Campbell Soup Infuses Martech Strategy With the Human Factor
People power everything, says Samuel Monnie, director of digital transformation at Campbell Soup Company. And no matter whether it’s the company’s customers or his own colleagues, people make decisions based on emotion. Modern marketing may need martech to survive, but people need to understand it, have fun with it, and want to use it in order for the tools to uplift an organization.
“This is about changing people and how they do things,” says Monnie, “Not necessarily about the technology itself.” Monnie’s comments were made while speaking at FUSE Digital Marketing Summit last year during the aptly titled presentation “Why the Human Factor Is So Vital to Campbell Soup Company’s Martech Strategy.”
Implementing various digital technologies and making continual improvements takes a lot of work; but without exception, the process needs to start with one basic understanding, says Monnie. The human factor.
“We are feeling creatures that think, and not thinking creatures that feel. Data says that 80% of what we do is through emotions — through subconscious or gut feel. And we, perhaps, rationalize 20% of whatever we do. So if you’re dealing with human beings, you’re essentially dealing with emotional beings or emotional animals.”
To be successful with digital technology, Monnie says organizations need to connect technology to business priorities, embed it into day-to-day processes of marketers, and focus on increasing people’s capability for using it. This is a matter of changing behavior, not just “training.”
“Understanding and working with the human viewpoint is critical for everything that we do,” says Monnie of his company’s approach. “Growth comes from changing behavior, so for all of what we’re doing, all of the technologies, platforms, resources, and techniques — it’s all about driving growth for the businesses or brands. But it [requires] changing behavior of what we were doing in the past to doing something new in
Campbell Soup has broken its plan for increasing martech capability into three phases, Brand Impact 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.
• Brand Impact 1.0 — Provide A Simple & Clear Way. This step requires determining a clear and simple roadmap for working with technology and communicating it to the organization.
• Brand Impact 2.0 — Embed for Success & Master Priorities. This phase calls for identifying KPIs, engaging leadership, aligning with HR and people processes, recognizing best practices to embed into the organization, and deep-dive training to master the skills.
• Brand Impact 3.0 — Consistently Improve. Eventually, Monnie wants Campbell’s marketers to be able to consistently improve and reach higher levels of achievement.
Finding Your Way: Simplify Goals & Ask Questions
The way Campbell Soup worked to change behavior organization-wide was to make things simpler, says Monnie.
Organizations need to understand the emotional state of marketers, given the many expectations placed on them, emphasizes Monnie. Speaking from the point of view of a marketer: “I’ve got to be good at leadership, I’ve got to win my divisional brand priorities, I’ve got to focus on my company’s strategic priorities, we have values and a mission, I’ve got to worry about my career and how I develop my career, I’ve got to set annual objectives and goals, managing performance, managing teams and, oh, there’s this thing called modern marketing and being a digital expert and using all of this stuff.”
So instead of adding to this stress, Monnie’s plan was to make Campbell’s marketers’ lives simpler.
“The way we’ve started doing that at Campbell is coming up with a framework for ‘our Campbell way’ of doing marketing and leveraging technology,” says Monnie. “And my argument here is actually, yes, you need to unleash curiosity, and you need to make it possible and acceptable to ask questions. Questions have become a cornerstone of how we think about our framework of doing marketing and leveraging the technology at Campbell.”
In order to unlock and unleash the potential of the many marketing technologies, Campbell took a very complex, complicated framework of 28 tools and templates and simplified it. “We tried to get to the key, core questions that we should be asking and trying to answer. And then using this stuff to help us answer these questions.”
Specifically, Monnie says there are seven questions Campbell Soup used to evolve its martech strategy:
1. What opportunities will unlock growth?
2. Who are the consumers whose behavior you can change for the better “and will grow?”
3. Why do consumers do what they do? What are the underlying beliefs, values, and needs that drive their behavior?
4. What does Campbell Soup provide to consumers that is better than what’s already available to them?
5. Do we have a distinctive and purposeful brand that is indispensable?
6. When and where are audience members most receptive to the brand “and how do we best connect with them to achieve a desired behavior change?”
7. How will we know we’re succeeding at meeting expectations?
These questions helped Campbell Soup simplify and clarify how it uses marketing technology. As a result, Monnie says the company now has a common language and approach — its own “way” of employing marketing technology. This keeps everyone on the same page regarding what the core tool is for a specific function, how to use the tool, the philosophy behind it, and the skills needed to master it.
Getting Executive Buy-in & Connecting Capabilities to Business Priorities
Monnie emphasized that in order to successfully build employees’ marketing tech capabilities, the capabilities need be built into a company’s business priorities, commercial beliefs, and an understanding of what capabilities will drive growth. “Before you think about training, you need to focus in on ‘How does it dock into how you drive growth?’ For me, that’s the formula that I argue for. When I’m having conversations with stakeholders, leadership, marketing IT leaders, CMOs, I’m saying, ‘What are your growth priorities and how are these capabilities going to help you grow?’”
Next, marketers should think about how any given technology, whether a DAM, DMP, or analytics dashboard, shows up in your business processes and frameworks. “When you’re doing your annual strategy planning, how is this tech being used for that? When you’re doing your consumer strategy, how is the tech enabling you? When you’re thinking about solutions and innovations, are you using social listening and search up front in the processes? How is that data informing what products you make and how you build them? Unless it’s baked into your 9-to-5, Monday through Friday meetings, workstreams, programs, processes, it’s not going to happen.”
The twist is, Monnie says, organizations have to deal with these priorities before implementing training.
Campbell Soup Is Seeing Healthy Results
Internally, Monnie says that the Brand Impact martech strategy is seeing positive feedback from end-users. The comments are about its simplicity and agility, and that the practicality of applying it to the job “is really working for us.” Additionally, based on internal surveys of how likely employees would be to recommend to a colleague or peer, the program has a Net Promoter Score that compares favorably to learning programs at business schools.
That’s great, Monnie says. “But ultimately, the key aim is to drive growth. We need to drive behavior changes that ladder up into results that show up in business practices and our actual dollars and cents, sales and profit, business results.”
With the constant buzz about marketing technologies, it’s easy to hyper-focus on the tech itself, but so often the success of a marketing technology comes down to the way humans work with that technology. “It’s about mastering and evolving the tools we use to do our jobs, the language we use to do it. But very, very, very, very, very critically — I can’t say ‘very’ enough — are the ways of actually working.”
As for Campbell Soup, the work is ongoing. Brand Impact 3.0 was just heating up at the end of 2018.
“We need to think deeper about how we better activate, apply and win, using the consumer journey,” says Monnie. “We need to think about our listening tools to better understand our audiences and where they are. So there’s a lot of work to do, which is work in progress.”