I have been a senior level executive for 3 decades, building businesses and creating exceptional shareholder value at an extremely aggressive pace. My true expertise is finding unique ways to solve real customer pain points, and deliver the right solution to each individual user precisely how and when they need it.
BY THE NUMBERS
Anyone can claim they have a track record of success but the proof is in the results. My numbers below speak for themselves:
The following transactions were successfully completed under my leadership:
Asset Sale to
Asset Sale to
Asset Sale to
Asset Sale to
CEO vs. CSO
Wikipedia defines a CEO as:
“A chief executive officer (CEO) is one of a number of corporate executives in charge of managing an organization. The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the business...
…responsibilities include being a decision maker on business strategy and other key policy issues, leader, manager, and executor. The communicator role can involve speaking to the press and the rest of the outside world, as well as to the organization's management and employees; the decision-making role involves high-level decisions about policy and strategy…
…the CEO reports the status of the business to the board of directors, motivates employees, and drives change within the organization. As a manager, the CEO presides over the organization's day-to-day operations. The CEO is the person who is ultimately accountable for a company's business decisions, including those in operations, marketing, business development, finance, human resources, etc.”
As Wikipedia states, a CEO’s primary goal is maximizing the value of a business. But in many cases, especially in established business or markets, that might lean more towards operational efficiencies and less towards guiding strategy. While a CEO may guide strategy, a CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) embodies everything a CEO does, plus they have an unblinded view of the future, are able to consider all influencers, think outside the box, create the vision, and then, perhaps most importantly evangelize to the market and execute their plan, breaking down all barriers to drive its success. In many cases the strategy may include a quicker or more cost-effective way to address a customer problem or pain point. Or it may be a disruptor – something that breaks the status quo and introduces an entirely new to the world approach to solving the problem. Either way, breaking the paradigm typically involves a little more risk, but has the potential for substantially more rewards.
Fortunately for me, my skillset and experience levels are both broad and deep - and my journey combined with my never-ending desire to learn, has well prepared me for the role of CSO. I attribute this to my early days as a creative director in advertising and marketing. As time went on, and my responsibilities grew, I was able to apply this creativity to all facets of envisioning, planning, launching, and growing businesses. This allowed me to create new to the world products, services, distribution, and businesses on accelerated timelines, that were much more cohesive and cost far less than having to hire entire teams to work on projects.
Today, the CSO is a role I am not only comfortable in, but have thrived in and driven exceptional returns, for decades.
AS SEEN IN
A sampling of some of the major media that I have been interviewed or featured in:
For a list of all appearances and the details for each, please download my CV.
Over the years I have successfully pioneered and launched numerous technology centric products, projects, tools and businesses.
Original Macintosh Beta Tester
Digital Pre-press Innovator – First Digital to Print Catalog
Creator of Leading Desktop Publishing Product Line
Created POS Programs for National Print Products Resellers
Revolutionary Business Portfolio Analysis Tools (Featured in Harvard Business Review) that guided strategy for a decade
Database Driven, Personalized Websites using Patented Workflow Automation Process
Online e-Learning, Training & Tracking Tools
Suite of Integrated ASP Human Resources Tools/Services
Motorcycle Styled Bicycles and Accessory Products
First Responder Vehicle Extrication Training School (Volvo)
Patent-Pending Athlete Development Platform
Architect of Private Branded Athlete Development App
Imported Private Label Line of Training Products
Lifestyle Enabled Technology Tools/Process
Plug In to Address Industry App Tracking/Privacy
My roots in advertising and marketing go back over 4 decades, growing up in the family ad agency. My father was an unlikely visionary for his time. A cardigan sweater wearing, white haired/balding, bleeding edge early adopter of what was then loosely called desktop publishing, he had the foresight to purchase what eventually became a Mac Plus (after numerous upgrades) to facilitate the rapidly increasing deadlines his clients, and evolving media, were demanding. Before long the darkroom, photostat camera, typesetting machines, drawing tables for pasting up mechanicals and every tool and process that had been used in the industry would be gone. And somehow my father at 60+ years old saw this coming. Or maybe he didn’t and was just doing whatever he could to save time and money. But either way, observing the changes occurring in this long-standing industry was where I started understanding the impact and opportunities presented by an emerging technology. Little did I know this would become a recurring theme in my career.
