A winning agency operations solution for Sportfive

Screendragon are delighted to announce Sportfive as our latest leading agency client. The acclaimed German firm creates ‘innovative, engaging solutions that are worthy of the incredible sports, athletes and partners we work with’.

The international sports marketing agency operates globally with offices around the world. Sportfive marketing teams in London, Hamburg, and more global locations will employ Screendragon’s agency management solution throughout 2023 and beyond. Screendragon will help Sportfive make the most of resources, streamline the approval process, simplify task management, and manage budgets. Welcome, Sportfive!

Screendragon to sponsor ANA In-house Agency Conference 2023

Screendragon are delighted to announce that we will sponsor the ANA In-house Agency Conference 2023. This is the fourth consecutive year that Screendragon has partnered with the Association of National Advertisers for the biggest in-house agency conference of the year.

What is the ANA In-house Agency Conference?

The ANA In-house Agency Conference is the only in-house advertising conference focused exclusively on client side marketers. The 2023 summit takes place on 12th to 14th June and is a hybrid affair with the main event being held in balmy Orlando. In brief, this year’s event will cover a wide range of in-house capabilities. This includes brand strategy, media planning and buying, performance marketing, client management, and AI.

Screendragon will be exhibiting as a virtual sponsor so make sure to check out our display in the ANA event app. The Screendragon team will be on hand to chat and to showcase our in-house agency solution. Lastly, both in-person and virtual tickets are still available on the ANA website. So, why not join the #ANAInHouse conversation for 2023?

The 2023 ANA In-house Agency Conference

In Screendragon’s upcoming The State of Creative Operations 2023 report, we reveal that creative workloads are continually growing. According to Bill Duggan, Group EVP at the ANA, this is the foundation for much of the 2023 conference agenda. Bill says “The workload of in-house agencies continues to increase. And what are in-house agencies doing? Everything!”. Consequently, creative teams and in-house agencies need to do more with less – hurray!

The 2023 agenda will cover many technical items that are top of mind for in-house agencies. These topics include resource management practices, measuring ROI and value, evaluating MarTech stacks, and employing AI in creative operations. However, the event will not be solely focused on conversations about technology. Delegates will also be invited to join sessions covering change management, partnerships, and in-house agency leadership. On that note, we’re looking forward to hearing from brands such as PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, The Walt Disney Company, and CVS Health at this year’s show!

Screendragon’s In-house Agency Management Solution

In-house agencies use Screendragon to streamline creative operations and get to market faster (and easier!). For example, our creative services project management solution helps creative teams speed up review cycles, optimize resources, and manage budgets. Furthermore, Screendragon’s award-winning workflow automation ensures the right people are introduced to the creative cycle at the right time.

With 20 years’ experience in the industry, Screendragon is an in-house agency specialist. Global brands like Hallmark, Keurig Dr Pepper, and Kellogg’s are among Screendragon’s esteemed list of clients. What’s more, international agency networks like McCann WorldGroup and TBWA also rely on Screendragon to maximise performance and productivity.

See Screendragon in action!

If you’d like to see how Screendragon’s in-house agency management solution works, then you can book a 30 minute introduction slot today.

Screendragon help fonemedia automate agency operations

Fonemedia, a forward-thinking mobile marketing agency based in North Yorkshire, have selected Screendragon as their agency operations management solution. Founded in 2008, the people focused agency has worked with over 750 companies to make mobile marketing a priority.

The agency’s mission is to ‘create connections’ and Screendragon will help fonemedia fuse their creative spark with dynamic agency operations management. This includes automation of jobs from opportunity to delivery encompassing fonemedia’s sales, client, and delivery teams. You can read more about fonemedia’s mobile marketing solutions here.

What is Resource Optimization and why is it important for creative teams?

Time is money, talent is gold. That is the essence of resource optimization. We’re speaking about a process which allocates and utilises your people in the most effective and efficient way possible. Resource optimization can help boost the output of any team working on a creative project. The following article will help you understand what this is and how you can use it to your advantage!

What Is Resource Optimization?

