Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 42


HALL OF FAME PROFILE: DOUWE BERGSMA

Running that student organization sounds
like an amazing opportunity.
BERGSMA: You're just 24 years old and already
dealing with 200 employees and volunteers.
It was the first time I had to fire somebody - a
55-year-old manager - which was horrible. My
predecessor basically said, "Oh, by the way, he's
not working out. You do it." We had to see lawyers and get into labor law and all that, but it really was a safe environment to learn quite a lot.
After that year I switched my direction and
dove into marketing. I did an internship at the
Dutch Broadcasting Company [NOS or Nederlandse Omroep Stichting], which was very
cool. It had just become independent from
the government and was now a for-profit organization, so one of my projects was how to
reposition a department to be more competitive in the marketplace.
You did your logistics thesis on how the
network was wasting money.
BERGSMA: They had a lot of problems. Every
time they had a location shoot, not all of the inventory that went out would come back. When
it was government owned, the sky was the limit,
right? But now that they were a for-profit, they
became extremely cost conscious and learned
they were losing products left and right: electric cords, crates, cameras, lenses, lights. One
of my simplest recommendations was to just
put orange tape on everything - brand it. I also
worked with the sales folks on how to be more
competitive and do market analyses.
You went straight from college right to
P&G, correct?
BERGSMA: Yes. I applied at Unilever and then
42

y SHOPPER MARKETING APRIL 2016

at Procter, and that's where I started. One of
the things that really worked for me is that
every time that I was up for a new challenge,
they provided it.
When I started I thought, "Just let me make
it through the first few years" because becoming a brand manager at Procter is almost more
important than doing your MBA. So after two
years with Vidal Sassoon shampoos, I got promoted to assistant brand manager on Lenore
fabric softeners [a European version of Downy].
Then I was promoted to brand manager for
Dreft, an iconic brand in the Netherlands that's
the local version of Cascade and Dawn. And
it was on that brand where, in 1995, I learned
about what we now call shopper marketing.
How did that come about?
BERGSMA: We had a very traditional P&G
approach: Mass media and national TV, and
strong in-store plans, which means distribution and merchandising at the right price. But
when I became brand manager, I learned that
only 20% of the Dutch even had an automatic
dishwashing machine, and that 40%-50% of
our revenue came from just one retailer because that's where the wealthiest people in
the Netherlands shopped.
I started asking, "Why are we even on TV?"
We had 80% reach at least two times a month,
but only 20% of the people were even interested in the category and, anyways, half of
them only shopped at one store. So I said,
"Let me talk to that one store." At first [P&G]
sales said, "Whoa," but then they said, "You
know, he's right. And if he'll shift his investments to my customer, I'll take the money
and then let him know what we'll do with it."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shopper Marketing - April 2016

Contents
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - Intro
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 1
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 2
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 3
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - Contents
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 5
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 6
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 7
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 8
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 9
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 10
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 11
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 12
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 13
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 14
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 15
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 16
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 17
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 18
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 19
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 20
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 21
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 22
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 23
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 24
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 25
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 26
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 27
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 28
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 29
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 30
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 31
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 32
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 33
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 34
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 35
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 36
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 37
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 38
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 39
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 40
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 41
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 42
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 43
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