Minter Dialogue with Chris Daly

In our latest podcast episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Daly, the CEO of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Chris’s journey from serving as a major in the British Army to leading one of the most respected marketing bodies in the world is nothing short of inspiring. His diverse experiences have shaped his unique perspective on marketing, leadership, and the ethical challenges that come with it.

Chris begins by sharing his early career in the British Army, where he learned invaluable lessons about leadership, empathy, and the importance of a team ethos. These experiences were pivotal in shaping his approach to marketing and leadership. Transitioning from the military to the Central Office of Information, Chris gained insights into the world of diplomacy and the power of effective communication. He reflects on how these roles, though seemingly distant from the commercial world of marketing, provided a solid foundation for his current role.

One of the key themes Chris discusses is the evolution of marketing. He emphasizes that marketing today is far more complex and multifaceted than it used to be. It’s no longer just about selling products; it’s about understanding the audience, communicating effectively, and delivering value. The role of marketing has expanded to include ethical considerations, data privacy, and the impact of AI. Chris passionately argues that marketing is not just the “coloring in department” but a crucial element that drives measurable outcomes and aligns with business goals.

Please send me your questions — as an audio file if you’d like — to Otherwise, below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to rate it here.

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Music credit: The jingle at the beginning of the show is courtesy of my friend, Pierre Journel, author of the Guitar Channel. And, the new sign-off music is “A Convinced Man,” a song I co-wrote and recorded with Stephanie Singer back in the late 1980s (please excuse the quality of the sound!).

Full transcript courtesy of

SUMMARY KEYWORDS: marketing, people, good, chris, marketers, choices, profit, talk, brand, element, companies, democracy, impact, work, ai, sell, ci, consumer, provide, uk

SPEAKERS: Minter Dial, Chris Daly

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Minter Dial 00:05

Chris Daly, Christopher Daly. My God. So, last names are close—Dial and Daly. We went to the same public school. We went to a prep school down in Dorset together. I mean, basically parallel lives. We probably ended up close to each other in school at times because of our names being last, and we were in the same house. My golly, so many things to share. And you’ve made your career at the CIM in marketing. So, Chris, in your own words, how do you like to describe yourself?

Chris Daly 00:38

Myself? I think I would describe myself as a leader in an amazing profession that is often misrepresented.

Minter Dial 00:53

Hmm. And that would be the profession of marketing.

Chris Daly 00:57

Absolutely right.

Minter Dial 00:58

We’re going to get into that. But before, I do want to sort of circle back and circle the wagons on your career. So, after university, you were in the British Army, a major in the Household Cavalry Regiment for eight years, and then you worked at the Central Office of Information. I would love for you to explain what that did for you. How did that form you, both the—

Chris Daly 01:26

Military or the Foreign Office?

Minter Dial 01:30

Both. Both those experiences, because I would say there you are reasonably far away from the banal industry of, you know, commerce and marketing. It’s a whole other type of experience.

Chris Daly 01:43

I think from the military perspective, it was a great opportunity to define how much I enjoy dealing with people. There, you need to have a real, genuine understanding of what makes the team ethos work, showing empathy, showing emotional intelligence, but also providing that element of leadership, accountability, and a really high set of values that are crucial to maintain. Because ultimately, if something goes wrong, somebody could pay the ultimate price. But also, you did feel that you were making a difference, whether it was driving big tanks in Germany or little tanks in England. It was really fascinating working with a whole spectrum of people. And I think also you took great pride in what you were doing as well. I ended up jumping out of planes and going to Vienna with the United Nations, to Cyprus, to Brunei. I had a great time. But also, the operational tour in Northern Ireland was still during the Troubles, so that was the primary operational experience that I had. It was a great experience. I absolutely adored it. But when it came to commanding a squadron in Windsor, I decided to leave and joined the Central Office of Information, and that was really, sort of, a Foreign Commonwealth Office, as it was then. I was looking after both North and South America, and we were really engaging, sort of pitching either UK plc or sharing democracy UK, the mother of all parliaments. Often, we would invite guests who would be sponsored to visit the UK, put forward by our embassies and high commissions. It would be our responsibility to provide them a program that would meet the objectives of that particular visit. It could be the minister of armed forces from Uganda who’d come and demonstrate what democracy looks like in action, or there’d be some commercial elements, like water purifying companies in Cuba, or other military elements. Sometimes diplomatic things, agreements that have been frozen, would you organize a visit? And they’d be unfrozen. It was fascinating seeing diplomacy at work in reality, as well as demonstrating that democracy can work.

