By Rick Griffin
Power Digital Marketing, a San Diego digital marketing agency founded in 2012, has appointed Jeff Mason as its first agency president. Mason spent the past 10 years as senior VP of sales at MRC Smart Technology Solutions, a Xerox company.
“Jeff Mason is an executive that I respect at the highest levels,” said Grayson Lafrenz, CEO of the agency. “I was lucky to have seen his brilliance and impact first hand as a past colleague. There is not an executive I would pick over Jeff for this role. Simply put, he is world class. Not only will Jeff help us evolve our sales organization into the envy our industry, but he will help us further develop our technology and leadership team.”
“Over the past 5 years, it has become increasingly clear to me that digital marketing is where the sales industry is going, and that sales and marketing are on a true collision course,” said Mason. “I knew I had to be at the center of this collision. People don’t buy digital marketing, they buy outcomes and results. Power Digital understands this like no other agency and the company’s dedication to always innovating makes me eager to join this talented team. We have a clear vision of the future and the outcomes we plan to achieve together will be unmatched.”
Power Digital also recently announced the appointment of Milton Goss as chief financial officer and Clark Kokich to its board of directors.
Goss, with 20 years of experience in finance and team building, previously worked for ProSites, a digital marketing services firm. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and an master’s in business administration from Boston University.
Kokich, with more than 20 years of experience, was previously the CEO of Razorfish, an interactive media agency. He currently serves as chairman of the board for LiveRamp, a data integration company. During his time at Razorfish, the company grew to more than $400 million in revenue before the company was acquired by Publicis in 2009.
SOCi Raises $15 Million, Hires Former Digital Marketer for Sport Clips
SOCi, a San Diego-based developer of social media and marketing tools to help multi-location brands, has closed a $15 million Series C funding round and hired Chad Jordan as VP of business development.
The Series C funding was co-led by Vertical Venture Partners, Grayhawk Capital and Ankona Capital with participation from Blossom Street Ventures, the company said. The company has raised roughly $35 million since its founding 2012. The company said the new funding will enable it to bring more innovative products to market that will allow companies to generate a holistic view of the local customer journey.
“This investment will help SOCi continue to build out its platform to allow our enterprise partners to centrally manage all of their local digital channels and assets that are core to their localized marketing presence in a single platform,” said Afif Khoury, CEO of SOCI. “Our partners, who are some of the largest franchises and multi-location corporations in the world, routinely tell us how important localized marketing has become to their business. “Whether it’s through local search, social, reviews, reputation management, or advertising, engaging customers at the local level is absolutely critical.”
The company said during the past year it has introduced several new products, including SOCi Ads PLUS, Reputation Insights, Listings Management and Google Posts integration, to help such clients as Ace Hardware, Sport Clips and others better manage their brands on a local level.
Prior to joining SOCi, Jordan oversaw digital marketing for Sport Clips, a national haircut chain. He leveraged the SOCI platform to achieve social media adoption across the company’s more than 1,800 stores, which resulted in Jordan receiving a 2018 Digiday Award. Jordan also has been named the Internet Marketing Association’s Internet Marketer of the Year.
“As a founding member of our customer advisory board, Chad has been one of our earliest and most vocal advocates, and we are honored that he’s decided to spend the next phase of his career championing localized marketing from within SOCi,” said Khoury. “His intimate knowledge of the franchise space and the struggles multi-location marketers face when it comes to localized marketing will be invaluable as we continue to refine and strengthen SOCi’s product solution and offering.”
“For franchise and multi-location brands, localized marketing is critical, and I’m excited to see how I can help SOCi continue to bring the revolutionizing power of localization to brands worldwide,” said Jordan.
Ex-Navy Spokesperson, Now CNN Analyst to Speech at SDSU
San Diego State University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies will host a speech by former U.S. Navy spokesman John Kirby at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, at the SDSU Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. The event is free and open to the public.
The topic for Kirby’s speech is “The Truth Still Matters, Disinformation and Misinformation in the News Media.” Kirby, a retired rear admiral, now works as CNN military and diplomatic analyst.
Kirby will not be at SDSU in person because of a limited travel ban imposed by CNN amid the coronavirus, according to Kaye Sweetser, SDSU professor of public relations and director of the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations. However, she said Kirby he will speak from the CNN newsroom in an interactive town hall format.
Kirby’s 28-year career in the U.S. Navy included serving as the Navy’s chief of information. Following his military career, Kirby returned to government to serve as the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department. Soon after, he was appointed by then-President Obama to take on the role of Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Public Affairs, a title he held until the end of the Obama administration.
Kirby’s speech is the third in the annual Allen H. Center Distinguished Lecture Series, which began in 2018. Center, co-author of “Effective Public Relations,” considered the definitive PR textbook in academia, was a distinguished lecturer at SDSU following his retirement as VP of PR from Motorola. He passed away at age 93 in 2005 at his Rancho Bernardo home.
The Broom Center, established in 2013, supports an internship program for public relations students, including student advising and career development, and provides training programs for working professionals and supports research activities for faculty and graduate students. It was named after Glen Broom who taught at SDSU for 28 years and served as chair of the SDSU Department of Journalism from 1989 to 1995. He retired in 2008 after publishing more than 50 scholarly articles and papers and mentoring more than 3,000 public relations students. Broom passed away in August 2019 at age 78.
Direct Marketers Discuss How to Rank on Amazon
SD Direct will host “How to Rank #1 on Amazon and Beat the Competition” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, at UCSD Extension, 6256 Greenwich Dr. Speaker for March’s lunch-and-learn program will be James Hyatt, founder and CEO of Rank N Bank, an Amazon sales consultancy. Topics will include how to start an Amazon business and the feedback loop process. Cost to attend is $20 for members and $40 for guests. To RSVP, visit www.sddirect.org/events.
According to SD Direct, Hyatt’s company has helped clients generate more than $5 million in revenue during the past 24 months. During the 2019 third quarter, Amazon generated sales of nearly $70 billion, up from $63.4 billion the previous quarter, and 53 percent of units were sold by third-party sellers.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.
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