Alexei Orlov: Entrepreneur of Month

alexei orlov

Founder and President of mtm choice worldwide, Alexei Orlov is a tested-and-tried pro in global marketing and business leadership. With extensive experience spanning 50 brands, 40 countries and 30 years, Orlov has built a reputation in delivering highly-targeted media optimization and brand activation.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, being part of Volkswagen’s top Leadership Team, Orlov spearheaded the company’s commercial excellence in the Chinese division. Worth noting, Orlov was co-responsible for the brand’s integrity and marketing for the organization’s key brands. Brands in Volkswagen’s portfolio that benefited from Orlov’s marketing prowess include Volkswagen, Audi, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche, Seat, and Škoda.

Key Insights from Alexei Orlov

#1. Exciting Trend

According to Orlov, a trend that really excites him is the rapid shift towards social and digital authenticity. While data protection is an important facet in the digital world, it’s important to ensure that people get involved with systems rooted in authentic products. With this in mind, rules and regulations governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) should have well-outlined permissions that show authentic substance, rather than prevent data breaches alone.

#2. Entrepreneur’s Most Important Strategy

Orlov’s most important strategy is to become a great practitioner that makes a difference in any identifiable market opportunity. The highly-skilled entrepreneur notes that leaving room to pivot is an important aspect of achieving any goal. With this approach, the entrepreneur has managed to make fundamental changes that were absolutely necessary, despite being difficult. From financing operations, developing key strategies, to building exceptional teams, making fundamental changes is an important facet that can lead to success.

What’s more, leaving room to pivot means an entrepreneur accepts not getting everything right, while not allowing oneself to be whimsical. Since businesses have a lot at stake, pausing for a while longer to create a  plan that makes an entrepreneur feel resolved is important.

Key Accomplishments

Over Orlov’s extensive career, he has accomplished several noteworthy feats. These are:

#1. Funding and Acquisitions

Upon inception, Orlov’s Boutique Holding Group – mtm choice worldwide – raised more than $30 million, helping the brand complete several acquisitions of reputable agencies in the media/brand activation space. To support the top-tier acquisitions, the agency secured $100 million in the third round of financing.

Under Alexei Orlov, mtm was in acquisition negotiations with six additional brands. With more rounds of funding and Orlov’s extensive expertise, the agency would secure a lead position among top brands in the media/brand activation space.

#2. Key Awards

With extensive experience and contribution to the marketing space, Orlov secured the CMO of the year award in the ASEAN market for the years 2012 and 2013. The awards were granted by the World Brand Congress.

Orlov’s expertise catapulted Proximity’s award-winning team to the lead position, securing the 2013 Cannes Gold Lion Award for creating one of the largest social media platforms in the automotive industry. The platform, dubbed “the People’s Car Project,” had more than 108 million YouKu followers and 28 million active users.

Due to Orlov’s unique approach, the award-winning entrepreneur also secured a keynote speaker position at the esteemed Global Brand Forum.

#3. Advisory Roles

Thanks to the entrepreneur’s prowess, companies look up to unique insights and advice offered in steering leadership through branding, communication, and overcoming operational challenges. With a war-chest that’s built with marketing and entrepreneurship experience, Orlov is a go-to advisor for brands seeking distinctive advantages in cluttered trading environments.

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Does Your Internal Communication Pass the C Test?

internal comms

While public relations focuses mainly on presenting the right public image and message, good, effective PR begins at home, with clear and accurate internal communication. Leaders who know how to communicate their vision and expectations in a way that increases buy-in from their team can be successful. This is true for any industry and in any organization.

This isn’t all about “fresh ideas,” “shaking things up,” or coming up with something “inspirational” to “rally the troops.” In fact, it’s more about having a well-planned and purposely implemented system in place to keep the team focused, energized, and on track.

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Kraft Kills “Noods” Campaign After Customer Comments

kraft customer

Ask any stand-up comedian, and they will tell you that the way to find the line is to cross it. But that truism doesn’t always translate well. Just ask Kraft Foods. The company was forced to apologize and pull an online advertising campaign recently after its core target market rebelled against the theme and content of the message.

