247 episodes

Alan Hart, host of Marketing Today, goes behind the scenes with the world's best chief marketing officers and business leaders. Listen in to learn their strategies, tips and advice. What makes a great brand, marketing campaign, or turnaround? Learn from the experience and stories of these great marketing and business leaders so you can unleash your potential.

Marketing Today with Alan Hart Alan B. Hart

    • Marketing
    • 4.5 • 2 Ratings

Alan Hart, host of Marketing Today, goes behind the scenes with the world's best chief marketing officers and business leaders. Listen in to learn their strategies, tips and advice. What makes a great brand, marketing campaign, or turnaround? Learn from the experience and stories of these great marketing and business leaders so you can unleash your potential.

    Premium Brands and Business Marketing with AMEX's Clayton Ruebensaal

    Premium Brands and Business Marketing with AMEX's Clayton Ruebensaal

    On this 244th episode of "Marketing Today," host Alan Hart speaks with Clayton Ruebensaal, executive vice president of Global B2B Marketing at American Express. Ruebensaal talks about his experience developing brand strategies for premium brands and his vision for the future.

    We start our conversation with a dive into Ruebensaal's world-travel experience as a child, having grown up with a father in the foreign service. Ruebensaal discusses how his time spent in so many different cultures shaped his view of the world and brought about his interest in all people.

    We then speak on Ruebensaal's journey to the present day and the success that he has had with Ritz Carlton and American Express, where he works now, and attributes that success to his teams' ability to refresh the brand. "We reached into that history and found truths that we could bring to life," Ruebensaal claimed. He then breaks down the challenges that brands face when attempting to revamp and how "the difference between success and failure is the change management."

    We then discuss how not only COVID but the death of George Floyd changed the mission at AMEX. Marketers "sit at this intersection between what the business needs and what the consumer needs." Ruebensaal sees that as an opportunity to make a positive impact on the world.

    Highlights from this week's "Marketing Today":
    Clayton was born in Georgetown to a military family that took him all over the world to places like Thailand and Israel. 2:19
    With the traveling experience at such a young age, Clayton was still able to feel gratitude. 2:56
    Clayton didn't exactly have a path after graduating from college as a Creative Writing major. 3:45
    After his first advertising internship at an advertising firm, Clayton knew precisely what he wanted to do. 4:30
    Before going to the client side at Ritz Carlton, Clayton ran multiple advertising agencies, then ultimately moving to American Express. 5:10
    At both Ritz Carlton and American Express, there was plenty of need for a refresh in the respective brands' clarity. 5:55
    Before Clayton arrived, the American Express brand and logo hadn't been updated since 1975. 7:27
    Clayton knew that with the arrival of the internet came the need to think bigger for American Express. 7:50
    It takes effective change management to bring a brand to life after years of continuity. 8:47
    Clayton and his team have spent time speaking to AMEX teams all over the world to understand how the brand could help them. 9:38
    Having revamped two big brands, Clayton has found that it's best to start with understanding the problem that needs to be solved. 10:59
    Though the events of 2020 have accelerated things, they have not changed the fundamentals of marketing. 12:45
    What started as a health crisis turned into multiple crises in the economic and cultural sectors. 13:27
    When COVID broke out, Clayton and his team paused to examine where they could be of most assistance. 14:12
    American Express launched its Business Class platform in an attempt to educated businesses on what they could do. 15:37
    Every week, American Express tries to provide education in a different and attractive fashion. 17:16
    Over the last 40 years, business has become sexy and something people love to be a part of. 17:58
    It's incredibly important for marketers to put out organic content that adds value to the company. 19:17
    Useful does not have to mean uninteresting and useful content must be able to compete with everything out there. 21:06
    After George Floyd was murdered, AMEX made sure they didn't appear to be taking advantage of the moment. 22:34
    AMEX started its 100 for 100 Program to provide education and mentorship to black female entrepreneurs and business owners. 23:40
    The gap between the percentage of black-owned businesses and the percentage of revenue from those businesses is rooted in systemic racism. 25:28
    Clayton attributes

    • 38 min
    Hispanic Business at PepsiCo with Esperanza Teasdale

    Hispanic Business at PepsiCo with Esperanza Teasdale

    On this 243rd episode of "Marketing Today," host Alan Hart speaks with Esperanza Teasdale, vice president and general manager of the Hispanic Business Unit for Pepsico Beverages North America. Teasdale is responsible for the overall strategy, engagement, and sales for a Hispanic business unit that brings in over $2 billion per year.

