“To stay in business, you need to make money. To make money, you need “on-the-mark” marketing ideas. Luckily this has been my forte.”
I am a 60’s baby boomer born in a generation when marketing was managed primarily by men. If you’ve watched Mad Men, you’ll see that smart women did not start out as idea-generators in an advertising/marketing firm. However, by the 70’s, women where being recognized and accepted into management and creative roles.
When choosing my career path in the early 80’s, opportunities for women were open in almost every field. I embraced the Mount Saint Vincent University Bachelor of Public Relations Degree course due to the fact it was filled with marketing-related courses like journalism, photography, graphic design and of course marketing.
I started my career as a marketing director in the shopping centre industry. My first full-time job was as the Marketing Director for the Parks and Attractions for West Edmonton Mall. I flourished in this entertainment environment that required big ideas to attract big crowds. I fondly remember netting beach balls with prize stickers to the ceiling of World Waterpark and letting them spill down to hundreds of excited wave pool patrons.
When I became an entrepreneur in the mid-90’s, I felt like a trail blazer. I left the security of a full-time position as Marketing Director at Eau Claire Market to start The Marketing Edge. The Calgary Herald actually wrote an article called, “Even the Boss May Help you Strike Out on your Own.” Unlike today’s downturn, it was uncommon to see someone abandon their job for the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship.
I prospered as a small business owner but later formed an equal partnership with the man who invented the recipe for Cattle Boyz BBQ Sauce. I took time away from marketing other people’s businesses to manage and market Cattle Boyz Foods Ltd. for 11 years. This was a great challenge. My ideas were put to work as I played a key role in growing a company from zero sales to into the millions; from no awareness to national brand awareness.
By the 2000’s, I was not just as a marketer but a recognized business entrepreneur. My ability to generate a “ROI” could now be measured by store listings, sales and brand awareness.
In 2009, I asked for a buy out so I could take self-invest my percentage of the equity value into other interests. I returned to consulting to work as a solopreneur marketing expert again. Marketing had changed greatly since starting The Marketing Edge in 1995; however, to remain competitive I keep current with the digital age.
Over the past years, I have done many new things from building a 4,800-square foot, flat roof duplex in Windsor Park with my husband’s company, Dougco Renovations, to writing an extensive guide and seminar on how to write a marketing plan called, “The Kiss Method for Marketing Plans.”
I have enjoyed my share of good ideas. Ideas that made me and my clients money. I have also been humbled by ideas that did work as expected. After 20+ years as a marketing consultant, I can honestly say, “There is no one totally bad idea unless you fail to learn from it.”
One idea – good or bad – always leads to the next. If one idea does not work out, it’s usually a stepping stone to the next successful idea. I now live my life looking forward to the next big idea that will make a difference for someone, whether that be my family, friends, clients or myself.