Now in the beginning, I know you said you kind of wanted to be in journalism. Now you’re digital marketing, helping companies grow. How did you come up with the idea to start a digital marketing company, and how did you…did you build a business plan and just hit the phones, hit the pavement? What did you do in those very beginning stages to get your company off the ground and build it to what it is today?
Yeah, so I think it’s interesting that I didn’t start out to say I wanted to build this digital marketing firm that we have today. It very much started out with meeting demand. I think that’s where some of the best businesses come from is you notice demand and then you find that sweet spot in the marketplace, right? I think demand also to see how is that being fulfilled today? If I was starting today, it might look very different. I might have a different perspective than when I did 10 years ago, right? So I think it’s about studying the market. What does it look like? Then finding that sort of intersection between your passion and what you love and what the market wants. So, arguably Marketing Zen was one of the first social media marketing firms in the world.
This is a time where social was really new. My book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, which is now in its fourth edition and is used in many colleges as a textbook, this was before, Momentum, my second book, came out even. It’s just funny, it was one of the first books on social media. So I think when you’re that early into any industry and field, you don’t quite know what you’re building towards. You’re more looking again to meet the demand of the marketplace or the audience. At that given time, people really were hungry to know, “How do I use Facebook? How do I understand Twitter? How do we blog?” Right? Of course over time, that’s evolved to being much more sophisticated.
Today we’re a global marketing firm. We work with brands across the world, different countries. We work with everyone from the Navy to Chase business. So our clientele is extremely diverse and a big part of that has been continuing to grow and develop. So I think it’s not being able to stay in that box, right, because eventually people figure out, okay, how do they use Facebook, Twitter? Then it’s now more to me about the connected consumer. How do you really understand and engage how people think and work? So I think in part of it, it’s kind of like being…I feel like my job has two parts, being an anthropologist and looking at almost the history and where we’ve come from and how people respond and react, maybe a little sociology mixed in, and then a futurist. So thinking about knowing this, where are we headed now?
Yeah. No and I was definitely thinking about that. You kind of had that vision nine years ago to start in social media and kind of meet that demand. It’s helped you create the business you’re in today.