New York City, New York
|Occupation||CEO of Havas PR North America|
Marian Salzman is an American advertising and public relations executive. She is CEO of Havas PR North America and chairs the Global Collective, the organizing collaborative of all of the PR assets of Havas. She rejoined Euro RSCG in August 2009, having previously worked for the holding company as executive vice president, chief strategic officer, from January 2001 to October 2004.
Salzman was born in New York City, and spent her childhood in suburban Bergen County, New Jersey. She attended Brown University, earning an honors degree in sociology in three years and graduating in 1980. She briefly studied sociology at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In junior high school, she participated in a student exchange program and spent several weeks in council housing in West Midlands, England. This experience sparked her curiosity about the way people at all points on the socioeconomic spectrum live. (She also spent a few years living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in the 1990s.) Today Salzman lives with her partner, attorney James D. Diamond, and his children in Silvermine, Connecticut and Tucson, Arizona.
Salzman’s early career was marked by the development of new research methodologies, from slumber parties for tweenagers, a project for Levi Strauss & Co. in 1991, to the creation of Cyberdialogue in 1992, to leverage instant messaging and AOL chat rooms for social research. According to Adweek magazine, she was the first advertising professional to use online focus groups.
In the early 1990s, she created and maintained a daily viewer feedback system for Channel One, the in-school television network that started the careers of Anderson Cooper, Lisa Ling, Serena Altschul and Tracy Smith. She was a key consultant on Esprit Holdings Limited’s 1992 “What Would You Do to Change the World?” campaign, which cast Gwyneth Paltrow, then a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara, in her first ad.
Some of her most innovative work was centered on the teen market, such as creating the National Teen Summit for Clearasil in 1993; producing several books by, for and about teens; and casting and serving as a creative consultant on Pepsi’s “It’s Like This” campaign, which ran on Channel One and MTV in the early 1990s and was an early version of reality advertising.
In 1994 Salzman was the architect of the first “citizens of cyberspace” study, co-funded by Time Online, Atlantic Monthly Online and her company. The study produced a snapshot of early adopters and predicted that America would soon be online.
- 1992: Co-founded Cyberdialogue, the world’s first online market research company, with partners Jay Chiat and Tom Cohen
- 1993–1995: Director of Consumer Insights and Emerging Media at Chiat\Day
- 1995–1997: Worldwide Director of TBWA’s Department of the Future
- 1997–2000: President, Intelligence Factory, Young & Rubicam
- 2001–2004: Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Euro RSCG Worldwide
- 2005–March 2008: Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at JWT Worldwide (member of 12-person worldwide executive committee)
- March 2008–August 2009: Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at Porter Novelli (member of 10-person worldwide executive committee)
- 2009–present: President then CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR North America, now called Havas PR (member of Euro RSCG Worldwide Executive Committee with oversight for global communications and reputation); became Chairman, the Havas Global PR Collective in 2012
Salzman is author or coauthor of 15 books, including:
- Next: Trends for the Near Future (Overlook, 1999)
- Buzz: Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand (Wiley, 2003)
- The Future of Men: The Rise of the Ubersexual and What He Means for Marketing Today (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)
- Next Now: Trends for the Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)
She contributes trends columns to Forbes.com’s CMO Network, CNBC.com, Adweek and Marketing Week. She has blogged at pnintelligentdialogue.com and eurorscgprcampaign.com.
Trendspotting and pop culture contributions
In 1998 she highlighted the power of “millennium blue,” a much-talked-about fashion and branding trend for the next few years. That same year, in an interview with Fast Company magazine, she drew attention to “experience collections,” the idea that people are placing less value on material goods and more on personal and professional experiences and skills.
Salzman is frequently associated with the word “metrosexual,” a term that was coined by British writer Mark Simpson (journalist). In 2003, as Chief Strategy Officer at Euro RSCG Worldwide, Salzman was part of the team that included the term in a marketing study. Subsequent to that study, the New York Times published a Sunday feature, “Metrosexuals Come Out,” which quoted Salzman at length, and the story then trickled into news outlets across North America.
The press both in the U.S. and the UK wrongly attributed Salzman with coining the phrase metrosexual on a number of occasions. In 2003 the UK Observer apologised for doing so, and gave credit to Simpson for the term. Today Salzman is known as the woman who popularized the term, "metrosexual."
In 2007 she talked about how “sleep is the new sex” for the Economist’s annual predictions and forecasted the prime crisis – how the drop in home values would drive consumers away from recreational shopping and toward a “less is more” mind-set.
Since 2007 she advanced the concept of “personal CPM,” a valuation that expresses one’s influence and ultimately can be put out for sale, similar to the cost per thousand (CPM) measure used by online marketers to evaluate the reach of corporate brands. She blogged about this at Forbes.com, and influential marketing blogger Charlene Li credited Salzman as the person who introduced her to the idea.
Honors and awards
- Author of War and Peace in the Persian Gulf: What Teenagers Want to Know, selected to be one of the New York Public Library's “Books for the Teen Age,” 1992
- Named one of the “40 Under 40,” Crain’s New York Business, 1995
- Named one of the “Cyber 60,” New York Magazine, 1995
- Honored as one of ten people named in “Job Titles We’d Like to Have” column, Fast Company (magazine), 1996
- Named one of the world’s top five trendspotters, VNU, 2004
- Top awarded futurist/trendspotter (10 out of 10), The Independent (U.K.), 2006
- As CMO of Porter Novelli, Salzman was the force behind the creation of jack+bill, a pop-up fashion PR agency, which won the industry trifecta of awards in 2009:
- Will be inducted into the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame October 29, 2014.
Social media expertise
Salzman organized the Pepsico Tweetup (#peptrends) corporate communications Twitter event in May 2009, and created TweetToReMIND, a large Twitter-based fundraiser to support U.S. troops wounded while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Salzman sits on the board of directors of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which works to assist injured U.S. service members returning from war. She is an adviser to the Berlin School of Creative Leadership’s M.B.A. program and a member of the mentoring board of Brown University’s Women in Business.
- Jaimy Lee, "PR Week", August 10, 2009, ""
- "Adweek", Jan 10, 2000,""
- Cathy Olofson, "Fast Company", December 18, 2007,"[www.fastcompany.com/magazine/18/collection.html]"
- Warren St. John,"New York Times", June 22, 2003,"",
- Observer credits Mark Simpson with coining the term Metrosexual
- "The Economist", November 15, 2007,"[www.economist.com/theworldin/displayStory.cfm?story_id=E1_TDTNDTST&d=2008]"
- Charlene Li, "Groundswell", March 6, 2008, ""
- "PRWeek", March 5, 2009, ""