“Marketing Recoded” at CAMP 2022 in Lima, Peru

July 7, 2022 at CAMP 2022, Lima, Peru

Keynote: “Marketing Recoded: What’s new, and not, in a world of relentless change?”

Download a summary of Peter’s Marketing Recoded keynote

“Every market is shaken up, with new challengers and disruptive innovation, new agendas for customers and business. Marketers are the sense makers, the business innovator and growth drivers. The pioneers of your future business”

Keynote: “Friction-Free Marketing: The best brands are not about you” 

Download a summary of Peter’s Friction-Free Marketing keynote

“Consumer to consumer models are rapidly becoming the most effective marketing dynamics, social to superapps, collabs to  communities. Brands are about people, their passions and communities, not about business and its products and services”

How do you see the future? Peter Fisk explores the post-pandemic world, the new opportunities emerging as every market is shaken up, and what it takes to reimagine the future and embrace the waves of change.

Peter takes you on a journey that rides the 5 seismic megatrends reshaping every market over the next 10 years, and what this means for business and its leaders in driving future strategies, innovation and growth.

He explores some of the world’s most innovative companies right now – from Tan Le’s Emotiv neurotech to Mikael Bjergso’s world-leading craft beer, Haier’s future vision for the home and DBS’s invisible bank, Jio’s super apps of India and Orsted’s green transformation.

And how to do it. Future back and outside in. With purpose, disruption and courage. Jump on your surfboard and get ready for an incredible ride!

Why marketing leaders need to be the future shapers, business innovators and growth drivers

Marketers have a deep understanding of markets, how the future is emerging, what the customers of today and tomorrow are demanding, how competitors are evolving, the best new ideas around the world, and therefore what it will take to drive future innovation and growth. Yet only 11% of CEOs come from a marketing-related background, far behind those who were CFOs or COOs. Finance and operations matter, but they don’t move the organisation forwards.

Too many marketers get caught up in the tactics – perfecting the creative execution of advertising, debating the intricacies of price changes, ensuring that their search engine positioning is optimised, a slave to quarterly revenues, or maybe even the sales team. The driver for ever great data analytics, the use of precision marketing tools, the desire for real time engagement, has dragged – or enticed – marketing leaders into this short-term. Yes, it matters, but it’s not everything.

Marketers should be stepping up to drive strategy, innovation, and change across the organisation. If not them, then who?

One of the most profound moments of my own marketing career was when working with Coca Cola, their CMO had a last-minute idea to rebrand his global marketing plan as the global growth plan. Suddenly everyone in the executive team wanted to see it, read it, be part of it. Suddenly it became a conversation not about reducing the marketing budget, but how to find more budget to fund additional growth. Marketers are the growth drivers, and actually create over 3x more economic value than any other function in the business (based on a research project I did with Philip Kotler’s input and a team of economists). And marketers have some indispensable tools – brands, customers, innovation – to achieve this growth.

The problem is that too many marketers live in an echo chamber.

Some examples. Too many marketers talk about marketing as “their industry”. It’s not. They are instead professionals contributing towards their business in its own industry – banking, retail or whatever. This tribal motivation can bond us as a professional community, and focus us on functional deliverables, but it diverts us from the real contribution marketers can make to organisations, and their close allegiance and integration with cross-functional colleagues. The exception are the leaders and their teams who have repositioned themselves more holistically as Customer Director, Chief Growth Officer, and the like.

Secondly. Too many marketers have a far too cosy relationship with their creative agencies. It’s like they outsource their creativity to the agency, who still largely take a myopic view (of course, there are many types of agencies, but the ad agencies still tend to dominate relationships despite the diminishing share of spend on traditional media). Ad agencies themselves describe their world as “adland”, a mythical place of long lunches and artistic platitudes (witness the headlines in Campaign). This symbiotic relationship, indulgence in each other, is what holds too many marketers and their businesses back. Creative agencies should be stepping up to contribute more, to make sense of a changing world, to challenge and stretch our collective imaginations.

Too many marketers don’t step up to think strategically, to become the future shapers, the innovation drivers, the change makers. Too many marketers are still obsessed with communications, at the expense of other aspects of marketing – not just product and service development, but channels and pricing can have a huge impact too, perhaps even greater than the most beautifully crafted ad campaign.

Instead marketers should be the visionaries behind how the future can be shaped, how markets will evolve, anticipating and driving change rather than just responding. They should be searching the world for new growth opportunities, for new consumer insights, for more innovative ideas. They should be the architects of new business models, and indeed, new market models. New ways for markets to work, new ways to unlock brands as the most valuable assets, new ways to achieve success. They should be the driving force of business futures, the catalysts and sage to the business leader, the instigator and enabler of change.

So here’s my manifesto for marketers:

Growth Drivers

  • Marketers exist to drive the growth of a business. Yet few marketers have the confidence, or maybe capability, to define and drive the holistic innovation and growth strategies of their organisations
  • The pandemic drove the biggest shift in consumer behaviour in our lifetime, yet few marketers really transformed their marketing in response, fewer still led a company-wide response to support or seize the opportunities it opened up.

Change Makers

  • Change is driven by markets, yet marketers are rarely the change drivers, reimagining corporate strategies, business models and strategic priorities.
  • Customer-centricity is obvious. Yet marketers persist in obsessing about defining purpose, brands, activities and results around old product-centric thinking.

Business Innovators

  • Innovation is probably the most powerful word in business, yet few marketers seek to define and lead the innovation agenda and programs across organisations. Not just new products, business-wide innovation.
  • Most companies seek to be entrepreneurial. Their biggest disruption comes from entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs are marketers. Few marketers are entrepreneurial.

Value Creators

  • Marketing creates three times more economic value than their operational colleagues, yet few marketers can make this case, or lead the company’s dialogue with investors. Oh, and growth needs to be profitable and sustainble too.
  • Customers and brands are probably an organisation’s most valuable financial assets, yet few seek to articulate their value on balance sheets, or to fully exploit their latent potential.

Of course this is a development challenge too. I spend much of my time working on leadership development, and particularly on the T-Shaped development of functional experts as they step to become business leaders. At that point, typically when they enter the C-suite, they shift from the vertical (the focused, functional expert who has all the answers), to the horizontal (the open-mind business leader who asks all the questions). This is is a tough transition for many leaders to make, and is more about awareness and confidence as about capability or skill, but when they can let go of their vertical past, they can thrive.

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