What's your job about?
Wrigley manufactures gum, mints and fruity confections for everyone to enjoy. I work in the marketing team and am focused on the gum brands including Extra, PK, Juicy Fruit, Hubba Bubba, Eclipse gum, Airwaves and the newly launched, Starburst gum. The role sees me involved in a range of activities including developing new products, brand plans (how we grow the brands), and supporting the team in working with our agencies on above the line campaigns e.g. Extra’s sponsorship of The Bachelor. Most of my time is spent managing projects. A recent example is the launch of Extra Watermelon. This saw me working together with all our business functions to ensure the launch would be a success, specifically working with our Research & Development team on formulating the new flavour, managing the artwork with our Agency for both design and production, working with the shopper team and shopper agencies to develop the in-store key visuals as well as lead the project through various internal stages. Besides managing projects, I also spend a lot of time with our data agencies to interpret and understand shopper behaviour, new product performance and levers for brand and category growth.
What's your background?
I grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. I developed a passion for business and marketing in year 9, when I was given my first marketing assignment in Commerce class. I then decided to study business at UNSW, majoring in Marketing and International Business. During my studies, I completed a one year exchange to Shanghai, China. On exchange, I learnt so much about international business and different cultures, which really broadened my perspective. In China, I completed an internship at an experiential marketing agency which was really exciting and gave me great exposure to working on a number of different projects and clients. On return to Australia, I got involved in a Future Leaders competition where as a group, we won a brand challenge and represented Australia at the global finals in London.
I knew Mars had really great brands and a few people I knew working there had said Mars had a great culture and focus on development, so I applied for their Graduate Program and went through the recruitment process before starting my current role in January 2017.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
I would say yes. So much of what I’ve learnt, I’ve learnt on the job. The marketing I was taught at university is quite different from what I’ve experienced here at Mars. Marketing is often seen as just advertising but there’s so much more. The work we do in marketing is very strategic, and involves managing projects and reviewing data and insights. To be successful in the role you need to have a strong sense of curiosity, be tenacious, determined, and analytical as well as being a team player and strong collaborator.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
Getting to meet The Bachelor…kidding! Though there are definitely moments where you get to enjoy those perks. Part of what I love about my job is seeing the finished end product of something I’ve been involved in right from the concept. Whether that’s developing the flavours with the R&D team, designing the artwork, seeing the packaging printed, to finally watching the product being produced and rolled out in stores. Seeing it go from an idea on paper to a tangible product is something that I’m really proud of.
What are the limitations of your job?
For those attracted to the really creative side of marketing, it might not be the role for them. From my experience in a junior marketing role, I haven’t been actively involved in the creative/advertising side of things. Whilst I do support these activities within the marketing team, my role has a much greater focus on the analytics and problem solving side of things. If you’re very entrepreneurial and fast paced, it may be a bit more difficult to work at Mars because we are very collaborative so aligning people and following process can take a little more time than smaller businesses.
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