Get To Know: FOX Head Of Corporate Marketing Dan Robbins
With nearly two decades of marketing, product, creative, and business strategy experience, Dan Robbins serves as head of corporate marketing for FOX, a manufacturer of high-performance suspension products for a variety of on- and off-road vehicles, mountain bikes and motorcycles.
Within his role at FOX, Robbins oversees the company’s branding efforts, and creates integrated marketing strategies to drive demand worldwide.
“The team I lead handles media relations, PR, and we also have a hand in investor relations,” said Robbins, “Basically, if it’s going to be seen, the marketing group has involvement.”
According to Robbins, his marketing team includes creative, web development, marketing program management, and video and photography professionals.
“FOX designs and manufactures high-performance suspension primarily for mountain bikes, side-x-sides, on-road and off-road cars and trucks, ATVs, snowmobiles, and motorcycles,” said Robbins, “This wide range of product offerings means that there’s never a dull moment, as each market segment is unique and they run on independent seasonal paths. There is seasonal overlap for these markets throughout the year to keep us on our toes, with end of summer through fall being the super high-energy time of the year.”
Robbins claims his role at FOX rarely feels like like work at all – especially when they are personally putting their products to the test or attending a race event.
“Everyone on the marketing team – and pretty much everyone in the company – participates in the at least one product-related activity, either as an enthusiast, competitively, or as a former competitor,” said Robbins, “I grew up riding motocross and racing BMX, which led to more motocross riding, off-roading, mountain biking, and freestyle jet skiing.”
Prior to joining FOX, Robbins was the vice president of marketing for search analytics start-up Enquisite. During his career, he has held key roles in action sports, media, B2C, and B2B companies, including ZDNet (now a CBS Interactive property), Dialpad Communications (now a Yahoo! service), K-12 textbook publisher Addison Wesley and Lyris Technologies.
Head of Corporate Marketing @ FOX
- HQ: Scotts Valley, CA
- First Job: Making custom frames
- Apple or Android? Apple
- Favorite Movie: Pulp Fiction
- Hobby: Mountain & road biking
- First Car: ’72 Toyota Celica
What mobile device can you not live without?
Can we take a peek at your phone’s home screen?
Which apps do you use most often for work?
Mail – it allows me to keep things moving regardless of where I am.
What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?
It used to be Strava and needs to be again. I’m not into it for PRs or KOMs, but it tracks my progress and it means I’m riding one of my bikes.
What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?
After turning off the alarm, E*TRADE.
Take me through your typical workday.
I start answering emails, etc. over coffee at home, and then make the long 1.5-mile commute to the office. My day consists of meetings, program planning and reviews, creative reviews, and when I can, hot laps on the RC track we recently built.
What has been the most exciting work development during the past year?
We pulled off two pretty awesome events in the last year. We built a museum at our corporate headquarters that celebrates FOX founder Bob Fox and his achievements, and also chronicles how FOX has helped people conquer rough terrain around the world.
We also went public last August and had Levi LaVallee jump his snowmobile over us on Broadway in Times Square as we rang the NASDAQ opening bell. You can watch a clip of the jump here:
How many miles have you traveled in the last 12 months?
I’ve traveled about 22k miles. The most interesting trip was to Virgin, Utah. We were filming two of the top names in free ride motocross and mountain biking – Ronnie Renner and Cam McCaul – at the current and old Red Bull Rampage sites.
It was my first time being there in person. You really do have to be there to understand just how technical and demanding this terrain is. We battled snow and rain along with a really tight production schedule. On the last day the sun came out and we were finally were able to film these guys hitting a massive, natural step up, step down in tandem.
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
There are things that keep me up at night because at the end of the day, it is a job. But, I’m extremely fortunate to have many nights of sleep loss due to the fact that I’m really excited about the adventure I’m heading off to the next day.
What does your desk look like?
Can you tell us about a campaign or work project you’d like to do over?
We shot FOX’s first national TV spot a couple years ago in Plaster City, CA on the Mexico border… in July. While a fun and exciting project, filming in 119-degree Fahrenheit weather is not optimal.
I know we all have to roll with that kind of stuff as it comes up – it’s part of the territory – but, when possible, we like to time these things for fair weather.
Tell me about the people who have been most influential in your career.
First and foremost, my dad. His work ethic is one I have always admired and try to live up to.
I’ve also had the opportunity to work with and for some great mentors at each company I’ve worked at during my career.
What traits does a person need to succeed in your position?
A good sense of humor, and most importantly, the ability to “roll” with it.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your team would be surprised to know?
Probably not, we’re a close-knit group.
Why did you go into marketing?
I really enjoy relationship-building and finding unique ways to garner mindshare.
What other career would you like to try and why?
Brew master, because I really enjoy great beers, especially IPAs.
What’s the last business book you read?
The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World by Fred Reichheld. It’s a great refresher on Net Promoter Score with some good examples.
Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign or video caught your eye recently?
Road Bike Party 2 – what these guys can do on a road bike is amazing:
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
Discover what's up in the business of marketing each Friday.