Joe Frick (Oracle) - Idea of Being Endlessly Curious

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This is a podcast episode titled, Joe Frick (Oracle) - Idea of Being Endlessly Curious. The summary for this episode is: <p>Joe Frick, Head of Partnership Development at Oracle, joins Vincent to talk about how remaining curious creates a drive to work toward telling a story with data in marketing.</p>

Speaker 1: Maybe big data has gotten too big. Whether you're a B2B marketer or a consumer brand, your data needs to be viable, relevant, and accessible so that Stirista can help you retain customers, acquire customers, and make it personal.

Ben: Welcome to The Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ear. I'm Ben, producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges of the market, and we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Joe Frick, Head of Partnership Development at Oracle joins Vincent to talk about how remaining curious creates a drive to work toward telling a story with data and marketing. Give it a listen.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista's The Marketing Stir. I, of course, am your happy host, Vincent Pietrafesa. It is so good to be talking to you. I have missed you. What do you mean by that? I come to you every week. I know, but I still miss you. I like talking to you, ladies and gentlemen. And thank you so much for all the love you have been showing The Marketing Stir. Boy, do you use that email. We appreciate it. And thank you for coming up to me at trade shows. Trade shows are back. It's 2023. Get out there and have some fun, meet some people, networking. I just met a new client last night that we've been working with. It was fantastic. Ladies and gentlemen, if you're not familiar with the podcast, we are Stirista's, The Marketing Stir. Let's talk about Stirista just for three seconds, that's all. We don't take advertising on this show and people want to advertise. Thank you, but we don't. We just talk about Stirista for a few seconds. We are a marketing technology company. We own our own business- to- business data, our own business- to- consumer data. We help clients access that data through certain technologies that we have, our own ESP, our own DSP. That's a lot of acronyms. But we're in an industry of acronyms. We know that. We help companies get new customers. Who doesn't want that? Email me at vincent @ stirista. com. That is how confident I am in our services. And like I said, boy, are you using those emails. Nine times out of 10, it's for a different reason and you just want to tell us how good we're doing, or you have some ideas about guests, or you want to sell me something. Let's not necessarily use it for that. But anyway, I appreciate you listening. And today I'm riding solo without my commander- in- chief, Mr. Ajay Gupta. He is at a conference, and yeah, he's been at a lot of conferences lately. A little jet- setter, our amazing CEO is, just out and about. But the good news is it's here. He's here in New York, New York City. You know how much I love when he comes in. Our CFO is here. It's always great, always great to get together with good people. Speaking of good people, let me tell you something, Marketing Stir audience, this next guest, one of my longest tenured friends in my community here. This gentleman is a personal friend. He is a business friend, a confidant. I learn so much from him. He and I have served on the DMCNY board, now the Marketing Club of New York, many events. It's like if we went to high school together the same year, and I won't say who's older or younger, but we would've hung out. This would've been my guy. This would've been my friend. We talk music, we talk life, we talk business, we talk comedy, we talk so many things. And I can't wait to share him with you, ladies and gentlemen. He is the Head of Partnership Development at Oracle Advertising. Oracle, you know Oracle, Oracle Advertising. Ladies and gentlemen, my good friend, Mr. Joe Frick. What's going on, Joe?

Joe Frick: How you doing, Vincent? Great to be with you today.

Vincent Pietrafesa: It's always great to be with you, Joe. I saw you in person recently.

Joe Frick: Couple weeks ago.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Couple weeks ago. And we started chatting. I'm like, " Joe, let's come on. All this chatting, this is a podcast episode my friend. Let's get you on this podcast. We want to talk to you about a variety of different things." But how long has it been, what, probably 10 years that we've known each other?

Joe Frick: At least, possibly longer. Possibly longer. I'm thinking maybe early 2000s. So it's approaching 20 years.

Vincent Pietrafesa: It has to be. Yeah, I've been in this industry, I graduated college in 2000, so I have been in this industry for 23 years now, 22 because I started my career in this industry in 2001. I joked recently when I was hosting the Silver Apple Awards for the Marketing Club in New York. I said I was the oldest rising star for Marketing EDGE. Maybe I'll be the youngest Silver Apple Award winner. So maybe that nice because I thought I've risen years ago, but people are like, "No, it's now. This is when you've, the oldest rising star." But yeah, it's been, wow, 20 years. That's good. That's a long time.

