Marcus Collins

Award-winning marketer and cultural translator.


Recipient of the Thinkers50 2023 Radar Award.


Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2023. 


For the Culture was featured on the Thinkers50 Best New Management Booklist in 2023.


Marcus’ deep understanding of brand strategy and consumer behaviour has helped him bridge the academic-practitioner gap for blue-chip brands and startups alike, creating culturally contagious ideas that inspire people to take action. His strategies and creative contributions have led to the launch and success of Budweiser’s Made In America music festival, the Brooklyn Nets (Hello Brooklyn!), and State Farm’s Cliff Paul campaign – among others. The primary goal of all industries, he explains, is to “get people to move”, whether it is to buy, to click, to watch, vote, or subscribe.


Chief Strategy Officer at Wieden+Kennedy New York and also Marketing Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Marcus gained his doctorate in Marketing from Temple University, where he studied cultural contagion and meaning-making. His MBA – at the University of Michigan – focused on strategic brand marketing. Previously, he served as the chief consumer connections officer at Doner Advertising and led social engagement at Steve Stoute’s advertising agency, Translation. Marcus’ early career was in music, co-founding a tech start-up and working on iTunes + Nike sport music initiatives at Apple. He is a recipient of Advertising Age’s 40 Under 40 award and Crain’s Business’ 40 Under 40 award, and a recent inductee into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement.


For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, And Who We Want To Be (PublicAffairs, May 2023); ‘Too Foreign For Here: The Life of a Black Sheep’ (TEDxUofM, 09 March 2018); ‘Marketers Don’t Know People’ (TEDxLSSU, 08 May 2017); ‘The Muddled Myth of Going Viral: Is Virality All it’s Cracked Up to Be?’ (TEDxGVSU, 30 May 2017). 


Media picks


“Some people seem to intuitively ‘get it.’ Most do not. Collins articulates ‘it’ for the rest of us and provides not just an understanding, but a guide for how to actually engage and influence culture.” 

Steve Huffman, co-founder and CEO, Reddit

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest and greatest ideas in business, management, and thought leadership.

*mandatory field

Thinkers50 will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide news, updates, and marketing. Please confirm that you agree to have us contact you by clicking below:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at . We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Privacy Policy Update

Thinkers50 Limited has updated its Privacy Policy on 28 March 2024 with several amendments and additions to the previous version, to fully incorporate to the text information required by current applicable date protection regulation. Processing of the personal data of Thinkers50’s customers, potential customers and other stakeholders has not been changed essentially, but the texts have been clarified and amended to give more detailed information of the processing activities.

Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2023

Join us in celebration of the best in business and management thinking.