Guillermo Font (HP & Mars) on the future of marketing - Press Gazette

Marketing Maestro interview with Guillermo Font (HP and Mars): 'Be authentic and walk the talk'

Guillermo Font is marketing lead FMCG and healthcare at global food and confectionary brand Mars. He answered our questions about the future of marketing while still in his previous role as Brand and Agencies Lead at HP.

This is the latest in a series of Marketing Maestro interviews produced in association with Lead Monitor, New Statesman Media Group’s AI-driven marketing solution.

What’s been your proudest achievement in your current role?

I think it is that I provide a different view of the role packaging can play to both the printing industry – by humanising the technology and make it more consumer-centric – and to marketers – by bringing back packaging to become a pivotal touchpoint to connect with consumers as part of a media plan. And most importantly, I am very proud to say that it always pays off for the brand as it comes back to them with growth in any of the forms it may be measured (revenue, market share, earned media, brand equity tracking, consumer engagement, social sentiment, media effectiveness). In a results-driven world, it is always reassuring to prove the concept with hard data.

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What media channels do you see as most important and best value when it comes to marketing spend and activity?

A combination of a rich physical and digital experience that has relevant content. Although online media may be a bit saturated these days and it is more difficult to stand out, it remains a key touchpoint. When it comes in a creative video format that taps into a meaningful insight, it becomes a powerful trigger for consideration, purchase and share. And packaging is the right balance to bring a physical experience into the full consumer experience.

How important to your brand is the news media (both B2B and B2C)?

The nature of what we do at HP Graphics and our partnership model with marketing teams in brand owners makes news media a key way to drive awareness across our audience. What we’ve seen is that once a marketer or a packaging designer hears about us and how we can help using digitally printed packaging to drive actual growth via richer consumer engagement, they immediately jump on board and want to explore possibilities. So we definitely try to leverage the power and reach of news media to seed the interest in what we offer.

What for you is the key to any successful marketing campaign – what actually makes a ‘good lead’?

I’d highlight two: First, to involve the consumers, to make them take the control. Co-creation is a key success factor that takes consumer engagement to top rates and builds earned media in a very organic way. The second one: Be authentic, especially when it comes to purpose or sustainability. Walk the talk first and then talk the walk, and not the other way around. No abrupt changes of direction in the brand vision due to an “opportunistic” communication campaign.

How important is technology in modern marketing?

Crucial. Not only because the consumer journey has fundamentally changed these past years, with experiences including technologies that marketers must understand and leverage, but also because technology allows brands to know better their consumers and work with personas rather than with segments and also to reach them in a better context, moment. At the end, it is all about becoming more relevant to our consumers, and technology provides us with the data and the means to do it better. And more to come, with the growing development of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, blockchain, etc, and their adoption by marketers.

What are the biggest pain points in a marketing campaign?

I could call out cost as the main pain point these days when marketing budgets are severely scrutinised. But underneath, I see the real pain point being a risk-averse mindset. The challenge for marketers and most importantly for the full organisations they represent is to be brave, to consider the price of a marketing campaign an investment rather than a cost, especially in recessive times like the one some industries are living today. A marketing campaign should be a bet on ambidexterity, working both to drive short-term results and long-term brand equity build. And this is not often the ROI approach to marketing campaigns that companies are taking.



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette