Learn the secrets of success from the marketer of iconic brands including Dove and Butterfinger. Our guest is Mark Wakefield, the SVP of Marketing at Ferrero, the home to Nutella, Kinder, and Tic Tac, among others.
TheNextCMO’s latest podcast is with Mark Wakefield the SVP of Marketing at Ferrero. Mark is a strong leader in the B2C marketing space and has played an instrumental role in doubling the Ferrero brands. At Unilever, Mark was also a main driver in launching the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign. In this podcast we discuss the fundamentals necessary to create an enduring marketing campaign, how every season has marketing insights that b2b and b2c marketers can leverage, and the importance of connecting to your consumer.
Mark Wakefield - https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-wakefield-82760520/
Ferrero - https://www.ferrero.com
Butterfinger Investigators - https://www.butterfinger.com/bfi
Mark wanted to make sure you recognized his great PR agency who introduced him to The Next CMO podcast: https://golin.com/
Interested in being on The Next CMO podcast? - https://info.plannuh.com/the-next-cmo-podcast
For more info about Plannuh, check out our website
Kelsey Krapf 0:00
Welcome to the official podcast of the next cmo hosted by Plannuh, makers of the first AI driven marketing leadership platform for quickly and easily creating winning marketing plans, maximizing budget impact and improving ROI. The next cmo is a thought leadership podcast for those that are CMOS or want to become one. My name is Kelsey Krapf and I'm the senior marketing manager.
Peter Mahoney 0:24
And I'm Peter Mahoney. I'm the founder and CEO of Plannuh and welcome to the next cmo podcast.
Kelsey Krapf 0:42
For this week, we are honored to have Mark Wakefield, the SVP of marketing at Ferraro. Mark is a strong leader in the b2c marketing space and has played an instrumental role in doubling the Ferriero brands. We're super excited to have you on the show mark, how's it going?
Mark Wakefield 0:57
It's going great. How are you doing Kelsey?
Kelsey Krapf 0:59
Peter Mahoney 1:00
Yeah. So why don't you give us a little bit of background on on you and in the company and some of the brands so you can sort of set some context for us, Mark? That would be great. Yeah. So
Mark Wakefield 1:10
I started my career in a classic way as an assistant brand manager working on portfolio brands, at Unilever, and I spent 17 years there. And I worked in a series of different roles, marketing, sales, brand management, trade marketing, calling a key account, and even worked in the global head office there in London for three years, I came to really love international global marketing, big brands. And I was very excited about working in London because I got to travel all over the world, work in different regions, see lots of parts of the world and get to know different cultures. And then I came back to Canada and I worked on the dove campaign for real beauty, launched dove haircare and face care and a number of other great, great initiatives. And then I came to Ferraro 13 years ago, first as the marketing director in Canada working on the whole portfolio. And the last six years I've been working in our international Global Head Office in Luxembourg. And I recently came back to North America to work in the US on as the SVP of marketing on Nutella and our mainstream talk which snacks which are great beloved brands that have been in the history of America for for many years crunch butter finger Baby Ruth 100. Grand.
Peter Mahoney 2:40
Great, great. That's that's super exciting. And and I'm a big fan of Luxembourg. So it's great that you're spent some time there. It's really beautiful. I got the chance to go there a couple years ago with a friend who relocated there, they're there a bunch of financial services is big in Luxembourg, obviously. And yes, I have a friend who's who's there, and we got a chance to spend some time then in really walk around the city, which is beautiful. So I imagine doing that kind of work and doing that kind of big brand marketing in in a diverse environment like that must have been really fascinating. And so tell me about the I did not know the connection to the dove real beauty campaign. That's a really amazing one. If you have a second be great to just remind people what that campaign was because it was really an amazing campaign that you all did.
