Matthew Valentine wrote an article for MarketingWeek titled Ritson on the 10 traits of a successful marketer.


  1. Empathy …  Our prime directive is to bring the voice of the customer into the organization…  Ritson recommends a ‘180 swivel’, whereby companies turn to look at themselves from the point of view of their customers.
  2. Curiosity …  He related how Philippe Pascal, former head of watches and jewelry at LVMH, demanded that his marketers be ‘street smart’, a trait nurtured by being curious enough to constantly ask customers and retailers what was happening and why. … Before tactics comes strategy, and before strategy comes diagnosis. That is where curiosity comes in.
  3. Comfort with imprecision …While senior marketers have the confidence to accept figures as good enough and move on, those who obsess about the detail will not make it past mid-level, Ritson believes. Instead they will be stuck on a ‘hamster wheel’ of prevarication.
  4. Making Time … Bad marketers, he argued, never get away from tactics long enough to do forward planning for the next year.
  5. Long-term vision … “So many marketers are still unable to do a good job of long-term brand building and why are they spending way too much money on short-term activation?” asked Ritson “The simple answer is because most companies plan on a 12-month cycle. … Marketers who lean too heavily on short-term ROI do well in year one, but lose out in years two, three and four.
  6. Short-term doing… “Most marketers may have a long-term vision, but they are fucking useless at delivering the numbers,” he added. “They don’t understand that if you don’t deliver the number you are of no use to the organization.”
  7. Choicefulness …  Many choices at a senior level are about what not to do, rather than about what to do. Too many brand codes and too many objectives means drift, he argued. “The research is clear: you need four or five objectives. It’s the magical number. More and they become dreams that never happen,” said Ritson.
  8. Make things look simple … “When you come up with a strategy the thinking and the work is complicated, but what you produce at the end, the plan, the strategy itself, should be so simple anyone can follow it,” Ritson explained.
  9. Rule breaking … If brands are all aiming to be different they should be able to disregard category norms and break the rules.
  10. Learning and adapting … “Teach yourself in the market by learning and adapting as you go through. If you do that over a career of 20 or 30 years you become a bloody good marketer.” »

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