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Podcast title Marketing Today with Alan Hart
Website URL https://www.marketingtodaypodc...
Description Alan Hart, host of Marketing Today, goes behind the scenes with the world's best chief marketing officers and business leaders. Listen in to learn their strategies, tips and advice. What makes a great brand, marketing campaign, or turnaround? Learn from the experience and stories of these great marketing and business leaders so you can unleash your potential.
Updated Wed, 19 Jun 2019 10:04:48 +0000
Image Marketing Today with Alan Hart
Category Business

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1. 158: Jenny Rooney Editor of the Forbes CMO Network on the state of marketing 
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This week on the “Marketing Today” podcast, Alan talks with Jenny Rooney, editor of the CMO Network at Forbes. Rooney, who also runs initiatives at Forbes such as the CMO Summit and the Forbes CMO University Alumni series, has 25 years of experience as a business journalist, including as a reporter and editor of CMO Strategy at Advertising Age, editor-in-chief in sales and marketing management at VNU, contributing editor at Chief Executive Magazine, and senior writer at Business 2.0.

During their discussion, Rooney discusses the role of CMOs, what is taking place in marketing currently, as well as the opportunities, popular developments, and challenges that CMOs are faced with. If you have been just as concerned about the decline of available marketing talent as the industry has, stay tuned for Jenny’s insights on what can revive this troubling trend. With her contributions and research into the ever-changing marketing space, Rooney shares what marketing leaders are up against right now.

Rooney shares her take on situations that CMOs are encountering: "CMOs need to be driving business growth," says Rooney. "They say that CMOs are on the hot seat. And I think that is because they are constantly trying to balance short term wins against true long-term brand building." Rooney goes on to state, "we are also judging people based on innovation and change, and to do that as a CMO, I would imagine, you feel sort of this pressure to want to experiment with things and new technologies."

Highlights from this week’s "Marketing Today": Jenny Rooney discusses herself and how she got her start in her career. (01:15) Does Jenny have an interest in working as a CMO? (04:50) How does Jenny feel about the state of marketing today? (06:55) Does Jenny believe the role of the CMO is changing? (09:54) Who is impressing her these days? (12:21) What is being done about the talent issue in the industry? (15:14) Jenny describes the Forbes CMO University Alumni series. (18:01) How does Jenny make sense of all of the things that are influx in the industry? (22:27) What is on the horizon for marketing leaders? (26:31) Are there any threats to CMOs? (30:05) Has there been an experience in Jenny Rooney’s past that made her who she is today? (32:59) What advice would Jenny give her younger self? (37:08) What drives Jenny these days? (38:35) Are there any companies, brands, or organizations that Jenny believes marketers should pay attention to? (39:04) What does Jenny Rooney see for the future of marketing? (41:10)  Resources Mentioned: ANA Masters Circle Forbes CMO Network Forbes CMO Interviews Forbes CMO Summit ANA Education Foundation (AEF) Michael Herr (bio) Dispatches by Michael Herr Donate Life Biggest Asshole Campaign Beyond Advertising by Jerry Wind and Catharine Hays

2. 157: Russell Barnett CMO at My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream on challenger brands
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In this episode of "Marketing Today," Alan interviews Russell Barnett, the CMO for My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. This discussion with Barnett is a great opportunity to learn more about challenger brands, strategies in how to lead challenger brands, and how they approach the brand building process. 

"A brand is very human. As someone who takes on the mantle of a brand, you sort of have to allow that humanity to come through," Barnett adds. Beyond My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, He also shares his experiences at stops along his career that spans from Mike’s Hard Lemonade to Popchips among others.

Barnett also shares advice on how to get more creativity out of your digital efforts and how experience is a big part of the brands he manages to this day.

Highlights from this week’s Marketing Today: 01:30 – Russell Barnett discusses how he got his start in his marketing career. 08:06 – What did advertising teach Russell? 08:53 – How did Russell get involved with Mike’s Hard Lemonade? 12:24 – What was Russell’s experience like with Popchips and plant-based foods? 18:37 – You have to be happy about what you put in your body. 20:00 – What are the elements that make up the brand at My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream? 25:19 – How did My/Mo Mochi keep the product accessible? 29:06 – What advice would Russell give to investors? 31:59 – Lean in on the experience and create intimate moments with your small brand. 36:12 – What does ‘be more creative than the digital domain’ mean? 41:44 – Has there been an experience in Russell’s past that made him who he is today? 44:05 – What advice would Russell Barnett give to his younger self? 26 – Are there things that brands should be doing to be more purposeful? 48:17 – What does Russell Barnett see as being the future of marketing?

Resources Mentioned:

New Campaign for My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream

3. 156: David Yovanno CEO of Impact on the Partnership Economy
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In this episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan interviews David Yovanno, CEO of Impact, a company operating in the partnership economy. David has spent 19 years in martech and adtech companies such Conversant, Gigya and Marin.

Yovanno shares not just his experience with Impact, but also what exactly the “partnership economy” is and how business partnerships and trusted referral networks can drive revenue. The partnership economy is the formation of alliances with businesses and individuals that have a trusted relationship with customers that you want to acquire.

We also have time to talk about the state of martech and adtech industries. Yovanno added, “consolidation is accelerating. All the new money is going to two companies, Facebook and Google.”

Highlights from this week’s Marketing Today: 01:50 – David Yovanno discusses how he got his start in his career. 06:01 – What are David’s concerns with the current state of the marketing agency? 10:15 – What is the partnership economy and where does it sit in the industry? 14:18 – How can companies get the most out of their partnerships? 19:30 – What has David seen work with incentivizing advertising? 22:06 – What are some interesting cases of partnerships growing on the Impact platform?  25:51 – Has there been an experience in David’s past that made him who he is today? 31:15 – What advice would David Yovanno give to his younger self 32:17 – What drives David Yovanno these days? 33:40 – Are there any companies, brands, or organizations that David believes marketers should pay attention to? 35:59 – What does David Yovanno see for the future of marketing?  Resources Mentioned: BOOST Military Program Let My People Go Surfing – Book by Patagonia CEO

4. 155: Don Lane CMO at Saucony on the first 100 days
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan interviews Don Lane, the Chief Marketing Officer at Saucony, the sneaker and apparel manufacturer. Don’s discussion covers his expansive marketing career, including 21 years at the Boston-based agency Arnold, followed by Draft Kings, before his relatively new move to Saucony.

Lane discusses Saucony’s new marketing moves from avocado toast sneakers that caught the attention of Jimmy Fallon to Dunkin running shoes for the Boston Marathon. He discusses how these ideas come about and how the company is able to capitalize on the opportunities when they present themselves.

Additionally, Saucony unveils its “Run for Good” positioning as well as useful advice regarding ways to give your brand purpose that customers can connect to. Lane explains, “this world needs brands and politicians and artists and people that stand for goodness, and so that’s what we are going to stand for.” 

Highlights from this week's Marketing Today: 01:10 – Don Lane discusses his father’s extensive creative director career. 04:29 – What was Don Lane’s experience at Arnold like? 08:20 – What did Don learn that benefited him at Saucony? 11:03 – How did Don start off at Saucony? 14:30 – What is Don’s go-to methodology for research? 17:30 – Where is Saucony getting their product design ideas? 20:37 – How did the Saucony/Dunkin Donuts collaboration occur? 25:08 – What is the idea behind the “Run for Good” Saucony marketing campaign? 32:01 – How does Don think about the creative process and what does it mean to manage it? 34:22 – How did Don Lane meet Adam Grant? 36:36 – Has there been an experience in Don’s past that made him who he is today? 39:06 – What advice would Don give to his younger self? 40:17 – What fuels Don Lane these days? 41:04 – Are there any companies, brands, or organizations that Don believes marketers should pay attention to? 44:47 – What does Don Lane see for the future of marketing? Other Resources: Avocado Toast Sneakers Dunkin running shoes Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant (book) Chris Robinson Brotherhood (band) VW Drivers Wanted pitch VW Ad A Craft, a Calling and a Cause: Life in the Glory Years of Advertising by Bill Lane (Father’s book)

5. 154: Exabeam’s Tim Matthews on the power of curiosity
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This week on the “Marketing Today,” podcast, Alan talks with Tim Matthews, CMO of security software company, Exabeam, and author of “The Professional Marketer”, a handbook that can teach marketers the critical skills they need to get the job done. Exabeam uses machine learning and analytics to track the complete timeline of a cyber-crime so that security teams catch criminals in the midst of their attack.

In this episode, Matthews, discusses his own journey to the marketing industry which started first in computer science and then sales. His ability to break down technical issues and simplify them was good for sales, so he scaled this skill into a successful marketing career.

Matthews believes that “you can build a good marketer” when he talks about the fundamental skills, such as curiosity and commitment, that he looks for in people as he grows his marketing team.

Highlights from this Marketing Today conversation include: Matthews says his technical background has helped him in marketing: “Good marketers really understand their products and their buyers.” 2:46 Matthews encourages marketers to figure out a way to get into the field to understand what makes buyers tick: “You really don't understand your business until you witness a sale” 3:17 Matthews on what drove him to write The Professional Marketer: “I was looking for a handbook that could teach marketers the critical skills they needed to do the job.” 5:10 Matthews’ handbook was inspired by a handbook given to professional chefs at the Culinary Institute of America: "They don't teach you recipes...it teaches you fundamental skills and you put these building blocks together.” 7:10 Matthews: "I would encourage anyone who is thinking of writing a book to write a book!" 7:55 Matthews says it took 5 drafts to get to a finished result he was happy with: "The first draft wasn't great." 9:22 Matthews shares his thoughts on hiring people remotely and in different regions to compete with Silicon Valley behemoths: "I've become more open-minded" 11:02 Matthews provides a recent case study to illustrate the power of curiosity in buyer persona research 13:30 Matthews provides a recent case study to illustrate the power of curiosity in Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) 15:15 Matthews sets a realistic cadence for his team by breaking the annual marketing plan up into 12 monthly plans: “The team likes to be able to cross stuff of their list” 18:20 Matthews says his summer jobs developed humility in him and hardened him to better withstand the bad days: "I can still feel the heat" 25:06 Matthews on lessons learned early in his career: "I probably could've failed faster" 28:10 Matthews on how his competitive drive fuels him: “I want as big a piece of that (TAM) as possible” 29:20 Matthews shares his respect for the branding and marketing tactics of brands like Tesla, Chipotle & The Ocean Cleanup 30:50 Matthews shares his thoughts on the future of marketing 34:05

Other Resources:

The Professional Marketer [Book] The Professional Chef [Book]

6. 153: Bill Macaitis on scaling brands like Slack, Zendesk, & Salesforce
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This week on Marketing Today, Alan speaks with Bill Macaitis, a man that needs no introduction. He has been involved in 5 highly successful tech industry exists with companies such as IGN, Salesforce.com, Zendesk, and Slack. He now enjoys teaching tech founders how to grow and scale their business via sophisticated MarTech stacks and a customer-centric approach to marketing. Macaitis’ mindset is that B2B marketers should be innovating the go-to-market strategy on the marketing side as much as they do on the product side.

Macaitis recognizes that many B2B companies feel the need to play it safe and take a very bland approach to branding, and this a great opportunity for those willing to take risks to stand out. He tells stories of how his teams at Zendesk and Slack disrupted conventional customer branding opportunities by making simple things such as logos, loading messages and release notes fun and whimsical.

According to Macaitis, “Your brand is the sum of all the little experiences that someone has with your company. Optimizing around each of these experiences, coming up with the right metric, and pivoting” are what leads to a successful recommendation of your product/service.

Highlights from this Marketing Today conversation include: Macaitis’ first startup experience in the B2C space was a great lesson in bootstrapping (1:40) Macaitis brought a Consumer DNA to Salesforce.com (3:20) Macaitis’ team disrupted the basic pricing and packaging model at Slack (5:40) Macaitis encourages B2B companies to take risks to develop an emotional connection with their users (9:30) “Everyone does the basics...I like going a few steps further:” Macaitis on using more sophisticated marketing tech stacks (predictive lead scoring, multi-touch attribution, multivariate testing, net promoter score (NPS), etc.) (11:56) Macaitis discusses tips for improving multi-touch attribution models (15:15) It's a really fun debate: Macatais on brand marketing vs performance marketing (17:42) Macaitis on how the B2B space needs more Customer Centricity (22:34) Macatis tells us what he loves about helping companies grow (25:15) Macaitis discusses qualities he looks for in a Founder (26:35) “Be opportunistic:” Macaitis gives sound advice from his career (29:39) Macaitis says the focus should be on lifetime revenue and customer centricity ([34:30])  Other Resources: Slack Teams Do Amazing Things https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6sSa5NpqUI  Family Ties Show / Alex P Keaton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO0HYcfMlfI  Sales Automation & Smart Document Tracking https://www.getaccept.com/  Predictive Lead Scoring - https://infer.com/

7. 152: Amy Fuller of Accenture discusses resiliency, innovation, and adaptability
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Amy Fuller, chief marketing and communications officer for Accenture. Fuller has built a career working on world-class brands like Kraft, IBM, Kimberly-Clark, Verizon, and Deloitte while working on both the agency and the client side. Before joining Accenture in 2017, she spent time in various leadership roles at Deloitte, MasterCard, Y&R, and Ogilvy & Mather, among others.

During the course of their discussion, Fuller breaks down the complexity and challenging scope of serving as the chief marketer for a company the size of Accenture while offering observations and thinking that can be applied to an organization of any size. And she discusses formative experiences — from spending time throughout her childhood on an off-the-grid river island between the U.S. and Canada and earning a liberal arts education at Bryn Mawr College to learning how to “thrive with scarcity” while working on the agency side and her experience with the Posse Foundation, which helps diverse groups of college students find academic success — that have influenced her thinking and career.

And Fuller offered her take on the future of marketing: “How you reach people, how you measure your efficacy in doing so, are technical,” says Fuller. “And they’re very real and very important. But the human part is not going away. And, if anything, it is getting more important.” Fuller goes on to add, “The more technical we become, the more important the human element becomes. And I think that is the future of marketing — it is the marriage of both.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  “Lots of responsibility and no resources, which is the definition of how you learn.” How Fuller’s first job helped prepare her for a career in marketing. (1:33) Working with world-class brands is the thread woven through Fuller’s career. (2:50) Fuller: “Understanding what you’re really trying to solve — not what you’re being told to solve, necessarily, but boring into the true business problem — is the only way you can succeed in marketing. (4:45) Fuller discusses the complexity and massive scope of her responsibilities at Accenture. (6:39) Fuller: “What Accenture is extremely good at is doing the kind of analysis that builds business cases.” (13:52) The why and how of taking a stand on causes in this polarizing time. (17:35) Fuller on the articulation of the talent brand at Accenture. (20:17) Simple advice for any new CMO: Ask questions and listen to the answers. (24:40) Growing up, Fuller learned resiliency and innovation during summers spent on an off-the-grid island on the St. Lawrence River. (26:50) What Fuller wishes she’d discovered earlier in her career: Asking for advice and coaching is a sign of strength — and a lot less stressful. (29:19)

8. 151: Ty Shay on performance storytelling and marketing jiujitsu
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This week on the “Marketing Today,” podcast, Alan talks with Ty Shay, global chief marketing officer for Norton LifeLock, which was acquired by Symantec two years ago for $2.3 billion. Shay’s career as a marketer began somewhat unconventionally. After earning a degree in accounting and serving a brief stint in investment banking, Shay returned to the classroom for a Stanford MBA. After cutting his marketing teeth at P&G, Shay subsequently served in chief marketing roles with SquareTrade and Hotwire before joining LifeLock. He also currently serves on the board of directors for the Ad Council.

During the course of their discussion, Shay explains his concept of marketing jiujitsu and why, sometimes, it’s a good idea to “turn off” your marketing efforts. He also talks at length about performance storytelling — its key elements and how it can be successfully implemented — and the impact of losing his father at an early age.

Shay also offered his perspective on the future of marketing: “I think it’s going to continue to be about accountability,” said Shay. “I think it’s going to continue to be where if you don’t really have first-party data and can’t really own your data and your customers, I think you’re going to be in trouble. So I think you’ll continue to see that evolution of marketers.  Really, I think, the successful marketers will have to be able to not choose between being a brand marketer or a performance marketer. I think you’ll have to be a performance storyteller going forward.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Ty Shay’s unconventional path to a career in marketing. (1:23) “Let’s just turn the marketing off and see what happens.” — Shay explains the secrets of marketing jiujitsu. (5:21) Is Ty Shay a marketing Jedi? (12:57) “I thought the story they were telling was overly complex.” — Shay on how he utilized performance storytelling when he joined LifeLock. (18:17) The three-step framework of performance storytelling. (22:20) The two core competencies necessary for successful performance storytelling. (25:47) Shay embraces a growth mindset. (37:44) Just Do It: Shay admires Nike’s work featuring Colin Kaepernick. And he thinks Southwest Airlines and Geico are two brands that “really know who they are.” (42:45) Links to other resources mentioned:

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Book Mentioned)


9. 150: Author Minter Dial is always seeking to ‘elevate the debate’
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This week on the “Marketing Today,” podcast, Alan talks with Minter Dial, author of “Heartificial Empathy: Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence,” which is his third book. Previously, he co-authored "Futureproof: How To Get Your Business Ready for the Next Disruption,” and he is the author and filmmaker of “The Last Ring Home,” the story of the grandfather he never knew, who died as a POW during World War II.

Prior to his career as a speaker, consultant, filmmaker, and author, Dial spent 15 years with L’Oreal, where he ran the Redken business in addition to serving in other marketing roles there. During the podcast, Dial talks about his latest book, which he says he didn’t really intend to write, and he shares his perspective on what exactly empathy is, how it can benefit businesses, and the implications for its use in artificial intelligence.

And he had this to say about the future of marketing. “With all the opportunities and tools that are out there, making your brand come alive is going to happen through people,” says Dial. “And so there’s probably a whole lot more work that needs to happen on the attitudes of the people you recruit, as an entirety in the company, and figuring out ways to make your brand more congruent, to have this greater empathy idea and integrity. And this is going to change the way we do marketing because you can’t just focus on ROIs and click-throughs.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: “I want to tell stories, connect the dots, and elevate the debate.” –Minter Dial (1:25) Dial is inspired to make business more empathic to benefit people. (3:15) How Dial thinks about empathy in all its different forms. (4:53) For businesses, the benefits of empathy start from within. (10:08) “I’m going to miss you, JJ.” — The empathic bot experiment. (18:53) “First of all, artificial empathy does not exist — today.” –Minter Dial (25:03) Dial’s “journey of identity” to learn more about the grandfather he never knew led to a book and a documentary, both called “The Last Ring Home.” (28:55) Advice Dial would give his younger self: “Always be open to the experience; never say no.” (34:18) “There’s never been a more exciting time to be in marketing.” –Minter Dial (44:18) Links to other resources mentioned: The Last Ring Home Futureproof: How To Get Your Business Ready For The Next Disruption book Intellectual Dark Web – NYT opinion piece describing it Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions

10. 149: Hunt Club’s Nick Cromydas embraces a give-first mentality
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Nick Cromydas, founder and CEO of Hunt Club, a new type of talent company. Cromydas and his company have built and utilize a network of influencers and, through proprietary technology, they refer people from that network to fill positions at high-growth companies, as well as at larger enterprises.

During the course of their conversation, Cromydas, an investor and entrepreneur, talks about the driving force behind Hunt Club, how his life in tennis has been a key influence in his career, and the kind of talent companies must have to thrive.

Conversely, Cromydas also points out how talent looking to join fast-growth companies can jump off the page. “If you’re looking to join a fast-growth entrepreneurial environment,” says Cromydas, “and you have relationships you can leverage and can actually introduce those to the company, or help them and consult for free in certain areas that they need some help with that they don’t have the dollars to pay you right now — really thinking about a give-first mentality — the more I think you’ll find the world will be opening up from an opportunity perspective.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: First rule of Hunt Club: It’s OK to talk about Hunt Club. Cromydas relates the idea behind Hunt Club and how his life in competitive tennis helped him discover recruiting is imprinted in his DNA. (1:28) What Cromydas learned from losing at tennis. (4:26) Cromydas explains the core premise behind Hunt Club: “The best talent lives in our network, and our job is to use technology to power that.” (6:43) Adaptability and the ability to learn: Cromydas on the type of people high-growth companies seek. (11:02) Cromydas: “Companies and large organizations really need to rethink what types of things they’re offering talent in the digital community.” (14:59) The cultural shift necessary in bringing the spirit of entrepreneurship to big companies. (19:34) Cromydas: “I love the idea of a give-first mentality.” (22:55) Do you hear that? Cromydas on the power of the customer’s voice. (34:01)

11. 148: Donna Tuths and Cognizant Interactive bring Hollywood to Vegas
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During the Adobe Summit, Alan had the opportunity to sit down with Donna Tuths, SVP and Global Head of Cognizant Interactive. Equal parts disruptor, pioneer and, innovator, Tuths also spent time at Accenture, Ogilvy & Mather, Organic, and Y&R Wunderman prior to her arrival at Cognizant.

During her conversation with Alan, Tuths talks about her focus on helping clients make the shift from marketing to experience as part of her role in driving solutions at Cognizant Interactive. They also discuss the changing face of creativity, her company’s focus on strategy and design, and why Cognizant Interactive found itself making movies on location at the Summit along with their content experts, Mustache.

Highlights from this Marketing Today conversation include: Cognizant Interactive believes you need humans to understand humans. (:29) Tuths explains the Cognizant operating model. (2:26) Lights! Camera! Action! Cognizant Interactive’s Hollywood treatment at Adobe Summit provides a deeper understanding of their capabilities. (3:56) An eye on the future: Tuths talks about delivering on “living” experiences. (9:17) Tuths on what creativity looks like today. (13:41) Tuths discusses motherhood and her career. (16:32) A bit of both: Tuths finds peace in the design of her home — and a little frustration, too. (19:52)

12. 147: Dun and Bradstreet’s Anudit Vikram discusses the data game
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As chief product officer at Dun and Bradstreet, Anudit Vikram oversees the company’s audience solutions business that utilizes the more than 300 million offline business records in its database for digital marketing and online advertising use cases. As part of building this product for Dun and Bradstreet, he is responsible for overseeing the company’s data-driven audience targeting, deterministic data, and verification of audiences in programmatic advertising. Prior to joining Dun and Bradstreet, Vikram spent time at Merkle, nPario, Yahoo and Microsoft, among others. 

During this episode of Marketing Today, Vikram talks about the nuance behind the numbers in the offerings of Dun and Bradstreet, the issues of privacy and data protection, as well as how, on a personal level, he tries to never get too high or too low in keeping up with the pace of change.

Highlights from this Marketing Today conversation include: Vikram talks about his role at Dun and Bradstreet and provides detail about the audience solutions business. (:29) Vikram discusses the simplest way of getting to intent and what sometimes gets missed in the process. (4:46) The implications of privacy and data protection for Dun and Bradstreet. (6:53) “It depends.” — Vikram’s take on the not-so-simple task of bringing marketing and media functions in-house. (8:59) Vikram provides perspective on B2B marketers and the data economy. (13:03)

13. 146: Alan Schulman’s jazz sensibility and creative vision
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At the Adobe Summit, Alan sat down with Alan Schulman, managing director and chief creative officer at Deloitte Digital US. Schulman discusses Deloitte Digital’s scope of capabilities and offerings: everything from a customer strategy and applied design capability to help clients imagine products and services they don’t have but might need to designing and prototype building to its advertising and e-commerce offerings.

In the course of their conversation, Schulman talked about the modern relationship between CMOs and CIOs (“The way you run marketing versus the way you engage the customer is really a team sport.”); the dawning of the age of AI; how being a jazz musician has informed his career as a creative leader; and the velocity of technological change and its impact on culture, content, and creativity. 

Highlights from this Marketing Today conversation include: Schulman details Deloitte Digital’s considerable breadth of offerings. (:48) In tandem: How CMOs and CIOs now have to work together. (5:24) Siren song: the seduction period of AI and where creative fits in its world. (9:16) Ready for your solo? Schulman’s jazz background informs how he builds creative teams. (13:17) Schulman talks about “content at the speed of culture.” (17:46) Schulman: “People say content is king. I say, context is king.” (21:14) Three key things for Schulman: purpose, point of view, and personality. (24:11)

14. 145: From historic font foundry to creating modern brands
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At the Adobe Summit, Alan had the opportunity to talk with Kelly O’Neill and Bill Connolly of Monotype, a foundry that is home to some of the most-recognized fonts in the world, among them are Arial, Gill Sans, and New Times Roman. At Monotype, O’Neill is senior director of product management and Connolly is director of content.

During this conversation, O’Neill and Connolly discuss Monotype’s heritage, its evolution into a brand company, and the challenges and opportunities emerging technologies, VR and AR in particular, have provided. They also discuss their companies acquisition of Olapic and how that company aligns with them strategically.

Highlights from this Marketing Today conversation include: The Monotype story: its history, its evolution into a brand company, and the challenges it faces in new environments. (:51) Monotype’s strategic alignment with Olapic. (3:16) Monotype has its eye on AR and VR. (8:01) Connolly and O’Neill discuss advice they’ve received, their reliance on LinkedIn for information, and their love for the creative process and contagious passion. (12:24)

15. 144: David Cancel’s passion fuels Drift
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Description: Marketing Today at the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas 

The 2019 Adobe Summit took place March 26–28 in Las Vegas, gathering everyone from advertisers, content managers, and analysts to marketers of all stripes: digital, social, e-commerce — you name it.

Marketing Today was there for all three days of the conference, taking the opportunity to speak with attendees who discussed the companies they’ve created, led, or worked for, their takeaways and perspective on what they saw and heard at the conference, as well as more universal aspects of their life and career — sharing some of the best advice they’ve received and things they love and hate — or just really dislike.

David Cancel – CEO and Founder at Drift

David Cancel is the epitome of entrepreneurship. He has created companies like HubSpot, Performable, Ghostery, and Compete to bring hypergrowth products to market. Not only that, he is the Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School and has been featured in The New York Times, Fortune, Wired, and Fast Company.

He is presently the founder and CEO of Drift, the world’s first conversational marketing and sales platform. During his discussion with Alan, Cancel provides details on the Drift story — what it is, what it does, and what it provides — and he adds perspective on Drift’s latest integration with Marketo, which was announced during the conference. To that end, he describes the use of Conversational ABM (account-based marketing), what the new level of partnership with Marketo will look and feel like, and how users will experience it.

During the podcast, Cancel also touches on how Drift, like Cancel himself, embraces the unconventional. He also discusses his meta way of thinking, why he believes the best advice resides within ourselves, and his passion for seeking out people who are — you guessed it — passionate.

Highlights from this Marketing Today conversation include: Cancel on Drift’s capabilities, its partnership with Marketo, and Conversational ABM. (:56) The look and feel of Drift’s integration with Marketo. (3:24) The idea behind Drift: “Now we need to focus on the buyer.” (7:49) Cancel on driving better engagement: “You have to start with your customer.” (10:47) Cancel talks about Drift’s “Seeking Wisdom” podcast. (17:30)

16. 143: Intel’s Alyson Griffin believes in the power of change
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For this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Alyson Griffin, vice president of global marketing at Intel, where she’s recently taken the reins as global marketing lead for Intel’s IoT Group. 

During the course of their conversation, Griffin talks about her decision to leave pharmacy school in something of a seismic career shift, her subsequent decision to leave HP after 17 years for an opportunity with Intel, and her advice for young marketers. The common thread that ties those elements together: change.

As Griffin explains, “For young marketers, in general, I’d say that change is good. I love change, and some people don’t, and I’ve always kind of scratched my head about that. Going into a different business unit or a different company or a different geography or even a different function…changing like that is really important — to be well-rounded, to get different experiences and different points of view.”

