More than a decade of transformation helped WW innovate rapidly with new digital services

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Global wellness brand WW was 15 years into transitioning into a wellness technology company when COVID hit, leaving it well placed to manage the disruption and build new digital services. 

Nicole McInnes, WW’s ANZ Director of Marketing and Commercial, spoke to iTnews Digital Nation about how the company’s long term transformation project put the company in good stead to respond to the pandemic. 

“It was a smaller impact that it could have been,” says McInnes. 

McInnes says the relationship with IT has been integral to the business’s transformation project and ultimately brought the teams closer. 

“I've been working really closely with our IT department locally. And we were always talking about the best way to view our data, access to our data, cutting our data set, and why would we need it. So it's a really, it's a really strong relationship. And we really needed them.” 

She pins the need for access to data and analytics as one of the key drivers of the relationship between the IT and marketing functions, and says is behind what’s leading individuals with engineering and science backgrounds into marketing roles. 

“You do have to kind of love numbers,” says McInnes. 

“I think it's really interesting that all these scientists are coming through into marketing and it's because of there's so many numbers now, there's so much data.” 

Disruption 

McInnes said the digital fitness of the company after a decade and a half’s worth of transformation meant it was well placed to innovate its service offerings in the post pandemic digital led landscape. 

“The majority of our base globally had moved to following WW just on the digital app. So the member base impacted was a lot smaller than it could have been 10 years ago."

“After we got the MVP of getting meetings onto the platform, we then went well, hey, we could run cooking demonstrations, we can do workouts with them, we'll go walking with them, or do app orientations with them. And so we've been rolling out these value ads on the virtual platform, which customers are just telling us they love. So it was bad, but it was also really good.” 

WW employees experienced dramatic changes. McInnes gave the example of trying to manage generating new TV creatives in the uncertain COVID business landscape.   

“The marketing team has just become massively agile at being really creative and kind of hacking the system, if you like, to create content that's still fit for purpose and high quality and represents the brand and inspires customers but, is done under excruciating circumstances.” 

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