Navigating the Changing Media Landscape with Charlie Chappell

March 27, 2019

By Molly Knol

ANA

Charlie Chappell is the head of integrated media and communications planning at The Hershey Company, and will be speaking at the ANA Media Conference this April. The ANA's director of content marketing, Molly Knol, recently interviewed Chappell on the changing media landscape.

 

Q. What have you learned over the course of your career that you put into practice when you joined the team at Hershey?

Many of the fundamentals of marketing still apply, but the tactics and tools have changed dramatically. For example, on the creative side, I was always taught the importance of mentioning the brand at the beginning of an ad. I have to smile a little when new digital partners walk in and share the insight as if it is new information! In my job today, as the media world is changing, I spend a lot of time understanding how the fundamentals still apply but using them differently now.

 

Q. In your time at Hershey, you've seen a rapid evolution in the way brands can and do communicate with consumers. Which of these changes has been the most challenging and what have you done to combat it?

The biggest challenge today is the speed at which you can make changes in your media or communications to get better results. That is faster than marketers used to act. That's a big change in marketing muscles. I'm impressed at how many challenger brands are leveraging this to drive rapid growth while traditional brands struggle.

 

Q. How have you restructured your team to handle the new speed of decision-making?

Our media team is getting greater and faster access to the actual deliverables from our media. We have a great partnership with our agencies so we can jointly make recommendations faster than we did in the past.

 

What does a marketer need to succeed in today's media landscape?

First and foremost, you need curiosity. The landscape changes so fast and I need people who naturally want to understand why to determine what we should go do about it. I hire people with a bias for action, those don't spend time over-thinking and debating, but read data and act fast. You can't be afraid to be wrong. What's great about today is that you can course correct so much more quickly because you have access to data that much faster.

 

Your session at the 2019 ANA Media Conference is entitled "State of Media 2019 – Trends to Watch." Can you give us a little preview of what that will be like?

Reaching people is just getting harder. Marketers need to accept the challenge and embrace it as the role you play in your organization today. The questions about how much should I spend in traditional vs. digital are the great questions and I'll dive into that in my session. The other trend to watch is challenger brands vs. established brands. The challenger brands who are successful are realizing they must scale. They have to move from performance marketing to scale marketing. And established brands are finding they need to do the opposite. I believe the best marketers of the future will master both. That's where the job security is — someone needs to be on top of this!

 


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