In May 2018, we bid a fond farewell and a happy retirement to our fearless leader, Marilyn Hoeffner. Marilyn served nearly seven years as our BigWing general manager. Her legacy includes shaping the once very small SEO department of NewsOK into an independent, full-service digital marketing agency of more than 50 team members.
While we will greatly miss Marilyn, we’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Greg Morris as her successor. With over 20 years of experience in traditional and digital marketing, Greg brings diverse, strategic insight that will continue to grow and strengthen BigWing. Greg’s work with major brands, like AT&T and Macy’s, inspires and excites our team as we work closely with him.
Greg is a long-time east-coaster who’s relocating to the OKC area with his family. He’s eager to explore the metro and the wide-open plains of Oklahoma (and to escape the traffic of New Jersey). We sat down to learn more about his passion for digital marketing, education, and his quest to find the best barbecue in the state.
Q: Hi, Greg! We’re excited to have you at BigWing. From running an agency to launching large online initiatives, you have an expanse of digital marketing experience. What are your favorite projects?
A: I used to work in higher ed (edtech) for a company called AcademicPub.com. I re-launched their website, which was an online e-book publishing tool for course packs and a textbook builder that houses academic resources. College professors could use the site to curate and organize thousands of academic papers, studies, journals, and textbook selections to create custom e-books for their classes. The books could also be published and printed for use in live classrooms.
When I came on board, we zoned in on target demographics. I asked the team, “Who are we trying to get?” We landed on professors with technical backgrounds and even students. I built a digital marketing plan to reach out to these audiences. We wanted well-known professors from different disciplines to use the program. I created strategies to find influencers and nurture leads. We used email, videos, and other mechanisms to show them how to use our product. I worked with product developers to ensure they had the right products for our customers. Customer enrollments and purchases grew five times once we built a nurturing pipeline for sales offering the right solutions to our university partners.
I loved the marketing because it changed the game. We used influencer marketing and had a nurturing campaign to grow our business.
Another project I loved being a part of was the launch of Mint Mobile, a multi-month prepaid wireless plan. It was exciting because we were selling three months of wireless service for a compelling offer. We found that customers loved the concept of buying in bulk. I was even involved with the initial concepts around the multi-month product and my team created the digital marketing launch plans. We helped the business meet their numbers and grow, it was exciting launching a new brand. It was a great team effort.
Q: Besides digital marketing, in what fields do have experience? How have they made you a well-rounded leader?
A: I’ve worked in the retail industry at Macy’s. I created a marketing database that made the company’s national marketing cohesive across stores. The database let us identify and create messaging for target audiences in each region. I have experience in traditional marketing, telecom, legal, publishing, and other verticals.
I wouldn’t say that this makes me a well-rounded leader, but it allows me to have the experience of practitioners and speak to different facets of marketing. It allows one to understand the skill sets of each employee and their importance to the overall strategy. Knowing how hard it is to work to get just one customer and to keep that customer keeps you humble with clients and as a leader.
Q: Outside of digital marketing, what are your interests or hobbies?
A: I have six kids. I’m interested in their interests. Spending time with family is a big part of my free time, but I do have some hobbies and things that I love to do. I do have a small Star Wars collection with a lot of first-year edition items. (We think Greg is going to fit in well here.)
Q: Your family is relocating to Oklahoma City from New Jersey. How do you plan to explore the city together? What’s featured on your to-do list?
A: I got here first. My wife and two youngest kids will be joining me in August in time for school. I’ve been driving around and exploring different neighborhoods in Edmond and Deer Creek. I love driving and got my Pike Pass my second day in Oklahoma. I’ve been given a great restaurant guide from our foodies here at BigWing, so I’ll be eating my way into the heart of Oklahoma. I will say the barbecue here is 100 times better than other places!
My family and I plan to travel the state a lot. It’s historic and full of nature, which is exciting. We’ll also visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial as a family. New Jersey has a dense population and is really close to New York. It’s a very different experience in Oklahoma. We’re also looking for a pool – it’s very hot in this state.
Q: You have a teaching background at Rutgers University. How do you prioritize and implement the value of education in your leadership?
A: I think encouraging career and personal development is crucial. I always encourage those I work with to pursue their interests in skills that will allow them to become better marketers … even using resources like Lynda.com to read and study further areas that interest them is vital for development. Even for managers, it’s important to keep learning.
When it comes to clients, I want to learn as much as I can about their business and how I can help them. Each client is unique, and their goals are unique. We need to listen to them and work with them to see how we can help them with the conversions that will help their business. We walk them through their different options … I want to step into their shoes and help them solves their problems in terms they understand.
Q: How do you hope to see BigWing grow in the next five to 10 years? How do you envision our clients growing with us?
A: I see larger and longer comprehensive strategies and continuous strides in the quality of content for all our clients. We’ll continue to grow in our audio and video offerings and digital analytics marketing. I see us connecting clients with the right programmatic TV and platforms like Spotify to reach local and national audiences.
We want to help clients grow their business to be the size they want to be. Some companies want to stay the same size, but we can help them use their marketing spend wisely and efficiently. Others will want to grow, and we’ll tailor strategies for them so that they can achieve that desired growth. We want to be a partner for each unique client. We’ll continue to be transparent about our strategies and methods.
We’re excited to grow BigWing with Greg’s guidance and expertise. Learn more about our goals and vision, or learn more about our full suite of digital services. Want to learn more about Greg? Connect with Greg and BigWing on LinkedIn.