Author: Laurie Petersen

Laurie Petersen

Experienced online media and marketing executive. Specialty in product development and start-up operations. Deep expertise in content creation and curation. Strong analytic and strategic skills. B2B and B2C launches. E-commerce, community, business development and editorial expertise. Seasoned manager.

Q&A: Len Devanna of EMC on building a social culture

Len Devanna of EMCEMC Corp., a global provider of hardware and software solutions to help improve cloud computing, was honored recently by B-to-B Magazine for its proficiency in social media.

We spoke with Len Devanna, director of social engagement for EMC Corp, about how the company has woven social into the corporate culture. 


Q&A: Allison Wightman of Virgin Atlantic

Allison WightmanAllison Wightman is head of e-business for Virgin Atlantic, with responsibility for the global flagship, about a dozen associated sub-sites, Commercial Insight and Database Marketing.

We talked about how the airline achieved a 40-to-1 ROI using attribution modelling to manage the online marketing campaigns and attribute sales to the correct channel. The topic is one that will be addressed at the Econsultancy Peer Summit on June 2 in New York City.


Q&A: Joshua Karpf of PepsiCo

Joshua Karpf of PepsiCo

As senior manager of digital media communications, Joshua Karpf is part of a team that runs digital and social media programming for the $60bn food and beverage parent of such icons as Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Gatorade and Quaker Oats.

He will be delivering the keynote at the Econsultancy Peer Summit in New York on June 2. 

Karpf has worked on a number of innovative programs, including Gatorade Mission Control, a digital engagement center at the core of the business, and PepsiCo10, a digital incubator that connects emerging media companies and PepsiCo brands.

We talked with him about innovation, emerging technology, and the value of failure.


Q&A: DoSomething's Aria Finger on the youth market

Do Something COO Aria FingerAs chief operating officer of, Aria Finger is tuned in to what it takes to get the attention of young people.

We talked with her recently about how the organization approaches its partnerships with brands and how it uses an integrated online and offline marketing strategy to inspire volunteerism.


Q&A: Scott Roen of American Express OPEN on community

Scott Roen is vice president of digital marketing for the award-winning American Express OPEN Forum, which was established to position the financial service provider at the center of small business relationships.

We talked with Roen about how AmEx took its offline learning to develop the online community and what has been discovered about driving engagement. 


Q&A: Google's Mark Lopez on the Hispanic audience

Mark LopezMark Lopez, head of the US Hispanic audience for Google, is newly charged with developing and growing the company’s Hispanic media business in the US.

We caught up with him during Search Engine Strategies-New York, where he delivered a keynote on the growth of this segment.


Start me up! A profile of Virtual Celebration


Virtual Celebration provides a way for people to connect and celebrate special events and occasions online.

We spoke to founder Pat Campbell about the company, its proprietary platform, and what makes it different from other social media.


Q&A: David Kang of Hearst Magazines on content extensions

David Lee Kang

As Hearst Magazines refines its approach to print and digital in a quest for more consumer-generated revenue, the publisher has created a new function, creative director of content extensions, and installed veteran David Kang in the role.

Kang is now charged with extending such legendary brands as Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Good Housekeeping.

The executive was freshly tapped from Rodale, where as SVP/GM of, he helped turn The Biggest Loser Club into a $100-million + online diet and health products franchise.

I talked with Kang about his plans for Hearst.

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Q&A: Gabe Zichermann on gamification, fun and metrics


There’s no denying it. Gamification is hot. We talked recently with Gabe Zichermann, entrepreneur and author of “Game-Based Marketing,” about how fun and gaming techniques are permeating every aspect of marketing, and what it means for measurement.


Can new IAB-sanctioned ad formats lure brand dollars?

Incredible as it may seem, it’s been 10 years since the Interactive Advertising Bureau updated its standard advertising units. Six new formats selected in a “Rising Stars” competition will be officially sanctioned by the IAB if they gain sufficient market traction in the next six months.

The formats were chosen in large part for their brand-friendly canvases, rich-media functionality, and the control they give to consumers to engage without leaving the page they are on. Marketplace success will depend on how many publishers adopt the units to give them true scale. Whether these units alone can successfully unleash pent-up demand to pull in more brand dollars and stave off the commoditization of CPM rates is anyone’s guess, but getting the seal of approval from the IAB is an important first hurdle to clear.


Brain freeze: data overload and the weary consumer

It’s been long established in marketing research circles that the more choices you give a consumer, the less likely he or she is to decide on one.

Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia Business School and author of The Art of Choosing, addressed a roomful of marketers at BRITE ‘11 about how to navigate the problem. Her work has implications for selling anything online or offline.