The Bear: B2B Marketing Lessons from the Emmy Nominated Series with VP of Brand Marketing at Lightcast, JP Lespinasse

On this episode, JP and the Remarkable team are watching FX’s The Bear. Together, we’re talking about speaking the language of your audience, serving your audience what they crave, using familiar story recipes, and much, much more.

Episode Summary

Corner! Sharp! Behind! For anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant, you know these words mean a lot. It’s your language. For marketers, this is more like KPIs, ABM, ICP, Demand Gen. Using the lingo, the jargon, the correct terminology, is a powerful tool when you’re trying to reach and resonate with your target audience. You want to speak their language.

This means doing some market research to learn industry terms and how they’re used. This will also tell you a lot about what your audience cares about. And when you get it right, you’ll know. Your engagement will rise and so will your ROI.

This is what we’re talking about on today’s episode with JP Lespinasse, VP of Brand Marketing at Lightcast. JP and the Remarkable team are watching FX’s The Bear. Together, we’re talking about speaking the language of your audience, serving your audience what they crave, using familiar story recipes, and much, much more. So make yourself a sandwich and tuck in for this episode of Remarkable.

About our guest, JP Lespinasse

JP Lespinasse is VP of Brand Marketing at Lightcast. He has over 25 years of marketing, communications and partnerships experience. Previously, he served as Head of Content Marketing at PayPal and Executive: Director of Content Strategy and Management at IBM. He has also worked at companies like Gap/Old Navy, NOKIA, and the NBA.

About Lightcast

Lightcast, which is the merger of Emsi and BurningGlass, is the largest integrated data provider of jobs, skills, roles, and occupational data in the world.

They are a global pioneer in the collection and big-data analysis of information on the labor market. Their data provides the world’s most detailed information about occupations, skills in demand, and career pathways.

Their tools collect real-time data from over 40,000 sources every day, contributing to a database with over 1 billion job postings and billions of other data points. They combine that with curated input from dozens of other statistical sources, like government agencies, to provide the most complete view possible of the fast-changing labor market. They put that information to work for businesses, communities, and education providers by showing them the granular details and big-picture trends they need in their organizations.

Whether you’re interested in software salaries in Seattle, need new skills in New Zealand, or looking for anything in between, Lightcast data can provide the insight you need.

About The Bear

The Bear is a show about an award-winning chef who leaves his Michelin star restaurant to go back to his hometown after his brother passes away to take over his brother’s sandwich shop. And so while struggling to keep the rowdy staff and messy kitchen running, he’s also trying to process and grieve his brother’s suicide. A lot of people who have worked in food service have said it’s a realistic depiction of what it’s actually like running a professional kitchen. At any moment it feels like it’s going to all fall apart, and it deals with the health inspections, payroll, dirty floors, plumbing and all of the tiny details that make it seem real. It stars Jeremy Allen White as “Carmy” Berzatto, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as the restaurant manager, Ayo Edibiri as the new sous chef, and more. The show was created by Christopher Storer for FX and has two seasons out on Hulu. The first season received 13 Emmy nominations including outstanding comedy series.

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From The Bear:

  • Serve your audience what they crave. Do research to understand their wants and needs. Then aim for continuous improvement. In The Bear, JP says that the main character, Carmi, knows that he can’t keep making Michelin star-level food when he takes over his brother’s sandwich shop. The customers just want the sandwich they know and love from The Beef. JP says, “For us as marketers and for Carmi and the staff at The Beef, it’s so important that in those first few episodes, it wasn't about changing anything. It was just about really focusing and listening and understanding the audience. What do they want? What do they come back for? How do I continue to serve them that?” This is especially true for marketers joining a new company where you see room for improvement. Don’t try to change everything at once. But make small changes along the way that will raise the quality of your output without alienating customers.
  • Use familiar story recipes. We know the rags to riches, or in this case, riches to rags storytelling recipe. Because it works. Using these known recipes reels in your audience more easily because it feels familiar. It’s something they can immediately relate to. Yet it doesn’t mean the rest of the story is formulaic or that the ending is obvious. It’s just a place to start and hook your audience. Plus twists and turns in the storyline later will be even more of a surprise. When it comes to The Bear, Ian says, “Everybody and their brother has been to Chicago. And everyone has been to a sandwich shop in Chicago. So this idea that is so familiar, which is like, ‘Person moves back home to Chicago and takes over a sandwich shop, even though they're Michelin star.’ We just all immediately are like, ‘Okay, I've been to a sandwich shop in Chicago and I totally know how that feels.’”
  • Make it feel real by showing the good, the bad and the meh. You will speak most effectively to marketers by acknowledging the less glamorous and even mundane parts of their job. JP said it best when he said The Bear “took off because all of these folks who had worked at restaurants were like, ‘Yep, that's exactly how it is.’ It's just so important to speak authentically to your audience.” And Ian adds, “If you don't really care, if you want to do the Grey's Anatomy version of it, right? Like, that's fine too, and it probably will be really commercially successful. But you won't get the diehards. And in today's day and age where the diehards are so vocal, it's a much more valuable currency to get the little details right.” So The Bear doesn’t shy away from the feeling of losing sense of time when you’re in the weeds, swamped with orders, or the payroll, plumbing, and no-shows. That’s why it resonates.

*”Marketers sometimes do ourselves a disservice. You’ve written 17 drafts of this webpage before it goes up. And so by the time it goes up, you're sick of it. And you're ready to change it immediately. The audience has never seen it before, right? The average person who comes to a webpage, they stay for a minute and a half, right? Like, so they're not going deep into all the individual words, the pictures and how you've architected it. So just let it sit. Let it breathe.” - JP Lespinasse

*”Back when I worked at IBM, we canceled and reworked a whole campaign because we'd done all this due diligence and were going to put some messaging out to the developer audience. And then at the last minute, we're like, ‘You know what? We should show this to some developers before we put it out into the world.’ And so we invited them over for pizza and a chat, and they're like, ‘Yeah, that's not how we talk. That's how the movies show how we talk, but that's not really authentically how we talk.’ And so we used all their feedback to rework the campaign.” - JP Lespinasse

Episode Highlights


Watch The Bear

Connect with JP on LinkedIn

Learn more about Lightcast

About Remarkable!

Remarkable! is created by the team at Caspian Studios, the premier B2B Podcast-as-a-Service company. Caspian creates both nonfiction and fiction series for B2B companies. If you want a fiction series check out our new offering - The Business Thriller - Hollywood style storytelling for B2B. Learn more at

In today’s episode, you heard from Ian Faison (CEO of Caspian Studios) and Meredith Gooderham (Senior Producer). Remarkable was produced this week by Jess Avellino, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.

Create something remarkable. Rise above the noise.