A marketing and advertising hybrid talent, Jim McDonald is a blend of equal parts business planning/ROI discipline, old-fashioned retailing moxie and dynamic creativity, which he wields to build brand differentiation and incremental sales and profits. A CMO and executive management team member for four different companies, McDonald has managed a marketing budget of over $250 million.
Before his telecom run, McDonald served as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Bally Total Fitness Corporation, the nation’s largest chain of fitness clubs. His leadership helped Bally acquire one million new members each year and improved the company's customer retention rate by 35%. McDonald comes to Chief Outsiders fresh from extensive work in the telecommunications industry. Most recently he was Chief Marketing Officer at Wildcard Network, makers of a smartphone app for the purchase and sending of digital gift cards. The year before his Chief Outsiders experience, he served in the same position at Pocket Communications, a telecommunications company based in San Antonio, Texas. Here he managed all advertising for the company as well as product and retail store marketing.
During his eight-year tenure as Senior Vice President and Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at RadioShack Corporation, McDonald helped sales grow from $3.5 to $5 billion. A key part of this turnaround was the introduction of new products and strategic partnerships with the likes of Sprint, Verizon, MSN, HP and RCA. As Chief Brand Officer, McDonald was deeply involved in RadioShack’s future store concept development, its new products Think Tank, and in the training of 35,000 sales associates. He also helped develop a more consumer-centric total customer experience by rebuilding the company’s 7,000 stores and increasing its web offerings.
One of McDonald's most unusual RadioShack initiatives was the production of the first television commercial filmed on the International Space Station. It featured Father’s Day gifts of RadioShack recordable picture frames given to the astronauts and cosmonauts that contained photos and recordings from their daughters. McDonald had to overcome the challenges of working with the Russian Space Agency to get cargo to the space station and having a cosmonaut film the commercial.
While working at Young & Rubicam in San Francisco, McDonald headed up the advertising for Chevron and its 13,000 retail gasoline, food mart and car care outlets. Chevron’s "Simply Smarter” Techron additives marketing campaign still stands up as some of the best work ever in the gasoline industry, and his ad campaign featuring animated cars remains on the air over a decade after its introduction. McDonald also served as a multi-unit retail specialist for Young & Rubicam’s Worldwide New Business Council.
The Austin-based McDonald holds both a BJ degree in Journalism and an MA degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. McDonald was named an Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Texas School of Communications in 2003.
“Because Marketing is a craft, it is a skill to put yourself into the consumer's minds and develop a strategy to put your company in the minds of your existing and potential customers. Chief Outsiders understands that and works with talented marketing people like Jim McDonald who love what they do and have a passion for strategy and marketing.”
Darin LaCoursier, President/CEO, Endeavor Communications