I discussed creative conceptualization, award-worthy work, and mentorship in advertising with Justine Greenwald, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Managing Director, Mosaic.
Listen to episode #76 of the How I Made It In Marketing podcast to glean some insights for innovative creativity in marketing.
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You’re reading this article right now. But are you really paying attention? I mean, really tuned in?
Or are you half reading and half thinking of your upcoming deadlines, a campaign that underperformed, and a plethora of other tasks, goals, and concerns?
Actually being in the moment – and wringing the most we can get out of it – is so difficult during these modern times.
Which is why I love a lesson in the podcast guest application for this episode’s guest, “Stop running to stand still.”
Sometimes we’ve got to get step off that treadmill and focus on being where we are.
To hear the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories, I talked to Justine Greenwald, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Managing Director, Mosaic.
Mosaic is an Acosta Group Agency. Privately held Acosta Group is 96 years old and serves 2,500 clients, including 60 billion-dollar brands.
As Chief Creative Officer, Greenwald overseas the strategy, creative, and design departments – 65 people across North America.
Listen to our conversation using this embedded player or click through to your preferred audio streaming service using the links below it.
Some lessons from Greenwald that emerged in our discussion:
While it sounds blatantly obvious, it’s a thoughtful reminder that truly great work – work that can solve real cultural challenges and change human behavior – takes time, a talented team and committed clients with similar ambitions.
Greenwald learned this the first time she entered work into the prestigious global competition that is the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Her team spent months developing “Cannes-worthy” ideas, selling them to clients, making the work, capturing the work, and garnering results. They then spent months crafting the written and video award entries. They put so much effort into the award submissions that they couldn’t help but convince themselves they had a shot at winning.
So, it was a very humbling experience when Cannes announced their shortlists, and none of the team’s entries were on it.
When relooking at their work against the work that did win, it was obvious. The level of thinking, craft, time, and commitment they put in was minimal in comparison to what other winning clients and agencies put in. It helped her understand the criteria for what truly groundbreaking work is. You need to identify a real-world, cultural, or business problem to solve. You need a human insight that can unlock a solution. And you need innovative creativity to solve for that problem and that insight.
Plus, a team of experts with the ambition and ability to bring that idea to life.
It's a humbling lesson, yet an inspiring one. Award-worthy work can truly help change the world for the better.
Greenwald spent most of her career in experiential marketing, where they create unique experiences for people to connect with brands. Experiencing a brand in a genuine, human way, in the company of friends, family, community and like-minded fans can leave a wonderfully strong, positive, emotional impact on your memory. Brand experiences can build a sense of brand loyalty like no other medium can.
When she joined Mosaic nearly four years ago, she made it a point for her first three months to attend all the major brand events they were doing to get a firsthand account of their work, their clients and their teams. One standout memory was their production of Sephora’s ‘Sephoria – House of Beauty,’ a three-day beauty event for all.
It was held in a beautiful, historical concert venue in Los Angeles, where they collaborated with 20 of Sephora's top beauty brands and helped create bespoke pop-up experiences for each one. This ticketed event also gave guests access to live talks with beauty experts like Charlotte Tilbury. Witnessing this real-life transformation of Sephora – from a retail/online entity into an electric, culture moment where people could authentically express and enjoy themselves – was incredible and powerful.
The sheer delight a brand can bring to a consumer is a game-changer. This is something that can't be replicated through social media or digital platforms. It's a uniquely human, emotional, and authentic connection that transcends other mediums, and it's a testament to the power of experiential marketing in fostering genuine, joyous interactions between brands and people.
One of the earliest lessons Greenwald learned when she started her career as a novice copywriter was the immense value of mentors. It may sound obvious, but those who lack strong mentors tend to progress slower compared to those fortunate enough to have guides who embrace them and encourage them to explore new avenues.
Her journey began with dreams of becoming a screenwriter. But after graduating from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, with a degree in Writing for Television and Film, the reality of paying her bills and rent kicked in. She turned to the Monday through Friday 9-to-5 world of advertising and marketing but faced a significant hurdle – she lacked a portfolio of work to get a job as a copywriter. So, how does one break into this industry? How do you succeed?
Her breakthrough came when she took on the role of assistant to Marshall Ross, Chief Creative Officer of Cramer-Krasselt. Though she initially handled secretarial tasks, Ross recognized her ambition to become a copywriter. He gave her opportunities to create work for her portfolio and even involved other creative directors in critiquing and guiding her work. The support she received in growing and honing her skills was invaluable.
That experience helped her create a portfolio of work that then got Greenwald her first copywriting job. She has been fortunate enough to have mentors like Ross at every agency she has been at and credits them and their support for helping her make it in marketing.
Greenwald also shared lessons she learned from the people she collaborated with.
via Joe Sciarrotta, currently the Deputy Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide, at Ogilvy
During her time at Ogilvy in Chicago, a key moment happened when her boss promoted her to the role of Executive Creative Director. It was a significant leap, one that triggered a sense of impostor syndrome. She felt uncertain as if she didn't quite know how to excel in this new position. However, Sciarrotta shared a piece of wisdom that has stuck with her and continues to guide her to this day: "Do good by the work and do good by your people."
He emphasized that if you uphold these two principles, success will follow. It was true.
In this industry, it's incredibly easy to become consumed by the daily grind. It's an all-encompassing, 24/7 commitment that can make you lose sight of yourself. However, if you remember to prioritize what's important and make decisions that will benefit the work you are doing and the team you are leading, great things will happen.
via Jon Hamm, CEO of Free Turn Entertainment in London
During her time at WPP, Greenwald was fortunate enough to be invited to a Global Creative Summit, hosted by Hamm, who was their Global Chief Creative Officer. It was an incredible gathering of talented Executive Creative Directors from across the globe; a week for them to share ideas, work, challenges and solve problems together.
One morning, before one of the sessions started, she was checking her email and was swamped with 80 messages from her team, seeking feedback and comments on their work. She panicked and started replying from a different time zone on the other side of the world.
That's when Hamm noticed and told her to stop. “You're running to stand still.” He asked if she trusted her team to do great work in her absence, and she replied, “Yes, of course.” His response was simple: “Then hit reply and say, ‘looks great.’”
The lesson was clear: her primary focus at that meeting was to be present. To listen and learn from the global perspectives, points of view and advice from other ECDs, to take back and use to help make her team and the work better. Stressing over email wouldn't benefit anyone. Being present in the moment was more important. It taught her to prioritize her time and focus on what truly matters, thinking about the big picture and learning to manage your time effectively.
via Renee Mahoney, now a Creative Director at Weber
After her first-ever job with Ross, before her third job at Ogilvy with Sciarrotta, she was a senior copywriter at a small, local marketing agency called Davidson Marketing. While there, her boss Mahoney taught her a valuable lesson about the craft of conceptualizing ideas that to this day, still reigns true, even amongst a world of ChatGPT and AI.
Step away from the laptop. Grab a marker and a piece of paper and draw your concept.
