She feels New Zealand marketers do largely recognise the power of creativity and are known for taking risks, which is supported by the fact that New Zealand was this year ranked 7th in the WARC 100, a global ranking of the best marketing campaigns. But she thinks there are several categories that have been slower to recognise the power of this approach, “with the retail sector being a good example of this”. But as always, she says “it’s about finding the perfect balance between developing creative that gets people talking and generating effective business results”.
Not surprisingly, she says the people who have inspired her most are almost all known for their storytelling. “From Roald Dahl to JK Rowling to Walt Disney to James Cameron to Richard Branson to Sheryl Sandberg ... They have the talent to transport you to a place, take you on a journey— often emotional—and create lasting memories.”
And while they say those who tell the stories rule the world, that’s not always the case in business, because it’s still rare to see marketers at the top table. Lloyd-Jones believes that’s often due to a perceived lack of business acumen. And while she didn’t answer the question about her own ambitions, she’s confident there will be a significant shift in general, because organisations are becoming increasingly focused on areas where marketers can add significant value, whether it be recognition of the importance of customer centricity; the importance of driving innovation and taking risks to fuel growth; the increased importance of telling great stories in order to build relationships and make people care; and the merging of marketing and technology functions, especially with regard to data and analytics.
While there are some positive signs, there are also plenty of challenges. “You need to be truly flexible and agile enough to respond to shifting priorities, the changing consumer landscape and market dynamics; you need to embrace the fact that consumers will soon be creating more content than brands are ... and you need to understand the increasing importance of great storytelling and creative craft in a world of increasing personalisation, where data rules.”
Sourcing great talent—which is increasingly “people who think more like engineers and technologists than marketers”—is another constant battle. But to help create more of these candidates, she tries to push the industry forward through positions on the boards of the Marketing Association and iMedia, regular judging of industry awards, and mentoring of younger staff, both within the organisations she has worked for and in other categories.
Those she works with believe this accolade is well-deserved. As Nick Garrett, chief executive Colenso BBDO says: “The work is getting better, the brand experiences are getting better, and the culture of success she’s breeding is infectious.” Kamran Kazalbash, general manager – retail at FCB Auckland, agrees: “Having personally worked with Jules for three years I can honestly say that I’m yet to come across anyone who is better at inspiring her team and getting the best out of the agencies and partners she works with. She does this by valuing her team’s opinions and experience and by treating her agencies and suppliers as partners, working together toward a common goal: making the best work possible.”
And no matter what sector you’re in, that’s something all marketers should strive for.