#50: 2006 Time Magazine’s Man of the Year, Jon Friesch, on Communist-Inspiration, Marketing Super Teams, and Brand Building (Part 2)

Jon Friesch (@jonfriesch) is a successful marketer, blogger, author, storyteller, and diehard Wisconsinite who is a master brand builder and creative.

Prior to growing several reputable Northwest brands, he worked in the newspaper industry (Capital NewspapersMadison.com) as Head of Marketing, growing their digital customer base from 0 to 10 million as the Internet started to take shape from 1997-2008.

After working in newspapers, he shifted into internet marketing and established the GameHouse, Corbis, and Responsys (acquired by Oracle) brands through engaging customer retention marketing, creative solutions, and killer copy.

Recent roles placed his as the VP of marketing for Atavus, the professional rugby brand, and Assurance, an insurance tech company acquired by Prudential for $2.5B, and Client Director at The Marketing Practice (an elite B2B marketing agency. Check them out here).

Jon Friesch studied Political Science and advertising at the University of Wisconsin.

This conversation was a blast! Jon has become a recent mentor and life-long friend to me. We tapped into his “marketing thesis”, bringing a dying and slow moving medium, newspapers, to the cutting edge of the Internet, the importance of irreverent brand building before direct marketing, and so much more in this colorful conversation.

This episode is particularly valuable for founders who wants to get an understanding of the importance of brand marketing and storytelling.

Please help grow the show with me

by reviewing the show on Apple Podcasts! If you leave a written review, it’ll enter you into a $50 Amazon gift card contest, which we’ll announce the winner of every other Thursday.

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherTuneIn, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Show Notes

  • What cannibalized and killed the newspaper? [0:44]
  • How young people don’t want to be doing the same thing as older people [7:04]
  • How Jon has an “in-house staff” that he regularly works with. Do you seek people who get the big picture? [10:37]
  • What is your marketing thesis? [12:54]
  • How good brands are started with a purpose, a cause [15:09]
  • How Elon Musk tells the audience what he thinks and lives by brand because of it [15:50]
  • How a strong brand determines everything you do [17:45]
  • An example: Saturn and how they live by their brand [18:45]
  • Has your marketing thesis proved true, after working with so many companies? [20:16]
  • What ACTUALLY killed the newspaper [23:18]
  • The perfect analogy for getting a founder to “get it” with brand development [24:26]
  • How you give advise or direct, matters between leaders and marketers [26:41]
  • How Jon gets people’s best work [28:45]
  • Jon’s secret to management: care about the people, over the work [29:26]
  • The strength of failure [30:42]
  • Rapid growth questions [31:13]
  • What marketing advise do you give that few follow? [35:36]
  • Where can we find you? [36:19]
  • Any asks of the audience? [37:41]

Links from Episode

What did you learn about marketing from the episode? Comment below!

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