Marketing leaders, crisis management and future growth plans

published on July 13, 2020

You you hello welcome to today's episode of leadership in extraordinary times from the side Business School I'm Andrew Stephen the loyal professor of marketing and associate dean of

Research here at Oxford side so good afternoon from England or good morning or good evening from wherever you are elsewhere in the world today we're gonna talk about marketing we're gonna focus on marketing leadership crisis

Management and thinking about growth which which you know I've mentally believe is a an important responsibility of all marketing leadership and we're joined by a good friend of ours here at Oxford side Mark des wontons who's the

Co-founder of the Institute for real growth and Mark in a prior to founding IOG which which Oxford side is also involved with has had a you know career in marketing and consulting at Unilever found that a company called effective

Brands and then went into WPP encounter and so mark has really worked with a lot of marketing leaders and part of IRG at the moment is working with a lot of CMOS so mark thanks for joining us really happy to have you here with us on the

Leadership an extraordinary time series we'll also be joined a little bit later in the episode by a couple of my faculty colleagues or under Hattie and Philippe Tamas but before we bring Philippe and Rhonda in mark let's let's just have a

Chat to begin with and maybe not everyone watching today is is fully aware of IRG so perhaps you want to just give us a little brief intro to IRG and the work that you're doing with marketing leaders yeah thank you Andrew

Good morning these here is very much still good morning I'm on the east coast of the US about two hours north of New York thank you for having me yes the Institute for real growth was created almost precisely a year ago by

WBP in partnership with Google LinkedIn Facebook Spencer Stewart and of course Oxford society's business school and New York University as well and it was created based on an insight that among the most

Senior marketing of the worlds the ones that actually we engaged in our regular research and studies to understand what drives sustained business growth those leaders were saying to us two important things

One that they felt that now was the time to learn from each other much more interactively much more in-depth than many other platforms offer them I mean we we all know the CMO clubs and other organizations where you talk for about

20 minutes about a topic and then you move on to something else there was a real need and willingness to engage much more in depth and secondly the the sense that whoever was talking to these senior marketing leaders was

Trying to sell them something so that there was a bias in the in the storyline basically and so we saw a need and an opportunity to create a platform that was independent truly independent not-for-profit and that how does it sole

Purpose to connect business leaders growth leaders primarily chief marketing officers with expertise best practices and each other as well as experts around what does it take to drive real that is multi-stakeholder sustained business

Growth and that's what the Institute for real world does this first year we focused on a cohort of a hundred chief marketing officers that have participated in our program and just actually last week graduated from the

Program next year we're scaling up and rolling out and we will be running another in-person slash online program but also running a only online program for about a thousand growth leaders around the world so I want to get into

Obviously you know what you've been hearing from from marketing leaders and business leaders more broadly to for that matter during these extraordinary times as we call them and not just one crisis I would say facing businesses but

Multiple crises but before that just can you elaborate a little bit on real gross he said multi stakeholder and sustainable but but I know you know part of this is or a lot that has come out of research that that

You and your co-founder Frank led in terms of the real growth study so so just maybe touch on a couple of highlights from that before we dive into the current situation so in the just over a year ago we completed the what

Some think is the largest study around what does it take to drive sustain that is multi-year top-level growth and and we did this by talking to over 550 growth Li this CEOs CMO CFOs chief growth officers across the whole world

We ran a piece of quant to actually validate and correlate answers that leaders gave with business performance and several thousand participants took part in our survey around the world and with LinkedIn another partner of the

Institute for real growth we ran an analysis on the connections between growth leaders that we knew were over performing versus the connections of growth leaders in underperforming organizations and that looked at over

Three million leaders connections network and what came out of that you know when you do these things you're throwing a lot of spaghetti at the wall you see what sticks and what correlates with business

Growth and ultimately you get clusters of aspects of characteristics of strategies that that correlate with business over performance and we distilled that down to what we now call the seven building blocks for real

Growth and those seven building blocks roughly can be divided into the the why the business exists that what the business does an office its customers and the how the business is run the culture the organization and the type of

Teams that the team operates with and so those seven building blocks actually formed the backbone for the curriculum of the Institute for real growth leadership program excellent and so you spending a lot of time with CMOS and

Certainly I mean it's been a lovely experience before we went into lockdown when they were coming to Oxford the cohorts I came to Oxford and we got to spend some time with them too but so during the current situation you've

Kept those dialogues going with with these marketing leaders and so what what are they saying what are they been doing in their organizations what are the challenges and make perhaps also opportunities that have arisen over the

Last few months from their perspective well thank you that that of course is indeed the the biggest challenge what are the challenges biggest question what are the challenges and then what's the response

And I'll I'll respond in two parts because there's a pre kovat discussion pic of it and inequality crisis discussion and there is the the last two months if you like the last four months probably the challenge the big challenge

Prix is I think that marketing leaders are going again through a little bit of an identity crisis CMOS and and sometimes I think CMOS can be a little bit of a drama queen if there wasn't a crisis they'd probably create one

