Annabelle Fowler
Annabelle Fowler
Direct Marketer of the Year
Annabelle Fowler
Entry Rationale
Annabelle is a passionate, high energy direct marketer who has lead the marketing, product and pricing for retail promotions in the New Zealand market for the past 6 years.

Her understanding and undivided focus on how to optimise the collection and use of customer data from all channels in order to tailor the experience that consumers have with the brand and maximise conversions, is one of the reasons she’s walked away with this year’s coveted title of Direct Marketer of the Year.

Annabelle has an uncanny way of marrying more traditional direct marketing principles with newer mediums and tools. She is excited by learning and trying new things - fail fast is fine - everything doesn't always work... but giving new concepts a go, is important. 

When Annabelle first joined Air New Zealand, the brand’s retail focus was on sales in conventional media such as TV and press. Faced with growing competition on all routes, with some competitors undercutting fares by as much as 50%, something had to change.

Acknowledging that Air New Zealand could not compete on price, Annabelle asked “How can Air New Zealand respond to this challenge in a uniquely Air New Zealand way?"

Harnessing her collaborative style, she has systematically reshaped Air New Zealand’s retail approach. In a market plagued with one-off sales, Annabelle set her sights on long term engagement and using a targeted response to drive conversion. Her targeting approach aligns to both customer journey and customer needs, ensuring the right person is targeted with the right message at the right time. 

Even though Air New Zealand’s retail sales platforms were performing well, Annabelle was not satisfied - she wanted to make them even better. This resulted in 18 months of A/B testing across digital, social, native and TV channels. Her consistent and diligent efforts to test learn and optimise have resulted in continuous improvement to retail sales. It has also delivered the highest ROI Air New Zealand has ever had in a time when competition is more aggressive than ever.

Demonstrating her willingness to test the retail rule book, she recommended Air New Zealand offer full price fares as part of it’s support for the All Blacks during the Lions tour. 

Annabelle acknowledges that strategy and technology go hand in hand, and effectively uses new technologies to identify prospects and manage them through the buying lifecycle to conversion. 

She stands out as one of the few leaders in NZ who has mastered the balance of Direct Marketing principles with retail, and big impact executions. Her passion and positive intensity carries through to her team and the results they achieve. In fact, you get the impression they’d walk over coals for her.

Annabelle’s ability to drive the business forward in the face of aggressive competition, ensuring Air New Zealand is constantly evolving to provide highly relevant, targeted, measurable 1-1 marketing that delivers fantastic results have definitely contributed to Air New Zealand’s two best financial years in history.