In this video interview, Deanie Elsner, former chief marketing officer for Kraft Foods Group, talks about the importance of marketing and how she worked with agencies to drive Kraft’s marketing function.

Compared to other business functions like finance and operations, marketing is not the first priority in many big companies. However, it is gaining importance in a consumer-centric world and becoming a strong focus for top-performing brands, according to Deanie Elsner, Kraft Foods Group's first (now ex) chief marketing officer (CMO).

"While it's true that for a lot of companies, marketing is not the key function, the reality is today, marketing has to be the center of the equation where consumers have a choice," Elsner tells ClickZ. "The transition is not only taking place in consumer packaged goods, but also in other industries like automobile, insurance and financial services."

Agency partnerships play an indispensable role in understanding Kraft's consumers and driving the company's marketing function. "Media partnerships have become incredibly important for us," Elsner says. "We literally walked every single agency through our journey, in terms of the data infrastructure, and helped them understand what we were trying to do, how they played a role in that equation and where they could continue practicing the enormously strong creative."

In the video interview below, Elsner details how she worked with agencies to build up Kraft's marketing capabilities, and shared her thoughts on five key industry trends that marketers should be aware of.

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