109 | From CPG to B2B: Exploring the modern marketing landscape
42 min listen
"Constraint creates Innovation." Siew Ting Foo, Global Head of Brand and Insights at HP.
CMOs, aspiring CMOs, listen up! This podcast episode will be the most valuable content you consume this week.
Join host Jon Busby and guest Siew Ting Foo, for an episode jam-packed with insights. Hear about Siew Ting's journey from CPG to B2B and the key learnings she's made along the way.
Frankly, this is a fascinating conversation, touching on so many essential lessons for aspiring CMOs including:
- Marketing's new role within the broader organisation
- How to lead from the front and back of an organisation
- Justifying brand investment in B2B
Tune in now, wherever you get your podcasts:
View the full transcript here
Jon Busby: So welcome again to another episode of the tech marketing podcast. I'm your host, john and I'm very pleased to be joined by suiting through global head of brands at HP. Who's joining me in the late hours of her day and the early hours of my morning. So suiting you've handling. The brands and insights team at HP, you've got a fascinating history starting, I believe it, Johnny Walker, which is in the CPG space moving over to B2B what would you say the world of consumer goods did for you in preparing you for the world in B2B marketing?
Siew Ting Foo: Yeah, first of all thank you for this opportunity, John. A little bit of background myself. I have 25 years of commercial marketing experience and my first 20 years is actually with CPG companies. So I grew up with the Unilever and then I moved to Mars, and then I spent a good 10 years with Diageo, marketing.
Famous, iconic, alcohol brands like the Johnny Walker and, Guinness and many more in the portfolio. And then I take a transition which wasn't quite planned to be frank into HP about six years ago. So how has the transition been in, in terms of preparing for me in B2B?
I would say that, as the foundation of. Marketing and building brands are the same, whether it's in B2B and B2C, but I would say that starting your career with a CPG company and moving to B2B has been of tremendous help purely because, in the world of CPG, if you know how the role of, marketers in CPG are like, they basically are like the general managers of the they really run a classical brand building training, but also impacting with, signs and data on what the business impacts is all about.
So that training has been, tremendously useful as I move into, B2B whereby. The audiences are different. The channels are different, but the principles of the marketing and application of marketing is actually the same.
Jon Busby: We often talk about innovation? I know we're going to talk about that later on the podcast, but what jumps to mind is if you've ever read the innovators dilemma which talks around.
essentially how scientists will study. You don't study the evolution of humans because it will take thousands of years to understand how humans will evolve. Instead, you look at something like a, an insect that has a lifetime of a day or a few hours, so you can see the difference over a period of a few generations, similar to.
Comparing CPG to B2B, like B2B, our buyer cycles are significantly longer. While with CPG, you do some marketing and then hopefully you see a result. Would you say that's given you more, that, that foundation and speed has given you the. Basics to get started and then you can apply the same thinking to b2b.
Yeah, you see what i'm thinking here
Siew Ting Foo: Yeah, I think the foundation is the same I mean if you look at just marketing in its rudimentary form is really about understanding the human minds And you turn into human minds needs and wants and then you marry According to the macro trends and also what the company and brands need to do.
And you'd create products and services and campaigns and solutions to really, best serve this unmet need. I think in the B2B cycles, while, you are actually talking to a different set of audiences, which is, primarily the enterprises or the small medium business organizations, ultimately the people who are making the purchase decisions, they're still human beings.
Application of the, consumer learnings, which is, how do you understand the human minds is actually really similar. The only difference is the channel is different. The life cycle is different. The way you go to market is slightly different.
And also because the purchase lifecycle is longer, hence the p and l. commercially works a little bit different. So you need to have different marketing strategies and marketing program to best serve these audience needs.
Jon Busby: I think that's just an incredible little soundbite there. I loved how you I love that thinking that, we are all just humans in the day.
And it's about appealing to those different emotions, With HP are there any examples of where you've, brought that to life in an IT decision maker context instead of someone shopping for Guinness or Johnny Walker?
Siew Ting Foo: I would say that the great example is how In my first role in HP a couple of years ago which is really one of the problem statement was to look at how do we really grow the small medium business channel which is a huge potential in terms of its size in Asia pack and globally, but highly fragmented in terms of the types of segment that are going about from, Owners, small, medium business, one to 10 to 50 to 100, consumers and around, that, but the good news was because the size is smaller and also you're talking about this organizations which are, led by owners.
