Mark Schaefer blends his brilliant combination of smarts, business insight, and wit as a forward-thinking blogger, marketing professional, author, and speaker. He’s not afraid to put his ideas into the world and loves interacting with members of his community, even when, or perhaps especially when, they don’t agree with him.
Before Mark introduced us to the concept of “content shock,” he sat down with host Todd Wheatland to discuss his background and his passion for what he delivers every day through Schaefer Marketing Solutions.
What may surprise you
- Mark grew up with five siblings in a two-bedroom house with only one bathroom.
- In college, he was a chemistry major but switched to journalism after taking an intro to journalism class.
- Mark worked at Alcoa for over 25 years. He earned two master’s degrees while employed there.
- While working at Alcoa, he obtained seven patents under his name.
- As Global Director of eBusiness at Alcoa, he worked on creating some of the first e-commerce sites in Russia and China.
Mark will be the first to tell you that his 25-year career at Alcoa was truly great. Unlike so many who start their consultancy practice, Mark was not laid off nor was he frustrated with what he was achieving in his corporate position. As a matter of fact, Alcoa offered Mark a position as an internal management consultant in Switzerland, a country he loved. After six months of going back and forth with the company, he decided to go out on his own because he just needed to do something else.
Fast forwarding six-plus years, Mark credits his almost three decades of corporate experience for his success as a business owner and consultant to other companies. He has worked in the trenches of marketing and led a global team. From the start, he approached social media and content marketing in a practical, rational way. He has always believed that these initiatives need to connect to business objectives. Early on, these ideas may have seemed innovative, but for Mark it was always just plain, common sense.
Create a human connection
Mark started his blog when he launched his company over six years ago. He never shies away from putting forth his strong point of view. His honest, practical approach has provided him with an audience that is engaging, sometimes debating Mark’s opinions. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
Even after more than 30,000 comments, he is still humbled and amazed that people spend time on his blog, not just reading it, but often giving witty, interesting, and insightful comments. He does not take this for granted. He believes that what he has created is more than simply words on a digital page. It’s a community. It is people connecting to people. It’s the future of marketing.
…you think about whether you’re a business or a brand today in this incredibly information-dense world, I think the thing that will continue to stand out is this idea of human connection. If you create this human connection that can lead to loyalty, that trumps everything. It trumps SEO and back links. It trumps promoted posts on Facebook. If you create that connection, those people will be with you to the end.
Listen to Todd’s full interview with Mark Schaefer here:
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Cover image courtesy of Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute