TRS 015: John Walker Founder and Principal of J. Walker Marketing
As a business owner, deciding on when and to what degree outsourcing is required to meet your goals can be an immobilizing decision. You’re not alone if you have simply shirked advertising tasks onto your sales representatives or other ill-equipped team members, but it’s not moving you forward.
Determining where your marketing budget should be spent is a big beast to tackle. Enter John Walker of J. Walker Marketing. John dives into how business leaders can begin taking control through analytics.
Can’t get enough of this episode and want to see John speak live? The Insight Marketing Conference is Lancaster’s premiere marketing event, and John is one of this year’s featured speakers. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, September 25. Tickets are available online.
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Marcus: Hey, marketers and business leaders, and welcome to another exciting new episode of The Revenue Stream from Web Talent Marketing. I’m Marcus Grimm, the Chief Growth Officer for Web Talent Marketing, and I am thrilled to have you back. On the second part of our multipart series where I’m interviewing many of the other speakers who are going to be joining me on stage at Insight Lancaster. Now if you don’t know about Insight Lancaster, as a reminder, again, it’s in September. It’s on September 25th to be exact. And on that day, marketers from around the US will be descending upon Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the oldest inland city in the United States for a one day event, full of fun and education. Now in its fourth year, Insight Lanc will be bringing together some of the sharpest minds in marketing, and for the next several episodes of this podcast, well, I’m going to be speaking to many of them including today’s guest.
Marcus: Now before I introduce him, I do want to direct you to Insightlanc.com. That’s Insightlanc.com where you can find out more about the event, and as we released this particular episode, I believe we’re still the crazy low early bird price of just $175. Folks, that is a bargain for this lineup; you will not want to miss it. Well, if you find today’s conversation to be very comfortable, well for me it is. I am joined today by John Walker. Now if that name sounds familiar to you all, two years ago John and I actually launched a podcast right here in this studio, which we called Marketing with Walker and Grimm. And we fired that up soon after I heard John speak at Insight Lancaster two years ago, and one year ago we actually presented together at Insight Lancaster. Today he’s on The Revenue Stream to discuss his upcoming presentation at Insight Lanc called the Business Owner’s Guide to Marketing. John, welcome back to your home studio for this episode of The Revenue Stream.
John: Wow. Marcus, I appreciate you having me on the show. I am so glad to be here that my mean-spirited jealousy over you having a new show is starting to subside.
Marcus: This might be an interview for a cohost!
John: Well, okay, very good. No, but seriously, I’m very pleased to be here, and I’m also pleased to be helping you promote the upcoming Insight Marketing Conference now in its fourth year.
Marcus: That’s right. It’s like when you have a baby, John, and like suddenly you realize they’re a child. That’s Insight Lanc now!
John: It’s getting into the kitchen cabinets now. We have to put some locks on the kitchen cabinets because the Insight Marketing Conference might get into the detergent.
Marcus: Yeah, you haven’t changed a bit John. But before we get into this program, let’s walk through this career progression of yours. We are sitting in the exact same studio that we produced our own podcast when you were working here at the LNP Studios, but you’ve had some changes recently. So take us through what’s going on with John Walker?
John: Sure so the last time we were together in the studio, I was the Digital Marketing Director at LNP Media Group and this building was my home office. But in April, I left LNP Media Group to start working on my own as a marketing consultant.
Marcus: And what do we call that business if we want to go to the site?
John: Sure, yes. We call this new business, J. Walker Marketing. So I work as an independent marketing director and my mission is to help business owners, and also marketing agencies, navigate the somewhat a confusing world of digital marketing. So I help them come up with marketing strategies to help their businesses grow.
Marcus: That sounds great. Now I’m assuming businesses going well. I know you rode your bicycle here, so I’m assuming that that was for the environment or your health and not because you’re just scraping nickels together.
John: That is true. Though, one of my daughters left me at a 92 Honda Civic, which has 200,000 miles on it. And when I’ve been driving around in that, I think people are saying, “Yeah, I think Walker’s fallen on hard times!”
Marcus: I have no doubt that businesses is booming. John, your bio’s got all types of buzzwords in it. You know, we could talk about marketing for hours– and you and I have– but, for people that don’t know the John Walker origin story, how do you describe your career progression?
John: Sure. Yeah. So I’m a relative newcomer to Lancaster. I’ve been here only 26 years, which I think for Lancaster is, you know, a newcomer. I grew up in northern Virginia. Went to New York City after college and started working in advertising. So my first job was a media planner on Finlandia Vodka and Jose Cuervo Tequila– I don’t know if you knew that. But you can imagine that those brands seem pretty appealing to a 22 year old. Now the pay was low, as a media planner, but you know, I was on a team of people who determined which magazines ads would appear in for Finlandia Vodka and Jose Cuervo Tequila. So you can imagine that the salespeople from those magazines were very willing to ensure that I did not lack for food and drink. So it was a lot of fun.
John: After that I moved to Saatchi and Saatchi where I worked on Procter and Gamble’s Ivory soap brand and then Cascade dishwashing detergent. And Procter and Gamble, you know, those folks know a lot about marketing, and they have this rigorous system of developing and testing advertising. And that was a real education for me. So I learned a great deal about advertising and marketing. After that we moved, my wife and I, moved to Lancaster and I’ve had a series of jobs in advertising, digital marketing, et cetera.
Marcus: Outstanding, and now here we are with J. Walker Marketing. Now, you and I were recently out having a beer or two and I was kind of teasing you. I was trying to help you out– I saw the old Civic! And I said, “You should be talking to these people. You should be talking to those people,” and you are very wise or I should say, maybe, you were lazy. We’re going to get into that. But you were very specific about what you are doing with J. Walker marketing and what you’re not doing. So from a positioning standpoint, how are you positioning yourself, and how are you looking to provide value?
John: Yes. So my observation over, particularly at my time here when I was at LNP Media Group, was that digital marketing is complicated and business owners need a guide. So I work with business owners as their trusted guide to help them develop the right marketing strategy. And then I partner with organizations, perhaps one day Web Talent Marketing, to get these programs implemented– I partner and I make referrals. So what I’ve observed is that business owners are in a challenging position right now because digital marketing has gotten complicated, right? There’s lots of flavors of digital marketing.
Marcus: There’s not a week that we just don’t add more buzzwords to the soup is there?
John: Absolutely, and so it’s become complicated. Now, there are lots of good practitioners out there who not only make a good case for selling their particular digital marketing services, but to give them credit, they’re probably good at it. But really what a lot of business owners need is they need help figuring out which of those services to buy and in what proportion and what their overall plan should look like. So that’s the area that I’m focusing on.
Marcus: And that makes a lot of sense. It brings us right to your speech that you’re going to be doing at Insight Lanc. According to the website at Insightlanc.com, it’s The Business Owner’s Guide to Marketing, and I want to start with that title. Many agencies, a Web Talent Marketing included, we find that our primary customer is the marketing director or maybe the VP of marketing, but by having a title of the business owner’s guide to marketing, you’re just bypassing that going straight to the top at least for this presentation. How come?
John: Sure, that’s a good question. And the reason for that is that what I’ve observed is that larger organizations tend to have a marketing director on staff, and those larger organizations are getting what they need in terms of strategic help from their marketing director. Smaller organizations, and particularly organizations that are small enough to not have a marketing director but large enough to be spending a decent amount on advertising, those folks need strategy help. They need help making decisions based on analytics, developing budgets that align with their goals. So it’s that kind of in between business. The one that’s not big enough to have their own marketing director–
Marcus: The one that knows they need marketing and they’re probably even spending some money on marketing, but they just don’t have that key expertise in house.
