Today we had the pleasure of interviewing Rick Jessup, head of Capital C‘s digital strategy, insights, and analytics practice.
From managing Bulletin Board System on the Freenet in 1990 to starting one of Canada’s first blogs in 1995 to public speaking in 2010, Rick has truly grown up digital. Over the past 20+ years he’s had the opportunity to manage the digital and social media marketing for small startups, multi-national industry leaders, and some of the biggest names in entertainment and consumer packaged goods. His team works with clients such as Pepsi, Nissan/Infiniti, Doritos, Google, Scotiabank, Unilever, Miss Vickies, Holt Renfrew, Grant Thornton, and Toshiba.
1. How would you describe Capital C in 3 words?
Analysis, insight, ideas.
2. You have 20 years of digital marketing experience. What are some of the most interesting campaigns you’ve worked on?
There have been so many but the ones that stand out would be the latest Christmas campaign we built for Toshiba here at Capital C, the social media strategy for Toronto Pearson, and using grassroots and influencer marketing to build Canadian ratings for World Wrestling Entertainment. But the one closest to my heart was sending the brewmasters at Creemore Springs to Germany to create their 25th anniversary beer in collaboration with Zum Schlüssel in Düsseldorf, and tracking the journey socially.
3. You spoke about the “death of mobile” at the last Innovative Evenings meetup in Toronto. What would be the main take-aways?
That agencies are being lazy and clients aren’t pushing for the right things. We’re caught up in Likes/Followers and how to be “mobile ready” when everything could be taken care of by truly focusing on the paths of those that use our products or services. We have access to so much information about the people we want to reach and how they make decisions, but so few of us take advantage of that. It’s like going to war without armour. The tools are there, let’s be smart about using them.
4. On a more personal level, you’re on a mission to try every beer in the world. What’s your favourite brew?
Dogfish Head World Wide Stout. Had it in a bottle and it was amazing, then stumbled across it on tap outside Tampa, Florida. It was a 300ml tulip glass and I took an hour to finish it, I wasn’t letting that moment escape without savouring it.
5. You’re a world traveler. What were the most moving experiences you’ve gone through while on your travels?
Most of my travels thus far have been selfish, and thus lack anything truly moving, but spending an afternoon in a Mexican cantina under Arizona on the Sea of Cortez is a moment I wish I could freeze. Check back in a few months, I might make a missions trip to El Salvador in June and I think my answer to this question may change.
6. Who are some of your role models?
Per my personal brand as the last Christian in digital advertising I put Jesus tops here. Other than Him I wish I could cook like Rick Bayless and I wish I could write songs like Josh Ritter. I can’t, but I’ll keep buying their stuff and studying until I’m close.
7. What’s the #1 reason every business should develop a digital marketing strategy?
All businesses first need a brand strategy. Out of that, how to use digital/social/mobile to build that out is an imperative. Take a pause and reflect on how you go about your day, when you use a digital device, how you make decisions, how you recommend or request. Our paths are different today than they were 5, 10, 20 years ago. That fact alone necessitates a strategy to tackle it.
8. What new digital trends can we expect to see in the years to come?
We’re well on the way to seamless digital, but the ideas of needing to find a Wi-Fi network or pay for roaming will, hopefully, make way for true perpetual connectivity sooner than later. Quick mobile payments will have to arrive eventually, but that requires the parties agreeing on a standard. And if I was building something to live for a few years from now, I’d go all-in on responsive design.
Rick Jessup is the Director of Digital Strategy at Capital C, co-founder of Foursquare Day Toronto, on a quest to find the world’s greatest beer, part way through visiting every ballpark in Major League Baseball, and will one day retire with his guitar to the beach in Mexico. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. And connect with Capital C on LinkedIn and Facebook.