Kent State alumnus brings professional insights for MDJ students

Mike Jackson, Kent State alumnus, joins Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism as a professional-in-residence. 

Courtesy of Kent State University

Mike Jackson, Kent State alumnus, joins Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism as a professional-in-residence. 

Chong Chen Reporter

Kent State alumnus Mike Jackson will use his experience in advertising and marketing to help students realize how great work is produced in the place where his dream began.

A marketing executive with nearly 40-year experience, Jackson joined the faculty of Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism this spring, with the goal of helping his students understand the constituents ranging from creative agencies, client perspectives, etc.  

“His understanding of contemporary strategies and tactics is really important for students to understand,” Dean of College of Communication and Information Amy Reynolds said. “Also, he has a very broad network, he will help students get connected to good and professional opportunities.” 

Jackson said he wants to give students real-world examples to help them establish the foundation in his Messaging and Communication and Advertising Strategy classes.

“I would take my years of hands-on experience to share my insights that could help young undergraduate students gain the confidence that they can compete in the global marketing and advertising business,” Jackson said.

After graduating from Kent State in 1978 with a journalism degree, Jackson completed his master’s degree at the University of Southern California. Then, he discovered an interest in marketing advertising and landed a job at Coca-Cola.

“I spent about 20 years of my career in the beverage business,” Jackson said and rounded up his time with the companies. “I had functional roles in sales and operations,” he said. 

During his five years at Coca-Cola, he built a foundation for his marketing journey. Then, he worked as marketing manager for Pepsi and vice president for Coors Brewing in the next eight-plus years, where he had notable achievements.

“One of my proudest accomplishments is doing the naming rights deal for the new baseball stadium in Denver, which is called Coors Field,” Jackson said.

Jackson is always willing to look forward and try to create more possibilities in his career path, he said.

Jackson went on to become vice president of marketing and advertising for General Motors in 2000. He led a team of more than 300 employees and directed the marketing, advertising and media efforts of eight departments.

After working as an executive in eight companies, Jackson started to try to apply his experience in his own way.

“Five years ago, I started thinking about how to position myself as a consultant and taking advantage of all the experiences I had,” Jackson said. “At the same time, I strongly feel that diversity in advertising has a lot of opportunities to grow and be more inclusive.”

In this case, he created his consulting team, 2050 Marketing, which advises clients ranging from Fortune 500 to start-ups on brand building and advertising according to the changing demographics in America.

The consulting team includes young people and marketers who understand how connecting with a changing audience can build successful brands and businesses.

“Whether it’s traditional media, digital media, social media, my goal is to really help brands, agencies, and even start-ups understand how to more effectively connect with their consumers they’re targeting,” Jackson said. 

Reynolds was excited about what insight Jackson will bring to the college.

“I think he has a lot of perspectives,” Reynolds said. “He understands how to think about inclusive marketing and advertising, how to message to diverse populations, helping brands understand what is important. ” 

Chong Chen is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]