Switching from one career path to a completely unrelated one may be challenging for some, but Baltimore-based marketing expert Sherri Goodall managed to make a calculated transition into her new calling. After her father passed, Goodall worked as a cemetarian for three years before she decided to follow her dreams. Goodall became a community outreach manager for Downtown Locker Room, a leading urban apparel retailer, and opened her own Internet marketing company.
She has had amazing success as a corporate social figure at DTLR working with several entertainers and star NFL and NBA athletes, including rapper J. Cole and the Atlanta Falcons’ Jonathan Babineaux, to help enrich the lives of youth in communities around the country. Goodall also uses her background in marketing to assist other businesses with Internet marketing using her company, Details Virtual Solutions LLC.
Goodall spoke with rolling out to tell us how she moved from Marketing 101 to Marketing 201 in terms of her expertise in her field. She also dishes on how she keeps herself relevant as a top marketer.
How she defines the role of a marketing professional:
I like to think of marketing professionals as the psychologists of business. I feel like it’s our job to get to the brains [of a business] and understand what it is that we want to deliver and how it wants to be received. And to do that, you have to stay on top of your game and you have to remain relevant within your industry.
I think the signature really is to deliver what people are asking for .. I think we have traditionally been in a situation where companies and consultants kind of dictate what they think clients and consumers should do. But my idea is that you need to listen and do exactly what the consumers and clients are asking you to do, and while that may not sound like a unique thing, what I do think is unique is that you can take it and if you’re a good listener, you listen to what they want, and you can deliver it in a way that’s better than they probably could have put together themselves, but they get exactly what they want.
How she remains relevant in marketing:
I went back to school to get my master’s degree in Internet marketing, because I realized when I went for my bachelor’s degree, compared to where marketing is now, back then, it was more like Marketing 101 — the basics of marketing. Now we’re at Marketing 201 — the new age — which is really very heavy. Social media, analytics, SEO, all those things that I think earlier on, marketers and businesses really thought that those things were kind of new by the same way that I think the music industry looked at hip-hop when it first came on the scene — like, “that’s nice over there, but it’s not going to blow up,” and then it did. And I feel like we’re at a stage in marketing where this is the next level. It’s very consumer-driven. For me, I stay relevant by going back to school, by remaining active online, following and watching trends. And it never hurts to talk to young people, never hurts to talk to teens and young adults, because honestly, they’re driving it.
How social media makes marketing easier:
Honestly, I love that [social media] allows instant access. I think that it makes everything move very fast. It excites me. I love how you can go online and say “hey, do you like this color, do you like this style?” and someone says “no,” and you go back to the drawing board with your team and say “no, they don’t like this, we need to move this, this and that,” and you come out with a product that people want to buy. When you look at TV shows where people can come out and do fashion design and the very next day, because it was voted on and people liked it, it’s in the store and you can go buy it and wear it. Amazing!