#MediaSnack Meets

32 - Rob Rakowitz, Mars

May 08, 2019 Episode 32
#MediaSnack Meets
32 - Rob Rakowitz, Mars
Chapters
00:00:00
Introduction
00:02:26
Show notes
00:02:42
Welcome Rob
00:03:39
Role of a Global Media Director
00:07:35
How to prioritize what you need to do
00:10:29
What is Media Transformation?
00:14:09
Important to get CMO's support
00:16:33
How did Mars work together in Media Transformation
00:17:06
Team cycling as inspiration
00:21:26
Tips for managing complex change
00:25:45
Media Sustainability
00:31:02
The risks of a race to the bottom on costs
00:31:57
Sources of inspiration and motivation
00:35:20
Hope for the future
00:37:50
Future guests
#MediaSnack Meets
32 - Rob Rakowitz, Mars
May 08, 2019 Episode 32
ID Comms
Interview with Rob Rakowitz, Global Media Director, Mars - Episode 32
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

How can you make your company the best at media?

What is the roadmap and actions you need to take to transform the complex media operations of a major company?

How do you inspire success and drive change within a giant global marketing organization like Mars Incorporated?

These are just some of the amazing insights shared in this #MediaSnack Meets with Rob Rakowitz the Global Media Director of Mars, one of the world's largest advertisers. 

We get tips from Rob on:


Rob also shares his huge passion for promoting 'Media Sustainability' to protect the long term health of the global advertising industry.


Episode Links:


Rob Rakowitz LinkedIn

Rob Rakowitz Twitter

The Global Alliance for Responsible Media

Truth, Lies & Advertising by Jon Steel

Hooked by Nir Eyal

Space Race by Jim Taylor

Bob Hoffman, aka The AdContrarian 

Scott Galloway 'The FOUR'

