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.
Michelle Marcus entered the pleasure products industry as a multi-faceted broadcast professional, and is now known affectionately as “Glitter” by her Sliquid teammates. “Once you see her shine on the sales floor, you will never have to ask why,” reads her bio on Sliquid.com. Marcus joined Sliquid with more than 10 years of experience in broadcast public relations, client services and television news producing. In her former career Marcus worked with large-scale and boutique clients across the U.S., to garner publicity for some of the most sought consumer brands. Her previous career, along with her dedicated work ethic, has made Marcus successful in both sales and creative development for Sliquid. She also brought her trade show industry experience to Sliquid, which has made her — along with her fashion-forward black toy poodle, Daphne — familiar faces at shows around the world. In this month’s edition of Women in Adult, we profile Marcus as she discusses what motivates her in her career.
The most rewarding part of my job is that it has never felt like just a “job.” I get to represent a brand that is everything I am passionate about both personally and professionally.
XBIZ: What is your role and responsibility at Sliquid?
Michelle Marcus: My formal title is VP of sales and marketing, however my role entails so much more than new business development and account management. I’ve actually given myself a number of responsibilities beyond those required by my position simply due to my background in marketing and communications. I suppose my true role is all encompassing, and therefore a better title just might be, Evangelist! Ha!
XBIZ: How (and when) did you get into the business?
Marcus: I first got involved in the business (2005) through my former career in media doing broadcast PR work for Sliquid with a great trade-off in that I got to work with one of the best V/O's I knew, Dean [Elliott), Sliquid founder/CEO. The brand was still fairly new, so in return I wrote Sliquid into my feature Valentine’s Day-themed news piece for national exposure. Working with the brand in that capacity began to draw me in more and more — it was relatable to me as a woman, and relevant to the viewers. Fast-forward four years later, I relocated to Dallas, still working in TV broadcast, but the timing landed my first position with the company. It took me a good six months or so to walk away from my broadcast career, but I have never looked back, and I’ve grown to oversee all of global sales, be involved in new product development, and I’ve partnered with the medical community (my all-time personal dream) in my seven-plus year career in the adult industry.
XBIZ: What challenges have you confronted in your career and how have you overcome them?
Marcus: The biggest challenge I’d say was the learning curve of the adult industry coupled with being a female working in this industry on the B2B side, and being taken seriously for my intellect rather than my looks. The best way I have overcome both was to study beyond the norm, know more than the industry as a whole, and research the heck out of every intricate detail available through published data to be able to fully back up my delivery to validate my intellect.
XBIZ: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Marcus: The most rewarding part of my job is that it has never felt like just a “job.” I get to represent a brand that is everything I am passionate about both personally and professionally. This brand represents three of the most important qualities I apply to my life: Honesty and integrity; knowledge; and presence. It is easy to be physically present, but to have an actual presence will commission the sale. I speak about our brand day in and day out, and I have never had to rehearse a single line. My delivery is based on everything I believe in and want for myself, and nothing is more empowering to me than to feel the trust from others in return. Equally as rewarding, my co-workers are my second family, and one that has allowed me to have my family, “Daphne,” by my side. She’s become the adult industry’s MVD, and definitely makes for way more interesting product trainings and tradeshows!
XBIZ: What is your personal motto or mantra that you live by?
Marcus: I have a few mantras that I personally live by: “Everybody knows someone” … “First impressions are everlasting.” “Never wish ‘bad’ upon others as you are only wishing ‘bad’ upon yourself! And, I’ve most recently added a new one that a mentor has instilled into my brain: “To be interesting, you must be interested.” He actually followed that up with: “I’d rather be known for anything other than beige wallpaper, nobody remembers beige wallpaper” … I will be adding that one too! I strongly believe the more mantras you live by will better shape the person you are to others, and most importantly to yourself.
XBIZ: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Marcus: My greatest accomplishment I’d say is being recognized as the face of our brand. It validates my existence in this company, but more than that, in this massive industry. Recognition on any level is such an incredible feeling on the inside, and to be recognized as a key role for a brand I am passionate about on many levels is super cool and amazing!
XBIZ: What are your professional goals for 2017?
Marcus: My goals include greater global expansion for the brand, so I am on a mission to place Sliquid in every country that will embrace our brand. And, another record-breaking year, which means I will continue to spend more than half of my life living out of suitcase, thankfully I fold up nicely! A quick side note, and throwback to my No. 1 mentor, my dad, for whom at some point in his 45-year sales career, he earned himself the title, “24/7.” An apropos title at best for he has always been nothing short of dedicated in all of his work, and with each notable attribute shared between my dad and I, “24/7” has certainly become yet another! One’s success is best driven by goals, which are attainable through the daily grind … “There ain’t no rest for the wicked!”