Minter Dial 04:24

Well, certainly Britain carries a rather good reputation as diplomats. And I have to wonder, Chris, to what extent that experience has informed your perspective on the current state of democracy. Because certainly there are a lot of channels and articles written about the crisis of democracy, even in the most democratic countries in the world.

Chris Daly 04:55

I think, I couldn’t agree more. When you see the riots on Capitol Hill, when you hear democracies going wrong, you can see certain regimes thinking, “I wouldn’t go there if I were you.” You can virtually feel it. I think it doesn’t help when people who are in positions of authority in democracies suddenly let their ethical or professional values slip because it presents the wrong image. And I think ultimately, in due course, hopefully, the electorate, I mean, obviously, this is the year of elections, the electorate will have an opportunity to try and influence the choices that are being made. But often the framework isn’t necessarily as democratic as it possibly could be.

Minter Dial 05:41

And the media may not be doing its role in providing for healthy debates. I mean, we are, as you say, in the election year. We’ve got France, we have England, and in France, actually, that’s not exactly true. But there, at least, as in England and the United States, we have some rather large, looming elections coming up. But this notion of being informed and worrying about ethics, it does tickle me because when I look at various Edelman Trust Barometers, at the bottom of the barrel, along with second-hand car salesmen and many media these days, we also have marketers and politicians. So, this notion of trust, I can’t think it’s gotten better over the years. How would you describe the evolution of marketing where you now are, where you’re the CEO of the Chartered Institute of Marketing? Of course, Britain has always been known for its amazing marketing and advertising agencies, Ogilvy and such. Where would you say we are in this journey towards gaining trust in marketing?

Chris Daly 07:02

I think it’s a very exciting time right here, right now, probably because of the impact of technology and the evolution of information that is at hand. Well, what I can say what marketing isn’t is, we’re not the coloring-in department, we’re not the pins and T-shirts, we’re not the comms people, we’re not the guys saying make bad news sound good and all that sort of stuff. Yes, there’s a comms aspect to it all, but actually marketing is about measurable outcomes. And professional marketing revolves around that critical understanding of your audience, communicating your message, and then delivering value and making sure that sort of lining up that listening to your customers’ needs and wants. You can get the information of people at an individual basis; it’s phenomenal. And then the decision, what do you do with that information? Do you abide by the law and treat it with respect, or do you abuse it and sell it to your competitors or anybody else for that matter? But ultimately, it’s aligning that information with business goals and budget. And actually, even BlackRock described their marketing as the engine room of the organization. And the word “marketing” sometimes has misconceptions, but actually, it is nothing more complicated than fundamentally knowing and understanding your target market, their wants and needs. You need to know what your product and service are, and the key factor is to align them, ultimately driving awareness, growth, and retention. I think in this crazy world, how do you identify a professional marketer? The good guys from the bad guys, so to speak. You know, the guy who’s flying your plane, is he well qualified? Has he done his hours? Or did he just tick the box on the AI machine and he’s fine, don’t worry about it? Or your dentist or whatever environment. And actually, I look at Maslow’s arc of needs, if you like it or not. In a way, we need water and oxygen. Everyone needs a bit of marketing. We market ourselves as individuals. And you’re going for a job interview or applying for a mortgage, or you’re a good high-standing member of the community. But ask me, how much digging do people do? And that’s a great thing with social media. There’s no point trying to make things up because you’ll be found out. And I think you should. It’s about making good choices, better choices. And I think marketing, in its ability to try and anticipate consumers’ needs and wants, has that slightly trying to look into the future. But to be honest, with the impact of AI, that’s another whole game-changing situation.

