Why is Strategy Important? A Q&A With Moroch’s New EVP of Strategy
Everybody claims their advertising is strategic. But how do you really go about making it so? In the latest addition to our strategy discipline, Moroch has hired Jim Schuch as EVP of Strategy.
Jim comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience, so we asked him a few Qs about his background, how he got started in strategy and why he joined Moroch.
This Q&A has been edited for brevity/clarity.
How did you first get into the strategy discipline?
I’ve always loved advertising. When I was little, I would ignore TV shows that were on and when the ads were on, I would stop playing and watch the ads! I loved how creative they were and how they communicated what they needed to in such creative ways.
I’ve also always been interested in what makes people tick. I started studying psychology and when I realized I wanted to be in a more creative field, advertising strategy was the perfect fit.
What does your background look like?
It’s been a long journey. I started my career in Chicago, where I largely focused on packaged goods, which was a great introduction to the business of advertising. I worked a bit on the media side where I helped to build a consumer context discipline (more insightful media plans), I spent some time in Sydney working in creative and brand strategy on brands both global and local, and in Seattle on the digital side of strategy.
Most recently I’ve come from the brand strategy side with McGarrah Jessee where I ran brand and creative strategy for Whataburger and helped build the strategy team.
Why join Moroch?
I think we’re the future.
As you think about how brands are going to be built – with consumers collaborating, with decisions being made in real-time and with media being unbelievably personalized – the local perspective is going to be increasingly critical.
Brands will be built from a local perspective up, just as much as from a national or global perspective down. Moroch is perfectly positioned to unify these perspectives and drive brand results as well as local store-level results.
Any unconventional methods or tools you’ve used to research/get insights for your work?
I once got to do research for an alcohol brand and just dive in to doing research with people’s friend groups on their night out at different bars. The rituals and interactions they had were really something to see.
Everybody in this business claims to make their work based on strategy. What, to you, actually makes advertising strategic?
Does it consider what the client is up against? Brands live in the real world. To be strategic we need to consider the business reality and the human reality. We need to consider how people are using the brand and/or products to help tell their stories. We need to investigate both culture and community. The unity of these can’t help but yield a strategic result.
Why is strategy especially important in the multi-unit marketing space?
A one-size-fits-all approach for brands is a thing of the past. Multi-unit marketers need thinking on the communities they serve, not just to know what their brand is about at a high-level.
Strategy helps marry the 30,000-foot view of culture to the realities of local neighborhoods. At the multi-unit level, this unification and understanding is necessary for creative and business success.
Any other parting strategy thoughts?
Strategy is storytelling. Whether that is about what business story we need to tell to help our clients, or what creative story we need to tell to help people. I’ve always had a passion for storytelling and can’t think of a better job for me.
Welcome to Moroch, Jim!