TFAR Podcast Transcript – Episode with Francisco Bram Vice President of Marketing & Customer Insights for Albertsons Companies

Tune in to Time for A Reset

Paul – 00:00:03: 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. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Time For A Reset. This morning, I’m delighted to be joined by Francisco Bram. Francisco is VP of Marketing Analytics & Insights at Albertsons. He has spent a lot of time in product marketing roles across businesses like Uber Eats, Siemens, and he’s also got an executive management degree from Stanford, an MBA in Marketing , and advises a range of startups and also won various product marketing influencer awards. Plus, has been involved in generating, I believe, in excess of $5 billion in top-line revenue thanks to all of the efforts that he’s been involved in. And now, Albertsons that he works for will be very familiar to those of our U.S. Listeners, but those globally, Albertsons is 53rd on the Fortune 500 companies list and is a $72 billion business market cap. Francisco joins us with a ton of relevant experience. Delighted to have you here.

Francisco – 00:01:10: Thank you for having me. It’s exciting to be here.

Paul – 00:01:12: So where do we start? Where do we start, Francisco, is to understand if you had a big red button with reset on it in front of you, what you would like to change in the marketing industry?

Francisco – 00:01:21: I think marketing was created as a function to drive sales, drive top of funnel leads or drive customer interest and ultimately convert those interests into actual revenue. But I believe more and more marketing should play a role in leading the discussion internally around prioritizing customer well-being. I think more and more customers are offered a variety of different products. And it’s easy for them to switch between brands. And so marketing plays a huge role in driving a purpose driven program that connects with customers at an emotional, physical and even social level. So I think marketing should transition very clearly internally from just a purely revenue driving contributor to a force for good, enriching the lives of customers and building long lasting, meaningful relationships.

Paul – 00:02:08: I love that Francisco, partly because actually when I was CEO of Havas in the UK, I was a retail founder for two years. And I think when I first came out in the UK, we actually launched the meaningful brand study, which I think you know, and it did look at those different aspects of well-being. Obviously, there’s the function and the utility of a product or services. But obviously, brands help define people. They help define their identity. But they also obviously help define collective interest. And I guess Unilever and people like that have obviously put planet and purpose at the very core of their brands and made marketeers and those in the industry more aware that it’s an important thing. But retailers are quite fast-moving business. And obviously, sometimes it can often be quite challenging to grow in very competitive landscapes and margins can be tough. So how do you balance profit and purpose in a business like Albertsons?

Francisco – 00:02:56: I think even more of a bigger reason why you need to prioritize customer well-being. You’re absolutely right. The retail space is in many ways a commodity market with tight margins, intense competition, and switching costs are quite low. So an average consumer shops at four different grocery types of stores. They could go to an Albertsons or Safeway store, and they could also go to Amazon for another product. They could go to Costco for another product. It’s very easy for them to switch based on what their daily needs are. So there’s little sort of brand affinity when you’re just looking for your regular daily shopping. So in the end, customer retention and lifetime value really come down to product value, quantity and selection, of course, of product. The physical and digital convenience and relationship with customers, meaning do customers enjoy the people that work at that store? For example, do customers look at that brand and believe that their brand really cares for them as individuals and the community they’re part of versus just another wallet? And I think this is where we as retailers really have to do a big mind shift. It’s no longer about 10% off your avocados. Yes, that can drive customer revenue, but everyone else can do the same. So it comes down to. To showing to our customers, putting really the money where our purpose is to drive customer health and well-being. And we’ve done a lot of this this year, more than I believe any other retailer, where we actually took money away from advertising and put it towards rewarding customers for taking daily choices that were healthier or better for them and their household. And not only we’re doing that, but we’re doing a lot more in terms of also show up for our communities and donating millions of food and meals over the last several years.

Paul – 00:04:39: That’s really great to hear because often purpose can be one of those things that gets put in a company statement or talked about, but actually seeing it through and making it kind of authentically part of the business, I think is what convinces customers. I believe from doing some research that you talk as a group about customers for life and that actually, obviously you should play a much bigger role. And from some of the work you’ve done in health and well-being that why wouldn’t a retailer that somebody visits every week actually play a bigger part in? Somebody’s life. So that kind of makes sense to me. Is there anything else that you’ve done recently that you would call out that is very emblematic, I guess, of that purpose living within your marketing?

