University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Ep. 8 | Rishad Tobaccowala on the Human Behind the Consumer

Rishad Tobaccowala
February 22, 2021

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How can business leaders decipher what people want? What changes are taking place at the CMO level? 

Rishad Tobaccowala, senior adviser to Publicis Groupe, the world's third largest communication firm, talks with Andy Murray to share his insights and answers to these questions. Tobaccowala was the previous chief growth officer at Publicis Groupe, whose 80,000 employees worldwide are dedicated to delivering marketing and business transformation. He was responsible for supporting the leaders of Publicis Groupe’s largest global clients. For his pioneering innovation, BusinessWeek named Tobaccowala one of the top business leaders, and he also was dubbed one of five marketing innovators by TIME magazine. In this episode, Rishad and Andy discuss the 10 characteristics that connect the customer and consumer as human beings, how the CMO role is changing, and the three most important questions people should ask themselves about data. 

As the conversation gets underway, Andy and Rishad tackle the term “customer” itself. Rishad encourages leaders to not have a customer-first mentality, but rather a people-first mentality. Explaining when you focus on the customer aspects, you miss the human behind the consumer, and you miss your employees. When you shift your focus this way, you begin to deduce what people actually want and can provide it more efficiently. Andy then asks Rishad how he has seen the CMO role change recently, and Rishad discusses both pre- and during-COVID differences. He also dives into how he envisions a post-COVID future and urges leaders to stop thinking about a “new normal,” rather consider that life and business moving forward will be a “new strange.”

As the episode ends, Rishad shares his advice for students who are interested in pursuing a career in customer experience or marketing.

Learn more about Rishad Tobaccowala and read his book, Restoring the Soul of Business.

Learn more about Rishad’s newsletter.


Episode Transcript:

Andy Murray: (00:05)

Hi, I'm Andy Murray. Welcome to It's A Customer's World podcast. Now more than ever, retailers and brands are accelerating their quest to be more customer-centric, but to be truly customer-centric, it requires both a shift in mindset and ways of working, not just in marketing, but in all parts of the organization. In this podcast series, I'll be talking with practitioners, thought leaders, and scholars, to hear their thoughts on what it takes to be a leader in today's customer-centric world.

Andy Murray: (00:40)

On this episode, I have with me, Rishad Tobaccowala. Rishad is a Senior Advisor to the Publicis Groupe, the world's third largest communication network, where he served most recently as its chief growth officer and chief strategist. He has four decades of marketing experience across several industries, with an emphasis on next generation marketing, enabled by new technologies and changing expectations of people.

Andy Murray: (01:05)

He was named by Business Week as one of the top business leaders for his pioneering innovation, and Time Magazine dubbed him one of five marketing innovators. He is also the author of Restoring The Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data. During our talk today, we're going to explore Rishad's framework of 10 characteristics he used to connect the customer and employees as human beings. We'll also talk about how the CMO role is changing, and the three most important questions people should ask themselves about data.

Andy Murray: (01:45)

So, hi Rishad. Thank you for joining me today. It's such a privilege for you to be with me and on this podcast. We get to talk to several thought leaders and different executives around this emerging world of customer-centric leadership, and you're at the top of the list in my book for a person that has seen quite a bit of change in the industry, and is thinking two and three steps out of where the future's going. So maybe we just start with the basics of, when you hear those words, customer-centric organization, or leadership, and what does that phrase mean to you in your experience out in seeing different industries?

Rishad Tobaccowala: (02:22)

First of all, thank you for having me. It's a privilege being on here. So whenever I think of the word customer, the first thing I'd basically say is let's suppress the word. And the reason I believe we need to suppress the word is because, if a company looks at the people that they're selling to only as customers, they miss the most important thing about them, which is that they are people.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (02:47)

And often, you can look at a company through the framework of your brand, and your products and services, which you should, but if you only look at them that way, you miss a lot. So let's look at P&G which is an amazing company, and they don't necessarily do this, they're too amazing to do this. But if P&G were to look at ... despite all the brands that they have and many of their big billion dollar brands, if they were to look at everybody who utilizes P&G products to try to understand them, but they did it through the lens of their product, what they would end up is understanding my dirt removal needs. That's it. Because that's all that P&G does, it removes dirt from my butt, from my teeth, from my clothes. I don't define myself with my dirt removal habits, right? So to a great extent, it means you have missed almost everything about my life by looking at me as a customer.

