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Samantha Skey: 2015 Marketing Hall of Femme Honoree

SheKnows produces content that allows women to inspire other women, which is just one of the reasons Samantha Skey says she joined the team in March 2013. “When I think about our approach to building the SheKnows brand and communicating with our core audience of moms and those women who love lifestyle, I think about that core value that we try to engender: women impacting women,” Skey says. “Part of our jobs is making sure that every piece of content we put out there is informing, inspiring, and amusing.”

With more than 20 years of experience in digital media, including time at marquee media companies, such as The Walt Disney Company and CNET, Skey has also spent a chunk of her career in for-profit causes. Interweaving personal and business goals, she became the CMO at sustainability company Recycle Bank and carried that passion for doing good to SheKnows Media. “I discovered that although I love [issues like] sustainability, I found that the area that I was going to have the most impact was in women’s issues and how women use media,” Skey says. “So, the flip to SheKnows made a lot of sense. And it allowed me the opportunity to continue that double bottom-line approach, where there are monetary goals and social goals in one company.”

Marketing strategy: Understanding the marketing math is really important in scaling a business. But when I think about building the SheKnows brand and just communicating to our audience—women who love lifestyle—I think our overall marketing strategy is based on those core values that we try to instill in women.

Winning ways: We hosted a workshop [called] Hatch in celebration of MLK Day. During this workshop we collaborated with tweens to talk about the gifts that they’ve received and the changes in society as a result of the Civil Rights Movement. We created a really inspiring project for these kids, discussing racism. The video that we created with these tweens focused on micro-aggression—or unintended insults and discrimination. The video has gotten more than 150,000 views and taught people more about these terms and what people can do. It’s the work we’re most proud of.

Defining moment: I left media for a minute in 2008. And I decided that I wanted to work on social causes that are for-profit. It was a chance to use my financial skills and do social work. I brought that to SheKnows when I re-entered digital media.

Trend watching: I’m seeing a lot of so-called femvertising—that pro-female and female empowerment messaging from brands that are looking to differentiate themselves and develop relationships with head-of-household females. So, I think that’s a strong trend right now: advancing women’s causes and female issues through advertising and through brand support.

Words to live by: As long as you try hard to succeed, failure is fine.

Good read: Euphoria by Lily King and The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel Levitin

Good advice: Make sure that the product or service you’re marketing has strong, clear, distinctive value.

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