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199: Restoring the Soul of Business with Rishad Tobaccowala

Rishad Tobaccowala, Author

During this 199th episode of “Marketing Today,” host Alan Hart interviews Rishad Tobaccowala, author of the new book, “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data.”

We discuss Tobaccowala’s long career at Publicis Groupe. Then Tobaccowala tells us why he wrote “Restoring the Soul of Business” and what it means to be human in light of all the technology and data that’s flying around us as well as the impact storytelling still has.

Tobaccowala shares why he thinks businesses fail when they focus too much on numbers on data. He says, “I believe that it is extremely important that any company, individual, or team, realizes that success is combining what I call the story and the spreadsheet.” Tobaccowala emphasizes that the human element is still very important to business as he reflects, “If a company allows growth, purpose, and connections, it begins to attract talent.” When sharing some of the top lessons he learned during his successful career, he advises that we should, “Never underestimate how much of your success is due to things you do not control.” Tobaccowala’s thoughts on the leadership marketers need today can help us think about how we can regain support from our boards as we show them the enduring value of connection and creativity.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Rishad describes himself as a resource who combines a long history in the company, a global perspective, and someone who speaks truth to power. 01:30
  • Rishad shares why he had such a long career at Publicis Groupe. 02:51
  • The mentors that stood out in Rishad’s career. 05:47
  • Why Rishad wrote Restoring the Soul of Business. 08:21
  • Rishad has always believed that human relationships were important to business. 18:46
  • Learn where Publicis is in the development of its AI platform, Marcel. 26:39
  • How can executives in the marketing and creative industry restore the soul of their company? 32:20
  • What are the top challenges Rishad is hearing from brand and company leaders in 2020? 37:09
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? 42:14
  • Rishad describes the impact of the women in his life. 44:43
  • What is the advice Rishad would give to his younger self? 47:55
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Rishad follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 50:49

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

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