Interview with Mark Davis, former Marketing Director at Brown-Forman

A classically trained FMCG senior marketer with more than 20 years’ experience in leading organisations, Mark Davis has most recently held the position of marketing director at Brown-Forman Beverages Ltd. He has a wealth of experience in leadership roles delivering growth through periods of significant change. He is passionate about driving coherent consumer-centric strategies for growth. His experience has been in a combination of blue-chip global organisations, private venture, family run businesses and working independently as a business consultant.
Libby Kidd, manager at Michael Page Marketing, talks to Mark Davis, former marketing director at Brown-Forman, about his career so far.

1. What would you identify as your biggest achievement in your time at Brown-Forman?

Leading the team that launched Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey whiskey liqueur has been my biggest achievement. It was a true game changer. A marketer’s dream.

2. What was instrumental in helping to achieve that?

Compelling consumer insights, calculated risk taking and belief. In addition, working with great agency partnerships that challenged our thinking and inspired creatively was hugely helpful.

3. What are three qualities you look for when hiring for your team? How do you measure team success?

1. Ability to see the bigger strategic picture
2. An abundance of curiosity and asking the right questions
3. Great project management skills as well as individual creativity that inspires others
These are measured through their ability to deliver against shared objectives.

4. Is retention still an issue in the current challenging economic climate? How do you retain your top performers?

Retaining teams that have the necessary knowhow to deliver as well as injecting new talent is a challenge in any economic climate. I find stretching high performers by encouraging them to lead cross-functional projects is a good way of expanding and developing individuals for the good of themselves and the business.

5. What skills do you perceive to be in high demand in your market currently?

The ability to truly understand and implement multichannel marketing is something that makes certain candidates stand out. Another important skill is the ability to keep firmly focused on return on investment and measurement in a data-driven world.

6. What are the key attributes that someone in your role needs to be successful?

I think an openness to face challenges differently in a rapidly changing landscape is key. In order to manage this successfully, it’s really important to know how to harness the right expertise to ensure you deliver sustainable competitive advantage.

7. How have advances in technology (mobile etc.) and the advent of social media changed the way you and your teams perform?

It has changed how we work a great deal. In particular social media has made us think differently about the classic consumer journey. We no longer think in terms of a linear path to purchase.

8. Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

Developing people is a huge passion of mine and I hope it remains a key part of what I am doing in the years to come!
For all your FMCG marketing recruitment needs, get in touch with Libby Kidd at Michael Page Marketing.
T: +44 20 7269 6206