When I was a kid in Italy, I would daydream about my future, about what I’d be when I grew up. I wanted to be a football player. Then I wanted to be an actor. Then I wanted to be a movie maker. So how did I end up becoming a marketer?
My mother is a psychologist and my father a psychiatrist. I grew up, to use an Italian expression, “a pane e Freud”, which literally means “with bread and Freud.” My parents instilled in me a curiosity, a yearning to go deeper and understand more about myself as well as those around me. At the age of 9 in my summer house, there was a special place where I used to go with my best friend to talk about our “love problems.”
When I was 14, I used my first marketing strategy. I wanted to convince my dad to buy me a scooter (pretty common in the south of Italy where I grew up). I knew that if I wanted to increase my chances of receiving a YES, I'd have to ask for it at the right time, in the right place, and with the right words.
I was so curious and passionate about human behavior and about understanding different people and cultures that I moved to the USA when I was 17 to complete my fourth year of high school.
I've been always fascinated by the “marketing world” but I was mistakenly linking it only with creating advertisements. While everyone was zapping when a TV commercial came on, I was doing the opposite. I still love watching advertisements, especially when I travel. You can understand a lot about a country by watching the kind of commercials they run on TV.
With this in mind, I started my career at Luiss Guido Carli studying economics. I then moved to Milan, to do a Master's in Marketing at Bocconi University, where I had the opportunity to continue part of my studies at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) and at the National Chengchi University in Taipei.
My first working experience was an internship in Schibello Caffe, a coffee company in Sydney. It took me a few months to move from an intern marketing position to being a sales rep. My job was to convince other bars and restaurants to create a Schibello’s experience at their point of sales. It was the kind of work that every 23-year-old would enjoy doing. I had the opportunity to visit and explore the west coast of Australia, spend some amazing lunch breaks surfing, all while bringing very good results. I've always been the classic guy able to sell ice in the North Pole or sand in the desert.
I decided to come back to Italy when I received a job offer from L’Oréal where I'd support the Garnier marketing team in managing the hair coloration category. For sure it wasn't as fun as selling coffee and traveling around Australia, but I became proficient with Excel and PowerPoint, and learned how to brief agencies and make great presentations.
To get sales experience in a big multinational, I joined Coca-Cola's sales team in Milan. It was a great experience where I learned the principles of store activation.
marketing around the world
My willingness to get to know different markets and industries brought me to Garrison Group, a specialized strategic marketing resource dedicated to achieving exponential growth for clients all over the world.
In my years at Garrison Group I have successfully completed projects in more than twenty countries in North America, Europe, and Africa, spanning all industries, moving my base from Boston to Yerevan to Istanbul, and finally to Milan.
In 2018, I co-founded a start-up called Post Pro, a loyalty platform that offers users the opportunity to win prizes in exchange for promoting their favorite stores on Instagram (restaurants, bars, clubs, spas, hotels, gyms, etc.). Our aim is to democratize the world of advertising by rewarding every user fairly and transparently, based on their social attitude.
My greatest passion is sharing human-centric marketing around the world giving guest lectures in several universities such as Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Insper University of São Paulo, Corvinus University of Budapest, Kadir Has University of Istanbul, and the American University of Armenia.
Since 2017, I've been an Adjunct Professor at LUISS Business School and a Visiting Professor at Cracow School of Business (Poland). I've published numerous marketing articles and have given keynote speeches at many marketing events around the world.