“Early on, getting customers is the most important thing because you need traction and network effect in growing a startup.”– Brad [13:37]
“If you’re talking to consumers on social media, if you’re engaging with them and having a conversation that’s really more valuable than them seeing a digital ad.”– Brad [29:42]
“Start small and build strong tests before scaling rather than starting everywhere.”– Brad [30:04]
Brad Horowitz: How to Approach the Marketing of Your Business in 2021
What does your marketing strategy for 2021 look like? Are you utilizing all the available avenues to get your brand out there without breaking the bank? There are many ways you can reach your target customer and make sales like using social media and leveraging relationships without breaking the bank.
In this episode of the Page One Podcast, Luke Peters speaks with Brad Horowitz, the CEO at Elite Marketing Group. He is a seasoned marketing leader, consultant, and speaker who is focused on delivering results-driven strategies to his clients.
Listen in to learn the importance of measuring marketing metrics and the pitfalls you should avoid falling into when doing so. You will also learn the importance of outsourcing for a consultant to help you with your marketing strategy if you feel overwhelmed.
- How to leverage relationships to do affordable and effective marketing.
- How to measure your marketing objectives in both tangible and intangible ways.
- The importance of hiring a part-time expert to help your business with its marketing strategy on a budget.
- Learning how to stand out from the clutter on social media and digital media space to benefit from it.
- The value of engaging with your customers on social media or live as opposed to just marketing to them.
- [2:10] Brad explains what they do which is marketing brands, products, and services at events.
- [3:37] He talks about the types of companies they work with, which is a mix of both startups and large companies.
- [4:32] The types of marketing they do in addition to event marketing for companies.
- [7:01] Ways you can facilitate further purchasing after the type of marketing you’re engaging in.
- [8:36] Brad explains how to measure the outcome of any marketing efforts made by a brand or product.
- [11:16] The four common mistakes that businesses make when executing their marketing strategy.
- [13:09] Why you should be budgeting higher for your marketing strategy at its initial stages and make sure it delivering.
- [15:42] Why you shouldn’t focus on short-term tangible marketing when targeting the first-time sale.
- [17:59] How to utilize all available avenues to help with your marketing strategy as well as being the advocate of your business.
- [20:50] How to approach outsourcing for a part-time VP consultant to help you with your marketing strategy.
- [23:23] Brad explains some of the places you can get freelance/ part-time experts to assist you.
- [25:12] The digital trends that are going to shape businesses in 2021 and beyond.
- [28:00] The marketing lessons that Brad has learned in his marketing career.
- [31:06] Brad talks about a successful event they conducted for Nickelodeon that prompted immediate results.
Speaker 1: Welcome to The Page 1 Podcast, a podcast featuring a variety of guests and thought leaders on topics ranging from digital marketing, sales channel strategies, influencer marketing, best-in-class product launches and all the details about how to accelerate sales. Now, here’s your host, Luke Peters.
Luke Peters: Thanks for joining us on the Page 1 Podcast. I’m your host, Luke Peters, CEO of NewAir Appliances and Retail Band Digital Strategy Agency. If you need expert help growing your digital sales and Amazon HD, Wayfair and others, other marketplaces, find out more at retailband.com.
Luke Peters: In this episode, you’re going to learn from Brad Horowitz on how he turbocharges marketing for small growing companies and how your brand can use in-person event marketing to grow. Brad is a master in creating business strategy, converting clutter and chaos into actionable plans and strategy. And he works with some of the largest brands in the country on in-person marketing events. And we’ll get into that.
Luke Peters: Brad is CEO of Elite Marketing Group. He spent 15 years growing and evolving his experiential marketing agency into a national shop integrating event, digital and social media marketing. After years of involvement with the brand activation association as a board member and speaker, Brad got involved in consulting for Quake Capital, a venture capital fund to work with startup and small business entrepreneurs.
