Zeno Group snags Citibank's Frank Eliason as digital, customer experience lead

He will lead Zeno's US digital team and customer experience service.

NEW YORK: Zeno Group has hired five-year Citibank veteran Frank Eliason as EVP of US digital and customer experience, effective immediately.

Eliason, most recently director of customer experience at Citibank, will oversee Zeno’s digital team and its business across the US. He will report to newly minted global chief digital officer John Kerr.

When Kerr initially reached out to Eliason about the role, the former Citibank executive responded by writing down everything he thinks is wrong with digital marketing, and Eliason said he expected the conversation to end there. But Kerr’s willingness to listen to other viewpoints and "not be within a box" attracted Eliason to the firm, he said.

Tracey Thiele, who has shifted to a global marketing and integration role at Zeno, previously led its digital team. During her five-year stint as the agency’s digital leader, her unit worked with clients such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Seattle's Best Coffee, Anheuser-Busch, and Netflix.

In addition to leading US digital operations from the New York office, Eliason will develop the agency’s customer experience offering, which helps clients connect with customers in meaningful ways, especially through digital media.

"The customer in my view is such a huge priority," explained Eliason. "If you want to win in a digital world, it’s really about creating remarkable experiences."

One of Eliason’s first objectives is to learn from Zeno’s staffers, then focus on making sure the agency has key data to present to its clients to add value to their business models and bottom lines.

He noted that while many practitioners focus on the convergence of marketing and PR, the best brands will embrace customer experience and bring it into the mix.

Eliason has not worked at an agency before. Prior to his most recent role at Citi, which he has held for the past year, he served as global director of social media. Previously, he was senior director in national customer operations at Comcast.

A Citibank representative was not immediately available for comment.

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