Building A Career In Digital Marketing

I was asked to speak tonight at the Goodman School of Business at Brock University about how to succeed in business. It does not feel like long ago that I was a student at Brock attending a similar talk, with business professionals telling us how they built their career and what we would need to do to succeed after graduation.

I remember feeling overwhelmed at the time thinking of the long road ahead to find a career that inspired and fulfilled me. I remember that I wanted it to just start now! I now reflect on how lucky I was to have carved out a career that truly excites me and inspires me every day, and what I might tell this group tonight about my story that will help them.

I was asked to outline what I do (sometimes still figuring that out), and how it was that I got this point with my business.

Digital marketing has evolved since I graduated University in 1998, in fact, “digital” was not even part of the marketing mix according to my textbooks. All of my training in marketing online has been on the job, and real world trial and error. Online usage has exploded over the past decade, and access to WIFI and mobile devices have completely changed consumer buying behaviour.

I wonder now how the world will change over the next decade for the group I am speaking to tonight?

My experience in building websites and marketing online began when I was hired as a Marketing assistant for the Marriott Fallsview Hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I worked for the ownership group, and became the Director of Marketing Communications over an 8-year time period. I was empowered throughout my time there to try new things, and so I did.

Hotel chains did not want us developing our own websites, and at the time hotels were relying heavily on the brands and the intermediaries to sell rooms online for them. Direct to consumer digital marketing through tactics such as paid search and organic search engine distribution was so new and foreign, and quite frankly there was no place to get formal training.

My experience in digital marketing began in understanding search engines, and how to ensure that a website could be found by target consumers. Equally important was to understand how a website would lead to online conversions as consumer usage of the internet, as a means to research and buy online.

Marketers must now understand concepts such as; Social media marketing, mobile marketing, web analytics and measurement, consumer user behaviour – as well as search engine optimization, and web usability in researching and buying online.

The marketing mix has never been as complicated and more fragmented.

We have always been known for our focus on education and training for marketers both senior and junior, who need to understand this new and complex media mix. Our conference, Online Revealed now in its 8th year, has become the leading conference in the Canadian tourism industry for travel and tourism professionals to learn about digital marketing trends and best practices bringing together industry professionals from leading Canadian hotels, hotel groups, destinations, attractions and other travel suppliers, along with experts from industry giants such as Facebook, Google, Tripadvisor and Expedia to bring marketing professionals hands on knowledge and training.

How did I get here?

Throughout my career I have continuously learned about my industry, engaged in debate and conversation with my colleagues, attended conferences, and read about digital marketing and people doing innovative things. Today we have access to learning all around us with social media channels like LinkedIn and Twitter, and Blogs written by real people with real experiences.

The key is to understand consumers, keep a few steps ahead of consumer trends, understand why they buy, and most importantly what makes them buy. That is one thing that has never changed for marketers.

In addition, learn from the experiences of others. This is key.

What is also key is people. Especially in this age of texting, emailing and social media. I am one of the most digitally connected person there is, and yet I still pick up the phone, go to lunch, and travel to visit clients and colleagues. Face to face communication and relationships are more important than ever.

I think that I might focus my advice tonight around a few things in particular that have helped me get here.

1. Hard work and commitment.

Sounds passé, but the hard work and commitment continues throughout your career.

2. Relationships are key.

It is all about the people you work with and do business with.

3. Continuous learning.

You are never really done learning, and if you think you are, then you are wrong. Read, talk to colleagues, attend seminars and talks that inspire you. It is not all about degrees, diplomas or certifications (although these don’t hurt either), it’s about a commitment to continued learning.

and finally….

It’s not about finding “the next big thing” it’s about finding “your thing.”

Is Trading Stressful

Trading can be one of the most stressful jobs in the country. Every day, you are dealing with dozens, even hundreds of trades, moving thousands or even millions of dollars. For some traders, fortunes of their clients can hang in the balance on a market that could go up, could go down, depending on the day. It is highly stressful, and sadly, many people cope with stress in ways they shouldn’t. Drugs and alcohol are common in the life of some traders as they deal with the high amount of pressure and stress in their lives.
There are better ways to cope with stress when trading online. Here are just a few:

1. Once the closing bell rings, let it all go

The worst thing you can do is to take the emotions of the trading back home with you. You need to come out of the trading day remembering that the day is done, and your home life can begin. This is important not only for your own emotional health, but your family as well.