Minter Dial 09:53

I kind of feel like I’d like to mix and match a few elements of your career and mine. I was listening to a podcast recently of an ex-officer from the United States Army, and he was talking about the impact of AI on warfare. And he was specifically looking at, well, he thinks that the role of the human in the army or in the military remains supremely important because we have to define the difference between what is legally correct and what is morally right, and one is not necessarily the other. And so you have these three choices when you’re in, well, as he framed it, three choices: you can do what is legally required by the United Nations or whatever type of oversight there is. You can do what is morally right and then, or wrong, and then you have the bad actors doing, you know, screw the law, you know, whatever sort of crimes there might be, and screw doing what is right. I just want to win, and I don’t care how. And it feels for me, the stakes in the military, of course, are at a different level than in marketing, where you also have, you can do what is legally correct with privacy and such. You can do what is right, because that’s maybe the brand and the reputation, or you just want to win because all you care about are getting shareholders paid.

Chris Daly 11:29

I think that’s very true. Marketing is about, I suppose, a combination of my experience. I get out of bed to make a difference. I mean, I need to move the dial in the right direction and also—

Minter Dial 11:43

Excuse the last name.

Chris Daly 11:49

No pun intended. But, and I think, but also we need to flush out unprofessional, dishonest behavior. And yes, there’s the law, and we would rely—we are not a regulatory body as such. We rely on the Competition and Markets Authority or the Information Commissioner’s Office when people’s data is being breached. But ultimately, you do have that chance, and even with AI, you do need, AI will probably do 80% of all the work in the blink of an eye. That’s fantastic. But we had a debate in the House of Parliament quite recently, and they had people in the advertising association, and they said, actually, you still need about 20% of human interaction. Have the machines learned it in the right way? Are they expressing it in that way? Or have they missed that nuance or that morality? Or have you asked the right question? In other words, they will probably get you 80–85% there in a tenth of the time, but you still need that human element to ensure that the right choices, the legal and morally correct choices, are made. And I think it reminds me of back when VW was stating its petrol emission false claims. Did it impact the brand? Two years later, three years later, they recognized mistakes were made. But actually, that brand value proposition, the value of the brand, those are the sort of skills that marketing helps to support and deliver, and it is a significant discipline and it requires up-to-date knowledge and competency to be able to deliver on the right angle.

Minter Dial 13:39

So you were talking about how it’s exciting times, Chris, and of course, I absolutely agree with you. Certainly these are very dynamic times. Many people might think of them as scary times notwithstanding the AI piece. But the general idea that I have is that the very nature of marketing has shifted over the years, and part of that is technologically enhanced or infused because we have so many more ways to interact with customers, we have so many more ways to understand customers if they are prepared to give us the data. But how would you describe the evolution of marketing today, other than the fact that it’s exciting? I mean, it feels like it’s a much more gargantuan task than it used to be. When I was basically needing to do a two-page spread in Vogue to sell more hair care, that was what it almost came down to. But today, how would you describe what’s needed to be a good marketer?

Chris Daly 14:52

The role has expanded, and I think the pandemic helped reinforce that because it forced brands to be genuinely authentic in their desire to listen to their customers and hear what their customers had to say. But actually, marketing, the role has expanded because it’s not just about the pure profit; it is the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Ultimately, people now want to know what is your carbon footprint. Particularly in the fashion world, the circular economy—how can people do that? Yes, they’re making clothes out of disused fishing nets or moving away from plastic bottles, using SARS to develop microbacteria that can digest plastics. So I think there is a degree of responsibility now in marketing. It’s not just about shareholder value; it’s actually the impact on the environment. I mean, ESG regulation, particularly in investment houses, is prominent in the UK. So, what is your product? What impact is it having on the environment, on the social infrastructure, but also, is it being governed in the right way? Obviously, we’re in the middle of the post office scandal at the moment. Are the people forcing others to pay back money, and then paying themselves bonuses with that money? I mean, it’s absolutely unjustifiable. And I think in this day and age, particularly with social media, people—the good people—should be pointed out, and also the bad people should be flushed out as well.

Minter Dial 16:39

Do you think the bad reputation or the lack of trust that’s generally identified in Edelman is therefore warranted?

