Erik Hauser, the interviewer, is the Founder of the Experiential Marketing Forum
It is with great pride that I introduce The Experiential Marketing Forum's Profiles in Leadership.
The idea for it arose after I began connecting recently with a bunch of EMF community members who wanted to chat about the economic changes and what was going on with the industry. Everyone seemed to be asking like-minded questions re: what was going to happen next and how we would all be affected.
By now, everyone kind of knows my style :) - In typical Erik fashion I spent many hours on the phone just talking to people. The most important part of the conversations wasn’t the part when I was talking - it was the part when I was listening to what the community had to say.
It occurred to me that we could create a new tool on the EMF that would offer the community keen insights about our industry and other relevant subject matter from the best minds working with, and around, us all.
In reality the idea flows back to what my mom told me when I was a kid. She said,” If you find things in life that you like then associate yourself with them - if you can’t find these things - create them.” This forum is built on the vision of those words -- and I still hear her in my head each day. From a personal perspective, at the time I created the EMF I was looking to create order in the chaos I felt during one of my initial phases of my career. I needed an outlet where people spoke the same language and understood that a rising tide lifts all ships. The goal was to build a place where people would come to learn - a place where there would be interactions and give and take - even among competitors - for the greater good of the industry.
We've named this section EMF Profiles In Leadership because it involves forward thinking practitioners and theorists.
I figured that I’d throw out some questions to industry heavyweights and it could be a great learning tool for everyone to see what others are doing to make it through these tough times. Most importantly, I thought in addition to my own conversations, it would start to help answer some of the questions that the community was posing to me, and in general.
I really look forward to having some distinguished people answer some simple questions that can help the community grow their businesses, perform better at their current jobs or even help someone decide which major to select in college.
Click here to visit the Experiential Marketing Forum Profiles In Leadership Archives
Would you like to have your profile featured? Click here to contact Erik Hauser.
SVP – Experiential Marketing
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Johns Hopkins University Undergrad, and Kellogg Graduate School of Management MBA
Reading a lot of Eastern European literature (Kafka, etc.) in preparation for a vacation there next spring.
I dare to ask age:
After the three alarm fire atop my last birthday cake, the fire department suggested I stop counting.
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The guy that held back the Tanks as they were heading to Tiananmen Square. I wonder if I, put in the same situation, would have the guts.
“The future ain't what it used to be.” Yogi Berra
Short bio of career path:
Restaurant Manager to Restaurant Marketer to Bank Marketer to Experiential Bank Marketer to…stay tuned.
Define your leadership style and the feel of the agency:
Benevolent Despot! I have strong opinions, but can be swayed by facts.
Toughest challenge overcome in your career?
Years ago (long before the three alarm fire) I worked at an ethically challenged firm, but was reluctant to quit. It’s the only job I ever quit without having a job. I was lucky enough to have two job offers within a month. I learned to be more confident in myself.
What was your defining moment at your company?
When Wells Fargo senior leaders started calling it Experiential Marketing instead of Experimental Marketing, I knew I had arrived.
Favorite assignment completed to date?
There have been so many, but the latest fun project is our Times Square Flash Mob.
Your vision of where we will all be in 10 years (non-apocalyptic):
“I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords” OK, I stole that from Ken Brockman.
How do you interact with agencies?
It depends on the level of trust. I have worked with some agencies for a long time, and they just get us. Others, need a lot more hand holding. Because the space is so fragmented, we work with a lot of specialty agencies.
Advice for those entering into the space from college?
You will do a lot of grunt work, but keep asking why you are doing what you are being asked to do. You will learn from the answers you get.
Advice in tough economic climate?
It’s not that different from the boom years…..it’s all about the work. If you are doing great work that gets people talking, you will be valued…by your clients, by your boss…whoever you report to .
How do you use and define experiential methodology?
“Experiential Marketing creates unique experiences, that customers choose, setting the stage for business opportunities.” It’s not a specific channel, it can be online of offline….it’s a way of thinking.