Editor’s note: Opus College of Business is highlighting Opus graduates (“giants”) who are making a huge impact in the world. Read the rest of the profiles here.
From start-ups to Fortune 500 giants, Craig Pladson ’10 MBA has been at the front of digital marketing for his whole career. As a marketer and educator, he’s blending digital and education to grow brands and people. Pladson explores their relatedness and uncovers insights in a mix of articles, presentations and podcasts.
Pladson quickly emerged as a digital visionary and thought leader in the Twin Cities after obtaining his MBA from Opus College of Business.
He’s made a career of making brands purposeful in the digital media space with his impact felt at over a dozen companies, such as Boston Scientific, General Mills, Kaleidoscope and Mayo Clinic. At General Mills, he led digital strategy for Big G, which includes powerhouse brands like Cheerios, Lucky Charms and Wheaties, along with a new brand, Hello Cereal Lovers, that served as a platform for all Big G brands. On Cheerios, his team redesigned the website and led all content creation. Pladson’s strategic insight also has laid the groundwork for endeavors that included executing a Super Bowl spot and helping secure $1.3M in seed funding for a student scholarship platform.
“I believe curiosity, learning and challenging the status quo puts people and brands in a position to find patterns and insights not seen by others,” he said. “This knowledge is a competitive advantage that allows them to lead, make change and find inventive ways to grow.”
A seasoned marketer, Pladson contributes to the common good in several ways.
He serves on the board of directors at the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association. He volunteers as a digital adviser to local nonprofits, such as Northern Monday Films. In addition, he volunteers at Second Harvest Heartland and his family has been fostering dogs from Secondhand Hounds for the past several years.
Pladson’s MBA has helped him create a blueprint of success to meaningfully serve organizations at every level, as well as to explore the intersections between his role as educator and marketer.
“With a liberal arts undergraduate degree, I appreciated the fact that Opus offered a wide variety of classes across various business disciplines,” Pladson said. “Whether it was marketing, entrepreneurship, ethics or taking an elective from the Master of Business Communication program, it brought great perspective as a complement to the required courses. Opus delivered on all fronts,” said Pladson.
Additionally, Pladson serves as an undergraduate and graduate adjunct teacher in Opus and in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.