Steve Kapur worked in promotions for Kraft Foods before joining SmithKline Beecham in 1994 as director of promotions for its smoking cessation products including Nicorette gum and the NicoDerm CQ patch. Now he oversees events including on-site marketing at sports events, and actually spells out promotional messages in the sky as a pilot in the company's squadron of 1940s Navy skywriting fighter planes.
Coup: Building the Nicorette-NicoDerm CQ program from one van to three that will tour the nation in 1999, reaching more than 20,000 smokers.
Secret weapon: Listening. Non-smokers tend to underestimate the complexities of quitting nicotine addiction. Creating a dialogue is crucial to marketing our product.
Insight: Consumers are hungry for information tailored to their needs, and they want to tell you their stories. Recognize that each consumer's story is unique.
Opinion: The hard sell approach doesn't work with people fighting addictions. Ultimately, consumers make choices based on emotions.
Challenge: Reaching a more diverse mix of smokers through the most diverse channels possible, from drugstores to county fairs.