This is a story all about Jeffrey L. Ogden, a short recap of my life. Hope you like it.
My LinkedIn profile button is at the top right and I do have lots and lots of LinkedIn connections (Over 2,600), if you want to check it out and connect. That’s a blogging best practice.
Born and raised in a small town in Indiana called Madison – named after that early President. Madison is also the only town in the USA to own a race boat.
While growing up in Madison, I worked for my great Uncle who was a 1925 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. (Knute Rockne was football coach then and my uncle has passed of course.) We listened to games on the radio and he took me to a football game there. I quickly fell in love with the campus – Touchdown Jesus, the Grotto, etc.
I also played tight end for the football team in Madison High School but we were not very good, but I loved the game of football.
When I graduated from high school, I applied to Notre Dame. I had good grades and I was hopeful and I got accepted.
My mom and dad dropped me off at Notre Dame and after they left I went to the elevator. The door opened and I saw the biggest man ever in a bathrobe. His calves were ENORMOUS.
His name was Bob Golic and he went on to play nose tackle for the Cleveland Browns. Bob now owns a bar somewhere and he is the older brother of Mike Golic of ESPN, who does a radio and TV show every day with Mike Greenberg.
After getting a BBA in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame, I went to Peoria, Illinois to work for the Caterpillar Tractor Company. That was a lot of fun but it was Ronald Reagan’s first year and the economy was bad. My training class was let go, but we got a nice severance package and the CEO sent out books of resumes. I assume that was the way all companies worked. Boy was I wrong.
My brother Mark was living in Park Slope, Brooklyn NY and he suggested I fly out and move in with him, which I did. That was so much fun coaching kids and having such a great time.
I got a job with Burroughs, then Unisys in Jericho, NY working for the District Manager Robert Greifeld. (Robert is now CEO of the NASDAQ/OMX stock market and he’s a good friend of mine.)
One day a pretty girl came in and filled out an application. Turned out that this girl named Kathy knew a co-worker, who copied down her number and gave it to me.
Kathy and I dated and then got married (Bob Greifeld and his wife were there) and we had three sons together. I have so many great memories from those years. I love that family with all my heart and I will the rest of my life.
Next I got a job with business intelligence software company Business Objects in New York City. That is where I took over GE worldwide and grew it by 424% in just 12 months.
How I did that is another story but I have to thank Chirag Shah who made things work like the Digital Cockpit for GE Capital. Loved that experience working with Chirag, who I just spoke to recently.
He saved me there by leading the programming team. (Business Objects later put in a rookie team at Heineken USA and it failed miserably.) IBM now owns them.
This was a huge success but the culture of the company was all wrong – they were a “purchase order extraction” company and customer satisfaction was not important back then. Adios.
I worked for a lot of software companies in sales with lots of success, but eventually I saw the world changing.
Marketing was becoming more and more important, and sales was fading. Online was getting more and more important and sales was getting in later and later in deals because buyers can do their own research.
I decided to focus on marketing instead. One day I was having breakfast with a top sales author and I shared my idea with her. She said “How will it work?” I wrote it out for her and she liked it.
Later I did a webinar with Act-On Software titled “Stop Marketing in the Dark” and their VP of Marketing contacted me. “Jeff, you did a great job on that webinar. I’d like to do Phase 2 with you.” Phase 2 turned out to be an online TV show called Mad Marketing TV and he wanted me to host it.
I’d never been on camera or interviewed anyone, but I said yes. That became “The Awesome Power of Yes.” and I turned out to be a very good interviewer – always well prepared.
The VP of Marketing David Appelbaum left and a new CMO came on board and he pulled the plug on Mad Marketing TV. David is now the CMO at another company and he once told me “Jeff, I knew you were right man for the job.”
I called my good friend Jim Burns of Avitage and he said “Jeff, that was your show and not Act-On’s. Why do you need them?” Jim was right.
That was the birth of Marketing Made Simple TV, which became a much, much bigger show with famous guests and much easier for you to watch – canning the garish music and shortening it for you, plus having the guests create promos for the show.
Craig Yaris of Social Ribbit directed all the shows and Watchitoo (Now called Newrow) was the platform of choice. That was great This is the logo of the show. (see photo).
It was also a great marketing lesson for me thanks to so many great marketing guests like Adele Revella of the Buyer Persona Institute and Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute.
We also had famous guests like Guy Kawasaki and Beth Comstock of GE.
Knowing these people and reading all these books and talking to them was a first class marketing lesson for me.
My transformation into a marketing specialist was complete and my knowledge grew and grew.
April 1, 2014, I was working for Best Buy and I took a nasty fall and nearly died. But my son gave me a book called Never Give Up by Tedy Bruski, who had a heart problem and he worked so hard he came back to the NFL. That was impressive.
That book inspired me and I worked my ass off in physical therapy. It worked.
I’m alive and doing okay today, but I do have some residual problems.The show was gone as the domain expired and it was taken.
I also wrote a lot of marketing content including the white paper How to Find New Customers, which was originally sponsored by Marketo and edited by a top sales author (the one I met for breakfast)
It’s still free for you to download and it is one of the very best on B2B demand generation, and thought it was written some time ago, the words are true today.
Now I live in St. Petersburg, Florida and I’m a slim divorced man which I don’t like one bit. I’m pretty lonely and I miss my ex-wife and kids.
But I do know lots about marketing and one of the best marketing companies in Tampa is interested in me and they’ve won a lot of awards. I hope to hear from them next week.
I also have some wonderful business partners, including Likeable Local. (Their CEO Dave Kerpen is a best-selling author and a guest on Marketing Made Simple TV.)
I’m still a Notre Dame grad and a winner of marketing awards. It is 2015 and I really hope this is a much better year than 2014 was.
I certainly think it will be with a lot of good things happening now.
What do you think? We love comments and those who share on social media.