Startup Stories: Building an Integrated Marketing Plan at a Coffeehouse

myMarketing Cafe:Integrated Small Business Marketing in the Digital Era
Integrated Small Business Marketing in the Digital Era


Tell us about your product or service.
Is there any place more relaxing than a coffeehouse? myMarketing Cafe is an online community and resource center designed to help small business owners connect with the communities they serve. I invite you to step into our coffeehouse-themed gathering place to seek advice and information about small business marketing, communications, social media, search engine optimization and networking.

Our team of small business marketing contributors has developed and tested real-world strategies, so you have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips. We are a growing community of small business owners with a passion for helping each other succeed. Cafe membership is free.

What inspired you to launch your business?

I have enjoyed a career spanning 30 years in both the private and public sectors. I began my career working for a family-owned small business in the era when digital, multichannel marketing didn’t exist. During this time I learned the importance of effective internal operations like employee training and engagement, providing exceptional customer service, product quality and integrity, and event planning.

My next move was to Michael Foods, Inc., a national food purveyor and Fortune 1000 company. Michael Foods, Inc. promoted a culture of employee development, engagement, and career advancement. During my tenure at Michael Foods, I progressed from a customer service representative to the position of executive director of Florida operations. Here, I learned how to build a sound and strategic community to grow a global following.

I continued my career as a senior level executive with county government, where I learned the importance of integrated marketing communications (IMC) as part of a company community-building strategy. I later accepted a position with a large non-profit organization as the chief communications officer where I developed an IMC department from the ground up, led a strategic agency rebranding, and launched a mentor program for foster teens. The mentor program has grown to match over 300 mentors with foster teens and has led to 12 adoptions.

While my career has been very rewarding, I have never felt more connected than when working for a small family-owned business. It was a place where hugs were allowed, opinions counted and everyone worked as hard as they possibly could, because they understood how much it mattered. But corporate business taught me to think strategically, to understand the importance of ethics and law, and to work independently as well as cooperatively.

So in July 2012, I found myself asking the question, “If I could do anything I wanted, what would that be?” Within moments I knew the answer. I wanted to take everything I learned throughout my career, from the blessing of having worked in different environments under amazing mentors, and help small businesses. My mission is to share my real world business experience and leadership experience to help connect small businesses with the communities they serve.

I took a leap of faith and launched myMarketing Café, a resource center for small business owners. The company was designed around my love of coffeehouses. They foster true networking in a warm, relaxing environment. I think they are the perfect place to conduct business.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
I help small business owners create integrated marketing communications using the most appropriate platforms for their industry. The strategies I develop focus on teaching small business owners how to use online communication for business growth, connect with the communities they serve, and generate leads.

What has been your biggest challenge and how are you working to overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been to clearly define my service offerings. I want to help people do everything, but that’s not practical. I’ve been reaching out to my contacts who focus on strategic businesses coaching for help.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
The one word is Connector. I’m a pay-it-forward person. I find it very rewarding to help people make meaningful connections that support their professional goals.

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
Project Eve is an information powerhouse. The caliber of its members is tremendous. It’s definitely a key resource for help with running a business. I am very appreciative of the close community and the opportunities Project Eve offers. Through Project Eve, I’ve met wonderful contacts who have grown to be close friends.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry.
Running a business involves helping others, no matter what industry. When building your marketing plan, follow a philosophy of helping others, providing valuable content, and creating meaningful connections, and you will succeed.

Company: myMarketing Cafe


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