Rob Norman Twitter


Tom Denford:
0:01
Hello everyone. I'm Tom Denford, cofounder of ID Comms. Welcome to episode 32 of #MediaSnack MEETS. Recorded each week in New York, we get to meet the individuals and organizations doing great work to inspire success and drive change within the global media and marketing industry. In each episode, we find out what is behind that success, what it takes to make change in the industry, and what the rest of us can learn from that experience. My guest for this episode is Rob Rakowitz, the global media director of Mars, one of the world's largest advertisers, and Rob is based here in New York. There has been a lot of discussion over recent years about transformation. Digital transformation, media transformation...what does that actually mean? Well, Rob is one person with a very good answer to that, and at Mars he's led a two year program to completely change the way that Mars thinks about media, shifting it wholly from being seen as a cost to the business, and instead, to be seen as an important investment in the company's future growth. Now, this is far harder than it sounds; needing him to secure close alignment across the business, as to the current media operating model, and then being sure that everyone agreed where they wanted to go. And it also required a very clear mandate from Rob's boss, the Global Chief Marketing Officer of Mars, Andrew Clarke, to be able to implement the changes that they needed. Those of you that know Rob, know that he's a very accomplished competitive cyclist, representing team USA in international competition, and he credits a lot of his professional success to what he learned on the road as part of a team which has to work seamlessly together as one in order to win. Inspired by the possibilities of effective teamwork, Rob is also one of the most passionate advocates for the industry to take more responsibility for where advertising dollars flow, and he's been working hard to bring together his peers at other major advertisers to form an alliance for responsible media, to tackle what he calls our industry's "ocean plastic." It's an important message. In this episode we cover a lot. We discuss Rob's view of the role of a Global Media Director and how he manages the priorities in that role across a vast organization like Mars. And he shares the scope of the company's recent media transformation program and the advantages of having a CMO supporting the change. And we discussed the importance of thinking about the longterm sustainability of the global media industry. You can check the full show notes for this episode, including a transcript, at mediasnackpodcast.com. But without further delay, please enjoy this fascinating and highly insightful interview with the Global Media Director of Mars, Rob Rakowitz.
Tom Denford:
2:43
Rob, welcome to #MediaSnack MEETS.
Rob Rakowitz:
2:45
Thank you for having me, Tom.
Tom Denford:
2:46
So, you are another Global Media Director gracing the #MediaSnack MEETS podcast studio. I really want to dig in again to what it's like to be a Global Media Director because--and we have spoken to a number of people that we know, you and I have mutual friends in that similar kind of role--and I think they're all different. Let's find out what your experience has been for the last four, five years as Global Media Director of Mars. Before we get there, I just wanted to reference the fact that you and I did a panel, didn't we? Earlier this year for the 4A's, which is the trade body representing US agencies, and we were talking there about the role of a Global Media Director or Media Director's role and how that's evolving or has evolved, and how that now is having an implication on how agencies work and what work is being brought in house and different changes of control. So can we start there? Let's just talk about from your experience of the last four years, what is a Global Media Director; what's the job actually involve?
Rob Rakowitz:
3:46
Absolutely. So, why don't we start about where it is today? It's drastically different. There's definitely a lot of, what I would say, is connecting and building. You basically start out connecting media to different parts of the organization because at first you're probably going to walk into an organization and might see that media is not as well connected over to creative. That to me is almost like level one, right? Then, what you're going to want to do, is make sure that it's better connected to the rest of the marketing ecosystem. Is it connected to the other things that you're doing within communications--if you will. Then, getting into things like e-commerce, technology, data, shopper marketing, all of these different areas. This is primarily what you're doing, because ultimately, at the end of the day, the media element on it is probably the tip of the spear in terms of what consumers experience. It's also probably where we invest the most money, and it's probably the sort of canary in the coal mine for change. What you find that you're doing, is you're doing a lot of internal connections to different disciplines. At the same time, you're actually doing a lot of connections of your own organization into an agency or an agency operating model, depending on how far you actually push that, and then also working with the select partners that you have, whether it's a research partner, whether it happens to be certain media publishers as well, platforms, etc. So, what you're doing, is you're almost going back to the 1950's switchboard where an operator is just pulling on different cords and cables and plugging them in and making the right sort of connections. And ultimately, that's what the Media Director has sort of evolved into is that; you're just driving really good connections. At the same time, what you're doing, is you're making some calls, and you're doing those calls either as a sort of sole practitioner expert and sort of