Laura Lieblein, EDM Publications, Bry-sur-Marne, France
SIPA: What was your first job out of college and how did you get into this business?
LAURA: My first job out of college was working with an Italian theater company for five years. I had studied Italian Lit at school and acting in NYC. I married both interests.
Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road.
I would not say there was one defining moment. I still work as an actress and work for EDM here in France in sales and marketing. But I did discover while working at a PR company (Douglas Consulting Group) in Los Angeles in the ’90s that I liked coming up with new strategies for marketing their clients’ products.
In brief, describe your business/company?
EDM is a small international publishing company that puts out four international business publications on the sporting goods, eyewear and footwear sectors in Europe, as well as in-depth market studies. [It’s] B2B.
What are two or three important concepts or rules that have helped you to succeed in business?
Not to take rejection personally, believe in the product I am selling and be kind yet tenacious.
What is the single-most successful thing that your company is doing now?
1) Studying in-depth various emerging markets (like Brazil and India).
2) Devoting most of our efforts to improving our main product: Sporting Goods Intelligence Europe.
Do you see a trend or path that you have to lock onto in 2012?
1) 2012: It’s definitely a challenging time as a salesperson now. No one has extra money for “luxury,” and many clients we deal with see our publication as “luxury” while we see it as necessity. Maybe just emphasizing that point, “necessity,” in order to endure the tough times and stay long term on the market would be an element of my pitch for this upcoming year.
2) Finding new clients.
3) Focusing on group accounts.
What are the key benefits of SIPA membership for you and your team?
We’ve participated in your conferences—which have some value but perhaps not enough for the monetary investment of plane fare and hotels during these events. None of the other participating companies follow the same model as we do (of sending pdfs of our product). The roundtables are comprised of mostly huge companies with marketing teams of 10 and far advanced in strategy. A suggestion: a conference or mini-conference for smaller companies less adept in advanced marketing/sales approaches (learning the 10 most important elements of a company website, for example). We recently posted a question on the SIPA listserv, and the answers were very interesting and helpful. We will continue to use this resource
Where did you grow up?
What college did you attend? Is there a moment from that time that stands out?
Barnard College, Columbia University. Graduate degrees from La Sorbonne, Paris.
Are you married? Do you have children?
Yes to both.
What is your favorite hobby and how did it develop in your life?
Music, brother in the business.
Is there a book you recently read or movie you saw that you would recommend?
The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon—full of humor but inexpressibly sad about an immigrant in Chicago in 1908.
Your wish, Laura, is our command.
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