Resource optimization is an attempt to change how you apportion and use your tools and resources. Over time, this can help you improve performance in your organization. Examples of doing this include:

  • Trying to spend less time on unimportant tasks
  • Ensuring you spend money in the right places
  • Having the right team members in the right places
  • Getting everyone the tools they need to succeed without overspending

The process involves first identifying and then resolving these issues, as well as ensuring you track any gains in speed. This way you can know you have made the right decision. It can be an iterative process, and as such you may not see all the results straight away, but instead they may appear slowly over time.

This is very important for creative teams as they often have important deadlines and many people waiting on their output. This output also needs to be of a high quality so others can use it to create products.

By running through the process of resource optimization, you can improve the performance of such teams. You can then ensure their work delivers on time every time.

How Can Optimization Help Creative Teams?

By implementing a system by which you focus on resource optimization, you can start to discover a lot of the places you are wasting resources. These might be wasted time, inefficient processes, or poorly-performing staff.

Instead, by trying to increase workplace productivity, you can start to reduce the costs of every piece of work you do. You can also improve cross-team communication in general by allowing everyone to focus only on the most necessary things.

With a lack of obstacles in the way, a creative team can start to innovate far faster than they ever have before. You will find their output, not only in terms of work but in new directions, for thought, increases several fold as they have room to spread their wings.

How to Work Out Where to Optimize

The first thing you should do is analyze your current team’s workflow

Start by creating a flow chart of their processes and investigating every step they take. Learn how an idea goes from conception to final delivery, as well as what resources you need to go into every stage.

With this information, you can then start to work out where bottlenecks are in the process. Track employee performance across each area and find where inefficiencies or distractions occur.

You can then analyze possible areas you might want to improve, working out where resources are placed and also where you might want them instead.

How to Optimize

As you learn more about your business operations, you will have found areas that could see improvement. Take up the following methods to resolve some of these. Please note, though, this list is not exhaustive.

Improve Workflow

Some ideas for how to improve your workflow might include:

Standardize your workflow. Ensure everyone uses the same, clear process for the same task. Not only is this easier for everyone to learn, but you can also track work easier and make changes based on what you learn.

Automate where possible. Few parts of creative work are automatable. Still, look for places where you can speed up processes by taking them out of human hands.

Reduce distractions. Give your team specific times when they will not receive interruptions and create an environment where they can work in peace.

Manage Your Budget

The first thing you will need to do here is to understand where the money is going and why. Once you do this, instead of allowing all spending, try to prioritize where the money goes instead. Make sure those who need it the most have it.

You should also look at the return on investment every time you spend money. Do not put more money into things if you do not get a measurable return. Though, be aware that some areas, such as marketing, do not have measurable returns.

Prioritize Important Tasks

This can free up resources by only focusing on the things that need to be done sooner rather than later. To work out which tasks would be the most important, consider your organization’s goals as a whole. What tasks help further that goal to the greatest extent?

Consider working with the stakeholders here. Your priorities may be very different from theirs, and the last thing you want to do is disappoint them.

As these tasks end, continue to iterate on what you consider to be the most important. You may have different priorities as they start to resolve.

Useful Tools to Nurture Optimized Creativity

One of the most effective tools you can have in your arsenal is a resource management solution. You can use this to track tasks as people complete them and then measure how effective the work was. By seeing how long it takes to complete each task and the RoI on each, you can start to see if you need to refocus elsewhere.

Another essential application is some kind of creative collaboration tool. You can empower your workers to communicate more freely, allowing them to work faster on complex tasks. This helps save time when it comes to moving around or having complicated meetings that might waste time.

Learn More About Resource Optimization

These tips should help you be well on your way to a future where resource optimization is at the heart of your process. Still, you might want to learn a bit more about how it and other concepts can help you as you move forward.

Screendragon specialize in providing the advice and tools necessary to bring your organization’s potential to light. You only need to speak to our specialists and they can help you get started. So, get in contact and learn how to optimize your resources today!

G2 awards Screendragon – Explainer Blog

Welcome to our live G2 explainer blog for Screendragon. We have collected several G2 achievements and awards during the last couple of years. Therefore we think it’s time to summarise our recent success and keep tabs on our progress! Screendragon are a work management software vendor – but what does this really mean? The G2 categories and our relevant listings will help explain our solution!

Work management is the core Screendragon solution but this incorporates project management, resource management, agency management, and more. In addition to product performance, G2 also evaluate quality of services. This takes into account implementation, relationship management, usability, ease of business, and ease of admin.

