Mark Stouse | The Innovator 25 Americas 2017
Charting the future of public relations

2017 Innovator 25 Americas - Mark StouseThe Innovator 25:

Mark Stouse

CEO/Founder
Proof
Scottsdale, AZ 

“Stop being afraid to turn loose of your current 'franchise' so you can grab ahold of what's coming right around the corner."

Mark Stouse returns to the Innovator 25 because the accomplishment that got him on the list in 2013 — a new way to measure agency impact — has since evolved dramatically. After parting ways with BMC Software in 2015, Stouse founded an ambitious software company designed to compute – versus simply model – the ultimate business impact of marketing and communications, including both time lag and the cause and effect of various activities over extended periods of time.

How do you define innovation?
The critical thinking and skilled execution necessary to solve big human challenges. Many business leaders believe that marketing and PR pros know more about the presentation of ideas than the ideas themselves. I don't agree with that, but I do think both professions need to stretch their legs, think much bigger thoughts and do bigger deeds that matter.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
I've seen a lot of creativity and very little innovation.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Both are stagnating because they focus on creative that wins awards, not creative that probably grows the revenue and profitability of a business.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
Building the analytics software platform called Proof.  It has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I've ever been a part of.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Elon Musk, because he not only innovates powerfully but he puts everything he has behind whatever he does

How do you get out of a creativity or productivity rut? 
 Listen to / watch other people wrestle with problems

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Stop being afraid to turn loose of your current "franchise" so you can grab ahold of what's coming right around the corner — it's going to be so much better than anything you've ever experienced to this point.

In your opinion, what's the most innovative place in the world?
The space between your ears, but only if you open your eyes

What's your favorite hobby that's not work-related? 
Seeing the world anew through the eyes of other people, especially my wife and boys. Doesn't get any better, and most of my epiphanies come while walking streets with no name.