Listen On:

Francesco Leone (LinkedIn) has helped some of the biggest brands in the world go international. As a marketing executive with Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Colgate, he helped establish footholds in new markets. He has taken that international experience and uses it to help other brands through his marketing consulting agency called Goat Eye Strategy.

On this episode, Francesco walks us through his international marketing playbook. He talks about the lessons he has learned across his career and talks through the strategies and tactics that help a brand have a flawless international rollout.

5 Key Takeaways:
- To work in different markets, think about culture, segment, and identity, not just national boundaries.
- Talent looks different in different markets. Make sure you know what you're looking for. A German resume will be different from a Japanese one, which will be different from an American one.
- Innovation can isn't just technological change. Understanding your consumer and repositioning your product is an important form of innovation.
- CMO's run into mistakes when they try to reach a theoretical consumer based on outside characteristics. It's important to speak to human needs.
- "Start with a brand that is successful in a market segment and then afterward, search for that same segment in other markets." - Francesco Leone

Prior to founding and running Goat Eye Strategy, Francesco served as the CMO of Pedal. Prior to that, he served as the VP of Global Categories and Operations for Arla Foods, and he has held top marketing positions for Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Colgate.

Notes & Quotes:

Francesco's Background in Marketing - (1:45)
- He became interested in marketing while enrolled as a student.
- He was a part of the International Student Association while he went to University in Italy. This association helped him learn, "more about some of those companies and businesses and look at the marketing as a central role."
- Francesco's internship at Microsoft was his first experience in the U.S.
- He later went on to Colgate to further learn more about marketing.

Arla Foods & Lessons from Marketing Cheese - (10:40)
- "Start with a brand that is successful in a market segment and then afterward, search for that same segment in other markets." - Francesco Leone
- "We created cheeses that were creatively done, done in a different way. We tried to shift the conversation from region of origin. That was where we would have lost dramatically and where we're not relevant. We shifted that to the strength of how we are different." - Francesco Leone
- Francesco recreated a different type of in-store concept in which they were able to focus on creating an experience for consumers.
- They were able to create stores within stores to leverage their way into supermarkets with their cheese. Consumers loved it for the experience and selection.
- Francesco believed he needed to educate the consumer on cheese, but they also played on indulgence and the fun of cheese.
- Marketing cheese is a difficult thing to do because of all the different variations.
- "Sometimes innovation can happen based on consumer insight. You don't necessarily need a big technological innovation or new formulation of the world. Sometimes it is just a matter of repackaging and understanding your consumer." - Francesco Leone

Where The Name "Goat Eye Strategy" Came From - (42:30)
- Goat Eye Strategy is the name of Francesco's consulting agency.
- Francesco is a fan of biomimicry and he was fascinated by goats eyes. Goats are able to see almost 360 degrees to allow them to detect predators. Goat eyes relate to marketing because you want awareness and to have an extended view.

How to Tap Into International Markets (50:00)
- Brands need to start at a local level. National identities can cover a number of regional identities and cultures.
- "Tap into talent and understand what's the definition of talent in a different market from yours. Because a resume in Germany will be different from an American one." - Francesco Leone
- CMO's run into mistakes when they try to touch a theoretical abstract consumer.

Pardot Lightning Round - (54:20)
- Most fun app: FuboTv
- Favorite cheese: Creamy White from Costello
- Favorite vacation spot: New Zealand
- Recent read: Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
- What Francesco does for fun: He plays soccer on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
- Best advice for a first time CMO: Take your time.
- Most excited about the future of marketing: A macro trend on health/sustainability and the opportunity to work with more nonprofits.

Marketing Trends is brought to you by our friends at Salesforce Pardot, B2B marketing automation on the world’s #1 CRM. Are you ready to take your B2B marketing to new heights? With Pardot, marketers can find and nurture leads, close more deals, and maximize ROI. Learn more by heading to

Share This Episode:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Subscribe to Marketing Trends

The Marketing Trends podcast delivers the trends, strategies, and interviews you need to stay ahead.​

Stay ahead of the game.

Marketing Trends delivers the trends, strategies, and interviews you need to stay ahead.

Copyright 2018 © The Mission