CMO50 2022 #10: Jenni Dill

  • Name Jenni Dill
  • Title Chief marketing officer
  • Company The Arnott's Group
  • Commenced role July 2020
  • Reporting Line Chief executive officer
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 55 staff, 5 direct reports
  • Industry Sector FMCG
  • 2021 ranking 26-50
  • Related

    Brand Post

    Jenni Dill joined Arnott’s two years ago, shortly after the FMCG was purchased by private equity giant, KKR. She came in with a burning ambition to deliver business impact well beyond traditional marketing. So that’s exactly what she’s done.

    “The last year has been transformational for Arnott’s and the marketing team in terms of strategy, structure, activity and most importantly, business results,” Dill says. “We have had a record year driving market share growth in biscuits [+0.7pp share] and meals and beverages [+0.3pp share].

    “These spectacular results were driven by a focused marketing strategy, game-changing product innovation, engaging consumer promotions and significant investment into brand building and capability in digital and social.”

    Innovative marketing

    From a marketing perspective, Dill highlights three standout activities over the past 12 months. The first has been reinvigorating the 150-year-old Arnott’s brand to connect with modern Australians, boosting love for the brand through the ‘Life’s Little Moments’ campaign. This proved the best Arnott’s comms ever, reaching the top 6 per cent of Luma Database, 73 per cent Top Box and 93 per cent Top 2 Box Purchase Intent.

    Off the back of this, Arnott’s has delivered strong gross profit ROI for every dollar invested, enabling payback in under 12 months. To support this campaign, Dill tripled media investment from 18 to 52 weeks to match purchase habits and ignited the FMCG’s social media presence.

    The second tentpole is Arnott’s first ever gluten free range using breakthrough product innovation and new manufacturing solutions. Already, Arnott’s has reported sales of $10 million with high incrementality and price premium after nine months. Another marketing innovation Dill is particularly proud of is Arnott’s Premium range of Chocolate Obsession, Sourdough Crisps and Flatbread Dippers.

    “This was about convincing Aussies that Arnott’s is truly special and worth paying more for than fancy imports,” she says. In five months, the debut has chalked up sales of $15 million with high incrementality and price premium.  

    Business smarts

    There’s no doubt Dill came into the business with the knowledge Arnott’s “needed to put the F back into FMCG”. This required a game-changing solution and disrupting ways of working. But as Australia headed back into lockdown in June 2021, a tough decision faced her and the executive team: To push forward with a much-needed restructure and implement these new operating rhythms, despite working from home, or delay indefinitely.

    “Despite the uncertainty of the time, we moved ahead with the restructure to introduce business teams, cross-functional teams empowered. This enabled us to drive business results in terms of sales growth, profit growth, market share growth, growth pipeline health and brand health,” Dill says.

    Dill led the organisational change to create the cross-functional teams across savoury, treating and meals and beverages, ensuring each was armed with the right tools and resources and empowered to drive business results in these three core business areas. The teams report directly to Dill.  

    She explains the structure has transformed Arnott’s approach by merging marketing disciplines such as brand, innovation, comms and consumer insights with traditional cross-functional disciplines such as category development, product development, finance and supply chain.

    “It’s created a revolutionary commercially focused team,” she says. “This required extensive communication and made sure we were proactively managing questions and concerns, driving improvements weekly as we continued to fine tune our approach. We invented simplified tools and processes with weekly decision making empowered by the teams, allowing them to get on with the business of growth.

    “Just over a year later, we couldn’t be happier with the progress and the results we have delivered despite the difficulty of the decision at the time.”

    On top of this, Arnott’s Group has been able to ditch a number of slow and sequential processes, such as the old monthly stage-gate process, which Dill says were stifling growth. Instead, weekly decision making by business teams has accelerated accountability and agility. Teams have further adopted fresh ways of working such as daily stands-ups and sprints.

    And the results? “A record year, delivering truly game changing growth initiatives at speed and an average of 30pp higher incrementality,” Dill says. “A great example was the launch of Arnott’s X Bluey, which went from concept to shelf in under six months. It demonstrates unbelievable agility, focus and decision making at pace, while creating new products that truly are nutritious and delicious.”

    Data-driven maturity

    Building best-in-class digital capabilities has been another project as Arnott’s looks to connect one-to-one with more than 1 million consumers. Dill notes two big steps forward under her watch. The first was moving ecommerce from sales into marketing.

    She points out about 15 per cent of Coles and Woolworths sales are done via ecommerce, which represents 1.6 million e-store visits and 16,000 customer transactions. Leveraging the full suite of ecommerce and e-category management tools is helping drive market share growth and a meaningful proportion of total sales, Dill says.

    Arnott’s has also turned-on social commerce, delivering 72 per cent incremental retail sales value, driving search for related categories up by 79 per cent, and achieving 2.2x more online basket spend.

    Launching Arnott’s direct-to-consumer offer with a bang is something Dill is equally proud of. Having increased investment into social listening data, the team had discovered consumers’ passion for Tim Tam went well beyond the biscuit itself. Arnott’s moved its social in-house into marketing and complemented this decision with additional investment into content creation and martech.

    “Our #SorryNotARealProduct social posts were seeing huge engagement, often outperforming our other activities,” Dill says. “The idea was simple: Create a test-and-learn approach with a Tim Tam scent allowing everyone to smell like their favourite treat, selling it through our new D2C store for the same price as Chanel, which is $100 for 30ml.”

    In less than 24 hours, Arnott’s sold out of all stock. In addition, it achieved 7.9 million consumer reach impressions, $180,000 incremental revenue and 120,000 incremental website visits.

    “By bringing these Tim Tam fanatics into our first-party data, we effectively and efficiently retargeted them with our second D2C offer for Mother’s Day: A Tim Tam Candle and Diffuser $100 gift pack. We saw similarly positive results,” Dill says. “We continue to engage ongoing with personalised Tim Tam content, laying the foundation for an always on D2C offer which will be live for Christmas 2022.”

    Leadership impact

    Through all of this, Dill has focused on creating a high-performance culture and transforming the way teams operate.

    “We aimed high, worked hard and smashed our targets, recording our best year ever. All while having fun, ensuring growth and career progression,” she comments. “My team engagement results have significantly improved with better business results and streamlined, focused ways of working, which have become a strength and proof of a highly engaged, high-performing team.”

    Thanks to the simplified commercial strategy and business team structure, teams have stretched but achievable targets, shared and simplified KPIs and clear accountability. As a CMO, Dill is also keen to be both transparent and available to her team and has introduced ‘daily drop-in time’ allowing anyone to book time for advice or feedback, ensuring fast-moving decisions.

    “We’ve removed or reinvested roadblock meetings and processes allowing the teams to get on with making growth happen,” she says. “We updated the marketing structure, created room for progression and created an environment for open, rapid feedback.”

    For Dill, bravery as a marketing leader is about having the courage of your convictions, plans and people, even when it is challenging to do so.

    “Bravery is a commitment to delivering what you have planned to do and being clear about what you are not going to do. Bravery is taking the right path, even when it’s far from easy,” she says. “Bravery is balancing the long and the short term and finding the right balance between the two.

    “I try to lead by example as much as possible and ask the tough questions. I encourage my team to be brave with key plans and decisions, ensuring that they have my full support, the right resources to be successful and the right learning when we’re not.”

    Regular and ongoing recognition further drives motivation and performance. “Overall, I have led the team through significant change to achieve high performance and outstanding business results, while focusing on growing and enabling people to be their best,” Dill concludes.  

    “While my name might be on this submission as the CMO, it truly is a team effort to deliver a massive transformation and an incredible set of business results in a particularly challenging year.”

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