What prompted this post is that I had the pleasure of attending Lee’s wedding a few weeks ago where Lee Jones and Eliza Funston had a beautiful ceremony up in Sudbury, MA. Lee and I caught up about our journey so far, and I thought sharing this picture and our brief story was worth a post. Below is a picture of us at his wedding in the backyard of Eliza’s house where the ceremony took place.
I have not told this story on the blog before, but told many people in person and thought I would finally get it down in writing.
Lee and I started Marketing.fm while we were both working at Grey Advertising in NY. Specifically, we both worked at MediaCom with Lee doing TV buying and me working on traditional Media Planning. We collaborated on the inaugural MediaCom University class where the goal was to learn about the media business. From there we went on to work together on a few client projects all the while becoming good friends. Having a background and interest in technology and all things Internet related I soon worked for Beyond Interactive, working on many of the Grey brands and coming up with digital strategies.
We both were at the absolute bottom of the pecking order, getting paid next to nothing, and had a lot to say.
We also both talked a big game about articles in our field, conferences we were not attending, and a slew of other things related to marketing and technology.
It was not long before the entrepreneur in me broached the subject of writing a blog. Lee had a background in teaching and writing English, and I thought we had collaborated well together so we took the plunge in March of 2006.
At first, we blogged anonymously because we thought we would lose our jobs if Grey found out. I know this sounds crazy in hindsight, but this was at a time where corporations had not exactly embraced blogging, let alone employees blogging about their industries.
We knew we had a niche topic, but the goal was to provide ourselves with the soap box we did not get elsewhere. Emails and notes sent into AdAge went unanswered, conference organizers ignored our pleas, and anyone above our level wanted nothing to do with two entry level worker bees.
Thus Marketing.fm was born and we joined the conversation.
We soon attracted a following of marketing and advertising professionals and knew we were onto something when comments and emails came in from others like ourselves.
Our thirst to add value to the blogosphere was quenched, but this put the focus back on our day jobs. We both knew it was time to make moves.
In the next chapter of my career I joined a Search Marketing startup called Reprise Media. I joined the account management side of the business working with direct clients and agencies on SEM, SEO, and Social Media campaigns. I stayed for a few years, learned many lessons and gains a few mentors, and rode through an acquisition by IPG. This was certainly one of the most influential jobs I have ever had, but I will save that for another post.
A few months later Lee also left MediaCom and joined a startup called Reviewed.com.
As you can see we are both inherently entrepreneurs and working at a large corporation just didn’t seem like a good fit.
Fast forward a bit and I found myself wanting to work more with startup companies and get even more entrenched in the web. Largely through this blog I got my next job at Union Square Ventures, which I described here.
Lee also left his next startup stepping stone, and with polished sales skills joined an awesome team at ValueClick.
Rather than providing links to posts from year 3, I thought I would provide a history of the Marketing.fm founders. We have certainly come a long way since we decided to start an anonymous marketing blog. It may not be the biggest and most subscribed to blog on the Internet, but that was never the goal.
We continue to use this platform as a catalyst of conversation and a test bed for new ideas. Doing it all in public has been a learning experience, constructive, and certainly a lot of fun – so thank you!