“Nutrition and health are key to our innovation and to drive strategic growth. Since development, nutrition has been a focus alongside taste and texture.”
The new Chief Marketing Officer of The Meatless Farm Co., Lone Thomsen, discusses her approach to retail innovation, and strategic growth. From building seamless customer experiences to building the framework of the Meatless Farm Co.’s martech stack, Thomsen shares her thoughts on how she plans to deliver orchestrated campaigns across channels and devices. MarTech Advisor caught up with her to understand Thomsen’s take on customer-centric marketing, the crucial element in today’s omni-channel environment, and more.
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Key takeaways from this Q&A; with The Meatless Farm Co. on Strategic Growth:
- Insights on how innovation will drive strategic growth
- Top tips to get optimal outcomes from your existing marketing technology tools
- Latest trends to follow in retail innovation for 2020 and beyond
Highlights of the Q&A; With Lone Thomsen of The Meatless Farm Co.
Here’s the edited transcript of Lone Thomsen’s conversation with us on how to drive strategic growth as the new CMO:
Considering the Meatless Co.’s international expansion plans and strategic growth, how have you planned out your first quarter as the new CMO?
The Meatless Farm is growing exponentially, and my role is to be both the brand guardian and help deliver strategic growth across our markets worldwide. Our first quarter is focusing on driving our purpose-led marketing strategy and ensuring our partnerships, innovation, communications and content align with our key communication pillars. Our strategy for our first quarter onwards is to become more ‘extrinsic,’ more data & insights led and more consumer-centric. The company has been borne out of a purpose and clear mission, and this is something we will be focusing on going forward, by making everything we do funnel from that North Star to deliver consumer experiences.
Innovation is central to the marketing strategy of The Meatless Co. How do you plan to approach retail innovation, and what practical steps will you take to drive strategic growth?
Nutrition and health are key to our innovation and to drive strategic growth. Since development, nutrition has been a focus alongside taste and texture. Our products are high in protein, a good source of fiber, gluten-free and low in saturated fats. I think fiber is particularly important here as there’s a real fiber deficiency problem, for example in the UK fewer than one in 10 adults eat the recommended 30g fiber a day. Our products allow people to make small changes to their diet, without sacrificing on taste, texture or nutrition. We’ve completed extensive consumer research and have really drilled into our target audience and category growth drivers, which is informing our marketing and innovation pipeline.
We need to make sure our packaging is working hard for us too. We’re innovating and reviewing this on an ongoing basis. For example, our packaging is sustainable, but there are always new technologies, new formats, etc. that we should be looking to include.
We know that our audience is a behavioral audience of ‘flexitarians’ who are consciously changing their diet for the better and reducing their meat intake for health and environmental reasons. Key segments under this behavioral audience are millennials and families with different behaviors and motivations, younger audiences being more focused on sustainability, older audiences and families more focused around health. This will be helpful in driving our business and communications strategy.
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Data-driven marketing is crucial in today’s omni-channel environment. How do you plan to connect data management and data activation to deliver orchestrated campaigns across channels and devices?
We’re a young business and we’ve recently embarked on the data-driven marketing journey. As a starting point we need to understand what data we need, among all the data we can have, which can help us make the right choices to drive growth. Data will inform our strategic direction and, ultimately, the way we bring it to life across touchpoints. To do that I am looking to bring people onto the team who are both data and digitally savvy.
Customer-centric marketing needs marketers to master customer journeys. How do you plan to build seamless customer experiences around those journey insights?
I am currently recruiting a team of people who have an advanced understanding of data and digital to support the existing marketing team. The key purpose of this is to make everything we do consumer centric and that starts by understanding consumer’s and customer’s journeys. We’re currently developing our strategy and that will help us stay focused on making sure everything we do is funneling down from our North Star or our purpose by understanding consumers and delivering consumer experiences across touchpoints based on insights.
Martech stack are getting more complex today. What thumb rules will you use to build the framework of your martech stack?
Like the conversation about data, we can get blindsided by too much technology. We need to build a simple data and martech stack that can help us drive growth through the right choices, i.e. data and insights, to help us fuel strategy. Being a challenger brand requires you to be smarter in the way you approach things, one way to do this is through data and tech.
What practical challenges do you face in driving adoption or extracting optimal outcomes from your current set of marketing technology tools?
The only real challenge is to create an integrated team across marketing (and the company) that has one view of the consumer that we all act upon. We’re still a relatively small team who all roll up our sleeves and see things through, so I don’t envisage a huge challenge in connecting strategy and execution, which is typically one of the key challenges that bigger companies face.
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What’s the one thing marketers need to focus on in 2020 and beyond?
From a general perspective, I believe marketers can benefit from becoming much more consumer centric – understanding the consumer, through data and insights, is the key to drive business growth. What that means in our industry is to focus on is trust, transparency and authenticity. For us, ensuring that new food products like plant-based meat alternatives are transparent and connecting with consumers on a deeper level is the only way we will build long-standing trust. PR is central to this and a core part of our marketing strategy, it’s about perception not promotion.
Neha: Thank you, Lone for sharing your insights on retail innovation and driving strategic growth. We hope to talk to you again soon.
About Lone Thomsen:
Danish but now living in London with her husband, Lone has over 15 years’ experience in the Marketing industry and has held numerous global strategy roles in leading media and advertising agencies. Before joining Meatless Farm, the global challenger to Beyond and Impossible, she was the Head of Media and Connections Strategy and IMC Lead for Portfolio Expansion for The Coca-Cola Company, Western Europe. There she launched many of The Coca-Cola Company’s recent NPDs; Fuze, Honest, Coca-Cola Energy and Signature Mixers.
About The Meatless Farm Co.:
The Meatless Farm Co was started in 2016 by Morten Toft-Bech. It aims to improve people’s health through better eating, whilst supporting the environment and reducing the world’s dependency on intensive farming. The company has grown exponentially, and its range of plant-based mince, burgers and sausages are sold across the world, including Whole Foods Market Stores across the USA. The British challenger is aiming to drive global market growth, alongside Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.
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