David Taylor

Interview met David Taylor

David Taylor is één van ‘s werelds meest interessante marketeers. Hij staat bekend om zijn ‘no-nonsense’ benadering van het vakgebied en schreef hierover het welbekende boekje ‘Never mind the sizzle, where’s the sausage’. In dit boek omzeilt hij de buzzwords en het jargon om zo het vakgebied begrijpelijk te maken voor iedere marketeer. Vele boeken en artikelen volgden en zijn blog is één van de meest gelezen marketing blogs. De laatste jaren is hij vooral bezig met het coachen van organisaties en marketeers om hun organisatie vanuit het merk te sturen. En doet hij onderzoek naar het effect van de digitale ontwikkelingen op de basis van je merk: je strategie. In aanloop naar het symposium Brand Genetics, waar Taylor de keynote verzorgt, stelden wij hem een aantal vragen.

Who is David Taylor?  

I am the founder and Group Managing Partner of the brandgym, a global network of senior coaches dedicating to helping companies create ‘brand-led growth’, an approach where the brand guides the entire business.

What is your vision on the brand management field of knowledge?

My vision is ‘brand-led business’, a practical and bottom-line focused approach where the brand inspires and guides the whole business, not just communication and visual identity. I campaign to cut through the bull**** and buzzwords of branding so it can really add value.

What are trends and developments we should take into account coming year(s) regarding to you? 

We are ‘rebooting’ the whole process of brand-led growth for a digital age. This means looking at the whole brand strategy process and blending the best of conventional techniques and the advances of digital technology. For example, blending immersive consumer insight with data mining.
And what does this mean for the fundament in the field?

The challenge with digital and social media is to get companies to follow the money and not fads and fashion, which is what our research shows is still the main driver for them using social media.

In September your book  ‘the brandgym: A Practical Workout for Growing Your Brand in a Digital Age’ will be published. The book draws on our research with 100 marketing directors, experience from our strategy projects with leading companies and learning from the 9 digital marketing start-ups I mentor and invest in. Can you give us some sneak peeks already? What were the most provoking outcomes you did not expect for example?

The central issue we tackle in the book is the need to re-focus on brand strategy and harness digital to make it more effective. Over 90% of the marketing directors in our research agreed that the key to effective digital marketing is clear brand positioning. But the majority of the very same marketing directors also agreed that “With the focus on digital/social marketing, brand strategy gets overlooked”. This dis-connect, between strategic intent and executional focus, has serious consequences. Many brands may be missing a compelling, coherent brand strategy to inspire and guide effective marketing across all channels, including social and digital. This in turn raises the risk of brand equity being diluted.

And what did you learn during the research and mentoring the digital marketing start-ups?

The biggest learning in the enduring importance of consumer insight and a strong value proposition. The start-ups that have already failed lacked a clear point of difference versus the incumbent suppliers. Also, success has a lot to do with the quality of the people. How good are they at ‘pitching’ their idea to secure funding and pilot clients? And in particular, do they have a ruthless focus to ‘follow the money’ and generate cash.

On the Brand Genetics conference you will also give insights in how the whole brand strategy process needs to evolve in a world transformed by digital and social media. Can you mention some highlights you will be discussing that day?

We will look at how to ‘turbo-charge’ your marketing plan by blending the best of conventional marketing with new digital and social media. The focus will be on practical action points people can take away with them, brought to life with loads of cases from brands including Airbnb, Snapchat and Facebook.

If you have to summerise your talk in one quote, what would it be?

A practical workout to help you grow your brand in a digital age.

Meer weten?

Interesse in het verhaal van David Taylor en zijn ‘practical workout’ om daarna zelf je strategie in lijn te brengen met het digitale tijdperk? Schrijf je dan nu nog in voor het symposium Brand Genetics!


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