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Evolution of Marketing Strategies in the Age of AI

In conversation with Kelly Stark

For this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Matt Fraser interviewed Kelly Stark, Principal Founder of Forward Vision Marketing, a full-service marketing communications agency, located in Dallas.

Kelly throws light on the importance of branding, lead generation strategies, staying updated with technology trends, the role of video in marketing, and dealing with the pressures and rewards of marketing campaigns.

Watch the episode now for some profound insights!

Not everybody can do what we do. Everyone is uniquely gifted. Embrace those gifts, capitalize on them, and bring value to people’s lives.

Kelly Stark
Principal Founder of Forward Vision Marketing

Hello everyone. Welcome to this episode of E-Coffee with Experts. I’m your host, Matt Fraser, and on today’s show, I have with me a very special guest, Kelly Stark. Kelly is a technology marketing consultant with over 20 years of experience in high-tech business-to-business marketing. As the principal founder of Forward Vision Marketing, she specializes in developing winning marketing communication strategies in energy, healthcare, and the security industry using wireless and network technology. With a degree in chemical engineering and an MBA, Kelly has a unique blend of technical expertise and marketing savvy that she uses to help her clients achieve their business goals. She’s also a thought leader in the industry, staying up to date on the latest trends in developments in technology marketing. In this episode, we’ll be discussing Kelly’s background, her approach to marketing communication strategies, and her insights on the future of technology marketing. Kelly, thank you so much for being here. Welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me, Matt.

Hey, no problem. Hey, Kelly. So how would your university professors describe you as a student?

Oh, good question. So I didn’t fit the mold in my engineering classes.

I’ll tell you that a lot of times I was the only female in these chemical engineering courses. And they didn’t even have a women’s bathroom sometime in the buildings, so..

shut the front door. Are you serious?

I know.

Wow. Understanding goodness.

But it was great for me because I got used to being in a male-dominated world.

And it helped me, I would say I was the one that got the scholarships, 10 times more than the men because people were looking for females. And had to prove myself, having to work hard, and I was proud of getting that engineering degree. So I would’ve never thought that I’m gonna be working in marketing now.

That was what nobody would’ve told me back then that’s what I’m gonna be doing now. But it’s funny how life goes.

Absolutely. So do your professors think you were outgoing?

Oh, yes. I did get coached a couple of times because I would raise my hand saying, oh, I think that something might be the answer and the professors would be like, you can’t talk like that. You have to say with confidence. Even if your confidence level might be 50%. I’m like, okay, I’ll learn that. So you might see that in this interview. A hundred percent confidence.

Was that just because you were younger and unsure of yourself and wanted to not be arrogant in your reply?

Or was it something deeper like the imposter syndrome that possibly you might have struggled with just outta curiosity?

Exactly. I think for sure it was that imposter syndrome being the only female in a class of men, not someone who just liked to sit in a room and do Legos either.

I was always outgoing and more of a people person. So a lot of people had second thoughts about what is she doing here. But I just like to learn how things work. And that’s what I like about marketing we get to learn how all these businesses work. And so I’m continuing that what I love.

That’s amazing. So what drew you to engineering then? What motivated you to actually, it’s so you always wanted to learn how things work? Is that what your motivation was and thought hey, this is neat

And I wanted to make some money. Dad was a music major and my mom was an art teacher I saw how that went.

And so I looked up and I was always good in math and science, so I looked at what paid the highest, and chemical engineering was it. And I said, I’m going there, that money motivated me.

And it’s a motivation for a lot of people and not wanting to be poor is a good motivator. And one challenge is a good motivator. Interestingly, you talk about, you said your parents were in the arts and it’s amazing how in high school I always thought about this because just so you know, I was a high school drama queen. What I mean by that, is I shouldn’t say drama queen, but whatever.

People made fun of me. I was in a one-act play called, here we are. It was the only one-act play that was written by a poet named Dorothy Parker. And it was an amazing play. It’s an amazing script. And I took it to the finals if you know the provincials, or state games if you will.

They, whatever they call them, like the best in this state area. And I won an award for set design, sound design. The LA girl in it, who I was in it with, won an award for best actress, and so on. I was always dramatic. I was in my first play when I was five years old.

It was a Christmas play. But the point I’m trying to make here is, it’s amazing how in high school we make fun of all of these people, right? Who are artsy fartsy musicians? Then, and then we get outta high school, we all get normal jobs, and we spend our lives idolizing the ones who have been propelled to success Brad Pitt and all the actors, and we, they’re on the tabloids and we spend our lives. Reading and watching though. So it’s just fascinating that’s what happens. But it’s also sometimes, the art teachers and so forth. It’s not the best. Paying, the appreciation for the arts, I think should be more.

And just along that subject though, look at your skill set you got now here, you’re doing these podcast interviews. So all that is built into your career as well.

Oh, absolutely.

