Episode #9: Wow! They Really Do Care About Their Core Brand Experience With Mark DiMassimo

Brand experience is what gets customers talking about your business and word of mouth is certainly the best advertising one can ever hope for. Building a brand that gives a consistent experience is something on which all entrepreneurs should be focusing their energy. Joining Tony Bodoh and Betsy Westhafer on the podcast today is Mark DiMassimo, founder and chief executive officer of DiMassimo Goldstein, a marketing, design and advertising agency based in New York City. Mark believes that entrepreneurs should take the time to really know their customers and build a brand that inspires action. Key to this is the concept of identity, which he believes is the most important concept in business. He encourages every entrepreneur to put focus on building their identity and to be a host for creativity during crisis.

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Wow! They Really Do Care About Their Core Experience With Mark DiMassimo

Identity Is The Most Important Concept In Business

We’re here with Mark DiMassimo. He is the Chief of the Inspiring Action agency, DiMassimo Goldstein. Mark works with companies like Weight Watchers, Jackson Hewitt and Budget Rent a Car. They do amazing work with these companies to help them both grow their brand and their businesses.

We are happy to have you here, Mark. As you know, you are a fan favorite of Tony and Betsy because you wrote a wonderful foreword for our book, which we greatly appreciated. You have such a great perspective and creativity. We’re excited to have you here and to have a great conversation. Why don’t you kick us off by giving us a little more background about you, your career path to get to where you are, and what you’re focused on with your business.

Thank you, Betsy and Tony. I’m honored to be on. Maybe I’m a fan favorite of yours because I’m such a fanboy of both of you and of your work, which has been amazing. That book, ProphetAbility, anybody who’s read it should read it again as I have read it multiple times. Everybody who doesn’t have it, you got to go out and get it right away. It was an honor to write the foreword for that book. On May 5th, 1996, I founded an agency in New York City. It was one owner and one employee beyond entry-level, but a brilliant young strategist, brand planner named Ben Rothfeld. He was a math teacher in the Bronx in New York City, but he had a wonderful career at the intersection of brand strategy and analytics before he decided to pursue his other dream of becoming a school teacher.

It was him and me in the 12th Street Lower Fifth Avenue apartment that his parents weren’t using at the time. Within 2 or 3 months, the shipments of Apple computers going up the elevators got the attention of the co-op board. We were kicked out and had to move to professional offices. When I started the agency, I put up a picture of Steve Jobs up on my computer screen. Steve Jobs then was back at Apple making $1. He was the guy who had gotten kicked out of Apple and then didn’t seem to have much of a success with NeXT. I wrote a note to anybody who had read it at that time saying, “This is my ideal client. I don’t want to work with clients that most agencies do. The clients who don’t know what they want and where they’re going. I want to inspire greatness. I want to work with clients who want to be great, do great things for the world, and build life-changing brands and businesses or organizations. I’ll take the pain of being a perpetual student learning from these people because the pleasure of learning is going to be worth it.”

That was the goal when I started. My parents were Renaissance entrepreneur types. My dad is an electrical engineer and an inventor. He’s a good visual artist and a good clarinet player. My mom runs a glass art studio and she was a biology teacher when I was a kid. The scientific method of investing in my mother’s painted scenes on lampshades. She was a painter until the stock market crash and thereafter worked in the actuarial department of MetLife. This idea of going back and forth between the artistic and the left-brain analysis and the scientific method was something that I grew up with and absorbed with the pasta on Sundays. I got fascinated early on with, why do people believe what they believe? Growing up as a kid in the Vietnam War era and then in the ‘70s where many things were being questioned, people were living and dying based on what they believed. How did they come to believe what they believe? How did they come to feel they belong to what they belong to?

I wanted to understand that and that obsession turned me into a brand and ad guy. My focus now, we call it Inspiring Action. We believe that some brands are inspiring action brands. They don’t just tell their stories. They do their story. There’s no better advertising than word of mouth. Word of mouth is driven by reviews, which are driven by customer experiences and also by brand experiences. It may not be customers, but it’s all driven by experience. Experiences come from what you do and some small percentage of what you do happens to be what you say.

To give you an example, Domino’s thoroughly reinvented themselves by doing a few actions and by committing to actions that reinvigorate the experience, which reinvigorates the brand. Back in 2008, they doubled down on a strength they had, which is fast delivery. They created the Pizza Tracker. You could see where your pizza was at various stages of its delivery. It wasn’t a problem that they fixed. It was a strength that they accentuated by embracing technology and creating a new customer experience that integrated with what worked for them.