Andy Murray: (03:45)


Rishad Tobaccowala: (03:46)

That is number one, right? The second is a reason a company will succeed in managing to their customers, is that I truly now believe that the single most important thing is the growth, quality and happiness of your employees, which I call employee [inaudible 00:04:11], because we often hear about how brands are your experiences. And I want to simply ask how are your experiences delivered. So experiences are delivered either through a interaction with human beings or through amazing software and UI.

Andy Murray: (04:25)


Rishad Tobaccowala: (04:26)

So you have to be relatively happy to do the kind of designing that they do at Apple, and you have to be relatively happy to basically be flying ... a flight attendant at Southwest and you probably are not happy being a flight attendant at United. And simply that explains the difference between those two airlines. They fly the same planes, they both have to do with the FAA. So my basic belief is a fixation on customers will get you nowhere. Think about people and think about employees first, then think about customers.

Andy Murray: (04:59)

Well, you're one of the first thought leaders I've spoken to that have zeroed in on that element right away, as a first step. And you must believe that or have a belief system somewhere that says creativity and ideas and things that delight you come from a higher level of engagement for employees than what typical ... well, as Gallup said, 85% of employees show up a bit disengaged. And how can you create a great customer experience if that's the place you're coming from? Is that kind of what you're saying?

Rishad Tobaccowala: (05:35)

Exactly. So what basically happens is if your employees are not engaged, and if you are not thinking about the people you're selling to as full people, it becomes very hard to move them or to move your people to serve them. But when you do that, then obviously a lot of the fundamentals of customer, consumer, member, all those also begin to come in. But when you start just with the customer perspective, you sometimes miss the key things. So that's why I always say, suppress customer initially, think employee and people, people being the person you're trying to sell to or engage with and employee, obviously, the people in your company and then build from there.

Andy Murray: (06:14)

Well, I'm going to have to change the name of my initiative then to something else, but I get what you're saying and I fully, fully agree with it. A question for you that I get a lot and see a lot is when you talk about people and trying to deliver a product or service that is aligned with what people want and their expectations, it's easy to start with the dissatisfiers of what you're providing. You find that in your net promoter score, work out the dissatisfiers and those are almost ... I would call them low-hanging fruit. Get rid of the things that really annoy people. But then when you start to work on through your teams, your CX teams and whatever you're doing, what customers really want and build a product to that, very few companies are actually doing that. So any words of advice on how to find what people want?

Rishad Tobaccowala: (07:01)

Yeah. So I basically say that there are 10 things that people want. Four of them are rational, three of them are emotional, and three of them are spiritual. And the more of these you can give them, the more you will be successful. And sometimes when you can only give them primarily the rational, that's perfectly fine, but then you do that. So the rational a simple word, is S-A-V-E, SAVE, okay? The S stands for people are looking for solutions, they're not looking to buy your products or services. The A is to be accessible and accessible means everything from being available, this is the multichannel, being accessible when it comes down to package size, pricing, et cetera. They're looking for value, which is not necessarily the cheapest thing, but relative to how they measure it. And E, they're looking for an experience, which is something that is worth dealing with. So a solution, access, value, and experience are the rational things that they're looking for.

