[Interview] What marketing profs will need in a post-pandemic world, with advisor Michel Lent

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Posted on June 10, 2020

As a consequence of all this rapid transition caused by COVID-19, substantial changes will affect the careers of marketing profs.

But , with no further romantization of the new normal, what else to expect and how to be prepared for that?

Serial founder, entrepreneur, mentor and corporate advisor Michel Lent shares the main changes in business models, working spaces and other trends that marketing profs will need to keep an eye on.



1. Who are your mentees? What type of professional and what stage of their career are they in?

I’ve been doing at least two volunteer sessions per week for the past 150 weeks, so at this point I’ve had over 300 hundred different mentees as we usually have only one session. There is a wide spectrum of people, but mostly 30 to 40 year-olds, when they realize corporate life will not get to where they want.



2. Mainly, what pain points do these people seek to heal when they look for you?

They mainly feel stuck at some point in their careers. Some can’t find work, but most are disappointed with corporate life, looking for a more meaningful professional path.



3. In general, is there a more frequently asked question or addressed topic on your sessions?

I usually end up addressing two main points in most of the conversations:

a. Corporate life is a limited funnel. As you advance, it gets harder and harder and as you age, survival becomes almost impossible.

b. Companies are changing fast. Even if you do well, chances that you mind end up unemployed are bigger and bigger. You HAVE to learn how to build your own boat. Navigate your own life, or you might end up finding yourself in a Titanic at some point. And depending how late this happens in life, you might be among the ones in the freezing water with no boats to pick you up.



4. What has been the main difference in the dilemmas brought to you by professionals who came before and after the pandemic?

Urgency is the main difference. Before the pandemic, people had more time to think things over. Now, most of them are in an emergency state.

I tend to advise my mentees to split the problem in two:

a) Surviving the next weeks — do whatever you need to make ends meet — you’re excused because of the pandemic.

b) Take the pandemic as a chance to rethink your career based on the new scenario. We are now in a clean slate, where things tend to change dramatically. This is a threat but also this is a huge opportunity.


5. In your career, until you became a consultant and mentor, you had a vast and successful experience in the advertising market. How do you see the current moment of branding strategies and consumer’s behaviour?

I became more interested in advising companies rather than advertising their products because I understand that good products sell themselves and advertising them will not work if they’re bad.

But in order to create good products and services you need a properly shaped company. So helping companies in their business and product strategies to achieve great products and services now seems to me way more effective and has been really fulfilling.

Before the pandemic, companies where already struggling with the transformations of industries through digital technology, with user centric approaches and methodologies.

We now see a world that is way more focused on Design. Thus, it became problem-solving oriented. But the pandemic has drastically accelerated things up.


6. Do you reckon this is an acceleration of the digital transformation that was already underway? Or just a temporary trend that will fade?

We call it digital transformation but in fact it is about a culture, about people.

The pandemic made it urgent to speed things up and I believe a lot of the changes we are seeing right now are here to stay, especially concerning e-commerce, meetings through virtual events and reconsidering the office space.

At the same time, other areas like entertainment and education will take longer to reshape as we are a species of habits and slow in change. But unquestionably we are moving strong towards the disruption of every single aspect of our lives. It is not a matter of IF is a matter of WHEN.



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You can also check the newest projects Michel Lent is working on at the moment! Visit his official website, Lent Digital, or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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