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Moments with marketers: Paul Bennett


Moments with marketers: Paul Bennett


Marketingmag.com.au had a chat with Paul Bennett, chief creative officer and managing partner with IDEO. If
you would
like to see a certain
marketer profiled, please email your suggestion to Sean Greaney on [email protected].

What do you do?

There’s a great quote in Woody Allen’s movie Annie Hall that best describes my job: 

“A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies.”

I think of myself as having a relationship with creativity and the creative people that I work with as needing to be constantly moving. That’s what I do, keep us all swimming forward.

What was your first job?

My first design job was at Fitch in London in 1986, halcyon days. But I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken to pay my way through college: they loved me and told me I had “management potential” when I outsold their annual quota of fries in two weeks.

What did you study?

Graphic Design.

Describe a typical day?

Much to the chagrin of my colleagues, I am up frighteningly early, usually 5am. Email with the West Coast, deal with anything there. Gym at 6, boxing. Days are usually a combination of meet, greet and eat.

I describe my work behaviour as doctors rounds. Basically I walk around and talk to our designers, who I find endlessly inspiring. Lots of client conversations, writing, Facebook (where much of my business is done) and working on actual projects: innovation is demanding, emotional and complex.

Go home around 6. At the end of a cerebral day, I watch utter trash to decompress: American Idol, Americas’ Next Top Model, nothing with a semblance of a plot.

What is on the agenda for the next year?

Deepening my own awareness of socially-relevant design issues: education, poverty, obesity, healthcare, and how IDEO can participate in solving the most challenging global problems. Were getting asked to contribute to some great stuff right now, which is cool.

What brand do you love the most? Dislike the most? Why?  

Changes weekly. Let me say this: I’ve had my iPhone for almost two years and I still swear by it. Dislikes? Anything that “sells” in an obvious way: I am bored to tears with ‘classical marketing’.

What do you believe has been the most significant moment in the history of marketing?

The internet, without doubt. I talk endlessly about how “Contribution is The New Consumption” and the internet is proving this to be correct: complete transparency is the only way forward.

Where can people find you? (Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, company website, etc.) 

Yes. All of the above. I dont have a phone number on my business card. Im working on not having a business card at all to be honest, a piece of paper in a wallet feels sort of weird to me.


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