Featured Author

Alexis M. Newman, MBA

Senior Marketing Specialist

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH)

President's Purple Platform

President 2017-2018, SMPS New York

If you would have told me five years ago that in 2017, I would be living in Manhattan, working in a job I love, and leading one of the largest chapters of a national organization, I may not have believed you. But guess what? It happened, and I couldn’t be more grateful!

My journey in this industry has spanned more than thirteen years, but in many ways, it feels like it is just beginning. This crazy ride has taken me from coast to coast, from a Ph.D. program, to an office manager position at an engineering firm, to a proposal team, to getting an MBA in Marketing, to several Board positions, to sitting in my office today, as a senior marketer in charge of what I love most…client events. I can say with confidence that a special friend has been by my side on this journey, supporting me through the ups and downs, providing endless opportunities for me to grow as an individual, while at the same time allowing me to add value to my marketing team and to my firm. That special friend is named SMPS, and for so many reasons, I am forever indebted to this amazing organization.

If you’ve met me in the last couple of years, you’ve probably noticed a purple tint to my life, both personally and professionally. What’s with all the purple? I think it’s time to let you in on my purple secret…

Why purple? Because purple is my way of being remarkable on the outside, to mirror a transformation that has happened to me on the inside. Let me explain what I mean.

In the words of the wise Seth Godin in his book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, “In your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable.” Seth tells the story of his family’s vacation to the French countryside where he described their reaction to the pretty cows grazing in the picturesque pastures. He said that at first, they were enchanted with the cows, but after about 10 minutes, one cow became just like the next cow and they completely lost interest. He says, “A Purple Cow, though. Now that would be interesting.” He goes on to say, “The essence of the Purple Cow is that it must be remarkable…Something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It’s a Purple Cow…Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not slapping on marketing as a last-minute add-on, but understanding that if your offering itself isn’t remarkable, it’s invisible.”

So, the idea is that in order to stand out in a field of cows, you need to find that purple cow (or Purple Power, as I like to call it) to survive in today’s crowded marketplace.

I love that even the title of his book aligns perfectly with the SMPS vision: Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership. Seth is saying that to transform a business for the better, it is essential to stand out from the crowd and find that remarkable trait that sets you or your firm apart from the competition. SMPS is saying that by becoming marketing leaders, and by being remarkable, we too can help transform our businesses for the better.

Over the years, we’ve seen that an ever-present obstacle for AEC marketing professionals is showing the value of marketing. As President of the society whose sole purpose is to support the field of marketing professional services, I am making it my mission to help these marketers–to help YOU–establish what your purple power is, i.e. discover what makes you remarkable. I am optimistic that, like it did for me, this journey of self-discovery will help propel each of you further in your career and will allow you to bring even more value to your team, to your firm, and to the industry.

Okay, that is all you’ll hear about me on this blog. From this point forward, my President’s Purple Platform (PPP) blog posts will be all about you, our amazing members, sponsors, and friends of SMPS, and about your journey to discover your purple power.

So let’s kick this off by getting to know one of our newest members, Janelle McCoy, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at our Surf’s Up Member Appreciation event last month. Janelle’s enthusiasm is infectious. I’ve seen her dive head first into SMPS New York, having already attended several different committee meetings this month. Below is a little excerpt from Janelle’s SMPS story. Hopefully, you’ll see her at one of our chapter events and share your purple power with her!

Purple Powwow with SMPS-NY Member Janelle McCoy
  1. How did you become involved in the AEC industry? I’m currently working for IBTS, which is associated with the New York City ‘Build It Back’ program, and our company is working the Construction Management side of the project.
  2. What brought you to SMPS? My supervisor, Michael Urtnowski, suggested joining SMPS to expand my knowledge in marketing and writing proposals.
  3. What do you hope to get out of your SMPS New York membership this year? This year I plan to expand my knowledge and growth in the Marketing field by attending events/meeting with successful marketing professionals.
  4. Describe yourself in five words. Patient, understanding, energetic, enthusiastic, and courageous.
  5. What’s your purple power? (i.e. what makes you remarkable?) My purple power is my smile! Smiling is a sign of happiness and positivity and I plan to bring that joy to everyone I meet!

Hope to see you at our next event!

Looking forward to a positive, purple-packed year ahead!