Building a Marketing Strategy For McDonald’s, Elizabeth Campbell, Krannert Executive Forum Fall 2018
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Building a Marketing Strategy For McDonald’s, Elizabeth Campbell, Krannert Executive Forum Fall 2018

My name is Amber Watkins. I’m director of Alumni Relations
at the Krannert School and I am joined today by Elizabeth Campbell. Elizabeth is the Senior Director of
US Marketing for McDonald’s Corporation. Welcome.
>>Thank you.>>We are so excited that you’re here. So you’re originally from
Benton Harbor Michigan, is that right?>>Correct, I-
>>That’s great.>>I grew up in Benton Harbor Michigan. I was born in Chicago, but ended up being raised in Benton Harbor
Michigan area, home of Whirlpool.>>Exactly. My grandma was a Tiger, so I’m familiar
with the Benton Harbor area and. Now you’ve left Benton Harbor to
come to West Lafayette to attend Purdue University. Can you talk to us about
what that was like? How did you end up at Purdue?>>Great question. So being born in Chicago, I always had dreams that I
would go to school in Chicago. So when I started to look at different
universities, one of the main universities I looked at was the University of Chicago,
as well as DePaul University. But then there was an opportunity where
I heard about this Purdue University. So my parents brought me down
here to visit Purdue, and I fell in love with the campus. Upon doing some more research,
what I also learned was that Purdue was well known in
terms of the School of Management. And I knew that I wanted to go into
a business degree area, and so it sold me, beautiful campus well known for the
industry that I was interested in studying and I was hooked into coming to Purdue.>>That’s awesome, we’re so glad you did. And that launched you into
a career in marketing. So can you talk to us
about why marketing and walk us through the start of your
career and what that looked like?>>Wow, yes, fascinating. Actually while I was at Purdue,
I knew that I wanted to be in business, in the business world after I graduated. I knew that I wanted to go into marketing
and I wasn’t quite sure how to get there, so I had the opportunity to
speak with one of my professors. And I asked them, what is the best way for
me to get a grounding in marketing? And he suggested that I
go into a sales role.>>Hm-mm.
>>He said most people don’t like to do sales and
marketing. But if you go into sales, it allows you to
understand a business from the ground up. So that you become stronger in
understanding the consumer, understanding the financial implications. And then being able to really lead and
drive a business. And so I did that coming out of Purdue. I ended up working for Baxter Healthcare
for a couple of years in sales and marketing in the Atlanta area. And from there I was able to progress my
career from Baxter to Michelin Tire and then finally to the Coca-Cola Company. And Coca-Cola is a company that is
known for having true insights. True consumer empathy and really
understanding the customer that is coming to them, not only in the US,
but around the world globally. And so, in working for that organization,
I knew that I wanted to continue to progress my career in a brand
management and marketing function. So I ended up leaving Coca-Cola and going to graduate school at
Clark Atlanta University. And then from there, I ended up working at
Kraft Foods for a couple of years in brand management in getting that foundational
training on how to understand customers. How to really understand building
a business case and how to understand new product development, cuz I actually worked
in new product development at Kraft. And then from there I had the opportunity
to go work work for McDonald’s. And I’ve been there for the past 14 years.>>And
you’ve been able to work on some pretty exciting marketing projects as
a result of your time at McDonald’s. Can you walk us through the day in the
life in some of your current, upcoming, and exciting projects that
you’re working on now.>>Well, it changes all the time. I would say when I first started
at McDonald’s 14 years ago, I came in as a Marketing Manager,
Innovation Team. So it was really a good grounding in
terms of understanding the business, how McDonald’s makes money. How do we go about developing new
products to meet consumers’ needs? Throughout my career, I’ve been able
to apply that to different roles, whether it’s in a global side,
as well as on a US side, so today where that lends me to is that I’m
working on one of our new initiatives.>>Mm-hm
>>So I’m working on something called McDelivery, which is a relationship
between McDonalds and Uber Eats. So Uber who provides the transportation,
goes into the food delivery of Uber Eats. And what I love about it,
is that McDonald’s is a company that is 60 years old, over 60 years old,
and Uber Eats is a start up. So how do you blend the best of those
worlds in order to drive the business for the customer? How do you make engagement with
the customer by blending two different companies? So a day in the life for me could mean
that I am meeting with the people on my team, trying to understand how many
sales or guest counts we’ve driven. It could mean that I’m meeting with our
strategy team or our insights team to delve a little deeper in terms of what
have been some of the consumer trends, or that I’m having meetings with
the Uber Eats team, leadership team. In terms of understanding, how do we
bridge our partnership stronger in terms of driving the overall
McDonald’s business?>>That’s exciting, that’s really awesome. So how would you say, then, looking back,
now that you’re back on campus, how did your time at
the Krannert School prepare you for some of the projects that
you’re working on today?>>I would say Krannert prepared me by number one giving me a foundation
in business that I could tap into. So I think that Krannert
does a really good job of training you from
an accounting perspective. Giving you the foundation for marketing,
economics, and all of those things you need to pull from as you are evolving
within a corporate environment. I would also say that it prepared me
in terms of learning how to work with a diversity of individuals and
people in terms of building projects, building teams and projects together. Because there are so many projects
that you work with at Krannert where it is about how does the team
come together to make a recommendation? And you’ll do that throughout
your entire career. And then I’d say lastly,
it was about relationships that I formed.>>Mm-hm.
>>So I was, at Krannert, had the opportunity to lead
the Society of Minority Managers.>>Mm-hm.
>>I was not a BOP student-
>>Mm-hm.>>But I had the opportunity to
form a relationship with Dr. Bell where he mentored me,
coached me, guided me. Helped me get summer interns.>>Mm-hm.
>>Helped me get permanent employment. So in terms of building that
relationship with your peers that will last you throughout your career.>>Definitely, so ultimately here
today to share your message and your story with our students, and what is one thing you hope they really
walk away from after hearing you speak?>>I hope that they walk away with
understanding that there are moments of your life that you’re building
a toolkit to actually deal with. Or to help you through those challenges or even through some of those
positive moments in your life. But there are moments where you just need
to take some of the tools that you learned from Krannert or from Purdue and
take those and help you to get through and overcome some of those moments
that you will have in your life. And to understand that this is one moment
in your life, being here at Purdue. And this is one little thing that
you’re gonna add to your toolkit. But how do you take that and
continue to add and be open to add other areas that will help you deal with some of
the challenges that will come your way.>>Certainly an important message and
we really appreciate you being here and sharing that with us, so
thank you so much Elizabeth.>>Thank you.

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