SVP, Social Marketing Practice, Digitas
Born: Livingston, New Jersey- USA
Worked in: Jordan’s work for Digitas has taken him on projects across Europe, including France and the United Kingdom.
Why do people see you as an innovator? At Digitas, Jordan navigates the complex social media sphere for the agency and leads a team that transforms social into game-changing and award-winning work. Since Jordan launched Digitas’ social marketing discipline, the agency has received extensive accolades including the Blue award (top prize) at the first-ever Facebook Studio Awards, the World’s Best Idea by New York Festivals, nine Cannes Lions, and more. Jordan also plays a central role in the development of Digitas’ brand content offering, The Third Act:, and is a founding producer of its annual NewFront event. The fifth annual Digitas NewFront, “Big Content: From Video Bloggers to Blockbusters,” brought together the best and brightest digital content players, including Hollywood talent, YouTube sensations, and renowned brand leaders. With almost 1,000 attendees and more than 4,000 social media conversations, the NewFront event was an anchor for the inaugural and industry-changing Digital Content NewFronts, whose mission is to shape a new and practical marketplace for connecting digital content with brand marketers and their media and marketing agencies.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? The social space can differ vastly from region to region, from geographic trends to regulations to cultural voice. If you’re planning a global social campaign, you have to reconcile the fact that what’s innovative and brilliant in one country may not work in another—it might not be culturally relevant or it might not provide value in those people’s day-to-day lives. And value is the centerpiece of any truly innovative campaign—whether you’re providing value through information, entertainment, a service, or a utility. The biggest challenge in applying innovative thinking to international projects is making sure that you’re providing value to all of your audiences.
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud. Jordan is the founder of the “Silicon Alley Swing” at Digitas, a regularly held all-day event that packs demos, brainstorms, and more from stars on the start-up scene in New York City’s booming technology district known as “Silicon Alley.” The goals of The Swing are to help Digitas clients and employees build familiarity and relationships with start-ups and to begin discussing specific opportunities to be brought to market. Since the launch of The Swing in 2011, Jordan has orchestrated meetings for clients and start-ups with the biggest players in New York’s start-up scene, including Bit.ly, Buddy Media, BuzzFeed, Klout, and more. The Swing demonstrates how Digitas’ Social Marketing Practice strives to explore partnership and collaboration opportunities with new social media technology companies. In fact, Jordan’s emphasis on bringing in the most current and innovative partners is what helped launch American Express’ “Unstaged”, a series of live concerts that were created in partnership with Vevo, a rising star in the digital music community. With 10 live concerts under its belt, Unstaged is a revolutionary interactive music experience that blurs the line between at-home and at-concert viewing. It pairs acclaimed music artists, legendary directors, 1080 HD live streaming and an unprecedented level of digital connectivity between artist and fan. Fans participate. They choose camera angles and vote on songs. They live-tweet questions and connect with other fans. Unstaged has brought fans across the globe closer to the real concert experience, with artists such as Coldplay, Usher, Jack White, and more. It's digital that puts you in the moment.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? It plays a crucial role. The marketing landscape had changed, and continues to change, so rapidly that if you’re not constantly looking for new solutions and new ways to provide value to your consumers, you’re falling behind. That’s why we launched the Silicon Alley Swing: to consistently bring in new partners and technologies that will help our clients innovate. Just look at the rapid explosion of mobile and social over the last few years—recently digital was completely focused on computers, and now we’re rapidly entering the post-PC era of digital. One survey showed that 60% of consumers expect "showrooming" (the practice in which people will visit stores to view products and then order them through their smartphones) to be commonplace by 2014. At Digitas, we’re always thinking about how to build and adapt our work to the consumer’s evolving needs—and that means constantly thinking ahead.
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? Innovation is the backbone of our work. We’re always focused on not just what the consumer wants now, but they’ll want next, and on finding new ways to meet their needs. In New York, the agency recently launched Digitas Labs, a place to touch and test emerging technologies and see how they can be applied to our work.
Any other interesting aspects to your international background? Jordan actually began his career as a press specialist for the White House. The pressure-packed environment of immediate reaction and mobilization in that role prepared Jordan well for the fast-moving world of advertising and social media.
Alongside his career accomplishments, Jordan has found time to be a dedicated volunteer. He is a board member of the well-known MS Golf Classic, an event that benefits the New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National MS Society by funding multiple sclerosis research as well as local programs and services for people with MS. Jordan also served as a board member of The Friars Club Sunshine Committee, where he oversaw fundraising to support causes for underprivileged children.