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The last Marketing for the Now of 2021 will focus on the question, "What were your biggest challenges and victories in 2021?"
As we say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022, what have we learned? How can we look back to be smarter as we move forward?
We will discuss topics including how to be better employers, how to take the right risks, how to capture underpriced attention in smart ways, how to understand the role that data plays, and how to dial up the impact we deliver as marketers.
We'll hear from this incredible lineup LIVE on the show!
George Felix, CMO, Tinder (interviewed by Gary)
Bill Pullman (interviewed by Rob Lenois, Chief Creative Officer, VaynerMedia)
Marissa Jarratt, SVP and CMO, 7-Eleven (interviewed by Ryan Harwood, CEO, Gallery Media Group)
Anisha Raghavan, CMO, No7 Beauty Company NA (interviewed by Ryan Harwood, CEO, Gallery Media Group)
Mandy Rassi, VP, President of Marketing, Kroger (interviewed by Ryan Harwood, CEO, Gallery Media Group)

Marketing for the now the marketing for the now marketing for the now marketing for the now 10 minutes, 12 remarkable guests for two hours, answering a singular important question: are you ready gary? What do you think gary gary gary it's time for the year? I can't believe it. I can't believe it either. Have you been good good, so we've got another star-studded cast here. We're gon na have one question to wrap things up, which is what are your biggest challenges and victories of 2021 and we're gon na kick off with george felix he's the cmo of tinder and he joined just about eight months ago and gary here's a little story That you may not know about george in kindergarten.

He crushed his grade school talent show with his friends lip syncing. Everybody wants to rule the world by tears and fear good song, and apparently it's the pleather jacket and the plastic guitar. That was just huge. So just wanted to kind of share that before we kick things off.

Welcome george wow thanks uh thanks, andre hey, what's up gary uh did not realize that i was gon na make the cut good news. Good news! Well, listen! George! We don't have a lot of time, so i'm going to get right into it. First of all, happy holidays great to see you know, a lot of people are excited in the comments already, because tinder is one of the cultural phenomenons of the last decade. So a lot of fans um, you have an iconic cmo career already and you're a youngster, so i think it's really fun to get right to the punch line.

What were your biggest challenges and victories? Because i think you know, i think, a lot about the yin and yang like we talk about the black or white, but it's a gray, it's kind! That's why i'm wearing gray, it's a great day wins, but also losses. How do you think back? How do you recap and create the context because obviously you're new at tinder, so there's going to be different, wins and losses than some of our guests that are coming up? Yeah yeah, you know when i came in uh almost eight months ago. Uh the challenge was really like. You know.

Tinder has been this phenomenon, like you said for about you, know nine years uh, but like the brands, never really controlled its own narrative, never really known exactly what it wants to be um and the product has essentially been the same for nine years. So in terms of challenges, it was like hey, i you know coming in: how do we define our brand north star, our positioning like what is it? What is our brand mission? What do we want it to be, and so i'm excited i'll i'll say, like you know, a victory for us is we've just kind of started to to roll that out. But you know we as we look at like what's going on in in the world, and the role tinder can play for us uh. Our mission is to keep the magic of human connection alive, and so you know in this world, as technology plays a bigger role in people's lives.

It's it's kind of this weird paradox that people are feeling more isolated than ever and at our core. What we do at tinder is we bring people together, and so we think there's a big, a big role to play there, and so i think, that's just being able to say that confidently and and articulate that in a way that both inspires our employees as well As our members, i think, is a big victory for us and then you know, i think, from a challenge standpoint: we've all been dealing with it right, the last couple of years and uh, particularly in our category, and so you know, i think, we've had ups and Downs um in terms of finding ways that you know to help enable people get through um, this new world and the pandemic that we've been going through and still bringing people together and uh, and i think uh there have been times when i think we've hit the Mark and we've been able to give people experiences that that resonate and other times where, where we haven't quite hit it and - and you know we need to - we need to kind of pivot. So for us i think it's just about continuing to experiment and learn and try and listen to our our members about what they what they need. As you think about 2022, you know.

Obviously, you've got your own business strategies that you can't share everything, but is there anything you can share of ambitions for victories in 2022 yeah? You know, i think, for you know i mentioned it a little bit like uh from uh from a product experience standpoint uh. We just like we haven't uh, it's been fairly one-dimensional. If you think about it, like you know, it's the core experience nine years ago. Wasn't all that different! You get on your swiping like in within minutes, right and and that's great and and that's always going to be a core part of tinder.

But i think what we want to do is we want to expand and evolve and kind of make tinder more three-dimensional and so um. You know, one of the things we've just recently launched is is called explore. It's a whole new piece of real estate on uh on tinder and it's a new way to find new connections and make and meet new people where you can find a card stack for gamers and binge watchers and foodies, and - and you can do things by interest. We just did a partnership with uh with spotify for something called music mode.

So it's like, you can have your anthem going on like your walk-up song um, you know, while you, while you browse through a profile, but as we look ahead, you know we're going to be partnering, you know uh we want to. You can imagine we want to bring content onto our platform. We want to create more engaging experiences. How do we bring gaming more more um? You know three-dimensional experiences into the into the into what we do best, which is connect people and bring people together.

