Getting to know…Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith recently joined McCorkell as our Director of Business Intelligence, based in our Japan office.


Tell us about your role at McCorkell


As the Director of Business Intelligence, I head up the Intelligence Department and am responsible for the ideation and delivery of successful, industry leading data-driven, customer insights-based intelligence services for our clients. These services assist our client’s to leverage data strategies, data methodologies and data technologies that augment their ability to intimately understand customers, to personalise more engagements with relevance, to be more efficient, to measure and prove marketing creativity and to demonstrate clear campaign & program ROI (Return on Investment).

Data is I believe one of the most important, yet underutilised assets in many organizations. Through our intelligence services, I look forward to partnering with more leading brands across Asia Pacific and Japan and assisting them to untap their data assets to help drive increased revenue, profits and customer satisfaction.


What’s your story?


Having always loved consumer technology and gadgets, I began my career at the brand I loved most throughout my childhood, Sony. Having majored in both Japanese and Marketing, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to put theory into practice from the outset; working with some amazing products (BRAVIA and Blu-ray) and learning from some of the brightest Japanese minds in Consumer Electronics. I have worked in Product Marketing, Product Development, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Operations and Consulting in Australia, in Japan and across Asia Pacific and one of the common threads that underpins success in all of these areas I believe, is the ability to create business models founded in sound data strategies.

Having spent the last 6 years optimizing CRM and Marketing Automation platforms, I’ve come to appreciate how powerful a data strategy can be in bringing technology, process and people together across the organization and embracing a common direction. I love the creativity of marketing, I love proving creativity & ROI with data and I love assisting teams to bring their tech stack together to better connect data, uncover previously unseen insights and enable contextual engagement across multiple channels to acquire, retain and delight customers.


What excites you most about your industry?


I am especially excited about the role of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the Marketing Industry and how it is helping to augment marketing teams to be smarter and better informed.

From my experience, data continues to be a two-sided coin for many organizations; a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge; there is often more data across the organization than they know what to do with. The opportunity; within all that data lays important insights and intelligence that if captured guides an acute understanding about potential and existing customers.


I am excited to see AI help address the challenge of effectively sorting huge volumes of data in order to uncover previously unattainable patterns and insights that work to assist marketing teams with important learning and smarter decision making around tactical and strategic opportunities.

Similarly as AI converges with MarTech, I am excited to see the infusion of data as the lifeblood in bringing marketing automation to life with smarter account & customer predictions, optimized advertising buys and personalized content placement.


Better Informed
Rather than relying on the traditional parameter defined segmentation or audience grouping approach, I am excited to see how AI is helping marketing teams to process huge volumes of data from multiple channels and sources to understand new insights about consumers, where they are and their need or desire.

This is especially exciting as the potential for marketing teams to discover previously unidentified characteristics and new target customers increases. Being better informed about where consumers are (in the buyer lifecycle) and their specific need or desire expands on the potential for marketing teams to orchestrate intimate customer journeys faster and hyper-personalize content experiences.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?


At work as in life, no other feedback is more important than the honest feedback you give yourself.


Who inspires you?


My older brother. He is immensely successful in his career and literally helps to save countless lives each year through his work. He is grounded, selfless and puts family, friends and important connections above everything else. Despite putting so much of himself out there, he still manages to punch out regular marathons and triathlons and is always improving himself. I often think, “I want to be like that”.


What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?


The cheapest apple (just one) at my local supermarket is 213 YEN, about AUD 2.50.


If you had your time again, what would you do differently?


Basically, I wouldn’t do much differently. I’ve learnt so much from my life as it is and grateful for it all; the ups and downs and the people in my life and those who have been a part of it at some stage. If I had to choose my education again, I would have added computer science; I didn’t back myself then to go into that field.


How do you unwind?


Going for a run through the rice fields near home in Saitama. Sitting down with my wife and dog on the couch to watch Netflix.


Everyone in business should read this book:

Thick Face, Black Heart: The Warrior Philosophy for Conquering the Challenges of Business and Life