Francisco – 00:05:21: First, we spent a lot of time talking to customers. We actually built a community of customers that we go frequently to. In nine months, we talked to more than 10,000 customers. And when I say talk, we actually engaged with them in focus groups. We set up one-on-one conversations and we sent out surveys very frequently to the same people. We had a group of customers. And our goal was to understand what’s top of mind for them. And it was very clear, like for them, many of them have two jobs. They care for their family and at times their caregivers as well. They want to eat healthy, but they don’t know how to eat healthy because the information overload is a real thing. They look in the news and they see that sometimes alcohol is bad for you, but other times drinking red wine may be good. They were confused. They go into the grocery stores and then they have all these brands that say zero cholesterol. But then you look into the nutritional label. At USDA guidelines in terms of what is the five different food groups that are right for you, it looks at your allergies, it looks at your goals. I want to lose weight or I want to eat less fat. And next time you’re shopping with us, it recommends how to optimize that basket based on your overall goals, based on USDA guidelines and based on your overall needs. And if you actually decide to accept those recommendations, which by the way, it’s not based on price, it’s simply based on the products you want, we actually give you rewards. And those rewards are often discounted on your grocery bill. And so it’s completely free and rewarding. And it took a lot of time and effort to build an entire organization just to build this platform. And back to showing the purpose for the company, which it also changed with this research. Our purpose now is to bring people together around the joys of food and to inspire well-being.

Paul – 00:07:25: That sounds like iterative marketing to me. And I can see, I mean, obviously you’ve had a long career of focusing the product area. I can see that you’ve had a long career of focusing the product area. I can see that you’ve had a long career of focusing the product area. I can see that you’ve had a long career of focusing the product marketing and the purpose coming together in Sincerely Health. Clearly the ultimate reason for doing it is to connect with people’s emotional and kind of personal well-being, but behind it, you actually build a product. And to me, once you build something tangible that a customer can interact with, that makes purpose a lot more real and a lot more authentic. Have there been challenges in getting a retail business to, especially given you’ve got so many different customer facing brands, like the one that you’re working with, to build a product that’s tangible and that’s a lot more authentic? Have there been challenges in getting a retail business to, especially given you’ve got so many different customer facing brands, to build a product that’s tangible and a lot more authentic? Have there been challenges in getting a retail business to, especially given you’ve got so many different regional nuances of brands? Has there been a challenge to move the overall organization to a single purpose?

Francisco – 00:08:11: When you have a variety of different brands, we have 20 plus different supermarket brands across the United States. And each brand has their own authentic local community feel, right? They have their own branding. They have their own color palette. So to rally everyone behind a purpose really starts from top down. And it starts with the CEO. And the CEO very early on embraced this, empowered everyone to put it as part of their annual operating goals. Tools, not just for marketing, for also the operators, the businesses that operate locally. Prioritizing customer well-being is part of our annual operating goals. And we’re going to be measured on it. For example, for us in marketing, we’re not just going to be measured on how many people are using Sincerely Health, but actually how many people improve their overall well-being. And we know this because we created what we called a health score that looks at your seven dimensions of well-being, physical, nutrition, mental. And there’s a score. You get almost like a FICO. And over time, by taking on the right choices that we recommend for you, that score goes up. And so we are actually measuring and reporting on how many people are improving their health score. And that’s one of our annual operating goals where we are measured on performance. And I think that’s sort of top down. We start every town hall. We start every CEO meeting, every department meeting with customer anecdotes. We want to hear how we are positively impacting customers’ lives. So we are really pushing on every leader to come to those meetings with customer anecdotes that can really show. And it’s really celebrating those wins as well. Every time we hear a customer who says, I’m now a customer for life because I had an injury. I stopped going to my grocery store because I could no longer shop. I’m now in a wheelchair. The store director realized that I wasn’t shopping there anymore. And he contacted my family and they found a way to now bring the groceries that I always order to my home directly to me. And so I’m a customer for life. And I think those are the little things that we really love celebrating. How do we be making people’s lives different and better? In the communities we serve as well. We celebrate a lot the fact that for the holidays, we gave 250,000 gift cards to families who didn’t have enough financial means to put food on the table. We raised over $6 million from customers to support families in need. And we always celebrate these. This is how we start the meeting. And so it starts top down. And when you do that, I think culture prevails. This notion of customer wellbeing comes above profits.