And I’ve been told several times by I help a lot of schools that do engineering, math, and students. And the problem that a lot of the companies say is, Hey, these guys are brilliant, but they can’t talk and they can’t speak up in a board meeting. And they all say, Hey, they needed to go and take drama, learn how to act and speak. And so all those skill sets you learned are very much valuable now.

Do you know what’s interesting?

Even if you’re not Brad Pitt?

Even if you’re not Brad Pitt. Is, I think it’s really helpful. And I say that because I was not the most confident or outgoing person in high school, and doing that sort of thing gave me a lot more confidence to be, in front of people and be able to perform, if you will, and just be able to act.

And I played a British drunk one time in this one act, no, it wasn’t a one-act play. It was a two-act, maybe three-act play called Anybody from Murder. And anyway, I can’t remember what his name was, but he was an English drunk. And I pulled off the accent and everything. It was funny, but it’s just the confidence that it gave me in that regard.

I see what you’re saying. And it’s interesting because, they say that when all things considered, they did this study across the world, you don’t have to take my word for it. And the more egalitarian a society becomes that it rings true that men are interested in things and women are interested in people normally.

So men usually, they’re interested in things and their social skills. Like you said they don’t know how to talk to people. So I think it would be a value for them to do what you’re saying. And another thing that helped me was working in the restaurant industry, getting a job where I had to engage with people and learn how to talk and learn how to like,

If we could have a camera that showed me taking the order of my first table, my, my hand shaking and my voice trembling, just asking them what they thought, there’s something wrong with this guy. It’s just, you’re not used to talking to strangers and getting outta your comfort zone.

So, It’s a lot harder job than I realized once I did it. It’s amazing to see that I have so much more respect for it.

I worked at the Outback Steakhouse for a period of time, and they brought in these executives. They were having a dinner and for some reason, I don’t know why they did this, but they’re like, okay, you’re gonna, people from the dinner, the executive dinner, whatever, I don’t know how many of them were, but they had to shadow us for maybe 15 minutes, maybe 20, I don’t know.

But they had to shadow us. I had somebody shadowing me, and at the end of it, they could not believe how hard it was and how much we did behind the scenes. It literally blew their minds away. They said, wow, you have shown maybe that was the exercise for them as a business to see a different perspective of what goes on in some position behind the scenes and how it works and to enlighten them a little bit.

But, he was like, wow, I cannot believe how many things you guys juggle at once, and yet you come out here and you remain so calm. It’s just amazing. But getting back to you, you’re in this class with like a whole bunch of men, not even a men’s bathroom, and feeling intimidated and feeling that you don’t belong there.

How did you overcome the imposter syndrome by feeling like you didn’t belong? What did you do? What was your strategy to overcome those challenges?

That’s a great question. I don’t know if I’ve ever really figured it out. Just, I do have a good God relationship, so I go on the floor. I always wanna be the best that I can be. And so sometimes when it is that competition and troubles where you’re like, uh oh, am I gonna make it? Do I belong here? I just, I try to win, try to show them. Yes. I do belong here. I’m gonna win this. I think that’s my innate mentality.

My dad sat me down when I was nine years old and he said, Matt don’t ever try and be the best, but always try and do your best. I like that. Nine times outta 10 when you do that, you usually will come out on top.

So that was, that’s awesome that you took that philosophy and that mindset to be able to. I do belong here and I am gonna make something right. And I am gonna do it. So how did you go? Tell us a little about your background and how you got started in technology marketing.

Like how did you go from chemical engineering? It’s fascinating to me, to technology marketing.

I ended up going to get my MBA and that was just sure to just rise to the ranks. But staying in engineering was my thought. And I fell in love with the very first marketing class. And I was so mathematically minded.

I remember that there was a pricing question of how much to sell bottled water in India for like me, it was a bizarre type of case study. And I just did the math part. This is how much it costs and so, therefore, this would be it. Another person that I didn’t think was all that smart, raises her hand and starts really asking about, what are people paying for water there.

And, so on, what’s the competition? All these marketing questions blew my answer out of the, it wasn’t gonna be a 5-cent water bottle, it was gonna be a $5 water bottle. And there you go. So it just, that light went on. There’s more to problem-solving than just the math part of it.

There’s this whole other, the buyer personas, how people view the competition. It just really was like the whole psychographics of it. So I fell in love with that and was able to transition into a marketing position within Texas Instruments where I was working and got to help them create a website, like an e-commerce site for the first time. And this is back, the year, like 2000 or it was early on. So giving that experience to do that and learn it just really catapulted me to say, okay, I can do this. And I think I’m gonna go and do it a little bit faster than the people here are doing it.

Good for you. And did you look at your chemical engineering as a waste or just as a, just taught me transferable skills that I can use? Cause you could become a marketing CMO for a chemical engineering company. Who wouldn’t want that?

I found that I had this network of people that I had met in the industry, so it was really easy to use those relationships as a first client.

As you guys know, it’s hard to get those clients at the very beginning. So I just reached out to the network that people had seen and known me at Texas Instruments and just started getting business through them. And I would have a couple of clients that would come up to me that would be outside of this technology space.

