Say the word “marketing,” and you may imagine middle-aged professionals strategizing in meetings about how to convince the public to buy a cell phone or some other product. If you’re outside of the industry, it can feel a bit like a chess game, with companies doing what they can to get you to part with your money. Madison Gorn, the twenty-year-old founder and CEO of Maddie Girl Marketing, agrees – but only to a point. “Yes, I can certainly understand why people would see marketing that way,” she says. “Of course, that’s business at its most basic level: the buying and selling of services. It powers our economy and is necessary. Really, though, there’s so much more to marketing than that. I see it as being about helping a company, its leaders, and its employees to reach their full potential. The business has a product that customers want, one that can quite possibly improve their lives in some way, and it’s my job to create digital campaigns that get that product in front of those people. When this connection is made, it’s really very exciting and satisfying.”
In the time that Madison has been running Maddie Girl Marketing, she has made a lot of connections for her clients, which include brands seen in Walmart, Target, Ulta, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Sephora. At her disposal, she has a complex array of tools that allow her to help any client, including podcasting, social media marketing, content creation, app development, influencer marketing, and more.
“That variety is one reason I love digital marketing so much,” she says. “Today’s generation is all about being online, and every day, they are innovating new platforms that allow all of us to express ourselves in new ways. As more apps and sites are debuted, I have more ways to help my clients to connect with their customer base. A good marketing plan is all about being creative and resourceful, and the Internet certainly allows me to do that.”
Madison wonders sometimes where today’s innovators will take her industry. “Think about the metaverse, for example, which everyone is talking about,” she says. “We’re a long way from the holodeck on Star Trek or from The Matrix, but stay with me for a second. The Internet is poised to evolve into a three-dimensional experience. How cool is that? Can you imagine the kind of marketing that will be possible once the idea of the metaverse is realized? You can forget simply watching videos of products or listening to speeches made by business leaders. People will be able to step into a virtual store and try on the shoes they’re interested in. They’ll hear a business leader talk to them as if they’re right there in front of them. That kind of tech is going to make marketing an incredible industry to work in. When it arrives, of course!”
Madison might be thinking about how to use tomorrow’s technology to support her clients, but she stresses that platforms and apps are not the basis for a successful marketing campaign. “Those are just bells and whistles,” she believes. “You can have all the great tools right in front of you, but your campaign will still fall flat if you don’t understand two things: why your company or product matters to you and why it matters to the public.”
The importance of this reminds her of the first company she started, Maddie Girl Cosmetics. “I was just in high school and didn’t have as many platforms that are available now,” she remembers. “Yes, of course, I had Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a few others, but it was relatively small-time compared to what’s out there now. I learned to focus on my company’s story first and to use social media to get it to my customers. That’s why I was successful: I was able to communicate my why in a way that resonated with people.”
Today, Madison continues to enjoy the impact she is having on business leaders through her company. “Whether I am working with a corporation or a new business, I’ve got a tremendous responsibility: they are placing their sales goals in my hands and trusting that I will give them the power to meet them. There’s nothing I take more seriously than that.”