Collaborative, inspiring and inquisitive – the essential skills that make a marketer

Cannes Lions 2013: Top CMOs from Unilever, Mondelez, Google and Universal share their advice at Cannes 2013 on the essential skills that a modern marketer needs to possess to create great marketing. 

unilever
Unilever, which makes Persil, says brands and marketers need to embracing innovation and experimentation.

Collaboration is king

Getting the best from your marketers, agencies and your brands is down to collaboration, according to Mondelez CMO Dana Anderson. Presenting at Cannes, she said: “The power comes from being one, not two. Birds, bees and chimpanzees collaborate better than people do. Monkeys do it, and yet we struggle. The best collaboration comes when there is trust … if you go one step further than that it’s about generosity [of ideas].”

“People who are givers … are highly successful, complete all of their objectives, are incredible at networking, empower other people and help innovation.”

Be inspired

Embracing innovation and experimentation inspires marketers and encourages better brand marketing, says Unilever CMO Keith Weed. Speaking to Marketing Week at Cannes Lions, he said: “We [Unilever] pride ourselves on being the first … first black and white TV ads, first colour TV ads… first iAds … it inspires our marketers. People want to do great marketing and they want to work with a great marketing company. We’re doing some genuinely exciting advertising but being the first and being an innovator brings out the competitive spirit in marketers. If you’re going to be a marketer, why not be a great one?”

Develop new skills and a new model

The marketing industry has traditionally been built around campaign cycles that see brands invest money in building a brand story, growing an audience and then seeing the audience drop off when they stop spending money. Aman Govil, Google product marketing manager believes the marketing industry should move away from the “Madison Avenue model” and follow the approach taken by Silicon Valley “looking at a problem you’re trying to solve for a user and build a sticky audience one user at a time … [then] marketing starts to create value rather than just tell a narrative.”

Govil also believes the industry should embrace a new skillset. He says: “The creative team used to be art and copy but … there’s a whole new skillset around code that is becoming part of the core creative team. In the creative world, the core team is art, copy and code. It’s three skills.”

Listen to everyone

Universal Music’s global SVP of branded content Jennifer Frommer believes there is much to learn from the music industry about how to get the best out of teams and brands. Part of the success of Universal’s artists such as Lady Gaga is in the approach to marketing and building that artist’s brand, she says.

“Everyone has a voice. All our experts have an equal voice. We really let everyone come to the table, we pay attention to everyone, and that’s something new we can bring to the advertising industry.”

Keep up to date with all Marketing Week’s coverage from Cannes Lions 2013 here

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