Community and digital engagement top Brownes Dairy's new marketing leader's list

Former frank green chief marketing officer joins the WA-based brand overseeing marketing and digital

Helping Brownes Dairy translate its community engagement further in the digital space and building rapport with a younger demographic are on the priority list for the Perth-based dairy’s new general manager of marketing, Rebecca Smith.

Smith officially took up the post in January following a two-and-a-half year stint as chief marketing and growth officer with frank green. Originally from Western Australia, Smith moved to Melbourne 10 years ago for a category project manager’s role with L’Oreal. From there, she’s worked in marketing strategy and digital for brands including Thankyou and frank green.

With a young family now in tow, the decision to go back to the western state became a compelling one. And after a change of ownership and the promotion of Brownes Dairy’s marketing leader, Natalie Sarich-Dayton, to CEO, Smith told CMO she was excited about the new role in the western state.

“I knew Brownes had a CEO with a marketing background and was at the beginning of an ambitious and exciting growth phase,” she said. “From a brand perspective, Brownes Dairy is an iconic Australian brand and other brands in the portfolio such as Hunt ad Brew are exciting disrupters. So there is some fun complexity in this portfolio, but all backed up by quality Australian products.”

As GM marketing, Smith sits on the management leadership team and oversees both marketing and digital as the two functions are brought under one leader for the first time. The position encompasses responsibility and ownership of marketing activity, category growth planning, ecommerce business and digital marketing.

Digital extension and community engagement are the first priorities Smith has earmarked. In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brownes Dairy created the ecommerce experience, ‘Milko’, allowing next-day delivery. Smith saw the experience having huge legs to grow in WA and beyond.

“Over my time at frank green, we created a brand that really connected with customers and excited and inspired them to engage in reusable behaviours. The brand allowed customers to customise, personalise and be part of a bigger digital community,” she explained. “Brownes Dairy does some amazing community work so I am interested in how we can translate that into a digital space, particularly for a younger demographic.”

Smith also noted a huge change in the white milk landscape over the past few years requiring Brownes Dairy to redefine and articulate its role in the market for Australian customers.

“There is so much care that goes in to sourcing and creating Brownes Dairy products for Australian families and I am looking forward to working through how we can share those stories,” she said. “The second priority is evolving the Brownes Dairy brand into the digital space through its ecommerce experience, digital ecosystem and allowing us to engage with customers better through digital channels such as social media.”

Over at frank green meanwhile, creative director, Paul Troon, and marketing director, Clare Molesworth will continue to lead marketing initiatives at frank green with the support of founder, Ben Young.

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