Paul – 00:10:32: That’s phenomenal. And people often use that term meaningful. But once you start to give back to the community, you recognize challenges your customers have got, then it’s much easier to tell those stories about the role you play in their lives, isn’t it? I think you articulated that very nicely. So Francisco, it sounds like marketing has a very kind of important seat at the board table, Albertsons. The fact that it doesn’t sound like it was that challenging to get the CEO to believe in this strategy and to be top down. Could you maybe just touch on that? Because not all marketing leads. Have the support of the board table all the time. We often read a lot about the challenges of does marketing drive business as a growth engine, but it feels like you’ve got a good balance between marketing drives the business, but also marketing plays a key role in the brand story in actual, the connection with the community. So maybe you could share a little bit about how you got to that place.

Francisco – 00:11:26: If you look back at the history of marketing, I think it started in the United States, roughly a hundred plus years ago with the first catalog, there was direct mail to everyone. And that was actually. The product marketing, right? Which was, I think it was the Tiffany’s blue book. And then it was replaced by the catalog. And it was all about featuring products, a value proposition, a mini value proposition for the product and the price. And ever since marketing has evolved very slowly to doing product positioning, to doing branding. But over the last, I would say 15 to 20 years, marketing has really exploded a lot because of technology, but also because now that you can measure a lot more of people’s interactions digitally than you could. And that’s, I think, the key thing that’s really important. There’s a higher expectation that you treat marketing almost like a P and L like your general manager. And I really believe that in order for you to get credibility internally and actually drive change, you have to treat marketing, not just as brand sentiment type of programs, which is important, but actually demonstrate how investments in are going to bring investments. So that how you are going to put in money towards specific programs and you expect those programs to generate money in the long term. So why don’t we talk about purpose-driven marketing? Of course, it’s important. To say customer satisfaction will go up. A customer retention will go up. A lifetime value will go up. But you have to be willing and able to measure exactly what that means. And so for us would be if customers are happier shopping with us because they believe that we care for their health and wellbeing and we demonstrate that we do. Do they shop more frequently post interaction with this new program? Do their basket size go up? Do they, for example, shop other department products that they didn’t before? How are they? How are they referring or recommending us to their family members? So I think you need to find a way to measure all of this. And this is what I do a lot. I actually treat marketing as a P and L. I report every month. I have my, what we call marketing monthly reviews. And I show all the investments that go in terms of headcount, staffing vendors, then investments in advertising, investments in discounts and promotions, loyalty programs. And then I demonstrate exactly how each dollar is impacting our overall mission purpose. And the return on that, not just return on ad spend, but also showing direct attribution to the business from market investments. And I think you get credibility from that. And then you get freedom to experiment because people are noticing that you’re really driving impact and value. And if you have an idea you want to experiment with, like, hey, we’re going to take 30 to 40% of our advertising dollars and put it towards rewarding customers for their healthy decisions. You get that freedom because you’ve been able to demonstrate that you drive impact and you’re going to show us whether or not that actually drives impact over time.

Paul – 00:14:04: I like that because one, you talk about holistic marketing effectiveness, like even to the extent of looking at all the headcount and the vendors and all of the parts of the equation, not just return on ad spend, but also it sounds like it’s a very proactive bringing new metrics to the table and projecting and forecasting what will happen. Whereas often marketing can sometimes be a little bit post the event, this is what happens. So that sounds like a really good way to do it. So obviously the purpose bit, you’ve been able to prove the kind of commercial value of that you joined Albertsons with a long history of product marketing expertise. I’m really interested in how that expertise has been brought to a retailer because someone like an Uber that you obviously worked at has like a different mindset. They’re kind of technology based software, test and learn, iterative, agile. Retailers obviously came from a different world, brick and mortar can sometimes be a little bit more challenging. So tell us a little bit about that. Tell us how you changed that culture that led to something like the products that you talked about launching earlier.