Because want to be part of one but um but it is true that if you look over the last 20 years and a big piece of feedback we were getting from the other growth leaders the CEOs the CFOs and so forth is that they were seeing the

Marketing leaders as professional functional leaders but not necessarily as business partners so if I use the old attachment where we say well there's the how to win in terms of driving effective communication finding the target

Audience doing that efficiently and responding to and the interaction that's now possible I think marketers all over the last 20 years have have had to become proficient in the whole new digital realm but with that has come

Perceived and I actually think real taking the eye off the ball of why we're doing all these things what are we actually trying to achieve as a business where are the pockets of opportunity in the future the old where to play

Discussion and the way to play discussion is actually where marketing leaders interact with their sales directors with their CFO with their CEO and and that truly has has diminished and

With that has diminished the influence and respect for the marketing leaders so there was in fact a bit of a not just identity crisis but the influence crisis where marketing leaders are feeling that they have less respect and less

Influence less partnership at the truly leadership level so that that was a main reason for creating this program now I want to swap that like a good marketer into an opportunity to because you know with that came and and I'll add a bit to

The that's sort of what was happening marketers have always been the the fuzzy part of the business the some what's a wishy-washy its own metrics not clear on the payback Wanamaker created the fifty percent is wasted but I'm not sure which

And with digital also came the ability to measure and I think it was a bit of a chip on the shoulder of most marketers and it probably explains why we went overboard in trying to actually use the the channels that were measurable but

Not necessarily almost always the most effective to use and so we now have a lot of marketers in the world that are very good at performance marketing but with that we've also lost a little bit of touch with the old principles of

Creative at the end differentiation and so that's another part that really has become very important and what we're now saying is marketing leaders yes you need to step up to be that business leader again you need to be a true partner for

The for further the chief growth officer for the CEO for the CFO but now there's an opportunity to be go beyond just stepping up and being equal because what the last four months have shown us is that companies were caught and basically

With their pants down focusing only on their shareholder benefit and not thinking enough about what they were doing for their colleagues for their communities for their customers and and that is something that chief marketing

Officers are very good at understanding the needs and creating value propositions for all stakeholders so as company scramble in that new reality to evolve from a shareholder primacy to a

Multi-stakeholder perspective we actually see an opportunity for marketers to step up and not just be equal but actually co-lead an organization into that new reality and I think I think putting that into the

Context of you know company companies but countries rather going into lockdown with with Co vid you know I think and this is probably true for a lot of people's experience in businesses when that starts to happen you probably more

Of an operational thing to begin with right I don't I don't think when you know it stores are closing for example because you know countries are being locked down the CEO necessarily you know the first message of phone calls to the

CMS probably more to the CEO or other more operational folks in the business and you know whether that's right or wrong as is not the point but rather I think you know to your point that there had been sort of this crisis of

Influence perhaps among marketing leaders for some time now how do you think that's borne out over the course of the last four months let's say you know and I mean I know you you you have a some stats on this as well maybe that

That you can bring in but but what's happening there because you know there's you know toilet paper shortages and stuff like that you know some would argue that that's not CMOS problem that supply chain but then again that's the

Customer being affected which you know I would say as part of our turf and marketing so how is this being grappled with and where are we now that we maybe weren't four months ago in that in that dialogue well I drew you you hit some

Really important points and you mentioned that you and your school are a partner in IRG I remember very well how we were talking about the world in 2025 and where things were going look what we think is happening is that if you cut

The stakeholders into four groups there you've got your your colleagues you've got your customers you've got the communities around you and you've ultimately got the capital markets that you need to satisfy the first and the

Day that is in for this this is this is there's no negotiating that that companies that actually take care of the needs and understand how to create value for the first three over the liver for the fourth group the capital markets

But that wasn't being done by many organizations Unilever has led the way and many are following but it's certainly not how business is run generally speaking today and we see the Business Roundtable

Declaring what is it just about a year ago that shareholder primacy is out the window and we're creating value as companies for all stakeholders but this is something that is really a budding movement that I think will continue and

Was accelerated because what's really interesting is that pre kovat it was probably the shareholder and the customer that were best represented in the boardroom there were very loud voices making sure that we were

Delivering for both immediately and I mean the day after kovat you're right a lot of people took a back seat and actually all the focus was on the colleagues and our role in the community so it was operations yes and it was also

HR massively important are people safe can they still connect then they contribute so there was a total flip of which two stakeholders were most important and I think companies are now emerging out of the crisis mode and so

It's true most CMOS have taken a little bit of a backseat you know there was of course the the immediate implications or are we not communicating inappropriately are we saying what we need to be saying and it's interesting that those

Companies that were clear about their purpose at the offset came out much stronger and much faster because I didn't have to rethink it they didn't have to make up a story because it was their story

So that was a first interesting thing to notice but now companies are emerging and understanding much better that yes they need to go back to understanding how to deliver against their shareholders expectations and their