We are themselves a business entrepreneur, the application of consumer goods understanding here is really. applicable. And you start with the same principles of, hey, understanding who this audience The size of the market you apply same principles of segmentation and when you apply principles of hey targeting who do you want to go after you?
You can't go after everyone resources is thin and then how do you create the 4p plans to really best? answer these needs and it's actually fascinating because the problem statement in B2B often comes in, in often compared to consumer goods is resources are tighter Because the life cycles are longer Hence, i'm a firm believer of constraint actually creates Innovation and opportunities.
So you got to think really creatively and then the use of data and the use of understanding the entire purchase journey and what decisions happen at what purchase. A journey becomes absolutely even more critical.
Jon Busby: I've got, I'm going to steal that constraint. It leads to opportunity. Cause I think given the year that we've had in technology, right?
It's technology has been growing year over year. And then over the last 12 months, of course, it's no secret. We've had a tough tough year. But I think that line gives us all a little bit of. Hope and faith that actually we should see this as an opportunity. And some of the constraints that we're going through, we should try and turn into new ways to market and new opportunities.
Like what, given the brands that you worked with before. So you mentioned a few in your intro there, Guinness, Johnny Walker, a two that jumped to mind. But also working for Mars. I've got to say, actually, just working for Mars. Did you ever get a chance to come to the UK? And come to Mars HQ,
Siew Ting Foo: not in the UK, but in the U S yeah.
Jon Busby: So I had quite a few friends that worked at Mars. So I'm going to going off tangent here. Cause I did I did chemistry and entrepreneurship at university. And so some of my colleagues from that course went off to go and work as food scientists. And so they would have these wonderful job titles like chocolate scientists from Mars.
So it's that always rings true to me. But what brand would you say prepared you the most for moving into B2B?
Siew Ting Foo: I don't think it's any particular brand. I would think it's the accumulation of experience I've been with Unilever, Mars and Diageo, they are, they're all three very strong CPG company with iconic brands, but similarity in culture, but differences also in culture and approach.
Things, in a different way, I would think that Unilever, I started my career as any, business grad and markets, aspiring marketer wants to be, which is, I started as a trainee and I really learn everything that I need to know about marketing and sales, commercial marketing and sales and building brand.
And that was my foundation. And then I moved on to Mars, which is like you said. It is actually, the number one best place to learn entrepreneurship and then business acumen. With the bag of experience I've got in discipline and training in classical brand building, I move on to Mars and then I'll manage to work with.
A lot of, the owners themselves during that time. And also the acquisition, the founders of different acquisitions we bought in Mars, I actually built my entrepreneurial skills and also my business acumen. Then I moved on to Diageo where I spent a good 10 years in a category that serve.
Not only mass consumer goods, but also a little bit of, what I call them luxury brands and data, they're all about emotional connection And that's where the real marketing and creativity comes into play and also is it's also a category is highly regulated and which means that you really need to be absolutely creative with science behind it and knowing how to influence the consumer minds and yet built, great memory structure of brands.
And, this is a company that is fantastic with belief on purpose, belief on individual purpose, building on. Brand purpose and that is where I hone my you know skill set on, you know Building purposeful brands and also that's where I built my you know creativity So I would say that the three of them are all accumulated, space of you know building my Sandbox as a marketeer to prepare me for a b2b marketing
Jon Busby: Again, like you've brought in some of the constraints there that bred opportunity.
So working in such a highly regulated market, I think is, I started in healthcare for instance and that was a similar type approach. Like we had certain things we could do and certain things we couldn't, and we had to find inventive ways to bring out benefits of products that you couldn't necessarily say out loud.
Given, Given some of that history, taking, a luxury brand, like you mentioned, and turning it into a leading brand for your geography and given that buyers are now doing significantly more research themselves, like we've seen a big change in buyer behavior over the last certainly over the last five years and it's just accelerating now as tech continues to evolve.
What do you believe marketing's new role is? As part of the wider organization, like how can you utilize some of that knowledge to, to drive success in your B2B campaign?
Siew Ting Foo: I think three things. I think gone are the days of seeing marketeers, your function as a role that's about.
Spent and the cost cancer, but it's really about understanding and starting with business first. Knowing the PNL, in some organization, market marketers run the PNL, especially in CPG, but some don't, some only manage one aspects of the PNL or one aspect of the four piece, if I put it simplistically.
