Podcast Transcript – Caroline Harrison from HSBC

Tune in to Time for A Reset

Caroline – 00:00:01: I think the way we need to navigate it really is just by getting closer to the business and being more commercial about it. I read somewhere that someone had said it’s almost like a maestro rather than managing paid media per se. We help make sure that all the other areas are connected because we work with lots of different other areas anyway.

Paul – 00:00:17: Right.

Caroline – 00:00:18: So yeah, one of the things I’m working on at the moment is instead of managing my team who are phenomenal and just looking down is turning around and looking upwards and outwards, especially within HSBC to make sure that what we do fits beautifully with what everybody else is doing within the company.

Paul – 00:00:32: Welcome to the Time for a Reset podcast, the podcast where I, Paul Frampton, interview senior marketers on the big issues of the day and the thing that they want to see reset with an ever-changing landscape. Good morning and welcome back to another episode of Time for a Reset. This morning, I’m delighted to be joined by Caroline Harrison, who’s the Director of Marketing for HSBC UK. Caroline started her career at The Times and Sunday Times, building out a customer acquisition team, then moved over to HSBC to kind of set up a similar team, and then moved up the ranks, leading marketing from an HSBC UK perspective. And then I understand, Caroline, you took a broader remit across all the HSBC market-facing brands. 

Caroline – 00:01:17: I did. I don’t quite know what happened, but yeah, you’re right. Thank you so much for having me. But yeah, I joined HSBC five years or so ago. They hired me actually to look after affiliates. And then come day two or three, they said actually digital marketing. And back then I had a team of four people. And then fast forward to today, it’s kind of grown arms and legs. I don’t know how I got here, to be honest, but it’s been good.

Paul – 00:01:35: Well, you definitely did something right, for sure. So I’m delighted to have you here. So Caroline, the first thing we always ask our guests to share is, if you had a big red button on the table which you could hit reset as something in marketing, what would it be?

Caroline – 00:01:49: I think the first thing that I’d want to do is just all the marketing lingo. I mean, I’ve always done marketing. It’s all I know. I’ve done it for years and years. I’ve worked for banks for 15, 20 years, I suppose. So there’s lingo with banking, but lingo with marketing. We’ve got so many acronyms that I don’t think it necessarily does us any favors. I feel for people because I think it’s hard enough when you start a new job, but learning all of that and you just do it. And my husband teases me for it, using any of those words mercilessly and says, you do realize normal people don’t say that kind of stuff. But, I think any job you do, it comes with a bit of a lingo, but it has to be the lingo. It’s the CPAs, the DMPs, the CDPs, all of that stuff. And in the conversation, sometimes I feel like there’s always somebody that’s sitting there thinking, what on earth are they talking about? And actually, if we just stripped it back and made it much simpler and easier, I think it would make our jobs easier so we could get on with the good stuff. And I think it would probably make us speak in more business and commercial speak rather than marketing speak. And I think that is due as more favors as well in bigger organizations where I think marketing sometimes could be seen as a cost rather than as an asset or a revenue driver.

Paul – 00:02:53: I think that’s a great reset, particularly since digital marketing took off, what was it, 15 years ago. It seems that every two weeks there’s another three-letter acronym kind of thread being thrown around. And some people in marketing almost use it as a badge of honor to kind of show that, oh, I’m smart because I know these things. But I think you make a great point, which is if we make marketing inaccessible, then the business doesn’t understand it and they question what it’s doing. So that kind of maybe leads me on to my second question, which would be, how do you encourage your teams to talk about commercial language and to make sure that marketing is like a growth engine rather than a cost? I guess, as you said, it can sometimes be seen as.

