Meet Donna Johns
Meet Donna Johns, President of promarkdirect
promarkdirect is a company with a forty plus-year tenure that has all the energy, enthusiasm, and adaptability of a new kid in the marketing world.
Much of the company’s ability to combine powerful experience with flexibility and forward-thinking is thanks to Donna Johns. This RBWN member is a veteran marketer who has the vision to understand that as business and technology evolves, her company needs to be one step ahead of that evolution.
“What Is My Weakest Link?”
Growing up in Virginia, Donna first attended college at Old Dominion University, where she combined her interests in business, music, and literature. She then moved to NYC, after a brief stop in Seattle, Washington, and finished her degree at CUNY. After spending twelve years with Entertainment Cruises working as Director of Sales and Marketing, Donna secured an MBA from the University of Connecticut. As part of her degree, Donna had a twin concentration in Marketing and IT. Focusing on tech, she says, was a deliberate choice. “I needed to pick a second concentration and had already had so many years of experience in business and marketing, I remember thinking what is my weakest link?” The result: Donna broadened her IT knowledge and got some grounding in coding and web development – both areas that would take her career forward.
While working in New York Donna met Marty Dunetz, the owner and founder of promark, and began doing freelance work for the company. Dunetz started the business in the 1970s, when its specialty was compiling and providing marketing data to customers.
An Evolving Role
Donna initially focused on rebranding the company, developing its first website and adding the component of email marketing to its product mix. She eventually accepted a full-time position, moved to Mahwah, and over the past 20 years her role and responsibilities have evolved and grown to include marketing, operations, business development and overall strategy and direction. In addition to marrying Marty about a decade ago, Donna Johns is now the President and primary owner of promarkdirect. In addition to comprehensive, targeted marketing lists and data, today promark provides a full suite of multichannel marketing solutions, including data analytics, graphic design, website development, print and email marketing, social media management, search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising. As Donna notes, “our clients love that they have their marketing efforts under one umbrella with someone at the helm who can help them develop their strategy, coordinate execution, keep them on time and on track, and maintain a consistent brand identity.”
promarkdirect’s core expertise continues to be its data and list capabilities. “It’s important to know what your best customer looks like. . . who they are and what drives their buying decisions,” Donna explains. “You want to target the right audience, in the right channel, and have the metrics in place to measure the success of your campaign.”
“80% of our business is non-profits,” she says. “20% are a mix of corporate and small-to-medium size businesses. We do work for a range of businesses and organizations including hospitals, doctors, travel agencies, hospitality and even other marketing agencies.”
When not working, Donna and Marty like spending time with their two grandchildren in Manhattan. Her interest in music and singing also continues. “Marty and I enjoy singing karaoke for fun but who knows, maybe someday we’ll take our show in the road!” she says with a smile.