I grew up in the English countryside to the southeast of London. Simply put, England is a great place to be from. I first came to America to attend Tufts University. While I loved Boston, I was terribly homesick and returned to England to study at Oxford University, as much to get back to my roots as anything else.
After graduating, I moved to Germany and went to work in the marketing department at Porsche. I quickly learned that when you want to build an iconic brand, absolutely everything you do is important.
Still too young to settle down, I worked for a while in the US, Central, and South American before moving to Johannesburg, South Africa. I worked and traveled throughout sub-Saharan Africa for four years before choosing to move back to the United States and to live in Bend, Oregon.
At Mandala, I have had the pleasure to work with some truly inspirational business leaders. I’ve learned why we market isn’t about breaking through the clutter or standing out amongst all of the other messages we are bombarded with every day. It’s about creating opportunities that didn’t exist before. It’s about consciously deciding to lead the market. When you choose to engage marketing to create opportunity wonderful things happen.
I believe that business leaders must often take qualified risks as they invest in the market ahead. They must be willing to experiment and disrupt existing solutions. They must be confident in directing investments beyond their day to day business. I understand these kinds of management commitments are rarely easy, but the rewards of success are high performance, sustained market leadership and loyal customers seeking the next round of innovation.
People talk about safety and risk in marketing. I get it, it’s just that I feel that safety versus risk is the wrong way to look at the investment you make in marketing. I think it is very much more of a question about where do you want to take your company? How far are you willing to proactively craft your future story? What kinds of opportunities do you want to create for yourself? Innovative thinking creates opportunity – that’s why we’re in business.
What’s the best piece of brand communication you saw this year?
Now isn’t about brand marketing. Now is about coming together and supporting those in need. Major Tom in London is a testament to the fighting spirit that will get us through the global pandemic: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs
What do you hate about today’s marketing landscape?
I don’t hate anything. I have a strong dislike for lazy marketing. I think that people are smart, especially when it comes to the things that they are passionate about. Honor their intelligence and reward them with smart messaging.
What do you love about today’s marketing landscape?
I love that today’s marketplace moves so quickly. Good ideas can catch hold in a marketplace and take on a life of their own. It is so much easier to see when a good idea takes hold. This allows companies to better understand what is working and what isn’t.
What’s the smartest thing a client can say?
Marketing is an investment in the future greatness of my company.
If you had it to do all over again would you choose the same path?
Yes, but I would have made far fewer mistakes along the way.
Where do you see marketing going in 5 years?
Over the next 5 years, I see contextually relevant messaging becoming increasingly important. I also think the Internet of things and wearable technology will accelerate the changing landscape and redefine customer experiences.
What will the world look like in 20 years?
I think that the world will look much the same in 20 years time as it does today:
Manchester United will have won the Premiership 32 times.
Water will be scarce.
Hunger will persist as a crushing global issue.
We will still be at war.
We will still be in debt.
I think that my world will look quite different:
My car will drive me.
My groceries will be delivered.
I will live in a smaller home.
My parents will have died.
I will be a grandfather – maybe.
What is your favorite campaign of all time?
My favorite campaign of all time is Nike – Just Do It. I grew up with this campaign. I watched Nike become relevant in one sport after another. I’ve watched Just Do It connect with audiences around the globe and I have enjoyed relishing in Nike’s belief in great advertising.
How is digital different from traditional advertising?
I’m not sure that it is? Digital is perhaps the most transformative medium of our lifetime, but I don’t think that storytelling in digital is different from other mediums. In order to work all advertising must connect with its audience in a real and honest way that motivates the audience to take action.
What was your favorite food when you were a child?
My mother’s homemade Spaghetti Bolognese. Growing up in England you might think I’d harken back to roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, or fish butties, but my mother’s spaghetti Bolognese was fantastic. My favorite meal was, and still is, Christmas dinner.
What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
My favorite activity is pretty much anything that my children are into. Outside we ski in the winter and in the summer we love to go cliff jumping in one of the many swimming holes in Oregon. Indoors – wrestling, playing chess or reading a book.
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I don’t really hate anything. Like anyone, I am not really into doing chores, so instead of hating them, I choose not to do them.
What is your favorite form of exercise?
Skiing – I cannot imagine life without skiing. There’s nothing quite like the silence when you’re skiing through the trees in fresh power – the kind that pillows up on the branches of the trees and absorbs all noise.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
I love the early morning before the house wakes up. It is my favorite time of day to sit downstairs on the couch, drink a cup of tea and read the paper – online of course.
What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
My favorite form of transportation is my bike. It’s not only fast and fun, but it also reminds me of my childhood. My least favorite is underground on a hot summer day. Cramped and sweaty are two conditions I try to avoid.
What sound do you love?
I love the roar at Old Trafford when Manchester United score. Fortunately, this is a sound that one can often hear when the Red Devils play at home.
If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
I love to throw parties for my family and friends. I like small, intimate dinner parties where people can spend time eating and talking. I much prefer to give presents than to receive them – I think parties should be the same way.
If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint?
I’ve been lucky to have traveled a lot and I have been to many beautiful places. If I could paint, which is a talent that I do not possess, I think that I would want to paint landscapes from my childhood.
If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
25. Old enough to be an adult, yet young enough for life to not be too serious yet.
If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?
If I were able to cheat death for one day I would join the circus. I would shoot myself out of a canon, let an archer shoot an apple on my head, try my hand at the trapeze, do crazy things with fire, ride an elephant, ride a motorcycle in a steel ball and juggle rings of fire.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
I would be curious to meet my ancestors from 10 or so generations ago.
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
I would buy my bother in law the best medical care available to man.
If you were reincarnated as an animal/drink/ice cream flavor, what would it be?
Strawberry – I have such an affinity for strawberries, I am certain that this would be the flavor of my reincarnation.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
I would choose to be Spiderman. How cool would that be? Flying around while saving the world.
Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A great father.
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
Hanging out with my boys.