Simon Clift, former Global CMO of Unilever, will address India’s own ‘league of extraordinary gentlemen and women’ at a unique idea exchange called The CMO League, hosted by the exchange4media Group, in Mumbai today.
Clift will deliver a talk on ‘How digital media and the changing agenda of citizens’ concerns is changing brand communications forever’, to a select audience of India’s top CMOs.
Talking to exchange4media, Clift said, “The enormous changes we are confronting, in the fragmentation of media, in the rise of social and environmental concerns and in the rapid globalisation of companies’ organisations, represent enormous challenges to today’s marketers. At the CMO League, I want to share my view that these dauntingly complex challenges will affect all of us, and because of them, not despite them, there has never been a more exciting time to be a marketer.”
Training is the best investment
Clift said he once shared a platform with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in which the latter said that actually using digital tools yourself is part of being educated nowadays. “It’s worth investing money in immersing your teams in hands-on training, and in reverse mentoring, where you get young, switched-on employees brought up in a world where digital has always existed, to teach the oldies how it works. It can be a bit challenging in countries with a very hierarchical business culture, but all the more energising for that!”
Consumers now set the agenda
Digitally empowered consumers now set the agenda for marketers, according to Clift, who experienced it personally when a piece of advertising for Dove about building women’s self-esteem was parodied by consumer activists wishing to draw attention to the fact that the palm oil in Dove was from non-sustainable sources. “We felt we were doing something positive by embracing a worthy cause through Dove, but we forgot the crucial lesson that it’s now consumers who are in charge. The video parody was seen by twice as many people as the original company-sponsored film! Unilever has now committed to purchase all palm oil from certified sustainable sources by 2015. So you have to say it worked!”
The event is sponsored by Zee, ABP News, Dainik Bhaskar, Laqshya Outdoors, AXN, India Today, Headlines Today and Business Today.
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