Daibelis Acevedo & Rua Dinm
Stillman News Section Editor & Editor-in-Chief
On October 28th, 2021, Editor-in-Chief of The Stillman Exchange, Rua Dinm, had the privilege of interviewing Dario Spina, SHU Alumn, and CMO of ViacomCBS.
During the interview, Spina provided knowledge and advice based on experience, and most of all he was able to provide an understanding of what is currently happening in the marketing field as well as the integrations and growing appreciation of culture in the space.
When asked how he thinks cultural intelligence studies have impacted his work in marketing, he shared that cultural intelligence has been able to fuel ideation. Additionally, it has helped the company and marketers integrate these cultural perspectives into their work finally. Finally, Spina mentioned that their creativity has benefitted from the use of cultural intelligence.
Later in the conversation Spina discussed what he has noticed in the entertainment marketing industry. Something that Spina has seen is occurring with increasing frequency is the concept of performance marketing. He did not anticipate this change so rapidly, but clients and brands have been able to directly analyze KPIs (key performance indicators) to execute a marketing plan.
When discussing what ViacomCBS is doing in terms of diversity, Spina shared a glimpse of their strategy. Their multicultural plan is something that is developed through the company internally and externally. Diversifying the backgrounds of staff is of huge importance to the company and their goals extend to their content as well. Content development increasingly emphasizes diverse storytellers, leads, and other individuals involved with the creative process.
Dario shared the advantages of being in a disruptive time in life-it is an opportunity for Generation Z to provide ideas about culture and society. Additionally, there is a lot of disruption occurring with companies in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and most companies are evolving and adapting to the new paradigm. Therefore, Gen Z has the opportunity to bring in the unique perspectives that companies seek.
On a personal level, Spina shared some of his own experiences and troubles to get to where he is today. His path consisted of different twists and turns, and his path to becoming a CMO was not always clear. He took courses and job opportunities that had nothing to do with what he does now, although he was always studying marketing, it took a lot of time before he was able to settle down in a specific discipline within marketing.
Spina’s advice for students was extensive but he emphasized, “Follow your areas of interest before anything else and take courses that are of genuine interest to you. Study and follow the path that you are passionate about, and you’ll find yourself where you’re meant to be.”
The interview ended with a few rapid-fire questions. The only rule for these questions was to answer them in a few words or one sentence. Interestingly Dario answered still answered the questions with enough thoughtfulness that proved how intellectually keen he is.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Art, music, photography.
Q: Who is your favorite, artist?
A: Ai Weiwei.
Q: What advice would you give students about life?
A: Do not put too much pressure on yourself, it’s okay to make mistakes and try different things. It is a time in your life where you can be the most open. Most likely no one is going to make the right move the first move they make, so just be open to learning from that.
Q: How would you describe marketing today?
A: Marketing today is the ability to convey a message to a person or number of people and have the ability to make an impact or sway opinions.
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