Meet 2022 Silver Apple Award Honoree: Andrew Yost, CMO at HomeServeUSA
On behalf of the Marketing Club of New York (MCNY), The Customer recently interviewed several honorees – leading up to the Silver Apple Awards Gala (November 10, 2022) in New York. Here, we speak with honoree Andy Yost, CMO of HomeServeUSA. Register today to join the greater MCNY community in celebrating Andy’s achievements and contributions to date.
Andy Yost is a visionary digital marketing executive who architects data-driven, digital, ROI-focused business strategies to achieve new levels of innovation and growth in rapidly changing industries, including health tech, media, financial services, and insurance.
Andy is a believer in the power of marketing as a disrupter where customer insights + purpose-led brands + differentiated experiences = recipe for business transformation. With a passionate focus on the customer and a collaborative management mindset, he has created customer-driven, digital-first business strategies that led to outstanding revenue and customer growth for a wide range of premium brand companies.
Andy is the chief marketing officer for HomeServeUSA, a provider of home repair service solutions. Most recently, Andy was the chief marketing officer for Kinsa, an innovative health tech start-up focused on stemming the spread of infectious illness through early detection and response. Andy led the efforts to evolve the brand to support business expansion with enterprise customers. Prior to Kinsa, he was the chief marketing officer for Gannett (USA TODAY NETWORK) with responsibility for driving consumer revenue and brand engagement using data, analytics and cutting-edge digital and brand marketing strategies across Gannett’s portfolio of national and local media brands. Before joining Gannett in May 2014, Andy worked at Viacom to help establish the first enterprise data management platform.
Prior to Viacom, Andy served in a range of senior consumer marketing leadership positions in media/entertainment and financial services industries having worked for Dow Jones, Columbia House, American Express, and Prudential. Andy received his MBA from Columbia Business School and his BA from Bucknell University. Andy is also a member of The Executive Forum and an alum of Marketing 50.
The Customer (TC): Did you choose marketing or did marketing find you?
Andy Yost (AY): A little bit of both. I don’t think I knew it was marketing, but from an early age I was intrigued by brands, particularly cars. BMW, Mercedes, you name it. Each car left a different impression and I found that fascinating. I’m fascinated by consumer insights which drives me even today.
TC: Marketing and data are inextricably linked. What’s your favorite story about how you used data to solve a marketing problem or discovered something unexpected to act on?
AY: Years ago, I worked on a continuity business where the revenue model was built on high prices and service fees. A customer’s loyalty wasn’t rewarded. By partnering with my data & analytics partner, we built a test plan to prove that lowering prices and fees for our best customers would yield greater purchasing and ultimately higher revenues. Our testing proved to be correct which led to a new approach being rolled out for that business.
TC: Who is one person that most profoundly affected you in your career? How so?
AY: I have been fortunate to have had many great mentors throughout my career. The leader who taught me the importance of being a compassionate leader was Al Kelly, who I supported in his role as head of consumer card marketing at American Express. He inspired everyone on his team simply by listening and engaging in a highly personal manner. It’s an approach I’ve tried to emulate throughout my career.
TC: Do you have a favorite client story or project story to share?
AY: I believe in the power of innovation coming from deep within the organization not simply from your leaders. When I was the CMO at Gannett, we needed to quickly revamp a corporate social responsibility program and I enlisted several talented junior level employees to help develop the strategy. They ended up creating a next-gen, social-first engagement program that allowed our brand to appeal to a younger, more socially conscious audience…a win for the brand and our consumers!
TC: What’s the best business/career advice you’ve ever received?
AY: Ask for forgiveness and not permission.
We can all find reasons why an opportunity won’t work, but operating from a place of what’s possible without limits can unlock even better solutions. From a brand refresh with a complex media network to re-envisioning the customer experience for a longstanding continuity business, the innovation would not have happened if we had simply played by the rules.
TC: What’s one key piece of advice you’d give to a person choosing to enter the marketing world?
AY: Be curious and stay connected to changing consumer trends. It’s more than staying connected through what you’re reading, but also tapping into people who know these trends firsthand. Having trusted colleagues of all ages and levels of experience is key. What you may see as relevant, others might not. When I was looking to market to a Gen Z target audience, I enlisted partners who knew that market, so the work was authentic and resonated the consumer.
TC: What do you think will be the biggest priorities for marketers five years from now?
AY: While staying on top of audience trends and advances in data and technology is essential, authenticity will always be a top priority for the brands that win in the marketplace. A brand like Apple has maintained its relevance for decades by remaining authentic.
TC: Tell us something surprising about you.
AY: The strangest job I had was harvesting, cleaning, and packing alfalfa sprouts in college. It was also my shortest time in a job!
TC: What are a couple of your favorite outside interests?
AY: In my spare time, I like to cook. Bring on a complicated holiday meal, and I will go to town. The problem solving and coordination are things I enjoy. And the joy of bringing an amazing meal to the table is even better.
TC: Well, MCNY will be serving up a meal to you on November 10. We look forward to celebrating you – and with you – there!