Maaike Maagdenberg – Cloetta Holland BV

Maaike Maagdenberg – Cloetta Holland BV

Maaike Maagdenberg is Marketing Director at Cloetta Holland BV. Cloetta has a leadership position in the Dutch sugar confectionery market with number 1 or 2 positions in liquorice, gum and bagged candy. Leading brands in the Netherlands are Red Band, Venco, Sportlife, Xylifresh and King. Cloetta has a strong heritage in The Netherlands, dating back to 1878 when liquorice company Venco, currently still one of the Group’s local jewels, was founded in Amsterdam. In The Netherlands, Cloetta employs about 500 people in the office in Oosterhout, field sales as well as factories in Sneek, Roosendaal and Turnhout (Belgium).  

Most important ingredient for growth

In our company penetration is an important indicator of brand growth. However, growth should not be just about increasing penetration. It is also about healthy brand growth, meaning that it should be the bigger picture than just short-term sales numbers. It is about creating awareness with building relevant meaningful brand associations. This will lead to generating preference and strong, sustainable brands.

Media and campaigns

Per individual campaign we send our media agency a media neutral briefing. Planning media depends on the business objective we want to achieve per campaign and this should be the starting point for defining the best media strategy. Aspects that are taken into consideration for the media strategy are for instance the horizon (short term sales uplift or longer term brand building), which target audience do you what to reach and what is your budget? Not all ideal media plans fit with the available budget and the consequence is that you will need to make choices which touch points have the highest impact. To make the right choice it is important to also know your brand assets (e.g. is it a sound logo, color, pack, product element etc.)

Therefore, you need to take into account how brand assets of your specific brand are best brought across. For instance, if you have a strong tune that is immediately connected to your brand you should use that to full potential. If you know that advertisement on social media is mostly watched with sound off, the brand asset for this brand might not get across and will not effectively make the impact you are looking for. Brand assets need to be part of the content strategy, especially in a highly fragmented media environment.

My definition of media is that it is just a set of distribution channels. It is simply the way to reach consumers and shoppers and to get your brand message across. Actually, the content of your brand message is more important. With content I also mean the distinctive creativity of the advertisement. In a more fragmented media environment the relevant creative power of advertisement needs to be very strong. In a more complex world it comes down to being more relevant & creative to make impact for your brand. Advertising needs to be inspiring, attractive and relevant to be able to create a buzz around your brand. Besides that, category experience of our brands is crucial because we are in the food category. The visual experience of the product is a strong driver.

I see that new technologies can bring new opportunities and in each campaign, we try to include something new in the mix. There are so many new things possible to reach the consumer and the shopper. By experimenting with these novelties, we can find out what works and what not. Since we measure the effectiveness closely, we learn a lot.

Reaction to one of the Byron Sharp mistakes

Using low reach media will impact the brand growth in a negative way is not always true. Sometimes there is a very good reason to use low reach media. For instance, you want to reach specific early adopters, a certain relevant target group or the qualitative context of the media is more important than the reach to build a certain relevant brand association   This can be an efficient strategy.

The main KPI for understanding the effectiveness of media

Of course, we look at sales numbers and increase in penetration, but we also look at other KPI’s like the brand funnel and brand image or associations. We use marketing modeling to learn from the effectiveness of previous campaigns. We closely monitor the effectiveness, and this allows us to steer media planning even real-time during campaigns.

Biggest mistake in media and why?

In general, I believe it is the combination of a strong relevant creative advertising and media strategy that makes campaigns successful for a brand. In case advertising is weak by a creative or relevance point of view all media spend might well be overspend.

Biggest success in Media and why?

I admire campaigns that are able to create a big buzz around their brand not only because of using big mass media budgets. I am thinking about very successful campaigns that generate a lot of earned media/PR. This requires true creativity and courage. An example that comes to mind is Heineken with the ‘Worlds apart’ campaign.

Agree and disagree with Byron Sharp

In an increasingly complex media environment the ability of advertisement to get noticed is even becoming more important and is a crucial parameter for success. As mentioned earlier, I agree least with fact that low reach media is not contributing to brand growth.