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Transcod­ing Convergence

An inter­view with Luke Luck­ett of Pro­jec­tize Media

I haven’t known Luke very long but I found what he does fas­ci­nat­ing and thought he’d be an inter­est­ing guest for this inter­view series. I had an oppor­tu­nity to chat with him at Mul­berry & Vine (a cute down­town restau­rant that, to my delight, had some amaz­ing gluten free, vegan deserts). I orig­i­nally met Luke at a Toast­mas­ters meet­ing, so once I had my sugar fix in the works I started the ques­tions. Here is what transpired…

Q: How has Toast­mas­ters helped you in your business?

Luke: I’ve been a mem­ber of Toast­mas­ters for five and half years. I became pres­i­dent of my club (for­merly known as Amer­i­can Express Toast­mas­ters) within my first year of join­ing. Tak­ing on that role was piv­otal to start­ing my busi­ness. I learned an incred­i­ble amount of lead­er­ship skills – lead­ing vol­un­teers who con­tributed sig­nif­i­cant amounts of time to our local club. It boosted my con­fi­dence to start my busi­ness, which I did at the end of that year.

Q: I saw on your web­site you some­times help clients with speak­ing engage­ments. Does hav­ing been a speaker helped you with advis­ing these clients?

L: It has helped me so much! For sev­eral of my clients I’ve been a speech­writer. In some cases I’ve sent out­line mate­ri­als that they can ad lib to a smaller group. I have also writ­ten out multi-page speeches that clients have deliv­ered nearly word-for-word.

Q: How did you start your busi­ness? Did you use ven­ture cap­i­tal? Kick­starter? What was your process?

L: Ven­ture Cap­i­tal is rarely an option for com­pa­nies in the ser­vices indus­try; VCs want phys­i­cal or cloud-based prod­ucts that can “scale”. Kick­starter was not really a thing for busi­nesses in 2012. So I started out by sim­ply build­ing a plan.

Q: What exactly is a product-marketing consultant?

L: I work in the dig­i­tal media and adver­tis­ing ecosys­tem. The major­ity of my clients have been tech com­pa­nies or media com­pa­nies that are mar­ket­ing to other part­ners within the ecosystem.

Pub­lish­ers mar­ket­ing them­selves to agen­cies, agen­cies mar­ket­ing them­selves to brands, ad tech or mar tech com­pa­nies mar­ket­ing them­selves to edi­tors and jour­nal­ists, brands look­ing to revamp their image to improve tech­ni­cal tal­ent recruit­ment, etc. Nearly all of my expe­ri­ence has been in B2B marketing.

The prod­uct mar­ket­ing func­tion is an under appre­ci­ated role in the world of media and mar­ket­ing. Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing as a func­tion has existed for decades in other indus­tries such as CPG and Automotive.

In media and mar­ket­ing there has usu­ally been this huge divide between the team/person that comes up with new prod­ucts or ser­vices, and the team that pro­motes those prod­ucts and ser­vices. The per­son­al­ity traits of the peo­ple in these two groups are vastly dif­fer­ent. Prod­uct or Inno­va­tion teams are fairly tech­ni­cal and pri­mar­ily con­cerned with accu­racy and deliv­ery; clas­sic Mar­ket­ing and PR teams are pri­mar­ily con­cerned with brand image, aware­ness, and exert­ing influ­ence on a mar­ket — usu­ally to sell some­thing. Prod­uct mar­ket­ing sits in between these groups and helps them to talk with each other more effectively.

Ulti­mately, prod­uct mar­ket­ing ensures the prod­uct, or ser­vice, mes­sag­ing matches the val­ues of it’s intended audi­ence, which then makes it eas­ier to pro­mote, sell, and ser­vice. It sounds easy, but when prod­uct and mar­ket­ing don’t talk until right before some­thing launches, prod­ucts can fail or take a long time to be recognized.

Q: Cof­fee or Tea?

L: I pre­fer cof­fee in the AM and herbal tea in the evening

Q: How do com­pa­nies hire you? What’s the start­ing point?

L: Most of my busi­ness comes from refer­rals. Usu­ally I’m brought in on long-term retain­ers. I know a wide cir­cle of entre­pre­neurs across the media, tech­nol­ogy, and travel indus­tries, and we often pitch projects and work together.

Q: Tell us about your com­pany name?

L: About a year before I started my busi­ness, I stud­ied for and attained the PMP (Project Man­age­ment Pro­fes­sional), which is a cre­den­tial for project man­agers. Dur­ing my stud­ies I explored dif­fer­ent types of orga­ni­za­tional hier­ar­chies. Most big cor­po­ra­tions have a “func­tional” setup: Pres­i­dent, Vice Pres­i­dent, Direc­tor, and so on down the line.

I think the indus­tries of the future are going to be more pro­duc­tized and “Pro­jec­tized,” mean­ing they will be less con­cerned with titles and hier­ar­chy and more con­cerned with projects. I try to help clients look at the whole pic­ture from a pro­jec­tized per­spec­tive to achieve greater suc­cess, and that is what the com­pany name reflects.

Peter: How does some­one inter­ested in learn­ing more get in touch with you?

L: You can fol­low on twit­ter, Linkedin or visit www.projectizemedia.com

Q: Do you have any favorite trin­kets or tech inter­ests that inspire you right now?

L: Per­son­ally, what’s hap­pen­ing with robot­ics and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence is fas­ci­nat­ing. I love that there is a lot of inno­va­tion hap­pen­ing. I’m also inter­ested in explor­ing Biotech.

Q: Who or what are your favorite resources?

L: The most use­ful busi­ness book I’ve read in the past few years is called The Founder’s Dilem­mas. For a busi­ness book, it’s one mas­sive under­tak­ing of a read but has been very insight­ful, cov­er­ing many var­ied startup chal­lenges over the past fif­teen years.

I also rec­om­mend a pod­cast called “This is Prod­uct Man­age­ment” spon­sored by a com­pany called Alpha UX. I rec­om­mend it to any­one involved in or con­sid­er­ing the Prod­uct Man­age­ment, Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing, or the Project Man­age­ment fields for that matter.

Q: Favorite tech­ni­cal term that most peo­ple would have to look up?

L: that might have to be “transcoding”

Peter: Sounds a lit­tle like some­thing over­heard on Star Trek but very rel­e­vant. Good choice.

Q: What’s the most impor­tant thing read­ers should take away from our dis­cus­sion today?

L: Be a gen­er­al­ist, and stay inter­ested in lots of things. Present often (both pre­pared and impromptu stuff). If you are able to speak well, you will be more apt to write well, which proves your con­sis­tent abil­ity to think clearly and log­i­cally. The inter­nal struc­ture of your think­ing will improve and that will help in all areas of your life – per­sonal, edu­ca­tional and professional!

As a cre­ative with a wide pas­sion base I’m always on the look­out for peo­ple I can learn from and pass on those key insights to my fol­low­ers. If you are a thought leader, trend­set­ter or just have an inter­est­ing view­point please con­tact me to be part of this inter­view series.