WIA: Sara Sazzman
Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
What do you see as the challenges to online adult enterprises as the economy tends to decline and discretionary spending slows?
Today's online business challenges are: 1) lower site traffic due to the adult content explosion; 2) free porn — it's everywhere; and 3) direct competition from content providers and online distributors through membership and e-commerce sites. It's a battle of the fittest and only those with marketing savvy will survive. If an online company doesn't address these issues and investment spend, they will continue to flounder. They will operate out of fear, cut their expenses, and "wait it out."
Companies should invest their time and money. Invest in marketing and get the brand out there. Develop innovative ways to get noticed. Create viral campaigns on Facebook, Linked In — and even Twitter. Insert a flyer in a magazine. Create overlays or online demos. Use guerilla marketing to spread the word.
Conversely, if a company sees today's economic climate as an opportunity, they will refine their messaging, advertise their brand across all touch points, and ultimately capture increased market share. They will uncover new distribution points, be creative in their marketing deployments, and explore every possible new revenue stream.
So, let the games begin!
How did you get into this?
I was in the medical field for many years and although I enjoyed helping people there was no money in it. After, I moved back to the U.S. from Mexico I landed what I thought at the time was my dream job: vendor management for Wellpoint. When the assignment came to an end I called a friend with whom I had just recently connected from another friend for a job at Vivid Interactive. It's all history from there.
What in your background prepared you for what you're doing now?
I have worked in sales on and off since I was 16, from selling chocolate to Internet service at my own Internet cafe in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Through the years I have connected with people from all around the world. That has helped me to communicate with people on all levels.
What changes have affected your work since you started it?
The decline in DVD sales due to the masses of free content on the web have made sales more difficult than ever, as companies are more aware of where they're spending and cautious of whom they spend their money with. This affects the entire industry, as you can't spend what you don't have.
Does your work affect your personal life?
No. I keep them completely separate. When people ask what I do for a living I say I sell ad space in a video magazine. "You know, we review movies then publish them, which gets studios to advertise their new releases."
It's funny when I run into people I have gone to high school with who are in the same industry. Who knew?
Do you have a personal motto or slogan that you follow?
My motto is to always do what's right and the best you can do, so when the unexpected happens you can move forward with your good and bad experiences for a better tomorrow. Never ever forget about the ones that have helped you along the way, as you wouldn't be where you are without them — you know who you are, Susan.