The first question on your mind may be “Why Redmarketer?”

The basic explanation is that “R.Ed” = Robert John Ed, so there’s that.  At the start of my career I was far more focused on general marketing than today, where my work spans strategy and other cross functional aspects of business, but I don’t see a need to update the blog name.   Here are a few things to keep in mind while reading anything posted here:

1. I don’t write anything about the companies that employ me for any reason. And until I own a company myself, details regarding any paid projects are off limits.

2. Anything endorsed here will be complete with full disclosure should any relationship of pertinence exist. That said, I don’t want to monetize this blog, now or in the foreseeable future. In general, if I say I like something, it’s because I do.

3. This is a hobby for me, not a job. It’s a typical blog and as such will be ripe with human error such as typos, meandering prose, occasional convoluted logic and idiosyncratic tendencies. It’s more fun to read that way anyway, if you ask me. Human voices are better than censored automation, in writing and marketing too.

I’ll add to this list as necessitating situations arise, but without further ado, backstory:

It’s a pretty long story, 30+ years so far. Bear with me.

I grew up in the sticks of a small town in central Minnesota. It was a wonderful place to spend your youth. My family and I lived on a lake and, back then, it was the kind of place where you leave your doors open day and night; there was very little to worry about. Things have changed now; it’s a different time. Summers were spent climbing trees with a scant few neighbors and trying to find where the next batch of kittens was born. Winters had the best ice fishing you’ve ever seen and we went out almost every night. It was fun and put food on the table too.

My parents are two salt of the earth, hard working people. Both from Minnesota, my father was born to an immensely talented commercial and creative artist and an avid photographer; my mother born to a devoutly Catholic farm family with seven siblings. At a young age, both shunned the city life to live and work where the stars shine a little brighter. That choice came at a price. Good, honest blue collar work was hardly easy to find, and that which was had pretty low wages. Being the youngest, I didn’t necessarily understand the difficulties of having a family of five and a mortgage. As my years started to add up, it became apparent how the stress from financial constraints can cause rifts and difficulty for people. I remember thinking at a very young age that those issues should be avoided if at all possible. Security and financial stability became a big motivation growing up. When pointing out my parents’ work ethic, I mean that they worked harder than anyone I’ve ever met. Waking up at 4am and working 12 hour days in bone chilling cold, mowing lawns after work for a little extra cash to put food on the table; basically, they did whatever was necessary to keep things in order. This isn’t meant to be impressive; it’s just the way things were, and it set a tone for what work meant and why it is so important to give your all. Not everyone gets the same chances.

I was lucky. Many of my friends growing up had no clue what they wanted to do. It didn’t take me long before figuring out that business was likely the best way to find the security that seemed so valuable then. It only made logical sense to find a job in business that was fun at the same time as being secure. Advertising always seemed like it offered the chance to be creative, so I looked into it and found out it was really only a small component of marketing, a descriptive term for how companies chose to attempt to sell their products and services. During the 11th grade, and this still seems odd, there was an introduction to marketing course available, which I jumped into immediately. Earle Brown was my first teacher, and during those 9am sessions of pouring over the importance of demographics and psychographics, it was all but a foregone conclusion that this was where I’d end up. I just knew, and I’m thankful for knowing that at an early age; it made decisions a lot easier.

Fast forward to today.

The last ten years, I’ve been studying and working in marketing and business at some level or another, through undergrad, managing the marketing department for a smaller promotional company and the graduate level at Carlson.  I’ve taken on work with Fortune 500 organizations, public and private sectors, non profits, and others in a variety of cross functional capacities both as part of the payroll and even a few pro bono side hustles.

Still the question belies, why here and like this? There are a lot of good answers. I find, like my grandfather, this inimitable eagerness to build. Building momentum and value over the long term drives me to do things such as this. It is also very good practical application of personal branding concepts, while giving a great deal of insight toward what it takes to market in the interactive environment. What a great chance to learn about something, but to build it yourself? Anyone who reads this with regularity knows that I believe we are in a technological revolution that will forever alter marketing; it’s our responsibility to understand and apply this information and the best way is to get involved early.

As far as “Redmarketer,” well it’s easier to remember than (though I got that one too, just in case) and represents what I’d like people to remember about me, who I am and what I do. Brevity is ever more important and we might as well get on with it. In today’s environment, someone is going to tell your story and it might as well be you. Companies and individuals alike are empowered to tell their stories; take advantage of that.

Keeping this blog up to date and continually writing holds quite a few benefits as well. Too many people today do not write at all, much less several times per week. Writing keeps your mind sharp and forces you to remain cognitive of issues at hand. Whenever something happens in the news, I’ll think about the marketing implications behind it and if it’s worth writing about. Professionals can benefit from this as it makes you continually stay on top of the industry. Lastly, it gives me a record of all the things going on in my life and has truly made me think differently about time, effort and building something worthwhile.  It’s very easy to go back and see what was happening a year ago, it’s also a lot of fun.