Who wears the suit and who wears the jeans? Harvey Sanchez, Marketing Director at Accenture Interactive proves you can wear both, integrating the creative with the conservative by bringing creative agencies under the Accenture brand, all backed by the power of data analytics.
When your data-driven company starts going creative, how do you marry the two?
It requires bringing in the beanbags and mixing up the dress code, according to Accenture Interactive’s Marketing Director, Harvey Sanchez.
“If you think about a traditional company like Accenture, it’s a very, very safe, conservative organisation, its history is dealing with some of the world’s largest company data,” says Harvey.
“Then you’ve got organisations like creative agencies, that come with a very different cultural background, and different types of people – artists and creative people – that not only dress differently, but think differently, behave differently. And so, the most important thing for us was to make sure that the essence of who they are doesn’t change.” he says.
Accenture is growing its interactive division through acquisitions, and the traditional C-Suite and workplace had to evolve and grow with the changes.
“It’s important to put ourselves together and have that unique story to tell, where the one’s wearing the jeans and the other one’s not, and it doesn’t really matter,” Harvey says.
With an auspicious background that includes the glory days of Microsoft and eBay, Harvey has now taken on a role that collaborates closely with Accenture’s CMO, and describes the relationship as a cross between a work marriage and having a drinking buddy.
“When we come together around things like digital transformation or artificial intelligence, or any of this new innovation, everyone has a say,” he says.
Harvey understands the power of data. In this podcast he shares the story of his time at eBay, where analytics and insight meant the company could predict when mothers were due to give birth due to their buying habits. According to Harvey, this level of insight is going to explode with constantly evolving machine learning and A.I.
Tune in to this episode of The CMO Show where hosts Nicole Manktelow and Mark Jones are joined by Harvey Sanchez, Marketing Director at Accenture Interactive to dig into Amazon’s arrival in Australia, the future of targeted suggestive selling and voice commerce, and the trials of Microsoft Bob.
- How eBay unlocks customer data DNA – CMO from IDG
- Adweek and Accenture Interactive Are Creating a Digital Transformation Playbook – Adweek
- Actions Speak Louder: Why Brands Must Move Beyond ‘Telling’ Stories – B&T
The CMO Show production team
Producer – Candice Witton
Got an idea for an upcoming episode or want to be a guest on The CMO Show? We’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hosts: Mark Jones and Nicole Manktelow
Guest: Harvey Sanchez
MJ: Welcome back to The CMO Show, my name is Mark Jones.
NM: I’m Nicole Manktelow. We are here with Harvey Sanchez, who is … Now is your title Director of Marketing or CMO?
HS: It’s Director of Marketing, for
NM: For Accenture.
HS: For Accenture Interactive. So the interactive side of Accenture.
MJ: Now first question should be what is that?
HS: Good question. About three years ago, Accenture … I’m gathering you know who they are, right?
HS: So big sort of IT infrastructure firm who have been dealing with very large companies for many years. Realised that a big share of the wallet within an organisation is going towards the CMO. And so, when you think about growth and you think about what’s next and you think about what technologies are implemented in large organisations, the CMO is taking a pretty big chunk of that nowadays. And so without a lot of strong capability, they realised that a big part of the growth appeared to targeting that part of the business.
HS: So they had a couple things they could do. They could grow their business organically and start targeting through market technologies and people and services to the CMO, or acquiring companies. And so, they started to acquire a variety of different organisations around the world, and they’ve built out what is Accenture Interactive. That’s their kind of digital arm, if you like, of the business, which really focuses on creative, on data, on the CMO needs within an organisation.
HS: And so that’s really Accenture’s way of sort of moving towards that new kind of space, that sort of merging of the consultancies and ad space.
NM: I’m gonna be devil’s advocate here and say, you sure it’s not just a gimmick? It’s not just wanting to add digital or interactive or something to the name to appeal to people? Is it a practical manoeuvre?
HS: Well, I think it’s a natural manoeuvre for a company like Accenture, because if you think about most of Accenture’s competitors, the Deloitte’s of this world, they’re pretty much doing very similar strategies. And that is that they see that the evolution of technology, particularly in the CIO world, is evolving very fast. And the power really no longer sits there anymore. It really sits in the rest of the C-suite.