saying, "Look," setting the vision and being able to say, "This is the sense that we need to take," setting a little bit of policy. But at the same time, what you've got to do is also marshal people around that policy and that vision, because otherwise you're going to run out of steam very quickly. So, what you're doing, is you're also setting vision, but you're also creating ways for people to engage with it. So, it's a very, very different role, because what that had been historically was, I would say, a little bit slower moving--a little bit more staff oriented. I think this becomes much more around systems-oriented. And I would say that would ultimately be the from-to in terms of where I've seen the role be historically, versus where I think it is today. It used to be very much about one size fits all--kind of set a direction. This one tends to be much more--when you talk about systems--about exploring different models and making sure that an organization can actually scale to it.
Tom Denford:
6:55
So, it's a big, big role, is what we're saying, and it's spreads you thin across lots of different parts of the business, internally and externally. I think at the 4A's, you said "the role of mushroom"--it's expanded significantly. And other guests have said similar things. Is that, particularly that global role, because you're seen as a go-to internally to be the specialist in some very deep areas--which I'm sure we'll come on to discuss--yet from the outside, for your external partners, that's fragmented in many places; that you have to work with lots of different types of agencies now these days. How on earth do you figure out on a daily basis what the priorities are going to be in the short term and also longterm? What should be the responsibilities of that role? Because you cannot be the expert on everything the whole time.
Rob Rakowitz:
7:53
And you can't be present everywhere the whole time.
Tom Denford:
7:56
So how do you make those decisions?
Rob Rakowitz:
7:57
Yeah, so, I liken it a lot to plate spinning. This is actually something that one of our Global Brand Directors once told me when I asked, "Look, how are you successful in your role?" And he shared with me this analogy of plate spinning, because quite honestly, it's sort of recognizing that there are priorities and you've got to keep certain things under certain momentum so they don't come crashing down. And at the same time, what you've got to do, is also embrace the fact that certain plates are going to fall to the floor. So, I definitely think that is the right analogy. I think I've been very fortunate about working with folks who have been able to help embrace a vision and a sort of roadmap for change. What that's allowed us to do is really set what the priorities are and be able to say that less is actually more, and making sure that we're actually moving what we would call internally, some "big rocks" around media. So, it allows us to sort of say, "Okay, priority this year is going to be around talent, training and structure." It's going to be around making sure that we embed data and analytics, for instance, and saying that, "Okay, we are going to let go of certain other things that we might have done the year prior; or that we know are going to be the next year after." I think the focusing mechanism that you can have internally with stakeholders, internally with your own team, can help. Look, I think that there's absolutely whack-a-mole issues that we have as it relates to brand safety. For some reason, they always manage to happen Friday, end of day, UK, which always has a sort of knock-on effect in terms of the US; but what you also have to do, is allow yourself a little bit of slack to deal with what would be a little bit of an urgent issue, not necessarily a crisis that you have to pay attention to.
Tom Denford:
10:00
And you can sometimes calm some of those excited responses. When Youtube is on the front page of the newspapers, this isn't a trade press issue or a small little industry bubble issue; as soon as it becomes a national news story, then you have very senior people within your organization start to ask questions--shareholders or other external influential people--and people start knocking on your door. You have to have a point of view. Lots of people have been talking about transformation and media and changing the way large companies think about media, but you've been actually doing it for the last two or three years. What has change meant in your organization and what's the kind of journey that you've been on? Because you've led Mars into some really interesting work and media now.
Rob Rakowitz:
10:49
Yep, so that's a wonderful question. The scope of change within media, or the transformation if you will, is sort of broadened and it's deepened in the sense that now, it's starting to look at what I would say is three different areas, or three different levels of change. First one, is organization and where does media actually plug in? So, we talked earlier about the connections. The second area, or the second level of change, is really this idea of people and capabilities. So, do you have the right people on the bus? Are there skills or training that you can actually do to actually make sure that they can scale to the future of media? And then I would say the third area of change is ultimately in the way that campaigns are built, connected and deployed and measured. So, I think that, ultimately, we've been dealing with change at those three levels for the last five-plus years in Mars. I've been on board nearly five years. I would say that the amplification of the change at those three levels has modulated or been more accentuated differently in few phases of change that we've had. The first phase that we had, quite literally, was going from this idea of all media reach being equal, to actually becoming more selective around media and actually scaling up and behaving like a global