Marketing Insights From the Man From Mars
By Drew Neisser
Rob Rakowitz, Global Director of Media at Mars, has done some fantastic content marketing for varied consumer brands like Whiskas and Uncle Ben’s. He also happens to be a winner of the Content Marketing Award from The CMO Club. So what can the man from Mars tell us about marketing strategy? Well, among other things, “keep it simple.” Read on for more insights.
Drew: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from a peer and how has that influenced your career?
Rob: Keep things simple. Media is starting to hit more and more functions both within marketing and outside of it so it would be easy to make things complicated. I find that the more you can simplify down what it is that we’re trying to do from a vision perspective, the better an idea travels.
Drew: You received The CMO Club award for Content Marketing. What’s your overall approach to content?
Rob: We’ve done some absolutely fantastic content programs for Uncle Ben’s, Pedigree and Snickers. These brands truly understand that they need to reach more and more consumers and the way that they’re going to do that is not just by throwing advertising out there, but it’s by actually really figuring out what is their brand’s purpose, what is understanding culture and how can they actually provide the solution that brings the brand, consumer and customer together. It’s what I really like to call that idea of 4C Conversion, where we bring consumers, customers, communications and commerce closer together.
Drew: Let’s talk about Uncle Ben’s because I think some readers might scratch their heads and say, wait, Uncle Ben’s has a purpose?
Rob: Uncle Ben’s is about helping consumers make sure that they’re making great food choices, on a daily basis. It’s really interesting because when you get into the data. We find out that consumers who start meals with rice are more likely to choose a lean protein or a vegetable to go along with it. This actually leads to healthier outcomes from an eating perspective. And that’s actually what stands behind a lot of what we do from a content perspective and with a program like Ben’s Beginners, which aims to get kids and parents cooking together.
Drew: Got it. So what did you end up doing for Uncle Ben’s?
Rob: In the UK is we had this new ready-to-heat product that comes in this little pouch and is really quick and easy to make. What we found out was that consumers weren’t aware of it; they didn’t see it as being relevant. So luckily enough, we had smart agency folks and smart marketing folks — BBDO, MediaCom, and then our own internal associates, what we call our triads, working together. And what they decided is that a typical TV spot would fail, because it wasn’t going to reach the right audience and it wasn’t going to overcome the relevancy issue. So what we ended up doing was creating a series of short videos. Then we put them up online, …read more
Source:: Social Media Explorer