Francisco – 00:15:07: I think Uber was an incredible learning platform for me. It’s a company that has disruption at the heartbeat of day-to-day operations. They prioritize action over perfection. They are really pushing employees to fail fast, learn fast, experiment, innovate, launch. If you’re launching a product or marketing when it’s perfect, then you’re too late to the market. That’s essentially the mentality that they had. But they’re very data-driven. So even though they experiment and test, they do that to gain data access, to learn customer behaviors, are driving the most sort of engagement on the platform. And I think coming to Albertsons, where there was no product marketing when I joined Albertsons, I actually was the first leader to build a product marketing function, mostly because as a retailer, outside of your private label products, you really don’t have your own products. It’s mostly CPG products you’re carrying in your stores. And so a lot of times when I mentioned product marketing, certainly in the beginning, the assumption was you got to promote specific products. In reality, what I tried to bring in is product marketing is sort of this agent. That sits between product tech and marketing or even sales in the case of B2B. And it really tried to sort of build a customer journey map. And it’s important to understand that customer journey online and offline. All the things that they’re feeling, what they need, what they want, the pain points, the challenges, what channels they use to communicate pre, during, and post interaction with the brand. And I think that was sort of unique to bring to a retailer because it helps us identify opportunities in that journey where there are gaps. Yeah. That we can compliment with either in-store experiences or digital features and services. And so over the last two years that I’ve been here, we’ve launched a ton of new digital services and features. And it was all because we started to get deeper into that customer journey. So I think that’s what product marketing brings, which is different than traditional CPG marketing, which is mostly thinking about how do we position the product in store, whether it’s a top shelf or middle shelf, or it’s quite different approach. It’s more thinking holistically. Let’s bring the offline and online. We’re all together and build a better overall customer experience.

Paul – 00:17:10: I think that’s a really beautiful way of articulating it. And that focus on the customer journey also strikes me as a really interesting one for retail and manufacturers overall. In fact, I wrote a piece a few weeks ago about clearly the buyer-seller relationship with retail media has dramatically changed because products and services are going the other way suddenly. And unless you really think about the role of advertising as well as product and basket in the same mindset, then there’s a challenge that maybe the customer experience suffers. And I know when you were at UberEats, you launched the advertising product. So how do you personally think about the retail media side? I know that’s not part of your remit, but how do you think about suddenly Albertsons being in the business of selling media and advertising as well as kind of all the other things that you’ve talked about?

Francisco – 00:17:57: We do have an entire division called Albertsons Media Collective, which is dedicated to bringing in brands to advertise across our platforms. I think it’s a great opportunity. And I say this because we all want to know what products are best for the type of journey we are on and if there’s discounts on those products. I think if advertising feel like contextually relevant, it feels like it’s adding value. We all love advertising. I don’t think anybody would refuse walking inside the store and looking for, let’s say, potato chips. And then suddenly something popped up on my phone that says there’s $15 off a couple different brands. I mean, I think that would be contextual. I think that would be relevant and saving on my grocery bill. And I think it’s great that you’re letting me know. I think the challenge today is that there’s so many brands advertising. There’s so many products out there. And at times advertising is not contextual. It’s not elevating your customer experience. So I think the goal for us is once we launch the AMC division is to integrate it really carefully with the overall customer journey, whether you’re shopping online or you’re shopping in store. For example, you can be shopping in store using our in-store mode. And suddenly. You can look at the different brands as you walk through the aisle, almost like augmented reality style, telling you where you have discounts and opportunities to save on your overall grocery bill today. And I think that’s really contextual versus me being at home and being featured advertising when I’m not in the shopping behavior mode. I think that’s how we need to evolve overall. Every retailer needs to do this is to use advertising as a way to enhance their customer experience, not as a way to just sell ad placement.

