Jesse Friedman

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Jesse Friedman
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Product marketer with a strong sense of brand. 15+ years experience, at Google, B2B fintechs, and as a freelancer. I'm also a strong writer and tough-but-fair editor. Tight, thorough briefs are my love language. I'm super-collaborative, comfortable with everyone from artists to sales execs, lawyers to engineers. I develop a quick rapport with clients, because I've spent most of my career as one. And with everyone, I bring energy, tons of curiosity, and dad jokes. My weakness is sticking with any project for too long, and I'm not the guy you want for project management. Fortunately, the agency setup takes care of that, and frees up my itchy brain to connect the dots, write up a storm, and respond quickly to any input.

What got you interested in Marketing particularly?

I love words, people, and connecting the dots. I flirted with UX research, which scratches all of those itches, but I also love the art of persuasion. Product marketing is simply the natural fit, because my interests and skills take me from research to analysis to strategy and structure.


How many years of experience do you have? With that many years of experience in the industry, what words of wisdom would you like to give to young Creatives?

Wow, it's been 15 years now! I'd encourage newer marketers to try to understand the fundamentals, both of human behavior as well as marketing principles. Platforms and tactics will come and go, but people will always feel losses more than gains, and it's simply more efficient to keep a good customer than to acquire a new one.

Design for a donut shop

Tell us about what drives your personal projects.

I love just enough structure to point my curiosity. For instance, my wife and I have been running United Noshes, a dinner party series featuring one meal each from 194 countries in alphabetical order, and I've learned a ton.

An ad for Google

How did your journey into the creative world begin?

I got exposed to the field at Google when I was an admin assistant, taking some 20% time to help the Google Maps marketing team introduce transit directions in New York. I was hooked by the energy and creativity of campaign launches and talked my way into moving to marketing.

An ad for Tremendous

I’d love to hear more about your experience! Can you tell me about a project you found particularly challenging, and how you managed to overcome any obstacles?

Way back in 2012, a bill called SOPA (Stop Internet Piracy Act) threatened to upend the open Internet. It was blazing through Congress and Google was terrified along with many other heavy tech hitters. W


How do you approach working on a project for a client and what is your process?

I don't Don Draper it, with a big reveal, but rather work fairly out loud. There is a lot of complexity in most product and brand marketing work, and while a brief and a kickoff is a great starting point, I find that periodic contact really helps both me and the client spend our time and energy most effectively. I just hate it when hours of work goes into something that a simple conversation would have made clear was not necessary.


What was the first project you worked on professionally, and how did you land it?

After 11 years at Google, my first freelance gig was with a small non-profit hospital chain in southern Oregon. A friend pointed me to them, and they really had no clue what they needed from a marketer, their ask was so vague. So I proposed that my work should be to help them figure it out. I flew down, got the last rental car in the lot at the Medford airport (a huge Dodge Ram!), and in a windowless room deep in the bowels of a medical center, promptly helped them realize I wasn't the right person to lead their fundraising communications effort.


How did you get interested in creating? What were your early influences?

My first exposure to marketing was through my dad. Part of his job at Friedmans Microwave Ovens — a 100+ location franchise in the mid-80s! — was drafting newspaper ad inserts and other marketing materials. I even got to record a few radio ads, which were objectively obnoxious, but it was fun to take an afternoon off of school and go downtown to record them.

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