How much of a challenge is it when you've got this? I mean the responses in the comments on youtube and linkedin. I see all y'all uh are quite positive to this concept of elevating the connection point. Is it challenging when a brand is known for casual dating hooking up, you know, like you know, brands become what they become: we've seen refurbishment of brands in society many times um. We we're now getting to the place where digital brands are going to start because they're, all so young we're going to go through our those next 20 years.

We're going to see the tinders and the facebook is now meta and, like you know, and can myspace ever get rebooted like a fashion brand right you're going to see these things. You came in with a lot of victories on your resume. You come into the challenge of this job. How tell everybody who's listening, how hard it is to change the perception of something once it's been accepted as something because it seems it seems to me, and obviously we work together in the vayner world.

So i've got a little insight into this, but even what you're saying here publicly, it's obviously like oh tinder, is about to like widen itself out based on what you were just saying: how hard is it to widen yourself that you know amazon going from just selling Books to everything that took a real process that a lot of people don't remember. I remember the blog post saying stick to books. I lived it stick to wine wine guy. Why are you talking about business and technology? How hard is it i mean it's? It's definitely not something that that happens.

You know over. You know the course of a couple months right, it's uh, it's going to be something we have to have a concerted effort on and a big part of what we need to do like. We don't have an awareness problem right, everyone knows and we're synonymous with with our category for us it's you know we want to be known, for you know more and, and we want to change the way people think about uh, think about tinder. So we make the largest investment in safety and trust and products that make people feel safe when they're using our product.

Do we get credit for that? Probably not. We need to do a better job of changing perception and telling telling more of those stories. You know the way that people use our our product. Yes, you know it can be anything from a fleeting thing, a hookup all the way through a long-lasting romance through friendships and we're here for that and, frankly, that's being dictated by gen z right there.

Yes, it's also dictated by the consumer. Like i love when people are like, i had a combo with somebody about a different app once and i was like well, people use instagram dm for casual dating, and that's not that wasn't. The early purpose of like humans are gon na do human, regardless of what apps or technology tries to do totally totally and like i i you know, i spent a couple hours a week talking to college students just learning about their lives like they didn't use. The word dating, you know like it's, it's it's all about like how they want to use the platform, and so we need to adapt to that and we need to be there for all those scenarios that they want to, and so that's what we're trying to do And you know that that is going to take time right.

It's going to it's going to take people we're like we're going to people are going to have to realize. Oh there's something new at tinder, there's more to tinder than i thought, and we know that you know we're in it for the long haul and that's gon na take you know not months, but probably you know over the course of years we're gon na we're gon Na continue to evolve and we're gon na have to prove it through the product experience uh that you know that we can provide talk now, elevated, you have a lot of cmo friends. So let's talk about the industry less than tinder. What do you think are the biggest opportunities for victories for brands in general in 2022, uh from an innovation place like when you know one thing: i've always liked from watching ufr.

Now i'm getting a chance to see it up close a little bit. More is consumer. Common sense is what i would call it. I think you've got that in your arsenal, which is why you've had success if you're talking to 500 cmos right now and you're, making a blanket same because some are there, some haven't even started.

Give me the george's one or two things that all of us could get a lot more upside in building our brands. If we lean into x yeah, i mean to me: i've always been a pretty simple, simple person trying to keep it. Keep it basic like to me: it is uh, really listening listening to your consumers and trying to get in there and understand what they're, what they're doing and what they're telling us right now is like they want uh. You know, like you said they don't want to be told how to do something or they want to be put into.

Like a box say this is the only way to do it. They want to be able to come to an experience and really define it and shape it and be able to change the way they want to use it and - and maybe that's using it using tinder in one way on one day and then coming back. Three days later and using it in a different way, and so for me it's you know in working with our product team. How do we make a product that is flexible enough, fluid enough where you know people can use and experience it in different ways and really dictate that and not be forced uh into kind of like just what we think we want them to do in terms of In terms of using the product, what about what about tactically? Do you see media spend or creative like just because i know so many marketers watch this any thoughts on the evolution of media and creative spends and where they go distribution or types of creative? Oh, i mean, i think, just like the uh in terms of like i think the days of like the bigger you know like huge spends on production and in big swings and doing like the big.

You know yeah the big anthemic tvc and, like the big you know, you're gon na have your two campaigns a year. I think those days are done. I'm definitely like uh adapting learning more um, just in in some of the shifts i've made from brands over the years. You know from you know nine ten years ago, on old spice.

The way we thought about things at the time, yeah now thinking through it's much more quicker, quicker, hitting content. How many pieces of content can you create quickly um? You know, we've been talking a lot about. You know when you're doing um when you're, when you're making a you, know a big, a a big campaign these days, it's more about like what are all the different places it can go and true before i let before i let you go in two minutes. So many questions of would tinder ever allow us to meet each other on the metaverse.

You know i think uh. Obviously this has been the year of the nft. I've been at the center of it. I've been less about the vr metaverse because i think it's a little further away than people realize, but any thoughts of like do you say: do you see a day in age where people are having dates at a bar in the metabours yeah? I mean i, i think it's i think it's possible, i mean for for sure, like you know, in in the world of tinder, where we're still, you know the majority people are about in real life connections at some point, but you know we we have to continue To look to see where people want to go and if, if that's where um the world's headed, then tinder is going to be looking into it.

