New Marketplace and Workplace Readiness

In the late 80’s PepsiCo started canvasing college campuses in search of the next generation of black and brown leaders. The initiative was a highly-coveted opportunity because PepsiCo was making big hires and for the resume, it set-up a full-time hire coming out of the “Reganomics” Era.

PepsiCo acquired several franchisee owned bottling organizations (FOBO) and was looking to convert them into corporate owned bottling organizations (COBO). PepsiCo was going to bring the family owned businesses into compliance. The summer 1990 several hundred diverse and super talented leaders joined PepsiCo as interns. It was the start of our corporate climb. I spent my first summer as an intern in Knoxville, Tennessee and my second summer in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I rode and carted drinks in the hot summer southern days learning the business from the ground up while asking hundreds of questions.

One question I continued to ask my manager (who was the route driver) in Knoxville, Tennessee; why was Coca-Cola winning in the city and not in the hills. My manager would say, “well Jeffrey, Coca-Cola hire route drivers and salesman directly from the communities they deliver drinks too. In return, they know the store owners, they went to school with their children and they invest put the money back in the communities they deliver drinks too.”

While on the truck, I learned an invaluable lesson about recruiting and talent development. This was not a new thing for Coca-Cola. They started ethnic (at the time), then changed to “diversity” recruiting in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Coca-Cola grew market share in key Southern markets by partnering with the middle and upwardly mobile black, then Hispanic and later Asian communities.

In the 1960’s the topic of Total Market was introduced my McKinsey. The topic was way ahead of its time. It was introduced as thought leadership for the C-Suite to consider and a form of change management and not advertising. Flash forward to 2010, while at an industry conference I re-introduced the topic while I was at Ogilvy & Mather.

Why? The general market and multi-cultural model was broke. It was time to begin reflecting the changing marketplace. Instead the topic was met with resistance, misinformation, miscommunications and misinterpretation. What’s at stake if we do not get this topic, right? The next 50 years of consumer market share for brands. We could lose valuable talent for our industry if we do not get this topic right. Can you imagine being on campus trying to convince an 18-year-old to pursue a career in advertising and marketing while trying to explain the “general market” and “multicultural” model. You would sound a little dated, right? Not sure if the narrative would make sense to the Generation Z and Millennial talent.

About a year ago we met as a Reframe team and we figured out how to get the Total Market topic narrative right and demonstrate the benefits. The wrong people were communicating the narrative and they’d never executed the approach in practice. We rolled up our sleeves and conducted qualitative research over 9 months. We knew we could provide clarity on the topic, present the benefits of the approach and accelerate adoption of the practice. This week we are proud to announce the release of our findings after a year of research. We present The State of the Total Market Industry Vertical Report, a first for the marketing and communications industry. It is the most comprehensive report published to date and a must have for executives who want to enter or reenter the topic and practice.

Over the next several months we will partner with Campaign US to share the findings of The State of the Total Market Industry Vertical Report. Our first article: Close the gap: The state of the ‘total market’ industry, presented one finding from the study, the workplace is two generations removed from the new marketplace. We will continue to share more in the coming months.

We know there is a lot of confusion in the hallways about this topic. What can you do to get educated on the topic? First. Our team is planning an event to share the findings, however you can get a copy of the State of the Total Market Industry Vertical Report today by clicking the link. 

Second. We’ve created a platform and place for change agents who want to #closethegap for their company. Click to join the community. 

Third. We are not just going to present the findings from the research, we are going to provide a solution by offering the industry’s first Reframe Master Class. The Total Market Topic Master Class is scheduled for Saturday, May 6th, 2017. It will be a full day of executive education about how to #closethegap between the new marketplace and workplace. Click to get stay informed about the Reframe Master Class executive education event.

Reframe is a business acceleration platform. We’ve been called the “McKinsey of Culture” to describe what we do for brands. Our mission is to prepare brands using the Total Market approach for the new marketplace and the Workplace Change approach for the new workplace readiness.

Please join us and #closethegap.