William di Nardo

category associate:oral care marketing group,Warner-Lambert Canada, Toronto- Spearheaded Warner-Lambert's relaunch of Listerine in Quebec; convinced company management to go 'outside the box' with a TV campaign using Quebec comedian Daniel Lemire.- Developed a value-enhancement promotion for Warner-Lambert's Efferdent Denture Cleansers in...

category associate:

oral care marketing group,

Warner-Lambert Canada, Toronto

- Spearheaded Warner-Lambert’s relaunch of Listerine in Quebec; convinced company management to go ‘outside the box’ with a TV campaign using Quebec comedian Daniel Lemire.

- Developed a value-enhancement promotion for Warner-Lambert’s Efferdent Denture Cleansers in which advertisers targetting seniors placed $75 worth of coupons in the Efferdent box.

William Di Nardo cut his teeth in marketing in 1990, when he held a summer job in the marketing department of North West Trust Company.

The following year, Di Nardo graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an honors bachelor of arts in business administration.

During his time at Western, Di Nardo was active in varsity wrestling and rugby. From 1989-91, he was vice-president of the u.w.o. Rugby Club.

In June, 1991, two months after graduating, he joined the ranks of Warner-Lambert Canada as a category associate in the firm’s oral care marketing group.

Di Nardo’s role at Warner includes profit-and-loss responsibilities on Efferdent Denture Cleansers and Listermint Mouthwash.

Last year, he was an integral member of the marketing team that re-launched Listerine in Quebec.

We asked:

Q. Are you a believer in marketing by science or intuition?

A. ‘I believe in a bit of both. Science helps in understanding the general trends, determining commonalities among consumer segments and determining the feasibility/profitability of those segments.

‘Store audits (A. C. Nielsen) help give direction on what’s happening on the front lines. But at the end of the day, I know what I like as a consumer, as a television and commercial viewer, and what purchase habits I display in-store, which is where most of us have years of experience. This contributes a lot to my marketing decision making.’

Q. Was there a significant turning point in your career?

A. ‘I have really only been at it a couple of years. Every day I am exposed to something or someone new, each providing a new learning experience. So, in short, everyday is a turning point.’

Q. Who or what influenced you the most in your marketing career?

A. ‘My professor at university had a huge impact, Dave Burgoyne. He taught an approach to business and life. Marketing reflects people, their needs, desires or aspirations and fears. That is exciting!

‘My current manager has also had a huge impact on my career. He has a wealth of knowledge from all over the marketing world (literally). Great lessons learned but also a lot of opportunity to do trial by error.’

Q. What is your favorite marketing campaign (not including campaigns with which you have been involved)?

A. ‘Lever’s Dove litmus paper test. Really simple, strong visual. Great product differentiation. They have a premium priced product, that from my understanding, turns very well in a category that has become a pricing battle ground.’

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. ‘Not much in my spare time right now. I am heavily involved in rugby. I play with the Toronto Saracens. I am also involved in the running of the 300-member team. It is a very competitive league, so there is a lot of time spent training. I am in the weight room a fair bit and try to get in some road work through the off season.

‘I have also taken up playing the guitar. It is a great way to relax and express yourself. I like to try and maintain a balance with work, physical activity and also have a creative outlet.

‘A good book.’

Q. What is the most recent book you’ve read?

A.’I read a great one recently called `Jurassic Park,’ by Michael Crichton.’

Q. What book influenced you the most?

A. ‘`The Power of One,’ by Bryce Courtenay.’

Q. What do you love most about the marketing business?

A. ‘Constant and never-ending change! As quickly as new and unique can become old and passe, old can become new again. It’s all about timing, the right place at the right time, with the right idea. And all of those can change overnight.’

Creative/strategic sense

‘Bill is the most detail-oriented guy I know.’

‘Bill has insight into good creativity. When I deliver creative to him, he is able to offer ideas as to how to make it better. He doesn’t just say `go away and fix it.”

Management skills

‘He’s refreshingly down to earth. He’s very much a people person.’

‘He pushes extremely hard and he knows it. So he will tell you to let him know if he’s pushing too hard.’

‘He’s a bit of a bull in a china shop at Warner, but you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.’

‘He needs to develop a streak of caution. That is something he could exercise more of.’

‘Bill is like a salesman come to marketing. He gets the job done. His attitude is, `Here’s the job. Let’s do it.’ He’s not interested in a lot of fancy marketing theories.’

‘Bill is an outstanding team player. He plays for the team much more than he plays for himself. That traces back to his rugby experience.’

Competitive sense

‘Bill is a very competitive rugby player. He was captain of his university team. Get this, he broke his neck a couple of years ago playing for the toronto saracens, but he still plays.’

‘He works out in the gym three or four days a week after work.’

‘If I tell him something can’t be done, he`ll say, `Yes it can. Go back and try it again.’ If I come back again and say it won’t work, he’ll say, `Okay, at least we tried.”

‘Bill really enjoys the idea of stealing share from his competitors.’

‘Bill’s position in rugby is hooker, which has got to be the most brutal position in a brutal game. If you can imagine competing against him in rugby, that’s what it would be like competing against him in the market.’

(Next issue: Lawrence Bates, vice-president of marketing and sales, Sun-Rype Products, Burnaby, B.C.)