While the reason we work so hard on the content we produce is to help stores succeed, college retailers are not the only people who Foreword Online has impacted over the past five years.
This became more apparent than ever at the birthday party the MBS marketing team threw last week. In addition to a good excuse to enjoy cake and lemonade, it gave dozens of client services employees an opportunity to come together and discuss the tools Foreword Online gave them to better serve our partner stores.
We wanted to share some of that sentiment with you, so take a look at what some familiar faces have had to say about Foreword Online and why it's been an important part of their day-to-day since 2011.
It's amazing to me that the Foreword is already 5. I remember well the first meeting with Wendy Gish and Stephanie (Kubas) where the concept was born. I certainly didn't have expectations then that it would become an everyday thing for five years. Kudos to the countless MBSers and friends involved who have helped with the Foreword since its initial posting. I have heard from countless bookstore customers about the value they get from it. That is evident from the thousands who subscribe to it. Personally, I really enjoy the posts about successful ideas from stores that are submitted by our customers or are initiated by MBS reps. Over the course of five years now, many stores have told me that they have taken ideas from our stories and created their own successes. That is just awesome to hear, and I know it will continue. Cheers to the Foreword's 5th Birthday!
-Jeff Miller, Vice President of Sales
I can't believe our baby, our blog, Foreword Online, turns five this month! As silly as it sounds, I feel similar feelings now about this as I did years ago when my actual baby turned five and headed to Kindergarten:
- Amazement at how fast five years goes by
- Memories of hitting milestones and successes
- Memories of setbacks and challenges
- Thankful for all the new friends we've made along the way
- Reverence for all that have helped raise this into what it's become
- Excitement for what the future brings
Thank you to all the readers, subscribers, MBS employees, and most of all, our amazing Marketing Services team for making Foreword Online into something I, and we, are very proud of!
-Wendy Gish, Director of Marketing Services
I have always told customers one of the best resources at MBS are our customers, and I think the Foreword has showcased this. For the past five years we have made it a priority to develop stories about what college and university retailers are doing in their stores and on their campuses. And these are not "'Rah-Rah' look what they did with MBS" type articles, but stories about great ideas, impactful changes and new ways of doing things. These are :Good News: stories in a challenging time for higher ed retail, and people have responded positively to that. Consistently the Foreword articles that get the most views, shares, etc., are the ones about college and university stores. I too am a fan or these and make sure to always repost them.
The Foreword has blazed a trail and set a standard that competitors and industry groups have followed. We have created new ways in which to communicate and share information with one another and that is always important, but especially now, when so many stores are asking what they can do to succeed when all the chips seem stacked against them. The Foreword is a bit of light and optimism for those folks and informative for all.
-Chris Bovi, Systems Sales Manager
Foreword Online is so much more than a blog, it's a connector of stores all across the nation. Every time I am with a customer, we talk about the Foreword and how it has impacted their bookstore in a positive way. Stores sometimes feel that they are stranded on an island, that the only ideas and events out there are those happening on their campus. The Foreword Online is truly a window to the outside world of what other universities are doing to keep things fresh with their store. It's exciting when one of my customers calls me up and says, "Hey, we did something cool, you think the Foreword would like to run a story about it?" The best thing about the Foreword Online to me is that the material is created by stores nationwide, and even the smallest of things can have a big impact on another store's marketing plan.
-Jeremy Roush, Sales Consultant
When you start a project, much like when you begin your career, you often have no idea where it will lead. That was definitely the case when Foreword Online launched five years ago. For me, those two beginnings coincided. I was a new copywriter in my first year and at my first job out of college and eager to make an impact with this exciting new blog. We were both a blank slate, not yet defined and ripe for growth.
As the months went on, Foreword Online evolved from simple reposts from other industry-related sites, to original content sourced directly from our college stores. And, with it, so did my passion for my job. I loved connecting with our customers and sharing their unique ideas, just as much as I enjoyed brainstorming with the team to come up with our own for the Monthly Marketing Plans.
Fast-forward five years and, although I no longer write for Foreword Online, it still holds a special place in my heart. It was the project that helped to define my writing style, founded my belief in content marketing and, as cheesy as it sounds, set my career down the path I’m on today. I couldn’t be prouder of my colleagues who continue the site and the ways in which it has grown over the years. Happy birthday, Foreword Online, may this be just the first milestone in a long history of stories to share!
-Stephanie Kubas, Former MBS Marketing Communications Manager