In partnership with eTail Asia 2022, E-Commerce Nation had the pleasure to interview Andrew Yin, Regional Digital Marketing, eCommerce & Omni-Retail Lead at Hasbro. Together we discussed marketing strategies, transition from physical models to omnichannel and sustainability.
Can you introduce yourself and your background?
I look after eCommerce, digital marketing & retail development at Hasbro – Consumer Products. I have always been in the Consumer Goods industry – started off at Suntory, then Reckitt and just before Hasbro, I was in Disney.
Can you introduce Hasbro and its activity?
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play and Entertainment Experiences. From toys, games and consumer products to television, movies, digital gaming, live action, music, and virtual reality experiences, Hasbro connects to global audiences by bringing to life great innovations, stories and brands across established and inventive platforms. Hasbro’s iconic brands include NERF, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, BABY ALIVE, POWER RANGERS, PEPPA PIG and PJ MASKS, as well as premier partner brands such as STAR WARS and MARVEL. Through its global entertainment studio, eOne, Hasbro is building its brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Hasbro is committed to making the world a better place for all children and all families through corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. Hasbro has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere Institute for the past 11 years.
How are you adapting to the transition to mobile and video games? How are you innovating in an industry that is traditionally physical?
Hasbro as a company – we have not just a multitude of brands, but also a variety of play & entertainment experiences, including digital gaming. We might be commonly known for our physical NERF blasters and Monopoly sets, but we also have in our mix Wizards of the Coast – which in their armory has the OG – Dungeons & Dragons, and also Magic: The Gathering which has become a juggernaut in digital gaming in the recent years.
From a retail perspective, we are tripling down our investment on eCommerce. Company wide – we are building centers of excellence to give greater focus and resources to build out our eCommerce ambition.
From a marketing perspective, we are churning out more mobile content than ever. For every campaign that we run, digital acquisition and outreach remains a key metric for us to assess.
Core to all of the above, is a laser-sharp focus on the consumer. We want to be where they are, and through that, we map out the various touchpoints from entertainment to content and then to their shopping habits.
What impact have health restrictions around the world had on the board game market?
Contrary to popular belief, board games were break-out sellers for us during COVID. Given the restrictions to stay at home, a lot of families have turned to board games to keep their children entertained.
How do you attract consumers to your digital channels? What are the most profitable or effective channels at Hasbro?
For any marketer – trying to identify a single channel to be the most effective misses the point. Each channel is meant to do different things, and consequently, we assess each channel differently with different metrics. For example, though our shoppers are parents/adults, we know that children have a significant influence over their purchases. We also know that these 2 audiences would have different content consumption habits. My job is to ensure that the right content gets served to them, in the best channel possible. Sometimes, that would mean I prioritise content-heavy platforms such as YouTube but other times, that would mean I prioritise content-light ones such as programmatic – depending on who I am reaching out, the content I have, and the objective I am trying to fulfill.
Your company recently joined the Science Based Targets initiative, can you tell us more about this initiative and the goals you have?
I’m proud to work for a company that cares so deeply about sustainability – not just in principle but also in commitment & action. For example, we are on-track to meet our goal of eliminating virtually all plastic from new product packaging by the end of 2022, which will reduce the use of virgin plastic by an estimated 19.5 million pounds annually.
As part of this initiative, Hasbro will set both near-term (2030) and long-term (2050) Science-Based Targets (SBTs) which will be validated by the SBTi and this forms part of agenda of SBTi’s new Net-Zero Standard, the world’s first science-based standard for setting a companies’ net-zero targets.
You “update” your games regularly (like Monopoly), how do you respond to trends?
Consumer comes first and we often monitor whether certain trends are here to stay or would they be phased out, and if they do – is there a longevity to them which can be commercialized and also create meaningful experiences to our consumers. To do that, we subscribe to various data tracking tools (include social listening ones) to assess and extrapolate data and make informed decisions of such trends.
What will you be sharing at eTail Asia 2022?
I’ll be speaking with a group of amazing digital marketers and the topic – Confessions of Rockstar Digital Marketers – Revealing the good, the bad and the ugly in digital marketing – is one which I’m sure would delight, engage and surprise many of us.
What are the key topics you are keen to listen to and why is eTail a must not miss event?
There is a section on “Connecting The Dots for Your eCommerce Success” – I’m really looking forward to the all-star panels & various case studies being shared. Nothing beats hearing and learning from people who have gone through their own journeys on moulding a successful e-business.
Beyond that, I think eTail would truly have something for everyone – from technologies to marketing. I wish there were these much content and access back when I first started out!