A law firm asked me to do a website for them, and I realized, hey, I don’t know all the ins and outs of what’s acceptable on a law firm’s website. I didn’t realize you had to go submit it to get approved. So I taught early on to stay in my lane of what I knew. And that I had expertise. So our little hashtag is We speak tech because That’s something unique to our firm. And there are other people that can do great in restaurant marketing and so on that is just maybe not our sweet spot.

That’s amazing. Because, if I could go back in time, I would’ve started, a niche-specific marketing agency because my company is a generic name and you’re targeting for instance, you’re targeting Edmonton web design or Dallas web design.

That’s like for the small, but when you get down to it, you need to target a specific nation industry or sub-niche, like for instance, a plumber or HVAC I know of an individual who has a very successful agency in the HVAC space and teaches people the seven-figure agency and how to do that.

And he says you need to pick a niche. And so it’s, I’m just saying it it’s very awesome that you did that and realized that you can’t be, you can’t learn everything about marketing for every single kind of client because it’s hard to scale that way. In that regard, you gotta learn all about law and, is it worth it to invest all that time to learn all about law when it’s better to establish yourself as you have, as a technology marketing expert, the go-to agency and not worry about law marketing or whatever.

I would go so far as to say that I even wish that I had gone before I started trying to be a marketing agency. Either gone and worked for another marketing agency or gone and worked in the industry, like maybe as a realtor, real estate agent, or a mortgage broker. Or something like that.

And used my marketing skills to help me to build a mortgage brokerage or a real estate agency brokerage, whatever you wanna call it. And then, they started offering services. It’s one route to go. For instance, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Alex Hormozi. He started his gyms and he scaled it up and he learned everything there was about marketing and sales and scaled it up.

And I think he exited for a hundred million dollars. He wrote the book, a hundred million dollar offers. And now he only works with people as an equity partner. And you have to submit an application and be able to work with him. But I’m just saying that there are different directions you can go and it’s good that you, the point I’m trying to make is, it’s good that you went into the direction where you knew what it was that you were good at and what it was that you could specialize in, and what it was that you could focus in and the service offerings that you could provide. To that specific niche.

So the technology niche. So tell me a little bit about for instance what was the moment that made you say I’m gonna start this agency? Were there any circumstances behind it? Just curious how you came up with the name.

So I think there’s a lot of people that’ll relate to this.

I had twins and I thought I could just keep on working and no change in my life. That was my plan. And then after many sleepless nights, I realized, okay, this isn’t what I thought it was gonna be like. So, it forced me to find a job where I could be the mom I wanted to be, as well as have a career because I did have that desire to continue to work of course, So luckily I went out and interviewed for a whole year to get just a job and got denied. I think I’d mentioned, oh, I left my job because I had twins. And they’re like, oh no, we don’t wanna hire you, you’re gonna be a mess. I know. I do feel those doors got shut.

And so luckily it caused me to form my agency. And so about in 2012, I started the agency. And then I read Tim Ferris’s book about the four-hour workweek. And said, oh, okay. This is how you do it. He shaped my thought process on it. So rather than me working all the jobs, wearing all the hats,

I said, okay, I need to outsource, I need to hire somebody for finance. I need to hire an expert in digital ads, and an expert in web development. And I’ve gotten all this training, but it doesn’t, I can’t do it all. So that was from the get-go and it helped us and helped me keep my sanity, is what I’ll say, but just helped us become an agency that’s lasted now for more than 10 years.

Most businesses go out within five years. Failure like

Now I’m not saying it. I mean the 10 million mark, but we’ve lasted 10 years.

Exactly. I’d tip my hat to you for lasting that long. And so Tim Ferris’s book was very instrumental and valuable to you.

Exactly. And it’s all about, Hey, you just start something. See if it works. Does it get some traction? If not, pivot. Also, don’t try to do it all yourself.

Absolutely. Yep. Were there any other books that you read that were, that had that same kind of theme that was of value?

Traction was another early on. Someone I had recommended that we follow that process and I think that helped us set those goals. It’s funny, as in marketing, you’re always telling the client, Hey, set your goals and what do you target and stuff? And then you can not do it for your own business. So that was fun to learn that process and do that as well.

Absolutely. Another book that’s been instrumental for me was The E-Myth Revisited

oh yes. Fantastic.

Michael Gerber. For me, that’s a must-read book for any small, I don’t care what business you own like you need to read that book.

So do you think there are any advantages that women have when it comes to entrepreneurship?

Women’s Month is coming up here in March, so I think that because they’re having to juggle a little bit more, sometimes it doesn’t make sense for them to have to be away from the house.

It does lend itself to being an entrepreneur and starting your own business. So I do think they have an advantage. I think a lot of women are very good at juggling a lot of things. And that’s also, I would say a gift of being an entrepreneur is saying, Hey I’ve gotta juggle multiple things.