Unknown Speaker 3:35
Yeah, I think the the dove campaign for real beauty is absolutely outstanding. It was a great experience, based on an insight that women are for too long been fed up with the stereotypes around beauty and made to feel less than what they the beauty are. And does mission was to make more women feel beautiful every day by inspiring them to take great care of themselves. And through a lot of really deep consumer learning and insight work, we uncovered some great thoughts around it. And then we created the well, we didn't really create a movement, we released it, it was there. And we enable that. And we created a whole bunch of interesting content, probably the most successful viral film of all times and Dove evolution. And that was the start of the great acceleration of online video and Google just bought YouTube, like two weeks after we released it. It was so successful and wildly viewed that it broke the servers at Unilever. It was it was a great, great campaign that continues and I'm very proud of the fact that having released the movement that it continues to these this day and and you know just keeps getting stronger. I saw something fantastic that they did under the Toronto office with the team there. still great team, they did this one that real beauty can be brave where they showed people who have been working in a colored environment. And I saw
Peter Mahoney 5:08
Yeah, really amazing work really just spot on
Mark Wakefield 5:12
perfect real beauty can be brave. And so I think I'm just so proud of the fact that, you know, if you build a great idea based on a terrific insight that it will just endure. And that's, that's really a big part of what I try to do in marketing is is mind for insights, dig deep, really love the consumer and try to get to know them so well, almost better than they know themselves. And then find something interesting and compelling for them that in in Triggs involves and excites them. And that's what we're working on doing here. Ferraro bringing joy and delight every day, making the world a sweeter place and putting a smile on people's face. That's a little bit different. But the the truths and the they the fundamentals, the success model can be the same.
Peter Mahoney 6:04
Absolutely not I was going to ask you about one thing related to this general concept that you're talking about, which is the idea of an enduring campaign. And if you look at where marketing has gone, I think that we as marketers have often gotten away from that. And some of it is, I think, I think the marketing technology world broke it, because they taught people incorrectly what a campaign was. So if you go on to, you know, Facebook or Google AdWords, it says enter your campaign name where they mean a tiny little tactic that's going to happen for about 14 seconds. And obviously a campaign is something that is meant to be an enduring thematic set of initiatives that help drive in move in deliver on your brand promise over in some case over decades. So it sounds like you're bringing that sort of big brand thinking from Unilever, where you spent a lot of time developing, obviously, and, and so how do you how do you think about building in during campaigns? And in then related to that? How do you how do you manage them? Who's the owner of the campaign inside your organization?
Mark Wakefield 7:25
So thank you for the question, Peter. I think it's an excellent one. And you're right, a lot of people confuse a tactic with idea or, and everyone talks about a big idea, but sometimes they're often just talking about tactics. So the the first and fundamental thing is to know the consumer walk a mile in their shoes, and as I say, love them, and really understand them. And that's that's key. But then you have to go in find a proposition that addresses their need their insight and elevates it to something that's interesting in their lives. And after you use the expression, no one ever walks out of the door in the morning and says what I really want to see today is an ad for butter finger. So that just doesn't happen. In fact, they're spending most of their time trying to avoid what we have to say. And they've got busy house that busy kids busy careers. And so meant to find something that engages them, it makes it makes it interesting and compelling in their lives. So I think that the real thing also is it takes as long to do a big enduring idea as it does a small one. Or conversely, it takes as much time to do a small idea as it does to do a big idea. And people will chase their selves around with tactics that change. And they could just invest the time and energy to get it right and make it under coming to Ferraro working on the Kindler brand in Canada developed an idea which is called Have you played today. And it was kind of a subtle encouragement to say to parents play with your kids. And in the craze of internet games and internet, children watching more online video and internet, it was actually turning it on its head and saying parents want to give Tinder to their kids so that they can have a moment of shared joy. And that insight was that unlike any other product, you give it to the kid, they take it they unwrap it and then they hand it to you and say, well, you help me make the toy. And that moment is precious. And so how do you play today, Matt? Have you played with your kids today? And that's a campaign that lasted for eight years. And you could just like run the ideas and the ads out everything from billboards with balloons and then ads that were around New ideas whether it's a new collection of toys or a moment around A year and a seasonal. So the idea that the most important thing in a parent's life is to play with their kids or spend time with their kids is something that's universal, then the product has to connect and make a make a proposition that, again, is interesting and compelling. And that the product is inextricably linked, as we say, in marketing. If you take the product out, the ad collapses, and that, that that's something that is also very fundamental is, we're not just selling a lifestyle, we're actually trying to make a connection where a product makes there as a service and makes their life better. So we talk a lot about an enduring ideas about having a point of view and having or an ideal. And I think that the ideal and the point of view needs to come through with a truth about your company, but also your product.
