Ben Guttmann

Marketing entrepreneur, educator, and author

I'm interested in the things and ideas that move people. Why do we make the decisions we make? Why do we vote for who we vote for, and why do we buy the products we buy? Ultimately, why do we do what we do?

Everywhere I look, and everything I've seen in my years running a marketing agency, teaching at universities, and working with some of the biggest brands and most influential leaders in the world, has pointed to the same thing. The ideas that win are simple.

We're not as smart as we think we are. We're busy and distracted in a world that is incentivized to continually make us more of both. The only things that work, the only messages that cut through the noise, and sharp, clear, and direct. Right now, I'm exploring this idea in detail with a new book from Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Simply Put: Why Clear Ideas Win – and How to Design Them.

Since the launch of Simply Put, I've been a guest on over 100 podcasts and led sessions at a host of conferences, businesses, and universities. I'm also honored that the book has been awarded Gold by the IBPA Book Awards and Literary Titan Awards, and has been short-listed for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize.

For a wonderful decade, I founded, built, and ran Digital Natives Group, an award-winning marketing agency based in New York City. We started out working with the local ice cream parlor and camera repair shop, and grew to partnering with the NFL, I Love NY, Comcast NBCUniversal, The Nature Conservancy, and other incredible brands. Through our publishing practice, we helped launch over 60 best-selling books, from Hachette Book Group, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and every other major imprint – including titles from Nobel laureates, Fortune 500 CEOs, Hollywood screenwriters, and Pulitzer Prize winners. After more than 60 industry awards, including prestigious Webby and Shorty nods, we sold Digital Natives Group in 2021.

Since 2014, I have taught marketing at Baruch College, the largest business school in the nation, proudly helping more than a thousand aspiring marketing professionals launch their careers – and even launch some of their own businesses.

Either my work or my writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail, ADWEEK, Publisher's Weekly, Lifehacker, Crain's New York Business, and other outlets. I've spoken at colleges, conferences, and meetups, from Internet Week to Warsaw University, from New York Tech Meetup to New York University. Most proudly out of all of that: I've periodically organized and hosted the perennially-sold-out Queens Tech Night meetup series, right here in the world's borough.

Speaking of my hometown, I serve as Board President of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, one of this community's most powerful forces for economic opportunity. I've also volunteered time as a board member for the Long Island City Partnership, Queens Community Board 2, and other civic organizations. I Love NY wasn't just a client of ours, it's basically my personal motto.

Today, I'm focused on interrogating new ideas related to this work, advising a set number of fun clients, and exploring ventures that blend rapidly-innovating technology with our fundamental, unchanged humanity.

“This is, if not the best, certainly one of the best books I’ve ever read on messaging.”

Marcus Schaller
Host of Attract Your Ideal Customers

Podcast Appearances

I love sharing my work, and over the past few years I've been fortunate to have joined over 100 talented podcast hosts to talk about my book and other topics on their shows. Check out the list and give some of them a listen.

Read my latest articles:

And see the rest on the blog:
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