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Vice President, U.S. Marketing & New Business Development
Bayer HealthCare, Consumer Care
In this “age of responsibility,” how do you see your customer changing?
Today more than ever, people want to make smarter choices about their personal health and well being — and how they spend their money with respect to these areas. We believe they will see healthcare — particularly self-medication and wellness — as even more important. They will look for more information to make sure they are staying up to date and benefiting, as well as demanding, new innovations from the OTC category.
How do you see the marketing of healthcare brands changing in the next five to 10 years?
As the population continues to age, healthcare will become an even more important part of people's lives over the next five to 10 years. The role that self-medication and wellness have in consumers’ lives will be even more valuable. Bayer will seek to provide its consumers with relevant products and the information they need to help them lead healthy lives.
What was the most unpredicted factor that affected how you manage your brand in the past decade. In the past year?
It has been very gratifying to see consumers continue to invest in their personal health through nutritionals and wellness. At a time when many consumer product categories have decreased, consumers spent more on nutritional categories like multivitamins, calcium and probiotics than they ever have. Probiotics grew by +80% in 2009, demonstrating that people are receptive to meaningful innovation that can benefit their overall health and wellness.
Is there a single touchpoint of your brand that you think will be more influential to your consumers in the next five years?
Consumers are very interested in their health and wellness, and will make even more use of digital information such as social media sites, blogs and wikis to help them make product choices. Studies show that 78 percent of consumers trust a product recommendation from another consumer while only 13 percent trust advertising. Maximizing our presence in the rapidly growing digital space — ensuring that it is fully integrated and complements our traditional media — will be a critical component to our growth strategy over the next five years.
What points can you share from your experiences that contribute in building a successful brand?
The root of a successful healthcare brand is grounded in consumer understanding and innovative, efficacious technology. To thrive over time, they need to be compelling, differentiated and consistent. Brand owners need strategic discipline in these areas to build sustainable, successful brands.
Can you provide us with insight on how you have managed to successfully balance a diverse portfolio of brands?
Portfolio diversity is a major asset and is increasingly critical in today’s competitive OTC landscape. Bayer has an incredibly diverse brand portfolio that we characterize by three groups: global brands which we expect to see the majority of our investments in growth, local pearls that drive growth in our major regions and profit brands which must continue to be profitable to give us the leverage we need to invest in new opportunities. Regardless of categorization, every brand plays an important role in our overall strategy and must deliver on its expectations.
How do your employees engage with your brand?
Our employees know our brands better than anyone else so feedback from our employees is very important. That’s why we’re always looking at ways to better integrate their feedback into different areas of our product life-cycles—whether it be in the planning and development stage, go-to-market or when we’re looking to offer product extensions or enhancements. Keeping employees up-to-date on product milestones such as launches, new advertising and performance helps employees feel in-touch with our business and energized. Also, our brands are very active in supporting healthcare issues directly related to our products such as the American Heart Association (AHA). At a local and national level, our involvement with organizations like the AHA give employees an opportunity to engage with the brand while giving back at the same time.
How do you maintain relevance?
A major goal within the Consumer Care growth strategy is to lead the consumer health industry through brand-building initiatives such as new product development, Rx-OTC switches and improving the competitiveness of our existing products with innovative line extensions and customer offerings.
Barton Warner is Vice President of U.S. Marketing & New Business Development for Bayer HealthCare’s Consumer Care Division headquartered in Morristown, NJ. In this position, he is responsible for all U.S. marketing for Consumer Care, which includes flagship brands like Bayer® Aspirin, Aleve® One-A-Day®, Citracal® and Alka-Seltzer®.
Mr. Warner joined the company in 2006 as vice president, strategic business leader for Global Analgesics and Cough/Cold and was appointed to his current role in late 2008.
He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He attended the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva Switzerland and holds an MBA from Columbia University.