John Andrews, Rethinking Retail Marketing – InnovaBuzz 289

John Andrews

John Andrews, Photofy

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, John Andrews, CEO of Photofy App. John has 20+ years of work in the digital marketing field. He helped build one of the first “people as media” platforms at Walmart called Elevenmoms and founded Collective Bias (acquired by Inmar in 2016) and teaches as an adjunct professor at NC State University.

In our discussion, John and I talked about:

  • Changing the retail experience to adapt to online
  • Building relationships and serving user-specific content
  • Being your own user

Ted Rubin in episode 262 introduced us to John.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Direct relationship with consumers is the future of retail. @Katadhin on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

Show Notes from this episode with John Andrews, CEO of Photofy

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Emerging media is anything beyond the banner ads.
  • Photofy is a content creation platform that enables companies to provide creative assets to their employees so that they can create content and share it with their network. It is a mobile-only platform for non-creatives like marketing teams. 
  • Photofy enables businesses to increase their company’s footprint by leveraging the network of their employees as well as the authenticity and localisation of their content. As a result:
    • Your network is more interested in what you are doing than with what another brand is doing.
    • Your network knows what’s relevant to you and the things that appeal to you on a more granular basis than any company would know.
  • We’re not living in a centralised world anymore. People expect that as a user, someone near them can help them.
  • Empower your people to help your customers. Your employees are capable of communicating. Empower them to create content. Give them the tools and training to do that.
  • Templates are powerful. Your employees can take those templates, personalise them, and share them with confidence knowing that it has been approved to be shared.
  • Shoppers expect businesses to be able to deal with them wherever they are. 
  • Direct relationship with consumers is the future of retail. 
  • Your lead magnet should be targeted specifically to people who are interested in your brand. 
  • People like to be marketed in a way where there’s a value exchange going on that can benefit them. Don’t just tell them what you are selling.
  • BAT (Basic Attention Token) is a platform that creates a three-way value exchange between an advertiser, publisher, and consumer. BAT is the future of marketing.
  • Marketing to the right customer at the right time is valuable.
  • It’s not true that you need to serve more ads in order to get an infinitesimal amount of people to pay attention to your ads. In a digital environment, that becomes super annoying. People don’t want your ad in their stuff all the time.
  • In times of crisis, you have to think with empathy on how to support your people because people are going to remember who was there to help them when this is all over.
  • People don’t need an email from you every day.
  • What happens when a consumer calls your customer service or when a consumer wants to go to your store to return a product they bought online will be the base expectations of a consumer moving forward.
  • A lot of things are happening now that many of us never expected to happen before. The only way to know and understand, is to be your own user and really understand what a shopper is going through on a day to day basis with that experience of using your product or service.
Be your own user and really understand what a shopper is going through on a day to day basis with that experience of using your product or service. @Katadhin on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are John’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Try things in a different way. Do something completely different every day. 
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Look at other unrelated industries.
  3. Favourite tool for innovationWaze
  4. Keep project/client on track – Identify three things that you’re going to do in a week, and only focus on those three things. 
  5. Differentiate – The biggest form of differentiation is not what you do but what you eliminate. Great brands do less and don’t try to appeal to everyone. The best reach is being exclusive because your brand is not for everyone. Really defining all the things that you are not, helps define the thing that you are. 

To Be a Leader

Love what you do. You’ll be more successful and more innovative if you truly love what you are doing. Go and find something that you are passionate about. That is the key to happiness. 

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank John through their website and on LinkedIn.

Suggested Guest

John suggested I interview Zachary Lones, Director of Social Media Marketing at Walmart. So Zachary, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of John Andrews.


Photofy stands united with small businesses in this COVID-19 pandemic. Register now and get your FREE 6-MONTH subscription to Photofy’s Business Collection Package for new members who register by June 15th, 2020.


Cool things about John

  • He and Ted Rubin have an upcoming book called “Retail Relevancy” that explores how brands and retailers can thrive in the future by being relevant in consumers’ minds. 
  • He holds an MBA in Marketing from the Wake Forest University School of Business.
  • He designed s curriculum and class structure for GLM 590 social media class for the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management.
The biggest form of differentiation is not what you do but what you eliminate. Really defining all the things that you are not, helps define the thing that you are. @Katidhan on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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