How long have you been doing marketing strategy?
I’ve been in marketing for over 20 years and have worked in a wide variety of industries, from Fortune 500 companies marketing office equipment to nonprofits and small business start-ups.
Why are you focusing on the recreational marine industry?
I’m focusing on the recreational marine industry now because I’ve worked with two marinas in the Northeast and really enjoyed it. One marina focuses on powerboats and a boating club the other has more sailing and larger vessels, as well as more transient traffic. I’ve also worked with a South Florida yacht servicing company, as well as others in the commercial and yacht industries.
I’m located in Fort Lauderdale, FL – the yachting capital of the U.S. – and I attend boat shows (Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Palm Beach) and am an active member of WISTA (Women in Shipping and Trade Association), as well as being on the Marine Advisory Committee of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce (I also co-chair the Branding Committee for the Chamber).
If you’re not in the marine industry – I’m here for you! Because of my focus on marketing throughout my 20 year career, I have experience in many areas, including: commercial property management, ecommerce, office equipment and services, software and hardware, mailing and shipping, marketing agencies, entertainment, as well as nonprofits.
Who is your typical client?
My typical client is a business that’s tried marketing and found it frustrating and questions its value. In most cases, the problem is that the marketing wasn’t strategic and data-focused, so it was impossible to know “if it’s working.” This makes no sense!
With that in mind, I’ve worked with private marinas and boat servicing companies, as well as others in the recreational marine market.
I also have clients who are not marine-related: a commercial property management company, an equipment rental company, an e-commerce company, as well as others, including smaller local marketing agencies.
How are you different from other marketing consultants or agencies?
Let me count the ways! To begin, my philosophy is different – I’m focused on business results rather than marketing results. My approach leads to business results for my clients because:
- Many smaller agencies focus on tactics, not strategy. Some have “packages” that are one-size-fits-all. Or they specialize in certain tactics, such as Google Adwords (Search Engine Marketing, or SEM). Focusing on one strategy doesn’t typically work and is not going to get you the best results. My favorite is expression about this is “when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
- I focus on metrics and data. Others may talk about it but I start there and I end there.
- Before I begin with a customer, I do an evaluation of their activity and “take their temperature” when it comes to all the marketing they’ve done and the results they’ve achieved (leads, sales, service, etc.).
- I look at your competitors to see how you want to differentiate yourself from others. But I don’t rely on competitor data or activity because they may be doing all the wrong tactics themselves!
- My clients define “what success is” before we begin. We take a baseline measurement ahead of time to see how the marketing we do together achieves the desired results.
- Other agencies or consultants talk about likes, shares, comments, or even “going viral.” While these metrics are important, I focus on sending customers to the facility (in the door) or to the website or generating leads.
- I go the extra mile for my clients with my “Client Highlight Week.” For one week, I devote all my social channels to one client – once again, sending more traffic to their website. I even invest in paid ads!
I never have enough time to do marketing. What would I have to do?
When it comes to creating a strategy, I do all the work. I ask my clients only to provide me with access to their own data so that I can understand what’s been going on.
When executing a strategy, I’m flexible enough to do it all – with my own team – or to work with my client’s staff – whichever works best. Often, there’s a hybrid approach, where I do some of the work and my client has staff do some of the work. For example, there may be a person who posts on Instagram, or Facebook, or creates their artwork.
You talk a lot about data. I don’t know anything about data. How will I understand what you do?
You don’t have to know anything about data or metrics. It’s up to me to:
- analyze your data
- understand what is going on
- create easy-to-read graphs that show exactly what’s going on
- explain it all to you so you can understand everything
Why do I need a marketing strategy? I’ve been doing marketing for years – what’s the difference?
Many articles have been written about why starting with a marketing strategy is more effective than marketing without a plan. Here are just a few:
To sum them all up – a strategy ensures that everything you do is well-thought out and planned – so it all works together and drives to the same goal. If you do marketing in a splintered or “one-off” fashion, it’s hard to gain any traction or see any results at all!
