Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Claire Molyneux

Claire Associate Marketing Director
Procter & Gamble West Africa, Nigeria

Claire Molyneux has come a long way since receiving a Masters of Arts in Modern History and German from England’s Oxford University.  In fact, the journey recently took her to the Palms Shopping Mall in Lekki, a developing suburb of Lagos, Nigeria.  There she talked to the Nigerian people about the re-launch of a new Procter & Gamble detergent, Ariel Prozim, designed to meet the specific needs of African consumers.  The brand unveiling attracted press, government officials, as well as consumers, and Claire’s words were reported in several National newspapers:

"Ariel is creating value for Nigerian consumers by offering the right products to meet consumers’ needs and budget.  With the new Ariel Prozim, you only need to wash your clothes once.  This means that you use half the quantity of Ariel that you would use with another detergent. Nigerian consumers can be certain they are making smart choices when every naira counts."

More companies are recognizing the potential of the African Continent, particularly at a time when last year’s South Africa World Cup underscored how the entire region’s pride has the potential move business forward—despite some extraordinary obstacles.  Increasingly, multinational marketers see the continent as a number of sub-regions.  West Africa, one of those sub-regions with 180 million people, is generally best served through a hub in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital.

 Claire Molyneux has been based in Nigeria now for two and a half years and is responsible for Procter & Gamble’s Fabric Care Division, as well as for Gillette, Duracell, New Business and Market Research, where she is committed to touching and improving more consumers lives across West Africa via P&G brands and it’s Social Responsibility Platform ‘Live, Learn and Thrive’.

A Marketing role in Africa, she has discovered, certainly means being a “brand ambassador,” but often with the official accouterments of true diplomacy and as a devoted champion of local economic growth.  As she points out, “This product comes from our state-of-the-art production plant in Ibadan; the only P&G Detergent factory in the whole of our Sub-Saharan Africa region.”  In fact, at the Ariel re-launch, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State looked on so that she could ascertain that Ariel Prozim was indeed an improvement over its predecessor, Ariel Enzymax, now removing even tough stains in just 1 wash.  The Deputy Governor’s reaction to the clothes-cleaning demonstration would insure the general public of product efficacy.

 Claire’s speeches at such unveiling ceremonies often pay tribute to local organizations, while underscoring P&G’s respect for the local consumer.  And the message that best resonates with the Nigerian people is quite a sophisticated one.  Claire is quoted here by The Nation, Lagos’ newspaper:

 “We must mention the immense support of NAFDAC, an agency that is known globally for its effort to ensure that only the best quality products are available for Nigerian consumers.  Without their support, P&G could not have brought this product and its associate job opportunities to Nigerians. Since 1837, Procter & Gamble has built a heritage of touching consumers’ lives across the globe with brands that make everyday life a little better; now and for generations to come and we remain committed to improving the lives of the world’s consumers.”

Anthony Lau

Anthony_lau Marketing Director
Bank of Communications, The Pacific Credit Card Center, Hong Kong

The Shanghai World Expo in 2010 marked another significant international milestone for China, particularly following just a few years in the wake of the Beijing Olympics.  Whereas the Games offered the world a glimpse of a new China, the Expo was certainly a coming out party for business, multinational corporations and governments, as well as Chinese consumer enthusiasm.  For Anthony Lau and his marketing stewardship of the Pacific Credit Card Center (PCCC) of Bank of Communications, the Shanghai Expo also represented a critical marketing decision to leverage the bank’s unique status as one of its global partners.

Anthony Lau was assigned three years ago to Bank of Communications’ Pacific Credit Card Center as Marketing Director after more than 20 years' service with HSBC Hong Kong as the former Head of Branding and Advertising, Asia Pacific Region.  In his current Bank of Communications role, he leads a team of 70 and is responsible for marketing strategy development, brand building and product development, as well as customer acquisition and retention.

The Pacific Credit Card Center was established in 2004 and released its first credit card in the following year. Now, Bank of Communications is the fourth largest card issuer in China.

Lau has used his marketing experience and creativity to launch major projects such as new products like the Platinum Card and EXPO Card, as well as to direct nationwide marketing campaigns like the award winning “Crazy Spending” and “Red Hot Friday.”