Joe Frick: It is.

Vincent Pietrafesa: But Joe, let's get right into it. Talk to us about people know Oracle the company. It's everywhere. It's one of the biggest companies, people know it. I think there's arenas that they sponsor. But Oracle Advertising, talk to us about your particular unit there, what they do, and some of your day- to- day personally.

Joe Frick: Sure. Sure thing. Well, again, thank you for having me on the podcast. I've been with Oracle, by the time this airs, it will probably just be eight years. I started April 1, 2015. And Oracle built the advertising business unit synthetically through a number of acquisitions starting with BlueKai in 2014, Data Logix in 2015, which is really how I found my entry into Oracle, and then a number of subsequent acquisitions after that. So the advertising business unit is purpose- built to offer data solutions, and my role within the advertising business unit is on a subdivision called Data First or D1. And as the head of partnership development for D1, my role is to partner principally with what we call specialty retailers. These are your traditional catalog marketers, your non- traditional digitally native, direct- to- consumer marketers in data partnership that serves the purpose of helping them acquire new customers. And in exchange, we leverage some of that data in our identity matrix and across our solutions to build out better data solutions and then to connect advertisers with buyers to protect that investment with brand- safe activation and then to measure the efficiency and efficacy of impact of those advertising decisions. That's really the business unit at large. And these data partnerships fuel the data solutions.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Very nice. And we always ask this question for all of our guests because it's usually not a direct path, but how did you get involved in marketing? Did you study marketing in school or was it a different path and you stumbled upon marketing like most guests that we talk to? Me personally, marketing was a minor of mine, so here I am. But tell us about that journey.

Joe Frick: Sure. It's an interesting journey because it wasn't at all rooted in a business education. I was an economics major in college first and enjoyed studying economics probably more from that sort of the lens of understanding behavior, sort of the application of the social science. But along that journey, I took a course in the history of economic thought and it was a game changer for me. It switched on a couple of things I wasn't aware of and that led me down a parallel path to study analytic philosophy. And at my time at Rutgers University, the discussions in analytic philosophy focused on cognitive science. Once again, sort of weirdly cycling back to this idea of understanding behavior. And so these two things kind of merged together. And as I ended college, one important note here is during college I actually carried letter mail for the USPS as a part- time job putting myself through school. So on the heels of college, here I am with this interest in behavior. I was actually thinking about going to grad school at that point. But I pushed pause. I wanted to earn some money. And I got a job in the mail room of a mailing list company called American List Council, now called Adstra. And this is late 1994. And within months of that appointment, I cycled over to a sales desk and learned the art and science of data compilation from scratch. This is sort of pre the current methods of doing so. This was directory compilation. There were a few key players in the space. And that was really the thing that kicked off the journey. Five years later, I moved into a consultancy, a specialty consultancy in New York, Adrea Rubin Marketing and Management and spent been 15 years there working ultimately up to vice president of marketing and social media, running sales teams, being involved in the business. And through partnerships that we had had at Adrea's, I connected with folks at Data Logix. And when I reached out to Data Logix about an opportunity after a number of years of a successful partnership, they were being acquired by Oracle as one of the pillars of the advertising business unit. So that entirely spans nearly 29 years of work experience. And sort of almost an accidental journey from its inception. But there's a thread there about this idea of understanding consumer behavior and then coincidentally working delivering letter mail, the origin of which and the success of which largely hinges on placing a bet on predicting that behavior when you're sending consumers offers, when you're sending businesses offers. So funny enough that presaged my entry into the marketing industry and really the data solutions industry.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That is a unique story. The philosophy background, the behavioral, that makes so much sense. Every time I talk to you, I feel like you also could have been a therapist. I think you're such a great listener and you always offer such great advice, which is why, again, people in this industry love you. And I know your customers love you having been around you and your customers. But how do you think that philosophy background has helped you in your work today?

Joe Frick: There's appreciation for behavior generally, but really the curiosity, the philosophy certainly services and feeds an appetite of curiosity. And I think I've always enjoyed that personally. But it's really this idea of investigating something and deeply to try to understand at a pretty granular level some of the finer points of how these things work. And what's interesting now many, many years since working in the technology space, the aspect of technology that informs data solutions, we're now utilizing mechanisms and methods around machine learning and artificial intelligence that power models that work in the predictive analytics sphere. And it's fascinating because herein is the application of a very sort of a deep learning aspect of that investigation and inquiry into understanding what precisely is predictive and understanding and helping brands acquire customers, what's predictive about combining data in certain unique ways to determine that. So I think it really cycles back to this idea of being endlessly curious.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah.

