Staff Spotlight: JJ Bannasch

JJ Bannasch

As President and co-founder of Katana, JJ Bannasch specializes in the convergence of media and technology, best-in-class digital marketing and campaign architecture in a world of data-driven marketing.
He is an experienced agency executive who is recognized as an authoritative voice on how marketers, executive teams and industry leaders can leverage advanced digital media and technology-enabled strategy to fundamentally reinvent marketing programs. He works closely with many leading national/international brands, advancing how digital marketing is evaluated, analyzed and implemented within organizations of all sizes. He has been recognized by numerous leading industry awards over the last 13+ years for excellence in digital media and is most notably a three-time IAB MIXX award winner for his efforts in paid search marketing.

In this installment of Katana’s Staff Spotlight, get to know JJ!

What’s your position and role at Katana?

Co-founder and President is my official title, but I touch operations spanning from client strategy and overseeing campaign executions to ensuring we stay world-class and ahead of the curve from the top of the company downwards.

What’re two interesting facts about you?

  • I used to play music professionally in a rock band and would play shows in front of thousands of people around the world on a nightly basis, but I still hate being the center of attention.
  • I graduated at the top of my college class and was part of a number of different honor societies and associations.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

My wife and family

How do you define success?

Everyone has their own definition, but for me success is anything that you are willing to put your name on, stand next to and be proud of the outcome or result. This can range from helping a client grow into a new level of performance to things less tangible, like an innovative idea or approach to solve a problem or situation.

What are your most overused words/phrases?

“That should take 5 minutes”
“You could do it that way but…”
“What are you actually trying to figure out?”

What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?

The internet and smartphones

If you had to go up against Katana’s CEO, Melissa Lopez, in the World Karaoke Championship, what song would you sing?

That would never happen for a number of reasons, but the biggest being she wouldn’t dare go against me in a music contest

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?

My father, who was the smartest man I’ve known who passed away in 2003, or my 18-year-old self to share decades of knowledge and learnings with.