Shanté Bacon, CEO and founder, 135th Street Agency

Shanté Bacon’s 135th Street Agency has celebrity clients, including Jordin Sparks and Jermaine Dupri, and has delivered strategy for BET, OWN, We TV, and VH1.

Bacon has also spearheaded the opening week box office showings for Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Marvel’s The Avengers. Previously, she served as senior marketing director for Island Def Jam Music Group, where she led marketing for artists Kanye West and Ludacris.

Marketing strategy: I would say that I have a curious, yet deliberate approach to marketing as the consumer and marketplace are ever evolving and challenging the bounds of my creative thinking.

Defining moment: When 135th Street Agency gained entry into the tech world by landing the urban communications business with Google. It was definitely a before-and-after moment that represented growth on many levels, an introduction to a new industry, and increased credibility.

Advice to young marketers: It’s the best piece of advice I ever received, and I use it every day: “Embrace obstacles, disappointment, rejection, and challenges. They are part of the game.” Shock yourself by discovering how good you really are when you overcome them. You will always come out on the other side a better strategist than you were before.

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