More than just a development programme - A.S. Watson Innoteam

A short interview with Hannah Cossey, our Content Marketing Manager and one of the participants of ASW Innoteam 2018/19

Hannah Cossey

Content Marketing Manager, eLab London

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Hannah, Content Marketing Manager at eLab London. My team creates content for our European businesses, from blog articles to social media images to beauty tutorials. A lot of people tell me my job is cool… and I’m grateful every day for the job I do and the people I do it with. Outside of work, I relax with house renovations, dog walks, and family time.

Could you tell us about your A.S. Watson journey so far?

I started at A.S. Watson in September 2015 as a Content Marketing Specialist. The last three years have been a series of incredible experiences – I got promoted to Content Marketing Manager and tasked with adding production expertise into the team. A year later, I set up a content studio at our Old Street office – we went from supporting 4 of our markets to over 10, launched 11 blogs, and delivered over 14,000 production assets. Then last year I was invited to be part of the Innoteam development programme which has enabled me to meet some amazing people from across ASW.

What does ‘innovation’ mean to you?

For me, it’s not necessarily about having the most exciting technology or most daring campaigns. It’s about being brave enough to think differently and being relentless in our mission to put a smile on our customers’ faces.

You’ve been part of A.S. Watson Innoteam 2018/2019 a year-long development programme for innovative talent from across the business – can you tell us about your experience?

Where to start?! It’s been a whirlwind year that’s taken me to Hong Kong and Paris. I’ve completed a 24 hour Hackathon, I’ve presented to MDs and at board meetings, I’ve had 30 cameras in my face asking me to comment on a social media crisis (thanks again for that). I’ve stayed up all night working on projects, I’ve been thrown into situations way outside my comfort zone and I’ve had so much fun with some great people along the way.

Has the programme made any impact on your professional life?

Absolutely. Being part of the Innoteam has taught me so many things I’ve taken away into my everyday life at work. It’s taught me to think differently, work with more agility and to question more. Most importantly it’s taught me to take more action and make time for more reflection. The beginning of my day is all geared towards action – planning and prioritising and getting stuff done! Then during my commute home I take some time to reflect, digest what I’ve heard and think about what I could have done differently or better.

By being part of the team and participating in some tough challenges, did you learn anything about yourself? Any surprises?

I really learnt the value of having team mates from a wide variety of roles and cultures, and how having so many different perspectives can take an idea from good to great. I also learnt how important it is to be quick, decisive and flexible in my approach to get the best results.

What was your key highlight from the Innoteam?

All the friendships we made. To have a group of wonderfully smart, talented people from across the globe at the other end of the phone for advice and inspiration – you can’t put a price on that.

What’s next for Hannah Cossey?

Well now that we’re wrapping up the Innoteam programme, I think it’s time to start putting everything I’ve learned into practice! The big focus for my team this year is creating customer centric content that can be shared across our brands and to plan for the future of content so that we can win against our competitors.

What’s your advice to the future Innoteam participants?

Give it your all, 100% of the time. Speak up, voice your opinion, nominate yourself as team leader… whatever that means for you. It’s a fantastic thing to be chosen to do, so don’t hold anything back because you won’t get to do it again!

The Innoteam programme took you to Hong Kong, Paris and London - what’s your favourite city A.S. Watson has an office in and why?

I’ve lived in London and Paris already, so I have to say Hong Kong, especially as I’d never even travelled to Asia before. I fell in love with the food, the culture, the markets, the people, the harbour, the shopping… and did I mention the food?!