Marketing today is all about influencing in-control consumers in a multi-segmented, multi-tasking world.
I was an art history and philosophy major. Call me an existentialist. Life and business are what you make of them.
I’m a serial entrepreneur. Number one rule: Clients always come first. Number two: Failure’s not an option. Number three: Never forget one and two.
Howard Draft is a visionary entrepreneur who has navigated his way through multiple marketing revolutions.
In 2006, he was named chairman and CEO of Draftfcb, an entity that brought together Draft and FCB, each an acknowledged industry leader. The resulting agency has more than 9,200 employees spanning 94 markets worldwide.
Today, as executive chairman, Howard is responsible for setting the organization’s strategic direction, managing key client relationships with such major marketers as Beiersdorf, Kraft, Yum! Brands and State Farm, new business development and industry outreach.
Having first espoused a revolutionary new agency model in 1992, Howard subsequently recognized the dramatic paradigm shift underway in the ad industry as technology began giving consumers more control of the marketing message.
Draftfcb is the first and only global, behavior-based, fully integrated marketing communications organization with a unified management team operating against a single P&L. Its offerings include best-in-class capabilities in branding, advertising, direct and relationship marketing, promotions, retail, digital, mobile, sponsorship, media, search, and healthcare — with a relentless focus on creativity and accountability.
Previously, Howard was chairman and chief executive officer of Draft. He was one of the agency’s original 13 founders in 1978 and rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming chairman and CEO within 10 years. Over the next 20 years, Howard turned what was ostensibly a direct marketing agency into a global marketing services network with expertise in direct, retail, promotion and digital marketing.
Through the years, marketers have turned to Howard for his thought leadership in the art and science of connecting with consumers. His insights regularly appear in leading industry publications, and he is frequently invited to speak on advertising issues, trends, and the future of marketing. He has also served as jury president at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes.
In 2007, Howard was elected to the board of directors of the Ad Council, with whom he has spearheaded the first pro bono campaign to raise awareness of shelter pet adoptions. He also extends his knowledge and expertise to several philanthropic organizations benefiting children, including Chicago’s After School Matters and Pediatric AIDS Chicago.
In 2010, Howard was inducted into the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame, honored with the Maxwell “Mac” Dane Award for Humanitarian Excellence by the UJA-Federation of New York and awarded the Chicago Advertising Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Howard also serves on the board of directors for the Alese Coco Fight 2 Win Foundation, is a trustee of the Francis W. Parker School and is an outside director of OptionsXpress Holdings, Inc.
A father of three, Howard is a graduate of Ripon College, having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Art History.