I’ve gotta tell a lot of people what to do. I even call myself the big mom at the business. Okay, you have to do this. And you have to do that. So yes I think there are a lot of advantages to it and it gives you that flexibility to be there for the people in your life as well. I think that’s important.

for sure.

Even Kevin O’Leary has a video about why businesses operated by women are often more successful and

Ooh, I’m gonna write that though.

It’s a great video. And he talks about it. And I won’t get into it because I can’t remember all the reasons but I do frankly think that that is the case and I think empathy also.

I would say so. And As you said, maybe communication skills help. And overall I was gonna say

The fact that women are more interested in people helps, in that regard. Because businesses are built with people.

The thing that I’m amazed at when I look at the stats is, how little the women-owned businesses are. So even in marketing, there are a lot of women in marketing, it was still only 25% of them are women-owned agencies.

And yet it’s not because there aren’t a lot of females in that industry, I do think there need to be a lot more women that are brave enough to make that step. And maybe that imposter syndrome’s hitting them enough, letting them go to it.

I hope that they watch this and are inspired by you. One hundred percent.

Thank you. You were the one who fed me that. I was like..

you’re right.

So how do you approach developing marketing communication strategies for your clients in either the energy, healthcare, or security industries, whichever industry you’d like to speak to?

We have this process called “start right finish”. And the reason we came up with it is that, If there’s a client that says, yes, I’m willing to take the time to put together a marketing strategy. Then we see that the client has a 20% higher, growth rate, and sales rate. For that project. Usually, it’s a product launch that we’re able to measure. Versus the client that comes to us and says, oh no, I don’t wanna pay for a marketing strategy session. I just need lead gens. I just need a lead. And we’re like, okay I did, but so we’ve done a little bit of measurements ourselves and seen, wow, it really makes sense to start from the beginning, look at what is the customer, what are the pain points you’re really trying to solve rather than, here’s my product and I just wanna push it down as much as possible down everyone’s throat.

Kelly, I worked in the automotive industry and it’s very competitive and it’s very cutthroat and all they gave a crap about was leads. But they did not have any message to bring to the market. They did not have any business differentiation. They did not know who their target customers were, they did not know that they did not have any buyer personas on a vehicle model level. So for instance an entry-level four-door sedan, they could not provide me, not even the OEM could provide me with that information of who was buying those vehicles so that I could target them on Facebook properly.

Or who was buying the large who was buying the entry-level smaller sedan who was buying the mid-level sedan, who was moving up to a five-door SUV who was moving up to a seven-door SUV, who was buying the trucks? They had none of that data. It was phenomenally fascinating to me. But all they wanted was leads, but they didn’t want to do the work, is what I’m saying.

They didn’t wanna lay the foundation to do the work, to eventually be able to use marketing and messaging to get those leads. And it just blew my mind away. So I’m glad that you have a framework that you take people through. To get them to that point.

And I don’t want you to release anything proprietary but was this framework just developed over a period of time as a result of maybe your knowledge of reading books and experiences of working with clients or workshops you took

I just call it basic marketing. I started out doing marketing strategy and that’s what I led with, and it was just following what I learned in my MBA class of, hey, first you have to pick out your target customer just following the normal steps.

And realize though, after just doing strategy and always having to hunt for more and more clients that I had to go out and fulfill those marketing strategy plans that we put together. Because if I left it at the company’s door they just, they wouldn’t get done.

So that was an interesting, lesson learned, and who better to help them fulfill it than the person that helped come up with it? So I thought that was a win-win for everybody. But just to, look at now what’s happening in the industry with AI, I have this client that is coming up with this new technology where they have used AI to pinpoint personality types just by a photo. What’s gonna be coming? Is your car dealership will see me walking in the door and be able to analyze if she wants to buy this BMW because she thinks this is her status symbol and the prestige it goes with it?

Should I be leading with that or is she after it because she knows the miles per gallon, the performance the way it drives, all those different factors? They’re different leading messages you would go after with somebody. And they’re starting to be able to just based on how you want, pinpoint it from your photo.

That is scary. It’s fascinating, but also a little unnerving wow.

I love technology, so I think you’re either fearful of it or you embrace it and you’re like, wow what would you do with this? This is cool.

It’s fascinating not to take things away from the conversation, but since you brought it up like it’s November 30th of last year, I believe, is when Chat GPT launched. And then the world changed as we know it. If you could have been alive on the day that the Industrial Revolution started, and I’ve said this to people and they can call me out on it if they want to, if you could have been alive the day the rest and you could pick a day in history, and I don’t even know if they know what that day is.

When the Industrial Revolution started the world changed the day on November 30th when chat GPT launched. In my opinion, the amount of innovation and things that are going to be, it’s going to be used is unbelievable. Like I, look at Jasper, they’re in your area in Austin.

They launched during covid. And they launched using Open AI. You using Open AI’s API so they didn’t even invent the product. They just are using open AI’s API and tweaking it their secret sauce is in the middle and they’re, they worth 1.5 billion in less than 24 months.

