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GETTY IMAGES' CMO & Chief Product Officer, Gene Foca and Grant Farhall
Episode 345th May 2022 • Frictionless Marketing • Lippe Taylor
00:00:00 00:40:04

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Grant Farhall has been with Getty Images for 10 years, the last two as chief product officer. Earlier, he worked for Rogers Communications as a broadcaster/newsroom assistant at radio station CFFR. Before that, Grant was a studio manager for Evolvs Media Inc.

Gene Foca has been with Getty Images since 2017. In his role as chief marketing officer, he reports directly to the CEO and serves on the executive committee that oversees the brand’s global marketing and communications efforts.

Before joining Getty Images, Gene was senior VP of marketing for Fresh Direct. Earlier, he spent four years with Amazon, ultimately rising to the post of senior director of marketing. 

In this interview with Lippe Taylor CEO Paul Dyer, Grant and Gene focus their thoughts on the merging of marketing and product teams, data-driven visual-content procurement, the trust-damaging impact of deep-fake technology, and what Getty's acquisition of free photo source Unsplash might mean to creatives.

Here are some key takeaways from this talk with Gene Foca and Grant Farhall:

Visuals of all mediums are in a crisis of trust. 

It is becoming ever easier to produce "deep fake" photos and videos, which is causing consumers of media to question whether anything they're seeing these days is real - representing a trust crisis for visual-based companies and news media alike. Grant said part of the response to this emerging crisis of believability must be an insistence that creators of visual content clearly label their works as real or augmented—and, if the latter, to identify the CGI elements so that prospective users can exercise informed consent before buying. Beyond that, multiple measures are being taken to ensure that all changes and alterations made to visual files (both video and images) have an indelible record of alterations visible to anyone with the file. 

Marketing pros must embrace the merging of their discipline and that of product managers.

Grant said it once was common for marketing and product development to be separate entities that each did its own thing, but more and more, they're being pressed to work collaboratively. Consequently, said Gene, marketers have to be "less hung up" about having control of the things traditionally within their discipline and to instead partner with the product team in order to more successfully support the customer journey. This is a naturally cohesive path forward that integrates marketing insight and consumer demand with product development, enabling insight-based innovation.

In order to rise to a position of leadership in your organization, become better at finding problems and turning yourself into a solutions architect. 

Both Gene and Grant agreed that people on their way to the top need to be able to play well with others. Additionally, Grant said ladder-climbers should be on the lookout for shortcomings in the organization’s operations, take ownership of them, and figure out how to fix what’s broken or not running right. “Be the expert in the area that needs an expert,” he said. Meanwhile, Gene cautioned against misunderstanding what it means to “follow your passion”—according to Gene, “people too often think that following their passion means they can and should jump from the tasks they don't like to those they think will be more satisfying. But to understand the underpinnings of the business, you first have to do the tedious, menial work. You have to learn how the pieces connect. From there, you start being able to exercise your passion.”

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Produced by Simpler Media