Better marketing produces better results. No WFA member would disagree, in principle, but what does this mean in practice?
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At the Integration Forum during WFA’s Global Marketer Week in Lisbon, senior marketers talked about their own journeys towards better marketing. They shared how moving beyond thinking about “consumers” and “targets” to become people-centric had changed their approach in three key areas; optimising their global organisations, multinational agency partnerships and principle-driven growth.
On internal organisations, one brand shared how they had eliminated their regional management layer and moved their best talent into its most challenging markets. Success, said one CMO, is not about personal agendas: “I lead from our business outcomes and our purpose. That means when I talk, people trust that I’m not fighting the marketing corner – I’m focused on delivering for my company. That goes a long way.”
On agency partners, one brand-owner talked about paying individual bonuses directly to the top performers within their agency networks.
Another CMO talked about the value of principle-driven growth. Many have struggled with the vision and strategy needed for brand positioning to be consistent with an authentic purpose. As a critical starting-point, your brand(s) must have permission to leverage this message. Only then can marketers seek to find the right partners, and causes, to meaningfully support them. A common theme was the importance of engaging the entire organisation. These strategies cannot be seen as purely marketing-led initiatives.
The thread across each area could be summarised as human behaviour. How you treat your people is how you will “show up externally”, both with your industry partners and with all people. Senior global marketers’ role in enabling a more people-centric approach is more important now than ever and goes far beyond the boundaries of a marketing function.
Watch Keith Weed, outgoing Unilever CMO, talk about agency partnerships at the Global Marketer Conference: