Features

Jeff Davidoff ’85

ONE Campaign's marketing chief on using social media to end extreme poverty.
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Notable Achievements: Has applied corporate marketing skills to help more than double membership in Bono’s bipartisan anti-poverty nonprofit, the ONE Campaign. The web-based organization mobilizes citizen activists to lobby for programs and policies to help 1 billion people out of extreme poverty

Career: Chief marketing officer, the ONE Campaign, 2010-present; senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Orbitz, 2008-10; previously a marketing executive with Whirlpool Corp. after starting his career as co-founder of a Chicago-based marketing agency

Education: A.B., history; M.B.A., Northwestern, 1989

Personal: Married to Barbara Ince; lives in Union Pier, Michigan; son of Donald ’56; brother of Scott ’82

 

“I care less and less what people think. I care what people do.”

“One.org measures success by actions taken. How many people are taking that simplest gateway-drug action of clicking an online petition? How many people are making a phone call or writing a handwritten letter to their representatives? How many are meeting with them? Those are the things that we know help effect change.”

“It rarely happens that people will spontaneously contact their congresspeople. It’s almost always started via our Facebook page, Twitter feed or an email.”

“Doing good shouldn’t be just some cold experience where you’re alone, on your computer. At the end of the day the real world matters, too.”

“The biggest difference in this job vs. my prior for-profit jobs is that we have essentially a zero media budget.”

“The magic of new Internet technology is that you don’t have to force people to come to you anymore. The new way to market is to be where the eyeballs already are.”

“I feel like I’m in the Trojan horse business. No one is sitting in front of a computer looking for PSAs on extreme poverty, but there are lots of people looking for music videos. Our online posting of new versions of old protest songs got more than 5 million views in less than six months.”

“Facebook is different and better than it was a year ago. YouTube is sort of like owning your own free TV station.”

“The technology that will unite the world already exists: 2G phones. There are hundreds of millions of people on the African continent who have text capability.”

“Texting is going to be more and more useful in America with Millennials.That’s what they’re constantly doing—and although they ditch their college emails, they typically keep their phone numbers.”

“We have a very active student organization, people meeting face-to-face on about 150 campuses around the country. We have nothing at Dartmouth—yet.”

“People often raise the concern of helping people in their back yards instead of helping the poor in developing countries. I feel it’s part of my job to reveal that as a false choice. We can do both.”

“Using social media means people can talk back. You better be prepared to listen.”

“If people don’t choose my message, that’s my fault, not theirs. People will be as interested in you as you are interesting.”

“As a history major I learned about distilling disparate information into a coherent narrative, which is pretty much my job now.”

“I have to admit the terrible truth that I’m plugged in almost all the time. Part of my excuse is working for a global organization. When my wife and I are together, though, we are not wired. I think that has a lot to do with celebrating 21 years of marriage.”

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