2. Overwork

One of the worst things you can do is to try to do more and more each day. You need to set a maximum amount of money that you are willing to risk per day as part of your activities. This amount needs to be based on your comfort level. If you are okay with losing $500 per day, then that is what you should set. Don’t set a limit of $500, then go and lose $2,000. You won’t feel good about that, and that will only make you more stressed.

3. Being active is important

When you work out, you feel better. This is because endorphins are often released as you exercise. Trading can take a real toll on your body, as well as your emotional health. To keep yourself sane and healthy, you should take a short job before and after the day. You don’t have to jog, even just lifting some weights or going for a calming walk. You will be surprised by how easily the anger and fear leaves your body and how quickly you feel better.

4. Home Office

Today, many traders work from a home office rather than on a trading floor. This can cause the stress of isolation. On losing trading days, bad habits that you have can become worse and with no one to help you stay away from bad habits, things can get worse. This is why you should do what you can to get out with friends, spend time with your family and more. It can make a tough trading day much easier to handle.

5. Trading cannot be your life

You don’t need to work 20 hours per day, you work eight hours a day. That is why you need to have a life outside of trading. Trading may not be a traditional job, but it is not about the amount of time you put in, but the quality of time you put in. If you have a bad day, don’t sit in your office until midnight stressing about it. Get out of the office. Take your family out for dinner, do some community service, join a slo-pitch league. Whatever you need to do so you can unwind after a bad day.

6. Practice meditation

Meditation is an excellent way to calm yourself, and to help you think straight. If you have an hour of bad trades, don’t start to freak out because you will only hurt your decision making. Take half an hour, meditate, think calm thoughts and you will find that things become easier for you afterwards. You will think straight, and you will make better decisions when you have a relaxed frame of mind.

7. Get a good night’s sleep

If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, your cognitive thinking will be impacted. You will be more emotional, and your stress level will go up. By getting at least eight hours sleep, you will feel better, and you will think better. You should never discount how important sleep is in the life of a trader. If you are working 20 hours a day, sleeping four hours, you are only going to hurt yourself down the road. You can actually do physical harm to yourself if you don’t get enough sleep, saying nothing of the emotional toll it takes on you.
Trading is very stressful, you should never let it impact you to the level where the stress level is beyond control. Manage your stress and you will feel better, and trade better.

Lifestyle Choices That Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease

The prospects of developing a disease that will make you forget everything is truly frightening. However, there are ways to starve off Alzheimer’s disease by simply making good lifestyle changes that can help you towards a better, happier and memorable old age. Starting these lifestyle changes as young as you can will be essential in preventing this disease plague you in the future. Here are some of the simple things that you can do.

Good Alcohol Choices
Just because you want to stay healthy doesn’t mean you can’t do anything worldly anymore. If you are an alcohol lover, you simply need to drink smart – this means drink in moderation. Preferably, drink alcohol with food. Don’t drink more than a glass of beer, a shot of liquor or 150mL of wine. Alcohol, in minimal dosage, actually have some health benefits.

Stay Away from Fat
There is good fat and bad fat. Saturated fats are your number one enemy. Bad fats don’t just contribute to weight gain and obesity, it also damages cognitive function in many different ways. Avoid trans fats, drink non-fat dairy, avoid the skin of poultry and as much as possible, avoid anything deep fried.

Maintain A Good Blood Pressure
A good blood pressure for the years to come can keep your brain dementia-free. Do what it takes to pull your blood pressure down. Drink your meds, avoid soft drinks, avoid sugary treats and cut your salt intake. If stress is a factor, try doing meditation or taking yoga classes.

Be Busy
By keeping yourself busy (but not stressed), you can prevent yourself from getting Alzheimer’s disease. Move every bone and muscle in your body. Try to be as active as possible, both physically and mentally. Take Sudoku sheets and answer them, or get the morning newspaper and answer the crossword puzzle. A busy mind impacts your mental health.

