My guest, Julie Roehm, needs no introduction for anyone who’s been paying attention to the evolution and transformation of advertising and marketing in the 21st Century. Ms. Roehm has served in high-level strategy posts at some of the most recognized brands on the planet, including DaimlerChrysler. Today, she consults on a contract basis for Gorilla Commerce, an e-commerce product development platform dedicated to launching and growing powerful brands. She’s also on the advisory boards of several large organizations, including T-Mobile and the National Kidney Foundation.
Julie and I met years ago in Detroit during the time she was executing a turnaround for the Dodge brand so it was a real pleasure to catch up with her for an extended conversation about what she’s doing now and how she views the big changes happening in marketing, technology, and business transformation.
Julie — like myself — is a big advocate of putting customer experience at the center of every marketing decision made by a brand. Also critical is that marketing efforts should always be aligned with company KPIs, such as conversion and margin, in order to demonstrate value and credibility to the C-Suite. By focusing on these KPIs, marketers can change the way they are perceived by operations and finance teams, leading to more productive collaboration and innovation.
Julie and I agree that marketers should identify low-hanging fruit in any transformation or change initiative, even if it’s not part of one’s direct responsibility. She highlights the value of pressure testing and journey mapping to identify areas for improvement, a process involving members from various departments for a comprehensive understanding of the customer experience.
We trade notes on the new crop of tools for content creation, including AI-generated animation software capable of creating high-quality moving images. Julie agrees that these tools are game-changers, but warns that because they make content creation so easy (thus allowing an almost infinite set of variations to be produced for every creative concept), there’s a risk that marketers will be overwhelmed and lose focus. Finally, we chat about the growing role of influencers in marketing and how their status might evolve in an era quite likely to see more regulation from governmental entities such as the FTC.
Julie is excited about the coming year and sees AI as a major continuing driver of transformative change within marketing and in society at large.