Peter Mahoney 10:56
Yeah, it's it's interesting, because they're, they're a bunch of things that have to sort of brew in the stew or sort of make the cocktail to make this work. And, and you talked about really knowing and I love the idea of loving your consumer, right. So beyond really knowing them and, and looking at them, like you're doing an alien autopsy, it's more like really appreciating them, it sounds like, but then obviously, really understanding knowing your brand and knowing your products. And it's the combination of those things. That's probably the magic. Yeah, I
Mark Wakefield 11:32
think that brands are leaders, and like a leader, if you're going to send it a message, you're going to ask for people's attention, you're going to have something to tell them, you have to give them the hope, the optimism, the joy. And that's often you know, people forget that. You don't want to hold up a mirror to a consumer and say we understand you, we have the insight here it is in your face, because often people say, okay, but so what's in it for me. And the thing is to actually hold up the window to a brighter future, and to give them something that, you know, makes them feel good about themselves and makes them think differently about the world or gives them an opportunity to, to embrace something new, that might be a good thing to give them again, in this in the COVID reality, I don't want to show people that people are wearing masks in my advertising, I want to actually show them that you can have a moment of joy, you can have a moment of levity, you can have a little bit of excitement in your life, and an emotional uplift because you can enjoy great for products like crunch as an example. Very simple. 100% real milk chocolate and crispy rice. Everyone can love it. And it gives you a moment of joy.
Kelsey Krapf 12:51
I love that and you just segwayed into my my next question, how is your marketing strategy, you know, changed because of this pandemic?
Mark Wakefield 13:00
Well, I think that, you know, it's, it's really trying to love the consumer again, because they, they deserve it. And they want to be living in a world where they have aspiration and inspiration. And I'm not talking about trying to sell them a glamorous life and something that's untrue, but something that just gives them a little bit of uplift. And again, if we're a leader, we have a voice, we spend money to communicate, we also have to give them something in return, which is a smile on their face. Or a sense of we'd get you We're with you. It can be better. And you know that's that's what dove campaign for real beauty was all about we get you. But it can be better. Yet,
Peter Mahoney 13:53
tell me a little bit about how you might. So if you have a big broad campaign like this, the How do you think about measurement? So if you look at it, I know we were chatting before the call, and you were just making a presentation to your management team probably talking about these kinds of things. Well, what are we going to do and what's it going to get me? And but but tell us a little bit about it when you're thinking in a long term strategic campaign approach like that. How How would you think through measurement for the campaigns?
Mark Wakefield 14:30
Well, I think that, you know, advertising works in strange and wonderful ways and communication at every level is there to create something compelling and interesting. As I said, measurement has to have both short term and long term perspective. And if you really want to build something that endures you have to have the patience to nurture it, like, like a relationship with a family member, a friend A colleague or a child, and you have to, you have to build it over time. And so the measurement is, I think, attention is, is of the utmost importance. Are we breaking through? Are we catching people's eyes? Are we bait getting noticed and being interested, I have an expression which is get noticed or get nothing. And that's why attention comes first for a reason. And then you have to build it and say, okay, it always have to be branded attention, you need to know who's talking to you. But the measurement has to be in the, in the short term, low on share and high on breakthrough in interest and engagement. Because if you, if you think about it, there are so many other things that get in the way of people's decision, whether it's the situation you're in today, your shelving, your merchandising, your performance on the shelf and your pricing. So we can't just say well, we just turn it on, and then all of a sudden, I start getting people to jump in and, you know, drop what they're doing, or throw out their current product and buy mine. So it's about attention and interest in branding and building the the variables that will, as we talked about in dirt, so that the sales will come you have to have all the other things as points of parity, you got to be competitive, you got to be strong, but you you know, obviously I've said great product that that does a service to people. And then you know, I think the measurement of share gain of equity gain will come if you've done your homework on the insight and the idea
Peter Mahoney 16:41
yeah, so I'm, I'm a big believer in what you're saying here Mark and I think the the idea is that there need to be leading indicators that help validate your thesis so your thesis is that if people engage in my in my message in my creative in my advertisement and my media whatever I'm creating for this particular thing I can tell whether I'm creating a reaction or not and and then based on that, based on that reaction over a period of time that then that ultimately is going to create a business result for me and but if you don't get the reaction you're never going to get the business result. So you can't connect the dots that way. But you need those leading indicators and and I like the idea that you're you're thinking strategically and I think marketers often miss that some of it is because is that marketing is so measurable in some ways today and people tend to measure what they can measure so that they look at the digital and say oh look at my you know click rate look at my view rate etc. And maybe that's that's fine. But they need to have a thesis for what the ultimate business result is and in clearly you're thinking yours is share so I want to get I want to get more share for my brand. And and obviously those those steps along the way. Now you have such a diverse set of brands if you think of the brand personality between butter finger with distill run Bart Simpson ads, or no, you know, sorry, heart.
