After years of helping their employers connect with prospects, Smash Marketing's principals, Leila Ahmed and Cristy Gonzalez, realized that the people they worked with every day looked on them as marketing experts with an extraordinary commitment to results. The two offered the same high level of customer care, professionalism, and strategic focus in their marketing roles at SAP, PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, and Lawson Software. They juggled industry, product, field, and partner marketing duties. And through it all, they excelled at getting the attention of key decision makers and motivating them to take the next step. So making the leap from trusted employee to trusted partner wasn't really a leap at all. In 2008, Smash Marketing was born.
Cristy González, Principal
There are a lot of preconceptions about people with fine arts backgrounds. For example: the artistic temperament doesn't get a lot of credit for its business savvy. Cristy's career is a case study in the value of shaking things up.
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After studying art and design, her work at a New York ad agency introduced her to the intricacies of complicated, comprehensive campaigns. Where most artistic temperaments balked at the organization and attention to detail the job required, Cristy discovered untapped skills. Her first full-fledged marketing role was with U.S. Pharmacopeia – the company that establishes documentary and reference standards for ensuring the quality of medicines. There aren't many marketing roles where lives are literally at stake. This was one. The ability to dot every "i" and cross every "t" came in more than handy, and it ultimately paved the way to marketing roles in the hi-tech industry.
How businesses approach their prospects and use marketing to supports sales and drive revenue has always fascinated Cristy. She believes that making both sales and marketing successful is just smart business. It's no surprise that SAP looked to Cristy to make sure their marketing efforts stayed relevant to sales and helped feed pipeline.
When Cristy discovered she had a lot in common with her colleague Leila Ahmed, the two formed a friendship, which blossomed into a business. These days, Cristy's canvas is her clients' marketing needs.
Cristy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Leila Ahmed, Principal
Leila has always been interested in where the human element of marketing (emotion, motivation, and psychology) intersects with its scientific side (measurement and process). Her passion for understanding what drives people to respond to marketing fuels Smash's innovative campaigns for keeping customers and prospects engaged with your company.
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Leila's ability to understand an audience and weave complex campaigns made her the "go-to" person when J.D. Edwards wanted to launch a new product. In designing and executing product launches, Leila did it all: identifying target audiences, defining messaging, organizing advertising and public relations campaigns, and creating demand generation programs and sales tools. SAP liked what they saw and asked Leila to put her expertise to work in expanding their presence in emerging markets.
After studying broadcast journalism, she pursued an M.S. in integrated marketing communications. The key word is "integrated." B-to-B marketing appeals to both sides of the brain. And Leila uses all of hers to make clients successful.
In positions at Lawson, J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft and SAP she honed her knowledge of hi-tech markets, and founded Smash Marketing in 2008 with partner Cristy Gonzalez.
It's Leila's belief that egos can get in the way of marketing success. That's a practical quality in her role at Smash Marketing, where getting the job done takes precedence over job descriptions. She's as comfortable defining marketing strategy as managing the nitty gritty of a campaign.
Leila holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois, and a Master of Science in Marketing Communication from Roosevelt University.