And about change, Griffin goes on to add, “Don’t be afraid of it. I’ve done it a lot in my career, changing, and I think it’s just made me a better listener and a better leader.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: A funny thing happened on the way to becoming a pharmacist: Griffin talks about her decision to leave pharmacy school for a career in marketing. (1:34) An intriguing opportunity — after nearly 17 years at HP, Griffin left to build something at Intel. (5:19) Storytelling, Intel’s business transformation, and the Great Wall of China. (7:43) Griffin’s perspective on storytelling. (13:36) That’s billion with a “B” — Intel’s VR partnership with the Smithsonian. (18:48) Griffin discusses her new role at Intel leading their IoT Group. (22:47) Bringing teams closer together — Intel’s reorganization saw the company combining sales and marketing. (26:43) Her mother’s 43-year career at HP in Silicon Valley served as an inspiration to Griffin, leading her to believe that whatever it was, she could do it. (30:51) Griffin on striving to live a balanced life. (33:54) “I think marketers really have to think about tying their product to their brand and the purpose of the company as well as the ‘why’ for the consumer.” (40:28)

Other resources:
VR Teaching Labs

17. 142: DCN’s Jason Kint discusses the Facebook–Google duopoly
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan’s guest is Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, a nonprofit trade organization that plays a strategic role working on behalf of digital content companies in managing direct relationships between consumers and marketers. In doing so, DCN provides research and advocacy in guiding established media companies, including The New York Times, NBC, Condé Nast, and ESPN, as well as digitally native organizations like Slate, Vox, and Business Insider.

During the course of his discussion with Alan, Kint outlines DCN’s premium digital advertising marketplace, TrustX, and he discusses the duopoly of Facebook and Google as well as the issue of trust — or lack thereof — when it comes to those two platforms.

In talking about the state of affairs in the digital realm regarding privacy practices and their impact on consumer trust, Kint says, “If you look at the data around user trust, in the digital environment and digital advertising, whether it be banners and buttons or on mobile or any format, it’s really, really low relative to television and magazines or any other format. ‘Why is that?’ Because consumers have never gotten comfortable with the way the digital advertising experience works, and this idea that they’re being tracked across the web only makes that worse.” Kint goes on to add, “And so it’s something, as an industry, we have to solve for.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Kint describes the career path that led him to Digital Content Next, and he provides an overview of DCN and its focus on premium publishers. (1:49) The great wall of Facebook and Google: Kint discusses the duopoly’s impact on content creators. (4:40) Kint’s take on today’s publishing models — and what those models might look like in the future. (8:50) What happens when billionaires buy media companies. (12:02) DCN’s stance on privacy practices. (15:55) Kint on DCN’s subsidiary, TrustX, and what it offers — “That’s exactly what TrustX is focused on: One hundred percent transparency, you know where your ads run, and you know where your money is going.” (19:47) Kint: “The pressure and the discussion around journalism and the press, and protecting it as an institution, has fueled me even more so in the last couple of years.” (29:27) Kint talks about veteran Filipino journalist, Maria Ressa, and the online news platform, Rappler, she co-founded with three other female journalists. Ressa was among the journalists honored collectively as Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2018. (30:44)

18. 141: Mizzen + Main is the perfect fit for CMO Stephanie Swingle
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Stephanie Swingle, chief marketing officer for Mizzen + Main, a company with a new way of making and marketing men’s shirts. Swingle made the move from consulting early in her career to working in CPG for Pepsi with a stop in between to earn an MBA from Harvard. After almost five years at Pepsi, she made the leap to the D2C disruptor, Mizzen + Main.

In talking about brands like Mizzen + Main pushing back on the Amazon Effect and the company’s ubiquitous endless shelf, Swingle says, “There’s going to be higher expectations from consumers for things that they consider differentiated or premium. And part of that comes from the increasing standards of transparency and trust. And I think that’s a really exciting place to play, when you can be differentiated on product and experience, and just building something that means so much to the consumer and creates that positive value through the strong experience that you’re providing.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Swingle talks about her passion for consumer psychology, her background, and her journey from Big CPG to challenger brand. (1:32) The Mizzen + Main founder’s story is relatable and meshes with their D2C identity. (5:38) Acquisition efficiency and brand experience: Swingle on Mizzen + Main’s move to brick and mortar. (9:32) “I certainly believe that the case to be made for brick and mortar happens earlier in this day than it did probably five years ago.” (15:24) I’m not laughing, you’re laughing: Swingle discusses Mizzen + Main’s “Textile Dysfunction” campaign. (17:20) “This commercial was a stretch.” — Mizzen + Main’s relationship with PGA legend Phil Mickelson. (19:58) What’s next for Mizzen + Main? They’re not telling. (26:24) “Taking risks in the right way.” (31:03) “I’m a card-carrying nerd.” — Swingle reveals what has driven her career. (32:02)

19. 140: New York Times CMO David Rubin on the paper’s brave new world
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with David Rubin, chief marketing officer at The New York Times.

With perhaps a somewhat unexpected career beginning for a marketer — right after college he spent two years working on Capitol Hill for a Milwaukee congressman and two years in the Treasury Department during the Clinton administration — Rubin subsequently received an MBA from the Wharton School before joining Unilever. During his 13 years at Unilever, Rubin worked in brand building, helping launch Axe body spray and leading the turnaround of their U.S. Hair division. After that, he spent two years at Pinterest as their head of global brand before joining The Times.

During the podcast, Rubin discusses how being a product of the Baltimore public school system shaped the way he builds teams, the Fake News phenomenon, the recent TV-focused work he’s overseen in marketing The New York Times, and the paper’s shift from an advertising-based business model to one that is subscription-first, and how those two aspects coexist differently now.

“What we find is that the more we grow our consumer base and connection with the end user,” says Rubin, “the better our ad business gets. And that may be counterintuitive, but they come together. Ultimately, what advertisers want is a deeply engaged audience that they can sell their message to in appropriate ways. And The Times has that and has that more than it’s ever had. And so, we see the two things as actually more synergistic from a business-model perspective, and that having the consumer-subscription-first mindset lifts all boats.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  From Capitol Hill and the Clinton administration to Unilever, Pinterest, and The New York Times, all the roles Rubin has held were meant to create mass impact. (1:20) Rubin talks about the TV spot that launched The New York Times campaign, “The Truth Is Hard." (5:40) “Quality reporting really does matter” — Rubin discusses the impact of the Fake News phenomenon. (11:22) “He said. She said.” Rubin reflects upon the NYT’s first extension of “The Truth Is Hard” campaign: “The Truth Has a Voice.” (14:13) Raising the bar each time: The New York Times unveils a more overt message with “The Truth Is Worth It.” (16:59) From advertising-based to subscription-first: the evolution of The New York Times business model. (24:19) Rubin talks cooking and crossword puzzles. (26:37) “Journalism happens in real time, and it’s messy.” (29:29) “We seek the truth, and we help people understand the world.” (32:00)

20. 139: Professor Michael Platt connects neuroscience with brand choice and loyalty
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In this week’s episode of "Marketing Today," Alan talks with Michael Platt, who is the James S. Riepe University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds three professorships there: in marketing at the Wharton School; in neuroscience at the Perelman School of Medicine; and in psychology at the university’s School of Arts and Sciences. In addition, he is the director of the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative.

In the course of their discussion, Pratt talks at length about an article he co-authored with Leslie Zane, "Cracking the Code on Brand Growth," as well as a yet-to-be-published study regarding people’s feelings about and affinities for their smartphones and how that relates to brand choice and loyalty.

He also touches on the risks big brands face in not innovating, the even greater impact neuroscience will have in the future on marketing, advertising and design, and, last but not least, how his polymathic ways fuel his passion. 

"I’m very passionate about what I do; I’m very passionate about connecting all these disciplines," says Platt. "One of the things that drew me to Wharton and Penn, however, which is new in terms of opportunity, is really making the science applicable, making it useful for people — whether they’re in business or in society in general. How can we take all of what we’re doing here in the academy and in the sciences and translate it and make it accessible, so people understand it, so they’re interested in it? And actually give them tools to reach their own kind of peak performance and ultimately enhance their own well-being."

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  From anthropology to neuroscience, Platt discusses his background and how he is “trying to understand how our brains decide.” (1:31) Marketing, neuroscience, and psychology: Platt on his multidisciplinary balancing act. (7:14) “Cracking the Code on Brand Growth” — Platt talks about the article (and podcast) he collaborated on with Leslie Zane. (9:15) Platt elaborates on a relational hypothesis of branding. (12:51) Platt defines and explains just what a “connectome” is, and he discusses the Human Connectome Project and its implications for marketers. (20:38) “In some cases, neuroscience will provide better return on investment than you get if you’re just using survey and self-report techniques.” (31:22) Don’t be a dopamine: Platt explains how Dollar Shave Club’s innovative approach gave consumers’ brains a jolt. (33:46) Platt’s ability to move among different disciplines dates back to his high school days. (40:47) The future of marketing and its connection to neuroscience. (46:28)

21. 138: Steve Lucas of Marketo discusses the 'Engagement Economy'
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This week on "Marketing Today," Alan talks with Steve Lucas, the former CEO of Marketo, which was acquired by Adobe in 2018. Now, Lucas is senior vice president of digital experience with Adobe as he continues to lead Marketo as an Adobe company. In addition, Lucas is the author of "Engage to Win: A Blueprint for Success in the Engagement Economy."

In talking about the Engagement Economy, Lucas details the importance of attention and how it is expended. "In particular, attention is absolutely a currency in the Engagement Economy," says Lucas. "Because people, now more than ever, have a finite amount of attention to spend. No matter what you do – even if you never slept – you only have 24 hours of attention. It is a finite resource that we, as humans, have. So we have to carefully choose where we apply our attention."

Lucas goes on to add, "And it is not just a belief, it’s an unequivocal assertion on my part, that people will spend that currency of attention on companies and brands that they believe align with their values."

Alan will be attending the Adobe Summit, along with Steve Lucas, March 26-28 in Las Vegas, NV. Please reach out as they both would love to hear from listeners.

Highlights from this week’s "Marketing Today" podcast include: Lucas traces the arc of his career and discusses his penchant for risk. (1:44) Lucas talks about his new role at Adobe in the wake of the Marketo acquisition. (4:37) "Engage to Win" – Lucas on the driving force and motivation behind writing his book. (6:10) "A value-driven interaction over an extended period of time." – Lucas reveals how he thinks about and defines engagement. (9:26) For Lucas, attention is valuable currency in the Engagement Economy. (13:19) Planting the flag: Lucas explains his passion for engagement. (15:16) Lucas talks about service marketing. (23:18) A diagnosis of Type-1 diabetes at the age of 24 was a defining and transformative experience for Lucas. (34:31) Not waiting his turn: Lucas has a deep and burning desire to make a difference. (39:37) "Nothing’s ever perfect." – Why Lucas wishes he’d taken more risks earlier in his career. (43:51) The future of marketing: Lucas talks about what’s already here and what’s right around the corner. (48:59)

22. 137: Professor Jan-Benedict Steenkamp on the impact of hard discounters
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This week on "Marketing Today," Alan talks with Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, who is the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Professor of Marketing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has taught for 13 years. This is an encore performance on “Marketing Today” for Steenkamp. In Episode 40, he provided a master class in global branding.

This time on the show, Steenkamp discusses his latest book, “Retail Disruptors: The Spectacular Rise and Impact of Hard Discounters,” which he co-authored with Laurens Sloot. Steenkamp describes the retail war taking place on the U.S. grocery landscape, where we’re seeing insurgents like German chains Aldi and Lidl, as well as Trader Joe’s, swooping in to take share from established U.S. grocers, particularly regional players. During the podcast, Steenkamp also touches on such topics as private labels, corporate social responsibility, and the future of Tesla.

Highlights from this week's "Marketing Today" podcast include: Steenkamp discusses his motivation in writing “Retail Disruptors: The Spectacular Rise and Impact of Hard Discounters.” (1:58) Steenkamp talks about hard discounters among grocery retailers and how, while it might be counterintuitive, their smaller size and smaller selection actually leads to increased purchases and greater satisfaction for customers. (3:43) Steenkamp defines the threat for U.S. grocery retailers from formidable hard discounters like Aldi and Lidl. Examples of those at risk: regional supermarket chains such as Food Lion and Harris Teeter. (9:54) Squeezing the soupy middle: Steenkamp points out how U.S. grocery retailers are facing competition from above and below. (14:43) As the retail landscape shakes out, Steenkamp weighs the impact of Amazon on national brands. (17:19) A conversation while working as a consultant two decades ago sparked Steenkamp's interest in private labels and hard discounters. (22:55) Steenkamp reveals why he wishes he had studied French, Spanish, and Mandarin. (25:24) Steenkamp describes how the continuing focus on corporate social responsibility has been spurred on by a new generation of consumers. (27:36) Steenkamp's take on the future of Tesla. (32:56)


23. 136: Andrew Konya and his relentless pursuit of the truth
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Andrew Konya, CEO of Remesh, a company he co-founded in 2014 with the mission to create a technology that could truly represent the will of the people and amplify their collective voice. In that pursuit, Remesh uses AI to enable brands to engage with their audience quickly and more deeply to generate actionable insights, and, during the podcast, Konya is quite illustrative in discussing the methodologies that help Remesh accomplish that.

In the course of their conversation, Konya again and again returns to something both he and his company value above all else: the truth. “It has become my obsession and now our company’s obsession,” says Konya “to evaluate everything we do by this one simple question: ‘Does building this bring our customers closer to the truth?'"

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: From the laboratory to the boardroom: Konya talks about his background as a physicist and how an argument between two of his friends led to the creation of Remesh. (1:16) Why qualitative research? “Because it was the only thing that got to the truth.” (6:02) Konya on the state of Remesh today. (7:09) An epidemic of loneliness in Cornwall, England: A solution to a real-world problem illustrates how Remesh works. (8:57) Remesh in the world of marketing and advertising. (12:27) Konya’s analytics journey. (15:04) Konya discusses truths he’s uncovered along the way with Remesh. (18:07) Two constellations of experience: an obsessive pursuit of the truth and an appreciation for the power of collaboration. (27:21) It’s no surprise that Konya believes in and keeps a close eye on the Center for Social Media Responsibility, the Thoughtful Technology Project, and org. (32:57) Konya’s optimism: “I think the future of marketing is going to evolve to look a lot like just telling the truth to consumers.” (34:45)

24. 135: Jason Jedlinski on the atomization of content
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Jason Jedlinski, senior vice president and head of consumer products for Gannett and the USA Today Network.

Prior to joining Gannett and USA Today, Jedlinski spent seven years with the Tribune Company as well as serving a brief stint in the world of ad tech. In his current role, he is responsible for everything the consumer sees from Gannett and the USA Today brands.

During the course of their discussion, Jedlinski addressed a number of topics, including his take on the monetization of content, the evolution of digital advertising, and what he means when he talks about the “atomization of content.”

In speaking about the atomization of content, Jedlinski points out ways Gannett and USA Today endeavor to reach consumers with content they’re curious about and can use. Not only that, he points out how the interactions consumers have with the content make it that much more vital. “It’s really thinking about how we can leverage the information we gather, and the expertise we have, and democratize it and make it accessible as broadly as possible,” says Jelinski. “And how we bring the wisdom of the crowd in to augment that and make it better and help point us to stories that should be told.”

He goes on to add, “Just as we’re breaking up this content into these molecular elements, we also need to find ways to get feedback loops with the people reading and consuming and interacting with that content to further make it relevant." 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Jedlinski’s career started in TV news before undergoing a metamorphosis, where a redefined role led him into the world of digital content and consumer products. (1:23) “Our go-to-market name for Gannett” — Jedlinski talks about the USA Today Network. (4:38) “It’s a winner-take-all dynamic” — Jedlinski explains the “atomization of content.” (6:36) Jedlinski reveals his thinking on creating and organizing content. (9:50) Leveraging location and building stories in different ways. (12:25) Voice as the accelerator of change. (15:39) Jedlinski on the monetization of content. (21:12) Journalism in his blood: Jedlinski actually started a newspaper when he was in grade school. (28:08) Jedlinski is proudest of his mentoring efforts to help people learn and develop. (29:41)

25. 134: Jill Baskin’s new creative vision for Hershey
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Jill Baskin, CMO at the Hershey Company, where she’s been for just over a year now. Previously, Baskin spent 20 years on the agency side before moving to the client side, joining Mondelēz International. There, she worked on brands like Oreo, Halls, Chips Ahoy! and Cadbury Chocolate.

During the course of their discussion, Baskin talks about the reorganization at Hershey and her development of a small but nimble and effective in-house creative agency. And she also discusses the recent campaign work, “Heartwarming the World,” for the Hershey brand itself, what it’s like to work with nontraditional partners, and her views on the future of the agency model.

Baskin also talked about the impact creating Hershey’s in-house agency has had on people at the company and their partners. “It brings an air of magic to brand management,” says Baskin. “It is so great for the organization. People are so excited by this, and so excited by being more hands-on and more direct and quicker. And for my brand partners, it lets them see the ‘making of the sausage,’ which, I think, is not a bad thing.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  From selling ads in the Yellow Pages to Hershey Company CMO: Baskin on how she got started and the transitions in her career along the way. (1:29) Baskin’s focus on reorganization at Hershey: “I saw it as my job to bring everyone together in service of the brands.” (3:24) Baskin’s take on how an in-house agency should work. (5:03) Baskin talks about the ways her in-house agency has been able to move quickly, capitalize on the moment, and connect with consumers. (10:37) Hershey’s creative collaboration with nontraditional partners. (14:19) “Heartwarming the World” — Baskin talks about new work for Hershey that is “really right for the brand.” (18:46) Hershey, Mustafa and Ahmad, and the inimitable Bob Williams. (21:05) Baskin’s high school debating experience has had a lasting impact on her career: “I swear, I’ve taken it to every job since.” (27:33) Baskin on the future of marketing: “I think that we’re going to start buying ideas and not whole teams of people.” (33:17)  Links to mentioned resources: WestJet 2013 ad: https://youtu.be/zIEIvi2MuEk Tenor GIFs examples: https://tenor.com/search/resees-gifs Nashville Reese’s Super Fan: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/12/04/reeses-car-nashville-billboard-search/2209258002/


26. 133: Cal Fussman on the art and power of asking great questions
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This week’s “Marketing Today,” is an untraditional episode, but it’s packed with insight, humor, compassion, and, yes, a marketing lesson or two. Alan sat down to talk with Cal Fussman, journalist, best-selling author, and writer at large for Esquire — where he has served as lead interviewer for the magazine’s notable “What I’ve Learned” series. During the course of his career, he has interviewed and written about famous people from Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Ted Kennedy to Jack Welch, Al Pacino, and Muhammad Ali, as well as countless others. His personal essay, “Cocktails Before the Collapse,” written about his time as a sommelier at Windows on the World, the restaurant that sat perched atop the World Trade Center, won a James Beard Foundation Award in 2012.

During the course of their conversation, Fussman touches on many of the powerful experiences and pivotal moments that shaped his life and career. But, perhaps most notably, it was his decision as a second-grader to pick up a pencil, write a letter, lick a stamp, and toss an envelope in a mailbox during one of the darkest times in American history that revealed to him the power of a great question: “I knew, at that time, that a good question could get you to the most powerful person on Earth, and it has guided my life ever since.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: A letter sent to a U.S. president in a time of national tragedy set the course for Fussman’s career. (1:37) Raise your hand: Fussman discusses how our childhood curiosity becomes tempered. (3:53) “I’m prepared to improvise.” — Fussman stores questions in his head like a jukebox; he just has to press play. (17:42) “There‘s a great marketing story.” Fussman talks about the time Jack Welch took him to lunch. (30:59) Breaking down the wall between journalism and marketing. (45:10) “Everything that I felt no good at, I’ve had to somehow master.” (52:24) “I’ve got a baby in the palm of my hand.” — Fussman describes his experience speaking at a hospital. (55:34) Fussman is still particular about the way he markets himself. (1:02:17) Eureka! Alan and Cal discover “Fussman’s gold.” (1:07:56) **Let Your Voice Be Heard**

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

Links to find Cal online: https://www.calfussman.com/ https://twitter.com/calfussman https://www.linkedin.com/in/calfussman/

27. 132: Siddarth Taparia and the creation of a transformational mindset at SAP
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Siddarth Taparia, senior vice president and head of marketing transformation at SAP, where his duties include overseeing partner marketing and strategic transformation.

During the course of their discussion, Taparia talks about his 13-year career at SAP, including his transition to marketing. He also discusses the efforts by SAP to transform their brand — both internally and for its clients. In talking about that transformation, Taparia said, “I firmly believe that transformation starts and is successful with people. Everything else is an ingredient. But the thing that really makes it work is that the people have to transform — there has to be a transformational mindset.”

He later added, “Any type of brand transformation is driven by how your customers perceive you, what they think about you, and how they champion your products and solutions.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Taparia discusses his background and his career and transition to marketing at SAP. (1:19) How SAP tells its story in the marketplace. (3:53) The genesis of SAP’s brand transformation. (5:33) Making the consumer journey fundamentally better. (10:09) SAP and the customer experience: “We are looking at the future of customer experience and that future is being built right in front of our eyes.” (15:36) Taparia is focusing on things that bring people together as well as being a role model for his two daughters. (19:49) Disruption, dynamic change, and a reckoning regarding the use of personal data: Taparia’s take on the future of marketing. (23:39)

28. 131: Ryan Bonnici of G2 Crowd talks inbound marketing, content creation, and his motivation to succeed
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Ryan Bonnici, chief marketing officer for G2 Crowd. A self-admitted unconventional thinker, Bonnici started his career in an unconventional way — as an international flight attendant. But Bonnici used his time in the air to talk with the executives in first class and gain an understanding of the way they think. More importantly, a connection he made provided him with a conventional opportunity: a job at Microsoft.

In addition to Microsoft, Bonnici has worked for companies like ExactTarget, Salesforce, HubSpot, and now with G2 Crowd. In this freewheeling and frank conversation, Bonnici reveals some of the decisions he’s made — that have paid off big — and the thinking behind them. And like a lot of successful marketers, Bonnici believes in taking chances, even if you don’t always succeed: “The best way to learn,” say Bonnici, “is just to do and to fail — and to learn from that.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Bonnici discusses his background and career path. (1:15) Bonnici says G2 Crowd thinks of itself as the world’s largest business commerce marketplace. (6:16) “A philosophy of attraction” — Bonnici’s thoughts on inbound marketing. (7:31) How Bonnici turned $6K into $64 million for HubSpot. (10:08) “A little bit naughty, a little bit defiant.” Bonnici reveals his thinking on selling ideas in. (16:22) What Bonnici is up to now at G2 Crowd. (21:19) Bonnici on the divide between brand-building and performance marketing. (24:04) Pay attention when hiring and provide specific and detailed feedback: Bonnici on his approach to team-building. (26:29) “An extroverted introvert” — Being bullied as a child gave Bonnici “serious motivation” to succeed. (36:22) From fitness and project management to travel and meditation — Bonnici reveals some of the brands he admires. (39:32)


29. 130: Kristi Argyilan of Target zeroes in on Gen Z
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Marketing Today with Alan Hart” once again comes to you from Brooklyn, where it was recorded during the Incite Group’s Brand Marketing Summit, which took place in October of 2018. This week’s episode features a conversation with Kristi Argyilan, who is a senior VP with Target, where she is in charge of media, guest relations, and measurement. She also leads strategic partnerships with media companies like Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and NBCUniversal as well as with Target’s agency partners Mother, Deutsch LA, GroupM’s Essence, among others.

During the course of the podcast, Argyilan kept returning to the importance of the relationship Target is fostering with Gen Z, which includes partnerships with influencers, the creation and use of video in social media, and members of Gen Z pitching business ideas to Target through its incubator program. 

“We’re really leaning in on this idea of marketing becoming commerce,” says Argyilan. And we’re pushing that technology in whatever way we can.” She goes on to add: “This blurring of marketing and commerce, I think, is super interesting.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Argyilan on Target’s massive presence in American shopping and the ways the company relates to different generations of shoppers. (1:29) The new rules of marketing engagement: Target pulls in Gen Z influencers using its creation of Crush Con. (3:01) Argyilan identifies how Gen Z is different across the board: culturally, geographically, economically, and technologically. (5:20) Heyday, Original Use, and Wild Fable: Target is launching brands with and for Gen Z. (6:16) Target and @targettag: Using influencer-created video content to connect with Gen Z. (8:18) Balancing Target’s traditional advertising with video content for a younger generation: The “Tar-zhay” moniker lives on. (10:32) The idea of marketing becoming commerce. — Target’s incubator program invites Gen Z to pitch business ideas. (13:28) “We do us.” — Argyilan on how Target competes with the online onslaught of Amazon. (14:49) Target’s ethos of inclusivity has helped them appeal to different generations without alienating any of them. (20:33) Target’s Math & Magic: “We’re constantly having to make sure that our machines don’t take over where the humans need to be.”  **Let Your Voice Be Heard**

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

30. 129: Marketing Today at the Brand Marketing Summit in Brooklyn
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This week finds “Marketing Today” on the road again. This time the destination was Brooklyn and the Incite Group’s Brand Marketing Summit, where Alan Hart moderated a track — Customer Understanding and Personalized Experiences — and took the opportunity to talk with some of the marketers there about their brands: what was top of mind for them, key insights they had about the Brand Marketing Summit, and their thoughts on the customer journey and experience. They also talked about sources they turned to for information, the best pieces of advice they’ve received, and even things they love and hate. 

The four marketers Alan spoke with are:

Michael Blash, chief commercial officer at Ink Bench Alegra O’Hare, VP of global brand communications at adidas Casey Hall, former director of social media at Thompson Reuters Abinav Varma, president and CEO at UNIBEES Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Michael Blash describes Ink Bench as a company that is “built on active creative collaboration that delivers powerful brain control.” In the process, it helps companies deal with the very real struggle of creating value in the digital supply chain by being better at getting content created, managed, and produced. He also notes, “If you can make a customer a fanatic, you have a customer for life.” Lastly, Blash revealed he has a love/hate relationship with pizza. (1:20)

Alegra O’Hare seemed to think in couplets, of sorts. In discussing what is top of mind for her at adidas, she pointed out two challenges: (1) continuing to challenge the status quo, and (2) balancing brand and KPI. Her take on the customer journey/experience found her thinking about (1) ways to be more surgical with the deliverables they create for campaigns and (2) coordinating between lead agencies and highly skilled specialty shops they partner with. She also revealed two pieces of advice she lives by: (1) do something every day that scares you, and (2) take your time in hiring people. (6:41)

Casey Hall talked about how Thompson Reuters was a big believer in creating employee advocacy for its brand — they seek to use Thompson Reuters employees to humanize the brand and get their brand story out there in a way that is difficult to do through branded channels. As for advice that Hall lives by, he says “find a way to do something you want to do and don’t wait for permission.”  (10:30)

Abinav Varma discussed UNIBEES’ main offering — a mobile app that helps college students find free food(!), special events, and giveaways on campus. In talking about the UNIBEES app, Varma revealed that increasing student engagement is constantly top of mind for his company, something they seem to be succeeding at judging by the stickiness they’re seeing as a result of added features they’ve introduced. He also noted, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that “My entire company is built on pizza.” (We’re sensing that pizza is a common thread among marketers.) (17:03) 

**Let Your Voice Be Heard**

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

31. 128: Mary Ann Reilly of Visa on sponsorships, innovation, and branding
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This week’s episode of “Marketing Today” was recorded in Brooklyn during the Incite Group’s Brand Marketing Summit. While moderating the Customer Understanding and Personalized Experiences track, Alan interviewed Mary Ann Reilly, senior vice president and head of North America Marketing at Visa. Prior to her time at Visa, Reilly spent eight years with American Express.

During the course of her conversation with Alan, Reilly touched on marketing to millennial women, the scope of Visa’s sponsorships, and how their role as a payment company has led them to feel an obligation in promoting financial literacy and education among young people.

