Chief marketers on the most difficult lessons learned

Marketing Fails

Failure to challenge strategy Kristof Fahy, Moonpig CMO and former brand director EMEA at BlackBerry, considers his biggest mistake to be failing to challenge the BlackBerry board’s strategy ahead of the company’s decline in the smartphone market. Fahy said: ‘I could have pushed harder while I was there in order to get them to see what was coming. At the time, there was a potential sense of complacency at BlackBerry and it was very difficult to get that. I took it on as much as I could but I wonder if I could have gone further.

Difficult lessons learned

Failure to push a digital agenda Matthew Barwell, Britvic CMO, describes his biggest mistake as failing to be more forceful in pushing a digital agenda in his previous role at Diageo. Barwell stated: ‘I don’t think that I fully appreciated just how difficult it would be to transform an organisation to be brilliant in the digital world. We have all been through a journey in understanding how to use digital, social and mobile to push brands ahead in the modern age and we are all still learning.’ Barwell considers that failure is not always bad for brands if they experiment and innovate: ‘If you’re pushing the boundaries, then you have to accept that on occasion you will fail’.

Marketing Fails

Lack of insight and integration Pete Markey, RSA Group CMO, believes his biggest mistake to be the failed launch of a golf club loyalty scheme during his time at the AA. The AA had not taken the diverse characteristics of clubs into account. Markey stated: ‘I walked into that[project] very naively and didn’t ask enough soul-searching questions. I didn’t challenge the objectives we were being set and how we were going to achieve them. There was a fundamental lack of insight in the business about the scale of that challenge.’ Markey considers key areas of failure in marketing campaigns to be the lack of insight and the lack of integration across different channels. He commented: ‘Some brands base every element of their success on trying to get good creative out the door rather than whether they have a clear strategy or purpose behind their brand’.

Digital transformation

Digital Transformation is the ‘seamless, end-to-end connectivity of all areas of the economy’ and is occurring in four key areas: digital data, automation, connectivity and digital customer access. Different technologies (such as artificial intelligence), products (such as drones), and services (such as remote maintenance), make up the digital transformation. Businesses can leverage these new avenues of digital transformation to their advantage. By using enablers, they can gain access to their consumers, interact with them and harness their data. Consequently, businesses can make informed decisions in developing propositions to answer consumer needs.

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