Pacesetters

Alexander van Slooten: The risks and rewards of personalization

Wehkamp, Holland’s largest online retailer, had great success with a personalized e-mail campaign that encourages customers to return to their abandoned online shopping carts. Now, the company is embarking on a broader effort to personalize the entire Web site in hopes of increasing traffic and sales. It’s a massive undertaking, considering that the site sells […]

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Chris Gabaldon: Ritz-Carlton ventures onto Facebook and into China

The rise of social media may be a global phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean one social media strategy is sufficient for all marketers. Chris Gabaldon, chief marketing officer for luxury hotelier Ritz-Carlton, explains how the company differentiates between Twitter and Facebook around the globe—and how to approach the most important emerging market of all, China. […]

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Elena Goitini: When going social requires a change in culture

Some industries are naturally more conservative than others, especially when it comes to exploring new marketing venues. Banking and social media, for example, don’t exactly go hand in hand. For Italy’s UniCredit Group, initiating a Facebook and Twitter strategy has required an educational campaign inside the company. Elena Goitini, the head of global marketing individuals, […]

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Terry Jones: Building a loyal customer base in a digital world

The Internet has altered many industries over the last 20 years, but few have been more radically transformed than the travel business. Sixty percent of all travel purchases now happen online. Terry Jones has not just witnessed the evolution from up close; he’s been driving the change. From travel agent to marketing executive to CIO […]

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Isabelle Conner: Pushing the boundaries of the traditional CMO role

Zurich Insurance Group is counting on marketing to take the company in a new strategic direction. Isabelle Conner is charged with reinforcing the company’s brand position among consumers and corporations while embedding an empathetic culture internally. Pulling this off will require far more than advertising. It involves building a movement that starts with the support […]

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David Boyle: Earning the skeptics’ trust

David Boyle has built data-analytics platforms in corporate consulting, politics, supply-chain retail, a non-profit and, now, entertainment. Working at London-based EMI Music, whose roster includes everything from The Beatles and Pink Floyd to Cold Play and Katy Perry, Boyle deployed a dashboard that’s now used across departments and around the world. He shares lessons on […]

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Peggy Dyer: Centralizing marketing to personalize the message

When Peggy Dyer joined the American Red Cross in 2009, there wasn’t even a marketing department. Instead, the function was embedded inside communications and the responsibilities were distributed across more than 700 chapters nationwide. Dyer’s primary goals have been to consolidate the department, personalize fundraising efforts and build a culture of transparency at the venerable […]

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Ranjana Clark: Using data to open new markets

While most companies are working feverishly to follow their customers online, PayPal is heading in the opposite direction. The e-commerce payment giant, a subsidiary of eBay, wants to become a better alternative to cash and credit cards in coffee shops, hardware stores and wherever people buy things. This ambitious vision is being led in large […]

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Geoff Cottrill: How Converse got to 30 million likes on Facebook

When Geoff Cottrill took over as CMO in 2007, Converse was in the doldrums. Its market share hovered in the single digits. Long the default sneakers of the hipster set, the shoemaker has since seen its profile explode. One quick metric: 31 million and counting. That’s how many people have liked its Facebook page. By […]

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Tony Hsieh: Return on culture

Zappos may be outwardly in the business of delivering shoes and trendy blouses to busy shoppers. But to CEO Tony Hsieh the mission of the company is delivering happiness (also the title of his best-selling book). Hsieh became wealthy after he sold a software startup earlier in life, but by the time he cashed out, […]

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Austin Peterson: Introducing science to the land of instinct

Ovid Napa Valley is a rising star among cult producers of cabernet sauvignon. It’s also something of a renegade. Most farmers of high-end grapes rely on instinct and experience to inform planting and irrigation decisions. For a while, that was also true at Ovid. Now the winery uses an array of sap-flow sensors to precisely […]

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Tim Westergren: Creating personalized radio stations for 50 million listeners

Pandora Media was born out of Tim Westergren’s frustrations as a musician. He wanted to create an outlet for bands and music lovers to connect without having to pass through the traditional gatekeepers: record labels, mass marketing and broadcast radio. He devised an ambitious scheme to rank all forms of music through a series of […]

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