Caroline – 00:03:32: I guess in focusing on what the end game is and what the ultimate priorities are. And I encourage them to ruthlessly prioritize. We’ve only got finite hours in the day and resource, so you can’t do everything. And I’d rather us do something well than lots of things. Okay, I talk about peanut butter a lot. I love peanut butter. But if you spit it too thin and you can’t taste it, you need to be able to taste it and make an impact. My best advice to them would be to sit down and understand what the business is trying to do. So be really clear on what the priorities are and then make sure whatever we’re doing aligns up to that so you can see the end goal. So quite often when the team come and talk to me about I’ve done at HSBC, I think that’s brilliant and that’s doing. But to what end? Has that driven enough value out the back of it that it was worth doing? You can do a brilliant job, but in marketing, you can be busy fools if you’re not careful. You can spend your whole life making sure your inbox is tidy and setting up campaigns. But actually, what did they really deliver? And if you can get away with doing half the work and still getting all the value and the end results, then why not do that? So in my head, I think I’m a lazy marketeer. But really, it’s because I love efficiency and effectiveness. And I want us to be able to do the minimum that we can really to hit those goals and do it well and not have any wastage because it’s very easy just to waste time, resource. You can say we’ve launched 10 campaigns, but actually only two of them were incredible.

Paul – 00:04:43: Right. I think that’s a great point, Caroline, that when you think of the traditional way of developing an ad like a TV ad, the time involved and the cost involved was enormous. I mean, maybe still is sometimes today. But I think if you start to question all of the costs involved, not just the kind of physical cost of creating it, but the cost of the talent, the cost of the time spent getting to and from production sets. And when you take all of those costs and the various technology involved, actually, I think that’s what other people in the business think about, isn’t it? They think about marketing effectiveness is not just your campaign spend against the revenue from that campaign. It’s actually your entire marketing department, the tools, the technology, the people, everything against how much incremental revenue you generate.

Caroline – 00:05:30: Yeah. And I mean, on a personal level, I just think you look at it as if this was your money, your business, would you still do it? Does this feel right? Are you doing it to learn or are you getting something out of it? Or actually, is it right? So just to question a lot. And I think this is why I’ve done well at HSBC, but I ask an awful lot of questions. I can’t help it. It’s just in my nature. But I think sometimes you get surprising answers and then you think, ah, it’s not quite what you were expecting. And then you turn over something, you discover something that could be better. 

Paul – 00:05:54: Yeah, no, absolutely. And you talked there about efficiency. I’m guessing that therefore you’re quite excited about the opportunities that automation, things like generative AI and things like that are starting to bring. And it seems like there are two camps, either think it’s great and talk about it, but don’t really know what to do with it, or actually are starting to think about experimenting with it. I just wondered where you guys might be on that.

Caroline – 00:06:19: I love the new and I love the fact that I think it will help us do our job better. If I’m honest, I don’t think it’s the be all and end all and it’s going to replace loads of roles, but I think it will help us take away some of the legwork. And especially with writing copy, with producing ads, doing creative, we can use it to do iterations. We can use it to collect feedback really fast and make iterative ads. So there are places where it can be really clever uses, but at the moment we’re still experimenting. So we’re experimenting in a safe way because obviously working for a bank, you’ve got to make sure wherever we share data with, even if it’s not customer data, it’s got to be very, very secure. So we set up a specific team that is in charge of AI. And if you’ve got any use cases, you kind of go there, present to the board and say, this is how I want to do it. This is how we’re going to test it. You report back. And then they make sure that they share that information throughout the globe to all the HSBC markets so everyone can benefit from it. We’ve seen some really exciting things come out of that, but we’re still learning.

Paul – 00:07:14: Oh, no, that’s great. I think more businesses should probably set up a center of excellence for AI, because as you say, it’s very early days. And it’s really about, as you said, the use case. And if your hypothesis is X, does the use case, when you actually run it, deliver that value? Or is it just being able to say that you used AI or ML just for the sake of it? I think there’s still a little bit of that around, isn’t there? And you’ve obviously spent a lot of your career in the acquisition, performance marketing, kind of CRM part of marketing. One of the questions I often ask marketers is how they think about the relationship between performance and brand. I think in the old days, it was very separate. It feels like it’s becoming much closer, yet quite often it’s still separated from a marketing perspective because some of the skill sets and the tactics are different. As a kind of born performance marketer, how do you think about the relationship between brand and performance?