Chris Daly 16:50

I think it used to be. I think there are now ways to underwrite that element of trust. When you see a pharmacy with a green cross, you trust the person behind there is qualified and will help you, and they’ll be wearing a clean white coat, and they’ll help identify and cure your ailment. In the same way, if you’re in a regulated profession like accountancy or engineering, the building isn’t going to collapse. How many people say, well actually, who’s going to die from bad marketing? Well actually, if it is the Grenfell Tower, you know, the cladding on the outside—the marketing, or I would say the communications department, the brochures claimed, made claims that were false, and people died from that. But I think nowadays there are mechanisms and ways to identify where people are, who they state they are. You know, they’re claiming to be a qualified chartered marketer or they got this university degree or this MBA, and now there are ways and means for people to verify that. And actually, if you’re found out to be lying about it, then you should be, you know, you should be turfed out. I mean, the chartered accountants have, at the back of their member magazine, a list of all the people who have been defrocked because they’ve either failed their exams or didn’t keep up to date. And I think in the same way, because the impact of marketing is so broad, I think it’s important that you’re able to identify the professional marketers as opposed to the unprofessional.

Minter Dial 18:33

Yeah, I suppose the issue at some level is that so much of marketing isn’t doing high-stakes stuff. So there are, of course, the Grenfell Towers and maybe even marketing to get into the army or other things like that, but for the rest, it’s like selling more Rice Krispies and more shampoos like I did. So the stakes kind of lend it to be a little more sloppy at some level because it’s not a big deal if we get it wrong. And then we add on top of that the whole notion of fake news and people bombastically saying things that aren’t being held accountable to in the news with regard to politics, for example. What sort of world or what kind of regulations can we expect to be accurately holding people accountable, or at least regulations that are up-to-date enough to manage the incredible tsunami of new technologies that are coming in?

Chris Daly 19:36

I think when it comes to regulation on technology, it is a bit of a catch-up. But often marketing used to try and be catching up with its consumers’ needs and wants, you know, obviously, dead ahead. I think there is, I mean, also, not only do you have influencer marketing as well, I mean, these people are just, you know, stating things. Are they paid to say those things, or are they just sort of…? It is, in this crazy world of change, I think it’s trying to maintain that professionalism in that age of evolution, and abide by a set of ethics and a code of conduct which you are actually held to account for and to be able to identify those people who abide by that code of conduct. And I think when it comes to politicians or people who are in very senior roles, I think it’s recognizing that the impact of their decisions and what that has. I mean, yes, if it’s just a case of putting tops on bottles for eight hours a day, then fine, but in the same way when you leave home, it’s personal choices at the end of the day. And I think in trying to highlight where good personal choices are being made in our world, obviously in marketing, but I think it’s very important for those cases to be highlighted because, yes, it’s not just about making a profit. If you’re a not-for-profit organization or even a charity, it’s about being successful. It’s about making that difference in a good way. I mean, a lot of charities, one of the odd things about a charitable objective is to do itself out of existence because it’s given all its money away and its cause for being created has been resolved. It’s difficult to tell.

Minter Dial 21:39

Well, certainly this is something that I’ve discussed with our mutual friend Sophie Devonshire at the Marketing Society, about how marketing should be a force for good and can be an absolutely elemental part of improving society, much less the enterprise in which you’re working. And then we are recording this on the 28th of May, Chris, the day that the Chinese banned certain influencers from social media for being too out there with their wealth and sort of putting an ethical stamp of disapproval on influencers. So these are politicians in another country who are impressing upon influencers what sort of standards of ethics they should have, which is a very different beat than we have over here. And sometimes I kind of think, hmm, maybe they have it right.

Chris Daly 22:31

That’s a very interesting approach. I mean, on the one hand, you would half expect it from the Chinese and their reputation and approach in trying to manage a population that’s huge. And I think it’s interesting that it’s not all about wealth and trying. So materialism isn’t the be-all and end-all when the planet’s getting hotter, nature is really suffering, and we’ll be living underground in 100 years’ time or whatever else if we’re still here. But again, it’s trying to control that messaging, trying to bring it back to that marketing element. So, social marketing is about trying to get people to change their behaviors, and you sort of encourage the benefits of a changed behavior and then you legislate it. So, easy things would be like wearing a seatbelt when you’re driving your car or not smoking in public areas. You know, these, oh, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s limiting my personal liberty, my personal choices. But actually, it’s good for you. It’s the right thing to do, whether it’s vaping for children or trying to influence behavior like your approach to recycling or switching off lights or driving an electric car. I think it used to be the remit of governments, but now you’re getting big brands like Gillette, “The Best a Man Can Be.” The adverts don’t often show somebody shaving; it’s more about that social interaction. And I think you’re seeing large corporates who do make significant surpluses, demonstrating the need to give back to the environment or to do something with social causes and take that as a positive element towards their brand. So, I think it’s, again, sort of a changing world where such sort of altruistic approaches by large corporates are going to be expected more of. I mean, you have Bill Gates trying to eradicate malaria. That’s great. But what more could he do? Or what more could other people, Jeff Bezos, I mean, the list goes on, but they got… Yeah, I realized I could talk. Well, I’ll stop.

