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Marketing Today with Alan Hart

Alan Hart, marketer and advisor to the world's best marketers and companies, leads intimate conversations with the world's most dynamic chief marketing officers (CMOs) and business leaders. Alan goes further than other marketing podcasts to learn CMO strategies, tips, and advice. Alan and his guests reveal what makes a great brand, marketing campaign, or turnaround. Learn from the personal experience and rich stories of these marketing and business leaders so you can unleash your full potential.

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88: Marketo CTO Manoj Goyal talks marketing automation, sales acceleration, engagement platforms, and innovation

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


28 Mar 2018

Rank #1

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41: For Peloton head marketer Carolyn Tisch Blodgett, it’s all about people loving the bike

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


12 Apr 2017

Rank #2

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109: Marketing Today talks with Digital Darwinism author Tom Goodwin

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


22 Aug 2018

Rank #3

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120: Julie Eaton of Corian Design: “Pivot and keep moving forward”

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


24 Oct 2018

Rank #4

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14: Chris Balach, Team Leader, Shopper Marketing & Consumer Promotions, Wrigley (former Sr. Brand Manager, Extra Gum & Mints)

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.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


21 Oct 2015

Rank #5

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92: Working in tandem: Jim Lyski and Shamim Mohammad of CarMax

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


25 Apr 2018

Rank #6

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62: Kevin Lane Keller always wants to be rigorous and relevant

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


20 Sep 2017

Rank #7

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38: Under Armour CMO Andy Donkin: “Find what’s working and hit the gas”

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


22 Mar 2017

Rank #8

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72: Alegra O’Hare: The brand genius behind Adidas Originals

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


22 Nov 2017

Rank #9

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17: Marketing Talent, The Future of Marketing Leadership, Buick & Allen Edmonds Case Studies

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.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


2 Dec 2015

Rank #10

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64: For Paul Smith, it’s all about people, culture and authenticity

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


4 Oct 2017

Rank #11

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95: Brandon Rhoten on the time and patience it takes to build a brand

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


16 May 2018

Rank #12

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66: Jonathan Cude and the value of fearlessness and resiliency

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


18 Oct 2017

Rank #13

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119: Scott Mueller of Shopchology on where modern retail is headed

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


17 Oct 2018

Rank #14

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105: Jennifer Halloran on leading MassMutual’s comprehensive rebranding efforts

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


25 Jul 2018

Rank #15

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91: Change with the changing times: Joe Mandese on the past, present, and future of journalism, media, and marketing

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


18 Apr 2018

Rank #16

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104: Mark Barden of eatbigfish on challenger brands and the age of disruption

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


18 Jul 2018

Rank #17

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20: How Fast Growth B2B Firms Can Use Marketing to Drive Results

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)Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


9 Nov 2016

Rank #18

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82: Adam Pierno finds his second act in the world of strategy

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


14 Feb 2018

Rank #19

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79: David Aaker on the power of stories and the fight for the soul of capitalism

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) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/marketingtodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


24 Jan 2018

Rank #20