John: That’s right. And I spoke with a business owner last week who’s spending several hundred thousand dollars on advertising, but there’s a great deal of uncertainty there. There isn’t a strategy in place. There’s not a lot of confidence about the results that the business is getting from this investment. And that’s the type of business owner, particularly, that I’d like to work with and help.
Marcus: Well, let’s start with one of the key bullet points in your presentation which is understanding the key role of the business owner in marketing plans. You know, I often feel like there are two types of businesses. There are those who view marketing as a revenue generator and those who view… “Oh, it’s an expense!” It’s like health insurance. And I get the feeling here that you’ve kind of made it your mission to go to those people perhaps who view it as an expense and say you don’t necessarily need to think of it that way.
John: Yeah, for sure. That that’s a key distinction, and I think that marketing becomes a mere expense when it’s not done properly. And when a business is not either able or hasn’t taken the time to see if it’s delivering a return on investment or maybe it’s not delivering a return on investment. I think the gap there is often strategy and analytics. So if you have strategy that says let’s make sure that you have the right mix of advertising and marketing initiatives, let’s make sure those are aligned with your business goals, and then let’s use analytics to determine whether you are actually getting good results. That’s when marketing more consistently becomes a revenue generator.
Marcus: And there’s probably an Aha-moment for that business owner, then, because they’re not just spending the money. You’re actually able to say, “Hey look, you got X out of this, or even you did not get X out of this.” But you can have that type of analytical conversation with yourself.
John: For sure. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do. And you know, your next question is about budgeting, and I’m glad you’re asking that question cause that’s, that’s a key part of this.
Marcus: Yeah, because now once you get over the fact that okay, we’ve gotten the business owner understand, they should think about marketing strategically. Now we get into this elusive conversation of budget. And how do you suggest business owners even think about budgeting for marketing?
John: Well, it’s interesting you ask that because this same conversation that I had with the business owner last week turned to budgeting. And it seems like when you’re talking about marketing strategy, it often comes ’round to budgeting. And the small business administration would say as a guideline, a small business should spend 5% of gross sales on a marketing and advertising. Now you and I have talked at length about this…
Marcus: I hate those numbers, John.
John: Really? Well, how come?
Marcus: I appreciate what the SBA does, but you know that’s an aggregate number. So a great example, and as you know, John, when we fired up the last podcast I was in commercial construction, and I think I’ve got a soapbox speech about this. But your average commercial construction company makes about a 10% margin. Okay? So when the SBA comes out and says, “Oh, you should spend 5% of it on marketing,” well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out you’re saying I should spend 50% of my gross profit on marketing– which of course is ridiculous. And so, one of the things that I truly believe, and I know you believe, is it’s really contextual. So I’m curious, you were in that meeting last week with the owner. How’d that conversation go?
John: Well, related to your example about commercial construction, the way I like to think about budgeting is start with 5% and then apply some filters to that. And the filters are one margins. So if you’re in commercial construction, you know your margins are smaller. The other factor is in commercial construction, as you can probably speak to, very long purchase cycles, very sales oriented. So perhaps, you know, mass marketing and advertising is less important.
John: The other factors I’d consider are: do you have a strong competition in your market? Because if you do, you may have to outspend your competitors. And then the third, the third factor is, are you in kind of a growth mode or are you in a maintenance mode? Because if you’re in a growth mode, again, you may have to budget an inordinately high amount, maybe higher than you would spend on an ongoing basis. But what I suggest is start with a 5% number and then put together a series of advertising and marketing tests. So you’re not going to spend all that money, but you’re going to say, “Look, in the first quarter of a fiscal year, let’s assume we have that, that amount. Let’s, start spending at that level,” assuming you’re not a commercial construction.
John: Let’s run some tests. Let’s fine tune the formula, if you will. Let’s get some results, and let’s see how it’s going. So it’s kind of a test, measure, evolve approach.
Marcus: And you know, one of the things that you said there that I don’t think business owners think about enough necessarily is that sales cycle. I love the idea of saying, “Hey, we’re going to evaluate this,” but you really got to know when the goal line is. Can we realistically make a call on this in the next 60 days, or are we going to have to– you know, it’s going to be longer?
