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From Madmen to Modern Marketers

By Clay Stobaugh, EVP & CMO, John Wiley and Sons

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Clay Stobaugh, EVP & CMO, John Wiley and Sons

The age of the Madison Avenue man or aptly named “Madmen”, once they became television entertainment  themselves, focused on brand positioning and “unique selling propositions”. Television was the medium of maximum impact and print ads delivered targeted messaging.

“We have achieved our “mindset” of modern marketers by deploying sophisticated ‘toolsets’”

I worked on Madison Avenue with firms including Benton & Bowles and Young & Rubicam for illustrious brands: Brim Decaffeinated Coffee, Jell-O, A&P Supermarkets, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism while toiling away on new product introductions on behalf of Proctor and Gamble. We lived by qualitative and quantitative research, and the power of targeted media buys. We never knew what was really working or in the famous words of John Wanamaker, a pioneer in marketing, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; trouble is, I don’t know which half”. It was our creative work that won the awards, built our agency reel, and provided entertainment for our clients and customers alike. It was the age of “Madmen”.

In the marketing trenches, there were ways to measure results. There were “Sunday inserts” with coupons for our consumer product goods and co-op advertising for our travel and retail businesses.  There was also the most precise of all marketing, direct mail giving us one-to-one contact with our customers (and lots of number crunching). I was fortunate that my tenure in direct mail was as the President of a new Nestle company, Nespresso. Through direct mail, we built a multi-billion-dollar coffee business. Our CRM customer database was built on direct-to-consumer sales. We were in the pre-internet world so we knew our customers by family, by person, by name because they called us to order their coffee (only later did we launch retail distribution of the now famous coffee capsules).

The advent of the internet and its ability to track, measure, and calculate customer engagement ushered in a new era: “The Age of the Modern Marketer”. As we moved into the world of internet start-ups in the 1990’s, we needed to build digital businesses and engage customers in new ways. We leveraged software-as-service businesses such as Salesforce.com, and tracking capabilities through DoubleClick, Adobe and Google Analytics, along with multi-touch email through Eloqua, Marketo and others. Ultimately, we learned the discipline of Customer Experience, cementing “The Age of the Modern Marketer”.

Today, I am the EVP & Chief Marketing Officer of Wiley, a global company that helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. We live on digital platforms because our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. To achieve this success, we had to become “Modern Marketers”. I recognized that for our colleagues to achieve their mindset of modern marketers, they also needed the new toolsets and they needed the new skillsets to use those complex and expensive new tools; only then could they achieve their modern marketing mindset. By focusing on mindset, skillsets and toolsets, we created a global center of excellence, The Marketing Revenue Center, to train and support colleagues around the world.

The challenge for the true modern marketer is to know and understand customer experience, journey mapping, web analytics, social, content (quality creative work matters more than ever), multi-touch emails, voice-of-the-customer, as well as the importance of Net Promoter Scores, Overall Satisfaction Scores, and managing funnel pipelines with Marketing Qualified Leads, Sales Qualified Leads, etc. While many people can become experts in one of these disciplines, becoming fluent in them all and being able to deploy ever increasing sophisticated marketing programs requires today’s modern marketer to be an Omni-Channel Marketer.

Our success at Wiley is due to the dedication and relentless hard work of colleagues in the Marketing Revenue Center and of marketers across our organization who have committed themselves to learning new toolsets and skillsets.  I am very proud of colleagues in the Marketing Revenue Center who have built our award-winning training programs and the measurable business results that our marketers at Wiley are now delivering.

However, to achieve industry best practices you need a partner who can validate your work, and compare you to industry peers and practitioners.  So we pursued a two prong strategy: 1) working with a partner company who can help us grow and stretch ourselves to deliver best of class modern marketing capabilities that consistently deliver measurable business results; and 2) winning modern marketing awards to validate the quality of our work.

So to further our progress as modern marketers and achieve more accuracy for our claim of industry best practitioners, we worked with Forrester Research. We have just launched the Forrester Wiley Marketing Awards in which our best marketing campaigns are judged by Forrester’s analysts. They award gold, silver or bronze recognition to those marketing teams demonstrating industry best practices. Importantly, there is no guarantee that our teams will win because we have to compete with what Forrester analysts perceive as world class. Our competition is not just within Wiley; we are also being compared to other world class marketers.

Winning these Forrester recognition awards along with the industry awards, validates our journey as modern marketers. We have achieved our “mindset” of modern marketers by deploying sophisticated “toolsets”. We have certified ourselves through “skillset” trainings. This mindset, toolset and skillset strategy has empowered us to deliver Omni-Channel marketing that generates marketing revenue. This journey from Madmen to Modern Marketers, for me, has occurred over the past 25 years and I can’t wait to experience what’s next.