I’m Mary Owusu. I am a digital marketing professor and entrepreneur.
Here’s a bit of my story.
I believe compassion should be our starting point at all times…in life and in business.
When my parents, my siblings and I stepped foot on the tarmac at JFK Airport in 1992, we had nothing.
We had a good life in Ghana. My father was a physics professor, my mother was the manager of campus housing for the college where my dad worked, and all five of us kids–from my 3-year-old baby sister to my 13-year-old elder sister–were happy-go-lucky children.
But America was different. We looked different. We felt different. And people let us know that we were different.
We didn’t mind the blatant stares and name-calling so much as we minded the life of poverty we were dealt.
Living on my dad’s measly stipend alone meant that we had to rely on the kindness and compassion of people every day in order to eat.
Those same people showed up to help us kids when both parents had to go back to Ghana and leave us to take care of ourselves.
Our story is long and complicated but the moral is this: The compassion of others made all the difference when we needed it.
And that’s why when I “grew up” and went into the digital marketing career, I decided that I needed to give back.
Since 2002, I’ve helped hundreds of businesses and Fortune 500 companies with their digital marketing. In 2020, I left my role as Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy and Analytics at a respected marketing agency to become a full-time mother, a full-time professor, and a full-time entrepreneur.
Now, this is how I spend my time.
1. I’m the founder and CEO of GuruBound.com–An online learning platform where I teach and coach entrepreneurs, educators, marketers, and content creators on how to use digital marketing to accelerate their success without hiring an agency or investing insane amounts of their time and money.
2. I’m the founder and CEO of Leadsable.com–A digital marketing/digital advertising agency with a singular focus: helping brands dominate their market. We excel in data-driven organic search (SEO), paid search (SEM; also known as PPC), and website design/development. Our mantra: Marketing is not magic. It’s Math. If you need different results for your marketing efforts, you need to change your numbers…top funnel, middle funnel, or bottom funnel numbers. Focusing on the Math is how we’ve served tangible results for brands, big and small.
3. I’ve been doing digital marketing since Google and Facebook were babies. Read about my journey in Adweek.
4. I’m a full-time college professor. I teach marketing and digital analytics courses to undergraduates and MBA-level students at Canisius College. I believe in creating career-ready students. So I push my students–a lot. And in the end, their public ratings show that they appreciate being challenged.
5. I’m an executive board director for the Digital Analytics Association, which is the association for digital analysts across the globe. I’ve been serving on the DAA board since 2018 and boy, has it been an awesome ride. I get to help shape the future of the analytics field, mentor minorities, get mentored, and network with digital analysts from all over the world, including executives from data companies like Google and Adobe.
6. I’m a speaker. And I don’t do it for the reasons you might think. I speak because I want to see change in the world. I can’t stand the inhumane treatment of black people around the world, and the lack of diversity, inclusion and equity that I experience every single day. So speaking is my way of actively helping to solve this problem. I speak to large crowds several times every year in spite of my jitters (you’d never know). That way, people will see me for who I am–an accomplished digital executive and entrepreneur who also happens to be a black, immigrant, Ghanaian-American woman. Maybe if they see me as a human being, they’ll start seeing my fellow black men and black women as humans too.
7. The best people I know call me mom. I’m a mom of boys and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love spending time with my family. They are my motivation.