Minter Dial 25:03

No, it’s lovely, Chris. It’s a whole interesting space. And as you were talking, I was thinking about these three P’s: planet, people, and profit. And it’s funny that profit is the third, usually in that order, because at the end of the day, you guys with the CIM, this Chartered Institute of Marketing, you have “purposeful” as one of your five key threads. But I like to remind people that a company that is not profitable serves no purpose because you’re not going very far. And sometimes I feel like we put profit almost as an afterthought. When you hear so many activists and so many idealists, there’s a pragmatism involved in the old P for profit that I used to have to run because I was the CEO of a company. And you just don’t know if you’re not on profit, you’re fired for a start. And second of all, you don’t last long without profit. So it feels like sometimes we need to remind people that we are commercial and that profit shouldn’t be a nasty word.

Chris Daly 26:12

I think you’re right. CIM is a not-for-profit organization. And sometimes we remind people that actually, instead of maybe not-for-loss, is the right way of describing it because you do need to generate, you need to cover your costs, but also you need to continually invest for the future, for the long-term goals. I mean, we’ve been around for over 110 years, so marketing and sales and whole advertising, branding, comms, PR, the whole landscape has been there for many years, but we are experiencing evolution at a rate never seen before. And not just technology, but also in attitudes and approach and the environment we’re living in. So I think it’s in understanding this pace of change who are the good guys and who are the guys who are trying to evolve and adapt to a better society. I know you’ve got the UN SDGs, but the latest remark is actually they’re going to deliver, what, 20% of their goals currently? And they think, gosh, what’s going to happen to the other 80%? That’s a big gap. And I think it’s the whole Einstein quote, if you don’t change what you do, you keep on doing the same thing over and again. I’m surprised you don’t get the same results. Then, I think it’s crazy. You’ve got to break the mold and do things differently.

Minter Dial 27:40

William, I must mean for you, Chris, running a company that’s been around for 110 years, you’ve been at CIM for 16 years. As I was reading, I’m boning up on you before our chat. Um, yeah, when you have a tradition and a history, it sometimes can make it a little bit difficult to break things and disrupt yourselves. That’s sort of what marketing does in companies. They are at the forefront of breaking things and changing things. And so it makes it difficult to, on the one hand, be trying to establish a certification or at least a charter and staying up with the times in an industry in a whole area where it’s constant change.

Chris Daly 28:30

Yes, evolution is the ultimate key. And for a pressure body like ourselves, what you tend to need is a significant shock to the system. So I suppose probably about eight years ago we were facing insolvency and suddenly it made people realize the governance and how on earth did we get into this situation? And ultimately it was probably some bad choices, potentially. And ultimately when you get that, when your risk of survival is at stake, what suddenly makes people realize, and actually we must change the way we do things, and that makes the decision-making a bit quicker. It has to be because time’s running out, you need to buy that time to be able to get the engine running again. But it may be a different engine and it’s maybe using different fuel, and then you’ve got to fine-tune it to make sure it’s coming nicely. But you can’t just sit on your laurels. And I think especially with smaller companies or small businesses and micro businesses, they talk about failing fast or being entrepreneurial and agile. I think what’s required is everybody needs to be looking to how to improve the situation on that sort of triple bottom line, not just to be successful, but also how can improve the environment and the people who work with them. And I think when you have a brand like Coca-Cola, is their new product department, you know, their research working overtime, and then we’ve got the perfect sweet spot. And sometimes they try to launch new products, so to speak.

Minter Dial 30:09

So to speak, right?