HS: So we kinda of call it a CMO plus, right? Because you’ve got the CDO, the Chief Data Officer, the Chief Innovation Officer, the growth hacker, all of those guys are kinda sitting underneath the CMO. And so, there’s a big decision being made at that C-suite that traditional vendors like Accenture and the consultancies have never really kind of engaged in. So it’s only a natural tendency to be able to move to where the dollars are going in an organisation, and provide the expertise and the resources, and the talent, if you like, to help those organisations.
HS: And these are organisations that have been with the company for many years, running very large infrastructure services for them. So it’s kind of natural progression.
MJ: One of the high preferable ones, of course, was acquiring The Monkeys.
MJ: I think a lot of people have a strong degree of curiosity around that and other agencies more generally in the marketing space. What’s it like acquiring these really creative organisations? Describe the process of ostensibly fitting them into a much larger traditionally corporate environment?
NM: Do you have to move the executive chairs out and bring bean bags?
MJ: Pretty much.
HS: Well, I mean, it’s not a visual show, but what am I wearing right now? I just came out of the office, right?
NM: Jeans and t-shirt.
HS: Yeah, I’m wearing jeans, a t-shirt. I am wearing a suit jacket, though, so it’s kinda blending that whole … That’s a very good question, and that’s probably the most common question we get asked, which is how is that merger of cultures. If you think about a traditional company like Accenture, which it’s a very, very safe, conservative organisation. Its history is dealing with some of the worlds largest company data. You need to make sure that there is a lot of security and safety behind those decisions. And the people involved in those are very kind of sceneier and very talented.
HS: When you’ve got organisations like creative agencies, particularly, that come with a very different cultural background, and different type of people, usually, artists and creative people that not only dress differently, but think differently, behave differently. And so, the most important thing for us was to make sure that the essence of who they are doesn’t change.
HS: And I think when you start to think about an organisation like Accenture, where the big part of evolution of it is to go more digital, to go more towards the CMO, then it’s only natural that a company like Accenture will end up evolving as well. So going through a process of acquiring a company like The Monkeys, who are, I think, Australia’s greatest creative agency at the moment-
NM: With the exception of us!
HS: Well, they have their own niche, and I guess you guys have your own. But they are very thought provoking. They’re very challenging in the market. When you think about that and you think about something like Accenture, it’s a really interesting mix. But what I think is a success is that we’ve been able to keep them as they are. We’re not forcing anyone to wear suits! It’s really all about letting them be who they are, that’s the reason we bought them, and to integrate that into the organisation at the right pace by introducing them to Australia’s largest customers and getting involved with their CMOs. It’s a great opportunity for both them and us.
HS: Ideally as a CMO, you want to be able to have as many options as you possibly can to really link that brand promise with the customer experience. At the moment, a lot of companies are just worried about the customer experience, or just worried about a brand. And then you kinda go, “Well, what about the customer experience, the customer engagement?” Which is a very interesting dynamic there as well.
NM: So you’ve been in this role three months.
NM: And before then, you’ve been in Microsoft, you’ve been in eBay. What’s the culture like with Accenture?
HS: Oh, it’s great! Sorry. Accenture is … it’s funny, because when I was at Microsoft, I remember I started at Microsoft in 1990. It was a rebellious organisation at the time, because we were wearing t-shirts and sneakers. And IBM was the suits at the time. Then the company evolved. I was there for 20 years, and boy, 20 years too many! But the company evolved quite a lot, and it become, obviously, more enterprise focused and so forth. And I think it then now, is going back to its original roots.
HS: And a company has a way of doing that in its growth and in its longevity, and the fact of the matter is, it’s an incredibly innovative in an organisation. One of the things that Microsoft did for me was to give me an amazing education when it comes to marketing, when it comes to business and technology, at a very, very early stage. I mean, my first gig was launching Windows 3.0. So when you have that as a product launch, you know everything else is great.
MJ: You told us not to ask you about your age.
HS: Oh no, please don’t! Please don’t.
MJ: But you did just date yourself.
HS: I was 12 years old when I joined.
NM: As was I when I-
HS: Yeah, when you were interviewing me!
MJ: Just as a tangent, how exciting was it to have a new Windows? As a point in time, that actually used to be interesting.
NM: Oh, I was so excited with Windows 95.
MJ: I know.
HS: 95 was one of the greatest product launches of all time.
MJ: Yeah, absolutely.
