Marc Singer, BS 86
Director, Marketing & Sales Practice for the Americas,
McKinsey & Co., San Francisco
Long before Marc Singer got to Berkeley, he had learned some of the most important business lessons of his life--lessons he still applies as the leader of McKinsey's marketing and sales practice for the Americas.
His father was a very successful contractor but struggled with management. "His management style was sort of ad hoc," Singer remembers. "That was really the beginning of my interest in learning to run a business."
His education continued as he worked his way through Berkeley at a bike shop in his native Walnut Creek. But he didn't fully appreciate the value of his Berkeley undergraduate business degree until he began his MBA at Stanford. 'My experience at Stanford really made me appreciate the quality of the teaching at Berkeley since it prepared me so well for the Stanford MBA program," he says.
Singer joined McKinsey after earning his MBA. In his current role, he gains the greatest satisfaction helping his clients--leaders in a variety of industries--succeed as individuals as he advises them on all aspects of marketing and sales.
No surprise, rapidly evolving digital channels drive much of Singer's work. In 1999, he co-authored the book Net Worth, which examined the Internet's impact on marketing. Today, most large organizations are concerned about their social media strategy, which too often is a collection of disjointed tactics, Singer noted in a Forbes article last year (visit onforb.es/LV2APi).
Instead of using social media just because everyone else is, Singer says, a firm's tactics should be anchored in overall strategy, whether it's a retailer trying to entice existing customers into new categories or a luxury hotelier trying to earn repeat business from high-end clientele.
Indeed, that lesson--market strategically, not ad hoc--sounds surprisingly similar to one he began to learn working with his dad decades ago.