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Life Lessons From a Legendary Direct Marketer

With Legend Susan Kryl

Susan Kryl is a legendary direct marketer with two pieces of advice for marketers everywhere. First, use the “Day in The Life” technique to gain deep customer insight for building your marketing strategy. Second, “Learn, teach and mentor,” in order to keep up to date and give back to the world. (Advice she offers even for new entrants to the field.) Join us in a lively conversation about how Susan climbed the agency ladder to the very top, and later became a mentor to many who then did the same. Susan also shares the fascinating story of having created a win-win strategy for marketing education at DePaul University by assigning students to develop marketing plans for Chicago-area not-for-profits.

"Learn to teach and to mentor. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the business for 5 months or five years. Learning is essential." Susan Kryl

About Marketing Legends

Marketing Legends, a series in the WVU Marketing Communications Today podcast, features marketing thinkers, innovators, practitioners and founders — legends of the marketing world — who will talk about their careers and share their wisdom with the marketers of today.

About our Guest

Susan Kryl

Susan Kryl
Direct Marketing Leader

Susan Kryl’s experience ranges from healthcare branding for Children’s and Northwestern Memorial Hospitals to minority marketing programs for Verizon, and to technology and financial services product launches for Informatica, RCN, GE Financial Services, and Dean Witter.

Her initiatives have also included consulting with Singtel in Singapore, and the introduction of the Discover Card with the J. Walter Thompson team in Chicago, where she led the response marketing group, JWT Direct, before founding her eponymous strategy/marketing/creative company 30 years ago.

Her leadership roles in the advertising community include terms as president of the Woman’s Advertising Club (WAC) and the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing (CADM). She also chaired Direct From The Heart (DFTH), a unique CADM program that acted as a clearinghouse between Chicago non-profits and marketing professionals and recognized the pro bono work of members.

During the 10 years she taught campaign planning at DePaul University’s Certificate in Direct Marketing Program, Susan used authentic case studies to help local nonprofit organizations benefit from new thinking and strategy. Make-A-Wish Foundation, Juvenile Protective Association, The Girl Scouts of Chicago, and HealthWorks Theatre are among the many nonprofits that benefitted from the marketing plans her classes developed.

The advertising community has recognized her expertise and dedication. She was named Advertising Woman of the Year by the Women’s Advertising Club and the American Advertising Federation.

CADM awarded her its highest honor: the Charles S. Downs Direct Marketer of the Year, and in 2015 CADM honored her again by creating the Susan Kryl Silver Marketer of the Year Award in perpetuity to recognize Susan’s career dedication, leadership, and mentoring skills within Chicago’s Multichannel Response Marketing Community.

Susan, an ardent music lover, served more than two decades as an active member of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Guild Board of Directors, including several terms on the Executive Committee.

Meet the Hosts

Cyndi Greenglass

Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from West Virginia University.

Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.

Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.

Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.

WVU Marketing Communications Today: Marketing Legends is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications. Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!