Interviews

Hortense Foult Rothenburger

Senior Brand Manager at Mondelez

Ben Somerset-How

Client Director

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creativebrief: How has your career path led you to marketing at Mondelez?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: I graduated from a French business school EM LYON, where I specialised in Marketing. I developed my experience through multiple Marketing and Communication roles at L’Oreal, Siemens and Videomark, a digital agency, in exciting cities such as Paris, Madrid and Shanghai.

I started my career at Kraft Foods joining the French coffee category as an Assistant Brand Manager intern. I then decided to move to the UK with my fiancé and joined the Kraft Foods UK chocolate business as Assistant Brand Manager on Cadbury Dairy Milk tablets. I had the great opportunity to launch successful innovations such as Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo and Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations, the biggest FMCG launch in 2013! After that, I became Brand Manager on Carte Noire, a French premium coffee brand and notably launched the espresso compatible capsules.

Now I currently work for Mondelez as Senior Brand Manager on the All Year Round Chocolate Gifting portfolio. I look after the plans and strategy of several brands – Cadbury Milk Tray, Cadbury Heroes, Cadbury Roses, Toblerone and Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

creativebrief: Why did you choose a career in marketing?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: I have always been passionate about brands – their history and heritage – and about people – where they come from, their culture, how they make decisions… Marketing gave me the opportunity to study both. I also love that Marketing requires very different qualities: being creative and intuitive, but also rigorous and fact based at the same time. You have to constantly stretch your mind!

creativebrief: What do you think makes a successful career in marketing?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: Future Market Leader - Hortense Foult Rothenburger, Senior Brand Manager at Mondelez | creativebrief blog<!--[removed][removed]--><!-- All in One SEO Pack 1.6.13.8 by Michael Torbert of Semper Fi Web Design[318,356] --><!-- /all in one seo pack -->

<!--StartFragment-->A good Marketer is curious and open to what happens outside his or her organisation. He knows how to interpret data and doesn’t stop at the obvious. He also knows when to trust his gut, he is a consumer himself after all! I also believe that a good Marketer is a great storyteller. And like all good leaders, he surrounds himself with great people and he knows how to get the best out of them.<!--EndFragment-->

creativebrief: What do you think are the main challenges facing marketers today?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: The digital revolution and the increasing amount of data available. We have access to more data than ever and we need to learn how to analyse and process it better and faster. Whilst having consumer data is essential to understanding and reaching them, Marketers need to keep the right balance between analysis and action. If you wait until you have all the data needed to back up a product launch, it probably means you are already too late.
Digital has massively disrupted how people consume, buy or review products…and I don’t think we understand it well enough. As Marketers, we should be leading the digital agenda within our companies and close the digital knowledge gap.

creativebrief: How do you keep up with constant stream of innovation in marketing comms?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: I read through twitter feeds, industry and specialist websites, I go to talks in London and most importantly I talk to our agencies and colleagues inside and outside Mondelez. We often share great work we have seen from other brands. The Marketing Academy has given me the opportunity to meet brilliant mentors and peers, it is a great community of Marketers who are willing to make a difference and challenge themselves to do better work.

creativebrief: How does this impact your relationship with agencies?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: I rely on my agencies to flag any interesting comms innovation, especially those that could be an opportunity for us. As clients, it is our responsability to create a relationship based on trust, the agencies need to feel that we are open to hear about innovation and to try out new things.

creativebrief: How do you know if you’re getting the best from your agencies?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: I’m deeply convinced that the better input I give them, the better output I will receive. It’s all about trust and empowerment. As clients, we have the responsability to give our agencies exciting and challenging briefs; so they have good material to work on.

creativebrief: Of your recent work, what makes you particularly proud and why?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: I am very proud of the fact that one of my direct reports recently got promoted. To me, the development of my team is as important as business results.
In terms of actual Marketing work, I was very excited to work on a partnership with Everyman cinemas and to develop a beautiful black and white brand film for Carte Noire. By working with new and different creative partners, we managed to produce a great two minute film with a very limited budget.

creativebrief:

Hortense Foult Rothenburger:

creativebrief: How do you think marketers can raise the profile of marketing within their organisations?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: At Mondelez, Marketing is already at the heart of our business. It is important we continue to challenge business decisions and we do what is right for the consumers and for our brands.

creativebrief: Do you see yourself as a generalist or a specialist, does it matter?

Hortense Foult Rothenburger: I see myself as the General Manager of my portfolio. At Mondelez, Marketing is at the center of everything we do. We are obviously responsible for the development of comms campaigns, but also for the P&L of our portfolio. We lead and coordinate cross-functional teams (finance, sales, category development, R&D, supply chain…) to build our brand plans and strategies. We work together on optimising our offer, in order to give the best product to our consumers. So we have to be generalists!

creativebrief partner the Marketing Academy is a non-profit organisation which provides a unique forum for industry leaders, marketing gurus, entrepreneurs and inspirational people volunteer their time to inspire, develop and coach the next generation of future leaders. The Marketing Academy gift a maximum of 30 ‘Scholarships’ each year to the fastest rising stars in the marketing, advertising and communications industries. A team of high profile mentors and coaches develop these stars through a process of mentoring, coaching, networking and personalised learning. 86 mentors, 30 Coaches, 20 Judges, 36 companies and an owl called Merlin all provide their time, resources and knowledge to assist in shaping the minds of our future leaders. Furthermore as a vital part of their curriculum all Scholars volunteer at least one day per year through our Donate28 initiative to work with charities who need bright young marketing minds. For a full list of the individuals involved, see the Sherilyn Shackell interview.