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!
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.
‘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!
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!
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!