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110: Peter Horst discusses Marketing in the #FakeNews Era

Peter Horst, Author

This week’s podcast marks an encore presentation, of sorts. Alan talks with Peter Horst, who previously appeared in Episode 25 of “Marketing Today.” In this conversation with Alan, Horst discusses his new book, “Marketing in the #FakeNews Era: New Rules for a New Reality of Tribalism, Activism, and Loss of Trust.” Horst is the former CMO at The Hershey Company, and he has also served in marketing leadership roles at Capital One, General Mills, and TD Ameritrade, among others. Presently, he finds himself writing — in addition to his book, he’s a Forbes contributor — as well as consulting, doing board advisory work, and engaging in public speaking.

In his conversation with Alan, Horst addresses the difficulties marketers face in the present-day climate of fractiousness and polarization. “This atmosphere is really the result of a perfect storm of a bunch of forces that are creating a really challenging environment for brands,” says Horst. “The country is deeply polarized across any number of spectrums, whether it’s political, socioeconomic, urban/rural, conservative/liberal — the middle has just fallen away. And along with that, there’s been this loss of trust.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Horst talks about the ”2.0 version” of his career. (1:31)
  • Horst explains the impetus behind the writing of his new book. (2:18)
  • Walking the walk: Horst on what brands should do before taking a stand. (7:10)
  • From purpose to position: How brands should weigh risk versus relevance. (12:25)
  • What the C-Suite should consider when it comes to taking a stand on issues. (18:41)
  • Dealing with the “new normal.” (27:12)
  • Two areas of concern for Horst: (1) The denigration of collaboration and compromise, and (2) The difficulty in identifying “the truth.” (29:04)
  • A “liberal arts” perspective: Brands need to understand the world outside their category. (31:26)

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