organization. That was the first phase. And I would say that that probably dealt more with thinking and operating, less around campaign, but not really around the organizational connection. Our next phase started to deal with that a bit more, which is where we are currently. And it's now saying media is not just a way of getting advertising out the door. It's not a cost. It's actually an investment in growth. It's connected to these different areas of the business. It's probably first and fastest in terms of using consumer data or behavioral data at scale to think about the way that we invest in media, the way that we optimize a campaign and the way that we actually measure one. It's absolutely fascinating, because what you do, is you actually see the changes in the marketplace, changes in the industry, changes in sort of the organization. Me, as Global Media Director, I am basically a defender of the craft internally and an ambassador for the industry, because I think it's very, very easy for us, as Global Media Directors, to focus in on what is it that the organization actually needs versus actually being able to step back and say, look, what is the big picture here? What is the meta trend that we're actually facing into? And that to me is absolutely fascinating and that, I think, has been a different level of consciousness that I've been able to grow. And I think it's been able to add some value, I'd like to think, in terms of the way that we look at it and also the way that we've been talking to the industry; the way that we've been partnering MediaCom with some of our research partners--with you guys--as external consultants in terms of helping us from a benchmarking perspective. So, I absolutely think that that level of consciousness has been absolutely transformational for me.
Tom Denford:
14:06
I think it's an advantage, but you're going to tell me the advantage of having a CMO who was very interested and then very supportive in this role. I'm going to assume the answer here, but how important is that, to have a CMO interested in media?
Rob Rakowitz:
14:23
Yeah, I think that sponsorship absolutely is a key ingredient for success in media and then also, in a Global Media Director's role. I think that if you don't have the sponsorship, then they can very easily just become a talking head and a puppet. That's not what you want. You want an executive sponsor who is going to be able to say, "Look, there's a need to change here," and is actually going to sign on the dotted line and say, "I believe in this case for change. I believe in this vision and we are going to do something about it." What's more to that, is you want to make sure that that Declaration of Independence or the Constitution on media if you will, has other signatories to it--the other key partners that you're going to have in the business. In making sure that sponsorship goes beyond just one person and becomes a sort of leadership team buy in and people actually endorse it and want to embrace it. And that's ultimately where you're going to see better results. What you don't want to do, is actually do something in private and have it be a surprise on people. And we actually have seen that ourselves, historically, and we learned from those lessons and we said, "If we want to go fast, if we want to go far, the best thing that we can do is share the vision, enroll people--almost like these concentric circles out--to make sure that you actually scale the effect of change.
Tom Denford:
15:52
To be honest, as an observer of that process that you've gone through--because we've been privileged to work with you through some of this--observing your ability to bring the organization with you...having a CMO sponsor is great, but that doesn't then give you the right to take a vast global organization with you. You then still have to build all of those relationships. And I think sometimes that's has been the largest barrier to change in big, conglomerate or multinational/multi-divisional businesses, is that you're not dealing with people that you have necessarily any kind of leverage or influence over naturally. Even with the CMO's sponsorship and mandate, you still have to build support through a network of lots of different businesses, spread across many different geographies, time zones, languages, different media markets and different principles. That's a huge commitment; the will to go do that. But what's your learning been? Because I've observed some of it and it's been really impressive the way that the organization came together, but I think that's one of the biggest barriers for other companies to succeed. How did Mars make that happen?
Rob Rakowitz:
17:09
I took personal inspiration from my life outside of work. I am a competitive cyclist. I've been very fortunate that it's been a natural ability that I sort of discovered a number of years ago. In that, I also discovered true leadership and what that actually means and what it means to be part of a team. And I'm sort of very intentional about the words "being part of a team." And this is actually something that our team founder, our 'Directeur Sportif', on the cycling team is very intentional about; that there's a big difference in terms of being in a group and then being part of a team.
Tom Denford:
17:46
Just to be clear on that--you've been really modest here--but you compete at not just national, but international level; you represent the country in cycling. So, you travel around the world. This is not like a weekend hobby. You do know what you're talking about.
Rob Rakowitz:
18:01