Paul – 00:19:35: Listening to you talk, you obviously think a lot about omnichannel and how along that journey, different touch points have an impact as long as you get those touchpoints right. And as you say, if advertising becomes a positive touchpoint in that, then why wouldn’t a consumer embrace it in that way? So you also regularly come back to the point about being data-driven and you clearly, obviously, are monetizing that data on the retail media side, but also I assume using it to build these new, more personalized experiences, the experiences around wellbeing. So to you, what does data-driven mean in today’s marketing world? Because everyone says they’ve got lots of data, but often it’s about the actual customer data strategy behind it. And the other side aspect to that that I’m interested in, because obviously when you build new products, you usually need to connect between marketing and IT. And I guess product marketing often sits somewhere between. So how do you think about the data side of that and the relationship? With the technology engineering teams, I guess.

Francisco – 00:20:35: It goes back to my original point to establish credibility with product and tech teams, to get a seat at the table in the early development of solutions, you really have to be data-driven. Those teams respect data. They look at data as a way to make decisions. And in the old days, marketing had this perception of being very feeling-driven. I have a sense that this is right for customers because it sounds good. I think nowadays your key partners, tech and product, they want to see that you have data to back that up. And so when I first came, my very first hire was a director of customer insights. I wanted to make sure that we had that foundation for what I call the marketing organization, which is everything we do is driven by insights from our customers. And so we built that foundation, built that groundwork. Now that team that sits in the marketing is even helping UX teams and tech teams uncovering insights around product experience, around NPS. And so you build credibility that way with IT teams. The second element is when they launch a product or a service, they’re going to be able to make decisions about the data side of it. And so they want that data to be successful out there in the world. When you actually are able to demonstrate how your work is helping product adoption, is helping to grow in specific segments, customer behavior, and you can actually come back and say, there’s five different types of customers that engage with your product. These other customers are more likely to do X, and these other customers are more likely to do Y. Then they get inspired to go back and redesign their roadmap. And this is how you start to really thrive, really change internally. So when I say I’m very data-driven, I mean it from a customer perspective, but also from a metrics perspective. I like to say that marketing, at the very minimum, have four main categories of metrics you report on. There’s customer metrics that I just mentioned, brand sentiment, net promoter scores, customer growth and retention, gauge emotional connections, then engagement channel metrics. These are the typical metrics that performance marketing reports, such as customer reach, downloads, and clicks, and website visits. Then you have performance metrics, which is return on ad spend, customer acquisition cost, customer action, marketing ROI. And then you have your business metrics, which is how much of the total sales for this month were directly attributed to marketing. How many of that was incremental? And I’m actually taking a step further this year. And instead of just looking at sales, I want to look at profit and EBITDA, because it’s one thing to bring in a bunch of quantity of customers, but you want to bring quality customers as well. So you want to actually look at, am I bringing in customers, who actually have higher basket sizes or who actually use our pharmacy and have prescriptions that are 90-day fills, for example, because we also manage pharmacies. So it’s looking at what’s the overall EBITDA impact, not just top line revenue. So that’s where I’m currently working on to actually help demonstrate even deeper the impact of marketing to the organization.

Paul – 00:23:23: And I heard you call out incrementality. Are you looking at that from individual things that we’ve done to prove the incrementality of individual programs?

Francisco – 00:23:31: Absolutely. In fact, our annual operating goals are all incrementality based. So for example, if this year, I’m just going to use a random number, not the actual number, but let’s say this year we drove $300 million in incremental revenue. So the expectation for next year is that you’re going to drive the baseline revenue plus that $300 million plus another incremental. And so that’s what we measured on ourselves. It’s the incremental year over year, period over period, and quarter over quarter. And sometimes our goals are very aggressive. But like my manager normally says, we shoot for the moon. And if we land in the stars, we land in a good place. And so that’s the goal.

Paul – 00:24:06: That’s a good mantra. We talked about the customer data side. And I know the loyalty part is obviously a key part of your customers for life proposition and providing rewards. And clearly it kind of sits in between the marketing and the retail media. And I think that’s a key piece once loyalty is such a large part of your proposition. What are you doing in that space to innovate, particularly given, like you said, you have 20 or different brands with slightly different flavors, I’m imagining, of loyalty? How do you manage at that scale kind of that personalization for each brand whilst creating some consistency?

