Josh Grau

Vice President of Marketing at Wealthfront and Lecturer & Director of Corporate Outreach at Medill San Francisco

Josh Grau is a marketing, technology, and media industry veteran. He is currently the Vice President of Wealthfront, one of the leading automated financial advisors, and Lecturer & Director of Corporate Outreach at Medill - San Francisco. Prior to Wealthfront, he spent six years at Twitter where he worked in a variety of executive roles, helping build Twitter into a multi-billion dollar ad business and launching Moments, Twitter’s curated content experience. Before Twitter, he held leadership roles at YouTube, where he built creator-supported programs for marketers; and ESPN, where he led integrated marketing efforts across their suite of multimedia channels.

Changes In Business & Marketing Technology

Josh Grau believes technology is the foundation of constant change because of what technology has allowed businesses to become. Embracing these technological and consumer trends, in addition to understanding our customers, is the world in which we live. In Silicon Valley, technology continues to evolve and drive innovation in businesses across multiple verticals, including healthcare and transportation. We cannot be comfortable with what and where we are today and must understand how we can take advantage of new technology. Things are moving at a fast pace and businesses are constantly changing and shifting. The industry must keep reimagining, quickly going back to the drawing board, and becoming more dynamic.

Throughout his career, Josh experienced multiple dynamic changes in various organizations. He helped lead ESPN to become an integrated multimedia platform, experienced the emergence of the influencer model at YouTube, and effectively communicated with audiences and influencers through the launch of Twitter Moments, thereby changing Twitter’s business to become a platform where breaking news and trending topics can be accessed and shared.

Currently, Josh is the Program Director and Lecturer at Northwestern Medill San Francisco. He educates students on the importance of IMC in the technology industry, how to deal with constant change, and offers key advice which they can bring to Silicon Valley. The San Francisco program gives IMC students the opportunity to experience the work and culture at exciting companies including Airbnb and Strava. These companies know the importance of being customer-centric and are believers in the IMC mentality. According to Josh, data will always be your best friend, but that is not enough; storytelling goes hand-in-hand. You must have the left and right brain working together to be an effective marketer today and in the future.

At this time in the marketing world, after Josh has seen and lived through significant changes, he believes there is still lots to look forward to with technology and marketing.

What specifically?

Machine learning and the untapped virtual reality space. The industry will be disrupted in interesting ways which will result in more efficiency and scale.

What IMC Means To Josh:

“IMC is all about being a “full funnel” marketer: understanding how to listen to and communicate with the customer on every step of their journey. But, before that, it’s important to start more locally: with myself. Diving into a product or service and noting how that experience affects me personally enables me to be a more thoughtful, empathetic marketer. What made me leap forward? What made me pause? From there, embracing the core tenets of IMC — data and storytelling — creates a powerful foundation to solve consumer problems at scale. The numbers are the glue, but the story is what’s sticky.”

Josh Grau is a member of the Medill IMC Class Of 2004

Profile by Mercedes Wong, Medill IMC Class Of 2017

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