Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Dr. Maisha Cobb, Author of "Epiphany Marketing: The Heart of Marketing Starts at Your Core Business/Leadership/Marketing"

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Today we are interviewing Dr. Maisha Cobb about her new book, "Epiphany Marketing: The Heart of Marketing Starts at Your Core Business / Leadership / Marketing."

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in marketing.
I am a psychologist by training, but I quickly realized the world of therapy and academia wouldn't be enough for me. After graduate school, I started a career in marketing and have built a solid career as a strategy, branding and insights professional. I have spent most of my time in corporate and nonprofit settings – which enables me to balance the business side of my personality with the side that loves to give back. 

Describe your book in a few sentences.
"Epiphany Marketing" is really a book about self-discovery and reconnecting with who we are as leaders, marketers and individuals. It is about the field of marketing, but also has lessons for all of us on how we can live more authentically.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
I believe anyone who is searching for their path, their truth and anyone who wants to get back in touch with their true self will enjoy the book. It is written for organizational leaders and marketers, and I think those who are disruptors, trailblazers and innovators will get the most out of this read. 

What inspired you to write a book about marketing in this modern age?
I was growing so frustrated in my work due to the shift to digital. It reminded me everyday that what was most missing from marketing is a human connection and that connection is what really drives good marketing.

How has technology changed marketing?
As I write about in the book, technology drives how we market. Unfortunately, most people have taken technology to be what we market – and I believe this is why things are getting so out of whack. Technology enables us to connect with customers virtually anywhere, which is great. However, it is not a substitute for connecting authentically, this can only come from baring your soul as individuals and organizations.

What are some common mistakes organizations make when marketing today?
Similar to what I just mentioned, most organizations feel they can target a wide group with a generic message and it will break through. What most fail to understand is that today, Marketing is all about shared experiences and shared values. If your organization isn’t focused on these areas, you will be left behind.

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Author Dr. Maisha Cobb.
One of the themes of your book is the need for authenticity and articulating core beliefs. Why is this so important for organizations to pursue?
As our human experience continues to become less personal, fans are seeking experiences that enable them to feel they belong to something bigger, more meaningful. Most organizations are so wrapped up in their day-to-day that they forget the authenticity comes from within and needs to be lived and breathed daily. If organizations don’t know who they are, their fans won’t either.

What are some crucial first-steps organizations must take before moving forward with marketing from the core?
I have an 8-step process I use with organizations and the first step is honestly evaluate where your organization stands. I have a few exercises in the book that can help begin this process. The goal is to understand objectively how you are showing up today with fans (internal and external) and then start to realign with who/what you intend to be. Much of this begins with a clear understanding of culture – or what I call organizational soul.

Did writing the book take you to unexpected places or reveal things you hadn’t thought about before?
I think it highlighted for me the tremendous change we are seeing in marketing and how this change is brought about by the intersection of organizations, fans and technology. This has everything to do with marketing becoming more of an experiential field vs. a selling field.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
I had this topic in my mind for a bit based on presentations and speaking engagements. Once I decided to turn it into a book, I took my own advice and relied a lot on what felt right with regard to structuring content, what to include and what to omit. Most of my thoughts were developed in my quiet time as well as during personal travel to remote locations where I can just center. We can learn a lot by going into these quiet places inside.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
Determining what not to include. I had to realize that every idea I had was not relevant to this book. So, I will have to retain some for the next book.

What do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
More than anything, I really hope people feel empowered to return to their true essence. 

How have readers responded to your book so far?
Lots of head nods, lots of agreement with the premise and tons of questions about how one can build the confidence to truly be themselves. There is an immense amount of insecurity in our world and people don’t necessarily like/want to stand out. Ironically, standing out and standing up for who you are is what draws the most loyalty – so many understand the impact of failing to be authentic, they just want affirmation that it’s okay to do it. Most know that the answer is there, it’s just a matter of having the courage to act on it.

Are they any authors who have influenced your writing style?
Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Jen Sincero – all have an attitude of getting back to who you really are an eliminating the clutter.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
I have a few ideas percolating but nothing concrete yet.

Is there anything else you’d like potential readers to know about your book?
This is less of a how to market and more of a just do it type of book. I hope people are inspired to take action in their business and personal lives. If nothing more, they can use me as a testament to how taking control and going with your core can lead you down new paths.

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