Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Best Marketing Tip: “Ask why”, Jo Crawford, Global Vice President for Owned Digital and Orchestration, Pandora

By NDA columnist Tom Ollerton, founder, Automated Creative

Jo Crawford is the Global Vice President for Owned Digital and Orchestration at Pandora – what she herself calls “the most confusing job title in the world.” What’s not confusing is Jo’s marketing advice, from the worst tips she’s heard to the best “silver bullet” she thinks helps makes brands better. Her top tip is to always ask why.

“Why would the customer care about this? Why does this help the brand? Why is this interesting?” All these “why” questions are at the base of Jo’s approach to digital marketing strategy. This is why her best advice is to always ask them, whether in day to day activities or at board and planning meetings.

The point is not to intimidate or undermine, but to search for the logic behind why people propose campaigns or ads. Ultimately, she sees it as a way to better understand the concept and be able to put it in a good go-to-market message. As Jo puts it: “if I understand why, then I’m better at doing it.

Additionally, asking why allows Jo to take on new directions with her team’s marketing activities. Rather than always working off a trading line-up, which can stifle innovation and lead to losing inspiration, bringing in new ideas can refresh the mindset of everyone involved. But, they have to be ideas backed up by logic or research. There is no bad answer to the question “why?” – other than “I don’t know.”

What about the worst advice for marketers that Jo has ever heard? That has to be “stay in your lane” – whether referring to specialising in just one domain or simply not engaging with consumers on the multitude of channels available to do so. For Jo, a complete marketer understands that everything is interlinked and speaks to everyone around them, constantly learning a little bit about everything. All the marketing channels need to come together and only marketers who have a bit of “fringe” knowledge about all aspects of the job can do this successfully. In the end, the reward is a complete customer journey that truthfully conveys your brand message. 

Listen to more tips from Jo as well as to why she’s interested in developing community marketing for Pandora, here: 
The Shiny New Object podcast is a production of Automated Creative, an adtech platform that turns brands’ media impressions into marketing intelligence. Find out more at