Profile: Jairo Garcia, Director of Shopper Marketing, Colgate-Palmolive
Jairo Garcia has been with Colgate for 13 years in different consumer marketing and innovation positions based in Mexico City and New York. In different career-related conversations, an opportunity came up to do a more commercial/sales role as a great way to develop a better rounded and balanced commercial focus – something critical in today’s marketplace. When Garcia was offered the position, he didn’t hesitate.
Describe your current role.
GARCIA: I’m responsible for leading the shopper marketing strategy for our entire business at Walmart – oral care, personal care and home care – ensuring we develop the right programs not only to drive purchase of our products, but also help drive category growth. It’s a very exciting job that requires me to evaluate all our strategies and programs through different lenses: What’s in it for the shopper? What’s in it for the retailer? What’s in it for the company? In addition, the ever-changing and evolving path to purchase requires agility and a sense of urgency more than ever.
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What was your biggest professional challenge, and how did you overcome it?
GARCIA: In my previous position as associate director, marketing, I had the privilege to work in one of the most critical projects in the company – the relaunch of Colgate Total. As you can imagine, this was not an easy project. It required creativity, resilience and managing ambiguity, to name a few. I think the way we work in Colgate, it’s half the solution: there is a strong sense of teamwork and belonging, we’re here to help each other and march toward the same objective. The people who work in this company really make a difference.
What about shopper marketing concerns you?
GARCIA: The fragmentation of the media and level of personalization. Years ago TV, radio, print and out-of-home advertising was the way to go. Now we have all these different vehicles and technologies that make everything more personalized, but at the same time more difficult to measure. It also stretches our budgets.
What is the shopper’s greatest need today? How is your team or organization working to meet that need?
GARCIA: It’s the level of personalization and the existence of all those digital tools and platforms out there, how they impact the purchase decision, and most importantly, how do they get measured from an effectiveness and ROI perspective. We are evolving as fast as the market is changing, adapting to the new needs, while keeping a critical eye on what is here to stay, and what’s not. It’s an exciting time to be a marketer, because the level of knowledge requirement and experiences has never been so vast.
GARCIA: Our Save Water campaign has been quite successful. Colgate needed to capture the attention of Walmart customers shopping for toothpaste on autopilot and convince them to buy premium products. In 2016, Walmart launched Project Gigaton, inviting suppliers to join them in reducing greenhouse emissions by 1 gigaton (1 billion metric tons) by 2030. Colgate embraced this challenge and offered Walmart shoppers a way to help the environment without paying extra: turning off the tap while brushing their teeth. The goal was showing shoppers they have the power to save up to 4 gallons of water each time they brush. We partnered with Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, who became the ambassador of this powerful message. With a strong PR campaign and powerful in-store support, we drove Colgate sales while also delivering category sales growth.