Caroline – 00:08:09: You know what, I started off on the brand side and then I think of digital acquisition, I have to say I’m much more comfortable in that space, I suppose. It’s probably just what I know and I can do a lot of it more intuitively. So I think you have to force yourself to think full spectrum rather than one. And in a customer’s perspective, it’s not one camp or the other. They see everything and they don’t care whether it’s digital or brand. So in my mind, creative should be produced that pulls all the way through and then paint media. And it needs to work in both places. And I think our team’s jobs are tricky, right? And that if you work in a digital team, you’ve got to make sure visually it looks right and it’s integrated with all the brand activity. And you’re thinking really it’s just short-term and long-term sales. So it needs to balance itself out. So I’ve got a huge amount of respect for brand marketeers because I think they do a phenomenal job, but I think we need to work closer and closer to them. And to the extent what we’ve done more recently, we still have brand and acquisition teams, but on any campaign brief, we have one brief and it’s not a digital brief or brand brief. It’s a campaign brief and we pull people with certain specialisms to work on that together in the hope that it’s created..

Paul – 00:09:12: More integration.

Caroline – 00:09:13: Yeah. And to the extent that we’ve even put budgets together, so there’s no branded digital budget anymore. It’s one budget. So we move it wherever we think we can get the best possible results. And I think for the first time as well this year, we’re looking at giving the teams objectives that are brand and performance objectives and everybody all the same. So they can’t necessarily do really well in this without helping the other guys out to try and foster better collaboration.

Paul – 00:09:38: No, that’s great. No, it’s great to hear that. And like you said at the outset, I mean, customers don’t say, oh, that’s a brand ad and that’s a performance ad. So sometimes a performance ad does a brand job and sometimes a brand job does a pull through call to action.

Caroline – 00:09:50: You know what it does? It does. It does.

Paul – 00:09:52: I think it kind of goes back to your point about jargon and silos is a similar kind of marketing thing, isn’t it? It’s like, well, we need to create these teams because it’s a specialist focus. We need an affiliate team. We need a paid search team. We need a SEO team and love course there are special isms. But there’s a lot to be said for working out how you connect things together. So the customer does see something coherent and useful.

Caroline – 00:10:15: Yeah. I’ve tried to hire people that scared the bejesus out of me that are real experts in certain fields. And I think marketing has gone, that’s probably why I’m still here years on. It’s so diverse. Whereas in the olden days, you could just by advertising on two or three mediums, you know, that would be enough. These days, plans have got multiple things on it. And to be an expert at all of that, I think is a tough call. So I think you’ve got to find your ninja skill, learn it, and then work with others to make sure it all comes together, rather than just managing channel silo by silo. Does that make sense?

Paul – 00:10:43: No, it does make sense. It sounds like the T-shapes have a multiple experience and then a ninja skill, or more than one ninja skill, ideally.

Caroline – 00:10:50: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Paul – 00:10:52: So Caroline, we had Nic Travis, who you may know, who runs digital marketing at Lloyds Bank on the podcast a few weeks ago. And he talked about the fact that he doesn’t think that measurement and attribution get enough airtime in marketing. And there’s a lot of focus on the shiny new things, but often the wrong data is being used or something’s being analyzed in a way that may not be right. So I just wonder what your perspective on the whole kind of measure, particularly when you think about with digital marketing, obviously in the world we’re going into, a lot of cookies have disappeared anyway, and a lot more of them are going to disappear this year. So it’s going to be a very different landscape, I think, isn’t it?

Caroline – 00:11:28: It is. For me, it’s always been the bedrock and the fundamentals of marketing. In my mind, you don’t do anything unless you know why you’re doing it and can you measure it and can you learn from it? I also just don’t think perfect exists. I think the minute you get digital is beautiful in that you should be able to tag and track everything. And as long as you do that beautifully and have got a very clear taxonomy, you should be able to then look back and see what’s happening. So it’s quite opaque, but it’s increasingly less so given cookies and everything else. So I just think you haven’t got to be perfect. You’ve got to follow your gut a little bit, but I just make sure that all of that reporting is in place. So for me, that is just the absolute fundamentals of it. You can’t do it without that. And then it’s just working out actually, what are the key indicators that you want to track that cover both brand and digital and anything else that you want to track, I suppose, and then keeping your eye on that and then making sure it all comes together. So we use econometrics for that. So we moved away from sort of last touch and a reliance on cookies a long time ago, and then also invested in a data, platform so that we’ve got all our own first party data in there and then made sure we got consent from customers. So we rely less so on legitimate interest and more on asking customers, actually, what information do you want? How would you like to receive it? And then we’ve built APIs to the big advertising platforms so that we can push straight out and then it’s very efficient. So it is very data led. And in some ways that makes our jobs a lot easier because it’s less about what you and I think more about what the data says. And you can then pivot from not just driving huge numbers of sales, but actually, where do you get the most valuable customers? Where did they come from? And then you follow the crumbs backwards. So it makes our jobs easier if that’s there. So I don’t know how you do it without it.

