Luca Bertolino recently sat down with Carlota Pico to talk about his 20+ years of experience working in marketing for brands such as Adidas, FILA and, most recently, Mustad Hoofcare Group. Luca discussed the changes he’s seen over the past two decades, the experiences that have shaped him most as a marketing professional, and the challenges and opportunities that brands have faced this year.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • Mustad Hoofcare Group is the world’s largest manufacturer and seller of hoof care products. When you work in a highly nuanced market like this one, you have to be very careful with content, because your credibility is at risk if you say something wrong.
  • The fundamental difference between a sales director and a marketing director is their perspective; sales is more focused on today, while marketing emphasizes the long term. Integrating both is valuable, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • Managing a team is equal parts challenging and rewarding. There are many ways to lead, and no one way is best. However, leaders should avoid micromanaging, encourage and guide employees, and then let them show what they can do. 
  • Marketing is constantly evolving. Instead of unlearning things you’ve learned in the past, you can build on those experiences. At the end of the day, the tools we use for marketing have changed but the same thinking and logic remain.
  • COVID-19 has raised the bar for traditional retail in terms of attention to customer needs, with businesses seeking to match the personal experiences that people have had online recently.

You can’t assume that everybody else on the team will think and look at things just like you. You can’t force your thoughts onto other people. If you could, you wouldn’t need a team.

Rapid-fire recs

A source of inspiration?

I have a few that don’t necessarily have to do with marketing. Madonna is a fantastic example of how to build a brand and successfully recreate that brand over time.

Another example is the band U2. They’re a great model for how to stay relevant—they’ve been doing it for nearly 40 years!

Lastly, you can’t ignore what Elon Musk is doing. His ambition and way of thinking are hard to match.

A useful book or publication?

The first book I’d recommend is “Quiet Leadership” by David Rock. He’s a neuroscientist, and I find this approach to leadership based on neuroscientific principles quite interesting. The book conveys a powerful message about what it means to be a quiet but great leader.

I also recommend “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell. The title says it all—it’s all about how hard work can yield success.

Another interesting read is “Talent is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin.

See also: Luca’s article about how to get corporate values adopted by your team.

Connect with Luca and Carlota on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Mary Kresge, a freelance content creator based in Madrid.

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To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.