Luke Peters: Brad, as I mentioned, has spoken frequently at industry events. What I want to point out for the Page 1 community, Brad’s got a lot of experience with large brands. And in this episode, we are going to focus on what smaller brands can do and not necessarily just smaller brands, but maybe less sophisticated marketing companies can do and with his experience at a venture fund. So Brad, welcome to the Page 1 Podcast.
Brad Horowitz: Thanks, Luke. Thanks and happy to be here.
Luke Peters: Awesome. And then, before we get going here, Brad, can you briefly describe what your business does and just give the audience a little more of an idea of how you guys work?
Brad Horowitz: Yes. We’re what we call an experiential marketing agency. And there’s a lot of terms that people use to describe that, whether it be an event marketing agency or wide marketing agency. Ultimately, what we do is we bring brands, products, and services to events. That could be as simple as a small permitted location and as large as the Super Bowl. We market and promote them in some capacity.
Brad Horowitz: Then, over the past, I would say, five to 10 years, we’ve been integrating social media and digital marketing strategies to both the front and back of those promotions to engage more consumers consistently and beyond the event.
Luke Peters: All right. Perfect. Thanks, Brad. And we’ll get into an example later on for the audience, but starting off and everybody listening to here, all the Page 1 community, we’re going to talk about, listen, how you can turbocharge your marketing for your company in 2021. We’re going to focus on marketing tests, marketing measurement, and product launches, all of which you guys should be doing.
Luke Peters: Brad’s going to translate his big brand marketing into tangible action items that you can accomplish. And listen, I know the truth that some of the brands maybe you’re comfortable in store or you’re comfortable in your sales channel, and you may not even have a marketing team or somebody in charge of maybe digital marketing. This is going to be an important episode where Brad’s going to give tangible ideas that any company can use. With that, Brad, what type of startups have you worked with?
Brad Horowitz: It’s been very eclectic. Quake Capital is not a fund that’s specific to any particular industry. It’s included things from food snack and beverage like organic protein bars, lots of apps, one in particular was a nanny on-demand app, crypto arbitrage software, smart dog bowls that notify you when you need to feed your pet, new advertising networks for vehicles. It’s really been incredibly eclectic.
Brad Horowitz: I just want to touch on something that you mentioned, which is so important, which is we’re going to be talking a little bit about startups and small businesses, but it’s imperative to say that it can be big businesses. Just a lot of people are not experts in marketing, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of about that, but these strategies, whether they be for smaller startup, they apply to businesses of all sizes.
Luke Peters: That was perfect. When you’re working with these companies, what type of marketing channels do you help implement for them?
Brad Horowitz: I really try to focus, first and foremost, on the types of strategies that are easiest to implement and aren’t going to break the bank. That includes things like social media marketing, email marketing, partnerships, peer-to-peer marketing, which also can be called referrals. Then, I would say the next phase are things like SEO and pay-per-click digital marketing and event marketing.
Luke Peters: Before you go on, talk about partnership a little bit, something that we’re doing at NewAir. It’s actually a lot of fun us working, say, with breweries. We sell beer coolers, beer frosters, and working with different breweries and doing some social media shares and then even products in their breweries that they can sell. It’s a really fun branding opportunity, but something that I think elevates the brand. What is the typical type of partnership strategy look for on your end?
Brad Horowitz: Yeah. I don’t think it needs to be that cumbersome. It’s really looking at what types of other companies or brands you have synergy with where you can each provide each other some level of value like we’re talking, for example, about a healthy organic protein bar. Are there local fitness studios and gyms that are within the region where you have distribution and you’re looking to grow sales that you could provide free product which both benefits to them because they’re providing added value to their customers, but of course benefits you because you’re getting exposure?
Brad Horowitz: That would be like a simple example. And it’s one of the key bootstrapping tools for getting your marketing started, is where can we leverage relationships and where can we leverage our barter to not break the bank.
