Once a journalist, always a journalist. True North Custom Chief Marketing Officer Jason Skinner channels his previous professional self by bringing a newshound’s thirst for understanding and relationship building to his role.
Jason, a 13-year veteran of True North Custom, knows the company inside and out after serving as a managing editor and an account manager during his early years here. Nearly a decade ago, he turned his focus exclusively to marketing—helping us tell our story as custom content creation experts so we can help clients tell theirs. He credits his journalism background with paving the way for this shift.
“As a former journalist, I’m always trying to understand what makes my audience tick and how to make a meaningful connection,” Jason says. “That curiosity drives a desire to find new and creative ways to meet our audiences where they are and solve problems—and content is the marketer’s best resource to accomplish this when done right.”
Jason understands the demands placed on healthcare marketing teams because he’s been in their shoes. Prior to coming to True North Custom, he worked in the marketing department for HealthSouth, a national inpatient rehabilitation provider. His duties ranged from helping to shape campaigns and developing content to creating the CEO’s personal Christmas card.
“We were definitely the catch-all department,” Jason says. “That experience was invaluable. It helped me understand what it’s like on the other side of the client/agency equation, where expectations typically outstrip the resources needed to meet them. I also learned how to anticipate common problems that we can help our clients solve.”
Championing Custom Content
More and more healthcare marketing professionals are realizing that custom content can be the solution to many of the challenges they face. True North Custom’s State of Healthcare Content Marketing 2016 survey of healthcare marketers found that 94 percent are currently using or plan to use content marketing this year. The True North Custom team helps healthcare organizations create a multiplatform custom content program tailored to their needs and, most importantly, their audience’s.
To use this custom content effectively, follow these favorite tenets of Jason’s:
Put yourself second. Effective content is all about the person with whom you’re communicating. Think about the audience’s interests and needs and offer content that is useful rather than a sales pitch.
Measure twice, write once...repeat. This take on the old carpentry adage reflects the importance of a data-driven approach to content marketing. It starts with planning content based on business objective and target audience insights, and then taking the time to evaluate how well that content performed and optimizing before moving on to the next campaign.
Jason draws joy and inspiration from a variety of sources: spending time with his wife and three children, playing sports, cheering on the University of Alabama football team—and working with creative people who keep him on his toes.
“I’m inspired by people and ideas that question the status quo,” Jason says. “The industries we serve, health care and marketing, are in a constant state of flux. This requires our company to stay nimble and adapt new processes and technologies when it makes sense. At True North Custom, I’m surrounded by colleagues who are always asking, ‘Why are we doing it this way?’ and seeking more effective ways to serve our clients. They inspire me to never stop learning and testing new strategies to build our brand and grow the business.”