But irregular of that, we need to start with business first. If the business isn't doing well then you won't have the level of investment that you need to do on what you want to do on as a marketer. So I think the first thing first is really the business first. Then second thing is really, I would say knowing your customer or consumer and really.
Not only knowing from a superficial level, but really understanding deep insides of them that inform inform the decisions and the plan that you want to do. And then I thought, and then the third thing, which I'll come to that you might be really interested in. Hey, what do you mean by that in in, in in B2B?
I often get this question. Oh, so is brand building important in B2B? We only just, B2B is all about. Lower funnel is about leads is about demand generation Or whatever, but I would say that With the technology enablement and and whatever that's going on now Customers and consumers even if they're salesperson or they're cio or the itdm they buy into brands And brands are no longer serving consumers brands are actually serving a white multi stakeholder of brands about serving multi stakeholders.
So it's important to have a brand positioning, a brand DNA or brand values or whatever that is really rooted and consistent and anchored in in, in purpose. And last but not least, going back to related to the third point on second point on customer understanding, really understanding your customer journey.
And plot out, what's the insight and hence what's the marketing tactics or program you need to do to really convert your consumers to become a beyond elite. And actually generate revenue and demonstrate return on investments to business. So hope that makes sense
Jon Busby: That makes perfect sense.
And there's so much I want to dive into there, by the way, so firstly, you know your initial point We should be running and be much closer to p to running a pnl in marketing I think we need to be more accountable for the activity that we create you know what? Tips or what surprised you actually coming into B2B that you were used to seeing in the consumer goods world.
Siew Ting Foo: I think in the consumer goods world, like I said, because four piece simply is run by two function, the marketing and the sales department, the brand managers are grown up. Understanding, having a deep understanding of the p and l. And they know they know the entire p and l, they know the value chain really well.
And they know how to pull and pull the value chain. And p and l basically marketing is, finance is deep rooted. Yeah. In in, in the consumers. In I guess one of thing that was. Quite a culture shock for me was when I moved to tech B2B and tech, I realized that, hey, actually, which, which took me a while to really get adjusted to this.
And also very humbling was that, hey, I don't own the four Ps. I only own one P, which is promotion. The second thing is the P& L, I don't own it. It's actually owned by the business unit. So then they become my stakeholder. I have to make sure that I justify role of marketing and marketing's contribution on the daily basis.
So I think that's the biggest shift that I had to make.
Jon Busby: Do you think you've referenced the four P's quite, you're bringing me back to my university days when I learned marketing. I think it's now the seven P's by the way.
Siew Ting Foo: The seven P's or nine P's. Or nine P's or whatever.
Jon Busby: They keep adding P's.
Yeah, they keep adding P's everywhere. The but do you think marketing should own more than just promotion? Cause I completely agree with you on this one. I think certainly in B2B brands, we, we leave products up to the R& D teams to decide, but marketing have got more value to add.
There we leave price. Sometimes we get some looking on price, but normally that's up to sales. Like I think there's. room for B2B to own more of them. Yeah, would you agree? I
Siew Ting Foo: definitely think so. But instead of looking at that from a negative standpoint, again I'm talking about opportunities.
You should look at it from an Opportunity standpoint and say, Hey, how do you lead from the front and deep from the back? No, you want to leave from the front and leave from the back and actually influence product decisions and pricing decisions as a marketer, because I think one thing marketing has.
And it's actually a strength of marketeers is, insights you represent the customer voice. The techniques of insights on generating great insights. So I think that's a powerful tool, to really lead from the front to influence other PE decisions. Yeah.
Jon Busby: I mean that I'm even the language you're using there. I think we need to bring more into marketing, like knowing when to lead from the front and knowing when to lead from the back and using that, the insights that we have to influence other stakeholders, I couldn't. Couldn't agree more. But let's come back to what the third, the second and third points you made a moment ago, where you mentioned about knowing your customer, of course, being head of brand and insights.
Those are the two key things, knowing the insights about your customer and knowing the brand, like what. How do you make a bit, how do you make marketing more accountable for owning the brand? Like brand is such a nebulous thing. Like it's very difficult to measure. It's very difficult to put your head hands around.
Of course, leads and form fills, you can, we can understand the report into sales. So how do you make the business accountable for building brand?