Andy Murray: (08:01)

I love that. That's easy to remember, and it probably does play into saving time, saving money, saving frustration.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (08:07)

Exactly. It's all of those things. And it's simply save, which is one. Then the second thing that they're looking for is what I basically call the emotional, and the emotional they're basically looking for is wealth, fame, and power. Which is, can this help me make more money or make me feel richer? Which is the wealth. Can this make me more famous, more liked, sexier, right? And power is, does this give me like I'm the big kid on the block or whatever, right? That's the emotional, and there are lots of products that feed to money, fame, right? The last thing that they basically need, which is sometimes the hardest to get to is purpose, connection, and growth.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (08:56)

Which is purpose is to find meaning, and how their products and services help them find meaning, which is purpose, right? They obviously are looking for connection. Do they feel connected to the company? Do they feel connected to other people? Human beings are connected, right? So there's connected. And then the final one is growth. Can they grow as people? Can they grow? Those are the 10 characteristics. And the reason I explained that that way is when you have someone working in your company, forget the customer, say someone who's an employee in your company. And this works exactly the same, whether it's an employee or someone you're selling to. So I've come up with a model that works, regardless of ... as long as the person on the other side is a human being. It doesn't work with a robot or a machine, right? But as long as it's human being, it works.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (09:45)

And as a employee, I might basically be working at a company doing solutions, access, value, experience, but I basically want good salary, I want to be recognized by a company and I want autonomy. And those are money, fame and power. Right? And I want to feel connected to my boss, to my colleagues, so that's a form of connection, I want to be happy and glad about the company I'm working in, that's purpose, and I want to continue to grow, grow my salary, grow my skill sets, grow my network, and it's that simple. I brought it down to those 10 words, working both sides, in English.

Andy Murray: (10:24)

Yeah, exactly. Well, it would seem to me, if you get good at the discipline of executing against those 10 things, it will be a natural overflow into how you interact with people or customers, if you will.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (10:37)

Exactly. And with anybody, with people, with customers, it all works and you recognize that some are different, so you treat them differently, but it gives you a framework to play with. It's not necessarily, this is the rule book, or this is a framework. And you might say, I'm going to overemphasize this and underemphasize this, that's perfectly fine.

Andy Murray: (10:55)

Yeah. That's interesting. Really, really helpful insight. I've never heard it put that way. This has already been worth the price of admission for those watching the podcast, in my book. I'd love to hear your thoughts a bit around the top of organizations today when ... and let's just stick for this idea being customer-centric or people-centric externally. That's a pretty big shift for a lot of companies, especially in today's pressures for quarterly P&L hitting and all the changes happening in COVID where customers' expectations have rapidly ratcheted to the top, omni-channels now accelerating. But a lot of senior people, especially if you're a CMO, probably haven't built an experience base across the broader sense. So what are you seeing in terms of the briefs or the kinds of things happening at that CMO space?

Rishad Tobaccowala: (11:43)

So there are four very big changes that have taken place. Two that were taking place prior to COVID and two that have taken place post COVID. The two that was taking place prior to COVID is because you and I, when we are at home, not when we are doing our day or we're doing our day jobs are the worst nightmare of every business person and marketer when we're at home. Because what has happened is because of modern technology, particularly what I call the first connected age, which was search and e-commerce and the second connected age, which was mobile and social, right? I have basically got God-like power. So my whole stuff has been we're marketing to the Gods. So I've got God-like power. I can go in, I can check your price, figure out what other people are doing by instantaneously, have these high expectations, right? And I am that.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (12:47)

And then inside the company, we're talking about how we're enabling and empowering people, and my whole stuff is, I'm already enabled and empowered. I don't understand what you're doing to help empower you're doing to help [inaudible 00:12:55] empowered. So that rise of what I would call empowered people has led to the recognition that marketing is equal to importance as finance and operations. Marketing was always basically a lower level part of the organization. It was either considered to be a cost center, something to do with ads and promotion elements, and don't you worry about it. But one, because of the customer experience, the customer, or the consumer, or the person having God-like power, they have power. And I grew up here in Chicago, I went to grad school here, and I went to university of Chicago at Northwestern, and we had [Dodge 00:13:41] Schultz, the [inaudible 00:13:42] professor. I don't know [Dodge Schultz 00:13:43] ... Philip Kotler. And Philip Kotler basically wrote the book on marketing.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (13:48)

