Meet Marcea Cazel, our newest addition to the TMC family. Marcea is joining us as a full-time Digital Marketer and will be creating content and social media for our clients.
Marcea, you're starting on with TMC as a content creator. Tell us what good content means to you. How do you differentiate good content from pieces that maybe aren't so good?
Good marketing content, for me, is informative, easy to absorb, and eye-catching. Content that paints a picture, gives meaningful advice and makes me want to find out more info are what do it for me.
Content pieces that aren't so good, in my opinion, are the ones that still keyword stuff, have pixelated images, or aren't writing with the reader in mind. A lot of times, with content and copy, people might write in a specific style because it's what they like. Writing should be about what you can bring to your customers and potential customers to make your business an expert in your field.
Can you tell us a bit about how you gravitated toward content creation? Did you have any great professors that opened your eyes, perhaps? Maybe one in Gainesville?
I've always loved to write and, in high school, wanted to be a journalist. When I graduated from college, content writing was a completely different animal: no social media, no blogs, very few websites. And email was an obscure thought because why would people send letters over computers instead of through the post office? The average person didn't own their own computer, so I studied print content and advertising.
As people started owning computers and smartphones, I had to pivot in my career and learn new skills. So I took (and continue to take) classes on social media marketing, SEO, and content writing for the web. I have no problem learning new things and have to if I want to offer up-to-date skills. Those skills helped move my career from brand marketing to content writing, so I guess it’s kind of come full circle.
We brought up the G-word, so how about we bring up another one. Gators or Seminoles? You know, we've got some other Gators on the team here, too!
If I have to pick one of those, it's definitely the Gators. I love the city of Gainesville and started my college career there. But I ended up transferring and graduated from the University of Central Florida, which is in Orlando. That's where I grew as a student and a person. When I went there, it had an enrollment of about 22,000 students. Now it's one of the biggest colleges in the United States. I'm proud of how much it's grown over time. So my first choice for Florida schools is always going to be UCF. Go Knights!
Speaking of Florida, tell us about why you love it. What about some of the other places you've lived in your life.
I moved to South Florida from New York as a kid. I didn't love the heat or the bugs, but I loved the water. Being able to go to the beach was amazing. But outside of a few family vacations, I didn't get to see much more of Florida and swore I would move out of the state after college. After college, I ended up moving to the west coast of Florida. Clearwater had a slower pace than South Florida, which I enjoyed. After being in Clearwater for five years, I moved to Atlanta when my husband got transferred. I loved Atlanta but really missed the water. After eight years, we moved back to South Florida before heading back to the Tampa area.
When we moved to Atlanta, I realized I had missed out on so much even though I had lived in Florida for most of my life. I'd never seen a manatee in the wild, been to the Everglades, visited St. Augustine, or explored the Florida Keys. So when I moved back, I started to explore either by taking day trips or weekend trips. It's been a great way to get a full view of Florida. The Sunshine State isn't just Spring Break and alligators.
And in terms of places, we know you're a big traveler. Tell us why you feel like travel is important. What's your favorite travel experience?
Travel is important because we can get a view of the world that we wouldn't have by staying at home. My dad was from Jamaica, and before I was born, my mom worked for BOAC, which eventually became British Airways. I flew to Jamaica with my family before I was one year old. So travel was a part of my life, even if we didn't always travel far on our vacations when I was a kid. This brings up a great point; you don't have to fly off to far-flung places to be a traveler. Explore your own backyard, take day trips to different counties. Take a staycation in a local hotel and really get to know your city and meet new people. Being a traveler doesn't mean always flying off to Europe or Asia. That's not realistic for most people.
My favorite travel experience so far has been going to Cuba. My husband, daughter, who was nine at the time, my mom and I went down for a week. What an experience! From the guy who managed our Airbnb to people on the street and the shopkeepers, everyone was excited to meet us and asked lots of questions. They were also very willing to deal with our bad Spanish. The art in Havana was spectacular. Yes, you will see so many 1950s cars you'll lose count. And while the food outside of breakfast wasn't for us, the mojitos are fantastic. Tip if you go: don't get the expensive cigars. We were let in on a secret that the ones the locals smoke are much better and cheaper (and they were).
Let's talk about food a little bit because food is certainly one of the best parts of traveling. Are there any likes or dislikes you have in food and beverage?
I'm not a huge fan of curry or peanuts in my food. Other than that, I'm open to trying new dishes. I love NY style pizza. Thankfully we have a great place around the corner from us. And seafood is at the top of my list too. For beverages, I enjoy going to visit local breweries when I travel. It's a great way to get a feel for the community and get insider tips on what to see or eat. I also am a tea fanatic and can't get enough of Cuban coffee.
Where do you see the foodservice industry heading?
2020 was such a hard time for the foodservice industry. Still, many businesses were able to innovate and keep their doors open. In some of Tampa's neighborhoods where restaurants and housing are intermingled, bars created to-go containers of mixed drinks. Breweries started getting growler systems in, packaging their beer, and getting food trucks to be in their parking lots once the breweries re-opened. It was very much a shared community effort, and I can see that continuing in the foodservice industry.
How can marketers help get it there?
By promoting unique things that are going on in the industry. There are so many restaurants doing amazing things, not only to help their businesses survive but also because the owners and employees care deeply about what they're doing. There's a small winery/brewery near me where the owner is a woman and makes all her own wine and beer. She's mostly self-taught and what she produces is excellent. These are the stories that need to be told to help the foodservice industry moving forward.
Thanks, Marcea. We're so glad to have you on the team! Is there anything else we should know about you?
I'm happy to be here - it's an exciting time to be writing in this industry. Besides traveling and writing my travel blog, I love to watch old movies from the 1930s through the 1950s and reading. I try to read as many books each year as the age I am. I don't make it every year, but I do get through a lot of books. I’m also a little (okay, a lot) addicted to Seinfeld. Oh, and I’m Elaine in case you’re wondering.