Engaging fishbowl discussion at The Marketing Society New York hub

Engaging fishbowl NY

The Marketing Society had another stunning event last week, continuing their theme of bravery in life, at work and in marketing. This fishbowl event on marketing for good was held at Siegel+Gale’s new headquarters in lower Manhattan, and hosted by S+G CMO Margaret Molloy

Margaret introduced the event by saying what drew her to The Marketing Society. She was looking for an organization that was not about the how-to’s, the function of marketing, that was more engaging about the issues of marketing. 

She introduced Gemma Greaves, Marketing Society Chief Executive who facilitated the fishbowl. Gemma asked key guests to speak for five minutes each and then opened up the discussion to others in the audience. The fishbowl format and chair setting worked well to engage the participants and audience. 

Doug Larkin, CMO of Luxottica’s Pearle Vision, spoke about how the brand which was based on trust between opticians and customers needed to be reinvigorated by rebuilding that trust without focusing on their iconic frame brands. This worked to rejuvenate the brand. 

Matthew Zachary was compelling in how he developed the non-profit StupidCancer to help cancer patients not think of themselves as victims. He gave them permission to be angry so they could be righteously relentless in their fight.   

Kathryn Glass of YMCA spoke about the Y’s purpose building in an environment where many non-profits are doing the same. The Y distinguishes itself by getting deeply imbedded in communities to identify key local needs and to develop a focus in each community to address those issues.  

Troy Williams of FIT took a chance to go for a big job at AMEX after working at Chanel. After being at AMEX he was asked to help reshape FIT parallel to his teaching there. He worked closely with Alan Siegel to renew the brand purpose to be “nurture unconventional minds”. The organization and his students love that renewed focus. 

When Cynthia Kleinbaum was at Bonobos she engaged the staff in thinking through which charities to support. They came to see diversity as a core value. Bonobos showcased over 150 men’s products, using very different men, of all types who would wear different products. Bonobos products match whatever your point of view as a man is. She is now Head of Marketing - Everyday Living Business at Walmart eCommerce.

As the first global CMO of Oxford University Press Academic, Colleen Scollans worked with a culture not used to selling itself. She helped them be more overt about their mission. She increased revenue by partnering with other non-profits, professional societies, to publish and distribute information. 

Each presentation was poignant. The conversation took another turn when Jason Chebib of Diageo asked if marketing for good was based on a feeling that marketing in itself is not good. Lively discussion on that. 

Ariana Rizzo brought the conversation to another degree of engagement when she asked people’s take on the Gillette commercial. Very interesting exchange of viewpoints.  A number of people said that Gillette should have worked up to the commercial by doing brand actions first. Another take: since men aren’t shaving as much, Gillette had to do something to be noticed. Many wondered how Gillette would follow up the ad. Gillette can’t just do what they did before. A number of people noted that since women buy their own razors and for the men in their life, women would appreciate the ad, so the ad would be successful as a marketing device. 

Thanks to Gemma Greaves for her management of the discussion. Congratulations to Margaret Molloy and her New York Hub team for putting together and running another engaging, thinking event. 

This piece was written by Jay Colan, a career management professional and first appeared on his Linked In here.