Who Is Julie Roehm? The Pioneering Marketer Behind Disruptive Advertising
Companies looking to reengage audiences or bolster the engagement need look no further than Julie Roehm. Known throughout the business world as a customer-centric marketer, Roehm has carved out a career of bringing about corporate turnarounds through the art of storytelling. By reinventing the customer journey, Roehm’s marketing teams resonate more closely with customer needs, interests, and demands while also generating appreciable revenue growth in line with, if not exceeding, expectations for every company she has influenced.
“I evolved to the experience side of things because it trumped marketing and marketing falls out of that,” Roehm shared. “What is the experience today? Where are the opportunities to remove pain points? What does that need to be? Whether it’s in a body shop, whether it’s for technology, big tech, or whether it’s in a retail environment, what does that improved experience look like? Where are those opportunities? And then you have to partner with your operations team, you have to partner with IT. You have to partner with product development and manufacturing, with supply chain.”
Flying High With American, Taking the Wheel at Ford
Julie Roehm began her journey as an undergraduate studying environmental engineering with a structural minor as part of her Civil Engineering degree at Purdue University. While she was adept in the field, she found that her interests leaned toward the strategy and planning that went on behind the scenes in the engineering business. This led her to pursue an MBA in marketing from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Her education and her passion for connecting with audiences allowed her to pivot into a career focused on measurable customer engagement and outcomes.
After a successful internship with American Airlines, Julie Roehm took a job with the Ford Motor Company, helping to set up export operations in Korea. She worked her way up to the role of brand manager for the Ford Focus in the United States, launching the brand new vehicle into the US. Always up for a challenge, Roehm next took on a marketing leadership role with DaimlerChrysler. Her mission was to help turn around the Dodge brand. When successful with that responsibility, she was charged with overseeing marketing and communications for the Jeep and Chrysler brands as well. Working with teams of designers, engineers, and strategists, Roehm led the effort to refresh the Dodge brand, revitalizing its image and giving it the famous tagline “Grab life by the horns.”
Having achieved success with DaimlerChrysler, leading new car brand launches and introducing new vehicles to the marketplace, Julie Roehm sought out her next career challenge, steering the ship at /Meta, her own marketing strategy consulting firm. “I went and started my own consulting firm and I did that for five years,” she recalled. “I supported strategy consulting work for every industry I can think of — B2B, B2C startups, mature companies — I really enjoyed that.”
There, she spread her wings far beyond the automotive industry to include clients across banking, security, appliances, and media. In her agency work, Roehm developed strategies that helped her clients grow their businesses by discovering new revenue opportunities and engaging with customers in novel ways. This included leveraging the evolution of digital advertising, which was just starting to make an impact on the way marketers engaged with audiences.
Roehm’s career has continued to evolve with the marketing industry, reflected in her roles as chief storyteller for SAP, chief marketing and experience officer for ABRA Auto Body & Glass, and, most recently, chief experience officer for Party City. In each of these positions, Julie Roehm has been responsible for not only improving upon existing marketing strategies, but also finding and forming new businesses and inroads to communicate with and further engage customers for improved acquisition and retention figures. Along the way, she has learned how to incorporate company culture into her marketing strategies and find new ways to lead people in order to produce positive outcomes. As a storyteller and marketer, she’s also created avenues to capture customer stories and incorporate them into a brand’s persona, helping them resonate more with their target markets. The evolution of her marketing career path has been dictated by her passion for transformation and the opportunity to help brands turn around when they need it most.
Julie Roehm Rises to the COVID Challenge
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Julie Roehm’s teams had to leverage as many resources as possible to help the Party City brand remain accessible and relatable during a challenging time for many people. She turned to omnichannel marketing — the use of multiple forms of media and multiple service channels at the same time — to diversify how and where they were able to communicate with potential customers. Leveraging a mix of website, social, and email outreach in addition to retail stores and typical sales tactics, the team was able to get innovative, offering everything from curbside pickup to same day mobile party deliveries.
“We started a hot second before the pandemic,” said Roehm. “The pandemic hit. Party and pandemic aren’t very synonymous, but we pushed through anyway. We built omnichannels, we set up delivery, we set up curbside. I called my friends at Hertz during the pandemic. I was like, ‘We need somebody to deliver parties. You’ve got minivans that are sitting in a parking lot, and drivers, and how would you like to be our delivery partner over the pandemic?’ And so that’s how we built it from that first phone call. It was eight days later we were delivering our first party.”
A customer-first mentality has helped Roehm and the brands she has represented remain focused and enterprising. Building relationships with customers and fine-tuning the customer experience to have as minimal resistance as possible have helped Roehm’s teams achieve success where only challenges existed before. No matter the line of business, she always takes the time to fully understand not just the company’s value proposition, but the customer experience, looking for ways to optimize the process to reduce barriers to entry or retention. Understanding the real-life pain points of customers and how the brand can most efficiently and effectively solve those problems in a way that is clear, concise, and accessible to the customer is what makes Roehm’s work shine.
As she looks to the next phase of her career, Julie Roehm is open to a bevy of possibilities, from heading up another in the capacity of President or Chief Commercial Officer to serving as a consultant for brands in need. She is currently also serving as a customer advisory board director for T-Mobile. But wherever she lands, Julie Roehm brings years of experience coupled with a prescient strategy.
“Omnichannel can take on many, many forms, so I think that the future is certainly omnichannel,” she said.
“I think [artificial intelligence] is really probably the most exciting evolution right now. I think everybody’s been talking about ChatGPT and what that can do as well as the challenges it presents. Lots of opportunity I see in that arena for ’23 in particular.”Tags: Business, Chief Experience Officer, Marketing