Reilly also discussed Visa’s record of innovation in the payment space and its importance to their brand. “It’s really all about creating experiences,” said Reilly. “But think about your brand — what is the one thing that you want to portray from a brand perspective, what’s the message that you want to bring across? And, for us, it’s about innovation. So, everything we do is about showcasing innovation of the brand.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Reilly discusses her experience working on Small Business Saturday for American Express. (3:22) Reilly talks about four of Visa’s biggest sponsorships: the NFL, NHL, FIFA, and the Olympics. (4:10) Reilly’s take on marketing to millennial women. (5:17) Positioning Visa as an innovative brand: Reilly on the importance of Visa’s role as the official payment technology partner for NewYork Fashion Week. (9:59) Reilly’s perspective on what it takes to maximize a sponsorship activation: “Don’t be afraid to ask for the creation of an experience.” (12:49) Visa’s NFL sponsorship is centered upon viewership. (14:59) Multisensory branding helps Visa create a sense of security for consumers. (17:45)

**Let Your Voice Be Heard**

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

32. 127: Bob Hoffman: The Ad Contrarian Strikes Again
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” it’s déjà vu all over again. Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian, returns for his third visit on the podcast. Bob and Alan can’t decide if it’s a case of the third time being a charm or if it’s three strikes and you’re out. In any case, it’s a treat for the listener because Hoffman is, as always, blunt, profane, and hilarious —and he takes no prisoners.

During the course of his conversation with Alan, Hoffman talks about the state of advertising as he sees it, his recent contribution to “Eat Your Greens,” published by the APG as part of their 50 Years of Planning celebration, his take on Facebook, and his new book, “Laughing@Advertising.” The book is a compilation of articles from Hoffman’s blog, The Ad Contrarian, and Hoffman describes it as “the silliest, most injudicious and, perhaps, irresponsible marketing book you’ve ever read.”

But we all know that really means the book is filled in equal measure with incisive analysis and barbed wit coupled with Hoffman’s trademark shoot from the lip approach. Or as he likes to say, “I look at my job as being subversive. I think the industry needs some subversive voices who are willing to challenge the aristocrats.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Hoffman on why this book, “Laughing@Advertising,” and why now. (4:56) Advertising’s Final Solution. (8:38) Just in time for the holidays: Hoffman’s philosophy of gift-giving. (15:05) Hoffman on Facebook’s new CMO: “I think that’s the worst job in the world.” (17:28) Hoffman’s perspective on the ANA. (19:52) The most absurd thing Hoffman’s thinking about right now: What if Martin Sorrel bought back WPP? (25:58) Hoffman still reads newspapers — in print. (26:52) Missed opportunity: The advertising industry is missing out by not marketing to people over 50. (28:36) **Let Your Voice Be Heard**

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

33. 126: George Hammer of IBM on what it means to make less and matter more
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with George Hammer, chief content officer at IBM. In his conversation with Alan, Hammer discusses current trends in content creation as well as his vision for the way IBM operates in the creative realm and how it has changed “business as usual” at IBM.

Hammer talks about the current trend we’re seeing of so many companies bringing create in-house and how the content creation model at IBM — “IBM Originals” — is different. “I believe that we can actually do better,” says Hammer. “And so, for me, no — we’re not building an in-house agency. And I think if you just simply think about that, you’re missing the opportunity to do something bigger and greater. And there are all sorts of opportunities that are unlocked when you have an IBMer sitting next to an IBMer working together to make something.”

At the same time, Hammer recognizes what outside talent can add to the IBM mix: “There is a great purpose and role all of these external agencies and media companies can play from a talent perspective that will make them not just relevant but essential to a brand’s success.” 

Hammer also notes, “We are diverse in our creation model because we allow the idea and the talent to dictate which way we go.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  Hammer talks about his background and how his experience prior to arriving at IBM impacts the way he operates. (1:16) Hammer’s first 100 days at IBM. (8:16) “In the end, every touch point we have with an audience is an impression. (11:00) Hammer’s pivot from content marketing to content directing. (13:07) Hammer on creating an ecosystem of external creative partners: “We’re always looking for the best person.” (15:24) The IBM mantra of “make less, matter more.” (17:01) Making a great place for creators and better content for people. (19:53) Evolving the content craft: IBM’s Content Cantina. (22:04) Hammer discusses his experience serving on the ANA’s CMO Growth Council. (24:46) How improv training and performance changed Hammer’s perception of winning. (27:26)

34. 125: Kim Wijkstrom believes brand is key in the strategic growth of a company
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This week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” finds Alan talking with Kim Wijkstrom, CMO for OneMain Financial. In his role there, Wijkstrom is responsible for development and execution of the company’s brand marketing, and he has overseen OneMain Financial’s first-ever brand campaign: “Lending Done Human.”

During the course of his discussion with Alan, Wijkstrom talks at length about what led him to join OneMain Financial, his belief that the company provides a necessary and responsible service, and the company’s new brand campaign. He also revisits his time at TBWA Chiat Day, where he worked on some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Apple and Absolut Vodka.

Working on Apple set the tone for Wijkstrom’s career. “I don’t think, at the time, I realized how lucky I was to be thrown into that situation,” says Wijkstrom. “It was more trying to absorb as much as possible from the moment and roll with it and make sure that we could deliver on the relationship.” He goes on to add, “It was one of the most fundamental learning episodes of my career in seeing how, again, the storytelling that comes with brand is key to a business strategy. And then determining what the strategy is has everything to do with the brand, and then brand becomes the story that explains it to the consumer.”   

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Wijkstrom discusses the genesis of his career and his time at TBWA Chiat Day. (1:18) What Wijkstrom learned in his role as “cultural translator.” (6:49) “If you have a story to tell, it doesn’t matter where you tell it.” (9:18) “OneMain Financial is the largest consumer financial services company in the U.S. that you’ve never heard about.” (10:47) Wijkstrom talks about the thinking behind OneMain Financial’s “Lending Done Human” campaign. (15:42) The fully integrated “Lending Done Human” campaign has already changed perceptions of and established trust in OneMain Financial. (21:02) His life experiences have made Wijkstrom a cultural omnivore. (24:01)

35. 124: Richard Shotton on personality, context, and behavior
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Richard Shotton, author of the book, “The Choice Factory: 25 Behavioural Biases That Influence What We Buy,” which was published earlier this year.

Shotton started in advertising as a media planner, working on brands such as Coke and Lexus, before becoming inspired by the idea of applying behavioral psychology to business problems. Presently, he is head of behavioural science at Manning Gottleib OMD. In addition, he recently founded the consultancy, Astroten.

During his conversation with Alan, Shotton outlines the thinking and methodology that went into writing his book. And he discusses just how much he relishes the freedom to conduct his own experiments to bear out his hypotheses. “What I have most loved is the freedom to go out and run a test to prove a point,’ says Shotton, “not to have to rely on other people’s findings. It’s so easy to set up a psychological experiment. I find that really exciting and liberating — starting a project, not knowing if it’s going to work or not, and then generally finding an interesting insight at the end that you can apply. I think that’s what I find most exciting about the job.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Shotton talks about why he wrote “The Choice Factory,” and how his fascination with people’s motivations led to his career path. (1:17) Shotton discusses how he chose the 25 behavioral biases most relevant to advertising for his book. (9:15) “People or products that exhibit a flaw become more appealing.” — Shotton on his favorite bias: The Pratfall Effect. (11:48) Shotton outlines two key elements of the Fundamental Attribution Error. (14:23) The Negative Social Proof. (19:00) Our expectations influence how we feel about what we experience: Shotton explains the Expectancy Theory. (23:47) In examining consumer behavior, Shotton was surprised to learn people are much more likely to make major life decisions when their age ends in the number 9. ‘9-enders,’ they’re called. (27:57) Shotton is drawn to “creative minds in action,” be they academics, authors, creatives, or people he follows on Twitter. (31:47) Shotton: “I think marketers massively overestimate how much people genuinely change.” (32:53)

36. 123: Dave Knox on innovation and disruption and what it means for companies both big and small
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Dave Knox, marketer, consultant, and author. His book, “Predicting the Turn: The High Stakes Game of Business Between Startups and Blue Chips,” was an Atticus Awards Grand Prix winner in 2017.

Knox has worked for Proctor & Gamble and was chief marketing officer at Rockfish. Now, he is co-founder of The Brandery, a startup accelerator, and co-founder and managing partner at Vine St. Ventures, a seed venture capital fund.

During his conversation with Alan, Knox pointed out one reason why a lot of big companies struggle with innovation: “A CEO used to be rewarded for the five-year vision of how they were going to grow the company,” says Knox. “And today they’re being measured whether they hit a quarterly number or not. And that’s a really dangerous kind of short-term thinking that I think is stifling innovation in a lot of different ways.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Knox talks about his background and why he wrote “Predicting the Turn.” (1:16) Innovation: A big business problem or widespread disruption opportunity? Short answer: It’s both. (4:47) A focus on quarterly earnings hampers the ability of big companies to innovate. (7:17) “Just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can’t move fast.” (9:32) Two watch-outs in prospective partnerships between big companies and startups. (11:53) In the world of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and startups, relationships are key. (19:38) Advice from a record company executive led to the way Knox’s career unfolded. (23:08) Fatherhood grounded Knox with a sense of balance. (25:26) Knox: “The future of marketing is going to be much more about total customer experience.” (29:03)

37. 122: Seth Godin: “I’m just a guy noticing things”
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This week’s “Marketing Today” features a very special guest. Alan talks with Seth Godin, author of 18 best-selling books, including “Free Prize Inside,” “Purple Cow,” and “The Dip.” And now he’s written a new one: “This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.

In his conversation with Alan, Godin discusses his new book and what it’s about: creating change and a modern way of thinking about marketing. Godin also touches on Nike and Colin Kaepernik, Brexit, and why, when trying to reach people, it’s important not to try to transform them or get them to admit they’re wrong, but simply to dance with them.

And while he is a best-selling author and thought leader, Godin considers himself, first and foremost, a teacher. “I decided a bunch of years ago that I was a teacher,” says Godin. “And I decided that the best, most comfortable way for me to teach would be to notice things and try to explain them. And, if I do it well, people will say, ‘Well, of course.’ And that’s the goal — to uncover the obvious in a way that once people see it, they can’t unsee it.”

You can find excerpts from Godin’s latest book and a video explaining why he wrote it here.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Godin on his new book: “Writing a book is painful. Publishing a book is even more painful.” (1:32) The tendency of marketers to race to the bottom. (3:22) Godin discusses the ways polarization manifests itself in society and how to think about it. (7:06) Focusing on what’s easy to measure instead of focusing on what’s important — Godin’s take on capitalism and culture. (14:29) “Stories are more powerful than proof.” (19:36) From aerospace servotronic controls to ski bindings: Godin discusses how a chain of events when he was 14 years old led to the way he still builds his projects today. (27:13) Godin is fueled by seeing what happens when his work falls into the right hands. (32:04) Godin’s response to people seeking the next big thing. (38:10)

38. 121: Kim Whitler believes marketers can provide a critical counterbalance on a company’s board
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This week on “Marketing Today,” we revisit one of our earlier episodes. In it, Alan talks with Kim Whitler, an assistant professor in the marketing department at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Prior to joining the world of academia, Whitler was head of marketing strategy at PetSmart and served as CMO for both Beazer Homes and David’s Bridal. She’s also written for Forbes on issues facing C-level marketing leaders today.

During the course of their discussion, they talk at length about research Whitler was conducting at the time, the results of which were recently published in the Journal of Marketing in an article titled, “When and How Board Members with Marketing Experience Facilitate Firm Growth.” They also touched on how it’s critical for a CMO to not only understand how their competencies should dovetail with their role, but also what their organization’s expectations are for them. And lastly, she made this comment on what marketing means for companies seeking to grow: “In a world where growth is more challenged, marketing becomes more important. Because marketers are the engine for growth in the company.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  What is marketing performance and how do you measure it? (2:12) Whitler discusses the impact marketers have at the board level. (4:06) Historically, marketers have been underrepresented on boards. (6:29) Whitler gives her take on how a CMO’s competencies should sync with their role. (9:51) On building a team: Whitler observes that some people’s work ethic doesn’t match their aspirations and expectations. (18:52) Whitler comments on where marketing is headed and what the CMO of the future will look like. (24:32) Whitler is fascinated with turnaround brands. (30:42)

39. 120: Julie Eaton of Corian Design: “Pivot and keep moving forward”
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Julie Eaton, vice president and general manager at Corian Design, a unit of DuPont. Eaton’s 23-career at DuPont started in manufacturing and technology before evolving into roles in product leadership, first with Kevlar and now in her current position with Corian Design.

During the course of her conversation with Alan, Eaton discussed the “new” DuPont, the challenges of launching a brand inside a larger company, and how she always strives to bring learning with her to every new role she takes on. And she talked about what it means for Corian Design to transition from product brand to master brand, “As we looked at where we were headed, we saw the possibility to be so much more,” said Eaton. “We are so proud to be a part of DuPont, which continues to stand for innovation and differentiated high-performing products that make a meaningful difference in the world.”

And she added this about Corian Design’s new direction, “Architects and designers and consumers create beautiful spaces that are healing, that are calm, that are tranquil, that are fun. And so our orientation is to be a part of that and facilitate that.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Eaton talks about the “new” DuPont and her 23-year career there. (1:14) Living at the intersection of strategy and execution. (4:06) Leaning into marketing: Eaton on her current role at Corian Design. (6:08) With the launch of Corian Design in 2017, there has been a conscious shift from product brand to master brand. (8:03) Corian Design and DuPont: “Creating a new capability inside the company.” (10:47) Piloting, testing, learning, building: Eaton on efforts in China and India. (12:50) Eaton is fueled by her faith, her family…and, oh yeah, running marathons. (18:21) Eaton on her admiration for Lauren Bush’s FEED, a company with products created to engage people in the fight against hunger. (19:17)


40. 119: Scott Mueller of Shopchology on where modern retail is headed   
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Scott Mueller, president at Shopchology, a shopper marketing and insights company. During the podcast, they discuss the “retail apocalypse” and challenge the popular notion that retail is dying, (hint: it’s not dying — it’s evolving), what modern retail means to both brands and retailers, and Mueller provides insight into the future of retail using real-world examples to make his point. They also talk about an article they collaborated on for Adweek that examines the ways brands can thrive in the rapidly evolving retail industry.

In talking about ways brands can gain traction in that rapidly evolving landscape, Mueller outlines how authenticity is key in connecting with shoppers. “Experience, storytelling — they’re everything. They’re so important.” says Mueller. “They’ve always been important, but they’re so crucial now — to getting that mix correct, that vibe correct. Defining and animating your story — who you are and why you deserve the time, the consideration, the dollars from that shopper. And that’s important for both brands and retailers.” 

Mueller goes on to add, “You can’t make it up. You can’t do it in a way that doesn’t have credibility, and it shouldn’t feel forced. It should feel natural.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Mueller worked on both the client side and agency side before focusing on shopper marketing. (1:21) Shifting sands: Mueller discusses how relationship between brands, retailers, and shoppers have changed over time and how shoppers are now the ones calling the shots. (3:09) Retail apocalypse? Mueller on the current state of retail. (5:12) Mueller’s take on the different ways pop-ups work and what it means for marketers and brands. (12:17) Mueller talks about the Nordstrom “service center” in Hollywood and other retail experiments. (17:48) How brands — big and small — should tap into the evolving retail landscape. (23:02) Getting married and having children have made Mueller a better marketer. (28:29) Mueller loves working with the American Underground in Durham. (31:31)

41. 118: John Thies, CEO & Co-founder of Email on Acid
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This is part of a 3-part series of episodes from “Marketing Today”.  Host Alan Hart interviews John Thies, the CEO of both Email on Acid and Cause for Awareness (a non-profit).  In this interview, Alan and John discuss how to design better email experiences (from the subscriber’s perspective).  They discuss common beginner mistakes, modern personalization options and other design considerations.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: 1:07 – Introducing John Thies and Email on Acid 3:27 – Discussing key elements of getting email “right” these days. 5:50 – Discussing common mistakes. 8:00 – What are other ways to personalize email? 10:29 – What advice would you give your younger self? 11:26 – Where do you go for information? 11:58 – What’s one thing you love/dispise? 3 Key Points: Email on Acid shows previews across many devices and clients so that designs can be tweaked for reliable delivery. Accessibility and designing emails that will be interpreted correctly in accessibility devices is very important for maximizing an email campaign’s reach. Beginners think (mistakenly) that email marketing is easy because sending basic emails is common. But, deliverability and telling a story are big challenges.

42. 117: Craig Evans, Chief Creative Officer at Wunderman Seattle
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This is part of a 3-part series of episodes from “Marketing Today”.  Host Alan Hart interviews Craig Evans, Chief Creative Officer at Wunderman.  In this interview, Alan and Craig discuss the challenges related to modern creative departments as they deal with marketing across multiple, ever-changing channels and platforms.  They also discuss how AI is changing the world of marketing and the boundaries of personalization.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: 1:12 – Introducing Craig Evans 1:30 – What skills are necessary for cross-channel experience design? 2:32 – How are changing technologies changing creative departments? 5:20 – Discussing AI and Wunderman's approach to it 8:20 – What are some email personalization tactics that work well? 9:43 – What advice would Craig give his younger self? 10:40 – What is your best (go-to) source of information today? 11:40 – What is one thing you love/hate? 3 Key Points: Modern creative departments need to bring together many, many skills – including data scientists, UX and developers (not just traditional designers). Creative ideas and strategies are more flexible and effective in the marketplace when they’re informed by multiple disciplines (not just traditional designers). Technologies (and their influence on marketing) are changing rapidly and it’s important to be an early-adopter and stay informed as technologies change.

43. 116: Molly Crawford, VP/Group Creative Director at Digitas
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This is part of a 3-part series of episodes from “Marketing Today”.  Host Alan Hart interviews Molly Crawford, VP and Creative Director at Digitas Atlanta.  In this interview, Alan and Molly discuss strategies for conveying messaging across multiple marketing channels (email, web, social, etc.).  They discuss how to utilize modern personalization elements and ways to balance consistent messaging with the features and audience types for different channels.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: 1:03 – Introducing Molly Crawford 1:20 – How do you define cross-channel design 2:00 – When is it done right? 2:45 – What considerations should creatives be thinking about? 4:20 – How do you balance consistency with each channel’s unique features? 5:35 – What are personalization tactics (in email) that work best? 6:35 – What are pitfalls to be aware of? 7:28 – What advice would you give your younger self? 8:35 – What’s your best (go-to) source of information? 9:20 – What do you love/despise? 3 Key Points: Cross-channel design is effective when customers have a consistent experience that drives engagement and builds loyalty. It is important to have a content strategy for different channels to define what each channel is doing to benefit the larger marketing message. Personalization is powerful, but we need to know where the line is between being helpful and invasive.

44. 115: Carrie Bienkowski of Peapod and Vic Drabicky of January Digital on Marketing Today
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan hosts two guests. Carrie Bienkowski is CMO with Peapod, the online grocery ordering and delivery service. Prior to her time with Peapod, Bienkowski was based in London as head of fashion for eBay, and, previous to that, she spent 10 years in marketing with Procter & Gamble. Vic Drabicky is the founder and CEO of January Digital, a digital marketing agency, consultancy, and analytics firm working with brands ranging from David’s Bridal to Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, and Vineyard Vines. 

During the course of their conversation with Alan, Bienkowski and Drabicky reveal the thinking behind the ways they operate and the ways their companies work together. And the dynamic nature of this in-tandem podcast episode leads to greater insight as the Bienkowski and Drabicky build on each other’s points.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: “Slightly older than the internet.” Bienkowski describes Peapod’s origin and evolution. (1:57) Bienkowski talks about competition and how Peapod positions itself in the category. (5:12) Drabicky on how January Digital’s strategy for Peapod helps it reach key customer segments. (9:40) Using highly targeted, highly specific media to make sure effectiveness outweighs cost. (11:40) Drabicky identifies trends: channels are getting expensive and consumers are getting more protective of their data. (13:25) Bienkowski: “If you’re not testing, you’re not really living.” (15:57) Bienkowski is a “modern nomad” — her peripatetic life has had an impact on the arc of her career. (27:14) Drabicky and Bienkowski weigh in on the future of marketing. (39:07)

45. 114: Dawn Colossi of FocusVision believes people are the key to a company’s success
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Dawn Colossi, the new chief marketing officer at FocusVision. Colossi is a transformative marketer who has experience in the tech and B2B spaces, and she has also spent time in public relations and publishing. During the podcast, Colossi and Alan discuss at length her recent LinkedIn article, “My First 90 Days as a CMO.”

In talking about her article, Colossi reveals her belief that it’s an organization’s people who power and deliver success. “If I’ve learned anything in my career and as a professional, it’s that the people are really the most important thing of what you do,” says Colossi. “And if you don’t have good, engaged, happy people, they’re not going to share your passion, and you’re never going to get where you’re going.”

Let Your Voice Be Heard

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions! 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: “Sometimes there’s a plan you’re not aware of.” Colossi traces the arc of her career. (1:37) From focus room setups to full-service research provider: Colossi discusses how FocusVision started and where it is today. (3:56) Colossi reveals what motivated her to write “My First 90 Days as a CMO.” (5:39) “It’s a lack of clarity around what the role actually is.” Colossi on the short tenures prevalent in the CMO ranks. (9:16) Understanding the fundamentals: Building a system to generate results over time. (19:45) Establishing customer trust sometimes means providing solutions without selling product. (26:09) Technology has defined and enabled Colossi’s career. (30:54)

46. 113: Chris Moloney of TaxSlayer blends the personal and professional to create marketing success
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In this episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan speaks with Chris Moloney, chief marketing officer at TaxSlayer. Prior to joining TaxSlayer, Moloney served as CMO at CAN Capital and CEO at Gremlin Social, and he has held key roles at brands like Wells Fargo Advisors, Scottrade, and Experian.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Moloney shares, among other things, how the original Apple Macintosh computer inspired a sensibility that led to his career in marketing and how the combination of his personal and business lives make him a more effective marketer.

He also talks about how challenger brands can thrive in competition with more established rivals. “If you are a challenger brand,” says Moloney, “take advantage of the fact that bigger companies sometimes move a lot slower and have more bureaucracy, and it takes them a while to make decisions. If you can be nimbler and faster, you can take advantage of market trends much more quickly.”

Let Your Voice Be Heard

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Moloney talks about his background, what led him to marketing, and his career path. (1:23) Moloney reveals three lessons he’s learned from his mentors. (8:03) Serving two markets well has led to transformational growth for TaxSlayer. (11:16) Advice for CMOs looking to drive growth: “You have to master the digital space first.” (11:56) Having fun in a category not known for fun: How TaxSlayer goes to market. (13:37) Moloney’s perspective on creating content that works: “It’s a balancing act.” (19:13) Moloney discusses how personal touchstones play an important role in his career. (22:58) Moloney on the future of marketing: “I think that marketing is going to have to evolve to really go down the path of understanding what emotions that you’re evoking in people in a digital world.” (28:46)

47. 112: For Alex Withers of InMotionNow, data is king — but he still believes in the importance of creative
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Alex Withers, chief sales and marketing officer for InMotionNow, a creative workflow software platform that powers creative and marketing collaboration in the cloud. Withers is a seasoned digital technology marketing executive with previous experience working at Pepsi, ESPN, United States Golf Association, Financial Times, Sageworks, and LexisNexis.

In his conversation with Alan, Withers discusses the value InMotionNow can bring to marketers, particularly its ability to minimize the amount of time creatives spend on administrative tasks, the importance of data, and his belief that marketers should not lose sight of the power of creativity. InMotionNow recently released the 2018 In-house Creative Management Report, which highlights key trends and challenges internal teams are experiencing. Withers addresses the trend we’re seeing of companies bringing creative work in-house and the reasoning behind it: “I think that CMOs are enjoying having creative teams in-house that understand the brand, live the brand day in and day out,” says Withers. “Therefore, they can ramp faster, turn projects quicker. With an outside agency, often they have to bounce between accounts and value props, whereas your in-house team lives and breathes the value prop every day.” 

Let Your Voice Be Heard

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions! 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Withers describes the InMotionNow offering and talks about his dual role with the company. (2:03) Withers on companies bringing creative work in-house: “It’s undeniable…It’s now a trend; it’s not a single data point.” (4:56) “You need data in to create a data argument out.” (9:27) Withers talks about the year of the analytical creative: “What we’re seeing is a shift toward creative leadership, at least, being more data-driven.” (11:01) “A perfect storm to create more.” Withers details the growing demand for creative content. (13:55) No wobbly wheels: Withers on the importance of the creative project intake. (17:20) Withers’ advice for CMOs tackling creative challenges: “Pay attention to the creative organization…If we don’t pay attention to the creative, we’re really losing the roots that got us into marketing in the first place” (24:44) “The best thing that ever happened to marketing was the internet. And the worst thing that ever happened to marketing was the internet.” (30:28)

Resources mentioned in Episode:

2018 In-house Creative Management Report by InMotionNow and InSource: https://bit.ly/2MQkAn9 Cora CGI, the CGI and AR technology to scale retail creative needs: https://cora.creativedrive.com/

48. 111: For Jascha Kaykas-Wolff at Mozilla, it’s a matter of trust
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, chief marketing officer at Mozilla. Previously, Kaykas-Wolff served as CMO at BitTorrent and Mindjet, and he is the co-host of his own podcast, “This is Your Life in Silicon Valley.”

In his conversation with Alan, Kaykas-Wolff touches on, among other things, trust, data and lean data practices, and what it means for a company to stand for something. Kaykas-Wolff points out that, in this age of data breaches and companies unwittingly sharing consumer information, lack of trust is at a crisis level. “In the U.S., trust is not just declining — it’s crashing,” says Kaykas-Wolff. “In the last year, we’ve had almost a 20 percent decrease in trust, in the popularly informed public, in the U.S. alone. This is a crisis of confidence that the general population has in businesses.” Kaykas-Wolff went on to add, “We’re not taking good care of our customers’ data, and that impacts the trust that they have in us.”


Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  Mozilla is more than just Firefox. It’s an organization “fiercely focused” on maintaining an open and accessible internet. (1:52) Mozilla’s products provide a unique way for them to go to market and allows them to develop a sophisticated brand strategy. (5:09) “Magic Growth Equations Don’t Exist.” (7:07) A wake-up call for marketers: Kaykas-Wolff talks about “Conscience Choosers,” and the economic impact they have. (13:45) Kaykas-Wolff on how trust drives business results. (18:22) Mozilla’s “privacy by design” encompasses four lean-data practices. (22:42) Marketing practices and media mix fuel Mozilla’s nimble performance. (35:50) Kaykas-Wolff wants the people around him to be happy and successful. (45:58) Let Your Voice Be Heard

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions! 

49. 110: Peter Horst discusses Marketing in the #FakeNews Era
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This week’s podcast marks an encore presentation, of sorts. Alan talks with Peter Horst, who previously appeared in Episode 25 of “Marketing Today.” In this conversation with Alan, Horst discusses his new book, “Marketing in the #FakeNews Era: New Rules for a New Reality of Tribalism, Activism, and Loss of Trust.” Horst is the former CMO at The Hershey Company, and he has also served in marketing leadership roles at Capital One, General Mills, and TD Ameritrade, among others. Presently, he finds himself writing — in addition to his book, he’s a Forbes contributor — as well as consulting, doing board advisory work, and engaging in public speaking.

In his conversation with Alan, Horst addresses the difficulties marketers face in the present-day climate of fractiousness and polarization. “This atmosphere is really the result of a perfect storm of a bunch of forces that are creating a really challenging environment for brands,” says Horst. “The country is deeply polarized across any number of spectrums, whether it’s political, socioeconomic, urban/rural, conservative/liberal — the middle has just fallen away. And along with that, there’s been this loss of trust.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Horst talks about the ”2.0 version” of his career. (1:31) Horst explains the impetus behind the writing of his new book. (2:18) Walking the walk: Horst on what brands should do before taking a stand. (7:10) From purpose to position: How brands should weigh risk versus relevance. (12:25) What the C-Suite should consider when it comes to taking a stand on issues. (18:41) Dealing with the “new normal.” (27:12) Two areas of concern for Horst: (1) The denigration of collaboration and compromise, and (2) The difficulty in identifying “the truth.” (29:04) A “liberal arts” perspective: Brands need to understand the world outside their category. (31:26) Let Your Voice Be Heard

“Marketing Today” has a new Q&A feature! Ever wish you could ask a question on the show? Well, now you can. Just click this link and ask your question — it’s that easy. And if we can, we’ll answer it on the next podcast. We’re looking forward to your questions!


