Manager, Product and Brand Marketing
Since 1940, Dairy Queen® has been one of the world’s best known and loved brands. Based in Minneapolis, MN, International Dairy Queen Inc., (IDQ), is the parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation. As a leading franchisor, there are more than 6,700 independently owned and operated restaurants in the U.S., Canada and 25 countries around the world. IDQ is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) which is led by Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire.
Here at IDQ, we create extraordinary Fan experiences every day and we do this through our commitment to hiring and retaining only the best in class talent. We firmly believe that our employees are the catalyst to the success of the company where their initiative, strategic thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit are recognized and rewarded. We're looking for motivated, passionate and dedicated individuals with an inherent need and ambition to go after bigger challenges.
We have an exciting opportunity for a Product and Brand Marketing Manager to be based at our Franchise Support Center located in Burlington, Ontario. This role will bring product growth strategy to life through menu development and execution including the product offering, pricing and promotional recommendations leading to continued sales growth and customer satisfaction. Under some guidance where necessary of their manager, manages multiple products, product lines or strategic pillars (for example, treats or health). With increasing independence, leads and effectively communicates to cross-functional teams at our US office. Keeps projects moving forward. Schedules creative reviews with internal team before and after photo shoots. Executes marketing plans, tests and launch activities. Manages and oversees relevant product launches and coordinates launch activities. Assists in the development of short and long-term strategic planning for designated aspects of a product category including product positioning. Creates strong presentations, synthesizing information from various sources and creating persuasive presentations that move projects and drives results.
Key Accountabilities Include:
Product Test Implementation and Rollout/Launch:
- Under some guidance where necessary of their manager, manages multiple products, product lines or strategic pillars (for example, treats or health). The volume of projects expected to be completed does not vary from that of an Associate Manager; however, the level of competence and efficiency in completing this work is expected to be greater.
- With increasing independence, leads and effectively communicates to cross-functional product teams, gaining alignment and using project management skills, including timeline development and timeline management tracking for all product related projects. Keeps projects moving forward, knowing when to elevate decisions to higher management. Utilizes the pipeline meetings to keep the broader cross-functional team informed of project status and changes in a timely and accurate manner. Ensures that affected cross-functional teams (e.g. Operations) are involved and informed at the right time.
- Schedules creative reviews before and after photo shoots with Brand team and Creative Services team.
- Executes marketing plans, tests and launch activities. Manages and oversees relevant product launches and coordinates launch activities, including oversight of the assigned items featured in the monthly Product Launch Kit.
- Manages in-market tests from store recruiting through to evaluation. If successful, creates, leads and executes plan for system-wide rollout.
- Ensures the timely completion of required internal briefing documents, including project initiation forms for Research & Development department, weekly status reports, and creative assignment forms (POP and advertising).
- Maintains timely and accurate communication to the Field Marketing teams as related to product tests and launches – utilizing pipeline meetings, conference call and various meetings.
- Creates and maintains a weekly tracking list of product pipelines issues, decisions and next steps.
Brand Strategy and Plan Development
- Assists the development of short and long-term strategic planning for designated aspects of a product category. Provides meaningful input into the determination of how we would bring a product to market. Typical product planning and research timelines range from 6 months to 2 years.
- Product Positioning: Provides meaningful input on how to position a product to market, taking into account how the product will “fit” into consumers’ lives, what makes it consumer-worthy, why the product is better and different. This product positioning is critical to inform the creative marketing team for their later development of strong Creative pieces, such as advertising and POP.
- Articulates the “voice of the consumer” into product and marketing opportunities by reviewing market trends, available secondary research, sales and competitive analysis and validate ideas through online screeners, focus groups and other primary research.
- Utilizes learnings gained through consumer research to develop menu strategies and execute menu plans.
- With occasional support if needed, creates strong presentations for both internal DQ management and franchisee audiences, synthesizing information from various sources and creating persuasive presentations that move projects forward.
- Participates in Franchisee meeting and conference calls, at times and where appropriate leading or facilitating such calls. As appropriate and with oversight from their manager, presents information to Franchisee Councils.
- Assists team in various ways during Franchisee Advisory Council Meetings
Ensures projects are managed within an established, pre-defined allowance, factoring in expenses related to research, point of purchase materials, system-wide communication and external partners related to product category. Project budgets can range from multiple $30,000 budget tests to one larger $100,000-$150,000 media test project a year.
- Creative thinker with a track record of developing marketing-related innovative ideas.
- Ability to be a team leader and facilitate brainstorming sessions.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Demonstrated ability to create and successfully drive project plans, to multi-task and prioritize multiple projects and requests simultaneously, within an intense, deadline-driven environment.
- Well organized with a high attention to detail and accuracy.
- Provide excellent customer service to both internal and external clients.
- Ability to work quickly in a fast-paced environment with frequent interruptions.
- Ability to collaborate in a team environment. Ability to coordinate with other departments Concept Support Services, Operations, Legal to complete projects on time.
- Intermediate math skills, including percentages and cost of goods.
- B.A. or B.S. Degree in Marketing or related field, or equivalent combination of work experience and education. MBA preferred.
- Minimum of 3-6 years prior Food/Treat/Retail Marketing experience, required.
- Experience working within a franchisor organization, preferably a QSR brand, preferred.
- Demonstrated cross-functional project management skills, required.
- Demonstrated ability to persuade, influence and demonstrate leadership cross-functionally, to drive decisions and project plans. Demonstrated ability to effectively lead brainstorming sessions, with advance input and preparation with their director.
- Strong knowledge and familiarity with the Restaurant Industry, and of restaurant operations, preferred.