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The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast

Jun 26, 2018

In this interview, David Mullen, president and partner of The Variable (Winston-Salem, NC), explains how any company can defeat its biggest competitor and drive sustainable, long-term growth. David articulates the holistic mindshift and strategies needed to develop products people want to buy, build “people-friendly” companies, and win long-lasting, loyal customers. He emphasizes the need to focus on changing:

  • Customer experience to people experience (inclusive of product developers the frontline [those interacting with customers], suppliers, influencers, stakeholders and shareholders, and customers]
  • Buying something to buying into something (shaping people’s experience at every touchpoint)
  • Positioning your company in the minds of customers to positioning your company in the lives of customers


Key strategies for building people-friendly companies include:

  • Consulting with the business:
    • analyzing business, brand, and communication strategies
    • identifying the right problems to solve
  • Creating solutions for the right problem. Solutions might include:
    • great advertising campaigns
    • rebranding an organization
    • content
    • innovation roadmaps, product concepts, and product development
  • Engaging to take solutions to market. Areas of concentration:
    • Employee engagement throughout the internal culture
    • integrated media planning and buying
    • social/PR
  • Underpinned with a foundation of Analytics to
    • understand what’s happening
    • assess the magnitude of impacts
    • identify weakest link, opportunities, and challenges, and
    • guide timely change implementation to ensure continued progress and drive growth


David can be reached on his company’s website at:, by email at:, or on LinkedIn.