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Michael Brenner is senior director of global marketing for SAP. He is also author of the B2B Marketing Insider blog and cofounder of social news site Business 2 Community. Michael is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 101 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Is Personal Branding The Future Of Marketing?

03.21.2013
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 I am truly honored and amazed at all the provocative, interesting and insightful points of views we have seen thus far on the Future of Marketing.

In our last interview, Drew Davis offered guidance on how to move from branded content to a content brand. Previous interviews covered the Customer’s brand, Marketing CreativityBig DataBig TestingCustomer ExperienceThought Leadership, creating a Content Culture, the roles of Content and Technology, the Future of Search, the Science of Marketing, the rise of Content Brands and we asked whether the customer or the Content is King.

Today’s interview is with Steve Olenski, the content strategist at Responsys. Please follow Steve on Twitter (@SteveOlenski), LinkedIn and Google+.

Tell us about yourself?

steve olenski on personal brandingI’ve been in my current role of senior creative content strategist at Responsys since October, 2012. How I arrived at Responsys is an interesting story and a great example of content marketing – personal content marketing that is. Ed Henrich, who is the SVP Professional Services at Responsys, saw an article I had written for Forbes back in February, 2012. I had recently been laid off and in my article – specifically my byline, I made reference to the fact that I was looking for a new FT job. Ed reached out to me and the rest, as they say, is history.

You mentioned personal content marketing. Do you think personal branding and content marketing is important and if so, why?

I cannot overstate just how important I think personal branding is for everyone. Whether we realize it or not we are all our own brand and we are marketing our own brand every single day. That may sound melodramatic to some but it’s the truth. Whether we work for a company or as an individual we all market ourselves via our actions and our words. And now, in the digital-social-media-gone-wild world we live in, our personal brands are more often than not, public record. I tell people all the time this – that we are all our brand and that you need to care for that brand just as you would any other – if not more.

What are some of the ways you’ve built your personal brand, Steve?

Well I would like to say I was a visionary who saw the future of social media and blogging but alas I am not that smart – not by a long shot. I merely got swept up in “it’ like millions of others. What I do, however, was start my own blog many years ago and then segued that into writing for publications such as Ad Age and Ad Week. These all led to my becoming a regular contributor to such sites as Forbes, Business Insider, Social Media Today and Business 2 Community. It is on these “stages” if you will, I have been able to create my personal brand as someone who is knowledgeable and experienced and a thought leader in the fields of advertising, marketing, branding and social media.

How do you balance building your personal brand vs. building your company brand?

To me they are often one and the same – your personal brand and your company’s brand. Whether you’re working for someone or yourself, you are, in essence, an ambassador of that brand. You always need to be cognizant that everything you do – be it online or off, is a representation of said brand to a large extent. Now, that is not to say there is no room for individuality. On the contrary, one’s individual personality must be at the root core of his/her personal brand. I know mine surely is. But I am always aware that when I am “out there” I am in fact representing and serving as a de facto ambassador of sorts for both my personal brand as well as my company’s brand.

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Now it’s your turn: Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Published at DZone with permission of Michael Brenner, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)