Dark Chocolate
Treat yourself with some dark chocolate once in a while. It is high in flavonols and low in fat. Flavonols can help slow down the aging process by helping fight free-radicals in your body.

Use Spices

Cinnamon, turmeric and black pepper are known to reverse insulin resistance and to prevent dementia.

Eat Antioxidant-rich Food
Fruits and vegetables should always be a part of your diet. Berries, ginger, garlic, and asparagus are also a good source of antioxidants.

Drink Coffee and Tea
Say yes to drinking coffee and tea. These hot or cold beverages have many ways in protecting your brain. Aside from the anti-oxidant properties these drinks have, they are proven to help keep your focus in check.

Eat Curry
The key ingredient of curry is the spice called turmeric. Scientists say that turmeric has dementia fighting properties and the its key ingredient, turmeric curcumin by earthwell, fights off inflammation which comes along with aging. This is the reason why India has the lowest rate of Alzheimer’s patients in the world. Experts also recommend to use a little fat in your curry to help absorb curcumin in the body.

Exercising regularly promotes the feeling of bliss and satisfaction. This is due to the release of the happy hormone called serotonin. This particular hormone is responsible for giving us in a good mood. It is also states that happy people are more relaxed and have better memory.

Avoid Toxins
Don’t use harmful fertilizers or pesticides or harmful bug sprays. Experts say that these environmental toxins can increase age-related impairment, like dementia. Opt for non-toxic cleaning products, pesticides, baits and traps to get rid of pests in your home.

Read More
Reading stimulates the speech, memory, emotions and imaginative part of the brain. Reading books, novels, or any material is the kind of exercise your brain needs. The brain has to be constantly stimulated in order for it to not degrade.

Take Multivitamins
Taking care of your mental health also requires taking care of your nutrition. By taking vitamins and natural supplements at least once a day, this delays the aging process of the cells in your body.

7 Malay Food You Should Try

Banana Leaf Rice

We all know that Asia’s staple food is rice, but have you tasted one that’s served on a banana leaf? Banana leaf rice – is what you’ve guessed it, rice, served on a banana leaf. With it are assortment of vegetables, curried fish or meat, cucumbers, and papadum (round and  flat crisps).  This is actually an indian cuisine influence. It’s supposed to be served with only curry sauce because it was meant to be a vegetarian dish. However, for those who are not vegetarian, they prefer theirs with meat. Eating this can get a bit messy as it is traditionally eaten using your bare hands. But with a little practice, you’ll soon get the hang of it!

Nasi Dagang

Nasi Dagang is a Malaysian food usually served during lunch time. Of course, this does not only limit to that time of meal. It is a tasty dish consisting of steamed rice in coconut milk with added ingredients like shaved coconut, fish curry, hard boiled eggs, solok lada and vegetable pickles. The best Nasi Dagang comes from the East Coast of Malaysia. It is known that Kampung Ladang, in Kuala Terengganu district, makes the best Nasi Dagang. This place is actually very famous for this dish.


This might be the most scrumptious thing you’ll ever taste. Bakuteh literally means “tea from meat bones”. It simply is made from simmered fatty pork ribs. The broth from it is then spiced using cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel seeds, dong guai and garlic. Some people prefer them with other ingredients like choy sum, tofu and mushrooms. This dish is very popular all over Malaysia and you can find this in every restaurants out there. One of the most famous bakuteh is served in Yik See Ho Restaurant located in Pudu Wet Market. Many people from Kuala Lumpur will attest to how good their bakuteh is.

Hokkien mee

This is also another Chinese-inspired dish. Hokkien mee is a dish of thick noodles. These yellow noodles are then braised in dark sauce made out of squid, pork and soy sauce. The main ingredients used in this dish is fish cakes and cabbage. If you want an extra special serve, you can have yours topped off with crispy fried pork lard. Hokkien mee is a popular dish eaten before a night out with friends. It is believed that you’ll have a longer tolerance for alcohol is you eat this ahead of time.

Sang Har Noodles

Next on the list is Sang Har noodles. This flat noodle dish is cooked with prawns freshly caught from the river. It is cooked using a thick eggy broth – Cantonese style! The prawn’s head roe just seeps and infuses with the broth. Using fresh ingredients, this noodles is definitely to die for.


