All About Marketing
Business Ownership Podcast
Hosted by Michelle Nedelec with Guest Authors
Lori Berson and Evon Rosen
- How to effectively reach your target audience.
- How to easily jump-start sales with “Ready-Made Marketing.”
- Step-by-step instructions on tactics to quickly and easily start marketing your products and/or services without hiring outside expertise.
- How to use 70 customizable templates to quickly communicate with prospects in a variety of business situations.
- About 400 free and low-cost technology resources that will give you the marketing bandwidth to be competitive.
Welcome to Monday mornings with Michelle, the new business podcast. Whether you’re kicking off your day or kickstarting your business, Michelle is going to kick your ass into next week with the essential strategies, systems, support, and state of mind. Welcome to Center Stage Michelle Nedelec.
Michelle: Hey there peeps, this is Michelle Nedelec. I’m super glad that you’re here with us today because I am here with my most amazing guests, yes that’s correct people, I have guests today. So ladies, why don’t you introduce yourselves? Tell us who you are and just super short, what you love to do.
Lori: My name is Lori Berson and I’m a marketing creative strategist. I’ve had my own Agency for, I hate to say, over 25 years. I’ve been doing demand generation, developing strategies and all sorts of marketing programs for a myriad of clients in several different industries: consumer packaged goods, financial services, and health insurance, as well as a history in the entertainment industry. And with my partner Yvonne Rosen, who I will introduce in a second, we wrote the book “Ready-Made Marketing.”
Evon: I’m Evon Rosen. My career in marketing has been focused on business development. I’ve been helping companies and business professionals and financial and legal services, and health care and real estate firms develop and enhance their brands, grow market share, and increase profits for 20 years. I held senior and executive level positions, in fact, my longest stint was with City National Bank where I developed their brand positioning “The way up,” which they’re still using, I’m happy to say. And for the past eight years or so I’ve had my own consulting business and I work with many small businesses and business professionals. I’m also an integral part now of Lori’s team at BersonDeanStevens, Inc.
Michelle: Very cool. So, we got a little bit of how you got into marketing but how did you decide to come together in your businesses or any business?
Evon: We’ve talked about that. It’s been a few years and actually, we don’t really remember what brought us together but we started working together and then we became friends, and then it just kind of grew from there. We kind of have the same backgrounds and a lot of the same strengths but a lot of differences as well, so we mesh well together and it’s just kind of blossomed.
Michelle: Do you find that you have a lot of things in common with each other now when you’re going towards a project or do you still have the differences in being able to bring two sides to the party?
Evon: I think what’s really nice is that we play off each other. Lori has a lot of strength in technology and creative, and I do not. My bandwidth is really centered around communications and writing and branding and I think we just dovetail together nicely and we have no egos. If we don’t like something the other person says or we don’t agree with it we talk about it which is great.
Lori: We’re very upfront and that’s true with clients as well. Very upfront and straightforward. The partnership has worked out really well and both writing the book as well as working you know with a number of different clients in different industries.
Michelle: I love it. So when you’re working together with a client, what does that look like? Do you guys all come to the table and kind of hash it out or what do you do?
Lori: It depends on what’s needed for the client. Typically, we’ll work with the stakeholders at the client, create a brief, and from there determine what’s needed. We’ll map it out and each of us handles our different portions. Then I also bring in other specialists – whether it’s illustrators, photographers, videographers, and/or programmers, to do the tactical part. But Evon and I definitely do the strategic part together.
Evon: We start every project from a strategic perspective we want to understand what the goal is, and what the clients are trying to accomplish, and then develop the solution to meet those goals.
Lori: So we always come from a point of what the client needs, what are their goals, what are they trying to do, and of course what is the budget. Because the budget is going to determine a lot of what can be done.
Michelle: I know and everybody of course has champagne taste and a Coca-Cola budget. Right?
Lori: Absolutely. Even the large Fortune 500 companies that we work with have limited budgets for certain projects. Some projects are a little bit better. So yes across the board, I would think that nobody really has an unlimited budget. I haven’t found one yet.