50. 109: Marketing Today talks with Digital Darwinism author Tom Goodwin
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In this week’s “Marketing Today,” Alan spoke with Tom Goodwin, author of the book, “Digital Darwinism: Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Business Disruption.” Goodwin is also a sought-after speaker — addressing topics like the future of advertising, digital disruption, and business transformation — and he is head of innovation at Zenith.

In his conversation with Alan, Goodwin touches on how people rely on and attempt to harness new technologies in ways that complicate things but do not provide the radical transformation they are hoping for. “We have this kind of ongoing narrative about how chaotic things are and how the pace of change is worse than ever,” says Goodwin. “I think, sometimes, that means we focus more on the technologies than on our instincts, and we focus more on data than we do on ideas. And somehow we make life more complicated than it needs to be.”

Goodwin goes on to add, “I think we have this wonderful new toolkit, which gives us new possibilities. But, actually, many of the learnings that we’ve got from the past, many of the techniques and strategies that we’ve employed before, are largely still appropriate today.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Goodwin, since he isn’t a fan of print —"ink on dead trees,” he calls it — was reluctant to write a book, but he responded to the urging of others. (1:26) Goodwin on what’s not (2:54) Rethinking business models: “Every company needs to be honest about the situation they’re in.” (5:06) Goodwin discusses disruption and paradigm shifts. (10:03) Companies that rely on data are focused on the past but change comes from doing things never done before. (15:16) “Change actually looks a lot more messy, scrappy and uncomfortable than most companies are prepared to accept.” (17:28) Where Goodwin sees big opportunities for Digital Darwinism. (20:08) Trends that concern Goodwin: wealth inequality, AI changing people’s roles in the economy, and companies operating at lower profit margins. (21:30) Goodwin anticipates no radical departure in the future of marketing, but he would like to see marketers get better at using the tools they already have. (28:57)

51. 108: Jack Hollis relies on his competitive nature to deliver for Toyota 
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talked with Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager for the Toyota Division at Toyota North America. There he leads all sales, marketing, and market representation as well as guest experience and retention activities for Toyota regional sales offices and distributors. In addition, he retains a role as global marketing advisor for Toyota’s Olympic and Paralympic sponsorships. 

During the podcast, Hollis talked about the rapid change the automotive category, and Toyota in particular, is seeing and what it means to him. “Toyota is going from an automotive company to what I’m calling ‘the human movement company,’” says Hollis. “And so, the idea of what we want consumers to feel is that we are part of their life, to be part of whatever challenges they may have. And while we can’t necessarily say we’re going to solve every one, we can sure start — we can sure be at the start of that.”

Hollis goes on to add, “We want that relationship with individuals to tell us what is it that they could use, what is it they need, and help us challenge our team to solve problems.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Hollis spent time playing minor league baseball before finding a different career path. (1:41) Hollis discusses his 26-year career arc at Toyota and how its DNA and people are a “core match” for him. (3:13) Hollis talks about three important mentors in his career. (8:09) Hollis on the power of Toyota’s “Let’s Go Places” campaign. (12:46) “We define mobility as, ultimately, a human right to move.” (19:14) Toyota supports the Olympics and Paralympics (24:41) Three things that drive Hollis: his faith, his relationship with his family, and his competitive nature. (28:39) Hollis admires brands that jump into a category and disrupt it, but then continue to grow. (30:07)


52. 107: Zipporah Allen on Pizza Hut’s partnerships with its new agency and the NFL
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan spoke with Zipporah “Zip” Allen, who was named CMO of Pizza Hut in January of this year, after having been with the company since May of 2015. Prior to her time at Pizza Hut, Allen was at McDonald’s for eight years. Perhaps most notable in her tenure at McDonald’s was the three years she spent as national marketing manager for Australia.

Allen has been very active since assuming her role as CMO. Recently, she led Pizza Hut’s agency search, ultimately deciding to join forces with GSD&M in Austin, Texas. And as we head toward fall and the kickoff of another football season, Pizza Hut is kicking off another new partnership. This year, they will be the official pizza sponsor of the NFL. In talking about that new venture during the podcast, Allen noted the connection fans have with the NFL — and sports in general — and why it matters for Pizza Hut. “I think the ‘live’ nature of it,” says Allen, “and the fact that it’s just this authentic place where consumers are really passionate about it, are the two things that make sports really attractive, especially for a brand like ours.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: On the fast track: Allen traces her career path and talks about bringing iconic brands to life. (1:34) Allen places great importance on her time in Australia with McDonald’s, noting how it sparked great personal and professional growth. (6:29) “It’s a great time to be in the pizza category.” Allen discusses consumer expectations regarding pizza purveyors and Pizza Hut’s $130 million investment to become a more digitally enabled and delivery-focused organization. (8:26) “We’re all about the fans.” Allen on Pizza Hut being named the official pizza sponsor of the NFL. (11:48) In naming GSD&M as its agency of record, Allen believes Pizza Hut found an agency that brings the brand’s values to life. (15:48) Allen discusses the search that led to choosing GSD&M, and how, in a commoditized category, they are taking Pizza Hut to “a more emotional place.” (17:47) A deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by her parents and grandparents: Allen talks about her half African-American/half Filipino heritage. (23:12)

53. 106: Brad Wilson of LendingTree believes leadership comes down to commitment
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For this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan got up close and personal with Brad Wilson, who just happened to be visiting Durham, North Carolina. Wilson is the chief marketing officer at LendingTree, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, with headquarters just down the road in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wilson took over the marketing reins for LendingTree in July of 2017, and there he heads up brand strategy, marketing operations, and consumer engagement.

In the course of his discussion with Alan, Wilson talks in detail about team building and leadership. For him, it’s important to be there in the trenches. “You gotta show people you’re doing the work, as well,” says Wilson. But he also believes you have to know when to get out of the way and let your people do the work. “If you have the vision right,” says Wilson. “If you know what you’re trying to achieve — metrics, aspiration, what have you — and if you get the right people, there’s no need to micromanage.”

He goes on to add, “I like to let people have their own canvas and create. Ultimately, I don’t care how we get there.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Experiencing waves of change: Wilson traces the chronology of his career. (1:32) Wilson views his role as maintaining and accelerating growth — and using purpose and brand to enhance that growth. But also, importantly, to lead. (7:50) In talking about the diversification of LendingTree’s offerings, Wilson says, “Money is complex, and we’re just trying to simplify those decisions.” (10:04) Wilson doesn’t believe direct response and brand building are mutually exclusive. (12:39) Wilson uses Nutrisystem and LendingTree as examples in discussing acquisition and direct response. (18:17) Four ways Wilson is driving change at LendingTree. (22:14) How Wilson stays current and relevant: Twitter, The Wall Street Journal, and watching his kids consume media. (25:40) Wilson discusses his approach to culture and team building at LendingTree. (25:40)

54. 105: Jennifer Halloran on leading MassMutual’s comprehensive rebranding efforts
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan’s conversation is with Jennifer Halloran, head of brand and advertising at MassMutual. The beginning of Halloran’s tenure at MassMutual was marked by a complete rebranding effort across all aspects of the company, including the hiring of two new agencies of record. In a decision to go with a roster model, they chose Johannes Leonardo as their creative lead and named Giant Spoon to handle media responsibilities.

During the course of her conversation with Alan, Halloran talked about the process of hiring those two agencies as well as the campaigns and initiatives MassMutual has launched in the past year. In addition, Halloran touched on adopting and implementing a nimble approach to capitalize on big cultural moments through timely creative and the resulting media opportunities. “I think you really have to be fluid,” said Halloran.” You don’t buy a media plan that’s set for the year anymore — we call it a blueprint.” She went on to add, “You don’t set it in stone at the beginning of the year and say you’ve got it…we have to move with what’s happening with our customers, in culture, and in technology, and you’ve got to stay on top of it.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Halloran discusses her background, how she thought she’d end up in consulting but instead found herself focusing on one industry, and the monumental effort of rebranding MassMutual. (1:20) Halloran describes the complexity of launching MassMutual’s rebrand and refresh (6:26) Starting from the inside out — Halloran provides insight for fellow marketers faced with relaunching or rebranding a company. (10:01) “I didn’t want to make them guess.” Halloran on the very different kind of process MassMutual used when looking for an agency of record. (12:56) Halloran’s advice for others going through an agency search: “Go with your gut on what you know is going to be important.” (21:49) Halloran talks about MassMutual’s “Adopt a Runner” campaign for the New York City Marathon. (24:05) MassMutual’s “Unsung” campaign hinged on authenticity. (30:53) “That could be me.” MassMutual’s “Acts of Mutuality” was a multi-generational story that appealed to something in everyone. (41:26)


55. 104: Mark Barden of eatbigfish on challenger brands and the age of disruption
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Mark Barden, the San Francisco–based partner at eatbigfish — a marketing consultancy that coined the term “challenger brand” and that has helped clients like Audi, Sony PlayStation, Charles Schwab, and Callaway Golf transform their brands to achieve new levels of growth. Barden is also the author of “A Beautiful Constraint: How to Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It’s Everyone’s Business,” and he has contributed a chapter to the upcoming book, “Eat Your Greens,” which will be published by the Account Planning Group as part of their 50th anniversary celebration.

In the course of their discussion, Barden talks in great detail about the differences between challenger brands and disruptors, and he places them on a spectrum to better understand those differences. He also makes an observation about what challenger brands must do to succeed.

“It’s all about animating a group of people to do their best work,” says Barden. “And that comes down to being clear on what your ideology is, what problems you’re trying to fix, what wrongs you’re trying to right in the world on behalf of the consumer, the beer-drinking public, the cellphone-using public, the burger-eating public. You’re trying to right wrongs on their behalf. And getting clear on that is really powerful. And that’s what ideology does — it fuels the relentlessness that you need as a challenger.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Barden talks about how he got started in the challenger brand business and the chapter he contributed (“Why Challenger Brands Matter in the Age of Disruption”) to the book, “Eat Your Greens,” which will be published next month by the Account Planning Group. (1:38) Barden on the difference between challenger brands and disruptors, the use of a spectrum analysis to better understand these brands, and how one defines a true challenger brand. (6:57) Barden explains how his views diverge from those of Byron Sharp. He also talks about the notoriety of the Scottish CPG brand, BrewDog, and how they used fame to overcome small budgets in achieving growth and success. (17:28) Barden makes a point about the importance of ideology (and how it’s similar to purpose). (26:03) Barden more fully explains the spectrum of challenger brands citing two examples: Southwest Airlines and Warby Parker. (30:41) Barden provides four tips for becoming a successful challenger brand. (40:11) Three brands Barden finds fascinating: Impossible Foods, Twitch, and American Giant. (46:36) In answer to the question, “What is the future of brand-building in the age of Amazon?” Barden observes that brands will have to find a way around Amazon while being baked into it. (52:20)

56. 103: Brand instinct and futureproofing: Valerie Nguyen of Wolf & Wilhelmine and Margaret Quan of eBay
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This week’s “Marketing Today” podcast finds Alan moderating a panel at the recent Brand Marketing Summit in San Francisco, a conference that brings together some of the brightest marketers from the world’s biggest brands to talk about the future of marketing. The panel discussion Alan led, “Creating Work that Stands the Test of Time: How to Futureproof Your Brand in a Constantly Evolving Landscape,” featured Margaret Quan, director of customer marketing strategy at eBay, and Valerie Nguyen, partner and co-head of strategy at Wolf & Wilhelmine in New York.

During the panel, Nguyen and Quan talked about brands charting courses as the world rapidly changes around them and what brands must do to remain relevant. The discussion ranged from Quan pointing out that “competition creates greatness in the marketplace,” to Nguyen discussing her belief that “empathy and vulnerability are both really important tools and practices to building great brand strategy.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Quan and Nguyen describe their career paths. (1:30)
Nguyen on the need to futureproof your brand: “The future’s really bright until you’re caught in its headlights.” (2:42)
A Kodak moment? Quan on an iconic brand that failed to pivot with the times. (5:54)
Building a brand strategy to scale up to the next level: Nguyen talks about Bonobos and how its brand instinct drove the company forward. (9:39)
Quan: “Take a stand when it’s the right thing to do and when it’s aligned with your brand and what it stands for.” (15:50)
Nguyen points out that executing on brand instinct entails hard work. (26:16)

57. 102: Marketing Today at the Brand Marketing Summit with Realtor.com, GoDaddy, Greg Norman and WP Engine
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This week finds Alan and “Marketing Today” on the road again. While at the Brand Marketing Summit in San Francisco, a conference that brings together some of the brightest marketers from the world’s biggest brands to talk about the future of marketing, Alan took the time to talk to four of the marketers in attendance. They discussed the challenges facing their brands, the evolution of the customer journey, the measures they take to amplify and strengthen their brands, and even things that they love and/or hate. Not only that, in a moment of self-discovery, Alan realizes that he is actually a millennial and not a member of Generation X. Who knew?

The four marketers Alan spoke with are:

Ali Osiecki, vice president of marketing at the Greg Norman Company Andrew Strickman, senior vice president of brand and marketing at realtor.com David Fossas, senior director of brand at WP Engine Smita Wadhawan, senior director of U.S. marketing at GoDaddy  Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Ali Osiecki on how the Greg Norman Company creates synergy among all of its brands, the new Shark Experience, and the ways the company tries to reach the customer before, during, and after their round of golf. She also reveals the best advice she ever received (“Listen more, talk less.”) and how she loves to geek out over Fortune’s “Term Sheet.” (1:14)

Andrew Strickman discusses his focus on increased growth and revenue for realtor.com while keeping his eye on brand awareness and brand clarity. He also touches on a key insight from the Brand Marketing Summit (Brands that are making a connection between their purpose and the consumer are going to win.), some great advice he believes in (“Tell great stories.”), and that while “hate is a strong word” he still definitely hates beets. (6:49) 

David Fossas describes what WP Engine is and how its speed-to-market offering allows it to break through in a cluttered market. He also discusses the importance for a brand to create an authentic voice that resonates with its audience, how he looks to the philosopher, Seneca, for inspiration, and how he hates that people don’t pick up the phone anymore. (12:27)

Smita Wadhawan talks about the tools GoDaddy offers to help small business owners and how it’s moving to become a customer-experience company with packaged solutions. She also discusses the test-and-learn approach that GoDaddy utilizes with its channel mix and their experiments in the social and digital space. Lastly, she believes that “whatever you do, just put your heart into it” are words to live by. (17:38)

58. 101: Loren Angelo and Audi believe in challenging the status quo
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 This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan spoke with Loren Angelo, vice president of marketing for Audi of America, where he leads marketing positioning and management of the Audi brand in the U.S. In addition, he manages advertising, experiential, CRM, social media, product integration, retail marketing, and research strategies for the carmaker.

In the course of their discussion, Angelo touched on the factors that led him to Audi, what it means to him to work for a challenger brand that believes in purpose-led marketing, and the thinking behind the relationships Audi fosters with its partners. 

And he cited principled authenticity and like-mindedness as being key in a brand’s relationship with its consumers. “Consumers look for brands that share their values,” said Angelo. “And if your values are consistent, and you’re willing to go out on a limb and defend those values and build a conversation around them, consumers are going to be, as the studies clearly show, more attracted to that brand.” Angelo went on to add, “So I believe that is going to be a key differentiator for brands that are willing to take the brave note and stick up for what they believe in.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Angelo’s work with automotive brands on the agency side led to his opportunity at Audi. (1:14) Angelo’s take on leading a challenger brand: “I think it’s one of the best opportunities in any marketer’s career.” (3:14) Audi actively promotes the growth of women in business, film and entertainment, with a focus on pay equity. (6:28) Angelo discusses his strong belief in purpose-led marketing. (9:20) An association with another challenger brand: Audi identified a cultural opportunity in forming its partnership with Major League Soccer. (12:00) Audi has always been a brand that wants to enhance and celebrate the driver’s experience while not turning its back on technology. (16:08) Angelo on Audi’s leadership and partnerships in the AI space. (21:00) A combination of personal tenacity and finding the right mentors have had a defining influence on Angelo’s career. (25:22)



Audi “Driver” Advertisement - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2B7U3WO9oA Audi & AFI Support More Female Directors - http://blog.afi.com/audi-and-afi-support-female-filmmakers-watch-video/ Audi - Defining Progress: Jamie Anderson film - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH-RVZg9aLw Audi “Daughter” Super Bowl Commercial 2017 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iksaFG6wqM

59. 100: Colin McConnell of Prudential Financial believes financial services is more about solving than selling
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Milestones are a big deal — wedding anniversaries, graduations, retirements, promotions…and 100 podcast episodes. That’s right, this week marks a major milestone for “Marketing Today” — we’re hitting the century mark with our 100th episode. We appreciate all the support and interest we’ve received for “Marketing Today,” and we look forward to many more episodes to come.

This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talked with Colin McConnell, senior vice president and chief brand officer for Prudential Financial. McConnell has enjoyed an extraordinary 27-year career there, rising from college recruiter to speech writer to being a member of the team that started the company’s in-house advertising agency, and then on to his present role leading that agency, which is one of the largest in the financial services category.

During the course of his conversation with Alan, McConnell touched on what he feels is a key focus for an effective in-house agency. “I don’t think that the best in-house advertising agency is really led by advertising strategy, it’s led by marketing strategy,” said McConnell. “And even though it’s still an in-house agency, and it has all those resources, it’s still a marketing department.”

And he talked further about how Prudential Financial positions itself in what is perceived as a low-engagement category: “Somehow, the category, when it comes to packaging products and services that do good for people, has tended to be sleepy,” said McConnell. “So we try to not do that. We try to take fresh angles on old ideas, we try to come up with fresh insights, and we always try to stretch creative into places that people haven’t seen before. And I think, so far, we’ve done a pretty good job.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  McConnell describes the long and the short of his 27-year career at Prudential Financial. (1:57)
“It’s been harder going than most people realized” — McConnell discusses how marcom integration has worked for Prudential Financial. (5:03)
“Media is the new creative” — McConnell talks about the Prudential Financial in-house agency and how, from the beginning, they in-sourced media planning and procurement, which is a huge advantage for them. (8:05)
“Digital is the air we breathe” — McConnell offers advice on building an in-house agency. (10:36)
McConnell on the possible pitfalls of an in-house agency: “Insularity is an issue you have to guard against.” (12:58)
“Financial services companies cut to the core of life” — McConnell takes issue with the notion that financial services is a low-engagement category. (16:52)
McConnell discusses the origin, history, core purpose, and reputation of Prudential Financial. (21:12)
McConnell’s belief that we are underprepared for the implications of AI: “The transformational power of AI in marketing is something we all need to pay very, very close attention to.” (31:17)

60. 99: Trish Mueller on listening, leadership, and developing talent
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In this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast, Alan talked with Trish Mueller, co-founder of Mueller Retail Consulting. Prior to starting her consultancy, Mueller was chief marketing officer at The Home Depot from 2011 to 2016, where she spearheaded the company’s shift from print and traditional media to omnichannel marketing. In 2015, Mueller earned the CMO Club’s CMO Marketing Innovation Award. In addition, she presently serves on the board of directors for Dave & Busters.

In the course of her discussion with Alan, Mueller talks about her career in marketing and how it led to a focus on leadership and the transformative “lightbulb” moment when she understood it was less about outworking people and more about developing talent. “Instead of doing the work, or leading the people doing the work, or even developing the strategy,” says Mueller. “It really was more about acquiring and then inspiring and empowering people to develop and drive the strategy themselves.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Retail in her blood: Mueller fell in love with selling stuff at an early age. (1:21)

The words that led Mueller to study leadership to empower her teams: “If you’re working too hard, you should look at your team.” (6:07)

Mueller on how curiosity and an avid reading habit have impacted her career: “Whenever I ran into trouble, I would always pick up a book.” (9:16)

Mueller’s “listening first” approach to mentoring other leaders. (16:18)

Spending time with your team outside the office will help you to better understand how to motivate them. (21:37) 

What to do when you believe in the people on your team, but management doesn’t. (36:54)

Mueller’s biggest challenge as a young CMO was making herself understood. (40:06)

The perils of the C-suite: “If you don’t do your job, someone will always be happy to do it for you.” (42:37) 

Mueller’s concerns about the impact of technology, privacy concerns, and the perils facing marketers in the future. (50:46)

61. 98: For Casey Hurbis of Quicken Loans, there’s no place like home
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In this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast, Alan talked with Casey Hurbis, chief marketing officer at Quicken Loans, the company that revolutionized the mortgage business and, in the process, grew to employ more than 17,000 team members in Detroit while bearing witness to the resurgence and revitalization of its hometown. Just recently, at the beginning of 2018, Quicken Loans became America’s largest lender.

Born and raised in Detroit himself, Hurbis has kept the home fires burning as a self-described “Detroit guy.” He attended college in nearby East Lansing at Michigan State University before starting an automotive marketing career, both on the agency side with BBDO Detroit (and later with BBDO Worldwide) and on the client side at Fiat Chrysler, before assuming the chief marketing role at Quicken just 13 months ago. Hurbis has spent his entire professional career in the city he calls home.

During the course of his conversation with Alan, Hurbis touched on how important joining forces with partners from the worlds of sports and Hollywood has been for Quicken Loans. “We have equity we can borrow from each other,” says Hurbis. “So we have a lot of these opportunities that are presented to us — I wish we could do them all. But finding the right ones, and being in contextually relevant space, is something we absolutely strive for.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Hurbis talks about his 25-year, Detroit-centric career: “It’s been epic.” (1:17)
Hurbis tells the story of Quicken Loans becoming America’s largest lender and using a Super Bowl spot to proclaim it. (5:57)
Working in the cultural space of brand tie-ins involving sports and Hollywood. (8:53)
Choosing brand partners: “We’ve got to make sure, when we do something, it’s authentic.” (13:34)
Quicken Loans’ in-house agency team gives them “the best of both worlds.” (15:01)
Quicken Loans is very intentional in the way they recruit talent. (17:53)
When he does turn to outside creative partners for creative jump balls, Hurbis is always pulling for his in-house team to win. (21:35)
Words from an early-career mentor that inspire Hurbis to this day: “Sometimes in life, babe, you’ve just got to kiss the chaos.” (24:44)


62. 97: Jeremy Wacksman feels right at home in helping people find theirs
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow Group, where he also oversees product management and strategy. Wacksman’s experience prior to joining Zillow includes leading marketing and product management for Xbox Live. He holds a B.S. in computer engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

In his conversation with Alan, Wacksman focused on data and the role it’s played in changing the housing market and how Zillow recognized the importance of it to connect with consumers. “It all goes back to bringing transparency to the housing market through access to data,” says Wacksman. “And using that as a tool to drive both awareness for our brands and trust for our brands by consumers.” He goes on to add, “If you go back to our mission, and our strategy from the very beginning, it’s about empowering consumers to make those decisions. And when you think about that, then data is a natural place to start.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: One commonality throughout Wacksman’s career has been a focus on the consumer. (1:41)
For Wacksman, similarities between engineering and marketing abound. (6:04)
Walksman discusses the thinking behind Zillow’s 3D Home product offering. (9:59)
The role and impact of data on the housing market. (12:36)
“What we really wanted to do was turn the lights on and show as much data as we could about every home.” — Wacksman explains the inspiration behind the founding of Zillow. (14:00)
Wacksman reveals methodologies Zillow uses to stay nimble and focused as they grow. (15:59)
Wacksman is passionate about unlocking consumer insights and removing roadblocks. (18:40)


63. 96: Jay Livingston’s career has gone to the dogs, and he is loving every minute of it 
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Jay Livingston, chief marketing officer at BARK, the company that created the immensely popular BarkBox, which led to its other endeavors: BarkShop and BarkRetail. 

Livingston joined BARK after a 20-year career at Bank of America, where he held senior leadership roles in every functional area of global marketing and strategy, from digital commerce, consumer/retail, and small business to commercial banking and brand management.

After a two-year “hiatus,” which found him immersed in angel investing as well as traveling and restoring automobiles, he is now the CMO at BARK, the wildly successful company that caters to dogs and their owners. BARK is everything Livingston was looking for as he reentered the realm of marketing: A company that was consumer-facing; produced a physical product; not only that, the product had to bring people joy; and, last but not least, the company had to be headquartered in New York. As Livingston relates in the course of his discussion with Alan, BARK has been all of that and more.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  From banking to barking: Livingston talks about his 20-year career at Bank of America, angel investing, and finding the right fit at BARK. (1:28)
Livingston: “We’re really all about making dogs happy. So whatever we can come up with that does that we will launch quickly and give it a shot.” (3:32)
BARK’s growth plan and the challenges of expansion. (6:04)
The difficulties of retail for a digital-first company. (7:49)
Livingston on not chasing growth: “You’ve got to stay true to who you are.” (11:36)
BARK and the magic of customer engagement. (14:31)
Livingston relates some of the best advice he ever received about investing in growth companies. (17:54)
Two things that fuel Livingston: (1) Being in NYC, surrounded by people at the top of their games. (2) The idea of creating something and seeing it grow.

64. 95: Brandon Rhoten on the time and patience it takes to build a brand
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This week in “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Brandon Rhoten, outgoing CMO at Papa John’s. Prior to his stint there, he spent almost six years at Wendy’s, where he was VP for Marketing, heading up advertising, social media, and digital marketing.

During the course of his conversation with Alan, he talks about the importance of establishing a brand voice to connect with consumers. “It sounds cliché,” says Rhoten, “but you’ve got to establish that voice first. Because that’s really what builds everything.” And he goes on to add, “You have to build out tools, and rules, and measurements to understand how you really are reaching and influencing someone and their behavior. And that takes some time.”

In the end, though, for Rhoten, the success of a brand hinges on the work: “You just have to be willing to believe in the work. If you’re a champion for the work, and for the people doing the work, eventually you win.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Rhoten talks about his experience and background, and, most importantly, how he learned to tell a brand story. (1:34) “We didn’t have a lucky moment, we were just ready for the moment.” — The story behind #NuggsForCarter. (5:28) Differentiating yourself in a category not known for differentiation. (13:12) Creating content worth consuming: “The future is moving to a place where the content has more inherent value.” (21:58) Rhoten on managing the customer experience across multiple contact points. (26:53) Advice for marketers seeking to be a change agent. (32:22) Swinging for the fences: The first time Rhoten stood up for work he loved affected his career more than anything else. (34:07) Rhoten on the future of marketing: “It’s less about who has the biggest bullhorn and it’s more about who has the best thing to say, who has the most interesting thing to say.” (40:13)


65. 94: Pras Michél unveils his vision for Blacture
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Pras Michél, who, as a founding member of Fugees, is a multi-platinum recording artist and Grammy winner, as well as a philanthropist, actor, producer, and entrepreneur. And now he stands on what is perhaps the biggest stage of his life — founder of Blacture, a technology platform designed to provide greater access and a voice for black culture, and to demonstrate and provide increased opportunities for the culture’s success.

