Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Garth Knutson. I work in the Seattle offices of Wunderman, Microsoft’s global agency of record for relationship marketing. My official title is management supervisor, however a better label may be “connector.” I help connect clients and their goals with our network of experts and their insights; then my team and I generate one-to-one dialogue between our clients and their customers.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Not by myself, that’s for sure. I bring ideas to life by calling on an extended team of over 1,200 people working on the Microsoft business worldwide. It’s an always-on network of people who are passionate about marketing and equally committed to driving meaningful results that we can tie back to our marketing campaigns and programs.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’ll take the easy way out and recommend the last book I read: Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins. Why? For one, it’s free. More importantly, it demonstrates that no matter what we are selling or who we are selling to, there are basic principles that will forever ring true for marketers. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s because it was written in 1923. It was as relevant then as it is today.
What is one piece of advice that you’d like to give?
In the words of Bill S. Preston, Esquire, “Be excellent to each other.” In my experience there are two ways to succeed in business. Be a tyrant and do anything to get ahead or treat others with respect. The tyrant route may be the fastest to the top, but I recommend the nice guy approach — we live longer.
What is one idea that you’re going to bring to life in 2012?
Two months ago in mid-October, co-worker Blake Abel and I created a blog to help ourselves, colleagues and the broader digital marketing community better understand online influence metrics and how we as marketers can use tools measuring them to benefit our clients. Klout.com is currently the leader in the space so we have focused on it for the majority of the site’s subject matter. Since it’s a relatively new and confusing topic, the blog was aptly named What the Klout? We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the site’s metrics in the first 2 months. The blog has turned into both stateside and international presentations in over 40 markets to other marketing services agencies within the WPP network. As our speaking engagements and blogging continue, our goal of educating ourselves and our peers about influence metrics and engagement marketing gets closer. So what are we bringing to life in 2012? We’re putting our new-found experience in online influence to work for the greater good by creating a Klout inspired charity effort benefiting underprivileged, orphaned and special needs children in Africa by providing funding for physical therapy, education, health services, housing, solar energy and other critical services. Once the contracts are signed and the site is live in early February, learn more by visiting www.whattheklout.com.