HS: It really was. I mean, Apple shined when they have these product launches and have people waiting in line. But if you ever saw the Windows 95 launch, it was spectacular.
MJ: It really was.
HS: I remember being on stage with about 15,000 people at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, and Bill Gates right next to me. And I wasn’t nervous about any of that, except my mother walks in and sits right in front. Then I just couldn’t … I didn’t know what to say.
MJ: Lost it.
HS: I lost it! At the end of it, she came up to me, she said, “That was really good, but I think you stumbled a couple of times.” I said, “Mum, it was you.”
MJ: Thanks mum.
HS: That was amazing, right? That was incredible journey. I think that those days … There are waves in industry that you have those big moments, right? For me, when I went to eBay is a good example. Some of the things that I realised from a marketing point of view, was that, “Hang on. I’m missing something here. This thing called … ” You know, I couldn’t spell SEO, you know? Because it was like, I was doing traditional B2B marketing, big events, PR, brochures. You know?
HS: And suddenly, you have this digital marketing wave that, not that I missed, but I can feel that it was sort of happening. And then I thought, “Well, if I’m gonna be a good marketer,” it doesn’t matter how long you have been experienced-
MJ: And grow, right?
HS: Yeah. Where do I go that’s interesting? And there was a few things that was attractive about eBay. Firstly, it was 100% digital. Two, it was data driven 100%. I’m a massive fan of data driven marketing because I can’t make a decision unless I have the data behind me.
MJ: Mm-hmm (affirmative), amen to that.
HS: Amazing what you can do with that. And a company like eBay was incredible in how they can do that. It’s also a retailer, B2C, which I’ve never done before. So it was a great learning experience for me, and I loved every minute of it because I think it gave me that learning piece. Then I realised that I’m probably better at B2B, but that’s different.
HS: Then, you know, moving over to Accenture, it was interesting, because I see this as a new industry, really. I was talking to a colleague the other day, and they said, “Oh, but you can’t put that in a Gartner quadrant.” And I went, “Good. We should talk to Gartner and tell them to get a new quadrant out.” Right?
MJ: How’s your brand story changing? As you speak to customers and start engaging in these strategic conversations, what’s the opportunity to shift and change it, and change the narrative a little? ‘Cause you’ve got a legacy base you’re moving from.
HS: That’s a big challenge for the company, but a good one, because it’s part of their evolution. I think when you think about the assets that we’ve bought, with companies like The Monkeys and the Maud, and Fjord, Reactive was another one that we also acquired. These are all in Australia, and worldwide, there’s so many. In the U.K., we acquired a company called Karmarama, which is one of the largest agencies there. It creates an interesting dynamic, because what do you lead with? Do you lead with those brands? Or do you lead with the Accenture brand?
HS: Now at the CMO level, I’ve been a CMO before, I used to work for eBay and Microsoft before that, and I know that I probably would have never considered Accenture as a brand, even Accenture Interactive as a brand, But I would’ve thought about The Monkeys. And I would’ve thought, hey Maud, they’re a great brand design, or Fjord.
HS: And so, the interesting thing around that is that they have their own capabilities and their own assets in the brand, and brand equity. It’s about how we transition those towards Accenture Interactive. Then in time, you’ll find that we’ll start to build credibility within the brand based on the assets that we have. And it’s not about going hardcore on the one brand without proving it, you’ve got to prove it first. And you’re proving through the companies and the integration, and also the work that we do, because we need to demonstrate the work and making sure that it is the latest and the greatest. That’s why it’s important to evolve that brand across.
NM: The work that you’re doing, is it coming from those brands generating interest in their current clients or people looking on? Or is it also coming out of Accenture’s core, older school consulting clients looking for assistance? Which way is it?
HS: Both. Both, but I think with our tendency to go more around the Accenture type. I mean, but saying that, The Monkeys have done great work with Berlei Bras for example, not an Accenture
NM: They’re not your typical client?
HS: No! Or the Meat Life Association with the lamb ads, right? I don’t know if you’ve seen those. They’re not Accenture. But saying that, what that would-
MJ: Well they are now.
HS: Yeah, that’s right! What that piece of work does, is that it creates enormous curiosity at the CMO level to say, “Wow, here is a company with very provocative thought processes around marketing and advertising, and here is Accenture with its core capabilities of talent and people and scalability and all of the great things that make that organisation so amazing. How is that?” There’s a lot of curiosity happening in the marketplace.