    We start our conversation with Teasdale's experience from growing up with two parents that had both immigrated to the US from Ecuador in search of a better life. Since they both had demanding blue-collar jobs, Teasdale "grew up as a latch key kid," taking herself to and from school as a child, essentially responsible for herself. Teasdale then discusses her engineering education, spending time in manufacturing environments after graduation until attaining her MBA and ultimately moving onto sales. Once Teasdale realized that the sales sector wasn't for her, she moved to marketing.

    We then dive into the Hispanic business unit and the "untapped potential" that led to its creation. Now and into the future, Teasdale and her team are focused on multicultural marketing, as "everything we do should be multicultural because that is the fabric of our country." Teasdale takes us through the helping hands she received throughout her career as a result of her willingness to be vulnerable. "You don't have to wait for someone to ask you to take a seat; you can take it yourself." Lastly, we discuss the opportunity that marketers have today to think differently about their previously rejected ideas because "the world today is different than it was before!"


    Highlights from this week's "Marketing Today":
    As the daughter of immigrants, Esperanza greatly appreciates the sacrifices that her parents made to have a better life. 1:37
    Esperanza's parents came from the hot ecosystem of Ecuador to the cold winter in the US. 2:30
    Equality is something that everyone is trying to achieve in today's world, especially with all that has gone on this year. 3:22
    There were times when Esperanza's parents were injured or sick, and no money came in the door. 3:54
    After studying engineering in her undergrad in college, Esperanza spent quite a bit of time in a manufacturing environment. 6:58
    Esperanza's company paid for her MBA, after which she had her choice of path, ultimately choosing marketing. 7:48
    The Hispanic Business Unit at PepsiCo was created to tap into the previously untapped Hispanic sector. 10:36
    Multicultural marketing has gone through a revolution that parallels the makeup of our country. 12:29
    There is no one-size-fits-all in the melting pot that is the US, even within each culture. 13:13
    P&G has shown to be a champion of diversity and inclusion by driving cultural relevance through its advertising. 16:03
    Heading into the future, we need to be more culturally relevant, and the Hispanic Unit is an example of what the marketing industry should look like. 19:10
    The chaos and uncertainty of 2020 caused PepsiCo to pause during the initial breakout of COVID. 22:10
    Esperanza and her team made sure to study the effects of COVID on the habits of Hispanic consumers. 22:50
    The Hispanic population has shown resilience in its journey to get to the US and this helped maintain optimism in the face of chaos. 24:37
    To promote passionate multicultural youth's ability to vote, PepsiCo launched its Unmute Your Voice Campaign. 26:12
    Esperanza's team is focused on leaning into the communities that need the most help as it enters 2021. 28:06
    2020 has shown Americans to be empathetic, looking for ways to help however they can. 29:30
    PepsiCo finds itself in so many households in the US that the decision to make a bold message brings a lot of risk. 32:41
    Esperanza takes responsibility in her role as a Latina executive to bring others along to change their paths for the better. 35:06
    The ability to show up, take action without someone aski

    • 53 min
    Agile Research with Rob Holland CEO at Feedback Loop

    Agile Research with Rob Holland CEO at Feedback Loop

    On this 242nd episode of "Marketing Today," host Alan Hart speaks with Rob Holland, the CEO at Feedback Loop, a technology growth company that provides rapid consumer feedback through its agile research platform.

    We begin the interview with Holland's upbringing in Staten Island and eventually to the West Coast, but wherever he went, it never seemed to be permanent. Holland believes "being comfortable with mobility has been a real game-changer," allowing him to adapt quickly to new environments. We then move to Holland's financial background and how it helped him when making the transition to managerial positions. Though he started in finance and eventually found his way to the marketing side, Holland has "always been connected to the consumer in some way."

