WVU Marketing Communications Today
The Power Communicator Returns!

The Power Communicator Returns!

August 12, 2021

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The role of the PR professional is changing fast. No longer limited to media relations or crisis management, these days PR people have evolved into larger and more strategic roles as “communicators,” who handle multi-channel messaging to a variety of important audiences, or “publics.” Our guest, Bonnie Harris, explains what’s driving this change, and where it’s likely to go next.

About our Guest:

Bonnie Harris is the founder of Wax Marketing, Inc. an integrated marketing agency based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Harris and her team designed and implemented IMC strategies for clients across the United States, focused primarily on midsized companies in the healthcare, technology and manufacturing industries.

Prior to founding her IMC practice, Harris worked in the technology industry for 16 years, eventually rising to the role of vice president, where she oversaw sales, marketing and operations for nine profit centers in eight states. She received her master’s degree from the West Virginia University IMC program in December of 2007 and completed her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Minnesota in 2001.


WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications.

West Virginia University Marketing Communications 

John Wanamaker Was Right! How Fraud Wastes Your Digital Ad Dollars

John Wanamaker Was Right! How Fraud Wastes Your Digital Ad Dollars

July 29, 2021

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Bot-generated fraud on digital advertising will waste $42 billion by 2022, according to Jupiter Research. A shocking sum. Our guest, Dr. Augustine Fou, explains why and how ad fraud is perpetrated, and what can be done about it. Listen in to learn how we marketers must change our thinking about ad metrics, and update our media buying strategies altogether.

About our Guest:

Dr. Fou has been on the front lines of digital marketing for 25 years. It is from that vantage point that he studied and documented the nexus of cybercrime and ad fraud. As an investigator, Dr. Fou assists government and regulatory bodies; as a consultant he helps clients strengthen cybersecurity, and mitigate threats and risks, including the flow of ad dollars that fund further criminal activity.

Dr. Fou was the former Group Chief Digital Officer of Omnicom's Healthcare Consultancy Group, a $100 million group of 8 agencies serving pharma, medical device, and healthcare clients. Dr. Fou also taught digital strategy and integrated marketing at Rutgers University and NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Dr. Fou completed his PhD at MIT in Materials Science and Engineering at the age of 23. He started his career with McKinsey & Company and previously served as SVP, digital strategy lead at McCann/MRM Worldwide.


WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications.

West Virginia University Marketing Communications 

Are Loyalty Programs Doomed?

Are Loyalty Programs Doomed?

July 15, 2021

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The marketing world has embraced loyalty programs ever since the launch of the American Airlines AAdvantage program in 1981. But these transactional rewards programs are headed for the trash heap, says our guest Ajay Row, a longtime authority on retention and loyalty, based in Mumbai. Join us to learn the strategy behind loyalty marketing programs and the strategy that is likely to replace them. The key lies in figuring out who’s valuable to you, what’s valuable to them, and how you can deliver and extract more value in the relationship.

About our Guest:

G. Ajay Row

Entrepreneurial executive with 35 years’ experience in data-driven, digital, loyalty, analytics and CRM across a variety of industries and several countries. Launched among the first CRM, loyalty and data-driven marketing programs globally in the 1980s, have since implemented programs across 65+ countries. Built several companies, two to exit, and numerous case studies. 11 years with the Taj and then the Tata Group responsible for CRM. 5 years at ITC. Full-time consultant for several years.


WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications.

West Virginia University Marketing Communications 

Are Walled Gardens the Future?

Are Walled Gardens the Future?

June 24, 2021

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Why do walled gardens exist in the first place? The answer is quite simple, because they can. When it comes to advertising, giant firms like Facebook and LinkedIn hold all their own cards. And with the demise of 3rd party data and cookies, the amount of data they have on users who readily allow access to personal information is unprecedented. But we are learning that this may spell bad news in the future for us marketers. Listen in to this episode with Heather Blank on how Walled Gardens will impact the future of advertising.