When doing creative work that is going to live in multiple spaces, it's crucial to think of a concept, rather than just a headline. While working on a project for Special K they conceptualized an image of a pear next to an apple to represent different body shapes of women. This visual analogy conveyed the message that regardless of your body type, wellness starts on the inside, and Special K can be a part of that journey.
The concept was so powerful that she can't even recall the headline, and she was the copywriter on the project.
Developing concepts, like this fruit analogy to discuss wellness in the context of breakfast, isn’t something a ChatGPT bot or AI tool can replicate. Yet. Putting emotional human insights first will always drive the best concepts and make for the most powerful work. Tools like ChatGPT are valuable, but they can't replace the unique human touch required for creating resonant and impactful marketing concepts.
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This podcast is not about marketing – it is about the marketer. It draws its inspiration from the Flint McGlaughlin quote, “The key to transformative marketing is a transformed marketer” from the Become a Marketer-Philosopher: Create and optimize high-converting webpages free digital marketing course.
Not ready for a listen yet? Interested in searching the conversation? No problem. Below is a rough transcript of our discussion.
Justine Greenwald: Just sketch out that idea, Right? Don't go to the computer. Don't go to the word doc. Literally pick up a pencil and draw and sketch. The idea that you want to get across and it will then help your headline be more impactful. It will help make it a bigger idea. Hope hopefully get a concept. And I remember there was this one.
We were working on Kellogg's Special K at the time, and obviously as a brand that is for, you know, women and wellness and overall health and well-being. I remember watching her do this writers room and she's like here, for example. And she sketched out a pear and an apple. And if you're a woman, you know what that means, because we both.
Some of us have a paired body shape. So an apple shape. I'm an apple.
Outro: Welcome to how I made it in marketing from marketing Sherpa. We scour pitches from hundreds of creative leaders and uncover specific examples, not just trending ideas or buzzword laden schmaltz, real world examples to help you transform yourself as a marketer. Now here's your host, the senior director of Content and Marketing at Marketing Sherpa Daniel Burstein, to tell you about today's guest.
Daniel Burstein: If you're listening to this episode right now, but are you really listening? I mean, really tuned in or are you half listening and half thinking of your upcoming deadline's a campaign that underperformed and a plethora of other tasks, goals and concerns just nagging at your mind, actually being in the moment and ringing the most we can get out of it is so difficult during these modern times, which is why I love a lesson in the podcast.
Guest application for my next guest. Stop running to a standstill. Sometimes we've got to get off of that treadmill, step off of it, focus on being where we are. Here to share the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson filled stories, is just in. Greenwald, chief creative officer and co-managing director at Mosaic. Thanks for joining us, Justin.
Justine Greenwald: Thank you for having me. Excited to be here.
Daniel Burstein: Let's take a quick look at your background. You started as a copywriter. Woman After my own heart. You were creative director of Ogilvy and Mather. You were executive creative director of Geometry, Global and other WPP Agency. And for the past four years, you've been Chief Creative officer and co-managing director at Mosaic. Mosaic is an Acosta Group agency, privately held.
Acosta Group is 96 years old and serves 2500 clients, including $60 billion brands. As chief creative officer, Austin oversees the strategy, creative and design departments, 65 people across North America. So what is your day like as chief creative officer? Justin?
Justine Greenwald: Well, it's a it's a fun day. I will say that usually it starts by really trying to get off. And you mentioned the treadmill. Honestly, getting off the treadmill a little bit and really listening to the news, listening to what's out there in the universe. My morning on the way into work, I commute in. I drop kids off at school before I head to the office.
And listening and seeing what they're looking at on tick tock and through their socials, it keeps me very much, you know, what is going on in culture that I can then bring into the office with me. And so those outside influences, whether it's sitting in traffic and hearing something on the radio or seeing something outside that, you know, humans interacting on the street corner, what are they doing?
Like wondering about what's going on in the universe and bringing that to those insights to the work itself actually really helps the work. So then when I get into the office and we're collaborating on ideas and we're looking at work together and we're looking for those kind of emotional connects, and how do we connect a brand emotionally with a consumer.
Those sort of outside cultural influences actually help inspire some of the work.
Daniel Burstein: I'm glad you set out. First of all, I'm glad you start with fun, because I'm sure also there are lines that are like insults to me and said that you look at it as fun is wonderful. But I'm glad you said that because when I was a copywriter, that was the hardest thing. And that really kind of, as I mentioned, inspired.
This podcast stays with you do marketing Sherpa. It's so hard to get that inspiration and get the ball rolling on the idea when you're an idea person and I've wanted to be a copywriter so much because it was a quick anecdote of what one of my college professors told me when my creative portfolio class. You said, copywriters are the most interesting people you'll ever talk to at a party because they're just they're curious about everything.
Everything they're looking at like, wait a minute, why are you using that pen? Why are you drinking that thing where you do this thing? And so I love I love hearing you talk about that, too, because I feel the same way. So it's like it's not just like, oh, my gosh, like, we've got this deadline and this brief.
It's like, how do we get the inspiration?
Justine Greenwald: Mm hmm. So inspiration is everything. And where you find it, it's actually more fruitful outside of the daily work, right? Like staring in front of a blank screen, looking at your computer, trying to think of something way harder than if you're out and about talking to somebody else and looking outside as to what's going on. And that's where you find your inspiration for sure.
Daniel Burstein: Now, sometimes creatives wanna get inspired not just to deliver results, but they want to win awards. Right. And you said award winning work takes a lot of work. That is your first lesson. So, I mean, what do you mean by that?
Justine Greenwald: So what I mean by that is award winning work usually is awarded because it hit on a very emotional human insight, it answer to human need and to really dig into how you get to that place, You've really got to first understand your audience what makes them tick and what and where those emotions are coming from, and then how that brand helps fit that need.
And so a great example of a case where we were working on this campaign, we absolutely felt that we had a shot at winning at Cannes. We thought we had a really good insight. We spent months creating the campaign. We spent months creating the actual entry. We, you know, worked obviously very closely with our strategy team and coming up with those insights and crafted the idea and the award entry and just, you know, felt we're going to win.
We're going to we're going to do this. We're going to get that lion. And then, of course, shortlists are announce that we're not on it. It's so you're like, all right, maybe not, but let's unpack that. Let's look into why that didn't happen. And when you look at all of the Cannes award winning work, you realize that not only did it crack on and really uncover an insight, but it was a it was a more unique human insight and a unique emotional need and the actual execution to get something done is truly innovative and to make something that's never been made before.
To bring something new into the world that's never existed. That takes a lot of work, and that's usually what gets awarded is it's things that are unique, insights that take a lot of work to find and actual executions that take a lot of time and energy and new technologies to actually create. And so to really get to that Cannes level, you really do need to put a lot of work into award winning work.
Daniel Burstein: Your next lesson is if you build it, they will come. And so I want to ask it in light of what you just said and hear your story. I mean, we got to do more than that, though, right? I mean, we were putting those campaigns out. I feel like sometimes the challenge we have is we only see our work.
