Biography and Background:
Susan Elder is senior director of marketing for Jenne, Inc., a U.S. based, privately owned value-added distributor of technology products and solutions. She joined Jenne in 2012 after 25 years of experience in marketing and corporate communications for major companies and organizations, including the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland where she served as Chief Marketing Officer, and Invacare Corporation, a global Fortune 500 company that manufactures medical products. At Jenne, Inc., Elder provides marketing programs and services to the 180 technology manufacturers for which Jenne distributes products, including Avaya, Extreme Networks and Mitel. Additionally, under her leadership, Jenne has developed and offers end-user demand generation programs for its partners, which incorporate best practices in content marketing, social media and inbound sales techniques. Elder's expertise extends to branding, media relations, investor relations, digital and content marketing, market research and social media. She has received numerous marketing and communications awards, including the SoMe Impact Award at the 2013 Midwest Social Media Summit, as well as the Distinguished Marketing and Sales Award from the Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland. She has previously been named by CRN to the Women of the Channel list in 2015 and 2017.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I have worked with each of our company's Tier 1 vendors to develop and implement growth oriented marketing programs that have driven adoption and sales in the channel through Jenne's value added resellers. These programs have included end-user lead generation campaigns for Jenne customers to be able to market more effectively to end-customers and create a pipeline of sales opportunities. In addition to working with Jenne's Tier 1 vendors, I also have been responsible for developing and driving launch plans and programs for each new vendor which Jenne has brought on board -- more than a dozen in 2017. Through effective marketing programs developed under my leadership, Jenne has been able to successfully position marketing as a value added program and service that we offer to our vendor and reseller partners and that distinguishes Jenne in the channel from our competition.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
My goals include supporting the business plans for each of our vendor partners to ensure that our marketing plans and programs align with their respective plans. Additionally, I am working to continue to bring more valuable marketing content to our reseller customers in the channel that will help them develop their own marketing plans and programs and build pipeline. I am continuing to focus on driving the development of more interactive content, including videos, infographics, ebooks and more through digital marketing and social media platforms.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I have been actively involved as a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County and currently serve as the chair of the fundraising and marketing committee. The organization has commended me for the contribution I have made to help advance the mission of BBBS, which is to help to positively change the lives of disadvantaged children through one-on-one mentoring relationships. I am gratified that I have been able to positively use my management and marketing expertise to serve children in need in my community.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire Beth Moore, a writer and Bible teacher who founded Living Proof MInistries. Her studies and books, including 'Get Out of That Pit', touch on the internal pressures and insecurities that women often face, with Biblically-based coping strategies offered in an animated and self-deprecating manner. This guidance has helped me positively address pressure and stress that naturally comes along with a visible leadership position.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would have encouraged my high-school self to have spent less time worrying about what others thought of me, particularly my physical appearance, and more time focused on developing my self-confidence at an earlier age.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
In the past year, I have been focusing on developing new digital marketing skills current by mastering four Hubspot certification courses: Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales. I felt it was important for me to keep my skills current so as to serve as a role model to the mostly Millennials I lead in our our marketing department and also to be able to provide marketing consultation and advise for our partners that I know is cutting edge and current.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
'How to Have a Good Day' by Caroline Webb, a former McKinsey consultant. She pulls together numerous findings from behavioral economics, psychology and neuroscience to offer insightful approaches to everyday working life. I learned practical advice on setting goals, the value of single-tasking rather than multi-tasking, making wise decisions, how to convey confidence, keeping a cool head during tense situations and playing to my best strengths. This is a book I checked out at my library and valued so much that I then purchased a copy so that I can refer back to it from time to time.
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