Spitzer Making A Name For Himself With Raindrop Marketing - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Sports

Spitzer Making A Name For Himself With Raindrop Marketing

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Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 1:53 pm

One of the few drawbacks to writing my ‘Nado Natterings’ sports column for the past 15 years, is that in most cases the athletes you watch compete for several years are difficult to keep track of after they graduate from Coronado High School. So it was fun to hear recently that Jacques Spitzer (CHS ’04), who I had covered while he was an Islander athlete playing baseball and basketball, had returned to the community as the head of Raindrop Marketing.

During our interview last week, I reminded Spitzer about a line from a column I had written where former CHS Head Basketball Coach Sandy Dillon, credited Spitzer for his fine defensive play against Tyrone Shelly from Crawford High School, holding the High School All-American to a mere 13 points one night. Spitzer laughed and added, “All I remember doing was boxing out hard after every shot.” Despite lettering four times in baseball under Head Coach Sam Ceci, and just one varsity letter in basketball, Spitzer would prefer that his athletic legacy be the night he stymied Shelly on the basketball floor.

Spitzer was born in Walnut Creek and moved to Coronado when he was three years old. Jacques is the son of Frank and Connie Spitzer, who own and operate Frank and Connie Spitzer Realty in Coronado. Jacques credits his parents with instilling in him the principles he currently employs in his business dealings.

Meeting with Jacques also allowed me a two-for-one Islander update as his younger brother Blake (CHS ’06), who also played basketball and baseball, is in his third year at Loma Linda Medical School in Riverside. Both of the Spitzer sons graduated from UCSD and Jacques is proud of his younger brother. “Blake is fluent in Spanish and wants to practice family medicine in a Third World country. He has wanted to do that since he had Smoky Bayless in Spanish class in high school. Blake is really driven.”

When asked about the impact on his life derived from high school athletics, Jacques said, “I think I really appreciated the amount of work that went into sports. It was more self-improvement for me than anything else. Tony Isabella and Ed Hebert had a very positive impact on my life in baseball when I was 13 or 14. I really appreciated Coach Ceci’s personality, which was very matter of fact. We would get chewed out if we won a game by 15 runs and we didn’t do it right. In hindsight I am blown away by the high level of the people involved at the Coronado School District. Ray Olivera and his class, Robbin Adair for one year in JV basketball, Dr. Lee Price and Jenny Moore are very talented people who definitely cared.”

During his UCSD days, Spitzer majored in Communications, but there was more to his academic career than just a single subject. “Technically my specialty is in video editing and production. That was kind of the minor within my major. As much as I could, I included a marketing focus in my classes as well. I actually had a minor in Urban Studies and Planning. My education just kind of snuck up on me. I was following my passions.”

Spitzer embarked on a career path that provides a quick look at how the current media world has evolved. “Straight out of college I was hired at KNSD Channel 7/39 to be a broadcast writer. Then 10 months into that, the job changed to website reporter. I would go out and film stories, cut them up and put the stories on the website. After three months of covering beer festivals and fun news, I realized I wasn’t using my brain and I wanted to get into marketing. KNSD had outsourced most of their marketing department, and I didn’t have much to stay for at that point. I had just started dating my wife and I didn’t want to leave San Diego. It was time for a change.”

Thus was born Raindrop Marketing, which features a staff of four employees including Spitzer. “We have one part-time person who is doing search engine optimization (SEO), which is a buzzword in marketing now. Yena Lee is our lead designer and she has been with me for over two years. She does all of our design work on websites, branding with logos and our email marketing campaigns. Our other fulltime person is Josh Cartmell who has been here for a little more than a year. He’s our superstar now and he is a fantastic coder. It is a special setup with the talent among the three of us. Over the past two years business has really picked up.”

Although not technically an employee of Raindrop, Spitzer’s wife Tiffany also plays a major role in the firm. She is currently a special projects executive producer for KNSD and has 15 years of experience in the field, plus she is an Emmy and Golden Mike Award winner. Spitzer said proudly of his wife, “She is a big part of the business behind the scenes from an oversight editing standpoint. Every video goes by her. She’ll look at the final product and will sometimes say it isn’t good enough. She gets credit for a lot of the work we do.”

Spitzer has two explanations for the somewhat unusual name of his company, which in turn leads us to his business philosophy. “It comes from a quote which says that friendship should be like two raindrops forming on a windowsill. It should be effortless and simple. When I first started the business, I heard horror stories from clients who worked with creative people. I am very creative, but also deadline oriented. It’s a matter of personal principle. Business people told me that if you are creative and finish projects on time, you will be okay. Working with us should be easy. Later we added a cheesy tagline that a flood of business begins with a raindrop. I want people to have a happy experience. We have never had an unhappy customer.”

Successful marketing campaigns these days are more than just slapping up a website, as Spitzer explained. “I believe it is a mistake to separate web design from marketing. You can have a great website, but you have to get people there. It’s not just the business you are getting, but the business you are missing. We had a client in Santa Barbara who had been in business for 25 years and we helped him increase his business 25 percent. It was an auto body shop and his business was stagnant. We do work with very large clients, but I enjoy the smaller clients for the impact we have on their lives.”

When discussing one of his local clients, the Coronado Unified School District, Spitzer presented a small part of the work that has made his young firm a success. “Before we did the new pre-school website, we interviewed 50 parents of children of pre-school age. We asked them what they wanted to see. We developed the site so people would book an in-person tour of the school.”

Other local Raindrop clients include the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission, the Coronado Schools Foundation, the Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA), the Gensler Group, Winestyles and Island Realty. Other marketing successes include GNP Frame, Ludus Tours and CMG Mortgage. Spitzer estimates that 30 percent of Raindrop’s business comes from Coronado companies.

On the creative side, Spitzer served as editor and producer of “Wampler’s Ascent,” a 77-minute film about Coronado’s Steve Wampler and his climb to the top of the El Capitan Mountain. Spitzer estimated that he spent 250 hours working on the film over a four-month span. His efforts helped the film, which was produced by Elizabeth Wampler win the Grand Jury Award from the 2012 California Film Awards. It was voted the top film from the more than 1,200 entries in the competition. The formal awards presentation will be made later this month.

Spitzer is also involved in working with seniors at the Coronado Assisted Living Facility, where he has volunteered the past two years. The men’s group does woodworking projects once a month.

Spitzer concluded our interview by saying, “It is really important to me to say how wonderful it has been moving back to Coronado. Having a viable business in San Diego and being warmly received locally has meant a lot. In my career, nobody says they want to grow up to be a marketing specialist. There is such a heavy need. No one can do what we do on a full service level.”

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