Born into retailing, Martin Butler is a true hybrid. Part retailer, part marketer, Martin uses this unique combination to inform his clients and audiences. Regularly sharing his views in articles and editorials, he now enjoys travelling the world researching and writing on winning the war for the modern customer. His keynote lectures at international business schools and conferences highlight the non-negotiable importance of never-ending change, the dynamics of the customer revolution and the absolute role of 'emotion' in modern commerce. Martin has also enjoyed considerable success by developing highly interactive workshops that help customer-facing organisations put the modern customer where they belong - at the heart of the business - he calls these his corporate 'mind-set' sessions!
During a thirty year career Martin has worked in many top international advertising agencies including the DMBB, Grey and Saatchi networks. He started his career working for clients as diverse as Nestle, News International and Playtex but within a few years became one of London’s youngest advertising agency owners by launching his own company.
Through almost twenty mergers and acquisitions Martin eventually built his own business into one of the largest privately owned advertising and marketing networks in the UK. He sold his businesses several years ago but throughout an entrepreneurial career gained a reputation as a retail specialist having worked in every market sector. From fashion to fragrance and from finance to food, over the years his company boasted many high profile clients including Harrods, Burberry, Swarovski and Habitat. His network advised countless major brands on retail positioning including Barclays, Mitsubishi and the Royal Mail. Martin also worked with a host of international brands advising on strategic development including, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Austin Reed, Global Refund and Dunkin’ Donuts.
In 2005 Martin wrote the internationally acclaimed book on best practice retail branding, ‘People don’t buy what you sell, they buy what you stand for’ and often uses this provocative assertion as the basis for his interactive sessions on world-class marketing.
Sponsored by the World Retail Congress, in 2010 Martin launched his second book ‘The art of being chosen’. With findings being drawn from every continent it benchmarks and celebrates global best practice Retail. A robust, two and a half year research programme involved interviewing, face to face, 100 of the world’s leading retail founders and CEOs ...and from this Martin identified the ‘Six secrets to retail success’.
Martin has delivered many lectures and workshops on the findings from his book around the world including: New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa, USA, Middle East, UK and Europe - interestingly, many of these engagements have been delivered to non-retail audiences eager to understand what can be learned from the planet’s largest and most competitive business sector: Retail - arguably the purest form of commerce, certainly the ultimate customer facing business. Martin enjoys astounding leaders from every profession on the skills that can be learned about ‘leadership, corporate mind-set and the modern customer’ from the best-of-the-very-best retailers.
2016 saw book 3 launched at The World Retail Congress in Dubai. 'It's not about us, it's all about them' is a book where Martin distils the essence of a lifetimes work into 50 steps for true customer excellence.Packed with examples, anecdotes and case studies from world class customer-facing businesses, top retailers and customer experts from around the world, this book entertains as it instructs. For Martin, at the end of his research for this book it all boiled down to one guiding principle: It's not about us, it's all about them. Commerce is going through a period of unprecedented change. To thrive organisations must find an emotional edge. They must look to be chosen, they must be customer obsessed. Above all, they must care...! Martin's new book shows them how.
His talks and master classes take audiences behind the scenes of phenomenal successes, highlighting the creative and innovative thinking required to win the war for the modern customer, for today and tomorrow.
Martin was invited to become a member of the expert judging panel at the World Retail Congress, an honour he was delighted to accept.
Married with four daughters, he lives in London and Cape Town. Particularly enjoying writing in his Africa home. Loving shopping, Bordeaux and South African wines, he admits to an unstable relationship with a delinquent golf ball.
Working with Martin
Winning the war
Taking two and half years of international research and face to face interviews with the world’s best, Martin’s latest book (the final in a trilogy on the modern customer) is packed full with 350 pages of insights and expert opinion for any business.
Martin Butler certainly knows what it takes to succeed when it comes to winning the war for the modern customer. As an entrepreneur, a marketer, and more recently author, lecturer and high-end consultant, Martin has worked with a host of world-famous names and inspired thousands in conferences, business schools and master classes around the world.
Always fascinating, always entertaining. Audiences always enjoy Martin’s sessions.
Martin exists to light fires in the minds of his audiences at every level, everyone finding something to take back to their organisations to help win the war for the modern customer.
Today and tomorrow
In these tumultuous times Martin’s unrelenting global research into customer best-practice leaves audiences inspired by his insight, case studies and anecdotes. Each engagement tailor-made to answer a client’s specific needs. Each engagement routed in the needs of today and strategies for tomorrow.
From Melbourne to Mumbai, New Zealand to New York and from keynotes to business schools, Martin has spoken at events on every continent. He was personally invited to launch his latest book by the founder of The World Retail Congresses in Cape Town and Dubai to much acclaim.
Ever changing. Ever more powerful
As book 3 concludes, ‘With a world turned upside down by technology, customer obsession is everything’…indeed Martin is obsessed with his global research into the best-of-the-best; forever sharing his findings with clients old and new. Looking to help guide them in the war for the ever changing, ever more powerful modern customer
"I defy anyone to have seen Martin Butler and not change something about their approach to business..."
- International VP, Stored Value Solutions USA
"The audience was spellbound by his presentation and the buzz it created. Martin really delivered and we were delighted he was able to join us."
- Founder and Chairman, World Retail Congress
"Martin Butler knows the store (modern customers) from both-sides-of-the-till. He knows how to communicate it in a way that delights, inspires, and is remembered...
- Global Director Retail Sales, Intel Corporation
"Wow what a show! Energy, insight, great passion. Martin really got the audience buzzing and he’s got a fantastic story to tell. I thoroughly enjoyed it."
- Nando’s CEO, Southern Africa
"Martin Butler is that rare breed – both an entertainer and educator."
- Global MD The Labstore