Current project or activity:
One of my hats is that I act as a marketing expert in the Federal Court in Intellectual Property and marketing litigation matters. I am currently working on a case that challenges the business model of a global company that has made its fortune from ‘adapting’ the Intellectual Property of others and marketing similar products and brands. The case should act as a global benchmark as to how far brands can be appropriated before it breaches the rights of the original creators.
Watch this space!
- Healthy, relatively happy family with kids who are confident about themselves and their futures.
- The thousands of successful marketing graduates I have had the privilege to teach over my 30 years of lecturing marketing & advertising.
Max Ballard: my first marketing boss in Unilever in the 70’s. He understood that marketing was not just about understanding the consumer, but how to make things happen in a large multinational.
Which brand do you most admire and why?
No brainer: Apple – not only do they make products that simply work, they look after the customer with exemplary after sales service….way above anything I have experience not just in the technology market, but in almost any consumer or business products market. They are one of the few brands that despite their size, have the image and attitude of a premium quality niche player. And most customers are advocates. What more could you ask for?
Marketing program you wish you had worked on?
The original ‘Louis the Fly’ campaign back in the 50’s. It set a benchmark for establishing a brand that has been rarely beaten in the FMCG market. There are few campaigns that can honestly say they are 60 years old and still as relevant and powerful today as they were the day they were created.
What’s the most valuable marketing lesson you picked up during your career?
Zig when everybody else Zags
What has been the biggest lesson in your career, and what did you learn from it?
“If you are not falling over, you are not trying”…I think it was my first ever skiing teacher who said that. I must admit, I broke my leg in 5 places after only 1 day of skiing though!
What are the biggest challenges facing marketers today?
Overcoming fear of failure
- Overcoming the hype associated with social media and realise that there is at best, a tenuous correlation between it and selling stuff.
Best recent technological advance for marketing?
I could be cynical and say PowerPoint!
However, having dabbled in programmatic buying, it both excites and scares the shit out of me.
Future direction for the marketing profession?
I am constantly excited by the fresh young minds that are not hamstrung by a history of “We tried that 10 years ago and it bombed”. Our profession must constantly push the boundaries, if it is to keep itself relevant for a 24/7 marketplace and consumer with an ever decreasing attention span.
What does “Grow Brand You” mean to you?
Creativity, creativity and more creativity.
Do you think sustainability is a burning issue for marketing?
It depends on how you define sustainability. I define it in terms of ensuring there is an ever increasing pool of fresh young talent entering our industry, that is greater than the number of us ‘old farts’ being burnt out at the other end.
What attributes make a great marketer?
One word…. EMPATHY.
Stop thinking like a marketer…and start thinking like a 6 year old looking with wondrous excitement into an ice cream cabinet, or a 80 year old feeling distressed at the need to move out of their family home of the last 50 years and move into an aged care facility. It is only when we start living the feelings of our customers, do we truly understand the decision making process.
Articles or books you have read that influenced your thinking as a marketer?
Thomas Friedman ‘The World is Flat’. He really nailed it when he first spoke of a global market that had moved from trading not just products, but IP and services.
Monty Python: “Always look on the bright side of life”
Steve Jobs…. I just love Aaron Sorkin’s writing
Favourite sports teams?
- The Australian Test Team…with one major exception in the 2015 Ashes series when they capitulated for just 60 runs at Trent Bridge, they are a team with immense self belief and understand what it takes to win.
- My son’s 2006 under 12 soccer team….who after a whole season of trying, managed to score a goal in the last game of the season. Us fathers on the side lines, regarded a significant victory if we kept the opposition below double figures!
Favourite holiday spot?
Up until 2 weeks ago I would have said anywhere with a great snow coverage. However, I have just come back from Lapland in northern Sweden, where my son and I learnt how to drive a car on ice at 170kph. A skill we desperately need around Sydney.
Last book you read?
David Gonski ‘I gave a Gonski: Selected Speeches’
Tennis 3 times a week and skiing whenever I can get away.