"I can improve the lives of so many more animals"
After graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in 2008, Hannah Watts worked in small animal practice for 2 years before making the move to industry, as a territory manager. The role saw her flourish before she was identified as talent for the marketing team. She is now brand manager for innovative anti-parasite product Seresto and the anti-infective product range. Hannah still consults as a small animal vet two Saturdays a month.
What has prompted the significant changes in your career as it has progressed?
I enjoyed a lot of aspects of small animal practice but I was not completely fulfilled. The variety and ‘out and about’ aspects of the territory manager role really appealed, so that was my starting point. Bayer has a great reputation in the industry for personal and career development, so they were definitely on my ‘hit list’ early on.
Marketing had always been of interest as I am quite creative but I didn’t think it would be possible without being office based, which wasn’t an option for me. I am so grateful for how flexible Bayer has been to enable me to do the job I love.
What does your role today actually encompass?
I liaise and manage relationships with all stakeholders associated with my brands, from legal to suppliers to the sales team and the customer as well as developing the marketing strategies. The ‘brand’ is so much more than just advertising and pretty campaigns – I am involved at every touch point for my products. It’s like spinning plates sometimes!
Hannah with her lovely Patterdale X terriers Ted and Bruce
How does your current role mirror clinical practice?
Logical decision making is a huge aspect of clinical work and this has helped me immensely in my current role. Dealing with life and death situations, requiring rapid but reasoned responses, means that I am good at processing and critically analysing information effectively.
And how about the new skills you have developed since making the switch?
The technical aspects of marketing and sales have been a steep learning curve, although this has been helped by the Diploma in Professional Marketing I am currently studying for, sponsored by Bayer.
My commercial awareness has increased massively – it amazes me how little I knew about how the wider industry ‘works’ and how veterinary promotional activity is regulated, despite being one of the key players as a clinical vet!
What makes you proud to work for Bayer?
It may sound clichéd, but it’s true - I am so proud of our products. I genuinely believe that they are the best. I use them on my own pets and recommend them to my pet owning clients. I also think the support that we offer practices is second to none. Receiving great feedback from customers makes what the team and I do worthwhile.
The scale of reach also means that I can improve the lives of so many more animals in my current role than I ever could working solely in practice too – that is pretty special.
Finally, tell us a bit about your own pets…
Ted and Bruce, my gorgeous Patterdale X terriers are hilarious – they literally make us laugh every day!
Bruce is a bit of a digging escape artist and poor Ted, being a little bigger in stature, often can’t follow. As a result, he has made it his mission to get Bruce in trouble! He does a special bark to attract our attention as soon as Bruce disappears and is very enthusiastic in his demonstration of where the fugitive made his escape!
Thanks a lot, Hannah!