It’s Been a A While – and 13 Trends for 2013

Ok – I know. I don’t play by my own rules… and haven’t posted a blog post in months! I apologize. That whole work thing keeps getting in my way ūüôā I’m sorry…

So here I am again, and its time to share new stuff.  I just participated in 2 days of training with some of my colleagues at Dominion Enterprises (home of the brands, ForRent, CycleTrader, and of course the marine businesses that I work for:, Boat Trader and YachtWorld). We have a heap of marketing talent in our company, so we gather every year to share experiences, ideas and best practices.

Presenting Personas at Dominion Enterprises

Presenting ‘Personas’

I was able to present on Humanizing Data – creating and leveraging personas. This was a fun one for me as I’ve been using personas in marketing for years. I’ll load up my presentation to Slideshare shortly. But the point is to identify your audience segments using a bunch of data, and create personas to help guide design, product development, etc. Fun stuff.

I also happen to be a fan of Ted Leonsis (formerly AOL, current co-CEO of Groupon, owner of the Washington Wizards, and board member at American Express.) Smart guy. Anyway, he just posted a top 13 Trends list that I happen to agree with!

Ted Leonsis

Ted Leonsis


#2     Mobile Fuels Conversion to a Cashless Economy. Over the next two years, the mobile payment market will reach $670 billion.

#3     Consumerization of IT leads to New Security Concerns, with Resulting Business Opportunities. (Good thing the husband is in the IT security sector!)

#6     Convergence Finally Becomes a Reality. Your computer, phone and TV are now all just screens.

#9     Home Automation. We will be able to control energy, security, video, communications, electronics through wireless technologies.

#13¬†Vertical Sprouts = Consumers and Money.¬†First came the major ‚Äúhorizontal‚ÄĚ companies, like Amazon in ecommerce and Facebook in social. Next up: vertical companies in spaces like women, teens, sports, and seniors.

This last one is big… looking forward to reading more on this.

Click here for the full list.

Would love to hear your thoughts – do you agree/disagree , maybe add something else? Please leave comments below!
P.S. Thanks for visiting!

Oreo and the Mars Landing

What does an Oreo cookie have to do with the Mars landing? ¬†It is part of The Daily Twist marketing campaign – an effort launched by Nabisco-owned Oreo launched in late June to mark the cookie’s 100th birthday. An image of an Oreo will be shared every day for the next 100 days on its¬†Facebook page,¬†a dedicated¬†Tumblr account, and a page on the¬†Nabisco website. This particular image garnered over 20,000 ‘likes’ , 365 comments, and over 3,100 shares on Facebook! Relevant, timely content. ¬†That is how you play the social media game! ¬†What do you think of their efforts?

Oreo Mars Landing

2012 Resolutions? Bah….

2012 Resolutions

I am not big on resolutions. I think it goes back to my 20’s when I tried every year to set a resolution, and stick to it. It would start out the same – pick from the following:

  1. Diet
  2. Quit smoking
  3. New job
  4. New boyfriend
  5. Etc…

Then, mix in a little effort




And give up in a month..

Happened every year! And then I went through the feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction – for not completing my resolution. So now I just enter every new year with the goal of being the best I can be.

That’s it. Happiness, success, and everything else should come along naturally with just being the best I can be.

So what do you do? Are you a “resolutionist” ? Share your resolutions in comments below, or if you are like me and don’t resolute, then feel free to share that too!

Happy 2012, and be the best you can be!


Creating an Innovative Workspace: Part 1

update your blog cartoonI know – I’ve neglected my blog. I feel bad, but I’ve been trying to balance my work and life lately, and my blog was something that had to be put on hold for a bit. That said, I’m back!

I’ve been involved in some recent meetings at work that reminded me of a time at AOL when we were encouraged to ‘innovate’. Those were some good times. We had great employees, leaders and we still had a great spirit in the office. We were each given $50 to decorate our cubicles, and each team were given space on the floor to go to town on. Our conference rooms became stately libraries, or had posters of stars who had worked with AOL, and there was color everywhere! Everyone seemed really inspired during this time.