NM: It’s very visible, isn’t it, suddenly, to say, “Oh, we just bought the company that made the lamb ads”?
HS: Yeah, right. Yup, yeah it is. And that’s not a bad thing, because they’re great ads. They’re provocative ads, but they achieve its goal, which is to sell the product. Right? Berlei, for example, ran out of bras for a moment. You know, because it was banned on Facebook, right?
NM: Oh, you couldn’t get there.
HS: You’re correct, yeah. Then you understand the rest of the business and how it can add the value back to the customer, that’s a very powerful proposition.
MJ: How do you think about telling this story, given the complexity of the brand, well multiple brands that you’re dealing with? Because I’ve been reflecting kind of like The Monkeys powered by Accenture. That’s an old school model. But how are you thinking about word of mouth versus other execution types? What’s the framework that you bring?
HS: Well, the number one thing is that Accenture Interactive is the master brand. the master brand that we need to continue to evolve and develop as we move forward. Capabilities like creative, like brand design, like customer experience, these might be led by different brands. And that might be for a while, and could be for a very long while depending on the business requirements and how the market adapts and so forth.
HS: But at the end of the day, the master brand is Accenture Interactive, and that the one that we want t o continue to lead, and create assets to do that. We will build, not buy, but actually build organically, capabilities that we might not necessarily have to complete end to end. And that still, again, adding credibility and adding more strength to the brand. So it’s a matter of continuing that, and it’s a longer journey. These things don’t happen overnight. It’s really, we’re in like version 1.0 of this, right?
HS: Yeah, so understanding where do we fit into a innovative quadrant when it comes to these capabilities, it doesn’t really exist, this merger of these consultancies and ad world. Right?
HS: So it’s interesting. It’s kind of new, and it’s still very much white canvas. It’s great to come in and bring a bit of that experience from the past and try to help drive it.
NM: You said you’re back in B2B land? But I have been reading a lot about people saying B2B is full of humans too, we’re people. We still need to connect and have emotional impact and all the rest. Do you have a view on that?
HS: Oh yeah, absolutely. In fact, I kind of call it B2B2C. So if you’re talking to a customer, another business, you really should be talking about their customer. Because at the end of the day, sure, there’s a one on one interaction with the business, and so you need to treat them as a person. if we don’t have their consumer in mind … See if we’re talking to a bank, for example, CMO in a bank, then are we talking about their consumer, or are we talking about just the bank getting a better brand? Or how do we make sure that that consumer plays? So I like to think that it is a sort of end-to-end approach.
MJ: With that market curiosity, talk about the difference between Accenture Interactive and Accenture. Right? So you’ve got a CMO for both organisations. Are you like drinking buddies?
MJ: You figure it all out? What’s going on?
HS: Well, our joke is that we’re holding hands a lot, which is good, because we kinda need to. Right?
MJ: Got a work marriage happening.
NM: Nothing wrong with that.
HS: No, no. It’s an important part of the evolution of an organisation, but also the capabilities within the organisation. One of the things that’s interesting, the dynamics in the ad space, in the ad agency space, is very different to the traditional kind of IT consultancy space. They’re very fast moving. It’s all about talent. It’s, “Who is your creative director?” That’s the person who is the main person. So when people move from one company to the other, it becomes news and it becomes important.
HS: Traditionally in my old past at Microsoft, we used to sell products. Windows, and Office, and so forth. Here, it’s about people. And the asset is the people that you have.
MJ: And they’re ideas.
HS: It’s their ideas. It’s their talent, their experience. And so, you kinda have to highlight that. So when we think about promoting the business, we have to promote it together from the capabilities that each of the businesses bring.
MJ: But how do you separate them? There’s one word difference, right?
NM: Well, one’s wearing a shirt and the other’s wearing a t-shirt.
HS: Well, we don’t really separate it. It’s more about who is our audience. You know? A traditional CMO’s audience at Accenture is the CIO. Ours is CMO, plus. So there’s a difference there, but ultimately, when we come together around things like digital transformation or artificial intelligence, or any of this new innovative, everyone has a say. So it’s important to put ourselves together and have that unique story to tell, where the one’s wearing the jeans and the other one’s not. It doesn’t really matter. It’s really about how the customer sees it, right?