Ultimately, that idea of being part of a team really has a good deal of responsibility to each other; that you are not always going to be the person who is going to win; sometimes you might actually be playing a support role. And it's something that I started to get on to when I was over on the agency side when I was leading teams. Ultimately team leadership comes down to three things: it's ABC. Accountability: are you actually doing your job? Are you supporting the mission? Belonging: are we creating a comfortable place where people can actually be themselves and contribute and contribute honestly? And then Communication: when stuff is changing around you and things are moving really quickly, do you have the ability to communicate seamlessly to share the same ethos? Are you sending the same message to other people that are out there? Personally, outside of work, I've seen this play out in a road race and it's been absolutely inspiring to actually see a team be fluid and actually work together. I've seen it all. I've been able to bring it into work and have seen some pretty dicey situations come up in some major decisions, whether it happens to be around selecting an agency partner, structuring something in terms of a technology provider, data--whatever it happens to be--and people actually being able to embrace that. They're going to be people who are going to be ambassadors for change. There are people who are going to be catalysts for change and be able to be clear about who is going to play what role and what is the Dream Team that I need to enlist around me that's going to help me 1) be better, but 2) actually reach this goal. And it was really good because when we did, when we were saying ,"We are going to do this transformation agenda," we did sit down and we did say, "Who's the Dream Team?" Who can actually say, "I'm not going to be part of a group, but I'm going to be part of a team." And it was very clear and we've heard some very frank conversations as we were going through things where it's like, okay guys, let's pare back here; let's gauge where we are; let's talk about these tensions honestly. And you're able to go a lot deeper, a lot more intimate, much like the way that you would be if you're hanging on somebody's wheel in a draft on a bike at 35 miles an hour, you're able to know exactly what's going to happen if you're in a meeting with a bunch of different stakeholders, either internally or externally, you want to be able to know what direction that person's going to take when they're actually fielding the question. So, it's that same level of intimacy except it's just different context.
Tom Denford:
20:56
So, I know it's taken a lot to bring the organization together that; it's taken a huge amount of work for you to build those relationships and that's hard work. And so, for other marketers that might be listening to this, that are at the bottom of that mountain, over there at the base camp looking up and thinking, "We're learning from other businesses, and we know we have to influence this kind of change," but it's an overwhelming task across a very large organization. And I hear from many other Global Media Directors who had similar roles to you, but now they are saying, "I don't know even know where to really start,"--trying to tease out interest in the organization, but they know they have to do something. You've been through that, now.
Rob Rakowitz:
21:42
I've had people come up to being like, "Oh wow, the relationship and the collaboration that you have with X or with Y within your organization is unbelievable. I've never seen it before. It's totally inspirational." That to me is almost like an amazing legacy to have. It's being clear about who you're going to partner up with and who you're going to ally with. And look, you cannot ally with everybody. You cannot partner with everybody. You've got to realize this is about concentric circles. Who are my critical contacts and relationships? Who are those people's critical contacts and relationships? And then, just making sure that you have a clear way of connecting and influencing and inspiring people to do things differently in media. I would say competitive advantage areas are not about cracking an idea. It's about people. It's about technology, it's about tools. It's about learning. If you're not actually bringing together people in a community, if you're not driving intentional scaled decisions, then you're not going to reach your full potential. So, I'd say that if you don't do certain things, then you will probably not realize the full potential of media. It will probably continue to be looked at as a cost within your organization, not as a lever for growth.
Tom Denford:
23:05
So, I think now there are many that are toying with the idea but do not quite know where to start. But, our advice is always start internally with the organization to identify the team. We talk about being more of an engineer because you have to build the system, right? You have more than just being an evangelist. You can't just be the smartest media person in the organization and that's enough. You've got to bring them with you.
Rob Rakowitz:
23:28
Yeah. And you don't want to be the smartest person in the room all the time or forever. I think that what you almost have to do, is imagine your own obsolescence or a great transfer. And I think that great transfer is in this idea of ownership. I think a lot of people talk nowadays about control and I just think it's a very defensive word. The more emboldened, powerful, hopeful word is ownership or leadership, right? Because at the end of the day, you are putting a lot of money out there into the marketplace. You are doing a lot of things in terms of data and technology. If you do not have a sense of, "What is my strategy, why am I doing it and how?" then you don't have ownership. I think that a lot of this debate over in-housing and a lot of these finger-pointings of agencies to clients back and forth, I think it's a signal of people who are grasping for ownership and ultimately, that's the root cause. If you address it, then a lot of these tensions tend to dissipate.
Tom Denford:
24:41
And could ownership be shared across those two parties? Or are we saying that there's a responsibility for the advertiser to take more ownership?
