Martin Pazzani is a global business decathlete, a serial entrepreneur, and a mountaineer. He is also a strategist, marketer, CEO, company founder, speaker, advertising guy, management consultant, and communications architect. His website tagline perhaps says it best: Always seeking another summit.
Martin has worked on both on the corporate side and on the ad agency side for large corporations and startups across multiple categories and on six continents. Before he began his career in business, he earned three college degrees in just over five years: a B.A. in Psychology, a B.S. in Marketing, and an M.B.A. He is a “classically trained” chief marketing officer (CMO) who cut his teeth in consumer goods and services businesses.
Martin’s career features some extraordinary highlights:
- He spent 13 years at Diageo (fka Heublein), where he rose from an entry-level position to the top marking job at 34 years old to grow global brands like Smirnoff Vodka, Jose Cuervo Tequila, Black Velvet Canadian Whisky, and many more.
- He was the first CMO of Bally and Crunch, where his successful turnaround of a very troubled operation produced record setting increases in revenue, new memberships, consumer awareness, and interest; the magnitude and speed of which led to a Harvard Business Review case study.
- He spent seven years heading Foote, Cone and Belding agency’s global strategic consulting group, The Chess Team: marketing strategists for Kraft, SC Johnson, American Express, Citibank, US Postal Service, Samsung, Tropicana and many others across a 100-office network, with extensive work in Chicago, San Francisco, Hong Kong, London and South America.
- He served as CEO of bi-coastal Elias Arts (EA), the world’s most awarded music agency, where he reunited, transformed and grew a fragmented company against the tide of a declining industry. By pioneering the new discipline of audio brand identity for major clients like American Express, Apple, Audi, Cisco, Citi, Coke, Gatorade, Infiniti, McDonald’s, Nike, Yahoo, and by putting the company on a path toward full-service music holding company, EA was able to diversify into Latino music and music licensing and thrive in a very troubled category.
Bold new horizons
Today, Martin is a serial entrepreneur, immersed in three areas that each requires a balance of entrepreneurship, strategic vision, and a penchant for re-imagining the future.
- Craft Spirits: In 2009, Martin started a craft spirits company, United Craft Distillers, to provide advisory services, world class marketing, and sales expertise to hyper-growing, micro-distilled, small-batch spirits brands. This has evolved into Master Distillers Inc. which handles sales and marketing for T1 Tequila Uno (named 2016’s Best Craft Tequila), Tears of Llorona tequila, Mezcal Sacrificio, Varan Mezcal Coffee Liqueur, and others.
- Fitness: In 2012, Martin joined forces with investors, fitness operators, and healthcare experts to develop the company that became Act!vate Brain & Body, where they are re-inventing fitness as upstream preventive healthcare for the baby boomer generation. (Act!vate will re-launch in 2017-18 with geographic expansion to follow later in the year.)
- Vaping: In 2014, Martin began to explore the fast growing vaping sector, which is proving to be a powerful anti-smoking enabler and a disruptor to the status quo. This led to the creation of Cloud 10 Brands and Silver City Vapors, a fast-growing venture to build a national retail and e-commerce vaping company.
An oft-published writer and panelist on marketing, branding, competitive strategy, and music, Martin gave a TED University talk at the 2008 TED Conference in Monterrey, CA on The Power of Music. He has led seminars in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, London, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Venezuela, and at the Cannes Lions and Dubai Lynx advertising festivals. His articles have been in Advertising Age, Billboard, Brandweek, Marketing Daily, and SHOOT Magazine.
Martin has always been drawn to overcome difficult challenges. He’s climbed to the summits of major mountains on all seven continents. He has explored Antarctica, Easter Island, Ngorongoro Crater, the Equatorial Rain-forests, the deserts of United Arab Emirates, Mexican volcanoes. He is a former F2000 racing driver where he developed a keen appreciation for the value of precision, speed and high performance.
He is the 146th human being to stand on the summit of the very remote Vinson Massif, the highest point in Antarctica. He has climbed both The Matterhorn and Mont Blanc five times each. Showing no sign of slowing down at 61, Martin is currently on a mission to climb all forty-eight 4000-foot peaks of New Hampshire as he trains to climb Mt. Everest in 2019.
Recent medical testing reveals that Martin’s lungs are 40% larger than a normal human being’s, which accounts for his being very good at walking uphill for long distances with a heavy pack on his back! After at least 100,000,000 uphill steps, he’s been persuaded to turn his transformation from a corporate animal to a serial entrepreneur into a book, The Mountains Made Me An Entrepreneur, on target for publication in early 2018.
Martin Pazzani Show Notes
What did you do before you became a MaturePreneur?
What are you doing now?
For these three start ups, do you have people to help you with them?
What catapulted you to leave the corporate world to start these ventures?
The day you decided to do your own entrepreneurial venture, did you automatically know you were going to go into these three things? What was your decision making?
What are your other two businesses?
What is your third company?
What is your most successful idea that you had for your businesses?
What is your least successful idea and how did you change tactics to fix it?
When do you think your book is going to be available?
What is the most important advice you’ve gotten from somebody?
Can you give any advice to someone who wants to start out on their own entrepreneurial venture?
What do you see as the biggest problem you see in the entrepreneurial space at the moment?