Chloe Bissell

"Authentic" is a much overused adjective in marketing and leadership discussions these days, but one that Bissell can legitimately lay claim to. This genuine, people-oriented marketer is ambitious, but always with the team gain in mind.

For example, when asked what she thinks of the craze for ‘managing your personal brand’, she replies: "Sometimes I think selling your personal brand can overshadow the work that you and your team do. It’s important to let the work shine. When it gets reflected back to me and the team, it feels an even greater reward and sense of achievement."

Indeed, Bissell’s talent for inspiring, energising and supporting those around her explains why she’s made such a significant impact in driving affinity and business performance for McDonald’s in just two years there, after stints at Tesco and Blinkbox.

A key campaign, which she oversaw, was the 2014 celebration of McDonald’s 40th anniversary in the UK. The activity originated from her pivotal identification
of the insight that consumers struggle to remember brand-anniversary campaigns and thus also struggle
to find them relevant or resonant.

To combat this, she came up with the idea of encouraging customers to share their memories to ground the celebration in their experiences, rewarding them and playing them back via the broadcast-media campaign. 

"I want to produce advertising that connects with hearts and minds," says Bissell. "It’s so important to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see if you have the emotional response you’re trying to make them feel."

Sometimes I think selling your personal brand can overshadow the work that you and your team do. It’s important to let the work shine. 

That said, she is a marketer who keeps it real, rather than one who loses perspective on the importance of her brand in consumers’ lives.

"I don’t expect them to put our advertising in a frame on the wall. I’d be happy with eliciting the slightest of emotional responses," she says.

"If we’re honest, the majority of customers probably don’t care about our ads or our products’ glorious features or new ingredients. Everyone is so busy and time-pressured, and we all have better things to do
than engage or interact with advertising."

This is especially true, she says, for her generation – the millennials – for whom "plenty of brands are getting it wrong". Her advice? Connect and collaborate – two areas in which she has strength in abundance.

"We’re seeing an evolution in the traits leaders need in marketing.

Chloe is strong on insight and has creative flair, but what makes her a great, instinctive marketer is these attributes coupled with her inherent understanding of people.

Having this emotional intelligence to connect well with people and create content that is in tune with human behaviour is more significant than it’s ever been.

For example, creativity is a trait that is becoming scarcer and rarer, so marketers need to get the best out of agencies and lead them, not just ‘manage’ their output.

Chloe has a very strong sense of this and is able to adapt her communication style to best motivate others."


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