Siew Ting Foo: How do you, the question is, how do you make business accountable for building brand?
Jon Busby: I'm probably phrasing that really badly. Like, how do you, when you're investing in your brand it's that, it's never a, it's not a metric where you can get an immediate return on investment.
Like you may be able to in CPG. Like, how do you justify that investment?
Siew Ting Foo: I think you need to. You need to, first of all, the mistakes that a lot of marketeer make, and then I'll come to what you need to do, is they will say, and I'm seeing that even more often now in a lot of organizations is they'll say brand marketing and demand marketing or performance marketing are separate.
There are two different approach. The truth is no, they are the same. They all need to do the same. They don't, they are not separate. And then in some organizations, it's even scarier that they have a team of people doing performance marketing and they have a team of people talking about brand marketing and they start fragmenting, what marketing needs to be in the entire organization.
I think what we need to do is to elevate the conversation. That means you elevate the conversation of a brand. And I talk about it not just on the brand, but brand purpose into a that aligning with a company purpose. .
Jon Busby: Great brand style. When you say company purpose do you mean the, your target customer's company
Siew Ting Foo: or do you mean your company?
So you need to elevate the brand company. Obviously depending on what company, some company is a house of brands or brand house. You need to elevate the brand into a corporate. And aligning with the corporate purpose of the corporate mission so that there's alignment with the company strategy and company Vision versus just leaving brand as something that what the marketers do as I said now because of technology and transparency of data and customers can See whatever You know Brands and, at the click of the a mouse it's important that you look at brand building and approach brand at the company level and approach it at the multi stakeholder level.
And what do I mean by multi stakeholder? It means the consumer you serve, the customers you serve, the investors you serve, the government that serve, and then the influencers that you serve. So it's a multi stakeholder. Approach, then marketeers can be successful because then they won't be looking at, hey, brand, or marketing investment as a long term in the short term and you tie that back to, shareholder value and shareholder return.
So I think that will be my, it's not easy to be really frank because building brands that sense the testaments of time does take time. does take investment, but data has shown, especially from, brand Z work, if you know by Kantar, it has shown that, consistent investment on brand through the years and brands that really send the Testament of time, they does return shareholder value and, and research and data has shown a repeatedly over and over again for this.
Jon Busby: Yeah I completely agree. And I think it's around, we've seen multiple stats to say, brand helps you to cook. Join it with demand. As you mentioned, brand helps you get into that group of three or four short lists that people will already have in their mind when they're approaching solving a particular problem.
And every one of my favorite stats I love talking about at the moment is actually from Google and a previous podcast that. That we had out in the U S which is every dollar that you try and save now on brand will cost you nearly 2 to buy back later. Like it is it's a false economy thinking you can save it and shift it to performance and demand generation.
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I was having a debate with someone last week about the. The joining of demand and brand, like what's what would be some of your tactics for making sure that the two stay hand in hand? You've talked about, you've talked about making sure we've got company alignment.
So now how do we make sure we align brand with the. Results that the business needs to see
Siew Ting Foo: for its PNL. I think measurement, so measurement becomes really key. Simplistically you have to make sure that the measurement or the metrics that you're measuring has a direct impact on business numbers and that.
You actually demonstrate short term impact and we know we have short term impact and also You know longer term impact which is the brand side and you need to make sure you demystify Yep, and educate business stakeholders on the common language to use. Mistakes happens when there is no common understanding of the metrics, or returns on investment measures that you're measuring.
Or you get very confused with multiple models and that's where, things are
Jon Busby: not aligned. I was actually having the same conversation again with this is a different one last week around exactly the same thing. We are, we tend to see every organization will have its own glossary, if you will, way of defining what a SQL is, what an MQL is, what, how that equates to a sale, what the pipeline value is and so on.
Do you think I'm intrigued that you think there needs to be some. PNL is a PNL and accounting, a profit is a profit, right? We, if show me a different 10 different CFOs and they're going to define it in pretty much the same way. We'll talk to 10 different CMOs say, they're going to define things and approach things entirely differently.
So would you say there's a need to have more of. Standardization, if you will, so that the board and the business understand what we mean when we, use certain measurements or metrics.
Siew Ting Foo: I think the mistakes that a lot of marketeers may, and I have, I myself have made this mistake is you try to create your own glossary of things.