Read on to see what solution and service areas that Screendragon has performed highly in, how we achieved our rankings and awards, and what this means in simple terms. We begin our explainer blog with a summary of Screendragon’s performance in G2’s most recent release – Spring 2023!


1 – Latest News (Spring 2023 Release)

2 – Introduction to G2

2a – Who are G2?

2b – What vendors feature on G2?

2c – How do G2 rank vendors?

3 – G2 Awards & Badges

3a – G2 High Performer Categories

3b – G2 Badges of Excellence

3c – G2 Top 50

4 – G2 Comparison Report

5 – How Screendragon outperform the competition

1 – Latest News (April 2023)

The G2 spring release has been published which means winter is officially over! Spring is a time of change and Screendragon is altering the G2 landscape again. It was once said that ‘the colour of happiness is spring green’. This is an appropriate description for the latest G2 rankings where Screendragon shines brightly in the leader and high performer rankings. Here’s a quick summary of the latest awards that have been earned by the always evolving Screendragon solution!

#1 for Enterprise – Marketing Resource Management Grid®

Last year, Screendragon became the highest-ranking professional services automation solution for enterprises. Following on from this success, we’re proud to reveal that Screendragon is now the #1 marketing resource management enterprise solution too!

The G2 Grid® for Marketing Resource Management ranks vendors based on a series of product performance and customer satisfaction scores. Based on these metrics, Screendragon was the highest performer in the enterprise category in the spring release. Our performance in the enterprise category also earned Screendragon the Momentum Grid® Leader badge!

Marketing Resource Management – Users Love Us

As summarised above, Screendragon’s is now the leading professional services and #1 marketing resource management solution in the enterprise segment. Global agencies and Fortune 500 brands use Screendragon to schedule marketing projects, identify the optimum resource for the job, track time and progress, and ensure workloads and utilization are managed effectively.

In the G2 spring release, our esteemed MRM clients helped Screendragon earn awards for relationship management, usability, and implementation. As a result, Screendragon now features in the G2 Relationship and Usability indexes for top Marketing Resource Management vendors. What does this mean in simple terms? In short, our product delivers (see previous point) and the much-loved Screendragon team makes sure it does!

Resource Management – Most Likely to Recommend

Talent and time are the most precious resources in a creative team. However, in our upcoming State of Creative Operations 2023 report we will reveal that only 34% of creatives use resource management software. Does this mean that two thirds of creative teams still aren’t managing their resources efficiently? If you think it’s time to tune up your resourcing engine this year, then look no further than the ‘Most Likely to Recommend’ resource management solution on G2.

The Most Likely to Recommend award is an exclusive award based on customer satisfaction metrics. Our distinguished resource management clients have helped Screendragon earn a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 9.5 / 10. As a result, Screendragon now holds the joint highest NPS score for work management vendors on G2!

2. Introduction to G2

2a. Who are G2?


G2 is a peer review website that scores software products and vendors based on customer reviews. G2 collects reviews through its online community and vendors scores include data collected from online sources and social networks too. Before submitting a review, G2 users need to validate their role and relationship with the vendor in question. Additionally, G2 does not edit or filter reviews. Buyers trust G2 as customers i.e. users determine a vendor’s ranking.

2b. What vendors feature on G2?

Any vendor can feature on G2 but only the leading players in the industry feature in G2 grids, reports, and awards. Screendragon features in several highly competitive solution categories on G2. These include Work Management, Resource Management, Marketing Resource Management, Digital Asset Management, Online Proofing, and Professional Services Automation. Some of these categories have over 100 vendors competing so it’s important to stand out from the crowd!

Image: G2 vendor comparison table featuring Screendragon, Adobe Workfront, Wrike, Mavenlink, and Clarizen. I think it’s fair to say that Screendragon simplifies everything!

2c. How do G2 rank vendors?

G2 use a comprehensive list of scoring methodologies to evaluate vendors. They measure usability, satisfaction, relationship, implementation, and product performance. As a result. vendors that score highly in these categories can obtain high performer awards (see 2a) and badges of excellence (see 2b). The market ranking includes criterion such as employee headcount and social following.

