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Mindshare CMO: ‘Social media platforms are the new countries’

Mindshare, the global media agency, and their Global Chief Marketing and Culture Officer Greg Brooks are under the spotlight in the latest of Press Gazette’s Marketing Maestro interviews. This series is produced in association with Lead Monitor, New Statesman Media Group’s content marketing arm.

What’s been your proudest achievement in your current role?

Mindshare is a team sport. So I’d say winning as a team – Media Network of the Year at Cannes was a highlight as it is the pinnacle in terms of awards – and also the multiple new business wins and retentions (which are always super-competitive pitches).

What media channels do you see as most important and best value when it comes to marketing spend and activity?

Cop out answer but depends on your goal. Nothing should be viewed in isolation and everything should be working together towards your goal. Consumers don’t think in ‘channels’, so it’s about providing the best experience wherever that takes place.

What is your advice for mastering social media?

Social media platforms/ecosystems have more users than countries have citizens – they are the new countries where people live their lives. They are not an ad break and so you shouldn’t treat them as a one. Authenticity is key.

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In your opinion, what is the main difference between B2C and B2B marketing? 

The nature of modern marketing and communications has closed the gap between the two. We help clients run B2B2C campaigns these days – connecting with consumers through the supply chain as marketing becomes less about just the end product (ad) and more about overall experience. A great example is a CPG client of ours creating recipes for restaurant owners to help them entice people back after lockdown – all using their products.

What is the key to producing engaging marketing content and what types of content works best for you?

Know your audience. Be authentic. Add value and entertain. I have a journalism background and so I always smile when asked this question. The same thing that makes a story a ‘must read’ is true for ‘marketing content’. For a client audience, it is about moving the dial on business and the proof, not just the marketing spiel. For an employee audience, it is giving a sense of culture and authenticity – to show what we do has an impact.

How important is technology in modern marketing?

Very, but it is not everything. The best tech in the world will not make you a great marketer. You need people and process as well as good tech. You also need innovation and creativity. A lot of focus goes on technology and rightly so, but you need a balance.

What future marketing trends will become mainstream before too long?

Media as commerce. It’s already happening from a mechanical POV – social media platforms bring the customer, the ad and the sale (and payment system) all into one place and make it as seamless as possible. This then has an impact on how brands spend as they consider how to better use their media and sales budgets that have previously sat separately.

And finally, if you could ask your peers for one piece of advice or help, what would it be?

I’m interested in how you can drive ‘Good Growth’ – that’s not ‘purpose marketing’, but commercial success for a brand that at the same time drives positive outcomes for all stakeholders – a brand’s bottom line, an employee’s sense of impact, society and the planet. At the moment purpose/good often sits as either ‘nice to have’ or ‘additional’ or even ‘superfluous’ to business – I think it could and should be symbiotic as people demand not only value from the brands they buy, but also brands that align to their values… I’d love to chat to anyone who’s interested in that.