Chris Daly 30:16


Minter Dial 30:18

Watch out, watch out. But I mean there’s this famous saying, “necessity being the mother of innovation,” it feels more like desperation in crisis can be a tremendous stimulant for innovation. And I had a chap on my podcast recently who during COVID basically was going under and had to do the massive pivot and went from a marketplace for tradespeople to outsourcing completely radically different and so swift around. And so marketing does have, marketers do have that need to be attentive to profit and to this massive change. So let’s talk a little bit about the role of CIM as we get towards the end here. Chris, tell us what the CIM does and its remit a little bit more and how many countries you’re in.

Chris Daly 31:07

Okay, so I suppose our purpose is to represent, develop, and recognize the marketing profession. It’s not marketers as such. It is the profession itself. And we do that by setting the standard of competent, responsible marketing practice for the benefit of the economy and society. So it’s really all-encompassing. We create this, we created this global framework, and it’s particularly looking to support marketing leaders through providing a sense of responsibilities and behaviors that create the culture. And we all know that culture eats strategy for breakfast. And I think our aspiration is really to be the global standard of marketing capability development and accreditation. And I think we’d like to envisage people, if you could get a common understanding of what marketing does, that would be a first step. But people will have their own understanding of what the M word represents. Some companies get around that by calling it the demand generation department. That’s what it does, says what it does on the tin. Some people talk about measuring outcomes. Someone talks about critical understanding of the customer. Whatever your understanding is, whether it’s innovation, it’s about making a difference and aligning the customer’s needs, the products, and services you provide with the long-term goals and objectives of the business, and ideally delivering on those three P’s. But as we all know, best-laid plans always fall apart on first contact with the enemy. So you’ve got to be agile, you’ve got to have your radar switched on, and you’ve got to be anticipating what’s coming around the corner. And this is when the impact of AI, the genie is out of the bottle. And if you’re looking to continually get that emotional connection with consumers and continually meet their evolving needs, you need to embrace that. And I think in a professional way. So I think us, as we’re not CIM UK, we have members in about 130 countries. We do exams and webinars and podcasts and training. So we have a whole suite of elements to be able to enable people to maintain their capability. And it’s really about trying to help people make better-informed business decisions and reduce the risk of making unlawful marketing ones.

Minter Dial 33:48

So you provide certification for marketers from around the world.

Chris Daly 33:56

So our qualifications, we are our own awarding body. So we do provide that level of certification, particularly for chartered marketers. But also, our qualifications are recognized in the UK by Ofqual, but also the universities we deal with. We deal with over 120 universities in the UK and also 120 overseas. They are also recognized by their own university governing organization. So that’s that level of accreditation. And that’s why being not-for-profit, it is for the greater good. It is actually for the profession, because we passionately believe that it has such a positive impact on the organization.

Minter Dial 34:41

Well, I feel the need now to launch into the greater good. So there are marketers in many companies and let’s say easily, well, there’s marketers that are selling insurance, banking services, pharmaceutical goods, sweetened water, not to say sugared water, and some that sell guns to people and variously maybe even sell gaming and gambling. There are marketers that do that. Where is the line that suggests that one side is for the greater good and the other isn’t quite as good? And who’s to decide that?

Chris Daly 35:35

I think the consumer is quite savvy enough to know what’s good for them. And so what products and choices they make, if they want to game 15 hours a day, seven days a week, what will stop them? I think things like, you covered quite a broad spectrum there.

Minter Dial 35:54

I did, and I didn’t even talk about tobacco and a few other little ones out there.

Chris Daly 35:59

So then to try and stop that, you do legislation. So you influence government. We talk to Diageo who’s selling alco-pops. We will talk to British American Tobacco, we will talk to the big organizations, the big corporates who have the power and sway, and also to politicians. And this is when it’s important. That element of networking is that everyone’s speaking the same language, and it’s about choices and knowing what the good choice is to make. And when companies and brands get fined millions of dollars or millions of pounds for breaking the law, that’s absolutely the right thing to do. And I think you, as a consumer, there will be lots of choices. You will have, I know, ten different alcoholic drinks, 50 different cigarette brands, 80 different chocolate brands. Now, whether you choose, decide and eat them or what’s good for you or should you do the fruit option, the world that we are in this environment of consumer and everything is done from the palm of your hand with your friend. And I think enabling people to seek out what’s good for them and who can they go to? Who’s the neutral honest broker? And obviously I’d say you could always come to us. We would give an opinion of you because we are independent, objective, and not-for-profit.