John: Well, and some businesses are so seasonal. I mean, if you’re in the lawn and garden business, your season is probably March through June, and you’re gonna make or break your year then. If you’re in the retail business, it may be Thanksgiving through Christmas. So, you’re absolutely right. You may not be able to calibrate your budget sort of a month by month, but you might have to do it during the key selling season.
Marcus: Question for you, John. When you’re dealing with these smaller businesses, are you trying to push them into digital because you’ve got more data, or not necessarily? How do you do that when you’re trying to put budgets together?
John: No, I don’t necessarily come at it with the standpoint of yes, you should be doing digital. I try to come at it from standpoint of what are your goals? And then from a CPM basis, a cost per thousand basis, what’s going to be the most appropriate way of reaching your goals?
John: On one of our prior podcasts, you used the example of a conference sponsorship, and you figured out the CPM for that and it was extremely high. But you also said it was extremely targeted. The timing was right. You know, the medium is the message. So being at the right type of conference makes a lot of sense. But having some sort of a ruler by which you can measure the relative cost of different advertising and sort of hold that up against their goals, I think that’s where you start. And where it might end up? It might end up in outdoor; it might end up in radio. Usually digital is a part of the mix, but I don’t go in presupposing that it’s going to be most of the mix.
Marcus: Yeah, and I think that, people like myself, we almost have a gut reaction to go straight to digital only because, well, there is proof! There’s proof of what I did for you. But it’s a great point that digital is not always the way to do it. So once that budget’s in place– Now you’ve done the hard work, you’ve got the business owner to say, “Okay, I believe you, John. I’m going to go to the church and marketing, and I’m going to put X% at it,” but oftentimes I find where business owners really struggle is when it comes to messaging and creative development. First off, why is that the case?
John: I think one is that these appear to be easy, but they’re hard to do well. Marketing appears to be a game that anyone can play, and it looks easy so business owners often try to do it themselves or delegate it to maybe a successful sales manager.
Marcus: Boy, that’s a great point. Where this first part of the conversation, nobody thinks setting a marketing budget is easy, but when it comes time to design the ads, boy, everyone’s got an opinion, don’t they?
John: For sure.
Marcus: Sometimes they bring in the head of sales!
John: Right, right. And I don’t want to give us more credit than is due, but let me jus use a kind of comparison point. If you are working in the area of legal strategy, if you had a legal issue, you would not consult with somebody who had not passed the bar exam. You would not consult with somebody who had not achieved a certain level of knowledge. The same is true in accounting, and the same is true in other certain professional service disciplines. Strangely though, marketing just appears to be a game that anyone can play.
John: Anyone can write a sentence, anyone can draw with a crayon. So it would appear that marketing is a game that anyone can play, and sure some people have good instincts about it and over time, business people sort of develop the right instincts. But it is not something that you can come at without understanding any of the principles and expect to do well. And that is particularly true of messaging and creative development.
Marcus: Do you think also that we often get in a situation here where the owner of the business might be too close to it to really view it through the eyes of a potential prospect?
John: That is absolutely true, and it’s interesting, one of the points that I want to make about the role that business owners play, is a business owner– Part of their job is to advocate for the product, and in contrast to that, part of the marketing’s job is to advocate for the audience.
Marcus: Oh, interesting.
John: And there’s a certain sort of dynamic there pushing and pulling that’s going to lead to a healthy middle ground in terms of messaging and creative. If no one is advocating for the product and saying these are the features and benefits, that’s a problem. And in contrast to that, if nobody is advocating for the audience’s views, perhaps that they don’t care about those features and benefits… you’re not going to get to the right balance point.
Marcus: Let me ask you this question: You made an offhanded comment a few moments ago about lots of times this gets delegated to the head of sales. Why is that bad?
