Jonathan Salem Baskin

Global brand strategist, author & speaker

My technology experience mirrors the development of social technology, having first participated in interactive online gaming in the early 1970s while playing “Empire” on the University of Illinois’ pioneering PLATO system. I was an early user of the Whole Earth’s WELL (one of the first online communities) and I can program in FORTRAN and COBOL. I led the experience design team for a systems integrator consulting firm in the late 1990s, and wrote about brands and technology for the IT industry’s InformationWeek (twice weekly column 2009-2010).

I’ve been doing marketing for almost 30 years: I led marketing functions for Nissan North America, Limited Brands, and Blockbuster, and I had the good fortune to lead the agency PR team on Apple’s first iMac launch. I started my career with Grey Advertising in New York and Los Angeles (rising to be its youngest EVP), worked for Edelman Worldwide in Texas and California, and led business development for Zyman Marketing. I’ve run my own consulting firm for the past decade with representatives on four continents, and I currently lead the North American practice for Futurelab (based in Brussels, Belgium).

I’m also an author (in 2008, my first book, Branding Only Works On Cattle earned the label “merry iconoclast” from Publisher’s Weekly, and The Economist called me “a rabble-rouser,” while my second book, Bright Lights & Dim Bulbs was launched in 2009 as an annual collection of my best essays). My latest book, Histories of Social Media, was published in early 2011.

I’m a regular columnist on leadership for Advertising Age’s CMO Strategy section (2008+), and my award-winning blog, Dim Bulb, has been a must-read for senior marketers worldwide since 2007.

I’m on the blogger board for Social Media Today, America’s leading web site and community dedicated to social media marketing, and I frequently speak to corporate and marketing industry audiences.

I hold a degree in English Literature from Colby College (1982).




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