Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Navigating the Dynamic Seas of Modern Marketing & Branding
Today, we had the opportunity to interview JJ Nelson – Director of Brand Communications @ Bergmeyer.
Thank you for joining us today! We are thrilled to have JJ Nelson, the Director of Brand Communications at Bergmeyer, with us. JJ has a unique background, starting his career in the entertainment industry before transitioning to the world of PR, marketing, and communications. He has worked with a wide range of brands, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, to elevate their brand positioning and communication styles.
In this interview, we will discuss the most significant shift JJ has observed in the marketing and branding landscape in the last year and how businesses should adapt to it. We will also explore how he balances the need for data and analytics with the creative aspects of marketing and branding in the era of data-driven marketing.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the conversation with JJ Nelson.
Interviewee Name: JJ Nelson
JJ Nelson’s favourite quote:
I have two that are impossible to choose a favorite from!
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” – Brene Brown
“When you become the image of your own imagination, it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.” – RuPaul
Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?
JJ Nelson :
Thank you for having me!
A bit about myself and my background: It is truly unique in its makeup of my past professional and life experiences that have molded me into the person I am today. Having moved to Los Angeles in my early 20s as an aspiring actor, my career truly began out of desperation to be a part of the creative process, not to mention the desperation to have income to survive. Through the guidance of a dear lifelong friend and mentor, I was offered a role as a casting assistant for a buzzing Commercial and Film casting company, the famed Lisa Fields Casting, which was by far the catalyst that changed the trajectory of my career as we know it.
Having worked in various positions within the entertainment industry in casting, talent management and production for feature films and TV series like Friday the 13th, How I Met Your Mother, Greek, The Cleaner, Dance Moms and more for the better part of my 20s, I eventually made my way back to the East Coast to be closer to family and begin the next chapter of my professional journey.
Over the past 12 years I’ve had the pleasure of working in various creative agency roles as a PR, Marketing, and Communications pro, working to elevate brands ranging from start-up to Fortune 500 to strategically elevate their brand’s positioning, awareness, reputation, and communication styles.
Joining Bergmeyer in January 2020 as their first-ever Director of Brand Communications, my expectations for my role and ultimate impact were abruptly halted within months of starting due to the pandemic’s unexpected arrival, a moment that at the time I expected would sever any hopes for short-term successes in my role.
The truth is though, the pandemic’s impact has ultimately transformed every aspect of what I thought I was capable of as a business leader and professional for the better – truly honing valuable skills like rapid adaptability, resiliency, empathy, emotional intelligence, crisis communications, change management, and perseverance.
As a leader I prioritize active listening, empathy, and compassion while encouraging my team to embrace risk-taking, enabling them to harness their full potential creatively.
Often recognized for my inspirational approach to leadership, as well as my “yes, and” mentality, genuine kindness, authenticity, and unwavering commitment to deliver exceptional results, I continue to thrive in challenges and transform mindsets by always asking, “what if?”
As a proud advocate and member of the LGBTQ+ community, I currently serve as a Board Member for SpeakOUT Boston, the oldest LGBTQ+ speakers bureau in the nation, in addition to serving as a founding member of Bergmeyer’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee, and volunteer member of the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE)’s Communication Committee.
What’s the most significant shift you’ve observed in the marketing and branding landscape in the last year, and how should businesses adapt to it?
JJ Nelson :
I think I speak for most marketers when I say that 2023’s most significant shift for our industry, and for so many others, is the integration of Generative AI tools into our workflow. How we use it and to what extent is of course one of the largest challenges many marketers are faced with. Utilizing AI as a supporting tool and resource to build upon and generate ideas is where my team and I have had major success in improving efficiency in staying ahead of our content calendar, and across broader team functions throughout Bergmeyer. A critical component to its functionality is how it is leveraged, which is why we always encourage ethical considerations when adopting new AI tools to ensure AI continues to be a value-add versus the driving force for content creation, because at the end of the day it is the human expertise our clients rely on, right?
In the era of data-driven marketing, how do you balance the need for data and analytics with the creative aspects of marketing and branding?
JJ Nelson :
At Bergmeyer, we’ve coined 2023 the “year of data” – and as a creative agency that speaks volumes for how we are integrating real-time data into not just our marketing efforts, but our operational efforts firmwide. Data-driven marketing is critical for learning what types of content are resonating with our audience on each respective channel, and having the opportunity to understand why users engaged more-or-less with specific types of content on each individual channel is critical in shaping our strategic direction throughout each year. The digital marketing landscape continues to evolve and shift at a rapid pace, meaning we as marketers are constantly challenged to adapt and pivot almost as frequently as each campaign is deployed to stay ahead. I only see the need for data-driven marketing strategies growing immensely in the near future, but as important as it is to learn from data, creative integrity should never be sacrificed in the process.
Leaders Perception would like to thank JJ Nelson and Bergmeyer for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!
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