Introducing KB, Van Dalen advisory board member
Meet Kris Barnette! With a rich, 20+ year history in marketing and plenty of experience in running agencies, he serves on the Van Dalen advisory board as the CX and biz ops advisor to help ensure that our clients are as delighted in their experience with working with us as possible.
We sat down for a quick, fun Q&A to shed some light on his marketing interests and insights.
What do you love most about your job?
The challenge of figuring things out. Solving problems. It’s like a puzzle. When a client comes to me with a new product introduction, it’s like, all right, what’s the best way to introduce this in a way that’s going to be most impactful, profitable, and generate the most attention? Figuring it out, solving. It’s what makes marketing fun, is figuring out all of the elements that make for a successful program or campaign.
What’s the best live performance you’ve ever been to?
Skinny Puppy for the Too Dark Park Tour in the early 90s! That was a great show. It was awesome to see Negativland live, too, which I got to do twice. Most recently, the best show I’ve seen is Courtney Barnette at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas. She blew me away. I knew she was awesome, but live, she totally owned. Actually, she’s done a great job at marketing herself, in a humble way that makes you feel connected to her, plus she’s very DIY.
What’s your most unique marketing skill?
Definitely outside the box thinking. Taking unusual approaches to solving marketing problems, not taking the regular path. Presenting an outside the box option, along with a standard tactic or plan. For instance, the fundraising campaign I developed for a special needs school wasn’t the standard “sell popcorn or do a spaghetti dinner” type approach. It was, get the children to put together a book of poetry! We had students provide that content and then built a public relations campaign around it to bring attention in different cities where that school has a presence, so children were on television reading their poetry from their own book that they offer on their website and promoted it that way.
Another would be the Beautiful Science coloring book. That was a content lead generation program. We qualified them after we got the contacts, but we crowdsourced cell images from scientists through social media and illustrated them into an adult coloring book. We gave them away when they provided information about who they are, buying intentions for microscopes and consumables, and that was something that was so outside the box that I won a couple awards internally, and was also nominated as a finalist for a Shorty Award.
What do you think is the most important part of successful branding?
Consistency. Being out there with the same message, same positioning on a regular basis. It’s more of a marathon than a sprint. The key to success is being out there and consistently communicating your position in the market.
If you got to be any cryptozoological creature, what would it be?
Krampus! To be the anti-Santa Claus. That sounds like fun.