Marketing is a Lot Like Parenting

Friday, August 7, 2020

Employee Spotlight Profile
Justin Combs, Senior Marketing Manager
Gardner Business Media, Inc.

My daughters - Belle, Shelby and Stella

My daughters - Belle, Shelby and Stella

Raising three daughters can teach you a lot about marketing. Half of what I do as a parent is take an idea or an activity that will either be fun or healthy for my kids and package it in a way that they understand - from “Let’s read a bed time story” to “You have to brush your teeth.” Anyone that has ever spent time instructing a four-year-old on proper oral hygiene is a master marketer in the making. For my youngest, I made it into a game with a silly song, so it was fun for her. For the middle one, I explained how much shorter dentist visits were if you took care of your teeth. The oldest just took a little time and an explanation that brushing your teeth was the healthy choice. One message, three different audiences, three different tactics to success.

Whether it’s kids or manufacturing professionals, you have to know what you’re talking about, know your audience, and know the best way to deliver that message – communication 101. In my current role at Gardner, I work on Modern Machine Shop, our oldest brand, and Additive Manufacturing, our newest. Even though both audiences are heavily invested in making things, they come at it from very different ways. That also makes the content we deliver different. Modern covers manufacturing as a whole, focusing on trends that affect the entire manufacturing market. Additive is a deep dive into one specific technology that is drastically changing how things are made. No two days are alike.

Before Gardner, I worked at a machine shop, a book publisher, and a fortune 50 company. The same variations applied to all of them, too. Marketing today encompasses a lot, and marketers need to be ready for that. Just recently, I have developed annual marketing campaigns, created print ads, written press releases, handled multiple social channels, set up a booth in the Texas heat and spent one afternoon putting necklaces on gopher puppets. All in the name of delivering the right message, the right way to the right people.

At Gardner our marketing team embraces that chaos. We have a tremendous mix of talents, experience and energy. We also have an “open door” policy for ideas that keeps us innovating. Internally, marketing touches every aspect of what Gardner does. We collaborate daily with editorial, sales, advertising, intelligence, events, audience development and more. All of those people are domain experts that we lean on to fine tune messaging for each audience.

The work can be frenetic and frustrating at times, but nothing beats the feeling of really crafting a message and seeing it hit home. So, the next time you’re arguing with your kids, remember to count it as a marketing workshop and bill for the hours.

Need more information?
Justin Combs, Senior Marketing Manager
Gardner Business Media, Inc.

About the Author

Justin Combs, Senior Marketing Manager, Gardner Business Media, Inc.

Justin Combs

Justin is the Senior Marketing Manager at Gardner Business Media. He has been working in marketing for longer than he cares to admit anymore. He holds undergrad degrees from Eastern Kentucky University in Public Relations, Broadcast and French. He received an MA from the University of Cincinnati in Communication and is always willing to talk about who the best superhero is and why you’re wrong if you say it isn’t Superman.