Joe Frick: And I get the privilege of talking to a number of students, young executives. I participate quite actively in things like mentoring programs. And one of the pieces of advice, invariably conversations kind of head this way, but to remain curious and always ask questions. And I do think that the philosophy background informs that rather well. I also think philosophers are eminently really good storytellers. At the end of the day, they're taking complicated concepts and trying to distill them down to something essential, relatable. And something about that feels like another endless pursuit alongside curiosity is just trying to be kind of eloquent and try to explain things. And I feel like telling a story with data with the marketing application kind of gets to the root of that. So in a way, the philosophy background helps me do my job, but I think it also speaks to the essence of what's interesting about the job for me, these two elements of curiosity and storytelling. And I think they're in abundance in the philosophy discipline.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah.

Joe Frick: Yeah. So I think that really gets to it for me.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, I like that. That totally makes sense. And that is great advice for a lot of our listeners out there who are just starting their career in marketing, also be curious, ask questions, be curious. It's that curiosity. Joe, I've heard you talk about privacy quite a bit. I've heard you on a few different panels. I love your take on it. Talk to us about, there's a few questions I have about privacy and I also want to get to identity because I know passionate about that and a lot of the work that Oracle's doing. But how are privacy concerns today different from those before the explosion of social media and the internet? I'd love to get your take on that.

Joe Frick: Sure. I mean, I think now more than ever, technology is sort of meeting the moment, the promise of the delivery of an exceptional customer experience, which is something all brands strive to do regardless of the venue, direct- to- consumer and business-to- business or business- to- consumer marketing. And I do think now that kind of a linchpin of that customer experience is this understanding that there is a increasingly complicated relationship between consumers, those are businesses or consumers, the technology we're now using to interact with them, and the sort of exchange of information that occurs during that delivery promise and delivery of a customer experience. It's complicated. It's continued to get more complicated. And generationally now, you're kind of seeing different types of consumers interacting with technology differently. And that's not to say that generations are exclusive in any one perception of how technology works. In fact, I would say across the board, no matter the generation, there are varying views and facilities with utilizing specific technology. But at the root of this is this ongoing changing relationship between consumers, technology, and the data exchange that occurs in commerce. And so I think consumers are much more aware of these sort of perils and pitfalls that can happen when they're sharing data. I also think that the media has kind of focused on specific areas. Whenever there's a significant data breach, this becomes mainstream news. There's a discussion in the air as the technology and the intricacies of how technology is interweaving with our lives, sort of the impact of what it means to share publicly versus to retain privacy in terms of elements of one's identity. This is everything from personally identifiable information to rather sensitive financial data. There's a taxonomy all on its own to define and describe different types of data in that value exchange. And I think that in the last 20 years certainly, there's been much, much more of a focus on it, so much so now that there's finally the beginnings of codifying something like a national perspective on it. This has been occurring at the state level for quite a while, but now there are more movements in Congress to address this conversation mostly on the heels of what happened in GDPR in Europe a few years ago. So I think that relationship continues to change as technology changes. I mean, the most recent discussion about TikTok on Capitol Hill and what the political implications are for that business and how it interacts with the US population is one more aspect of a consumer base that is aware that there are major discussions going on in this venue. And I think because of that awareness, consumers, their perspective on their interaction with brands and that data exchanges is changing. And that's really at the root of what's changed over the last 20, 25 years wherein in the direct mail space, when that was the original sort of measurable targeted media, there was a little bit less of scrutiny about it. Of course, marketers were compiling data, they were bringing about data by virtue of subscriptions and other response vehicles. But now it's a much more nuanced conversation with a much more complex ecosystem and consumers are more savvy and they're becoming much more aware of the implications of those relationships.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Well, absolutely. I mean, I think consumers are way more aware of their digital footprint. Is that your thought process as well?