What is Asian food without any meat on sticks? Satay is a very popular dish, not just ins Malaysia, but in other Asian countries as well. Each country has their own versions of it. In this case, the meats in this satay is pretty much basic. You know what they say, less is more! Malay Satay is usually yellow in color. This is due to the infused spice called turmeric – a spice also used in many curry dishes. Satay is served with hot peanut sauce or peanut gravy and rice cakes. This dish may be simple, but it’s delightfully sinful.

Nasi Kandar

Originated from Penang, Nasi Kandar is something all rice lovers will splurge on. It is a meal of steamed rice. It can be served plainly or mildly flavored by a variety of dishes. This dish is often seen at weddings, and Malay weddings are something not to miss if you are visiting.

It can be accompanied by curries, fried chicken, braised pork, okra, bitter gourd, brinjal, etc. A mixture of a thick broth or curry sauce is poured on steamed rice. The rice is then soaked just enough for the flavor to infuse on each of the grains.

Are Teeth Whitening Methods Safe

nice teethFor many, having white teeth is very important, especially when they continuously have to face many people daily. As we age, our pearly whites can become faint yellow. This discoloration is due to factors like medication, smoking, drinking and eating habits. Even people who take special care of their teeth are not exempt from getting yellow stained teeth.

If you are thinking about whitening your teeth to improve your smile, you are probably wondering whether teeth whitening methods are safe. What makes people question about this is due to the accessibility and affordability of products sold in the market. Many brands claim to whiten your teeth for as short as ten to fourteen days, but are they safe?

The teeth whitening approaches are toothpaste-containing hydrogen peroxide as anti-staining agents, home-bleaching kits which also include a hydrogen peroxide solution and teeth whitening procedures which are offered at the dentist’s clinic.

These techniques all target the stain particles trapped at the surface of your tooth enamel. The active ingredient in whitening toothpaste is used to try to remove them whereas hydrogen peroxide solutions from stronger kits bleach them.

According to a report about a recent study by the British Dental Journal, whitening tubes of whitening toothpaste may slow the staining process, but the claims that these products make your teeth whiter are doubtful. They also said that bleaching products containing hydrogen peroxide solution can be very effective but should be applied with caution.

Though there is little evidence to support that hydrogen peroxide demineralizes and weaken your teeth, some researchers claim that the chemical is a potential carcinogen and should be avoided. But according to an article published in, many toxicology studies were conducted and concluded that there is no connection between teeth whitening products and cancer. The main risk involved in products like these is that it can irritate users who have sensitive gums.

The question now is, what are your options for whitening your teeth? To help you decide, here is a rundown of the different whitening methods you can choose.

Whitening at the Dentist’s Office

Whitening procedures offered by your dentist uses an activated chemical that can whiten your teeth in thirty minutes. A typical bleaching procedure is administered in a safe and supervised fashion. Your gums will be protected by a rubber dam to prevent the whitening solution from damaging your gum line.

Professionally Supplied Whitening Kits

Many effective teeth whitening products are often professionally manufactured for a patient. These are administered at home by yourself. A typical kit contains whitening gel or whitening powder that comes in syringes and delivered by trays that are custom made in your dentist’s clinic. These trays are inserted into the mouth.

Professionally supplied whitening kits are usually given to patients who have recently undergone bleaching procedures. The kits are presented to them as a follow up at-home bleaching techniques to achieve the desired results.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whiteners

There are many over-the-counter teeth whiteners sold in pharmacies or grocery stores. They come in paint-on applicators or strips. Because these are relatively cheaper, it is expected that the gel or solution used is less potent than what you get from your dentist’s clinic.

It is also assumed that inconsistent results from these products are common as no professionals are administering them for you. These kits are also not customized on the level of sensitivity of a patient’s gums, and therefore gum burns are possible.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that if you choose a bleaching product, you should consult with your dentist first. This is a necessary prerequisite especially for patients who have had crowns, fillings and very dark stains. Getting a professional to check your teeth beforehand will help determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of action.