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Marketing Mavericks was a supplement in the latest mag, featuring some of Australia’s most daring and bold marketers. Today, we’re bringing you McDonald’s director of marketing Jo Feeney.
Starting her career at Woolworths, Jo has also spent time working at Telstra, Foxtel and Vividwireless before finding her current home at McDonald’s as director of marketing. Describing herself as someone who cares about authenticity, being a good human and is (quietly) competitive, what’s made Jo a marketing maverick is her kindness and empathy (which she says always works, while in her opinion, dishonesty does not).
When I was 10, I wanted to be a teacher or child psychologist when I grew up. At one point I also wanted to be a makeup artist (which I’m still very good at, by the way). Along the way, I found my home in marketing, and have over 18 years’ experience in the industry. I’ve learnt some pretty important things during my career, with one of them being the only person you should compete with is yourself. The truth is there’s always going to be someone with more or less than you, but at the end of the day, being the best version of yourself is what you should strive for.
What makes me a marketing maverick? I think I have the right amount of crazy ideas, stubbornness, and creativity. I don’t always conform to rules. I’d rather be pulled back than pushed forward! I also believe I work with agencies in an authentically collaborative way, we don’t use the c-word… ‘client’. And a general rule of thumb I tell my teams is if it’s ‘fine’ – it’s not ok.
Favourite McDonald’s campaign I’ve worked on is ‘Create Your Taste’, an integrated campaign that not only challenged the way we advertise at McDonald’s but was disruptive in terms of operational process as well as major customer noticeable change. It created complete re-appraisal of the Macca’s brand. And it required brave marketing. “How very Un-McDonald’s” was the overarching idea, and it was a bold move to talk about your brand in such a way.
I’ve had a lot of career highlights, but I think the best one would probably be getting the President’s award at Macca’s. It’s given to the top one per cent of McDonald’s employees across the globe. I received the award for my role in the development and launch of the ‘Create Your Taste’ platform. Definitely one of my proudest moments!
Your greatest “light bulb” moment?
Saying NO won’t ruin your career!
You’re summoned to the CEO’s office. Why?
Probably for getting ‘nice buns’ into an advert.