Shopper Marketing - September 2017 - 38
PEOPLE TO WATCH
efore joining the Johnsonville team
in the fall of 2016, Marc Bennett spent
nearly a decade in the advertising world.
He was an account manager for a
mock agency tasked to work on the AOL (yes,
that AOL) account. He and his team even put
together a $25 million campaign that they presented to peers and professionals in a national
advertising competition - and that was while
earning his degree from Marquette. He also
worked on business-to-business accounts for
a small agency in suburban Milwaukee, and
that's when he became more curious and motivated to take on bigger challenges "because
you gather a breadth of experience and learn a
sense of humility pretty quick," he says.
Bennett moved into account management
functions after graduation for small- and midsized agencies in the Milwaukee market, most
recently with Cramer Krasselt for more than
five years, and worked on dozens of brands
across multiple categories "from powersports
to paper and everything in between," he says.
But it wasn't until a former colleague, Jamie
Schmelzer, opened his eyes to shopper marketing that he wanted to make the jump to the
COMPANY: Johnsonville Sausage
TITLE: Shopper Marketing Manager
EDUCATION: Marquette University
y SHOPPER MARKETING SEPTEMBER 2017
CPG world. Schmelzer, Johnsonville's integrated marketing director, created a group that
handles marketing communications, shopper
marketing and social media, and he brought
Bennett in as a shopper marketing manager.
"He's taught me a great deal about thinking creatively and believing in my own ideas,"
says Bennett about his current "coach" at Johnsonville. Bennett is responsible for executing
marketing communications programs with the
company's West Region sales team and customers (including Albertsons/Safeway, Winco
and H-E-B), while also developing communications strategies and plans for some of its
integrated power periods, including its "First
Brats" spring grilling initiative, "Brunchspiration" Easter and Mother's Day breakfast programs, and the "Sausage Support Center," a
back-to-school campaign featuring a hotline
and live call center that provides support in the
form of recipes, cooking advice and "curiously
pleasant conversation," he says.
Bennett says over the past year he's been
able to bring in more integrated marketing
communications programs beyond the traditional retail programs that the team does in
partnership with the customer. "We're really
trying to get our sales and brand teams to
align on consumer journeys for everything
we do," he says. In some cases that isn't just
a retail activation, but the steps ahead of that
that the team controls.
Shopper marketing provides too rigid of a
definition, he says. "It really is a broad understanding of how you talk to somebody who
is shopping for your product." What he sees is
myriad big, complex challenges for shopper