Don Bulmer Returns to His Tech Roots with a Global Perspective
As we settle into the New Year, we're proud to announce a few of our fellow social business associates below who have some exciting career news. Plus, Social Media Today advisor, Don Bulmer, brings his global perspective back to Silicon Valley and shares his experience.
Lincoln Lopez joins Univision as vice president and general manager of Social Media after serving as vice president of social and digital media for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies for Turner Broadcasting. Get all the details here.
Yvette Pacheco joins Lopez at the leading media company serving Hispanic America as its corporate communications manager handling social media. She hails from NASCAR as its integrated marketing communications manager.
After growing up in in the small Northern California town, Galt, which is about 100 miles northeast of Silicon Valley, and attending school and growing his marketing communications career in the same area, Bulmer knew he needed a better worldview.
Bulmer originally wanted to pursue a career in broadcast communication; hence his weekly radio program at the local community college radio station in Stockton, Calif., where he attended. "I caught the broadcast bug during my time at University of the Pacific after a great year-long internship at the NBC news affiliate in Sacramento (KCRA-TV). There I was given the opportunity to write, direct and edit PSAs, operate cameras, and work in the news room and in the field," he says.
After Bulmer graduated from University of the Pacific, he moved to San Francisco for a job as a PR and marketing manager for a small agency. "During this time, I experienced the thrill of delivering positive business impact-from telling stories (promoting client work), and identifying new business opportunities for clients to apply their technology and expertise to (through research, market listening and scanning)-and I was hooked."
It was, however, during his time working in the tech start-up environment where he became passionate about his career and purpose. "I learned how to run and build companies. I played many roles and wore many hats," he says. "The culmination of everything that I learned at University of the Pacific through my internships and professional time working at small agencies all came together. I found my passion for business and the sweet-spot of marketing and communication as my process to create business value."
In Bulmer's last four years at Shell, he was fortunate to lead and help facilitate the transition of how one of the most relevant companies on the planet manages its external communications with impressive scale. In the process, he learned about the energy industry, traveled the world, and gained an important global perspective that is nearly impossible to get in Silicon Valley today.
Bulmer's career story comes full circle as he heads back to his Silicon Valley roots as CMO for tech start-up, Tribal Planet (Tribal Technologies/Tribal Brands). The mobile technology and entertainment company has more than a decade of experience, generating $2 billion+ in mobile commerce revenue for companies in the telecommunication, automotive, healthcare, energy and entertainment industries (among others), since being founded in 2001.
While at Shell, Bulmer had the opportunity to work with Tribal Planet and the United Nations on an initiative to deploy their (Tribal Planet) technology to promote citizen participation in "Social Good" efforts such as female empowerment, STEM-based education, healthy living, financial inclusion and energy access (to name a few).
Bulmer will be working with Tribal Planet's CEO and chief innovator, Jeff Martin, and team to bring their technology portfolio, incredible partners, entertainment customers and industry relationships, to scale.
"Success will be measured through the economic and brand value we are able to deliver to our customers and partners and the advancement of consumer awareness/action on important societal causes backed by corporate and governmental efforts such as female empowerment, STEM-based education, healthy living, financial inclusion and energy access," he says.
1. Who or what influenced your long career in marketing? I've had many great mentors throughout my career who have encouraged, trusted and promoted me with great responsibility. I learned early, the importance of relationships and partnership. If you enable the success of people around you and exemplify value through your efforts, then work becomes fun (not a job) and the rewards are great. I believe it's this mindset that has kept me engaged and successful, thus far.
2. Biggest social media and/or communication lesson and/or challenge at Shell? How did you solve it/them? What was most intriguing to me about the opportunity with Shell (prior to joining) was its incredible scale.
I am particularly inspired by the super connectedness of global communication and the enormous possibilities to deliver value to corporations and societies at scale and with high impact. There are few industries or companies that are truly relevant to every person on the planet. Energy is one of those industries and Shell is one of those companies.
The question that I asked myself when joining, was "How do you make a company like Shell relevant and relatable to every person on the planet?" This is a massive challenge and problem to solve. Technically we have the means to reach from one to 1 billion people today (via social and mobile), but the art is how you show up.
Shell (as most companies) is looking to use technology to establish and strengthen relationships with consumers and the public at-large. What I learned is that if you want to establish a relationship, you first must "relate." It's incredibly important to understand what people care about first...then take what's important to you and present it in a way that people can understand on their terms in a frictionless way. It's the difference between communication and conversation. This mindset is central to Shell's social media and digital efforts and is firmly rooted in all internal and external communication activities today.
3. What makes an effective business leader? Empathy, humility, humor and conviction.
4. Wish you'd known 20 years ago? The true scale and impact of global communication that exists today.
5. What you'll miss most about your job at Shell? I will miss my colleagues and supporting the important effort to advance awareness of the energy challenge.
6. What you're most looking forward to at your new position? I look forward to going back to my roots and deploying my knowledge, experience and new access to amazing technology and relationships to create incredible value.
7. Super power would you like to have? I would like the power of insight!
8. Three technologies you couldn't live without? Mobile phone, Internet and transportation.
We're looking forward to following Bulmer's career with Tribal Planet. And whether you've hired or promoted someone, or are the one to whom we owe the virtual pat-on-the-back for a well-deserved career move or award, we want to know what's up in your neck of the social business community, too.
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