Photo courtesy Jessica Kalichman
Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.
The toy industry has always been a vibrant and ever-evolving landscape, constantly adapting to meet the changing needs and desires of children. At its core, though, the goal remains the same: to provide fun and joy to kids worldwide. In this dynamic industry, Jessica Kalichman stands out as a true marketing leader. Her career highlights are a testament to her expertise, including driving the success of the Fingerlings brand, securing partnerships with Nickelodeon, and earning Toy of the Year nominations. With over 160 TV commercials, YouTube ads, instructional videos, and two YouTube mini-series under her belt, Kalichman has honed her craft and built a network of brand ambassadors that continues to grow.
Throughout her journey, Kalichman has learned valuable lessons that she is eager to share. She emphasizes the importance of simplicity, encouraging marketers to focus on impactful ideas that align with their customers’ desires. Passion is another key ingredient in her recipe for success. When individuals genuinely care about their work and approach it with excitement, Kalichman believes they create lighthearted content that inspires kindness, creativity, and delight.
Lastly, inclusivity plays a significant role in Kalichman’s marketing and public relations strategy. She understands the importance of letting people in, both within her team and among her customers. By breaking the fourth wall and involving customers in the product development and marketing process, she has gained valuable insights and strengthened her products’ evolution. This inclusive approach has resulted in a deeper connection with her audience and a more successful product offering.
Navigating the toy industry’s marketing landscape has not been without its challenges. Kalichman highlights the changing media consumption habits as a significant hurdle, especially when targeting kids and parents. With the expansion of new platforms and channels, prioritizing effectively and cost-efficiently becomes a complex task. However, by working with strategic media partners and maintaining a media-savvy internal team, Kalichman has taken advantage of the shift from traditional TV advertising and embraced mediums like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and gaming platforms.
Another challenge she faced was in the content creator space. While large influencers still have their place, Kalichman has witnessed the growing power of micro-influencers from an engagement and conversion standpoint. By embracing this shift, she has fostered partnerships with smaller creators and built a network of loyal brand ambassadors, creating more meaningful conversations and relationships. In fact, she has even brought influencers on board as creative partners, adding credibility to her products in an already saturated market.
Looking to the future, Kalichman envisions herself continuing her work in content production and social media, crafting 360 campaigns for globally recognized brands and entertainment properties. Her passion for movies, music, and books may lead her to new projects and opportunities. With her sights set on award nominations and wins, she aspires to be seen as a leader in the marketing space, offering a unique perspective that integrates the latest trends in pop culture with meaningful brand messaging, campaigns, and partnerships.
Jessica Kalichman’s insights and experiences in the toy industry shed light on her unique approach to marketing. With simplicity, passion, fun, and inclusivity as her guiding principles, she has successfully crafted magical and joyful experiences for children and their families. Her journey inspires marketers seeking to make a lasting impact in the toy industry and beyond.