If a psychologist decided to transition their career into international business and marketing, they would probably write like Alexei Orlov.
“We are united by our shared need to be understood, channeled, and supported,” Orlov muses of human emotional nature in an article for Forbes. “People, by nature, want to feel needed, and our state of being can change frequently.”
Then, with barely a pause, he applies these psychology-centric findings to marketing strategy, writing: “Having an understanding of how to cultivate fandom and need at moments that matter often defines commercial strength or failure.”
Orlov’s psychologically-inflected approach to business strategy might seem a little off the beaten path for those unfamiliar with his industry; however, no one could argue against his results.
Alexei Orlov is the founder, CEO, and driving force behind MTM choice, a globally-active boutique holding group that specializes in brand activation and marketing optimization. Since its establishment in February 2017, the company has grown international roots. It maintains offices in several major hubs, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Milan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and offers its services to roughly 120 international, regional, and local brands.
Prior to his shift into entrepreneurship, Alexei Orlov contributed his services as the Global Chief Executive Officer of RAPP Worldwide, where he directed a global business and branding reset and directly contributed to the business’s turnaround. Orlov also previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Volkswagen’s Chinese branch. In this role, he helped craft a marketing and brand strategy that would ensure success across all of the brands within Volkswagen’s portfolio.
What does Alexei Orlov credit as the driver behind his success? Years of hard-won experience, yes, but also a deep and persistent interest in people.
“Ignorance may well be bliss, but all too often, it only causes blisters,” he writes of his philosophy.
Orlov makes developing an understanding of psychology and human emotion a priority. In an article for Psychology Today, the businessman notes, “Through all of those years, the most important lesson I have taken in is this: Wisdom can only come when you are willing to throw your stubbornness away. If one builds a wall around their knowledge, believing that space within is all that there is to know, then their opportunity for growth, reflection, and new discoveries will always be painfully limited.”
To Alexei Orlov, if businesses and their leaders can only develop a nuanced understanding of their consumer base — who they are, how they think, why they want what they want — they can do well. Provided, of course, that they don’t charge forward with closed, predetermined mindsets.
“Assumption is the mother of all problems,” Orlov states. “Consumers within our fluid market require actionable insights to be applied during moments that matter.”
Alexei Orlov’s person-first mentality is refreshing, especially in a time where it seems that algorithms determine every detail of our online social lives and underpin our commercial experiences. It’s a perspective that balances an appreciation for business with a love for people and all their quirks — one that believes, at its very core, that doing well in business means helping people achieve what they want out of life.
Orlov’s clear love for people is a quality that we can only hope that other business leaders will share and adopt in the years to come.
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