Michelle: Even Amazon has its limitations. That’s awesome. So what do you find is the most fun in working together?
Lori: I think the ability to think similarly in terms of crafting the strategy and our complementary skills. The other part is interjecting humor and genuinely liking each other helps too. So it’s fun batting ideas around and also having them come to fruition and seeing our clients thrilled with the results.
Evon: Marketing isn’t black and white, it’s creative, and Lori and I are both creative people. You can come to marketing from a lot of different perspectives and it’s fun to work things out. I just find marketing in and of itself fun.
Michelle: Nice. And you find that it’s easier working together as a team. I know personally if I’m being creative alone in a kind of a vacuum but all of a sudden I get people in there then we start having ideas.
Lori: It’s good to throw ideas off each other. Bounce things around and talk about things. And coming to things from different perspectives makes it more fun. I think it’s because I’ve done a lot alone as well but I think working as a team it’s a lot faster.
Michelle: So in addition to being more fun because you can bounce back and forth, you realize things that maybe you hadn’t thought of. Things that your partner will come up with. It’s great, plus you get to moan about your clients. You know you can’t do that by yourself and you got to be able to complain while working so you can get it delivered in two minutes, right? Just to help speed up the process all around. That was awesome, so we’ll get more into how you guys do what you do and your profiles. Talk to me about what are some of the mistakes that you find either in the industry, they’re getting proliferated, or that your clients tend to make before they come to you.
Lori: I have a couple. I think one of the mistakes, because I deal with a lot of technology and automation, is a lot of people think that the technology will do everything and they don’t need the creative end of it. You actually need it more.
Michelle: I will vouch for that one hands down.
Lori: I think the creative is lacking a lot and I think it’s coming around again wherein people are realizing it more because so much of what’s out there is kind of the same. We all do our automation and have immediate emails go out and all sorts of different omni-channel programs.
The other mistake that I see is the unrealistic deadlines. We will do whatever we can to get things done as fast as possible, but certain things take more time. Obviously, the more time and money, the better it’s going to be. Conversely, we can do a lot in a short time period.
Evon: The biggest mistake I see is that I think most people, virtually all of them, view marketing as a cost center and it definitely is. You know you can’t run it back to the bottom line that easily, but they don’t understand the power of marketing and they’re not necessarily willing to put enough time, money, or resources towards it. Marketing can be the impetus that makes or breaks a company, so I think people just need to look at it from a little bit of a change of perspective and it can work really well for them.
Lori: I have another one too! One of the other mistakes is not coordinating and getting the sales department involved early on. I think that’s super important because the bottom line is, we’re about helping companies get more sales and more leads for the salespeople. I’ve talked to a bunch of people recently about measuring marketing – which is very difficult in terms of attribution. Ultimately, it’s the revenue that’s going to be measured. I think pulling in sales, not only in the beginning but all the way through the process, is vital when developing successful marketing programs.
Michelle: Absolutely. I can’t tell you how many salespeople I’ve worked with and sales and marketing seem to be ripped apart and it’s like no you guys need to work together because you’re always like well they make promises we can’t keep. I’m like, well then tell them what the promises you will keep because clearly, you have some. So they’ve got to figure out how to word it and express what the value of working with this company is.
I’m sorry but I’m gonna go back to your point Lori about when people think that technology is going to run their marketing for them. That one just kind of cracked me up and made me laugh because I think there is a best practice that we’ve done this and it converts the best but if they’ve templated it so much that somebody is going and selling tomato soup and thinking oh okay well I can do this because they have a template for selling coaching.
Lori: That’s right. You bring up a great point. Certain templates are great for some of the basic stuff and you can customize it and we actually have some of those in the book. Other things cannot be templated and should not be and as Evon mentioned earlier, the strategy needs to be there too and it’s going to be a different strategy from the get-go.
Evon: Michelle you bring up a great point. Yes absolutely, let’s talk strategy because that’s one of my favorite topics, and when you’re looking at a company, what are some of the aspects that will affect their strategy? What is their goal? What’s their objective? Who is their audience? Their competitors? What’s going on in the marketplace and their industry?
