Crayon is billing itself as “A New Marketing Company.” It is the brainchild of Life After The 30-Second Spot author, Joseph Jaffe (who also happens to Blog over at Jaffe Juice and Podcast over at Across The Sound). Jaffe is joined by the For Immediate Release co-hosts, Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, along with Podsafe Music dude, C.C. Chapman (who also recently launched his own marketing Podcast, Managing The Gray). One Degree fired them each a question and then got them all to answer a final one together. Here’s what they said… The first question should be why was I willing to help promote a marketing agency that is not Twist Image (my own)? It’s a great question if you didn’t know that I consider the principles of Crayon to all be personal friends. We’ve even managed to meet in person on more than a handful of times. It’s that kind of social media power that led Joseph Jaffe, Shel Holtz, Neville Hobson and C.C. Chapman to not only launch their new agency, Crayon, together, but they are running their head office out of Second Life (which seems much easier than trying to get people from Connecticut, Massachusetts, California and England all in a room at the same time). Crayon launched with a significant amount of fanfare – which took place in Second Life, but for now, One Degree stuck with some real life questions.
One Degree: Why does the world need Crayon?
Joseph Jaffe: The world needs honesty, integrity, transparency, conversation and community. If crayon can play any part in helping make that a reality, I would consider myself as having been successful. There is a “collective consciousness” which is rising at an unprecedented rate. People want to make a difference. People want to focus on the stuff that matters. Selling stuff will always be important but not at the expense of humanity. That is what crayon is all about. Helping brands stand for something that counts…eliminating the fluff, false promises and hyperbole and in its place, create relevant and meaningful context and experiences. And if the world needs that, then hopefully the world will need Crayon.
One Degree: What do marketers need to know about Podcasting?
C.C. Chapman: They need to realize know that podcasting is a direct connection to the eyes and ears of their consumers and the population at large. It’s appointment based consumption of audio and video that is controlled and selected by the individual. It’s easier to push the skip button then it ever was to change the channel, so it’s critical that the content be engaging and appropriate to what the consumer was told it would be. You only get one chance to do it right so take the time to play it out ahead of time and then push forward.
One Degree: How does PR play into Crayon, and is Crayon a declaration that PR and marketing are now one and the same and should not be separated out?
Shel Holtz: Hardly! The fact that Neville and I were invited to join Crayon reflects Joseph’s understanding that some marketing assignments come with attendant organizational communication issues. PR specialists still bring unique skills to the game and perform unique work. The dimension that PR brings to Crayon will be brought to bear when a marketing assignment calls for it. Similarly, Neville and I will generate business for Crayon based on our capabilities, and these assignments may have a marketing component. At the core of any assignment, though, is the understanding that new models apply. We will consult with each other as a team on every assignment to bring the best thinking to our clients.
One Degree: What are the three big things people need to know about “new marketing” and how can Crayon help them accomplish those “things”?
Neville Hobson: There are no big things, simply a collection of small things. Crayon and new marketing is about helping people more clearly see what they can achieve themselves by breaking through the monolithic facade of stale and tired ideas about advertising, marketing and public relations. Fresh thinking, imagination and a willingness to believe in your own creativity – there: you have three things! – are strong planks in the new marketing platform. Combine such things with our understanding of the social characteristics of effective communication and you will have a powerful mixture that will appeal to and attract your new consumer.
One Degree: In five years Crayon will be (fill in the blanks) and that’s because (fill in the blanks)…
Joseph Jaffe: In five years Crayon will be the same company we are today – ambitious, passionate, intense, entrepreneurial, irreverent and honest and that’s because of the community we keep; the same community that keeps us honest every single day.
C.C. Chapman: We will be helping those companies that saw the shift coming to continually evolve and embrace new marketing. We will still be, at its core, the same company we are today. Full of energy, fun and creativity. We will be successful with a client list that showcases a diversity of industries and global locations.
Shel Holtz: In five years Crayon will have a lot more employees than it does now and that’s because of the nature of what we’re doing. If you’re good at the social media thing—from a marketing or PR perspective – there’s demand for your skills. You’re marketing, you can generate business, so you can work with us.
Neville Hobson: In five years Crayon will be leading the next wave of conversational marketing and that’s because the shape-shifting flexibility of new marketing lets us evolve as the needs of business will evolve. Count on it.