John: I’m glad you asked that question. So sales and marketing are closely related in a way that manufacturing and logistics are closely related, right? Very closely related, but they are distinct. They are distinct expertise. The advocating for the point of view of the target audience, often the end user, is something that’s hard for some sales managers to adjust to. Sales managers are often charged with sort of pushing the product through the distribution channel. Many times sales managers are selling to distributors or sales managers are selling into retailers. Making the jump to then focus on what is the end user, what’s their point of view, that can be tough. And just because those two are closely related, just because both are tied to revenue, doesn’t mean that a good sales manager’s necessarily going to be a good marketing manager or vice versa.
Marcus: And I think this also goes back a bit to sales cycle. I was actually having a great conversation with somebody last week, and they told me that one of the holistic problems they were having in their own organization was they really believe they had about a 90 day sales cycle, but these sales managers were being driven by 30 day budgets. And so what happens is, when you go into a creative meeting, the sales manager, through no fault of their own, is looking at messaging or creative that will drive results this month. Which, you know, may not be holistic for that particular product or service.
John: Yeah. Marcus, let me come back to– I mentioned that there are particular techniques that are needed to do a good job of messaging and creative, and I just want to touch on one. And this goes back to one of the early episodes of our podcast, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. So law number two comes to mind, and that’s the law of the category. It says that if a competitor owns positioning inside a category, it’s going to be very hard for another player to unseat that business from that category. So if your competitor, for example, is touting lowest price in the market. If that’s their strategy low price, low price, low price, you can’t build your positioning and messaging around the lowest price unless you plan to outspend that competitor by a wide margin. So you need to find another position. So that’s one simple technique. Understanding what your competitors position is that’s going to be critical in crafting your own position to be successful on the creative front.
Marcus: That’s great advice, and I think the other thing is you can’t be lazy about it. How many businesses, regardless of the industry, regardless of the market, regardless price, say, “We’ve got the best service.” That’s very, very difficult to defend. It’s very, very difficult to prove. And in an era of declining trust, I think most people call BS on it relatively quick. Do you have any other tactics for how you see yourself helping business owners to think about creative and messaging differently?
John: Well, let me give one more example. We had a client once, many years ago when I worked in advertising, and it was a pretzel business, and they were interviewing agencies. They said, “We only have one main criteria that you have to abide by if we hire you, and that is that the tagline has to be ‘Pretzel-vania.'”
John: Which basically if the tagline or our main selling point is predetermined before any of the work is done, you really don’t have much chance of success. I think it’s easy to mistake, and I’ll take the example of, of Procter and Gamble. Procter and Gamble brands, you know them by their tag lines. Tide for a while had TIDE’S IN-DIRT’S OUT. Those are sort of catchy jingles. What’s not clear is the months or years of research, work, testing, and product development that went into those. So it’s a real mistake to sort of judge a marketing strategy by the tag line or just sort of jump to that final execution point and say, “Yeah, it’s ‘Pretzel-vania.’ We’re done.”
Marcus: Two things happen. I’m not familiar with that tagline. So either your agency was successful at changing their mind, or as you and I are joking here, the idea was so bad that it did not last in my mind.
John: Well, I can’t remember what business it was; I just remember hearing that was the criteria for the pitch. And I think that might’ve been the end of our involvement.
Marcus: It might be one of those where you read the RFP and you say, “Yeah, I know how this story ends.”
John: Yeah. But you asked about techniques to help business owners plan, and I think the main one is looking at analytics. Even businesses that haven’t been rigorous about tracking data that’s going to guide them for marketing strategy, tend to have a lot of data already. So the activities they’ve been doing in social media, all of the data that’s been generated by their website, any sort of response rate data that they’ve had from email marketing or even from direct mail, all of that data, that’s where I like to start.
John: I want to pull that together. I want to see what that’s saying. I sort of refer to that type of data as the footprints of the customer. So I want to look at the footprints, and I want to see where the customer is headed and I want to start with that. And then going forward, any kind of marketing tests or marketing initiatives we put in place, I want to make sure that we have data that validates what’s working.
