October’s highlights: D&I, reaching consumers, and multi-market marketing
by Quintus Potgieter, Editorial Manager, What's Possible Group

The What’s Possible Community members provide a window into their worlds and provide insights into their lived experiences on D&I, reaching consumers, and more.

29th October 2021 Read time: 6 minutes
This month, our growth-minded marketer members have imparted their wisdom on stemming the tide of disruption in the industry, advocated for diversity across the board, and given other results-oriented marketers valuable insight in what is their busiest quarter. As Editorial Manager of the What’s Possible Community, I have been encouraged by these contributions, especially in the face of what’s been a disruptive last 19 months. 
 
The Community is a safe space, away from the chaos, where marketers can learn and share.  
 
Funnily enough, this month’s marketing buzzword was ‘community’. We heard how online communities can help marketers reach and understand their customers better (in the UK and beyond) and how internal allyship-focused communities in the workplace can help staff connect and feel valued. 

Searching for diversity

As an advertising industry, and as a marketing communications industry, you will only resonate with people if they think you understand them,” said Kathryn Jacob, CEO of British cinema advertising company Pearl & Dean.  
 
She joined the What’s Possible Community to talk about diversity and inclusion in the industry and workplaces in general. She is the author of a new book on the topic: ‘Belonging: The Key to Transforming and Maintaining Diversity, Inclusion and Equality at Work’.
 
'Belonging' book by Sue Unerman, Kathryn Jacob
 
Kathryn spearheaded the ‘All in Campaign’ in 2020, a diversity and inclusivity census of the advertising industry. It revealed that 32% of Black talent and 27% of Asian talent were considering leaving their jobs. In her session, she gave her tips and tricks on how marketers can get their voices meaningfully heard in the industry.  
 
Someone who is getting their voice heard loud and clear is Osagie Samuel, an award-winning Creative Director with a long history at the Specialist Works, part of the What’s Possible Group. He also weighed in on the phenomenon of talent leaving the industry.  
 
I believe organisations have the responsibility to map out clear pathways and progression opportunities to assure retention. We know there is more diversity at the junior level than at the senior level, which means that diverse staff are either leaving or not being promoted. The industry needs to do more to address that,” Osagie said. 
 
He recently won big at the D&AD New Blood Awards for a project he worked on named the Black List. The project reimagines the role of books for young readers and engages them with more diverse and inclusive authors.  
 
Picture of Jane Austen book featured in a creative brief about GCSE students who can't identify with old literary classics
 
This month, we paid homage to him in the Community and are looking to showcase more of our incredible members and the work they produce.

Multi-market marketing

Speaking of diversity, Dalia Tautaviciute, Head of Brand Image at NordVPN, gave the What’s Possible Community a window into the opportunities and obstacles – cultural or otherwise – that comes with marketing to a diverse audience spread across multiple geographies.  
 
Headquartered in Lithuania, Nord’s marketing teams have their work cut out for them. When investing in markets across multiple territories, being mindful of cultural differences is critical.  
 
Every marketing campaign Nord puts into action must be tailored to audiences in 18 countries, and getting the cultural nuances right in the key countries is essential. Dalia and the Nord country managers must have everything polished to reach consumers effectively (and appropriately).  
 
Country managers help us to deliver everything in the right way. They are responsible for the revenue in each market. This is the key element to success: having locals that control everything and help us to push the message,” Dalia explained.  

Reaching consumers

This October, we also welcomed fashion brands Cotton Traders and Madeleine, who spoke about how they reached consumers in the face of continued disruption due to the pandemic.  

Marketers talking about the changing of consumer habits in an online webinar

We had just done customer profiles [when the pandemic came through], and the behaviours switched in six months. Something that you would see in a three to four-year customer profile change was happening in three to four months. It was significant,” Kate Johnstone, Campaign and Communications Manager at Cotton Traders, said. 

Cotton Traders subsequently upped their online community building to reach customers where they were, give them support and gain insight into their changing habits.  

Karen Tucker, Marketing Director at Madeleine, says they are far more reactive than they used to be, thanks to the lessons learned in the last 19 months.  

Typically, the fashion industry is a step ahead of changing trends. Kate and Karen provided the Community with a picture of consumers’ possible fashion habits in the autumn and winter season to come.  

Through lockdown, comfort was king, and it still is king. And it will be – is our prediction for 2022 as well,” Karen concluded.  

Learn & share 

As marketers push on in one of the busiest quarters of the year, there will be unique challenges to face in the marketing arena.  
 
Watch or read the summaries from our previous What’s Possible Community sessions and find something tailored to your specific problem. We also have upcoming events that would be right up your street if you are a marketer at a dynamically growing brand.  
 
Have you got a story to tell? We want to hear from you if you have solved similar marketing puzzles as our growth-minded marketers have in the last 19 months. The resilience shown by marketers in these adverse times is nothing short of incredible – and we have loved hosting them in our one-of-a-kind Community.  
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