Above: G2 Professional Services Automation Enterprise Grid® – Screendragon are the highest performer (furthest to the right)!

3. G2 Awards & Badges

3a. G2 High Performer Categories

Screendragon are proud to have earned High Performer awards in all of the following categories. Our website does not exaggerate when we proclaim to be an ‘end-to-end’ work management and creative operations solution!

Work Management (Momentum Grid® Leader)

G2’s work management evaluation focuses on productivity gains, collaboration, resource optimization, and remote work management. Screendragon’s automated workflows, AI assisted resourcing and forecasting, and advanced budget management hit the spot. These capabilities help companies increase productivity, reduce costs and improve speed-to-market! Our core functionality spans in-depth workflow customization with intelligent form structures and tasks. This is also supported by a robust reporting module and easy to use administrative tools.

With 116 vendors featuring on G2’s work management category this is a highly competitive market. However, Screendragon is flying up the ranks and we’re moving towards the leadership position. In light of our recent achievements, our Momentum Grid® leader award highlights the trajectory of our award winning software!


Marketing Resource Management (Momentum Grid® Leader)

Screendragon’s resource management module is fully integrated with our marketing project management software. Consequently, we can provide leaders with a live helicopter view of what their team is working on and what the timelines are. Screendragon’s heatmap capacity view offers managers insight into opportunities for new work and constraints for upcoming projects.

Screendragon has been a leader in the marketing and creative space for more than 15 years. This means our resource management tool is perfectly suited for creative teams. Our performance in the marketing resource management is further proof that we are the go-to work management software for marketing teams!

Resource Management (Grid® Leader)

G2 describes resource management as ‘software that tracks, schedules, and optimizes human and material resources required for project management’. Accordingly, Screendragon’s resource management capabilities are wide-ranging and help teams from a variety of backgrounds. Screendragon’s most popular resourcing features are drag ‘n’ drop scheduling, real time resource calendar, AI assisted talent profile utilization, and pipeline and capacity planning.

Managing people and time is the foundation for work management and Screendragon has always stood out in this area. In addition to our leader position in the Momentum Grid®, Screendragon is the highest performer in the Resource Management Grid®! If you’d like to see why our customers rate us so highly in resource management then why not schedule a 30-minute tour of our software?


Professional Services Automation (#1 for Enterprise)

We’re proud to have received awards for our product offering in work management, marketing resource management, and resource management. However, it is our performance in the professional services automation category that is taking pride of place.

Among our professional services customers are a host of global agency networks such as McCann World Group, Landor & Fitch, Arc Worldwide and Interbrand as well as many fast growing small agencies . Agencies use Screendragon’s agency management solution to create new ways to increase collaboration, productivity and compliance. They can do this while removing silos, duplication of efforts and costs. Screendragon is ranked #1 among Professional Services Automation vendors in the enterprise space!

Digital Asset Management

While Screendragon may not have all the features of a traditional DAM vendor, it does possess many of the key qualities that most customers need. This includes the ability to store, share, tag and organize digital assets. Screendragon’s asset management is used by clients to create brand libraries, apply meta tags, build training knowledge bases, and share content with colleagues and partners.

3b. G2 Badges of Excellence

While G2 ‘High Performer’ awards focus on product performance, G2 badges are awarded for top class service and support. So, you have read why our product is so highly rated. It’s now time to see why our team is also world class!

Best Meets Requirements / Easiest to do Business With

Screendragon offers a vast array of capabilities (see our High Performer awards) which means we tick the boxes for most buyers. While Screendragon is a flexible product with powerful configuration capabilities, we never expect clients to work things out for themselves. Every client is assigned a solution expert whose primary role is to listen to your needs and ensure that Screendragon fits perfectly for your business.


Best Usability

Screendragon is a powerful work management tool with a lengthy list of features. Nonetheless, our brilliant development team keep user experience and customer success at the heart of everything we do. This means that Screendragon is a tool that can be learned and used by anyone (not just project managers!). It is simple in design while being sophisticated in performance.

Our latest award for ‘Best Usability’ is based on Screendragon’s performance in customer satisfaction, meeting requirements, and user adoption. Subsequently, this badge is proof that there’s a big difference between making a simple product versus making a product simple!