Francisco – 00:24:39: That’s something that the team is very actively working on. We have almost, I believe, 36 to 39 million loyalty customers that shop with us frequently. We serve 55 million households. That’s roughly 70 to 80 million customers. And we have a lot of opportunity to grow our loyalty base. So if we know that we have 55 million households, but we only serve between 36 to 39 million customers on our loyalty program, how can we get more customers in? And I think it comes down to number one, still very clearly communicating the value of our loyalty program. That the loyalty program is nationwide. That even though you’re shopping at a local Safeway, if you decide to go to Jewel-Osco in Illinois or to a Tom Tom’s in Dallas, that loyalty program is the same, that you’ll still earn rewards, that we’re one connected family. I think that requires still a lot of education because it’s easier for a Walmart or for a Kroger to do that because they have a national brand. Since we are a house of brands, it’s a lot more complicated to communicate that value locally. So we need to continue to do that, educate. But also to your point, loyalty needs to be personalized. And this is where the team is working on currently. I can’t divulge much. But I think it’s important to do that. I think most brands are working on personalization. Anyhow, our goal is how do we make sure that you’re earning rewards that can be redeemed for things you actually care about? At times, traditionally, and I mean this not just for Albertsons, but other retailers that I shopped in the past, you get a bunch of rewards and then you go hard, you redeem rewards and other things that I really don’t care for. Like you can redeem this for sonas, like I don’t drink sonas. So you want to earn rewards that have value to you personally. And maybe that is within our product basket, but also could be experiences. So what if you can earn rewards? And redeem those rewards for discounts to a fitness gym, for example. So these are things we’re working on. How do we enhance your overall lifestyle and well-being? We really mean it. And so it’s not just about rewards to exchange for products in store. It’s also about well-being means everything also outside the grocery store. And so how can we extend rewards to health and well-being outside the grocery store?

Paul – 00:26:42: Nice. And I think that connects back nicely with what you talked earlier about wanting to have a bigger role in your customers’ lives and in the communities that they live because clearly retail is a big part of their world, but it’s not all of their world. Also, listening to you, Francisco, it sounds like we should probably expect… Some more innovation in the intersection of product and purpose? Because it sounds like that’s a cool focus for you moving forward.

Francisco – 00:27:06: Without a doubt. We built an entire product org that didn’t exist. So two years ago, I was hired and my partner that leads product was hired. And today he has over 40 people on his team, really just building new solutions for customers. So we’re really looking at the customer journey, identifying opportunities to build more and more product experiences that add convenience, add value. So we have some exciting things already planned for Q1 of next year. So we’re excited to talk about those.

Paul – 00:27:34: Well, I won’t push you to give us any more insight into that because I know you won’t be able to. So we’ll take a little bit of a segue now more to you, what you see and some of your personal view, Francisco. So the first question, you’ve obviously gone through a particular path to get to where you are and you’re now… One thing I really hear from what you’ve said is you’re really connecting the different parts of marketing together. With other parts of the org, which is always a challenge for marketing. And I think it takes great leaders to do that. You’ve obviously grown up with a real focus on data-driven and launching new products insight-driven. So I’m just interested in what you think some of the attributes of the CMO of the future will be. We’ve gone through some iteration. We’re now in a marketing landscape, which is probably much more data and science-driven than it’s ever been versus, to your point, feeling-driven. So what do you think, White? What might change in the next five to 10 years?

Francisco – 00:28:27: I think you’re absolutely spot on. Nowadays, there’s expectations that the CMO needs to have a high data literacy. And I think that’s important to continue to drive personalized marketing programs. You need to understand data to actually influence decisions internally. So I think that’s one that is very clear. What I also think it’s going to be more and more of an expectation is that CMOs can act as general managers. That even though they came from a pure marketing track, that they’ve only done marketing, that they are able to run an entire department as if they were a GM running a business. And I think that’s how they get credibility at this level, versus someone who’s more thought of when they need to change branding, when they need to change customer relationships with the brand. I think it comes down to how do you show that you’re a growth driver to the organization? And I think CMOs need to more and more feel comfortable getting into the depths of the business, the weeds of the business, which is something personally I have to work on a lot more too. And so I think data, data-driven, but acting as a GM. And then finally, CMOs also need to be able to be change agents, not just in marketing, but across the organization, drive product forward. I think most CMOs in the old days were comfortable with taking what product was building or what the business side was delivering and then promoting that. But I think the CMO of the future is expected to have a strong voice in influencing that decision of what’s going to be built next. And again, it goes back to being very customer-centric and data-driven.

