AdWeek Europe: Five Tips From An FMCG Marketer Turned Retailer
Move fast, fail fast, live the brand, connect with customers, make time to think; five lessons one FMCG marketer learned from moving into retail.
Move fast, fail fast, live the brand, connect with customers, and make time to think.
Those were the five lessons offered by Nathan Ansell, global director—loyalty, customer insights & analytics at M&S, in his Advertising Week Europe session “Poacher Turned Gamekeeper.”
The session title, Ansell explained, came from his move into retail following a career at FMCG brands including Heinz, Bird’s Eye, and Red Bull. And he highlighted the five lessons he’s learned at M&S.
“You have to move fast in retail. We launched a new range of 450 products with a £10 million ad campaign in five months,” he said.
“You have to fail fast. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes and course-correcting when the aeroplane’s in flight. And the benefits of pace are huge. You get a lot of credit from customers for being first to do something, whereas if you do it second they think you’re only doing it for yourself, rather than for them.”
“You have to live it—it’s important to see things for yourself. I spend Saturday mornings at my local branch, and they walk me through what’s going on. I learn more in that two hours than at any other time of the week.”
“We also travel round the world to find who’s doing this the best, and we bring those principles back and apply them ourselves.”
“You have to connect—you’re probably not as connected to your customers as you think you are.”
“And you have to think. Retailers are very busy, so value clarity and distance.”