AMA Member Profile: Meet Robert Johnston, Creative Director at the Creative Advantage

Robert Johnston at a recent Breakfast Brief

AMA Member Profile: Meet Robert Johnston, Creative Director at the Creative Advantage

Volunteer member and editor of the monthly newsletter of the American Marketing Association New York Capital Region Chapter, Blaise Bryant, met up with AMA member, Robert Johnston, to find out more about him and to see how the AMA helps marketers like Robert as they develop their careers in marketing. Robert was also a recent speaker on the topic of experience design as part of the popular monthly series of Breakfast Brief talks at Pioneer Bank.


Bryant: Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Robert Johnston, Creative Director at the Creative Advantage. I am responsible for leading the Experience Design team that consists of information architects, interaction and visual designers, business analysts and communication specialists who know how to find just the right mix of function, complexity, accessibility and visual appeal. I enhance my clients’ brand and their business’ growth by creating rich experiences for users, customers and audiences that is engaging, satisfying, productive and fulfilling, taking them into account every step of the way.Robert Johnston explains one of his slids.

In the traditional marketing sense, I have specialized in advanced marketing communication solutions integrated across multiple media channels and technologies. From corporate programs to responsive website development to video production to emerging mobile platforms, I have applied a diverse mix of technology, creativity and strategic design to achieve the best, most effective results for my clients.

Bryant: What do you enjoy most about your current role?

I love the variety of projects that I work on and the creative process needed for conceptualizing unique solutions for my clients. In any given week, I can be designing user interfaces to control a cruise ship, creating an immersive experience for visitors that are learning about trains, or building an online self-help portal supported by a marketing communications plan that drives traffic, encourages usage, creates promotors and builds a knowledge management culture within the business.

And to make this all happen, I collaborate with very talented and gifted colleagues and clients. We tackle complex problems, but have a blast doing it!

Bryant: Why is being up-to-date with the latest marketing thinking so important in your current position?

In the everchanging world of technology, we marketers find ourselves discovering new channels and touchpoints where customers and audiences are engaging with brands. We now have the ability to access data we never had before, giving us the potential to gain more visibility into our tactics and insights that we can act intelligently on. Marketers need to stay on top of these advances to build strategies that work optimally for our clients. As a result, the way we do business changes. Our processes evolve, the tools we employ are new, our tactics shift, and the way we measure changes. So, it is important to stay on top of this everchanging marketing landscape so we offer the very best services and results for our clients.

Robert Johnston explains the design processBryant: What was the best piece of business advice that anyone ever gave you?

“Prioritize your business opportunities based on: 1. Programs 2. Projects 3. Flow. Flow are small orders that just keep you busy, projects are one-offs but programs are long-lasting, repeatable business.”

Bryant: How long have you been a member and why did you join the American Marketing Association?

I have been a member of the American Marketing Association for the past several years. Being a life-long learner, I enjoy attending the various events the AMA hosts and learning about a wide variety of marketing topics. It’s also great to meet like-minded marketing folks and get their perspective on these topics and the businesses they come from. The AMA website offers many resources to its members and I subscribe to several e-newsletters that give me news on advertising, media and marcom industries.

Bryant: How do you feel that membership will benefit you personally and professionally?

I believe being a member of the American Marketing Association allows me to stay in tune with the overall marketing community. In the end, we all share the same goals for our clients so it’s helpful to hear about real use cases and best practices from our local and national gurus to ensure I’m delivering the best solutions I can. Very recently, I’ve begun to give back to our marketing community by presenting the design processes and methodologies I use for designing for any experience to our local AMA chapter. It was very rewarding to me personally.

Bryant: Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time in terms of your marketing career?

I hope to be continually working on a wide variety of projects and integrating more technology into every facet of a marcom plan and customer experience. Merging digital data with traditional sources can help yield a more complete customer view. Providing predictive marketing analytics and utilizing a myriad of other technologies can drive a compelling experience that is unique to a customer’s journey. Whether it’s attending a corporate sales event, discovering a potential college online and taking an interactive tour in person, or joining an online community and purchasing from a marketplace, I want to be creating the most engaging experiences I possibly can.


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