Customers expectations but maintain the value creation for the other two stakeholders so in that discussion I think there's a bit of a hockey stick effect a lot of marketers especially senior leaders have had a little bit of

Time to reflect and now we're coming back with a vengeance in the strategic planning process I'll give you an example if you like and you asked for stats one of our participants is the chief marketing

Officer of Africa's largest oil company it's a former shell operation and and now it's in several countries in Africa and the chief marketing officer was telling me that when Kovac hit the initial reaction of the executive

Committee was to say we have to focus our meetings only on the operational aspects of this and so basically the the question was can we can we put marketing to the side for a little bit just a few meetings and actually they went back and

Said no I don't think so because I think I can help the company understand what's going on understand what we really should be focusing on and help us develop a strategy and the slot stayed and actually became highly influential

In the strategy development moving forward so you asked for stats we pulled up the net about two months into the crisis and said so what are the big implications that you're seeing and some of them were about business resilience

The number-one points as I think we all learned is that a lot of companies were called shorts because they didn't realize that they couldn't build their car if they didn't have that one part which there was no stock and no supply

For the next two months and so thinking through the dependencies I think we've all seen the transformations over the last decade which took out all the redundancies in the supply chain which sounds like a good thing but actually

Those little redundancies were reserves to to help with moments like this and so a lot of companies are rethinking that part but that is indeed supply chain it's operations but the other very interesting high priority coming out of

This that was identified is an increase in empathy hmm a real understanding I mean the number of CEOs and CMOS that I've spoken to in the last month said I'd love your reflection on this that said okay I'll be really honest I had a

Dinner two days ago somebody was telling me this I was one of those leaders that believed that if I couldn't see them on the floor I'd be worried if they were really working hard that's out the window man this is learning this is

Working is here to stay clearly and and that opens the realm of possibilities of more innovation more contribution more diversity of thinking and but also just empathy which as marketers that's always what we've been trying to bring into the

Company we're trying to understand people get the production people to understand what role this product or service feels in the life of our customers and that's about understanding needs having empathy walking in our

Customers shoes so the fact that everybody has become more sensitized to that there's a dramatic opportunity for marketing to then say now that you feel it let's talk about what we can do so I'm gonna bring in an audience question

Now if you don't mind mark so aura post a question on linkedin saying each stakeholder should be treated as a custom and a company's staff included trying to find a common ground to grow together would be great to happen

Especially in leading companies how do you how are you thinking about leveraging a power of real growth through what IRG is doing with that sort of multi stakeholder perspective well thank you

For asking the question or and a beautiful name by the way we are indeed trying to create an aura we are trying to create a movement I'm sorry to come to your name but it's it's actually very close to the truth if you

Step back a little bit I mean Friedman did the world's not Friedman Keynes they did the world a huge disservice when he said all companies should do is drive profits for the shareholder and not break the law now that was 74 I believe

And it was Friedman wasn't it Keynes I am now confused you help me academic but anyway yes from that point I see we we've studied companies and we've done a lot of brand and company purpose work with stories like Lord Leverhulme at

At the base of Unilever the same is true for Nestle the same is true for Procter & Gamble the same is true for Sony we're two founders wrote their declaration and their mission on a piece of paper while the city was still smoldering around

Them at the end of the World War two to say we're gonna show the world that Japanese technology can actually help humanity and I make these points only to say that I don't really believe there's a lot of companies in the world that

Were created with the pulper purpose of making a lot of money there were founders that wanted to make a big difference there were founders that wanted to impact the world around them and what's

Happened in the history of most big companies is that at some point the founders left the bean counters took over no disrespect to the CFO and somehow the goal came became about you know adding 20% of the bottom line or

Doubling our net for whatever no one goes home to their to their parents to their wives to their husbands to their kids and says we're gonna double profit this year you know that's not a real thing and so a lot of companies have

Lost their direction and and I think that actually getting back to understanding what the value is that we create to our communities to the world at large is just helping and it's good business sense so what we actually feel

Like we're pushing water uphill we think we're reconnecting companies to their original source of success now back to your question of the rolling of IRG there are it's difficult to sell that story in many companies where now the

Bean counters are in charge and so what it takes is a movement a reconnection to our own roots and most company's roots but also to other people that have done this recently that are doing this and that have best practices on how do you

Overcome these objections how do you win over what are the arguments that the CFO buys into what are the arguments that our board needs to hear to understand that this is not a flash in the pan but back to fundamentals and we see our role

Together with all our part like the say Business School in building the confidence of these leaders to influence their companies and connecting them to the resources to research and the best practices that they can do it

Faster yeah I I couldn't agree more with that because I think we're on the same page with this but but to me it feels like the broader point is is that this is a very human thing business is a human thing right and we're talking here

Really about what I know you've called humanized growth and that principle I think is very very core to to what IRG is doing indeed what we're doing as well as a school in our marketing work but also across the board with with

