Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this profile we feature Todd Feldman. Photography for the series is by award-winning Cade Martin. Hair, make up and wardrobe by Michelle Torres.
Todd, please provide us some background about yourself.
For more than 30 years, I’ve been building creative, performance-driven marketing initiatives for companies in many different industries ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 enterprises. I’m proud to say that I have been a digital native my entire career. I’ve had the privilege of being on the frontlines of leading and participating in some of the most significant disruptions in media and content consumption during our time. All with the purpose of engaging people and delivering profitable growth for the companies I’ve had the honor to serve.
Early on, back in 1993, I remember sitting in our offices at SportsChannel Philadelphia trying to figure out if anyone would ever buy advertising on the Internet.
Then in 1996 I was off to Digital City Philadelphia, a subsidiary of then upstart America Online, where our team pioneered the use of polling for AOL and ultimately the world. While at AOL, I created early-generation, user-generated content features such as “You Be the Sports Reporter” where AOL subscribers could write their own re-cap of sporting events which ultimately contributed to AOL’s community.
In 1998 I got the entrepreneurial itch and built and launched PhillySports.com, the first independent regional sports web site dedicated to covering everything from recreational sports to professional sports for the passionate fans of Philadelphia. Ultimately PhillySports.com would be sold, and I served time as a Creative Director at an interactive television company and provided strategic marketing and creative services to early startups and large enterprises.
In 2006 I landed in Richmond, VA, where I ultimately led social media and marketing channel innovation for Circuit City. After Circuit City, I went on to serve as a global strategic marketing and digital commerce consultant for two different enterprise software firms. In both organizations, our efforts were aimed at B2B brands as well as large and mid-sized consumer companies looking to sell direct to consumers.
In 2012 I landed at Virginia Credit Union and helped them achieve significant digital transformation while leading the marketing organization through substantial company growth.
In late 2018 I started Four Ten Commerce; a consulting firm aimed to help high-growth companies get the most out of their marketing and transformation efforts. And, in December 2019, Four Ten Commerce, became The Rocket Factory, LLC, a strategic marketing consulting firm built from the ground up to address the unique demands of early startups through high-growth maturing companies.
Throughout my career I’ve learned to be pragmatic. As I guide clients, I like to think that I’ve seen a lot of technology “shiny objects” come and go. Keeping the basics of business in mind, and staying true to customer needs while applying the right solution to the problem, the rest always efficiently and naturally falls into place.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
In 2019 I served alongside an amazing Leadership Metro Richmond class with particular focus in my group tackling the local impact of the opioid epidemic. There is also a lot of important work happening out of Start Up Virginia. I enjoy giving of my time while serving as a marketing and digital commerce mentor there.
What are you are most proud of?
I am most proud of my two sons Dan and Ryan. The best reward is when you hear from other people the impact they have made on the lives of others.
Who are your personal professional role models?
When I was starting out in my career, I did not think that I’d be able to break in and work in Sports TV. Jon Slobotkin at SportsChannel – now with NBC Sports Regional Networks – is the person who gave me my first break and taught me a lot about storytelling.
What professional advice do you have for others?
I always encourage others to aim high and take calculated chances. I have had my share of wins and losses and all of them seems to lead to something better.
What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?
My list ranges from the likes of REO Speedwagon, Bryan Adams, The Eagles, Kinks, Stone Temple Pilots, U2, Goo Goo Dolls, Joe Satriani, to current rock bands like Greta Van Fleet, Breaking Benjamin and 30 Seconds to Mars.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
I enjoy awesome Italian food and have found Mama Zu and Edo Squid here in Richmond to be fantastic!