Cover Story: Direct Marketer of the Year: Marisa Anne Edmund
Yet Edmund alludes to her human resources experience as the real secret ingredient to her success.
"The people make the company," she says. "I really think any marketer can sell anything at any time. It's, 'Do you have the right people? Do you have the right mix, the right talents, the right skills and the passion, really, to be successful?' So I've always tried to surround myself with really exciting and invigorating, smart, creative, analytical types of people to make the whole thing work."
Blinded by Marketing Science
Edmund became an official employee of the family business in 1998, after graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown Uni-versity's McDonough School of Business.
In reality, though, she'd already been a part of several marketing campaigns. The first displayed her long, curly '80s hair in a way that can never be buried in a yearbook in the basement. Too many Edmund Scientific customers around the nation received the catalog.
In 1987, to save money on models, mother and then vice president of marketing Gwynne Edmund brought Marisa Edmund in among a gathering of employees' children.
"We went to the photo shoot and they actually put a fishing line behind me and tied my hair up," Marisa Edmund says of the resulting photo that is supposed to make her look physically and emotionally shocked by touching a Van de Graaff generator. "It took us about six hours to get the shot."
Looking back on it, she doesn't seem to mind having missed lunch that day and not being allowed to move for hours.
"That was my first campaign," Edmund says. "That's when the magic started to happen."
Still, it took two more events for the spell to be completely cast. First, she watched her mother lay out a more than 200-page catalog in PageMaker.