And so i can't say we have. You know concrete plans for the metaverse right now, but uh we're certainly monitoring it and checking it out, and we want to be wherever people. However, people want to meet and, however, people want to connect going to the future, you can expect tinder to be there um. Any parting, thoughts of inspiration for all the youngsters that want to see a lot of people wanting to have your job one day.

What is the 15 to 25 year old or the 33 year old that wants to get out of finance or legal or something and aspire to be a cmo one day, any any words of wisdom, as we get out of here um, i would say: uh just Get like being comfortable being uncomfortable uh, for me, is a big one, so like take take swings, take chances, keep keep, learning new things and uh that's been kind of how i've tried to make the decisions i've made along the way in my career, continued success. My friend happy holidays, thank you for being here gary. Thank you. Cheers thanks, george and thanks gary now we're gon na have a little throwback thursday moment.

Dustin is going to take us back to july 4th good afternoon. In less than a week, we hope to fire up our grills and launch one of the biggest fourth of july celebrations in the history of the united states, the united states. Those words have new meaning for us all today and whether you drive a pickup or a hybrid, you live in the heartland or on the coast or whether you pronounce it america or america, we're all americans sell them on the same page. But reading from the same book on holidays anyway, perhaps it's fate that this fourth of july, we got ta once again, come together to lend a hand to those less fortunate whose fate still lies in the balance we're fighting for freedom for all, not from alien invaders.

From separation from being cooped up, while baking, bread and ignoring basic hygiene, the time has come for us to get fresh gather the crew and eat veggie and meat burgers till we sweat and then let's work together towards a future where everyone can come to the party And should we win the day, the fourth of july will no longer be known as an american holiday, but it's the day when the world declared in one voice. We will not go quietly into the night. We will fill the sky with so much light and freedom. This thing will rue the day had ever messed with us.

Together, we celebrate our independence day, go forth america. Next up, we welcome rob lenoi our the beloved chief creative officer of vaynermedia, the bill, pullman, guys great to see that piece again and so great to see you again bill. How are you, my friend, very good, very good, good, that we could circle back at the end of the year? That was the middle of the year when we spent so much time together? That was the goal. That was the goal really really fired up to.

Have you join us for this conversation? I have to share with you that folks, around the agency are, are calling us the great hollywood madison avenue bromance, so i just thought i'd. Kick it off with that um a little bit of background on the show bill. This is really oh, it tells it like. It is - and i know from you know your our conversations first and foremost, but also from your career that you're one hell of a straight shooter.

So hopefully, in our chat today we got about 10 minutes with each other. We can inspire our listeners to really do some cool um right now. What i'm seeing and what what all marketers are frankly seeing is we're all struggling to be relevant to really connect and engage with audiences in real ways, and this is something that i've started to call. It's probably nothing new, but it's what i like to frame it as having real, creative conviction um.

When we did this piece um during covet, it was so important to get this piece right. Um or it just would have been a disaster, and i personally learned so much from working with you. So maybe we can kick this off if you could share with the audience when you saw this script - and i know you've probably seen a million uh prior to this script, people that wanted you to you know bring back this, this famous script um. What did you see in it? That said to you, i can land this.

This is the. This is something that i can see really connecting um with people on and having real impact. Maybe just give us a little peek in your mind, as you kind of saw the script for the first time. Well, do i call you bro or bromance? You can call me whatever you want bill.

Well, i mean some of it is just. I was in the middle of shooting in in canada and a heavy production load when this uh call came in from my my rep saying you, you know, there's budweiser wants to do a campaign using the speech for uh. You know a budweiser commercial yeah and i said, are you freaking kidding me here? We go terrible yeah, the worst idea: acrolege holy cow, we're gon na do a commercial and i'm gon na get a salary for using this speech that was so important to so many people and now and we're just selling something and uh. And at this point let me just look at the text - oh god, and then something i realized.

There's somebody back there writing this text. That has an idea about how to kind of make fun of yourself and make a little twinkle in the eye about the whole thing, but put it to some purpose and right now he's selling a beer. But maybe this same person who wrote this with this little idea might and then i went nah. I don't have any time to talk to anybody.

I can't do it can't do it yeah and then my managers just said. Look i before we all say goodbye. We don't want anything to do with this. What would be the conditions you might want to do, and i thought this was him coming up with an idea, but i think that this is the same person who wrote that text he's a a sly little guy.

That's coming in here and saying: what does it take i'm willing to listen and i'm willing to do whatever it takes and i was hooked and then we got it. I said: okay, let me talk to this guy, and so i think that's why now in december, in the middle of everything else, i wanted to circle back with you, because it was two people meeting each other through content and what exact take that was and man We i i we had some tough tough. You know it was off the table on the table. I want to talk about that a little bit because we, yes, we connected over the content, but you and i went toe to toe like a couple times um.

Let's talk about the time where you had a vision, we landed on the vision together right, we added the charitable component to it, and then i had to kind of my do my job and kind of tighten your words and make it fit a certain kind of Rigor and you were like no way rob talk a little bit about that, and i was so happy that you did stand your ground there, because ultimately, what came out was a truly authentic piece that you believed in. But maybe let's talk about that. The time when you pop me in the keister, well, you know i i was not in a frame. My normal affable self was at a low low level because i was so freaking tired, working and then to imagine coming in and doing this thing on a weekend and having to travel to halifax in order to shoot it and have everybody become.

