Kellogg leans on the 'K Way' for marketing insight

by Eric Schroeder
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BOSTON — With continued fusion of technology and media changing the consumer brand landscape on a daily basis, the Kellogg Co. has evolved its core capabilities and approach to ensure an effective marketing organization, according to a presentation by Mark Baynes, senior vice-president and global chief marketing officer at Kellogg Co. Mr. Baynes spoke Sept. 8 at the Barclays Capital Back to School Consumer Conference in Boston.

Through the implementation of a marketing redesign known as the “K Way,” Mr. Baynes said Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg has spent the past two years incorporating significant evolution and upgrade of the company’s global marketing capability.

“(The K Way) covers every aspect of the function, from our core processes, our talent base, new talent pools in the critical media and digital arenas, agency and core partner networks, technology platforms and stronger global connectivity and alignments,” he said.

Mr. Baynes said how Kellogg opts to design its portfolio by market is critical in driving both growth and returns.

“We need to ensure that our brands we support in each market maximize the coverage of the consumer needs in the category, that we’re investing in brands that are in segments that have the capability to grow and that we have visibility to how we are going to develop that portfolio through either new brands or line extensions so that we create financial visibility, also,” he said.

Mr. Baynes said Kellogg has benefitted from a global segmentation study first conducted more than two years ago that covered 16 geographies and a blend of developed, developing and emerging markets. The study, which he said is the single largest research project conducted at Kellogg, looked at the company’s core audiences of adults and moms. He said the study has helped Kellogg realize benefits in three areas: portfolio optimization, brand optimization and speed to value.

“I think overall the findings from the studies are very exciting,” Mr. Baynes said. “We are delighted by the visibility it has given us and the opportunities that it has identified. But more importantly, it has reaffirmed the incredible strength of the Kellogg portfolio of brands to meet the broadest spectrum of consumer needs and the opportunities therefore to transfer our most scalable assets and continue to optimize portfolios against each of our markets.

“Turning to the right ideas — ideas are the fuel that drives growth and nowhere is it more important than in the categories in which we compete. While this has always been a focus of the function, we continue to push harder to build a stronger culture of ideation and creativity within the teams.”

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