And then you try to push it to the business people and the CFO. I think one thing you need to change, which I learned from. One of the mentor, which is, you should read his book, Chris Burggraeve marketing, he wrote two books and one of his book talks about marketing is finance. Okay. What his book says, which I strongly succumb to is you start with the business and the finance numbers, you walk backwards and say, Within the PNL and the language of P& L, it's a very simple value equation whether in the, whether the consumer or customer is willing to pay and whether it's what you're willing to sell and then how much you're willing to pay you use the same financial language and infuse the marketing impact versus the other way around is what I'm trying to say.
Jon Busby: What was that book called? Marketing is finance. I'm going to, I'm going to look that up.
Siew Ting Foo: Yeah. I'm going to Google that. Chris Burggraeve. He's the ex CMO for AB in bath and cook.
Jon Busby: I'm definitely gonna look that up. You also mentioned something so let's dive into metrics for a second. And then you mentioned, you mentioned something in passing that I think is worth us diving into as well.
So the, what metrics would you recommend? A B2B marketer looks at, because I'm sure in CP, CPG world in the consumer world, we're talking about, number of products sold value, fairly traditional type values, but in B2B, because those sales cycles are so long, like what are the short term metrics you can look at?
And what are the long term metrics you need to review?
Siew Ting Foo: I think you need to start with how the company's measuring B2B, which is, generally, The tcv or the the value generated from elite, itself and what's the life cycle on that? So if that's the measurement then you go backwards and say hey, how is your marketing impact?
Impacting that whether is it against the life cycle and what's the marketing contribution to that if the marketing contribution is to drive and open up leads, then it's a slightly different, approach versus if the marketing objective for a certain product is to really generate. Fast conversion of existing customers, then, then you use, then you create that, right?
And the usual stuff, happens on, whether it's a SQL, MCL, MGO, MIO, they're all the same terms, but it's just different ways of saying
Jon Busby: things. And again, coming back to all your original points, it's about knowing the customer and knowing what parts of the, you use value chain, like what parts of the value chain you need to tweak and or emotionally bring to life in order to achieve those goals.
You, you mentioned in passing influencer as one of the channels, and you talked about the channels being different also between consumer goods, like what is, what are the. Differences and in the different in your go to market motions that you've seen in B2B and how do you think that's changing moving
Siew Ting Foo: forward as well?
In the consumer world where influences very much. a strategy of what consumers are getting influenced by. And also in the consumer world, the consumers, the digital channel and the merging between omni channel is so succinct. You never, 10 years ago, you would say, oh, it would never happen to B2B, but I disagree that now it's happening, right?
Because COVID. Last three years just forces things to be disrupted. Gone are the days of having B2B. I think it's still very traditionally Salesforce led. Touchpoint is Salesforce driven. You have, I think the more modern B2B companies are evolving from just traditional Salesforce.
They're upgrading their Salesforce with the right tools and ways of selling that are more technologically driven and automated. But we're also seeing B2B brands, especially in markets where, digital is such an important channel like China, whereby B2B To see it's already happening. So the digital channel become a way for B2B customers to also market it and understanding how the relationship between B2B and B2C of your brands and how that integrally come together and contribute to the business is actually.
I think that's how I'm seeing the channels playing out and I think knowing that's why I think marketers needs to really understand sales as a function and be the best mate. For B2B marketers, you need to understand sales and your best mates are your sales team to really understand because that's where the source of insights really coming through.
And also, taking an active role to help modernize the tools for the sales team will make you. Come along the way to give you license to do things you want to do on the brand. Now, the context of influences is that in the consumer world, influences is about, Hey, who are the spokesperson and celebrities?
And then you go to the, one nine 90 kind of, influences that you go after. But I think you can apply the same concept into B2B. You really understand depending on the type of segment you go after. Sometimes in big deals is not only one person making a decision. It's multiple influences making, within the business, making the decision.
So you need to really understand, who are the key buyers and the decision makers within that and really applying that concept of influences into the buying journey. That makes
Jon Busby: sense. No, that makes perfect sense. And I love how you brought to life the, I think the role of modernizing the Salesforce, I think is key because there is so much more crossover between marketing and sales more than there ever has been before.
In fact on, on one of our, I met someone last year that completely reinvented their sales and marketing team and changed everyone's roles. You weren't in charge of. You weren't a marketeer in charge of communicating to the user anymore. You were an educator that works on this part of the user journey.
