This week we chat with @paulnprice, an Australian communicator living and working in New York. Paul has built an impressive career over the past 25 years; consulting to leading marketers such as ExxonMobil, Coca-Cola, HP and Pfizer and leading multiple marketing services companies across direct marketing, digital, retail and advertising disciplines. His innovative approach and collaborative management style embrace and overcome marketing challenges we face everyday in the 21st century.
Your elevator statement – who are you professionally and personally?
Proud father, loving husband and a digital marketing services leader.
Tell us about your typical day as a communicator?
A quick scan of my favorite bloggers on apps like Pulse and Zite including a couple of guilty pleasures like Twitter and Reddit then check-in with the leadership team to make sure I’m doing what they need me to.
Call the clients and call the ones we want. “Always be closing.”
The rest of the day tends to fill itself with the more tactical things but I try to focus on what helps our business and its people grow.
When did you first know you wanted to work in communications?
In high school I wanted to be a journalist so when a job at a local newspaper came up I took it. The ads we’d get from agencies caught my attention and when I moved to Melbourne I got a job at my first ad agency in the traffic department. I was soon in front of clients taking briefs from my first client, the Myer Bargain Basement.
What made you move from the world of advertising to the world of customer experience?
Customer Experience is the new advertising. In other words, advertising is just one experience of a brand to manage amongst many others like the mobile, social and commercial web, in-store and so on. To really solve today’s marketing challenges you need to embrace the view that every experience of your brand should be managed with your consumer’s experience of it in mind. Every experience communicates.
Who’s your communication hero/mentor?
I love film so I think of some great directors. Orson Welles was amazing – he created masterpieces in every medium he had access to. He was a great creative director, probably the greatest. Likewise Stanley Kubrick who made a masterpiece in every major genre.
Which tools can’t you live without?
They’re all from Apple and not likely to change anytime soon.
What are the biggest challenges in your field?
Digital transformation of business coupled with new marketing and advertising technology are displacing or replacing a lot of marketing services. Standing still is going backward.
You’ve spent a lot of time in advertising, what’s your favourite campaign and why?
Wassup? for Bud from DDB Chicago is still my favourite. I had run the Fosters Brewing Account in Australia, so I recognised the subtle but important cleverness in the creative strategy behind it. It went viral way before Facebook or YouTube existed so imagine how powerful it would have been now.
Bill Bernbach’s revolutionary work for Volkswagen is often overlooked for the breakthrough it was compared to other advertising styles at the time.
What’s been the biggest change to communication/marketing/public relations/advertising since you began your career?
The arrival of digital and it still isn’t done yet. We’re going through the next big change as a result of the emerging Internet of Things.
If you had to cut/change/create something in your communication budget, what would it be?
I prefer to think of optimising instead of cutting.
What quality do you look for in your communication team members?
Be passionate. And be nice.
Which companies are creating the best experiences?
Apple is at the height of their game – almost every experience they create is amazing.
What book/blog do you think every communicator should read?
Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahnman – it challenges a lot of misguided assumptions about how we process what we encounter. A good communicator should be an expert in understanding how consumers pay attention.
What tips do you wish you’d known starting out in communication?
I wasted too much money on suits.
Finish this sentence: ‘Communication is…’ a meaningful experience.