Pepper Talk with Dom Mezzanotte

This month’s Pepper Talk is with Dom, our Senior Marketing Strategist.

Just a little background before we get started, Dom works on to support several of our government clients. He’s been with Eleven Peppers for 10 months.

1. Do you have any nicknames?
“Dom” is my main nickname (borne out of my peers’ inability to pronounce my full name as a youth), but I also have a long-dormant one from high school: “Skippy.” I had a teacher who, upon calling out seating assignments, said, “tell me how you want to be addressed when I call your last name. Jimmy, Johnny, Skippy, whatever.” My last name was coincidentally first, so I took the opportunity to be a little stinker and yelled “Skippy!” He smirked and said “oooookay!” and only called me by my actual name on graduation day, a solid 3+ years later.

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Check Twitter to see what I missed overnight and then immediately regret that decision.

3. What is your favorite part about working as a marketing strategist?
I view the job as a type of diplomacy: trying to hone in on the best solution for all involved. Even when clients are being difficult, as they can be, I like to think that everyone is trying their best amidst a very stressful environment. So the key is crafting emails that give them a bit of an out but still garner the results/answers we need. That ultimately gives them a product they want and that we’re proud of.

4. How did you get started in this industry?
I worked for the DoD for 8 1/2 years and spent the majority/final stretch of that time as a Recruiter. I was uniquely situated to see applicant needs, Agency needs, and everything in-between. So I wanted to leverage that into a position that helped me thread that needle for all involved and find the common ground.

5. What are your favorite tools of the trade?
It sounds silly, but honestly, I really like emails. Phone calls and virtual meetings are a necessity, but since everything is happening in real time: thoughts are rarely opined as eloquently and thoroughly as they can be in email form. It’s an opportunity to fine-tune your thoughts and create a reference point for all communications moving forward.

6. Do you have a set process when beginning a new marketing campaign?
The key question in any project, for marketing or even just in life, is “what’s the ultimate goal?” Enhancing recruitment for already-interested applicants, fostering recruitment in currently disinterested parties, and rebranding public perception are 3 very different goals with a lot of shared possible projects. It’s the little details that are key to focusing on those unique goals and ensuring their success.

7. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Big time yes!

Sweet or savory: Sweet

Favorite movie or TV series: Star Wars, collectively, is the answer to both

Favorite place to travel: Vermont

Hobbies: Film/TV and blogging about them

9. Okay, admission time… What company do you think excels with their marketing?
The most effective commercial I’ve seen in recent years was Oatly’s bizarrely unpolished and unpretentious Superbowl outing. Commercials, and indeed all marketing, have gotten so high-concept in the last decade or two that people are pretty savvy to it and immediately skeptical of why they need to be tricked or dazzled into buying something. The best products or services speak for themselves, and I think the pendulum is swinging back toward advertisers leaning in more rote directions with statements like “our thing is good, you should buy some.”

Thanks for meeting Dom. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!