Joseph Guzik, MBA '11 (E), senior VP of promotion and integrated marketing at Red Bull Records
Former garage band guitarist turns innovative marketer for up-and-coming artists
Guzik’s career in the music industry began with Roadrunner Records, where he became senior national director of marketing. An independent company in the land of giants, Roadrunner Records was an innovative startup with an underdog spirit. “It taught me that a smaller team with that kind of company culture can do extraordinary things. [Though] this kind of spirit should be present in every company, large or small, in actuality it’s such a rare thing. I [have] always strived to create that kind of culture in every division or department I’ve been in since,” Guzik says.
After working with Roadrunner Records, Guzik joined Sony Music Entertainment’s Columbia Records and remained there for ten years, holding various positions within the company. Though he has had many wonderful experiences with Sony Music, Guzik says the digital transformation has not been kind to the major recording companies. “I remember sitting in Professor [Justin] Johnson’s business strategy class thinking, ‘This business is being harvested. Where is the future of music going and where will its future growth come from?’” Guzik says.
At Sony Music, Guzik launched marketing campaigns for dozens of world famous artists, including Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Aerosmith, The Offspring, MGMT, Ting Tings, and others. His campaigns have sold millions of albums, earned dozens of honors including #1 Billboard Albums and the Billboard title “Most Played Song of the Year.” While Guzik admits that it sometimes felt surreal working with celebrities, he knew he had a job to do and focused on the task at hand. “They are your clients and you want them to be thrilled with your work and your organization. [These] artists are all delightful. They are everything you imagine them to be and more,” Guzik says.
As the senior vice president of promotion and integrated marketing at Red Bull Records, Guzik’s chief mission is to connect consumers with new artists through unique and innovative integrated marketing approaches. Guzik is currently working on introducing two new artists from the Americas, AWOLNATION and Innerpartysystem. He has been working with MTV in the U.S. to develop a way to launch the new artists via MTV’s television programming and digital properties. Guzik will also attend Canadian Music Week in Toronto, where he hopes to introduce AWOLNATION to the Canadian music outlets and launch their first single to Canadian alternative radio.
One of the most rewarding aspects of working with a new artist, Guzik explains, is communicating a message to the public and watching it come to life. “I love standing on the stage and looking out into a sea of kids having an amazing experience, seeing their tweets and Facebook conversations on my mobile, and realizing that we are creating something special: a brand that I [hope will] live on in their hearts and minds for years to come,” Guzik says. Despite his success in the music industry, Guzik humbly attributes much of what he has accomplished to his education at Johnson. “I use my Johnson education every day. I can’t believe how relevant every minute of the curriculum is to me. It’s provided me the analytic frameworks and tools to be a better businessman and to make better decisions in a very uncertain world,” he says. The music industry, Guzik says, is particularly uncertain as well, but it can continue to grow and develop through innovative ideas. “It’s always different and challenging as the music industry continues to transform,” he says, “[but] I believe that Red Bull Records is going to be an innovator in the music space.”***
Maria Minsker '13 is an intern in Marketing and Communications at Johnson.