Media Mavens 2013

Media Maven Bob Arnold Leads Kellogg Into Digital-Buying Frontier

Director-Digital and Social-Media Strategy Helps Boost Return On Investment

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A computer geek with an industrial engineering degree, Bob Arnold might seem a better fit for Silicon Valley than Battle Creek, Mich. But he's right at home at cereal and snacks giant Kellogg, where he is leading the 107-year-old company into the new frontier of programmatic digital ad buying.

Bob Arnold
Bob Arnold

Mr. Arnold, who is 36, said Kellogg will never go 100% programmatic, which he broadly defines as the process of using data and algorithms to automate planning and buying. But he said there's an advantage in that "you basically help the algorithms understand what success is, and then measure whether or not the algorithms are getting you there."

That strategy seems to have gotten Kellogg pretty far: He said the company has boosted return on investment for some brands six times greater than old methods. "It takes a while but once you start finding success, it is something that you can repeat at scale really quickly," said Mr. Arnold.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which magazines would you want most?
The Economist, it's the best magazine I've found to provide a worldly view.

Who is your favorite follow on Twitter?
@theonion. I love to have a good laugh and they don't believe in sacred cows.

If you could only watch one cable or broadcast network for the rest of your life, which would it be?
I love soccer, so right now it would be NBCSP- they have an awesome soccer package.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
Today, tomorrow it will always be the Simpsons. I grew up with the show because as a kid it's a hilarious cartoon, but going back to watch the old episodes I see more "grown up" humor too.

What tech device do you wish you could have back?
The wristwatch… There isn't a non-rude way to check the time on my phone.

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