Julie Roehm: The Future of Marketing Is Customer Experience


Award-winning marketer and entrepreneur Julie Roehm is known for her no-nonsense approach to marketing and her ability to catalyze transformative growth at large firms. Her work for DaimlerChrysler earned her spots in both the Advertising and Automotive Halls of Fame, as well as a Marketer of the Year award from BrandWeek. Over the past three decades, she’s brought her customer-centric approach to Ford, SAP, Party City, and others, picking up dozens of accolades along the way.

After a brief hiatus, Julie Roehm is back, now serving as a digital marketing and Strategy consultant for Gorilla Grip.

Roehm recently spoke with the eMarketing Association about the sea changes in marketing and how her strategies have shifted in today’s evolving digital landscape.

The New Marketing Paradigm

According to Julie Roehm, marketing is changing in a big way. Consumer trust is at an all-time low, and as a result, people are demanding authenticity from brands. Roehm urges companies to prioritize fulfilling their brand’s promises before escalating their marketing investments. Otherwise, they risk wasting money or even cultivating ill will.

“I don’t want to spend a dollar because I don’t want to bring somebody to the table if the promise is not being delivered upon,” Roehm said.

Roehm’s philosophy reflects the customer-centric approach she’s advocated for throughout her career. It centers on the belief that a company must first ensure its products and services truly deliver the value they claim, thereby building a solid foundation of trust and satisfaction with customers.

This approach contrasts with traditional marketing methods, which often prioritize messaging over fulfillment. Julie Roehm’s perspective represents a shift toward more responsible marketing practices.

Customer Experience at the Forefront

As a customer-centric evangelist, Roehm has emphasized the need for a sharper focus on the customer experience companywide. For this reason, she’s a proponent of integrating marketing, operations, sales, and more to better align with customer needs.

Throughout her career, she’s been known for hopping across departments to engineer seamless customer solutions. Even when serving as a chief marketing officer, she was constantly interacting with other departments and managing elements like e-commerce, call center operations, and digital innovation.

As an executive, Roehm aligns with the role of chief experience officer beyond all else. She says, “The experience officer component is probably the most apropos for me … It’s the guiding principle. B2B or B2C, it doesn’t matter.”

To her, the roles of CMO and CXO must go hand-in-hand. She urges today’s executives to begin aligning their operations in order to market and fulfill experiences over individual products.

A Return to Consulting

Post her stint at Party City, Julie Roehm has returned to consulting with a focus on aiding companies experiencing rapid growth. As a transformation expert, Roehm is well suited to help these enterprises weather growing pains and put them on a track to stable growth.

Most recently, Roehm took a role as digital marketing and strategy consultant at Gorilla Grip, in addition to several other clients.

“I’ve had a myriad of clients this year,” she told the eMarketing Association. “I like working to help companies who are sort of in a similar transformation turnaround … so that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Additionally, she just joined the board of the National Kidney Foundation. She was inspired to give back to this cause in particular after she donated a kidney to her father.

“I think kidney disease is not addressed as often as so many other important health care crises that are out there,” Roehm mused. “But it’s a big one that affects a lot of people.”

The Next Big Turnaround

Julie Roehm is always searching for a new transformation to tackle. And these days, she’s also transforming herself. On a personal level, her return to consulting and her kidney donation have confronted her with new challenges and perspectives. Professionally, she’s excited to share her insights into digital transformations and customer-centric marketing with like-minded business leaders.

She’s particularly interested in exploring the potential of artificial intelligence. She expects AI to have a transformative impact on marketing strategies and customer engagement, similar to the advent of digital marketing.

If there’s anyone who can bring marketing into the age of AI, it’s Julie Roehm. As she settles into her new consulting gig, savvy marketers will surely keep a keen eye on her next moves.


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