That’s unbelievable. They did 150 million round seed funding, whatever shares those were that they did, and have a 1.5 billion evaluation. Mean open AI went from a zero evaluation, I believe, to a 20 billion evaluation in a day. Yes. They’re the fastest growing.

They’re the fastest. They broke the record for the fastest-growing users in the history of companies as far as I know. For instance, it took Facebook two years to get a million users. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but our audience is aware of how long it took Chat GPT open AI to get a million users for Chat GPT it took them five days.

That’s amazing. And it looks like it’d be, it’s a headache right now.

Oh, for sure. I am a chat GPT Plus member. I pay the 20 bucks a month and I still can’t get on, so I’m a little pissed off. But no I’ve generated over a hundred thousand words of content using a combination of jasper.ai and chat GPT.

And it’s not only that I’ve generated taglines and there’s, I’m going somewhere with this. I’ve generated taglines, I’ve generated headlines, I’ve generated names of companies that I’ve secured the domain names for. I’ve generated, I’ve written a poem to my wife. I’ve, there are so many things I have done with it, right?

It’s unbelievable. But the amount of people that it’s literally, it’s going to disrupt. So do you think that there’s a date as I can already see marketing attribution is one of the hardest things to do. There’s a lot of setup for it. Marketing automation, from now some people just take a lazy fair attitude to marketing automation without any strategy behind it or any thinking or logic. And then they end up with this group mess at the end of the day, they don’t know what’s doing what and it’s crazy. But doing it from the beginning, creating your tagging strategy, it’s complicated.

But I can see a time where we’re just entering in variables, if you will, of what we want to be the differentiations in the tags based on what I know about marketing automation. And then it just spews out the entire funnel of, okay, this is your end goal, this is your lead magnet, this is the stage and these are the words you’ve told us you want to use.

And boom, I could even see an entire platform, like some of these marketing automation services already out there leveraging that AI technology, whether it’s open AI or something else to be able to do that. So it’s unbelievable where we’re at. Do you foresee any threat to the industry of marketing in itself for instance I’d be interested to hear this because maybe it comes so easy for us. For instance, clients just totally replacing us and getting AI to do all their copywriting and their content and asking it for the strategy and asking it for this, that, and the other thing. And putting us as marketers out of business.

There’s that fear out there. As I said, I like to embrace it and rise to the challenge. So yes, I’m using some of those tools. I was like, this is great for us. A lot of my clients are really forced. They’re focused on building their technical product and yes, you can use it to build code and that’s awesome too.

They need our strategy and our marketing help to run it and put it together. And whether we’re using better tools to get it done faster, cheaper, easier, that’s great but they need to focus on running their business and they don’t want to have to worry about even, how do I load this up into the chat?

Or how do I put this up, down on the social media platforms and all this, or even what platform to use? So I still think it’s definitely taking things more competitively and there’s gonna be companies that are gonna do it in-house, but then a lot of our companies still use us because we do, this is all we do.

We are experts in what we do. And they’re gonna still need that to run it better than they would. And still better than having to hire a bunch of people to do all the different types of digital marketing that we do.

Absolutely. And at the end of the day, that’s not their skill set, just because we know how to leverage it.

For instance, let’s deal, here, I’m a train I’ve taken copywriting courses from Ted Nicholas, Joe Sugarman, Dan Kennedy, Mark Joyner, and several, others. And so I understand copy. I’ve written, and I’ve read the book, the Ultimate Sales Letter. I’ve read tons of books on copywriting in my career.

Yep. And so I understand what good copy looks like because Bill Glazer, used to be Dan Kennedy’s business partner, and he used Dan Kennedy’s strategies to turn around his men’s clothing business and transform it and make it very successful. But he said the one skill you need to learn as an entrepreneur and a marketer and a business owner’s the art of copywriting.

He said, copywriting is the most expensive, it’s salesmanship in Penn. And and copy. And even if you don’t do it, you need to be able to recognize good copy from bad copy.

Good copy. Right.

But the point I’m trying to make, and I’m gonna land the plane here, is that just because there’s a tool out there does not mean someone knows how to use it to write copy or recognize that it has generated good copy.

A guy has a friend who’s a 20-year coder, he could go use Chat GPT to generate some code for himself. PHP or CSS or HTML or whatever the case may be, but he has no idea how to think like a copywriter because his mind doesn’t work that way and he doesn’t know how to think that way and to even think of the pro.

Now I’m not a coder. I don’t know what prompts to put in there to generate the code that would even be needed for something. But I can see how it’s gonna accelerate, right? It’s going to be an assistant, not a replacement. That is the philosophy that I have come to realize. Crappy people are still gonna be put outta business cuz they’re crappy people.

Now what I mean by that is people who aren’t good at what they do and they don’t have a standard of excellence as you have adopted in regards to always improving and that kaizen, the Japanese have a word for it, Kaizen. And it’s like you’re continuously improving. And those people who are just like every industry are plagued with snake oil salespeople.

