In the upcoming year, content development and strategic, multi-layer campaigns will grow more important than ever in an increasingly digital world. With this in mind, we’d like to introduce you to Carl Sketchley, a JSA account director who helps our clients spearhead their marketing initiatives through thoughtful, strategic direction and execution – as well as top-knotch written content.
Let’s start off talking about how you ended up here at JSA, what attracted you to the company to begin with?
I first heard about JSA in late 2016 through JSA Account Director Barb Mitchell, who I first met at Royal Roads University in Victoria, Canada when I was pursuing a graduate degree in communications. She told me about her exciting new position helping JSA expand in Canada and introduced me to our CEO, Jaymie. With previous experience working in communications for charities, I already knew Iwanted to experience what it was like to work for a public relations agency with an international footprint. After talking to Jaymie for about an hour, I knew this was the place for me. JSA’s core values are, by far and away, what attracted me to want to work here. Since I joined, I have had the real privilege of working with people that are not only passionate about how they support their clients, but are also amazing human beings. Not everyone gets that opportunity!
Not only are you an account director, but you are also one of JSA’s top technical writers. What are some tips you have for writing about some of the more complicated aspects of our industry?
First, it is important to remember that we never stop learning. The telecommunications industry is so diverse and full of innovation. Being willing to put in the time to do the research is key. Reading peer-reviewed articles, poring over slideshare decks, talking to the experts and taking part in events – these are just some of the ways that help us expand upon our already deep knowledge base.
Second, Albert Einstein once said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” That’s really where JSA excels. We take the big and challenging concepts and factor it down as necessary into approachable, yet accurate messaging that can resonate with our clients’ prospects. At other times, we embrace the technical, depending on the audience and the type of marketing collateral. A blog might read differently than an in-depth case study. No matter what, it’s our ability to understand and explain concepts simply that reassures our clients we can truly understand them and accelerate their marketing and public relations strategies effectively.
It’s often said that “content is king” when it comes to marketing, do you find that to be true?
Absolutely! I’m a big believer in looking at marketing as the discipline of offering trusted expertise that can help solve other businesses’ problems. Many of our readers have probably heard of the buyer’s journey. This is really a longer-term process where companies and the individuals that work there become aware of a problem they need to solve, consider various options and ultimately decide on a particular solution and provider. In the B2B world of marketing, which JSA excels at, having content that can speak to prospects in any of these stages is paramount. Good marketers know they need to employ the right message at the right time, and linking all marketing activity to the buyer’s journey and a solid content plan is definitely the way to go for best results. Once you have a good content plan, it becomes a lot easier to layer on additional marketing tactics.
When you aren’t planning the next big client campaign or drafting an eBook on statistical multiplexing, what are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
I was lucky to grow up in an active family where I had an opportunity to pursue a variety of interests from playing piano to running and weightlifting. When I do get a moment to myself, I am very often doing all three at once – listening to great music while pumping iron and maybe breaking it up with some laps around the block. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly squashed some of my plans to run a few races this year, but I’m looking forward to 2022 and the potential return of some of my all-time favorites, including North America’s second largest 10km race – the Vancouver Sun Run (Canada). Of course, when I’m not working or training, I enjoy spending quality time with my wife and son, exploring the many parks and trails that exist within our region.
What are you looking forward to in 2021, both with JSA and otherwise?
Like everyone else, I’m most looking forward to an end to this pandemic! I definitely miss the vibe of attending in-person events and being able to meet new people face to face. Even though 2020 brought challenges to the field of marketing, I know JSA had quite an amazing year of growth. As a result, I’m most looking forward to continuing to work with our amazing clients on advancing their marketing strategies. Many of our partners are already beginning to delve more deeply into new areas around Account Based Marketing, Intent Data, Attribution Marketing and advanced tactics around digital advertising. Working to combine these approaches with the art that is story-telling and brand awareness will make for an exciting 2021.