
It is brilliant and typifies the British sense of humor!!