Paul – 00:29:54: So very customer-centric. Very commercial and much, much more than comms. I think it’s a good summary from what you shared. And you touched on it yourself that you’re working on some other areas and people are listening to you, Francisco, and think, well, you worked at Uber, you’ve got a Stanford degree, you’re very smart. I can’t do that. But I’m sure like all of us, there are things that you’re still working on to get better at. So would you mind being vulnerable for a second and sharing some of those with our listeners?

Francisco – 00:30:23: Absolutely. I come from very humble beginnings. I grew up in a farm in Portugal, in Europe, and I moved throughout my career and I’ve failed a lot. But I also think that failure for me was a catapult for great learning. And so I keep failing today because I want to experiment and not be afraid of admitting what I was wrong, because I feel like it’s another opportunity for me to polish my professional persona. So I’m still working on getting deep into the business. It’s very comfortable for me to lean into the things that I’m very experienced at, like marketing, brand, product marketing. But I really want to get deeper into how the business is ran, because I feel like if I go to a level like to EBITDA, how is EBITDA being calculated at this business? Because it’s very different than Uber. I can start to understand how can marketing influence and impact EBITDA, which ultimately is an even more important metric than sales, because that’s how the health of the business, the cash flow of the business is calculated. So I think that’s one element. Another element that I really want to improve is being more present. When you get more and more responsibilities, you get more busier and your mind really sort of is trying to do multiple things at the same time. And I’ve noticed that happening with me when I have meetings or even one-on-ones with my team members and suddenly I’m being pinged and I’m responding while they’re trying to talk to me and share what they need help and support. And so I’ve started to notice that I need to work a lot more on being a hundred percent present in that moment with that associate. Or just in, even in my personal life, I’ve noticed that I bring a lot more of myself to the table and I can really drive more impact if I have good work-life harmony. And I don’t say balance because for people, balance is a personal thing. Like some people may want to work on the weekend because they enjoy their work, right? So who’s to say what’s balanced, but I think harmony, when you can blend your personal life and work life, when you have enough time for your children and family, then you come more energized to work and your personality is different. You’re happier. You don’t feel guilty. The other day I read something which was circulating around as a meme, which was the only people are going to remember you work late are your kids. And so that like touched me because I felt like, yes, it’s true. So how do I make sure that my kids don’t ever think that? And at the same time can still come and bring my best personality to work. And I think once you have that work-life harmony, even your employees, your teams will see that. And so it’s something I need to work on more, not just getting deep into work, but also bringing some of my personal life into work because that’s what I’m doing. And I think that’s what I’m doing. It brings my authentic self.

Paul – 00:32:51: Thank you for sharing that, Francisco. I think both of those messages are super important. One, that failure is only a step towards success ultimately. And we know that yet we were uncomfortable with it. And secondly, the fact that we are the people we touch, that’s the impact we make. And I love how you connected that back to the real purpose behind all of the marketing work you’re doing, but also to get that balance right. Cause I’m pretty sure that all of us. That have been driven in our careers have allowed our work to become too much of our identity over time. And sometimes you need to stop and rebalance it. It doesn’t mean you stop caring or putting passion into work. It just means you get the right harmony to your point. So that’s a really nice place to leave the end of the podcast. So all that remains for me to do is to thank you for your time.

Francisco – 00:33:37: Thank you. This was wonderful. Really enjoyed it. And I can’t wait to listen to it.

Paul – 00:33:41: Likewise. Appreciate your time, Francisco.

Francisco – 00:33:44: Thank you.

Paul – 00:33:45: Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Time For a Reset. I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did. We’ll be back talking to a senior marketeer very soon. Make sure you don’t miss out on any new episodes by subscribing on Apple or Spotify.

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