Marcelo Kertész, CMO, Manscaped

Q: Please could you share your bio and official company history?

My professional life started with a career in advertising back in Brazil — where I worked for clients big and small, global and local — and had the chance to grow in a very competitive professional environment with a chance to produce some award-winning creative work.

Later, driven by my curiosity and desire to learn, I ventured into political marketing, serving as both a creative force and strategist.  In this arena, I had the privilege of accumulating an very unique track record in electoral marketing, actively leading creative and contributing to the success of seven presidential elections across five different countries, six of which resulted in victory.

More recently, my journey has taken me into the realms of branding and product design. Drawing from my diverse professional and personal background, I have led initiatives that launched and rebranded companies. My work in these areas has garnered recognition through prestigious awards such as IDSA, Fast Company’s Innovation by Design, and Core 77.

Today, I am proudly established in Southern California, holding the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Manscaped, a San Diego-based men’s beauty company. In this role, I lead cross-functional teams responsible for Marketing, Creative, Digital, Product Design, Packaging, Customer Insights, PR, and Production.

Q: Tell us a little about your approach to marketing.

My approach to marketing is deeply rooted in my background in creative and strategy. Having gained valuable experience in political marketing, I firmly believe that a robust and clear strategy forms the foundation of any successful marketing endeavor. Creative excellence is the second pillar, ensuring that executions not only align with our strategy but also leave a lasting impression and generate emotional connections with our audience, greatly improving overall efficiency.

Q: How has your marketing changed over the past few years?

The most important changes I see happening right now is what I call “The Great Rebalance”. A shift that is particularly impacting digitally native companies. In the last 10 years, with the rise of the direct-to-consumer business model, we saw an exponential growth in digital, microtargeting marketing initiatives. But as successful companies grow, this model can’t keep up with their ambitions. Digital marketing is a phenomenal tool for startup companies, small businesses, and the direct-to-consumer channel — but for a company like ours, with a strong omnichannel presence and aggressive growth strategies, national campaigns with wide coverage and more ample targeting will become increasingly important and necessary.

Q: We’ve heard a lot about the rising role of A.I. in marketing in the past year. How much or how little are you using A.I. or automation in your marketing efforts?

We have been experiencing A.I. in many levels, with great potential being shown in multiple fronts. From creative — helping brainstorm, spark new ideas and approaches, to media attribution and reporting — a well known common problem for marketers —, where we are starting to see some exciting and promising new tools.

Q: In 2023, marketers have more channels to utilize than ever, from shoppable social to CTV to the traditional. Which channels are you using? Where are you seeing the most success?

We are a very prolific marketing team, with great initiatives across a plethora of channels. It’s hard to call one for the most success, but I think we have been doing a very  unique and successful program with podcasts. To a point where a few weeks ago, when Seth Meyer’s show had to do a parody for a podcast commercial, they used Manscaped — that for me was the ultimate example of our dominance in that space.

Q: What challenges do you anticipate facing in 2024? How do you plan on meeting those challenges?

As the concept of a direct-to-consumer business reaches its maturity (the DTC business model emerged in the early 2010s, but is still considered a young phenomenon), this “rebalance” is indeed a new panorama. In my opinion, we won’t be going back to a pre-digital world, but we will integrate the best practices of that time with what we’ve learned from performance marketing and the new tools available that make legacy mediums more effective and measurable. And the changes needed will be challenging for those who did not prepare.

Another big challenge I see, is that since we came out of a global pandemic that shook up consumption behaviors and created this ‘seamless’ purchase journey pattern. The consumer, now more than ever chooses where, and how, to buy and expects a seamless and consistent experience across brick-and-mortar, company websites, and marketplaces, with a multi-modal component of pick-up in store, buy in store, and receive at home – and all the other possible combinations. We need to be ready and deliver a great consistent experience across all the channels.

Q: What is something you’ve learned in your career that you would like to share with young SMB marketers entering the industry?

My advice to young SMB marketers entering the industry might sound cliché, but is something that I find to be very powerful: maintain an insatiable curiosity. Extrapolate the knowledge that is required from you and keep venturing into areas that, adjacent to your core competency today, will come handy in a not-so-distant future. Keep curious. Keep learning. Keep being passionate about what you do.