How do you differentiate your company from other brands? How do you sell people a product they are not used to? And how does all this work without a marketing department?
John Schoolcraft, Chief Creative Officer at Oatly, has an answer to all these questions. In 2012, Schoolcraft, along with CEO Toni Petersson, began to transform a 30-year-old oat drink manufacturer into a global movement dedicated to promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.
We met with Schoolcraft at TNW 2022 and learned how Oatly has developed a thriving marketing strategy…without a marketing department. If you want to get his insights in full, check out the video embedded at the top of this article. Alternatively you can view it here.
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Throughout the session, Schoolcraft explains how marketing at Oatly differs from other companies. And it all started with his idea to kill the marketing department and replace it with a team of creatives.
“It’s a completely different system,” he told us. Although a creative still focuses on advertising, content creation, and communication, their approach differs from that of a marketer. In Schoolcraft’s words, marketers are “approvers” and creatives are “doers.”
Moving on to the marketing issues, he pointed to the marketing department’s focus on data. “What they don’t realize is that all brands are using the same data, which means they’re doing the same thing,” he explained. “In contrast,” he continued, “creators are inherently embedded in culture and find their inspiration elsewhere.”
That doesn’t mean Schoolcraft advises every company to destroy their marketing department. But he believes smaller companies should prioritize finding people who can actually create the brand, rather than just interpreting data.
Go here to watch the video.
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