Blog It Forward – Natascha Thomson
I am a yogi, social media marketing consultant, and happy wife. Some of you know me from my time at SAP, starting in 2007 until this summer. During this time I had the great pleasure to become a part of SCN – even though I am a marketing person. And I will never forget the great honor of being an SAP Mentor in 2011. Running with the wolf pack was an unforgettable experience.
I started my own business – MarketingXLerator – in 2011, reducing my hours at SAP to a 3-day-week. It was my luck to work for Rick Fleischman who made it all possible. Working part-time in Silicon Valley and having an interesting job is difficult. Now I have been a full-time small business owner for three months and it’s been an amazing learning curve and experience. I know for sure that I could never do it without the support of so many wonderful folks around me; and I mean providing me with mental strength, know how, as well as actual leads. My first client was SCN member and SAP partner Eric Vallo of EVTechnologies: thank you for the faith and getting me started on my journey.
While social media can be overwhelming, I think that it matches with my personality. I’ve been a connector all my life, loving to socialize and bring people together. Frankly, I think the social media hype will subside and social media will be similar to email marketing (which I found exciting in the 90s). Luckily, my current job has been a serious brush up on the 101 of all marketing areas, so I think I’ll be ready to move on to whatever is next.
Things that come to my mind at this moment as important are my husband Allan (who is originally from Scotland), my sister, my friends, my cats, travel, nature, skiing, the New York Times, human rights, movies, volunteering, and meditation; sleeping is underrated too.
A Fun Fact about Myself
Currently my main hobby is practicing and teaching yoga. Here a picture taken on a sabbatical I took with my husband this April in Hawaii (my favorite place on earth), on the Big Island:
A cool picture of Myself or My Homeland/Town
While I was born in Germany, I have lived in the USA for over 15 years and am a US citizen.
I’ve moved away from California a few times to live on the East Coast and in Scotland, but it seems the old Eagles song Hotel California true for us: “You can check out any time but you can never leave”.
Here a picture of a recent trip I took to Norway. The place is called Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock and the most popular tourist attraction in Norway. It’s a 3-hour round-trip hike if you are going up with a group of goat-like Norwegians who don’t seem to slip or need rest.
Questions that were Blogged Forward to Me
- Tom Cenens: What is your favorite place in the world?
- Tridip Chakraborthy: Why does the SAP Community Network matter to you?
- Audrey Stevenson: What was the most fun project you ever participated in and why?
1. What is our Favorite Place in the World?
That is a tough question, as I love California very much and I feel quite fortunate to have been born in Germany. But my heart is probably in Hawaii.
If you have never been there, let me explain it like this: the temperature is perfect, the natural beauty is breathtaking, and the whole place has a spirit that connects you with nature and the circle of life.
I’ve been to most Hawaiian islands and Lanikai on Oahu took my breath away. Then again, I always like the island best that I am on. The Big Island is definitely the best place to completely unwind while Oahu is a place I could probably live. Here a picture of Lanikai beach:
2. Why does SCN Matter to Me?
It’s a good question, particularly as my current role does not require SAP expertise. So what do I get out of the community? I have always felt a little bit out of place on SCN as I don’t have deep technical expertise on SAP products. As a marketing director for SCN, I got my feet wet in the social media area. The job I had applied for and accepted was a partner marketing role, but the day I started it all changed and I was suddenly helping grow and improve BPX.
I have always felt that the SCN community is warm and inviting. People have been incredibly supportive when I got started and along the way, until today. I will never forget #NataschaToTechEd – an experience and fun I can’t even describe (Thanks especially John Appleby). Of course, there are always a few who have a bad temper or push their own agenda at the expense of others, but that is just life; and I think I have gotten much better at not taking it personally.
What amazes me is how many times people from SCN (ok, I admit, in particular mentors), have reached out to me to support their projects, provide them a reference, collaborate on a blog, or just check in on how I am doing. My first SCN member friend was Jon Reed – as a vendor who produced podcasts with me. He gave me a lot of good advice and I really enjoyed working with him.
From the SAP inside, I can say that working with Marilyn Pratt, Audrey Stevenson Keith Elliott, Oliver Kohl (my first Twitter mentor!), Matthias Steiner, Kieran O’Connor, Frauke Hassdenteufel, Aslan Noghre Kar, and so many others (sorry I can’t list you all) was amazing. These people really care about the community and work their butts off to make things happen, put things right, and keep it interesting.
So why does SCN matter to me? It’s all about the people. And SCN has some amazing people.
3. What was the Most Fun Project you ever Participated in and Why?
#SCNotties: Maybe because it’s closest in my memory but I truly enjoyed the SCNotties in Las Vegas last year. It was great to go as an SAP Mentor and meet so many amazing folks, but just planning the event with Jim Spath, Greg Myers, Mark Finnern and the fabulous Sylvia Santelli was a treat.
After weeks of getting funny videos in every day, Mark Finnern pushed us to wear Elvis costumes at the #SCNotties Awards in Las Vegas. As our budget was small, Greg and Mark ended up in the full costume while Sylvia and I wore Elvis wigs (and no, I am not going to post THAT Video here).
A close tie is writing a book on social media with Michael Procopio from HP and Peter Spielvogel that is due out on Amazon in December: 42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing. It has been much harder and time-intensive than I could have ever imagined but so worthwhile. Jonathan Becher and Mark Yolton have already read the book and provided wonderful early praise! You can pre-order now :-).
Blogging it Forward to…
- The one and only Michelle Crapo. Not only is she an expert in her field, I’ve had the pleasure of exchanging some very long emails with her on all topics of life.
- Our beloved Aslan Noghre-Kar who is so caught up in his new role in the Start up area of SAP that when I asked him if I can blog it forward to him said: “Blog it what”? As the ex-Mentor handler, he needs no further introduction.
- Rachna Lal is somebody less famous in SCN, so I think this is a great chance for more people to get to know her. We met in a SV Social Media Aficionados Meetup Group that I host with nancy uy and it turned out that she worked for an SAP partner. She is early on in her career but already quite experienced in marketing and social media.
- Joseph Kelly just commented on my blog on LinkedIn that he is ready to BIF it, so I added him :-). Joseph is a top writer and content editor, we’ve worked together around #SMW12 events at SAP and now we are leading social media for @MarketingCampSV with a host of other great folks. MarketingCamp is on November 3rd, 2012 at Nokia in CA. The first Marketing Unconference. Topic submission is open.
Please Blog Forward 2-3 of the following questions (or make up your own if you don’t like mine)
- Why are you a member of SCN?
- What 3 things would you tell a newbie to do to get started on SCN?
- What are your favorite social media channels? Or if you don’t use social media, why?
- What is a topic you feel strongly about and would like to address here?