Joe Frick: Yeah, they are and I think they understand that there are ongoing interactions about permissions. Whenever you're using specific applications, you're always prompted about various media and levels of sharing data and what that use case is. That's becoming sort of common currency in terms of, excuse me, how consumers are interacting with the technology that ultimately leads to how a brand interacts with that consumer and that data exchange. So the awareness is growing and increasing. There have been some huge movements in the space. Players like Apple have made movements in the space. Just as one example, Google has flagged and now a couple of times flagged that they aim to deprecate the third- party cookie. There's the rise of things like universal identifiers, which are based on hashing technology and modes of obfuscation to protect consumer privacy. A whole world of discussions about data handling that are now more accessible to consumers because the media reports on them.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, I totally agree. And I think just now with websites... Let's get into cookies because websites asking, every website you go to now is asking for permission of the cookies. But the deprecation of the cookie has been a topic that people have been talking about for a few years.

Joe Frick: Yeah.

Vincent Pietrafesa: So why may we be transitioning to a cookie- less environment. I know how Stirista's preparing for it, but how are you preparing for that?

Joe Frick: I mean, it's a notable transition because it's changing the standard media of commerce and digital advertising, and our perspective is one more of a blended approach of known identifiers handled in privacy- safe ways. We're talking about the marriage of data solutions and technology, and then, of course, the ability to objectively measure the efficiency and efficacy of that advertising effort. So we're talking about an era where a sensible combination of known identifiers, like permission- based PII, that works in concert with unknown identifiers, universal identifiers potentially, but sort of the space of the known and the unknown and in combination with good technology around brand- safe technology solutions that can kind of help in context to promote the better health and smarter advertising. I think a blended combination of those solutions is going to be helpful in addressing the deprecation of the third- party cookie. Of course, on the publisher side you have registration IDs and all of the permission based on that side, so another stream that kind of finds its way in. And back to the partnerships that I manage at Oracle with retailers, we're working with retailers based on a pretty rigorous set of standards. We're working in concert with the retailers to make sure that they're providing notice and disclosure, very clear notice and disclosure about that value exchange. We're collecting X data and within the bounds of personally identifiable marketing data, this is how the brand is disclosing it uses it to its customers and how it partners with entities like Oracle and others to use and leverage that data. This is mostly in reaction to a number of state laws, but there is sort of an emerging standard and I feel like we've been sort of leading the pack for a number of years now because at the time CCPA was enacted we were California- based. So it was very important to us and we developed standards and processes to be able to navigate that.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Joe, I want to stay on a topic where you mentioned a lot of the retailers you work with. Just as cookie- less and the deprecation of the cookie was on a lot of conferences minds and the content that these conferences have been putting out, this year I was at a few conferences where retail media, retail, retail is kind of been taking over. What are your thoughts on just the way marketers and retailers need to look at the next few years in marketing?

Joe Frick: It's an explosion because it's, again, it's back to this idea that technology is now finally sort of meeting the moment to deliver the customer experience. And when you consider retailers at scale where representatives of millions of households per week go through the doors of some of these huge retailers, you've got kind of a captive audience. You've got what we would call sufficient inventory and many mechanisms and media channels in which to impact that. So retail media networks as a development are speedily kind of dominating aspects of the market. I've had the privilege of working with the IAB over the last year and I've been part of a rather large storied and experienced committee of retailers, of vendors working on a best practices buyer's guide for retail media networks to kind of introduce the concept. We're still agreeing on common language. You mentioned at the outset of the podcast we live in the world of acronyms. Retail media networks and the development of RMNs, to add another acronym to the mix, is no exception because we're all agreeing on specific standards, we're working towards for now a definitive but ever- changing dynamic guide to kind of describe the space. But it is emerging very, very quickly. Not only is the technology rising up, but the quality, the hard skills of analytics is now being built into a lot of marketing curriculum. It's not enough many, many years ago to go through school without a lot of rigor around data analytics, some applications that serve data analytics, kind of a more advanced math quotient. Marketing now is really more of a deep analysis conversation and retail media networks and the brands that are kind of pushing some of the more popular ones at scale have not only that technology native, but they also have the mindshare and the academic prowess to be able to offer deep insights and analytics where they might have had to use those services external to the brand. That said, there are still a very robust and abundant agency space that offer a variety of different services and sometimes the retail media networks themselves have an agency component that addresses some of the deeper aspects of analysis, data analytics, targeting segmentation. The space is just growing so very, very quickly, and all along the way it's back to this conversation before about abiding with the understanding that the consumers are part of that conversation. The handling of their data is paramount to all of those endeavors.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Let's talk about identity because at Stirista we certainly, identity resolution is big for us here and it's just a big topic in general.