Minter Dial 37:19

I’m going to push back a second because I don’t think that the consumer is that savvy anymore. There’s a surfeit of information, there’s a discreditation of so much that’s being written and published. I would even argue that some pharmaceutical companies have questionable ambitions when it comes to what they do and how they promote. And it’s sort of worrisome the amount of mental health we have today. So I’m not sure that the consumer is in a good, savvy place.

Chris Daly 37:59

But you’ve seen a huge expansion and recognition of mindfulness and well-being, particularly Covid. The pandemic highlighted the fact that people are suffering, but also the stresses and strains. I think we have a far more open society than we used to. There are now laws in place that will not vilify you for saying certain elements. And that’s absolutely right. And I think in a more caring and recognizing empathetic society, that’s one in which it’s a transition phase. You’re absolutely right, Minter. Nowhere near perfect in any way, shape, or form. And I think in trying to keep moving the dial, making the difference, it’s worth fighting the good fight because the alternative is really, it’s not good. And I think it’s, how can you, those pharmaceutical companies, or whoever it may be, you either vote by not buying their products or you try and assist people, you know, try and expose people. You know, those whistleblowers. Every company should now have a whistleblower policy, and you should not be vilified with being the whistleblower. You should be celebrated.

Minter Dial 39:24

Well, it’s a very awkward line to be towing. So, Chris, let’s just finish on the notion of leadership, your position of leadership, what you’ve learned. Obviously, you were in the army and you were an officer there. You’ve risen through the ranks of CIM to be the CEO. And I think also the role of leadership, not just marketing, but the role of leaders today to be able to be successful, have the pragmatism of the P of profit, even if you’re not-for-profit. How would you describe how you’ve evolved as a leader, and what do you think is needed today in leaders of companies, whether for profit or not? Maybe however you’d like to grab hold of that one, Chris.

Chris Daly 40:21

I think you have to show genuine empathy with it. You can’t do it on your own. But if you can provide, facilitate the thinking space for those experts around the table who will be able to make the organization successful, I think that’s a great start. Give people space, headspace in particular. As the chief executive, I don’t have to know all the answers, but I need to know who to go to to find that answer to that particular question and staying true to your values. And these are your personal values as well as your organization’s values. You don’t sort of come into work and put on your jacket and think, “Oh no, I’m in work mode. I’m going to say X, Y, and Z. I’m going to whistle the tune and everyone’s going to dance to it.” That doesn’t happen. These are the values that you live by, breathe by. And by demonstrating that, do the walk-around management, listen to people, talk to people, but also show some humility. You’re not always right, and you may have the title, but actually, sometimes just show a bit of humility sometimes. And I think that goes a long way, but at all times, keep your eye on the long-term objective. You may lose the odd battle, but you’ve got to win the war. And I think ensuring that, you’re going to leave the organization in a better place than when you joined it, I think that’s a great motto to go by. And also, if you feel that, you’ve got to believe what you’re doing, otherwise you won’t be truly honest about what you’re trying to deliver.

Minter Dial 41:57

So that suggests you need to be rather honest with yourself and maybe the person that you are outside of the office before donning a tie and jacket is absolutely consistent with the individual who walks through the office doors.

Chris Daly 42:15

I think what I’ve learned quite recently is that you should utilize one’s emotions to their full effect. And your true strength and full capacity as a leader not only requires your professionalism and your robustness and ability to survive the bumps in the road, but also to tap into your emotions. It is all right to show a bit of humanity, and the shield might have to slip sometimes, and actually, that’s a good thing. And historically, I’ve kept the shield pretty tightly firm up because that’s the way I’ve been brought up.

Minter Dial 43:00

Stiff upper lip and stuff like that. But, Chris, I feel there’s a little story in there for us.

Chris Daly 43:08

Well, I think you just got to… But it’s new territory for me, so I’m finding my feet still. I’m not feeling totally comfortable with that emotional bit because I’m not sure how helpful it will be when everyone else… When there’s wailing and gnashing of teeth. Does it help if I’m going to be joining it, or am I going to be taking that calm approach? So that’s probably work in transition at the moment.

Minter Dial 43:37

Nice. Well, thanks for being real about that, Chris. I certainly have enjoyed looking at this balance, equilibrium between having vision, decision making, strong backbone values and such, with other notions of total transparency, as well as flexibility, humility, adaptation, ability to go with the flow. It seems like these are quite a force to be reckoned with. There’s the tension between those two spots, decision making, because you freaking have to say yes, get off the pot or not.