Years later, my father wanting to wind down the business and ease towards retirement, cut me loose. It was tough – I was now married with a young daughter. The future was uncertain. While my father’s decision at the time felt harsh, in reality, he did me a favor - it made me get outside my comfort zone into the “real world”, away from the security blanket and limited purview of a family business. I joined a direct mail company that shared a similar vision for producing marketing materials direct from computer to printing press – meaning no conventional artwork, film, plates, etc. were required to produce the materials. It was all electronic and digital. I would like to say this linear evolution was planned, but just as my father made moves out of necessity, I was simply following opportunity. After travelling to many of the largest printing companies in the U.S., and surviving the trials that go along with pioneering unproven, virgin technology, I found success. As a result, I was one recognized as one of the frontrunners of this new era of digital printing, which later expanded to include new ways to personalize marketing materials, moving away from a mass market approach to a one-to-one relationship with constituents. My unique knowledge was eventually sought by others, and I spent some of my free time sharing my “power-user” experience using the leading tools (Aldus, Adobe, Quark as well as many pre-press digital platforms) with others, at seminars and tradeshows.
It was at this time I also got a taste of entrepreneurialism beyond what I had seen in my family business. The ironically also family-owned (just not my family) catalog business I had joined was led by an 80-year-old patriarch, who took me under his wing, and like my father, was more visionary than one would expect for his years. Together we started a company inside the parent business catering to still neophyte but yet burgeoning desktop publishing market. Within months I built the business to include hundreds of proprietary products, a million-catalog circulation, a million customers, and a dominant and respected brand in the marketplace. Our reward for success came in the form of 2 suitors for each of the respective businesses. It was a deal the family owners could not refuse. Sadly, while I had strategic and managerial control and unparalleled knowledge of the inner workings of both businesses, I did not have a significant equity position or safety net. Fortunately, instead of losing my job, one of the acquiring entities considered me an integral piece of the sale and I received a consulting deal to aid them with the transition, and ultimately expand the business...
During my entire career I have focused on how to reach more customers and sell more to each customer. Preferably in markets where the customer is enthusiastic about the transaction. With the continuous changes and evolution of technology and communication in the marketplace over the last decade, including social media, proliferation of mobile phones, trends away from conventional media, and the like, that means not only adapting your message, but how you deliver the message to the prospective customer. We are seeing an unprecedented convergence of new media, new technology, and new behaviors like never before. My vision is to pick up where one-to-one marketing left off, and using in-depth knowledge of the target customer, combined with their current actions and preferences, and coupled with the latest technology, deliver a much more engaging, satisfying, and successful customer experience and transaction. That concept, and the proprietary corresponding technology behind it, is what I have coined as “lifestyle enabled”.
“Lifestyle enabled” means the seamless presentation of hyper targeted, intelligent advertising, products, services, content or commerce, to a unique individual user, delivered on the medium of their choice and using their preferred communication method, based upon their own personal demographics*, geographics**, and psychographics*** that is triggered by an action, event or behavior, and is delivered at the precise time of need, yielding extremely high customer satisfaction.
Wow – that is a mouthful. And a tall order. But it is real…and here…now. And the results are amazing. Lifestyle enabling is woven into the fiber of our proprietary tech platform and used throughout our digital properties. In addition, we have started to offer limited partners the opportunity to leverage this technology, in their own digital properties, as a turnkey plug in as well.
Visit www.replay.app for more details.
* Who is being targeted - Age, Gender, Status, Background, Group, Performance Information, Physical Characteristics, Traits
** Where are they - Location, Address, Season, Climate, Date/Time
*** What drives their interest - Lifestyle, Personality, Emotions, Values, Beliefs, Attitudes, Goals/Aspirations
THE EVOLUTION OF PRIVACY
Social change is also impacting our ability to communicate. Apple, in an effort to raise awareness, and improve consumer privacy rights, introduced app tracking transparency. App Tracking Transparency allows the user to choose whether a company can track your activity across 3rd party apps and websites for the purposes of targeting advertising or sharing user info and results with data brokers.
With the latest operating system, apps must ask for permission before tracking your activity across other companies' apps and websites. Tracking occurs when information that identifies you or your device collected from an app is linked with information that identifies you or your device collected on apps, websites and other locations owned by third parties for the purposes of targeted advertising or advertising measurement, or when the information collected is shared with data brokers.
I have managed businesses across a variety of industries (publishing, human resources, technology/SaaS, sports, advertising)
to virtually every type of customer (B2B, B2C, government/GSA, large corporations/Fortune 1000, 3rd party/reseller, wholesale) using all types of media and models (print ads, direct mail, e-mail, web ads, SMS/text, television, social media, push notifications, telemarketing, field sales, PR, high impact, e-commerce, retail/brick & mortar, tradeshows, seminars).
I am always happy to connect with those interested in the tools I have created or my current business, Re-Play. Email or LinkedIn contacts are preferred. Email typically gets the fastest response. I have a busy schedule and am not offering my services to other companies at this time. I am however available for select interviews and speaking engagements.
Production: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Corporate: Los Angeles, CA
© 2021 Alan Discount - all rights reserved
May not be reproduced without permission