One of my former AOL colleagues styling in one of my hatsI really went all out on my cubicle and brought in mats, posters and a hamper FULL of toys – like hats, bats, balls, colored paper and pens. I used these items in meetings that I was involved in to inspire us to think differently. To be more innovative. Think outside the box. It worked. Many new ideas were created during that time. Good ones.

We also started an Innovation Forum where we brought in speakers from around the company to share the latest on Web 2.0, Marketing, Tech etc. over a brown bag lunch. Good times. And then began the layoffs and our ‘innovation’ waned…

I was really excited to start working at my new company. But I was concerned with the sterile office space I’d be inhabiting. I know how I work best and when I’m most productive. I now that some of my best work comes when I’m comfortable, and feeling inspired. The new space? White walls and beige cubicles. No color in site. The view is phenomenal, but is hidden from view for most of the employees by cubicle or office walls.

View from the officeMe? I have an office – so I’m grateful. But it is an interior office, with white walls and big old dark wood traditional office furniture. I can put things on the wall (with permission). I brought in a number of items I felt might help my team, and might create an innovative and creative environment. Coming up in part 2, I’ll share some of these ideas. In the meantime, check out what one of my favorite companies does. Hail MailChimp!

It’s the Little Things – Launching a New Product

JoyIt’s the little things that give me joy….

Its been a while, and I apologize for that. But I’ve been working like crazy on a new product that my company is launching. I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of inside scoop on how we’re building this thing. I love my job… I really do!

So, what is “it”? My company is launching a Daily Deals website –! Yes, there are many others out there, but we are fortunate to have a solid company behind us, a fantastic URL, and have experience building strong field sales teams, and customer service teams. So, what are we doing that is different? Well, we hope that we can provide best in class customer service to our merchant partners and customers.

Ultimately, though, we want to give quality deals.

I have been working with our talented design team to come up with our website concepts, and we have been testing a few looks over the last few days. We also have a new logo, that we hope is a better fit with the look and feel of the home page concepts we will use for launch. So many of the daily deal websites have a similar look and feel, so we wanted to create something that looked a little different, and made us stand out from the crowd. I hope we have been able to achieve that.

I thought it would be a great opportunity to engage guerrilla marketing agency to push a promotion in one of our launch cities. I’ve narrowed my search down to two agencies, and am excited to see what creative and innovative solutions they will present. Once the details are finalized, I’ll share them here on my blog. I love guerrilla marketing…

Well, folks. I hope you’ll join me on this journey over the next few months. ~Sonya
Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed are mine and do not necessarily reflect any of my affiliations.

UPDATE: Check out what our manager has to say about here!

Follow Up – How To Make Me Hire You

You're Hired

My recent blog post: It’s the Little Things – How to Make Me Hire You had such a huge response! I’m happy to report that I made offers to 5 of the candidates who interviewed with me last week! One of the candidates I hired was the gentleman who returned after the interview and hand delivered a personalized thank you letter.

I also decided to start a job listing page on my non-profit’s website to list all the opportunities that are sent to me to post. So if you have a position open in Hampton Roads (or anywhere really), let me know and I’d be happy to share it with my network. Feel free to share the link with your friends in case they are looking for a new opportunity. And thank you all for the fantastic response to my post. ~Sonya

Women in business awards

Women in Business Award Luncheon

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I was so honored to be awards a Women in Business Award today, along with 23 other deserving women. Inside Business were the hosts and organizers, and put on a terrific event to honor us. I was grateful to Nicole Newsome, my husband John, sister Kylie, brother in law Kyle and my team from Dominion there to support me. I did feel a little underserving as all the other women were introduced, and had things like “saves kids” “fights fires” “was the first…” in their bio’s. But it was a honor, and I was truly humbled. Thank you to all who were with me either in person, or in spirit. It was a fabulous day!