Episode 37 - 8 Brands Under 1 'Woof' on Amazon | Outward Hound's Michael Parness




We have Michael Parness, the CMO at Outward Hound, on the show today! Michael has had a great career as a marketing leader in the CPG space, and he's also one of our current clients, here, at Bobsled Marketing. In today's episode, Michael talks to us about Amazon's continuously changing ecosystem, he discusses the customer journey, and he explains why Amazon is becoming more and more important, even though brick and mortar is still very significant and has the large majority of sales today. Tune in to find out more!

Michael's background combines roles in marketing and product development in the toy industry for Hasbro and Mattel, in the agency world for McDonalds and Burger King, and for baby products with Infantino and Diono. He also did a short stint with T-fal, a cookware company, just to keep things interesting. For the last few years, he has been working in the pet industry with Outward Hound, a family of eight brands in the pet care space. Listen in to find out what Michael has to share today, about the continuously changing world of Amazon.

Connecting is basically discovering awareness, it’s capturing people’s attention during that path to purchase, but we want to connect on an emotional level as well, not just with the need at that moment.
— Michael Parness


  • How Michael, as the CMO of Outward Hound, keeps on top of the brands, marketing, distribution channels, and profit margins for all the entities.

  • Michael explains what differentiates the various brands at Outward Hound.

  • Outward Hound also has B2B and B2C.

  • Channel management is a key area of focus for Michael.

  • At Outward Hound, they want to both support their channel partners and always deliver great experiences with their products to the consumers.

  • How Amazon continues to gain more and more importance.

  • Why Michael thinks that two channels can co-exist within the pet space.

  • Brick and mortar is still important and still has the large majority of sales today.

  • The importance of considering the four C's along the journey to buy something (connect, consider, convince, and convert).

  • Convenience and experience are the two main purchase drivers, and Amazon does them better than anybody.

  • Why Amazon is becoming more and more important.

  • The importance of building a great digital shelf.

  • The kind of content that Michael repurposes for Amazon.

  • How retailers have reacted to Outward Hound's continued investment in Amazon.

  • A lot of retailers are now competing in the e-commerce space.

  • How the different channels are actually complementary.

  • What connecting looks like.

  • Is commoditization a threat to brands?

  • Daily monitoring of channel management is part of living with Amazon.

  • The importance of building and maintaining brand equity.

  • A brand is still a mark of quality for the customer.

  • Balancing the desire for growth and customer acquisition with the desire for profitability on Amazon.

  • The continuously changing ecosystem on Amazon.

  • About the new metrics that are now available on Amazon.


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