Staying True to Marketing Principles in the Digital Age

Colloquium on Marketing Leadership

As digital technology transforms the marketing landscape, Jeff Larson ’99, former CMO of the Stew Leonard’s grocery chain, reminded students at the Yale School of Management that the fundamentals remain the same.

As much as things change, there are a lot of fundamentals that stay the same—this is a key point. With all this disruption—with all these changes that are happening across industries, in your marketplace, with customers, with society—there are a lot of things that I learned early on that, I would say, are as important now as ever. One is: Start with the customer in mind, and you’ll never go wrong. 

It’s easy to get distracted. Especially as a marketer, it’s easy to get caught up in the emerging technologies and the proliferation of different ways to talk to customers. But you have to make sure you’re grounded in a strong understanding of your brand—who you are, what you’re trying to accomplish—and use that as the starting point for any conversation around technology.

One of the roles that marketers play in organizations is the voice of the customer. Let’s make sure we understand our brand, our purpose, the vision, what we’re trying to accomplish, and who we want to be when we grow up. Then apply technology to figure out how we can improve our business, how we can improve our interaction with customers through technology.Jeff Larson ’99, former CMO, Stew Leonard’s

Jeff Larson '99: Colloquium on Marketing Leadership

About the Event

As marketers shift more time and resources to digital marketing, a gulf is growing between customers served by those digital channels and those reached only by traditional marketing. The emerging challenge facing marketers like Jeff Larson ’99, former CMO of Stew Leonard’s, is creating a digital experience that meshes with a brand’s in-store experience.

In his talk, Larson will discuss his approach to digital transition and how marketers can appeal to a tech-savvy generation without alienating existing customers.

This event is open to the Yale community.

Speakers

Jeff Larson '99

Chief Marketing Officer at Stew Leonard's

Jeff is the Chief Marketing Officer for Stew Leonard’s food and wine retail brands. Stew Leonard’s was a pioneer in customer-first retail marketing and is regularly named among the top retail grocers in the country. Since joining Jeff has...

Jeff is the Chief Marketing Officer for Stew Leonard’s food and wine retail brands. Stew Leonard’s was a pioneer in customer-first retail marketing and is regularly named among the top retail grocers in the country. Since joining Jeff has been focused on sales and profit building initiatives including the company’s digital transformation. Prior to Stew Leonard’s, Jeff led Brand Marketing for Subway Restaurants globally and was a member of the Subway Global Leadership Team. He led several highly recognized initiatives including $5 Footlongs, the launch of breakfast, Fresh Fit, and the collaboration with Disney. His focus has been on big ideas brought to life as fully integrated marketing campaigns spanning multiple platforms. Jeff began his marketing career in Brand Management for Procter & Gamble and was a Management Consultant with Accenture Consulting in New York and Boston. Jeff is a graduate of Boston College and holds a Masters in Business Administration from Yale SOM, class of ‘99.