And I’ve heard my horror stories of SEO snake oil salespeople. And I think that you know what, those people are still going to be around, but they’re going to be what’s the word I’m looking for? Flushed out, and good people are still gonna be needed and people who can think like a marketer and love marketing and know how to do marketing are still gonna be needed.

Exactly. And those people who have been faking it or faking it till they make it or just aren’t any good at it, they’re just gonna have to go do something else.

That bar has been raised a little higher now, so. Hopefully, it’ll be raised over some of that.

One of the hardest things to develop, frankly, is a unique selling proposition.

It’s so important. I can see. Yes. Asking chat GPT to help you generate a unique selling proposition for a particular business, and knock out of the park. Full disclosure, I don’t mind sharing this, I have an ATV a power sports client, and he hasn’t had a tagline or a differentiator or whatever in the market.

And, capital may be a reason for not doing that or just not caring or whatever. And so I’ve transformed his website by just implementing it, by coming up with a tagline for his business using AI. And I was able to generate several of them, but Cause I asked for several examples or ideas and the tagline is just amazing.

And you still had to recognize, still have to gotta plug it. Put the right prompts in.

It’s fascinating, what it’s going to empower us as marketers to be able to do, and even if we make money doing it, there’s nothing wrong.

As long as someone taught me, as long as we’re, you’re, it’s all about value. It’s an exchange of value in business. You bring value. Alex Hermozi says, if you bring enough value to a million-dollar e-commerce business where you increase their conversion rate by 20% in a month, and they pay you a million dollars for that value, but they got a 10 x return on investment.

And even if it only took you 20 hours it’s value that you’re bringing,

Exactly. That was the light bulb in my mind with marketing. Oh, it’s not just how many hours you work. .

It’s the value. Yep. Do you think that clients undervalue what we do? Have you found that to be the case in some situations?

Because we have an intangible product that we sell. It’s not something you put your hands on not putting. And I really, personally, I found, like even the dealership, they totally number one, they under underestimated the skillset that it took for me to do what I did.

They underestimated the amount of time it took, and they under missed the amount of expertise it took. And I’ve personally found the clients to be that way.

In my business, being more obviously tech clients a lot of these guys don’t really understand marketing and they just think if they build something magical, the best mouse trap ever.

Then people will just magically come and buy it. And so it is hard being faced with that. And then they are like you said they’ll read a book or they’ll say, Hey I have this AI platform, and they’ll think they can do marketing and that they won’t be able to generate a really good job with it.

So a lot of those people, I just have to say, okay, red flag this guy thinks, even though he’s never had any marketing, that he can do it all and he knows good copy and so on. And I always defer to what the client wants, but you realize very soon that, that’s not gonna be a really winning strategy when they don’t wanna listen to you and they don’t wanna check your expertise then.

It’s not gonna be a long-lasting relationship. Which is what I want. I like that. I like to have to be someone that we grow together versus let’s just do this quick little month engagement, let’s see what happens. Let’s just do it, let’s just put up some Facebook ads.

It’s interesting, Dan Kennedy, in his book, the Ultimate Marketing Plan, he talked about how there are 3 legs to marketing- medium, message, and market. And many people want to jump right to the medium. Do you know what I mean by medium?

Oh yes.

For instance, they just wanna jump to Facebook ads without finding out who their market is, cause you gotta find out the market first. Who’s your market? What’s their pain point? What’s their problem? What problem?

What itch are you scratching? And then from there you can develop your message, but everybody just wants to skip to the medium, whether that medium’s Facebook or that medium.

SEO or without medium’s content marketing. You can’t develop content if you don’t know who your person is, who your market is, and what message you need to give to them. So it’s just, fascinating how those people think that, oh, I can just throw up a Facebook ad, or really what’s your copy gonna be about if you don’t even know what the problem is?

Cause they don’t even know who the market is. And have you learned how to identify those types of clients upfront? And do you dismiss them? What I mean by dismissing them, is don’t take them on as a client because you’ve been seasoned enough that you already know This isn’t the one.

I wish I could say yes.

I do recognize when I have a real gem client that we’re gonna, we’re going to grow together, but then there’s always still the need to just keep growing. So I’ll run into those clients and say I don’t think we’re gonna be a long-term fit for them.

But it is great when people will take the time to do the marketing strategy because that is what, like I said I think that’s why we named it “Start, finish well”, because then it’s gonna succeed.

Absolutely. And my apologies, I just was that, I know you developed it based on what you learned, but was it things that you learned over time as a result of dealing with different clients over the years and that it’s an evolving organic framework that you’re using?

Exactly. I had different frameworks and then I have a business partner who had this great idea of forming a board of advisors. So as a small marketing firm, we didn’t need a board of directors, but we realized that we did need to get some people that could help advise us. And learn from the best and one of those guys, his name was Phillip and sadly, he just passed away this month. But he had done several product launches in the telecom industry over and over and he was even an engineering manager then fell into marketing and he had a brilliant mind for it.