Responsible business initiatives and other sorts of things so it really is about you know back to Torre's question I think it's finding that common thread that actually gets the humans invested in the the growth aspirations of the of

The enterprise and that could be a tiny little business you know with a single you know sole trader type business or it could be you know the largest company on the planet but unless you can align those four stakeholder groups with some

Common mission and common purpose or purposes I suppose can be multi-purpose it's it's just not gonna work I think in today's world and to me I feel like that's what what we've been going through over the last you know four

Months five months in the world you know with covet and and with race and and all of these sort of social and public health issues that are arising it's it's bringing human back into the center of everything and making it very very

Obvious because once we're stuck in our house is working by ourselves but connecting you know like this on zoom' you know it's taking actually some some humanity out of the human experience but it's bringing new forms of humanity into

It so I think it actually has given all of us hopefully all of us pause to kind of reflect on what being a citizen of the world so to speak is these days and and what that means in our roles in organizations as academics as business

Leaders so I think I think this is this is a good movement that we're that we're on and I think backing it with good research and good evidence to show for example what what your work is done Marc and showing all yeahthe over performers

See stake holder they do have a humanized approach to business there is empathy in the way that those leaders work is its these are proof points that this is the the way to do things I want you go ahead well highlight one theme

Because I think in many worlds people were living multiple personas and were one person at work and were quite a different person at home what this zoom period has just smashed us into is a realm where you know we might be talking

And my cat might just walk across my keyboard or my son or daughter might be tugging at my elbow because they want another cookie I had that happen last week and I think that really pushes open the you know market myopia is a term

That doesn't exist for nothing we all get stuck in our are very ivory towers and that comes with seniority and it becomes and it comes with time and and and what this allows us to do is to bring that diversity back from

Directions that we we never would have thought of before and I've already experienced zoom calls where people were throwing around ideas that no one before would have imagined and and hopefully with this people when they do reengage

And come back to the office or when we find a hybrid model which is what I think will be will be will be working towards suddenly the discussions are much richer in diversity yeah and I think I think a lot of people and I

Think this is true actually for our organization too but other organizations leaders I've been talking to have have really commented that this is almost a where there were some sort of culture issues in their organizations this has

Proven to be actually quite a positive reset button now notwithstanding there there are many difficulties from working from home and and you know we you know from from from all different directions and we we appreciate that but to look on

The on the pot into the positives I do think that that this is helped with sort of collaboration diversification and diversity of thought in in teams I think I think there have been a lot of good things that

Hopefully we can take back when we go back to our offices and go back to our flying around the world or doing whatever we do for our work however we used to do it and kind of take some of that almost a speedy accor

Back into the way that we're doing things because I think that we hopefully can grow as a result of that you know if I'm if I may connect this to a component of the the IRG leadership curriculum we talked about the two very important and

Almost two sides of the same coin but very different qualities of of growth leaders to successful world leaders one we call them the da vinci growth leaders and that Vinci because they are whole brain they truly are able to bring

Together within themselves or at least in their teams both the analytical which is the data that I know you talk a lot about and and really needs to fill i feel the the starting point for any strategy with the creative and we're

Seeing a lot of sameness I talked about this before marketers with their you know their the performance marketing cap on and they're perhaps over eagerness to show measurable results have thrown out creativity and so we need to create a

Transformation to bring that back in but da Vinci because he was whole brain and he was also a humanist he had heart he really was passionate around the role of human of humans in their Total Environment and in our curriculum we

Look at two important aspects one which is a servant leadership the ability of senior leaders and this gets more important that you become more senior to actually step back and create space for others to speak and to bring in diverse

Ideas because we can bring people in that are diverse it doesn't mean that we're hearing diverse ideas that were open that we're promoting those so great in that space is servant leadership and at the same time what we call radical

Candor well by the way that's not our term there's a great book about that which really pushes on to people their responsibility to say if you're feeling that something isn't right here or that this could be pushed could be pushed

Further or needs a new idea speak up now those are all about humanity opening up and showing its true form it's true originality it's true creativity and I think that is our future that's what

Drives new growth so I think now is a good opportunity to to invite my colleagues to join the conversation because there's this plenty that we can talk about I'm sure they want to chime in with their views as well so I want to

Welcome Rhonda Harry who's an associate professor of marketing here with us at the side business school Rhonda's an expert on consumer behavior particularly around sensory marketing and and how

Consumers engage with technology and Philippe Tamas who's also an associate professor of marketing and an expert on marketing strategy and digital as well as although we probably won't get into today illegal marketplaces in the dark

Web so Rhonda and Philippe thank you for for joining mark and me for this conversation past we can start off actually with thinking about the empathy point and end this of the humanized aspects that Mark

And I were just talking about because I know you both would have views on this so I'm just curious what what those views might be Rhonda did you want to kick off yeah no I love what you said about that mark and I think it's sort of

Almost paradoxical to think that in some ways we're more isolated than we ever have been and loneliness is on the rise but at the same time we're all more joined than ever in this shared experience you know on a regardless of

