Western Carolina University
Interview of Robert Jumper, Cherokee One Feather Manager & Interim Destination Marketing Manager
By: Sabrina Arch
1. Tell me a little bit about how you started in the Newspaper Business? Could you give me some examples to illustrate the challenges you faced in this industry? I have been involved in some type of media since my high school days. Back then I wrote articles for the paper and was the photographer for our paper and yearbook. Later on, I became interested in broadcast journalism and radio announcing. I served as the news director for WWCU at the university and have been active in radio throughout my professional life. Having served as in retail sales management and tourism marketing, I continue to write copy, do commercial photography, and edit campaign material for digital and print media. Five years ago, there was an opportunity to become the editor of our tribal newspaper and I was fortunate enough to be selected for the position. The greatest challenge for any journalist or editor is an ethical consideration-balancing the need of the public to know with the consequences of releasing information that will be hurtful or damaging to someone. With regard to editing media owned by a tribal government, there is always the possibility of government interference in the delivery of news to the public. Real or perceived, the community feels that their information is manipulated by the leadership of the tribe. So, the editor must convince the government not to interfere and the community that he is able to do that.
2. How long have you been in the marketing/advertising industry? I have been in some form of marketing and advertising management for 34 years.
3. Since you have been in the marketing industry, can you tell me a little bit about how it has changed over time? Of course the biggest change in the way we market has to do with the mediums we use and the access to research. When I first started in sales and marketing, the cell phone was in its infancy. They were big and clunky. Laptop computers were the same and the internet was not a common item. Now technology has given us computers that fit into our phones and our phones down to the size of a wristwatch. People read, hear, see most of their information from their smartphones, tablet, or other mobile devices. A recent study showed that 70% of our newspaper readership reads the paper via a smartphone or tablet. Because of these and other advances in technology, we also have also have user data that is more detailed than ever. We are able to tailor our marketing to the prospective client better and more efficiently. The other big change is in the generations of consumers and their expectations. There is a world of difference in the wants and likes of your generation and mine.
4. How many clients do you have? What are the typical industries? We have hundreds of thousands of clients. I would say blue collar and white collar industries alike.
5. What type of services do you provide? Of course, on the newspaper side, we provide information relevant to the community and those interested in native culture, specifically Eastern Band culture. On the Destination Marketing side, we offer information as well, but in a totally different format. We create print, audio and video media to entice travelers to come to our destination. We put on events to showcase the culture and provide visitor experiences that will entice travelers to make a repeat visit and share their positive experiences so that they will come as well.
6. What demographics do you cover? We target families (with the adults being 25 to 45) with incomes ranging from $50K to $100K income and a secondary market of single or couples with no children (45 to 64) and income range of $75K to $150K.
7. What advice can you give someone trying to market or advertise their business? Know your product and what value it brings to your client. If you cannot explain to your client why they need your product, you will fail before you ever get it to market. Product
development is the key to successful marketing. Analysis your product and find out who are the people who are most likely to need what you are selling. Listen to feedback of those who use your product. Make modifications to the product based on what your clients are telling you. You will have a better product and better results when trying to convince others that your product is what they need.
8. What advice do you have for anyone promoting their new business on social media?
Honesty is the best policy. No matter how great your business or product is, there will be some who do not like you or it. Resist the urge to delete truly constructive criticism. Post often with relevant content. Make your space as inviting and engaging as possible. When a client feels like a friend or family, it much harder for them to turn down what you are selling.
9. What do you feel is the best form of Marketing and Advertising? It really depends on what you are selling and who you are trying to reach. Social media is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to get visible to a client base. Websites can be amazing tools to showcase your product. But if your product appeals to a narrow demographic profile that does not use digital media, your best choice may be print. It is a matter of doing the rightresearch to find a fit for your product and your client.
10. Is there anything else you would like to share? Marketing can be an overwhelming piece of your overall strategic plan, but it is also the most critical for you to nail down. Everything in your business rides on whether or not you can convince others that they must have your product…many times above the same basic product of your competitors. Think through what makes you and/or your offering unique. Build your media and marketing plans using the goals you have established in your strategic plan. The old adage “think outside the box” is more relevant today than ever before. Everyone is thinking outside the box. The one who does it best sell their product and makes their business a success.