10 Questions with Loyalty NZ's Hamish Mitchell

Hamish Mitchell is the Chief Strategy and Growth Officer for Loyalty NZ. He will be a panellist at the PwC Herald Talks - Internet of Things, in Wellington on October 19 at St James Theatre, and Christchurch on November 1 at The Piano. 

1. In a nutshell, what is your role at Loyalty NZ?

My role is primarily future focused. The team and I are responsible for understanding what’s happening, what’s going to happen, what the big trends are and the impact these will have on our business, our clients and customers. The key areas of responsibility are strategy and planning, product and innovation, customer experience, data, analytics and insights.

2. What do you most enjoy about your role?

The critical thinking and problem solving. We live in very exciting times with a massive amount of disruption and change. Loyalty NZ sits at the centre of the customer experience, data, technology, payments and retail evolution. And our clients are some of the biggest, best known and most successful brands in New Zealand. So the challenges and opportunities are significant for us and our clients. There is never a dull moment.

3. What is your favourite thing about New Zealand business people?

The partnership approach and the willingness and openness to change and to explore new things. A desire to continue to challenge the status-quo and the ability to look critically at themselves and their business and look for better ways of doing things.

4. How do you describe the concept of ‘Internet of Things’ to someone who has never come across it before?

Someone just made the internet useful and not just entertaining. It’s the connection of the physical – devices, vehicles, whiteware, and electronics – software and sensors, that allow the exchange of data. All of which serves to improve performance, make lives easier, improve or create entirely new experiences and ways of doing things.

5. Has your career path changed in response to the development of technology?

There’s been a huge amount of change, both in terms of what we do and what we can do, how we do things, what’s now possible etc, but also in my own outlook and approach to things. With the evolution of technology and data the role of the marketing, product, technology and analysis and finance are either much more collaborative or completely merged in entirely new roles. The specialisation and separation of functions has all but disappeared. Technology has given us access to data and made it useful. The expectations and workload have increased also; with the ability to know more and do more we are expected to deliver more.

6. What is your top tip to anyone looking to start out in your industry?

Put the customer at the center of everything you do. Also, don’t worry too much about developing and sticking to a career plan. The world is changing rapidly and it’s important to remain open to everything and just enjoy the journey.

7. Do you have a motto that you stick to when it comes to business?

In truth, I probably have a few. There are two that are always front of mind. The first; life’s too short to be doing things you don’t enjoy. The second; the customer is always right. That’s more about creating a great experience that the customer loves rather than a literal translation.

8. If you could give your twenty-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Give everything and anything a go. So much will change in your lifetime, better to have tried as much as you can for as long as you can.

9. Who is your business role model and why?

I’ve been really fortunate to have so many great leaders throughout my career, each of them very different and also very inspiring. All of them were very strong on the importance of family and putting family first; they were all big believers in working to live and not the other way around.

10. What are you most looking forward to at PwC Herald Talks – Internet of Things?

Learning from the others participating. Everyone approaches these things differently, experiences different successes and challenges. I really enjoy understanding how different industries and businesses are approaching things. It’s a great source of ideas, thinking and approaches. Events like the PwC Herald Talks are key to challenging my current thinking and learning new things.

To view the full list of panelists and purchase tickets for the PwC Herald Talks - Internet of Things series in Auckland, Wellintgon and Christchurch, please visit the website.

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