And he basically said, marketing is understanding and meeting customer requirements. But when customers become God-like power, you better understand what the hell you're doing. Right? And in the years when I was working on the P&Gs et cetera for many years, they weren't really marketing companies. They were basically manufacturing and logistics and distribution companies. But now you have to be a truly marketing company, which obviously they and many other companies have become, but to a great extent, that's one. The second is because also of technology, the blur between what a brand is and what an experience is. The brands became experiences, and then experiences become brand. Therefore, the way you deliver a product and service, the way you design a product and service becomes part of your marketing. So marketing, isn't a lipstick that you put on the pig. It's how you grow the pig. Okay?

Rishad Tobaccowala: (14:38)

And so those two were already occurring pre COVID, had been going on for three, four, five years, and that continues to obviously accelerate, but the two things that happened post COVID are the following. The first is a recognition that change was not as difficult as it looked. That change was a mental construct. As I often tell younger people now who basically say my bosses, don't get it, I said, your bosses did not get it in December, 2019, I can assure you that your bosses get it in September, 2020. Right? The biggest change that I've basically seen is how every senior person has been zoomed into the future, right? They have been forced to rethink things in every way, how they run a company, how much they rely on certain people, why do they have all these people who basically manage their meetings? There's this entire mindset, which is the senior people in companies are rewiring their minds. Now, they're still in the process where the old wiring has fallen apart, and they don't exactly know how they are rewiring, but they're rewiring.

Andy Murray: (15:51)

Well. And to your point, I think a lot of what's happening too, is there was a culling of objectives at the senior level, that to them, it's pretty easy to do eight objectives. What's wrong with eight? It got down to some very focused one or two objectives.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (16:04)

It's very focused. Yeah. So nothing concentrates the mind, like a combination of, I got to survive, and I'm running out of money, or by the way, my business model doesn't make any sense, or by the way, my entire industry shut down. So now what do I do? So that has become a very big thing. And then the last one, which ties into the first one is the increasing belief now that you have to combine data and humanity, you have to combine art and science. They had started to be a tilt on running the business, through the science and the numbers and numerics. Right? And a line I often now tell our C-level executives is data is like electricity, you can't do without it, but tell me which companies differentiate themselves on electricity.

Andy Murray: (16:50)


Rishad Tobaccowala: (16:51)

Okay. And so, because we are going between the steam age and the electric age, we get very excited, but eventually outside, obviously of a few companies, very few people will have so much data, a special data that it differentiates them, right? Without data you weren't able to compete, but data alone is not the way you're going to compete. So similarly technology is an important input, but so are people. So how do you combine art and science? Which is one of the reasons for instance, my book has done really well because it's, how do you marry the story and the spreadsheet? I call it Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data. Right?

Rishad Tobaccowala: (17:28)

Which is how do you combine the two? And so a lot of C-level executives, a lot of young people say, "Wait, you're basically ... you have an advanced degree in mathematics. You have an MBA in finance from the university of Chicago, right? You've led a lot of digital and data initiatives, and you're talking about the two being important together." I said, yes, because if you get all data driven, you end up with Wells Fargo, and you open up fake accounts, right? If you basically get all vision and story driven, you end up with WeWork.

Andy Murray: (17:55)

Yeah. It's interesting Rishad that I think, and I love to hear your perspective on this, but it feels to me like there's been a bit of an overselling on the delivery of what data science and customer data warehouses can actually deliver. And there's a loads and loads of people jumping on that investment in that tech stack and transformation in that space, but what I've been finding is that the things that really drive behavior is a bit still underneath those data lakes that live in the humanities that-

Rishad Tobaccowala: (18:27)

Yeah, it does. And a very simple question that I would ask your listeners to ask themselves are these three simple questions. Question number one, do you, or do you not agree that we choose with our hearts, that we use numbers to justify what we just did? Okay? Number one. Number two, out of your last 10 decisions, tell me which ones were primarily made on gut instinct and emotion and which were made on data. Most of life's decisions are not made on data because if they were that way, none of us would have been born because our parents would have computed the pain and cost of bringing up kids, and they said it doesn't compute. Okay? So anything worthwhile in life actually is not data driven.

