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?
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.