    Holland then dives into Feedback Loop, defining agile research as a tool that "provides directional guidance early and often to guide decisions that might otherwise be made by opinion or rank, rather than data." Holland has seen first-hand that "the whole idea of getting rapid consumer feedback to solve rapidly changing needs in very dynamic markets has never been greater," and it's not going to go away anytime in the foreseeable future. Lastly, we end our conversation on the current polarizing state of the world and how "it's forcing marketers and brands to take sides in places that they really have no need to get into." Marketing teams need to tread lightly!

    Highlights from this week's "Marketing Today":
    Rob grew up in Staten Island before heading to the West Coast after high school, though he has remained a Mets fan. 1:20
    Both sides of Alan's wife's family are your typical Italian family from Staten Island. 1:49
    Throughout his career, Rob has stayed connected to the end-consumers the entire way. 2:38
    Starting in finance, Rob moved into market analytics, where he began to climb the management ladder. 3:16
    Rob's operational finance background gave him an advantage when he made the transition to the management side. 4:11
    Find someone who knows the finance side of the company, as it will always be an advantage. 5:50
    Feedback Loop provides an agile research platform that serves teams that want to do their own research. 6:06
    The Founder of Feedback Loop recognized the lack of ability to get rapid consumer feedback. 7:16
    Over time, Alpha's platform (prior name) evolved and grew with its customers and product development teams. 8:10
    After so much growth, Alpha stopped describing the platform accurately, so the company changed its name to Feedback Loop. 8:56
    Rob has seen the impact of the constantly evolving market on Feedback Loop and the marketing research industry as a whole. 10:48
    Research teams are having a hard time trying to keep up with the shifting market, and that's where Feedback Loop hopes to help. 11:36
    Agile research provides small chunks of information quickly to inform incremental decisions. 12:45
    The rapid feedback provided by Agile Research is most comparable to using windshield wipers during a storm, allowing you to keep moving forward. 13:55
    Product teams and research teams need buffers, and Agile Research provides those controlled parameters. 15:05
    Feedback Loop works with consumer-faced businesses of various sizes across a variety of industries. 17:25
    Farmers Insurance, a client of Feedback Loop, created Toggle, a direct-to-consumer product that allows them to connect to younger generations. 17:48
    Due to COVID, the behaviors and expectations of consumers are changing rapidly. 20:50
    Feedback Loop is working with brands that are being forced to re-evaluate because of the massive shift that the world is going through. 22:17
    Industries that had pre-understood truths have to re-evaluate what those truths are and show consumers that they are adapting. 23:40
    Moving around often while growing up gave Rob the flexibility to adapt to new environments very quickly.

    • 39 min
    2021 Global Marketing Trends with Deloitte's Ashley Reichheld

    2021 Global Marketing Trends with Deloitte's Ashley Reichheld

    On this 241st episode of "Marketing Today," host Alan Hart speaks with Ashley Reichheld, principal at Deloitte. Reichheld discusses the findings of Deloitte's 2021 Global Marketing Trends Report and dives deep into a few of its seven trends.

    We start our conversation with Reichheld's background of traveling. She talks about her experiences living and working in over 40 countries across six continents and how it helped her gain insight and perspective into different cultures. From there, we dive into the meat of the interview, Deloitte's 2021 Global Marketing Trends Report. With this report, Deloitte aimed to dispel some of the uncertainty that this past year has brought to marketing.

    Reichheld then discusses her favorite trend category, trust, and how "overall, trustworthy companies outperform their competitors by 2 ½ times." For a long time, public trust in corporations and governments has been on the decline and presents both a threat and opportunity to marketing departments worldwide. Deloitte uses its metric, HX Trust ID, which measures trust drivers: humanity, transparency, capability, and reliability. By measuring these four drivers, Deloitte can predict buying tendencies and motivations for consumers and employees.  Lastly, we talk about marketing effectiveness and how to know if your efforts are working or not.

