Meet an AMA Member: David Bernardino

Meet an AMA Member: David Bernardino

David is a member of the New Jersey chapter of the American Marketing Association with 17+ years of diverse B2B and B2C marketing and general management experience. He has worked in CPG, consumer healthcare, consumer electronics companies, and growing startup digital-marketing agencies. He is a Brand Innovators ’40 under 40’ honoree.

We got an opportunity to speak with David. Here is an excerpt of our conversation.

If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be, and why?

“I’m a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain. In many respects, as a marketer, I lived a life similar to his – traveling around the world. My career in marketing has been this meandering journey. After a few years with Deloitte Consulting – I was looking for something outside of the management consulting world. That led me to CPG. Little did I know that an internship with Best Foods would land me roles at places like Gillette (now part of Proctor & Gamble). Then, I was working at Merck Consumer Care, then pivoting back into the food arena, then shifting into the durables, B2B sector, and then switching sides on the table from the client side to agency side.

I think an apt title that comes to my mind is “A Marketer’s Journey.” Because at the end of the day, it has been a long and interesting journey that has physically taken me from places like New York to Boston to Cincinnati back to New Jersey. It has taken me all around the United States and the world – places near and far – all in the pursuit of marketing.”

Tell us something about your professional journey.

“I was a management consultant at Deloitte. I went to NYU Stern School of Business for my MBA. Then I took an internship at Best Foods, which dovetailed into an initial stint at Unilever working on the Hellmann’s and Wish-Bone brands. I moved to Gillette when it was still independent. When Procter & Gamble bought Gillette, I was trusted by Oral B’s Global marketing team to help lead the brand expansion in emerging markets. That took me to places like Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Eastern Europe, India, and China – basically every region but North America and Western Europe. I was trying to figure out how to expand a well-known US brand into a lot of markets in the developing world – markets where the retail trade, consumer attitudes about the dentist, and price points were significantly different than the US.

I moved back to New Jersey and was in the consumer healthcare space for Reckitt Benckiser, Merck Consumer Care, and Bayer. Ultimately, I landed back at Pinnacle Foods, running a frozen meals group for some time. Then, I opted to make a pivot out of CPG and led B2B marketing for Samsung’s home appliances team. That is where I got my stint in both B2B and the durables space. For the past three years, I have been a partner of a small boutique agency called Ammunition. We help brands in tough verticals like the building industry drive business growth with leading-edge digital strategy, personalized CRM, and everything in between.”

Why did you get involved with the AMA-New Jersey chapter? Why is this organization important to you?

“When I initially joined the AMA, we used to have monthly breakfast for executives. I go into those breakfasts, mainly to build a network. But more importantly, I am involved with the AMA for personal development opportunities. As you get into a more senior role in your career, the opportunities to work on personal development capability building start to diminish. Notably, this also tends to occur when you go on your own and start your shop. To be effective as a marketer and a business leader, you must continue to focus time on developing yourself. I have found AMA’s programs useful. I mainly find myself getting introduced to new capabilities and new techniques to add to my skill set. So for me, primarily, it is capability development and then networking as a secondary benefit.”

What is the best advice you would give to new professionals in your industry?

“First, don’t complain about your assignment. It’s your opportunity to make the most of it – and the rest will fall in place. Second, never underestimate the power of a mentor. Many pivots and opportunities come through because of conversations with mentors.”

If someone wants to connect with you, what is the best way to reach out to you on social media?

“You can connect with me on LinkedIn here!”

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