Greg Banig

Meet Miami MJF Alum Greg Banig, Digital Marketing Specialist

Written by Anna Vaughn
Miami Strategic Communications major, class of '15
Greg Banig

During his years at Miami, Greg Banig says he quickly realized that students were expected to excel.

He recalls a culture of academic competition, where every person was trying to outperform his or her peers.

“I never wanted to be average and I felt as if everyone else was equally driven,” says Banig, who studied speech communication with a public relations focus and graduated in 1997.

Banig's friends quickly realized that he was a people person. They recall that the North Canton, Ohio, native had a friendly and energetic demeanor.

“We lived in the same dorm freshman year at Miami," says David Weber, a friend of Banig's and fellow Miami alum. "Greg’s room was the main hangout room."

Banig has propeled that academic success and ease with other people into a digital marketing career that has taken him to California and back. He's a marketing consultant and strategist, and an expert in social media marketing and search engine optimization.

But the seeds of this career began in Miami strategic communications classes.

Miami professor puts him to work

After graduation, he worked for a time for Bill Brewer, a Miami strategic communications professor who had been one of his professors.

The pair created the first website for the Association for Quality and Participation in 1997. Only a few non-profits had elaborate websites at that time, Brewer recalls.

In thirty days, Banig and Brewer designed and built an entire website including more than 200 pages of content. The website included numerous articles, a members-only section and a blog.

“Greg had a good business sense already at that age which has served him well," says Brewer. "He possessed strong critical thinking skills and was very mature."

Banig took the biggest chance in 1999 when he moved to San Diego to work for an Internet start-up. With only $1,500 in his pocket and all of his belongings in tow, Banig ventured into the unknown.

“You never know when an opportunity is going to come, so taking risks has been the greatest thing I have ever done,” explains Banig. “There is a relative amount of fear, but it has always been easy for me to make my career decisions.”

Banig learned how to function in the digital world in a number of capacities. He says his Miami degree gave him the critical thinking skills to position himself well amid changing digital technologies.

Within a five- to six-year period, Banig began working as a digital and marketing consultant for real estate developments and international brands. He gained a number of clients - one of his favorites was Porto Hussong, a real estate development near Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico.

Porto Hussong has a boutique hotel, several restaurants and shops, luxury condominiums and a mega-yacht marina capable of docking boats longer than 300 feet.

“For this development in Mexico, Greg designed the entire online marketing presence,” recalls Doug Bowers, who has worked with Banig for more than 10 years. “Not only does he deliver what you ask of him, but he brings his own creative and bright ideas to the table as well.”

This was one of Banig’s first international projects and the project scope was massive.

“I was part of a team that handled all of the project marketing and PR," Banig explains. "The work was incredibly fast paced, but also exciting and glamorous."

Growing Ohio opportunities beckon

But in 2011, Banig decided to return to Ohio. He was offered a job at Possible Worldwide in Cincinnati, a globally known digital marketing agency.

Possible Worldwide works with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Fifth Third Bank, Dannon and Abbott Nutrition.

One year later came an unexpected job offer.

LeafFilter, a gutter protection company with an office in Akron, offered Banig a digital marketing job. His hometown is just south of Akron. At that time in 2012, LeafFilter had no existing online marketing department.

“They gave me the opportunity to set the strategic direction, establish budgets, hire a team and build a division from the ground up that was, and continues to be, an exciting opportunity,” says Banig.

Today, he sets the strategy and direction for the company's online presence. This includes social media, customer relationship management, mobile apps and a multitude of advertisements. Hire Power, a recruitment company, ranked LeafFilter seventh in the country in 2012 for “adding jobs and rebuilding the economy.”

“Greg is a great leader and motivator here at LeafFilter,” says Chris Brosch, vice president of marketing at LeafFilter. “His awareness and knowledge allow him to create a dedicated team environment.”

As he continues to shape this career, Banig has taken the skill set that he gained at Miami to grow and develop in the digital media world.

He says he would tell today's Miami students to “take risks while you are young, because you may never do that again."