Word of mouth advertising is driven by experience – whether customer experience or brand experience.

They’ve done so much more since. They fixed potholes so that the delivery trucks can get there better, so they’re out in the community. They’re emphasizing fast delivery. They’re not trying to fix a problem, but trying to accentuate what’s already extraordinary about what they do. Some of it might seem a little trendy and temporary. They’ve been the first to deliver pizza by drone. They’re taking action. When Howard Schultz of Starbucks closed all the stores to retrain everybody in their core on how do you artfully make espresso. He announced that and took the revenue hit from doing that. That was an action that said, “They do care about their core experience.” I admire that kind of leadership. It’s still rare and therefore, powerful.

You look at these categories where the baseline is, “We’re dying.” Retail all over the place feels like the last days or the end times of Blockbuster. Everybody wakes up and feels they’re in a dying business. You look at Starbucks, Domino’s, and even Pizza Hut too, where the CEO said, “We got to do better with our pizza and here’s what we’re doing.” It’s a courageous act. They are bucking the trends, winning market share, and succeeding because they had the courage to lead. That’s inspiring leadership. Inspiring leadership builds a brand, which is a reputation, which comes from experience. Even though I’m an ad guy, I’m a brand and business building professional. Advertising is just one of the tools.

One of the things that stands out to me as I followed your brand is this whole idea of inspiring action. We’ve done some work together and that’s a full disclosure there. It’s not just about getting people to feel better, but it’s about inspiring action that transforms the consumer’s life. I’m thinking about Weight Watchers. Many people struggle. January every year, we know it’s the time that everyone signs up for a gym, the next diet, and the next app. They make their commitment to run a marathon or whatever it is that year. Yet a month later, most people have fallen by the wayside on those things. You’ll get a Weight Watcher. You look at some of these other companies that you’re working within the health and the wealth sector. It’s about inspiring them to choose to live a better life and have a better life. Talk to us a little bit about when we talked about knowing your customer, how do you know the type of clients you want to take on because of what they can do for their customers?

As you know, I participated in the wonderful ProphetAbility Virtual Bounce Back Summit that you and Betsy invented, instigated, organized and ran like two marathon runners for that whole long day. What a wonderful and inspiring event that is. If that’s still up and free for people to watch, you got to access that content. It was a great day with many inspiring speakers. On that day, when I had my half hour to talk to the audience, I talked about how identity is the most important concept in all of marketing and branding. It’s the most important concept in business and it’s a concept that can cure a lot of the confusion that people have.

Some people are saying, “You’ve got to have a purpose. You’ve got to be a purpose brand.” Others are saying, “You need to have a problem that you solve for a customer, be pragmatic and functional.” What I would say is that when you truly understand how identity works at the core of a brand, you realize that there’s no argument there. There’s only a choice to be made. For example, if I go all the way to the end of the bell curve, to the end of maximizing purpose. I talk about Yvon Chouinard’s company, Patagonia. They’ve clarified that the purpose and mission of Patagonia is to defend and save our home planet. That’s what they’re saying. That’s far from, “If you’re climbing a rock base, we’re going to get you a crampon that doesn’t break,” or “We’re going to give you an all-weather cover-up that you can take from the rainforest out onto the kayak.” They exist to defend and to protect our home planet.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Swiffer or a Dyson vacuum cleaner where great design means that you don’t lose suction. When you’re vacuuming, it seems pragmatic and functional. It solves pain for a customer. To me, what ties those two together is identity. I can buy outdoor gear anywhere. If the identity I want to buy is I’m in love with this planet with the natural planet here, the way identity brings together these two extremes, the practical with the Dyson and the purposeful with Patagonia, is that I can buy warm things to use outdoors from just about anyone.

There’s no better advertising than word of mouth.CLICK TO TWEET

That’s become a commodity and sure I like a better product at a better price. If I’m the person who’s in love with planet Earth and jealous of these outside spaces, wanting to make sure they’re maintained, then I can support that identity when I wear Patagonia. I support it with my money and I wear the badge and it says that that’s who I am. If I buy a Dyson, even if I need to just vacuum my living room rug, I’m saying I’m the person who appreciates design and inventiveness, and loves a better mousetrap. I will pay a little bit more for it. If I buy a Volvo, I’m saying that I care more about loving my family, the experience, and the open road than I do about prestige or being seen to have spent more money or styling for that matter. Identity is the core of every one of these purchases. Identity is the most important thing. Tony, did I answer your question? I went on an identity rant and you know I feel passionate about that.

