Unstuck in March: Evolving commerce, new markets, and healthy snacks!

The second month of the Unstuck podcast delivered an exciting mix of guests from backgrounds in agency, e-commerce, food and beverage, and software. Whether it was the changing e-commerce landscape, entering new markets, keeping processes inhouse, or building an enterprise from the ground up there were many memorable discussions and useful takeaways from our latest round of Unstuck stars!

Remember, there is a new episode of the Unstuck podcast every week and you can find all of our previous episodes on the Unstuck homepage or in your podcast app. If you’re hearing about Unstuck for the first time then why not check out our February highlights to see how our show launched last month? If you’ve already done so then here are some of our highlights from March!


‘Loverage’ 

Beth Ann Kaminkow, Global CEO at VMY&R Commerce

Beth Ann Kaminkow is passionate about virtual experiences and she’s on a mission to bring e-commerce into the experiential age with delightful creative engagement. In Beth Ann’s own words ‘The more you bring that creativity in to that space you’re giving consumers what they want’. Beth Ann believes this is the ‘realest, richest version of consumer marketing today’ and that you need to understand the customer journey explicitly so that you can ‘understand how people are behaving and meet them with creative engagement all along the way‘. Before getting stuck into analytics and creative though you need to always begin by asking yourself ‘how do I want people to engage with my brand?’.

The agency world can be hard and fast but Beth Ann insists on kindness being a part of her leadership manual. When unlocking talent, you need to begin by using ‘loverage’. In this fast paced business environment you need to ensure you remain committed to encouraging, praising, and helping your team when they fall. In Beth Ann’s world, it is the foundation of all transformation.

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‘Hunting the Edges’

Simon Francis, CEO at Flock Associates

Like many in the industry, Simon Francis didn’t train to be a marketer. Unsure of what career path he wanted to follow and whether he wanted to use his Biology degree, he volunteered for a role in Zenith and let’s just say the rest is history! In addition to other high profile positions, Simon has served as CEO of Aegis, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Europe, and Managing Director of OMD. Simon is drawn towards the path less travelled and finds many of his best ideas in the ‘fringes’ of a dataset. He encourages us to ‘hunt the edges – look at the other areas of a dataset’ to find new approaches and markets. 

In 2013, Simon founded Flock Associates – a marketing transformation company. Fond of a challenge, he wanted to help teams get unstuck as his experiences led him to conclude that most companies succeed because they combine good strategy (the ‘what’) with strong organisation (the ‘how’). Many companies get stuck trying to achieve the latter and Flock Associates are there to help 1,500 agencies transform the ‘how’. Listen to Simon’s story below to hear how you can transform your own marketing organisation!


‘Control is an Illusion’ 

Bohb Blair, CMO at Jones Soda

Bohb Blair is the Chief Marketing Officer at beloved beverage brand ‘Jones Soda’. Many people will recognise the Jones Soda brand from their iconic flavours and quirky marketing. Long before Instagram and Snapchat, Jones were attracting user generated content through custom bottle labels and customer photo galleries on their website. Somewhere along the way though, Jones Soda got too fixated on trying to ‘be like the big guy’ and imitate Coca Cola and Pepsi which resulted in the brand losing track of who they were and what made them unique.

Jones Soda are back in profitability and growing quarter on quarter and Blair attributes this to ‘finding a middle ground between a small independent brand vs a big CPG’. Jones Soda are using their agility to dip their toe into emerging markets as they can ‘change flavours and packaging much quicker than bigger brands‘. Listen to episode 7 with Bohb to hear about Jones Soda new ‘adventurous’ line of products!

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‘Selective Destruction’

Sarah Hofstetter, President at Profitero and Board Member, Campbell Soup

Sarah Hofstetter’s journey in media and marketing began as an editorial assistant at the New York Times. It was here that Sarah developed a love for ‘succinct story telling and getting to the point’. She’s always up for new challenges and is very encouraging when it comes to changing course or even career; ‘Don’t be afraid to pivot or completely change course in your working life. You need different chapters in the story of your life.’

Sarah is now President of e-commerce analytics platform, Profitero where she is always searching for that ‘delta between consumer behaviour and brand readiness’. In this episode Sarah shares some interesting insights about the US e-commerce landscape and how every company was forced to invest in e-commerce during the pandemic if they wanted to survive. 

Concluding Sarah’s passion for pivots, she encourages listeners ‘start from the ground up’ when iterating products and processes and believes we all need to practice a bit of ‘selective destruction’ on a routine basis!

