On Nov. 10, 2011, Dean Christopher Puto welcomed Mark Addicks, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of General Mills, to the University of St. Thomas’ downtown Minneapolis campus. Several hundred St. Thomas students, alumni and friends gathered in Schulze Hall auditorium for this inaugural event. Puto provided the theoretical and academic lens to topics such as the power of a brand and how to develop marketing strategies in an increasingly digital world, while Addicks offered his practice-based expertise. This expertise is born of 23 years in marketing leadership at General Mills, including the successful integration of the General Mills and Pillsbury marketing functions in 2001, in addition to several successful entrepreneurial endeavors early in his career.

In a follow-up Q&A, published on the OCB website, Addicks suggested that, “In today’s world, we should assume that our brands are ‘always on’ … (but) the marketer must resist letting the digital marketplace define and position the brand. Instead, the marketer must, as always, stay true to brand marketing fundamentals and define what she or he wants the brand to be, clearly enunciate what the brand will stand for (purpose) and why the brand will be different.”

Intersections events engaged executives from Best Buy and Target in February and March, along with OCB faculty members. On April 26, the final Intersections event of the academic year will feature Jeff Lavers of 3M and Dr. Laura Dunham discussing innovation. All archives and upcoming Intersections events can be found online.

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