It was an awesome answer to the question and it fills in the blanks because you tied together the purpose or the pragmatic brands under identity. There’s been research in that area for at least 40 or 50 years but it is underutilized. I know Betsy and I tapped into that in ProphetAbility. We talked about how identity is key to the human experience and we make our decisions based on that. I love that you went on that rant because I haven’t had a chance yet on the show to do that myself.

I have a follow up to the rant. Mark, I know that you work with Weight Watchers that is now known as WW. If you look at the evolution of their identity and who they serve, back in my day when I was younger, it was all about losing weight. Now it’s all about being healthy. Can you talk through to us about as the identity of your customer changes through the years, how that knowledge helps you in the work you do? How do you go about understanding, is there an identity change or identity crisis coming? How do you dive in to know what’s going on with your customers?

I know that the belief I’m about to espouse is one that you and I emphatically agree about and I know you’ve got some great solutions along this line. I have a fundamental belief that the old-style linear iterative process that many marketing departments, ad agencies, and brand agencies still use is obsolete. That would work like this. First, we ask some questions, then we do some research. We then transform that research into a brief and we find a partner to work on that brief. Maybe we research the output of that, then we go into the market and read the results and all of that.

All of that still happens and all of that still has to happen as part of a process. Whereas I used to believe in research and I now believe in cresearch. Whereas I used to believe that production follows creativity and I now believe in creduction and creativity. I’m making up words to the point of absurdity here but my point is if you’re not engaging a dynamic panel of your customers, your brand lovers, maybe even representative of a broader range of constituents, if you’re not in constant conversation with them, if you don’t know them well enough that you can get them involved at any moment in a question, if they’re not part of your team moving forward, then you’re going to lose touch at various phases of the process. What’s most important right now, there will be a price to pay.

Take this to the Weight Watchers example that you mentioned, Betsy. We love the management that we’re working with there. It’s a tight team with us and them. They’re visionary. Mindy is a great CEO and leader. She used to head HSN, etc. and she has a mission around helping people build and maintain healthy lifestyles. Oprah Winfrey is not just a spokesperson here. She’s a significant owner of the business. She’s on the board and she’s engaged. She’s one of the great visionaries of our time as well as being one of the great communicators. If you get intimidated easily, when I put Steve Jobs up, to have Mindy and Oprah as clients, I got my wish.

We were successful with Weight Watchers before working with Maurice Herrera who’s our client at Avis Budget. We were engaging customers and doing well. They had a change in management. The world changed and Maurice left. Fortunately, we still get to work with them. New management came in and they said, “The world’s turning the lifestyle.” Not only that, but there’s WW, Weight Watchers is re-imagined now. Membership is online and there are also workshops. There are other Weight Watchers products and services that help people lead a healthy lifestyle. The Weight Watchers’ name wasn’t going to cover where the whole company was going to go. They saw that and they made the change. We’ve helped stitch together those relationships. When you change, you need to bring people along as well.

Entrepreneurs and leaders should be courageous. They have to be brave and take risks to succeed.

You can have an identity solved in the sense of the identity of the company. You’ve got to then solve it again at the identity of the customer level, and you’ve got to solve it at that customer experience level. That’s a challenging thing to navigate. They’ve done a great job of it. It’s a public company and I can’t say more than what they’ve said. Go look at their earnings release. Even in these challenging times, Weight Watchers is doing a great job in helping five million members around the world.

When you think about it, if they hadn’t been open and looking for that evolution, they would be Blockbuster. It speaks so much to leadership when they’re open to what they may not know, so that’s a classic example of that. Congratulations for your work on that. It’s incredible to watch that brand evolve.

Thank you. It’s satisfying. I’m proud of the work and the teams at DiMassimo Goldstein who do the work. The great joy there is you feel part of a community that is motivated to help people improve and change their lives. I feel something we all three have in common is that we want to be a part of improving things. Execution has been an important part of this too. People have had great ideas. Throughout the whole history of Weight Watchers, many smart people have been involved. Some teams managed to have that courage and energy to execute. Maybe others didn’t do as well. It’s wonderful to be on a team that has it all.

Mark, take us a little deeper into another area. You do a lot of work also with companies focused on wealth and wealth management, and helping people build that. It’s an interesting time as we’re looking at how much the stock market has dropped, what people are thinking about their wealth, and people without jobs and paychecks. What are you seeing there? Do you think that this is going to fundamentally change the identity of those customers that were loyal to these brands previously?

