Day In The Life of an Associate Brand Manager
There is no real “typical” day for an ABM, but this gives you a sense of what a day might entail.
By JR BLASZEK
Have you ever wondered what the life of a brand manager is all about? I know that before I became a brand manager I always wondered “what exactly do you do”.
While there is not really a “typical day” for brand managers, the following snapshot should give you a good idea of the diversity in job responsibilities of a newly minted associate brand manager.
6:00 AM – Wake up and exercise
I usually wake up around 6:00 so that I can get in a good workout. I like exercising in the morning because it gives me energy to make it through the day. Plus, I never really know when I’m going to be done with work so this adds a bit of consistency to my life.
8:30 AM – Get into office and start answering emails
I try to get in by 8:15 or 8:30. This usually gives me 30-45 minutes to catch up on emails before my meetings get started at 9:00. Nothing crazy this morning. Just a few business updates that have come through and an invite to a coworker’s birthday. Sometimes I get a “fire drill” email early in the morning and I have to rearrange my entire day. Luckily, today isn’t one of those days.
9:00 – 11:30 AM – Customer Meeting Team Preparation
This is the time of year where we are doing a good amount of planning with customers (think Walmart, Kroger, etc.). Today we have a 2 ½ hour meeting to prepare for a meeting. It’s a little ridiculous, but we need to make sure we’re buttoned up for our conversations with the customers. We spend the majority of the time talking about the customer’s goals, our goals, and the plans we can make to have a successful year.
I spend most of the time taking notes and chiming in if there are any questions specifically related to data, insights, or business performance.
11:30 – 12:00 – Catch up on emails
I have some down time before lunch that I use to catch up on emails. I just got a notice that a shipment of product will be delayed due to bad weather…I need to figure out how to communicate this bad news to my manager. I’ll flag that and come back to it later.
12:00-1:00 – Lunch & Learn
Every now and then, we bring in guest speakers to keep us updated on the best practices in the marketing industry. Today’s presentation is about how to use Twitter to grow your brand.
While the content is usually engaging enough, I think the only reason so many people attend these meetings is for the free food. We don’t make quite as much money as our banking or consulting counterparts, so we tend to jump at the opportunity for anything free!
1:00 – 2:00 – Creative Review
Switching gears, I have a meeting with my creative agency to give feedback on our latest holiday packaging graphics. It’s always a lot of fun to see how an agency can take an idea that you’ve given them and bring it to life…unless they come back with something completely off base.
Today’s review went pretty well. Only some minor changes are necessary and then we should be ready to print!
2:00 – 3:00 – Business Review Presentation
Today also happens to be the day that I have to present our monthly business results to the team. I take the team through our sales data, profitability, and a special topic that the team requests.
It’s a ton of work to prepare for these meetings, but it gives me an opportunity to present to a large audience and present a compelling story. One thing is certain…a good storyteller always seems to rise faster in the company than a person who isn’t a great storyteller.
3:00 – 4:00 – Meeting with External Partner
We’re working on a cross-promotional program with another CPG company that makes products that go well with our own. Today we are meeting to discuss the details of the partnership.
My goal is to have the external partner pay for a majority of program costs (coupon redemption, sweepstakes fees, etc.) while we pay for the creative costs. For me, the creative costs are built into my annual retainer so if I can accomplish this goal, the promotion will essentially be free for me to execute. This is HUGE since my budget is already running low for the year.
4:00 – 4:30 – Demand Meeting
We had an emergency meeting to discuss an unexpected demand. Apparently Walmart placed an order that was way higher than we had expected (definitely not a bad problem to have). The problem is that we don’t have capacity in our plants to meet Walmart’s demand. We need to find a customer who will take less product so we can fill Walmart’s orders.
At this point I wish that I had paid more attention in my Supply Chain and Operations classes in business school.
4:30 – 6:30 – Email, Data Analysis, PowerPoint
Meetings typically end around 4 or 4:30. Finally, I can get some actual work done.
I spend the next two hours pulling data in IRI (our sales database), creating PowerPoint slides to explain that data in a visual way for my managers, and answering emails that I didn’t get to during the day.
6:30 – 9:30 – Go Home, Dinner, Family Time
When I get home I refuse to do anything work related until the kids are in bed. It’s extremely important to me that my family gets my full attention for at least a portion of the day. This also gives me a chance to unwind so I can come back to work with a fresh perspective the next day.
9:30 – 10:00 – One last email check. Sleep
I usually do one final email check before I go to sleep to make sure there aren’t any emergencies (i.e. a new report that my manager NEEDS by 7 AM the following day).
Nothing crazy happening tonight, so my phone goes off and I go to sleep.
So there you go. This was a “typical” day in the life of an Associate Brand Manager. Some days will be crazier than others, but one thing is certain…each day will be different. There is always something new happening and that’s what keeps the job interesting.
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