Mike O’Donoghue, Assistant Brand Manager at Carlton & United Breweries
A day in the life of…

Assistant Brand Manager at Carlton & United Breweries

Mike O’Donoghue studied ​a ​Bachelor of Commerce ​at Monash University in 2016, and is now an Assistant Brand Manager at Carlton & United Breweries.

7 AM

I get out of bed and jump in the shower, grab a piece of fruit on the way out and start walking to work around 7.30am. I’m lucky to live near work, so I walk past the MCG and through the Botanical Gardens to get in to the office before 8, checking the daily sales report that comes out each morning. We’re tracking well overall but there’s one state still behind on budget – will have to follow up with the sales team later.

8.00 – 11.00 AM

I’ve got back-to-back meetings on our packaging refresh on two major products, and a WIP on an upcoming festival that one of our brands is activating at. For the packaging refresh I double check we have the current packaging and the creative brief ready for reference in the room. In these meetings the original brief is the BIBLE - creative work is completely subjective so everyone needs something set in stone to refer back to. I sit with the Brand Manager and Brand Director as the agency pitches us their vision of the new packaging. We have a healthy debate about the concepts they’re presenting, but overall we’re happy with the direction they’ve taken.

11.00 AM

I pack up for my 11am and grab the other agency from reception for our festival WIP, just me and two of them. Bad news – one of the marquee suppliers we’re using has gone under and the only way to get the setup we want for the event is to go with another supplier that’s more expensive. We look at the budget at try to work out what to cut, can’t cut giveaways, can’t cut games – maybe we’ll cut some signage? This is my first major brand event so I’m leaning pretty heavily on the agency and the Sponsorship team for advice, but at the end of the day it’s my call.

12.00 PM

Lunch time rolls around and it’s the first chance I’ve actually had to sit at my desk and work – I grab a feed from the downstairs canteen and sit at my desk munching away while I roll through the emails I’ve missed and chat with the team. There’s expense reminders, calendar invites, new social content to review, a new demand plan from Supply to review, Legal approval of some radio ads, and a request for free product from one of our sponsorship partners for an event.

1.00 PM

My boss sitting next to me needs a summary on how our 6pks are performing in Coles for a Customer Marketing deck he’s putting together, so I jump into Excel world for a while and pull numbers.

2.30 PM

One of our key account execs from Sales shoots me a call with a proposal – she can get ranging of our new products in a retailer group, but they’ve asked for some promotional activity and support to ensure pull-through. I jump on our warehouse site and order her 5000 stubby coolers with point of sale, and send them to her lockup.

3.00 PM

It’s purchase order time. I do a quick budget reccy to double check remaining brand funds, and how we’re spending vs our planned spend. I have five small POs to raise, and one bigger one that I need to run past my boss. I put the headphones on and an hour goes by as I update budget docs, raise POs, receipt invoices and chase up Procurement for approval on shopping carts.

4.00 – 6.00 PM

Two hour meeting – it’s a research debrief on a massive piece of consumer and category research. We questioned 20 research groups around Australia on the dark spirits category. I went to as many of them as I could but a fair chunk we watched as livestreams. This research will inform a lot of our strategy, so we need the two hours and fire questions at the researcher and our Insights team as they take us through the work. There’s some pieces we already knew as a gut feel, but there’s some strong new insights that will change our portfolio strategy as we plan for the next 3 years.

6.30 PM

I get the final email out the door and pack up, print off my beer vouchers for some Melbourne Bitter on the way. Should be home before 7.

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