    Highlights from this week's "Marketing Today":
    Ashley has lived and worked in over 40 countries, picking up an appreciation and empathy for cultural differences. 1:19
    The level of uncertainty in 2020 fueled Deloitte's 2021 Global Marketing Report. 2:23
    Purpose, human experience, and fusion are the three trends that confused most people. 3:13
    There has been a drop in confidence across the board in C-Suite executives from consumers during 2020. 4:52
    Organizations have had to pivot to better serve their customers and that ability largely affects a customer's continued loyalty. 6:40
    Interpreting and acting on data is especially difficult for marketing departments because people are irrational creatures. 7:55
    For a long time, trust in companies and the government has been on the decline and has only been exasperated by the pandemic. 8:50
    Trust is the key to continued loyalty from both consumers and employees. 9:51
    Deloitte uses its metric, HX Trust ID, which measures trust drivers: humanity, transparency, capability, and reliability. 10:37
    By measuring these four drivers, Deloitte can predict buying tendencies and motivations to work for consumers and employees. 11:40
    Deloitte's Global Marketing Trends Report shows a direct link between employee trust and consumer trust. 12:34
    Recent research suggests that governments and corporations can't be both ethical and competent. 14:20
    Being aligned around common goals and being driven by a purpose takes companies further than being driven by incentives. 15:38
    The airlines are all dealing with the same problems, but the companies that have remained customer/employee-centric are gaining traction.16:08
    Alan believes that the perfect storm exists when the purpose is aligned with business results. 17:28
    Bringing in the right talent and preparing employees for C-Level positions is one of the biggest challenges in marketing today. 18:04
    CMOs have an extensive range of responsibilities, making it hard for employees outside of marketing to transition. 19:23
    Marketing isn't finance, but a finance background isn't useless in marketing. 20:44
    The best way to measure your marketing's effectiveness is to simply turn your marketing off for some time. 22:20
    Because Ashley believes that we are the sum of all experiences, she can't point to just one experience that has helped shape her. 23:04
    If she could look back, Ashley would practice more mindfulness and take things slow. 23:49
    Ashley has recently joined the board of The Center for Women & Enterprise to help underserved populations

    • 28 min
    Unlocking Brand Growth with Belvedere Vodka CEO Rodney Williams

    Unlocking Brand Growth with Belvedere Vodka CEO Rodney Williams

    On this 240th episode of "Marketing Today," host Alan Hart speaks with Rodney Williams, president and CEO of Belvedere Vodka. With a bevy of experience leading successful marketing campaigns across a plethora of industries, Williams is truly an expert when it comes to closing the gap between a product and its consumers.

    To start our conversation, Williams discusses his business school experience and the nonprofit sector before he began his journey to become a marketing expert. In school at Northwestern, Williams quickly learned that "you have a strong chance of getting a good grade by joining a group with people that don't think like you." This experience helped him understand a simple fact of life; to truly be successful, you must be open to the perspectives of others.

    We then dive into Williams's experience working for large companies like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. It was his success at these companies that taught him both "the element of brand-building where you're really fundamentally problem-solving" and not only the importance of "really tapping into what was already there." Williams then takes us into his induction into the Wind and Spirits industry, which eventually led him to his current position at Belvedere.

    To end the conversation, we discuss how "the push for social justice has opened up brands in a big way" and how "the need for brands to take a stand and stand up for values that they believe in has never been more important." Williams touches on how the views of different cultures in the corporate business world have changed since he entered the workforce. "We're not there yet, but we're making progress!"

    Highlights from this week's "Marketing Today":
    Before business school, Rodney ran a direct mail business in Chicago that hired disadvantaged employees.1:53
    Rodney has stayed in-tune with how the business world affects the communities that it is in. 3:03
    Growing up in Evanston, Illinois, it was a natural fit for Rodney to attend Northwestern's business school. 3:35
    After business school, Rodney worked for J&J and Procter & Gamble in a pursuit to learn sophisticated marketing. 5:32
    Figuring out how to get the brand in the right position where it can connect with its customers is like a game to Rodney. 6:20
    In his time at J&J, Rodney learned the ins and outs of working in an intrapreneurial environment. 6:55
    Over time, Rodney slowly developed into an enhance-growth guy that has been able to take companies over the top. 8:47
    J&J required that 25% of each business under its umbrella's revenue had to be from new products in the last three years. 9:15
    When Rodney arrived at Band-Aid, he was able to take it from stagnant to The New York Times by using Barry Manalo's jingle. 10:22
    The ability to understand the essence of a brand and what it means to the consumers allows a brand to enhance its imagery. 12:26
    A former colleague's call about a dot-com opportunity led Rodney to quit his job and head to the West Coast. 13:04
    Rodney's time working with OnStar eventually led to his entrance into the Wine and Spirits industry. 14:41
    It was the health benefits of wine that initially drew Rodney to interview with his first wine company. 15:58
    Robert Mondavi taught Rodney the importance and value of presentation. 17:20
    Kendall Jackson, the number 1 chardonnay over $10, presented Rodney with an opportunity to launch the biggest product in company history. 18:37
    In 2011, more women than men graduated from high school for the first time in history and saw the gender gap begin to grow. 20:28
    Since coming to Belvedere, Rodney has seen that vodka takes people back to experiences they have outgrown. 21:30
    Belvedere aims to add some class and flavor to an alcohol category that has become stagnant. 22:30
    Just before the pandemic, Belvedere ran a study that showed people in different markets around the world valued the s

