Katerina Kondratenko

Director of Marketing
(Chocolate & Confectionery),
Nestle Russia

Logic and intuition, marketing
and nature

The best advice about work is… consider it your own business. Moreover: I can hardly make the difference if I don’t see the whole picture of how the business works. I need to know what the role of every marketing activity is. Designing this mechanism – the long-term strategy to achieve the goals – is my favorite part of work. When the strategy is clear, it is easy to follow it.

Logic or intuition? In my view both are essential for marketing. It is cross-disciplinary. On one hand, it is crucial to be competent to analyze big data, to build cause-effect links, to know well the whole value chain, from purchase of raw material till the product’s consumption. Logic helps to manage a brand’s “life”.

On another hand, logic can’t provide you with all the answers. In many situations you should just “live” the life of your customers and intuition is inevitable here. It also becomes crucial when you create something absolutely new.

Happiness is when you turn an idea no one believed
in to the accomplished project, happy customers
and successful business.

If you draw an analogy with the wild nature, marketing is like… migrating birds! They fly to where it’s better for them. It’s hard to understand how they learn it but they find their directions somehow. And in order to get to the point they need to be a team… just like marketing experts!

The biggest thing I am proud of is… my team. I am so proud to work with them! I would have achieved nothing without my colleagues. Speaking about my main achievement…. I repeat the line from the “Heart of a Dog” film: “The main event is still ahead!”

Three ruIes I never break:

  • 1
  • Do the job that makes you happy
  • 2
  • Create the value for both your company and consumers
  • 3
  • Always follow laws, rules and regulations

It is hard to judge objectively… different is approach to marketing in global companies and in small business. I appreciate many things that my colleagues from local Russian companies do. In my view, marketing experts from corporations have more resources than ones working at local start-ups, but they also spend more time on managing and approving their decisions inside the company. And we can hardly take risks too, which I regret sometimes.

I always see agencies as our strategic partners. That’s why I highly appreciate working with professionals who are as competent and well-rounded as we are. The agency should be interested in our values, goals and perspectives too.

We expect that agencies don’t only work on a project but also think what value it creates for consumers and how it would influence the brand. And Depot WPF is a good example here.

The global trend that influences business the most is… that distance between brands and consumers shrinks. It is almost zero. Everyone can affect a brand these days, and we, who manage brands, should adapt to the new reality.