My Career: Lee Smith

12 March, 2010
Page 38 

Marketing manager for Mr Kipling cakes, part of Premier Foods

What do you do day-to-day?

I work from Premier Foods' head office in St Alban's and my main task is to help manage the growth of the Mr Kipling brand, at the same time as modernising it for today's consumers.

Our key target audience is mums and we have been doing a lot of work on understanding what they want and how to take the brand back into the heart of the family. Cakes are featuring more and more in lunchboxes and as market leader we should be there.

Part of the day-to-day work has also been getting ready for the launch of our new TV advertising campaign around Oatibakes, which has just gone live. This has been a six-month process that has culminated in keeping the intriguing and secret Mr Kipling character integral to the brand, while at the same time ushering in Mrs Kipling's first ever appearance on screen.

How did you get into the baking industry?

My first job was actually marketing tyres for Michelin, and I was based in Stoke-on-Trent. But I'm a total foodie at heart, so getting a job in the food industry was always my main goal.

I worked at cheesemaker Bel UK for four years, before joining Premier to work on the Ambrosia brand, but Mr Kipling has been a great opportunity in an exciting category. Food and baking is about engaging with people about something they themselves feel passionately about.

What was your training or education?

I have a degree in languages French and German from Exeter University. I love languages and communicating, something that I believe has held me in good stead for a career in marketing. My education was really a stepping stone into business.

Other than that, I have a marketing diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, but I believe that experience on the job is so important in forming you and informing you about what works in the real world and what doesn't.

What has been your career to highlight to date?

Launching Oatibakes, without a doubt. The project was given to me to lead, which was very exciting, while the advertising campaign was a collaborative effort, headed by our head of marketing, Matt Hunt, and our marketing controller, Rachel Moss.

It has all been a huge team effort and we are extremely pleased with the results.





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