Lori: And of course, getting back to my favorite – budget. We also look at what’s the conversion timeline. Is it a product or service? Is it a quick conversion or a lengthy conversion – six months to two years? And the bottom line – where can you get the most bang for the buck and where can you get the best return for them?
Evon: Absolutely, without figuring out what they’re trying to do, what their goal is, who they’re talking to, and what that message needs to be because marketing really is all about communication. it’s giving the right message, to the right people, at the right time and calling for them to take action. So it’s figuring out what a company needs to do short-term and long-term, and then writing a strategy and a plan for making that happen. I don’t think a lot of people really consider who their audience is and how it’s going to affect their marketing. They think that because they sell this product, I’m going to sell this product to whoever will buy it. And they’re not realizing that actually there’s one person in particular and that we need to start talking to them.
Michelle: So give me some of the kinds of things out of your book – what are you looking at working with people on and what do you think they need to know first?
Evon: Well we wrote the book basically out of Covid because it was a horrible time. When it first started, the work environment changed drastically and people started working remotely. There were no in-person meetings. People were quitting. A primary concern was financial cost-cutting, which led to layoffs. There was just a lot of stuff going on and Lori and I saw that companies had either no internal marketing, their people were leaving, or they didn’t have the budget to hire any external marketing expertise. So we wrote the book to help them get back from a place that nobody was used to. They needed to re-energize their businesses, they needed to jump-start sales and we wanted to make marketing accessible and just help them bounce back from Covid.
Lori: People didn’t want to spend money on marketing and many didn’t know what to do.
Michelle: Nice, yes it can be very elusive to a lot of people, especially if they don’t tend to be creative.
Lori: Mostly we wanted it to be just a quick reference book. It’s not a novel where you have to read through anything. It’s something where you know what you need to do, for example: send an email, and you find the email template section of the book. That blank page can be daunting. They needed something to get them jump-started. The book makes it easy with a bunch of different customizable templates. It’s a super simple reference book that they can just grab and look up what they need when they need it.
Evon: You know most marketing books concentrate on strategy or writing marketing plans. They’re more passive. We wanted something that was action-oriented. Something that people could take and start using and doing it themselves and that’s exactly what the book is.
Michelle: I think that sounds awesome. So was it written particularly for any industry or is it applicable to B2B B2C, and retail services?
Evon: It’s applicable to really anybody. It’s for small businesses, business professionals, and independent consultants in any business. We have customizable templates there for a variety of scenarios and we write them from a variety of perspectives. So you just pick and choose what you want and customize it. To give you an example, we’ve got cold email outreach, we’ve got warm emails, follow-up email templates, as well as re-engagement, and then we’ve also got video scripts. So if you want to send a video or do a video chat whatever, we’ve got that. And there are other tactics as well: how to get on a panel, a podcast, or a webinar – all sorts of things that they can self-manage. We give them instructions on how to do it and some best practices.
Michelle: Nice you’re giving the secret sauce away. I’m assuming that it’ll still take time though and then somebody gets good at it and they’re like okay this is just way too time-consuming, I’d rather pay you guys to do it.
Evon: Part of that, but also to go to the next level they would come to us if they needed help. It shouldn’t take that much time, especially the way we’ve mapped it out for them. But if they get too busy with their primary job, we’re happy to step in. Or if they wanted to go to the next level and do a larger more multi-channel type of approach. We can do that.
Lori: The other thing that makes it really great too – I have a couple of clients who’ve used the book for just the technology resources. We’ve got over 400 resources and we’ve designated the two top in each category. And they’re all vetted. Best of all, the technologies are either free or very low cost. It includes some great stuff like intent data, that they can get for free, to see who’s searching for their products or services. It’s really pretty comprehensive. But yes, we’re available to step in whenever they want or to take them to the next level.
Michelle: Very fun. So you mentioned multi-channel marketing. Explain what that is to people who don’t know what it is and the importance of having cohesiveness in that.
