The Reinvention of Marketing Leadership

March 11, 2016

Executive Summary

The Internationalist brought together leaders in the industry to discuss best practices for targeting Hispanic communities on social media. Moderated by Deborah Malone, founder of The Internationalist, the panelists discussed what it takes to be a transformational leader and to rebuild brand relevance, along with advice for moving forward.

Key Takeaways

On marketing leadership

“Leaders need to be architects of growth.” (Simon Bradley, vice president of marketing at Virgin Atlantic)

  • Those in leadership role need to accept that the fact that marketing is at the dawn of a new age, and that to succeed in this new era, they will need to blow up the past to make room for the future.
  • They will also increasingly need to be advocates for growth and innovation. There are few who have the vision to see opportunities for what they are and much of leader’s job will be creating grassroots movements within their organizations and to convincing people to take a chance on new ideas.
  • To stay at the top of their game, leaders will need to be constantly networking, observing, and questioning.

On brand relevance

“Purpose and relevancy are social currency, and if your brand doesn’t have them, then you can't talk to consumers.” (Vineet Mehra, president of marketing at Johnson & Johnson)

  • Branding with purpose + Connecting in moments that matter = Relentless Relevance. Relevance is fueled by how much value a brand delivers to a consumer.
  • Find a purpose to reignite the conversation. Go back to the brand’s core, restate its values and what it stands for, and then find a way to effectively communicate those things to consumers. However, be careful not to activate this newfound purpose in the same way or your brand will not be able to elicit or sustain the conversation.
  • Ad blocking is direct response to brands not being relevant. Marketers cannot continue to attack consumers with irrelevant messages.

On the future

“Marketing is being reinvented as we speak.” (Mehra)

  • If you can’t outspend, outshout, outdo, then your mantra needs to be outwit.
  • E-commerce is the fastest growing part of the industry. If you can get ahead of the curve and win on that front, then you will win the next ten years of marketing.
  • Embrace the notion of fast-failure and experiment constantly. If this is something that you can’t embrace, then your ability to adapt in this volatile world will be severely compromised.

"The Reinvention of Marketing Leadership." Simon Bradley, Vice President of Marketing at Virgin Atlantic Airways; Johann Freilinger, Head of Marketing and Communications at SAP XM; Melody Lee, Director, Brand Strategy & Planning at Cadillac; and Vineet Mehra, President of Marketing at Johnson & Johnson. Internationalist Global Summit, 3/11/16.

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