Trendsetter Masthead

Marc Pritchard

Marc Pritchard,
Global Marketing & Brand Building Officer of Procter & Gamble

Kimberly Kadlec,
Worldwide VP of the Global Marketing Group of Johnson & Johnson

Neil Golden

Neil Golden,
SVP & CMO of McDonald's USA

Alfredo Gangotena

Alfredo Gangotena,
CMO of MasterCard Worldwide

Luke Dowdney

Luke Dowdney,
MBE, CEO & Founder of Luta Limited

Neil Golden

Jim Farley,
Group VP of Global Marketing, Sales and Service of Ford Motor Company

Keith Weed

Keith Weed,
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Unilever




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Trendsetters: Top Marketers Share Strategies for Brand Growth and Results Now

Earlier this month in Orlando Florida an extraordinary group of the world's most influential marketers gathered at the at the ANA's (Association of National Advertisers) Annual "Masters of Marketing" Conference. The event, the largest to date in the organization's 102-year history, highlighted important messages from some of marketing's top voices--whether global leaders or upstarts.

Five key trends emerged from the case studies and guiding principles shared by such industry notables as Marc Pritchard, Global Marketing & Brand Building Officer of Procter & Gamble; Kimberly Kadlec, Worldwide VP of the Global Marketing Group of Johnson & Johnson; Neil Golden, SVP & CMO of McDonald's USA; Alfredo Gangotena, CMO of MasterCard Worldwide; Luke Dowdney MBE, CEO & Founder of Luta Limited; Jim Farley, Group VP of Global Marketing, Sales and Service of Ford Motor Company; Keith Weed, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Unilever; Lisa Cochrane, SVP of Marketing of Allstate Insurance; Alison Lewis, SVP of Marketing, North America or Coca-Cola; Luc Bardin, Group Chief Sales & Marketing Officer & Group VP of BP.

The trends include:

  1. "Doing Good" is today's rallying cry for marketing practices and business results.
  2. Social media is increasingly at the heart of new programs and discoveries.
  3. There's greater willingness to admit marketing mistakes in a fast-changing world.
  4. Having a global perspective is unquestionably a business necessity.
  5. Being brave and taking bold risks is now critical to achieving success.

The notion of "doing good" was woven throughout all marketer discussions as social transparency intersects with social responsibility in today's consumer or user driven world. From P&G's emphasis on "purposeful branding" to McDonald's "marketing for good," it's clear that a more complex digital world is also becoming a more "human" one that allows businesses to be better built through connections that matter.

MasterCard Worldwide's CMO Alfredo Gangotena told the audience, "Make the world a better place. Work as hard as you can on your brands and communication to focus on what is positive."

Johnson & Johnson's Worldwide VP of Global Marketing, Kim Kadlec offered emotional examples of how her company's marketing has transformed by connecting with all of its constituents differently. Among the many emotional examples shared were initiatives that provide peer education when living with HIV, encourage children's play to fight obesity, support India's "Kishori" Program for menstrual hygiene practices, and a commitment to overcome the shortage of nurses through a campaign that not only raised money, but helped people feel good about the profession.

It was Keith Weed, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Unilever, who presented the industry's most comprehensive program for driving consumer-led growth that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. His discussion of "Crafting Brands for Life" embeds sustainable living through a new marketing strategy. At the heart of this dramatic, large-scale project are two pivotal elements:

  1. It is not a "CSR" (Corporate Social Responsibility) program. In fact, Unilever dismantled their CSR department to demonstrate that "crafting brands for life" is not an "add on," but an essential part of the Unilever ethos.
  2. The marketing department needs to be the lead for sustainability. This may mean than an organization needs to be realigned, but it certainly requires an entirely new strategy to reinvent marketing that changes how people engage with brands.

Luke Dowdney MBE, CEO & Founder of Luta Limited training-wear for the sport of boxing, is a new marketing voice and one with a distinct message. He has pledged to give 50% of Luta's distributed profits to Fight for Peace, an international non-profit organization based in in Rio de Janeiro that helps young people realize their potential in communities that suffer from crime and violence. According to Luke Dowdney, "Luta doesn't just donate money to a good cause, it lives that cause in everything it does within the marketplace."

Interestingly, much of business' need to demonstrate it is providing greater good is a result of living in a social media world. In turn, our social world is also dramatically reshaping how marketers think about their craft. Jim Farley, Group VP of Global Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford shared how social media has become so great a game-changer that it contributed to keeping the company alive.

He said, "When you're going out of business, you've got to make some big bets. We had to save the company and eliminate waste, then put that savings into consumer-facing media. We bet on prelaunch and social. We're a brand of the people. Authenticity is the currency of today's marketing."

Farley described how the investment in pre-launch enabled people to opt-in for a new product through social media self-selection before the start of traditional advertising. It began with the introduction of the Ford Fiesta into the US from Europe. The brand had no awareness and no budget. However a program launched with young "Fiesta agents" and 100 cars showed Ford the scale and success of social media. Not only did the experiment result in 60% name plate awareness before any ad was run, but the program is being applied to the whole brand globally.

Alison Lewis, SVP of Marketing, North America of Coca-Cola advised the audience to recognize that the new "first screen" may actually be social and mobile. She shared how Coca-Cola used the "second screen" to drive scale during the Super Bowl when they estimated that 60% of the game's 111 million viewers would be using a mobile device or tablet during the game. To have viewers engage with both screens, Coca-Cola's beloved polar bears hosted their own Super Bowl party, the Polar Bowl. Prior to the Big Game, Coke sent digital messages and ran TV ads to encourage consumers to RSVP on Facebook for the event.

Through animation and digital technology, the bears reacted to the game, as well as ads, consumer tweets and Facebook messages-- in real time. One bear cheered for the New York Giants, while the other supported the New England Patriots.

The experiment was a resounding success, with 9 million consumers across various platforms checking in on the bears' antics. Viewers spent an average of 28 minutes with the Polar Bowl, while Coca-Cola also saw its Twitter followers grow by 38% during a four-hour period. Or as Ms. Lewis commented, "Not bad as a "campaign first" for digital, real-time advertising from a webcam from the arctic!"

In a fast-changing, always-on world, experimentation is important, but not all efforts work positively for every brand. Many marketers shared lessons learned from miscommunications or no communications.

Kim Kadlec admitted that sometimes Johnson & Johnson doesn't get it right. She shared how a shortage of OB tampons in Canada caught social media attention. (The shortage was so severe that OB showed up for $250 a box on eBay.) Initially, J&J didn't say such. Then they simply said there'd been a shortage. Customers were furious.

So J&J created a true personal apology to Canadian customers. They sent an e-card from a crooning male singer who not only took responsibility for the problem, but incorporated the customer's first name into the song a dozen times. It ended with a coupon for OB. J&J created 65,000 unique apologies and received 27 million unique video views. Most importantly, women got their product back and J&J had happy customers again.

Marc Pritchard reminded the audience to focus on the consumers' truth, rather than the "truths" we sometimes create for brands. He discussed how Pantene, one of P&G's most successful brands of the 80s, faltered by moving away from brand truth. The famous Kelly LeBrock spot, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" tapped into an essential truth that women feel bad about the damage they do to their hair to look good and want to nourish it. Pantene drifted away from this initial insight, which proved to be a mistake for the brand. They have now resurrected this core truth that connects to essential product benefits with new Eva Mendez spots. Pantene is seeing an improvement in store distribution.