Paul – 00:13:04: No, no, no. That’s a great articulation. It sounds like you guys have got some very advanced ways of doing it. So do you almost like have an audience planning function that uses that data to determine plugging the first party data into some kind of customer data platform and then into the platforms? Is that how you guys work?

Caroline – 00:13:19: We’ve got a customer data platform that’s managed by our CRM teams. And essentially that is set up so that it just speaks to everything, but data all in one place. And that’s a huge project that’s taken years. But now, actually, we’ve got something like 60 million retail bank customers in the UK. You can identify people that have given you consent. And then, you know, for example, if they’ve got a current account, but potentially not a credit card, and you think they show appetite with their spending, that they would be interested in one. You could then advertise to them on HSBC website or outside via Amazon or Google or whatever else. But it’s a direct API. So you can make sure that you’ve got suppressions in place and everything else. So it’s just an efficient, effective way of using it. And I think very safe because it relies on consent rather than anything else.

Paul – 00:14:01: Right. Which in your world with FSA is extremely important. But I also think when we talk to customers, we talk about that the most sophisticated brands are doing exactly that, right? So they know across their owned, paid, and the earned space in the middle. They know who their customers are, and they have the ability to market to at least a decent proportion of those. And then, to your point, actually becomes about the science of, okay, the data tells me what propensity they might have to cross-sell into a different product, and I need to put this kind of message or offer in front of them. And actually, the data starts to lead the planning, as opposed to it just having to be one single insight that’s pulled out at the beginning of a campaign. It’s an interesting world that we’re moving into. I mean, it still requires, to your point earlier, a lot of talent. But once you apply machine learning to some of that, along with the data-driven, the science, to your point, following the data should lead to the right outcomes, I think, shouldn’t it?

Caroline – 00:14:57: Yeah, exactly. And the way that we manage it is a campaign manager that looks after any campaign, like current account campaigns or international, whatever it was, they have a pot of money as sales targets and they set up the audiences. They’ll agree with the audience strategy. They’ll work out whether they’re going to buy their advertising. And then really their job is, we moved away from doing one-off campaigns to always on because you can just then twiddle the dials. It’s an easier to manage, but it means you get better and better at it. So we’ve also made sure all the data, wherever possible, is democratized. So the people that make the decisions are those that are actually running the campaigns day in, day out. The further up I’ve gone, the less decisions I’ve ever made because the world’s changed, right? It’s not about someone saying, this is what I think. It’s about, what does your data say? Does that make sense? What should we continue, stop, start? And yes, the campaign managers individually come up with those.

Paul – 00:15:42: No, it’s great that the data is democratized and they’re empowered to actually make-

Caroline – 00:15:47: They’re closer to it. So they’re going to make the best possible decision, right? Yeah.

Paul – 00:15:50: No, I like that a lot. And it sounds like you have a lot of skills in-house and there’s a lot of debate about in-housing and what brands do themselves versus what they do externally. And particularly when it comes to performance marketing, because I think obviously it’s direct into platforms. And as you said, you can kind of just plug the data in and start to operate and analyze that yourself. So where do you guys kind of sit on that spectrum in terms of what you go outside for versus what you build as an internal capability?

Caroline – 00:16:20: I think it’s more like right housing rather than in-housing. So you’ve got to do whatever sticks best for your business, right? And I’ve just done an MBA the last couple of years and I did my dissertation.

Paul – 00:16:29: You got a triple distinction I read in the notes. That was pretty…

Caroline – 00:16:32: Oh, no. Who knew it?

Paul – 00:16:33: Congratulations.

