Written by The Business Journal Staff
Jane Olvera Quebe, President
What we do: Advertising agency serving family-owned businesses
Education: BA, speech communication, Fresno State; MA, organizational communication, Fresno State (pending thesis)
Family: Husband Paul, daughter Olivia, 16
Why did you decide to start JP Marketing, Jane?
Paul and I were working for a small local firm. It went upside-down financially. When we notified clients that the agency was going under, all but one wanted to continue working with us, so Paul helped the other agency wrap up while I frantically started the new company in December 1994. I can’t believe it’s been nearly 20 years!
Why did you choose to focus on family-owned business clients, Jane?
In 2009, we lost a significant client and then struggled through 2010. I wasn’t having fun anymore as we scrambled to take any piece of business even if it wasn’t a good fit for us. We ended up hiring a consultant to help us regroup, and through that process, we determined that what we enjoyed doing most was serving the unique needs of family-owned businesses. Now as the chair of the Institute for Family Business at Fresno State’s Craig School of Business, I find myself fully immersed in studying and supporting family-owned businesses, and I love it!
What are some of the most common marketing problems family-owned businesses face, Jane?
Transitions in family business are always the toughest. When a business is transitioning from one generation to the next, there are lots of internal challenges that directly affect the way they communicate their products and services to their customers. At JP, our team is particularly good at helping a second or third generation owner strategically redefine their business and systematically evolve their brand for sustainability and growth.
Are there any marketing tools you’ve found to be particularly beneficial to businesses in the Central Valley, Jane?
This is not geographically specific, but when a client is willing to make the investment in consumer research as part of their strategic marketing plan, the difference in subsequent results is significant. We use a proprietary, cloud-based tool we call MMAPS® surveys that has helped our clients from Madera, Calif. to Manchester, N.H.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do, Jane?
I feel most rewarded when clients treat us like a part of their team and then are thrilled with the success of their brand evolution or marketing campaign. Of course, every client defines success differently, but there’s no better feeling than being a part of a winning team.
What do you feel you have accomplished and what would you still like to accomplish in life, Jane?
I have not only helped many family businesses achieve their goals, but I’ve also helped my own family achieve ours. However, like any serial entrepreneur, I’m never satisfied and my bucket list is long. At the top of the list is writing a book and appearing on Shark Tank.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it, Jane?
When I was 12, my Uncle Carlos hired me to pack stone fruit at a tiny shed in Dinuba. The fruit would come in buckets, unwashed, un-sized and still warm from the hot summer sun. I was paid 22¢ a box to do this sweaty, back-breaking work for 4 summers and I vowed that I would be the first in my family to attend college and secure a career working with my mind.
What person now or in history would you be most interested in meeting and why, Jane?
I’m currently fascinated by writer, author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell and just downloaded David and Goliath. If I could go back in time, my pick would be Steve Jobs. His minimalist strategies for time management I admire and attempt to replicate.
What do you like to do in your spare time, Jane?
I enjoy my work so much that I’m often found working. However, I do enjoy my daughter’s volleyball games, running my dog Buddy Boy, downloading the latest free apps and watching movies. If I had more time, I would definitely fill it with great video content, from House of Cards to The Profit.