We’re dipping into a little bit of futurism here. I’ve been an entrepreneur even longer than I’ve been a brand builder and an ad guy. As an entrepreneur, I’ve always got my eye on the future. I always have my eye on what needs to change, where the green shoots are, and what’s changing. Here we are doing a podcast. I don’t think years ago, most people would have known what a podcast is. We’re on Zoom. We’re doing all of our business on Zoom and platforms like this. Some of my global technology clients like Salesforce we’re doing that a couple of years back. They use Google because they have a partnership with Google. They were doing that, and now here we are.

I do think that some of the changes that were already afoot and predicted like the emergence of Robin Hood and other Millennial-focused platform-based brokers with no fee. They have to have a revenue model and they do. The flip to passive investing and the need to evolve to something a bit more sophisticated and balanced than just pure passive investing for most people who maybe don’t have the assets or the iron guts to live through recessions, depressions, stock market crashes and not touch their accounts. All of this was happening and this only accelerates the evolution there.

Inspiring leadership builds a brand which is just a reputation that comes from experience.CLICK TO TWEET

If you listen to a Bill Gates, George Soros or the guy who wrote Principles, Ray Dalio, these thinkers who study history and truly are futurists, they’ll talk more than most of us about what the true risks are if you’re a student of history. How long can we expect the patience of people with a system that drives so much inequality and creates many losers with the cycles? What can we do to help make sure that enough of the people, that most or all of the people had the opportunity to experience the American dream and do okay? That’s the big risk factor hanging over all of this.

There are loads of services for wealthy people and there are loads of wealthy people, and there will be loads of wealthy people. One of the things I’ve loved about working with Jackson Hewitt is that they are one of the rare financial services companies that are focused on America’s hardest-working. Jackson Hewitt is writing the biggest check of the year to a sizable number of people whose biggest check of the year is their tax refund. They’ve got an earned income credit from the government because they worked. They’re not earning at a level where they’re paying taxes. They’re getting something. Other customers too, they can’t get the time of day of a financial advisor. Not then, not now. Yet, companies like Jackson Hewitt are bringing solutions that improve these people’s lives and it’s a pleasure to be part of it.

There are still more visionaries in that regard. If you’re out there, DIGOBrands.com and Mark DiMassimo on LinkedIn. I want to be part of that revolution of bringing financial services to America’s hardest working, middle class, and working-class, if that’s still a word or a phrase. It’s important. When we said we were focused on healthy, wealthy, and wise or on health, wealth, and the pursuit of happiness, UNESCO tells us that those are the three things that are most highly correlated with what they measure as a subjective well-being, which is happiness and satisfaction with life.

Your health, sense of wellness and wealth. That’s about having enough. Having more than enough doesn’t make you happier. Not as it’s measured, but having enough does, and then your education. Those are the three factors and we’re heavily involved in all three. When we mentioned wealth, I thought it might be alienating to people who help people who aren’t wealthy. We said, “We’ve got to change the meaning of that. Wealth is something that everyone should be working on and can be working on if we’re innovative.”

With this transition that we’re experiencing in the midst of the Coronavirus, I think that pool of people is going to be embraced because through no fault of their own, through something that’s completely out of the control of everybody, this thing got loose and wreaked havoc on the world. I hope that there will be a lot less judgment around people that may not be financially healthy where they would like to be. I hope that with your inspiring action, others will want to do what they can to reach out to that demographic as well. It could be a guy that six months ago was rolling in it and he happened to be in an industry or in a business that didn’t survive this. I’m hoping that the judgment piece goes away on that particular topic. What are your thoughts on that, Mark?

I couldn’t agree more emphatically. I’m a naturally look for the silver lining and look for the bright side kind of person. I’m a natural contrarian too. When Warren Buffett says, “We try to be greedy when people are afraid and we try to be afraid when people are greedy,” I might not love that word greedy, but his point is we’re brave when people are fearful. We’re fearful when people are brave. We look for the opportunities when people tend to look for the problems.

One advantage I see in this is that when disaster becomes the norm, we don’t have to worry about permission to fail. We advise entrepreneurs and leaders to be courageous while they should try to build resilient antifragile organizations. You do have to be brave and take risks to succeed. I hope people will be freed by the nothing left to lose environment, to be innovative and to follow their convictions because you can’t see that many steps ahead.