In this wide-ranging, often philosophical, and uniquely insightful discussion, Pras speaks about his vision for Blacture, why he chose to launch it during the 2018 Super Bowl, and its focus on tech, health care, education, entertainment and entrepreneurship, as well as his belief in the message of inclusion inherent in Blacture. “Think of Blacture like a highway,” says Pras. “All Blacture is doing is adding an extra lane to just feed the world with the stories and voices of the people who have been feeling marginalized and been feeling like they can’t tell their stories.” He goes on to add, “It’s for everyone to enjoy, but now we’re focusing on the culture and their voices, so people can learn more.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Pras describes his vision for Blacture: what it is, the thinking behind it, and how he arrived at the name. (1:47) The Blacture Super Bowl commercial: “Simplicity was the way to go.” (6:14) Providing access and a voice: How Blacture will help the black community. (12:59) “A lot of brands understand that they have a diversity issue.” (21:28) Pras’ take on how brands can connect with black culture: “It’s about being authentic. It has to be real, whatever it is.” (25:19) Pras on his creative process: “A lot of it has to do with intuition, inspiration, and being a student.” (28:12) Pras says that Blacture is a way for him to give back. (31:45) Pras talks about his experience filming “Skid Row,” his strict upbringing, and his love for brands that push the envelope and have a consumer-first mentality. (33:14)

66. 93: Marketing Today at The CMO Club’s 2018 Spring Innovation & Inspiration Summit
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan takes his show on the road. He recently attended The CMO Club’s 2018 Spring Innovation & Inspiration Summit in Marina del Rey, California, a conference that brings together leading senior marketing executives for two days of peer learning, problem-solving breakout sessions, and main stage panels. While there, he found the time to have informal discussions with these six CMOs and heads of marketing: 

Nerissa Sardi — Vice President, Head of Marketing at Medici Chris Moloney — Chief Marketing Officer at TaxSlayer Steven Handmaker — Chief Marketing Officer at Assurance Matt Singer — Vice President of Marketing at Jobvite Alex Romanovich — Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer, USA at FiNC Stephanie Anderson — Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at AI Media Group

In talking with these six marketing minds, he discovered the challenges they face, insights they uncovered during the Summit, advice that has impacted their careers, their go-to sources for information, and things that they love and hate (or dislike intently). These lightning-round-style discussions make for bite-size marketing nuggets that are equal parts information and inspiration.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  Nerissa Sardi on keeping up with constant change, her realization that it’s often better not to ask permission, and why she’s not a fan of everyone thinking they’re a marketer. (1:33) Chris Moloney on the delicate balance of brand investment, his emphasis on hiring top talent, and how he loves it when marketing captures emotions and moments at the same level that rock music does. (6:35) Steven Handmaker on the challenge of maintaining focus on what’s going to make an impact, how Bruce Springsteen’s statement, “Nobody wins unless everyone wins,” has become his personal mantra, and his problem with people’s lack of enthusiasm. (11:48) Matt Singer on the importance of staying connected to consumers, his belief that marketing needs to reassert itself within product development cycles, and why he places a premium on authenticity. (17:07) Alex Romanovich on the challenge CMOs face in comprehending different technologies and applying them to their myriad responsibilities, the importance of peer communication, and his distaste for self-promotion. (20:49) Stephanie Anderson on the need for CMOs to prioritize, her belief that less is more, and why, for her, there’s still no better source of information than the print edition of The Wall Street Journal. (24:50)

To learn more about the CMO Club go to www.thecmoclub.com.

67. 92: Working in tandem: Jim Lyski and Shamim Mohammad of CarMax
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with two leaders from CarMax: CMO Jim Lyski and CIO Shamim Mohammad. During the course of their discussion, Lyski and Mohammad touch upon the similarities of their backgrounds and the way they utilize their differences to fuel the way they work together. The relationship between the two is well documented, and in the course of their discussion they talk about how CarMax utilizes Agile methodologies, their belief in the importance of cultural fit when recruiting and developing talent, and how their familiarity with each other’s role helps drive results for CarMax.

At the heart of their approach, and what they believe is a key factor in their success at CarMax, is the importance they place upon the customer experience: “When we are sitting around the table and discussing any initiative,” says Mohammad, “we always make a decision that’s going to favor the customer.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Lyski and Mohammad talk about the quantum leaps from where they grew up to their C-Suite presence today. (2:10) Lyski and Mohammad on how they resolve conflict. (6:30) How Agile methodologies work at CarMax — the organization and operation of their teams resemble the structure of an atom. (7:18) Customer experience needs to be deeply integrated into a company’s culture. (15:46) Advice for CMOs or CIOs faced with a turnaround situation. (18:51) Communication and trust are key in establishing a collaborative culture. (26:10) “The harder the problem, the more creative you have to be.” (32:33)
The future of marketing is now. (36:49)


68. 91: Change with the changing times: Joe Mandese on the past, present, and future of journalism, media, and marketing
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Joe Mandese, longtime editor in chief of MediaPost, which covers the advertising, technology, media and marketing industries, and founder of Bid/r, a direct-to-consumer-audience exchange fueled by a bidding engine that matches brands with consumers that want them. In his discussion with Alan, Mandese covers a myriad of topics ranging from Cambridge Analytica and privacy issues plaguing Facebook to why journalism is more important than ever and the reasons he founded Bid/r.

Mandese is thoughtful, insightful and astute in his assessment of the fragmented media landscape we navigate in today and the impact business and economic models have on it. “The disruptive nature of the media marketplace we’ve created today, and the economic models associated with it, are disrupting and displacing the very important sources of media for consumers, particularly journalism” says Mandese. “Business and economic models have a profound impact on our access to media, the media we consume, and who we are as human beings.” He goes on to add: “And if we don’t think about the economic outcomes of these things, we’re going to be in a perilous state as a species.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Mandese discusses his career covering marketing, media, and advertising for the past 39 years and the incredible industrial revolution and evolution he’s witnessed. (2:18)
The fragmentation and proliferation of choice: Mandese identifies the biggest challenges ahead for brand marketers and agencies. (6:30)
Mandese points out how tough it is for entrenched brands in a world of disruption (“It’s a superhuman task.”), and he relates an anecdote about fragmentation. (13:42)
Mandese provides his take on the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook story. (19:34)
Mandese talks about Bid/r, the concept behind it, and his belief that people should have self-sovereignty. (27:48)
How much is a consumer’s attention worth? (33:38)
Media, nutrition and ecology: How reading Marshall McLuhan and Rachel Carson in seventh grade shaped Mandese’s worldview. (44:07)
Mandese believes we will see a new golden age of marketing where brands that find better ways to create meaning for people’s lives will win. (55:06)

69. 90: Musical artists Magic Giant lift up their voices and transport their fans
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And now for something completely different…

This week’s episode of Marketing Today was recorded live before an audience and features conversation and performances from Magic Giant, a Los Angeles band that combines equal parts alternative, indie-folk, and pop with infectious spirit and passion to deliver magical, uplifting shows. The band came to Alan’s attention at, of all places, a CMO Club Summit in Santa Monica, and a friendship was formed on the common ground of connecting with people in powerful ways.

The band has been touring incessantly behind their debut album “In The Wind,” and they are appearing at festivals this spring and summer, including this month at Coachella — Billboard calls them a Top 10 Act to see there.

The case can be made that musicians are the original cause marketers, and Magic Giant certainly fits that mold. They have relationships with a cryptocurrency, greening organizations, and a nutrition bar, among others. And the thing tying them together with the brands in those categories is a common ethos. “Not every partnership is going to be the absolute perfect fit,” says Zambricki. “But I do think it has to be a company we believe in and share the same values with.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Magic Giant perform “Set On Fire,” a track from their debut album, “In The Wind.” (1:59) “Ostrich,” mangoes,” and “hope” — Magic Giant members (Austin Bisnow, Zambricki Li, and Zang) introduce themselves and some of their favorite words. (6:24) The missing ingredient: The band discusses how the band came together when Austin and Zambricki met Zang. (10:16) Magic Giant and their creative process: “It’s like a Venn diagram. When we all overlap, that’s the thing that resonates.” (16:34) Radio, music-streaming sites, licensing and touring: Magic Giant discuss how they get their music to the masses. (22:53) Magic Giant take questions from the audience and perform “Shake Me Up.” (26:24) Magic Giant members relate the powerful personal stories that led them to pursue a musical career. (38:06) Magic Giant perform “The Great Divide.” (45:49)

Get their NEW Acoustic Album today!

70. 89: For Molly Catalano of Five Guys Burgers and Fries, it’s all about a maniacal focus on customer experience
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This week in “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Molly Catalano, vice president of marketing and communications at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Catalano joined Five Guys over 13 years ago when the company had just 30 stores. Today, through sustained growth fueled by franchising, Five Guys has over 1,500 locations in 10 countries.

At the heart of the Five Guys success story is the importance they place on the customer experience, a flag planted by the founders, the Murrell family, from day one. It’s something the company — and Catalano — have never lost sight of. “The hardest part of my job is I don’t want to ruin that,” says Catalano. “I never want to do anything marketing-wise that takes away from the purity of the brand, which is that focus on the customer experience.”   

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  Catalano relates the Five Guys story — growing from a single store to an international presence. (1:38)
A marketing company that isn’t big on advertising: Catalano describes what marketing looks like at Five Guys. (5:19)
Catalano talks about the Five Guys in-store experience. (6:30)
The Five Guys Mystery Shopping Program has created buy-in across countries and franchises. (8:33)
A maniacal focus on the product and the experience. (11:13)
Catalano on the recent increase in marketing spend for Five Guys and their use of digital and social. (13:37)
Five Guys has found great success in implementing a franchisee task force to drive social and digital efforts. (17:27)

Catalano’s advice for other heads of marketing. (19:57)

71. 88: Marketo CTO Manoj Goyal talks marketing automation, sales acceleration, engagement platforms, and innovation
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In this episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Manoj Goyal, who joined Marketo as chief product officer in May of 2017 before assuming his present role there as chief technology officer just this year. In his role as CTO, he is responsible for engineering teams that oversee the Marketo engagement platform.

During his conversation with Alan, he touches on a wide range of topics, including the difficulty in implementing and driving innovation, which has played a major part in many stops in his career. “The best innovations I’ve seen are ones that simplify the experience,” says Goyal. “If you can’t use it in 10 to 15 minutes, if you can’t understand the value in a half hour or less, then it’s probably not a great innovation.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Goyal discusses his career and the path that led to Marketo. (1:35)
Goyal talks about being named to the Adweek 50 and Marketo’s partnership with Google. (4:00)
For Goyal, there are three distinct capabilities necessary in an engagement platform. (7:38)
“Digital marketing has given us some bad habits.” (12:08)
Goyal provides a (very) quick ICP primer — hint: it means Ideal Customer Profile — and discusses how marketers can align around and develop them. (18:19)
“How not to boil the ocean” — Goyal shares his perspective on AI. (25:33)
Goyal on the difficulty in implementing innovation. (29:37)

Goyal is intrigued by the role social and people-based networks are playing in shaping the next generation. (32:36)

72. 87: CMO Tom Klein on marketing automation and the utterly original brand personality of MailChimp
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Tom Klein, chief marketing officer at MailChimp, the world’s largest marketing automation platform. He worked at Nabisco and Chanel before landing at MailChimp, a company he long admired, and he is an authority on digital marketing, e-commerce, and brand marketing.

During the podcast, Klein talks about his views on the best use of marketing automation: “I see automation as doing the things automation is good at and, ideally, it’s opening a window for a marketing person to really put heart and soul into communication.” 

Later in his discussion with Alan, Klein touched on where he believes marketing is heading and where automation fits in. “What’s fascinating is, in many ways, everybody’s being turned into a marketer…all of marketing is being democratized,” says Klein. “I feel like marketing and communication is just going to keep getting better and better. And I think it’s up to us to take advantage of those capabilities of our customers, and meanwhile, on the marketing automation front, let the robots do the stuff that the robots are best at.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Klein on his background and how he ended up at MailChimp. (1:23) Klein seems to always finds himself at the intersection of marketing and technology: “Marketing, a lot of times, lives in the future.” (4:32) Klein describes his approach to marketing automation. (5:58) Klein’s natural curiosity enables him to move at the pace of change: “I’ve always been interested in what’s new.” (8:03) Klein on where MailChimp is headed as an emerging marketing platform. (11:00) Klein talks about staying true to the brand he inherited: “I had to keep it weird.” (16:20) Klein discusses MailChimp’s creative heritage and philosophy — “We lead with culture.” (24:29) Klein on the experiences that have shaped him: “I always find the most defining experiences are my failures.” (30:13)

73. 86: Raja Rajamannar and the evolution of Mastercard’s “Priceless” campaign
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and President, Healthcare Business at Mastercard. Rajamannar started his career at Asian Paints before moving over to the payment industry, holding numerous positions with Citi as well as two years spent as chairman and CEO of Diners Club of North America. He then spent time in the health care industry at Humana and WellPoint before assuming his current role at Mastercard.

Rajamannar and Alan spend a great deal of time discussing the incredible 20-year run and global impact of Mastercard’s “Priceless” campaign, which has cut across cultures, manifesting itself in 58 languages and 110 countries. Most recently, Rajamannar and his team shifted the focus of the campaign with its new iteration, “Start Something Priceless,” which launched at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Rajamannar also talks about the importance of brands being socially aware and standing for something at a time when consumers aren’t looking to simply buy something but to buy from a brand that shares their values and that they believe in. “Brands will now start becoming more and more socially aware, socially conscious, and try to do something good for society,” says Rajamannar. “Because that’s an expectation from consumers. It’s not only because it’s a good thing to do, it’s what consumers are demanding of their brands.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Rajamannar talks about his background and the career path that led him to Mastercard. (1:47)
Tracing the creation and evolution of Mastercard’s “Priceless” campaign. (5:34)
Tapping into a new cultural truth: Mastercard’s decision to move from enabling “Priceless” moments to inspiring “Priceless” movements. (12:06)
“Start Something Priceless” launches at the Grammy Awards. (13:26)
World Food Programme and Stand Up To Cancer: Rajamannar discusses the philanthropy of Mastercard’s Priceless Causes. (22:16)
“It’s not a passing trend.” — Rajamannar addresses the escalating use of ad-blocking technology. (25:28)
Rajamannar offers his advice for marketers stepping into a CMO role. (28:50)
Marketers need to understand both creativity and analytics. (35:38)

“At the end of the day, the market reality happens where the rubber meets the road, which is where sales happen.” (41:00)

74. 85: Susan Vobejda finds a home at The Trade Desk
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Susan Vobejda, chief marketing officer at The Trade Desk, the fastest-growing demand-side platform (DSP) agencies, aggregators, and their advertisers can use to manage their digital campaigns.

Vobejda’s career started in finance, but she quickly made the leap to advertising — confessing that advertising seemed so cool to her that she thought it was something she would do without getting paid — beginning at Leo Burnett as an account supervisor. From there, she moved on to stops at Gap Inc., Walmart, Bloomberg, and Tory Burch, among others, before landing in her current role at The Trade Desk.

During the course of her conversation with Alan, Vobejda touches on many topics, but perhaps most interesting was her discovery of just how special the people and culture at The Trade Desk are.

She and her team were in Ventura, California, for a planning session in December of 2017. While there, they were forced to flee from the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in modern California history. She relates how her team — with help from others at The Trade Desk via the company Slack — pulled together to find their way out of the affected area. She describes it as “a tribe in action,” and goes on to say, “It has bonded me to this group of people in a way that I could never have expected.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  Vobejda traces her career path from the world of finance to CMO of The Trade Desk: “A crazy spiderweb career.” (1:17)
Making a list: What led Vobejda to The Trade Desk. (3:34)
Vobejda on team building: Prioritize talent and build for succession. (8:15)
Vobejda: “Data and technology are tools for marketers that they can use in unprecedented ways to reach and engage customers.” (11:51)
Vobejda’s take on programmatic. (13:48)
Vobejda talks about an experience during her first three months at The Trade Desk — literally a trial by fire. (17:24)
“It’s all about the customer” — Vobejda examines the common truths across the industries she’s worked in. (22:24)

Vobejda’s leap from finance to advertising and the lesson it taught her: “You can make anything happen.” (23:39)

75. 84: Cory Treffiletti is always trying to be a better version of himself
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For this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Cory Treffiletti, CMO of Voicera, a technology company that has created an AI virtual assistant named Eva (Enterprise Voice Assistant). Eva can be invited to meetings and will listen and take notes as well as follow up on identified action items and decisions.

Previously in his career, Treffiletti was the head of marketing for the Oracle Data Cloud, SVP and CMO of BlueKai, and was co-founder of numerous startups. Treffiletti also writes a long-running column for MediaPost (every Wednesday for the past 18 years, without fail), one of which, “The Future of AI? Just Watch Your Kids,” he discusses with Alan.

During the podcast, Trefffiletti also talks about the importance of building teams that are driven by ideas, not egos. “You can set up any kind of culture, and process and incentives, and organizational structures you want,” says Treffiletti. “But the people that you have and their approach to business, and their balance of ego and humility, is going to define the way that business is grown.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Treffiletti discusses his background and career path. (1:34) Treffiletti draws distinctions between marketing strategies for startups and bigger companies. (2:58) “You should always be learning.” (6:10) Making sure the promise of the brand matches the experience of the brand. (11:07) Humility and authenticity go hand in hand. (13:12) Treffiletti on team building. (17:29) It’s OK to make mistakes, just not the same ones over and over again. (22:00)

The future of AI according to Teffiletti: Just watch your kids. (24:14)

76. 83: Carlos Mendez: "I thought this industry could use a little more math."
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks artificial intelligence, big data, and entrepreneurism with Carlos Mendez, the founder and CEO of Data Gran. After starting his career in advertising at JWT and then reviving an agency that had been owned by his family for 40 years, Mendez made another leap. With the knowledge gained from his career along with his educational background and entrepreneurial spirit, he decided to launch Data Gran, a company that is putting machine learning and AI into the hands of marketers.

For Mendez, it’s not so much that AI and big data are taking over marketing, it’s providing more efficiency and effectiveness with less waste. “We believe in something called AI augmentation,” says Mendez. “It is how we bring AI to work with people…we don’t want to replace people, we want to empower people with information so that they make better decisions.” He goes on to add, “We want to provide the tools so that we make people better.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  Mendez discusses how his education and experience led him on the path to founding Data Gran. (1:43) Mendez explains exactly what Data Gran does. (3:40) Making sure people and products are working together: Mendez on his role in working with a team of experts at Data Gran. (7:04) How Data Gran differentiates itself from its competitors in the AI space. (9:06) A business model aimed at helping small companies gain an edge. (10:09) Under the hood with AI, machine learning, and data analysis. (14:18) Getting objectives and goals to mesh. (17:51) Mendez on the challenges, and rewards, of entrepreneurism. (23:48) Mendez is driven by his desire to make an impact on society. (27:03)

Hear how Subway customer, Laura Paz, talks about the results of using Data Gran on Marketing Today.

77. 82: Adam Pierno finds his second act in the world of strategy
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Adam Pierno, chief strategy officer at Santy and the author of “Under Think It.” Pierno is a living, breathing example of invention and reinvention. He started on the creative side of advertising — where he was an art director and, ultimately, a creative director — before making the leap to strategy. And, when faced with a paucity of solid, comprehensive training materials for his strategy team at Santy, he wrote a book to fill the void.

In discussing his approach with the book, Pierno talks about his decision to steer away from what he calls the “jargonization of strategy” in an effort to communicate ideas powerfully and effectively. “Don’t use jargon. Use little words,” Pierno says. “People can get their heads around them. People can pick them up and do something else with them on their own…it sets people free. And that’s really what ‘Under Think It’ is all about, is how to give people your idea in a way that they can do something with it.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Pierno’s path from creative to strategy: A little bit of luck and a little bit of weird left turns. (1:20)
Pierno discusses the inspiration for his book, the ground it covers, and the research behind it. (5:35)
PowerPoint as a strategy tool: It doesn’t work; you have to give people something they can use. (18:47)
Beware the silos: Strategy is best when it’s woven through the fabric of an agency. (21:16)
How strategists should think about media. (24:20)
A tip for strategists: Express your hidden artist. (27:35)
For Pierno, seeing his dad change jobs — and thrive — made him realize that there are second acts in life. (28:49)
Pierno: “Brand awareness is going to make a big comeback.” (33:38)

78. 81: Allen Adamson and the challenge of a world that is spinning faster
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In this week’s “Marketing Today,” Alan talks to Allen Adamson, co-founder and managing partner of the marketing company, Metaforce. Adamson is also the author of four books, the latest of which is “Shift Ahead: How the Best Companies Stay Relevant in a Fast-Changing World.”

During his conversation with Alan, Adamson touches on a wide variety of topics. In addition to talking about the issue facing companies today that serves as the title of his book, he addresses the challenge of people’s resistance to change — though, intellectually, they know they should embrace it — and how it affects the companies they work for and lead. “The notion is familiar is comfortable,” says Adamson. “Yesterday is more comfortable than tomorrow. You have to go in with the mindset that human nature is resistant to change.”

He later weighs in on how a CMO can be an effective change agent for their company, something he refers to as “See and Seize.” In doing so, Adamson talks about the approach a successful CMO should employ: “The most successful ones need to be champions of what’s happening in the marketplace and help the organization evolve. And the most successful ones move fast.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Adamson describes the arc of his career, from agency life to working on the client side and in the world of branding. (1:47)
Adamson talks about his latest book and the nature of his collaboration with co-author, Joel Steckel. (4:42)
Adamson lists the convergence of factors contributing to the accelerating pace of change facing companies today. (6:59)
Cruise Control and The Gravitational Pull of Marty Crane’s Chair. (8:59)
What happens when companies play too much tennis and not enough golf. (11:50)
Adamson relates his version of the Kodak moment; it’s not a pretty picture. (15:34)
Adamson on his latest book: “It’s a business book for business leaders.” (22:19)

“What gets me up in the morning is a problem that isn’t easy.” (26:05)

79. 80: David Baldwin is “a creative guy with options”
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This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with David Baldwin, CEO of Baldwin&, an advertising, design and strategy company in Raleigh, North Carolina. Baldwin is also the CMO of Ponysaurus Brewing Company, a film producer and, most recently, an author. His book, “The Belief Economy — How to Give a Damn, Stop Selling, and Create Buy-in,” takes a look at the seismic shift occurring in the marketing landscape and how brands can reach the next generation of influencers.

During the course of the podcast, he offers his take on Millennials and iGen, who he sees as the key players in The Belief Economy, “We better figure out what they’re about, we better figure out how they’re wired, and we better figure out how to change the way we talk to them.” He goes on to add, “If you are being true to who you are, and you’re smart about getting aligned with the people out there who love that, I think you can win.”

As to why this book and why now, he says, “I’m a capitalist, man. The point of this book is to help people sell more stuff…It’s not about not selling stuff, and it’s not about not making money. It’s about doing all of that but also having a positive effect while you’re doing it.”

He drives home his point with a question: “If you have an opportunity to make the world work a little bit better, have a positive effect around the people that use your products — why wouldn’t you do that?” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Baldwin is many things: an author, a film producer, a brewery founder and an ad guy — but don’t call him a do-gooder. (1:24) Baldwin’s mother was a media director and he grew up around advertising: “I feel like I’ve been in advertising since I was 12.” (5:19) Baldwin discusses the impetus and thinking behind his book, “The Belief Economy.” (6:55) Three things brands need to thrive in The Belief Economy. (12:55) According to Baldwin, the popular take on Millennials is wrong — they’re not looking for a "participation trophy.” (16:11) “The reason social media was created was to connect human beings.” (20:25) Baldwin makes his case on the need for civility, particularly in America. (26:58)


Other resources mentioned: 

Art & Copy film - http://www.artandcopyfilm.org/ The Loving Story film - http://lovingfilm.com/ Troll Tax - https://trolltax.org/

80. 79: David Aaker on the power of stories and the fight for the soul of capitalism
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with David Aaker, who is widely recognized as the father of modern branding. He’s the vice chairman of Prophet, a global marketing and branding consultancy, and, in 2015, he was inducted into the American Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame. He’s written 16 books, and the most recent is “Creating Signature Stores: Strategic Messaging that Energizes, Persuades and Inspires.

In explaining his belief in the power of stories as a tool of persuasion, Aaker says, “Stories are so much better at changing perceptions and at changing attitudes and even in gaining attention than are facts.” He goes on to say, “That’s how stories persuade, they inhibit counterarguing, they attract attention, and they allow people to deduce their own conclusions.”

And, as Aaker explains, the stories companies create and live into provide meaning for their employees, too: “Employees are looking for meaning in their work, and they’re looking to be associated with an organization they respect and admire. So it’s really important for organizations to provide some kind of higher purpose. And to communicate that higher purpose, stories are a lot better than just assertions.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Aaker reveals the inspiration behind his latest book. (2:37)
Aaker cites Barclays as an example of why stories are so much better than facts. (5:01)
Aaker defines “signature stories” and how they are different from simple narratives. (7:24)
Drawing distinction between a signature story and a brand’s purpose. (8:56)
Signature stories should be intriguing, authentic and involving. (11:43)
“The big challenge is to get people to recognize the power of stories.” (15:53)
Aaker shares a signature story of his own. (17:55)

“We’re engaged in a fight for the soul of capitalism.” (20:37)

81. 78: Jose Aguilar of Nestlé believes in the importance of understanding both data and culture
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This week’s episode of "Marketing Today," finds Alan talking with Jose Aguilar, global brand management director for Nestlé Nutrition. Aguilar leads Nestlé's billion-dollar super premium infant formula category and also heads up innovation projects, geographic expansion, and renovation of the communications platform for the company. He is a true global executive who has led businesses the world over, from Europe and Asia to the United States and Latin America.

In talking about his experience as a global marketer, Aguilar voices his belief in the synergistic importance of a strong understanding of both data and culture. "You need a very deep understanding of the data that you have in front of you. And, actually, one of the key things a global marketer needs to bring to the table is an understanding of the local market."

Not surprisingly, coming from someone who places great importance on the emotional intelligence necessary when working with people of different cultures, Aguilar adds, "What I've learned is to be inclusive. I love to have teams that bring different perspectives to the table, that have different backgrounds — from many angles: economic, cultural and social." 

Highlights from this week’s "Marketing Today" podcast include: Aguilar discusses how the impact of early exposure to global marketing led to a career he fell in love with. (1:31)
The challenge of building global brands while remaining culturally relevant. (4:43)
Teams function better when global brand leaders are sensitive to the cultural differences that exist between different countries. (6:53)
Aguilar talks about his experience as a global executive and the perspective it has provided him. (12:45)
While Latin American brands are far from dominant on the global stage, Aguilar believes the emotional connections they establish with consumers could serve them well. (18:03)
"The center of power is moving east." — Aguilar voices his belief that economic power is tilting toward China and will provide a strong counterpoint to the U.S. and Europe. (22:16)

Aguilar believes effective marketers will find success by helping people make smarter, better decisions through organic storytelling. (30:51)

82. 77: Eric Asche’s greatest weapon in the battle against tobacco use: the truth
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Eric Asche, chief marketing and strategy officer for Truth Initiative, the largest nonprofit public health organization in the United States. Under Asche’s stewardship, the nonsmoking initiative “Truth” campaign has taken dead aim at Big Tobacco and was named by Ad Age as one of the Top 15 Ad Campaigns of the 21st Century.

During the course of the podcast, Asche touches on the difficulty in taking on the tobacco industry, which has a product that is legal and addictive and spends more on advertising in a day than Truth Initiative spends in a year: “We can’t solely rest on the moral high ground,” says Asche, “because that’s not the reason why individuals make this type of decision. And so, for us to have an impact on that buy-in behavior, to use a sort of marketing lens, we have to compete and understand how the tobacco industry is positioning themselves in the marketplace and the role the product is playing in the consumer’s life. And then, we have to compete with something that’s better. That’s really the challenge in front of us.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Asche talks about the path of his career and how he ended up at Truth Initiative. (1:37) “Zealous focus on the consumer” is a key factor in the “Truth” campaign’s success. (3:41) Asche discusses the use of marketing to get people to not do something. (6:10) The fact that people today are smoking less presents its own set of challenges for Truth Initiative. (9:02) Asche on the “Truth” campaign’s role in popular culture — “We need to reward the consumer for paying attention to us.” (11:58) Asche on partnering with authentic people and brands who share the same values. (15:04) Hear what Asche has to say about taking on the tobacco industry. (22:04) Asche is driven by the relentless pursuit of reaching the audience. (29:43)
The future of marketing: Asche has his eye on personalization of messaging and microadvertising. (33:38)

83. 76: Laura Paz champions the use of AI in Subway’s Latin American markets
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This week’s episode of “Marketing Today” finds Alan talking with Laura Paz, regional senior marketing manager for Subway, who is responsible for their Latin American market and its more than 4,000 shops.

In the course of her discussion with Alan, Paz made it clear that the future is now in regard to the use of technology, machine learning and, in particular, AI. “I think that right now, with the technology and everything shifting, we have to test everything,” offered Paz. “I think that technology is that opportunity…that could support all of our teams to achieve better performance.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Paz learned the value of preparation and perseverance. (1:33) Paz talks about the challenge of balancing motherhood and a family with a career. (2:41) Paz discusses Subway’s use of AI, how it works for them, and the success it has enjoyed. (6:15) Paz on the importance of overcoming skepticism regarding the use of AI. (12:13) While admiring big brands like Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever, Paz also looks to startups that offer valuable marketing lessons. (17:11) Paz believes smart data is the future. (19:16)

84. 75: Tom Fishburne: “Everything I know about marketing I’ve learned from drawing cartoons”
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Tom Fishburne, the founder of Marketoonist, a content marketing agency that employs cartoons to make its point, and the author of “Your Ad Ignored Here.” His work reaches several hundred thousand marketers every week, and Seth Godin calls him the David Ogilvy of cartooning.

