Kim-Anh Patel

Kim-Anh Patel, Associate Director of Digital and Social Media at Phillips 66

In eight years, Kim-Anh Patel has held nine positions within the marketing department at ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66.

“Honestly I had no idea how interesting and exciting a career in the energy industry could be,” says member Kim-Anh.

Putting our strategy in a long-term perspective resonates with the results-driven leaders making the decisions.

To highlight a few, she conducted internal exploratory studies to improve customer service, coordinated supply allocation and demand for gas and diesel, and helped launch new brand campaigns and promotions before becoming the Associate Director of Digital and Social Media for Phillips 66. The Marketing Leadership Development Program designed for new hires enabled her to rotate through various roles for the first five years of her career and helped shape her career path.

“I felt so early in my career that I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, so I was willing to try anything. It helps to be a quick learner!“ Kim-Anh says.

These roles might be different from what most people consider marketing. But as a fully integrated downstream company, Kim-Anh says Phillips 66's marketing department can be involved in everything from strategy and operations to pricing and branding.

“My career path has helped me understand the business from a different perspective.”

Kim-Anh explains, “Often times it's easy to focus on just your role and forget about the bigger picture.”

She says that having roles like supply allocation — a daunting role where she was on call to make quick, important, and often complicated decisions — has opened her eyes to what employees at Phillips 66 do as a whole.

When Kim-Anh launched social media for the Phillips 66, 76, and Conoco gasoline brands, she was a team of one.

Since then, she's grown a team of three employees who report directly to her:

  • A digital media coordinator who handles their fuels-branded websites, email campaigns and deployments, and mobile apps.
  • Her team's social media coordinator leads community management, running social contests, and coordinating agencies and vendors across brands.
  • Their most recent hire is a digital analyst responsible for data analytics related to social, web, email, mobile apps, and other key digital areas.

She says an important part of growing her team was earning buy-in.

And to earn buy-in, Kim-Anh paints leadership a five-year picture of what social media could look like at Phillips 66. These meetings outline her goals, structured by channel and by year. Kim-Anh also explains why those goals are important and the key milestones that have to happen to get there.

She says putting her strategy in a long-term perspective resonates with the results-driven leaders making the decisions.

“They like very structured outlooks with a targeted end goal,” she explains.

“You often run into social leaders who are trying to do things on the fly, but they don't have a really good reason behind it or a strong plan in place. By methodically setting and articulating the long-term strategy to management, you can help them start to understand your goals and what you need from them.”

Now, Kim-Anh says it's exciting to have her team included early on in integrated campaigns.

She says in past years they've focused a lot on radio, TV, outdoor, and other traditional media. But now, a significant portion of marketing has been shifted to digital and social involvement, bringing Kim-Anh's team into the conversation earlier.

“We're helping write the briefs and making sure the strategies and campaigns seem sound with how we think social will interact with them and support them — and that's a huge win from where we were five years ago.”

Kim-Anh's been a member of since 2013. Say hi to Kim-Anh on Twitter and ask about her time securing social publishing and listening tools last year.