NM: Do you get to collaborate?
NM: Do you get to talk about all the cool, sexy tech?
HS: Every day. Every day. We sit in the same office. We’re all in the same place. It’s not as if we’re separated or anything like that. It’s really no real difference at all. It’s not like you might think it is, in a sense of completely separated. We’re all united. We’re all the same company. We all have the same badge.
MJ: And so, as you think about these things, where are the two of you going in terms of going to market? Where are you putting your spend?
HS: It’s all about the customer. That’s the most important thing. It’s about the customer in the centre. And it’s about the requirements of the customer. Obviously there are technologies and innovation that’s happening at the moment that customers need a lot of help around understanding impact to their business, impact to their clients. So together, from both a consultancy approach, and also from a delivery approach, to whatever, it is about working together on solving customers’ problems.
HS: That might mean that, “Hey, we need to put a great ad on TV.” Okay, well we’ve got a solution for that. “Hey, we need to build infrastructure and secure these.” There’s a lot of that integration and collaboration. So when we’re doing account planning, everyone is involved in the account, not just one part of the business.
MJ: I want to ask you about the concept of integrated marketing communications as one of the big trends. So our experience working with many organisations large and small, is that it’s not longer acceptable to have isolated marketing, sales, PR, social, content teams, right?
MJ: So how do you make that real?
HS: I can give you some examples of that when I was at eBay, as a good example, because integrated marketing in a sense of conceptually, is a great thing to have. In reality, super hard to do, right? Because every channel is different, and every audience. It’s about, to me, which audience hits the right mark.
HS: What’s evolved in the last 10 years is the evolution, going back to the concept of data and data analytics. At eBay, we could predict at what point a mom would be giving birth to their child.
NM: Excuse me?
HS: Based on data prediction analysis.
NM: Okay, this is off their shopping habits?
HS: Behavioural data, attitudinal data, geoTribe data. We had Mary from , and we could narrow down the data sets to that person based on their behaviour, do that instead of sending them nappies and cots after a certain point, because they’ve already purchased one of they’ve already been through that sales process, start selling them that, because we’ll start selling them baby bottles or something else.
HS: That predictive analysis is phenomenal when it comes to marketing. So basically, you can put strong lenses into the consumer that allows you as a marketer to get a fantastic ROI when it comes to, you know, we knew that mums didn’t read email, but they’re on Facebook a lot, so let’s put more on Facebook. We knew that they preferred a certain type of nappy, and so let’s get that brand of nappy on store and promote it more. We knew that they spoke and they shared a lot of things between them, so let’s create conversation and stories around that, that really help mums understand the best way.
HS: Ultimately, from an eBay perspective, we just wanted to sell more baby products.
NM: I think I’ve seen this content!
HS: Yeah, possibly. And big bulky items like nappies are hard to buy in the supermarket, so that’s why they buy four wheel drives. Hey, can we get it delivered for free to the home? It’s a repeatable purchase.
HS: But you needed to do that based on content and data. And the data drove a lot of those things. But the data then told us, ” Hey, spend more on this channel. Spend more on that channel.” That how you get a kind of integrated approach.
HS: But I think, what I think you’re referring to is the actual story, which is
MJ: Well how do you use the data to tell the story through the channels, right?
HS: That’s right. That’s about building out the right content, and the content assets that allow you to continue having a conversation with that audience, no matter what channel they’re in. They could be on their mobile. They could be online. They could be on their TV. Doesn’t really matter. It’s a matter of continuing that storyline and helping that consumer think more. And companies like Amazon really do amazing things in that space, you know?
NM: The machine learning that is coming to us, I think, I’m excited about, but just a tiny bit nervous.
HS: There’s always a creepy factor to this. I remember presenting once about this, and talking about there’s a strong balance from a marketing point of view that you could know so much about someone that you can creep them out if you don’t do it in the right way. And I think that’s the real magic here, is to utilise those channels and utilise that content, and to utilise that information in a way that the client absolutely feels that it’s worthwhile. Otherwise, they’re gonna go, “This is freaking me out.”
HS: Timing is really important, because we knew that things like email open rates, that there was a certain time of the day that people would open their email. It was usually between 7:30 and 9:30 in the morning, if you want to know, that’s the time you should send emails. Don’t send them in the middle of the day, because people are not reading their email in the middle of the day. It’s usually done on their mobile, so make sure it’s mobile friendly, ’cause they’re on the bus or on the train going to work.
