Some take long walks to disconnect from work. Alyssa Raine does the opposite.
When not working, the group vice president of Customer Marketing Platforms at Walgreens continues to ponder and reflect on ways in which leading pharmacy retailers can deliver the best customer experience. She takes long walks every day to digest and understand what’s going on in the consumer’s world. She looks at insights into consumer behavior and believes the future of the industry lies in merging brand and performance marketing.
However, Alyssa has always been part of her listening routine. She turns to books and podcasts to absorb all the current headlines and content that could be important in her consumer’s life (could she be a unicorn marketing?). She is a member of the Adweek Community Collaboration Teams which were created to cope with seismic changes from 2020. All the evidence points to one key conclusion: Alyssa Raine is dedicated to her art and her consumers.
Read on to see why she was designed to be a marketer and what she believes it takes to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
How did you get where you are today? Are there any remarkable moments along the way?
I always knew I wanted to be a marketer. I love understanding human behavior, culture, data, brand DNA and assets. I like to combine these components to propose a strong strategy thanks to a great creativity which delights the customer and moves the company forward.
I joined Walgreens almost three years ago. Walgreens is at the absolute heart of the health and well-being of the communities we serve. It’s an incredibly strong (and motivating!) Goal.
What are you working on now that is innovative?
COVID-19 vaccine and tests! We are leveraging our recent innovations in marketing and technology (including myWalgreens and Mass Personalization) to help our customers and communities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
myWalgreens is our redesigned loyalty offer. It gives our customers daily COVID-19 and other health-related content, access to tests, access to vaccine if you are eligible, community health alerts (for example: influenza alerts or allergens in your neighborhood), digital receipts, contactless checkout, and allows you to donate your Walgreens Cash rewards to various charities. You can also quickly connect with a pharmacist via chat or a healthcare provider via FindCare (which has grown significantly since the start of the pandemic).
At Walgreens, we are also implementing our MarTech stack as part of our mass customization strategy in partnership with Adobe and Microsoft Azure. This helps us coordinate great experiences for our customers on both owned and paid channels. It is a completely new approach to marketing compared to traditional marketing.
How do you virtually involve your teams to keep the spirit of creativity alive?
In the pandemic, it can be easy to fall into a work routine, which is why it’s so critical to find times to take a regular break and celebrate our accomplishments as a team. I also make sure that my team gets unplugged. You don’t get more creativity staring at a screen all the waking hours of the day – it’s important to take a break and refresh yourself to look your best while you’re ‘at’ work.
Where do you look for inspiration when coming up with the next project or initiative?
There are two things I have done in the past two decades –
First, I constantly read books and articles, and listen to a variety of podcasts and radio stations. It helps me understand changing customer behavior, market dynamics, marketing innovation, and new levers that I have that I should explore as a marketer.