Bank of Communications Limited, founded in 1908, is one of four oldest banks in China and one of the early note-issuing banks in the country.  During the economic reforms of the late 1980s, Bank of Communications became China's first state-owned shareholding commercial bank with its headquarters in Shanghai. By 2004, it further evolved into a modern banking enterprise with both mainland and overseas strategic investors, while still operating as a well-known, century-old national brand. 

The Shanghai Expo campaign — “Let the World Enrich Me” — communicated how the Pacific Credit Card is China’s “global card” with world class services that brings enhancements to the Chinese and their lives. Through TV commercials, print and outdoor media channels, as well as point of sales materials, the program targeted well-educated and self-confident Chinese between 25-35 years of age who have an international perspective and an interest in experiencing the world at large.

Wendy Clark

Wendy_clark-1 Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing Communications & Capabilities
The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia USA

Wendy Clark is certainly one of the world’s most influential women in advertising.  As Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities at The Coca-Cola Company, she oversees global design, marketing communications, media, sponsorships, interactive marketing and marketing of the Live Positively sustainability platform.

During the two-and-a-half short years since she joined the company, Wendy has championed a number of extraordinary projects.  Among them is the successful global launch of the Coca-Cola "Open Happiness" campaign, which has run in all markets that collectively represent 100% of Coca-Cola's volume.  The company also launched its first-ever global mobile marketing campaign, and its 2010 FIFA World Cup program represented The Coca-Cola System's largest-ever marketing activation.

Her team is leveraging the power of holistic design, working to align the company’s ad agencies under a new value-based compensation model, and driving great adoption and understanding of digital media with a "fans-first" mentality.

Her latest project, which she discussed at the TED WOMEN Conference in Washington this December, focuses on how the need for a global brand to ally with social change.  Called 5 BY 20, the ambitious initiative underscores Coca-Cola’s global commitment to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020. The project aims to give millions of women opportunities to reach their potential, to support their families and to strengthen their communities- and inspire millions more to do the same.

She says, “It is the responsibility of a corporation our size to use its scale for good and also meet our massive business ambitions.”  Coca-Cola’s 2020 goal is to double is business.

“The three main barriers to women entrepreneurs is access to finance and credit, basic business and marketing skills, and mentorship."  She continues,  "Certainly, Coke can help with all of these areas, but we are also calling others to join at 5by20.com.”

Prior to joining The Coca-Coca Company, Wendy Clark was the Senior Vice President of Advertising for AT&T, the world's largest telecommunications company, where she oversaw "Your World. Delivered."-- the most ambitious re-branding and advertising campaign in the company’s history. Wendy's efforts were recognized in November 2007 with her induction into the American Advertising Federation's (AAF) "Advertising Hall of Achievement."

 Before her move to the client side, Wendy served as the Senior Vice President and Director of Client Service at GSD&M, a nationally acclaimed advertising agency based in Austin, Texas.


Rahul Welde

ImageResizer Vice President, Media
Unilever Asia, Africa, Middle East & Turkey, Shanghai

Unilever’s Rahul Welde is not shy about being an advocate.  As Vice President of Media for the company’s business region that spans Asia, Africa, Middle East and Turkey, he believes in applying non-traditional thinking to communications and media strategy.  Not any easy task when considering Unilever’s portfolio of more than 400 brands—each with a strong presence in a majority of the world’s countries.  The multinational giant also ranks among Asia-Pacific’s largest advertisers.

Rahul also serves as Regional Vice President of The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), and was instrumental in creating the organization’s Media & Marketing APAC Network two years ago. The project’s mission is to act as a regional voice for marketers as they tackle critical media-related issues in order to improve best industry practices.  He explains, "These members-only sessions are designed to provide marketers with the chance to share their experiences, learn how to streamline their process and structures and benchmark their practices against those of their peers. It's an ideal way for marketers to learn." 

His role at Unilever focuses on reshaping media strategy, planning and buying to meet the needs of today’s fast-changing landscape and driving this new agenda through a network of agencies and media partners.  Rahul’s primary concern is delivering media effectiveness which he deems to be the result of encouraging innovation, setting strong cost management guidelines and constantly reviewing all analytics.

