Hart Hooton, Founder and President of Marketechnique
“Stay focused on bringing sunlight and a great product to the civic tech community.”
Meet Hart Hooton. Hart is the founder and president of Marketechnique, a digital consulting firm based in New York. He has worked in media and content throughout his career, first in print and TV, and then as an early denizen of the NYC Silicon Alley scene. Hart’s diverse publishing experiences span 25 years, beginning with magazine launches for Children’s Television Workshop and Hearst Magazines. Hart joined Time Inc. in 1995, becoming an early innovator in web-based media. He helped steward the digital fortunes of Sports Illustrated, creating and building a joint venture between CNN and Time Inc., and launching SI.com in 1997. In 2003, Hart founded Marketechnique, building a client list including some of the most respected media brands in the country: NYTimes.com, The Nation, Newspaper National Network, Reader’s Digest Interactive, Time Warner Cable, and About.com. Marketechniques focus has been to deploy small, senior and bespoke teams to provide strategic and operational solutions to startups, companies and NGOs/non-profits. Hart is a family man who still plays basketball weekly at the gym in Greenwich Village, NYC where he played as a teenager and is a guitar-playing music aficionado – playing out regularly at The Bitter End. You can connect with him via LinkedIn or email.
What Does He Do?
“As a boutique consultancy, we’re more focused on building or fixing digital operations. While we do strategy, I’m always happier if we’re getting our hands dirty, building or fixing.” Hart is an experienced general manager and consultant, who knows how to build digital content and features and operate digital media businesses for clients. With his boutique consultancy, Marketechnique, he and his team combine creativity and operational excellence; bring a deep understanding of the creative process; and are expert at devising strategy while building and growing digital velocity from the startup phase to mature companies that need to stay digitally relevant.
Hart just completed an engagement on a donor communications and database project for The Jewish Agency, a large mission-based Jewish non-profit org, “With my colleague Tom Watson, [a stalwart friend of Civic Hall] we just recently some work with Public Agenda.”
How Did He Get Into This Work?
“My mom was not quite a hippie, she grew up to a wealthy Jewish family in New Jersey. Yet, I grew up in up in Greenwich Village – New York City’s gay capital. When I was nine-years-old we went to the Peace March in Central Park, with (jazz great) Charles Mingus and his family. In the middle of the parade, the organizers decided that they needed a child and so brought me up to carry an anti-napalm sign, “Children Are Not Made to Burn” and stand beside Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Young. I was in the literal front of the march and I was exposed to protest marches at an early age.” Hart started out in media working at his father’s iconic monthly, Art/World. “He was an old-school journalist; involved in “Save Venice” – always attached to the art space.” While Hart made his mark working over a dozen years across two huge diversified media companies, Hearst Magazines, and Time Inc./Time Warner, he was an early digital executive – looking for companies which needed digital support at a time when it was still new. In 1997, Hart took over the digital arm of CNN/Sports Illustrated, armed with a $10-12M annual budget and a staff of 100 people across Atlanta and NY. While SI was a traditional print publication, he experienced the joint venture as “intrapreneurial.” After taking time out to deal with a family illness, Hart has resumed work running at Marketechnique, and pivoting a bit:. “I’ve been migrating big nonprofits and NGO’s. They still need digital help – while commercial business has been doing it for years.”
How Did He Come To Civic Hall?
“I was Andrew’s wingman when he ran for Public Advocate. He lived on my block and I ended up helping him and Micah on the second Personal Democracy Forum (PDF). It was really fascinating to work at the conference, and I was impressed that it was one of the few places where Blue and the Red get together.”
What is He Reading/Watching/Listening To?
“I’m not into reading non-fiction, so I stay close to highbrow and lowbrow sci-fi-fi and mystery books. I’ve been watching great theater this year, and I love musical theater. I’ve been lucky to see “Oklahoma” and “Hadestown” and “Beetlejuice” this season.” Hart just caught “What The Constitution Means To Me”: “I would not have been a good person to have chosen the winner of the debate at the end of that play. I don’t know that I could have easily decided whether to have kept or abolished the Constitution.”
What Is His Ask of Civic Hall?
Offer: “I’ve always been interested in supporting entrepreneurial ventures. I’ve worked with a number of startups and I’ve always enjoyed that. I’d be willing to be an advisor to people starting up – not for pay — per se.”
Ask: “Stay focused on bringing sunlight and a great product to the civic tech community.”