‘Don’t drink and tweet:’ Lessons from the world’s top marketing and media executives

From starting out in a career to managing social media and hiring staff, some of the world’s top media executives have given CNBC’s “What Drives You” their advice on business and life in general.

John Hegarty, founder of ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH): Don’t start a business, build a brand

“People haven’t had the experience I’ve had in sitting business meetings for 30, 40, 50 years listening to people talk about problems, what will they do (to) solve them,” Hegarty told CNBC anchor Karen Tso. He founded BBH in 1982 and went on to start incubator The Garage in 2014. “Although I was the creative guy in the meeting, I was… picking up amazing tips, it’s sort of (as if) you’ve been to Harvard Business School times 20. Of course, what we say to these companies is, ‘Don’t start a business, build a brand.’”

    Terry Savage, global chair of The Marketing Academy: People want brands to reflect their values

    Savage told CNBC that doing good is going from being a peripheral business initiative to a leadership one. “The difference now is that the consumer is in control, people are in control and people don’t want to just be buying products, they want products that represent their values, represent something meaningful in their life and so brands are responding.”

    Stephanie McMahon, WWE chief brand officer: Don’t drink and tweet

    McMahon has worked at the wrestling company since she was a teenager, answering phone calls before going on to head up various divisions of the group that her father Vince currently runs. WWE star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reportedly asked for a $1 million fee for promoting the forthcoming “Red Notice” movie on social media including Facebook and Twitter. McMahon’s advice for the stars of WWE? “I think the biggest guideline is don’t drink and tweet and that should just apply to everyone in general… There is a time and a place and everything is captured right now.”

      Richard Edelman, CEO of consultancy Edelman: This is a time to do something, not just communicate

      “Our whole thesis around brands right now is that the new expectation is that they’ll do something, they’re not just going to talk about it,” Edelman told CNBC. He praised pharmacy CVS Caremark for ceasing to sell cigarettes in 2014. “That was a really big deal, $2 billion in revenue that they just walked away from, but (customers’) preference (to shop there) increased so substantially,” he said.

        Anatoly Roytman, Accenture Interactive managing director for Europe, Africa and Latin America: Consumers will have more control of advertising in future

        Billboards are set to be able to personalize their advertising to the type of person walking or driving past, according to Roytman. “(At) this specific time, when the traffic is of (a) particular nature, you can advertise something that is relevant at this particular day… It will be targeting specific segments (of people),” he told CNBC. But he warned: “Personalization has a limit. I think it needs to be more of an agreement between consumers and advertisers, where you reach a balance where a consumer decides how and what way he or she will be reached in the future.”

        Michael Kassan, founder and CEO of consultancy MediaLink: Ask yourself, ‘Are they fun on a bus?’ when hiring

        Integrity and intellect are two qualities Kassan looks for in co-workers, and the third is a little different. “Are they fun on a bus? You know, in life. I mean, metaphorically, we’re on a bus together. Are they people you want to hang out with?”

          – CNBC’s Alexandra Gibbs contributed to this report.

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