His WFA agenda also reflects the marketing challenges he faces on a daily basis within his region.  Right now, he sees two of the major priorities for advertisers to be:  1. the challenges of developing truly integrated marketing campaigns in the face of ever expanding digital possibilities, and 2. the difficulties of measuring the ROI of marketing investments. 

Sometimes the role of an advocate is also to be a critic.  Rahul has also turned his attention to the current lack of reliable and transparent online audience measurement by underscoring the challenges this poses for major advertisers throughout the world, not just within the Asia-Pacific region.   He stresses that while digital remains a top priority for the world’s biggest global marketers and will continue to attract marketing investment, he is calling for more reliable metrics to better demonstrate MROI or Marketing Return on Investment.

This year marks Rahul Welde 20th anniversary with Unilever.  Prior to his current role, Rahul served as the Head of Media Services for Unilever South Asia.  He joined consumer goods giant in 1991 after completing his MBA at India’s Symbiosis Institute of Business Management.  Over the past two decades, he has taken on a variety of assignments for the packaged goods giant,ß including in such departments as Commercial, Sales and within the Corporate Center.

Beth Comstock

Comstock Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer 
GE, Fairfield, Connecticut USA

If one were to characterize Beth Comstock and her highly-respected work at GE in a single word, there’s little doubt it would be “innovator.”  She is often credited with playing a key role in transforming the culture of the corporate giant to one that is more creative, accessible and innovative. 

However, Beth would probably say the term that best describes her marketing role would be “instigator.”  She’s conscious of how marketers must be the ones to draw attention to some of the trends and realities that are most difficult for management to accept.  (In fact, she believes that this essential part of marketing—the going against the corporate grain—ironically is also what threatens the longevity of marketers most.)

Both words—innovator and instigator together serve to precisely define what’s required of today’s successful CMO.  And Beth Comstock manages to juggle both concepts in a manner that simply appears to be effortless.

In her role as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of GE, Beth leads the company's organic growth and commercial innovation initiatives, as well as the sales, marketing and communications functions.  She is responsible for the GE-wide business platforms of ecomagination—dedicated to reducing environmental impact with new technology, and healthymagination—focused on achieving sustainable health through innovation by lowering costs, improving quality and reaching more people.

Beth Comstock is also one of the few CMOs to hold the role twice within the same corporation.  In 2003, she was named GE's first Chief Marketing Officer in more than two decades, after serving a four-year role as the company’s VP Corporate Communications.  She is credited with reinvigorating marketing across the company by introducing ecomagination and the "imagination at work" brand campaign.

She then moved within GE to become President of Integrated Media at NBC, then NBC Universal, and innovated again with digital media development and distribution--including the formation of hulu.com, Peacock Equity, and the acquisition of ivillage.com.

Although Beth spent much of her early career in positions at CBS Entertainment, Turner Broadcasting and ultimately NBC, she actually graduated with a degree in biology.  No doubt that has even had its benefits in conversations with GE scientists and healthymagination initiatives.

She’s been in the top marketing role at GE since 2008, during some of the more challenging years for business.  Today, her largest concerns are revenue growth, brand value and continuing to insure that GE businesses can drive innovation globally and with purpose.  She remains firm in her conviction that the power of the GE brand can open doors and augment sales.

And as the multinational giant sets its sights on tackling two of the world’s largest challenges—the environment and health—we have no doubt that Beth Comstock will continue to innovate and instigate.

Nick Adams

NickAdams_PassportSize_72dpi_RGB_0a38.small Chief Marketing Officer
Westpac Banking Corporation, Sydney, Australia

Nick Adams has just been officially named CMO of Westpac’s Retail and Business Banking division after a fast two-year rise within the company.  Nick actually rejoined Westpac in 2008 to drive a bank-wide customer relationship management program before moving to head up Cards and Direct marketing.  (He also served as a Senior Marketing Manager at Westpac from 2002-2005, before he left for a Vice President role at American Express.)

