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Digital Marketing Interview Series with Cohn & Wolfe's President

Jim Joseph is the President of Cohn & Wolfe North America, a global communications and public relations agency. Here are his thoughts on digital marketing:

  1. What excites you the most about your market?

    Creativity is what keeps me motivated to stay in the game. I love watching what brands are doing in the marketplace and I get so inspired when I see great marketing work.  We can all learn a lot from each other's creativity.

  2. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in marketing teams in recent years compared to ten years ago?

    Integration.  While I don't like that buzz word, it has created vast changes in the makeup of teams.  No longer do we work in isolation.  And I don't mean just the merging of disciplines like advertising, promotion, digital, and PR.  I also mean integration across skills like creative, account, strategy, and measurement.  We work as seamless teams like never before.

  3. What do you see as the biggest challenges for marketing professionals over the next 3 year?

    The best part of marketing is that there are always new challenges ... It's what keeps us at the edge of our seats.  In the next three years, we need to grapple with the evolution of social media as it relates to marketing and how to engage with consumers on their terms in an ever-changing environment. 

  4. What do you consider essential skills for a marketing team these days?

    Marketing teams today have to show incredible flexibility.  Flexibility to work across media, flexibility to let others into your "space," and flexibility to course-correct as consumers respond to a marketing program

  5. What do you feel are the most underrated skills in a marketing team these days?

    Writing is the most under-rated skill in my view.  Good creative writers can transform a core idea into a breakthrough campaign.  Good creative writers can connect with consumers emotionally.  Good creative writers are very hard to find.  

  6. What advice would you give to young people who want to do your job some day?

    Stay in the game and get your hands dirty. No matter how many promotions you achieve and no matter how high you go in your organization, stay close to the work. Keep working on marketing programs, attend brainstorm sessions, and pay attention to what's going on in pop culture. It'll help you help your teams. 

    Marketing is a spectator sport and Jim Joseph is one of the industry’s most engaging, enthralling and entertaining commentators. As the President of Cohn & Wolfe North America, Jim brings over twenty-five years of consumer marketing leadership, bold management prowess, and a fine head of hair to the agency. Jim’s a three-time author; a professor at New York University; and a member of the Board of Directors for the number one branding school in the country, The Brand Center at VCU, as well as The Council of PR Firms. Jim's brand pedigree is a portfolio of the who's who of marketing including Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, IKEA, Cadillac, Ambien, Nokia, Walmart, and Kellogg's. You can find Jim on Twitter at @JimJosephExp.