Meet the team: Andy Cullwick, head of marketing

 
Behind The Brand

Meet the team: Andy Cullwick, head of marketing

4 minutes

Charlotte Todd, marketing executive, March 10, 2020

A marketer with almost twenty years’ experience, Andy Cullwick joined First4Lawyers from the international automotive world at the start of 2014. Since arriving at our Huddersfield HQ, Andy has revolutionised our marketing approach. Over the last two years his team has doubled and incorporates specialist marketers across all areas of the marketing function.


Andy is often viewed as the ‘guardian’ of the First4Lawyers brand and has been instrumental in our record seven wins at the Personal Injury Awards. Andy also oversees the delivery of our annual White Paper, which each year seeks to delve into the issues facing the industry and examine where improvements can be made to help both law firms and consumers.


We asked Andy what the main focus of his role is, he told us, “It’s my job to align the performance marketing aspects with our brand reputation, and to ensure that the customer fits into the centre of that. In everything we do, I have to have one eye on customer experience, thinking about what their needs are and how we are meeting them.”


Andy says that his role is just as much about general marketing as it is on ensuring a smooth and empathetic consumer experience. “Essentially there are two sides to my role, namely ensuring that we are doing everything to support our panel law firms so that they are getting the right volume, quality and type of claims. And for consumers, making sure that their contact with us is handled smoothly and on their terms, and that they treated with empathy.


The last two to three years have seen big changes. Technology has, and continues to considerably change the way consumers want to engage with brands. “Historically, first contact was made via telephone, but that’s changing and so we’ve adapted to meet that requirement. We have placed several points of contact on our website and consumer social channels so that people feel comfortable to reach out to us in the way that they want to and at a time that suits them. We have seen a significant increase in consumers utilising our online chat facility, so it’s important we continue to monitor how things change and that we can adapt accordingly.


“The marketing team has spent time with our claims team, immersed in calls with our clients so that they can experience what it’s like at the coalface. Only by knowing and understanding that process, from both sides, can we meet customer expectations.”


This year reform looms large, and Andy, alongside MD Qamar Anwar and Director of Operations, Andy Kay, has been outspoken in his views on how this is set to negatively impact vulnerable claimants. “A big focus of mine is on what changes will be needed on the back of the reforms. We have so little information at the moment that it’s very hard for us to say exactly what impact will be felt. However, I am painfully aware that the consumer is unaware that change is coming. My fear is that it will only be post-accident when they reach out to us and find the legal support that’s historically been there, won’t be.”


As a senior member of the management team, Andy is ensuring that the business is focusing on what steps can be taken to make sure that consumers are supported. “We’re looking at how technology may be able to make the process smoother, but at the same time making sure we don’t put them in an alien environment. We need to ensure the right platforms are available so that they move through the process as seamlessly as possible.”


More broadly, technology has been propelling the industry forward rapidly over the last few years, and that rate of change isn’t set to slow down anytime soon. “Beyond the reforms I stay up to date with technological developments across the marketing industry in general. There are new innovations in paid search and we need to be one step ahead to forecast and utilise these new tools, ahead of our competitors.”


“Artificial intelligence just keeps improving and delivering more and more. We look for ways to utilise this to deliver business efficiencies. Traditionally, finding new customers has involved investing huge amounts of money, but AI developments are allowing us to be a lot more focused in how we search and find the right customers.”.


Away from the office and the challenges of work Andy has a one-year old miniature poodle, called Ruffles. Ruffles’ intrusion into Andy’s life means mornings, evenings and weekends are spent on long walks taking in some of Yorkshire’s finest countryside, before a quick (or long) stop in the pub. “It could be worse” says Andy.

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