A high five for marketing from KCP leadership

Last week I joined the inaugural digital marketing summit of our client Kimberly-Clark Professional. I got to put faces to voices and talk through some of the complex challenges they face as a global marketing team.

On my first day we had a visit from KCP President Elane Stock who spoke of her vision for a digital marketing culture.

She hoped the following traits would become the staples of the team’s approach:

1)   Be global and local. Not the biggest or the best but using global knowledge and learning to deliver local content and messages that will resonate with the local audience.

2)   Take risks. We will learn nothing if we don’t take risks, test and even fail a few times so that we can gain insight from our mistakes.

3)   Aim for customer intimacy. Our approach needs to have customers at the forefront and think of their needs first. A marketing plan can’t be successful if we are only thinking of our own opportunities and goals and not what the customer needs to hear from us.

She listened to the questions and views of the team, hearing about the challenges of marketing teams who have to water down their focus to meet the goals of a specific segment sales team and the complex process of tracking and aligning KPIs across departments.

Elane concluded by saying the organization needed to stop thinking about digital marketing and just call it marketing.  The world is digital and if a traditional paper company like KCP* could embrace that then customers are definitely ready to engage across any platform or technology available.

It didn’t feel like a motivational pep rally; I believed she wanted marketing to drive the business’s customer relationships forward.

Perhaps I’ve had too much of the kool-aid, but I think this is indicative of a cool culture. Their people are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They like to try new things. They consider alternative approaches before diving into their next project. And that makes it fun to work with them.

It’s rare to have exposure to company leadership for a company as big as KCP and even rarer to hear them express such a comprehensive viewpoint.

If I had one takeaway from the session it was that these people take digital marketing seriously. And it’s exciting to be a part of that.

* They make products like Kleenex and Andrex and have products in just about any pub loo you can recall.**

** Velocity doesn’t help them sell loo roll.


I knew there was reason that I loved Kool-Aid. I can’t agree with point 3 enough- customer intimacy is a great way to connect yourself to your audience and get to assess their needs on a more personal level.

Ashley – I agree. Customer intimacy should be at the heart of all campaigns. Just need to get more people to drink the Kool-Aid with us.

This is quite interesting–of course all is digital hence why need the adjective as this KCP executive points out. Marketing that’s where the action is. She gets it.

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