Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A change agent in communications offers advice for building a career in brands

I had a chance to visit Los Angeles recently to facilitate N-of-8 groups for one of our clients.  We were right near the UCLA campus, so I picked up a copy of the Alumni magazine.  There was a great interview with Jim Stengel, who spent 25 years at Procter & Gamble, the last seven as global marketing officer, and is now a UCLA professor.

One of the most respected and admired change agents in communications, Stengel offers unparalleled advice for building a career in this most glamorous and critical sector of the business world.

“Peter Drucker said it about as well as anyone, ‘The purpose of business is to create a customer.’ So marketing is central to any business, either explicitly or implicitly. It is also the right place for idealistic people who want to change the world for the better. Brands that improve life, such as Zappos, Toyota, Natura (in Brazil) or Pampers, are not just great leadership brands — they're also great places to work.”

What does Stengel think are the best and worst thing about being a marketer?

“The best thing is there is no better place to transform a business or brand than in marketing. So if you like making a difference in people's lives, I can't imagine a better place to work. The worst thing is that everyone thinks they're an expert in your field. This means you have to have greater conviction in what you do than anyone else — and that's not a bad thing.”

Click here to read more of his interview on the UCLA website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jim Stengel was also profiled recently in Ad Age.

Mr. Stengel is looking to reinvent marketing education along the way, scrapping most historical case studies for live ones presented by top creatives from BBDO and TBWA/Chiat/Day and executives from Dell, Procter & Gamble Co. and PepsiCo. He and Sanjay Sood, UCLA marketing professor and collaborator on the class, plan to pitch it as a model to the Harvard Business Review.

Part two in Mr. Stengel's plan is his long-awaited book, for which he's enlisted a platoon of UCLA students, WPP's Millward Brown and TBWA/Chiat/Day executives to help quantify and dissect the 50 brands that have added the most brand and financial value in the past decade and the purpose that drives them.