Friday 23 August 2019

Collaborating key to sharing success

Dentsu Aegis's head of insights and strategy Dael Wood
Dentsu Aegis's head of insights and strategy Dael Wood

Media & Marketing with Michael Cullen

Collaboration is an absolute must for Ireland's top marketers in today's complex world. Speaking at the Marketing Institute's chief marketing officers (CMO) annual conference in the Google Foundry, Dentsu Aegis's head of insights and strategy Dael Wood said a CMO's role is essentially about driving change for business growth and doing it together across the spectrum.

Wood referred to a quote by Benjamin Jones, associate professor of management and strategy at the Kellogg School of Management in the US, highlighting how people's knowledge base has become increasingly specialised. "There's more and more to know in the world, and you can only have so much in your head," Jones said. "So the share of stuff you know as an individual is declining in any field."

Jones points to aviation pioneers, the Wright brothers, as an example. In 1903, the two men designed and flew an airplane. Today, a Boeing 787 has dozens of specialists working on the engines alone. Then you have the controls, the hydraulics, the airframe itself. There's just so much going on in designing, building and flying a plane.

There's a wide range of specialised skills available now - which means you're unlikely to build a plane today as an aviation generalist. But by all the specialists working together, the plane gets off the ground. And the same goes for marketing. Collaborations and strategies need to be applied and managed by marketers in different ways.

Firstly, internally. To deliver marketing growth, you need a firm grasp on operational areas, applications, technologies and vendors - and how they all relate. Today's boardroom has become complex with technology, data, people, ecommerce, customer experience, as well as the CEO and the CFO all influencing marketing.

Wood says collaboration among the C-suite of senior managers helps deliver business results. This year's PWC 10th annual IQ survey shows that companies with strong collaboration between C-suite bosses are four times as likely to be top performing companies as those with fragmented relationships.

Tayto has followed its successful pop-ups with an online shop; below, Dael Wood, Dentsu Aegis’s head of insights and strategy, who says sharing knowledge is vital
Tayto has followed its successful pop-ups with an online shop; below, Dael Wood, Dentsu Aegis’s head of insights and strategy, who says sharing knowledge is vital

There should also be collaboration outside the company, among its tech and communications agencies. Research has shown that the more experts a team has at its disposal, the more likely it is to disintegrate into non-productive conflict or stalemate. When the size of a team increases beyond 20 members, the tendency to collaborate decreases.

Wood says marketing must work harder to create new distribution channels, product development and media and brand partnerships.


 As the autumn series of rugby international continues this weekend, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) recently rebranded to Rugby Australia, or Rugby AU for short, in a revamp of its corporate identity. The new logo has ditched the old kangaroo in a rugby ball icon for type in "vibrant new colours" of bright navy blue and cyan.

It's an unusual colour choice for a national sports body in Australia where the green and gold combination is revered by 'dinky-di Aussies'. Rugby AU says the emphasis on 'U' is intentional and supposed to make the "future focused" logo more "relevant and inclusive".

In recent years, rugby union in Australia has suffered major problems. There were major questions about how the ARU ran the sport, particularly the lack of investment and focus on clubs and the grassroots game. It resulted in poor performances this year, with the worst Super Rugby performance in history for Australian franchises, losing every game to New Zealand opposition.

A Wallabies win over the All Blacks restored some pride, but the new corporate identity will need to be backed up by improvements in how the game is managed for fans to really buy into Rugby AU's new thinking.

The rebrand, which took a year to complete, aims to market rugby as a game which is "relevant, inclusive and accessible" for all Aussies.


Staying with sport, Emirates is known near and far for backing golf, football, tennis and horse racing. The Middle Eastern airline has just rolled out an ad campaign to promote its new first-class private suites.

The press release tells us the aircraft travels at a top speed of 700 miles per hour and was inspired by the Mercedes-Benz S-class.

But most surprising was Emirates' choice of a tuxedo-clad Jeremy Clarkson to front the ad. Given Emirates is all about high-end travel, choosing someone who was sacked by the BBC after an unprovoked physical attack on his Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon in a row over being deprived of hot food after a day's filming, flies in the face of common sense.


 Ireland's most cherished snack has launched a new online shop for all things Tayto, including merchandise. Prompted by the success of its pop up shops, Tayto is working with An Post in providing nationwide delivery and to loved ones overseas. And like the adorable Labrador puppy, the online store isn't just for Christmas, but will operate year-round.

  • Michael Cullen is editor of;

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