Diageo, Google & new data laws: 5 things that mattered this week and why

We round-up everything you need to know from the marketing world this week including major research into what it takes to be a marketing leader, Diageo’s new marketing role and the Google gender diversity row.

Do you have the Anatomy of a Leader?

What does it take to be a marketing leader today? That’s the question we set out to try and answer with our big piece of research on the Anatomy of a Leader. The findings, based on a survey of more than 600 marketers, found that sales and commercial awareness is considered the most important responsibility, cited by 74% of respondents.

This is followed by knowledge of campaign planning and strategy (64%), market research (51%) and new product development (45%). Want to find out if you’ve got what it takes? Then have a go at our quiz.

READ MORE: Do you have the Anatomy of a Leader?

Diageo puts more focus on becoming culturally relevant

Diageo’s decision two years ago to hire its first head of culture and entertainment was an interesting one, signalling a move by the company to become more culturally relevant. And it seems that focus has only intensified, with Diageo now bringing in someone at a more senior level to look after the “fast-growing discipline”.

Anne Nosko is taking up the role, the first time it will have someone at director level. And she takes on a wider remit too, adding media and futures to her responsibilities. At a time when more and more brands are trying to become part of people’s lifestyles, Diageo has realised that standing out from the crowd is more important than ever.

READ MORE: Diageo hires first director of culture and entertainment

Google finds itself in the midst of a gender row

Google memo

Google once again hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week when a memo written by engineer James Damore about gender differences made its way into the public realm. At any company this would be considered a PR nightmare, but, at Google where men dominate, it created a media storm that is likely to run and run.

There are obvious brand reputation issues at play here. Google wants to be seen as progressive and be forward-thinking when it comes to all types of diversity, but the reality is not matching up. There are also issues for marketers. Damore’s insistence that men and women’s biological differences are the reason why more women aren’t software engineers has rightly been criticised. But it’s the same argument marketers use in segmentation and targeting. And that increasingly won’t wash.

READ MORE: Google memo reveals the many perils of gender discrimination

The UK Government sets out its own stance on data

Brands already faced the prospect of having to comply with new data laws as the deadline for European regulations, GDPR, moves ever closer. And the UK Government this week revealed it agrees with the broad premise of the EU laws, moving to create its own bill that will give consumers more rights over their data and increase the fines for any company found in breach to £17m or 4% of global revenues.

What is clear is getting hold of data is going to become more difficult. But that should not be seen as a challenge. Instead, marketers should be using the rules as a means of reaffirming their relationship with customers. Those that take the lead will have stronger brands in the long run.

READ MORE: New data laws are a chance to reset customer relationships

The first pan-European viewability standards are coming

Digital advertising has taken something of a kicking this year – from YouTube’s brand safety scandal to Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard calling out issues in the “murky” supply chain and Facebook’s measurement errors. But the industry is working to improve and this week we got a first look at how that is coming about.

A cross-industry group that includes representatives from advertisers, agencies, ad tech and industry bodies has set out clear principles on viewability and is introducing a framework that all measurement companies that want to be taken seriously will now have to adhere to. The next step is finding auditors, whose job it will be to monitor those companies and if they comply give them a ‘Seal’ that will for the first time work across the continent.

Brands will of course still be able to use their own standards, but the new principles should at a basic level mean less confusion across platforms on what is and is not a ‘view’. The hope is this will be just the latest step towards consistent, global standards as well.

READ MORE: Ad industry unites to create first European viewability standard

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