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‘Fearless Asking’

Trish Thomas & Nichole Wilson, Co-Founders at Every Body Eat®

Trish and Nichole are passionate about food and inclusivity when it comes to eating in or dining out. More than 60% of American families are impacted by a special diet of some form which in their view can sometimes result in awkward scenarios when it comes to sharing food.

Trish and Nichole want to remove the shame around special diets so that everyone can have a ‘seat at the table’. Their snack food company Every Body Eat® has a range of foods that meets almost every specialist diet. In their own words, their founding question is ‘How do we make it easier to eat? But more importantly, how do we eat with other people?’ Listen to episode 9 with Trish and Nichole to find out great friends became formidable business partners!

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Want to listen to more episodes of Unstuck? Visit our Unstuck homepage or listen via YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple or whatever podcast app you choose!

New Podcast! Break Down Barriers and Unlock Human Potential

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Have you ever felt that your job is more about managing the beast rather than accomplishing the outcome? Do you spend more energy on process and administration than making an actual difference? Talent is the lifeblood of any organisation – but too often companies focus on performance management and process compliance over unlocking potential and achieving outcomes.

This is why we created a new podcast series to untangle the web that many teams find themselves in and unleash the talent within the room. This is the Unstuck podcast series with Clive Sirkin and guests!

Continue reading “New Podcast! Break Down Barriers and Unlock Human Potential”

The Top 6 Workflow Software Platforms in 2022

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There have never been so many technology providers offering to transform your business. In Chiefmartec’s 2020 MarTech super graphic there were over 8,000 vendors displayed and over 100 of these were selling ‘Projects and Workflow’ management technology. But what exactly is ‘Workflow Software’? What features should you look for in a workflow management solution? And, most importantly, what are the top vendors in this area in 2022?  

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Forrester’s Returning to Work Report: A Work Management View

In April 2020, Forrester published a report titled ‘Returning to Work: How to Prepare for Pandemic Recovery’. The research focuses on office management, dealing with fluctuations in demand,  and managing your workforce throughout the stages of pandemic. Here is Screendragon’s view on the report with specific reference to business resilience and recommendations for maintaining competitiveness.

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How PSA software can improve CX and project performance

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A professional services firm can incorporate many sectors. Traditionally, most perceived professional services as being ‘white collar’ workers like insurance brokers, financiers, engineers and lawyers. Nowadays professional services can essentially include any business where knowledge (or specifically, time) can be sold as a commodity. Marketing and PR firms, technology specialists and business consultants are all modern professional services, but they share similar objectives with their traditional counterparts in relation to the importance of project management, profit margins and client satisfaction.

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Building the foundations for a smart workplace with workflow software

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A smart workplace begins with communication and collaboration. You can benefit from smart systems without having to invest large in a new office. The first step is easier than you think.. Continue reading “Building the foundations for a smart workplace with workflow software”

Briefs for Christmas (again)

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One slightly absurd thing with marketing is that by the time winter comes around, our marketing friends have been working on their Christmas campaigns for months, and are now probably sick of finding original ways of incorporating sleigh-bells, Santa and snowflakes into their winter campaigns. For our marketeers, by the time Christmas Day is finally here, it’s like looking at the turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.

However, planning ahead is paramount to a campaign’s success, and some (like British retailer M&S last year), actually start their Christmas campaign more than a year (15 months) before.

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5 Reasons to Avoid Project Management Tool Overload

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There’s a reason the old adage “time is money” has stuck around. Now more than ever, we’re expected to do more with our time when we’re working. It seems like everything needs to be done yesterday and we’re more time poor than ever with an ever growing to-do list. To deal with this, workers are turning to project management tools to help them be more organised, efficient and effective at their jobs.

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Zero-based budgeting – What it is and how to streamline your operations to succeed at it

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Imagine you are on a diet. It’s a pretty unusual diet where you can eat anything you want. The only problem is that you have to speak with a gatekeeper who is standing at your kitchen door and justify why you should be allowed in to eat the food. Ok, maybe that’s a little creepy, but put the creepiness to one side for a moment and think about the effect that would have on your eating habits. Firstly, you’d make far less trips to the kitchen. The idea of having to stand at the kitchen doorway at ten o’clock at night to have a detailed conversation about why you need to eat the leftover pizza from the day before when you’ve already had dinner is a bit too much of an ordeal.  But secondly, you’d spend a lot more time thinking about your visits to the kitchen, so that when you do finally go in, you get more out of them. Gone would be the day when you would nip in for a quick snack to tide you over whilst you watch your favourite programme. Each kitchen visit would be carefully planned, not just to satisfy your cravings, but to deliver the calories and nutrients needed to last you through to the next mealtime. Continue reading “Zero-based budgeting – What it is and how to streamline your operations to succeed at it”