Harris Marketing Group CEO Janice Rosenhaus tells SEEN what it’s like working for major automotive brands and why she thinks it’s great the Detroit auto show is moving to the summer.
By Stephanie Steinberg
Name: Janice Rosenhaus
Schools attended and degrees earned: Seneca College for Marketing/Fashion Arts
1. Tell us about Harris Marketing Group and how long you’ve been in business? Harris Marketing Group was founded in Ann Arbor in 1978. We collaborate with global brands and agency partners to create custom content that differentiates our clients in the marketplace and rewards customers throughout the entire brand experience. We have worked in fashion since 1999, working with the Council of Fashion Designers of America in New York supporting cause-related marketing efforts. We also work with fashion retailers across the country developing marketing strategies.
2. How did you get your start in marketing? After college I worked at several agencies: Thornton Hall in Toronto and Douglas Merchandising in Ann Arbor. In Ann Arbor, clients included Bulova watches and the University of Michigan Hospital. I started working in automotive 20 years ago developing strategies to drive incremental sales and loyalty with targeted consumer segments.
3. As CEO, what’s a typical day like for you? I am extremely active with our clients in the U.S. and Canada, developing strategies and working with their agency partners. My goals are for continued growth using our proprietor tools and strategies. We dig deeper into the data science, working with rich data sets and algorithmic tools that allow us to laser-focus our efforts.
4. You represent several automotive clients such as Nissan, Jaguar and Mazda. Can you share what you do for these companies? We collaborate with each brand and their agency partners to create custom insight-driven strategies for their unique needs. We create content and loyalty platforms that deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time. We leverage proprietary data tools to build dynamic digital products for vehicle launches and loyalty programs. Through the work we do, we can measurably strengthen customer acquisition, loyalty and advocacy for each brand.
5. With the automotive industry moving to more autonomous technology, how will that impact the way you approach your business? We focus on the customer journey and have already been tapped to look at how consumers engage with this new technology. Engagement and loyalty are still extremely relevant, perhaps more so than ever. From ownership, ride and rental models, brand loyalty will play a huge part in future consumer decision making.
6. How do you feel about the North American International Auto Show moving to June after this year? I think it’s brilliant. So many activities can happen along the river and downtown. Weather will be a big draw. There are great things already planned for this year that will be leveraged. This is an exciting time for the North American International Auto Show and for Detroit.
7. Can you share a mistake you’ve made in marketing a product or company, and the lesson learned? Working with data, we are constantly learning in real time. Every day we get more targeted as the market changes. I don’t really consider them mistakes — I think every result is an opportunity to learn, refine and go at it again.
8. For entrepreneurs or small businesses that want to better market their companies, do you have any easy tips or advice? Build relationships. Deliver results. Constantly reinvent as the world continues to change. Stay in front of it.
9. A growing number of businesses in Detroit are women-owned. Do you have any advice for women who want to start their own business, especially in the automotive industry? There are many fabulous women in the automotive industry at all levels. The world has changed. There are purchasing set-asides, so getting female-owned certification can help with purchasing.
10. What do you enjoy most about your job? I love developing strategies and seeing those campaigns deliver fantastic results for our clients. Tackling tough business problems with out-of-the box solutions that deliver. That gets me excited. I have always loved the creative process and working with our great creative team is fun for me.
11. Who’s been a mentor in your career? I have many people who have inspired and helped me along the way. My friend Harry Cohen is a corporate and life coach who has made a huge difference in my life and business. He just came out with a new book “Be the Sun, Not the Salt,” which I encourage everyone to read.
12. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? Never, never, never give up. Stay focused and positive even during hard times.
Now on to some fun questions…
13. What’s your dream car? That’s a tough one. I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to cars. I love cars, and there are so many fabulous choices. I can’t wait to see some of the launch vehicles at the Detroit Charity Preview. It’s an exciting time for everyone.
14. Being a Canadian, what’s one place in Canada every American should visit? Vancouver Island, a town called Tofino. It is incredibly beautiful.
15. What would your pets say about you if we asked for a reference? I am the alpha dog 🙂
16. When not working, where can we find you? Charlevoix and Palm Springs when I can get there.
Each month, we interview executives in Metro Detroit to get their business and career advice. If you know someone who should be featured in SEEN Around the Water Cooler, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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