I just thought this is: this: has got to be real, it's got to be real and there we were the fourth of july. Now now think back, you know, the message was hey. It's the fourth of july. We're we're all beat this covid 19 thing.

Let's have a party yeah wow, i'm glad that didn't go out. You know that would have been. We would have had our pants down, but i you know, because, just as we were starting to talk about it, india and brazil, the numbers were surging and look they're still searching. You know - and we are this message of this thing had to be not just of this moment of this year, but they had to be real about what it is to really kind of connect to the idea of an event today, which is we're we're no longer Just one country, we are part of a global and effort and we have to take we let's welcome and when we came on that phrase, let's welcome everybody to the party is still the thing that i thought resonated in watching it again and i i think that Thing is what we i think there was a lot of politics involved in it, which i don't know how uh often this happens for you.

But for me i was seeing every cut that was made in a political. I saw its political context, which is hey. We don't we don't want to make you know we don't want to. Actually you know we're not even sure about international people.

Let's just have it be a party that we got to pull together and you know not worry about in the whole point was international thing, and so you know i could feel that there was just a lot of sensitivities and political correctness that was gon na get Involved but i think one you uh and and every time you know i just listening to um, you know gary and and the conversation with george up about you know media guys talk at a different speed than i speak you're giving this extra time. It's all good! Listen to that one holy cheese, these guys are like rat attack, machine guns. Just how do you get victory and i just my brain doesn't process that way. You know so i found in our talking.

You know we had to be real with each other if we felt there was coming in, you know, or anybody was trying to slip slip you in some direction without you quite knowing what was going on. We had to say no, no, no what's going on here and i love that you always would you just would say reset, let's reset and is what can we say and we're? Basically, you know i had you over the barrel because i knew there wasn't another bill. Pullman that was gon na come in and take a job and and don't think they didn't ask at one point they were like. Can someone else do this? I'm like no, it's got ta be bill, listen! I i always i've often said like good work.

It doesn't just happen, it's hard work right and i think the the partnership that you and i had the creative conviction we had the back and forth. We had the vigilance that was required right had one of us taking our eye off the ball. If anyone for that matter had taken our their eye off the ball, the director, the others it wouldn't have had landed the way it landed because it landed the way we both wanted it to land and that that's what was so important for me, and i know For you and i think that that was really the glue that sent it on its way. I i read the constitution, though i mean rob, you know you had me and one end, and then you had the the client.

You know budweiser, which i didn't really even know very much about that end of it, but i'm sure you were getting all kinds of. Sometimes we were on the phone. At the same time, it was just like one, no, no, no! No. It was great though, but i i so value our partnership on this and what we created.

It was wonderful and it there were a couple things on social media that stood out. I know we wanted global and you know, biden got involved and it got really really big, but there was there was a tweet that really resonated. I thought was amazing and just said, i can't believe it took a beer and bill pullman to bring this country together. Again, but it looks like that's exactly what they did and i just thought that that was just such a great summation of what we put out there if we have a second, i think there was a really really wonderful anecdote.

We talked about throwback, but this is like a throwback to a throwback, because we went back to the speech for july 4th, but obviously, 25 years ago you you delivered that absolutely world famous epic speech that i know that you were involved in making that as well. Right um, but there was a there was a fellow on set right. You told me a story about. I think it was.

The dp who saw independence day was inspired and then was actually on our set. There was something absolutely magical: do you remember that oh yeah yeah? It was uh. You know i've been working for four years on this um the center and that the director of photography radium chung uh. He had just come to this country, america, when independence day was coming out and he was in here, for i think it was three weeks and he was just meeting new people and he was just barely here.

Just got here had no nothing and they said. Let's go out to see this movie independence day and he wanted so badly to go with them all, but he didn't have the money for the ticket. He just said i just can't. I made up an excuse, and so after we finished shooting on that saturday, where we had to take everybody from our our you know from shooting in production.

In an hour and a half south of there, we had to bring him on saturday. We only had so much time and that's a whole nother story, which is barely a lot of urgency, but we made it and we made it through and then he came up and he said to me in the trailer he said you know bill. I just want you to know this story, which he said and for me now to be able to come back full circle and be the dp on set for this uh, this commercial, which this attempt to bring everybody together. Our kind of a revision of it all was so meaningful to him uh, absolutely fantastic collateral bill.

I thank you so much. Obviously, we will stay in touch into the future. I love our partnership and i hope that honestly, we can do something again in the future and kind of pretty sure we're gon na great same here great seeing you bill and happy happy holidays and again, congratulations on the new grandson thanks. So much rob.

That was amazing. Thanks to you both next up, we welcome ryan harwood, he's the ceo of our gallery media group and he's going to be the host for the rest of the show: hey ryan how's, it going good. How are you we are good super fired up to have marissa jarrett on next she's, the svp and cmo for 7-eleven there. She is hey, guys, he's, definitely mixing it up with her team, so i'm excited to hear a little bit more.

Take it away. You guys you're right. How are you i'm great? How are you doing good good good? It's going to be a tough act to follow. Mr president, there right, i know a lone star in the house.

