Monday, April 18, 2011

Marketing Panel With Pepsico and Dunnhumby Event Recap

Summary of Q&A

There are so many different professions within the marketing field, how did you narrow down the
options to the one you’re working in now?
- Many of the panels members did not necessarily start with a major in marketing, they ended
up working in their current field mostly through their other interests, for example data mining,
math, technological platforms etc. which lead them to an interest in marketing.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your job and how did you overcome them?
- Establishing yourself in a large organization, understanding acronyms, Investing and continually
building trusting relationships with clients
- Comes with experience, also remember to get the little things done and done well

What skills do you think is most important to get hired?
- Ability to adapt to change and try a different way of doing things. The world of marketing has
shifted to being more data-driven, and there are always new channels that didn’t exist before
- Make sure your social profile is corporate-friendly
- Need to be digital savy- understanding all the different platforms

How important is an MBA?
- Could help in the long-run working for a large organization
- Everyone is more balanced in a small organization
- MBA could offer more networking and broader benefits
- Overall they don’t feel there is a correlation between years spent in school and how successful
they are within marketing
- However more specialized fields e.g. data mining etc. having a MBA could be a huge advantage

How different is working in NYC compared to working somewhere else?
- In reality the difference is not wide, NYC has a faster pace, longer hours and more concentrated
central talent pool, more pressure to perform – these could drive innovation
Working in NYC usually means working at Headquarters and therefore means have to be more
professional, chances of bumping into CEO etc.
- Depends on what you’re looking for and where you grew up (if you come from a big city, you
might find it easier to transition)

Do you feel the current social media platforms will mature faster than we expect, and new platforms
will be needed? Do you think there is still great potential in platforms like Facebook and Twitter?
- All these new channels have great potential, all along the spectrum
- Facebook is only scratching the surface of what they could achieve. Facebook is so integrated in
everyone’s lives. There are so many applications of this data that we have not even seen yet.
- Usually these platforms have a 2 year timeframe with Facebook and Twitter as exceptions.


An interesting factor to consider is when you get to the generation that does not want to be on
the same platform and the same network as their elders e.g. parents

How available are positions in your company and how competitive are they? What are the promotion
- Dunnhumby always has open positions at entry levels and to move up to because the company
is growing. Promotion opportunities- there are lateral, international opportunities etc
- It is really competitive, but if they find the right people they will make space and find jobs
for them. It is a really tough market place but there is huge value of just being yourself and
understanding why you want to work there.
- Often the basics are overlooked by candidate e.g. stock question: what do we do?
- If you are passionate then it is hard to be successful, then it is not about competition but where
you want to work?

Do you ever question what you do?
- It is normal to be attacked – crisis communication
- Important to question and to understand issues people may have, sometimes have to anticipate
what people would ask
- Proud of making the brands that people love, better
- Sometimes it is important to question what you do in a different way – take a step back and
think that in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter that much in the sense that people
don’t die (compared to police or firemen)

What are some of the frustrations of working in a multinational company?
- It is always harder working with someone on the other side of the world compared to someone
sitting next to you – instructions have to be very specific, video conferencing etc
- Need to figure out cultural differences
- But being in a multinational company is good because clients are global, helps when the office is
filled with international people
- Challenges will become less problematic for people in your generation because you grew up
with the technologies

In your opinion, is it better to have good grades or good networking?
- Usually there is minimum GPA so getting the position you want might be more difficult but that
is where networking can help
- If you can work for free, it is good to get the experience.
- Personal relationships with people you want to work with are very valuable. Try blogs of people
you want to work for or work with, and engage them in conversation. You can learn more about
their business.
- However, important to have personal life experiences because sometimes college is the only
time you get to do them- and what takes you from being a candidate to someone that is hired is
the stories and things you can reference

What is one thing you wish you knew before working?
- Having perspective in the sense that recruitment is not as scary as people make it out to be, it is
just about understanding the company and proving that you can be a part of their solutions
- Money comes with a price- don’t lose sight of yourself and make sure you are doing something
you enjoy because as responsibilities grow it only gets harder to fake if you don’t enjoy it
- Do not be timid about reaching out to organizations and trying to get somewhere
- Hard to get back to the things you wanted to do e.g. Peace corps, if you get chance to do what
you want, just do it

What is your favorite project?
- Reshape blog and social media strategy for Pepsico
- When a small project gets implemented and impacts the whole corporation

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