The Human Element

June 29, 2010


Once upon a time

…A great beginning to some of the worlds best narrative tales. The classic storytelling beginning. I’ve been struggling with how to begin this inagural post and what better way than to start at the beginning. And, discuss the impact storytelling has on us all.

I began my career as an account manager turned product marketer, turned eCommerce marketer, sprinkled with business development and consulting, and always with IT chops. For the past several years I’ve focused my energies on corporate marketing and brand marketing principles and have seen, first hand, the efficacy of what good brand marketing can do for a product and company. I’ve had the luxury of working for some of the top consumer and busines brands on the planet and have been able to make some significant impacts to businesses I’ve been a part of. I feel incredibly proud of accomplishments as well as the opportunities I’ve gained along the way. Though I’ve been fortunate enough to collect some great resume data, my largest professional accomplishment to date has been the connections and friendships I’ve garnered along the way. The ability to connect with other like-minded professionals people is what inspires growth and opportunity.

Yesterday, I spent the day with Shel Israel, along with a few key members of the Webtrends team where we spent the day discussing social media, enterprise technologies, data and storytelling. Yes, storytelling came up in our technology and marketing discussion.

We discussed how…In a world of communications dominated by email, Facebook, twitter, IM, and SMS there is a strange comfort in dehumanizing what is going on around us. We are simultaneously over-connected and not connected at all. I can share my successes professionally by talking about the number of twitter followers i have, the number of comments on my blog, the number of {fill in the blank}. But the numbers, by themselves, don’t mean anything. The reality is that just connecting into the technology opens us up to miss what is important; miss the meaning of the messages in the stream or worse, to ignore them.

Success and happiness professionally and personally will very rarely be driven by technology. They will be a product of the people you surround yourself with and the stories you tell and create together. Professionally, It’s pretty comfortable to fall back into a glaze and just connect into the technology. It’s easy to wake up every day and decide what needs to be done to to move the needle .005% one way or another. As a marketer however, we have to fight that warm and comfortable blanket that is technology and get back to telling great stories. Connecting with people. Learning. Being Agile.

Welcome to the new Marketing Iteration blog. This blog is the product of a vision to share and realized by an amazing friend and designer Benjamin Diggles.

From here on out i’ll be sharing my thoughts on how I see marketing evolving and people + process + enabling technologies that are allowing us to bring the human element, the storytelling, into what we do at a scale many of us could never have imagined.


I look forward to reading your insights, Jascha. You’re so gonna rock SF!

From mediaChick on June 29th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Looking forward to reading the blog Jascha! It’s an exciting world ahead, regardless of what direction it takes, and I’m looking forward to seeing your perspective on it.

From Steve Woods on June 29th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I had a similar conversation with a friend in Seattle who just earned his PhD in bioinformatics. Basically, he applies incredibly advanced statistical models to huge data sets. Somehow the similarities between certain camps in our two fields had escaped us until recently.

But I think the rise of data’s privileged place in marketing has made some of the industry’s storytellers uncomfortable. Instead of droning on about the subject, I just want to pose a question that’s related to your post: if marketing still needs storytellers (which I believe it does), what should be the relationship between those individuals and the rising statisticians? How do the two best coexist?

From Thomas King on June 29th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Congratulations JKW. I’m happy for you and the future ahead and all that it holds. This post is meaningful for me personally as I’ve struggled with technology for technology’s sake for years. I’m happy that you’re elevating the need for context and creating a meaningful dialogue. It’s a good thing.

And, I’m happy to be your partner. You have, and will continue to, do wonderful things.


From Rebecca Kaykas-Wolff on June 29th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Rebecca, Thomas, Steven, Michelle, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it. Thomas, to your question: what should be the relationship between those individuals [storytellers] and the rising statisticians? How do the two best coexist?

The short answer is that the burden is on the storyteller, and that is ok. As I see it, statistics are useless on their own. They are only powerful when attached to a hypothesis that they prove or disprove (or somewhere in-between). Absent the direct marketer, statistics have not played a significant role in marketing until recently. Now the deluge of data provides the modern day marketing storyteller with an ample muse to work from. As marketers its our responsibility to find and use that data.

From Jascha Kaykas-Wolff on June 29th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

You’re going to do great. Thank you for everything.

From Mr. Diggles on June 30th, 2010 at 2:40 am

Well said. Story telling has always been at the heart of relationships, even (perhaps especially) in business. And no strong relationship is maintained by technology along. In fact, we’re all better off when we realize that one of the best uses of technology is to help us tell more convincing, dramatic stories to each other.

From Nelson Pratt on June 30th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Looking forward to the next adventures of @kaykas in Frisco!

From Brandon Prebynski on June 30th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Share Your Mind:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function aktt_sidebar_tweets() in /home/petitcou/public_html/marketingiteration/wp-content/themes/iterate/footer.php on line 2