Photo by Isabela Kronemberger on Unsplash

In 2024, Focus on the Fundamentals

It’s the New Year and a time for resolutions, a time to make changes. So, I was delighted to join ‘The Marketing Society – Global Conversations’ event focusing looking ahead for the year to come.

Important questions were asked:

  • How can we as marketing leaders be revolutionary?
  • How can we lead change?
  • How can we become a true global community of Changemakers?


Sophie Devonshire gave a wonderful and inspiring introduction to set the scene and really get us thinking. What have we changed so far in our lives and careers, and how have we gone about making those changes…?

Then, three inspiring leaders took to the floor to share their insights; Lex Bradshaw-Zanger from L’Oréal, Natalie Wills from and Simon Cook from Cannes Lions.

First up, Lex spoke about the one thing he wanted to change; giving people enough context. As marketers we have moved away from sharing the bigger picture and, with marketing on a spiral to the bottom, we are getting bogged down in attribution, performance media and obsessed with new platforms. Lex believes that we’re missing the fundamentals. That we should get back to the art and the science. The art being creativity, insight, emotion, experience, excitement and heart. And for the science, let’s stop looking at the ROAS of one campaign, and examine the bigger picture. 

Next, Natalie eloquently expressed the need for brands to embrace who they really are, and not get overly bogged down with a higher purpose. Focus on delivering consistency and clarity of message and be clear on what your brand can deliver and the difference it can make.

Finally, Simon talked about marketers’ obsession with the new and the shiny. Last year at Cannes, AI dominated the discussion, while the year before it was the Metaverse. Creating impactful change is often associated with new… but actually we should look to revisit the tried and tested and get back to basics. He questioned if we can get our heads around technology and truly understand the role for AI, without first acknowledging what we need for fundamental success. Elevate the fundamentals and deprioritise the transient trends, in other words.


The message for 2024, then, is loud and clear: go back and look at the fundamentals, keep things simple and keep the bigger context in mind.

To steal Sophie’s summary: Without foundations, the tall buildings will fall.

A timely New Year’s resolution for us all.

Written By Nicola Nimmo, Managing Director at MBAstack

Published on 15 January 2024 


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