Marketing Week: Chipotle with Jen Herczeg (10/2/2017)
By: Valeria Lopez
Can you guess who came to speak to AMA on Monday? When it comes to marketing, this company has done a pretty good job; try finding someone who has not heard of this restaurant. It’s Chipotle! Therefore, it would only make sense that AMA would invite Chipotle’s Senior Marketing Strategist of the Mid Atlantic Region, Jen Herczeg, to talk about marketing during business crisis and business expansion.
Jen hadn’t always worked at Chipotle, she started her career in an accounting firm doing marketing before moving to Starbucks, where she learned the importance of working for a company whose values you agree with. That is when she told herself that it wouldn’t matter the exact position she had in company; she would focus on the company’s mission statement instead. While browsing through companies with values that matched hers, she came across a Chipotle job opening. Chipotle is known for serving fast food, but only with fresh ingredients. In fact, as explained by Herczeg, they only use 51 ingredients and have only introduced four new menu items in their 25 years- and it is all because they do not want to compromise their promise to their customers of fresh ingredients.
Jen Herczeg’s position at Chipotle is field marketing- she is the liaison between corporate and operators. She explains that a person who loves challenges and a fast paced environment would thrive in this position. She must always keep an open dialogue between the higher ups and their jargon, and anyone that works in the actual restaurant that needs to be made aware of the new marketing plans.
Although her day to day job is full of new projects, the recent Queso roll out was one of her most major projects. She had to help both the national and regional teams understand how Queso would be advertised. Herczeg explained that it is not a coincidence that the Queso launch came out at the same time as the new Chipotle TV advertisements. In fact, the roll out of Queso was sped up in a total of four months in order to come out with the advertisements, a marketing technique that definitely helped get the word out about their new product. Although, there has been some backlash about the new product, she emphasized that the overwhelming majority of Chipotle fans really appreciate the unprocessed melted cheese, so that seems to be a win for Chipotle!
In addition to discussing her work, Herczeg left AMA members with some advice: if you are looking for success be flexible, be adaptable and be someone others like to work with.