And so he was the one that came up with that name, came up with a lot of the processes. So I really appreciate all the shared learning that I’ve gotten from a lot of these excellent people out there, including yourself. I’m writing down a lot of notes here, but it’s nice when we have this teamwork in the industry where we can learn from each other and I’ll do a better job for our clients.

Oh, absolutely. That’s one thing I learned from My apologies. He wrote The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, he wrote Failing Forward, by John Maxwell. He taught that when you’re ripe you’re rotten, when you’re green you grow.

So you should always be learning and never ever think that you’re an expert at something. You should always and always be willing that you can. And then personally, John Jordan Pearson, he’s always had the attitude that you can learn that the person in front of you knows something that you don’t True.

And taking that position of humility that, maybe the person in front of you knows something you don’t. So you just spurred that on, in what you were talking about in regard to what you just said. So that’s very interesting. So Forward Vision Marketing.

What are some of the typical clients that you have in the technology industry? Is there a case study that you can share of a marketing campaign? for instance, a particularly successful marketing plan? You developed an implement implemented for a client that you give us a for instance about? If you are allowed.

I’ll do a couple. We have done some case studies that we have on our website, so I’m gonna do one of them. Sure. So there was this company that I knew back from my Texas Instruments days and RFID client and that technology was getting used in a lot of different places and they were the jack of all trades.

They did some software and put together some neat solutions. But all of a sudden they started getting some traction in retail. They got the bat out by a Chinese company. Her name’s SML and so Extra Prize was the original company and the CEO, Dean Frew is an excellent businessman, and he just said, we can do this.

Let’s launch it at this upcoming trade show that which was in a couple of months completely rebranded, with a new website and create all the social media platforms, create videos, create all these brochures, and put together the trade show booth. It was just a fun get to start up a new company with them.

And they had just grown and grown. And they’re letting the marketing and testing a lot of different things. That’s one of the things I like about them is as having a client that says, sure, you wanna try this idea of maybe one of these new LinkedIn ad types or do a video that they’re letting us get to play and measure the differences and learn from them with that. So I think that’s neat. Another fun client test we got to do. So Texas A&M they have this master of engineering technical management program.

Just for a minute. For people who are listening to that may not know what Texas A&M is, cause we have a global audience, that’s a technical school?

No, it’s a university here in Texas. All right. So it’s one of the largest, actually in the US it has more than like 75,000 students, which blows my head.

But we are just marketing one of their programs because we know we wanna hit engineering undergrads and that demographic, we’re choosing the LinkedIn platform to go after them. And they said, go ahead. And we tried every single different type of LinkedIn ad and measured the success of each one.

And we’re we’ve got the same audience we’re going after similar message for all of these. So it was fun. It’s fun when you have those clients that say, okay, go ahead, try out and see. What was best for our audience?

What was the outcome of that? If you don’t mind me asking was there a significant bump, indecision?

I’m still trying to find some time to put together the paper on the outcome for that.

But there were some really different types of results where there’s the branding outcome. So we were able to really get the name out and get a lot of branding, but no leads. And a good return on investment for that though. And then there were the ones like a conversational ad where we actually could point to look at these people came and filled out your form because I know it because I measured the lead gen.

However, it was very expensive. So what we really came out with is you do have to do all different types of ads. You have to have those sponsored boost pat posts. To get your name out there. Then you have to have some kind of delivery type mechanism, whether it’s a downloadable brochure.

Some kind of lead magnet

some kind of lead magnet. And then finally you reach out and do a conversational ad. But all three of them needed to be done.

That’s amazing because the buyer’s journey, you gotta meet them at each point of where they are, have creative to be able to convert or, top funnel, medium funnel bottom-funnel, or however you wanna say the funnel is.

Whether it’s top, bottom, middle, or bottom, or, that’s the customer’s journey, that’s a circle or whatever. They’re in and out, whatever. You need to have assets to do those things. So that’s exciting. And that’s very interesting. Thank you for sharing that so much. How do you stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in the technology space?

For instance, do you have various That’s a good question? Clients in different, like I am looking here at I don’t even know what, but Fujitsu and this other company here, Nexon, and for instance, I know you don’t do law marketing, so how do you stay up to date on the MSN solutions and all these other sell gates and technology?

Cause you gotta understand the technology in order to market it.

That’s what’s so nice about if you pick a niche, then for instance, right now my business partner Diane, is at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. So you’re able to focus on those events, keep up with the media that they’re putting out there and start forming relationships.

So you, you get to know the, in the industry, what’s going on. So that’s why it’s so much easier to just pick that niche because then you know what’s going on in that industry. And as well I think that this type of strategy where you’re doing these podcasts and video marketing is a great way.

