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General News

The Power of Words: John Gumas President & CEO of Gumas Advertising

March 10, 2023
Elena Kefalogianni

Ancient Greeks are credited with creating arts and sciences, democracy, medicine, and other advances but who knew that they came up with the idea of advertising! A stroll through the ancient Agora would see the sights and sounds of street peddlers and vendors promoting their wares among competitors, similar to how we are exposed to advertising today through modern platforms.


Although technology has shifted advertising to online platforms and consumer demands have evolved, John Gumas, CEO of the award-winning GUMAS Advertising company, maintains that the essence of advertising remains the same: a conversation between two people.

What never changes in advertising in its purest form is

quite simple: a conversation between two people


The challenge lies in delivering the message effectively. Today’s consumers are well-informed and perceptive, and the old-fashioned “hard sell” approach is no longer effective.


The moment somebody tries to sell you,

is the moment you lose trust in that person


When someone tries to sell you something, it can often lead to a breakdown in trust. Modern marketing focuses on building trust and credibility before attempting to sell a product. Consumers must be able to relate to the brand before they can trust it.


The key is getting people to trust you, the market to trust you, and your brand. You can then sell a product because they believe you and they trust your brand; they believe in the brand. The new strategy is to sell without selling.


Companies fall into the trap of a one size fits all approach believing every social media platform and advertising platform is suited to their business. That can be especially misleading, when companies look up to the advertising campaigns of industry giants with unlimited advertising budgets. These industry giants have the flexibility to use every advertising platform available without being selective.


When you have $100 million to spend, as Apple, Coca Cola

and others—they are the penultimate advertisers. They have so much money to spend and the margin for error is wide.


Smaller companies must account for their finances before deciding on an adverting campaign. Additionally, companies sometimes view their goods and services from what they think is the consumer’s perspective often resulting in making the wrong assumptions.


The most common mistake we see with companies is they believe they know exactly what their customers need to hear them say. We believe that guessing is the number one reason marketing campaigns fail. 


Consumers are bombarded by data and their respective attention span continues to wane. John Gumas believes the optimum way to capture their attention is to convey a message similar to the proverbial elevator pitch based on a 30-second opportunity to answer three questions: WHO are you; WHAT do you do; WHY are you different from your competitors. Gumas proffers a fourth, and most critical consideration: what’s in it for you?


That is the essence of posturing Gumas’s clientele as challenger brands. Challenger brands are brands that compete against larger brands. These brands also have to also motivate consumers to want to purchase their goods and services while competing with larges brands who are spending significantly more money.


The most credible form of advertising is when somebody finds you.


Consumers must find you, and according to Gumas, optimization that is based on analysis of search terms is critical to dovetail need with message delivery. The way the message reaches consumers will continue to evolve, and the process of creating that message is mission critical in the advertising industry.


Gumas believes that in the future artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality will be commonplace. The next TikTok is just around the corner and the speed and modes to reach vast numbers of consumers will continue to grow. With the evolution and seamless automation of big data, privacy issues will continue to mount.


There’s a push right now for privacy. Whether one looks at Apple, Facebook, or Google, requires a change in algorithms to accommodate privacy concerns. As advertisers, we are challenged to deliver the right message to the right people, in a cost-effective way that delivers the highest results for our clients.


Gumas believes that these concerns will push the corporate world towards the adoption of more equitable, customer-centric models and eliminate bad players using big data in deceptive and unfair ways.


It’s going to be harder for us to target clients, yet it’s good thing for society, for consumers, and to keep the big players and brands honest.


Gumas embraces challenge and knows that hard work and determination are prerequisites to success. GUMAS Advertising was created to help level the playing field for all brands in competition with conglomerates. His own Greek American story is a testament to the opportunities and success rewarded for hard work, vision, and attention to customer’s needs.


So fast forward, this is our 39th year in business and the term challenger brand marketing® is our trademark; we helped create an industry within advertising.


GUMAS Advertising is ranked as one of the top branding, marketing, and advertising firms in the Bay Area with clientele ranging from small companies to large multinationals. John and his partner Craig Alexander just published their #1 bestselling book, Challenger Brand Marketing providing companies with proven, practical, and useful tips on how to help grown their own brands and business. Keeping it short and sweet is the penultimate challenge. After all, John Gumas’ favorite Mark Twain quote reads:


I would have written you a shorter note, but I didn’t have the time.




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