I love it all right. We have the last marketing for the now of the year here, so i am pumped up to uh to run through this with you. You know, as we as we say, goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022. I'm super curious as the cmo of 7-eleven.

What have been your biggest challenges and victories over the last year? Yeah i mean the biggest challenges are keeping up with the changing demands and behaviors of the consumer full stop, and we saw that hit a next level. Last year, when covid came on - and it's just continued honestly over the course of the past 20 months, and so that really keeps me as a marketer on my toes my entire team and frankly, our whole company um and we've turned that into a victory. I would tell you um similar actually to what george talked about at tinder we've gotten, really clear on our brand purpose and understanding what is the role that the 7-eleven brand plays in the lives of our customers and then how do we really dial into that? Every single day, with every single action that we take, so we um we've spent some time doing brand purpose work. We actually call our brand purpose, activate awesome and it serves as sort of a clarion call for everything that we do in marketing and really across the organization.

How are we activating awesome and our customers and our associates and our franchisees and our communities, and and making sure that we live? You know we do right by that. That's awesome as a chief marketing officer for a lot of folks that are listening. That aspire to be cmos in their careers. I'm curious: what do you think are your most important skills that have gotten to you to where you are today yeah, it's a common question and i would tell you i didn't start my career in marketing.

I started off in finance and i i worked in the corporate finance arena for several years and realized like yes, i can do this, but it's not really. What motivates me, and so i switched careers and moved into marketing, and i'm actually very thankful that i have that experience in finance, because i think that's the secret to a strong marketer is one who can operate with a right and a left brand approach. One who understands the business and how to drive the business and how to measure the impact of marketing on the business and one who can think creatively and understand the consumer and really act in an empathetic way and, and you know, and kind of unlock those solutions. That aren't necessarily rational to the rational side of the brain.

So i think that's the secret for marketing and for marketers is to have both of those skill sets and be able to use them um together, yeah. It's funny. You say that because you know i always pigeonholed myself early in my career as a business person, because i started in finance too. I worked there for a long time and, as each year has passed, i find myself to be more and more of a creative and less on the business side, enjoying what i do for a living.

So it's fascinating. We have a similar background from that perspective. Um. I'm curious when you're hiring - and you know, there's a lot of folks on the call that that want to be hired that want to get jobs at all these different organizations.

What makes an outstanding employee at your organization specifically? What do you look for when you're hiring yeah, i mean i always look for intellectual curiosity and passion for the brand right. I want to work with someone who's curious about the world and about our consumer and about the brand and about culture and about how we can be a bigger part of that right. So intellectual curiosity, passion for the brand is first, the ability for someone to operate vertically and horizontally is critical in today's day and age. We're looking for subject matter experts across the realm of marketing, whether that's insights or advertising and media data analytics.

But that's not enough. You also have to have a systems, mindset and understand kind of how the whole business works and what your role contributes to so that kind of vertical horizontal mindset and then, lastly, i would say: gosh just this drive for results and a bias for action. We're a retailer we move fast, so you got to be comfortable with that kind of pace and really enjoy it and thrive in it. So those are the three areas we look for totally.

You know if you were leading a keynote at your alma mater. What would you want to leave behind? What would you want to teach or share those aspiring marketing students? What's the message yeah, i am well. I love what george said about getting comfortable feeling uncomfortable. I think that's right on.

I think, in addition to that, i would encourage uh students today to get comfortable taking risks. You can't plan every single thing out, and so sometimes when unexpected opportunities, even though they may not look like an opportunity, present themselves to you. How do you like lean in and really take every opportunity as a way to grow and learn and make an impact? And over time, you'll find that that really helps helps build. Your career helps build you as a person as a you know, parent mother, sister daughter, friend, etc, and i think ryan, probably our shared experience and finance is a good example of that.

It's like you know. We could just as easily say like that, was an epic fail, working in finance for a couple of years, but actually it was a wonderful thing that happened right. So how do you lean in and take risks in the spirit of of having a growth mindset? I love that. I know this goes so so quickly.

It always. It goes way too quickly. So i'm gon na skip right to the rapid fire questions here, ready special speed round. So, let's get to numbers, tell me 80s or 90s music.

80S. All the way, salty or sweet, both all the way beach or mountains, are you a morning or night person morning, europe or asia vacation both all the way and, of course, because of 7-eleven cherry or blue raspberry slurpee. What are you going for? I can't choose. That's like picking your favorite kid gosh depends on the day and the time of day, probably thank you so much for joining us marissa.

We really really appreciate it. Thank you. Ryan happy holidays, see ya. That was so good.

We've never had anyone say both to so much. It says yeah right, i love it. Happy holidays. Thanks for joining us, happy holidays, see you guys, ryan.

Next up, we've got anisha, ragavan and she's the cmo of number seven beauty, company, north america for walgreens boots alliance and she oversees the whole portfolio of beauty brands. But one thing you may not know about her is the mo her life's motto, which is a smile, is understood in any language, just love that i like that too. That's in my high school yearbook. I love that and you have such a lovely smile.

I understand why you say that thanks ryan anisha, thank you for joining me today. I'm excited to have you on we've, obviously known each other a very long time and i've loved watching your career over the years and all you've accomplished. So i am psyched to jump in here and learn a little bit more about you. Yes, thanks for having me absolutely so tell me what were your biggest challenges and victories in 2021.