About our Guest:

Heather Blank

Heather Blank has over 20 years of experience scaling and innovating the go-to-market strategies of digital enterprises. A background in both client-side and in-house technology roles gives her a unique perspective and solutions-oriented approach to product innovation. Heather started her data career running the first digital CRM program for PETCO Animal Supplies and has worked to build successful data businesses for Responsys, Oracle Data Cloud, Datalogix and MediaMath. In her current role as SVP Data Solutions at Revenue Vision Partners, she helps clients in retail, financial services and adtech develop data monetization strategies. Heather graduated with a B.A. in journalism from the University of Arizona and lives in San Diego with her husband and two children.


WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications.

West Virginia University Marketing Communications 

Is Marketing Dead?

Is Marketing Dead?

June 10, 2021

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In this provocative episode, database management expert Theresa Kushner explains why she believes that the marketing profession as we know it today is obsolete. What does this mean for the future of the marketing discipline, and for organizations as a whole? Listen here to find out.

About our Guest:

Theresa Kushner

Theresa Kushner turned her master’s degree in journalism from UNT into a career in high technology. For over 25 years she has led companies – like IBM, Cisco Systems, VMware, Dell/EMC, and NTT DATA – in recognizing, managing, and using the information or data that has exploded exponentially. Using her expertise in journalism, she co-authored two books on data and its use in business: Managing Your Business Data: From Chaos to Confidence (with Maria Villar) and B2B Data-Driven Marketing: Sources, Uses, Results (with Ruth Stevens). Today, as the “Data as an Asset” lead for NTT DATA, Theresa continues to help companies gain value from data and information. For her efforts in leading analytics, Theresa was inaugurated into the Analytics Hall of Fame at Pace University in New York in March 2019. She currently serves as an AI/Analytics consultant in the Data & Intelligent Automation group with NTT DATA.


WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications.

West Virginia University Marketing Communications 

The Future of Retail

The Future of Retail

May 27, 2021

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During the pandemic, we’ve all be watching with horror as stores close and shopping behavior has turned upside down. Amazon’s sales are up 40% in the last 12 months. What’s the future of retail, we have to ask? Join us for an engaging discussion with Paul Leinwand and Samrat Sharma from PriceWaterhouseCoopers’s as they discuss the future of consumer markets and where the consumer shopping experience is headed. Paul Leinwand is global director of the Strategy& unit of PwC based in Chicago and teaches strategy and management as an adjunct at Kellogg Graduate School of Business. Samrat Sharma also works at Strategy& and has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon.

About our Guests:

Paul Leinwand

Paul Leinwand is a thought leader on strategy, growth, and capability building for Strategy&, PwC's strategy consulting group. Based in Chicago, he is a principal with PwC U.S. Paul advises clients on the topic of strategy, growth, and capability building, with a focus on the consumer product and retail sectors.

He is the co-author of three books, Strategy That Works: How Winning Companies Close the Strategy-to-Execution Gap (Harvard Business Review Press, 2016), The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy (Harvard Business Review Press, 2010) and Cut Costs and Grow Stronger (Harvard Business Review Press, 2009), as well as several articles in the Harvard Business Review and strategy+business.

Paul earned an MBA with Distinction from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Washington University. He currently teaches at Kellogg as an Adjunct Professor of Strategy.

Samrat Sharma

Samrat Sharma is the US Enterprise Strategy & Growth Leader with Strategy& and PwC and the global leader of CMO Advisory, where he specializes in developing new business models to drive growth and reduce costs for CPG clients. He has roughly 20 years of consulting and industry experience in North America and emerging markets.

His wealth of expertise includes growth strategy, innovation and business transformation, go-to-market capabilities development such as marketing, revenue management, customer/channel management, and digital transformation with a focus on commerce, data & analytics.

Samrat has been featured in publications like Harvard Business Review and Strategy+Business. He earned his Bachelors in Commerce from the University of Delhi, and his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.


WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications.

West Virginia University Marketing Communications 

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