This Much I Learned: Diageo’s Chris Goddard on the rewards of longevity

In the latest episode of Marketing Week’s podcast series, Johnnie Walker global marketing director Chris Goddard discusses his 18-year career at Diageo, why taking parental leave was a lifechanging decision and the value of cultural curiosity.

Few people can say they have worked at a company for nearly two decades, but Johnnie Walker global marketing director Chris Goddard is rapidly closing in on that milestone.

Having joined the drinks giant as a graduate in 2003, Goddard sees real advantages to knowing a global business like Diageo inside out, especially when it comes to “getting under the bonnet” of the commercial function.

Following brand management roles for Gordon’s Gin and across the rum portfolio, Goddard led the company’s innovation agenda for Africa, helping Diageo claim a larger share of the mainstream spirit market in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana.

A hefty dose of cultural curiosity is vital for any marketer, according to Goddard, who relocated with his family to Singapore when tasked with driving market share in underperforming drinks categories across Asia-Pacific

His current role sees him leading the global Johnnie Walker team in Amsterdam, defining the whiskey brand’s marketing strategy and digital transformation.

In this edition of the podcast, Goddard discusses why a mixture of longevity and external perspectives make for strong teams, why marketers should prioritise investment in innovation and the game-changing impact of taking six months parental leave.

From opening up about mental health issues to closing the career confidence gap, you can listen to previous episodes of Marketing Week’s This Much I Learned podcast on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and Spotify.