John Lincoln

5 Marketing Stories in 2020 That Show True Courage in Trying Times

5 Marketing Stories That Show Courage in 2020

If there were ever a time to show your leadership chops, it’s now. One crisis begets another, and those who test the waters are the ones who stay afloat — in the marketing world, at least. But with all the trials that 2020 has brought for businesses of every kind, there are just as many marketing leaders showing courage right back. Here are 5 marketing stories in 2020 that prove it.

1. Michelle Ngome

Michelle Ngome AAMA

Based in Houston, Texas, Michelle Ngome is the President and Founder of the African-American Marketing Association (AAMA).

Before her current role, she spent a long time searching for a Black marketing group — six years of searching, to be exact. In the long run, she decided to make her own collective, which is how AAMA was born.

Today, she’s committed to building up others by creating and sharing opportunities for the Black marketing community. Her and her team at AAMA work tirelessly to bring these opportunities throughout America, all in an effort to empower Black professionals in the marketing world.

In addition to founding AAMA, Michelle is also President of Line 25 Consulting, a marketing firm centered around inclusivity. Because of their industry-disrupting work, Line 25 Consulting has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, USA Today and more.

Overall, Michelle’s work as a Diversity and Inclusion Marketing Consultant is a critical part of the marketing pie.

2. Ramesh Srinivasam

Ramesh Srinivason Lessburn

Ramesh Srinivasam is a Leader at Lessburn, a market research, digital marketing and growth consulting firm in India.

Within his leadership role, Ramesh and his team work tirelessly to maximize growth. This remains true even during 2020, a time when many businesses are vying to simply maintain the status quo.

Regardless of what industry they’re working with, Lessburn retains the goal of revamping the branding strategies of user experience businesses. Currently, they aim to facilitate the shift from traditional classroom experiences to online learning with their academic clients.

3. Sophie Bowman

Sophie Bowman Brand Branding PR LLC

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Sophie Bowman is a PR & Branding Manager with two companies, Hypeglo Ltd. and Brand Branding PR LLC.

During the pandemic and beyond, Sophie clearly has her team’s — and her clients’ — back. In an experimental move, she decided to waive her influencer fee. This move was meant to support business owners seeking to adapt and survive in the changing market, an undoubtedly noble (and online marketing disruptive) maneuver.

In addition, Sophie created a video for a local business with a budget of zero. With more than 150,000 views, the video went on to go viral, and it even ended up winning three awards.

Her experience runs the gamut. She’s a social media marketing contributor for Forbes magazine, and even launched a brand-new startup in the midst of the pandemic. This startup clarifies the do-it-all mindset for businesses with limited resources.

In true Sophie fashion, she’s left the marketing industry shaken, not stirred.

4. Julio Viskovich

Julio Viskovich NexLevel Sales

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Julio Viskovich is the founder of NexLevel Sales.

In a world where you never know what tomorrow will bring, personalized marketing is everything. But cold calls are so yesterday, something that rang true even before the pandemic.

In response to the changing landscape, Julio concocted one seriously innovative strategy. He developed a system that exports LinkedIn connection contacts, sorts them and uses their emails for targeting. Specifically, he uses them to run Facebook custom audience campaigns, ultimately remarketing personalized ads based on each individual’s web activity.

So how were the results of Julio’s efforts? Increased touchpoints and doubled leads, in comparison to the results he and his team had received before making use of this nuanced personalization.

It looks like Julio and his team at NexLevel Sales are really staying ahead of the curve.

5. Kathy Fielder

Kathy Fielder Boutique

Based in Dallas, Texas, Kathy Fielder is the founder and CEO of both Kathy Fielder Boutique and Isabella Collection by Kathy Fielder.

Like many business owners in 2020, Kathy had to decide whether or not it was best to furlough her staff and cease operations during active lockdown mandates. But through her intelligent marketing leadership, she didn’t have to leave anyone behind.

In the brief time span of just three weeks, the team worked to redesign the business models of Kathy Fielder Boutique and Isabella Collection by Kathy Fielder. To do so, they made the most of their existing resources and network, all of which was built on the foundation of Kathy’s 20-year career in the field. In the new model, the team worked to bring in personal protective equipment for frontline defenders, plus three-ply disposable masks meant for medical workers and the general public alike.

A word from Kathy:

“This is an unbelievably stressful time for all business owners, but I’ve always been one to tackle a problem head-on instead of letting it defeat me. I am thrilled that I can help my local community, keep my staff employed and continue to stimulate the economy.”

Clearly, if there’s one thing Kathy’s good at, it’s thinking on her feet.

If marketing were easy, everyone would do it. That’s why honoring the most courageous marketing leaders of 2020 is so important. With a world full of bold, skillful professionals taking on the most trying of challenges, these 5 marketing stores are just the tip of the iceberg. Still, they’re worth highlighting, and we’re glad to show ’em off.

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John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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