The commercial engine of Reckitt Benckiser, Australia is located on Level One, Wharf Road, West Ryde.
There are around 80 people who are on level one, the walls are brightly coloured, RB flags are scattered throughout and the glass windows have RB brands and logo’s featured.
Desks are chaotically tidy, scattered with products, year planners, the occasional Neilson Share Graph, catalogue features and new artworks. Whilst each area of Level One looks very similar, there are two distinct differences, defined by one small A4 Laminated page hanging from the ceiling, which reads ‘The Boarder’!
I am apart of the Commercial Graduate program, which gives me the opportunity to work on either sides of ‘The Border’. I started in Sales, firstly in Field Sales, followed by National Sales, where I was an analyst and managed a number of smaller accounts in the Independent Stream.
In sales, day to day, I was working across a wide breadth of categories within a number of small retailers, monitoring share and trends, looking at promotional efficiencies, in-store executions and driving category growth. The plans and initiatives that were worked on would be executed within the year, and the effectiveness of the initiative could be measured weekly.
After 12 months in Sales, I moved across the boarder, into Marketing, as Assistant Brand Manager on Finish.
The transition at first felt extreme. Suddenly, I was working only on one brand, and had very little knowledge of what other brands were launching and any other campaigns. I went from having knowledge across a broad range of brands to having a more depth into one particular brand and category. In Marketing, my focus switched from engaging retailers, to engaging agencies, and looking out for consumer trends, and media trends.
Moving from Sales to Marketing was definitely a challenge. In sales, results on a day to day basis were a lot more tangible. In marketing, day to day projects were not able to be measured in such a way. A lot of the projects in Marketing are cross functional, compared to Sales, and in Marketing there are many more third parties to deal with to ensure that projects are executed in the best way possible. This tests your ability to manage people and projects in a way that you do not come across in Sales.
Now, after I have been in Marketing for 9 months, the two functions seem less dissimilar than they were initially. Both functions are working to continuously drive and grow RB brands and products, satisfy consumers and customers, and continue to be a step ahead through being creative with our approach to retailers and customers, and our approach to media and brand equity building.
I am very lucky to have worked in both functions, and I think after writing this, I may ask if we can take ‘The Boarder’ flag down – there really is no need for it!