Does creating a strategy really work? Every time?
Yes, creating a strategy really does work. Every time.
Here’s an analogy: imagine you want to build a yacht. You have in mind what you want and you’ve decided that you want to move forward to build it. What’s the first step? Would you:
- Go fabric shopping for seat cushions because something you like is on sale?
- Ask someone to start to build it and then ask them to stop after a few months because you hadn’t planned the ongoing expense?
- Hire someone to build it for you without telling you what it will like at the end, at what cost?
No, these are all inefficient ways to start creating something spectacular. You’d want it planned beforehand: drawings, engineering, materials, specifications, with the important details established before you begin.
You’d establish most of the costs up-front and budget for them. And you’d get more and more excited as you see it come together.
Marketing is the same way. Crafting a strategy first allows you to decide what you want at the end. Without a strategy, you have no idea what you’ll end up with.
What results can I expect?
Here’s what you can expect:
- An evaluation of what your marketing has been doing to date (if you’ve been doing marketing). I do this using your data, if you have it to share.
- An evaluation of what you should be doing to be more effective and drive more revenue.
- If I do a marketing strategy for you, you’ll have a navigational system of where and how to go, to reach your destination.
- If I implement the marketing strategy for you, we’ll explore a range of tactics to test and use to reach your destination/strategy.
- My clients see a 10 – 20% increase in their website traffic or “in store” visits within the first year.
- My clients also see a significant increase in prospect and customer engagement – which means they’ll stay longer with you! Keeping great customers is key for your success.
How quickly will I get results?
When we start working together, you’ll see some results right away. That’s because I start with an evaluation of what you’re currently doing online. If you haven’t been keeping track of the data this can be an eye-opening experience. You’ll see immediate results in knowing where you are right now.
Once we start, it usually takes 2 – 3 weeks to get the data I need and to work with you to create a strategy with you.
When we execute the strategy, you’ll start to see results in the first two months. But the real power of working through a strategy – testing new tactics and seeing what works best – is later on, when resources are focused on successful tactics. You’ll start seeing much better results in months four and five, and through the rest of the year. If you’re not willing to do this for six months – to see all the work come to fruition – don’t bother starting.
Will I recover the investment I make in marketing?
Yes, but a word of caution. Creating a strategy and starting to execute it means that you’re investing resources up-front, in months one through four. Don’t expect huge returns at that time as you may be disappointed.
Once we work through the first four months and discover what works best and what doesn’t, we’ll start to see really exciting results in months five through twelve – and into the following year.
How do you work with your clients – what’s the typical process?
I begin with an evaluation of what you’re currently doing – both online and off-line. If you haven’t been watching the data this can be an eye-opening experience. We establish where you are now so that we can decide where you want to be.
From there, I create a strategy. This usually takes 2 – 3 weeks, depending on the timing of data availability.
Once you see and approve the strategy, we start to execute various tactics. For many, this is the most exciting part: we see what works and what doesn’t.
I’m not in South Florida. Is it still possible to work with you?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, I’ve done the majority of my work with the two marinas in Connecticut while living in Florida. I like to visit with my clients at least once a quarter, to spend an hour or so to review reports, answer questions, discuss new ideas, and create our agenda for the next few months.
Technology is helpful, if you’re comfortable with it, such as visual conferencing and document sharing.
I’m still not sure what a marketing strategy is – can I see one you’ve done for someone else?
Yes! Because I’ve worked with a variety of organizations I’m happy to show you a marketing strategy I’ve created before. I leave out the details for privacy of my clients, of course, but you’ll see what’s involved and the type of roadmap you can expect.
OK, I’m ready to work with you, how do we get started?
The first step is emailing me ([email protected]) or calling me (203.521.1752) so we can set up a time to talk about what you’ve been doing and what you’d like to accomplish. Be sure and let me know the best time to contact you. I look forward to working with you!