“Brands need to have PURPOSE” With Fotis Georgiadis & Jacqueline Hernández

I believe purpose is the fifth “P” of marketing. In every role that I have had, marketing has been a big part of what I oversee and one of my strengths, particularly in building brands. Brands need to have PURPOSE as much or more so than they need to have image campaigns. I always look […]

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I believe purpose is the fifth “P” of marketing. In every role that I have had, marketing has been a big part of what I oversee and one of my strengths, particularly in building brands. Brands need to have PURPOSE as much or more so than they need to have image campaigns. I always look to develop platforms where we can give back to the consumer and connect in a meaningful way.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacqueline Hernández. Jacqueline is the Co-Founder and CEO of New Majority Ready™, a Marketing and Content company with the mission to help businesses and brands rethink ‘Multicultural’ and get New Majority Ready. She is the former President of Hispanic Sports & Entertainment Media Company, Combate Americas, where she was able to put the brand on the map delivering record-breaking ratings and global distribution partnerships. Prior to that, Hernåndez was the former Chief Operating Officer of NBCU Telemundo Enterprises for over six years, and the CMO of NBCU Hispanic Enterprises for 3 years working across all of the divisions across the NBC Universal portfolio of brands. For ten years she worked for Time Warner (now Warner Media) where she was Publisher of People En Español /Teen People as well as serving various leadership roles at Time, Fortune, and Turner Broadcasting/CNN International. Jacqueline has received recognition within the media, entertainment and marketing industries for her leadership and expertise related to the understanding of Hispanic consumer behavior in the United States.

Thank you so much for joining us Jacqueline! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

After working for two major media companies, most recently NBCUniversal for nearly a decade, I began to see a great deal of change in the traditional media world. I began to see more and more “disruption” and the traditional media model was constantly being challenged by new entrants that were attracting what I called, the “change agents,” today’s multicultural, millennial and generation Z audiences, which are my expertise.

This led me to start my own company MtoZ which focused on advising and helping disruptor companies reach, grow and build brands that spoke to this powerful consumer segment.

Upon announcing this initiative, the very first call I got was from Campbell McLaren, founder and CEO of Combate Americas, who I had met 3 years prior when I was COO of Telemundo. We partnered on launching his reality show on NBCU’s Hispanic cable network, mun2.

Everything about Combate lived up to my company’s new mission. It was a disruptor, it reached young millennials and it super-served the Latino audience it was created to reach. Although I ended up taking on several other clients and growing my business, my passion for Combate and the business we were building became insatiable and the rest is history. I joined as President last April to lead the business side of the company and help build a global mega brand. We have had enormous success and have had an impressive year of audience growth.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

The most interesting story happened to me on the very first night that I went to a live event. It was before I was “officially” on board as President.

I had been working with leading Hispanic and multicultural brands for nearly two decades and had never seen such a passionate, young and engaging live consumer event experience. The venue was packed, there was an almost electrifying energy, and in addition to SuperFans, there were couples on dates, families with their kids and abuelas in the audience. It was then that I realized that this was not your traditional MMA Sporting event. I saw the power of the Latino market and the Hispanic consumer. And as the night went on, I continued to see that every athlete was Latino from distinct and Latin countries, and very proud of it. This was our secret sauce, our true passion points of differentiation, celebrating Hispanic culture, heritage and national pride.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Well, it is no secret that I did not come from an MMA or Combat Sports background. So at first it took me a while to get used to the terminology: grappling, KOs, etc. I remember in one meeting I was blanking on grappling and said something to the effect of when they are “rolling around” and the team just looked at me and started laughing. I was so embarrassed. The lesson to me is yes, you should always lean in and learn whatever business, industry or sector you are going into, but it’s also okay to be your authentic self. No one on the team expected me to be a Mixed Martial Arts expert. They knew I was coming in as business leader and brand builder to help them grow the revenue side of the business.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

I believe all leaders regardless of gender need to set a vision, provide their teams with a path to get there and ensure they have the tools for success. Guide fairly, but strongly and always have your team’s backs.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

  • Always manage with integrity and trust and be clear and thoughtful in your communication.
  • It is also extremely important to have trusted deputies and to delegate. Taking it all on, micromanaging in a manic way and being unable to trust others to perform is not managing a team.
  • When you need to make a change, make it swiftly and elegantly.
  • There is no need to do things in an ugly or unnecessary manner.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are MANY people who have helped me along the way. The one who I most credit though, is my father Diego. He taught me to be fearless; not foolishly or arrogantly, but fairly.

A great story about him and a lesson he taught me was when I was very little and learning how to swim at the beach. The waves would come, and I would run away. He would stop me and say “You know how to do this. Don’t run from the waves. Dive in and ride them out. If you run, they will just knock you over.”

Years later, I was faced with a challenge in business as we all have with the changing business world.

And he said, “remember what I told you about the waves when you were learning how to swim? Don’t run. Dive in. You’ll end up on top.” That very lesson played very big role in my career in television and overall. Therefore, I am and always will be a disruptor. You need to embrace change and ride the wave out.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I have and I always will. I believe purpose is the fifth “P”of marketing and in every role that I have had, marketing has been a big part of what I oversee and one of my strengths, particularly in building brands. In doing so, I believe that brands need to have PURPOSE as much or more so than they need to have image campaigns. I always look to develop platforms where we can give back to the consumer and connect in a meaningful way.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

1- Early wins. In each new role that I have taken on, I have tried to put an early win on the board. I feel it is a great way to make a “first impression” and truly sets the tone for who you are as a leader.

2- Walk the Talk. It’s very important to be consistent and to be credible. I always say you are not a leader if people do not follow and they will definitely not do so if you do not walk the walk.

3- Follow your passion. I always say that we spend a great deal of time at work, so it is critical that we don’t just like what we do, but that we LOVE what we do.

4- Lead by example. By setting an example you will create and drive a culture.

5- Continuous Wins. What have you done lately? Early wins are great, but continuous wins are necessary for a culture of success.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

There are so many opportunities to do good in the world. One that we are working on for later this year is to promote health and wellness through proper nutrition and exercise. This initiative will be especially important to the 1 billion Hispanics globally who the program would be dedicated to and developed for.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The “tiny voice” in you always knows which way to go. Follow your gut. We usually know when something is right or wrong for us. Sometimes we put off or silence this tiny voice, but it’s usually right and when you finally act, you realize that very quickly.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I’d love to have a conversation with Jeff Bezos. I find the businesses he has launched to be brilliant, disruptive and consumer-centric. I have also read a lot about his leadership style and his focus on driving scale with a business motto of “Get Big Fast”.

Thank you for all of these great insights!

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