GSK Consumer, a.k.a. Haleon, is also interesting from the standpoint of its aggressive marketing spending, which a recent EvercoreISI report pegged at more than 20% of sales while noting that management plans to increase marketing spend ahead of sales in the future as well.
Whether it’s Johnson & Johnson’s plans to spin its consumer brands off into a separate company, or GSK doing the same thing, consumer health is breaking up with Big Pharma these days.
“I think it starts with the incredible change that is happening in the healthcare industry overall, and the fact that the role of consumers in their own self care has increased exponentially,” Williams said. “We see the opportunity to really double down and focus in that consumer portion of the business.”
This isn’t Williams’ first go-round with a corporate breakup. She was also with what became Mondelēz as it separated from Kraft Foods last decade. One reason she was interested in coming to GSK Consumer a year and a half ago was her ability to leverage her experience managing through a similar separation, she said.
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Amid this change, Williams is also getting her organization involved with change as a way of life. “One of the big shifts we’ve made in my marketing organization is moving into more of that agile and experimental mindset,” she said, “including not necessarily having to have everything perfect as it goes out the door but building in the capabilities to learn along the way.”
That includes being quicker and more experimental in content development, which has in turn led the soon-to-be Haleon to do more content development in house, she said, and learn what works through new data feeds.