Nestlé quietly hires former Amazon exec to make 'ecommerce everywhere' in its marketing

Nestlé has hired Amazon's director of consumables at Amazon Sebastien Szczepaniak to head up its ecommerce as it looks to create more effective call to action ecommerce messaging.

Szczepaniak joined in May as global head of ecommerce to help Nestlé “bring discipline” to how it is driving action through various channels of communication and marketing, the company’s global head of digital and social media Pete Blackshaw told The Drum.

“We are putting a lot of emphasis on call to actions and [understand] how we make sure that all our touch points have some type of actions whether its discover, share or even shop,” said Blackshaw. “We’ve brought in a new e-commerce leader from Amazon and he’s helping us bring some fabulous discipline to how we think about driving action whether its click to remind, click to buy or click to shop so we’ll see a lot more activity there. It’s really about building the discipline and ensuring that everything has digital activation potential.”

Currently, Nestlé uses a handful of ecommerce streams including pure play and e-tailers as well as direct to consumer models for its Nespresso and Dolce Gusto coffee brands – with plans to potentially expand the model wider. Blackshaw said Nestlé wants to take greater advantage of a “new phase of brand building” where the ability for consumers to quickly respond to ads and purchase products is readily available.

“What’s important is that we are entering an important new phase of brand building where the friction is being removed in transactions,” added Blackshaw. “We are moving towards an everywhere commerce environment where it’s not nearly as difficult for the consumer to act on an advertising stimulus.

“That’s a big opportunity, but it will also take a lot of figuring out on our part – ‘what’s the best way to do that, what categories are most primed for that?’ But it’s a good learning journey.”

Social has formed the crux of Nestlé’s most recent digital marketing mix with tie ups between KitKat and YouTube and US ice cream brand Drumstick and Periscope serving up as recent examples. While Periscope has yet to be tested in the UK market it could be used around KitKat’s ‘break’ positioning Blackshaw speculated, or in more playful applications.

Nestlé is also seeing a shift emerging in its content strategy, placing a greater emphasis on utility and service for its customers, which going forward will be an “important part of the mix” for all brand builders.

“We are moving from advertising to service,” said Blackshaw. “The service is a form of advertising but it puts a stronger onus on us to provide value and utility and improve consumer’s lives. That’s a big part of Nestlé mission with Good Food and Good Beverages, so building content models around that is very important.”