A Week in My Life: Anne Kirk, Marketing Director at Swinton Insurance
Monday 29th May
Today is a Bank Holiday, which means the alarm not going off at 6am for once! Having just returned from a week’s holiday in the Napa Valley, for my husband’s 50th birthday, a lie-in is called for. It was an amazing trip - the weather, food and (most importantly) wine were all fantastic - and I managed to avoid scrolling through work emails throughout the week. It felt like I’d had a complete break and I’m raring to go again.
I get ready for the work week ahead in central Manchester. I live in York and rent an apartment from Monday to Thursday in the Northern Quarter so I avoid commuting every day.
Tuesday 30th May
The alarm goes off at 6am and I catch the 7.37am train from York to Manchester. The journey gives me enough time to have a much-needed coffee and catch-up with the previous week’s emails.
I’m responsible for our digital sales and service channels, which are vital to our business as the majority of our customers now buy their insurance online. I spend the morning meeting with my direct reports, which is a great way to get up to speed. They share some really positive updates around trading numbers over the last two weeks. The insurance sector is incredibly competitive and our performance can change from one day to the next depending on what’s happening in the market and with competitors.
Later in the afternoon I catch up with my marketing team to review the latest creative proposed for our new brand positioning campaign. The Swinton brand has a huge amount of heritage but our objective for this year is to reinvigorate what it represents in the 21st century and reinforce the value of using an insurance broker.
Then it’s the turn of the digital team. We are making significant investments in this area by improving our online functionality and radically advancing our customer experience. We’ve recently launched a home contents calculator in response to customer feedback which aims to help remove any nagging doubt and support our clients in choosing the right insurance product.
Wednesday 31st May
After 20 years at our HQ on Great Marlborough Street, near Oxford Street station, we’re moving to a brand new office at 101 Embankment. Our new HQ is a vibrant space with 360 degree views across Greater Manchester, a suite of meeting rooms and a conference zone. It’s a big investment for us – not only in our colleagues and the business, but also in the city.
Today my morning meeting is a practical run-through of the logistics of moving each of my teams over. We hope our new base will encourage a more collaborative and agile way of working.
My afternoon consists of a meeting with our PR team who are leading on a big campaign focused on our 60th anniversary this year. We’ll be spending the rest of 2017 honouring our loyal customers and colleagues who’ve supported us over the past 60 years and celebrating our exciting digital future.
Thursday 1st June
I spend some time this morning with our HR team, reviewing the shortlist of candidates for two key digital and marketing roles we’re recruiting for. We’ve recently employed some really talented new colleagues into both teams. I’ve been really excited by the candidates I’ve seen so far. Today’s focus is identifying which ones we take forward to the final round of interviews.
I managed to make the 4pm train from Manchester back to York. I normally try to work from home on a Friday, I find it really helps with my work life balance if I can get home on a Thursday evening. I also find Friday at home is a great time for catching up on all the emails and documents that need reviewing as there are far less distractions.
Friday 2nd June
Today I am in London for meetings with a number of our current and potential partners.
My first meeting of the day is with a potential InsureTech partner. They have developed some really interesting technology to identify customers’ real insurance cover needs. They’re a great example of a group of people who are driven by solving a customer issue. Their ability to move quickly and work with total focus is inspiring and I come away thinking about how I could inject some of that back into my team and how I operate.
My last meeting of the day is with one of our insurer partners. As a broker, Swinton has a panel of insurers who we work with, from which we choose the best policy and price for our customers. Our insurance partners are obviously important to our success, and these meetings are a key part of building strong relationships. We review the performance of their account over the last six months and identify a couple of questions I will take back to the pricing team.
Saturday 3rd June
After a more leisurely start to the day, I headed out for a five mile run. Both my husband and I are in training for the York 10k and I need to make sure I’m getting the miles in. The rest of the weekend is spent with my husband and family. We don’t have much time together during the week as we both regularly work away from home, so a good catch up over a glass of wine and a couple of episodes of House of Cards is something I always look forward to.