Geographic socioeconomic conditions and so it's really interesting to sort of think about empathy as this silver lining of the whole crisis and I can't help but think about how Co made the Cova crisis kind of intersects with the

Black life matters black lives matter and greater discussions around diversity and equality how those two things intersect so from a customer perspective which is usually the perspective I take it's interesting to think about how

Companies now are listening more than ever before which is obviously a huge part of actually developing empathy but not only is listening important but actually understanding the consumer the customer is important and so you can

Really only do that if internally your team's reflect the general market both you know your existing and potential market and so you know we know from our colleagues and organizational behavior that there are so many performance

Measures linked to greater diversity in teams but also from a marketing perspective really understanding what you're gaining by listening to consumers and then of course having the more diverse teams allows you to communicate

That in a way that's authentic to your customer base and again if you didn't have that diversity on your teams it would be more difficult to do that so I think that the silver lining is you know coming out of these crises is a real

Emphasis on empathy listening and greater diversity internally which are all great things Rhonda I couldn't agree more and I don't think it's a coincidence that too happens so closely to one another

I think the world generally was more empathetic because of the covert crisis it was a raised awareness and raised sensitivity to to empathy to to feelings to the emotions of people that were suffering to the world in general and

And and then of course all the activities that came right after that and and I think we've got quite a few to go to be honest but again I would say as a marketer this is a very special period for us which by the way we need to yield

That power very very responsibly and carefully because people have now opened their hearts leaders have opened their hearts have had to open their hearts but I think I've wanted to open their hearts and so what they need now more than ever

Is not just who's shouting loudest but an informed window in the world's Adi codification of the world around us because it's not gonna happen overnight so that companies will have that true representation that's a must do and

That's the agenda for any HR and any leader for the next period until you truly represent the audience you serve at the world that you operate within of course but right now companies need to understand how to navigate this new

Reality and I think marketers and the inside departments of marketers often control are the window in the world and that's where it all starts and so how do we make sure that that window on the world because I agree with you but how

Do we make sure that yep let's take in size departments or in science agencies just as an example in marketing how do we make sure that they are you know capturing the world as it is as opposed to just seeing it through a certain

Certain lens which which perhaps has been a criticism in the past what what things have to happen now I mean granted some things are going to take longer terms of more diversity in the workforce and so on although I don't think that

Should take too long but but you know that will take time what what do we do to open our eyes even ourselves as marketing professionals and leaders well Felipe you might have an answer to but I'll give you my two cents just it all

Starts with leading by example my favorite moment you mentioned that I'd been a marketing consultant for about 15 years we created the company and still my favorite moment of impact was a big dairy company in Europe the number two

In Europe and it's a corporate if it's actually farmers that have created the company to sell their milk and and you know make it into other products as well if they can butter yogurt so forth it's run or it was run by this typical

Cigar-smoking we're talking you know early 2000s CEO that basically sat in the back of her Mercedes and visited all the big farming communities around Europe because she could buy wrote and his role in the annual marketing

Conference which about 250 marketing and insights people all across Europe his role was always to kick it off and to explain the corporate strategy and basically say chop chop I need more growth from you

Right that was his call to action to the marketers and we did something very different with him he stood up on the play at the beginning of this annual marketing conference and behind him was

A huge picture of a mother and he started to talk about this lady with an intimacy that immediately became apparent he had spent without anyone knowing it three times eight hours with this lady learning shopping with her

Cooking with her sitting at the dinner table with her and he spoke from the heart about not only how she was juggling two jobs to make enough money for this family and had all these insecurities about not being home when

The children came back from school insecurities over all the way to the point of whether she was attractive enough as a partner for her husband because she was working so hard and can you imagine this CEO talking about this

The first you know 20 seconds people started to give were like oh he went to a focus group and sat behind the mirror and after 15 minutes it you could hear a pin drop because he had taken the trouble to open his heart and learn the

Reality of what for them was a really important consumer and the message was very clear are you doing this do you know your consumers this well and it starts with you so yes inside departments need to do a good job to

Represent the overall reality outside the company but once you open out your heart and you ask the right questions and you're willing to go outside the pair the the ivory tower people will tell you what they need I think I think

Feeling pain now it's it's very true I mean if you look at our marketing departments as kind of like the eyes and ears of the firm into the marketplace right it can be very easy for you to just close your eyes to part of the

World and just say no actually I just have this one focus group and I'm going to over index and just measure this one part and pretend that that's the totality of all people and as you've all mentioned like it's going to be a

Reflection of who's asking the questions who's in the room making those decisions that is going to reflect and can build a decision before you actually even acquire data you will know what the end result

Is going to be and it just becomes kind of a validation of what that first person wanted to do in the first place in that way that just market research becomes unnecessary in a sham it's a confirmation of expectations so it's it

All fits together if you want to have a good view of the market you don't just you know when I was in the industry we just went to Cleveland and asked a few people it's like that's not representative it's right it's a good

