Haleon is pursuing market share growth “ahead of the competition” as it officially separates from GSK today (18 July) and becomes listed as its own FTSE 100 company, according to CMO Tamara Rogers.
The consumer healthcare business, formerly known as GSK Consumer Healthcare, owns brands including Sensodyne, Voltaren and Panadol. The new brand identity was announced in February this year, nine months after GSK first confirmed its plans to split.
Laying out her plans for the new company, Rogers makes clear that marketing is viewed as a “growth function” within Haleon, and that growing the business is a priority. Indeed, the company is aiming to grow in the rate of 4-6%.
“I will be judged on our market share. It’s a really clear signal of performance,” she tells Marketing Week.
But as it drives towards growth, Haleon is pursuing incremental improvements rather than “dramatic changes”, Rogers adds.
“Big dramatic changes are actually very challenging and hard for people to embrace, whereas if you are tweaking and adjusting and learning how to live up to our ambitions on an everyday basis, you’re much more successful,” she claims.
One example of a “tweak” made to the company as it has approached the date of demerging involves changes to its digital team. Having a separate digital team came to be recognised as “quite outdated”, Rogers says.
Instead of having a ‘centre of excellence’ for digital, as had been the case previously, Haleon now has experts embedded in its marketing team, while also using upskilling to ensure all its marketers have the skills to reach consumers in a digital world.
Looking ahead, Rogers wants to continue making tweaks to the business that will ensure it can achieve the goals set out. Marketing effectiveness is one area particularly under the spotlight.
“I believe marketing has such an important ability to drive growth, but sometimes you don’t quite know the impact of all activities that you’re doing,” she explains.
“So we’re looking at how we measure, how we learn and how we become even more agile to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.”
Purpose in practice
Meanwhile, Haleon will also be doubling down on its purpose-driven strategy as it seeks market share growth.
The business’s purpose is ‘to deliver better everyday health with humanity’, and according to Rogers, the demerger has offered it an “opportunity” to utilise its purpose to its full extent.
I believe that creativity is at its most powerful when we harness it against business problems.
Tamara Rogers, Haleon
“Being a separate company means we have the scope to really sharpen what matters for consumer health, rather than being part of a bigger health story,” she says.
In practice, this means looking at each Haleon brand’s personality, purpose and what it stands for, and thinking about they can be enacted as part of the wider corporate strategy, says Rogers. This, she argues, will be key in driving growth.
“All the brands have been revisiting their brand hearts to then determine how they can activate against that,” she says.
She gives the example of Theraflu, a brand designed to give relief from cold and flu symptoms. The brand’s purpose is to “fight for a flu safe world”. One of the ways of doing this, she says, is to ensure that people can stay at home when they have flu symptoms, both to reduce transmission and to allow them time to recover.
The brand recognised that in many jobs, particularly in lower paid sectors, workers may not be able to take this time off due to a lack of sick pay. Theraflu therefore partnered with non-profit the Good+ Foundation in October to launch a ‘Rest & Recover Fund’ to cover lost income when people have to take time off work sick.
Innovation will be another key focus, Rogers says, adding that her team will be working closely with the business’ research and development team to bring new innovations to market.
Last month, Bayer Consumer Health CMO Patricia Corsi spoke to Marketing Week about what she perceives as a need for more creativity in consumer healthcare marketing.
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According to a whitepaper that Bayer, owner of brands including Berocca, Canesten, and Rennie’s, put together alongside agency partners, the healthcare industry ranks just eighth out of ten sectors in terms of creativity.
Rogers says she shared Corsi’s ambition to use creativity to teach consumers how to look after their own health. However, she she adds that creativity should always be about solving problems for consumers.
“I believe that creativity is at its most powerful when we harness it against business problems,” Rogers says.
“Creativity for creativity’s sake is lovely. But it’s a bit indulgent, [and] it may not actually drive any business outcomes.”