Andy Murray: (19:08)

... No, probably can't even be measured. How much do you love your child? How are you going to measure that?

Rishad Tobaccowala: (19:13)

Third is if you believe it's going to be primarily data, then you are going to be out of a job within three to five years as AI gets better and better.

Andy Murray: (19:21)

Yeah. Good point there.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (19:23)

Right? So it's how do you work with the machine, not against the machine, or become just the machine because then you have no job. So when I ask those three questions, everything becomes very, very different. You don't make decisions that way, the most important decisions aren't that and if that's the way decisions you're going to lose your job. So will you stop worshiping at the alter of data?

Andy Murray: (19:42)

A hundred percent. And quite honestly, whatever data you have, that's past two years old at this point, given what's just happened, it's no good.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (19:50)

It is. In fact, what I basically call is data lakes are swarms of outdated, dead fish.

Andy Murray: (19:58)

I'm glad you could be so brave to say that because I've always wondered, what is actually swimming in those data lakes.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (20:03)

It sucks. And what happens because I know so much about it, I basically say the biggest problem with ... and this is the thing which has really opened up the eyes of a lot of C-level executives, because everyone have really spot, that sometimes either that you get a little insecure when people talk to you about all these stuffs that you don't understand and then you start not questioning, so I basically ... the thing is like, wait a second, this is extremely important like a lot of other things, but I can't run my company just on that. And I explained to them in English. My stuff is, let me explain to you in English. I'm not going to talk about all these funny words. And I'm just going to very naked in english so you get the concepts. Then you need obviously the experts, because neither B nor the C-level person has got the analytical and AI and other ability. But you should have enough to be able to ask the right questions that no whether you're hiring a fool or not.

Andy Murray: (20:56)

Yes. A hundred percent. And the other thing I would say is use your own experiences sometimes as a gut check, because if Amazon is one of the world leaders in being able to use customer data and data science and algorithms and such, if I go do a search in Amazon for a circular saw a hundred data lakes, get something dropped in, I'm telling them that I'm a carpenter, and I'm not a carpenter, but-

Rishad Tobaccowala: (21:20)

Right? But eventually you will be followed by so many carpentry oriented messages you will want to buy a saw and cut your head off.

Andy Murray: (21:32)

... Maybe they just trying to convince me, no, you really are a carpenter. You just don't know it yet. And so ... but yeah, so that's the best of the best of the best, right? And so if-

Rishad Tobaccowala: (21:40)

It is, and that's the key thing. So a lot of it is, one is that a lot of management has been mowed zoomed into the future. But the second is they realize it's the humanity. And the part of the reason they see that is ... I wrote a piece which I'll send you, and you can either, if you like it, you can add it to the show notes as a link, I wrote a piece in May called The Great Reinvention. And what I did was I actually wrote four blog pieces one week apart, and each one had a theme and then I eventually put it together and just called it ... and so the first one was called The Great Re-Invention: Address Fragility, but eventually I put it all together and then I made it look really good. I hired someone to make it look good because executives don't read blog posts, so I had to put together a nice Adobe Spark document that they had.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (22:22)

So that was ... remember it's accessible. I've got to make myself accessible. So yeah, this is the way you want to eat your stuff. I'm going to provide it that way, mash ground so you can eat it like a baby. So here it is. Okay. But what happens is that is being discussed by at least six or eight boardrooms right now. Six in the United States and two FTSE companies. Right? Because it was very simple, it was written in English. But what people liked was I basically said, I'm going to try to think about COVID-19, but I'm going to put some thoughts to you. First is there's no new normal, there's going to be a new, strange. Drop, the word new normal. Second, this is nothing like SARS MERS, 911, Great Recession. Here is why it's different.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (23:05)

