A Day in the Life of a Brand Manager – 4/24/2008

When I started writing this blog, one of the things I wanted it to do was give a peek inside the day to day life of a Brand Manager. The thinking is that it would be helpful for aspiring marketers, students, agencies and anyone else that would like to get inside the head of a BM. I’m hoping to do this type of post every once in awhile so you can see the variety but here is Day 1:

Thursday, April 24, 2008:

6:00 AM – Woke up to my Chumby and quickly checked out the weather forecast and google news. Fed Wilson (my 90 pound Lab) and checked my BlackBerry and Gmail while waiting for him to get done. Had a great comment from Pete Blackshaw so I approved that and crafted a response before getting ready for the day.

7:30 AM -Off to Saatchi & Saatchi X to meet with my Account Supervisor Jared Meisel. Spent the next 90 minutes going through our yearly retainer, tracking where we were coming in with hours and seeing what projects we needed to finish before the end of the fiscal year (June 30th). We knocked that out in 60 minutes (thanks to Apple Fritters from Ricks Backery) so we tackled initial planning on the FY 09/10 retainer.

9:00 AM – Spent the next 90 minutes in a great presentation from P&G’s Marketing Director for First Moment of Truth (FMOT). Learned the latest P&G proprietary learning on in-store marketing….very cool stuff.

10:30 AM – Creative review on some upcoming projects. Gave input to my team in NYC

11:00 AM – Drove back to the P&G Office and spent a couple of minutes finishing up feedback requests for some people I work with in Cincinnati. Aligned my boss to the creative that I just saw at Saatchi.

12:00 PM – Lunch time with the Fem Care team at my favorite local Mexican restaurant, La Huerta. You come back smelling like your fajitas, but not a better $5 lunch out there.

1:00 PM – A little after lunch RSS reading. Jotted down a couple of notes for this post so I would forget the morning.

1:30 PM – More creative reviews for an upcoming meeting and then phone calls to my counterpart at Wal-Mart marketing.

2:00 PM – Time for data analysis. We just had a really cool promotion where we put Wal-Mart on the Prilosec NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway in early April. Time to calculate media value, Point of Sale $ and begin talk on ROI

3:00 PM – Gotta love Powerpoint. If there is one thing a BM spends time at, it is getting ready for presentations. Need to pull together a ppt for an upcoming meeting. Spent 45 minutes creating the template for my agency and then sent it off to them to fill in the details.

3:45 PM – About to head off to Saatchi for more meetings on upcoming deliverables. Spend 30 minutes talking with my manager about work she needs finished before next week, along with discussion about upcoming travel.

4:15 PM – Shut down the computer and head off to end my day where it began with the agency. Creative discussions go great so the team finishes up with margaritas at Jose’s on Dickson St at 5 PM. Cindy decides to join us since spring has finally arrived. Not a bad finish to the day.

So there it is…my first look inside the life of a BM. I have to admit, this day was pretty low key in terms of meetings. A lot more work time then usual for sure.

Now what do you think? Did you find it interesting to hear about a typical day? Or was this nothing more than a diary entry for me? If you liked it, I will be sure to do it again. if not, consider this a grand experiment gone bad!


8 Responses to A Day in the Life of a Brand Manager – 4/24/2008

  1. Ryan Jones says:

    We need to get you into corporate athlete…where was the workout in your crazy day? 🙂 I loved the post and you should keep doing these. Was getting homesick for some good mexican grub. I have to say, I don’t believe the part about leaving at 5. I thought Americans work! 🙂 Anyway, we need to get you over her to Geneva to enjoy evenings in the office until 8.

    good stuff, Ryan

  2. Sam says:


    I’m a first year MBA student at Haas, UC Berkeley. I’m an engineer nwo but am quite keen to switch to a brand management role. Just found your blog through some googling! You’ve got some great stuff here! Please keep the “day in the life” posts coming from time to time.

    BTW have you come across career switchers at P&G who, like me, went from high-tech engineering jobs to consumer brand mgmt roles? Any tips on making that transition would be appreciated.

    Have bookmarked your blog. Will be back.


  3. El Gaffney says:

    Sam, here’s a presentation I gave to some first-year MBA’s at Georgetown in ’07: http://www.slideshare.net/elgaffney/gma-how-to-review-an-ad/

    It is from the ad agency perspective and was pretty focused on helping them answer the question: what ads do you like? are good? and why? at a job fair the following weekend. Maybe it will be helpful.

    Dave, think this type of stuff is great. I believe there’s an appetite from many diff people – even the agency peeps like myself, who need to be reminded what role we play in the busy life of a BM. I wonder if there’s also an appetite for BM + agency person collabo on this subject (how to best work or review ads or something else).

    P.S. Deck was from Deutsch. I’m at Wieden + Kennedy in NY now.

  4. Dave Knox says:

    Thanks for tossing out the presentation. Really great stuff! I think it could be interesting to do a collaboration from a BM/Agency perspective. Let me know your thoughts at dave.knox@gmail.com.

  5. Garrett D'Ottavio says:

    It was great to see what actually happens during the day for a brand manager. Thanks for including things like ppt is important for your job, etc.–good to learn these things!

  6. […] – 6/5/2008 Posted on June 5, 2008 by Dave Knox Back on Thursday, April 24 I wrote my first Day in the Life of a Brand Manager post. Today seemed like a good day to do the next one in order to show just how different and […]

  7. Vanuza says:

    Hi Dave,

    I cam across your blog as i was searching for articles on how to be a better BM. Im personally i BM for a competitor of P&G however i think theres room to improve knowdelge even if it is from competitors BM. 2 things so far:

    n1. went through your article on the brands you love: unfortunatelly i did not see any that belongs to your manjor competitors. Is it that you dont like any of the comeptitor brands or you simple decided to not explore that side.

    n2. I loved the articles and the day in a BM life is awesome.. hoerver i wish you could do it regularly. In a BM in Africa and you dotn get to fully understand what it takes to be a BM if you dont get to understand better what it takes to fully and succesfully achieve your job description. so keep up the good job.

    Suggestion: consider writting something on competition.. how do you see it.. how do you think companies should behave.. etc etc..


  8. Dave Knox says:

    Thanks for your comments. Always appreciate the perspective, especially from a fellow marketer. Now in terms of your suggestions:
    1.) I’ve been meaning to write about some competition but just looking for the right one. Method comes the closest to any and I’ve had a draft post about them that I have been waiting to finish for awhile. I’ll try to finish that soon.
    2.) I’ll try to write more of these soon. I’ve wondered if they would get boring at all but I guess not!

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