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Java With Janice Lierz


Dear Marketers,

What I’d really like to do is sit down and have a cup of coffee with you.

Because I’d prefer to hear about you and your business. And get started helping you generate revenue and building your customer lifetime value.

But coffee klatches aren’t always practical. And I imagine you’ve landed here looking for more information about me.

If you’re mostly interested in my business background, I’ll save you time and give you the skinny right away. (Besides, I also like using the word skinny when I talk about myself—whether it’s true or not—and I suppose you’ll have to put up with my sense of humor sometimes, too.)

So here’s the business skinny about me…

I have more than 30 years of business experience. Recruited from business school by Johnson & Johnson, that led me to 20 years of climbing corporate ladders at Fortune 500 companies.

Those companies were Johnson & Johnson/McNeil CPC (Tylenol and health consumer products); Heublein (wine and spirits: Smirnoff, Jose Cuervo, Christian Brothers Brandy, etc.); Pillsbury (cake, cookies, Green Giant, Old El Paso, and more); Frito-Lay/PepsiCo (snacks and beverages); and Whole Foods Market (natural and organic foods and products, coffee, vitamins and herbs). And I’ve been the president of several Fortune 500 subsidiaries.

In 2003, I decided to leave my position as the president of Whole Foods’ coffee company to start my own companies. I also wanted to write and spend more time with my family. So we packed it up and relocated to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

And I’ve never looked back.

It wasn’t long before my phone started ringing. People wondered if I would consider consulting. I turned down big consulting firms’ offers and chose instead to start my work with midsize companies in crisis and entrepreneurs.

Since 2003, I’ve had my own marketing and consulting company. My practice has included startups and established companies—software to spas, pet products to real estate, vitamins and herbs, SEO services, large consumer product companies, retailers, and a whole host of other products and services and companies. It also led back to working with Fortune 500’s.

I personally know the benefit (and red tape) of committees and large budgets—and the agility (and pangs) of growing promising businesses. I am attracted to companies that want (and need) to transform their businesses.

In addition to selling mega consumer product brands, I’ve also run Fortune 500 analytical teams (big data, regression analysis, Category Management), launched billon dollar and smaller niche brands, been on major mergers and acquisitions teams, started several Internet businesses (including Whole Foods’), and led Whole Foods’ direct marketing and mail companies (and sold those companies for them, too).

I’ve been on the board of Fortune 500 subsidiaries and the chairman of a non-profit. I’ve helped large manufacturers, consumer product companies, and retailers create savvy go-to-market strategies.

Since the 90’s, I’ve been marketing and selling products and services on the Internet. It started when I helped Whole Foods launch onto the worldwide web in their first Internet venture. Since 2003, I’ve worked underground with some of the most successful internet marketers in the world. I’ve spoken at conferences and bootcamps, and created my own information product (which I turned it into a six-figure business).

During my career, I’ve sold well-over a billion dollars worth of products and services.

My business is always changing… I concentrate my time where I feel I can do the most good for companies today. My passion is helping companies transform. My strengths are engagement and omnichannel marketing, analytics, digital strategies, and copywriting and content.

I help businesses connect with consumers and customers… Nurture relationships, generate more and better leads, get more feet in stores, and build lifetime customer value.

I now mostly focus on the consumer product, retail, health, finance, and technology industries.

It’s my pleasure to marry the gorilla-marketing tactics I’ve learned as an entrepreneur with the tried-and-true techniques I know from the Fortune 500 world.

A sometimes blogger, I’m also a published novelist and poet. My work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and books. I’ve won a few awards. And I also have a few other investment businesses, too.

So I can assure you that I have knowledge and know-how. You could say that I’ve lapped the block—but I’m also fearless when it comes to charting new territories. I believe that’s why I’m a proven success with numerous end-channels, products, and services.

By design, my experience and career includes depth and breadth in marketing, sales, analytics, and leadership. My background includes direct response, writing, consumer trends and insights, Internet marketing, mass market, B2B, B2C, DSD, digital strategies, consumer products, retailers, brokers, distributors, manufacturers, real estate, health, foods, finance, software, technology, private label, non-profits, service organizations, and more.

Now, if you’re still reading, here’s my skinny personal story…

Marketing and selling are in my blood. I’m a 3rd generation consumer product marketer.

