A day in the life of Natalie Sexton, juice marketer

Natalie, right, with mom and CEO Marygrace
Natalie, right, with mom and CEO Marygrace

Natalie Sexton, CMO of Natalie’s Orchid Island Juices, the second-biggest fresh-juice company in the U.S., jokes that her mom, the CEO of the company, rocked her to sleep as a baby on the juice machines.

That’s how deep juicing runs in the family, citrus farmers who began a juice company the year Sexton herself was born. Now 27, Sexton runs marketing at the company. We asked her what a day in the life of a juice marketer looked like.

6:30 a.m.: I start every single morning with a daily devotion or reading from “Jesus Calling.” My personality tends to be in overdrive – and so are my days – and a daily reading keeps me grounded in the things that are really important in life.

6:45 a.m.: I am a marathon runner — but I am also pregnant right now — which is slowing down my exercise routine a bit. I save the marathon for work. But I still try to get in 30 minutes of some sort of exercise in the morning. And I encourage our employees to do the same. There’s nothing like a brisk walk to clear your head.

7:45 a.m. I love to arrive at the office before anyone else does for some alone time before the rest of the staff gets there.

8:15 a.m. My event managers are all across the country, so my morning call with them helps us organize our to-do list — and share success stories on what is working so other team members can adopt those practices. We review new procedures, strategies and marketing campaigns we will be focusing on for next few months.

10:15 a.m. The press team calls unexpectedly to see if I am free for a 10-minute interview with a reporter on the health benefits of beet juice for possible inclusion in a national health magazine feature. I juggle a few things and take the call.

10:30 a.m. Talk to the marketing group about the 12 marketing events rolling out during the month of December and January.

11:30 a.m. Calls with event managers across the country to talk about strategy, logistics, goals and budget. We average 100 events and 250 demos, so budgets must be managed very closely because costs can get out of hand. I also check in on the lead for our two food festivals, which are three days long. We have to make sure we get approval for electricity for 24 hours so our juice doesn’t go bad. It’s that fresh! And I need to negotiate sponsorship packages for Key West Seafood Festival and the Charlotte Food Fest.

12:30 p.m. Run over to the NYC Produce Show and meet with three reporters at a Food Network TV show who are interesting in talking. They do use our honey tangerine juice already on Chopped.

2:00 p.m. I grab a quick salad to go as I walk back to the office — nothing like NYC’s cold air to recharge the batteries.

2:30 p.m.  I jump onto a senior management meeting to review the USDA November Citrus Crop update and other company updates regarding production, sales and finance. (I keep the phone on mute so no one hears me crunching my salad!

3:45 p.m. We are launching a new flavor in January (shhh – carrot, tomato and celery), and the entire executive team must agree on the label design and name of the juice, so we hop on an unexpected call to finalize. You’ll see it on the shelves Jan. 20.

4:00 p.m. Even though we spoke in the morning about the last-minute magazine opportunity, I hop on a call with my PR team to see what else they have brewing. A possible feature in a business magazine and local papers from Vero looking to do a profile on my mom, Marygrace, who grew up and still lives in Vero. I’ll have to check her schedule and get it locked down. The team also gives me the final placement numbers for the year – close to 200 articles, 50,000 shares and over 1 billion impressions in 2017. We are getting out there.

4:30 p.m. I check in with social media team on the pay-it-forward fundraiser give-away because the engagement numbers look low and we need to move the needle quicker.

5:00 p.m. It’s time to sort through sales team emails to sync up campaign activities with sales opportunities.

5:30 p.m. I meet with our designer to review and prioritize a list of designs we need to have made – promotional materials—everything from flyers to truck or refrigerator wraps for specific customers. Then I review, edit and approve all creative.

6:00 p.m. I know when I sit down with my mom, the day’s end is near. We call them CEO mentoring meetings – and it’s where we take a deep breath from the day and share our vision for the company as a whole as well as marketing of the brand. Since I took on marketing four years ago, profits have steadily increased – in fact, this year alone, they are up 16 percent and are expected to jump another 20 percent next year.

6:30 p.m. This is my urgent email scan and out.

7:00 p.m. It is finally the end of my work day. I decompress with a walk or a read, and by 9.00 p.m., it’s lights out for this 27-year-old.


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