HelloMasters Podcast Episode 011: Kevin Capota – CMO of L’Oréal Netherlands

Kevin Capota (L’Oréal Netherlands) about his role as CMO, digital transformation and learnings from his career.

“For the big topics, I want to have an expert on board who can lead that field.” – Kevin Capota

HelloMasters

We’re back with a new batch of HelloMasters episode after a short summer break. In our eleventh episode, we speak to Kevin Capota, CMO of L’Oréal Netherlands. We discuss what it takes to be a CMO, digital transformations and the lessons learned in his career.

DNA of L’Oréal

We start our conversation about the DNA of L’Oréal and Kevin’s experience during his career path within the company. Because of his background as a designer, freedom and the space to develop his ideas is something that Capota always valued highly. He states that L’Oréal is a great fit for this: “L’Oréal was founded by an entrepreneur and a scientist, so you have this innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that makes it possible for someone like me to innovate.” 

Role of CMO

Kevin’s current role, as CMO of L’Oréal Netherlands, brings a new dynamic to his already impressive career path: “I like the diversity of topics, because it’s such a broad landscape that you touch, from e-commerce, influencers, precision advertising to upscaling.”  However, this means that proper time management and keeping focus are of utmost importance. Kevin explains: “For the big topics, I want to have an expert on board who can lead that field.”, allowing him to really focus on creating the right connections.

We continued our conversation to talk about why the role as CMO is often short lived and how Kevin differs from others: “L’Oréal is very much a networking organization, and you need to understand the business, the brands, the products, the culture..[..] so it helps to grow up in the company like how I did first, rather than coming from the outside.”

Learnings from his career

After graduating over eleven years ago, Kevin quickly landed his first job at L’Oréal, as Product Manager. Looking back on his trajectory, we asked him about his biggest learnings: “For me, the biggest learning is to be patient. I was not patient at all. Without it you cannot manage transformation.” He continues: “Sometimes you just need to give others more a bit more time and reassurance. It’s not always possible to go faster.” Failures are not something he truly beliefs in: “When I do a project, and it doesn’t work, I don’t see it as a failure. It’s something I have to learn from and move on.”

TOPICS

[00:00:00]    Intro HelloMasters

[00:00:30]    Introduction Louise Doorn

[00:01:20]    Introduction Kevin Capota

[00:01:30]    ‘Why Kevin does what he does’

[00:03:00]    Experience design in marketing

“When I started in 2001, the buzzword was sustainability, and now sustainability is everywhere […] It’s the same with experience design now.”

[00:04:00]    DNA of L’Oréal

“I crave freedom en need room to let my ideas out.”

“L’Oréal was founded by an entrepreneur and a scientist, so you have this innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that makes it possible for someone like me to innovate.”

[00:04:55]    CMO vs Chief Digital Officer

“I’m both the CMO and CDO basically.”

[00:06:30]    Kevin about the positive aspects of his job

“I like the diversity of topics, because it’s such a broad landscape that you touch.”

“For the big topics, I want to have an expert on board who can lead that field.”

[00:07:25]    The lifespan of a CMO

“L’Oréal is very much a networking organization, and you need to understand the business, the brands, the products, the culture..[..] so it helps to grow up in the company first, rather than coming from the outside.”

[00:08:30]    Innovation and outside-in

“Indeed it’s quite a bit of the same profile, with the same style. We’re looking more and more to bring outside marketeers in.”

“If you have a flexible mindset, and you’re curious, even if you’re a guy who does not relate to make-up, then you can really make it.”

[00:11:00]    Digital transformation

“We think of marketing as marketing in a digital age specifically. We have marketeers doing digital.”

“You can’t do anything in one role. A jack of all trades doesn’t work anymore.”

[00:15:20]    Prioritizing channels

“That’s the key challenge.”

“Our CDO team will test all the different tools in two or three countries, and then move globally.”

[00:18:05]    L’Oréal in the Netherlands

“Because we’re such a down to earth country, you see that we sometimes have to move a bit away from the international guideline.”

[00:19:20]    Failures and learnings

“When I do a project, and it doesn’t work, I don’t see it as a failure. It’s something I have to learn from and move on.”

“Sometimes you just need to give others more a bit more time and reassurance. It’s not always possible to go faster.”

“For me, the biggest learning is to be patient. I was not patient at all. Without it you cannot manage transformation.”

[00:21:44]    What consumers want and how to involve them

“We have a lot of trend panels and do social listening for every product category on an international level.”

[00:23:50]    Trends in channels

“E-commerce is super transparent because of the reviews.”

[00:25:05]    Freelancing

“The team of specialists I have, I mostly want to build in-house so they can integrate into the business.”

“However, they can be very helpful to get on board, to launch big releases for instance […] I could definitely use a boost sometimes, as a kickstarter.”

[00:27:15]    Agencies and platforms

“We re-educated our marketeers to approach agencies differently. Our Media Manager wants L’Oréal to be the company media agencies want to work for. Because then we get the best people from the agencies.”

[00:29:40]    Goal(s) for the next year

“Be stronger involved in our top 6 brands.”

[00:30:50]    Advice for Kevin’s 20-year old self

“Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

[00:31:50]    Advice for others

“I only have one criteria. I need to keep learning. And L’Oréal offers that.”

“You get opportunities also because of loyalty.”

[00:33:15]    Outro

We understand that you sometimes need a burst of quick and specific marketing knowledge. We can help you with that! Go to www.hellomaas.com to learn more.

View All Podcasts