In discussing his work, Fishburne says, “It’s fun for me, as someone who comes from both marketing and cartooning, to think about how cartoons can help solve marketing challenges.”

He goes on to add, “Cartoons can ultimately bring empathy to a topic that can otherwise be very technical. Use humor as a bit of a Trojan horse — you get people laughing at certain behaviors or pain points — and it opens up a window to then deliver a deeper message.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Fishburne’s decision to move to Prague on a whim cured his aversion to risk and changed his life. (1:36)
Fishburne describes his creative process. (3:31)
Fishburne reveals the impetus behind his new book, “Your Ad Ignored Here” (6:42)
The Jolly Green Giant and the disappearance of the captive audience. (8:27)
The Shiny New Thing Syndrome — aka The Squirrel Phenomenon. (11:45)
Fishburne finds humor in the friction of adapting. (19:22)
The cartoon approach to content marketing. (23:34)
Executive hoodies, anyone? Fishburne discusses his admiration for Betabrand (31:54)
The future of marketing makes Fishburne think of “Minority Report.” (34:48)

85. 74: The chips stack up nicely for Jennifer Saenz 
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan sits down with Jennifer Saenz, CMO at Frito-Lay. Saenz has a self-described “pretty meaty role” at Frito-Lay, where she oversees the full-portfolio of Frito-Lay brands, including long-term strategy of all the businesses, oversight of communications planning and creation and all creative work that’s done, oversight of the innovation pipeline and insights-capability building, and design and analytics.

During the podcast, she underscored the importance of asking the right consumer-centric question to optimize a company’s brand-building efforts. “You have to start with the consumer,” says Saenz. “You can’t really ask the question, ‘What does my brand want to accomplish?’ You actually really need to ask the question, ‘Where is my consumer and what do they need from me right now?’ And I think if you go in with that perspective first, you’re in a much better place to come up with an idea that adds value to their lives that they’re willing to listen to.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Saenz got her strong sense of curiosity and aptitude for lifelong learning from her mother. (1:32)

“I have, I think, the greatest role in the world.” — Saenz talks about her job as Frito-Lay CMO. (3:39) 

Saenz discusses her approach to driving the Frito-Lay brands. (5:37)

Saenz and The Spotted Cheetah. (7:28)

No Choice Doritos and the 2016 election. (11:32)

Saenz’s take on brand building. (15:22)

Storytelling and cultural engagement: Saenz looks at the future of marketing. (19:00)

86. 73: Augustine Fou believes programmatic advertising needs to clean up its act
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Augustine Fou, a digital marketing thought leader and cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher. In the course of his conversation with Alan, Fou speaks at great length about the damage rampant fraud is causing in the programmatic arena and how critical it is that industry begins to police itself in earnest to clean things up to provide solutions for a healthy, thriving digital marketing landscape.

In talking about ad fraud and programmatic as the culprit, Fou says, “It’s way bigger than anyone thinks it is, and that’s because the bad guys — who are the bot makers and the hackers — have really good technology. And their bots are able to avoid or basically get by our defenses, and most of our detection.”

But Fou does have hope: “If we can solve for fraud, and if we and eliminate fraud, the digital marketing industry is going to look very, very different a year from now — and years from now.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Fou talks about his background and the path of his career. (1:16)
Fou provides his perspective on rampant fraud in digital programmatic advertising. (4:06)
Digital programmatic advertising needs to clean house in order to survive in the long run. (10:09)
Where does responsibility lie for industry transparency? (20:55)
Fou believes the onus is on the buyers, too. (22:39)
The issues with reselling inventory. (28:27)
Fou examines the role of media agencies: “Their financial incentives are not aligned with transparency.” (36:16)
Accentuate the positive: Fou ends on a high note. (38:42)

87. 72: Alegra O’Hare: The brand genius behind Adidas Originals
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Alegra O’Hare, vice president of global brand communications for Adidas. O’Hare led the Adidas team in the creation of the “Original Is Never Finished” campaign that took home a Grand Prix at Cannes, and she was honored by Adweek in 2017 as a Brand Genius.

In the course of her conversation with Alan, O’Hare talks about the value of courage in leading a brand. “You have to embody and show it,” says O’Hare. “I think you really have to transmit it, be authentic and genuine about it — and be championing it. And be celebrating it when it’s successful.”

That isn’t to say O’Hare endorses a “fools rush in” approach when it comes to courage: “It’s not about taking risks for risk’s sake,” she adds. “It’s got to be part of the strategy, it’s got to be close to the values of the brand, it’s got to make business sense.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: O’Hare believes she was defined by both her parents’ career paths — businessperson and artist — to become the person she is today. (1:26)

The fuel for O’Hare’s fire: The pursuit of ideas and the desire to leave a legacy. (3:25)

O’Hare discusses her role at Adidas. (4:38)

Courage and practical risk-taking. (8:40)

The vision and creativity (and collaboration) behind the Adidas Originals brand. (10:43)

“Original Is Never Finished.” (12:14)

O’Hare lets us in on a campaign secret: The power is in the music coming first. (16:30)

O’Hare boils down how to achieve more in your brand-building efforts: Do less. (18:94)

Ethical, diverse, sustainable: Three elements that make brands inspirational. (22:59)

88. 71: Drew Neisser: Marketing’s renegade talks strategy, story, and courage
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This week’s episode of “Marketing Today” is a change of pace — a podcaster talking to a podcaster. Alan engages in a lively discussion with Drew Neisser, whose Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast has recently reached the 50-episode milestone. Neisser is also the founder and CEO of Renegade, an agency that focuses on helping CMOs develop their innovative and strategic thinking, and the author of “The CMO’s Periodic Table: A Renegade’s Guide to Marketing.” 

At the heart of Neisser’s marketing approach is a seemingly simple touchstone: strategy. “If the CMO doesn’t spend enough time on strategy, they’re not going to win,” says Neisser. “And if a CMO has a solid strategy and a big idea, they have an easier job.”

But Neisser also believes a marketer has to possess a certain bravery to succeed, especially at a time when their consumers are seeking brands that take a stand: “I’m in the business of giving CMOs the courage to have their brands mean something.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Neisser describes how Ivy League and film school rejections were the best things that ever happened to him. (2:24) 

Neisser: “I guess you could say I’m in the business of making the most out of difficult situations.” (4:54)

On Renegade: “We’re in the courage business.” (6:11)

Alan and Neisser talk about all-star CMOs. (7:44)

Alan and Neisser discuss the difficulties inherent in the CMO role. (12:18)

Neisser dishes on content marketing. (20:25)

“Story” — The most overused word in the business. (24:56)

The power of the shoebox — Neisser talks about brands he admires. (30:23)

89. 70: Bob Hoffman: The Ad Contrarian strikes again
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This week’s episode of “Marketing Today” is déjà vu all over again. Alan talks with Bob Hoffman, the first-ever return guest on the “Marketing Today” podcast. Hoffman, famously known as the Ad Contrarian, is an advertising veteran, best-selling author, and sought-after speaker and advisor. His latest book, “BadMen: How Advertising Went from a Minor Annoyance to a Major Menace,” provides Hoffman’s view on the state of online advertising.

Hoffman casts an unflinching eye on today’s marketers, and he doesn’t mince words in discussing what he sees as the inherent evil in today’s online marketing and the changes that are necessary: “We have to find a new model of online advertising that’s not based on tracking, that’s not based on surveillance and does not subvert our right to privacy.” He goes on to add, “We’ve turned the web into a nonstop marketing machine. And advertising used to be about imparting information, but now it’s equally about collecting information.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Hoffman explains how his family’s sense of humor and skepticism of authority shaped him. (1:38)

The need to get marketers to think more clearly and purposefully — and not adhere to the prevailing “wisdom.” (3:14)

Hoffman discusses the impetus behind his latest book. (5:16)

Hoffman calls for an end to tracking and surveillance marketing. (11:15)

“The ad industry, I think, is in the middle of a slow-motion nervous breakdown.” (15:52)

Hoffman’s take on the problems with consolidation. (20:23)

Hoffman on income inequality: “It’s all in the hands of category killers.” (23:46)

What Hoffman sees for the future of marketing: “I think it’s going to be totalitarianism. The marketing industry is going to know everything about us and it’s not going to be healthy.” (28:35)

90. 69: Davis Smith believes doing good and building a great business can go hand in hand
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Davis Smith, the founder and CEO of Cotopaxi, and outdoor gear company with a humanitarian mission at its core. It was his experience growing up and later serving missions in countries like the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Bolivia — where he witnessed extreme poverty firsthand — that planted the seeds for his career path, and the eventual founding of Cotopaxi.

In describing Cotopaxi, Smith says, “We’re a brand. We’re a brand that is about inspiring people to go out and do good. We’re a brand that believes that capitalism can be a force for good in the world. A brand that believes that businesses need to look beyond their bottom lines to try find ways they can impact their communities and people around the world.”

About his values-driven approach, Smith adds, “I’m still learning…but I think if all of us start making these efforts, man, what a wonderful world we’ll live in.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Smith talks about witnessing poverty in the Dominican Republic as a child and realizing he wasn’t any different than those kids, just luckier. (1:30) The story of Edgar and his shoe-shine kit: A memory that fuels Smith’s deep-seated feeling of responsibility. (2:52) Self-examination of his talents led Smith down the entrepreneurial path. (5:57) Doing good through the mechanism of business. (9:58) Smith believes in capitalism as a force for good, and yet he feels it can be incredibly destructive — to people and the planet. (12:34) Cotopaxi builds its do-good mission into every aspect of the brand. (14:47) “People who love the outdoors want to connect to something bigger than themselves. (18:20) Cotopaxi isn’t looking to steal share, they want to expand the category. (19:24) Smith describes Cotopaxi as a digitally native vertical brand. (24:26) Smith on the future of marketing: Brands will need to connect with consumers using offline experiences. (31:00)

91. 68: For Pearle Vision’s Douglas Zarkin, marketing is very much an art and a science
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Douglas Zarkin, who’s been vice president and CMO at Pearle Vision since 2012. Under Zarkin’s leadership, Pearle won Effies in the Health Care Services category in 2015 and 2016. And in 2017, Zarkin and his team took home a Silver Clio for Pearle’s “Small Moments” equity campaign.

During his conversation with Alan, Zarkin touches on his drive to make an impact on the trajectory of the companies he works for, the difference between the “need to haves” and the “nice to haves,” and that while he admires the transformative power of Apple, he wonders if they’ve started to drink their own Kool-Aid (there’s a marketing metaphor for you).

And despite the fact Amazon has a lot of retailers shaking in their boots, according to Zarkin, it’s the marketers willing to face that acid test who will succeed. “Amazon is not a retail killer,” says Zarkin. “What Amazon is, is basically a mirror that any brand that is doing a mediocre job meeting the emotional and rational needs of a consumer need to be looking at themselves through.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Zarkin at the crossroads: how he came to understand the power of truly applying yourself. (1:34)
It’s true, Zarkin was an Avon Lady. (3:29)
Zarkin notes, “Retail is not dead — bad retail is dead.” (5:22)
For Zarkin, it’s not that happy employees mean happy customers. It’s that valued employees mean valued customers. (6:53)
Zarkin talks about Pearle Vision’s Effie and Clio success. (8:55)
Geotargeting is effective and efficient. (10:42)
Zarkin on the right way to use digital and big data: “Data doesn’t make decisions.” (15:34)
Delivering the marketing narrative. (19:36)
Zarkin on his admiration for the NFL brand. (21:02)

92. 67: From the Smurfs to the Olympics to neuroscience, Horst Stipp has seen (and researched) it all
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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Horst Stipp. Presently, Stipp is the Executive Vice President of Research and Innovation: Global and Ad Effectiveness at the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). Prior to his time at ARF, Stipp enjoyed a 40-year career in consumer research for NBC, where his insatiable curiosity found him doing everything from finding ways to optimize the Smurfs to helping the network understand the broad appeal of the Olympics.

His years of experience have helped Stipp glean many insights from today’s fragmented media landscape, not the least of which is particularly pertinent in the way consumers today enjoy entertainment programming: “On the one hand, it makes it harder to reach a mass audience. But on the other hand, it also makes it easier to target specific audiences because now there are programs directed at smaller segments of the audience, and they can be targeted better.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Stipp discusses his 40+ years at NBC. (1:45)

Stipp explains the ABC’s of the ARF. (3:30)

Stipp’s take on the ever-evolving (and increasingly fragmented) media landscape. (5:22)

The art and science of media measurement. (11:21) 

“Narrow targeting on the cheap won’t grow your brand.” (15:54)

Everything old is new again. (19:48) 

Neuroscience in the marketing world: Deep insights, without filters, into the way consumers really feel. (21:30)

93. 66: Jonathan Cude and the value of fearlessness and resiliency
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For his “Marketing Today” podcast, Alan has interviewed people from across the country and around the world. In this episode, though, he talks with someone who works in the same building — McKinney Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Cude.

Cude got his start in advertising as a secretary at an Atlanta ad agency. Then, after a stop at portfolio school, he made his way to Portland and Wieden+Kennedy before arriving at McKinney. He’s been awarded just about every industry accolade while working on clients such as Nike, Diet Coke, Audi, and Samsung. In 2015, Adweek named him one of the 50 Vital Leaders in Tech, Media and Marketing.

For Cude, the two most important qualities for creatives to possess in advertising are fearlessness and resiliency. Talking about fearlessness, Cude says, “I do believe that the creative people in our industry are artists. But we don’t so much get paid for the artistry as we do the ability to withstand the critiquing and pulling apart of ‘our babies.’” As for resiliency, he goes on to add, “To me, being resilient as a creative in advertising is probably the single greatest determining factor in whether or not a person is going to be successful.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: From Washington, D.C. to Texas and the world beyond: Cude touches on the experiences that led him to a career in advertising. (1:31)
Let your fingers do the walking: Cude’s “colorful” first foray into advertising. (6:02)
“People care more about themselves than they care about brands.” (9:44)
“Creativity…is probably the single greatest differentiator in advertising and marketing.” (12:56)
Cude talks about how modern culture and the fragmentation of our media landscape affect the way he pays attention to brands. (22:57)
Cude’s take on the future of marketing: A hyper-personalized world where no two people experience an ad the same way. (26:08)


94. 65: For Lincoln Bjorkman, it’s always about what’s next
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Lincoln Bjorkman is the global chief creative officer for Wunderman — a network that has more than 170 offices in over 60 countries. During the course of his conversation with Alan Hart, he discusses the challenges, opportunities and constant change inherent in leading over 2,000 creatives worldwide. And he talks at length about the impact of the digital transformation on the creative role: “It’s now the air we breathe,” says Bjorkman. “If you want to be a successful creative…you have to change and grow and learn all the time. You cannot ever be set in your ways — you have to master new tools and new disciplines.”

And he believes the future of marketing is about creatives constantly challenging themselves and raising the bar. “The changes are going to be profound…I don’t want marketing to go away. And I want agencies to add a lot of value. It (marketing) will only do that if we have someone saying, ‘That’s great. What’s next? Let’s do more. Let’s make it better.’”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: “A little bit of everything all the time.” — Bjorkman describes his role as global CCO of Wunderman. (1:06)

Wunderman’s mantra: “Creatively Driven. Data Inspired.” Bjorkman talks about the power behind these two short, simple sentences. (3:01)

Achieving wantedness: Removing friction to create better engagement and better results in customer experience. (8:55)

Bjorkman’s view on the creative craft: “Everything has changed.” (11:18)

Collision: Bjorkman explains the tools and methodology Wunderman uses to keep up with the speed and complexity of today’s creative world.” (13:36)
  The “unexpected hack” — What Bjorkman admires in brands and movements. (26:15)

The future of marketing: “Nothing is safe.” (29:25)

95. 64: For Paul Smith, it’s all about people, culture and authenticity
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Paul Smith is the CMO for Tangram, a Los Angeles-based company that designs and creates well-considered, efficient and effective workplaces with the core belief that collaboration and a people-focused approach are the fuel for innovation.

During this podcast, Smith talks about what he believes are the keys for success: authenticity and being true to a company’s culture. Both of which, for him, go hand in hand.

“More and more brands are culture based,” says Smith. “They’re a direct reflection of who we hire, how we work, and who we want to recruit. So, when you build your space, it’s not just about putting your colors on the wall…it’s about creating an environment that enables your people to live and breathe the message and the mission of your organization — and making sure you’re authentically living the brand and culture you’re trying to promote.”

And he touches on something that has defined his approach and fuels him to this day: “The constant desire to keep learning, to keep experimenting, but to do it in such a way that doesn’t become a financial burden for an organization.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

A shift from look and feel to a human focus: Smith discusses the role of design in a company’s goals. (1:37)

From logos, fonts and colors to a company’s space: Brand authenticity through the physical experience. (4:22)

Interior design: Smith talks about managing stakeholders when designing a space. (8:39)

Marketing and B2B companies: A two-tiered approach. (10:50)

Smith provides insight on the importance of balance in the CMO role. (13:17)
  A brand Smith admires: The arc of authenticity that runs through everything Patagonia does. (17:31)

96. 63: Byron Sharp tells us what branding is all about
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This is the third and final installment of Alan’s back-to-school podcast master class in marketing. This week, his conversation is with Byron Sharp, professor of marketing science at the University of South Australia. There, he is also director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, the world’s largest research institute studying marketing. 

Sharp’s book, “How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know,” first published in 2011, continues to grow in popularity with marketers and academicians alike. And in this podcast, he and Alan discuss many aspects of the book in detail, including all things brand: from brand growth to brand building and brand loyalty. Their conversation is far ranging, with Sharp touching on such topics as the scientific revolution — “It’s a wonderful thing, but it’s still got a long way to go.” — and the future of marketing — “The future belongs to the thinking marketers, rather than just the doers.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: The reluctant academic: Sharp traces his path to marketing. (1:19)

Sharp reveals the genesis of his book, “How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know.” (3:40) 

Does Sharp believe in brand loyalty? — Spoiler alert: Yes. (5:57)

Build and refresh: Sometimes brands just need a nudge. (11:56)
  Building memory structures that link to the product. (16:54)
  Don’t pull that lever: Price promotions are fool’s gold. (24:38)
  The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and evidence-based marketing. (34:16)
  “Don’t take anyone’s word” — Sharp discusses the scientific revolution. (40:32)

97. 62: Kevin Lane Keller always wants to be rigorous and relevant
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This is the second installment of Alan’s back-to-school podcast master class in marketing. He’s been providing great insight through his conversations with some of the greatest academic minds in the discipline. Today, his conversation is with Kevin Lane Keller. Keller is the E.B. Osborn professor of marketing at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Considered to be one of the best business school professors today, he’s the author of “Strategic Brand Management,” which is referred to by many as the “branding bible,” and he is co-author of the classic textbook, “Marketing Management.”

Keller’s passion for marketing comes through in many of the observations he makes during the podcast, and two aspects of that passion are empathy and curiosity. Growing up, he developed that empathy, which, for him, boils down to “being able to really understand how other people think.” And his curiosity bleeds through when he talks about marketing itself: “If you love marketing, there’s always something happening that you want to think about.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Consumer psychology, a competitive nature, and delivering value: Keller enumerates three of the things that attracted him to the discipline of marketing. (1:34)

“Painting a picture in the minds of consumers about your brand.” (3:13)

The role of purpose in building a brand today. (9:20)

“Five Things I Know About Marketing” — Keller articulates his views on brands. (13:50)

Keller discusses the challenges of brand architecture. (26:30)

Keller keeps his eye on “hall of fame” brands: From P&G and AmEx to Google and Amazon to Uber and Warby Parker. (33:50)

“The future of marketing is still going to be an art and a science.” (35:59)

98. 61: Philip Kotler: Marketing’s old guard keeps a constant eye on the future
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Over the next three weeks, Alan takes us back to school with a podcast master class in marketing. To do this, he’ll be talking to some of the greatest academic minds in the discipline. And today his conversation is with Philip Kotler. Considered by many as both “The Marketing Guru” and “The Most Influential Marketer of All Time,” Kotler discusses just a few of the many books he’s written on marketing, from “Marketing Management” (now in its 15th edition) to his most recent effort, “Confronting Capitalism.”

In speaking about “Confronting Capitalism,” Kotler touches on the danger he foresees in the growing inequality of income that forces many to live paycheck to paycheck and rely on going into debt to purchase the things they need to survive: “There is such high indebtedness of the working class, and that is going to be fatal to the economy.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Kotler talks about why he chose marketing as his profession. (2:26)
From a foundational idea to the social impact of marketing to branding: Kotler looks back on the last 50 years. (5:12)
“I wanted a thinner book.” — Kotler discusses “Marketing 4.0.” (9:14)
What’s in a name? No matter what you call it, the role of the CMO is critical to growth. (13:27)
“Opportunity identification is everyone’s job.” (16:59)
“Confronting Capitalism” — Kotler talks about the thinking behind his latest book. (20:18)
Seeking fresh answers to big problems. (27:33)
Anticipating disruption: Big companies should be the attacker of themselves. (30:50)

99. 60: Bill Blubaugh and the brand you suck — that doesn’t suck
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As part of an ongoing series of conversations with 2017 Effie-winning marketers, Alan Hart talks with Bill Blubaugh, senior brand director of sweets and refreshments at The Hershey Company. In this podcast, they discuss the Jolly Rancher brand and its “A New Media Model to Transform a Brand that Sucks” campaign.

In his conversation with Hart, Blubaugh talked about how effective marketing is more than hitting your marks and checking off boxes, it has to connect viscerally. “You have to market to consumers in a way that motivates them,” said Blubaugh. “Because just showing up is only part of the game.” 

The campaign was personal in a lot of ways for Blubaugh, especially in the way it’s impacted his career. “Looking back 18 months after the campaign, it was really kind of a career-defining moment,” said Blubaugh. “For me, now, I feel like these brave new channels, this brave new media model is really not that difficult and not that different, it just requires a different set of skills.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Jolly Rancher, the brand you suck. (1:06)

A decision to go where the consumer is. (1:57)

Personalized response: One-on-ones with the Fruit Gang. (4:25)

Driving the brand in real time. (7:02)

“Marketing effectiveness, to me, is just really about motivating people.” (8:14)

Blubaugh keeps his eye on brands that have stood the test of time. (11:20)

Turning brands over to consumers. (13:55)

100. 59: Bill Beck loves working for an iconic brand that cares
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As part of an ongoing series of conversations with 2017 Effie-winning marketers, Alan Hart talks with Bill Beck, vice president of brand marketing at Whirlpool. In this podcast, they discuss the “Care Counts” campaign.

In his conversation with Hart, Beck touches on the factors that combined to create Whirlpool’s successful “Care Counts” campaign, but he also talked about the thrill of working on the well-known brands of the Whirlpool family: “These are iconic brands, and you get to work with them and do really, really neat things…whether it’s product innovations or new ways to talk about it in-market, it’s a lot of fun.”

Beck also analyzed both sides of the coin in talking about what he views as one of the biggest challenges and opportunities for marketers today: big data. “Big data is one of the coolest and scariest things out there,” says Beck. “As our world becomes more connected, there’s just a ton of data out there. And we as marketers really have a responsibility to understand how we use that in a way that doesn’t turn off the consumer but also helps us become effective, and at the same time build brands.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Beck talks about the genesis of Whirlpool’s “Care Counts” campaign. (0:53)

Whirlpool’s campaign partners made the idea even bigger. (5:27) 

“You gotta feel it in your gut.” (7:10)

Beck’s career has been defined by great mentors. (9:25)

Beck always keeps an eye on Disney — “They’ve evolved while staying true to who they are.” (11:30)

Beck’s take on big data. (12:52)

101. 58: Angela Gusse finds the right flavor for Pop-Tarts
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As part of an ongoing series of conversations with 2017 Effie-winning marketers, I spoke with Angela Gusse, marketing director for Pop-Tarts at The Kellogg Company. In this podcast, we discuss the “Pop-Tarts Soda-Mazing” campaign.

During the conversation, Gusse talks about her definition of marketing success, which she breaks down quite simply: “For me, marketing is effective when it helps you sell more product, that’s fundamentally what we’re trying to do.” But, as with most things, there’s more to it than that. And, for Gusse, that means a brand also has to overcome barriers prevalent in today’s fragmented marketing universe: “Our message has to be interesting and relevant enough to break through the clutter.” 

In the midst of that clutter, Gusse sees great opportunity, especially in creating ways for consumers to connect with brands they love. “The opportunity for us is to figure out how to advertise in way that breaks through but doesn’t feel intrusive,” says Gusse. “I think when you can authentically interact with an experience, consumers love that so much more.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Gusse discusses a campaign created to surprise teens with disruptive content that mixes it up. (1:36)

Creating flavor in different ways: Gusse reveals the big decisions that were key to the campaign’s success. (3:27)

A leap of faith: “It’s a little bit of data and a little bit of trust.” (6:01)

The passion of Pop-Tarts fans: “When they love something, they become your biggest advocates.” (7:01)

Gusse talks about the excitement of seeing work in-market: “It’s just really amazing to see the fruit of your labor — live and in person.” (12:33)

Living at the speed of marketing: Three-year plans in a six-month world. (18:53)

102. 57: Welcome back, Colonel: George Felix and the revival of the KFC brand
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As part of an ongoing series of conversations with 2017 Effie-winning marketers, Alan Hart talks with George Felix, director of brand communications at KFC. In this podcast, they discuss KFC’s “The Return of Colonel Sanders” campaign.

Felix describes the North Star of the campaign as a return to what the brand stood for when it was great: Finger lickin’ good chicken, red-and-white buckets and the Colonel himself — whether it’s the Extra Crispy Colonel or the Colonel intent on launching chicken sandwiches into space.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Felix has played a part in the renaissance of a brand. He discusses his work on the Old Spice “Smell Like a Man” campaign and how what he learned there about decision making played a defining role in his career: “You need to have conviction. You need to trust your instincts — trust your gut. There’s not always a silver bullet or a number that’s going to answer your question.”


Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:


Felix talks about the return of the Colonel: “When the brand was at its best, he was front and center. (1:01) Admitting the brand needed to change course. (2:42) “No one person can take the place of Colonel Sanders.” Keeping it unexpected and fresh with multiple actors playing the Colonel. (3:54)  The power of iconic brand elements. (4:55) Marketing effectiveness: “Sales overnight and brand over time…it’s a tension and a balance.” (8:12) Nike and Shinola: Two brands Felix keeps his eye on. (12:13) Felix believes in a novel approach to marketing — literally. (13:24) Felix’s take on the future of marketing: A continuation of breaking out of the mold — on the customer’s terms. (14:53)

103. 56: Jeff Wurtzel unwraps Extra Gum’s winning campaign
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As part of an ongoing series of conversations with 2017 Effie-winning marketers, Alan Hart talks with Jeff Wurtzel, senior brand manager at Mars/Wrigley, who oversees the Extra Gum brand. They discuss Extra Gum’s “Unwrapping A Love Story” campaign — everything from the key insight, music choice, and the steps and surprises Wurtzel’s team faced along the way.

In the course of the interview, Wurtzel identifies two elements that are critical to the success of a brand: The ability to entertain and an eye ever-focused on the future. Speaking about brands, Wurtzel says: “There are so many ways they can entertain and reach and inform…and the opportunity to connect is huge. When you do it right, you can be so highly effective.” 

As for his eye on the future, Wurtzel opines, “I think the marketplace (consumers) will reward the companies that have the smartest vision and mission, and level of transparency…and I think that consumers, with the power that they have, will continue to ask for it.”


Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: You have to give to get: Wurtzel discusses the key insight of the “Unwrapping A Love Story” campaign. (1:33) Moving at the speed of success: “Unwrapping A Love Story” was a high-velocity super smash hit. (4:07) The authenticity of the campaign propelled the effort. (5:02) The proverbial sweet spot: A universal insight that appealed to everyone. (7:04) Two elements in an effective marketing mix: Impact in the marketplace and emotional connection with consumers. (8:43) Growing up, Wurtzel learned how to treat people the right way — with respect. (10:06) That’s entertainment! Wurtzel identifies the biggest opportunity for marketers today. (13:03)

104. 55: Kristina Duncan and the reinvention of a cultural icon
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As part of an ongoing series of conversations with 2017 Effie-winning marketers, Alan Hart talks with Kristina Duncan who, as vice president for global marketing communications at Mattel, oversees all global branding, advertising, retail merchandising and digital creative for the Barbie brand.

Duncan and Hart discuss the “Imagine the Possibilities” campaign, an effort that aimed to accomplish two objectives for the Barbie brand: Drive business and change perception. In doing this they had to orchestrate a seismic shift to reintroduce and recommunicate the brand to consumers. The campaign lived into its purpose using this succinct statement as a guide: “The brand exists to inspire and nurture the limitless potential in all girls.” You can witness the delight the campaign delivered here.

Duncan also identifies and discusses the key trait responsible for her success — she’s the ultimate collaborator: “I’ve always seen myself as someone who loves to be a great partner and loves to partner with great creatives and smart people,” said Duncan. “That sort of idea of the ultimate collaboration is when I’ve seen the most success and when I’ve had the most fun in my career.”


Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Duncan discusses the perceptions the brand faced: Barbie was not considered a great modern role model. To many, she stood for perfection, materialism, and unrealistic body image. (1:39) The key insight: When girls are playing with the Barbie doll, they are imagining everything they can be in the future. (2:41)  Aligning on a purpose: “We just knew it was our moment.” (5:10) A new way of working: Creating a movement versus just an ad. (8:56) This campaign created global relevance — across cultures — for Barbie. (10:40) Duncan identifies brands she admires: She looks at brands that do things she wants to do well and brands that reinvent their categories. (15:47) Duncan: “We want to make sure we are a mirror to the world around us.” (17:07) Marketers face a world of blurred lines when communicating with consumers. (19:23)

105. 54: Julie Hoffmann: the quintessential data-driven marketer
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As Adobe’s head of travel and hospitality strategy, Julie Hoffmann leaves no stone — and certainly no piece of data — unturned. After spending 18 years in the Las Vegas trenches working for the likes of MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, Hoffmann now spends her time at Adobe elevating brands like Marriott, Southwest and Hyatt.

Hoffmann possesses an unswerving belief in the power of data. It’s that belief, combined with a journey she took to Texas as an 8-year-old and a thirst for innovation, that informs her unique marketing acumen.

In this podcast, she talks about accompanying her father to Austin, Texas, where he was developing rehabilitation programs for the blind, helping them to navigate in a sighted world to improve their life. Their shared journey shaped the way she works today, causing her to filter her actions through this lens: “How do you make someone’s life better? How do you make the world better?”

And Hoffmann’s take on how brands need to evolve also serves as something of a modus operandi for her: “Part of innovation is looking at what customers want and then envisioning what they can’t even imagine.”


Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:


Hoffmann discusses her role at Adobe. (1:23) “The era of experience is here.” (2:36) Hoffmann highlights four major themes of the digital landscape. (4:55) Hoffmann discusses emerging tech: Voice-enabled search nears the tipping point. (5:43) Listening and sharing: Data paves the way to a smoother — and more personalized — customer journey. (7:44) Neuroscience and the future: The correct answer always is “anything is possible.” (14:26) Two simple observations on the future of marketing: (1) Process, people and roles have to evolve and (2) We have to allow marketers to become marketers again. (21:24)

106. 53: Ryan Davis goes big with Overwatch
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As part of an ongoing series of conversations with 2017 Effie-winning marketers, Alan Hart talks with Ryan Davis, global marketing communications director for Overwatch, a first-person shooter game developed by Blizzard Entertainment.

In this podcast, Davis discusses the thinking behind the launch of Overwatch, the critically acclaimed and commercially successful game that debuted in May of last year. For the main focus of their marketing, Davis and Blizzard went over the top, creating 15-foot-tall action figures, complete with packaging, to promote the game.

While thinking big, Davis also believes in the power of the relationships Blizzard builds with their players and fans. After all, they share a mindset: “We’re all gamers. Everybody’s really enthusiastic about doing stuff that we really think is cool and the players will love.” He goes on to add, “We’re building a relationship with our players and with our fans that we want to be long lasting. We want to be really genuine with them, listen to them and collaborate with them.”


Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  Above the noise: Making a big impression in a fragmented media landscape. (2:05) Seeding the market: Getting gamers pumped and finding evangelists. (7:45) It’s a matter of trust: Creating higher-level engagement for marketing effectiveness. (11:49)  Working with Mr. T Is bound to define your career in some way. (13:08) Davis believes in building relationships that pave the way for long-haul success. (15:25) Peering into the evolving crystal ball: Davis’ take on the future of marketing. (16:45)

107. 52: Pete Carter at P&G believes in the power of an idea
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As part of an ongoing series of conversations with 2017 Effie-winning marketers, Alan Hart talks with Pete Carter who, as marketing director at Procter & Gamble, heads up the Pantene business.

Carter talks in detail about Pantene’s “#DadDo” campaign. The 2016 campaign was unveiled, somewhat unconventionally, leading up to and during Super Bowl 50 (the league eschewed the use of a Roman numerals that year to highlight the game’s golden anniversary). The campaign utilized a series of how-to videos and in-store activations before culminating in a 30-second spot that did not air during the game. Carter describes it as a Super Bowl spot without the Super Bowl buy.

One aspect of the campaign Carter touches on is that they knew they had a powerful idea but were faced with logistical challenges in getting it in front of people during the advertising industry’s highest-profile extravaganza. Ultimately, Carter and Pantene went for it. Carter summed up how they arrived at their decision: “You know what? We’re going to do this…we’re just going to find a different way.”

They did find a way, and it paid off big. The “#DadDo” campaign took home a 2017 Effie.


Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: A natural fit: An overview of Pantene’s “#DadDo” campaign. (1:53) Basing decisions on judgment, not data. (8:57) Carter defines marketing effectiveness: “When the consumer chooses our brand in preference to others. In other words: purchase.” (10:51) “Getting people to turn toward our brand.” (14:11) “I love creative people, and the way they think,” says Carter. (17:07) An ongoing marketing challenge: “We have been susceptible to the shiny, new object.” (22:55)

108. 51: A brand leader with a conscience: Kathleen Dunlop of Vaseline
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Kathleen Dunlop is global marketing director for the Unilever brand, Vaseline. In this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast, she talks about “The Vaseline Healing Project,” a social-mission initiative created and developed in collaboration with BBH and the nonprofit organization, Direct Relief. That effort was recognized with a 2017 Effie Award in the Personal Care category. 

In her discussion with Alan Hart, she also touches on experiences that have shaped her, particularly her mission to Jordan as part of “The Vaseline Healing Project,” and how efforts there were “literally helping people get back on their feet.” And she talks about brands connecting with consumers through purposeful storytelling with a conscience: “The most powerful stories today, the ones that seem to be connecting the most with the people who buy our products, are the ones about purpose, the ones that take a stand…If you don’t take a stand, and people can be indifferent to you, you will find you have no followers.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Dunlop discusses the key insight for “The Vaseline Healing Project.” (0:33) The delight in having a product that can help people in difficult circumstances. (4:14) Finding the right partners: The team behind “The Vaseline Healing Project.” (6:24) Marketing effectiveness: Communicating a brand’s purpose with a relevant story to drive business. (8:56) Dunlop’s formula for success: “Be curious and say yes.” (11:42) A challenge facing marketers: The danger is trying to be everything to all people and ending up not being special to anyone. (19:07)

109. 50: Hungry for a startup: Mike Senackerib wants to bring joy to healthy
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When it comes to CPG, Mike Senackerib’s marketing career has literally run the gamut from soup to nuts. After getting his start working on the Cool Whip brand, he worked on numerous soups and snack brands for Kraft General Foods, Campbell’s Soup, and Nabisco. Later, he took a spin as CMO at Hertz before returning to Campbell’s as their CMO. 

But now he’s made the leap: a startup. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Farm&Oven, a maker of bakery bites that are packed with two servings of vegetables and a daily dose of probiotics. Senackerib is counting on his partner, Kay Allison, and his expertise as a marketer and food innovator to spell (healthy) snack success.

Senackerib believes it’s “a really great time for startups,” especially for foods considered to be healthy, fresh and artisanal. And while he sees “problem solving as fun,” he recognizes that sometimes “the problem is you have to have a solution.” But like all optimistic entrepreneurs, he loves the challenge: “You do have to hustle…and do a lot of networking to find the right connections. The good news is there are a lot of good people out there, and they recommend other good people.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Senackerib’s career path: From a classic CPG foundation to startup. (1:33) Why a startup? The timing — and the taste — was right. (4:30) Senackerib discusses Farm&Oven’s e-commerce strategy. (11:01) Prioritizing in life and business — Putting the most energy behind the biggest ideas. (19:30)  Ownership: The ultimate expression of building a business. (21:53) Senackerib believes the future of marketing can be found at the intersection of personalization and automation. (26:03)

110. 49: The Onion’s Head of Marketing Joe Fullman: Playing it for laughs — seriously
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Joe Fullman has taken a self-described “eclectic” route to become head of marketing for The Onion and its other properties, including ClickHole and The A.V. Club, and overseeing other enterprises like the Onion Reach Network and Onion Labs. But perhaps most interestingly, it was his failure to get a job selling children’s shoes that led to him where he is today.

In talking about the success of The Onion, Fullman makes the ironic point that while humor is critical — obviously — there’s more to it than that: “I think that humor is definitely the thing that has made The Onion name successful for the past 30 years. But, really, more than humor, even, it’s consistency,” says Fullman. He goes on to add, “We can really innovate when it comes to content without having to change the format too quickly. It’s essentially a really conservative institution, from a creative standpoint, because there are formats that we’ve had since the early days of print that are still going strong — formats of jokes, formats of features. I think that the ability to iterate, sometimes for decades, on a single format has been something that’s super valuable.”

But, just to be clear, The Onion is really, really funny.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Fullman discusses The Onion and its properties. (2:50) “Let’s go wild with ideas.” — Fullman talks about Onion Labs. (7:15) The Onion makes bigger bets in content marketing. (12:44) Fullman breaks down content marketing. (18:56) Allowing for experimentation (and failure) at a modest scale: Be (sort of) unafraid. (24:56) Fullman’s defining moment: If the shoe (store) doesn’t fit, try advertising. (28:46) Serving the institution of The Onion. (31:35) Programmatic creative: It’s promising and terrifying — and probably boring. (37:48)

111. 48: It’s all about the climb: Marketing VP Craig Rowley takes REI higher
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When Craig Rowley moved over to REI after 25 years on the agency side at creative shops like Carmichael Lynch, Borders Perrin Norrander, and Saatchi & Saatchi, he was already pretty familiar with them — he credits classes he took at REI with helping him summit Mount Rainier.

For him, REI is the perfect fit: a purpose-driven brand that isn’t all about the transaction. “Any company that taps into what people are passionate about in a brand: Is there a higher purpose that they stand for? Are they good corporate citizens? Do they treat their employees well? All these things matter,” says Rowley. He goes on to add: “There’s a tension in that. You’re kind of forcing people to make a choice or take a side. And when you do that sort of thing, I think it gets you noticed and kind of burns you into people’s souls.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: Rowley talks about creating an agency vibe within a client culture. (3:24) Building brands today: “It’s not just about selling stuff.” (5:28) Purpose-built branding: “It’s not for the faint of heart.” (8:09) Rowley’s take on the experience economy: “People are moving away from buying stuff to buying experiences.” (18:51) “Any brand can have a purpose that is meaningful and matters.” (24:39) How brands win: Sharing values to create customer loyalty. (28:25)

112. 47: 12 years and counting: Aon CMO Phil Clement is on a long run
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Phil Clement is the global CMO for Aon, the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource solutions. He’s a rare breed: he’s been CMO at Aon for more than 12 years — a position with an average tenure of only 23 months. He attributes his longevity to utilizing a consultant’s approach in getting people to buy in on ideas and projects and understanding that, as CMO, you are a member of the C-suite team — you can’t have a strategy that is divorced or disconnected from the company vision and team alignment.

One key for Clement in leading branding efforts on a global scale is to let the "local jazz" come through when interpreting the "sheet music" of the brand instead of strictly adhering to brand standards: "The essence of brands translates, but it won’t always translate in the same exact manner." 

He also believes listening is critical in understanding the operational differences among cultures. "You can’t spend enough time listening…and the bigger you get, the more important it gets." He goes on to caution, "And unfortunately, it becomes more tempting not to [listen], because it just takes so much time."

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: A shelf life with no expiration date? Clement’s 12-year run as CMO is nothing short of amazing. (1:35)

It’s a pretty big deal: Communicating the essence of a global brand across languages and cultures. (7:39) 

Organizing effective marketing: Clement discusses the geography of Aon’s marketing offering. (14:42)

Embracing fluidity in your marketing objectives: “It’s a great thing to get comfortable with.” (17:02)

What’s that on your shirt? The sports marketing story of Manchester United and Aon. (21:03)

Mergers and acquisitions: An underestimated part of marketing mixes. (27:56)

The future of marketing will be more about problem solving: “As your mix changes, as your needs change, so will your solutions.” (35:57)

113. One from the vault: A discussion with Assurance’s Stephen Handmaker
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From time to time, we’ll be taking a step back to revisit some of our more interesting “Marketing Today” conversations. In this podcast, we hear from Steven Handmaker, CMO for Assurance, one of the largest independent insurance brokerages in the U.S.   

Handmaker provides interesting and insightful takes on company culture, technology, and talent. And for him, culture is paramount: “It’s all about engaged employees,” he says. He believes engaged employees are immersed and understand their roles, and, more importantly, they understand how their roles lead to company success.

An avowed Bruce Springsteen fan (he quotes him on his LinkedIn page, after all), he brings a little bit of rock and roll to Assurance, too.

“We do have a certain vibe here,” says Handmaker. ”It’s a bit of a modern, pop culture, rock star-oriented vibe, which isn’t normal for insurance, but that’s how we do it.” He goes on to add, “We behave that way, we look that way…and it’s just an energetic thing that happens here.” 

Maybe, just maybe, The Boss would like working at Assurance.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

The CMO and company culture. (1:36)

Handmaker’s take on marketing focus: “One eye in the house, one eye out of the house.” (5:41)

Handmaker discusses the state of B2B marketing: “It’s about the buyer’s journey.” (6:51)

The role of technology and Handmaker’s approach: “The world isn’t spinning backwards.” (10:55)

Team building: “Talent’s the never-ending challenge.” (16:22)

The future of marketing: “It’s freaky, and it’s scary out there.” (23:28)


114. 46: Clay Hausmann: The CMO stays in the picture
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Clay Hausmann is the CMO for Aktana, a San Francisco-based company that uses data-driven insights to support life-science sales and marketing teams in providing physicians with the information they need. 

Of great interest is Hausmann’s marketing approach, which employs screenplay-writing concepts and methodologies to more effectively tell brand stories and develop brand strategies. It’s an approach that is almost startling in its organic effectiveness and the impact it can have on a brand. This led him to found Treatment which conducts workshops in the approach.

Not surprisingly, Hausmann is convinced he’s got the right idea: “I believe in what I’m doing. Personally, I believe in what these tools and this approach can do to make the marketing experience, the marketing profession better and more genuine for everybody involved.” He goes on to add, “The customer or the consumer really want a relationship with the brand, rather than a transaction with the brand. And the way that you build a relationship is through these story methods rather than a sell sheet.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Applying the rules and techniques of screenwriting to marketing. (4:28) The PowerPoint Rebellion: Ditching the deck for a one-page treatment. (8:05) The notion of genre: Providing context for a greater understanding of a brand. (9:52) Using story structure to identify a brand’s totally unique strength. (12:44) Brand characteristics: Being truthful to what your company is or what it can be. (19:03) Crawling from the wreckage: Hausmann talks about a life-defining moment. (21:50) The future of marketing is the story — not the sell sheet. (30:41)

115. 45: CMO Josh London is a marketer without borders
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Josh London is the chief marketing officer for IDG, the world’s largest tech media, data, and marketing services provider. In this podcast, he discusses what it takes to unify the brand for a worldwide company that reaches tech audiences in 97 countries, what he learned at an early internet startup in the ‘90s as well as during his time studying in Italy, and how authenticity is key when building a brand.

And he has this to say about marketing in a modern world: “When you’re devising a marketing strategy, especially on a global basis, it’s very exciting. We’re now living in a borderless world where customers travel across brands and across geographic borders. And a marketer wants to reach them wherever they can find them.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:  London’s career path: How a literature major learned what was possible through technology. (1:12) IDG — From house of brands to a united brand offering: Presenting clarity to the marketplace. (3:04) Creating a holding company with a brand approach. (5:57) Developing a culture where everyone is “singing from the same song sheet.” (8:59) London’s natural curiosity has taken him down a career path that’s “not straight down the middle.” (18:57) The future of marketing: “It all comes back to data.” (22:44)

116. 44: Jeff Meisel of the U.S. Census Bureau knows what counts
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It makes all the sense in the world that U.S. Census Bureau CMO Jeff Meisel hails from the American heartland, part of a rural community of ranchers and farmers who count on being counted. More than that, Meisel exhibits a genuine affinity for and attachment to not only our country but data science, too. Which makes him a natural for his role as marketer-in-chief for the Census Bureau.

Meisel started his career in the private sector before heading to the government side as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow at the U.S. Census Bureau. That led to a short stint at the U.S. Department of Commerce before he found his way back to the Census Bureau and his current role of CMO. 

In this podcast, Meisel ranges far and wide, discussing the modern age of the Census Bureau — which will use online gathering of data as a primary channel for the first time in 2020 — while also delivering a mini history lesson on Herman Hollerith’s development of early machines that presaged the computer industry and helped modernize the way the census was tabulated in 1890.

All that said, for Meisel, on an elemental level, his role is all about making things more accessible and “helping people who need the data get to it quicker.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Meisel is on a mission to deliver better services for our government. (3:27) 

The Census Bureau and its strong culture of innovation. (7:20)

Making data easier to use in today’s “app economy.” (8:55)

From data scientists to rock-and-rollers: How people are using census data today. (10:17) 

The U.S. Census Bureau: Increasing data accessibility in the face of daunting scale. (16:06)

Meisel discusses the census from a customer acquisition perspective. (19:04)

Meisel speaks up for the USA brand — and smaller brands, too. (25:14)

117. 43: Mark Ritson tells the truth — the highly entertaining truth
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Mark Ritson is an adjunct professor at the Melbourne Business School in Australia, a columnist for Marketing Week, and a brand expert who has served as consultant for brands ranging from PepsiCo, Subaru, and Johnson & Johnson to Sephora, De Beers, and Donna Karan.

In this podcast, Ritson discusses the decision by Adidas to pursue a digital-only strategy with their advertising, his take on programmatic advertising (not a big fan, at all), and how brand risk and brand safety come into play in today’s digital advertising landscape. 

But perhaps he’s at his most incisive and entertaining when he unleashes his mordant wit on marketers. For example: “Marketers are cowards and marketers are herd animals and marketers fundamentally don’t know what they’re doing.”

Don’t worry, he says some nice things, too. 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Ritson tells us exactly what he thinks about Adidas’ digital-only approach to advertising — Hint: He doesn’t like it. (4:02)

Is programmatic advertising broken? At the very least, shouldn’t it be smarter? (8:55)

JPMorgan Chase and their programmatic spend. Kristin Lemkau took a look under the hood — and surprise, surprise. (14:02) 

Brand risk and responsibility: You shouldn’t blame the customer if you serve them cold food. (20:22) 

Advice for brand leaders: Understand your brand, understand the market, (and) get your strategy right. (23:27)

The future of marketing: Ritson peers into his crystal ball. (32:14)

Alan senses a three-way marketing bromance brewing between Ritson, Byron Sharp and Bob Hoffman. (34:39)

118. 42: Ryan Leslie: “Every single conversation is critical"
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Ryan Leslie is a Harvard graduate, a Grammy-nominated recording artist, a record producer, entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of SuperPhone. The startup (still in beta development) allows artists, writers, marketers or entrepreneurs — anyone, really — to connect with their friends, followers or fans directly and independently in a completely new way. Leslie discusses just one facet of SuperPhone, using himself as an example: “What we’re building at SuperPhone is an…extension of me, and it becomes a brain in my phone, which remembers contexts and can build and measure metrics…and then it can assign a relationship score based on those metrics.”

During the podcast, Leslie touches on many aspects of his life and career, where it seems he’s always ahead of the curve. After he graduated from Harvard (at the age of 19, no less) he pursued his musical ambition, meeting with great success, including that Grammy nomination. He moved on, though, from his label, seeking independence in releasing his music and a better, smarter way of doing things. And the nascent SuperPhone is just another result of the way he operates. As he adds, “First of all, I love building…and to do this on a software level, where we have an objective versus a subjective value is just an incredible journey to be on.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Leslie’s decision to go independent. (4:11)
Balance and the allocation of time: Leslie discusses his Dymaxion Polyphasic Sleep schedule. (5:43)
How do you communicate with 65,000 people? (10:58)
SuperPhone: Is it Leslie’s greatest creative offering? (14:33)
The power of conversion and engagement: Defining success for SuperPhone. (19:55)
Ryan Leslie is widely and wildly available. (28:40)

119. 41: For Peloton head marketer Carolyn Tisch Blodgett, it’s all about people loving the bike
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Carolyn Tisch Blodgett began her career working with established brands like American Express, Mountain Dew and the New York Giants before joining category — categories, really — disruptor Peloton, where she is the head of brand marketing. And she is quick to delineate how Peloton’s hybrid nature creates an appeal that spans categories. “It’s a beautifully designed piece of hardware, but we’re not a hardware company. We’re a hardware company, a software company, and, really more than anything, a media company.”

In addition to discussing her work with Peloton, Blodgett touches on how brands need to connect with people: “People want to have relationships with brands. And they want brands to be real…really having a voice behind the brand and a personality so that people can connect to it. I think that’s what really matters.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Moving from (very) established brands to an insurgent: Blodgett discusses her career path. (1:17)

Peloton is disrupting multiple industries at once. (3:30)

The Peloton story unfolds: It’s more than the equipment. (8:27)

The army behind the concept: How Peloton gets it done. (9:45)

Moving at the pace of business: Focus is vital for a fast-growth company. (14:25)

Communication is key; listening matters even more. (15:39)

120. 40: Professor Jan-Benedict Steenkamp provides a master class on global branding
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 Jan-Benedict (J.B.) Steenkamp is the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Professor and Area Chair of Marketing at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. A highly regarded expert in his field, he specializes in global marketing, branding, and emerging markets and strategy. In addition, he is the author of three books, the latest of which is titled “Global Brand Strategy: World-wise Marketing in the Age of Branding.”

In this podcast, Steenkamp, while discussing topics and ideas from his most recent book, provides a sort of toolkit for marketers, including four key takeaways: (1) The need for diverse leadership teams in managing a global brand; (2) Clear accountability and quantifiable metrics; (3) The need for local flexibility within a common framework; and, lastly, (4) How Frank Zappa got it right — we’re only in it for the money.

When asked what draws him to marketing, he says, “Marketing is the interface between the company and the customers. And I’m interested in activities that span boundaries…and marketing is such a boundary-spanning activity.” He goes on to add, “I’m really interested in the combination of managerial relevance and academic rigor.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Living in the age of branding. (2:36)

How we define a global brand. (5:41)

“COMET” — Five ways global brands provide value to a company. (11:23)

Five underlying trends: The impact of the digital age on brand strategy. (19:06)

Brands reside in the minds of people: Whether or not to employ co-creation — and when. (26:37)

Steenkamp discusses key takeaways from his latest book. (32:53)

121. 39: Richard Socarides of GLG believes in the power of learning
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Richard Socarides has been around the block: A partner with a New York City law firm. A White House special assistant during the Clinton administration, concentrating on civil rights, LGBT rights, criminal justice, and education. Media communications and marketing for Time Warner Inc., including a stint at New Line Cinema. And now, head of public affairs — which includes global marketing, communications, and government affairs — for GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group), a company that Socarides describes as a “learning membership connecting businesspeople trying to solve problems to experts that can solve them.”

In the podcast, Socarides expounds upon learning: “We’re helping businesses make money, become more profitable, and connect with clients, but…at the core of what we do is learning. If you’re a senior professional today, you know that the era of lifelong learning is really upon us. That what you knew last year, or two years or three years ago, about doing your job is obsolete.” He goes on to add, “The only way to stay ahead of things, the only way to stay innovative, the only way to continue to deliver…is to continue to stay innovative. And the way you stay innovative is to continue to learn.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Socarides discusses what GLG does. (1:25)
From lawyer to White House to Hollywood to marketing: Socarides’ journey has been an interesting one. (5:01)
  Showing people what you do: Socarides discusses GLG’s use of video. (13:25)
Ideas that promote learning for senior professionals and decision makers. (17:29)
  Socarides discusses marketing efforts for B2B microconsulting and learning. (21:03)
  Creating content that pops: Develop, refine, and repeat. (23:51)

122. 38: Under Armour CMO Andy Donkin: “Find what’s working and hit the gas”
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Andy Donkin joined Under Armour as CMO in August of 2016 after a five-year stint in brand and mass marketing at Amazon. In this podcast, Donkin touches on authenticity and how important it is for brands and marketers, especially in capturing the hearts and minds of younger consumers: “When you talk to kids who actually wear the brand, there’s this belief that they can do anything. And we fuel that belief.” He goes on to say, “I think for younger consumers, they tend to look for something that represents them. And I think what we’ve been able to do through our authenticity is mean something to those kids and those younger adults.”

He also discusses what brands must do to survive and thrive in this modern-day business crucible: “Today, you can burn down a brand in about a week, if you get it wrong. That platform that you’re building can be very volatile.” He then adds, “So that means you have to build an organization that’s very nimble, very flexible, can learn and adapt quickly, and really become an experimentation engine.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Under Armour: Where it is and where it’s going. (4:09)

Data and apparel: Blending the digital and the physical. (7:15)
  Cultural currency at the intersection of athletics and lifestyle. (9:34)
  Authenticity: Be true to yourself, even if it’s controversial. (12:32)
  It’s a heartbeat: The role of an internal agency. (17:35)
  What drives Donkin? Innovation, curiosity and giving back. (20:34)
  Common themes of admired brands: A founder who is still involved and a focus on reinvention and risk taking. (22:30)

123. 37: Deloitte CMO Diana O’Brien believes marketing comes to life on the front lines
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Diana O’Brien is the first-ever CMO at Deloitte. In that role, she believes she’s lucky because she’s been given responsibility for everything from traditional brand elements to clients, markets, sales, thought leadership, policy, and corporate citizenship, among other things. Basically, everything she “…needs to be successful.”

She touches on many topics in the conversation, but, for her, thought leadership for marketers is key: “We all need great thought leadership. We all need to be looking toward the future, helping and sharing insights that are meaningful to the marketplace.” She goes on to add, “But what I do think can be different and what can help people is understanding how to capture the hearts and minds of people, because that’s what marketers need to do.”

She also touches on sense of purpose and the big picture. “I think it’s aligning around your purpose. What is it that you’re all there to do. For us, that’s to make an impact that matters. That’s our purpose. We want to do that for our people, our clients and in our communities.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

O’Brien discusses her unconventional path to CMO. (1:03)
Breaking down silos: the interconnection of marketing and sales. (7:39)
Content and thought leadership: capturing the hearts and minds of people. (10:50) 
People and place: what’s important in O’Brien’s marketing mix. (14:10)
The strategic decision to use acquisitions to enhance identity and increase capabilities. (18:16)

124. 36: On the contrary: Bob Hoffman on the state of the agency world
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Bob Hoffman is an “Ad Contrarian,” which is also the name of his popular and influential blog, and he’s a best-selling author, advisor and sought-after speaker on advertising and marketing. Earlier in his career, he was CEO of two independent advertising agencies. So, needless to say, he knows his way around the block.