Rob Rakowitz:
24:49
I think that the advertiser definitely needs to be the first one to make the move or the step--I'm a horrible dancer, so this analogy is never going to work--but the advertiser's role is to set the tone. But ultimately, ownership, can scale over two parties and it can be an agency, it can be a consultancy if the terms are absolutely correct and the team actually operates across the organization, in a way where the differences in email addresses become a non-issue. Then you've got a really magical thing. And I've been in those situations when I've been on the client side, I've been in the situations when I've been on the agency side as well. And the role of a Global Media Director is making sure that that can actually happen.
Tom Denford:
25:45
That's very good. So, let's talk about what you've been calling "media sustainability," which I love the idea of and I think is something which you've been championing for a little while now and trying to encourage the industry to just take a little bit more responsibility about where media dollars go. And it's something that you've been speaking about on conference stages and it's a really good message. And I know you're gently lobbying your peers, your other global media leaders in other organizations, to share that. So, explain to us what you mean by media sustainability and what we should be doing about it.
Rob Rakowitz:
26:27
Media is, in essence, an ecosystem. You've got the advertiser/marketer, you've got an agency, you've got publishers, you've got consumers, you've got regulatory bodies, technology, data firms, etc. Right now, when you actually look at it, there are lot of boogeymen out there in the sense that there's a dark side to the industry. We've got ad fraud, we've got unfair payment terms, we've got brand safety issues, we've got consumer data privacy issues, we've got lack of regulation, uneven regulation. It makes for a healthy, thriving media industry, difficult. You could actually argue that ad blocking is symptomatic of this ecosystem that is out of whack. If you have to then say, "Okay, well if we have to accept that this is all a web and it's an ecosystem, then where did these tensions actually start?" I think first and foremost what we've got to accept is that we, as clients, are not asking for media costs that are unsustainable. We are not asking for payment terms that are equivalent of using your agency as a bank. If you're saying, "Look, agency, I expect you to take a loss and a double loss--meaning a loss on payment terms and a loss on inventory costs and dipping into your value pot"--that's where non-transparent business practices happen. That's where ad fraud becomes a, "I'm not going to see it, because at the end of the day my client needs to see traffic at a certain CPM level." We've got to actually recognize that there are some dominoes that were dropped first and the people who dropped those first dominoes need to actually acknowledge it. So, what we've been pushing for is this idea of more mutuality, and this is actually absolutely one of our five principles at Mars: making sure that we have mutual operating terms with our agency--with the other partners that we work with in media. Because quite honestly, few go to that place. Then, guess what, the rest of the system is going to be infected. Now, this is also going to take some, not only bravery from the client side as an individual, but collective bravery. The agencies are also going to need to be brave too. Because guess what? If I'm mutual and the other clients not mutual, that also creates tension within the agency holding company, which is going to then have other knock on effects on to the agency's book of business or their portfolio. So, you've got to start saying, "collective better behaviors, where we're not trying to get competitive advantage the wrong way." Competitive advantage can't be costed out. Competitive advantage needs to come from brain, not just brawn. I think that's ultimately where we need to move people over to. We've got to absolutely push for the right things. I think when you look at all of the things around consumer data privacy, when you look at all of the things around brand safety, they have cost advertisers and their agencies probably millions, if not billions of dollars, in terms of time lost. Advertisers and agencies, we cannot be the only people holding this mallet in the game of whack-a-mole. And what we need to do, is make sure that industry bodies actually start to recognize that they need to come together and create conditions for better partnership. Because if we don't, then there's plenty of bad actors out there, whether they're foreign governments, abhorrent behaviors, regulators will step in, consumers will block things out...there's enough drift away from advertising with the likes of ad blocking and OTT, On Demand services. We are only going to accelerate it if we continue to embrace these bad behaviors and also if we don't come together. And I think ultimately that's where we need to shine a light as a community of global media directors to say that there's a better way of doing business. And if we don't come together, then quite honestly these opportunities, they're going to completely evaporate.
Tom Denford:
30:55
And I think there's a very good reason to try and recruit support from the wider industry, from your agencies and from vendors, but is it not all a symptom of the race to the bottom on cost?
Rob Rakowitz:
31:09
As a company that deals with food, I think the perfect analogy here is: I can get my cocoa, I can get my sugar, I can get my peanuts, all my raw ingredients for a Snickers at a really low price. But ultimately, at the end of the day, the quality of the product that I deliver is in the "how". So, what we've gotta do is focus the same sort of sensibility towards media, which is: lowest cost and tonnage is not the answer. It's the combination of things.