Luke Peters: Yeah. It’s lot like influencer marketing which we do some of as well. And I know this is going to vary a lot, but, in that example, you’re handing the protein bars out. What is the typical ask? What I mean by that is a lot of listeners here they’re going to have physical products. They definitely can think of people that they could give the products to, but then, what are they asking for in return? Are you asking just for social media mention, or is it something totally different that you often will ask for?
Brad Horowitz: You’re saying what does the brand, like, what would the protein bar ask for in return?
Luke Peters: Right. They’re given the free protein bars, and then the gym is handing them out is a really no ask even needed. It’s just the gym hands it out. And then the users get experience at protein bar or is there something additional?
Brad Horowitz: Yes. It’s going to range. A lot of the times, it can just be… We call it drops. People don’t even realize how simple marketing can be. You can literally find locations and ship products. Someone’s going to reject it. You can ship product with a nice letter to an office building or to a gym or to something that’s relevant to your product. People are going to say, “Wow, this is wonderful. I’ll give this out for free to my staff.”
Brad Horowitz: With that being said, there’s much more savvy ways of going about it. As you’ll hear me talk about in this interview, I always am in favor of including some type of promotion, some type of [inaudible 00:07:42] within any marketing initiative that you are engaging in, and then a specific code so that you can measure that particular marketing activity.
Brad Horowitz: If you are shipping something, maybe you have a particular promotion to go along with that bar, maybe it’s on the packaging, maybe it’s for the facility to notify their customers so that you can facilitate further purchasing, and, of course, it’s always great to ask for social media mentions, even guide those partners to it. Hey, here’s some messages. We’d love to hear that. Are you okay with us, including you on our messaging? Yeah. I would say that those are probably the two biggest things.
Luke Peters: Awesome. Okay. Well, then, let’s go into that measurement. You talked about what channels you work with, and you talked about social email partnership and a couple of others. How do you measure these channels? If you can give a couple of examples of things you measured, maybe examples of improvement you’ve seen, that would be awesome.
Brad Horowitz: Yeah. I think measurement is the key here. It’s almost as important as initiatives. Why are you going to go forth and execute marketing without knowing if it’s successful or not? I think this is a really common pitfall, which we can talk about more later in the interview. It’s really important to know that there’s multiple types of objectives before you even measure, There’s your tangible objectives, whether that be a membership of a subscription, a call, a website visit, a sale.
Brad Horowitz: Then, there’s other objectives to your marketing, which fall more in the intangible side, such as brand building, loyalty, repeat business. You have to figure out ways to measure both of those things. For the tangible side, like I said, try to include a code or a specific promotion is going to make your life a lot easier with this. Then, you require that code for purchase, whether it be digital or onsite or whatever it may be. And that’s an easy way to track immediate lift after that. If you’re really well versed in marketing, you can include that code for future promotions and track, repeat business and loyalty as you go along.
Brad Horowitz: For things like brand building and intangible measurement, you can survey customers whether that be through email or phone, and you can do it at varying times, post interaction. Again, right afterwards, maybe every three months, maybe a year from then to see if it affected someone’s purchasing history or their perception of the brand. You can measure social media traction. There’s various softwares out there, which let you know if your brand’s being mentioned after a certain marketing initiative. Of course, you can always measure search traffic and website tracks.
Luke Peters: The key thing there for everybody listening is you got to measure. And I think a lot of companies that are not as sophisticated yet on the marketing side or they’re very conservative in laying out the cash because they don’t want it to just go into a black hole. I’ve spoken with a lot of them and know a lot of them.
Luke Peters: I think being able to measure in this day and age on digital, you can measure so much more than 10, 15 years ago. And that allows someone who might be uneasy on going forward on a certain initiative to have a little more confidence, because now you can measure it. I’m glad you brought that point up because that’s so key to modern day performance-based marketing.