For 37 years, my father led the marketing charge for Folgers Coffee Company. He was one of the creators of Mrs. Olson. Remember her? The 1960’s commercial diva who counseled women for decades on how to make the best cup of coffee.

As one of seven children, six of them girls, I found the best way to get my father’s attention was to trail behind him at the Folgers Coffee plant in Kansas City. My earliest sensory memory is smelling coffee in the air. The entire Kansas City block smelled like java.

But it was the go-to-market process that particularly captivated me. It amazed me that coffee started as a fruit on a small tree. And it blossomed into roasted beans that were sold around the world.

By sipping a cup of coffee, I could taste Brazil and Columbia.

At the Folgers’ plant, I followed the cans as they rumbled down the conveyor belt. And then when my father took me to the grocery store to study merchandising, I couldn’t believe those cans had transitioned onto shelves. Even more amazing… At home, when I opened up the cupboard, wah-la! Coffee sat in our cupboard.

I was captivated by this powerful magic… Products. Creativity. Imagination. Products going from the land to stores to kitchens. How and why consumers buy them.

My dad taught me about having passion for what you do in life. He loved his family and his Folgers coffee. He even fed it to us in our baby bottles. Seems odd now, but he thought it had medicinal powers. Before we headed off to school, we sprinkled it on our sugared toast. And we drank it for breakfast. … Seven kids all hopped up on coffee. (What was he thinking?!)

I was captivated by the creativity of products. While other kids sold lemonade, I wheeled around a wagon of goodies to sell to neighborhood kids… I’d polish common yard stones into customized pet rocks. And I customized shampoos by borrowing inches from my sisters’ bottles I found in the shower. (Community goods were a definite disadvantage of sharing a bathroom with five sisters.)

I guess I’ve been interested in customized consumer products my entire life. And how to get them to market.

In high school, it seemed natural to participate in our business club, DECA. I competed in advertising, winning state awards each year and traveling to the national conventions. It seemed I had found my knack.

I was one of those annoying college kids who entered knowing exactly what I wanted to study… I wanted to dedicate my life to building businesses. So I got a business degree, but I always keep learning.

And when I was given the chance to visit coffee plantations with Whole Foods, it was like seeing the beginning of a life cycle. Coffee on trees. Well, it was heavenly. (So maybe it wasn’t so odd that my first published novel was about… coffee.)

As a marketing consultant, strategist, and direct-response copywriter, I have been working alongside companies as they make, market, sell, and distribute products and services around the world.

My passion is helping people transform businesses. I use strategy and analytics to help target opportunities, drive growth, build relationships with consumers and customers, and get results.

I believe savvy businesses always focus on increasing customer lifetime value.

What makes me unique is my Fortune 500 background and extensive entrepreneurial experience.

As a marketer, my toolbox includes strategies for nurturing customer relationships as well as attracting consumers (B2C) and acquiring customers (B2B). I use direct marketing tactics to develop sales funnels that optimize the buying cycle… As much telling products’ stories as creating long and short sales letters, landing pages, social media strategies, email campaigns, special reports, case studies, white papers, video scripts, PPC ads, advertorials, merchandising techniques, and all aspects of digital and technology strategies as well as tie-ins using print.

I’ve had a lot of practice marketing and selling and implementing strategies—from my humble beginnings selling customized pet rocks and shampoos to the streets for Fortune 500’s. I’ve worked with all of the major retailers in the country.

I’ve sold to businesses and into consumers’ home via the internet, catalogs, magalogs, call centers, and direct marketing efforts. And I’ve sold businesses to other businesses.

I don’t apologize for loving what I do. Because I love to help people build businesses—sell products and services that people want and need. It’s satisfying to me to help other people reach their pinnacles of success.

When I believe in your product—and I can assure you that I will if we decide to work together—I won’t stop until you’ve reached the success you deserve. Because I believe in the power of the creative mind when it comes to transforming companies.

On a personal note, I am married to my high school sweetheart, and we have three amazing kids. My family is my greatest pride and joy.

So that’s the skinny about me.

I’m a pretty average person who just happens to have a lot of passion for business.

Now, what I’d really like to do is hear the skinny about you and what you want to do in your business.

Contact me, will you? Then we can get to the business of how I can help you.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Best to you,

Janice Lierz

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