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Women in CPG Marketing: Q&A with Sargento Cheese’s Nikki Mamuric

This conversation was originally livecast on Dec. 9, 2021, as part of the Brand Innovators Women in Marketing series. Highlights are published here with permission from Brand Innovators. Watch the full conversation.

Female leaders are blazing the path forward for the next generation of women in business. At a recent Brand Innovators event, Nancy Winé, Vice President of Advertising Sales for Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM), sat down with one of those trailblazers— Nikki Mamuric, Marketing Director at Sargento—to discuss her career journey. Mamuric’s passion for leadership, career growth, and work-life balance is an inspiration to many in CPG marketing. Here are a few highlights of the conversation:

Finding ways to make a real difference (2 minutes)

Mamuric shares her top three reasons for taking on her most recent role as marketing director at Sargento, including the chance to have a true impact within the organization and being part of a values-based, people-focused company.

“Since I've been here … I feel like I'm not working for a company, I feel like I'm working for a larger extended family.”

How the pandemic changed the game (3.5 minutes)

Mamuric started her job at Sargento during the onset of the pandemic, having moved her family from New Jersey to Wisconsin. She talks about getting to know her team virtually first, balancing virtual meetings with her 6-year-old daughter’s online school, and leading with empathy.

“It's really important to lead with empathy. We are all experiencing change right now, our teams, our consumers, and it's a time to be empathetic to the new dynamics.”

Seeking out female role models (2 minutes)

Throughout her life, Mamuric actively sought opportunities to connect with and learn from strong women in leadership roles—starting with her mom. She recalls how she found female role models through formal and informal networks to help grow her skills and knowledge.

“They both embodied this essence of hard work and of drive, but at the same time, they helped me understand the importance of personal storytelling and also just having the courage to carve out your own legacy.”

The emerging importance of well-being (2 minutes)

The pandemic has caused all of us—consumers included—to rethink our purpose, our values, our choices. Mamuric foresees the increased focus on well-being will stick around, impacting how consumers make choices in their lives and buying decisions.

“Consumers are now gravitating more toward JOMO, the joy of missing out. They are actually making this choice …to focus on their version of happiness and on what really matters to them. And often that's taking time to reflect, reconnect, recharge.”

Advice to future leaders (1 minute)

Before you can inspire others, you first need to be inspired yourself, Mamuric says. She recommends attending marketing events and learning from others who have gone before you—as well as passing on your own wisdom.

“Find your own voice and use your own voice, to tell your own stories to others. Because for me, that is the way that we can continue to be connected, support each other, inspire each other, and really continue to see more possibilities.”

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