Average but it's not representative I was wondering if I can make one broad statement based on what Mark and Andrew were talking about and get your reaction going back to like dis creating value right and creating real like financial

Outcomes for a firm like I want to be in a stronger position especially around this multi-stakeholder thing I'm gonna make a bit of a statement and saying that if I move from this investor intensive view our exclusivity and just

Bring others into this and going to multi stakeholder the firm itself not necessarily just the investor but the firm itself is in a better position because it would be more resilient the reason I say this is we know investors

Create portfolios and they divest away all sorts of risk and the firm then lives with that risk and absorbs a lot of some of these conditions that the investor doesn't have to worry about so if suddenly you as a firm worry about

Your consumers your colleagues clients customers are you better able to manage shocks like we're seeing now instead of just you know optimizing to a perfection that makes you relatively fragile you want the first month I've got some

Hugh's but well you know I I was I was reflecting as she was speaking Philippe I think the the big word that hasn't been said yet is what's your time horizon mm-hmm I think that's the unlock because you know we all

And it's actually a false truth that investors want short-term returns and that's true for a particularly group of investors and they happen to be the loudest investors they're the ones that come in become an activist investor and

Unwrap the assets of a company and and salon for for a year or two year return that's a vast minority of investors which is something that people don't realize the vast majority are the black rocks of this world that are actually

Creating long-term returns for your pension and my pension and my savings and so they want longer-term multi stakeholder returns that's why their fate was the very first of those investors to say to CEOs I don't want to

Just hear your short-term profit but you should need to tell me how you're creating value for all stakeholders because I consider it a risk if you don't have those strategies and study after study shows this and this shows

Why the fact that you're doing your work and we're collaborating in the Institute for real growth with you in bringing this information to these leaders because there's lots of unknowns people just don't know that the data is

Completely convincing that the long-term returns of over performance are those the companies that actually take the multistakeholder not the shirt on investor primacy attitude Rhonda what do you think about that from

The consumer perspective because I was when Filippo was talking about and I think about resilience it's not just about having you know cash in the bank to you know keep me that's part of it for sure or investor capital coming in

But it's it's about you know the human resilience of an organization to pull together in tough times but but also from the customers standpoint so with what's your take on that think about it through a consumer lens so I was

Thinking as Mark was talking about resilience from the supply chain point of view and operations point of view what would sort of the equivalent be from a marketing point of view and Mark touched on the importance of having a

Purpose and how if you already had this defined purpose you then can communicate in a lot in a much more quick fashion I think also if you have already developed an insights engine you can really quickly respond to your customers in a

Way that that's appropriate so so I think that going back to this idea of time horizon building those those capabilities to to listen understand and communicate effectively it really is more of a long-term strategy because it

Means not just in times of crisis but at all times you're able to really quickly respond to your customer base in an appropriate way and I was I was actually curious a question I had for you mark is we know from the consumer perspective

That there are some generational differences so for example our younger consumers find it especially important this idea of authenticity not that anybody appreciates inauthenticity but and for younger consumers they they

Really place a heavy emphasis on that and on purpose and I'm wondering if you notice any generational differences either amongst consumers or business commuters in terms of their reactions or the way they're responding maybe to

Either crisis actually that's such a good point that I've run there because indeed so we've talked a lot in the last 10-15 minutes about the way that the organization is connected or learning from the world around its its window in

The world what we didn't touch upon yet is the internal connectivity so there the IRG data shows a dramatic over performance for companies that have great internal connectivity and that is along two axis and this was the work

That we did with LinkedIn and it's based on three million leaders data all publicly available of course NOAA no breach of confidentiality there but the data showed was one that in the companies that were over-performing

Marketing and sales were best much better connected to the other disciplines in the organization but now to answer your question directly there was a five times higher rate of connectivity between senior leaders and

Junior leaders so our unlock is you've got the people you've got the answers inside your organization but are you listening to them so in fact one of our modules when we talk about creating a growth ecosystem and Felipe and I were

Talking about that in a side conversation yes it's about building ecosystems with external partners like suppliers and agencies and so forth but it's also about building the internal collaboration and actually creating

Reverse mentoring programs so that senior leaders are forced to shut up and listen and learn from the junior people in their organization so that they hear the things that you are talking about and that they learn and shape strategy

We've got shadow boards which is another construct cancer one of our other partners has a shadow board so every senior board leader meeting there is a set of I think four junior leaders listening in and they get the floor the

Last hour a half hour of the meeting to comment on everything they said and to bringing things that they thought should have been on the agenda and and another other companies create challenger boards to bring you know that that sort of

Challenge of what we think is normal we should be talking about and what we're taking as reality as our starting point for strategy development so you've put your finger on I think the easiest and quickest fix for now which is to learn

From the other generations that are actually working side by side with us already and so I want to refer to one of the questions that that's coming from the audience I should mention with the exception of Antarctica there there are