So bringing to life some of your value chain statements you said earlier, and really embodying it in the entire organization. Very similar to bring into life Conway's law, if you will. So I think that's, I think that's absolutely key. The, but. Yeah let's kind of tug on that a little bit further.
You, I think that's quite an innovative approach to be looking at the sales team and working really closely with them to see how you can modernize and innovate with them. What is, how do you break down the role of innovation and marketing? What's been your approach to innovating in a B2B organization?
How do you break
Siew Ting Foo: down?
Jon Busby: Yeah, it's such a big question. Yeah. Yeah,
Siew Ting Foo: it's such a big question. So first of all, maybe philosophically I think that I'm a firm believer that marketers need to have a mindset of learning and relearning and learning and relearning. So with that mindset, you need innovation becomes really important.
But innovation not for the sake of innovating because sometimes marketers Like to innovate for the sake of
Jon Busby: We do like shiny things sometimes
Siew Ting Foo: And we like shiny things, right? but innovation With an intent of how is it contributing to your bigger purpose and a bigger strategy? Innovation is hard to be really frank, but innovation if done.
It could create a right kind of Marketing culture, organization culture, whereby you constantly breed new thinking, new ideas, new insights, and we all know that in the world of business, in the world of building brands, whichever that has the first genius idea Would be first to win. So that's my long roundabout way to answer this very big question.
Jon Busby: So what you're saying is, you, I often say the same thing to my teams, right? So you have to have a growth mindset, go in, go and understand, be curious, understand what you may not know. In fact, one of my other Clients tends to talk about embracing the surprises.
What are the unseen things that we might, unseen insights that may come out of a campaign that we weren't expecting that we can drive on, like what's your, would you have any examples of where you've innovated or changed your go to market approach or adjusted which P you've used recently to drive that innovation and to drive results?
Siew Ting Foo: There's many, but I would say that the most memorable one, the one that I was most proud of, and also most category. Breakthrough that even now is I'm I'm feeling proud. I'm seeing it everywhere Though I've left a category industry is really the experience I had in johnny walker china so We went in with a very you know view of Coming in to create a new business model of you know I mean that was basically the launch of the johnny walker house, which is a unique space You Luxury space of bring and bring people into the world of Johnny Walker and the brand culture but also a area that you actually made available exclusive limited, Johnny Walker edition.
It was purely dream up and inspired by, for example, the Nike houses and, the Louis Vuitton, ways of selling. And you never imagined that you can actually do those, you can mirror a retail concept and also the luxury brands there. We as a team, we dream of that and we make that real and that concept, start generating very high revenue for the business, but it also pinpoint a different perception on the brand to consumers and.
And thereafter it's being replicated in many forms for the industry. You start seeing competition of the agile replicating this model in everywhere you go around the world. And even in the travel retail
Jon Busby: space, I want to dive into that a bit more. Do you, cause you mentioned a new business model.
So this wasn't just some promotion, like we mentioned before, this was innovation at that. The kind of core, really, the entire, business model change. Did you, just to understand it properly, with Johnny Walker, did you launch a set of retail stores and experience as part of it, or what was the?
Siew Ting Foo: So we had Johnny Walker houses. It started with the first one in Shanghai. And then we had three houses. And then after that, it inspired houses around the world. Wow. And then. It also inspired formula modules of how the same experience was taken into retail space and that starts, emerging a new way of selling.
Jon Busby: when you, when I compare that to the tech space for a while the world that we live in probably the best, biggest example is what Apple did with retail stores back in the early two thousands, right? Cause they did exactly the same thing. And for me, talking about both of our industries here, if I know that as a consumer or as a business user, I've, I've got, I can not only go and experience their products and they're very particular about how you experience them, but I can also go and get service and support and obviously things that you wouldn't necessarily do with a bottle of whiskey.
I think there is a lot to be said in in that business, in thinking bigger, I think as B2B marketeers and think right down to the business model and say, actually, how, how can we innovate here and completely change how our product is perceived. And it's absolutely cool.
Like one thing that jumps to mind as I think through that is, you mentioned before that. In the B2B world, you had much less control over the the four P's would you, what advice would you give to other? marketeers in B2B brands, specifically, let's say in B2B tech to go and innovate at the core to generate new business models, because they may not have, they haven't got, may not have access to the product and the price and some of the other piece that we've mentioned here.