Luke Peters: You talked about a lot of these things, how you measure and the different areas you’ve helped out at, but I always love hearing what the common mistakes that companies have with their marketing strategy. It’d be great to hear that from your perspective.
Brad Horowitz: Yeah. I’m going to be a little repetitive here, but not measuring the marketing experts that you executed, it just leads to this vicious cycle where you spend money, you implement something, you didn’t measure it or you didn’t see the lift or it didn’t work out. You move aside from your marketing efforts, and you never really gain any traction with it or consistency and momentum.
Brad Horowitz: Trying to be everywhere at the same time, spreading human capital and budgets way too thin, I think is a really, really common pitfall that I see, especially in the startup community. Everyone’s trying to get metrics wherever and whenever they can so that they can get to that next round of funding. Unfortunately, that leads to this mentality of needing to be everywhere at the same time, which can cause many issues both in sales and in operations.
Brad Horowitz: I think other things with marketing getting sold on a sexy type of marketing, like influencer or digital before implementing those more cost-effective, less sexy channels which I talked about earlier, that can deliver results. And then, I would say just not allocating enough time to marketing, advertising and sales, not dedicating enough effort or budget to it, not considering it as important as it is. I would say that those are the common pitfalls that I see.
Luke Peters: Yeah. Actually backing up a little bit, you work with a bunch of startups. I don’t know how much insight you have into the P&Ls or not, but are you able to speak to what their marketing budgets were as far as a percent of sales or even what you suggest companies should look at? I think it’s going to change for every single industry, but it would just be interesting to hear kind of a range of budget size for marketing.
Brad Horowitz: Yeah. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to give you a specific answer. The ranges are so massive. I would say the best way to look at it is the backend to it. You really need to have a strong grasp. The simplest thing is just like your CPA or your KPI. I much prefer to focus on lifetime value of a customer or at least first-year value of a customer and then to back into it and then to say to yourself, like, “Okay, what percentage of that value am I willing to spend?”
Brad Horowitz: Early on, if getting customers is the most important thing because you need traction, you need network effect in growing a startup, you should spend a large chunk over 50% of that first-year value of a customer or first purchase value of a customer on marketing and sales as long as that marketing sales intern is delivering that customer.
Brad Horowitz: As we move along on the trajectory of a business and you become more established, you can lower that. You can lower that to, let’s say, five, 10% of sales, but it’s really going to be dependent upon what are your primary objectives. With a lot of startups, a lot of apps, a lot of digital businesses that we’re seeing right now, there’s nothing more important than getting customers. More customers yields more customers.
Brad Horowitz: Early on, it’s really important to use a large percentage of that. But with the caveat that, of course, the marketing needs to be delivering. It can’t just be on general marketing or brand building.
Luke Peters: Yeah. Totally. Now, a lot of the listeners here are going to be selling physical products. Their gross margins are a lot lower than obviously a digital product that you might’ve worked with, or even food products. Their gross margins might be 40 to maybe 60%, something like that. Actually, in the last couple of years, it’s become really hard. Then also, there’s not always a big lifetime value. Sometimes, these purchases are one-off purchases.
Luke Peters: Maybe, there’s a 10% reorder rate or something like that. In those cases, paid advertising, Facebook, Google has become really difficult, really difficult because if your [inaudible 00:15:18] is, and I’m just making these numbers up, but you get a four or 500%, and that includes attribution, which is always shady to believe, but four to 500% and your margins are only 40, 50%, there’s not a ton of profit there. And you can’t really run up the score. In those types of cases, what type of marketing programs do you think make more sense for these types of brands?
Brad Horowitz: Yeah. Again, that would be a measure of lifetime value or first-time purchase value of a customer. It’s going to be lower if you don’t have something that has a lot of repeat business. Also, if you have something that inherently doesn’t have a lot of repeat business, you’re not as concerned about brand image or the long-term purchase-
Luke Peters: That’s a great point.
