Martin's Bio

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. 

Taking his audiences behind-the-scenes of phenomenal successes, Martin's Keynotes, lectures and interactive workshops highlight the creative and innovative thinking required to win the war for the modern customer, for tomorrow and today.

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 the quiet of his Africa home. Loving shopping and red wine, he also admits to an unstable relationship with a delinquent golf ball.