 Nick’s no stranger to marketing notoriety.  Six years ago, he was named one of the four young stars of Australian marketing by the prescient local Marketing magazine.  In November 2009, Nick was awarded Australian Direct Marketer of the Year by the ADMA/ Australian Direct Marketing Association for his program at Westpac.

 Now in his Chief Marketing Officer role, he’s responsible for customer service, sales and marketing for 4.4 million consumer, small and medium enterprise customers. 

So what’s the secret of Nick’s success?  He’ll simply say it’s knowing that above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) can work effectively together to provide highly-targeted creative that’s relevant to the consumer.  

“My key focus has been on developing best-in-class marketing campaigns that fuse direct marketing data and know how with highly-targeted above-the-line (ATL) campaigns.  For the launch of Westpac's 685 new style bank managers into the Australian marketplace, we created a campaign that geo-coded our 4 million customers and plotted them into trade areas—essentially linking our customers with our 685 branches and bank managers.  Into these trade areas we also plotted the location of all outdoor assets, press distribution boundaries and every Westpac ATM.  

Once we had built the database of our customers and media assets, we then delivered a nationally-driven campaign tailored to each of the 685 trade areas.  We created tens of thousands of pieces of creative tailored to each branch and bank manager, and ran the campaign across television, press, outdoor, digital, direct marketing including letterbox drops.  It was a huge team effort, but it was also hugely successful.

 Nick also recognizes that marketing risk-taking is essential today.  In fact, he has been taking the focus off price and promotion to drive product demand.  “More of our campaigns are now focused on higher-level value propositions and insights, rather than incorporating a more traditional price or promotion lever.  In these campaigns, we have been able to stimulate considerable demand and deliver the organization a greater outcome without reverting to price.  It is largely counter-intuitive to lead with this approach, particular in financial services where the products can be very homogeneous and competitors are pushing in the price/promotion territory to drive demand.”

 Nick Adams’ passion for marketing is clear.  Firstly, I love the fact that when done well, marketing can make a real difference to the bottom line of any company. We can take a discretionary investment and turn this into incremental value for an organization.  And I love the fact that no two days in marketing are the same; each day is a new challenge requiring you to stay at the top of your game.

Chad Carlson

ChadCarlson Senior Director of Global Online Advertising, Operations & Agency Management
Oracle Corporation, Redwood Shores, California

Chad Carlson leads the global go-to-market advertising activities for demand generation of Oracle's products and solutions.  He is also responsible for the worldwide operations of the centralized advertising organization and oversees global agency management.  The US-headquartered IT giant specializes in developing open and integrated enterprise software products and hardware systems, particularly in database management, and works with over 370,000 customers in 145 countries—including all of the Fortune 100 companies.

In this role, Chad managed the overhaul of the global digital asset management process to better administer the company’s creative production and distribution of assets used in advertising programs around the world.  As new digital communications have become the norm in the world’s developed and emerging markets, Chad worked with Starcom to ensure that every market would have access to a portfolio of best-in-class digital advertising content to promote the Oracle brand.  He also worked with agency partners to create an integrated ecosystem of content collaborators across Starcom, SDL (the content and language management company), third party publishers and Oracle local market teams—ensuring real-time support of all incoming brand and creative requests. 

Chad essentially built Oracle’s global advertising content portfolio on a worldwide basis. This includes: managing the development of translated white papers, e-books, online courses, virtual training, C-level engagements, banners and traditional ads.  Such innovation across 20 countries ultimately increased the efficiency of Oracle’s global advertising,

No doubt, his extensive marketing background and pioneering nature contributed to the success of this global undertaking. Chad has led global marketing and advertising teams into new territories many times.  He has also been quick to embrace global standards to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising programs and was one of the first major marketers to break out of the mindset that “the click means everything.”  Prior to joining Oracle in 2007, he was Chief of Staff for the Brand & Advertising group at Sun Microsystems.  His earlier ad agency background includes work with such clients as Bank of America, Microsoft and Apple.

Chad Carlson’s collaborative approach, drive for excellence, focus on accountability, and critical thinking skills motivate everyone who works with him.  One other lesser-known fact…. he’s also a member of the Board of Directors of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California.