May 1, 2004
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
has something both George Bush and John Kerry are fighting over:
jobs. And Johnson has thousands and thousands of them.
As senior vice
president of marketing for Maynard, Mass.-based
Monster.com, this year’s presidential elections could be a
boon for Johnson, provided politics leads to policies that
stimulate more hiring.
Johnson has one of the most exciting and challenging marketing
jobs in a modern technology company. Her blend of packaged goods
discipline garnered at General Foods and Gillette Co., combined
with her online marketing know-how, appear to be a powerful and
“I feel like
I’ve been training for this job my entire life,” says Johnson,
who celebrates her first anniversary with 10 year-old Monster this
Monster following 22 years at Gillette where she worked in
marketing, sales and marketing services management. “I have a
traditional consumer packaged goods background,” Johnson says.
“I launched Gillette.com and Gillette’s e-commerce site. That
gave me the online experience to bridge from packaged goods into
Monster,” she adds.
of what we do at Monster is packaged goods marketing. A quarter of
it is online marketing,” Johnson says. “It really helps having
experience doing advertising, media, promotions, event marketing
and trade show tie-ins.” Johnson credits her four years running
the personal care sales force at Gillette with giving her the
skills and empathy to work with Monster’s sales organization.
“That experience has been fantastic for building bridges at
Monster,” she adds.
While Johnson may
have the right mix of skills for the Monster job, the position
holds some serious challenges and opportunities. According to a
report by UBS analyst Kelly Flynn, based in New York, following
the Super Bowl, “Monster's traffic share (of the top 10 job
sites) was 34.5%.” Flynn’s main concern is competition. “The
jump in unique visitors to the CareerBuilder Web site since the
beginning of the year could hurt Monster as it competes for new
and existing contracts,” she says.
Not if Johnson
can help it.
MBA had a great debut at the Super Bowl sponsoring the halftime
report and running one spot in the pregame and two spots during
the game. The effect was powerful, adding 1 million additional
visitors, according to the UBS report.
thrilled with the results,” Johnson adds. “Viewership was so
large. There were 44.9 million households watching. We did
extremely well,” she says. Johnson did have to remind a number
of irate letter-writers that Monster sponsored the halftime
<it>report<mn> not the halftime<it>show<mn>.
“We’ve had to do a bit of quick PR because we got caught up in
the confusion,” Johnson says.
Will Monster be
back in next year’s Super Bowl? “Yes,” says Johnson adding a
quick caveat that, “it’s not in the formal plans,” which
should help her agency’s negotiating position. The timing of the
Super Bowl and the breadth of the audience are “a glove fit for
Monster,” Johnson says. “Our target audience is men and women
18-to-49, and we can get really quick reach and frequency against
that audience with the Super Bowl buy.”
“January is a
significant month for people who post their résumés
on Monster,” she goes on. “At the beginning of the year over
75% of people think about changing jobs. It’s a wonderful month
to link the brand with job-seekers and employers who have new
fiscal year money.”
big: “Our database has 33 million résumés in it.
On a typical day we get 40,000 to 67,000 new résumés.
You can do the math. Pretty soon Monster will have everyone who
works in the résumé database. That’s my dream.”
vision, Johnson is putting some marketing pragmatism into the mix.
“Initially, my group was not as familiar with analytic
approaches. It was more qualitatively based. We’re doing a lot
more testing now to fine-tune our spending,” says Johnson, who
oversees a $116 million annual budget.
evaluating her online advertising buying to understand the most
efficient sources of quality traffic. “We’re very proud of the
fact that our page views are higher than our competitors’,”
says Johnson, who credits the quality of job postings for this
“We are testing
local marketing to see if there are certain markets that will have
a higher ROI than others. We’re doing segmentation testing right
now to try to figure out if there are different messages we should
take to employers and seekers. We do testing on the site to make
sure it works intuitively.
“The beauty of
this kind of product,” Johnson says, “is that you get the
results fast. It took six to eight months in packaged goods to
know if you had traction. With Monster, we know quickly. It’s
fabulous for someone who’s used to delayed gratification,” she
works for a career site, I asked her what advice she has for young
marketers just starting out.
what you love to do and have a flexible career plan to get you
there,” she says. “Initially, start with a larger company
because a large company has a brand which will open doors for the
rest of your life,” she adds. “People who start in little
companies are not as well-off because they don’t have all the
experience. After you get the training and knowledge, it’s
important to diversify,” she adds.
I wondered if
Johnson had any other secret marketing weapons up her sleeve. Then
she said, “People love the Monster Trumpasaurus.”
Maybe the presidential campaigns can license
it from Johnson.