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Sergio  Zyman

Sergio Zyman

Marketing Visionary

Biography

“Selling more stuff to more people more often for more money more efficiently” defines marketing success for Sergio Zyman, the man who put the fizz back in Coca-Cola’s fortunes, founded a preeminent marketing strategy firm, and authored four books, including two international bestsellers. Oh, and he was named one of the top three marketing pitchmen of the 20th century by Time magazine. Read More >

 Zyman was born in Mexico City and began his career with management positions in Japan, Brazil, Guatemala, and New York before moving to Atlanta to begin his first of two tenures with The Coca-Cola Company. His first residence was highlighted by a series of launches of revolutionary products such as Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, and New Coke (a product not well received by consumers, but one that many believe was an idea far ahead of its time—a theory well supported by the numerous cola flavors and formulas that are popular today). Zyman departed The Coca-Cola Company in 1988 and formed Core Strategy Group, a consulting firm with a client roster that included 7-11, Miller Brewing Company, and several other large companies. He was influential in the positioning and development of the strategy that resulted in the election of former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Roberto Goizueta, former Chairman of Coca-Cola and a true believer in Zyman’s forward thinking, persuaded him to return to Coke in 1993 to hold the first chief marketing officer position ever created in any company. Zyman re-conceptualized the company’s marketing strategy and boosted worldwide annual sales from nine to 15 billion cases—the most explosive growth in the company’s history. Upon Mr. Goizueta’s death, Zyman departed The Coca-Cola Company and wrote a series of books, including the international bestseller The End of Marketing as We Know It.

In 1999, he founded Zyman Group, an international marketing consulting firm. As the driving force behind Zyman Group, he was sought after by food and beverage companies, industrial manufacturers, popular retailers, and global communication powers around the world. This success led Inc. magazine to name Zyman Group one of the fastest growing consulting firms in the United States. In 2005, Zyman sold majority ownership of Zyman Group to MDC Partners.

Zyman has been hailed as one of the most dynamic and charismatic speakers in the world. He energizes audiences with his entertaining and bold, unpredictable style. He speaks on non-traditional growth strategies, the role of marketing in corporations, the similarities between the political process and the marketing process, and all current and social events and the impact on consumer behavior.

He holds an Executive MBA from Harvard University and attended graduate schools in London, Paris, and Jerusalem. Zyman was named Man of the Year in 1998 by the UJA. In 2008, he was bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asociacion Nacional de la Publicidad. He is currently involved in major strategy projects and politics, and is writing another book. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

A Down Economy: The Lazy Marketer’s Lame Excuse

Customer confidence is in the tank; cost cutting is in vogue; geo-political uncertainties remain; non-traditional competitors are proliferating; unemployment is rising; housing and personal wealth are at generational lows; greater than $100 a barrel oil is here to stay…. it’s no wonder consumers “are on the sidelines.”

Are consumers really on the sidelines or do they just need better reasons to buy you? Zyman will detail how economic times like these are golden opportunities for strategic marketers. He will outline proven models/approaches that require marketers to change their mindset from “inside out” (selling what you make) to “outside in” (make what you can sell); from aspirational goal setting to aspirational planning; from capturing share to capturing potential; from being positioned by others to controlling the dialogue; and why it’s the restless and discontent that are the first to benefit.

Private Equity: It’s Not About “Managing the Business”

Changes in external factors are driving new challenges for the private equity industry, forcing it to move beyond transactional thinking and embrace transformational and value-creating investment opportunities. With deal flow on the decline and liquidity/credit challenges, there is a need to evolve the approach.

Quite simply, PE firms must go beyond managing the business (operations, supply chain, efficiency) to running (driving acceptability, affordability and availability) and growing the business (creating demand and new sources of growth). Zyman will help audiences understand how, by focusing on the consumer and not only the financials, with transformational vs. transactional growth, PEs can improve the profitability of the portfolio of companies.

Why Marketers Need to Be More Like Politicians

What do candidates and brands have in common? What can a brand strategy mimic from a campaign strategy? What can marketing learn from a campaign that has an expiration date? Businesses keep reminding themselves: “It’s all about the customer,” but politics never needs the reminder: “It’s all about the voter.” Zyman will show audiences differences and similarities between marketing a brand and marketing a candidate, but most importantly he will lay out the principles and guidelines to successfully apply the political model to your brand to create breakthrough strategies.

