"We Are AH"– George Reeves
Hi George, what is your job and what does your job mean?
I’m Marketing Manager for Farm Animal Products in New Zealand and have been in Animal Health for about eight months. The farm animal products marketing team is comprised of eight people which includes product brand managers and veterinary product managers. The team is responsible for managing marketing programmes and also providing technical veterinary support. In this capacity, the team also provides: sales field support, reviews of technical materials, handling of adverse events and product technical complaints.
In some areas of the world, these aspects are managed separately, but in New Zealand the veterinarians also manage a portfolio of brands as well. This means that the team is responsible for brands and communications materials for both farmers and customers.
We work closely with the sales team to develop technical materials, training and key product marketing programmes for veterinarians and large OTC corporate customers. In this role, I’m able to ensure that what we are doing is customer-centric and that promotions are executed for customers in a way that provides a turn-key experience to maximize customer buy-in and ensure broad implementation.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Generally, no two days are the same. The work is very stimulating. We have a complex business in New Zealand. This complexity is driven by our broad range of products, brands and categories in which we compete. We have over 75 brands and 140 products (in my experience working in the Bayer Consumer Care business, we worked with just 30 different brands)!
We have a manufacturing site – located at Manukau in south Auckland; and the Asia Pacific Regional Development Centre, located at Bayer New Zealand’s head office on Auckland’s North Shore, This drives additional complexity and gives my role some unique touch points when compared to some other markets. Learning more about these parts of the Animal Health business is something I’m really enjoying.
We are more B2B in FAP, so customer focus is a key part of my role. Getting closer to our key accounts and improving the customer focus of our marketing activities is stimulating.
I also spend time with the team reviewing plans, creative material, and of course people management.
On a daily and weekly basis, there really are no two days that are the same and I enjoy the variability of the role and the different touch points in the business that I’m exposed to.
How did you get to Animal Health?
I’ve been with Bayer for over 10 years with about half of that time spent in the United Kingdom as head of Marketing for Derma and Analgesics, in Consumer Health. In 2010 I moved to Australia as Head of Marketing and Category Management for Consumer Health. In mid-2014, I wanted to focus on my health due to a rare disease, so I decided to take time off work and move home to New Zealand with my family, where I ended up making a full recovery.
In mid-2015 I was offered a job with Consumer Health New Zealand, and then this job in Animal Health came up. A potential move to AH was always part of my development dialogue, so I jumped at the opportunity. I come from a farming background, having been raised on a sheep and beef farm, and I worked for five years for a leading New Zealand rural retailer, so working in the farm animal health market is close to my roots…
I am excited about the opportunity and the team here. We have great people, an interesting and challenging business, a collaborative culture, and an entrepreneurial core to our business. We have the opportunity to make a real, positive difference.
What do you like about your job?
I really enjoy our highly collaborative work environment. Working closely with Supply Chain and Regulatory, and of course, with Sales, where we align to ensure that we give customers what they want.
Everyone is working together to do the best they can to make our business better.
The people and culture here are great. We have a team of experienced and talented people, all committed to achieving results. The size of our team means we have a hands-on culture which I enjoy. We have good transparency and knowledge-flow with product supply and with our sales team who are very well connected to our customers.
We have an entrepreneurial core which is in large part driven by our Bomac heritage. Much of the farm animal business came with the acquisition of Bomac in 2011. This was a small New Zealand firm, but Bomac’s culture of entrepreneurism remains in our approach today. We have an opportunity to drive new ideas, we are empowered to make decisions in a nimble way, and we can react quickly to market challenges and opportunities.
At Bayer, our mission is “Science For a Better Life”—how do you contribute to this?
The essence is three things: 1) we supply market leading innovative products which make a real difference to the lives of our customers, and end users - farmers 2) we supply products that improve the productivity of animals to produce more food 3) We providing products that save the lives of animals.
We have the ability to submit ideas, via the Asia Pacific Regional Development Centre for new, innovative products so in the future we can continue to improve productivity and save lives.
Do you have a pet?
I actually have quite a few pets! I live on a “lifestyle farm”, which in New Zealand equates to a 10 acre lot. We currently have 10 lambs, of which seven are pets. I have an 18-monthold Labrador retrieved, named Rosie, Pearl the cat, that was a new addition this January, and then we have five chickens that lay eggs for us. My two children go to a country school, where we have an annual “Pet Day”. Every year in term 3 every child at the school has to raise an animal – either a chicken, lamb, goat or calf. They have to feed and care for them and teach them to lead and come when called. Pet Day is the last day of term 3 where all animals attend school, and they are judged on leading, rearing (condition) and calling. My kids love it. They normally have a lamb each, which is why we have a large collection of pet lambs at home!