I am passionate about digital marketing. Using a data-driven and artistic approach, I take on projects that can meet or exceed an organization’s long-term strategic plan. My specialties include creative and analytical communication, brand development, and marketing & sales strategies that contribute toward business sustainability, scalability & an improved customer experience.
“‘Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if only I knew how to begin.’ ‘For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.‘” – Alice In Wonderland
What happens when you lose your voice? You must force yourself to speak out loud, to as many people as possible. So often do I long to stand quietly and watch, blinking slowly at each word that exits from his mouth.
Then back to my mouth the words come again – you must speak to be free; you must believe and recount everything good that is happening. Because is it no longer impossible. It is not impossible, it is free falling.
I arrived earlier, still late, but feeling excused because of the weather. I was greeted by a girl in a salmon-coloured romper, and then shortly, another young girl looking much the same presented herself smiling. They could have been twins, but one was taller and wore a hat I could not stop examining. For my life, I forget what Jo-Ann (matriarch of the Dykstra family) called it, but alas, it was some sort of hat slash cover used to protect the face and hair from harsh elements.
I asked a quiet girl sitting on a step if she knew where Jo-Ann could be. She turned out to be the farm gardener. I asked the young girls. It was only after they cautiously pointed me in the direction of the bathroom, that I noticed a small house set stoically aside an apple tree, which the girls promptly proclaimed, “That’s the shop! She is probably in there!”
And there I found her. She had an easygoing air and quirky smile and laugh. Jo-Ann Dykstra was stocking fridges for ‘social media’, which I thought was brilliant. I appreciated that she was still preparing her farm for our visit. We had a brief introduction, then went off on our ways. I had to check if Milca, my filmmaker, had arrived, and Jo-Ann was probably considering a few other things to wrap up before filming commenced.
Other family members started to appear; each one donning a bright blue t-shirt with amusing imagery and text that accurately explained the context of their ubiquitous smirks. It was fun and again very thoughtful and made a tremendous blue background for certain shots, primarily in the greens or browns.
And so she finally arrives, with all her equipment. I am mesmerized by her calm and friendly demeanour, telling myself in my head, I need to be more like Milca. We filmed for the next 3 hours, if not more. The processing room where we witnessed son Jason laboriously creating goat mozzarella (Mt. Lehman Cheese Co.). The interview portion on the backyard veranda. The goats inside their cozy home. A new baby goat only four hours old. And best of all, daughter and grand-daughter milking the herd. Finally, a quick visit to the babbling brook known as McLennan Creek, also the name of their store as prescribed on a handmade wooden sign.
It was a great experience. It felt like I was at home, as a boarder or wanderer travelling across British Columbia who finds a remote place that offers up service, work and a sprawling, farm-set playground. It was almost too hard to leave, sharing a last-minute conversation with Jo-Ann about their upcoming open house.
If you have a chance, visit their farm and experience goat farming first hand. You will be welcomed, and I guarantee, the two young farm managers will greet you with open arms, maybe matching outfits as they did us today. You’ll want to explore and find out what a smallholding agricultural operation is like.
I am just being introduced to the world of agriculture, and I am astounded every day. I look forward to learning more about farming in the future!
Here are some photos I captured. We will be sharing our first Farm Stories video soon, so stay tuned!
As things have taken a doubtful turn, I race to the corner of the intersection, moving my head to the back to check for traffic turning right. I am mighty in this sweater I proclaim, not wearing it on my run, but in my head as I write about running. I cross over a slippery yellow grid and see three bright orange pylons. There is a construction site to my right, and a small mall with a Bell store and I always seem to think a Cobs, but there isn’t. This is the fastest I’ve gone in it must be over a year, I thought. I felt impressed with my speed but knew I still had a long way to go. Will there be a huge difference once my shoes stop blinking purple? The lights were slowly changing to green, then orange, then nothing. I could see the lavender bear making its way over the crest of Gladwin Rd, heading toward Mission, where the Vedder river was, and Chilliwack. My heart was in the that town for some reason. The bread? The bread would be over on Monday, so better start relying on something else for pleasure, I thought. I was already home, wiping the rain off my make-uped brow and scanning the kitchen for my pint of water. The bear’s cries could be heard, and thunder rang in the deep blue sky. RipnDip, I thought, taking my hoodie off. The scars on my back were getting better. It just took a little temper, and ignorance for it to heal itself back to smooth, normal skin. Vanity or was it purpose? What answer do you recommend?
