Monthly Review – December

Our Monthly Round-up of the key pieces in Marketing for December – we’ve chosen six key articles this month. As we reach the year end, we have included the McKinsey – Review of 2023. Curated specifically for your sector, all our monthly reviews are now available on our website.

Our December highlights:

1. Our Top pick this month is the review of 2023 by McKinsey which is so well constructed. Leaders had a lot to ponder – and act on – in 2023. Meanwhile, generative AI’s impact on business and society dominated the global conversation. To support sustainable, inclusive growth, organizations needed to rewire for the digital era and refine their approach to talent and inclusivity. In some cases, entire businesses needed to be transformed – particularly as the energy transition becomes more urgent. Leadership and resilience are more crucial than ever. McKinsey details 12 crucial themes that are fueling impact every day, in every corner of the globe.

Here is the link:

2. Secondly, we had to pick this piece from the Harvard Business Review, written by Sylvia Ann Hewlett – ‘The New Rules of Executive Presence’. Executive Presence (EP) is typically perceived as consisting of three elements in descending order of importance: gravitas, skillful communication, and the “right” appearance. The author’s new research shows that while confidence and decisiveness are still paramount for gravitas, pedigree has become less central, and new weight is given to inclusiveness and respect for others. On the communication front, superior speaking skills and the ability to command a room still lead the list of desirable attributes, but comfort on Zoom, a “listen to learn” orientation, and authenticity are on the rise

Here is the link:

3. Thirdly, we’ve picked a piece from ISBA and their Partner Predictions for 2024. It brings together the key trends for 2024 from a number of different partners. A really concise read.

Here is the link:

4. Fourthly, we like the Uncensored CMO, we’ve become a bit of a fan of Jon Evan’s – Uncensored CMO – His goal has always been to meet the World’s most successful CMO’s and hear their experience and learn from them. Here are five CMO’s that stand out.

Here is the link:

5. Fifthly, we’ve picked the Top 10 Campaigns of 2023 written up by Creative Salon. They reflect on the most widely-read campaigns featured on the Creative Salon site throughout 2023, and it’s a great read.

Here is the link:

6. Sixthly, we pick an excellent piece written by Sarah Furness – a former combat helicopter pilot and Squadron Leader who literally helps leaders to perform and thrive “under fire.” This piece is written on ‘How to set your company vision and values for 2024’. Sarah is also writing a sequel to her book ‘Flying High’ and is a fantastic keynote speaker. She lives here in Henley. If you would like her to come and speak to your leadership team, do get in touch.

Here is the link:

Media: ‘2023 was more of a slog than expected’, Gideon Spanier gives his view on how inflation and job cuts have dogged the sector.

Honours: Congrats go to @WPP chief @readmark on his Royal recognition with a CBE from the King in the New Year’s #honourslist which he dedicated to those working within the UK’s creative industries. “It’s wonderful to see that contribution recognised,” he said.

Time for the Work: Well with all the Christmas ads to choose from – it’s congrats this month to Aldi and McCann Manchester for ‘Kevin the carrot’. Clearly many people shop there – the campaign is winning with power and dominance.


Back to Henley: Our weekly column in the Henley Standard continues where we interview local entrepreneurs.  It’s called Let’s Get Down to Business. We were delighted this month to interview Paul Lindley, who founded Ella’s Kitchen, which is now the UK’s largest baby food brand. In 2018 he stepped back from the business and was appointed chairman of the Mayor of London’s child obesity taskforce. Last year, he was appointed chancellor of the University of Reading.

With the New Year, it’s time for a renewed focus on growth & relevance. We are here to help you with your agency ecosystem, resourcing structures, and benchmarking to improve your marketing performance – do give us a call with any questions we can help you with.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Kind regards,


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