Pablo Foncillas

Professor, researcher and speaker in business innovation.

Pablo Foncillas speaker, keynote speech, conferencia, conference, IESE
English · Spanish

Pablo Foncillas has an extensive experience as a lecturer in the Marketing Department of IESE in several programs. He teaches in Executive Education programs, MBA and Executive MBA and is academic director of International In Company programs. Since the 1990s, he has combined his academic life with his roles as manager and consultant for several companies.

Pablo Foncillas has contributed to the growth of multinationals in different industries (marketing services, food, airlines, utilities and leisure) and countries with different positions at a local, regional, national and international level.

Throughout his career Pablo Foncillas has helped develop the commercialization of over 150 brands in more than 25 countries, either in commercial, operative, or general management capacities, or as a member of their executive committees. He has had the opportunity to manage multidisciplinary and multicultural teams in widely-renowned leading and multinational companies at their local, national, regional, or global offices. As an executive, Pablo Foncillas has worked in several sectors: marketing services (advertising, public relations, on-line marketing, media agencies, direct marketing, events, and corporate identity), airline industry, food services, utilities (gas/electricity), and entertainment. Additionally, he has carried on an intense lecturing schedule, having been invited to national and international forums, as well as to sessions of executive committees and boards of directors.

Some of the brands Pablo Foncillas has worked with include United Airlines, Carbonell, Schweppes, Port Aventura, Star Alliance, Danone, Spanair and many others Educated at the Swiss School (speaks four languages), holds a degree in Law and an MBA from IESE Business School. Currently, he is faculty of the Marketing Department at IESE. Since the 1990s, he has combined an academic life with his roles as an executive and consultant for several companies.

Currently, his areas of expertise in the academic world are the digital environment and its impact on the commercial and business models of companies, having published case studies on this subject. Other of his areas of expertise relate to commercial communication, brand development, channel and route to market in FMCG and services.

Pablo Foncillas is a regular speaker in administrative councils and board meetings and has been invited to forums such as the IATA, AEDEMO, E-Business Global Conference of Bilbao, OME and the Association of Spanish Newspaper Editors.

Pablo Foncillas also writes articles for the general and specialized press, as well as case studies. During his career he has won several EFI awards and has been a member of the jury of Effectiveness Award in 2006, the most recognized marketing award in Spain.

New marketing changes everything: Ideas, examples, and trends that will transform sales

Marketing is a discipline in constant flux. It is crucial to know what innovations are on the horizon if you don’t want to miss the boat on sales. This talk will address – by means of a “quick overview” of dozens of cutting-edge examples – the latest marketing trends.


If I told you that one of the 10 companies who makes the most from online publicity was a store, would you believe me? Amazon is in this group. What would you think if I suggested that television in your country will be an algorithm in 5 years? Netflix, the most global channel in the world, present in some 120 countries, uses algorithms to connect with its customers. Who is more influential among younger generations (or millennials): a YouTuber or a Hollywood star like Leonardo DiCaprio? The latter appeared last in a recent study among 1,500 young people, losing to a handful of Internet celebrities. Which group of people would come to mind if I told you that they are constantly online, spending 4 hours more a month than any other group surfing the Net? They’re called silver surfers, referring to the elderly, a group of people that is transforming the physiognomy of the Internet.

Marketing is changing. The way companies and customers connect is changing. The way to sell is changing. And it will continue to do so. Are we ready? Do we know how to create content that will attract our customers? Have you considered that advertising is changing faster than ever?
And what should the talent who oversees all these changes be like? In this eminently exploratory session, we will answer these questions and more.

Main benefits:

• Discover the latest ideas that leading companies are employing to connect with the market and their customers.
• Get to know the behavioral trends of the consumer – off the corporate radar – with respect to shopping and the use of products and services.
• Explore the most outstanding techniques that companies are using to encourage their customers during the purchasing process.
• Understand the necessary talent and organization challenges for selling better.
• Inspire reflection and above all mobilize attendees to evolve, with the aim of defeating competitors in the battle for the market.

Forensics of failure: Keys to fail with success

We live in a success-oriented society where common belief is that failure is bad. However, the innovation process leads to failure more often than not. And innovation is in high demand these days. Putting in place a failure management process can be the way to turn failure into insights and learnings, and boost your innovation output.