This all began at the end of the day, Friday afternoon.
I was leaving i-Open a little bit late. I was put in charge of sending out a Stablebuzz priority newsletter speaking on frameworks released by leading equestrian organizations ensuring a safe return to work for stable owners. My managers (I pretty much work with only managers) were stuck in meetings all day and I was waiting for one to review the final test newsletter. I couldn’t go without his approval. Anyway, long story short, I was finally finished and hopped into the elevator with another man standing there. I did not know who he was, but he definitely worked in the building. He moved into one corner because of COVID-19. He asked how everything was going in the office with us all being back and followed with a classic job interview question: what do you guys do there? I was quick to respond, we’re a tech company and he laughed saying that’s obvious, but what do you do there?
We are all told to have an elevator pitch prepared, but who else only reserves coming up with one for special presentations and interviews? This campaign is based on that idea. The idea that we assume our audience are experts, primed in communication and language technologies. But the truth is, this may not be the case. I’ve spoken with countless business owners, in one role trying to sell digital marketing services. As touchpoint rules say, it always took 3-5 interactions before they were really willing to talk to me. First interactions were like this –
My name is Chona, I work across the street at a company called VanWhistle Media. Do you have some time to speak?
Business owner: Hi. Not really. I am busy at the moment.
So, as you can imagine, not much more can be said there. I could either say no worries, and leave, or, I could provide a more basic, and general description of my goal.
Ah, no worries! I can imagine you are super busy. I have a one-pager that describes what we do with a little more detail. It’s easy to read and my card is attached, so please reach out to me if you have any questions!
Our immediate messaging must be enthusiastic, and look after our audience’s basic needs. Once a certain level of safety or security is established then perhaps, we are able to provide a little something more. Using a hook, we can then present a very basic/general value proposition. In this case, the hook is the one-pager. (I can never forget and it always works out this way – the medium is the message à la M. McLulan!) The value in that is that yes, perhaps the business owner was truly busy, but this does not mean they are not interested. The one-pager gives just enough information to get them hooked. Then once they realize they have interest the relationship begins.
So, why are we in this relationship? As Ezra Firestone, marketing maven and e-commerce guru would say: this is the game. We are all people and we are essentially communicating through various mediums. What this means is that, we are all on the same level in one way or another, however we must learn how to communicate with each other using said various mediums. As a marketer, this means not making the assumption that my audience is interested in what I have to say, but moreover is interested (subliminally) in HOW I am saying it.
I’m about halfway through a Facebook ads mastery course and in the process I have developed a creative ad campaign strategy that touches on the essence of why our group at i-Open Technologies is doing what we’re doing. I’m excited to present it to my team this Friday! Cheers!
If you follow along my wonderful journey you would know what MART means! Here are some new adventures inspired by Archie comic books, Sigmar Polke and David Hockney always. I miss making random stuff. I truly exist as an abstract artist, perhaps one day I will own a beautiful big studio with lots and lots of paint! Hope you enjoy these and if you have any thoughts or comments, please do share them!
How long has it been? Alice combed through her blonde hair with a piece of honeycomb she found under a tree. There was no one else in the forest today. A deep and thick fog covered everything, except the very top of the trees. Alice peered up and saw an entranceway. It was in the shape of an eye and blue cartoon birds flew through it, looking for food. I have food here, she thought, squishing her honeycomb in her dry hands. It was rather crisp and some of it just crumbled apart. Alice squished her nose and dropped it, wiping her hands on her pinafore. So, now you think we’re talking about cartoon Alice here don’t you? Is it because no images have been shown of our true character Alice? Well, let’s take a second then to describe what she looks like. But beware. She screams when she hears people talking about her. Even if it’s nice things. But I believe her screams aren’t scary or terrifying or an indication of danger. She’s just a kid, that Alice. In fact, she’s only 3.