Brad Horowitz: [crosstalk 00:16:03] of that brand. You’re looking for the initial purchase. You’re now going to shift all of your marketing efforts towards short-term tangible sales. So, that’s number one. What is the type of promotion that you’re going to implement to get that short term sale? And then, you’re going to look at, again, the same things that I tell startups. Let’s focus on the channels that are not going to break your bank and that are going to show immediate results and they’re easy to measure, so, things like email marketing, social media marketing.
Brad Horowitz: I don’t think people realize how easy it is to implement some of these channels, as long as you know how to do it, or you’re guided by it. But you can just create these systematic schedules to email customers, for example, existing and potential customers. You can set up these systematic schedules to post on social media with promotion. Those are the channels that aren’t going to break the bank. You can tie us very specific promotion that’s aimed at gaining a customer in the short term, and you can measure it immediately and the traction from it.
Luke Peters: Yeah. I 100% agree. I think in all the companies listening, looking at your 2021 objectives, and a lot of you may not even sell direct, but even if you don’t, especially if you do, but even if you don’t, growing that email list is, just like Brad mentioned, it’s like the most inexpensive marketing channel. And you can continue to reuse it. If you know how to do it well and provide value, customers are okay with those emails if the cadence is fine and the content you’re providing is good. That’s a good point.
Luke Peters: Let’s talk about the next idea here. This a lot of companies, again, they may not be experts on marketing or have a really strong internal marketing team. Should these companies be hiring an agency or instead, should they spend the time to hire that next VP of marketing to lead their team? What are your kind of thoughts either way on that?
Brad Horowitz: Of course, they’re going to vary depending on the size and the stage of the business. Our main objective here is allowing people to implement marketing in a cost-effective way to get started, people that aren’t as savvy. I would say it’s really imperative for the leaders of the business to carve out some time to focus on marketing and for those leaders to really be the quarterback of the marketing strategy.
Brad Horowitz: Then, you can outsource certain different marketing elements. Maybe, you can hire interns. A lot of startups, I talk about one of my biggest tips with startups is to evangelize your best customers. There are customers that love your brand, and they just want to be more involved again to the partnership component that we talked about before for very little border, they’re willing to essentially be part of your brand and be a brand ambassador so you can use those people as interns or people to spread your message, spread your promotion on social media or to email on your behalf.
Brad Horowitz: We’ve never had access to the freelance economy the way that we do today. Whether it be looking to hire an expert on SEO or pay-per-click, looking to hire a social media expert, we can do it more cost-effectively than ever before. I do think once you grow a little bit, or if you are completely overwhelmed that there are small marketing agencies that can help you, but to manage them again, either the leadership’s going to need to be involved, or you’re going to need to bring somebody in to manage them. And that person should either be somebody who had some experience in integrated marketing or have some experience in marketing for your particular industry or brand or product type of product service.
Luke Peters: 100% agree on it. I like the term you use, quarterback. We’ve had previous guests, one of them, [Aaron Zagha 00:19:52]. He’s a CMO for a great baby mattress company. And he didn’t use that term, but your term resonates because he had a lot of outsourced agencies. He quarterback them all, but that’s because he was a complete expert in marketing and knew how to manage them all.
Luke Peters: For companies that are… They hey don’t have that hire yet. Let’s talk about org chart a little bit. I want to ask you, and maybe it’s obvious, but what that position is called. Is it just as straightforward as a director or VP of marketing, or do you like people who know more about e-commerce. Let’s talk about that and what key skill sets you think that individual have.
Luke Peters: Again, this is the person that this is the company that they need to step up their marketing. Oftentimes, the CEO or the leaders, aren’t going to be able to be that quarterback you talked about. They got to bring that leader. Let’s try to define what that position.