Caroline – 00:16:34: Thanks a big much. Thank you. I’m still like, yeah, I’m super pleased. But I spent a lot of time looking in-housing and interviewing marketing directors, CMOs, CEOs about what they felt about it. And you know what? Yeah, I think it’s just whatever’s right for your business. In my mind, there are some areas where you need to be really close to the data. So for us, something like search, it made no sense, like the old fashioned model where you would brief an agency and then it was almost like Chinese whispers. So the minute we hired somebody that had got six or seven years knowledge experience of managing search campaigns, the information that he was coming up with made sense, but it was taking a long time to get stuff done. So in the end, I was like, look, instead of you owning the house and giving us a copy of the keys, I want to flip it. I want to make sure that it’s always owned with us and we own the data. And then we just moved product by product really to see whether that would work and it made sense. But in a world where you’re pouring money into a machine that has got algorithms set up, do you need somebody else to manage that for you or is it better to be closer? And that’s something that we found has worked really well for us. So we in-house paid search a couple of years or so ago. The team have done phenomenally well. I think we’re in difficult second album territory now, but they still, they pull stuff out a bag. So rural village. But that’s been really good because actually being close to your search data and know what customers are looking for, you can kind of think that straight into insight. So our insight used to be traditional surveys. Nowadays, we use a lot of the search data for that. So that’s good. But should you in-house everything? Obviously, off the back of the success that we had with in-housing search. My boss kind of said, what’s next? And I felt, oh, I’ve done the easy bit. What next? So we’ve kind of looked at creative production. I think there’s probably some merit in doing a bit of that, especially once you’ve done the beautiful designs, just getting all the different sizes, that’s not too difficult if you’ve got the tools to do it. But I mean, at the last count, I think we work with over 20 different external agencies and quite often it’s what marketers love to do. We get external thought from them. They can do stuff faster than us. So bottom line is, if you’ve got the economies of scale and the resources to do it yourselves, or actually you’re still better off shipping it than getting external help. And I think there’s still a lot that we benefit from that. So it just depends on your circumstances, but in some instances it can be incredible. I mean, for search, it was great because we saved hundreds of thousands of pounds doing that. It’s a lot cheaper. We also discovered that if you buy direct from Google, they give you value added back. So we used that and reinvested it to pay for training and things like that. So incredible. And then lots of other markets followed. And as a result of that, I think when budgets were kept flat, I was able to do a lot more sales because we reinvested the money rather than giving the money back to say, we reinvested it and we’re able to drive growth. So just a clever, more efficient way of doing it. I come back to efficiency, I guess, but yeah.

Paul – 00:19:08: No, no, no, no. Thank you for sharing that, Caroline. I think that’s a really great insight into a balanced view of in-housing, right? I think the old world was in-house of all agencies. And the reality is there are very few businesses that have everything on one extreme or the other. And as you say, right housing, the right things and understanding as an organization, what you can capably build out and sustain over a period of time, because you can get the talent initially, but then you’ve got to retain them and develop them and actually make sure that they feel like their careers are as good as they could be anywhere else. Otherwise, it’s a kind of flash in the pan, isn’t it? So I really like how you’ve expressed how you think about that.

Caroline – 00:19:47: There’s a lot of people that said, oh, you don’t want to do it. It’s too hard. You won’t be able to retain them. You just won’t attract them to the brand. The upshot of my dissertation was people will tell you what is best in their best interest of their business, right? So you’ve kind of got to take your own call. You can understand why an agency that specializes in in-housing is going to say, let us do it for you.

Paul – 00:20:06: Absolutely. No, I agree. I agree. And another accolade you had was the performance marketing world power list. So I’m interested in what do you think the future of, I’m going to call it digital marketing deliberately, because we’re now in a place where digital is so much of marketing that it’s like, is there even such a thing as digital marketing? I suppose is one provocative question. And then the second part of my question is there’s obviously a lot of change going on around Google and regulation, and equally we’ve got Amazon growing very fast and Meta contracting a bit and changing. So there’s a lot changing out there in the digital landscape. I just wonder what you think the future of that looks like. Are we still going to have these big behemoth technology companies? And how do you think brands in five years will think about digital marketing? Will it even be a phrase?

