An Interview with Marketing Guru Jim Joseph

One of my favorite parts about being in the marketing industry is how many great people you get to meet. Although I haven’t had the pleasure to meet Jim Joseph, I have been following his career, blog, tweets and articles on Entrepreneur.com for a while now. He is one of those people you think you have known for years. He is knowledgeable, relatable and one of the hardest workers I know. It was honor to have him answer some of my questions!

How do you balance your career as an NYU Professor, contributor for Entrepreneur, author of an award-winning book series and President of Cohn & Wolfe?

I actually get asked this all the time! For me, it all works together. Writing and teaching keeps me on the pulse of what’s going on in the marketplace which only makes me better at my day job. It’s also super helpful with recruiting and new business to have a voice in the industry so it all feeds upon each other. Plus I get up insanely early every morning and write like the devil before I go to the gym!

What brand do you think takes marketing to the next level?

I constantly highlight Starbucks as a brand that takes it to the next level both in terms of its product marketing as well as its brand marketing, which are two distinct streams for them. You can consume the brand in entirely distinct ways from the products which from an industry standpoint is inspiring. The brand has risen to an emotional space in people’s minds, becoming a beacon in communities and tackling social issues. Whether you drink coffee or not.

Your recent blog post on prank-vertising and viral videos was very interesting. Do you think some brands are pushing the envelope too far?

The only way to know if a brand has pushed too far is to read consumer reaction and measure results. Many are offended by putting consumers in precarious positions and then filming it, which I understand. It gets people talking though, which isn’t so bad as long as it results in sales; although, honestly, I’ve always tried not to offend in the process.

What made you want to enter the world of marketing?

I knew as a kid that I wanted to be in marketing, although clearly it took some time to figure out what it meant. I’ve always been more fascinated by the TV spots than the actual programming and the print ads more so than the articles. I always wanted to know how they knew to put it all together. I guess it all started when Farrah Fawcett did the “and I told two friends” commercial….

How do you think social media has changed the world of marketing for brands?

Social media made marketing a multidimensional relationship. Suddenly on a mass scale we hear what our consumers are thinking and that influences other consumers. Consumers can take control of a brand and brands are embracing that. It’s made it all so much more engaging as the lines of marketing disciplines have completely blurred. And from a personal perspective, I feel like social media has connected those of us in the industry beyond what an occasional conference could do back in the day.

Thank you, Jim Joseph for answering my questions and sharing your knowledge with our blog. It has been a pleasure!

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