The Importance of the Role of Marketing in an Organisation as told by Graham Villiers-Tuthill

The Importance of the Role of Marketing in an Organisation as told by Graham Villiers-Tuthill

Graham Villiers-Tuthillis the Marketing & Innovations Director for East African Breweries Limited, part of Diageo PLC. He is also a Non-Executive Board member of Serengeti Breweries Limited. Tuthill started at Diageo straight from campus and has been there for 15 years. He’s been based in Nairobi since 2018.

Asa globally experienced business leader, he shared his experience working in emerging markets, responding to crisis in an organisation, and the importance of the marketing team. Working in Emerging Markets

Tuthill joined Diageo straight after college and spent the first seven years of his career building functional depth in Ireland. Moving around the business in different categories and working on projects allowed him to understand how the organisation worked on a larger scale. The fact that he was born, educated, and worked in Ireland dawned on him and it was important that he moved to get some growth outside of what he knew. Diageo has a joint venture business with Heineken in Singapore, so Tuthill decided to work there for two years and enjoyed learning how Heineken runs their operations whilst in the same category as Diageo. He then moved to Indonesia for his new role; Marketing Manager.

The countries differed from a language and cultural point of view, so while he faced challenges, Tuthill notes “it was good for me and my learning”. He was out of his depth in a new country but he knew the brand very well and had great connections with the global brand team who offered support.

Responding to a Crisis in an Organisation

While working in Indonesia, a new government regulation disrupted 70% of the company’s numeric distribution. He looked to the Corporate Relations Team for a solution but soon realised that every issue is a marketing issue; every issue has a marketing implication that needs to be well-charted out. It was the marketing team’s responsibility to handle crisis management within the company and with the consumers in the market.

COVID changed the structure of a lot of organisations and not many survived because they weren’t prepared for this event. The marketing team had to be dynamic, fluid, and agile in order to make things work during the pandemic. Years of understanding the consumer and how they are affected was enough to set out a clear narrative and a path to recovery for the business. The team accelerated a review of where the consumer is, in […]

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