2015 40Under40 Winner: Alia Kemet

Alia Kemet, U.S. Media Director, IKEA

Kemet’s aim is relentless innovation, so she was a proponent of social media and online-branded content long before they were accepted practices. Through her expertise in these areas, IKEA has become recognized as a leader in branded content online. She’s led IKEA through a complete digital makeover with data connectivity at the center, which has resulted in an increase in multichannel traffic and sales. Part of her success lies in her ability to galvanize cross-functional teams and inspire colleagues and partners to action.

Defining moment: I had an amazing opportunity in college to work for Nike as a campus rep in the Washington, DC area. They’d bring you out to Oregon and you’d learn about branding and marketing; there was no class that could have given me that branding experience—before the age of 20—that I gained working for Nike. It gave me the drive that I have today.

Words to live by: Recently I’ve become obsessed with the idea of disruption; I’ve seen Josh Linkner speak twice and one of his quotes was, “Disrupt or be disrupted in your industry.” That’s really important to me because we have to constantly reinvent ourselves.

Strategy shift: We’ve been working with social media for quite some time. What we found was that we were intending our platforms to be for specific reasons, but the consumers are going to decide what the platforms are for. When you look at Facebook or even Twitter, a lot of our customer service concerns were ending up there. What I did was I launched a program called Socializing Customer Service, not realizing that, ultimately, we were going to have to shift the organizational structure; so, now we’re not even in marketing anymore, we’re in the call center working on customer call volume.

Up next: Personally, it’s all about multichannel for us. The customer should be able to make a purchase any way they want to; it’s just the way that people shop now.

Advice to young marketers: Every day you are either building or subtracting from your personal brand.

Andrew Corselli

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