We're like, okay, we'll put this out there and everything will come in and we forget everything else. All the other competitors, you know, people are saying it's a quick example here. Real quick, you mentioned about the award winning work. You fill it out, you're working so hard on it, you put it in and then you're like, why didn't I get it?
Like, we have the same issue with this, with how I made it Marketing podcast like will get many great podcast guest applications. And then sometimes there's some of the people that respond and they're like, Well, how how did this person not get on that? I bet because it's usually PR reps pitching, right? That's so amazing and great. But then other people will pitch, okay, well, what can I learn from it?
Like why didn't they get picked? Because what they're not seeing on the other end, which I'm sure the Cannes jury is seeing too, is you know, I think this episode is going to be 70 something. I don't remember what we've got about like 2800 applications. And I'm sure it's the same for Cannes, right? It's that oh, that was good work.
It's not it was battery. It was really good work. But my gosh, we've got all these other applications that were so much better. So let me get back to your lesson. If you build it, they will come. Right. I kind of agree, but it takes more than just building any. Right. So how do you find out that it and how do you build it and how did you learn this?
Justine Greenwald: It's a great question, but it building it is really, truly something where you can find a community of people that are gathering around it. And there is an it, there is a vibe, there is a buzz. So one of my specialties is experiential marketing. And so why I've always loved that medium, why I've always loved experiential is you're not just creating campaigns and pushing them out, you are actually creating brand experiences and it is a vibe, a feeling you are speaking with and interacting with, not just a one on one relationship with the consumer, but a crowd.
And it could be 100, it could be 3000, it could be 10,000 people. But your goal in building this it this brand experience is to make sure that that brand and that experience becomes ingrained in this person's memory in a way that regular advertising campaigns just do not. Right. Like you see a TV ad, you see something come into your feeds, you remember it for a hot second.
But when you spent 3 hours with a brand and you remember that time that you went there with your friends and you met this celebrity and you got this like amazing swag bag of the best makeup you've ever gotten. That was one event we did for Sephora. You really do Remember. And it becomes part of your your memories.
And that to me is such a powerful if you build these experiences, if you build these brand experiences, not only will people come to them, but they will actually remember them and the brand in a way that you really you can't get any other other any other medium because it's now a shared memory with you and your friends.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah. So you mentioned Sephora. Now this event was called Sephora Sister Aura and Euphoria. You also mentioned at that event you saw Charlotte Tilbury. Yes. And I want to ask about this. So what can a brand that has I'm, I don't like the word influencer but like a human associated to it like a Charlotte Tilbury banned brand do versus a brand like Sephora which is more general brand like what are like the strengths and weaknesses of each when we think about experiential because Charlotte Tilbury, she's a makeup artist, she also has a brand of cosmetics.
Yeah, I think of it kind of in the automotive realm, like when we think of Tesla, right? Ewan Musk has done so much for Tesla and maybe lately it's taken away from Tesla. I don't know. You know, by being that, you know, just human being. A spokesperson out there for the brand where at one point Tesla was worth more than all these other car companies.
You know, I mean, like, who's the CEO of Toyota or Hyundai? I mean, unless you're really an insider in the industry. Right, you don't know. And so I want to get back to experiential and just branding in general. Like when you saw Charlotte Tilbury speak, you're also at the Suffer event. What have you seen as like the strengths and weaknesses or just like the abilities of things you can do with having a single founder like that versus just having a general brand?
Justine Greenwald: Absolutely. It's a great question. It's interesting because I think the strength of it is it builds both the Charlotte Tilbury brand as well as the Sephora brand by them being together because there's some like it's it's sort of like the accreditation almost, right? Like it validates that, you know, Sephora is truly bringing you the best in beauty and Charlotte is bringing you the best in beauty products.
And so together when they're supporting each other and you're experiencing both together at the same time, you as a person that's attending that event, you're like minds blown as like, Oh my gosh, this is like the best in the beauty industry right here in front of me. I can take pictures with them. I can experience every single product that is here in a way that I can't if I'm just shopping a regular Sephora or if I'm shopping online, I can actually ask Charlotte a question and she's going to respond to me as a person.
And so I think the strength of having those partnerships and the strength of having those big brands working together to really tap into the love and fanaticism and the passion of an audience like that really does sort of all both rise when you think about it that way. And there is there's really not a downside because from a from a from a consumer perspective, which is really at the end of the day, who both Sephora and Charlotte Tilbury trying to engage, it's just one more marketing lever or lever depending on how you like to say it.
That is that is really helping grow their overall brand presence and their overall brand, you know, advocates.
Daniel Burstein: Let me ask you, you're talking about experiential in terms of event based experiential. I think like the Safari event we're talking about. What about what advice would you have or what have you seen work for actual brick and mortar retailers? Right, An actual store. Because one thing I've seen that you have a unique role in and we talked we didn't really hit on it much.
You're chief creative officer. You're also co-managing director. So you're on the creative side. You're on the business side, too. And we've had this idea come in the past in, what, 10 to 15 years about the rise of ecommerce, right? And e-commerce is so great. And when you look at it from that business perspective, you got to love it, right?
We don't have to pay leases, we don't have to have in-person employees. It's just so darn efficient. Right? And we had COVID. It became more efficient. And I think one thing that's overlooked is, well, then in ecommerce, you're probably reliant on one of a big few platforms that you can either advertise or get traffic from you know, the more difficult it is to do that, a more expensive brick and mortar ecommerce store is harmed where is in an actual in-person brick and mortar store.
It's not just can I get traffic from that place and maybe have the right offer. It is you can create that experience, right that that you couldn't in ecommerce, that there's that creative element, not just that ruthless. The thing that Wall Street would love to see is like, Oh my gosh, it is, you know, point 2% more efficient to just sell everything through e-commerce because we have one warehouse and, you know, less employees and whatever, so what have you seen work in, you know, not just just big event based experiential, but, you know, that tiny experiential just in the store?
Justine Greenwald: Absolutely. So sampling what we call assisted sales and training, having somebody on the ground as a brand ambassador again, actually really makes a difference. So especially when you're talking about high education categories. So like you think about technology, you as a person, you want to go buy a computer, you want to buy a phone, you want to buy, you know, any headphones.
There is something to the high tech categories. And beauty, you could argue sometimes could and could not be and fit in that category. But somebody, a human, an actual human that can help you understand the difference. Right? You can go online, you can go on e-commerce sites, you can look at all the PDP information you want. You get a sense of the, you know, basic product benefits course.
But I still have questions. So now what? So that's where the sort of and what I loved seeing coming out of COVID retail is. So not dead, it's just boring retail that is dead nice.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah.
Justine Greenwald: You know, like you want to make sure that your experience as a brand in a retail brick and mortar is something that is additive to your experience with that brand. And so in today's world where you are constantly, you are looking at your phone, you're looking for information, you're getting it, you're hearing it from friends, really at the point of purchase, especially for those big categories.
You that little extra help, that little extra understanding, that little extra, you know, my personal need again, back to the human insights and the people that we're talking to and understanding the curiosity of what makes somebody buy something, knowing those things and being able to have an a human one on one conversation to answer your personal questions about what you're going to buy really, truly makes a difference.
