What makes a great marketer?

IPG Emerging Media Lab President John RossMy answer to the question of what makes a great marketer is simple: Being a great listener. Yeah, that’s right, listening.

The answer is simple because marketing is simple. If you know what your customers really want and give it to them, magic happens. Easy, right?

Most businesses start off as great listeners. Bernie and Arthur, two leaders I was fortunate to work for when I first joined Home Depot knew how to listen to customers. Their entire business was built around listening. Continue reading “What makes a great marketer?”

John Ross on why retail needs new tools

John Ross, President of the IPG Emerging Media Lab John Ross recently joined IPG’s Mediabrands to become President of the Emerging Media Lab. John brings 20 years of retail experience to the job, most recently as VP of Advertising and Marketing for Home Depot. I sat down with him during a recent visit to Los Angeles (John will be managing a trifecta commute between his home base in Atlanta, Mediabrands offices in NY, and the Lab in Los Angeles) to talk about why retail and emerging media are well suited, and what challenges lay ahead for both sectors.

DR: What is the biggest challenge for the retail sector in terms of effectively harnessing the power of emerging media and technology?

JR: [Retail] needs to embrace and employ new tools that allow them to access the dialogue that’s taking place about their business. They need to have new listening tools and these tools need to be snapped into the way they make business decisions. Social media combined with retail has so far been a terrifying combination, it takes courage to really listen and a fear of that that dialogue might get out of control in ways that could be dangerous to your brand. Continue reading “John Ross on why retail needs new tools”