Best Support

Screendragon is a unique player in the work and creative management segment as most of our staff are customer service focused. We have a dedicated team of project managers, business consultants, and configuration specialists. Our project managers work with clients on a regular basis to maximize the value of Screendragon and optimize its performance. If you ever encounter a roadblock within the system (and we’d like to think you won’t!) you will not have to wait in line or go through red tape to get hands on support. We are always there when you need us.

Best Relationship

At Screendragon, we put immense value on customer support (see our award above!). When clients choose to work with Screendragon it is the beginning of a prosperous relationship for both parties. This contrasts to the seductive sell and swerve philosophy of many companies. Our greatest asset is our people and this resonates strongly in client feedback. We go to the nth degree to make sure our solution works brilliantly for your company. As a result, our clients tend to put great trust and value in our service.


Easiest Setup

Adoption rates are greatly affected by onboarding time and user experience. As outlined in our awards for ‘Best Support’ and ‘Easiest to do Business With’ we guarantee a smooth transition for new clients. Our implementation competencies are not exclusive to our highly acclaimed solutions experts though. Screendragon’s product is built to be fit for purpose which means adoption time is quick and implementation is pain-free. Our user-friendly UI and agile software are very intuitive, so it never takes long to start seeing the benefits of the system!

Easiest Admin

Screendragon has been built from the ground up to be configurable and cater for different ways of working that exist. Practically every aspect of the platform can be managed using web-based admin tools. This flexibility and intuitiveness will excite project managers and admins as much as CMOs and creatives!

Users Love Us & Most Likely To Recommend

Based on everything we said above, it might become clear why more and more companies are choosing Screendragon to manage their work and creative operations. Our passion for design, client first approach, easy implementation, and cutting-edge technology are transforming operations at Fortune 500 companies and Global Agencies and our clients love us for it!

As of Spring 2023, Screendragon holds the exclusive ‘Most Likely to Recommend’ for both Professional Services Automation and Resource Management. This has culminated with Screendragon earning a joint highest NPS score of 9.5 / 10. Thank you to our wonderful clients that have recommended Screendragon so abundantly!


4. G2 Vendor Comparison Report

We have effused Screendragon’s capabilities in our awards and badges summary above – but how do we stack up against the competition? Our G2 comparison report compares the top players in the industry across key product and service indicators. You can download it for free below!

5. See why Screendragon outperform the competition

We hope you’ve seen enough to justify learning more about Screendragon. If you want to see why our product scores so highly on G2 and other review websites then why not see the real thing in action? You can schedule a short product introduction with one of our solution experts below. Feel free to tell us what you’d like to see or what you need to know and we’ll show you why Screendragon is a perfect fit!


Creative Operations 2023 Survey – Early Preview of Our Findings!

The creative operations 2023 survey is officially complete! We had more than 100 creative leaders from a variety of backgrounds join the #CreativeOps2023 conversation. The breakdown of respondents included brands (26%), agencies (45%), inhouse agencies (26%), and a handful of freelancers (3%). Additionally, there where small businesses and agencies, global organisations, and everything in between represented within a diverse spectrum of companies.

What do creatives need most to be thrive in 2023?

In the State of Creative Operations 2023 report we will detail the tools, ways of working, mindsets, and principles that makes creative teams tick. Since our first report in 2018, there’s been a 30% increase in the number of creatives employing a project management solution. Are Excel and spreadsheets finally nearing their natural end? The numbers would suggest there is still life in the old school method yet!

Talent is the lifeblood of any creative outlet. However, only a third of respondents have a system in place to manage people and their time! Is this connected to the large number of creative teams that admit they’re struggling to appropriately staff their team? In addition to technologies, we’ll also reveal what stimulates creativity the most. Is it your workspace, supporting tools, colleagues, or job satisfaction?

Are creatives worried about the economy?

It feels like marketers and creatives are always under pressure. It’s not too long ago that we had to overcome so many challenges related to the pandemic. Now, we’re looking at new economic challenges. Regular readers of business and marketing publications will notice that negative narratives tend to outnumber optimistic articles today. However, the most substantial opinion is from the people on the ground.

The direction of our creative network is encouraging. Only 9% of respondents expect their team to downsize in 2023. This is in addition to 55% of companies surveyed that revealed they grew their creative operation in 2022. In spite of the negative headlines, it looks like the outlook is much more positive than you’d be led to believe.

