Little Caesars' Gleich: Shops Need 'Latitude' to Do Their Best Work

Three Questions with Pizza Marketer and Ad Age CMO Strategy Summit Speaker Ed Gleich

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Ed Gleich
Ed Gleich

Since joining Little Caesars late last year, senior VP-global marketing Ed Gleich has overseen an agency review for a new national shop, awarded the business to BFG 9000 and -- following a decade of sales and unit growth -- launched the pizza chain's first national marketing campaign in 15 years, in which the chain is sticking with its iconic "Pizza! Pizza!" tagline.

Mr. Gleich, a longtime restaurant-marketing executive, has worked in marketing and menu development at chains like Arby's , Golden Corral, Domino's and Applebee's, and is well-versed in marketing under a franchised model. At Ad Age 's CMO Summit this week, Mr. Gleich will sit on a panel that explores agency-marketer relationships and what it means to be a good partner, how to get the most out of the relationship and how to address the complications of working with a franchised model.

Ad Age : How did you get into marketing?

Mr. Gleich: For sure, my path hasn't been typical. After spending 10 years with P&L responsibility in operations, I moved into marketing initially in a product-development role, then transitioning to a product-marketing role and, ultimately, general marketing.

Ad Age : As a long-time restaurant executive, how have your previous jobs influenced your work at Little Caesars?

Mr. Gleich: Working in several different concepts has given me a well-rounded perspective on the industry and more importantly who, how, why and what motivates consumers to eat. It's really a fascinating field that 's a lot of fun to be immersed in. I think the experience helps me get to the heart of the matter much quicker at Little Caesars.

Ad Age : In terms of the client-agency relationship, what does it mean for a client to be a good partner?

Mr. Gleich: At this level, respecting who you are working with and approaching the relationship with a spirit of servant leadership can foster excellent results. We hire these agencies for their creativity, experience and impact. Of course, you set high expectations of them, but giving them reasonable latitude to work within and access to all the resources you can provide and knowledge you can transfer to them is critical.

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