People on every continent tuned in to this broadcast right now so it's really wonderful but so Hendrik who's in Germany had posed a question do you think the companies now have to sort of rethink organizational structure in part

Because leadership hasn't always been a school that's he might've hadn't I think the answer you just heard which is it's not just the formal structure those these informal structures from from what Mark was saying that they discovered

With their their LinkedIn research work where it's it's it's it's their internal connectivity that's a connective almost social tissue that the informal networks within organizations that really matter and having marketing you know embedded

At the heart of that seems to be an empirical finding that says do this this is a very very good thing to do but not you know in in siloed organizations perhaps wait we're not always seeing that so I think it's

Good to bring that up to the surface I want to go to another question while we're on the audience side of things and I think we probably all have a perspective on this one this one comes from from danielpeach who is a former

Mba student of ours I think Rhonda Philippe you probably remember Daniel from a few years ago who works at Google now so 101 of IR G's partners and one of our future of marketing partners so it's all the

Family I suppose but anyway Daniel's asking about branding investments given the recession so what do we think that do we think companies are going to invest more in branding now – I mean he's saying to gain market share but I

Could imagine – to drive other growth objectives given that the competitive landscape has changed or is in the process of changing so brand investments who wants to maybe Philippe would you like to kick off some thoughts on that

First I can start on them and I can add a little bit of my research and then you kind of toss it to everybody else in terms of because it opens up more questions right part of the the research says that when you have a crisis when

You have a massive systemic shift like this you have you put everybody in the same kind of small box so everybody's going to be facing the same restrictions same everything else that your business is and eventually most businesses are

Going to end up finding the same solution to that problem because they are optimizing on that same space which makes everybody the same which is really not great for marketing right so you have to find you have to think about how

To do things differently in a way to me this starts to highlight some the stuff that mark has mentioned before and that we're seeing this tactical low level marketing in reaction to things we might have seen all that even creatively we've

Might have seen the same zoom commercial for every brand as they come to the same solution to this universal problem it's an interesting and it's going to vary a lot depending on your industry vertical whatever you want

Call it on how your competitors react but the main reaction for a lot of firms is to remove all marketing spend right like you're going to beef up your internal machinery by bringing in cash that you observe as being non-essential

And that just creates a huge window of opportunity for a business that goes and invests and just creates not just market shares and dimension but any brand asset that is just going to take this short term view the short term pain and is

Just gonna buy a better position to make much more of money much more value later on so it's it's a huge opportunity to have like really potentially effective and efficient marketing spend as long as you're not doing exactly what everybody

Else is not well you know it's funny I'll give some thoughts about this but I would also with your permission like to go back to a Hendricks question about organization because I think there's a little bit more to be said there but but

But on this point it's interesting when when I went to school more years ago than I care to mention in this webinar there was this famous case study where coca-cola in some Latin America country had not invested for four years and the

Fourth year the brand collapsed and we've always I think I had this you know it's a it's a difficult discussion as a marketer because our spend is always the budget that everybody looks to when you hit a speed bump as a company and and

It's a very difficult argument to make that things will collapse next year because they won't now we have a much more recent example which is the the 3G group and especially Kraft Heinz which was gutted as an organization from all

Its creativity and and long-term innovation and it took about four to five years and the brand collapsed the company collapsed and now we actually had the new CEO on one of our webinars they are building in and investing

Heavily in innovation in creativity because that's the the lifeblood that they needed but um but I think there is something to be said that right now given that everybody hit the same speed bump and that so many companies are

Fighting survival that the dramatic reduction in spend actually allows a lot of companies to survive and it's almost like as long as we all play team because if one person then jumps on the bandwagon says

No no I'm going to spend a lot in that same environment they will drive benefit but what I thought was funny is that and it's back to run this point about purpose we've spoken to lots of CMOS that said well we wanted to say XY and Z

But we weren't quite sure we were allowed to or we weren't quite sure whether that would backfire and quite frankly what they were saying was we weren't clear about our purpose and if you look at brands like dove that have

Been doing real beauty for twenty years and the way they came out celebrating the first line respondus will you know that the campaign with all the the nurses and so forth with their masks imprinted on their face it's just

Talking about it makes me emotional quite frankly and they didn't have to think about it they didn't have to think about whether that's who they were they just moved and so two things on the investment I think everybody's taking a

Step back and it's okay the most companies have been given a Hall Pass for this year's results and for them to survive I think many of us have taken a pay cut I should need had to for three months and companies are

Doing the same thing and if advertising spends was was that was that outlets that discretionary spend that was reduced for three four or five months so be it as long as that was a industry trend but that leaden creates the

Opportunity to do that strategic step back and rethink as is so necessary who are we really serving what do we want to be in the world what difference and why do we exist basically so we can get back to organization when you think that's

Right Andrew but that would be my point on the investment yeah I mean I will come back to that cuz actually Hendrick is has posted a follow-up question so still we can so we get a dialogue going but but I wanted to come to around the

