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Member Spotlight – Bill Silverman

21 Feb Posted by in Cactus Call | Comments Off on Member Spotlight – Bill Silverman
Member Spotlight – Bill Silverman
 

Name: Bill Silverman
Title:  
President
Company:  The Dallas Marketing Group & DMG Research Services

Where did you grow up?

Roslyn, New York – about 20 miles from New York City

Where did you go to school?

College at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, largely because my guidance counselor told me I wouldn’t get accepted there. (This is a life theme.) After working in Los Angeles for three years I took two years off to get my MBA at Wharton.

Back then what did you want to be “when you grew up”?

Wanted to be a lawyer. In fact that’s partly why I went to Los Angeles, because I was #1 on the waiting list at USC law school. Got there, attended orientation and then they told me they had “made their numbers” and I wouldn’t be accepted. After failing to talk my way in, I decided to get a job in sales to improve my persuasiveness. (Theme music.) Needless to say I don’t care much for USC, and was never an OJ Simpson fan, even though I definitely am better off where I am than had I gone to law school.

Favorite things:

I really enjoy my work! Also enjoy cooking and photography. And spending time with my grown-up kids and my one year old granddaughter.

Family:

I’ve been married for 36 years to a woman who makes me better in a lot of ways. We have two children: my daughter is a Doctor of Physical Therapy practicing in Atlanta and my son is Barista Manager at a very nice coffee shop in Dallas. My daughter has a one year old daughter who I can’t say enough good things about. I’ve also got three sisters, two brothers-in- law and a 96 year old father whose second bo
ok will be published this summer. (Hint: this may help explain the life theme.)

Why marketing research:

Like a lot of people I just fell into it. I had done a class project in international finance with Scott Paper Company my second semester at Wharton, which led to a summer internship there. My goal was to get a permanent job in brand management for a consumer package goods company, and Scott offered me two alternative paths that could lead there: one was sales, and I had already done that. The other was market research, which I knew little about. (Cue theme music.) That was my introduction to MR. I enjoyed it and was quite good at it, but still wanted to move into marketing, which I did. While I have zero regrets about that move, and the brand management at experience helps me to this day, as I look back on things I’m better at MR than I was at marketing.

How long have you been in marketing research?

Nearly forever. First job in market research started in 1977. Things have changed a bit since then!

What led you to join the MRA in general and the Southwest Chapter in particular?

One of my clients, an executive with a trade association, called me one day and told me he was applying to be CEO of MRA. Though I wasn’t a member at the time, I knew a little about MRA and thought he’d be a fantastic fit and told him so; he asked me to be a reference for him, I was, and he got the job! Lost a client and found myself paying dues to MRA, but it’s worked out well for me as my membership has exposed me to some real smart people and I’ve learned a lot at conferences.

Have you worked in other industries?

I’ve sold corrugated boxes and advertising space in chamber of commerce directories. I’ve worked in marketing and marketing research at a paper company and a food manufacturer. I’ve worked for an advertising agency. Since I’ve been on the supplier side I’ve “worked” in dozens of industries from A (aviation) to Z (zoos) with lots in between.

Best thing about your current job?

I really enjoy solving problems and overcoming challenges. Whether it’s helping a client develop a product, helping to improve an under-performing product or a whole lot of other things, I get the chance to test my skills and really make a difference. Working with my very capable staff and watching them grow is also heartwarming; I’ve seen employees buy their first non-beater automobile and their first house, and I know it’s largely because they are productive employees in a company I own. That’s really cool.

Things that drive you nuts?

My wife would suggest that I may not be the most patient person in the world. And I really don’t take well to excuses. Basically I believe in accountability and, while I try not to be judgmental on too many
levels, I have little tolerance for those who are not accountable.