The next big thing in marketing? People.

Whether Oscar-winning director Asif Kapadia or awe-inspiring leader at The Collective Dairy Amelia Harvey, speakers at 2017’s Marketing Week Live showed that behind winning leadership is a real philosophy of people. In this blog we share highlights from speakers across this annual London fixture.

As a leader, you are responsible for the performance of your team to drive business growth. Creating and living a purposeful culture that enables this growth and empowers your people to make the right decisions for your customers, forms a huge part of this. How you do that, requires a well-considered philosophy of people.

Leader after leader argued that people are your strongest asset. Leading them for success, in the words of Direct Line’s Mark Evans, “lies with you. You are accountable for creating the right culture with the right team.” One which allows your people to thrive and demonstrates that it is sometimes ok to fail.

To achieve this at The Collective Dairy, Amelia Harvey makes sure everyone understands the customer journey and feels involved in delivering it. Easier said than done you might think, and you would be right. Silos are commonplace.  In fact, fewer than 25% of organisations effectively integrate cross-functional working practices around the real needs of customers and employees.

Creating a purpose-led silo-busting culture, one which reflects both your organisational and customer values, is no mean feat, and yet, this is a topic almost every marketing leader spoke to at Marketing Week Live.

Brand Learning’s Rich Bryson and M&S’ Nathan Ansell captured the theme in their session on joined-up customer experiences. They challenged marketers to reinvent the customer experience by:

Breaking down silos
Fostering the ingenuity of our people
Harnessing data

Marketing is about merging art with science. It’s about using your brand purpose and philosophy to guide the creation of a culture where your people feel empowered and your customers understood. The explosion of available data hastens the need for everyone in the organisation to understand and act on what it is that customers value. And to be involved in creating a winning customer experience.

In the words of Annabel Venner, Global Brand Director at Hiscox, “it’s not just about technical expertise anymore, it’s about understanding the customer experience and joining-up your organisation to deliver it.” This is what underpins the ever-elusive sustainable growth and will help make sure you deliver it.

Provide all your people with the tools and skills required to discover new customer insights and understand the customer experience, and empower them with the ability to respond. Instil a philosophy of people into your organisation. A culture where continuous learning is celebrated and a relentless hunger for joining-up is celebrated.

Intellectually any marketer will recognise the power of people in creating customer experiences that drive growth. Most marketers will describe the importance of this being people beyond the marketing function – all pulling together to deliver value for customers. But how many marketers are integrating a wider people engagement and development plan into their everyday work? That was the rallying cry we took out of the conference – and one which we whole-heartedly endorse.

If you’d like to find out more about how to join-up your organisation and energise your people please get in touch.

You may also be interested in our Growth Drivers Study which describes the hallmarks of successful leaders and organisations, and the importance of involving people.


BRAND LEARNING: Inspiring people. Lifting capabilities. Growing organisations.