About Me

Family Photo

Background 

Before I tell you about my marketing consulting services, let me share a little about my personal and professional background. In 1975, my wife started a nationally recognized wholesale bakery business called Rachel’s Brownies. I joined her in 1978, and together we built it into a national success eventually selling it to a large food company in 1989.  We even made INC Magazine’s list of the top 500 fastest growing business in 1985. IMG_4809 We achieved significant publicity including articles in The New York Times, USA Today and Philadelphia Magazine. We also appeared on CNN, The Phil Donahue Show, Charlie Rose and many others national and syndicated talk shows. And we were honored to be invited to have lunch in May 1985 with President Reagan. Who knew you could make a living selling brownies? FullSizeRender-001

 

We sold our business in 1989 to GoodMark Foods in Raleigh, North Carolina. They owned a collection of snack food, packaged goods, and bakery businesses. Over time, I rose to the position of Executive Vice President of Marketing for their $400 million snack food company with $100 million brands that included  Slim Jims and David’s Sunflower Seeds. I had the great joy of creating commercials with the late Macho Man Randy Savage and even got to teach him how to use email! Oh yeah! Randy-strangling-Jeff I was responsible for GoodMark’s $20 million marketing, advertising and promotion budgets including the highly successful, “Snap into a Slim Jim” campaign from the late 1990’s. (credit for the creative work goes to Hal Rosen and The Steves from our advertising agency).

 

The extraordinary team I managed worked on sponsorship and event marketing like The X Games, national music tours with George Strait, Tim McGraw, and The Dixie Chicks and even created a unique event for teens called Rebelliache. It was a never ending learning experience for me, and I got to work with some of the most skilled professional marketing agencies and colleagues. GoodMark was sold to ConAgra Foods in 2003 where I continued in my EVP role for a few more years. Every moment was a chance to learn from the best in the business, and I look back fondly on those memories. You might enjoy listening to a recent interview I did with John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire about my marketing career and experiences.

 

sage-leafThe Marketing Sage | Consulting

The sole focus of The Marketing Sage is to provide advice to those who need help unraveling the mysteries of marketing. My blog, now called The Marketing Sage Blog will continue as a source of ideas to both marketing professionals as well as those who work in business and need help understanding how marketing can be used as fuel to grow a business, differentiate a brand and establish your company as a thought leader. You can read some testimonials from clients and colleagues here. I knew I wanted a name for my website that included within the URL the word marketing. It was important to reinforce that my area of expertise is marketing.

The word sage has an important double meaning.  Sage means to be wise through reflection and experience.  I promise to work hard to earn that moniker through hard work and continuously improving my knowledge. But sage is also my favorite herb.  And when my daughters were young, I would always season their scrambled eggs with freshly chopped sage leaves. I’d have them rub their tiny fingers across the sage leaf and ask them to smell the fragrance.  So my tagline is “Seasoned Advice.”   Credit goes to Ra Elohim (Ra El) my wife who kept coming back to the name The Marketing Sage over the dozens of ideas I generated. I have learned after 37 years of marriage to listen carefully to her instincts about many things.  She reminded me that the name was clear, simple and met all of my criteria.

Marketing Consulting, Coaching, and Advice

IMG_0109For short engagements, I work through Clarity, an online resource for experts. The site helps to coordinate appointments and to bring people together who need assistance.  I consult, coach and help unravel marketing problems for clients and you can hire me at the moment – well actually by the minute. You set the time frame for the call, and I share my advice. To schedule a call, you can reach me through Clarity at https://clarity.fm/jeffreyslater. Are you looking for a speaker about marketing for your event? Give me a call. See a sample here.

I provide CMO/VP Marketing for services for hire by the week to help support business that can’t afford a full-time marketing leader. To learn more, contact me here or just call me at 919 720 0995.

Thank you for your interest. If you would like to connect just click the box below to schedule an appointment.

My blog

My blog, on The Marketing Sage site was started in August 2010 as a place to share some of my professional marketing experiences. You may enjoy reading about what I learned having lunch with President Reagan in 1985. Or, you may find some useful insights in how I was able to connect with Ben Cohen (From Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream) and together we created a Rachel’s Brownies Ice Cream. Our meeting with them was the first time either my wife or I ate sushi. In the blog, I offer lots of practical tips on how to focus your marketing activity to maximize your return on your investment.I share ideas on positioning, business models, the power of focus, creating a brand promise, developing spectacular product names, the importance of content marketing, successful selling strategies and so much more. Marketing is about getting noticed. My posts are centered on supporting this important goal for your brand.

Personal Life

I earned a BA with Honors from The University of Pennsylvania in Communications, an MA from The Annenberg School of Communications and took advanced education classes at Harvard University. During my career, I have been honored to be a guest lecturer at The University of Pennsylvania, N.C. State, University of Dijon Business School in Burgundy, France  and U.C. Davis along with countless other appearances at symposiums, conferences and marketing panel discussions. I am an avid cook with a passion for fresh ingredients and rich flavors. Julia Child is in my pantheon of teachers. I also spent many years as a commercial photographer and still love to take pictures. I write about early entrepreneurs like my grandfather George Ginsberg who would have invented the Original Facebook 50 years ago had the technology existed. Jazz is the soundtrack for my life and Ella Fitzgerald is another one of my personal guides through the universe. My wife

My wife Ra Elohim, is an accomplished artist, writer and healer who is the most courageous person I have ever known. Her galactic wisdom vibrates on frequencies that few have experienced. Those who know her well recognize the depth of her compassion and ever present love that emanates from her soul. We have been married since 1977 and photo 3are blessed with two exceptional daughters Sarah and Fanny. Our daughters are both remarkable women too.

Our older daughter Sarah, lives on Oahu near Honolulu and teaches AP Psychology at The Punahou School and is co-chair of the Psych/Social department. She also is a trained yoga instructor and teaches young girls about stretching toward their dreams. You can learn about her here at her Facebook page Summer Yoga for Teen Girls. Our younger daughter

Our younger daughter Fanny is a co-host on FOOD NETWORK for a show called The Kitchen Sink. She runs a venture called Fanfare in Wilmington, North Carolina. She won the Rachael Ray Great American Cookbook Competition.  When she isn’t aThe Rachael Ray Show guest on The Rachael Ray Show, she offers recipe development, food writing and is a regular on a local Wilmington TV station offering cooking tips on a show called Fanny In The Kitchen. Check out all things about Fanny here.Bruce and Bea

Finally, my 89-year-old mom, Bea Slater continues to inspire me each day. How many of your elder family members text their family and post updates on Facebook. Do any of them use Uber? You can read about Being Bea if you are interested in some inspiration or just want to read about jello molds, ice cream cakes at the beach and memories of West Philadelphia. You might also be interested in learning about the time she sang with Bruce Springsteen courtesy of PhotoShop.

How can I help you make your product, service or brand thrive?

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