Fast Chat: Campbell’s New Digital Lead Adam Kmiec

Former Walgreen's social head talks about the differences between retail and CPG marketing

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Campbell Soup Company recently poached Adam Kmiec from Walgreens, naming him the global lead for digital marketing and social in a newly created role at the 143-year-old CPG giant. During the last several weeks, Kmiec has been gearing up for his firm’s fiscal 2013, which begins Aug. 1, when he plans to begin transforming Campbell’s reputation in the digital marketing world.

“The same type of aggressiveness and emphasis on speed-to-market that I had at Walgreens,” he said, “I very much intend on bringing here to Campbell’s.”

In his one year at Walgreens, Kmiec helped push the brand into the social-mobile-local era, particularly with a groundbreaking Foursquare partnership. So earlier this week we chatted with the 32-year-old marketer to learn about whether or not the success he experienced on a retail level can translate to the soup world.

Adweek: What is the No. 1 goal that you want to accomplish during the next several months?

Adam Kmiec: I think for us, in year one, it’s about getting the organization to one philosophy, one process, one lexicon and one measurement model.

What exactly do you mean by one measurement model?

If you think of all the brands we have—V8, Pepperidge Farm, Campbell’s, Arnott’s in Australia—and you think of all the countries we are in, there’s a lot of data that we have. I’ve said this in the past, [the industry] doesn’t have a data problem, we have an insights problem. We have too much data. I think the better we can simplify how we evaluate success, the better off we’ll all be.

Are you going to be focused on paid advertising or social—or a mix of the two ideas?

If it’s digital in any way shape or form, ultimately my job is to provide the right strategic counsel. From a buzzword standpoint, that’s paid, owned and earned. The way I am thinking about it is—all of it is part of the consumer ecosystem. It’s about how we are getting ever closer to our consumer and how we are engaging with that person on his/her terms 24/7 on demand. Sometimes that means it’s going be paid and other times social. It’s about the experiences we create, built around the customer in the center.

Is buying Facebook ads going to be part of your strategy?

It’s going to be different brand by brand. And that’s not a cop-out. I can tell you that from my perspective we have some of the best consumer segmentation I have ever seen. And we have a really good understanding of who our consumer is. From Facebook ads to sponsored tweets to partnerships with Foursquare and other social platforms, those are all things we are going to consider.

You worked with Foursquare a lot at Walgreens, including as a launch partner for the coupon feature. How are you going to use Foursquare with Campbell's CPG brands compared to how you employed the geo-social platform on a retail level?

[With CPGs], how you go to market with social definitely changes. At Walgreens, we were the first retailer to ever have scannable bar codes inside a check-in. That was a collaborative effort. We pushed Foursquare; Foursquare pushed us. I intend to bring that same type of aggressiveness to the Campbell Soup Company. I am hoping the folks over at Foursquare want to partner with us. Maybe they don’t even have a product for us yet. The coupon product didn’t even exist until we brought it to Foursquare’s attention. That’s where some of the most amazing experiences happen in the digital space—when we are custom-creating things together.

Do you also have an operational/social business role at Campbell’s that isn’t consumer-facing?

Yep. Connecting with consumers and important customers like Walmart and Kroger are key parts of the equation. The only way to match their tempo is to internally get wired for speed, for trust and for innovation. That’s part of what I was talking about when I said in year one we need to get to one philosophy, one process, one lexicon and one measurement model. It will mean internally we are wired in the perfect way to match the changes that are happening in the marketplace and in the community.


@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.