So You’re on the Health & Wellness Bandwagon? Going Beyond Trends to Generate Growth

From counting calories in the ‘70s to severely limiting fat intake in the ‘80s to shakes and bars replacing meals in the ‘90s to counting carbs instead of calories in 2000 to today’s focus on everything organic and functional… what is a reality and what is a myth? What are the major trends and the perceptions among consumers? Read More >

“Better-for-you food and drinks” are impacting the market and the lifestyle of many consumers today. With many stories and battle scars, Zyman will show audiences how understanding these mega-trends is the easy part. He will also detail how to effectively activate these trends across brand touchpoints and to achieve a wellness marketer’s mandate: growth. Read Less ^

Green Marketing: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly About Going Green

9/11, the Tsunami in Thailand, Katrina, globalization, and the Internet, among others, are events that increased pressure over environmental issues and have raised the awareness of “going green”… but has “green” really gone mainstream? Are SUV sales really down? Are companies really investing to undergo green transformation? Zyman will give you an interesting perspective on the myths and realities behind green marketing and the potential opportunity this endeavor will create for companies pursuing green, thereby enabling them to play a protagonist role in the future.

SMEB Marketing: Marketing Is Not Only for the Big Boys

Too many things to do, few resources to do it… don’t fall into the trap and use scientific marketing to accelerate the value creation. Marketing is too important for Fortune 500 companies, and even more important for a smaller company’s growth. Read More >

Having worked for a large corporation like The Coca-Cola Company for so long, the question is constantly asked of Zyman, “Coke, yes. But how does that apply to a small business?” The reality is that the principles that apply to small, medium, and large businesses are the same for all, commercially speaking. In this presentation, Zyman discusses the principles of marketing that have evolved over the past 30 years, and how they apply to businesses ranging in size from a one-person entrepreneurial company to a three-store pizza chain or medium-sized business. Read Less ^

Accelerate Profitable Growth by Renovating Before You Innovate

Many companies rely too heavily on innovation to solve their problems. When a brand gets old or tired, the impulse is to scrap it and start over with something fresh. But more often than not, innovation simply doesn’t work. Zyman knows this firsthand—he was the chief marketing officer at The Coca-Cola Company during the ill-received launch of New Coke. So what’s the alternative? Read More >

Zyman preaches the power of renovation: recapturing the essence of your existing brands, products, and core competencies and doing more of the things that made you great in the first place. Too many managers are so obsessed with innovation that they launch products no one will buy (pre-moistened toilet paper or smokeless cigarettes, anyone?). Zyman delivers the solutions managers need to revitalize their strategies to improve growth, and he challenges conventional business wisdom to help companies make smarter, profitable decisions. Read Less ^

Sell More by Understanding Your Customers’ Consumers

Learn how to increase your value proposition to your customers by helping them sell more product to their customers. Zyman demonstrates the importance of understanding what your customers and the end users need and how to properly position your product. By understanding this, you will differentiate yourself from other suppliers, therefore becoming the preferred supplier (and maybe charge that elusive price premium). Everyone wins when you demonstrate to your customer how to use your product to sell more to their end customer.

Why Hispanic Marketing Is a Hoax

Everyone knows that Hispanics make up a large, growing, and increasingly wealthy demographic, but very few companies are getting it right when trying to market to them. It’s not about sombreros, mariachi bands, and Chihuahuas—or what is commonly known as Hispanic marketing. It’s about marketing to Hispanics in a deeper and more meaningful way that entails understanding Hispanics’ needs, motivations, and purchase drivers, and then creating strategies and solutions that meet these needs. Read More >

The companies that get it will benefit significantly. The ones that don’t will miss a tremendous opportunity. Zyman, a Mexico City native, will show audiences how to better understand this important market and provide best practices for successfully creating breakthrough strategies. He will provide strategic and executional guidance to penetrate the Hispanic market to build true brand loyalty for longterm profitable growth. Read Less ^

Embracing the New Future of Marketing to Drive Increased Profits

Increased Profits Marketing is serious business. It’s about increasing sales and profits through rigorous deployment of strategies to grow your business. So it’s time to replace the “art” of marketing (using instinct and gut feel to communicate to your customers) with a scientific, data-based approach to driving sales. Read More >

Zyman will help audiences understand how, by transforming marketing efforts from the product of guesswork to an outcome of a disciplined process, their businesses can “sell more stuff to more people more often for more money more efficiently.” Zyman offers his unique observations about who gets it, who doesn’t, and what it all means for your business. Read Less ^

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