Brad Horowitz: Yeah. It actually does vary based on what your product is because I like to always have an eclectic group of marketing tests to implement, but you might just know that junk email marketing is what you want to do or just social media marketing. You might be able to hire a specific person for that. But I would say that, yeah, you’re talking about a VP or a CMO, depending on what level and you’re looking to hire based on the size of your company and how large your marketing initiative is going to be, you could probably get by with hiring a middle-level person who has some experience and maybe worked underneath a CMO or a VP at a larger agency or at a brand.
Brad Horowitz: Some other titles, I think, words that are important to look for or integrated, like people who have experience with integrated marketing. Omnichannel marketing is another term that people like to use. These are people that are not just experts in like one particular level of marketing. They have experience in a variety of marketing disciplines, but again, time needs to be spent on it. It’s really a matter of who is going to spend on and if you want to bring someone internally.
Brad Horowitz: Also, I mentioned this on the last comment, but there’s consultants like myself who are experts in marketing. And that’s a whole other area of freelancing that you can really, for major discounts, get somebody who you wouldn’t essentially be able to afford in house to quarterback some of your marketing initiatives. That’s another alternative, have a part-time CMO or part-time VP as a consultant.
Brad Horowitz: To be honest, that’s something that we’ve done in my business, just obviously not for marketing thought we’re a marketing agency, but for other outsource needs is I’d rather have someone at a very high level of expertise that can be incredibly efficient for discounted rate than to just hire someone in-house at a middle level.
Luke Peters: It’s such a good point because it’s so hard to make the hire sometimes as much. As we want these hires to work out, they don’t always, and especially if you’re not an expert in hiring marketing people, it can be really difficult to make sure that’s going to be the right person. What does it look like? I’m glad you brought that up. Companies can hire someone like you or other marketing experts. Where do they go to find those people? What does that look like? Is that, I think, a lot of financial companies are doing this for smaller businesses, right? You can have a part-time CFO. Is that just a similar idea on the marketing side?
Brad Horowitz: Yeah. There’s consultancy groups that consultants are part of. There’s LinkedIn. I have found a lot of my consultants on LinkedIn. You can do a search within your network. I like to leverage my network to reach out to see if people have any referrals for those with expertise in that particular area. But a lot of people on LinkedIn, if you just do a simple search, like they have consultants in their title. You’ll get a list of people in that particular area.
Brad Horowitz: There are tons of freelance websites like Fiverr. I really like Fiverr, and it’s very eclectic, but there’s everything from people who can tutor you on financial document if you’re a startup and you need to know more about our sales sheet, but all the way over to consultants as well.
Luke Peters: Yeah. I love Fiverr. I love Fiverr. That’s where this podcast is going after we’re done.
Brad Horowitz: Great.
Luke Peters: It’s going there for editing, but you can get so much done there. And we’ve got great people that we work with over there. So completely recommend that. Brad, before we move off to a final question, because we’re really wanting to get into your main business and talk about an example of an event or a big promotion you worked on, before we do that, you’ve been in this business a long time. You’re a speaker. You’re on boards. You’re helping out a VC fund.
Luke Peters: When you look forward two to three years, what do you see as the biggest current or near future opportunity in marketing? What I mean by that is some of this stuff, like I mentioned, a lot of paid has gotten really expensive. It was great 10 years ago, and it’s gotten more and more competitive. What do you see looking forward and meaning that’s maybe where companies should try to invest in?
Brad Horowitz: The social media and the digital is not going anywhere, but I do think that people are going to need to figure out how to stand out from the clutter in a better way. I think loyalty marketing is going to be looked at completely differently. I think that brands have gotten by or been incredibly successful by focusing primarily on point systems. They’re really going to need to embrace true loyalty, which is having a deeper relationship with our customers in order to keep them.
Brad Horowitz: I’m in the live marketing channel. And obviously, this line of business has faced many obstacles due to the pandemic, but I am starting to see brands planning. I don’t think there’s ever more of an opportunity for people to get out there and to actually engage with customers because they’ve been just overwhelmed with clutter in the digital and social media spaces. I do think that the live marketing channel is going to explode once we feel more comfortable with things like vaccines, et cetera.
