The Shiny New Object Podcast: five things I learned from Kellogg's Sanjib Bose

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The Shiny New Object Podcast: five things I learned from Kellogg's Sanjib Bose

Interviewed in the latest installment of the Shiny New Object Podcast by Automated Creative’s Tom Ollerton is Sanjib Bose, marketing director (CMO), South East Asia at Kellogg Company. Here are five things Ollerton found out as a result of the conversation.

Food technology can help build a sustainable future

As his Shiny New Object, Bose chose advancements in food technology, how they can solve problems and help us build a better future for our planet. Of course, as a marketer in a global food manufacturing company, this is something he’s pretty clued up about. He identified three major areas where technology will impact the future of food: improving consumer choices when specific individual requirements come into play (such as allergies and intolerances); the ability to remove or replace less healthy ingredients without sacrificing taste; and a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for packaging. These are clearly all huge challenges but Bose believes that each should receive equal weighting and attention.

Looking to best practice is not always good practice

Bose chose to answer a question that very few of my guests do - what are the bad recommendations that you hear in your industry? Interestingly, he flagged the tendency of brands to look to their competitor landscape for inspiration. By thinking this way, he pointed out, you can only blindly follow a category, rather than start new trends and lead the pack. Instead, marketers should look to consumers for the bigger picture - what are their problems and how can we help solve them?

Look beyond the algorithm

Bose is clearly not someone who likes to be stuck behind a desk. He said that his most valuable time has been spent getting out of the office, meeting customers and business partners. From gathering knowledge in-market from shoppers to getting sharp and actionable insights from suppliers, these conversations are his guiding forces. He believes that this human-led approach allows him to see data in a different light - yes, analytical tools will provide us with data points, but you need to put these in context by applying them to real-world scenarios. Bose believes that a sense of empathy makes for a better marketer.

Your career legacy can be about people

When I asked Bose how he’d like his career to be remembered, his response wasn’t about his ‘work’ specifically. He said that over the years, he’s been fortunate to benefit from invaluable learnings from people he’s worked with, whether that’s his managers, teammates or mentors. So to reflect this, he’d like his career to be remembered by the effect he’s had on those he’s worked with, whether he’s been able to make a positive impact on their lives. He also shared the importance for him of working with organisations who have good values, allowing those who work for them to be part of a business that’s trying to help people lead better lives.

Packaging isn’t always the enemy

During our conversation, Bose described one occasion where, on his trips out of the office to speak to real people, he was talking to a shopper about the health benefits of his food and what it meant for him. The man’s answer was both surprising and humbling to Bose - this shopper was on a journey from unsafe and unhygienic food to beginning to be able to afford to buy safer, packaged food. It was a valuable insight for me too - given the movement against unsustainable packaging we have in the west, it’s interesting to note that for many people, packaging is actually transforming how they eat for the better. Bose said that this interaction very suddenly changed his understanding of food and health and helped him realise that it’s essential to meet people from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

You can listen to the conversation in full below.

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