Digital Conference

#AADigital: How CMOs Protect the Consumer Experience

Internal Marketing Key to External

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Frito-Lay's Ram Krishnan, Nickelodeon's Pam Kaufman and YP's Allison Checchi at Ad Age Digital.
Frito-Lay's Ram Krishnan, Nickelodeon's Pam Kaufman and YP's Allison Checchi at Ad Age Digital. Credit: Patrick Butler

Marketers' approach to consumers has changed completely since Ram Krishnan, senior VP and CMO of Frito-Lay North America, entered the business, Mr. Krishnan said at the second day of Ad Age's Digital Conference in New York on Wednesday.

Pam Kaufman, CMO and president of consumer products at Nickelodeon, took that further: The relationship with consumers is changing every 20 days, she said.

But, or because of all those changes, the key to the best possible consumer experience is teaching employees about the brand, the CMOs said. Other possible solutions ranged from internal marketing to appointing a chief experience officer to help guide the consumer experience.

Allison Checchi, CMO of YP said, "It's a constant thing you have to do. It's a little bit of quality assurance. How is your message being translated from the boardroom or what you design from customer input?"

Social media is a huge influencer in defining and translating brands, so responding quickly to consumers in social is increasingly a key to guide the consumer experience in the desired direction, they said. For example, Mr. Krishnan said, when customers can't find a particular Doritos flavor in an area, the customer can communicate the problem directly to Frito-Lay via a social channel.

Mr. Krishnan also said his company does three things to communicate his brand's perspective: regular meetings with the marketing team, internal newsletters and reverse mentorship with young incoming talent who educate leadership about popular apps and tech.

"They're digital natives," Mr. Krishnan said. "We want them to educate us about how they use apps and engage with brands."

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