LOS ANGELES—Maura Hudson has joined JLL as the SVP of marketing and corporate solutions. She brings 11 years of experience with her to the firm, and will focus on connecting internal thought leadership with global clients. To learn about the intricacies of her new role and her immediate goals, we sat down with her. In this exclusive Q&A, she talks about the importance of corporate solutions marketing in the CRE world and how the platform is evolving.
GlobeSt.com: As the SVP of marketing for corporate solutions, what do your primary responsibilities entail?
Hudson: I serve as a strategic marketing and thought leadership incubator between our subject matter experts, the public and private organizations we serve within corporate solutions and the broader relationships we maintain within real estate sector.
I’ve worked within the sector for the past 11 years, and even longer within the broader professional services industry. My role is to ensure that the best ideas and initiatives up and down the supply chain receive a thoughtful, integrated and measured foundation. Our goal is to not only elevate the brand to our clients and inform them of JLL’s broad service platform but also to arm our team with the best tools to deliver to our clients. This foundation may take the form of social media forums, industry association sessions and think tanks, research projects, peer reviews, articles, e-zines, videos and other integrated marketing and communication activities as part of a comprehensive, multi-channel program.
GlobeSt.com: What are your goals for your new role with JLL?
Hudson: I want to ensure our marketing, communication and thought leadership simply and effectively impacts our global client base. I also want to make sure they are tied to broader corporate and service line integration initiatives and flex as the industry dictates. Staying in front of our clients’ needs is the goal of every single team member in JLL CS, and it’s the marketing team’s job to put a spotlight on these activities and best communicate future change.
GlobeSt.com: How has the corporate solutions business changed in recent years?
Hudson: For those established organizations already familiar with our CS platform, it’s not a matter of why these services are necessary anymore, but how can they be leveraged more effectively to encourage business growth and solve competitive challenges. The services offered by JLL in response to these needs have expanded in new and exciting ways to include workplace strategy, labor and data analytics, occupancy expense analysis, benchmarking, econometrics, energy and sustainability, organizational modeling and a plethora of other services. Also, the sectors requiring these services have evolved over the years far beyond the traditional corporate sector to include healthcare, federal/state/local government and education.
Most interesting to me, the global economy impacting corporate solutions is now more like a village and it is increasingly mobile. Our clients are increasingly looking for global solutions and for me that means working with our experts across the globe. I can create deep connections and develop impactful solutions with colleagues around the world more easily than ever before.
GlobeSt.com: Why is the role of a marketing executive integral to the success of commercial real estate?
Hudson: I come from the perspective that everyone should be a “marketer,” whether that’s part of his or her title or not. Marketing-minded people serve as a critical part of innovative client solutions. Clients need to feel confident their service partner truly understands whom they are and what they need in order to serve as a fiduciary ally. They want new capabilities and a low-risk delivery model for these solutions. And they want clear communications and measurable outcomes for everything. Marketers both lead and support the development and implementation of all of these needs.
GlobeSt.com: What does the future hold for the field of marketing in commercial real estate?
Hudson: In the last few years the CRE sector has been investing in marketing. I’m incredibly proud of how the industry has started to adopt next-generation approaches to all the elements of the marketing mix, taking lessons from other progressive industry sectors that really push the envelope and expand the functional definition of a marketer. The use of social media channels, YouTube, search engine optimization, creative services, internal/external client communication vehicles, market research, direct marketing tools, infographics, CRM analytics, mobile technology, and other tools and programs are now institutionalized within many CRE marketing organizations.
I see the opportunity for marketing to become more personal. It is important to break down client/provider silos and truly listen as partners. I think we can crack the code of how to deliver and quantify more meaningful marketing results by aligning programs and marketing decisions closer to the real estate client relationship. Clients give their trust to the individuals and companies who align lock step with their business needs.