Kimberly-Clark taps Zena Arnold to head marketing, digital push

Dive Brief:

  • Kimberly-Clark named Zena Arnold as chief digital and marketing officer, a new role at the consumer packaged goods (CPG) company. Arnold previously was global head of growth for the Chrome OS business at Google, per an announcement shared with Marketing Dive.
  • Arnold will oversee Kimberly-Clark’s global marketing teams and efforts to transform the digital marketing for its brands and businesses. Her responsibilities include consumer relationships and engagement, media and content, data analytics and innovation, agency operations and marketing capabilities.
  • Before working at Google, Arnold had global and U.S. brand management jobs at the Kellogg Company and Procter & Gamble.

Dive Insight:

Kimberly-Clark’s appointment of Zena Arnold to a new role that includes digital marketing is a sign of how online media and marketing have become more important to the CPG giant, especially amid a surge in online sales during the coronavirus pandemic. It also indicates how the CMO role is evolving amid several high-profile departures across the industry and their replacement with executives focused on digital, data and revenue growth. A similar transition has occurred at CPG companies including Unilever, which last year created a new role of chief digital and marketing officer.

Kimberly-Clark’s digital transformation can be seen in other ways, such as its decision last year to name Accenture Interactive as its lead creative agency for baby and child care products. The assignment was the first major account win for Accenture Interactive following its acquisition of Droga5 last year for a reported $475 million. The agency promoted the idea that the merger would lead to “a new agency model” focused on customer experiences over traditional advertising.

Meanwhile, Kimberly-Clark’s recent digital campaigns include a promotional effort for Cottonelle. In March, the toilet paper brand launched a social media campaign to urge people to avoid hoarding its products during the early days of the pandemic, when panic-buying led to widespread shortages of household necessities. The brand offered to donate $1 to the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund every time someone used the hashtag #ShareASquare in a social media post by June 1. Cottonelle promoted the effort with a 30-second TV commercial that ran through April.

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