Tom Denford:
31:44
So you've got a huge energy for this, right? A huge passion for this. Where does that come from? Where do you get your motivation and inspiration from? You mentioned the cycling, which I know is a really important reference point and that's a passion area--but in the industry, where do you get your information? Who Inspires you? What can other listeners and other marketers, your peer network, what should they be consuming, seeking out?
Rob Rakowitz:
32:09
I would say that [the book] 'Truth, Lies & Advertising' around account planning. I would say [the book] 'Space Race' around comms planning, role of data. I would say [the speech by David Verklin] 'Crackle of Change' around this very crystal ball way of looking at buying media inventory on a bidding table, which was actually, I think when David wrote this, I was still at Carat, and this must've been back in 2006 right? We're in 2019--
Tom Denford:
32:36
That must've been at the 4A's conference in 2006. Wow. Okay.
Rob Rakowitz:
32:43
So, this is like long term predictions in terms of advertisers and the way that industries are shaped. And I'd say that those are like absolutely things that are still in my dining room bookcase. And I think actually the three of those books are actually seated right next to each other. I really enjoy reading Bob Hoffman to keep us honest about the industry. I think he has a very good, sarcastic, New York take on Madison Avenue and can actually call out B.S. for being B.S. I absolutely love Scott Galloway, in terms of the way that he provokes people to think about ecosystems and connected business models and how the Big Four have sort of evolved. I think that it is industry consciousness that everybody should sort of recognize and say, "What is Facebook as an entity?" What is Alphabet as an entity? Amazon, etc. I think that the more that we look at these things, and I would actually encourage him if he's listening to this, to look to China because that's even more interesting in terms of the conglomerates that are growing there. And there are also some very interesting things that are happening in Europe as well, in terms of these media conglomerates. And I think that there's really been some very interesting stuff there. I love Nir Eyal in terms of really getting into some consumer psychology as well, how it relates to marketing, whether it's advertising or products. I think this idea of behavioral economics or anything that you can read in that space as it relates to marketing or consumer products is wonderful. And then just in terms of staying up to speed on all things digital and the shifting landscape, or as everything digitizes, Rob Norman is somebody else that I avidly follow and has been somebody that is always a phone call away, which is awesome.
Tom Denford:
34:57
That's great, Rob. So, we will link all of those resources that you just mentioned. Probably their books but also their Twitter and their feeds. Because I love the idea that everything quickly could become out of date, right? You just need to kind of pick up on the noise, and these are some really good signals perhaps to pay attention to. Just go to mediasnackpodcast.com and you'll see that we'll link those in the show notes. So looking ahead, you've got quite an optimistic view of the industry, which I really enjoy. There's lots of people talking negatively about the industry, but you've always got hope. So I don't need to drag you out of the darkness and ask you to give us hope because you have given us hope and your focus is in really good, positive areas, right? Building relationships across the supply chain with great partners, driving for more sustainability. I think you're encouraging us all to be better in the business and we owe you a thank you for that. Looking ahead, there's still work to be done, right? So when we sit here in a year's time, what would you like to have seen others change in the industry? What would be a good step forward?
Rob Rakowitz:
36:03
I would love to see the industry bodies start to come together and talk about sustainability and talk about fairness. That would be my first hope, that we would do that. And I think that we're starting to see that having sat in both the ANA and also the 4A's, I think that the kindling is there. And I think that the right healthy conversations are starting to happen. So, I'm absolutely confident that we'll get there with the industry groups. The other thing that I'd really like to see is the challenges to a thriving civil society be tackled. So brand safety, ad fraud, consumer data privacy...I'd really like to see the industry bodies come together and start working in a common direction. So that would mean that the idea that, "Oh, we are only representing the interests of x." So, IAB only representing the interests of the platforms or the publishers, the ANA and the WFA only representing the interest of the advertisers and the agency associations only representing the idea of the agencies. And we're just going to issue papers as a sort of echo chamber and starting to say, "Hey guys, we've got to actually come together and create a common platform." That to me is really a very easy fix and that's about creating the forums that are going to make the collective will conscientious and actually activate on it. I think that's the beautiful thing.
Tom Denford:
37:44
Rob Rakowitz: Global Head of Media at Mars. Thank you.
Rob Rakowitz:
37:47
Thank you. Tom.
Tom Denford:
37:50
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Introduction
Welcome Rob
Role of a Global Media Director
How to prioritize what you need to do
What is Media Transformation?
Important to get CMO's support
How did Mars work together in Media Transformation
Team cycling as inspiration
Tips for managing complex change
Media Sustainability
The risks of a race to the bottom on costs
Sources of inspiration and motivation
Hope for the future
Future guests