Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld On Growth, Marketing, and the Annual Conference

September 13, 2010

I am delighted to have had the opportunity to interview a few of the talented, distinguished speakers we are having at the 2010 ANA Annual Conference – The Masters of Marketing. These men and women have much to share with the marketing community, and I invite you to read the conversations that took place and to get a sneak preview of what's to come at this year's Annual Conference – The Masters of Marketing. First, here is an interview with Cindy Gallop, Founder and CEO, IfWeRanTheWorld:

Q: The theme of this year's conference is growth. What is one thing to which you can attribute your brand's growth?

A: IfWeRanTheWorld is very new (just 6 months old in beta) but is growing steadily, and has received a highly positive response to date. It's a radically simple web-meets-world platform designed to turn good intentions into action, one micro-action at a time. As such, it leverages the fact that the old top-down model of making things happen through hierarchies, institutions and organizations is broken, and there is a new bottom-up model emerging, of collaborative people power and collective action. Post global financial meltdown and recession, there is a feeling of 'only we can get ourselves out of the mess we're in', and a strong desire from people to take matters into their own hands. I believe it is this dynamic, and how easy IfWeRanTheWorld makes it for anyone to turn individual intention into collective action, that is driving our current growth.

Q: Marketing has evolved immeasurably in the last 100 years, since the ANA was formed.  What has been the best evolution for your brand?

A: The best evolution for IfWeRanTheWorld has been the now pretty much universal understanding that in order to earn the right to do business in the world today, brands must be corporately socially responsible, and the much less common but increasing understanding that the best way to do this is to integrate social responsibility into the way you market your brand, to find a way to make money and do good simultaneously. IfWeRanTheWorld brings brands and consumers together to activate combined human and corporate good intentions, through strategic Action Programs that deliver social benefit together with product sales, and result in Action Branding - brands marketed and defined by their actions. Today consumers want to see communication through demonstration - brands walking the talk - and IfWeRanTheWorld delivers that.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about the ANA Annual Masters of Marketing Conference?

A: Solidarity. Everyone, without exception, has had a really tough time business-wise, and has had to do their damnedest to find innovative and hard-nosed ways to drive growth. So I think that this year more than ever, there will be a tremendous feeling of 'We're all in this together', and a combined determination that all of us find ways to grow and succeed. I believe that the future of business is all about collaboration, in ways that we don't often see currently, and I think this particular Conference will really help that.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have for your fellow marketers of today?

A: The new marketing reality is complete transparency. Everything a brand does today is in the public domain, courtesy of the internet. For anyone who finds that a terrifying prospect, the answer's very simple (and it's the same answer for brands and people). If you know exactly who you are, what you stand for, what you're all about, and you always behave and communicate in a way that is true to you: then you have nothing to worry about, because you are never found doing anything to be embarrassed or ashamed of.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have for the marketers of tomorrow?

A: My favorite quote of all time is computer scientist Alan Kay: 'In order to predict the future, you have to invent it.' I would say to the marketers of tomorrow, decide what YOU think the future of marketing is, and then invent it. Look at everything happening around you, decide what you believe in as the future of marketing, and redesign and restructure everything about the way you do your job  your team, your processes  to enable you to make that future happen. You can't do new world order marketing from an old world order place.

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