Over the course of my professional marketing career, I’ve done a lot of work digging into products to find the compelling story. But discovering why a product matters is only a piece of the puzzle. The next challenge is to explain it in an understandable and compelling way and then finding the right people to explain it to at a time when they might be open to the story.
There are a lot of methods for strategy development and even more tactics with which to achieve the goals of the strategy. Having worked on every step of the process, I’ve done market research, brand development and messaging for (click on the link to see more detail for each one):
- The St. Louis Cardinals – public relations and event planning
- Major motion pictures – public relations for six studios
- PC World – market research, sales training and sales materials
- madison.com – brand and product development through to campaign execution
- Wisconsin State Journal – brand and product development through to campaign execution
- The Capital Times – brand and product development through to campaign execution
- Capital Newspapers – brand and product development through to campaign execution
- Broadjam.com – brand and product development through to campaign execution
- NewTunes.com – brand and product development through to campaign execution
- GameHouse.com – brand and product development through to campaign execution
- RealArcade.com – user experience and messaging
- Corbis.com – merchandising, promotions, customer retention and direct marketing
- My own book – writing, editing, publishing and digital marketing
- Jeff Johnson’s campaign for Lake Forest Park City Council – story development and digital marketing
In most cases, like with the Capital Newspapers products where I hired and led the entire staff, I had a lot of amazing help from a lot of fantastic, talented and hungry designers and copywriters. In others, like with NewTunes.com and Jeff Johnson’s campaign. I was solely responsible.
In my marketing experience, I’ve used nearly all of the tools and succeeded in most of the disciplines:
- Brand development
- Creative development
- Brand identity and strategy
- Product management
- Event conception, planning and execution
- Marketing research acquisition, analysis and action – primary, syndicated and focus groups
- Hiring and personnel management
- Data Analytics
- Community set up and management
- PPC (Google AdWords and Facebook ads)
- Content management and blog development
- Creative brief
- Managing an in-house staff
- Managing an agency
- Public relations
- Managing an executive team
- Direct marketing
- Customer retention
- Customer acquisition
In all cases except for PC World and the film studios, I was ultimately responsible for all of the work that was done. With Capital Newspapers, I hired the staff. With GameHouse, I assembled a team to build a critical user experience and then to take on their brand development.
Storytelling is an art. And while many marketing departments think they’ve gotten it down to a team of data analysts doing A/B testing – a valuable tool to be sure, if you don’t have great storytellers on your team, you will never be able to reach the audience in a meaningful way.
Some believe that brand development and management is no longer of use in today’s marketing department. Simply hire community managers, site optimization specialists, SEO managers and data analysts, and you’ll be fine. But if your company doesn’t have a compelling story… if the employees don’t know why they come to work every day and if the customers don’t know what you bring to the table, you’ll never be able to make a connection.
Storytelling is what I enjoy doing. It’s why I got into marketing, and I’ll be doing it the rest of my days.
- My name is Jon Friesch, and this is my story.