Boost Your Chance of Success
When things don’t go as planned, businesses typically do one of two things- change their approach or throw in the towel. Companies who are able to adapt and make the most of change are usually the most successful and highly admired, but it's easier said than done.
Recently, our CEO sat down with someone who owned a real estate investment company during the market crash last decade, and we’re excited to share where he is now! In this blog, Hollywood Branded learns how to think outside the box and adapt to changing times with Jeff Pulvino, co-founder and CEO of Boost Media Group.
A Little More About Jeff
Jeff Pulvino has built, managed and consulted with numerous corporations in various fields of industry for over 20 years. His experience of business ownership and consulting ranges from start-ups, software companies, healthcare, and real estate to construction, patented products and auto dealerships.
He brings vision to a business in his ability to “think outside the box.” He can innovate beyond the paradigms of a company’s self-limiting belief systems. Given his breadth of diversity he can quickly assess a business’s strong and weak points, developing a strategic plan to reach their long-term goals.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: I would love to start the conversation off having our listeners learn a little bit more about who you are and what got you to where you are today.
Answer: Well, being that this is about how to avoid mistakes, I think it's a pretty interesting story that we ended up in marketing, or digital marketing by accident or out of necessity. My business partner and I, we've been entrepreneurs for close to 20 years. If you remember when the real estate market crashed about 10 years ago, we were in a real estate investment company doing about $25 million a year, and when the market completely fell out, we were sitting there, at the time we were in 30,000 square feet employing close to 200 people, and we were like, "What are we going to do?" We had always done our own marketing, we had our own internal marketing department and that was kind of like right when Facebook was coming on the scene and taken off, so we decided to spin out that group and start a marketing agency, and here we are 10 years later. It'd be our 10-year anniversary in January.
It’s just a really good a testament of how being creative when dealing with hard situations, and finding how to make the best out of the opportunity to avoid the collapse of what we were doing in the real estate space I think is, we're dealing with some of the mistakes right there.
Question: That’s awesome. Now, this is a completely different industry for you. So that was just a 180. Was that eye opening to have that as an experience?
Answer: Oh, it was eye-opening and extremely frustrating to be completely honest and transparent, because we were doing our own marketing but we weren't an agency. I'd never worked at an agency. I was an entrepreneur. We had this team in house that was doing web development and creatives and marketing and press releases but to go from working for your own company and making it successful where you really understand your vision and then try to help other companies with that, we made a lot of mistakes. I've probably made more mistakes than maybe anybody else you've had on the call or on the webinar before on podcasts, because we had no idea what we were getting into and we went very aggressive. Let's hire a sales team.
We started selling a tremendous amount of business because we focused on social media, it was the newest, hottest thing. Before you know it, we had customers leaving out the back doors as fast as we were bringing them in the front door. After about a year in business, we said, "Look, let's stop sales altogether. We've got this good book of business, let's just focus on fulfillment." We actually stayed the course focusing on fulfillment for about five years before we implemented any new sales with the marketing efforts. Just because we got so good at the fulfillment we were growing by word of mouth; we didn't really need a sales team.
Question: You made a comment earlier about blogging and content creation. Is that something that you try to build into most of your clients, or is that something that's just a go to strategy in some instances now?
Answer: I think it depends on the goals, right? I think if somebody's got a very tight, small amount of budget and they start with content creation, they may not see an ROI on that right away, it's more of a long-term investment like buying a house, you build all of that and in six months you've got some equity to spend, and 10 years you've got a whole lot more to spend. I think if a client needs an immediate ROI ads are going to be a much more formidable strategy, and what we try to engineer is a way to increase revenue in order to then increase marketing budget to do both the short-term and the long-term.
I think it depends on the set of circumstances, but in our strategy workshops, regardless of what the budget is, we do plan for that strategy. We map out all aspects of digital marketing so that we can then determine where the low hanging fruit is based on what's working for the competitors, and then when we get to the budgeting point, we can then prioritize what we're able to implement. But if six months down the road we're able to increase sales and now we've got the budget to do blogging, we've already mapped that out since day one.
Question: Do you see any other soon to be changes in this whole digital landscape of advertising and marketing that you're experiencing right now?
Answer: Oh, I'm on TikTok. I haven't jumped in yet, but I've been studying the hell out of it. And it's so hard because it's like, you see the trends and you know something is important and you... But it's so counter intuitive to my genre or my demographic.
I'll be 50 next year, and so for me to try to learn how to, how to do TikTok, it's a little bit harder, but I truly believe you've got to follow the trends. As an agency we can't ignore where TikTok is. And so we're consulting with some of our clients on it that are a little bit younger, younger demographics, and we're looking to, "How do we properly present, TikTok to an older more well established company and make it successful for them?" That's something, as an agency, we're engineering now. And so it's not the easiest thing for me to fully embrace, because it's not something I naturally gravitate towards going, "I want to do TikTok." But I think as an agency, we have to recognize where the patterns are.
Question: Your B2B strategies, I'm always interested because we're a B2B agency and we're always marketing ourselves on LinkedIn. What are you doing for your clients there? What are the best practices that you're looking at right now?
Answer: We do a lot of managing B2B clients LinkedIn accounts, using LinkedIn Professional Sales Navigator. In most situations we're either helping them develop a strategy, or executing on some type of partial sales within LinkedIn, doing connection requests, engagement, messaging, content. I see a lot of people on LinkedIn not taking their time. By what I mean is they make a connection and then the first message is, "Do you want to meet with me and can I sell you something?" We try to engineer something a lot more of a courtship of a relationship, kind of courting them, like as if you were dating somebody and you don't jump right into like, "Hey, let's go steady." It's like, "Hey, this is who I am, this is what I'm about. I'd love to find out more about you."
We try to engineer a series of engagements, along with sharing professional content and examples of your case studies, testimonials and so on to build rapport. We really advocate working up to an introductory call where you're giving them something for free, whether it's a consultative call. You've got to be willing to put yourself out there and dedicate some time to get to know somebody. LinkedIn will handle a lot of the courtship if it's done genuine and correctly, but you've ultimately got to be willing to commit time because you can't just expect a bot like atmosphere to book appointments for you because it won't work. That's what we help businesses do, and we're very successful at that with a lot of B2B companies.
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