How would you say they marketeers should approach influencing the other departments to be able to drive innovation at that level?
Siew Ting Foo: I think first of all, it's really, like I said, goes back to the basic principle, understand the business, understand the financials. And then, like I said, the first most powerful thing is really understand the customer.
And have, because B2B, you need to have, you have the good news of B2B is you have at your fingertips data about the customers. You then understand the customer journey and you have the data at your hand. So using the data itself to represents deep insights. For the sales team actually is very powerful to, if you are able to prove with data and earn your seat and earn your credibility and trust, then you can start expanding your scope of influence and your scope of impact.
Jon Busby: I think that you seeing that become personally, I'm seeing data become even more important now. That as of, we're recording this at the end of January, 2024, a certain percentage of first party cookies have started dropping off. Their first party data is becoming more important. Like how are you, have you started to adjust the debt, your data strategy and the insights that you collect in order to account for some of those economic trends, or not even economic trends, technological trends?
Siew Ting Foo: Oh, I think it's extremely important in. Data is extremely important to support your strategy. But the issue and the challenge that marketers face now is we have multiple sources of data and not a unified form of data. And sometimes it's very, overwhelming. And then on top of that, now you overlay it with AI. It can be pretty, pretty scary, in itself, but I think the way to approach this is, I think we need to take it.
We can't shy away from AI. We need to take, you need to, have a test and learn mindset with AI, but approach it with, caution and understanding that how does AI complement and upgrade the marketer's craft the marketing craft and the marketer's capability and, to really test and learn, accordingly.
I think the good thing about AI is actually it takes out a lot of mundane repetitive tasks for marketeers and allow them to, and data is available. At the right speed, so it allows marketer to concentrate on the human side of their job. the art side of the job, that problem solving side of the job, which is, I would say the ingenuity and the craft of marketing.
So marketers should embrace this with courage, but also with caution to know when to use what versus just seeing AI as a Another
Jon Busby: shiny tool. It's been inspiring to go back to some of those fundamentals of marketing because I think we forget them and we get so tied up in the latest shiny thing or the latest trend such as influencer marketing or AI and so on that we forget that at our core we're there to influence humans and we've got to know our customer and we forget some of the different strings that we can pull as part of those seven or nine or twelve or however many P's there are at the moment in marketing.
So I. I think it's, for me, it's just been inspiring to go through that, but what tip would you give to try and summarize us in one go?
Siew Ting Foo: We didn't talk about leadership, but I feel that the role of marketeers and role of CMO is increasingly getting very complex and getting very difficult, especially in.
Because tech has made the marketing craft very complex itself, right? Unlike the C suite, the peers of CFO, which is very simple. I would sum it up by saying that, hey, Especially in this complex world and volatility and how the world is changing. It's very important that marketers it's very important that they need to be anchored in purpose Anchor in their own purpose and really finding out if they don't have a purpose find a purpose define the purpose if they have a purpose really anchor in a purpose because that keeps you Rooted that keeps You don't know how to, manage challenges on the daily basis.
And that's also keep you rooted on how you see opportunities in crisis. So that's my only advice. That's my
Jon Busby: advice. What examples would you give of that purpose? Cause I think that I completely agree. And every, we are, we're recording this in January, every January, I go back and look at what I want to achieve and my purpose for the year would you give some examples of North stars that you want B2B?
Siew Ting Foo: It will be personal purpose. It will be your life purpose. So I can share, which is my my, my personal life purpose, which took me a while to uncover, to be really frank, it's about unleashing human's potential to create meaning and wellbeing for the brands teams in society. So that's my own world.
Purpose. So I would encourage everybody to find their own purpose and it's very personal, very much personal and very much
Jon Busby: individual. I'm going to say actually I'll share mine while we're at it because I agree with you. I think it took many years to find purposes. And for me, it's around educating others.
And it's around educating and enabling others. And it's around being able to step back and say, all of this exists because of the hard effort that we put in. It's about creating value and for others. It's, that's why it's important. I think that we remain curious and have that growth mindset that you mentioned earlier and continue to keep learning.
So Siew Ting, it's been an absolute pleasure to have you on the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me this afternoon, your time morning here in the UK. It's. Bit of pleasure to debate many of these items, and I've got a lot I'm going to take away from this for ourselves and our listeners, but thank you very much.
Siew Ting Foo: Thank you.