Joe Frick: Yeah.

Vincent Pietrafesa: What's your take on it? What's Oracle's take on identity, identity resolution, what it means to you?

Joe Frick: Sure. I mean, the partnerships that I work on are principally driving towards personally identifiable markers. And so in our identity graph, the ability to bring first- party data in a wide variety into the digital ecosystem through Oracle means we have a differentiator in that we're rooted in real people, real transaction data, and that's at the core of how we resolve identity for brands that are bringing their first- party data in whatever form they choose to bring it into our ecosystem. So identity for Oracle is a combination of known identifiers and unknown identifiers through data partnerships and some increasingly powerful technology that allows us to understand the value and the prioritization of various elements of identity in terms of making linkages based on recent transactions, based on the relevancy of specific identifiers over others. If you were to use a Gmail address more recently versus a Yahoo address in the past, we would understand which was more relevant as it related possibly to registration, registration ID. So there's a whole conversation here about taking sort of stable parts of identity, a name and address component, for example, and using that as part of the resolution process in partnership with a wide variety of third- party partnerships. And again, some really powerful technology at the root of understanding those relationships and making them meaningful, which also cycles to the accuracy and scale of audiences, it cycles to the measuring the efficacy and efficiency of the marketing efforts on the heels of it. And it all is rooted in this combination of known identifiers and unknown identifiers, all of which is brought into our matrix in a very privacy safe, back to this idea of how brands are obligated to meet or exceed pretty rigorous standards around how they handle data and how they share the handling of that data with their customers.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, no, totally makes sense. It's similar to our take on it, but I love what you're doing there. Joe, let's get to know you a little bit personally. Before we get that, we have our staple question here, a question that people come up to me with all the time and they're like, " Thank you for asking this question." It is our LinkedIn question. At this point, LinkedIn should be paying us to advertise because we use LinkedIn so much. But LinkedIn, a message that you get on LinkedIn that resonates with you, that you will respond to, and one that you just, hey, you don't like and you never respond to, your pet peeve of the LinkedIn solicitation.

Joe Frick: Sure. No. A message I will always respond to is an outreach from a student that I've met through various events, various opportunities to volunteer. I just think that's great. I think that the medium of communication in exchange for business is LinkedIn, and an aspiring business student or a professional utilizing LinkedIn and following up on a conversation we may have had upon first meeting is just great. I will always respond to that, try to connect in a follow- up fashion and kind of understand more about how I can try to be helpful. The best way I can describe it, with time in the seat and time in business, I've kind of come to this conclusion that that's how I can best serve is to try to be helpful. And I think young professionals, emerging professionals, especially on the heels of the last three years of crazy is a really valuable thing we should all be doing. Unsolicited messages are okay. I mean, I realize there's an art and science to messaging on LinkedIn. But I have had a couple of cases, the parties shall remain nameless, where I have explicitly reached out to a company, to the head of a company about solicitations from their account executives which has gone kind of ignored or disregarded.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Wow.

Joe Frick: And that's sad. There's a way to use LinkedIn effectively for marketing and spray and pray is not it. There's the value of relationships and connections. LinkedIn is sort of this terrific tool to be able to leverage those things and to do it in a sensible way. And unfortunately, I've had at least one notable case where bad actors are not utilizing it the way it should be and that's a message I will not respond to any longer.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I love that you kind of police it. That's kind of, you're like, "You know what?"

Joe Frick: I'm aware of this one particular company comes to mind, they shall remain nameless, but persistent outreach from a number of executives after a hard no. I mean, herein is this idea, the relationship between technology, consumers, and the customer experience. This is not a good customer experience.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah.

Joe Frick: Full- on abiding that this is a business- to- business play. This is reaching out for a solicitation that is absolutely not in line with what I do.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah.

Joe Frick: I mean, that's really at the heart of it. So I won't respond to that.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I don't blame you, and yeah, because a lot of people are like, " Oh, Oracle. Oh, oh, we got to get into Oracle, come on." It's like, come on, there's better ways to do it. Read the room, know who you're talking to, I know it's the same thing, and it's good. That was a unique answer because a lot of people have a similar answer to it. I like that perspective. And you're right, knowing you, and I'm the same way, we both have worked for an organization like the Direct Marketing Club of New York, the Marketing Club of New York that works with students. And I know that you've worked with your alma mater there, Rutgers, and done a lot of work with that organization there, where we've both been heavily involved in helping students. Our last few interns here at Stirista, who've done an amazing job, they're from those meetings, from Baruch College, from Hunter College. So yeah, talk to me about the work you're doing with Rutgers.