Over the last year, yeah um biggest victory was um, bringing helping 10 000 women get back to the workforce. So we one of my biggest brands is number seven. It was founded in the 1930s in england, by a woman who was all about female empowerment, so she was the you know in a time where brands were putting women and ads in skirts as housewives, she was portraying them in pants as working women and she employed Women and educated them. She did all these things for female empowerment.

So it's been in our dna for 86 years and towards the end of 2020. We were watching the labor spots and women were leaving the workforce at four times the rate of men um. It was you know: five million women at that point had left the workforce in 2020, and so as a brand that really you know, our purpose is all about female empowerment. We wanted to do something about that, so we launched at the beginning of 2020 a platform called unstoppable together our brand purpose platform in the us for the first time and we uh supported women in their journey back to work.

So we did things like launching the biggest job summit of its kind. We had resources for women to get back uh. You know small group coaching and things like that, and so it was um an incredible victory on so many levels. I mean a just being able to imp impact that many women's lives was incredible, but then also from a team standpoint like we just really came together and um, it's a source of pride.

You know we built something in 10 weeks soup to nuts and uh and just built the plane, while we were flying it and for the brand we had our second largest volume of google searches in our brand history and then for me personally, i am incredibly passionate About gender and gender equality and to be able to live out that passion that work was incredible, so that was the biggest victory and then the biggest challenge was the great resignation. So you know everyone in corporate america is facing this in the last six seven months. The um turnover rates have been their all-time high in the last 10 years and my team didn't escape from that. So you know i have a large team and within those teams some of those teams were facing as much as 50 attrition at any given point, and so you can imagine like resource planning, recruiting strategies like reward incentives.

You have to rethink everything, but also, while you're keeping the business going. You have to support the team on the ground, and so i had people leaving for all kinds of reasons. You know some of them were relocating reassessing their lives. Some of them were burnt out, but i also had people who had lost a parent to covid or um.

You know relative to suicide like really incredibly difficult life circumstances and supporting your team through those things up until the point where they decide to leave is an incredible challenge and you have to put people first. You know at that point and health first um, but also on the other end of the spectrum, the people who didn't leave now there's all these holes in the team. How do you support them? Because it's it's natural tendency in corporate america, especially if there's an overachiever to pile on more work, but just because someone carries the load. Well does not mean it's not heavy.

You know so. You've got ta again, keep the business going while protecting those team members, so that was probably the biggest challenge wow that must have been super challenging to do yeah. You know and tell me as someone that's part of the the c-suite team. You know how do you think we could all be better leaders going into 2022? What have we learned and how can we all be better yeah? I love this question and if you look at leadership not as a title but as an honor, that's you know.

That is bestowed upon us by the people willing to follow us. Then i think leadership comes down to trust and self-awareness, and i had this incredible professor in business school, francis frye, who would talk about the concept of leadership based on trust and she always said that trust is based on three things based on authenticity. So, if you're, my leader, do i believe that the person i'm seeing is really who you are it's based on um logic? So can i trust your decisions and the logic behind them, and it's based on empathy? Do i believe that you're in it for me as much as for yourself and what she said was when you're stressed out one of those things will wobble, everybody has a wobble, and so you have to be self-aware of what that wobble is in order to get The right cane for those moments where you're stressed, and so i just thought that was incredibly brilliant and i've always thought about. What's my wobble and how do i fix that? You know, and i think, if everybody knew their wobble when they're stressed out they'd, be better leaders, interesting, wobble, i'm gon na.

Take that i, like it, you know, and as a marketer, how do you think we can continue to dial the impact we're making up as marketers just in general, yeah um? So you know there's so much going on in consumers lives right now in all of our lives at a macro level. Obviously the last two years has been you know very different and very um stressful in lots of different ways. And so it's it's one of the original marketing mantras that you have to meet a consumer inside their lives and make it valuable and easy for them. And there's lots of different ways to do that.

So i'll give a few examples. Um i saw a brand recently doing audio advertising and they use voice activation to offer samples so a consumer. You know on spotify listening to something this ad comes on, but they can use alexa to say, hey, i want a sample and it shows up at their door right. Super easy super valuable.

Another example is we're working on our next big innovation. I can't tell you what it is, but what i can tell you is, we are co-creating it with a thousand women, and so those thousand women from beginning to end have been really helping shape everything. So the concept of the innovation, the packaging, the product formula, is now the advertising, and so we are meticulously designing it for their lives and then a third example. I'm sure you saw like the whole world.

The peloton like incredible talk about like agility in marketing. In order to fit into what's what's happening in a consumer's life right in a cultural moment, and that team had to respond to what was going on on sex in the city right, their livelihood depended on it and they did they built that out in 48 hours And used this concept, i love of fast fertizing, which i know you know you guys run an incredible company. You know well the ability to create really great advertising really fast and marry that with tech driven media buying, like that kind of agility is the future and um is absolutely necessary to making a bigger impact in marketing totally the first. The two things i heard you say there was a eliminate friction from the process with that spot by example.

