Digital Marketing In The Food Industry

We spoke with Brigitte Brady-Harris, Vice President of Marketing at Mixt Restaurants


Brigitte Brady-Harris serves as Vice President of Marketing for the multi-unit, California fast-casual restaurant, MIXT, where she leads all aspects of hospitality marketing for a high-growth, technology-driven brand. Prior to that, Brigitte was VP of Marketing for the Pottery Barn brands, a division of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM). Prior to her 8 years at Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Brigitte held leadership positions at Gap Inc., Smith & Hawken and a variety of advertising agencies.

As a marketing leader for some North America’s most recognized brands, Brigitte has deep expertise in brand strategy, consumer insights, brand communications and licensing. Brigitte also helped launch social media for Pottery Barn and continues to serve in an advisory role on all digital, content and community efforts for startups.

Ahead of her presentation at the Chief Marketing Officer Summit this March 20-21, we sat down with Brigitte to discuss her career, how Mixt handles its digital marketing, and what she sees as the important technologies going forward. 

So, how did you get started in your career?

After graduating from UCLA, I took a job at an ad agency while I applied to grad school. My aim was to get a PhD in English and teach. I stumbled on my passion for understanding consumer behavior at the ad agency and kept going down that path, eventually landing a global marketing role at Gap. Exposure to inspiring marketing talent and exciting brand challenges was seminal to solidifying my decision to switch from academia to marketing.

Some look to the size of their audiences, others look at engagement metrics - how do you judge the success of your social channels?

Short answer: both. If you’re creating great content for a small audience, it’s a bit futile. But if you’ve grown an audience of bots and casual fans who aren’t showing passion for that content, your follower count is pretty meaningless. Success in social is authentic engagement at scale.

Today, it seems everyone wants to be making video content. Do you think there’s a chance of marketing becoming oversaturated with video?

Oversaturation of bad video? Yes. If it’s good, people will notice. Using a tactic simply because it’s popular is never going to get your brand noticed. And, when it comes to creative, I find many brands underestimate the skill (and budget) it takes to produce relevant and compelling video.

What emerging technology can you see having a major impact on digital marketing going forward?

Automation in whatever form – programmatic to AI. I am excited to see how technology is enabling marketers to reach consumers in the ‘zero moment of truth’ and free up time to craft better brand strategy and creative. The ability to empirically prove marketing’s impact at the C-suite level has been an exciting evolution to witness.

How can brands best merge data with creativity in their marketing efforts?

Understand your consumers, know how your brand serves them, and define clear brand guardrails. Ensuring your team has a handle on these fundamentals empowers them to make the appropriate decisions needed daily to merge the two. Plus, everyone should also understand the importance of a proper brief!

What can attendees expect from your presentation or panel participation at the summit?

Insight on what it’s like to build a marketing practice from scratch and take a regional brand to a national stage. Having led established, global brands like Pottery Barn and Gap for most of my career, I’ll have practical advice and entertaining stories about what it’s like to be ‘the first marketing hire’ within a high-growth, challenger brand.

Do you think all brands should be considering influencer marketing going forward?

It really depends on your category. If you manage a B2C lifestyle brand, then, YES. I’d be interested to hear results of influencer tactics for B2B brands

Hear more from Brigitte, along with other industry-leading marketing executives, at the Chief Marketing Officer Summit this March 20-21. To check out the full schedule, click here.


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