Lori: I think it’s really important to be consistent with your messaging and branding across all touchpoints. So multi-channel – whether it’s email, text messaging, SMS, social media, video, streaming television. radio, podcasts, webinars, etc. anything. There are new channels popping up every day. For example, new social media platforms like TikTok – it’s super huge. There’s a new one called BeReal, and another called ClubHouse. There are so many different avenues to get the message out and it’s important like Evon mentioned, to know your audience because you need to know where your audience lives – and that’s where you want to be. If your audience is not on TikTok and you’re promoting on TikTok that would be silly. Basically to be consistent across all channels and to use them as effectively and efficiently as possible to reach your audience. Multi-channel is important because you reach people in different ways and not everybody uses every platform. What’s more, if you’re on multiple channels, people can find your message in multiple ways and each channel exposure helps reinforce your message.
Michelle: I love that you say your ideal client, who you absolutely love to work with, is everybody. Of course, we have no favorite children.
Lori: It’s funny for the clients that we work with, one of the reasons that we work with them is because we like them as people and there are times when you don’t love everybody all the time but for the most part they’re all great people with great values and they trust us implicitly.
Hopefully, that answered it, but yes they value what we do. They understand what marketing can do for them and they’re putting their trust in us to help them do that. Fortunately, we’ve had very long-term relationships with our clients. I’m trying to think of the most recent. One of the most recent relationships is a five-year-long relationship. I’ve had some go back 10, 15, and 20 years. The same is true for our service providers and vendors. We work with a really nice group of people.
Evon: I was the marketing director for one of my clients. I’ve been with them for years, then they had to lay off marketing so they brought me on as a consultant and I’ve been working with them that way ever since. So it’s all relationship based. It’s great right? And basically, they can’t get rid of us.
Michelle: That’s awesome. Give us an example of one of your Cinderella stories of one of your clients. Let’s see Evon you want to take this?
Evon: My favorite Cinderella story is from when I was working at City National. I was in charge of corporate development and advertising and I helped develop their branding campaign “The way up,” it’s the ladder and they’re still using it today! We developed that like 20 years ago, so I’m super proud that that’s still going and that’s just a sign that you know brands get you where you need to go and they help you solidify who you are and I just love that they never change that. And it’s still working for them so that’s my really greatest Cinderella story
Michelle: It’s awesome and it exemplifies the importance of psychology and underlying meaning in good marketing right? I think a lot of people don’t understand the difference between, let me call it, low-budget marketing and high-budget marketing. To me it’s like low-budget marketing is I just need a logo, I just need something. To me, the high-end marketing when you’re working with somebody of the quality of these guys you end up with that depth of knowledge that a word’s not just a word and an image isn’t just an image that there’s a lot more to it than that.
Lori: Yes, very true. We’ve developed a lot of logos and a lot of catch phrases for brands. I always thought it would be great to have a royalty schedule for those things. There are packaging designs I created 20 years ago, and even 10 years ago that are still in use. Obviously, we get paid on the initial assignment but you never think it’s going to be out there for that long.
Michelle: That’s awesome, so what are some of the stumbling blocks that some of our listeners might be having right now and they’re thinking oh my God Lori and Evon, I need you guys so badly.
Lori: I think just being stuck. There are companies that really don’t know where to put their dollars to get the highest return and best results. And there are some that just don’t have the manpower to do it. Maybe they’ve got a sales department but not the internal bandwidth and that’s when they’ll typically call us in to help put together a program and then it usually grows from there.
Evon: Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive to work. There are many things you can do on low budgets so I don’t think people should shy away from marketing because they don’t think they have the money to do it. I think it’s more important to do something than to do nothing.
Michelle: Absolutely. So let’s extrapolate on that one because I think it is an important point that there are certain areas of marketing that are impactful if you want to put it that way when you go out like in the past.
I’ve had a lot of people that will spend forty thousand dollars on an email campaign and go wow. Then I’ve had other people spending 40 grand on their website and go wow. I’m looking at the end result going I get it sometimes but in these particular cases, it just didn’t make sense. That wasn’t a valuable use of their money. So what are some of the things that they might be going through to say hey this is where this money should be spent even if it’s you know five thousand dollars or whatever?