Do we need an office anymore?

Our creative operations survey in 2021 found almost 60% of people were working fully remote. Interestingly, this has dropped to 23% in our latest research. Many companies downsized offices or reviewed leasing agreements when remote work became the norm. However, it looks like more and more creatives are now returning to the office, at least on a part time basis.

In the full report, we will share a comprehensive breakdown of work environments and desired outcomes for creatives. Subsequently, you will find out if your company’s ways of working are normal or unique.

Have creatives fully adopted AI in daily work?

AI is not a new phenomenon for creatives, but the last year has seen remarkable developments in the space. Not long after AI assisted imagery landed, ChatGPT casually popped it’s head up and changed our lives forever. In the State of Creative Operations, we reveal how many creative teams are leaning on AI generative imagery, using ChatGPT to write content, utilising DCO, and taking advantage of AI powered talent management. The results indicate that adoption of new AI technologies is proving more difficult than hoped for creative teams.

How to sign up for The State of Creative Operations in 2023

Already signed up to the Screendragon newsletter? Then you don’t need to anything. We’ll let you know when the report is live and ready for consumption. Those that helped with survey submissions will receive an early invite to download the report so keep an eye on your inbox in late April!

Screendragon join the ANA to strengthen client-agency relationships in 2023

We are delighted to reveal that Screendragon will sponsor the 2023 Advertising Financial Management Conference! This is Screendragon’s fourth year partnering with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

If you’re joining the hybrid event, then make sure to visit Screendragon’s virtual booth or check out our marketing planning and agency management solution. You can follow the event conversation online using the #ANAAFM hashtag. Alternatively, you can still join the event by getting your ANA ticket here!

Driving value in a challenging climate

The ANA event agenda will focus on four key areas for maximising advertising agency value in 2023 – cost saving, change management, client agency relationships, sustainability, and quality of output.

Consequently, leading brands will learn about the latest methods to boost agency performance and value delivery. In a challenging economic climate, brands are under pressure to prove ROI for their investments. As a result, brands are reviewing agency relationships and making sure the foundations are in place for a maximum performance from all parties.

How does Screendragon help agencies control costs?

Screendragon’s centralised hub enables brands to manage, track and report on agency scopes, fees, and contracts. This enables global organisations to optimise their agency delivery model to generate cost savings, productivity gains, and operational efficiencies. Screendragon clients have lauded the ability to collaborate better on scopes, deliverables & staffing plans.

See our agency financial management solution in action!

If you’d like to see how Screendragon transforms advertising financial management then schedule a quick demo of our solution here. Alternatively, you can send a question to our sales team by emailing demo@screendragon.com.

Laying the foundation for best-of-breed agency management at Platform Media

Screendragon would like to welcome Platform Media to our growing list of innovative independent agencies. The Belfast based multi-service agency is “A creative family of specialist media & technology companies that build brands, audiences & prestige digital programming”.

Platform Media will use Screendragon’s agency management software to optimise the briefing process, employ Screendragon’s award winning resource management capabilities, and make the approval process simple and secure.

Unifying Agency Operations at Hall & Partners

Screendragon is delighted to announce our latest world-class agency client. “Born out of adland”, Hall & Partners are an “insight agency known for weaving creativity with science.” The London headquartered firm partner with clients to shape brand strategy and optimize brand and campaign performance.

The Hall & Partners team will join an illustrious list of agencies to benefit from Screendragon’s agency management capabilities. The award-winning Omnicom agency will use Screendragon to optimize marketing operations across their North American, European, and MEA teams.  

Leading global marketing, firing up food startups, and combining work and life – Unstuck in February!

After a brief hibernation for January, the Unstuck podcast came back with a bang this month! The objective of Unstuck is to remove everyday barriers to success for marketers and creatives. We attempt to do this by sharing practical anecdotes from creative thinkers, marketing scholars, thriving entrepreneurs, and inspiring artists. What did success look like for our guests? How did they overcome obstacles along the way? What did they learn on their journey?

During February, three compelling business leaders joined Clive Sirkin to impart their invaluable experience to listeners. We met a veteran CMO that led marketing for a revolutionary online business in the pre digital age. This was followed by an entrepreneurial strategist who is providing unimagined opportunities for aspiring food businesses. Lastly, we concluded an enlightening month on the podcast with a personal tale of nature getting in the way of a career.