Mark Wakefield 18:16
Bart's over in the 90s we're actually on to something. Share finger. Have you seen butter finger investigators?
Peter Mahoney 18:24
No, I haven't. No, I gotta go check this out. I'm telling you now how old I am. I think if I'm remembering ads from the 90s
Mark Wakefield 18:32
Yeah, well we spend about you know 60% of our hard earned dollars on TV but the other 40% of digital so you can check it out online and got a series of gifts and things but the whole Butterfinger investigators is built on the same tagline the same creative concept which is butter fingers crispy, crunchy peanut butter deliciousness is so irresistible. You can't wait to get your hands on someone else's. And so you have a tension or a tug of war between a thief who is absolutely committed to stealing it and an owner who is passionate about protecting it. But the owner wins because the owner has the Butterfinger investigators who foil the thief and get the butter finger back and we have a great great cast with Amir Arison and Natasha bedding furred and they they are the Butterfinger investigators that helped the the consumer get their butter finger back and so we're we're building on a kind of a playful individualists personality there, which is someone at a brand who is you know, cuts its own claw path and, and is but marching to the beat of its own drum and this individualistic, self directed type of person who wants that and butterfingers that unique product. And so we're attracting that type of consumer topology cut the type of mindset and our segmentation. And then in in the case of crunch, we've got a very different situation we're trying to appeal to. We we call these people who are shares and people who want to quality, have quality time shared with others, and they want to enjoy the moment and share sharing the experience. And we have very different playfully vibrant personality, but it's not irreverent. It's fun. It's light hearted. butterfingers more reverence. And, and, and Gigi,
Peter Mahoney 20:40
yeah, now I have you, I was gonna ask you about how you think through digital in general. And it's really interesting that whole investigators thing I you know, I almost felt like it was a digital experience in a game, have you thought about building in sort of that kind of gamification into your brand?
Mark Wakefield 20:59
Yeah, I mean, there's a, there's a great thing, we've done a promotion way around that which is turn yourself in. So you go into Butterfinger. casefiles. And the insight is that most parents, and we'll see this weekend, but we know that happens every year. So it's a universal truth that most parents, after the kids go to bed, they sneak some of the Halloween candy and they enjoy it themselves. So those parents can turn themselves in for a chance to win $25,000 if they have a good story, going around their case. And so that's kind of a gamification. But again, we're we're we're in a digital world, and people are smart, they can ignore us. So we have to entertain them, we have to do something that they're gonna say, wow, that's kind of fun. I want to I want to want to check that out. We have a four minute video, with the whole Butterfinger investigators, different episodic situations, whether it's in the home, or in the office, and people are stealing from you, you can get get the butter finger investigators to help you out. Or if it's Halloween, we got a great new campaign is going to break in 10 days on crunch which is which is all about giving a moment of joyful uplift, and light hearted humor around enjoying crunching, enjoying the product. But it's about being so interesting and connecting with people who can spend their hard earned time and attention ignoring us. And that's the digital excitement and but also the challenge because you know, over the top subscription services and behind the paywall the cord cutters. So I think again, back to get noticed or get nothing, it's so important in today's environment, to give people a bit of return on their time invested, we need to reward them with a smile or a little bit of a thought that things could be better. Or something that that would just give them the laugh in the moment. But that's that's the the challenge is ever more. We can't just pour it on their head with marketing anymore. We have to engage them in a way that engages excites and intrigues them to make them want to want to be a part of what we have to say. And and give them a bit of a joy on the on the returns.
Peter Mahoney 23:28
Yeah, well, that's that's great. And you were mentioned before, and I know we have to wrap up in just a minute here. But you, you mentioned before when we were chatting before we were recording here that you think very seasonally, and I thought it was fascinating sort of the way you name your seasons. And so why don't you just share that with us briefly because it's it's a great example of how how you're thinking creatively through the different buyers buying cycles from your consumers.
