Thirty Under 30: The best and brightest young direct marketers

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Thirty Under 30: The best and brightest young direct marketers
Thirty Under 30: The best and brightest young direct marketers

The annual Direct Marketing News' Thirty Under 30 feature honors the brightest and most ambitious young talent in the direct marketing field. Nominated by their managers and peers and selected by our editors from among nearly 70 entries, these young superstars have achieved impressive professional milestones by their 30th birthdays. The marketing talent on these pages spans channels from social media, search and email to data analysis, CRM and art direction. They lead top accounts at major agencies, and spur the creation of new ideas and use of technology. Please join us in congratulating this crop of young marketers.

Ayush Agarwal, 27
Head of products | CoTweet
Ayush Agarwal has already had many perspectives on the digital world. As a business analyst at McKinsey & Co., he instigated a partnership with TED. Then, as a venture associate at Madrona Venture Group, he sourced and evaluated more than 120 tech startups for the firm's $650 million-plus fund.

Most recently, within his first six months at CoTweet, Agarwal redefined the social media firm's release cycle, designed a new pricing model, rolled out an iPhone app and delivered product integrations, including Facebook. His work has led to solutions for more than 150,000 users, as CoTweet becomes a tool for businesses such as Coca-Cola.

Diana Ahrens, 27
Communications supervisor | Eleven Inc.
As communications supervisor at Eleven Inc., Diana Ahrens has had a dramatic impact on revenue, leads and growth, even in a down economy. In fact, she has been an integral part of a near-perfect pitch record. In the past two years, she managed media investment for Virgin America since its launch, including eight new-market launches; increased media client roster and billings seven times in two years; and created partnerships for San Francisco Travel, including cutting edge targeting methodology for the LGBT market. Trilingual Ahrens also brings her talents to the nonprofit front, including securing $500,000 in donated media for three consecutive years for Academy of Friends, which raises funds for AIDS organizations.

Greg Alvo, 26
Founder and CEO | OrderGroove
In these days of declining brand loyalty, Greg Alvo found a way to tweak a platform used by and give clients a better way to retain customers and drive revenues. Raising his first round of financing in 2009, Alvo built a core team and launched OrderGroove, a technology platform that enables marketers to offer their customers ways to renew automatically on their most frequently purchased items.

OrderGroove generated up to 265% increases in revenue for Spencer Forrest and gDiapers by driving frequency of customers' purchases with subscriptions. Other customers include Sally Beauty Supply, Atkins Diet, PowerBar and My Wines Direct.

Francesca Baraggioli, 26
Director, strategic and analytic consulting group, | Epsilon
Since joining Epsilon after her graduation from Boston College in 2006, Baraggioli rose from an account executive to director of the firm's strategic and analytic consulting group. She recently released the first in a series of benchmarking performance results in the health vertical, which will set a new standard for evaluating email promotion success metrics.

Baraggioli is also responsible for driving social listening and monitoring effort in the healthcare sector for Epsilon. Last year, she managed listening efforts in the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and breast cancer categories that resulted in key insights for CRM program design.

Brad Beiter, 29
SEO group account director | Performics
Brad Beiter knows about growth. At Performics, he has grown from an entry-level bid strategist to heading client services for the entire SEO department. In working with 25 clients, Beiter and his team of 10 SEO consultants drove organic search traffic growth of 48% over the past 12 months. Beiter's wall of claim includes optimizing Progressive Insurance's website to rank higher than their competitors in organic search and solving major technical challenges for Verizon Wireless' main site.

Perhaps Beiter's green thumb for search should be expected from someone who at 17 years old attracted the attention of investors and sold his own Internet startup,

Kimberly Brizzolara, 29
Associate creative director | Acxiom Corp.
Kimberly Brizzolara has made her mark on her team by increasing the group's monthly revenue by 25% over the last six months through new work from existing and new clients, including Microsoft Corp. and AT&T. For client Sun Microsystems, Brizzolara's campaigns increased response rates by 300% and revived a sleepy audience through an interactive re-engagement assignment. She was also instrumental in a project with Hewlett-Packard for an interactive profiler with a 60% complete rate that ended up as the company's most successful landing page ever.

Before joining Acxiom several positions ago, Brizzolara interned with the Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.

Jonathan Burg, 27
Senior social scientist | Digitas
Over the past two years, Jonathan Burg led Digitas' development of both Delta and Planters' social strategies, including the Planters team's unveiling of Mr. Peanut as the voice of the Planters portfolio on Facebook. Through a series of steps, including a Mr. Peanut college campus tour during the NCAA Final Four, Mr. Peanut's Facebook fan page grew to more than 262,000 fans in 12 months without the client spending a single dollar in media.

He also helped launch Delta Air Lines' Facebook and Twitter accounts. By early this year, the company had more than 124,000 followers behind @Delta on Twitter, and about 100,000 fans on Facebook.

Abby Covert, 28
Director, strategic planning and user experience | Draftfcb
Abby Covert's attitude combined with her experience has driven results for Draftfcb, including as lead user experience (UX) planner on a full-site redesign for Prismacolor, where artists share work online. It tracked a 400% improvement in engagement measured by site traffic, time on site and uploads, comments and views of the member gallery.

She was also the lead UX planner on a Facebook application to let people share their “happy” with Jell-O, building a fan base of more than 150,000 Facebook users within days of launch. After being promoted two times in less than two years, Covert remains focused on her mantra of “make the unclear, clear.”

Billie Edington, 24
Sr. associate, marketing strategy & analysis, social experience | SapientNitro
It's obvious what SapientNitro thinks of young Billie Edington based on her first assignment with the company. She was part of a team that completed a million-dollar consulting project for Mars Petcare. Since then, she has developed social media strategies for clients, such as Foot Locker, Sony and Dove Chocolate, as well as non-profit work for Cancer Schmancer and Malaria No More.

Edington also hosts her own blog and ran the ING New York City Marathon for charity, raising more than $7,000 for Children's Hospital Boston. She will record her first EP later this year. Before joining SapientNitro, she freelanced for MTV Networks and BravoTV.

Jessica Every, 27
Manager, strategic services | Digitas Health
Jessica Every, in the space of about six months, honed in on opportunities and insights for 14 Digitas Health clients, including conducting comprehensive market research and assessing the competitive landscape for a wide range of brands. She also identified gaps and opportunities for online advertising messaging, organic and paid search. In addition, Every conducted social listening research and crafted strategic recommendations based on themes and perceptions identified during such research.

Prior to Digitas, she was the senior associate and marketing manager on the AstraZeneca account, helping launch a GI Digest video series.

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