Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My Obsession With Personal Development: A Tale of Books and Skincare

Finding My Path to Happiness

At age 36, I started my personal development journey. I had dreamed of a life of peace, love, and happiness. I began training myself to be more positive, attended therapy, and became obsessed with self-help books, such as those written by Dwayne Dryer, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Rick Warren—their books were some of my first favorites. In my 20s, I used to ask myself “What is my talent? What is my purpose?” After reading What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren, I was able to answer those two questions, and it changed my life.

Personal development is work. It took courage to look at myself, wanting to be a better person and mother, and effort to kill the ego, but once I started, I wanted more. I kept reading, watching, going to church, and even attending Oprah's Master Class weekend in Miami. Yep, I spent a weekend with Oprah, and it was amazing! Now, at age 49, I can say that I have grown as a person over the years. I understand forgiveness, self-worth, self-respect, listening, compassion, empathy, healing, and the power of love.  It’s been a tremendous road, and I’m so thankful to have traveled it. Don't get me wrong, I’m no guru or anything like that…I still have my sassy New York attitude at times, and more work to do which will last the rest of my life, but now I truly love myself for it.

Life Changes and Skincare?

One day, I was introduced to a company that happens to be a break-thru anti-aging skincare and wellness company.  As a professional technology marketer, I understand business, so I looked at the numbers because I was naturally curious. The company had reached $1B in sales in 4 years; my mouth dropped. Being in technology for the last 20 years, I had never seen any company reach sales numbers like this so quickly; not even Amazon. So, I jumped in, recognizing emerging markets and the potential of growth…I didn’t want to miss the beginning of something big again (like I did when Apple exploded). Besides, I wasn’t a big fan of my wrinkles, so it made the decision easier. Turns out, it's one of the best decisions I ever made. Within a few months, all my wrinkles were gone, and I uncovered something I never thought existed far beyond my physical appearance.

After a month of signing up, this company was having their annual conference in Dallas. I decided, if I’m going to take this “YouEconomy” business seriously, I need to attend this conference. I booked my flight and off I went for a three-day conference on anti-aging…so I thought.

The conference was at the Dallas conference center, and thousands of people were in attendance. It was pretty exciting! The CEO, Jeff Olson, was the first to speak. When I signed up, I was given the book Jeff Olson wrote years prior to starting this company. Personally, I had never heard of him before, but I was currently reading his book, The Slight Edge.  As I sat there I heard words and phrase like love, make people better, live happy, happy acts, dreams, belief, vision, kindness, and personal development.  At that moment, I had an epiphany: the relationship that I had dreamed about for years was not a personal relationship, but a company that lives and breathes the way I do. Additionally, I realized I could help others on their journey. 

Achieving Ongoing Personal Growth and Practicing Gratitude

This company has brought so much more to me than great skin! The personal growth that I have received is so much more than I ever thought I would experience in my life. The people that have come into my world are incredible, inspirational, courageous, and strong, and have helped me grow more each and every day.  Now, I even attend a daily happiness call that strives to help others with personal development. 

To most people that know me, this company is just a side gig, but to me, it’s my dream come true. For me, the personal development, the people, the culture, and the growth is so much more than the monetary value.  I am very grateful for my life today.

Georgianna Strauser

Friday, August 4, 2017

What Does Marketing With Intention Mean?

“Marketing with intention” is a fairly new buzz phrase circulating among marketing professionals. What does it actually mean? How does it differ from the traditional approach to marketing?

Today’s technology channel marketer is responsible for all things marketing: corporate brand, website, social media, lead and demand gen, collateral, budget management, content creation, video creation, events, vertical-based marketing, vendor-based marketing, services marketing, managed services marketing, training (internal and external), etc.  It’s an overwhelming amount of responsibility—how can you be intentional when you’re always in reactive mode?

Marketing with intention is all about asking yourself and your team why you’re carrying out a given marketing activity rather than beginning by asking yourself what marketing activity is being carried out. If you start with the “what,” you’re limiting yourself to the first idea you come up with for driving inbound leads without really stopping to delineate why you’re doing it at all. If you start with the “why,” you’ll end up with endless ideas for the “whats,” and find yourself evaluating the marketing activities that best align with what you’re trying to accomplish, Kissmetrics explained.

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”
-Simon Sinek, reported by HubSpot

The ultimate result is successfully appealing to the people who share your beliefs, and can see that your products and services are in alignment with your core purpose and values as a business.

How Can Our Team Ensure We’re Marketing with Intention?

   First, define your intention! Many marketing activities are being requested by sales, management, and vendors who think they have marketing experience, but actually have limited expertise (sorry, but it’s true).  The reason there are channel marketers is for their proven experience in marketing. When asked to carry out an activity by other personnel, ask yourself:

·    Does the activity qualify as marketing with intention? What is the specific intent of the activity, and is it in alignment with our values? 

·       Is it targeting a particular market/vertical? 

·       What is the call to action? 

·       What is the follow-up plan? 

·       Can a nurture process be put in place? 

   Second, to market with intention is to have a marketing plan that aligns with the business goals, as explained above. If you plan on growing a particular vendor business by a certain percentage, then your marketing plan should reflect activities to drive that goal. If you plan on hiring 10 more people in the next year, then your marketing plan should reflect that goal, as well! Whatever the business goal, the plan is key to achieving it. With that being said, both the business driver and marketing plan may change as the year progresses, and that’s okay, as long as you have intent behind each goal and activity.

  Lastly, do you have the resources to execute? If you have no marketing resource, or only one marketing resource, intention goes out the window. There is no way to market with intention if your resources are limited—that goes back to being in reactive mode. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again: limited marketing resources who are responsible for all corporate, vendor, product, lead and demand gen, and social media marketing is WAY too big for one person to handle, no matter how good they are, and no matter how much you pay them. Effective intentional marketing needs planning, vision, and execution. Hire those third-party vendors you trust to help so that your internal resources aren’t burnt out. Besides, third party resources are considered an expense, and you can use MDF to pay for them.

Bringing It All Together: Do You Need Support for Realigning Your Strategy?

If you’re a marketer reading this blog, share it with your CEO/executive leadership! Sometimes, it takes an outside source to drill the message home. Happy marketing!

Strauser Marketing is comprised technology marketing experts with over 20 years’ experience in channel marketing. We help reseller technology partners manage, create, and execute marketing plans for all vendors, helping small businesses grow their sales and lead funnel.