And we have the data to prove it. So I think, you know, it depends also on your CPG category. It's debatable, but I do think if you think about it in a way, thinking of a category that I don't even work on, I don't know, butter, Why not? So you a taste test really does make a difference at the end of the day.
So again, something as simple as butter. When you think about what a human can do for you in the retail brick and mortar space, it can be the difference between trying something and not that exact.
Daniel Burstein: And that is really the ultimate personalization. To really tend to only talk about personalization is it's got your name or an email or something like that, but that is the ultimate personalization. So let's talk more about your career and how you got started. You attribute the start of your career to finding a fantastic mentor, he said. That's when the biggest lessons in your career is to find fantastic mentors.
How did you find that mentor? Who was it and what did you learn?
Justine Greenwald: Absolutely. So my first mentor was a man named Marshall Russ. He is at Kramer Castle, and when I worked with him, it was at a different agency and it was quite literally my first first job right out of college. So went to college, I majored in communications, writing for a television film, etc. I realized coming out of college to be a screenwriter is not a monday through Friday night five job and someone's got to pay the rent.
How does one do this? So and you'll appreciate that as a copywriter, you're like, Oh, right. Advertising. I can write, I can write for a living and get paid and have a job Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. But in order to become a copywriter, you actually have to have a portfolio. So you have to have work. I did not have that work because I was studying screenwriting, so I did the closest I found the closest job I could to it, which was the assistant to the chief creative officer.
Now, some would argue, my gosh, you spent four years at school and you went in to be someone's assistant secretary. And I would argue best decision ever, because getting your foot in the door and finding those mentors and finding those people that are there to help you is how I literally started my career. So my boss at the time, Marshall, he knew that I wanted to be a copywriter.
He knew that I was really also helping him with his travel. And I was just a scientist, but he was kind enough and generous enough to say, Hey, here's this assignment we got in. You want to give it a shot? Great. Hey, we're doing a pitch for X, Y and Z brand. It's targeting your age group. What do you think about it?
And would just involve me in the making of the work, even though it wasn't really my job. And that did everything to get me all of the work I needed for my portfolio to then actually get a job as a copywriter later on in my career. So having and finding people that are not just mentors that can help you with your craft and your skill, but that actually have your back and are there to support you and help you get to where you want to go.
That is everything. And, you know, I to this day really thank him for for, for giving me those opportunities and and all the bosses I've had posts that they've been fantastic in knowing where I wanted to go in my career and helping me get there. Yeah, that's that's everything.
Daniel Burstein: And we're going to talk more about some of those people because the first half of the episode, we talk about lessons from the things that made the second half, talk about lessons from people who made them with, who are sometimes mentors, sometimes colleagues, sometimes people we've hired. But before we get to that, I should mention that the How I made It in Marketing podcast is underwritten by McLeod's Institute, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa.
You can get 10,000 marketing experiments working for you with a free trial of the McLeod's I Guild at McLeod's dot com slash a I That's MSE lab. Ask.com is a I. All right, let's take a look at some more lessons you learn from the people you collaborated with. You said Do good by the work and do good by your people.
And you learn this from Josh Terada, currently the deputy chief creative officer worldwide at Ogilvy. How did you learn this from Joe?
Justine Greenwald: So I was fortunate enough to be promoted while I was working at Ogilvy, so I was a creative director at Ogilvy and he, Joe promoted me to executive creative director. And that's a big it's a big jump. And I personally had a bit of the imposter syndrome, you know, of like, oh my gosh, like, I don't know if I can do this.
That's a big job. That's a big responsible party at a very big global agency. And I talked about Ken Awards earlier, that agency and Joe in particular, I mean, hundreds of of lions and awards. So it was a very intimidating spot to be in as I hadn't won one yet. And I was really learning the craft of being a creative director, let alone being an executive creative director.
And so I express this as like, you know, very obviously thankful and appreciative of this promotion. I'm excited to do it. But a little advice because I just really, you know, what is the difference between a creative director and sighted creator and how does one do this successfully? And he said it's very simple. It comes down to two things do good by the work, do good by your people, and you will succeed.
And it was just beautiful, simple, beautifully clear, made perfect sense. Right? My job as a creative director is to make sure the work that goes out the door, the work that we put in front of our clients, is best in class. So if I am having a conversation with somebody, a client service person, a strategist, production, whoever it is, I need to make sure that the vision we had for this work is coming through.
It's my job. And when you simplify that and you have that as your focus and your goal becomes a little bit honestly easier to do, and then doing good by your people gets back to the mentorship piece. It's, you know, this person on my team is very good at X, Y and Z. They need to be better at this.
How do I make sure that I can help them and get them the opportunity to be better at the next thing that they need to be working on? That's my job to help them in their career and in their craft. And by helping your people, supporting your people, listening to you know, that the challenges that they're having within the agency, the challenges that they're having with the client and helping them solve for them, you've now got a team that feels supported, that feels inspired and that feels confident in going out in front of the clients and showing and showcasing that work.
You know, as as, you know, as a copywriter, sometimes you as a person, your you're, you're you're your heart and your emotions are out in front of, you know, they're in the work. So when someone doesn't like it, it sort of hurts. So helping a team get through that and don't take it personally, like just because they didn't like that idea doesn't mean it's a bad idea.
It answered the brief. It's subjective. And so being able to really help support your people and help them find that confidence was just great advice. So that's why to this day I still use that, you know, to get by the work, do good by your people and you and your agency will succeed. And I just think it's fantastic advice.
Daniel Burstein: Oh, I mean, it's like someone calling your baby ugly, right? So quick. What do you mean, beautiful?
Justine Greenwald: My baby's adorable.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah. You wonder. Do you can you think back in your career if a specific example you could tell us about how you did good by the work and did good by the people? Like creating a campaign or work with a client or so, for example, I interviewed Julian Rio, the assistant vice president of International marketing for RingCentral, on how I made it marketing.
One of his lessons was Share your knowledge to elevate your people. And that's something he talked about was, you know, don't feel like, oh my gosh, I'm going to like, you know, teach my tricks and how I do it to this person and they're going to come and take over. My job is like, no, no, you share your knowledge, elevate the people because they're elevated.
Then boom, you can move on in your career. You're helping them, you're helping yourself, you're helping the company. I wonder if you could you take us into the room where it happened? I mean, some of those campaigns you're working on, it's it's can be pretty brutal putting in the time it takes to actually build them, get rejected by a client, lose a pitch, whatever it may be.
How did you do? Good. By the work and do good by the people. Take it South one.
Justine Greenwald: It's a great, great question. I think one of the one of my first was to join Mosaic about four years ago. One of the first projects that we worked on was developing what we call experiential platforms, and we were doing them for Anheuser-Busch. So Stella Artois, fantastic brand, right? Just one of my personal favorites, actually. And we were tasked with, you know, what is a by platform idea, especially in the experiential marketing world.
It's not just like, what is this experience? It's like this is a platform that can exist in any way, shape or form. When this brand shows up, what is that platform idea that it's associated with to make it, you know, consistent across any touchpoint that a consumer is in? So it sounds again, simple, like, oh, it's just a hook, it's a theme, it's a platform.
