An interview with global digital marketing influencer and author Maria Johnsen
Some insights from a digital marketing coach
Maria Johnsen is an acclaimed multilingual digital marketing and market leadership expert who has written 16 books, including the best-seller “Multilingual Digital Marketing” which looked at how to become the market leader.
In her 2017 book, “multilingual digital marketing” Johnsen argues that using the right digital marketing strategies is the key to success for ecommerce owners. “The surprising truth about sales” published in 2014, looks at the best practices of landing sales for E-commerce websites.
To gain some insights into Maria Johnsen and her thoughts on digital marketing, languages and market leadership, I had a chance to interview her prior to her visit.
Who had a significant influence in shaping you as a leader?
My father had the biggest influence in shaping me as a leader. He was a physician and the CEO of his company and starting at the age of 5, I would go with him to watch how he ran his company.
How do successful market leaders think differently?
They are focused and goal oriented and don’t get bogged down in the noise. Market leaders build their skills and gain more knowledge to close performance gaps.
What is your online marketing approach? Please explain.
My online marketing approach has always been to use every possible avenue to get our clients noticed on the web in a positive and meaningful way. We don’t just manage online reputations, we market them. It is important to a campaign’s success to be able to put that company in front of the maximum number of eyes to help them grow their business. That means working with things like SEO and targeting campaigns to the culture of the audience. We’ve been very successful with this in the past and I look forward to helping businesses.
In your multilingual digital marketing 5th edition you argue how a product is being introduced to an entirely new audience and market leadership. Could you briefly explain?
There is always an “other” person on the other side of success in the business. While all the core values and behaviors of market leadership are important, connecting with the people involved in “each process” is what truly drives a digital marketing team achievement and performance. If you are marketing familiar products which is unique in the target market who speak a different language, you are most often facing less competition which makes it easier to sell. As a market leader we have to connect to our network. If you don’t connect, it makes you feel bad and affects your performance. This is why awareness is one the keys to success in market leadership. Market leaders who are obsessed with numbers or whatever it is they are looking to for achievement and that may not always be fulfilling. Good market leaders should surround themselves with people of integrity and authenticity, so they can connect on a “real” level. The real connection is important in driving our business boat in the ocean of market competition and land on the Island of success and victory.
How many languages do you know, Maria?
Eighteen. I know English, French, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Serbian, German, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Italian, Spanish, Urdu and Persian languages. I also understand Hindi language on conversational level. I understand what Indians say in their official language, but I can’t speak their language.
This is very impressive. How did you learn all these languages and why?!
My mom was a diplomat at the Russian Embassy in England and we travelled and lived in different countries. I picked up their languages and next thing I know I could communicate in their mother tongue. For example I was 5 years old and we had an Indian neighbor, I used to play with their kids, they couldn’t speak English, slowly they taught me their language. This is how I understand Indian. I lived in China and learned Chinese in three months. Because where I lived the only language of communication was mandarin called Putonghua. I had to communicate in Chinese (mandarin). This is how I learned Chinese fast.
What did you do in China?
I was a computer science student at Jilin institute of technology and received some teaching assignments as English teacher at the Chang Chun University in Chang Chun located in the North East, very cold place to be. I had 70 graduate students, of which 75% received scholarships from the Chinese government in order to pursue their PhD program in USA and Canada. My teaching had impressed the Chinese authorities. As a result, I received an advanced assignment to teach 170 Chinese students, between the ages of 5-14 years in conversational English and grammar. Due to the success of my work, I was offered Chinese nationality by the Chinese government. This was very rare, China seldom offers nationality to foreigners not just because of overpopulation but security reasons.
How does the quality of life outside work impact market leadership?
The better the work environment leads to a better personal life. If you surround yourself with culturally rich people, the quality of your life will be improved. You learn new things and become wiser.
If you could give one piece of advice to market leaders and organizations what would it be?
Listen more and talk less. Don’t rely on old ways of doing things in your organization. Don’t let xenophobia and discrimination distract you from reaching your goals in business. A person’s race, gender, skin color, sexual orientation and religion shouldn’t be considered in decision making processes. We all are humans and equal. In fact through learning languages and living with people who came from different cultural backgrounds, I gained more knowledge. These are things which you won’t find on the Internet. I am talking about those personal thoughts and individual experience. I learned to appreciate life and people.
You see, globalism and living in a multicultural environment are good for a country’s economy. The best advice I can give to organizations and business owners is to be open to change and welcome innovation.
Digital marketing company that is responsible for market trends and market leadership.
Book Author on Current market trends leadership and marketing. Helping eCommerce companies be more efficient and profitable.
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