Evon: I think the easiest way for them to think about it is not to be the determinant of what marketing they do but to talk to people like us to see what makes the best use of whatever funds. That’s where marketing expertise comes in. You don’t have to know exactly what you need to do, you just need to know what your goal is and let us help you get there.
Michelle: Awesome and you find that people are leery of giving budgets thinking you know if I only have 500 bucks you’re not going to be able to do anything for me or if I have $40,000 you’re just going to blow it on whatever.
Lori: I don’t come across that too much. Generally, they’ll come and say this is what we’ve got, what can you do with it. And we’ll go through and strategize on that and then come up with a plan. But many times they’ll say we just have a couple thousand or whatever and, as Yvonne said, we’ll help them put it in the best place. If you don’t have a lot of money, this book is perfect because it’s really a DIY resource you can use to get started. As you get more and more successful, and you need to go further that’s when you can bring us in. But it’s a great starting point for those with lower budgets. That’s really why we wrote this book to help them get off the ground.
Michelle: Right what was it – for less than a week’s worth of Starbucks, you’ve got our book. With all these goodies in there and it’s literally thousands of dollars of expertise literally the cost of a week’s worth of Starbucks. It’s kind of hard not to see the value truthfully. I love it.
If they’ve had a shift in their business and they just don’t know where to start, what’s most important?
When it comes to branding if they have some branding and it seems to be kind of falling flat and what I heard was if they’re not differentiating between sales and marketing that can have a huge impact on where they go. Awesome, cool. I know our listeners are going to want more from you, how do they start their Journey with you?
Lori: I would say first go to Amazon and look for our book “Ready-Made Marketing.” If they want it they can also reach us at bersondeanstevens.com. Or they could message us on LinkedIn – Evon Rosen and Lori Berson.
Michelle: For anybody that has any questions or needs your services, we will always have those links in the show notes so that you have them there at the ready and you can also go to the awarenessstrategies.com blog and do a search on marketing and Ready-Made Marketing. And of course, Lori or Evon I have to ask you ladies at what point in life did you know that you were crazy enough to think that you could become an entrepreneur?
Lori: I was probably 21. My 20s really early on.
Evon: Yes, Lori’s always been an entrepreneur I have not. I’ve always worked for companies large and small. I’ve been a corporate girl and then I just decided, the older I got and the more experienced I got, just to start my own thing and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. So I came to it late.
Michelle: Very fun and so much great advice for our newbie entrepreneurs that are looking at this whole world with terror.
Lori: There are so many opportunities and it’s easier than ever with the tools that are available. There’s a much smaller barrier to entry but the bottom line is – for any entrepreneur, you need to sell your services and get clients. The good news is, there are a lot more channels out there to do that and a lot of help online.
Evon: Yes, there are a ton of opportunities and you have to have fun. I think you just need to dive in and don’t be afraid and just keep going. There are millions, as Lori said, there are many ways to get there, and lots of resources just take advantage of everyone you know and everything you don’t know and keep going and look up books like Ready-Made Marketing.
Michelle: Exactly I love it. Awesome ladies. You have been absolutely fabulous. Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it immensely. I know how valuable it is. Any last words for our peeps?
Lori: Thank you Michelle you’ve been amazing and we’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. We hope we have helped some people. We hope we gave them some great ideas and it will make them want to move forward and succeed.
Evon: It’s been our pleasure, Michelle. Thank you so much for having us.
Michelle: Love it. Well thank you for being here with us I appreciate it. Peeps this is Michelle Nedelec. Thank you for being here with us today. Be sure to subscribe to the show. Join our Facebook group Business Ownership Secrets to Scaling. We love to connect with you and we love helping you grow. Thank you for listening to our show. I’m all about being a resource center for entrepreneurs to give them the information and support that they need to make it in business. The notes for this show can be found on our website at awareness strategies.com. Be sure to subscribe, give us a rating, and share with your friends.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon Reviews
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