You need long-term strategic thinking in order to become a host for creativity.

Secondly, you either build a social contract or you need to build a repressive society. In other words, people are going to do their part and participate because they believe that they have a shot at getting a fair shake or they have to be forced to. We are not a society that believes in using force in a police state to keep people in line with the exception of criminal laws. The social contract is being remade. We need you to be part of keeping us all healthy. We realize that that creates an economic hardship. Maybe even economic impossibility, and we’re trying to do things about it. We can talk about the polarization in Washington and what’s happened with the rhetoric and all of that, but it’s nice to see them come together and pass bills. It’s nice to see cooperation among the states and all of that. We should appreciate it, maintain it, and look ahead.

My friend, Dan Heath, we served on a board together and became friends. He’s such a wonderful author. He and his brother wrote Made to StickDecisive and some other great books. He’s got a book called Upstream. We’re a society, a species that recognizes heroes, but what about the people that make heroism unnecessary? What about the drownings that are prevented? The disease that never happens because we have a good health policy? This is a book all about solving that problem and understanding it upstream. I was talking to Dan in the iterative email conversation about this thing. This shift to thinking upstream, both at the micro-level of your career, business, and family, and at the macro-level of the society in the world, we need it or else we’re headed for more trouble that’s preventable.

Mark, I have a question for you. It was a thought that sparked in what you were saying. You’re a creative guy and you’re in a creative business. What have you seen in terms of creativity with your clients? You have always been creative but because of everything that’s going on, there’s a lot of talk about how people are having to be forced to be creative. What are you seeing with your clients in terms of their openness, willingness, and energy around creativity?

Mark Smith said to me one time, quoting what someone else said to him, “People are buying aspirins, they’re not buying vitamins.” In other words, I’m focused on the current pain that I can’t focus on the long-term. I have to say that I’ve seen that change as people and organizations have gotten over the initial shock and many of us were frozen, at least for a hot minute like rabbits. We were neither fighting nor fleeing. There’s the other reaction, which is you’re paralyzed. We don’t know what’s going to happen so we don’t know what to do. That shifted to, “This is happening. We’re in this. It’s a social distancing. We have to adapt our businesses and acting. It was an aspirin era.” Whereas now, it’s like, “There’s going to be opening. This is going to go on for a while. We need a going-forward plan. We’ve got to solve the immediate problem, but we’ve got to focus on what’s next.” Long-term strategic thinking and the ability to do that is the organic state that both the individual and teams need to get in, in order to be creative and to be a host for creativity. Once you can be a host for creativity, creativity becomes viral, so I see that happening.

I’ll add that I have found that Zoom is the right level of social distance for most of the great creatives I deal with. They’re more receptive, less defensive, act less crowded, more frank, more pragmatic and willing to bring forward the right ideas and their most creative ideas. I found clients have also been efficient and open, so I wouldn’t want to go back. The conference rooms are an awkward place to have creative meetings. The garage might be a good place, but I find Zoom to be a gift, and we’re more focused too. We’ll have Zoom happy hours and we’ll have a little time to check-in at the beginning. We’re happy to be working and we’re happy to be connected with each other with high quality.

Mark, let’s bring this back to knowing your customer. What would you recommend companies do to inspire action for their customers?

Identity is the most important concept in all of marketing and branding. It is the most important concept in business.CLICK TO TWEET

Tony, another silver lining of this is that the price of not knowing your customers, the price of not being in daily or weekly communications with your customers is changing fast and unpredictable in this world. You just don’t know. That price of disconnection from your customers and going forward for the foreseeable future is high. The brand builders and the marketers out there are going to be actively, urgently prioritizing searching for solutions to have panels of their customers, to have daily or weekly interactions with their customers.

My vision is a whole lot of marketers and business leaders getting to know their customers intimately better than they did before and so much greatness is going to come out of that. Customer experience is going to improve and insight, which leads to better communication. More appropriate communication is going to be there because of that connection. The briefs are going to be more creative because the insight will be well-grounded in that customer connection. The brief you get as a creative person is likely to be the brief you still have when you produce the creative, which gives us more runway to do great work. If this crisis turns into an opportunity to get to know your customer better and engage your customer in your creative thinking, the world will be a better place for it, and I hope to be part of that revolution.

We’re big on community give back. Is there any organization that you’re involved with or that you know of that you’d like to give a shout out to and let our audience know about the good work that they’re doing?