Chris Daly 44:19

And I think it helps if you know what you’re trying to do. You’ve got that little clarity of purpose and vision for the organization or for one’s life, I guess. And I think if you’ve got that spot on the horizon to aim for, it makes all those other natural conflicts easier to handle.

Minter Dial 44:42

Well, amen for that. Chris. Fabulous stuff. Tell us, how can people follow you or get in touch with the CIM, the Chartered Institute of Marketing? Learn more about what you’re up to? Maybe figure out how to get some education through you guys. What are the best ways to connect?

Chris Daly 45:01

Probably the best way is via our website, But we’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, on social media channels. Or you can send me an email,

Minter Dial 45:15

Fabulous news, Chris. Many thanks. Lovely to catch up with you through this medium, this new tech medium, right? But let’s hope that we can also do an IRL beer sometime.

Chris Daly 45:2p

Chris, eh, that sounds a very good idea, Minter.

Minter Dial

A really heartfelt thanks for listening to this episode of the Minter Dialogue podcast. If you like the show, please remember to subscribe on your favorite podcast service. As ever, ratings and reviews are the real currency of podcasts. And if you’re really inspired, I’m accepting donations on You’ll find the show notes with over 2,100 blog posts on on topics ranging from leadership to branding, tech, and marketing tips. Check out my documentary film and books, including the latest one, the second edition of “Heartificial Empathy: Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence,” that came out in April 2023. And to finish, here’s a song I wrote with Stephanie Singer, “A Convinced Man.”

So, a really heartfelt thanks for listening to this episode of The Minter Dialogue podcast. If you liked the show, please remember to subscribe on your favourite podcast service. As ever, rating and reviews are the real currency of podcasts. And if you’re really inspired, I’m accepting donations on You’ll find the show notes with over 2100 blog posts on on topics ranging from leadership to branding, tech and marketing tips. Check out my documentary film and books including my last one, the second edition of “Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence” that came out in April 2023. And to finish here’s a song I wrote with Stephanie Singer, “A Convinced Man.”

I like the feel of a stranger

Tucked around me

Precipitating the danger

To feel free

Trust is the reason

Still I won’t toe the line.

I sit here passively

Hope for your respect

Anticipating the thrill of your intellect

Maybe I tell myself

There’s no use in me lying.

I’m a convinced man,

Building an urge

A convinced man,

To live and die submerged.

A convinced man,

In the arms of a woman

I’m a convinced man

Challenge my fate

I’m a convinced man

Competition’s innate

A convinced man

In the arms of a woman.

Despise revenges

And struggle to see

Live for the challenge

So life’s not incomplete

What’s wrong with challenge

I know soon we all die

I’m a convinced man

Practicing my lines

I’m a convinced man

Here in these confines

A convinced man

In the arms of a woman.

I’m a convinced man

Put me to the test

I’m a convinced man

I’m ready for an arrest

I’m a convinced man

In the arms of a woman.

I’m a convinced man… so convinced

You convince me, yeah baby,

I’m a convinced man

In the arms of a woman…

Minter Dial

Minter Dial is an international professional speaker, author & consultant on Leadership, Branding and Transformation. After a successful international career at L’Oréal, Minter Dial returned to his entrepreneurial roots and has spent the last twelve years helping senior management teams and Boards to adapt to the new exigencies of the digitally enhanced marketplace. He has worked with world-class organisations to help activate their brand strategies, and figure out how best to integrate new technologies, digital tools, devices and platforms. Above all, Minter works to catalyse a change in mindset and dial up transformation. Minter received his BA in Trilingual Literature from Yale University (1987) and gained his MBA at INSEAD, Fontainebleau (1993). He’s author of four award-winning books, including Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence (2nd edition) (2023); You Lead, How Being Yourself Makes You A Better Leader (Kogan Page 2021); co-author of Futureproof, How To Get Your Business Ready For The Next Disruption (Pearson 2017); and author of The Last Ring Home (Myndset Press 2016), a book and documentary film, both of which have won awards and critical acclaim.

👉🏼 It’s easy to inquire about booking Minter Dial here.

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