Joe Frick: Sure. Several years ago, Rutgers's information services discipline created a certificate program in big data. It was a pretty big tent at the time. This is going back to probably 2017. And they tapped me to join as a curriculum advisor. It was really gratifying. Rutgers is my alma mater, New Brunswick, class of'94 Rutgers College. And we worked on the committee, and unfortunately during COVID education, higher education has gone through just crazy transformation on its own, moving things to virtual classes now, hybrid models. I mean, it's its own podcast to talk about all the changes that I've observed, even just being tangential in the Rutgers family. But the big data certificate program was disbanded. And in my inquiry to understand if there was a direct replace led me to reach out to the marketing department out of the business school in Newark. And back in May of 2021, they asked me to join as an advisor to the board of the marketing department. And it's been just an incredible experience. I'm coming up on two years of service. And just the variety of volunteer work and input to impact positively the student experience, to work with students directly in them emerging as professionals, both undergrads and MBAs, has been incredible. I was on a call literally yesterday with the head of the Office of Career Management who's become a friend, and he brought in the vice dean and we were talking about some of the core curriculum and asking a few of the advisors for specific input about what's important in market, how can we make this contemporary, how can we address specific issues that will be important to students as they graduate to maybe dust off the kind of long- term curriculum and update and improve it. And it's things like that that really can make an impact to the student experience, to the student that's going to invest time and certainly money into an education to make themselves eligible for certain kinds of positions. So it's been super rewarding, and it all cycles back to working with the students. I mean, the next generation of marketers are so thoughtful, smart. There's just so many amazing ideas coming down the pike. Everybody hold on for more incredible change coming to all disciplines based on my experience at the marketing department at RBS. It's fantastic. And kudos to the faculty advisors and my co- board members. What an incredible experience to just get to know different industries, to get to know different perspectives, and to work collaboratively towards the goal of genuinely trying to be helpful to students as they kind of come into the career, choose careers and come into the professional world. It's been great. Absolutely great.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, that's amazing. It is rewarding work. I haven't sat on a board of an institution, but with our work that, again, we do at the Marketing Club of New York, it is rewarding. So I'm glad you're doing it. They're lucky to have you. What's new? Tell us about, I know a lot about you, but tell us about what's new in your life, anything coming up? And then I want to get into some of your hobbies because I feel like you're like a renaissance man. You kind of do it all. So talk to us.

Joe Frick: Sure. No, what's new is this experience with the board and the volunteer experience with students has kind of led me to the conclusion that one of the best ways I can try to be helpful is to explore part- time teaching at some point.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah.

Joe Frick: I'm very passionate about it. And in fact, leaving undergrad about 30 years ago, I was thinking of going onto grad school at that point for analytic philosophy, but pressed pause. So working with the Rutgers board and learning about the requirements from the AACSB, which is one of the governing bodies of business schools, to be a clinical faculty member of any of these AACSB- certified programs, which is a non- PhD instructor, one needs a master's. So in August, I am starting my masters at NYU Stern through an executive MBA program, and I'm really excited to get started.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's amazing. So you said at the beginning of the podcast, you said you wanted to go to grad school. So here it is, you're going to grad school. And you also told everyone when you graduated, so now they do know who's older. I was trying to keep that a secret, Joe. But no, that's amazing.

Joe Frick: Sorry I blew our cover. No, I'm really excited. The community and actually I approached a couple of different schools when I was trying to figure this out and, boy, the communities just seem interesting. They're hotbeds of neat ideas and the bringing together of a lot of different professional experiences. Can't wait to get started. I think it's going to be a terrific experience and I feel really lucky to be able to get to go.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's amazing. You have to keep us posted on your journey there, the progress starting in August. It's never too late people listening. There's some great programs out there.

Joe Frick: There definitely are.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Definitely a lot of programs out there. I've definitely heard of NYU Stern, of course, and I know they do quite a bit of great marketing programs too, to reach out to professionals...

Joe Frick: They do.