And one of the key things is if you take people all over the world and make them start or stop doing something for three to six months, their behaviors change, their mind gets recirculated, which means any plan that you have written December 2019, or earlier, has to be revisited and may have to be [inaudible 00:23:22] . Right? The other is we're also entering an age where there's new technology, just like the first and second connected age. We now have AI and 5G and whole bunches of things like Voice and Cloud, which means new categories and competitors and consumer needs are being formed.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (23:40)

And the mistake that GM and Ford made coming out of the Great Recession is they went back to normal, not recognizing new technologies and new mindsets. And that's where Tesla and Uber were born, right? P&G came back and Gillette and Shake started adding more blades, but because of social media and YouTube Dollar Shave Club was born, right? So the thing that ... so my stuff is you're not going to ... you're not restarting your business. You're starting your business. You're starting your business in the new strange, you're not restarting your business for the new normal.

Andy Murray: (24:13)

... Well, I heard a quote the other day that everybody now is a startup. Is that kind of what you're saying? Right?

Rishad Tobaccowala: (24:18)

Exactly. You got to start your business and here is how you need to do it. Eventually happened, why they liked it, is I basically said, here is how business individuals and society is fragile. Right? And I called out a lot of things, which actually indicated that the Black Lives Matter thing was going to happen. I wrote this at an early May, right? Which was one. But then I said that we need eventually resilience. So how does business society and individuals become resilient? And then I ended up with resurrection, how do we get reborn, right?

Andy Murray: (24:49)

Love that.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (24:49)

And what they're liked was I was using human terms and people, fragility, resurrection, resilience, right? While are saying, you need to combine this and this. And the biggest thing was, hey, you've reminded us that this is about humans and technology, and we have become technology and data and speed, and we had forgotten the humans.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (25:11)

So those are the two big changes in a post, which is, A their minds have been zoomed into the future, and they're also thinking much more from which is purpose experiences, all of those kinds of stuff. So in fact, I tell people the new ESG is employee, society and government, right? And a company that we both did by a Walmart would be interested in this, which is A look out for your employees, which is what they're doing now with the CEO now that he has been around for a while, which is number one, play a role in society, which they've done, and pay your taxes to government, which I understand does not do. Right?

Andy Murray: (25:46)


Rishad Tobaccowala: (25:47)

So when you think about it, Amazon, doesn't look out for its warehouse employees, right? Has some negative, has some positive in society and refuses to pay taxes. So for me, the new ESG is don't talk to me about purpose and value, if you're basically not paying taxes, and we should provide for healthcare and education. Right? Which is number one, you don't look after your employees who are in your warehouses, and there are other downsides of your society. Don't tell me about all your crazy shit?

Andy Murray: (26:15)

Yep. You said something and I thought it was very inspiring and probably to any senior executive that may not have their head around all the complexity around technology and what technology is going to do, you brought it back to wait a minute, that's not what this is about. It's about the humanness and things that are deeper than that. That's what senior executives are good at, and don't be frightened by a tech or smoke screened, more importantly.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (26:42)

Absolutely. And often what I remind senior executives is they actually are much better than they think they are. They sometimes became a little insecure, and as a result, they surrounded themselves with a bunch of charlatans and press releases and stuff like that, and I said, you would not have got here, I've worked with too many smart people to recognize that I'm usually the stupidest person in the room and which is a smart thing to be aware of, but one of the key things is you guys and gals are really good. Right?

Andy Murray: (27:12)


Rishad Tobaccowala: (27:13)

But you obviously, you need experts, who got to ask you a question, but the humanity of it is ... and you have to learn new things. But now that they've been zoomed into the future, this doesn't scare them as much.

Andy Murray: (27:22)

No. Well, and the future that we're looking at is still going to rock on top of, as a fault from the human condition. More so then, and no matter how much technology advances, you've got to stay up with that, but, where are we as a human, that's going to be in my opinion, that's where the secret sauce is and trying to figure out your roadmaps.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (27:41)

Yeah, absolutely.

