A Moment with Marketing Maven Hannah Ross
A Moment with Marketing Maven Hannah Ross
We sat down with the Vice President of Marketing for CARSTAR North America, Hannah Ross, to learn more about her role, history and ask some tough questions.
- Where did you work before CARSTAR?
I initially began my career as a news producer for a local television station. Following that, I worked in marketing for an organic grocery store chain where I led more than 30 community managers across the country to host gross roots marketing events and promotions.
- How did you join CARSTAR?
I started my career in Driven Brands as Marketing Manager for Meineke. When Driven Brands purchased CARSTAR in 2016, I moved to CARSTAR and really grew in my role alongside the growing network.
- What is it like being the Vice President of Marketing?
It is challenging and rewarding all at the same time. I enjoy working with our franchise family because they provide a unique perspective and we can work with them to test, track and create new marketing initiatives to drive their success. Having one team across two countries also brings in unique perspectives on how to improve marketing for our 700 stores.
- What is your favourite part about the job?
Seeing innovative marketing tactics that we created actually drive business to stores. Watching franchise partners win because of the things we dreamed up is really our goal and I love that creative aspect in my role. With collision repair, it is a serious business, but in marketing, we have the opportunity to add some fun, innovation and creativity as we look for the most optimal ways to reach both our customers and industry partners.
- What is the most challenging part of your job?
Gaining the trust and buy in from 700 business owners to execute strong brand plays. Building brand awareness and consistency across two countries is no easy feat; but my goal remains the same for each CARSTAR facility, which is to drive more business to their door. This is a large ship to steer and getting everyone on board to ensure we are all collectively moving in the right direction is a challenge.
- How do you help your franchise partners?
We bring the CARSTAR network strong data, analytics, research, digital innovation and agency resources to inform our marketing strategies – which they may not get as an independent owner. Whether it is digital campaigns, a traditional media buy or a sponsorship, our goal is to reach our customers and insurance partners to help market the CARSTAR business. Having dedicated team members to consult with on local marketing tactics is also another key way we help the CARSTAR franchise family.
- What is your best marketing advice to collision repair owners?
Embrace digital innovation. Embrace that consumers have changed. As consumers evolve, so do our marketing tactics. If owners continue to be agile, forward thinking and open to things that may pull them out of their comfort zone, it has the potential to bring in new streams of revenue – which would otherwise be going to competitors.
- What is an average workday like for you?
There is no such thing as an average workday. I come in early and after that, my days are usually dependent on our current events. I am often in meetings, whether it is with my team to lead strategy, meet with other CARSTAR departments or participate in Driven Brands level marketing meetings. Right now, my focus is on 2020 marketing plans, to ensure we have the best strategy, not just at the national level, but regional too. As previously mentioned though, no two days are the same, which for me is one of the joys of the job.
- Where do you see the collision repair industry going?
I see a lot of consolidation happening and I definitely anticipate this continuing. The CARSTAR model is unique though, because it is truly a family of family owned businesses. This key differentiator from our competitors is why I think CARSTAR will thrive in this changing landscape. Technology is also going to change in vehicles, which will change the way we fix them. Continuing to prioritize the repair quality and the customer experience will also help CARSTAR stand out in that new environment.
- How do you like to spend your free time?
Right now, it is spent wedding planning. My now fiancé proposed over the Fourth of July holiday and since then I’ve been getting everything ready for our spring wedding! Outside of that, I enjoy spending free time on the lake and I am actually hosting Thanksgiving this year – which is another thing I love to do, hosting my friends and family.