Vincent Pietrafesa: help them further their education and their careers. Hobbies. So one of the things I know about you is you are a gifted musician and I've seen you play many a times. So what else is out there? You like travel, I know that. Maybe I should, just why don't you just do my hobbies for me, Vin, and just tell everyone. But talk to us. What else do you like doing?

Joe Frick: No, music is the heartbeat. Dave Brubeck said, " The first thing you hear when you're born is your heartbeat. The last thing you hear when you pass away is your heartbeat." And for me, that's true. I grew up in a family surrounded by music, musical influences, and I play guitar. I've been playing, gosh, nearly 40 years now. If you guys DM me after this on LinkedIn, I might share a picture of what I used to look like 25 years ago with that. But music is a huge hobby. Travel is important. We are lucky enough to be able to get to go to some pretty cool places and have and continue to do so. My wife and I also participate in a community garden. This'll be year two right here in Hoboken, New Jersey. We have a small patch of land we're going to grow some vegetables on. She comes from a farming family and every October I get to help my brothers- in- law with harvest, which is really unique and interesting, out in central Indiana where they live.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Wow.

Joe Frick: But a voracious reader, also a comedy fan. This past Sunday, we saw Sarah Silverman at The Wellmont Theater in Montclair, was a terrific show.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, nice. Yeah, she's awesome.

Joe Frick: Big fans of Sarah. So yeah, I mean, just a wide variety of interests. And part of living across the river from New York, and again, feeling really lucky to be able to get to do that is just try and take advantage of all the arts and culture of the city. We came here purposefully as a big part of that in addition to our jobs. So yeah, I find myself very fortunate to be able to indulge in some of the stuff. And it's an endless list as you know. And on any given night, you could do 12 things, including go see comedy and go see Vin, Vinnie James do his comedy thing.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, that's what I tell people. I said, " If you can't find something to do in New York City, that's it. You need to move out of here." There are countless things. I did two shows on Saturday. One was The Grisly Pear, the other was the Tribeca Comedy Lounge. One was at 8: 00, one was at 10. And that's sandwiched within a block of...

Joe Frick: Oh, yeah. I know inaudible.

Vincent Pietrafesa: ... fourother venues literally less than a hundreds yards away from each other. There's four venues. And then there's the Blue Note right there. There's Cafe Wha? There's all these different places. And that's within 300 feet of each other.

Joe Frick: It's great.

Vincent Pietrafesa: It's New York. Yeah, I love it that there's so many things to do. Joe, a final thought, a closing thought to our audience. Anything you want to share about yourself, about your career, Oracle, anything?

Joe Frick: Sure. No, I think the one thing I would like to share, and maybe it's a little bit of a theme of some of the things I talked about here, is I take it very seriously to try to be helpful and working with students, younger executives especially navigating some pretty unprecedented times professionally and just the cultural and social spheres, all we can do to try to give as much of it back as we can to try and be helpful. And I would say to younger folks we're navigating strange times all across the board. Some powerful words maybe that someone told me, this too shall pass. Life continues and moves and evolves on and things move cyclically. Don't lose heart, don't lose faith in some of those pursuits. It's just an abundant community. I've had the pleasure and the privilege of being around the New York community, present company included, and there are helpers, right? Mr. Rogers said that. He said, " Look for the helpers," on the heels of 9/ 11. It was one of the most profound, important messages in his long career of providing profound, important messages. And that applies everywhere. And so too with professionals who are always willing to lend a hand and help and try to provide any kind of assistance. I just think that that's the best thing we can ever do.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, words of wisdom. I wholeheartedly believe in that as well. Thank you so much for spending some time with us, Joe. We always appreciate it my friend. That is Joe Frick. He's the Head of Partnership Development at Oracle Advertising. Look up Joe, talk to him, especially if you're, like you said, a student looking for some mentorship, someone early in your career. I've been in this industry for 20 something years. I still look to Joe Frick for advice, and he always lends his ear and his time. So I appreciate it. That's Joe Frick. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa. AJ's at some financial conference, he's missing out, but he's here in New York. We're happy to have him. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much for listening, and we'll talk to you soon.

Ben: Thanks for listening to The Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista. Please like, rate, and subscribe. If you're interested in being a guest on the podcast, please email us at themarketingstir @ stirista. com, and thanks for listening.


Joe Frick, Head of Partnership Development at Oracle, joins Vincent to talk about how remaining curious creates a drive to work toward telling a story with data in marketing.

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