Andy Murray: (27:42)

Yeah. Great. Well, this has been fantastic. My mind's been blown on a few fronts, different ways of thinking about things. I'm going to put some stuff in the show notes that will help people find out more about what you're doing and learn more about that and this [crosstalk 00:27:56]-

Rishad Tobaccowala: (27:56)


Andy Murray: (27:57)

... Give me a list of what you want in there.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (27:59)

Yeah. Yeah. So what I'll do is I'll send you basically where people get my book if they're interested, but more importantly this Great Reinvention, article, my newsletter kind of stuff. And that'll basically sort of give them ways to not only engage, but to learn and to go find the things they want.

Andy Murray: (28:15)

Excellent. And I have one final question for you. You speak a lot and do a lot with universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern, University of Arkansas, obviously sponsoring this initiative, any comments to students that are thinking about a career in whether it's customer experience or marketing today, what are the key things you might be telling them to think about?

Rishad Tobaccowala: (28:36)

I would basically tell them four things. The first thing I would basically say is we're entering a world where marketing is in a Renaissance. So don't believe that marketing is not in Renaissance because we have people with God-like power. Marketing's going to be more important than ever before. So anything to do with people, customers, consumers, and marketing is a great industry. So that's number one. Number two is please recognize that in order to be successful, you are going to have to marry math and meaning, right? You're going to have to be good at math. I'm not saying you yourself will be good at mathematics, but you've got to pay attention to data and reality-

Andy Murray: (29:11)

[inaudible 00:00:29:06].

Rishad Tobaccowala: (29:12)

... and you can't just invent anything out of the thin. But at the same time to extract meaning and purpose in all of those [inaudible 00:29:17]. The third is make sure you recognize that when you've come out of school, regardless of how successful you are, you are likely to work for 50 years. And that's because unless something goes really wrong, you're going to have a healthy life, till at least 75, and hopefully you live to 90 or 95. As a result, when you take the first job, take the least sucky job you can get and one that basically you think you might actually be good at, and don't necessarily price yourself out of your dreams, by having a job that pays a lot and then increases your lifestyle and you're miserable for the rest of your life. So don't price yourself out of your dreams. And the last one, which they may not like to hear, especially since it's quite bugging to study all the time is make sure that when you've come out of school, you continue to be a student because the world keeps changing. So try to set aside half an hour or an hour, a day to keep learning.

Andy Murray: (30:12)

Great advice. I agree. I couldn't agree more, especially on being a lifelong learner. There's so much to learn and so much is changing, which makes it fun for me.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (30:21)

Right. But going to school, investing in an education is the best thing you can do, so congratulations.

Andy Murray: (30:26)

Yeah. Excellent. Well, great advice. Great, being with you, Rishad and best of luck to you in your chapters of life as you continue to be an influencer.

Rishad Tobaccowala: (30:35)

Perfect. Absolutely. We will always remain connected. Thank you.

Andy Murray: (30:39)

Yes. Thank you. You just listened to an amazing conversation with Rishad Tobaccowala. I enjoyed talking to Rishad about the pre and post COVID changes in the CMO role and what three questions people should ask themselves about data. Rishad also shared his key insight into the customer and employee mindsets, including his framework to connect with them as human beings. Which of the 10 characteristics were your favorite? Let me know in the comments and thank you for listening to this episode of It's a Customer's World.

Andy Murray: (31:16)

That's it for this episode of It's a Customer's World. If you found this helpful and entertaining, I would be so grateful if you could share or share with your friends. And I'd be super happy if you subscribed, so you can be updated as we publish new episodes. And if you really want to help leave us a five star rating and a positive review on Apple podcast or wherever you listen. It's a Customer's World podcast is a product of the University of Arkansas Customer Centric Leadership Initiative, and a Walton College original production.

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