What does the Head of Effectiveness at adam&eveDBB do?
I measure the effectiveness of our clients’ marketing, help them to understand what works and what doesn’t, and help them to make it work better. It’s all about making better work, selling more stuff, and helping businesses make more money.
What route did you take to this role, i.e. what did you study in college, experience on the way?
I’m a scientist and mathematician by training. I read Physics at University, and had my heart set on an academic career. But when I started doing academic research, I found it disappointingly narrow. I also realised that I was more interested in people than crystal structures! So I moved into Artificial Intelligence, where I was modelling the way people process language. But again, I found the academic life a bit stifling. And then, quite by chance, I fell into advertising. And I realised that one could study people in a business setting – and get paid for it!
How important do you think continued upskilling and continuous professional development is to marketing?
We all need to keep learning and growing, no matter how senior we are. A lot of that happens on the job, of course, but there’s a lot to be said for taking time out of the office, stepping back, and looking at the fundamentals. Especially in marketing, where so many of the common assumptions about what we do are just plain wrong.
What benefits can attendees hope to obtain from attending training programmes?
Well the obvious aim is to make you better at your job. But at their best, great training courses can change your whole life. I know that sounds like a tremendous exaggeration, but it’s true. I can immediately think of a couple courses that have helped me reshape my life, both in work and outside.
What do you consider as the key criteria for training to be effective?
Oh that’s hard. The material needs to be good, and relevant, of course. But the most important thing is the teacher. Teaching is a great art. It’s very hard to say where the magic lies, but you recognise it when you see it.
What do you believe are the challenges facing marketers today?
There are lots of challenges. They have so many tools at their disposal, many of which are new and unproven, and it can be hard to understand which ones work best and how to deploy them well. And they are under relentless pressure to deliver results.
What are the current challenges and opportunities that marketers face in terms of marketing effectiveness?
We’ve never had better tools at our disposal for selling stuff, so this should be a golden age of marketing. But the numbers suggest that effectiveness is actually in decline, so something is clearly going wrong. I would argue that we are being held back by some fundamental misperceptions about how marketing works, and that this is leading to ineffective strategies. That’s what my course is about – that and how to solve the problem.
And finally to whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?
Great thinkers, like Byron Sharp, and great practitioners, like the founders of adam&eve.
Les Binet is the lead on the Marketing Institute’s CMO masterclass, Marketing Effectiveness, taking place on 13th June 2019. More details on mii.ie/event/Marketing-Effectiveness