Brad Horowitz: I would also say that I see a shift in the future in the influencer network, from these established influencers who have tons of followers, more to like the regular, everyday online user or groups of users. I think we’re going to see a shift because I think that there’s an amazing opportunity for brands to take advantage of regular people that use brands that, have groups of friends, that have social networks and that are out there showcasing those brands.
Brad Horowitz: I think that shift is going to take place in influencer because influencer is expensive and, again, not just another hot marketing item that is being cluttered a little bit.
Luke Peters: It’s a great comment, the last one. And we do some of that, and we work with the micro-influencers. To your point, the smaller influencers actually are more authentic, and their listeners believe them. I think it’s a great point because some of the bigger influencers everybody knows when they’re showing a product that they’re getting paid for it. And it’s an obvious exchange. There may not be a lot of loyalty around that product. I think that’s partially what you’re getting out there, but yeah, those are good points.
Luke Peters: Like you mentioned, you’re in live marketing. That’s what your main business is, is focused on face-to-face marketing at these industry events. I guess before we get to an example, what are key lessons over the last 15 years that you’ve learned to become a leading industry expert? Is there something different that you’ve learned because not everybody has that experience in live marketing? Maybe, you’ve gained something, a different viewpoint on marketing that’s helped you excel and help others.
Brad Horowitz: Well, I think that this goes back to measurement. Not every consumer is the same. One of the things that I’ve learned is evaluating the quality of your marketing and the quality of customer that it’s yielding. In the live channel, and this is one of the major hurdles that you have in the live channel to compete with digital and social is well, how can you scale the same way that digital? The honest answer is you can’t. You’re never going to be able to scale that quickly.
Brad Horowitz: But what we’ve been able to prove time and time again, is that we can have deeper engagements with each consumer and deliver to our clients a higher quality of consumer who’s spending more, delivering more repeat business and remaining more loyal over time. And just a quick example of that is we’ve been working with American Express and Delta for 15-plus years at this point.
Brad Horowitz: Obviously, these are massive brands that have massive agencies that execute digital and social strategies. For this brand and this is another part of our business, we do onsite customer acquisition or field sales. There’s a lot of names for that type of business as well. That’s the key examples of why would a brand that can scale in unlimited fashion digitally and socially engage in something like live marketing?
Brad Horowitz: The answer is because you can deliver a conversation onsite customer service and deliver a higher quality consumer. That’s been one of the biggest lessons. And it’s not solely pertinent to live marketing. There’s other marketing channels. If you’re talking to consumers on social media, if you’re actually engaging with them and having a conversation, that’s going to be more valuable than just being like a digital ad, even though the digital ad may reach more people.
Brad Horowitz: I would say that that’s one of the biggest lessons. Then the other biggest lesson that I have really, I think, applies to all marketing, all types of disciplines and industries is to start small and to build strong tasks before scaling, rather than starting everywhere. That’s probably been my biggest lesson and that has taken me with every client, to every client, to my business on my own and to the startups that I work with, which is to prove success and to learn what works before scaling.
Brad Horowitz: That method is actually a much faster, more efficient and economical way to grow than to start off in a big way being everywhere right off of the bat, spreading to everyone, spreading every dollar and every initiative a bit too thin.
Luke Peters: I really like that last quote. Prove success and learn what works before you scale. Cool. I really liked those tangible learnings. I think the audience, especially in podcast for format, it’s fun for them to have that. They can jot it down and try to incorporate that into how they think. Why don’t we end with an example of an event that you put on and you can maybe talk about the results and how that event worked out?