But to really think about the difference between a platform idea and a headline, those are two very, very, very different things, right? And so it was our job to come up with these different platforms. And so the creative director that was working on this and his team, we were just in rooms, you know, like one word on a page over here, images over here.
Here's the brand history. I mean, it looked like the movie with Beautiful Mind. We you go into the garage and you've got like threads and markers and stuff drawn over things. I mean, it was a mess. But coming out of that session, you start to see themes, right? And you start to hear different, different things rise to the top.
And so in doing good by the work and you see a room like that, you're like, okay, this brand, it's from Belgium, There's a European and history to it. How do we bring that sort of sense of, you know, how, oh gosh, this is why I've always wanted to live in Europe like the cafe lifestyle, take a two hour lunch, you know, enjoy yourself.
And that's the whole point of this brand. And then we're trying to make sure that people took time to to to enjoy life with others and savor that time together. Savored over beer, savor with casual meals, savor with your friends. And so that sort of idea started to form in this idea that we called Port to Stella, as in the port lifestyle that you find in European cities and how we start to really bring that together.
And in supporting the people, selling that idea in to the clients was really, really hard. In fact, the first time we shared it and I was with the team in the room, we were in the FBI offices in New York. It didn't go great, but it certainly was one of those like, there's something in there, we see it, but we still need to push on it.
Maybe it's the need, maybe it's the convention, maybe it's this, maybe it's that. And so again, doing good by the people coming out of that, meeting myself and that creative director, we just basically went out for a beer, of course, as Stella and just talked about it, talked about the feedback, talked about the work, and just supported his brain because there was a lot of really great things in there.
We just kind of pulled it out, talked it through, went back and and sold it in. So it's a it's a sort of a good example of, you know, ideas really what's going to work for the work, what's going to work for the people. And and that was a good one.
Daniel Burstein: I like that. Well, when we talk about what's going to work for the work, we're people sometimes, too, you know, they're just from self-care. We've heard a lot. But we also like making sure things are working for you too, right? Checking in there. So I like this next story and this next example, because it was about you specifically in making sure that you were actually into the work.
You should be doing. I mentioned it in the opening stop, running to a standstill. And I love it because we've we've always been there. I worked on a distributed team at one point with a VP, and every time we would have a meal we had off sites in different cities. She would always harp on that. She's like, We are here.
Like, I don't want to see people look at their Blackberries. Back then all of these things, it's like you just be here in the moment. Let's see how much we can be here. And it was so true. When you hear it sounds silly and I don't know who. And then you're like, My gosh, that is so true. The stop running to standstill.
You learned this from Jon Hamm, the CEO of Return Entertainment in London. How did you learn this from John? Yes.
Justine Greenwald: So John was one of my former CEO, not CEO, sorry, chief global creative officer, kind of a big title, big job. And he did a wonderful thing, which was he got a lot of the kids from across different countries together for a executive creative director summit, which is fantastic because when you think about all the different challenges that we all face in our daily lives, it's good to take a moment, be in the present, have a conversation with like minded people and, you know, ask questions, see how they're getting through challenges and learn from each other.
That was the really the main point. And to then again help elevate that work and so I just remember it so succinctly with breakfast and, you know, the you know the drill. You get up in the morning and you see your inbox and there's, you know, 80 emails from teams and they're asking for advice on this. And can you look at this to give this feedback?
And the client challenges on this? We think this is the right answer. Okay, great. And John, you know, sees me frantically going through all these emails and frantically typing, texting back. And he's like, what are you doing? It's like, well, the team's asking for advice. I got to answer everyone's emails. He's like, Do you trust them? Do you trust your team?
I'm like, I implicitly trust my team. They're fantastic. They know what they're doing. He's like, Then just say, Looks great. Sent. You need to be here in the present. They you put these people into these roles because you trust that they can do that work. Give them the confidence that they can move give them the confidence that they're in.
Great shape and then be present in this moment, because this is where we all need to be right now. And he said, You're running to stand still. Stop running to stand still. And I just thought that that was such great advice of like right in our daily work lives, we are absolutely constantly just running, running against deadlines, running to meet a need, running to answer this client's question, running, just, you know, trying to find new information to inspire new thoughts, like we are running, running, running, running, running, running.
You sometimes forget it's critical to stop, stop running, because when you stop running, that's where the influence from others, that's when your brain is open to new thoughts. That's when your brain it needs to idle for a second. Because if you're constantly running, running, running, running, you literally don't have the brain capacity to let ideas blossom, right? And that is I think there's some scientific research behind that in your brain.
A human brain can only handle so much at a time, a minute at a time, and you sometimes need to unplug from that and you sometimes need to stand back from that and stop the running. So the stillness lets the ideas sort of seep in and the inspiration seep in. And that is such an important lesson of being present in the moment and and ruthlessly prioritizing what needs to, you know, come through in that moment.
And, and I think being present and mindful of your surroundings does nothing but really help you and the work be better.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah. And you know something I've noticed I think probably we started roughly around the same time, but my career was shaped by the ebb and flow of print deadlines for printers. And now there's it's just and it's real time, right? It's endless. And so I think that is such an important and crucial lesson, specifically because of that, like there was that ebb and flow a bit.
We're just kind of like, Hey, if you wanted to get that print and it was whatever was the deadline, and I said, you know, maybe you can get to the FedEx at the airport by that time, but then that's it. It's gone versus endless real time, relentless need to stay on top of things. But that also brings up the question you were talking about when you talked about, you know, how you spend your day.
It's like, hey, I want to get out of the office. I want to understand people see how they are right where people were communicating to people. That's so true about us, but it's true about our customers to write to when they see our messages. And we're trying to get our brand messages out there, too. They're going through the same thing.
They're on that same treadmill and they don't experience it like us. So I wonder for you, what do you do or what have you done to help overcome that with the customer, right, To help the customer and help that message get through? That's one of the most challenging things we face today. And give you an example, our CEO Phillip McGlothlin, had a keynote that I loved and he talked about overcoming the prospects perception gap.
And this whole idea that the prospect, the potential customer doesn't perceive everything. We want them to wear, everything that we see, right? Like an example, I love to use it when I worked on like a TV campaign or any sort of video campaign, right? Like the person seeing that now, they might see that you know, on their phone with a weak data signal or they may see that it's interrupting, you know, the TV show they're watching or they may see that now, like out in an event when, you know, their kid just dropped their hot dog.
Right. But the way I said the way we would edit it is it was fun. Like you'd go into the studio, step out of the office, you're there with the editor, they're catering lunch. You're sitting on a leather chair. They've got these beautiful screens. I mean, this Dolby surround audio in there, you know what I mean? You know every little detail in the video, but it's the customer is perceiving it so differently.
So I wonder for you, is there anything you've done or have you do to help kind of step out of, you know, that studio, so to speak, and make sure the customer understands and perceived that in their busy world because they're doing the same thing. They're not always stopping. They're still running in place. Right? So what have you done to help get that message through to the customer?