HS: And so, there’s that concept of timing and relevancy and effectiveness, is what we all strive for.
HS: I would say that, have a look at organisations that have more data scientists in their organisation than anyone else, and they’re the ones that I think are leading. I’m talking about PhDs in data here, right? You know, I got teenage kids at home, and I’m encouraging one of them particularly to follow that path, because he’ll be a very rich kid in a very short period of time, because that space to me is phenomenal.
HS: So the Amazon’s of this world, which are really driving a lot of that, even at Accenture’s analytics business, it’s phenomenal in regards to the growth and the things that they can do. Because as a CMO, if I’m spending a dollar, I want two dollars back. And the only way to do that is to be really, really safe in how I’m spending that money. Right? That’s what I’m measured on, right? Most CMOs are. So you want to be able to have at least a good prediction that that’s gonna happen, and data can help you do that, at least making the right decisions.
HS: We knew that mums was a great choice because the data told us it was. If the data said, “No it wasn’t,” probably never would’ve done it.
HS: The reality, though, is that I can’t believe a CMO today can make a decision without the right data behind it. I mean, I can literally break up any advertising on TV, and go, “You guys did not do your data on this, and that doesn’t resonate with anybody. It’s just a great creative. Data has to back up.”
NM: I want to watch TV with you now. I want to hear you
MJ: Destroy everything.
HS: It’s very easy to do. I don’t know if you think about it, and you go, “What data point did they really have to make that come alive? That will have the story come alive?” Because at the end of the day, that’s what makes it real. I think broadcast marketing, you know, brand marketing can help. You’ll need to do that a little bit just to get your brand out there. But ultimately, particularly in the digital space, you don’t need to.
HS: Who was it I was reading about even this morning? A company that has decided to go 100% digital, Adidas. So Adidas decided that for their new sneakers, they were not gonna go above the line, and they were gonna do everything digital, and they were going to engage with their teenage consumers. Very targeted. And that’s, you know, when my kids ask for sneakers, they certainly didn’t see it on a billboard, they didn’t see it on TV. They saw it on their iPads or on their iPhones or on one of their mates.
NM: There is a lot. I’m curious about the data story, only because you picked the example of following mums, and I figure from a data point of view, that might even be the easiest one, ’cause I guess they’re very specific and numerous and clearly easy to plot story points in that journey of someone being pregnant, having a baby, then the things you need. Is that what you look for?
HS: Well, you look at predictive analysis. You want to know, “What are they gonna do next?” That’s always the hardest bit, right? You know that they bought something. I mean, I covered this example. For example, a mum or anyone could walk into a Westfield shopping centre, and there’s enough technology at Westfield’s to pick up a lot of data about the consumer going inside. How long they’ve been in store, what stores , where they ate. They can pretty much monitor a lot of that stuff going on. That’s how they then increase rates and stuff.
HS: Online, at Amazon or at eBay, or in an eCommerce environment for that matter, you know what size they are, you know where they live, you know how old they are. So you’ve got a whole bunch more information that you can start adding. Then you kinda have how much they spend, what did they spend it on. You can then start to think about, do they like this better than that? Behavioural data becomes really important. So you start to put all these lenses onto the consumer, and it becomes such a powerful tool.
NM: It sounds forensic.
HS: Well, it kinda is. All this is machine learning stuff, right? So then, they can say, “Hey,” and I think community greats give a lot of credit to Amazon for doing this, but if you bought a tennis racquet, there’s a big chance you’re gonna need tennis balls, right? At what point do you need tennis balls? So that timing, that ability to send stuff that you don’t even know you needed. Oh gee, I do need to get tennis balls. That stuff is so important in how you predict that.
HS: And now, when you’re thinking about voice activation and voice commerce, where now it’s becoming anything you say to a Siri or anything you say to the upcoming Alexa, or anything you’re saying to all of these, that’s collecting information and collecting data.
HS: Then you start to think about, what are they gonna do with that information? That’s all about data collection. Don’t kid yourself data collection that’s gonna help them sell more product. Again, the magic here, eliminate the creepiness, and the cultural sensitivities. Right?
HS: That I think will either make it or break it. But I think it’ll make it, because it’s the typical direction.
