Business Strategy

October 18, 2013

Burberry sets the trend

By Drew No comments

We’ve been banging the drum for a while now about marketers taking an ever more central role in the boardroom. The fact is that creativity, always and still fundamental, now goes hand in hand with a far deeper understanding of customers via their digital interactions. That puts marketers and CMOs in a much more powerful position.

Technologies and analytics now help us listen, measure, model, predict and ultimately gain a much more informed view about how to get the most from our marketing activities. This helps us understand cause and effect, but more than that, social media makes it possible to learn what customers think and feel about brands before they’ve even been touched by our marketing.

In light of this, this week’s changes at Burberry struck me as significant. Angela Ahrendts upped sticks for Apple. Renowned in business circles, her formidable reputation for innovative thinking could be exactly the tonic that Apple needs as it enters a new, even more fiercely competitive period.

And who has Burberry chosen to replace the irreplaceable business goddess? None other than Christopher Bailey, its former creative chief. We love that he’s been named CEO. It shows that creative and marketing brains really are on the move and Burberry has captured the mood of their market. The first of many? We’re pretty sure there’ll be more marketers in top jobs in 2014.

While the debate continues about whether creatives or finance chiefs make better CEOs, we put out a survey to get your views. The result? An overwhelming 80% of respondents think a creative in the top job is a positive move.