A focus on marketing excellence

The story

The best in the world. That was the ambition. The CMO wants Asahi to excel as a marketing organisation in terms of focus, ways of working and results. They needed to improve the quality and consistency of their marketing, across all brands and international markets. We worked with them to develop FOCUS – the operational blueprint to transform impact and efficiency.

What needed to change

There was a lack of consistency across Asahi’s markets – including marketing operations, quality and performance. This meant they were wasting, time, budget, and risking brand reputation. They needed a new method to support improved, consistent ways of working.

What we did

We helped develop a new marketing method, FOCUS to reset their global approach to marketing. FOCUS is about what’s crucial to the future of the business – leaving behind what’s not important. It defines and communicates the absolute fundamentals that every market must put in place, and a clear view of the end-to-end operational model.

The five principles are:

  1. We make our priorities clear – all about strategy, objective and target setting.
  2. We focus on real people – about research and consumer insight.
  3. We create iconic brands – encompasses their method of brand building.
  4. We aim higher – covers the entire campaign planning process, working with agencies to develop inspiring advertising and content.
  5. We succeed together – outlines their ambition and aspiration to collaborate and work as one team across all markets.

These principles bring clarity, set expectations and empower people to make the right decisions and ask the right questions. These principles and the marketing fundamentals contained within them were created by multi-market, multi-brand teams across the organisation. It’s based on their priorities and their ambition for the future for Asahi. It has cross organisation buy-in, and people regard it as unique to them. This creates a strong sense of pride and identity across the team.

The stages of the FOCUS hero method are:

  1. Define and launch the FOCUS objectives and principles.
  2. Define the marketing fundamentals – the foundation processes that deliver great marketing – by working with cross functional, cross market working groups.
  3. Collate findings and agree the hero method with the marketing leadership team.
  4. Document the hero method and train the community in the new ways of working.
  5. Establish an ongoing test and learn programme targeting the key processes and campaigns. This is a constant improvement programme working with cross functional teams focused on initiatives that will have the greatest impact.
  6. Communicate results, and constantly look for process improvements.

Why it’s brilliant

FOCUS is Asahi’s hero method – built from the voices and data of the organisation. It  enables the community to focus, test and learn, challenge and iterate. It’s a data-led approach which secures buy-in across the business. But it’s also open to continual evolution based on performance.

FOCUS began as an operational model and a European initiative. We have made this hero method fly at Asahi by using aspirational language to frame and communicate the operational model – inspiring the individual marketer, as well as the organisation.

It’s now being rolled out globally to all markets. The focus and simplicity of the hero method has allowed it to gain advocacy.

This is a hero method defined by principles, process and people. These core elements enable the organisation’s digital capability to be accelerated.

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