MJ: We need to wrap up, but one question before you go. Amazon coming out in Australia, and I have been fascinated by the realisation that when it comes to products, people just go straight to Amazon. You know?
MJ: More so, than actually going to Google. Right? That in itself is a game changer.
MJ: So what do you think? What disruptive impact do you think they’re gonna have on marketing?
HS: Well, it’ll be interesting to see. I can only sort of say what their impact have had in the U.S., which is you know, they’ve been there from day one. I think that the impact will be primarily, not so much I think in the creative space of marketing, because I think that still is a strong need for good creative artists for that.
MJ: Yes, of course.
HS: And even brand building. But I think it’s how you reach customers and how you promote products to customers, and services. That’s where I think they dominate. And it primarily comes back to the point of how much information they collect and the fact that they know so much about you, and they can know so much about you, and they can predict so many things about you, that that becomes a very powerful tool.
MJ: Fantastic. Well, we will be watching this space with great interest. Before you leave, we want to hit you up with our rapid fire round of questions.
MJ: Are you ready?
NM: Harvey, what are you grateful for?
HS: Oh, my family, my three kids and my wife, 100%.
MJ: Do you like rain?
HS: Rain? I love the rain. I think we need more rain.
MJ: We do.
HS: We do, yeah.
NM: In the movie of your life, who would play you?
HS: Well, John Malkovich.
NM: Nice choice.
HS: Yeah, I think John would be the right guy. I’ve been told that if I take my glasses off, there’s a similarity, but maybe not. I don’t know.
MJ: What’s your greatest career fail?
HS: Oh wow. Microsoft Bob.
MJ: Oh really?
HS: Yeah, I remember being involved in that. It wasn’t my fail, it was the company’s fail. But oh man, many. I’ve had many fails that just didn’t work out, didn’t happen. But you survive and you move on, and you learn from it really.
MJ: Not as bad as Clippy.
HS: Clippy was great.
HS: I loved Clippy. You know, there’s a big thing about bringing Clippy back.
NM: Oh no, that’s just irony. Don’t get confused.
MJ: Clippy is the Jar Jar Binks of Microsoft.
HS: It was!
MJ: Anyway, let’s carry on.
NM: Who is your hero?
HS: Mum. I mean, hard not to talk about mum. You know, raised three boys. My father passed away when I was very, very young. Struggling immigrant from Spain. Came to a better country.
NM: Wow, that’s awesome.
HS: She’s an amazing lady. She’s 84 and she’s still amazing.
NM: Well, go mum!
MJ: That’s awesome. If you weren’t a marketer, you’d be a …
HS: Artist. I think I would be an artist. I like to paint. I love to draw. I love to, but I probably wouldn’t make any money, so I would probably be driving an Uber or something in my spare time.
MJ: If you could change one thing about the marketing industry, it would be …
HS: Oh, if I was to change one thing, I think it would be the concept of what we spoke about earlier, that customer experience to customer engagement piece. I don’t think people are thinking about that too deeply. They’re thinking about the customer experience. Great, that’s great. But how are we really engaged? What are we talking about? I think we’re moving towards it, but I think we need it earlier, ’cause people are spending a lot of money on experiences, and then they don’t see the reward.
MJ: It’s like, and then what?
HS: Yeah! Right. So, you know, gotta follow that through. If you walk into a beautiful store in the city. It’s gorgeous. It’s amazing. Spent millions on it, you can tell they’ve just done an amazing job. And the person at the counter doesn’t want to talk to you, then there it goes. You walk back out. That wasn’t nice, but I’m not gonna go back in there again.
MJ: Last question. What’s your favourite book?
HS: Well, my favourite, favourite book … at the moment, is probably The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.
NM: That’s intricate.
HS: Yeah. You’ve probably watched the movie more than you’ve read the book. But if you read the book, wow. He takes you into … He challenges your brain. You gotta read that book a couple of times before-
NM: It’s intense, I’ve heard that.
HS: It is intense. That Umberto Eco. He’s amazing.
HS: He plays with your mind.
NM: He does, he really does.
MJ: Harvey Sanchez, Director of Marketing and Communications for Accenture Interactive, thank you so much for being our guest on The CMO Show.
HS: Thank you. Appreciate it. Thank you.
NM: Such a joy talking to you.
HS: And seeing you again.