In this podcast, Hoffman discusses his perspective on all things advertising, from the watering down of creative to the changing role of account management to the rise of media.

For him, one of the things present-day advertising gets wrong is its lack of focus on creativity: “Advertising isn’t as effective as it used to be, and…advertising isn’t as creative as it used to be. And I have a very hard time believing that these two things are not related.” He also says, “One of the problems is that it (advertising) has become corporate-tized. And they’re investing in everything but creativity. They’re investing technology, data and metrics, but they’re not investing in creativity. And I think creativity is the real business of advertising…I think creativity has become a support service now in most large agencies, and not the focus of what they’re doing.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

What’s wrong with advertising? (4:31)

Calendar keepers: The demise of the strategy function in account management. (7:38)

Planning or Strategy: No matter what you call it, without defined principles, is it really a discipline? (10:31)

What’s “broken” in the creative department? (16:35)

Are clients to blame for the watering down of creativity in advertising? (20:45)

The ascendancy of media. (21:31)

The (sorry) state of the agency model: Blow it up and start over? (27:31)

125. 35: CMO Rand Harbert is an agent of change for State Farm Insurance
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Rand Harbert is CMO of State Farm at a time when the company has reinvented, or at least reimagined, the way insurance is viewed. That is, instead of being there when things go wrong, they want to be a company that is there when things go right. And, in the process, make it clear that they offer a breadth of services that improves the quality of their customers’ lives by providing proactive resources.

Harbert also touches upon his attendance at the recent World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, discussing topics that were at the forefront there: the recent U.S. presidential election as perceived by international leaders, the impact of digital and data, and the importance of clean energy and the environment.

There is fascinating insight here in this wide-ranging, informative and entertaining podcast with Rand Harbert. Check it out. 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Insurance as a proactive — not reactive — resource. (1:15)

Customer relationships across messaging and platforms. (3:59)

Sports marketing and the last bastion of undisrupted television viewing. (10:13)

Three takeaways from the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. (13:53)

Fuel for inspiration and an eye toward the future. (18:06)

126. 34: CMO Linda Boff markets GE as a digital industrial company
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Linda Boff is the CMO of GE, a behemoth company with over 300,000 employees worldwide. While certainly an established brand, it’s a company in transition, and Boff has been leading that charge, not only to evolve but to make things better for people they serve. As she says, “We’re five years into what is a huge transformation for the company into what is the world’s leading industrial digital company. A company that makes things … but also connects things.” She goes on to add: “What I mean by that is, how can GE, using data, analytics and insights, help our customers be more productive.”

In this podcast, she discusses change, storytelling and her desire to find ways to things that haven’t been done before.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Getting out of your bubble and listening. (2:41)

Thinking horizontally and vertically: Challenge and opportunity in dealing with multiple stakeholders. (4:20)
  From industrial mega corp to world’s largest digital startup. (6:39)
  Looking for unexpected ways in: Bringing pride, humanity and personality to life. (10:17)
  Looking at B2B through a different lens. (13:45)
  Boff discusses her inspiration: Finding ways to do something that hasn’t been done before. (22:14)

127. 33: Esurance CMO believes embracing change creates great possibility
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In this podcast, Esurance CMO Alan Gellman discusses a wide range of marketing topics. But as seems to be the case for so many top marketers, tools and platforms are important, but to drive growth, it all comes down to trying to understand the people you want to reach: “We always — always — hang into that center of ‘Who are these people and how do we deliver for them?’ Because as we deliver for the consumer, we deliver for our companies.”

He also says, “Let’s never lose sight that, as marketers, our primary charge is to drive growth — but how? It’s through insight and depth of understanding of our customers and would-be customers, and that’s not just about data … ‘It’s what’s the humanity that the data brings forward?’”

Finally, Gellman reminds us it’s important to find some joy. “If you’re not laughing, if you’re not having fun, then it’s just not worth it.“

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Storytelling still matters, regardless of the technological platform. (4:07)

What is my connected life? — Takeaways from CES 2017. (8:30)
  Embracing change to create great possibility. (11:19)
  Sight, sound and motion in the changing media landscape. (14:02)
  Who am I reaching and how? — Storytelling across creative assets and channels of reach. (18:58)
  Brand engagement: Interacting with customers and prospects. (20:27)
  Looking for the white spaces to drive future growth. (28:48)

128. 32: Elizabeth Windram of JetBlue finds excitement in ideas taking flight
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Elizabeth Windram, director of Brand and Advertising at JetBlue, arrived at her destination in marketing after stops in finance and MBA school. For her, it’s not just coming up with the big idea so much as it is to trust your instincts and follow through; believing in what your gut is telling you while listening to other viewpoints and making the work better.

“As long as you don’t mess with the core insight, you’re probably still OK,” says Windram. “Where I won’t make changes is if something is fundamentally changing the thing that made it right and that made it work to begin with.”

In addressing the collaboration and differing opinions inherent in bringing an idea to market, she goes on to add, “It’s also knowing when you don’t have to take someone’s opinion. Sometimes it’s enough to say, ‘OK, I’ve heard you and I’m not doing that. And here’s why.’ But, I think listening, at least, goes a long way.“ 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Trust your gut: Knowing when an idea is good. (4:59)

Bringing people along: Pushing ideas through in the face of challenges. (8:18) 

Cultural relevancy: Joining in conversations big and small. (9:50)

From finance to marketing: In retrospect, the journey all makes sense. (10:57)

It’s been said before, but it’s not really a job if you love what you do. (13:35)

129. 31: U.S. Olympic Committee CMO Lisa Baird is in it for the long run
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Lisa Baird was named CMO of the United States Olympic Committee in 2009. Prior to that, she served in brand and marketing roles for Proctor & Gamble, GM, IBM and the NFL, among others. 

With the Olympic Games occurring years apart, Lisa touches on how she maintains focus on long-term marketing goals: “The better and more articulate and more precise your mission and your purpose is — that needs to act as your long-term guide, says Baird. “You should measure everything you do against ‘Are you fulfilling that mission and purpose?’ … Putting the right measurements in place for the long term help you to keep that true north on your compass.”

But even though her goals invariably seem to reside on a distant horizon, she avoids the predictive, instead focusing on something she believes will remain constant: “Marketers who always focus on their customers’ or their stakeholders’ problems — and listen to them and solve their problems — will always win.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Managing the balancing act of athletes trying to make a living and Olympic sponsors who make things run: Baird talks about IOC Rule 40. (4:47) Keeping the flame alive: Maintaining focus on the Olympics during off years. (7:58) Who’ll win the Olympic jump ball for 2024: Los Angeles, Budapest or Paris? (10:11) Trying to please everyone: The art of listening in a sea of stakeholders. (11:49) Going for gold: Measuring marketing success in the land of not-for-profit. (14:42) Baird discusses sponsor and license partnerships and their role in helping the U.S. reach the medal podium. (16:20) You can’t always rely on metrics: “Human beings are spontaneous; they can surprise you.” (23:15)

130. 30: Seth Kaufman focuses on culture and team to create success at PepsiCo
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Seth Kaufman’s career traces a steady and seemingly unstoppable ascent at PepsiCo. As an intern, he fell in love with the people, the brands and the culture before taking on (and conquering) challenge after challenge, including brand and innovation initiatives, developing channels strategies in sales, and frontline field work on the snack side — where he embraced and developed his strength as a people leader.

Following his work in the field, he returned to headquarters, rebuilding PepsiCo’s media offering in beverages and then running the namesake brand itself. From there, he assumed his current role as CMO PepsiCo North America Beverages.

Seth’s enthusiasm, empathy, passion, and appreciation for the people around him shine through in this wide-ranging and freewheeling podcast.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Accelerating PepsiCo’s transformation journey across three dimensions: portfolio, marketing and talent. (4:55) The marketing perfect storm: From PepsiMoji to “Empire” product integration and Kola House. (12:36) Pepsi Zero Sugar (and Lady Gaga) take center stage at the Super Bowl. (17:52) Investing in talent — both inside and outside the organization — to cultivate business success. (22:02) The Big Climb: Staying focused leads to team success. (29:05) Taking risks: the agility and vision of big brands like Samsung, Tesla and the NBA. (32:49)

131. 29: Examining the “accelerating present" and its impact on business today
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Rohit Bhargava is a trend curator, TEDx speaker and the author of five best-selling books, including the recent 2017 edition of “Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict the Future” and “Likeonomics.”

When Bhargava analyzes trends, he isn’t thinking about the availability of flying cars you can control with your mind, he is operating more in the here and now. He does this because he believes the future is coming at us faster than ever before, “I’m describing something that is happening in the world, and all of my trends are based on something that’s happening now. I specifically don’t do 10-year predictions… And the reason I do it on such a short term is because I’m really describing the accelerating present.”

He goes on to add: “This is stuff that … is going to accelerate in the next year and therefore really matter for your business.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Kicking ass: Rohit discusses the idea of “Fierce Femininity.” (3:05)
“Lovable Unperfection” — Imperfection as a source of strength. (5:11) 
The challenge of self-aware data. (6:45) 
“Precious Print” — Physical artifacts still carry value in today’s digital world. (10:18)
What’s next? Developing habits to help you identify and understand trends. (12:03)
Emerging brands: It’s in the details. (18:00)
Rohit shares his idea of “Passive Loyalty.” (19:51)


132. 28: Martech and "the spirit of the pioneer" with Hancock Whitney Bank CMO Dan Marks
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Dan Marks is the CMO for Hancock Whitney Bank, a regional player in the Gulf South area with a footprint spanning from Houston, Texas, to Tampa, Florida. In November of 2016, he was honored by the CMO Club with their peer-nominated President’s Circle Award.

Dan is always looking to the future and believes in the strength of the marketing stack, which he describes as “the next-generation way to talk about all the technically or digitally enabled technologies that are important to operating today and will become even more important to operating in the future.”

Dan also believes in an agile approach marked by collaboration among segments of the company that aren’t part of the marketing team: “For marketing to be successful, we can’t operate in a vacuum.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Dan’s philosophy regarding teambuilding efforts: Finding the right fit in culture and in values. (5:02) Two elements that help manage balance in a company: 1) Building relationships. 2) Good ideas come from everywhere. (7:24) Digital innovation and transformation: Getting better at what’s relevant to the customer. (11:10) Discovering new marketing talent: An innate sense of curiosity and the “spirit of the pioneer.” (18:45) Fuel for success: Mutual respect, faith and the pursuit of excellence. (20:57) Mission-based focus versus short-term success: Finding inspiration in other brands and companies. (22:46)

133. 27: Every product tells a story - Hiscox Insurance Encourages Courage
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Russ Findlay is the head of marketing for the U.S. at Hiscox, an international specialty insurer with a 115-year history. Prior to Hiscox, he worked in consumer packaged goods with companies like Unilever, Pepsi and IHOP. In this podcast, he discusses marketing in general and his career path from CPG to the world of financial services.

For Findlay, working in financial services presents a unique challenge because of the intangible element inherent in the category: “Having a product that you can’t see it, you can’t hold it, you can’t go to a store and look at it — it’s something that you have to convey to the consumer and the consumer’s mind,” says Findlay. He goes on to add, “That makes storytelling and how you bring the product to life even more important.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

CPG and financial services: how the product gets to market is surprisingly similar. (2:00)
Moving from a role in CPG to financial services: the switch to the “intangible.” (4:20)
Digging into the marketer’s toolbox. (7:38)
Obstacles as a pathway: going to market in unconventional ways. (10:00)
Motivating through “positive” risk: the antidote to risk is courage. (12:50)
Keeping the main thing the main thing: the CMO’s role as an influencer. (18:00)
Rapid change and shifting landscapes: the future of marketing. (28:00)

134. 26: Marketers can’t afford to treat consumers like computers
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Tom Asacker is a keynote speaker and an adviser to executives and companies, and he is the author of five books, including “The Business of Belief.”

He believes many marketers operate under the false assumption that people behave like computers, expecting them to make decisions based simply on the information they supply and then choose their product or service.

According to him, it just doesn’t work that way: “When you dig deep enough into it, you find out that human beings are driven by their perceptions and their desires. You add that up and you’ve got beliefs. Their feelings, their perceptions, their desires are what end up giving them this feeling of knowing,” says Asacker. “Then they look for information to validate that.” He goes on to say, “If you don’t understand that … you have absolutely no chance in the marketplace.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

How’s the water? — Understanding how decisions are made and why consumers do what they do. (1:35)

Breaking the chains of habit: What is the “something else” that drives people’s decision making? (5:15)

The lightbulb of confusion: Marketers don’t understand it’s unexpected events that trigger consumer learning. (7:20)

Can you get 29 million TED Talk views and still be wrong? (12:30)

Believe your feelings: Doing what your inner voice tells you to do. (17:00)

New business models: Identifying sustainable value. (18:25)

135. 25: For Peter Horst, it’s critical to recognize simple human truths
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Peter Horst is a former CMO at The Hershey Company. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at Capital One and was CMO of TD Ameritrade. He discusses here a range of topics, but he speaks at length on the inherent challenge of applying big data and analytics to human behavior.

“It’s going to get increasingly more challenging to maintain that right balance of art and science, of machine speed and human insight,” says Horst. “All the analytics in the world still can’t answer the question ‘Why?’ And you can run into the risk of horribly missing the boat with the consumer.”

He goes on to add, “We absolutely need to embrace all of what big data and analytics can do, but while also stepping back and bringing in a little bit of skepticism.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Let’s get digital: How CMOs should be thinking about digital. (5:30)

Reach versus targeting: What are you trying to do and what’s the tool you need to do it? (10:15)
  Looking through the right end of the telescope: Determining digital’s role, brand by brand. (12:00)
  Connecting all the dots: The importance of “whole-brain” marketing. (17:55)
  Seeking a holistic partner: Deciding what kind of agency you want in your marketing mix. (21:20)
  How agencies need to evolve to provide the thought leadership brand marketers seek. (23:10)
  Brands to take notice of: Horst discusses Airbnb. (26:35)

136. 24: Laurel Hodge and Imgur keep it real to connect with millennial men
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Laurel Hodge is director of creative strategy at the online image-sharing community, Imgur, which she says is “on a mission to lift people’s spirits for a few moments every day.”

But there’s a lot more to it than that. Imgur has more than 150 million monthly active users, and among those, 86 percent are millennial men, the most ad-adverse and toughest audience to reach for marketers.

With a new native advertising product called Promoted Posts, Imgur uses its cultural fluency to help brands connect effectively with this coveted target. “We help brands enter this space and connect with them [millennial men] in a way that feels authentic, in a way that they actually appreciate and enjoy,” said Hodge. She later adds, “When you use the language in an authentic way and you actually provide information that people want to hear — or information that is relevant to people — then you’ll see some really great results.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

“We want to create ads that don’t suck.” (3:00)

Overcoming the culture of ad blocking. (5:25)
  Creating brand engagement with a brand-skeptical audience: Imgur’s partnership with eBay. (8:05)
  Three things marketers can do to reach ad-adverse audiences: (1) Localize. (2) Always add value. (3) Respect your audience. (10:25)

Making an impression: Up-and-coming brands usually do one thing and do it well. (19:23)
  Adding value: Brands have to work harder in a hyper-distracted world. (20:41)

137. 23: There’s a RYOT going on: CMO Molly Swenson’s company leads the way in VR and immersive storytelling
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Molly Swenson is CMO of RYOT, an immersive media company founded in Los Angeles in 2012 and recently acquired by AOL and The Huffington Post.

She’s also a badass.

Molly was a White House intern in the Obama administration, performed as a contestant on “American Idol” and designed philanthropic strategies for Kobe Bryant, Shakira and Ben Stiller. More recently, Adweek recognized her as one of 2016’s Young Influentials — game changers under the age of 40 in the worlds of media, marketing, technology and entertainment.

Molly believes that VR’s impact as a medium for storytelling and the affect it has on people can’t be overestimated and calls it “the tip of the spear” for RYOT.  

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

The “lightbulb” moment: How RYOT’s focus shifted to VR films. (3:19)
How RYOT judges success: Moving the audience from passive observer to active participant. (5:30)
Moving into the CMO role: From wearing many hats to choosing the one that fits. (8:46)
What joining forces with AOL, Verizon and The Huffington Post means to RYOT. (17:00)
Hacking the advertising ecosystem. (23:06)
360-degree video, VR and AR: A down-and-dirty tutorial. (26:35)
Balancing unfaltering confidence with humility: From Steve Jobs to Kabbalah — and Charlie Chaplin, too. (38:50)

138. 22: MikMak and Rachel Tipograph are shaking up the world of millennial marketing
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Rachel Tipograph left her role as global director of digital and social media at Gap after a conversation with her boss where she asked, “How do we drive sales on the web, not annoy people, and even make Gap cool again at the same time?” His reply: “If you figure that out, that’s a billion-dollar idea.”

That conversation coupled with her recognition of the seismic upheaval underway in the digital marketing landscape led to the creation of MikMak — the first mobile video shopping network. Hailed as QVC for the Snapchat generation, MikMak works with brands to create short, shoppable, “minimercials” — all hosted by improv comedians. And it operates under the mantra of Watch – Laugh – Shop.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

Two factors that helped launch MikMak — the explosion of influencer marketing and the unbundling of media. (3:10) Why e-commerce shopping should feel more like Netflix and Snapchat than Amazon and Alibaba. (4:45) Marketing in the age of ad blockers and overwhelming sentiment against advertising. (5:52) Designing the right canvas: A one-size-fits-all approach to marketing just doesn’t work. (7:45) Putting data and creativity together is the marriage of art and science — the two have to go hand in hand. (9:45) Reaching ad-averse populations: You get what you give. (14:30) Writing the “book” that defines your brand: Creating content that beckons to key, like-minded influencers. (17:57) Learning through (big) mistakes is the fuel that powers Rachel Tipograph to do what she does. (19:30)

139. 21: For modern American luxury brand Shinola, there’s no place like home
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Meaning is the new luxury. It’s not logos and labels but products that are made with thought and care — products that are authentic with great stories to tell, according to Bridget Russo, chief marketing officer at Shinola. “We’ve learned that place matters. For us, our home is Detroit. That story of provenance adds depth to our brand. But it has to be real. It’s about finding out what the true, authentic story is and showing that it has greater impact than just selling product,” she said.

Her leadership has helped Shinola position itself as a modern American design brand and a catalyst for economic revitalization. The company reported $100 million in revenue last year, up from $20 million in 2013.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today with Alan Hart” podcast include:

How Shinola and the city of Detroit worked together to bring a new luxury product to market. (4:45)

How Shinola is constantly breaking new ground while not forgetting its historical products. (6:59)

Can large, established brands like Walmart take a lesson from Shinola’s brand authenticity? (7:48)

How Shinola has used branding based on storytelling. (10:05)

The importance of consistent messaging across every channel. (10:20)

The pressure and excitement of building a brand from the ground up (11:28)

Why marketing will be more and more in the hands of the consumer. (14:45)

140. 20: How Fast Growth B2B Firms Can Use Marketing to Drive Results
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Roll Cast Advisors’ Drew Miller believes marketing is all about relationships

Drew Miller, founder and CEO of Roll Cast Advisors in Austin, Texas, thinks marketing done well forms meaningful relationships between companies and people. And meaningful relationships grow and thrive when companies deliver something that’s really important to the customer.

“You always want to know your customer, says Drew. “You want to speak in ways and at places that really matter to them. And increasingly do it in a way that it’s a two-way street. The days of one-way conversations are long behind us.”

Miller founded Roll Cast Advisors, a marketing and strategy consultancy, a little over a year ago after a 15-year stint in various marketing positions at Dell. Roll Cast Advisors seeks to help high-growth B2B companies create marketing strategies that achieve activation and deliver results.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

How does a fast-growth B2B company determine whether they’re ready for marketing? (1:30)

Putting money into marketing without increasing your sales force to achieve smart activation and lift. (5:35)

Deciding where to invest in marketing. (6:20)

What lessons can small companies learn from big companies? (11:02) 

The importance of B2B companies understanding what brand is and that it really does matter. (15:18)

How relationships between brands and customers can thrive. Hint: Information is key. (20:37)

Marketers should try to look at things through their customers’ eyes. (22:37)

And, finally, what does it mean to keep Austin weird? (25:25)

141. Avid Impact Podcast becomes Marketing Today with Alan Hart
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Today we are changing the name of our podcast from Avid Impact to Marketing Today with Alan Hart. Join Alan in the coming weeks for interviews with top marketers and thought leaders. Don't miss your change to learn from the best in the industry. Subscribe to Marketing Today with Alan Hart.

142. 19: 2015 Content Marketer of the Year Shares Experience and Advice for Those Looking to Produce ROI
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Vishal Khanna, Digital Marketing Director at Wake Forest Innovations, 2015 Content Marketer of the Year sat down with Alan Hart. Vishal discusses how the content marketing at Wake Forest Innovations produced ROI results that beat out IKEA, Marriott, Emerson, CSC and GoPro. The results were 600%+ increase in marketing qualified leads and a doubling in revenue. Content development, SEO, Inbound Marketing and Email all played a role.  Find out what you need to know in this episode of the Marketing Today Podcast. 

143. 18: Marketing's Role in Building a Great Workplace, The War for Talent, The Future of B2B Marketing
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Steven Handmaker, Chief Marketing Officer of Assurance, one of the largest and most awarded independent insurance brokerage operations in the U.S., sat down with Alan Hart. Steven discusses how Assurance has become recognized as a "best place" to work and what is marketing's role in driving a "rock star" culture. We move to talk about the world of B2B marketing, the future and the war for talent in marketing today. Find out what you need to know in this episode of the Marketing Today Podcast.

144. 17: Marketing Talent, The Future of Marketing Leadership, Buick & Allen Edmonds Case Studies
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Part 2 with Kimberly Whitler, Forbes contributor and Assistant Marketing Professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, sat down with Alan Hart to discuss her recent research looking at company performance, corporate board composition and the CMO. Did you know purely analytical CMOs are correlated to poor company performance? What is the future of markting leadership? Plus case studies from Buick and Allen Edmonds. Find out what you need to know in this episode of the Marketing Today Podcast.

145. 16: Corporate Boards, Future CMOs and Impact on Company Performance
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Part 1 with Kimberly Whitler, Forbes contributor and Assistant Marketing Professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, sat down with Alan Hart to discuss her recent research looking at company performance, corporate board composition and the CMO. Did you know purely analytical CMOs are correlated to poor company performance? Did you know that marketing experience on the board can increase company performance? Find out what you need to know in this episode of the Marketing Today Podcast.

146. 15: Gary Osifchin, Portfolio Lead, Biscuits NA, Mondelez - Honey Maid Brand
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Honey Maid is a classic, all-American brand that's been part of families lives since 1925. But by 2013 it was seen as old-fashioned. Our challenge was to re-position Honey Maid as a modern snacking brand for today's families. We drew a parallel between the brand and modern day families, recognizing that despite a lot of change over the years, what defined each of them as wholesome hadn't changed. This is Wholesome moved a nation with its message of love, earned 361 million media impressions and delivered an advertising contribution of 13%.

147. 14: Chris Balach, Team Leader, Shopper Marketing & Consumer Promotions, Wrigley (former Sr. Brand Manager, Extra Gum & Mints)
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Chris Balach, senior brand manager of Extra Gum, sat down with Alan Hart to discuss his recent Effie win. Gum had been in a 2-year decline. Extra, one of the category's largest brands, had been declining for even longer. That changed dramatically when Extra stopped following the conventional gum script and started to infuse the brand with meaning that transcended the category and touched peoples hearts.

148. 13: Mark-Hans Richer, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Harley Davidson
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Mark-Hans Richer of Harley-Davidson spoke to Alan Hart about what many scoffed at a few years ago: Take a brand with an aging owner base and made it a must-have product for young adult riders. In 2008 we made some big moves with product introduction of Dark Custom, which -- as a strategic initiative -- has now won a 2015 Gold Effie for sustained success in the market for its 7 year run.

149. 12: Veronica Parker-Hahn, VP of Marketing at Oscar Insurance
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Tips, advice, and insights from the industry’s top, award-winning marketers. “Oscar’s problem with the healthcare industry is that it’s viewed as inhumane. The industry doesn’t really focus on the individual, and it’s hard to navigate,” says Veronica Parker-Hahn, Vice President of Marketing at Oscar Insurance speaking to Alan Hart. “And we saw a great opportunity to bring a human component to healthcare.”

150. 11: Linda Lee, Global Advertising and Brand Director at GE Capital
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Linda Lee, GE Capital’s Global Advertising and Brand Director, sits down with Alan Hart. Linda and the rest of her team recently took home an Effie at this year’s Effie Awards Gala in New York, for their work which centered around the financial giant’s differential value proposition - the fact that GE does more than simply lend its customers money.

151. 10: Ana Russell, General Manager of Brand Marketing at Audi of America Inc.
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Fresh off of claiming an Effie at the prestigious Effie Awards Gala in New York, Ana Russell, General Manager of Brand Marketing at Audi of America Inc., sat down with Alan Hart to discuss just what it was about Audi’s highly touted, Stay Uncompromised campaign, that made it such a huge success.

152. 9: Chris Stamper, SVP of Corporate Marketing at TD Bank
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Tips, advice, and insights from the industry’s top, award-winning marketers. Alan Hart sits down with Chris Stamper, SVP of Corporate Marketing at TD Bank, to discuss TD’s inspiration behind one of the most touching campaigns of the past year.

153. 8: Alex Hoe, Executive Director of Marketing at American Greetings
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Tips, advice, and insights from the industry’s top, award-winning marketers. Alex Ho, Executive Director of Marketing at American Greetings, sits down to talk with Alan Hart about the inspiration behind the card company’s award-winning World’s Toughest Job campaign.

154. 7: Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy
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Alan Hart with various institutions to present a leadership series that highlights accomplished global leaders with invaluable insight and advice, from across various backgrounds and industries. Alan Hart sat down with Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, to understand what makes TNC unique, why they partner with notorious polluters and his reflections on leadership. TNC is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations. Mark is also author of Nature's Fortune and a former Goldman Sachs partner before taking the helm at TNC. This initiative is made possible due to a partnership with UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

155. 6: Eric Fuller, Marketing Director at Pepsi
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Tips, advice, and insights from the industry’s top, award-winning marketers. Eric Fuller from Pepsi Co. talks with Alan Hart about what made the company's Super Bowl half-time show sponsorship with Beyonce so successful, as well how the company implements brand storytelling, consumer's interaction with media, and leveraging every element of the marketing mix.

156. 5: Matt Pechman, Director of Gins at Diageo
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Tips, advice, and insights from the industry’s top, award-winning marketers. Diageo's Matt Pechman sits down with Alan Hart to discuss Diageo's highly touted Tonight We Tanqueray campaign, in addition to Tanqueray's rejuvenated growth, how brands can create better experiences, and how brands can secure a creative yet effective campaign.

157. 4: Tom Bick, Senior Director of Advertising and Integrated Marketing at Oscar Mayer
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Tips, advice, and insights from the industry’s top, award-winning marketers. Tom Bick at Oscar Mayer talks to Alan Hart about what made the brand's Say It With Bacon campaign such a success, as well as Oscar's approach to working with partners, long-term brand effectiveness, and how clients "get what they deserve".

158. 3: Vic Walia, Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Expedia
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Tips, advice, and insights from the industry’s top, award-winning marketers. Vic Walia of Expedia discusses with Alan Hart what it was that made the travel company's Find Yours campaign such a huge hit, as well as how he likes to tell a good story, Expedia's approach to big data, and how to build a brand as an asset.

159. 2: Daryl Evans, VP of Consumer Advertising and Marketing Communications at AT&T
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Tips, advice, and insights from the industry’s top, award-winning marketers. Daryl Evans of AT&T discusses with Alan Hart what made the telecom giant's highly touted It's Not Complicated campaign so successful, as well as a few personal details such as how he defines marketing effectiveness, his view on trends, and what fuels his success.

160. 1: Colleen Sellers, Group Brand Director at Johnson & Johnson
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Johnson and Johnson's own Colleen Sellers sits down with Alan Hart to shares insights into what made Zyrtec's Muddle No More Campaign such a complete success, as well as how she personally approaches brand planning, her research, and how she feels women in leadership positions can help themselves.