SFSU Alum John Gumas came back to school and changed our course of study . . . and our lives

Filed in Sharisax Is Out There 3 comments

Have a vision and commit to it, says John Gumas

When I invited John Gumas to participate on a panel for my advertising students at San Francisco State back in February, I had no idea that his views and insights were going to change the direction of my life.

That panel discussion and the meeting I had with John and the other panel members opened my eyes to the huge changes in the world of advertising and marketing.

I put aside my textbook and relied on marketing professionals like John, as well as Internet Ebooks, blog posts, webinars, podcasts, and news stories to help me blaze a trail down the Social Media Revolutionary Road.

SFSU Grad JOHN GUMAS Heads Strategic Marketing Firm GEARED to the Future

Right after graduation in 1984 with his College of Business degree in advertising and marketing, John Gumas opened his advertising agency to serve the needs of Challenger Brands — companies that were being out-spent by larger, more established competitors.

“It was clear to me that Challenger Brand companies needed to be marketed differently. How could these organizations compete?”

“They couldn’t out-spend or out-research the Goliaths. We’ve built our business helping these companies grow profits by distinguishing them in ways that set them apart from their competitors.”

“It was all about helping them play to their strong points, especially those that resonated with their target customers.”

Today, Gumas Advertising is an award-winning strategic marketing, advertising and interactive marketing agency with a host of regional, national, and international clients.

“Cultural Relevance”:

Companies must understand the new world of marketing

John acknowledges that things are changing faster than ever before, but not the basic strategy:

“Marketing is all about anticipating change so your programs are ahead of that change. When brands and companies don’t realize that their offering, messaging, or marketing strategies no longer match the needs of the marketplace, they fall behind the pack.”

“It is all about understanding when you have to do things differently.”

Integrated & Targeted Marketing is the future for advertisers

  • You have to provide relevant content, and your message is key.
  • The vehicles to deliver that content are changing all the time.
  • People want to be courted.
  • They want to make decisions on their own.
  • Consumers still want to be sold to, but in a different way.
  • Marketers need to think more deeply to reach their target consumers.
  • You can’t be everything to everyone: You must STAND OUT.
  • You figure out what is working, and what isn’t. Drop the Bad and do more of the Good.

John’s first lesson was his Best Lesson

John loved what he was doing when he first began, and he continues to love it to this day:

“Figure out early on that if you are passionate about what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

John’s advice to students:

1) Know who you are and what you want to do.

2) Don’t get a job for the wrong reasons, like money or prestige. Do a job because you are passionate about it.

3) Find an internship to test the waters. It’s the greatest experience you can have.

His advice to clients:

1) Have a vision.

2) Make a commitment.

3) Commit to make it happen.

NEXT POST: My report on the Great Panel Discussion DOES PR SUCK? with Guy Kowasaki, Louis Gray, Loic Le Meur, Renee Blodgett, and Steve Patrizi

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   26 August 2009
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Comments
Sep 10, 2009
5:10 pm
#1 TONIROCHELLE :

Change is hard. Peo­ple like the com­fort of the Way it Was, and the Way They Know: but that is hardly a roadmap for progress.

I BELIEVE THAT CHANGE IS HARD BECAUSE WHEN YOU’RE USED TO THE SOME THINGS. YOU DON’T WONT TO GET OUT OF THAT MOOD OR YOU’RE JUST TOO LAZY TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW.

Like at my job at Kaiser: We work a lot with computers and now they are changing all the systems. Many people who have been working here for ages, say things like “THAT’S NOT HOW WE USED TO DO THINGS.”

They are stuck in their own ways.
But if you ask me, change is good because it keeps you healthy. It keeps your mind up to date.

CHANGE IS GOOD BECAUSE MOST OF THE TIME ITS BETTER THEN WHAT YOU WAS DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Sep 12, 2009
3:04 pm
#2 Harry To :

This is a really good read. All the advice and tips John Gumas gave really make sense. The old techniques of marketing no longer work in the 21st century. “You can’t be every­thing to every­one: You must STAND OUT.” You Must Be Unique. “You fig­ure out what is work­ing, and what isn’t. Drop the Bad and do more of the Good.” Keep all the negative stuff in the garbage and enhance all the positives. Really good tips.

Author Sep 12, 2009
3:31 pm

Harry, I’m certain that John will be happy to know that his words are striking a chord with many of today’s youth.

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