2015 40Under40 Winner: Ben Roberts

Ben Roberts, VP of Marketing Operations, Acumen Brands

A marketing machine with technology chops to boot, Roberts has transformed Acumen Brands. As email marketing manager, Roberts shaped the company’s Country Outfitters brand through Facebook’s emerging newsfeed advertising platform to serve four billion ads over four months, reaching five million Facebook fans and six million emails virtually overnight. Such success stems from jobs in usability and infrastructure groups with SamsClub.com and Walmart, which allowed Roberts to understand the nitty-gritty tech mechanics behind marketing. These skills are evident in Acumen Brands’ 70% sustained lift in revenue generated by email year-over-year, a product of the behavioral email program Roberts built from scratch. He believes “it would be silly” not to embrace the ever-evolving field of technology in marketing.

Defining moment: Working at Acumen for a year is like working anywhere else for three or four. We do things fast, recognize opportunity, and learn quickly. The company’s grown quickly and I’ve been able to grow with it.

Words to live by: “The day before something is truly a breakthrough it’s a crazy idea.” Everything is crazy until it’s not…unless you explore ideas and see if something is going to work, maybe that opportunity passes you by.

Strategy shift: Diversification of technology made us rethink how we can leverage the work of others and focus on innovating our company’s needs.

Up next: Data science finally caught up to big data, and it’s making predictive intelligence super exciting. Applying predictions to acquisition strategies across channels is one of our big focuses.

Advice to young marketers:  Get as deep and learn as much in your craft as possible, but keep your head above water and leverage ideas and techniques from other disciplines to really inspire innovation in what you do.

Kristin LaFratta

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