“Creativity is just connecting things.
When you ask creative people how they did something (…) they just saw something. They were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences, so they don’t have enough dots to connect.”
~ Steve Jobs
A lot of people I meet assume I’m a marketer, or a digital consultant. Both of these are true.
But mostly, I am a creative person with a lot of dots.
I started out writing TV commercials at ad agencies.
Founded/sold an early digital agency. Had a brief stint in e-commerce. Spent 10 years on the client-side doing integrated marketing.
Today I’m the founder of Cunniff Consulting. More about that here.
Each job gave me fresh perspective. More dots to connect.
My first job in advertising was at age 17, in print production. I was so young I was still protected by child labor laws; my mother had to come downtown with me from the Bronx to sign my working papers.
Here’s what I’ve been doing since then.
Some Career Highlights
- Wrote a direct marketing TV campaign for the AT&T Universal Card that helped AT&T earn $1 billion in new receivables.
- Freelanced for the J. Peterman catalog before and during the Seinfeld years.
- Founded/sold a digital agency. Created the world’s first CPG website for Ragú.
- Pioneered a unique role spanning traditional and digital. I predict this will be common in the near future.
- Created the most successful TV campaign in Combe Incorporated’s 60+ year history.
- Built Combe’s global digital capability from the ground up: conducted agency searches, pioneered social media ratings and reviews, mobile, web analytics, digital sampling programs, online couponing, loyalty marketing, SEO and SEM, CPA, Interactive TV, and content marketing.
- Founded a new consultancy in June 2012. Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.
Writing and Speaking
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”
~ Flannery O’Connor
I blog regularly at Jack Myers’ MediaBizBloggers. I also speak regularly at industry events like Ad Age Digital, Digiday, Ad-Tech, and Brand Innovators Summits. The more I write and talk, the more I’m forced to really understand what I mean. Writing forces me to challenge my assumptions in a way that nothing else can.
I’m Chairman of the Digital Marketing Committee at the Association of National Advertisers. If you’re a client-side marketer, please join us. The peer-to-peer experience is priceless. And I promise our meetings will be more entertaining and interesting than the ones you’re sitting in back at corporate HQ.
Lastly, if you see me at an industry event or just wandering around my East Village New York neighborhood please say hi. The best part of being in my chosen career is the chance to meet smart people and learn from them.
P.S. If you came here hoping to find a more typical and less dotted résumé, my LinkedIn page is your best bet.