The more you can eliminate friction closer. You are to the consumer, the more likely you convert but also b, speed, speed matters right, speed of ideation speed of exercise. If you want to be part of the important conversations and culture like you, that's just that's rule number one speed happens yep because, because relevance is consideration is driven by relevance and in order to be relevant, you need speed. So it makes a lot of sense.

Um. I'm going to throw an interesting one of you here, drive yourself. One word describe myself in one word: um i'd say genuine. Oh, you know what no i'm gon na i'm gon na make up a word, opt a realist.

I tell my boss all the time i am optimistic and realistic at the same time, that combination of being able to like you know, dream big but also know reality. Um, i think, is one of my sweet spots. You know we call that, because that that is a big quality. We look for.

We call that practical optimism in the company here. That was real words, though, so i have to make up a word: you're right, you're, right, you're, right all right, we're jumping to the speed rounds. Let's get to know anisha. Okay, all right tell me salty or sweet salty europe or asia vacation.

Oh, i love both asia, italian or sushi yeah, i'm vegetarian, but i'll still pick sushi them avocados, i almond milk or oat milk almond. Are you a morning or night person total night owl me too beach or mountains um both equally anisha? Thank you. So much for joining us goes way too quick. I look forward to seeing you in the new year same thanks.

So much ryan take care, happy holidays. That was so good. I think we're going to have to include a what's your wobble going forward. Let's throw that in there ryan such a big francis fry man, thanks for reminding me that was really really good love, it love it all right.

We got one more ryan, mandy rossi, she's, the vp and president of marketing for kroger and boy. Does she run everything there? It's a 120 billion dollar business that spans 22 retail banners and more than 2 800 physical stores and a huge e-commerce platform i'll? Let you guys take it from here. I love it, hi, hi ryan. How are you good how's? It going great great, i am so excited to have mandy on i've, had the privilege of working closely with mandy over the last year during quarantine and covet et cetera.

So i have a lot of context and i'm thrilled that you're on here. So thank you for joining us yeah. Thanks for having me and thanks for the partnership, it's been uh fabulous working with you guys. Thank you.

So let's talk, you know, as we say goodbye to 21 and we head into 22. What have we learned like? How can we look back and be smarter as we move forward and what were some of the challenges and victories that you've experienced yeah? Well, so, first on learning maybe start there um, i think, in a positive way on 21. One thing i feel like i've learned is: people are endlessly resilient and creative and will find a way um. Maybe the other learning is, is there's no solid ground anymore anywhere? So, even when you think maybe it's going to shape up this way, the curveballs will keep coming um, but i will say even looking at our industry, looking at my team looking at the business, even as curveballs keep coming and a year ago, we would never have Imagined we would still be in this pandemic and the way we are, but people just keep finding a way and as the customer moves, which is also happening endlessly um, you know it's been really inspiring to see how creativity continues to show up to find new ways To help people get done whatever it is they're trying to do in terms of victories, i mean we have the luxury of being in the food space, which is super fun um and is very integrated into people's day in day out, lives, um and we're big right.

So we serve 60 million customers a year and it's been really kind of a special place to be in the context of everything else that's going around, because food is so central to culture and when you're in a pandemic. Obviously, the way people were eating and cooking and shopping evolved really rapidly and then continued to evolve. And then you would see like oh a little shift happens here and then maybe we go back um in regard to like food at home and cooking, which at one point was fun. Then it became a grind and i think for my team.

One thing i'm most proud of is the way we've been able to help people really eat the way they want to eat through this, so our brand promise is to make the best of food accessible to all. Our campaign is fresh for everyone um, and that accessibility has been sort of a thread throughout the pandemic, and i think in 21 we found some fun ways in some pretty meaningful ways, whether that's our e-commerce businesses scaled rapidly, like most businesses who have e-commerce um, but Things like we opened in florida for the first time. That's a market we've never served, and we do it with warehouses that are run by robots with then wonderful delivery drivers who bring you your groceries in a refrigerated truck. We've never done that before and we've figured it out and launched the brand in a different way, where we're only a pure play: e-commerce retailer um.

So we're continuing to find those new and different ways to see. Where is the customer going and then how do we find not just a marketing message but really pull the brand through to the experience to create meaningful solutions? Um you know, for whatever their need is whether it's an enduring need or something that's, maybe a need. That's showing up in a way it hasn't before totally you're in such a fascinating industry, because there's so much um, traditional stuff that goes on. Yet you need to move into the news so kind of like being as a food retailer.

How do you hold on to the old, like things like grocery coupons, but also moving to the new, like the ecom you're talking about in online shopping? How do you think about that yeah that i will say that is one of the challenges we sometimes face? Is we are living a little bit of a foot in historically what's work and then a foot in modern marketing and where we want to go? We are blessed with a tremendous data asset um which helps us in in the sense of modernizing and personalization and media and all of that, but we also still have 2800 stores with cardboard signs all over them right um, i would say the way we start one Always starting with the customer and even looking at the old stuff and making sure we're not on autopilot like, are we just doing that because we've always done it like? Should we be doing as many signs as we are? Should we be doing coupons in the way that we've done them, and sometimes the answer is like actually yeah? The customer still really likes that there's high engagement with it it's creating value for them, so it makes sense to keep doing. Sometimes, though, it's like well, actually. Maybe that isn't as relevant as it used to be, and so we need to then look at things in a new way, whether it's reimagining the way that job gets done or it's just like people aren't engaging, let's say with media in that way. So we need to move to something new um.

