Don’t punish failure; culture as the differentiator; agencies with a strong point of view… And the unequivocal key to success?  All good companies have marketing at their core or leaders who share that passion.

Business titans Martin Glenn, CEO United Biscuits and President of The Marketing Society, and, Justin King, former CEO Sainsbury’s, shared these views and more on leadership, marketing and things that keep them awake at night,  at The CEO Seminar at Advertising Week Europe.

Telefonica’s Tom Chant, Consumer Marketing, remarked it was inspiring to hear two CEOs at the top of their game talk genuinely about the value of marketing putting customers at the heart of their business.

Hosted by Suki Thompson, the seminar kicked up a storm of conversation both online and offline, here are just a few of the great insights from Martin and Justin:

You can teach skills but you can’t teach values

  • Creativity often comes from the person closest to the problem
  • Three keys to creating a great culture: CEO has to believe what he is saying, relentless communication, celebration of success
  • Clients get the agencies they deserve
  • Don’t tell me what I want to hear, tell me what I need to know
  • Retailers are the agents of the customers

Mark Kinghorn, Senior Manager, Group Brand Strategy, Vodafone said it was good to see senior executives genuinely believe in the power of marketing as a business result driver.

“It’s too easy to forget the challenge of keeping the customer at the centre of everything. What we saw on stage was two CEOs who had that ingrained in their DNA” rounded off Adstream’s CEO, Gerry Sutton.

Thank you to the inspirational CEO’s: Justin King and Martin Glenn. And thank you to everyone who came along to our seminar. We heard later people were turned away because our session was full!  For a taster, and a reminder, of our conversation, please click  here 

After the session, Suki was interviewed by Campaign Online,  you can watch her reveal the three ways agencies can work better with their clients.  Please click here. 

Thank you also all the brilliant people at Advertising Week Europe for a week of insight and inspiration!