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Our Story

In 2010, we founded Blue Focus Marketing with one mission: To infuse the human element in a business and marketing landscape rapidly transforming in the wake of social media. And through a platform based on social leadership, social employee advocacy, and authentic content marketing strategies, we began teaching organizations how to build engaged communities from the inside out. In that time, we’ve helped social brands learn to thrive on authentic engagement—each catalyzed by the passionate evangelism of social leaders within their organization.

Soon, our consulting, speaking, and training engagements gave way to new opportunities: a best-selling book, The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill); a TEDx talk, “The Rise of the Social Employee”; an online video course, “Social Employees: The New Marketing Channel” (Lynda.com/LinkedIn); and our latest workshop, “The Social Employee Face-to-Face Training,” sponsored by the American Marketing Association (AMA).

We believe that today’s brands must accept a fundamental truth: Marketing is everyone’s job—and social leaders can emerge from anywhere within an organization. That’s why the Social Employee Revolution is all about building employees with deeper skillsets, better resources for learning, and the confidence to engage as authentic brand ambassadors, humanizing their brand and expanding their digital footprint in the process.

Of course, no brand can communicate externally unless it first learns to communicate internally. That’s why social leaders are essential to unit employees around their brand’s mission, vision, and values. And when those social employees learn to successfully leverage their personal brands in service of their organization’s, the result is a true win/win for employee and company alike.

With this philosophy in mind, we’ve learned the best practices employed by start-ups and global giants alike to build brand eminence across the globe—and we are ready to work with your organization to build a dynamic blueprint for social business success.

The Social Employee Revolution is here. Are you ready to answer the call?

 

Mark Burgess

Mark Burgess

President

Mark Burgess (@mnburgess) is a branding consultant, content strategist, digital marketer, and educator. He has held senior-level marketing and digital marketing roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers, McCann, and AT&T. Mark is ranked #19 on Onalytica’s list of Top 200 “Content Marketing Influencers.” In 2014, Mark delivered a TED Talk at the TEDxNavesink event on “The Rise of the Social Employee.” Mark is co-author of The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work (McGraw-Hill). The book highlights the unique stories of several major companies actively engaged in cutting-edge social branding strategies.

As a content strategist, Mark works with clients to create an effective content marketing strategy using a proven seven-step process focused on developing quality content that resonates with the audience, emphasises brand storytelling, and helps build a sustainable content supply chain.

Mark is co-founder and president of Blue Focus Marketing® LLC, a branding consultancy that was awarded the 2012 MarketingSherpa Reader’s Choice Award for Best Social Media Marketing blog. Mark teaches in both the MBA and Professional Science Masters programs at Rutgers Business School. He also creates and teaches executive education strategy courses for Rutgers’ Executive Education program.

Mark is on the training faculty for the AMA, teaching workshops on Content Marketing and Integrated Marketing Communications, or Brand Choreography.

Prior to starting Blue Focus Marketing, Mark held senior roles at AT&T in digital marketing. He led PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Web team with responsibilities for global content strategy and content development. As a Vice President at McCann-Erickson, Mark led the flagship L’Oreal and Sears advertising accounts in the New York and Chicago offices. Mark has an Executive MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has earned executive education certificates at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, the Duke University Fuqua School of Business and Disney Leadership University. Follow him on Twitter at @mnburgess, @SocialEmployee, and @BlueFocus.

 

Cheryl Burgess

Cheryl Burgess

CEO

Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess) helps clients transform their brands from the inside out by implementing strategic social business initiatives that empower social employee engagement and social executive leadership.

She is the co-author of the best-selling book The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2014), which includes success stories from IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, and Adobe and was hailed by management guru Tom Peters as his favorite #1 social business book. The book has also been featured in MIT Sloan Management Review 2015 and The Boston Globe.

Burgess is a special advisory board member for The Economist Intelligence Unit, research arm of The Economist Group. Cheryl is a LinkedIn + Lynda.com author, creating online video courses for global organizations. She is also on the advisory board of CultureSphere, the world’s first social media platform powered by employee-inspired media. Burgess is listed as “Forbes Top 5 Influential CMOs” (2014), “Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Masters”; Forbes “Must-Follow Marketing Minds—2014”; #7 Top CMOs on Twitter; and a Huffington Post social media “Passionista.” She is a contributor to Harvard Business Review—Italia and an expert blogger for CEO.com and CMO.com.

Cheryl is a regular speaker at industry events, most recently at AMP, Australia and New Zealand 2015; Social Business Forum 2014—Milan, Italy; IBM Connect 2014; Dell World 2013 & 2014; Integrated Marketing Week NYC—2014; Pivotcon—NYC, Rutgers Business School; AT&T; and KPMG. She is a contributor to the Wharton Future of Advertising 2020. Her company’s blog won the MarketingSherpa 2012 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Social Media Marketing Blog. She is the winner of five Twitter Shorty Awards in Marketing, hailed by New York Times as the Oscar of Twitter. In 2011, she co-founded the #Nifty50 Top Men & Women on Twitter Awards. Follow her on Twitter at @ckburgess, @SocialEmployee, and @BlueFocus.

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