    • 53 min
    Media Assurance & Transparency Still a Global Issue with Rizwan Merchant

    Media Assurance & Transparency Still a Global Issue with Rizwan Merchant

    On this 239th episode of "Marketing Today," host Alan Hart speaks with Rizwan Merchant, CEO at Media Merchant. Merchant is the first guest from Pakistan and brings over a decade of experience in the Pakistani Media Industry. Today, we talk about the 2016 ANA Transparency Report and how these issues are still present today, four years on.

    We start our conversation with the exploding media industry in Pakistan, which has gone from less than $100M in advertising expenses to over $550M in just ten years. With that massive growth has come a plethora of problems, not only in Pakistan but also for marketers worldwide. Merchant has seen "exactly what goes on behind the doors." Merchant then takes us through the ANA Transparency Report that came out in 2016, which identified a myriad of problems and fraudulent practices among the agencies that bridge the gap between the media houses and advertisers. The advertisers have forgotten that "agencies are there in the business to make money as well," so their intentions may have nothing to do with the benefit of their client. Advertisers are still losing boatloads of money because of their inability to structure contracts for themselves. Merchant says, "the easiest way to plug that financial outlet is to start paying the media directly instead of going through the agencies."

    Merchant suggested that the best way to battle this problem is for clients "to upgrade their knowledge when it comes to the media supply chain." Another problem now is that "many agencies have started to own the media that they are pushing to advertisers." It seems if there is money to be made, agencies will find a way. The onus is on marketers to be smarter and more vigilant.

    Highlights from this week's "Marketing Today":
    Rizwan currently lives in Pakistan, part of Southeast Asia, and is a growing market with a booming media industry. 1:45
    The Pakistani media industry has grown from less than $100M in advertising expenses to $550M in the last ten years. 2:30
    An accountant by education, Rizwan joined Mediacom on the finance side when he returned to Pakistan in 2004. 3:35
    In 2015, Rizwan started his media audit agency, Media Merchant. 5:10
    The ANA Transparency Report identified problems with the rebates received by the agencies based on advertiser money. 6:00
    Principal transactions came up in the ANA Transparency report, showing that agencies were buying inventory through holding companies. 6:50
    Agencies were found to be selling free inventory they received from the media houses to their marketing clients. 7:15
    Advertisers were found to be trusting agencies blindly, a failure on the part of the advertisers. 7:47
    Rizwan identified multiple problems that didn't come out in the ANA report. 8:15
    Media Buying Houses came into existence by providing the agencies with multiple suggestions that acted as a financial bomb. 9:20
    The agencies exploited the lack of connection between the advertising clients and the media outlets. 11:50
    While there are specific rules and regulations in different countries, this is still a problem all over the world. 12:24
    With media outlets being drained of their finances, their ability to create content is greatly affected. 14:30
    The relationship between the media and advertising industries the opposite of what it should be right now. 16:00
    As a result of the ANA report, guidelines were created to guide the creation of the contracts. 17:34
    The main problems are found in the governance of the agencies within the creation of the contracts. 19:24
    The creation and execution of one's own media plan make it hard to do their own homework. 23:28
    Marketers and financing departments should act as the custodians in the creation of contracts. 24:05
    The best thing that marketers can do is stay up to date on policies and control the abundance of fraud amongst agencies. 26:20
    Agencies are in this to make money,

    • 44 min

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