Blandine is an executive-level global marketing professional and strategist who specialises in infusing market and consumer insights into marketing strategies that generate brand equity, awareness and revenue. Her previous experience includes working for Diego, Heineken and ESPN where she drove brand equity and volume growth, created profitable marketing partnerships with consumer brands and has managed teams of more than 16-persons both direct and cross-functionally, external agencies and marketing budgets of up to $30 million per year. She is currently at Hasbro as the Senior Director, Global Brand Strategy and Marketing where she is building brand strategies, and product and marketing plans for the brand.

After her presentation at ForwardLeading’s Digital Marketing Leaders Summit in Boston, we talk to Blandine about her journey in marketing so far, her thoughts on data and digital marketing today and her predictions for the industry’s future.

1) What have the key milestones in your brand's digital marketing journey been?

One of the biggest milestones was what one of my brand’s, Red Stripe, experienced in the last 12 months - the development of a solid global social media platform. It sounds simple but when you are trying to make a brand global, the nuance of trying to make your brand relevant to consumers on different continents, languages and cultures is more challenging than it looks. Keeping a brand’s global message uniform from a global perspective and allowing markets to customize their conversations with consumers in a distinct way is important and it also needs to managed closely.

2) What are the biggest mistakes you see marketers making with executing a digital-first strategy?

Saying digital-first strategy is the biggest mistake because really the conversation should be centered around being mobile-first. Consumers are more mobile than ever and figuring out how to serve content in this new environment was what marketers need to focus on. It’s not about serving ads to consumers on the go via their mobile devices. It should be about creating immersive experiences that can be accessed on any device at any time.

3) How has the concept of 'data-driven marketing' evolved in your team?

Data-driven marketing has evolved to social-insights driven marketing; brands are trying to use social media listening to stay relevant in their category and to open up new categories of growth. Now, when we start discussing new ideas and strategies, we start the conversation with what is trending on social to see if there are insights there that can help guide our marketing strategy.

4) Are mobile and video the way forward for retail brands?

Yes and yes! I believe retail brands need to pay attention to what is happening with Amazon Go. This concept of checkout-free stores is really going to disrupt the retail space and once consumers adapt to the convenience of it which they certainly will, it will be hard to contain this disruption. What Amazon is offering with this proposition is a way to engage, deliver and serve consumers in one unique ecosystem. Brands will need to find ways to make the experience with their brands more intrusive and inclusive and it must be a balanced approach.

5) What are the new skills that you have had to develop to do your job effectively in the last few years?

I am developing my ability to identify social trends that matter to my portfolio has become more important than reading a Kantar or TNS report. It’s incredible when you see and realize how much impact social media has on brands in both positive and negative ways. We can all cite numerous brands that are winning and losing because of social media.

ForwardLeading will be bringing the next Digital Marketing Leaders Summit to Singapore on 12 - 13 September 2018, and will return to Boston 20 - 21 June 2019.

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