During the 190th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Josh Cole, the chief marketing officer at Sky Zone. Sky Zone is an active environment for adults and kids with gravity-defying aerial attractions, boasting more than 210 locations around the world.

Cole began his career with a short stint in financial services before making a jump into the entertainment industry at Universal Studios parks and resorts division. He joined as the first digital team, specifically focused on internet marketing. He was involved in starting all of their social media and digital marketing from the beginning.  Five years ago, he made the “jump” to Sky Zone to widen his responsibilities and oversee “all things marketing.”

Cole discusses his gratefulness that someone took a chance on him. “You have to hire for intangibles. You’ve got to find someone who is smart, curious and has the right personality to dig in.” He shares the importance and health benefits of “active” play. “We know that we have the highest awareness, but awareness doesn’t mean anything unless it turns into visits.” Cole discusses the importance of GX (guest experience), research and branding.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”: 

  • Josh’s background and journey into marketing. (01:18) 
  • A unique story: the big jump from financial services to marketing. (03:39)  
  • The “soaring” business of Sky Zone. (08:21)  
  • The key factors that differentiate Sky Zone from other parks. (11:56)  
  • Three elements for how the “totality of marketing” comes into play. (16:22)  
  • The challenges and opportunities for franchise marketing. (22:29)  
  • Advantages of “battle-tested” marketers. (27:25)  
  • Sky Zone’s partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines. (29:01)  
  • Josh’s defining moment/experience that makes up who he is today. (33:58)  
  • Josh’s advice for a young marketer starting out. (36:35)  
  • Current brands to watch. (38:39)  
  • The future of marketing and opportunity for marketers. (41:09)  
  • Linking commerce to culture, naturally. (42:53) 

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.