I’ve got two that I’d love to tell you about. I’ll give you a COVID related message for both. I’ve been blessed and honored to be able to work with National Jewish Health in Denver and also in partnership with National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute, Mount Sinai in New York with Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. National Jewish Health is our nation’s number one respiratory hospital. They are a leader in the world in innovation, scientific research, and care for respiratory illnesses. The work they’re doing around both the acute and potential chronic issues around COVID is going to save and change so many lives. They’re out on the front line.

Whenever I buy something on Amazon, I buy it on Smile.Amazon.com and little tiny bits of money go to National Jewish Health. They fundraise. If you have to give, help them now. It’s a great way to save lives now and in the future. If you don’t have anything that you can give, go to the National Jewish Health website, read what they’ve got on COVID, find out what they’re doing, and tell people about it. It’s a little off the beaten track, but it’s important. For many years, I’ve been working with an organization that’s now called the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the Center on Addiction. Many years ago, it was called the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. I’ve been on their creative review committee and honored to lead their creative development board. I’ve been an active volunteer with this organization for all that time. My wife, Jill, even works there many years ago developing the creative.

We’ve learned so much about addiction and preventing drug misuse in the US. Social distancing is a nightmare for families who are dealing with drug misuse. Close with their kids and teens, they’re seeing things that they wouldn’t ordinarily see. Normal treatment and recovery facilities are not operating as they were. People who should be in treatment and kids who should be in treatment are home. It’s a challenging time. Not to mention that people are not going to hospitals for normal care, so new addictions are being born. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provides so much free service and help. If you’re in need or know somebody who’s in need, if you’re worried about somebody in your family or if you have a friend who’s worried about somebody in their family or worried about yourself, there’s so much free help at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Check it out. You can get a daily text and keep it anonymous. It’s a great service that’s out there and certainly do support them as well.

Mark, thank you for being on our show. We are honored and this has been a phenomenal conversation. We knew parts of where it might go, but I love that you took us down some other areas to explore. Thank you again for being here. We truly appreciate it.

Brand Experience: If this crisis turns into an opportunity to get to know your customer better, the world will be a better place for it.

Betsy and Tony, thank you for all you do. You’re inspiring. It’s great to be in your network and to be here.

Betsy, I love this conversation we had with Mark. The thing that stands out to me is how he talks about knowing your customer by understanding their identity, who do they want to be and who do you want to be as a company? Whether it’s a pragmatic element or a purpose that drives you, it’s the identity that’s common between those. That’s something that we could take to heart as we’re trying to understand who our customers are, what they’re trying to achieve and where they’re trying to go in their lives or in their businesses.

When you talk to somebody like Mark that is experienced and successful in his body of work and you think about it, sometimes people say, “I’ve got to rebrand.” What that means to them is creating a new logo versus what you see in the thought process of somebody that operates like Mark. It’s such a high level, and what branding is. The identity piece of that goes far beyond what people think of as traditional branding. It’s something that is helpful to people. When he was talking about how important it is now to talk to your customers in whatever way, shape or form that takes, but nobody knows what’s going on with their customers. The customers don’t know what’s going on with the customers. I appreciated his comments on that. That’s along the lines of the messaging that we’re putting out there in terms of getting to know your customer. It was a brilliant interview and I’m super excited that he wanted to join us.

I enjoyed the fact that he talked about it from a strategic level, that’s the brand level and then they create the ads at the consumer level. You do have to be listening. That unfiltered listening you and I talk about all the time, at the strategic level all the way down the organization. That’s what he does with his clients. They listen to their customers and they listen to their clients. It’s fascinating to see how that plays out in what they do. The reinvention of Weight Watchers, the work with Jackson Hewitt and some of these other organizations. It does stand out as powerful when you apply these techniques and these methods of thinking.

That is a wrap with our guest, Mark DiMassimo from DiMassimo Goldstein. We hope that you’ve got great insights and value from reading and join us next time.

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About Mark DiMassimo

According to Wikipedia, “Mark DiMassimo is an American marketing and advertising executive, and a frequent commentator on issues in advertising, branding and their relationship to popular culture. He is the founder and chief executive officer of DiMassimo Goldstein, a marketing, design and advertising agency based in New York City.”

A writer and creative entrepreneur who has helmed an independent agency through nearly a quarter-century of crisis and change, including the dot com bust, 9/11, and the Great Recession, Mark has led both creative departments and businesses from Madison Avenue to Main Street. His clients range from the Fortune 50 to start-ups, including many of our era’s great change agents. He’s written some books and some pretty good Forewords.

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