Maximum Positivity at 6th Esade Alumni Marketing Night
The 19th – a unique space on the top floor of the Hotel Sofía, with views overlooking the entire city – was the ideal place to gather and draw inspiration.
After welcome cocktails, Patricia Sotelo (MBA ‘02 / DEC ‘08), Digital Director at Esade Alumni and member of the Executive Board of the Esade Alumni Marketing Club, delivered some introductory remarks and thanked the club’s sponsor, Multiplica, and the Executive Board for making this gathering possible after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic:
“This is a night for networking, for finding synergies and helping each other for the benefit of the community and society. With this evening’s event, we are closing out the year with an inspiring capsule that will surprise us. We will reflect on how to think about disruptive innovation and implement it in our jobs,” she said.
Next, we heard from Diana Ballart, co-founder and CEO of The Smart Lollipop, a company that manufactures a medical device that detects diseases through saliva. With a background in advertising and experience at several communication and advertising agencies, Diana began her successful entrepreneurial journey in the health tech sector with her project The Smart Lollipop, which won the Dream Big Challenge iFest innovation competition in 2017. In recent years, she has travelled to Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Paris, London and Turin, presenting her project and winning various innovation competitions.
Diana stressed the importance of focusing on the user experience. “If there is going to be a paradigm shift, the revolution will not be technological, from my point of view,” she noted. “The real revolution has to do with people and empathy. We can shake things up by centring the user – by asking ourselves what is needed in order to give users the experience they really deserve. From there, we run tests to see how we can make it happen. Think differently and have an impact.”
The revolution is not always digital. The real revolution has to do with people and empathy. We can shake things up by centring the user.
Marketing buzzword of 2022
After dinner, Mauro Ribó (Lic&MBA ‘94), member of the Executive Board of the Esade Alumni Marketing Club, unveiled the term that is on the lips of every good professional this year – the official “marketing buzzword of 2022”.
A buzzword is a trendy term that is frequently used in a particular industry or sector. And who better than marketing professionals to create new concepts and terms – and in English, of course! “After two years without being able to organise Marketing Night, the world has changed more than you think,” said Mauro. “We have left behind the era of blind faith in digital progress and come to grips with our obvious fragility. As consumers and as citizens, we are overwhelmed and we need optimism. We need to think that everything will be okay, that we will get through this. We need to think, speak and feel positively. That’s why the marketing buzzword of 2022 is the word POSITIVE.”
We have left behind the era of blind faith in digital progress and come to grips with our obvious fragility. As consumers and as citizens, we are overwhelmed and we need optimism.
As Mauro explained, positive is a trend that is already in the air. Brands have already caught on. “But you can’t just use it any old way,” he noted. “Buzzwords are magical when the meaning is not entirely clear. Not everyone knows about marketing, so I encourage you to use the buzzword in expressions like ‘positive pricing’, ‘positive learning’, ‘positive understanding’ and ‘positive creativity’... so that everyone will know you attended Marketing Night.”
Spotlight on Marketing Night attendees
Panaita García (Lic&MBA '95), member of the Executive Board of the Marketing Club
¿What messages did you take away from Marketing Night 2022? It’s hard to summarise the wide variety of conversations we had with marketing professionals and professors over dinner. I’ll always remember Mauro Ribó’s declaration of positive as the marketing buzzword of 2022 – a word that is sure to pop up frequently in our utterances this year – and Diana Ballart’s assertion that “the revolution begins with empathy”, which reminds us of the essence of our work: centring the consumer, the patient or the user, while also leveraging technology as a great enabler in this regard.
What are the challenges marketers face in today’s unstable environment? For me, the main challenge in this environment has to do with un-learning things that we have become accustomed to, becoming perennial learners and assiduous experimenters, combining creativity and adaptability to solve problems, and anticipating and satisfying the rapidly changing expectations of consumers, users and customers. The flexibility of marketing teams will be the key to meeting this challenge; now more than ever, teams will have to combine data and analytical insight capabilities with creativity and communication. Another challenge for CMOs in this environment is to anticipate, connect opportunities to grow the business, co-create the corporate strategy and work to keep it consistent with objectives and actions. As the work of marketing teams becomes more strategic and valuable to the business as a whole, marketers must create human-centric metrics (satisfaction, engagement, etc.) in order to add value to their organisations.
Paula Prieto (EMMV '22)
How do you rate the Marketing Club’s organisation of events like this one? Very highly. Marketing Night is a great opportunity to connect with alumni and current students and to soak up knowledge and trends. As an event organiser, I can say that the organisation was impeccable.
During the event, we heard about the idea of disruptive innovation. What elements do you think a company must bring together in order to promote disruptive innovation? I would say the main elements are empathy and people. We tend to think that disruptive innovation has to do with development and technological advances in a product or service. But really, disruptive innovation is the ability of people (and therefore companies) to create, develop or improve a product and service to affect an industry. So companies need to encourage a way of working that fosters the human factor and empathy. Indeed, this is how we can ensure that those responsible for disruptive innovation are able to fulfil their key role.