"Diversity is an important part of our marketing activities, we always want our campaigns to be inclusive and our products to reach a diverse audience"
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
What is your current role and what makes it exciting?
I am currently working as Cadbury Biscuits Brand Manager in UK. Working on Cadbury is a dream of many marketeers, I remember studying Cadbury's "best in class" campaigns many years ago in university and thinking about the people behind them, that they must be special & talented. And now I'm one of them, and it does feel special indeed. This year Cadbury has been voted as the most loved brand in UK, ahead of Google, Apple or Amazon, and it’s an honor to work for such iconic brand and true taste of the nation. While Cadbury is an established leader in chocolate, in biscuits it's still a relatively young growing brand, and the opportunity is huge. That's another exciting thing about my role- I get to work on making Cadbury an icon in biscuits.
How has your career developed at MDLZ?
I joined MDLZ in 2017 in Moscow, Russia; was responsible first for savoury biscuits - brand TUC, then for Gum & Candy, leading Dirol brand in Eastern Europe. In 2022 I was given an opportunity to move to London and join the Northern Europe business. In my current role I am responsible for Cadbury biscuits in UK.
What does it take to be successful as a brand manager or marketer in the industry?
I believe the key to be successful in marketing is to know and to love your consumer. Be curious, know the latest trends your audience follows, technologies they use, news they see and opinion leaders they trust, and be fearless to use all that to connect with your consumers on a new level. As an example, from my experience, we chose to focus on Gen Z audience for Dirol Gum few years ago, targeting them across all the touchpoints - we launched NPDs via TikTok, developed online game, collaborated with local designers to create a branded merch, even dropped a limited-edition sneakers made from recycled chewing gum! And within 3 years Dirol became brand #1 amongst GenZ.
What kind of project, assignments have you done outside of the traditional career moves that helped you further your career?
I believe that if you want to have an outstanding career, you have to do more than is expected from you. And as a naturally curious and restless person I often ended up taking additional projects outside of my main scope. I was involved in various cross-category projects, organizing conferences and team events, building capabilities for cross functional team and many more. I became a part of cross-category Football Project team right after I joined Mondelez, it was dedicated to World Cup 2018 in Russia. That was a great way to get to know everyone in a new company and build a visibility for myself, and eventually led to me getting offered my next role in Gum & Candy. And last year I was chosen as a leader of Football Project for Eastern Europe, the position which was normally given to someone much more senior. So going "extra mile" definitely pays off in MDLZ.
How do you embed diversity in your marketing activities?
Diversity is one of important parts of our marketing activities, we always want our campaigns to be inclusive and our products to reach a diverse audience. We include diversity now as part of the brief for any marketing campaign, we want to make sure we have diverse team working on the project, to create the product which would be relevant for different consumers. Recently we had a great project for Cadbury Fingers - "Sign with Fingers", led by my colleague Susanne Nowak. It's aimed to raise awareness about problems deaf people face and teach wider audience a bit of British sign language. The campaign was developed in partnership with NDCS (National Deaf Children Society), and involved deaf people working on the project in the production team and starring in TVC.
How do you describe the culture at MDLZ?
First thing I would mention talking about culture in MDLZ is people. Based on my experience across markets and businesses MDLZ people are best in class professionals, and at the same time open, friendly, and supportive. Diversity is one of the company's strengths, we have 5 different nationalities in my small team right now. And that helps to assess things from different perspectives, learn from each other and get stronger professionally. Flexibility is another great thing about MDLZ, I am proud of how company managed the work during the pandemic and after, giving people full control of their time and working place. And people now go to the office because they want to connect and have fun together, teams get together in different locations, or just work from home and spend more time with family - whatever works for each person. And that is the perfect and most effective set up for me.
And finally, what is your favorite MDLZ brand? What kind of (childhood) memories are attached to it?
This is an extremely hard question, as we have so many iconic brands, and I have memories with many of them. The one which first comes to mind is Wispa, back in 90s it was quite popular in Russia, and I used to get it from my dad as a reward for good grades etc., some good old child bribery :-). Wispa left RU market many years ago, but I always used to bring it home when I came across it somewhere abroad. And now I live in UK with constant access to Wispa, childhood dream came true!
If I talk about now - my favorite brand would be Philadelphia cheese, I'm pretty sure I'm responsible for good part of Philadelphia Light sales in my local Tesco :) And I can come up with dozens of recipes with Philadelphia, it literally goes well with everything!