With over 24 years of experience in the marketing and advertising sector, Ismail has worked for large corporations, most notably The Coca-Cola Company and Tetra Pak. At the Festival of Media MENA in April (see Communicate May 2017), Ismail and his colleagues from The Marketing Society brought to light the key issues concerning advertisers. We spoke to him to further understand advertisers’ frustrations – and what agencies can (hopefully) do about it. What’s going on with the agency model? Although this has been a topic of discussion, it’s one that needs constant addressing due to the lack of a perfect solution. Perhaps that itself is an indication that there is no one right model. So, to make matters simpler, we asked Ismail which model he prefers. “What I’ve concluded right now is prioritizing,” he says. “What is it that I am trying to achieve?” Once you answer that you have a strategy that enables you to decide which specialties are needed and therefore, which agencies to bring on board.
As marketers, many of us start our careers mastering our craft and learning the art of marketing, advertising and communications. A few years pass and we start managing teams, and with this comes the development of new craft: balancing the needs of the day-to-day job whilst inspiring our colleagues and team members to help them achieve their full potential. Then, there’s leadership – not just leadership of large marketing teams but leadership within the organisation, flying the flag for business growth and the ability to inspire everyone with a vision that will rally the troops towards a common goal. Unfortunately, that’s not a skill that is directly taught but, it’s an area where most of us want to be successful. However, the path to becoming a marketing leader presents inherent challenges which can, in part, be progressed if we have honest, uncomfortable and brave conversations around the topic with peers and leadership experts. With this setting in mind, the Marketing Society and Gain Theory partnered to host a dinner for marketers in Delhi, India addressing two topics:
I was in Vienna recently and attended a performance by the Spanish Riding School. In the stately setting of the eighteenth century Winter Riding School, teams of manicured but muscular Lipizzan stallions, guided by uniformed horsemen and women, execute a series of disciplined manoeuvers. To a musical accompaniment the horses walk, trot and canter in harmony. They leap, pirouette and stand proud on their hind legs. It’s an extraordinary sight and is justly described as ‘horse ballet.’ I subsequently watched a TV documentary (Lucy Worsley’s Reins of Power: The Art of Horse Dancing) that explained that horse ballet, or ‘manege’ as it was called, dates back to the sixteenth century. The elegant dance routines have a military origin. As warfare evolved from the heavy-armoured medieval battlefield, to the more fluid, firearms-dominated combat conditions of the seventeenth century, the cavalry had to become more agile. They had to move in and out of lines of infantry, to change direction at the drop of a hat.
Spain is a land of diverse cultures that drives incredible creativity. From the humanistic forms of Antoni Gaudi and cubist renaissance of Picasso, to great cities like Barcelona and the rejuvenated Bilbao, the ready-baked clothes of Amancio Ortega to the cork-popping of Friexenet, the Spanish are natural lovers of innovation, and of life.
Many of us want to lose a little weight and get fitter, stop smoking, drink less, eat more healthily - but struggle to put that into action in a sustainable way. Behavioural scientists define this problem simply as the ‘Intention-Action’ gap - we generally have good intentions to do some or all of the things that we know are good for us - but frequently procrastinate, delay and may end up failing to execute any of them. For example, most adults know exercise is good for them and would like to do more, yet global studies have shown that between 36% to 55% of people never manage to convert intention into action. Helping people get fit using a tailored support network and exercise programme, an innovative fitness company called EliteTogether is having astounding success in helping overweight people achieve their goals by applying a little (intuitive) BE in the programmes they run in the North East, where obesity rates are the highest in England at 31% and inactivity rates sit at 24%.