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[Chapter 10] Marketing Test with Leanna Sun

When my guest for today approached me, I noticed her holding a piece of paper. The contents looked familiar. I can see my signature at the bottom.

“Wow, you printed my talking points!” I said.
“Of course, you should always come prepared!” she replied.

I met this week’s guest through the Shapr app, the free app for professional networking. Shapr introduces the most relevant nearby professionals who share your interests! As a newbie Marketing professional, I thought of touching base with someone who has immersed the dynamic and tide-changing waters of the industry. She gladly obliged.

I am beyond excited to introduce to you my guest for today’s post, Leanna Sun! I touched base on her professional career, how she fared on an impromptu Marketing test, her favorite app, and her outlook on the industry.

HER MARKETING CAREER
“I’ve been in the [Marketing] industry for more than 8 years now,” Sun said. She has seen herself do multiple roles – running events, managing social media, and engaging with customers with products, among others. I asked her what her favorite side of Marketing is. “I love Experiential Marketing. I remember the days when I represented an alcohol company. I get to keep consumers informed about our brand. They get to sample our goods and participate in discussions. It’s a lot of fun,” Sun recalled.

Despite recalling her enjoyable experiences, she confessed that there were challenges. “Managing your time is important,” Sun advised. “Some might think it’s a predictable 9 – 5 job. There is a lot of traveling to events where the real work begins”.

Sun currently works at Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) as a Territory Marketing Specialist. Her responsibilities include protecting and regulating the professional practice of 23,000+ member registrants. She also manages volunteers and oversees the growth of chapters and volunteers through support and development of training materials.

AGENCY vs. ASSOCIATION
Leanna has had the pleasure of working in different environments – from Marketing agencies, corporations, and at her current job at an association. She shared some striking differences in the culture and work involved. “In an agency, it’s creative, fun, and young. At an association, your career trajectory is more linear. There are more growth opportunities.”

JP: This reminds me of comparing startups to large companies. There are common themes in both work environments but, at the end of the day, the real score is whether or not you get the job done.

FUN FACTS
Shapr Fun Fact. “You’re only the second person that I met through that app!” What makes Leanna swipe right to a profile? “I look at profiles with interesting experiences. I become curious to learn more.”
Favorite app. “Reddit. I like its anonymity.”
Morning Routines. “Nothing special. I just cuddle my cat, and that’s it!”

MARKETING TEST
My interviews typically end with a parting gift (a jar of #ChefJoaquinPaolo chocolate chip cookies) to express my gratitude. Before I let go of the cookie jar, I asked her how she would market it to me. While the test was impromptu, Sun was unfazed. She kept it simple and on-point: “These cookies are delicious with a glass of milk. It will definitely bring back memories of your childhood”.

LOOKING FORWARD
“There’s definitely going to be more push to technology,” Sun commented when asked about the future of Marketing. “It becomes increasingly difficult to stand out. Everyone has at least one social media account. Also, the objectives have changed. Before, social media existed primarily to connect with people. Now, and even more so in the future, it has become a tool to promote a business or idea.

THE RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS
Social media has also been a niche for influencers backed with stellar numbers representing their followers and likes. How does Sun respond to this social phenomenon? “I don’t mind if they post something. It is important that they practice what they preach”.

JP: Content originality beats recycled quotes at any day.

FINAL MARKETING ADVICE
Sun continues to be both Marketing professional and a perpetual student. The industry remains to be a popular career choice despite being saturated and unpredictable. Sun shares these words to those who choose this path. “Be open to something different. You will be putting out a lot of fires in this line of work,” Sun advised.

JP: This advice also goes beyond Marketing. There are too many variables to consider. Even the wisest get caught up with unpredictability.

WAIT. . PUTTING OUT FIRES?!
I wanted to end the interview yet there was an itch that was left to be scratched. What are these metaphorical fires that Sun alludes to? She digs into her experiences. “There are tons. People don’t show up in events (that’s a big one). You also make dreams come true with a budget. A client changes requests from time to time. It’s part of the job.”

On y va!

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