Justine Greenwald: It's such a great example. And so. Right. So we it's going to sound a bit trite, but it actually really works. So you've we've all talked about consumer journeys and like, it's not a journey, it's a destination. Like all the things like I won't get into the marketing, speak around it because we've all been there and heard it.
However, there is such validity in understanding where is that consumer in their journey, because then listening to, let's say a podcast like are we like that's one moment in time that you want to make sure that you're relevant. So because there are so many touchpoints, right? I mean, you think about the marketing world today and just how many different vehicles, media channels, how many different ways there are to get in front of a consumer.
I mean, different opportunities. There are it's not trying to, you know, spray and pray, as you will. It's really thinking about what are the most relevant moments that you can interact with a consumer on their, quote unquote, journey that are then going to actually help them in that moment. Stop and take a minute. Stop and stand still. When are they going to be most interested?
When are they in the most need of that product or brand? When are they going to be the most receptive to it? And we spend time really digging into moments of receptivity because those moments of receptivity are when they are maybe standing still a little bit or when they're in the middle of it helping them to not be in the middle of it, get out of it.
And using that tension point in the work and in the communication and in the creative that we create is really are, you know, how we can help our our clients and their brands actually make a difference, actually return on their investment, actually drive an increase in whatever we're trying to do and whatever objective we're trying to accomplish. Those moments of receptivity are everything and understanding that, you know, crazy treadmill that we're all on, where are they in that crazy treadmill and where can we help them get off?
It's really a goal of ours.
Daniel Burstein: I would do it for you if you could share in your journey as a consumer, maybe like a moment of receptivity that really got you. Because I'll I'll share two real one that didn't work with me and what it did, and this is where I get back to to I like what you said because I think every touchpoint, every potential touchpoint we have with the customer is a thing of value.
And I think that sometimes I understand the marketing department is not always understood by the CFO or in logistics or some other departments where again, they're looking at as a cost versus a value or customer service. For example, I'll give you I'll give you two quick examples for my life for the customer. Want to hear one from you two.
So I was getting a washing machine or dryer or something delivered. We bought it from Home Depot. This was before we worked from home. The pre-COVID days. I was actually specifically working at home just to get this, and I was on the phone calling a meeting or something and I see like a truck with a trailer come by and I live in a cul de sac.
So, you know, it was going that way. And I'm like, must not be that like a pickup truck with that or like a just a plain white truck with a trailer behind it. But sure enough, it pulls around and pulls in front of me. And these folks are delivering this washer dryer to me. And it was like literally it was like some plain white truck and like a trailer behind it.
And they're wearing whatever clothes and like overalls, you know, nothing branded or anything. And they just hooked it up. And I just got thinking like, I'm sure again, there was a CFO, someone, a logistics fulfillment, whatever they said, we could save 10% if we outsources to local contractors. All right. Versus what is that brand experience where I trusted Home Depot, right.
To deliver this? I you know, I don't remember if it's free delivery or if I paid for delivery, hook it up, whatever. And it's like the guy from like Craigslist is just coming in, hooking it up. And that's where I think maybe the marketers lost out. And one other example and this I remember this I remember this as a kid.
We were driving it was like the New Jersey Turnpike. It was winter, it was cold. We pulled off at a rest area up there and there were these people giving out hot chocolate. And it was actually a religious organization. It wasn't a brand name, the organization, but I thought like, as you know, what a great brand experience that would be where, you know, you're again, just helping to serve the customer.
What if that was, I don't even know, a hot chocolate brand, whatever. Hot chocolate brand. That was right. They were just out there, you know, in that cold New Jersey night on the New Jersey Turnpike at the Thomas Edison rest area, whatever it was. And they're given a hot chocolate. How how think about how that hot chocolate tasted so darn good.
Right. It could have been just whatever generic hot chocolate, but whatever hot chocolate they gave me, I would have been that's the best hot chocolate ever to possibly get. So again, that's where I feel like sometimes we overlook those touch points and we just are like siloed in. We've got our media budgets and whatever versus, you know, kind of the financial folks in the company are just like, Oh, well, you know, we got to report to the street next quarter.
We can, you know, kind of shave a little bit off and get a better margin there. So I wonder for you, Justin, you talk about these touch points with you experience anything, go to you as a customer that, you know, really resonated with you, inspired you.
Justine Greenwald: Absolutely. So I'm also not just a chief creative officer. I'm also a hockey mom.
Daniel Burstein: Okay.
Justine Greenwald: So I spend a lot of time and I think this is maybe when you mentioned the gloves, why this triggered my my memory. So I spent a lot of time at ice hockey rinks and there's the kids, you know, like these are these are where I'm going with this is is beer. So that's I dimension. These are kids.
These are hockey tournaments where you have underage these are not kids of drinking age. But I remember I think it was Molson had this whole like official sponsor of you know, hockey clubs or hockey something something and it was in the locker room where I was like dropping much respect. So it's like, huh? And I'm like, Oh, wait, great.
This isn't just kids. These are like men's rad hockey leagues and Molson. They're in their locker rooms, like sponsoring their their clubs. I'm like, That's so smart. Like, just like, and, and these are not like, beautiful pieces of creative. It's just very simple, like branding Molson logo. Here's the special. Here's the deal. But it's now like, from a brand perspective, right place, right time, moment of receptivity.
One I got a lot of time lacing up those skates, looking around, you're hanging out back there and you're like, Oh, yeah, post-game, totally doing. That's what totally going to have a a beer. I albeit a molson at this point with my with my hockey team after the game like it's just it's those sort of moments where I as a mom with a younger kid was like what is the like here?
And as a marketer I'm like, oh of course, makes perfect sense.
Daniel Burstein: I would drink a Stella likability. I like the Belgian corporate lifestyle more than the smash mouth. I mean, I'm in Jacksonville, Florida, so ice hockey isn't my thing. I'll go with Stella. So one final lesson here, and I like it because we've really touched on this lesson through this entire episode. You've really kind of talked to her and shown how this says, but let's let's kind of zoom in a bit here.
You say disconnect to create concepts that will connect. And you learned this from Rene Mahoney, now a creative director at Weber. Clearly, this has resonated with you and your career because we've we've really kind of been hitting on this the whole time. So how did you first kind of come to this realization? How did you learn this from Rene?
Justine Greenwald: So after my first job, Rene was my my, my second sort of boss, mentor, etc. In my second job, it was a small little consumer marketing promotions agency here in Chicago. And so I was like, I think a senior copywriter. So she creative director And your job is to come up with great headlines as a copywriter. You know that.
Yeah, and concepts. And it was very interesting because some writers tend to look at the word dark and you just think and write on a page, right? And you go to the computer, you brain dump a bunch of headlines. You think about the cleverness of, you know, does this word, you know, payoff this word, And how are those two things?
You know, even the headline and wrote Disconnect to connect, that's a headline like that's a total. And you know what I mean by that? Like the copywriting of that was very intense. But in creating creative work, that obviously isn't just words. The images and the visuals are everything and how you get across a concept, it's not just a headline.