Brad Horowitz: Sure. Wow. What will I pick? We did a fun event recently. Well, I say recently, but prior to this period of time, Nickelodeon was looking to market one of their shows, which is called Sunny Day. They were looking to spike viewership and to catalyze merchandise sales. We essentially brought the show to life in the form of a mobile trailer, an enormous mobile trailer, which opened up into about 100 foot by 30-foot experience, which featured the various set vignettes and allowed consumers’ children to engage with the different parts of the show and the different characters which we had live on site as mascot.
Brad Horowitz: We went to 50-plus Walmarts around the country to, like I said, promote the show and what it’s about to allow our consumers to engage with the characters and to build excitement about it, to promote viewership. We had live merchandising outside of Walmart so that we could spur sales at the Walmart. We also had digital sales onsite. We promoted these events beforehand on social media and on the website and posts by uploading things like pictures and video.
Brad Horowitz: It was a tremendously successful event for us and for Nickelodeon. We saw those immediate lift in sales, website visits, social media likes to memberships, viewerships. We just feel it was a tremendously successful program for brand image, both of the show and of Nickelodeon. Can’t tell you how many comments we got from parents asking if we can bring that experience to their school, their birthday party. That was a huge win-win program for us.
Luke Peters: Did you guys actually have to conceptualize that because that seems like a massive project, right? Somebody had to come up with the idea and then you literally have to build it out a 100-foot long trailer. How involved were you guys in that kind of the conceptualization and building that out? Then, of course, you had to execute it. Walk us through that part.
Brad Horowitz: Yeah. Agencies like mine, I mean, experiential agencies can handle the entire thing. We can do everything from conceptualization all the way through to execution, but it varies based on the client. Clearly, they had a show here. They had an idea of what they wanted to bring to life, which was their show and the various tech pieces. They came to us with a tremendous amount of assets and ideas of what they wanted to implement.
Brad Horowitz: Then, work to mock that up, deliver concepts on what it’s going to look like, work with the client very closely to deliver something that brings to life, what their vision is, and then work with builders to actually build it. And then, we certainly procure all the teams to go out there and execute it nationwide.
Luke Peters: That’s huge, because when we have our products, it’s so easy to put some dollars in the coin machine and have ads show up on Facebook. You got to make the creative and you have to do those types of things. But what you guys are doing, is you’re starting with nothing. You got to help. It sounds like, in some cases, build these things from the ground up. You have to have really well-rounded team to do that on your end or at least contractors that you guys are comfortable working with to do all that. It’s great to hear that example, and it’s really impressive as well.
Brad Horowitz: Thank you. We work actually primarily with employees. We just like to have a greater hand on the operations that are going on. But I would be remiss not to mention that these things work in collaboration with all marketing channels. The ideal is not to just do live marketing or to just do email marketing. The ideal is to have a consistent, really effective promotion and message and then to overlay that on to a variety of marketing channels so that you are compounding impact across various touch points. Wide marketing’s fantastic. I love it, but it shouldn’t be in place of these other elements. It should be a supplement to these other elements.
Luke Peters: Yup. That makes total sense, and you get that more emotional and feel in that direct relationship. Yeah. It’s awesome. Thanks for telling us that story. Brad, how can listeners find you or learn more about you or your business?
Brad Horowitz: You can find my business elitemg.com as in elitemarketinggroup.com, but it’s MG. You can find us on Facebook, Elite Marketing Group. You can find us at on Instagram at Elite MG. you can find me on LinkedIn, Brad Horowitz, or you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m pretty easy to find. Plus, they can just contact you and ask how to reach me.
Luke Peters: Perfect. Well, thanks for that, Brad. And we’re going to have that just for the audience. We’ll have that in the show notes so you guys can get in contact with Brad. Listen, thanks for sharing your wisdom. It’s really unique story, a different type of marketing than we’ve talked about on the Page 1 Podcast. I really appreciate that Brad. For the listeners, I hope you guys all enjoyed the interview today. Truly appreciate your reviews on iTunes and hope you join us for the next interview on the Page 1 Podcast. Take care, everybody.
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Contact Brad Horowitz: LinkedIn