Get To Know: The CMO Of Erwin Penland Advertising

Get To Know Spotlight Series at MarketingLand.comAs Chief Marketing Officer at one of the largest full-service advertising agencies based in the South, Joe Saracino develops and implements Erwin Penland’s overall marketing plan, while securing new business opportunities across the country in a variety of disciplines and vertical industries.

Before joining EP as its first-ever CMO, Saracino spent more than 15 years at Verizon Wireless in a variety of management positions. Serving as Verizon’s vice president of marketing communications, Saracino created the naming, positioning and highly successful marketing campaign for the DROID line of Verizon smartphones.

During his time leading Verizon’s brand, advertising, promotions, merchandising, sponsorships and $1.5 billion national media plan, Saracino worked with EP throughout its 20-plus year relationship with the telecommunications company. Prior to his role as Verizon’s vice president of marketing communications, he served as the vice president of e-commerce, owning the digital user experience and leading online customer acquisition efforts and customer self-serve initiatives.

Saracino graduated cum laude from Drexel University in his hometown of Philadelphia with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. He currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina with his wife Cynthia, their two daughters, Grace and Gaby, and their five dogs. His wife would have more, but he has attempted to cap the animal count at five.

Get To Know:

Joe Saracino

CMO @ Erwin Penland

  • HQ: Greenville, SC
  • Favorite Brand: Nike
  • Apple or Android? Apple
  • First Job: Grocery store produce manager
  • Hobby: Reading
  • First Car: Jeep Cherokee

What mobile device can you not live without?

My iPhone and my MacBook Air.

The Macbook Air has almost replaced my iPad, which I realize might sound crazy. The iPad mattered to me so much when I was using a bigger MacBook Pro, but since using the Air, I have noticed I don’t crave my iPad as much.

Can we take a peek at your iPhone’s home screen?

Joe Saracino iphone screen

Which apps do you use most often for work?

Evernote, Dropbox, TripCase, LinkedIn, probably in that order.

What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?

Usually Twitter,  but lately Google+.

Google+ has impressed me with overall design and usability, but especially with the way it curates specific community content. I feel like it’s what I want from Facebook, but never seem to get.

What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?

Email, then Twitter, then Facebook, then the CNN app.

What work challenge keeps you up at night?

Are we doing everything we can to help create success for our clients? Are we pushing it far enough, working hard enough, thinking smart enough? What more can we do?

What has been the most exciting work development during the past year?

Our agency has recently brought on some extremely talented people in New York that have cross functional responsibility across the entire agency. The moves strengthened our experience, creativity and leadership all at once, so it is a really exciting time for EP.

What other career would you like to try?

I have always thought I would be a really good journalist. I almost went to school for it before I decided on business school, and I still wonder about it sometimes. I wanted to focus more on print journalism, which is becoming a bit of a lost art, but I would like to think that I would have adapted well with the rise of the Internet and social media.

What does your desk look like?

Joe Saracino workspace

What is the last business book you read?

Z.E.R.O. Paid Media as the New Marketing Model by Joseph Jaffe. True to form, I haven’t actually finished it – but it’s good so far.

Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign or video caught your eye recently?

The Extra Gum spot from a few months ago, where the daughter saves all those little origami swans the father has made her. I love stories, and I guess with two daughters of my own, that story really got to me.

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About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • Ryan Alford

    Having worked with Joe both on the agency/client side, and then ultimately at the same agency I can say with 13 plus years in the industry behind me that this guy just gets “it”. The guy knows how to lead a brand though massive change or help an agency make tough decisions that won’t always be popular. It’s always about results and that is what Joe delivers. Period.

  • Jason Langwell

    After 20 years in this crazy biz, can confirm that Joe is indeed one of the best. But to be clear, his attempts to cap @ 5 dogs have been an epic fail. #bakersdozen

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