And so Rene taught me how to do these things called Writers Roughs. I can't draw. I am terrible at it. I'm stick figures at best, but a writer's rough does not mean that you need to draw anything important or well, it's just sketch out that idea, right? Don't go to the computer. Don't go to the word duck. Literally pick up a pencil and draw and sketch the idea that you want to get across and it will then help your headline be more impactful.
It will help make it a bigger idea. I help make it a concept. And I remember there was this one we were working on Kellogg's Special K at the time and obviously is a brand that is for women and wellness and overall health and wellbeing. I remember watching her do this writer's rough and she's like here, for example, and she sketched out a pear and an apple.
And if you're a woman, you know what that means, because we both, some of us have a pear body shape and some of an apple shape. I'm an apple. And so by just seeing these shapes of a pear and an apple, I'm like, oh, my gosh, I totally as a woman, completely relate to the brilliance of that as a visual.
And now I'm going to write a headline that sort of pays that off. So it's it's sort of thinking conceptually and visually first to then write a headline against it versus opening up a laptop. And like Thriller, you know, brain dumps. And what's funny about it, I don't even remember the headline I wrote, and it's probably inconsequential relative to the image itself because it was so good.
But I think, you know, that, gosh, that was a while ago. But I think in today's world where everyone's like, Oh, we'll have chat gb t just write your headlines and have a I do your layout. So I'm like, oh, like it's a tool. It's a great tool, but without a human insight, without a concept, it's just words.
It's just layout. Like you have to, you have to feed those tools more meaningful conceptual thoughts that are going to resonate with a human. And that is why this sort of, you know, disconnect to connect you're human to connecting with others on a human level is most important, first and foremost. And that's what you got to understand those concepts.
Then go to the computer, then go to chatbots, then use all the tools you want. But you need to come up with that concept in your head first. And that really makes a difference when it comes to creativity and and what great work really is.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, you're a woman after my own heart and we we got our package. We got to pack a few things because, you know, so one thing I wonder, like, is there something you still specifically do to stay off a digital device? Because when I was in my career, I think I had a fortune in this or the luxury of markers were still a big thing.
If you know what markers are. People call birthdays. Yeah, I mean, and so we would have I'd have marker comps all over my office. Our director would you could, you know, Cork and Doby and some of these things were there and they were there were knew where they were starting, you know. And so you could more than you you could probably ten years before comp stuff up on a computer but still it started often on a big pad with a marker.
And since your point, it wasn't you couldn't yet have any sort of pizzazz or execution make it better. The idea had to be good enough that it was a marker. And to your point, I'm a horrible driver driving that that yes, that was good enough. And then let's take it to the next step and keep it up. So for me, here's one thing I do.
I read as much print as I can. Like, I've read the newspaper, I read magazines, I read because I am on devices all day. And so when I'm not on device that work, I mean, yes, I play with things I want to learn about emerging things. You mentioned tick tock, but I do want to just connect and I want to get my information in other way because that disconnection is important and I think your brain works in a different way at that time.
So I wonder for you this connect to connect. Is there anything specifically that you tried to do to disconnect?
Justine Greenwald: It was a great question, Yes. And I find it actually easy to disconnect sometimes because, I mean, like you said, we are on our devices from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed. No question about it. And I relish the moments where I, quite frankly, make it purposeful to just put the phone away.
So here's here's a just it's such a silly but but relevant example. So after a long day and I mean, not only just devices in my laptop, but also car office like I actually like I spend so much time so many times on calls. Yes, it's technology, but it's like the Bluetooth with the speaker. What I mean, so many conversations on the phone, in the car, at at work, etc. So during the hours of around I'd say 630 to about eight no devices.
Put the phone down, close the laptop, talk to my kids like have a conversation with a human cook. Cooking is a fabulous creative outlet, by the way. Thinking about flavors lists. And you know, I've got the news on in the background. So, yes, there's technology on, but it's just sort of catch up on the days outside of the, you know, workday.
But it is a time where you can express your creativity. Let your brain think about something else besides work for a hot second to recharge. And so that is my my hour of no laptop, no phones, no anything. It is my time to spend with my family, having dinner, having human connective points and listening to everyone else's day.
My day is very different than my kids days. My days vary. My husband's a high school teacher. He teaches computer science and hearing about, you know, how he's teaching the FBI hackers for future.
Daniel Burstein: To help.
Justine Greenwald: Safeguard our Internet security. Fascinating. You know, like, there's just so much to be learned in my own house, let alone from these devices. And so hearing what those close to me and what they've experienced during the day again opens up that aperture to think outside the box, to think what is happening in culture, what is happening in the world.
And I didn't need a phone or a TV or a laptop to do it, Just had a human conversation and those are sometimes the best, most meaningful.
Daniel Burstein: No, and I think this is important to talk about, because if we don't consciously do this as creatives, we will just fall into the trap of getting sucked into those devices. And I also love you. My wife's a high school teacher, and so one of the things I love that I learned from her is I mean, it is essentially marketing and advertising and creativity in some ways.
You have an audience, a very disconnected audience. Yeah, it is very difficult to get through to you and you have to get a message through to them. That is. I mean, one of the things I love about hearing about her day and how she goes about things and kind of brainstorming with her. Right. Let's take the flipside for a second.
You mentioned I write. So is there any way that you use artificial intelligence in your work? So for me, I think, you know, I agree with you. And I think sometimes people have gone too far and they put that trust in the eye and are like, it'll write the whole ad, the whole email, the whole whatever. For me, I think we were I don't remember for talking before we start recording or after.
When I started as a copywriter, when I would first get the job start or first and you talk to the AP, there would be that moment of sheer terror of I will never come up with another idea. And the thing I needed to do I found is just momentum, right? Just get that ball rolling. That's how you get over a writer's block, right?
And so I would go to CAA, Communication Arts, you know, magazine with all sorts of creativity. One show words, books and all these things because I just needed to get off the block. I needed to get that ball rolling and get the idea started. And for me, I can be that when I'm stuck. I mean, I'll ask it, do this, do that right, you know, And it starts doing things and then that gets me thinking of doing something.
I mean, and the other thing that helps to of they, I is, I mean, at one point very early in my career, I mean we would go to the library or one big when I was an intern actually we had an actual like information department there, a copy editor there, also an information department had like every book. And you could go like number one in some sort of Shakespeare quote to inspire something I was working at, I would go to to the guy there and he was Sal he said everything you read books of all these quotes and all these encyclopedias, all this stuff, and you go and you have that information, you can kind
of get the ball rolling. And so for me, I, I can take large amounts of information, right? I can take a whole transcript from a YouTube video. I can take a chat from a Zoom webinar we've had with our audience, and I can go clods a little better with this if people use different tools because you can put a lot of information in there, I can put that in there and then ask you questions about it, all that information.
And for me it is kind of get the ball rolling. But I do agree, like I do think that that I think we have to be careful for which the same way we do with other digital devices is not to outsource our brain to A.I., right. When we kind of when our brain or creative or creative muscles get lazy and it just boom, okay, I need a concept for an ad or the band.
