Thursday, February 4, 2010

Len Blaifeder

Vice President/ Director of Advertising and Direct Marketing, BNY Mellon


Len Blaifeder is the consummate New Yorker—right down to his roots at New York University, Queens College and Stuyvesant High School.
And like most New York iconoclasts, he is known for his quips and easy ability to inject humor into just about any situation.  (His Linked-in profile gets lots of double-takes; he describes himself as “Karaoke King, Raconteur, Dad, & Weekday Marketing Stud.”  No one forgets Len Blaifeder.)
He jokes that as a tried and true New Yorker, it’s appropriate that he works for a company with NY in its name.  For the past 20 years, he’s held various marketing positions with BNY Mellon and the earlier Bank of New York side of the company.   Today, the South Bronx native works with a global organization that does business in over 100 countries through 34 offices around the world.
Blaifeder describes his marketing role with characteristic verve: “Whether in person, by email, or on phone calls that have me trying to sound intelligent and coherent at 3AM, I work with our business managers and country managers to develop campaigns that respond to their needs while remaining steadfastly dedicated to the disciplined message that defines our brand.”
He’s also candid.   “I never would have thought that I could be content spending so long a time in one job. However, everything surrounding the position has changed at a very rapid pace. My advertising career at BNY Mellon has evolved from a position supporting checking account sales for 300 branches in the tri-state area to a focus on institutional businesses such as Asset Management and Custody, to an increasing focus on our overseas growth. New clients, new lines of business to learn, new media, new measures for success, and now … new cultures have kept me motivated and enthusiastic and happy to come to work.”
BNY Mellon has only recently begun to focus and develop marketing resources in support of  aggressive revenue goals around the world.  Blaifeder admits, “I think many of my colleagues would agree that taking a global brand and making it relevant in every country in which you do business is one of the dominant challenges that they face every day.
When you factor into the equation, the uniqueness of each country in terms of their media, their regulatory environment, the latest marketing technologies and of course, the cultural differences, you appreciate the fact that success internationally is not achieved by simply adapting programs from one country into another. Each market is a new discovery and a new set of challenges. The ultimate challenge is not to get complacent as you move from one market to another.”
Although Len Blaifeder admits that always sleeping with his BlackBerry can be a challenge, he also explains why he’s passionate about international marketing.  “If I had to sum it up, it would be the newness of every situation. And I'm not just talking about learning new things. But rather re-examining those things that I thought I knew and flipping it on its side to apply it to a different culture.

I've gained new perspective on what makes advertising successful in Asia vs. Europe. And just when I was feeling somewhat enlightened I was exposed to the nuances between Japan and Korea. The new things you come away with are never ending, and I am truly grateful to be in the field where I can continue to grow and to do so with a smile.”


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