Innovation is essential for companies. The times when you could spend weeks, months, or even years designing, testing, and improving a product or service are long gone. Everything happens very fast. Today, if you use the “old” methods in sales and marketing, your product or service will be obsolete by the time it reaches the market. Innovation in such a fast and uncertain environment unequivocally leads to failure many times. And the difference between winners and losers is how they manage failure. It is important that organizations provide a “safe environment” where ideas can blossom, develop, and grow. It is a must to know how to manage failure, and both individuals and organizations should analyze failure and learn from it in order to prosper.

How do we react to failure? How many success stories have risen from big failures? Why is it hard to talk about failures? Does your organization allow room for failure as part of the innovation process? Do you and your organization learn from your failures?

In this session we will discuss success and failure stories, glance through important research findings about failure, blame, and the associated learning process. Finally, we will discuss a set of tools that will help you set the “failure wheel” in a favorable direction.

Main benefits:

• Accept that failure is part of the innovation process
• Understand how your organization should act so that failure can occur as part of the innovation process
• Set the tools that will allow you personally, and your organization, to analyze and learn from failure.

Retail Safari

The Retail Safari is an integrated, personalized experience for each client depending on their specified needs (ad hoc routes). It has been tested in various cities and countries in Europe with a multitude of executives. The workshop is structured in 3 steps:

1. Team visits to locations accompanied by a trendspotter/coolhunter who will help make the experience more vibrant. The locations are chosen for using advanced practices in connecting with their customers, among other factors. Each team will visit unique routes (no team will repeat any location) to ensure the richness of the session.
2. Teamwork accordingly to previously assigned tasks and brief group presentations of their conclusions
3. Wrap-up session where we will explore, in an open but ordered debate, the latest brand trends in customer connection

Failure forensics

The times when you could spend weeks, months, or even years designing, testing, and improving a product or service are long gone. Today, if you use the “old” methods in sales and marketing, your product or service will be obsolete by the time it reaches the market. Innovation in such a fast and uncertain environment unequivocally leads to failure…many times. It is important that organizations provide a “safe environment” where ideas can blossom, develop, and grow. Research shows that one can actually learn more from failure (your own or someone else’s) than from success; it is a must to know how to manage failure, and both individuals and organizations should analyze failure and learn from it in order to prosper.

The experience economy applied to the customer

Customers are the base of any company, and they have become promiscuous in their
relationship with brands in a hyper-competitive environment. Commercial, marketing, and customer management are the areas with direct customer contact. It is very common to hear the heads of those departments complaining about the lack of “sensitivity” to the customer in their organization. It might seem a paradox when you consider that growth or profitability per customer are common objectives within companies’ command structures.

The answer for many companies has been to find a way of differentiating themselves and adding value to their products through experiences. The experience economy deals with how to do this and win customers’ hearts.

The 4 essential steps in social media

Worldwide there are 3 billion people connected to the Internet, representing 80% of the world’s wealth. In a recent study at IESE we concluded that one in three companies in Spain currently have no presence in social media. On the other hand, we know that online social media is changing the way in which companies build their commercial relationships, develop their Brand awareness, manage corporate reputation, deal with customer complaints, or even communicate with their investors.

No one wants to let a commercial opportunity of this size float by, but is your organization ready for it? What about your processes? Do you have the right talent? How can a BTB or BTC company take advantage of social media?

Innovation: The talent challenge

To innovate it is not enough to motivate – innovation goes beyond having good ideas: it requires the combination of a set of behaviors and processes to turn ideas into profitable products or services. The final objective of innovation may vary depending on the company, but at its heart it’s the same: you need ideas, and mechanisms to make them flow and enrich each other until turning into a specific output with value to the organization.

Is your organization encouraging pro-innovation behaviors? Does it have the necessary
processes to allow these behaviors to create ideas which could become a valuable output?

Learning to dance with eCommerce

The e-commerce “industry” is one of the few growing at a blistering pace in Europe, up to two digits in most markets (in both Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer). It already represents 312 trillion euros in the business-to-consumer market alone (3,5% of European GDP.) Taking advantage of what digital provides to business is key. At the same time, it is a great challenge for organizations, teams, and leaders.

Fashion in the digital world

In the new digital context, boundaries between the business and the communication in the fashion world become diluted. The e-commerce platform is the best way for a brand to reach an advantageous on-line communication and in this scenario on-line publicity and sales join together ¿ Is this a new phenomena for fashion¿ ¿ What is the best way to manage it?...

Fashion in the digital world