Saturday, September 26, 2009

Carol Jensen, CMO at Wawa Shares Insights at Philadelphia CMO CLUB Dinner "Aligning with Operations Key to Marketing Success"

12 CMOs met in Philadelphia last week to share ideas and listen to Carol Jensen, CMO at Wawa discuss her role with the company and how she is driving success for their 500+ convenience stores. Here is a short video of Carol discussing a few key points from her discussion.

My take aways from the discussion include:
1) Alignment and Integration of Operations and Marketing the key to Success at Wawa – Carol and her Operations counterpart literally, create and share a short video with all Wawa employees every two weeks, to emphasis new products, new programs, reinforce success stories for customer engagement at store level. etc.

2) Every CxO works at least one day per month at a store at checkout or behind the sandwich counter, etc. – This keeps them closely linked to what’s happening at store level and reinforces the importance of store employees to the success of Wawa.

3) Operations team grades marketing’s performance throughout the year. Operations are closest to the customer so have largest impact or marketing performance. By having them grade marketing helps ensure marketing is driving engagement at store level.

4) If your marketing department stops learning, they can’t continue to add value to the company. A great perspective on continuing education and learning for everyone in her marketing department.

5) Where Carol Spends her time – 25% - Operations/store level support, 25% - Marketing Team Leadership, 25% - C Level Alignment/Planning, 25% - Marketing Campaign Development/management.

The most interesting thing that Carol shared, in my opinion, was the fact she was head of HR prior to being asked to be CMO at Wawa with limited marketing experience prior. Her CEO moved her and 3 other C-Level execs to new C-Level positions 4 years ago. Her expertise in leading and motivating the entire organization plus the fact she had a strong marketing team and agency relationship, provided the support for the other components needed while she gained experience. Interesting and obviously brilliant move by her CEO, given her success as CMO. A great brand, with great customer experience

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