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Using a Webinar to Build your Business

webinar marketing

With more people working remotely and more consumers relying on digital platforms, it’s only natural for employers and marketers to seriously consider putting on webinars. Cloud-based programs can help employers with newly hired remote staff when it comes to onboarding, but interactive webinars can bridge the gap in training and educating remote staff.

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BTS Dragged into Politics After Comments

bts

Sometimes, an attempt at being appreciative and inclusive can go sideways. Just ask popular Korean boy band BTS. Recently, the leader of the band, who goes by the stage name RM, drew the ire of many in China for remarks RM made about “sacrifices” his countrymen have made in the past.

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Can Honda Compete in the Full-Size Truck Market?

honda car

To say that the full-sized pickup market is both flooded and fiercely competitive would be an understatement. Some automakers have even split their truck lines off from the rest of their models, promoting them independently to customers exclusively shopping for full-size pickups.

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Burger King Earning Customers With This “Genius” Strategy

burger king pr

The fast-food market is tough, crowded, and very highly competitive. As younger adults trended more toward fast-casual dining or restaurants touting “healthier” menu options for the past decade, that tight market has gotten even tighter. That leaves even fast food titans looking for creative ways to get people thinking about their brand. And now Burger King is working a strategy some market watcher is calling “genius.”

It’s a simple, brash strategy raising eyebrows and earning good media traction for the fast-food chain. That strategy? When someone posts a negative review on chief rival McDonald’s social media pages, someone running the Burger King apps jumps on, defends the negative comment, and offers the complaining customer a coupon for a free Whopper sandwich.

The idea originated in Denmark, courtesy of ad agency Uncle Grey, but it’s grabbing headlines worldwide. One example that’s hit a lot of different news pages is this exchange:

Customer: “(Hey McDonald’s), why do you call it a Big Mac when it’s not?”
Burger King: “Nobody wants a Small Mac.” (Here’s a voucher for a free Whopper)

Or this one…

Customer: “We only got one bun in our Big Mac!”
Burger King: “Big Mac convertible? How innovative!” (Here’s a voucher for a free Whopper)

Anticipating that many customers would expect this to be some kind of a scam, Burger King posted on their own social media pages: “McDonald’s, it’s not spam. We’re just trying to help…”

The tongue-firmly-in-cheek nature of the campaign is turning heads, and it appears to be right on point for social media using fast-food consumers, but there’s a deeper reason for the campaign. Burger King admits they needed to step up their own social media game, telling advertising watchdog Chicago Business the following, courtesy of Daniel Schroeder, marketing director for Burger King Sweden and Denmark:

“Customer service is a big part of the entire guest experience, and we haven’t been doing a good enough job in taking care of our guests online… When addressing this, we realized there are even more burger fans out there that deserve a reply. We did what we can to help out, hoping some flame-grilled Whopper love can make things better again…”

Once again, on message and point, a reply that is self-aware and pushing the program. Well done, Mr. Schroeder and Burger King.

When a brand recognizes shortcomings in its communication program, they have a few options. They can ignore the issue and hope it goes away on its own (it won’t), they can try some tried-and-true traditional methods that might be slower but will work, or they can get honest, get bold, and have fun. Increasingly, especially on social media, this last option is seeing strong results and getting excellent traction.

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PR Crisis To Do List

to do list crisis

There are plenty of things that a business can do before a PR crisis occurs, to prepare and avoid situations like that. Thinking ahead and creating scenarios are just two of several ways in which businesses prepare in terms of crisis management and creating strategies that can combat a variety of situations.

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Emerging Trends in Marketing Technology

marketing tech trends

The customer buying journey is constantly transformed with the way that brands and corporations choose to engage with the target audience and their devices, as well as how marketers think about marketing technology investments. These days, the top industry leaders are the people who are responsible for selecting and evaluating the newest technologies, and marketing technologies have become a core capability for many marketing teams.

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Mobile Marketing Trends

mobile marketing

Businesses are constantly trying to keep up with the brand new trends that are becoming popular with each passing day, and mobile marketing trends evolve at very high speeds. Most expert mobile marketers view mobile marketing as one of the most effective ways to reach customers on their purchasing journey.

They do this by identifying all of the people, technologies, and processes that they need and then build a clear mobile strategy that’s going to cater to them. However, having a successful mobile marketing strategy doesn’t simply mean that marketers have a good understanding of what the consumers’ mobile preferences are.

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