August 25, 2010

Elite Marketing: BRAD HOROWITZ

Brad Horowitz developed his business savvy during his college years at NYU Stern and summer internships with Elite Marketing, one of the top Experiential Marketing companies in the nation—thanks to Brad.  Experiential Marketing incorporates emotions, logic, and general thought processes in order to connect with a consumer. Brad, only 28 and the CoChair of the Experiential Marketing Center of Excellence for the Promotions Marketing Association, explains, “People like to interact with brands, products and services. A creative and relevant brand experience will emit greater response and emotion from a consumer than a message delivered as a monologue; creating stronger drive to action.” After building his reputation at the company, Brad worked to take Elite to a new level by building an Experiential Marketing component onto the existing model of a Financial Marketing agency with strengths in Event Marketing. Elite now features an Experiential start-up, pioneered by Brad and his partners’ tireless commitment to the unique method of marketing. Brad believes that this dynamic has allowed Elite to expand at a faster pace than would have otherwise been expected, and we believe that there’s no one more capable than him to keep up in such an energetic environment.


How did you end up in your current job?
For someone who spends his life coming up with ideas and pitches, I’m sure you assume that I have some exciting answer in stock, filled with inspiring tales of business plans and venture capitalists. However, my journey to Experiential Marketing was as simple as a multi-year summer internship at Elite Marketing Group that materialized into a full time position and an opportunity to diversify the business.

What is most effective about experiential marketing?
Experiential Marketing is essentially a conversation with the consumer. Consumers these days are overwhelmed with marketing messages that are delivered to them without any interaction. We’ve all heard of the “wow” or “aha” moments in marketing and advertising—that’s what we’re aiming for...without having to explicitly state it.

Describe your typical day:
A constant rush—ready?
8:00: Just missing the 6 train. Just missing the E train. Sweating my way up the elevator.
9:00am: Meeting with Operations staff to discuss anything that has occurred while I was under ground
9:30am: Deleting 50 emails from vendors trying to sell me SEO so that I can focus on new Business Inquiries
10:30am: Brainstorm to discuss creative for the launch of a new protein shake or coffee creamer.
11:15am: Meeting with sales staff to get briefed on 2 new exciting pitches for a store’s Grand Opening.
12:00pm: Meeting with the Operations Department to walk through checklists for this weeks upcoming events.
12:45pm: Do I have time to eat?
1:30pm: Work on a presentation and pitch that has a tomorrow morning deadline.
3:00pm: Check in with our artist to see when I’ll be able to review the Event Set renderings for tomorrow’s presentation deck.
3:30pm: Update our Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin.
4:30pm: I can finally chime in to the hilarious, witty, and inappropriate e-mail chain from my college
friends.
4:40pm: Call with a current vendor, client, or industry friend.
5:00pm: Stepping into my business partner’s office to vent, yell, get yelled at, and collaborate our thoughts.
5:30pm: The remainder of the business day spent finalizing the presentation for tomorrow’s pitch.
6:00pm: Rushing to get out of the office so I can hit the gym.
7:30pm:Rushing my workout to get a bite or drink with friends, my sister, or (if I’m lucky) a date. 

8:30pm: Finally it’s time to get home, watch an episode of Dexter on Netflix, take a shower, lie down, set my alarm clock and not fall asleep until 3am as I think about doing it all again tomorrow.

Favorite thing about your career:
The unknown. One day we’re researching potential marketing locations in Colorado for a cable client and the next we’re trying to develop a “wow” idea for mass sampling chocolate truffles in six major cities throughout the nation.

Most challenging aspect of your job:
Presentation materials and pitches must be dynamic enough to compete with larger, more experienced Agencies that have never-ending resumes and resources. As a mid-sized boutique Agency we’re often the underdog, which puts tremendous pressure on us to harvest the proper research, generate “wow” creative, and prove that we can deliver.

Describe your leadership style.
Lead by Example. Be accountable and give credit when credit is due. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my amazing team of marketers.

What is your most defining trait?
I’m decisive. A wise gentleman once told me to come to him with solutions rather than options. While this may seem obvious, it had a drastic impact on my thought process. Not making a decision is a decision in itself—and usually not the best one.

Does a career in marketing require you to have a keener-than-usual understanding of the way people think?
Absolutely. You cannot be presumptuous about the target audience. Just because I think that an idea is dynamic and will deliver on a client’s objectives doesn’t mean that a female between the ages of 34 -50 who lives in the Southeast will agree. It is imperative that we immerse ourselves in the brand and target audience in developing campaigns that are unique and relevant.

What is your current state of mind?
Optimistic and excited about our company and its future.

Your idea of perfect happiness?
Consistency with positive challenges and spontaneity along the way. I would like to find someone to share all my dreams and aspirations with, have a happy and healthy family, and try to stress just a little bit less. Can I add in a few trips to Foxwoods along the way?

What words or phrases do you most overuse?
Some of my most commonly used words are: “honestly,” “seriously,” “dynamic,” and “delve.” I always speak in hyperbole and always get called out on it.

What is the secret to persuasion?
Honesty, passion, confidence and persistence.

What brand do you believe is marketed well?
American Express has always stood out as the most effective and consistent marketer. They’ve done an unbelievable job of building and maintaining their brand image throughout their various marketing platforms. I view their brand as quality, consistency, luxury, classy, and always current. An explicit example of their marketing is in their sponsorship and activation of the Tennis US Open . The US Open reaches American Express’s demographic and remains consistent with their brand image.

What do you consider the greatest marketing innovation of our generation?
The internet because of the accessibility to information it provides to marketers and consumers. As a marketer you can start, maintain, and continue the conversation with consumers through the internet. You can learn about your target audience, competition, market, etc. You can understand what consumers think about a brand, product and/or service to help you shape and measure the success of campaigns. The internet has also provided a new purchasing platform, allowing marketers to drive consumers online in addition to in-store. As a consumer, you can learn and share your opinion about brands, products and services through channels that were not previously available. This forces us marketers to be more savvy and innovative.

Best kept secret in New York:
I’m seriously debating whether or not I want to divulge any of my secrets...alright, ready for it? Decibel. I don’t know that this is much of a secret anymore but I love this place. I haven’t been to Japan but I feel like I’m there once I step inside Decibel. It’s on 9th between 2nd and 3rd and there are no signs. P.S. This is probably not the place for a first date as they will most likely be turned off by the d├ęcor, congestion and smell.

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