Molly Battin, Chief Brand Strategy Officer, Turner Broadcasting System, discussed how a business’ culture can help transform its brand during her keynote presentation to Argyle’s CMO membership at the 2016 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum: Spotlight on B2B Marketing in Atlanta on Oct. 27. In her presentation, “From Brand Champion -> Culture Warrior,” Battin provided a case study in culture, disruption and the expanding role of the brand champion.
According to Battin, culture has become exceedingly important to companies of all sizes over the past few years.
In today’s always-on, always-connected global marketplace, culture can serve as a key differentiator for a business. Plus, a culture may help a business drive consistent growth and ensure its customers and employees remain connected to a company. This means without the right culture in place, a company may struggle to define itself in a competitive global marketplace and could fall behind its rivals for an extended period of time.
“[Culture] really wasn’t a strategic priority,” Battin said. “Over the last decade through the digital revolution, we’ve really seen collective thinking about the role of culture shifting. In today’s culture of relentless change, culture is not just important, it’s a business imperative.”
Many business professionals understand the importance of culture, and as such, are dedicating the time and resources to help their respective companies foster cultural transformation.
“Culture can have both positive and negative impact on a company,” Battin noted. “Everything from employee output to how people feel to retention are really linked back to the strength of a culture within an organization.”
Furthermore, culture may change the way a company operates, encouraging employees to work together to achieve common goals.
“We’re changing how we work so that we can be more collaborative and break down the silos,” Battin said.
With the right culture, a company can develop a superior brand as well, according to Battin.
“[A brand is] about the authentic connection between what a company says it will do and what it actually does. Great brands embody that relationship.”
A business that identifies a successful culture can develop a mission and find the right employees to help achieve its goals. Also, this company may be better equipped to deliver on its brand promise than the competition – something that may help a business generate interest from customers and employees alike.
“A great brand is much more than the look, the feel, the logo, the tone and the voice,” Battin stated. “Truly, a brand is a promise delivered.”
In addition, a successful culture encourages teamwork, and a company that drives a cultural transformation now may be able to build trust with its customers and employees for years to come.
“[A brand is] about the authentic connection between what a company says it will do and what it actually does,” Battin said. “Great brands embody that relationship.”
However, it is important to note that no two companies will have the same culture, and each business must find a culture that drives business results.
A successful culture enables a company to engage with its customers and employees day after day, along with ensure a business can achieve its short- and long-term goals.
“A great brand is much more than the look, the feel, the logo, the tone and the voice. Truly, a brand is a promise delivered.”
Perhaps most important, a successful culture illustrates a company’s mission, enabling customers and employees to understand what a business offers and what makes a business different from its rivals.
“Every company is unique and different, and a company’s culture has to be unique and authentic to who you are. [The culture] has to be an authentic representation of your DNA, what you stand for and what your unique purpose is,” Battin noted.
How a business builds a culture is crucial, and marketers can play key roles in a culture’s success.
If marketers understand a company, they may be better equipped to help a company define its goals and build a culture around them. Marketers also could help business leaders develop relevant, engaging messaging and ensure a company can share its mission and values with customers and employees.
“You can’t conjure up new values and behaviors. They have to be authentic to who you are and be credible. We need to balance that credibility and authentic nature with also making [values and behaviors] aspirational,” Battin said.
Creating a successful culture often requires hard work and patience, but marketers who are committed to helping a company take the next step forward may be able to empower a business do just that.
If a business can build a successful culture, it may be able to receive additional support from employees who feel like they are part of a team. This company could reap the benefits of satisfied, loyal customers too, and these customers may enable a business to extend its global reach and bolster its brand reputation.
Molly Battin is Chief Brand strategy Officer for Turner. She is responsible for leading the global brand strategy, employee branding, media planning, ad placement buying, creative production and digital media strategy for the company and its portfolio of television and digital brands. Battin is based in Altanta and reports to Lauren Hurtvitz, chief communications and corporate marketing officer for Turner.
A leader at Turner since joining the company in 2000, Battin most recently served as chief media and business insights officer, responsible for leading and evolving the company’s endeavors in such areas as research, creative production, media planning and asset management. Prior to that, she was general manager of upwave, the entertainment brand created by Turner to explore marketplace opportunities for health and lifestyle-themed digital and television content.
Battin assumed leadership Turner Media Group in 2009 after serving as senior vice president of brand development and digital platforms for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). In 2004, she spearheaded the creation of the TBS Very Funny brand through a campaign that earned multiple prestigious industry honors, including a Lion Award at Cannes, the Gold Effie for Advertising Effectiveness and induction to the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) Hall of Fame. She previously led domestic marketing for CNN, CNN Headline News and CNNfn as vice president of strategic marketing.
Prior to joining Turner, Battin was vice president of marketing for EzGov, Inc, an Atlanta-based e-Government company where she managed strategic brand development, advertising, consumer and marketing research, and public relations. Additionally, she served in brand management for The Coca-Cola Company, overseeing consumer advertising, Hispanic advertising, consumer promotion, internet strategy and media for Sprite. Battin also worked in advertising account management at Bates USA and D’Arcy, Mathis, Benton, and Bowles, New York, working on Miller Brewing Company and Kraft Foods accounts, respectively.
Battin is a Fellow of the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Betsy Magness Leadership Institute. She currently serves on the board of the Agape Youth and Family Center and the advisory board for Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Battin earned a bachelor’s degree in American history from Princeton University and a MBA from Northwestern University.
Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, sports, animation and young adult multi-platform content for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International and CNN.com, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, iStreamPlanet and ELEAGUE.