Jeff Yapp is a highly experienced marketing professional who has been enhancing the profitability of his clients for over 30 plus years. Yapp attended the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and graduated with a Master’s degree. His first post-graduate job was at the Kraft Foods Group, where he helped the company solidify its reputation as one of the largest processed foods corporations in the United States. After Kraft, he worked for Gallo Wines, Pepsico, and Newscorp. He then went on to work with 20th Century Fox Entertainment and MTV.
Jeff Yapp’s innovative marketing techniques have brought his clients a great deal of success in today’s competitive market. His company, Wutznxt, has created exciting marketing campaigns for some of today’s biggest brands. With novel approaches to reaching the public, Jeff Yapp has been able to create a thriving career. Yapp lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and family.
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
While my best subject in school was Marketing and Business, my favorite was History – I loved history. I have always been able to learn facts quickly and it helped me to truly understand how history works. Lessons in History provide great guidance from the past and apply to today’s world. I was fortunate to have great teachers my whole career. I then went on to graduate school, where I got a lot out of my marketing classes. This is what led me to pursue a career in marketing.
What was your first job?
My first job was landscaping and lawn care when I was 10 years old, I made about four hundred dollars a week. This job really taught me from an early age about hard work, dependability and attention to detail.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
After graduate school, I took a position with Kraft Foods. I was involved with creating marketing campaigns for some of Kraft’s best-known products. My expertise in marketing led me to later positions with Gallo Wines and Pepsico. After Pepsico, my career took a turn where I concentrated on news and entertainment rather than consumer products. I was looking for a challenge and working in a new sector of the economy was satisfying. I feel that I am best known for my work in the Entertainment field.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
I have synthesized all of my experience in my previous jobs to create Wutznxt Consulting. I have also been able to build on my huge client network and to bring innovative marketing to large and small brands alike. They have all been great prep for what I do now. It taught me to take to calculated risks and to trust my instincts—nothing that good is ever easy.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
My best day of work was when I landed the job with MTV. I felt like it was the pinnacle of my business achievement. I had a great deal of pride about landing the job, and I wanted to make it the best decision MTV had ever made.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I have a great deal of internal motivation. I always want my work to be the best it can be. I enjoy creating new marketing campaigns, and I love knowing that my clients are getting the exposure they deserve. Another important motivator for me is supporting my family. Since I have seven children, I have always been focused on providing for them.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
Digital and Social Media has really excited me. These platforms provide access to people who may never have been noticed before or had the opportunity to share their gifts. It lets them have a place for their ideas to be heard.
Have you tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
Most fun was the relaunch of Star Wars—I found the original model and created life size X-wings and TIE fighters, bringing them to life for fans. That was an amazing relaunch and really was an unorthodox approach. Or maybe it’s the 350-foot City Destroyer balloon I created for the launch of Independence Day. Who knows, the list goes on and on.
What personal achievements are you most proud of?
I am proud that all of my children are pursuing careers that they are most passionate about. I am also proud of taking ideas that absolutely no one believed in and making them highly successful.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
Focus on the things you love—you’ll make a great living and you will find success in life by chasing these passions.