You know what? What's the tagline for an event? Here is information about the company wants to be. So for you, Justin, on this, I think we're on the same page about disconnecting to connect. I think that's so important. Is there anything you do use A.I. for though today?
Justine Greenwald: Absolute. So we use it, and I know I'm going to sound like a broken record around human insights, but it's the truth. So outsourcing your brain, I love that it's true. You don't want to do that. But when we are solving for ideas for clients, obviously the word, you know, innovation, how are we using innovative technology to do that?
That is where the world is today. And we're of course, embracing that, wanting to make sure that that is relevant. I just speak to this Gen Z audience that's growing up with it all the time. It's second nature to them. You've got to make sure that it's doing good by the audiences that we're talking to. So we are using AI in solving for human challenges and insights.
So using AI in a way to solve for today's lifestyles and helping, you know, and and really looking at ways to help unlock the technology to serve humans is really the goal, not just using it to. And of course we also same thing use it as a fount of inspiration because there's so much out there like, you know, we use the journey a lot.
Chatbots, of course, and just using those tools as inspirational bounce of sparks for sure. But then when we're really crafting it to solve ideas for our clients, it is coming in as what is it and how is it helping solve a human need? And that's that's that's sort of how we've been been been inspired by it, using it, excited about it, and excited about the possibility of what it can do.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, serving human need. I like that. Let me ask you one more question because you said something previously in your answer that just excites me or taps into something in me. I guess when you're talking about disconnect to connect, you're adding that right word and getting that getting that right word is just so important. So I wonder for you, is there something you do to try to get into the head of the customer to understand what what that right word should be?
So for me, I know I mentioned our founder, Philip magoffin, before he had another great video where he talked about talking about your customers versus talking to your customers and the stark difference there. And so for me, I try to go somewhere where I can hear the customer in their own language. And this has gotten easier and easier with online stuff, right?
You can go, you can like read reviews, you can look at their customer service, how they're talking, you know, sometimes just even like getting to get them on the phone or sit down and talk to them. And I'm really listening to like, what words are they using to describe a goal or a challenge or the product. And one example I remember for dialysis company, it was I think I think the right name for medical name is nephrology.
I think they were using that right. And you know, people are using kidney Doctor Right. So you could use nephrology. No one was really don't know what you're talking about or you can use kidney doctor because that's what they do. And there's, you know, so many examples in every industry. So I wonder for you just like how do you get into the head of the customer to find those right words to use?
Justine Greenwald: It's a great question to you know, it's funny, I, I have to think about that for a minute. I think mostly it is this is where I my strategy partners and my strategy team are the best. So we do what we call sort of profiles in dimension. And so we'll look at different audiences and say, okay, this is who we're trying to communicate with, you know, 25 year old midlife crisis, not midlife quarterlife crisis.
This is 25. This is what's going on in their head. This is what's going on in their world. And quite literally looking at posts, looking at how they're talking with each other and their friends, looking at the concerns that they have about where they are in their life. You know, like a quarter life crisis. I remember being 25.
That is like a lot going on. Who am I dating? Anyone. My friends are starting to get engaged. I don't have the right career. That is a that is a just fantastically rich territory. It's a mine for descriptive words. And how are people talking about how they're feeling in their life and where what is important to them and what they really care about.
And so by just digging into sort of those, where is the emotional richness and the emotional territory that that age group, that that target audience, that that, you know, consumer is really wrangled with? That's where the rich words come from, is those sort of, you know, tension points of what's going on in their lives. And then from there, you know, matching matching that sort of emotional words and how they're describing that state of mind and then matching that up.
And I've actually done this, too, where here's all the product and the brand name and all of the good things. Here's what this person is saying and what this person is needing in the words they're using to describe their emotional state, Where are their synergies and how do I bring those two things together to make this product and or brand very relevant to solving this need that the consumer is clearly having?
And that's where the whole copywriting fun of the puzzle game that it can be of matching and words and you know you know it's the Jenga puzzle of word play that's got it you know.
Daniel Burstein: And now emotional resonance is so important because the word hits the wrong note, the wrong tone for that person. We've got so many words to choose from that say the same thing. One can feel like hype. One can just feel flat and one can feel like, Yes, yes, that's right. Right. And that's what we're going for. All right.
This thing we've talked about so many different things about what it means to be a marketer in this conversation. What are the key qualities of an effective marketer.
Justine Greenwald: Key qualities of an effective marketer? I do think a key quality is, and probably the most important one to me at least, is knowing your audience, but not just your audience, but what your audience wants. Like, right? Like that's a very popular phrase. Know your audience well, of course, but knowing your audience and what they want and what they need, that double click down is critical.
And when I say know your audience as a marketer, it's not just the target audience, the consumer audience, it's also the client. Like when I go and speak to a client about their product, their brand, the same as they gave us, I need to know the audience and what they're looking for in the room and what are the points that are going to help, you know, sell this idea or help explain why this idea is what it is.
So it's knowing your client audience, it's obviously know your consumer audience, and it's really just understanding the world of of how those ideas you're you're creating are going to resonate by knowing the ticket points that both of those audiences are looking for. So I think as an effective marketer, that for sure is is a big role. Know your audience and you're talking to and what they want.
And I think the other effective piece is understanding what is relevant in this world, what is culturally relevant and being curious about it, right? So having that curiosity of what's next, what's new, obviously, as marketers and as creatives, we're always pushing to find what's what's next, what's new, what's different, because that also is a marked back to the sort of first question that can award worthiness.
It's never been done before. That's why it won, you know. So what's never been done before? What is new that is out there and the only way you can get to what's new is by being curious about why something doesn't exist or this is a need that I never even thought somebody had.
Daniel Burstein: Like like.
Justine Greenwald: Really digging into and understanding with that sort of passionate curiosity, what does the world need that it doesn't have yet and sort of really thinking about how that brand or that product or that client can answer that need that that to me is a very exciting and why again, back to the beginning, why this is a fun job.
Like it is a fun job or I love. I remember in college my favorite courses was doing ethnography is ethnography is where basically like take a person, person on a bus, person in a field, person in a classroom, whatever. And think about their backstory. Think about the humanness that they came from, where do they come from? And so being curious about others and where they came from and their backgrounds and their stories like that is a fun, amazing job to be able to have that as the sort of, you know, North Star of really understanding what makes humans tick and how do we help brands answer those needs.
That is a that is a fun and exciting world, and I'm really happy to have spent my career Do it. No regrets. No regrets.
Daniel Burstein: Well, thanks for letting us dig into your career, Justin. This was a very fun conversation.
Justine Greenwald: Good. I'm glad I agree. Thank you so much for the great questions and the great conversation and for inviting me. I'm so appreciative of it.
Daniel Burstein: Absolutely. I thanks everyone for listening.
Outro: Thank you for joining us for how I made it in marketing with Daniel Burstein. Now that you've got an inspiration for transforming yourself as a marketer, get some ideas for your next marketing campaign. From Marketing Sherpas, Extensive library of free case studies at marketing Sherpa dot com That's marketing SRH, ERP Ecom.
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