I know for myself, I like to absorb when I’m trying to just get educated, more on a video-live basis. Cause I’m tired of reading. I’ve been sitting watching my computer all day. So having this type of medium is a great way to educate. I think. And so I was just, saying as your tactic as well I could see that being strategic cause I wanna learn about SEO and digital marketing and what’s going on with AI this way versus having to read

No I think the future of video is, look at Elon Musk, what he’s doing with Twitter. Some people are saying he’s turning Twitter into YouTube. No, he’s not. He’s turning, for those of you who don’t know, he’s turning Twitter into WeChat and WeChat’s a billion-dollar company. He’s turning Twitter into an all-in-one thing. Like it’s not, it’s gonna be, there’s gonna be Twitter payments, there’s gonna be this, that, and the other thing. And that’s what he’s doing now, turning it into YouTube. Now I’m not gonna speak for him. I just, I do a lot of reading and a lot of, watching videos and, even Dave Patrick, who used to live in your area and he’s in Florida now.

Who made that observation? Video is definitely, the key to moving forward and learning things and so on and so forth. It’s fascinating the world we live in right now. I don’t think there is a better I don’t think there is ever a more exciting time to be alive than right now in regard to the amount of opportunity there is to bring value to the marketplace and value to other people.

It’s interesting what we do. And I just wanna get your thoughts on this. It can be very rewarding what we do, for instance, the dealership got a huge bump in regards to sales as a result of the efforts that I put in and to be frank with you, it’s at one time I realized that was a heavy load to carry because the buttons that I was pushing on my keyboard were causing people to get paychecks or not.

You know what I mean? And here’s the funny thing is that not everybody can do it. I don’t care what anybody says. Not everybody can do it. Not everybody’s designed to do it. Not everybody can be a lawyer. Not everybody can be a teacher. Not everybody can be an astronaut. Or a chef.

Everybody is uniquely gifted for what they’re uniquely gifted for. And they should embrace those gifts and capitalize on them and bring value to people’s lives. But the point I’m trying to make is that, and asking you how do you deal with that in regards to handling maybe the stress of that?

Or enjoying the reward of that? Or what are your thoughts on what I just said in, in all of those things?

I’ve contemplated this because I hate failing and sometimes these marketing campaigns just don’t work or you don’t meet the client’s expectations.

And thank goodness I’m not a doctor and it’s a dead patient on it because I failed that. There you go. I do say, I love this about marketing. It’s nobody dies if the brochure is late. Nobody dies if

if the marketing campaign doesn’t work, you just pivot

if it just, yes, exactly.

And I love that because I can sleep at night and say, there you go, okay. It’ll all be okay. But it’s fun. And I do love those wins. When you put together something beautiful and you see it and the client’s excited about it, you’re getting good leads done from it, it’s working.

That’s everybody on the project. Everybody’s excited about it. So we all want that feeling. And there are just some times when it isn’t a great fit. And that makes sense for everybody. If it’s not working and they’re not getting the results they need then we just have to say, okay, that’s fine.

But, my phrase is nobody dies. I like that.

Thank you for bringing that up. Because a lot of people don’t wanna bring up their failures or they don’t wanna bring up the fact that things can fail, because let’s just be frank, sometimes things go wrong, and just because it goes wrong doesn’t mean that’s what split testing is for.

But I guess my thing right at the dealership was I could not afford to fail. Like it had to work. They pressure that whatever I’m doing, I’m the expert and I’m supposed to, there was no room for failure in that industry and in that position. But the fact of the matter is, I could have failed, we leveraged technology back when, this is going back to 2013, when before Facebook even had a vehicle dynamic vehicle inventory ads, we were leveraging their shopping cart, we were leveraging their dynamic shopping product, where we took the inventory feed, we took it from an FTP and fed it to a Google sheet and remapped the columns so that column was what Facebook wanted.

And then used that as the public URL. And now Facebook just has a vehicle product. But the point I’m trying to make is that I had to understand technology in order to make that work, but it might not have worked. And, I think sometimes clients have to understand that sometimes things might not work.

The campaign, how many commercials out there have people written or bad commercials that were terrible that probably never should have been made? And then how many, like on the Super Bowl ads, that just happened? Some, of those ads are bloody brilliant. And some of them were just like, oh my gosh, what were you thinking? But some of them were awesome. Hey, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you. We only got through not even half of the questions that I had prepared for this interview. So I would love to have you back for a second episode. But in the meantime, how can our listeners connect with you online if they choose to do

Obviously they could go to our website, forwardvision.net. I use LinkedIn a lot, so, if you look me up there and don’t know hopefully you can see our website details down below.

We’ll put your details in the show notes so you act up on Twitter or anything like that.

I am looking forward to Elon Musk doing more with Twitter. So I’m on Twitter but that’s probably my least active platform.

Least active. Okay, no problem. So LinkedIn and we’ll put your LinkedIn profile and your website address URL for people to connect with you.

Thank you. Yes.

That being said, again, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you here, and thank you so much.

Thank you so much. Appreciated.



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