Written by: Frank Iacono
Jim Joseph is an award winning marketing professional who has specialized in building consumer brands and agency businesses his entire career. Jim serves as the President of Cohn & Wolfe North America, the agency’s largest region. With over 25 years of integrated marketing, public relations and branding experience, Jim provides strategic oversight, client service and drives new business across all offices in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. He has created seamless brand experiences for clients such as Kellogg’s, Kraft, Ikea, Cadillac, Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, Clean & Clear, American Express and Wal-Mart.
Known for his expertise in brand and integrated marketing, Jim’s first book – “The Experience Effect” – delivered a critically acclaimed, straightforward volume of marketing advice that showed big business how to build the ultimate brand experience. Now, in his second book, he takes that big brand theory and applies it to the backbone of the American economy, small business, in “The Experience Effect for Small Business.”
Prior to joining Cohn & Wolfe, Jim served as President and Partner of Lippe Taylor, where he led the agency in marketing to women for clients like Nestle and David’s Bridal. Jim re-engineered Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, where he led the transformation of the agency from a traditional pharmaceutical advertising model to an award-winning, full-spectrum health and wellness marketing agency.
In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of catching up with Jim Joseph and asking him a few questions about his business, his work, his books, and his passion and love for marketing.
CS: At what age did you know that you wanted to be a marketer?
I was one of those kids who always paid attention to the TV advertising more than the shows and always looked at the magazine ads rather than read the actual articles. So, I would guess my love of marketing started at a very early age!
CS: Tell us about your experience when you joined the classic Johnson’s Baby Products Company while you were in graduate school at Columbia?
My internship cemented that marketing was going to be my career of choice. I had an incredible experience working on Johnson’s Baby products – so much so that I fell in love with marketing.
CS: What was the name of the first agency you started and what type of work did you produce?
C P Partners… we were a promotion agency that at the time did something novel: create and apply brand strategy to the tactical world of consumer promotion.
CS: How rewarding was it to win a Silver Medal at the Axiom Business Book Awards for Best Marketing Book of the year with your first book in 2010 called “The Experience Effect”?
It was such a moment! I had been writing that first book in my head for years… it was amazing to finally understand that it was good enough to stand up in the market.
CS: Discuss the similarities and differences between “The Experience Effect For Small Business” and your awarding winning first book “The Experience Effect”?
My first book, “The Experience Effect” lays out big brand theory as it relates to building a brand experience. My second book, “The Experience Effect for Small Business” takes that big brand theory and applies it to small businesses.
CS: In your opinion, what’s the key difference between brands and businesses?
A business becomes a brand when it creates an emotional connection with its customers. Until then, it’s just another product!
CS: Can you define what you call the touchpoint tree and describe how to create one for a small business?
The touchpoint tree is the new media plan. It lays out how to connect with customers where they live their lives.
CS: In Chapter 6 of “The Experience Effect for Small Business” entitled Identifying Your Customer You’re Family, can you please elaborate on differences between demographics and psychographics?
A demographic is a fact or stat about your target audience. A psychographic is less of a fact, and more of an attitude, mood, opinion, or behavior. Psychographics cross demographic profiles and can be much more enlightening.
CS: How specifically do you feel that big brand marketing principles can be applied to small business?
People tend to think that big brands do good work because they have big budgets. Not true. They do good work when they are smart and strategic. Budget has no bearing. So small businesses can learn how to be smart and strategic.
CS: What’s your favorite metaphor? And, how does it apply to marketing?
“Preaching to the Choir” … it’s what we have to do with our customers every day. Although I prefer “singing with the Choir!”
CS: From a marketing perspective, what captivates you and keeps you going?
Creativity. I love the creative side of the business and always trying to break through. The digital world has given us so many more ways to be creative.
CS: In today’s marketplace, what do you think are the key ingredients to being a good marketer?
Being a constant observer and learner. “Marketing is a spectator sport” … good marketers are always paying attention and applying what they learn to their brands.
CS: When we met during the Vocus User Conference 2012 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, Maryland we discussed the importance of companies utilizing customer reviews in their marketing programs so for the benefit of The Creative Spotlight readers can you share your strategies?
Reviews are a gift to a brand. Getting an insight into how your customers feel about your brand is invaluable. Embrace them, positive or negative, and learn from each and every one of them.
To read the blog that Jim wrote following our discussion from the Vocus User Conference 2012, simply click on the image shown below.
CS: Over your career you’ve been recognized with numerous industry awards, can you please share with us some of those accolades?
The industry awards include “Agency of the Year” from DTC Perspectives on Excellence, “Most Creative Agency” from The Manny Awards, a Grand CLIO Award for advertising, an Honorable Mention for Best Blog from PRNews, and an Axiom Silver Award for Best Marketing Book as previously mentioned.
“The Experience Effect”
The decision to pay money for a product or service is often based on more than just the product or service itself. Consumers care deeply about the overall experience of the buying process: They respond to the marketing message, the advertising, the sales approach, the website, the interaction with company personnel, and more. When all these elements come together to form a seamless experience, the customer is left with a feeling of satisfaction that ultimately builds loyalty. Jim Joseph calls this ideal combination the ‘experience effect’, and in this book he shows how any business can create one for its brand.
“The Experience Effect” is filled with practical advice and real-life examples. Whatever the business, whatever the size, “The Experience Effect” will help companies create a simple yet powerful brand experience that resonates purpose fully, consistently, and continuously with customers.
“The Experience Effect For Small Business”
In a groundbreaking 2010 volume called “The Experience Effect,” Jim showed big business how to create the total brand experience. Now he customizes that very same expertise for the backbone of the American economy, small business. While it is often said that small business is key to recovery, all around us we still see small business suffering the most. Flex and wiggle room is at a minimum, small business simply cannot afford the resources and the access to big brand thinking that the corporations do.
Jim believes that there’s simply no reason why a small business cannot perform like a big brand, even within our turbulent times. “The Experience Effect For Small Business” is filled with practical advice and real-life examples that will resonate with readers, The Experience Effect For Small Business teaches small business owners how to understand their brand’s target audience, conduct effective market research, connect with customers on an emotional level, establish unique and engaging touchpoints, and much, much more. Readers learn how to replicate these activities on limited budgets and few resources. Loaded with inspiration, Jim Joseph’s book will touch a chord with you, the small business owner in today’s America economy.
About Frank Iacono
Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.
Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.