Caroline – 00:20:59: Blimey, good question. I don’t know. I think it does just at some stage just become marketing because these days so much is bought programmatically and is digital. It pervades nearly all different media, whether it’s talking about TV and programmatic or buying, you know, it doesn’t matter. And I think the ethos is the same throughout it. I think we need to have skills that are both creative and scientific and it becomes more of a blend rather than just going one or the other. Although I think that’s difficult. It’s difficult for us to get people to be both. In the future, what will it do? I don’t know. I just can’t see it getting any simpler and it just carries on changing. Someone like me is excited by that because I love change and I think it keeps us on our toes. The minute you nail something, the rules change and then you’ve got to think again. But otherwise we would go home and I think we think we’ve just nailed it today. Never in my whole career have I ever thought at five o’clock, I’m done. In some ways, I kind of like a job just for a week or two to be able to do that. But it just, that is not what we do, right? You can always do it a little bit better. Or something else is sneaking its way around the corner there. You think this is going to bite me on the bottom hard unless I can get my head around it and try and anticipate how this is going to affect us. So I think, and especially with all the change, it just becomes more challenging. I don’t know if I say that because I’m getting older. It’s complex. I think the way we need to navigate it really is just by getting closer to the business and being more commercial about it. I read somewhere that someone had said it’s almost like a maestro rather than managing paid media per se. We help make sure that all the other areas are connected because we work a lot with different other areas anyway. So yeah, one of the things I’m working on at the moment is instead of managing my team who are phenomenal and just looking down is turning around and looking upwards and outwards, especially within HSBC to make sure that what we do fits beautifully with what everybody else is doing within the company.

Paul – 00:22:40: Right. No, that sounds like a fantastic initiative. And I doubt you get home at 5pm, but when you do get home or you’ve just got things whirring around your head, what are the trends or the things that kind of keep you awake? Because maybe you think you’re not quite sure what the plan is there.

Caroline – 00:22:56: I guess the biggest one for me at the moment is how we communicate to existing customers. So in HSBC, historically, we send communications from lots of different teams. So I think there are 39 teams at last count that are producing communications, creating them and then sending them to customers. And it’s not necessarily strategically aligned. It almost just needs a brain implanting in there and then making sure it is more strategic. And I think whereas in the past we would have sent sales communications, in the future it’s more about people want personalized comms. They want it to be helpful. And it shouldn’t just be via email or DM. It should be the best way to speak to them at the right time. And in order to do that, it needs to be underpinned by clever technology to make sure it’s easy to manage. You’ve also got to limit all the requests that are coming in and then establish a new team to sort of manage that. That’s what I’m trying to get my head around of how do we do that in the best possible way to drive the best possible outcomes? So I’ve always worked on acquisition before, but when I was working at The Times, actually, we didn’t nail acquisition until we nailed retention. And when the two work together, then you start your base and grow. So driving lots of new sales in an acquisition is easy. But looking after existing customers, to me, that is a much bigger challenge. And I’m confident we could do even better in that space at HSBC. But we need help in terms of the tech, the infrastructure and how we’re organized to enable that. It’s not just about sending more comms.

Paul – 00:24:14: Yeah, no, no, no, absolutely. And you make a great point, but actually, if you’ve got a leaky bucket, just try to keep filling from the top still will often end up in a negative if the bucket is leaking increasingly worse.

Caroline – 00:24:28: Leaking on for that, I think traditionally, historically, we would have managed paid media disparately from owned and earned and existing customer comms or retention. They’re all different teams. It’s certainly a big matrix organization like HSBC. They’d be managed disparately. And really, it needs to be all together. So it’s working out how in a matrix organization you could do that effectively. So it feels like one plan and you just sort of zoom out and from an aerial view, make sure it all fits together. Sometimes it does beautifully and it’s designed to do that. But if it’s kind of grown arms and legs, it’s how to make that fit better.

Paul – 00:24:59: Yeah, no, how to get it all to work and for everyone to feel like they’re on the same team, even though they’re kind of not on the same team.

Caroline – 00:25:03: If I had a magic wand, I’d be like, that would be my first wish. Yeah

Paul – 00:25:06: Okay. No, that’s a great one. That’s a great one. And yeah, harmonising 39 teams sounds like a big enough task. So just taking a slightly different tact, Caroline, love to ask you what you think the attributes of tomorrow’s kind of senior marketeer will be. And we’ve alluded to it a little bit, but if you were to call out the most important skills that tomorrow’s CMOs need, because the world is becoming more scientific, what would you say they would be?