‘Sales overnight, brand over time’

EP39 with Mike Linton, Former CMO at eBay, Best Buy

Why do companies keep tackling the same problems over and over? This question was posed to 5-time CMO, Mike Linton. According to the former eBay exec, it’s often down to problems communicating their value proposition. Having led several global organisations, Mike has seen marketers frequently scramble to overhaul every element of the marketing mix. “Many companies think they need ‘better marketing’ but the true problem usually lies within the value proposition or competitive set” says Mike. He explains to listeners how marketers often blame themselves or their agency partners when results disappoint. Again, Mike reminds us that the answer lies with your customer, “you’ve got to go to the consumer in the marketplace and find out why they’re not buying your product.”

In this episode of Unstuck, we get to hear from a marketer that has seen it all. Mike Linton led an online business before most of us owned a laptop. He introduced reward schemes for one of the biggest retailers in the world. On that note, how does Mike stay ahead of the game? Firstly, he believes that a CMO’s job is like managing a professional sports team. In progressing that metaphor, Mike describes the marketers within the building as your ‘most passionate fans’. Marketing leaders must always bring their team along for the ride. If they don’t believe in what you’re doing, then how can you influence someone who knows you to a lesser extent?

Tune in to EP39 with Mike Linton to hear more pearls of wisdom from a renowned CMO. Furthermore, you’ll find out about his famous marketing martini metaphor. It made quite a stir in the late 2000s (sorry).

‘Entrepreneurship First’

EP40 – Natalie Shmulik, Chief Strategy Officer at The Hatchery

Our second spring guest of 2023 is a culinary aficionada that helped build an academy and production space for budding food businesses. The Hatchery is a non-profit incubator for food entrepreneurs in Chicago that gives startups a chance to cook their creations at scale. East Garfield, West Chicago is an underserved and under invested community that often gets a bad rap. Natalie Shmulik wanted to open doorways for people that don’t usually have realistic opportunities to develop their dreams. For this reason, they settled in West Chicago for The Hatchery’s inaugural setting. “So many people in the west side have great ideas. They have nowhere to grow them though” argues Natalie. “It’s all about providing access. Rooted in the belief that innovation must create generational change.”

In this episode, Natalie describes the day-to-day operations of The Hatchery. In addition to a safe space for cooking, it’s also a dynamic business academy. Among their esteemed mentors is celebrity chef Rick Bayless. Young students can learn both knife skills and soft skills from one of the best in the business. However, kitchen competencies are not the most important aspect of The Hatchery’s function, according to Natalie. “It’s about entrepreneurship first, and ideas second” she says. This means Natalie prioritizes business skills and effective entrepreneurship ahead of the output from the production line. Tune in below to find out why workforce development is so important for The Hatchery and the community of West Chicago.

‘Parenting Paranoia’

EP41 – Katie Moran, Regional Lead EMEA at Kimberly-Clark

Our final guest in February is a dynamic marketer that made a successful shift from integrated marketing to a client focused role. Katie Moran’s career was on a continuous upward trajectory as she navigated through senior agency roles and eventually into a director position at Kimberly-Clark. However, a natural curveball presented Katie with her greatest career challenge to date. While making the transition into a new position with ease, the evolution into motherhood proved more challenging for Katie. The self-diagnosed workaholic now had to juggle a demanding job with a much more important role.

She describes an inflection point to listeners where she realised that she had created a “recipe for failure”. On one hand, she was still trying to be the workaholic high achiever at work. This was competing with a higher aim of being a good mother. Initially, Katie fought hard on both fronts to make both sides work but the situation was untenable. Something had to change!

In a personal recount of her story, Katie explains how opening up with colleagues empowered her. Previously, she feared telling her co workers about challenges relating to parenting. Katie would rush out to collect her kids from school in the hope that no one would notice she was out of the office. Furthermore, she would work overtime to minimize the impact of her children on her work. Once she confided with colleagues about her struggles, she found it many others were in the same predicament. Tune in below to find out how Katie and her team found a new formula for work that doesn’t make you choose between a highly achieving career and a happy family!