General Mills has been in business for well over 100 years, but these days the consumer packaged goods icon is becoming more service-oriented, and that puts the ball firmly in the hands of a marketer like Jim Cuene, who leads the company's iMarketing team. In concrete terms, Cuene and his team are responsible for staying ahead of the changing relationship General Mills brands have with consumers. Increasingly, that means rolling out content that both provides value to consumers and in turn deepens their relationship with the brand.
At General Mills-owned sites like Tablespoon.com, Cuene's team executes on a strategy that positions General Mills brands as part of a consumer's overall lifestyle. The site is a virtual buffet of quick cooking tips, recipes, and other practical, bit-sized portions of information that consumers crave.
But while Cuene can rightly be seen as ahead of the curve on the changing nature of the consumer relationship, he isn't one to go all in for the latest bright shiny object that seems to rocket through digital marketing circles every few months. Instead, Cuene and his team concentrate heavily on managing consumer relationship marketing programs, including database management, email programs, and consumer membership programs. They also focus on using search, display, email, and social to grow the digital presence of Pillsbury.com and BettyCrocker.com.
Cuene joined General Mills in 2006. Prior to that, he was vice president for interactive strategy at Ameriprise Financial, which was spun off from American Express. At Ameriprise, he led the planning for consumer retention, digital channel optimization strategy, and data and metrics strategy. He joined American Express in 2004, from Ciceron Interactive, where he was president.
Cuene graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Entrepreneurship. He has an M.A. from Purdue University.
He tweets at @jcuene.