You know, i will say: measurement is the other thing we again are blessed with um a lot of closed loop measurement, because we have a good first party data asset and we have good media partners as well, but sometimes to make sure we have the measurement of. What's going on so we know we're investing in the right places, we're investing where the customer is, but then trying to carve off intentionally innovation where it's like. We don't know exactly how this is going to work, but we're just going to go. Do it because we've never done it before so we have no data to know, and i think that's the piece where we're continuing to look for talent and push ourselves to be brave and trying the new.

Even if we have no idea how it's going to work out and the good news again with the scale we have is, we might not do that in every single market all the time or we might not do it with every audience. But how can we take a piece of something roll up, our sleeves and start learning on it and then once we figure it out, be ready to go at a bigger scale? Yeah. We have a comment in the chat from someone named alex rivas. You know shout out to him for saying: nft coupons, that's how you go all right, we're taking that one.

Thank you! Thank you um. You know you. You mentioned a big challenge before, for you is finding ecom talent like. Why is this such an important focus for kroger moving into 22., so our our business strategy is win with fresh and accelerate with digital for us to meet the growth goals that we have with where the customer is going.

E-Commerce is the future, and it's not just the future. It is today um. You know we are our e-commerce business basically doubled nearly overnight in the pandemic and we're working to double that again in the next 18 months or so um. And if we look at it, it allows us to do a few things right.

So we can serve people more completely in the markets we're already in. It also allows us to get into new markets which, especially for how established we are new market growth, is a critical pillar to us growing um. You know the talent piece is key, because it is different and i will say the challenge we find maybe even different than if we were like a small econ player is we need people who can think and actually you guys were chatting about this earlier horizontally. So be able to see okay, e-commerce fits here, but really a customer is engaging with us outside of let's say florida, where we're only ecom they're engaging with us in a multi-dimensional way where today they may pop in the store tomorrow, they may place a pickup order.

Maybe need it delivered tonight, and so we really need talent. That is not only really good at some of the blocking and tackling of performance, marketing and e-commerce. How maybe, traditionally, we sometimes think of it, but who can also think about a bigger like we're, bringing the brand to life across all of these touch points. E-Commerce is a critical role, but it's not the only role and the pieces need to connect um.

It's a little bit of a unicorn to find um. I mean obviously everybody's looking for ecommerce talent, so there is just a war for e-commerce talent, but then also to find e-commerce. People who can really navigate with the breadth and scale that that is um has been particularly a challenge. So if you are all out there listening, please hit me up.

We are definitely looking for folks with those skill sets there. You go a recruiting call out head up. Mandy um, you know i'm curious as a sea chief marketing officer. What do you think are your most important skills that got to you to where you are today and that allow you to be good at your job um.


18 thoughts on “Vaynerx presents: marketing for the now episode 30 with gary vaynerchuk”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Location in action says:

    put subtitles on your videos. and let us translate your videos into other languages

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tony Kenyagoh says:

    Gary I bless your success so much for what you are doing for the world. Where did the FUCK YOU WEDNESDAYS go?

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rick R says:

    Gary who said the metaverse is VR ? Out of touch pro Web2 Mark Zuckerberg ? It’s not far away, it’s now and 2022. It’s just going to get more seamless and immersive overtime. It will be more of a focus on AR, gameverse, interoperable and user owned.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ashley Caron says:

    I love this series ❤️ Extremely underrated.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ben logan says:

    Another awesome video ❤️❤️Am investing my time and money in crypto now, this new price is a clear sign for new investors to come in✅✅.. Yeah, That's good idea.. A trader would be the best option if you are new to investing.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ryan Holtz says:

    Action delayed is greatness betrayed! Happy end of year to you all and cheers to an AMAZING 2022!

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hondapanda says:

    this guys are just pro bulllshiieette4s

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Marketing Harry says:

    Great episode! Time for new year's resolutions now 😉

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Recovering Addict says:

    How big of a company do you need to be to hire VaynerMedia?

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Funhouse Intercontinental says:

    OMG, the length and depth of these long form live and then repeat watch are so informative and timely. Thank you!

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars eCommerce Uncensored says:

    Marketing is always evolving so much, yet so many things stay the same!

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars K-POP Interpreters 케이팝 통역사 says:

    wish GV just.. doesn't get old
    cuz his contents r too good, i wanna watch it forever

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nathalie Lazo says:

    Extraordinary person reading this, you are not define by your circumstance or your past. It’s not what happened to you that determines your success in life; it is how you deal with those circumstances that determines your success in life! You are strong, you are capable and practice forgiveness and gratitude everyday. This will change the course of your life forever! Love you always and I believe in you wholeheartedly ✨❤️ – Nat

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Survival Dad YT says:

    Marketing for the now is such a heavy topic. These videos and dialogue are great resources!

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Casey Burns Investing says:

    Irrelevancy is most people’s biggest problem.

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars alwaysyouramanda says:

    Hey, you. You’re perfect to somebody. ❤️

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ebay Jacob says:

    Gary Vee launched my YouTube channel!! Just a true gentleman!! Thanks for the support 👊

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Affordable Deals Shopping says:

    Where's the attention going in 2022🥺

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