During this episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Justin Parnell, the head of Oreo brand marketing and senior director at Mondelez. He has over 15 years of experience building some of the most iconic global food and snack brands. 

Parnell shares with us not only how to survive but thrive in the center-store grocery aisle. He talks about how to maintain relevance as a 100-year-old cookie when culture and your consumer base continues to change over the years. He then discusses what brand leaders can do to innovate and also shares how to be successful in zero-based budgeting (ZBB).

Finally, Justin discusses the importance of staying relevant in the demanding environment of consumer package goods (CPG). “The brands that do well place a premium on being distinctive.” Modern-day marketers have to focus on being able to execute great strategies in a way that makes them distinctive. Parnell shares the necessity for marketers to make an impact on the world in setting the tone for greater inclusivity.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Justin’s background and path towards Mondelez. (01:45)   
  • Pivotal twists along the journey. (03:46)  
  • How does a CPG brand thrive and grow in a challenging environment? (06:51)   
  • The importance of being distinctive and willing to evolve. (07:41)  
  • How Oreo has maintained its relevance as a 100-year-old cookie. (09:56)   
  • Successfully incorporating diversity and inclusion in your brand story. (15:42)   
  • Re-defining the “multi-cultural” market. (19:36)  
  • The latest in digital marketing and how marketers should be using those tools. (21:31)  
  • Tips on taking marketing “24/7.” (24:42)    
  • What’s working to track the younger demographics? (26:20)   
  • The variety of sources for ideas. (30:03)   
  • How to quickly capitalize on shifting your product to the culture. (33:00)  
  • The philosophy for Mondelez on how to approach zero-based budgeting. (35:58)   
  • An experience of Justin’s past that defines who he is today. (38:18)   
  • What drives Justin day-to-day? (39:32)  
  • Brands, companies or organizations to be aware of. (40:50)  
  • What does Justin have to say about the future of marketing? (43:46)   

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.