Caroline – 00:25:34: I think I touched on someone that you need to be scientific and creative. You need to have a bit of a balance of both. But I just look for curious people that ask a lot of questions. Resilient to change, I think you’ve got to be. I guess a team player, just because you can’t just do something on your own. So you’ve got to be able to get on with people and now to get the best out of people. So certainly not after any renegades necessarily. And I think the other bit, if there was one more, is probably something that’s entrepreneurial. Because the world changes so fast, yet quite often we’ve got legacy stuff that we just continue on with. You kind of need people with fresh eyes to come in and challenge it and think, in today’s setup, does it make sense to put a bomb under that and change it or just to tweak it a little bit or what can we try and experiment to make it better rather than just taking it and then running with it?

Paul – 00:26:17: No, I like that. And I also like what you said a second ago about the role of someone running a team has changed. If the data is democratized and they’re empowered and they’re close to it, then they need to know what the business objectives are, but be empowered to do the right thing rather than have to keep coming back to get direction all the time. So leadership in marketing is changing when there’s technology that does certain things and data leading people’s decisioning. I think that’s a really great point. So lastly, Caroline, to help our listeners, because I think when they listen to someone like, they think you probably got it all together. You’ve got an MBA with a triple distinction, et cetera, et cetera. So I’m sure there are things that are still work in progress for you. So would you mind being vulnerable for a second and sharing what you’re working on yourself to be a better marketeer, I guess?

Caroline – 00:27:02: I beat myself up on a regular basis, probably on a daily basis. I never cheat on the day what I set out to cheat. Every morning I wake up and think today I’m going to win over the world. So yeah, ambitious in that perspective, I suppose. What am I working on? In total honesty, at work, what is on my development plan at the moment is to look up and out more rather than in and down. And so within that, I’m very good at, I’ve got a really high performing team. They’re incredible in terms of digital marketing. We’re on the most mature digital marketing assessment, if you like. We did a Google assessment and they’re incredible. But I do it with the people that I’ve got in my team, within my team, rather than necessarily leaning on other teams. So what I need to do more of is going out to the rest of the business and understanding what are their priorities, trying to align those better so that I can make a greater impact on the organization, not necessarily by doing it all myself, if that makes sense. To me, that is the hardest thing because it means meeting a lot of new people. It means networking. It means getting to know them better. And my worst fear is if you knock on someone’s door and they’re just saying, no, thanks. I’m too busy to speak to you. I’ve still got a little bit of an imposter syndrome. So quite often I default to, can I fix this? How can I do it? Not necessarily me per se, but my team. So I self-fix for an awful lot. Whereas, yeah, they’re asking me to work with others more, especially internally. I do it pretty well externally, they tell me. And that’s the bit that I really enjoy. I love going out and meeting people and, you know, finding a little nugget that you can take home and then will make a huge difference and make your lives easier. That kind of thing. But yeah, it’s that. The other bit that I battle with always is just having the right work-life balance, right? A husband that’s got his own business. I’ve got three kids. I keep on taking on more animals and pets. And then I’m a housekeeper. So we’re always flipping houses. So yeah, but I just think your life is short and it’s incredibly precious. So you’ve got to do the things that make you really happy. And I think if you choose those bits naturally, then you do well because it’s just easy because you love it, right?

Paul – 00:28:53: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that, Caroline. You strike me as the type of person that wouldn’t sit still doing nothing for very long. You’re driven and you like variety and you’re very curious. I think those are all very good attributes to have as a marketeer. And I love your point about thinking up and out. I think everybody listening can probably do that better because that’s about influencing. It’s about listening. It’s about marketing, the value of marketing. So thank you so much for sharing that with us. And all that remains is to say thank you for joining us today.

Caroline – 00:29:23: Thank you so much. An absolute pleasure. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Paul – 00:29:26: I really enjoyed that. Thank you. And that is a wrap for this episode of Time for a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Leaders, brought to you by CvE Consultancy. I’ve been your host, Paul Frampton, and I hope the insights from this episode will help you reset and refine how you implement successful change for strategic transformation for your brand. Look forward to seeing you next week as I chat with another senior marketing leader. And please don’t forget to follow us on your favorite listening platform, Apple, Spotify, or wherever else. Look forward to catching you soon.

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