Mark Wakefield 23:58
Well, I think that, you know, people have drive times or show times or moments in their diet day in their life when they reappraise things and every season is an opportunity for people to reappraise and try something that different whether it's you know, the holiday season and I'm entertaining and I want to have something in the candy bowl, some crunch or hundred grand or Baby Ruth or I'm having popcorn night movie night and I want to have some raisinets with my popcorn, which is a classic. But the the the concept of the season is a moment of togetherness, a moment of shared shared enjoyment, usually, you know, every everyone celebrates the holiday, Thanksgiving and Christmas children's are that are the focus of Easter. We look at those seasons as opportunities to create a discontinuity and an engagement and a connection point and every season has a little bit of an insight and tends to be what we look for as well as what's the inside of that pack or that moment, because it can come right down to the different pack and offerings we make, that can serve different needs within the season. And how we elaborate that. And one of the one of the key things about Ferraro is we have such a focus on on the seasons and how to how to animate them. He looked at our rochet displays in the store competition. And you know, my friends who are in the industry say, how do you guys do that? It's investment beyond reason. It's an it's a belief that if we can catch the passing trade, if we can engage people with an excitement and a bit of that celebration moment, that they'll say, Yeah, I want that, I want that for my friend, I want that for my, my family, my my mom or even someone at work. And so that's, that's how we think of the season. Every season has insights, every pack has an insight and an idea. And we tried to elaborate those and bring those ideas and solutions to our retailers to grow the categories. They need our help, they need our ideas and need our insight. And they need they need the excitement. And sometimes it can come not through changing the product, but just animating it in a different way and expressing it with a new insight and idea. And we look at seasons as key key moments of opportunity for reappraisal.
Peter Mahoney 26:34
Yeah, it's really interesting, because I mean, you talked earlier about just the the importance of understanding the data and understanding that the consumer, but obviously as they go through their their world, and they go through different experiences and different seasons and different life events, obviously they're you know, it's the cross product of those things. That's who they are and where they are. And when they are, whether they're in retail, or they're they're somewhere else, understanding those things and adapting the message for that. So really fascinating. I know we have one really fast question that Kelsey will will ask before we we wrap up. But I really wanted to thank you for for some great insights about how how you think about marketing about your consumers, how you engage them, how you think about campaigns, how you think about it, especially I love the idea of loving your consumer is really, really interesting. So So thanks for sharing so much, Mark. This was great. But Kelsey, so why don't you help us wrap up here?
Mark Wakefield 27:32
Kelsey Krapf 27:33
I asked you the favorite question of our podcasts, which is what advice would you give to those that are CMOS or aspiring to be one?
Mark Wakefield 27:42
I think the biggest advice I give to people is it takes, you know, a village to raise a child, as I say, and surround yourself with really fantastic partners. Really fantastic thought leaders who will challenge you who will push you but you can push as well. We have some great media partner with mindshare, we have a great creative agency with Pyro and an activation agency with channel and you got to build a really, really strong collaboration with excellent partners, externally, but also internally. And, you know, I have a team of 17 people in my direct brand. But actually, I have a whole company of brand ambassadors from the people who are so passionate about the product in our r&d. And in our production facilities who take the great care to make sure the raw materials the ingredients get transformed into a great product, those people are, are passionate about the product. And then our trade marketing and sales organization who are going out and and putting their face in front of the consumer and the customer to deliver the product and make make a great thing at retail. But the biggest thing I'd have for CMOS is no one of us is as smart as all of us. Build your coalition, create your brand ambassadors move together with your internal and external partners. And that's how you can change change your business and change the world. I absolutely.
Kelsey Krapf 29:21
And I know we do have to have to wrap it up. But thank you so much for your time today mark, we really appreciate it. I'll be sure to stock up on some some butter fingers and some crunch for Halloween season. But make sure to follow the next cmo and plan on Twitter and LinkedIn and if you have any ideas for topics or guests. You can either email us at the next firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website and fill out the new podcast form. Stay tuned for the next community launching soon and have a great day everyone.
Peter Mahoney 29:51
Thanks, Mark. Thanks, guys.
Mark Wakefield 29:55
Have a great afternoon weekend. Happy Halloween
Transcribed by https://otter.ai