First because I mean what you were just talking about Marcus is really about I mean you talk about purpose and so you know Dov for example knowing exactly what they stand for and and what they've always stood for or at least for

A couple of decades so it's a natural thing I'm curious again back on the consumer side that's basically the foot side of that purpose driven marketing or having a purpose part of marketing is authenticity I guess

Don't you think Rambler I mean that's sort of the the other side of that coin through the consumers eyes because they see it as as authentic as real as legitimate as opposed to not just you know saying stuff because everyone else

Is jumping on the bed Oh in this together we're there with you we've all seen the real of 50 let's run the what do you a bit but I guess I you know as you know me I'm always thinking a little bit more about sort of a more cynical

Customer do they still do the Sutton yeah tell me some consumers just gonna see through all of this even even the most purposeful brands alright so how do you break through when people also very distracted yeah I mean I think one thing

That was mentioned is how consumers now more than ever are pretty willing to call you out as a company if you are making statements that aren't actually in line with your actions and so it's one thing to say you know we stand with

You I mean again it just becomes so cliche but if you you know say you stand with the BLM movement but then you have absolutely no diversity let's say on your board or senior leadership then immediately you know somebody's going to

Call you out on that consumers are going to call you out on that and they're kind of dedicated blogs for calling out companies and brands that are making these sort of statements that that are really inauthentic when you look at how

It compares to their practices so I think that that again can be can say sort of another silver lining of this whole movement is that you know brands really have to make sure their actions reflect their messages and you can't

Just sort of have this sense of perceived empathy you really have to put actions and kind of money where your mouth is well Android you said it yourself I thought it was interesting how you are you phrased it to see

Through if there's something to see through it's not real yeah and for dove it Israel I happen to know it's who it's but it's why those people chose to work for Unilever to not to actually refuse promotions to other

Brands because this is what they want to do this is what I want to talk to their kids and to their mothers about because they feel they're making a difference so if there's something to see through you've got a problem yeah now so let's

Come back quickly though mark to be to the org question so Hendrick has the follow-up is do we think that marketing should focus more on extending customer value I guess if existing customers instead of

Generating many new customers I guess retention and value versus acquisition and I we could probably talk particularly Philippe I could probably talk about this for for a very long time but we've got about four minutes left

And I want to have some final thoughts as well so mark you could just just let us know what you're thinking about with structure I don't like the second question I don't know the answer so I'm gonna go really I'm gonna answer the

First question go for it then there's some many politicians so know you were asking about what's gonna change and I wasn't just going to mention that I mentioned these earlier seven building blocks for real growth one of them is

Called anticipative organization and it is indeed it's something that we wrote around 2014 about already this sort of a think feel do way of building marketing teams and we believe that the new paradigm of an organization is not the

Oil tanker that you try and move a little bit so that it goes to a different place over time but it's really a swarm a flock of birds that is flexible together clearly strong but also agile if it runs into into

Obstructions or seize new opportunities and so we think the world will probably be sort of 80% or 70% organization for organizations sake because things are predictable sometimes but 30% agile teams that are fit for purpose that

Bring together whoever it is we need to win this micro battle so I do think there's a new organizational paradigm there and it's not unique to marketing in fact it's very cross-functional and it builds on the principles of design

Thinking all right we've got three minutes left of the broadcast and so I want us to go quickly and the the panel here for final thoughts but the question is actually what do we think marketers need to be

Focusing on for the rest of this very disrupted year Felipe you're up no sir just to answer that directly I think we need to be mindful of the movement of marketing from winning today to a long term as a strategic asset as opposed to

Just purely I mean it does have a tactical role but not purely so and that our competitors are reacting to the same stimuli so we have to pay attention to how we fit within that schema and create differentiation so we're still true to

Ourselves in authentic but actually creating value that is differentiated Rhondda marketing in the next six months yeah you know I was also gonna touch it down upon the long term time prize in there and just you know if it is true

That we have this kind of Hall Pass or free pass right now then what better time to really invest in in the brand and your customers developing customer insights for the long term okay and Mark I'm very simple we're never waste a good

Crisis this is the opportunity to put what we're all seeing happening today tomorrow into a broader context of where are we operating within what's the ecosystem and why do we exist and when we reconnect to that everything else

Follows and now people have opened not just their minds but also their hearts to what we know actually moves people to action it's their feelings not their it Martin all right and on that note I think it's a great place to to end

Today's episodes I want to thank Rhonda Philippe and of course mark for joining us I think it's been a really fascinating conversation thank you to all of you who tuned in to the broadcast live and then to those of you I'm sure

Are going to be watching it on YouTube and Facebook later on thank you for watching and I wish you all continued health and and you know my final piece of advice for marketing over the next six months

Is stay the course stay stay with this because brands will survive and and customers will stay with you if you have that purpose and authenticity that we've talked about and I think as a few of us said it's it's going to be the actions

That that truly matter so make sure you're doing that so thank you everyone and take care thank you Ronda Felipe and especially Andrew for being a great partner thank you thank you you

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