Marcus: And I think also you need to have the guts to realize that, if the audience is right and you’re wrong, you need to pivot. So let’s take your Pretzel-vania idea. If you can’t move the business off of that… Okay, great! We’re going to do a series of Pretzel-vania posts, and you know what? The analytics might tell us, it’s not a terrible idea or the analytics might be what we need to convince somebody to go, “Yeah, that’s not what people care about or are moved by.”
John: That’s a really good point. And that’s how the marketing world today is a lot different than it was when worked on Procter and Gamble many years ago. It’s easier to test things today. It’s easier to gather data. It’s easier to make faster decisions using digital media. So as you just stated, you could easily run a banner ad campaign with different creative. You could see which has the highest click through and engagement, and make your decision.
Marcus: I’ll tell you what, one of the things that I have seen happen, and I’m pretty happy that it’s happened, I feel like my creative meetings used to be longer because people were fighting for their ideas. Now I find we don’t fight nearly as much because we’ll run both and we’ll let the data dictate.
Marcus: So now we’ve established the budget in place. We’ve got a plan to deliver creative effectively. One of the interesting questions, and I know me personally, my views on this have changed over the past 15 years. I’ve spent half of that time agency side, half of that time brand side, but this whole do I insource it or do I outsource it question– And that can apply to large companies where your marketing team has 10-15 people and certainly applies to what you’re talking to right now as the business owner who may not even have a marketing director. So how are you navigating that question when somebody says, “Gee, should I bring in a marketing department or should I outsource it?”
John: Yeah. So like you, I’ve spent roughly half my career on the agency side and half on the client side. So one of the things that I think is clear, is that there are certain types of marketing tasks that are better done in house and there are some that are done by expert suppliers, whether it’s LNP Media Group or whether it’s Web Talent Marketing. One of the things that I want to do is help business owners make that decision and navigate that. So one of the things that I’m trying to do in this new role, is I’m trying to be a sort of objective third party. I don’t have a team behind me, and so I don’t have mouths to feed. I’m not trying to sell any particular type of campaign. So sometimes what I’ll do with a business owner is say, “Let’s look at the staff that you have, and let’s talk about what they’re doing. Let’s see if maybe they could be redirected a little bit so that their work falls in line with your new marketing strategy.”
Speaker 2: Let’s talk about their career development so that they’re getting certified in Google Analytics, and they’re moving their way up the career ladder and they’re also helping your business more. With that said, there are particular areas of deep expertise that are required, and you well know this at Web Talent Marketing. For example, the work that you’re doing on Amazon, some of the SEO work that you’re doing, paid search, those are distinct areas of expertise. And those are areas that it’s hard for somebody to learn those in a short period of time. So for a business owner to then tap the expertise of a team like yours, that’s going to be the most efficient and effective way of getting results sort of in the short term.
Marcus: I think that’s a great advice. You actually bring to mind– I’m going to talk a little bit about one of our clients and the way they’re approaching it. Paradise Solar Energy, which is a tremendous provider of solar panels basically across Northeast US, came to us towards the end of last year, and they were a little bit burnt out of the process of throwing marketing dollars over the fence and not seeing what came back. And they said, “We’ve got these two young marketers, and we want them to grow in their expertise, recognizing that there are certain things that probably are beyond them.” And so our experience with them over the past several months has been really kind of fun because, in some cases, we do the work. They’re looking for a very technical SEO application, and our team says, “Hey, listen, it took us 10 years to get smart on this.” And in some cases we say, “Oh look, here’s things you can do in house.” I mean that type of collaboration makes sense for businesses where that that’s their goal. Where they want to understand this digital piece.
John: Yeah. Well, particularly in the area of analytics, I think it’s important that most businesses have at least some ability in the area of analytics so that they can sort of control their own destiny. So that they can determine is this working? We’re going to be the arbiters of that and then we can make decisions from it. But some of those distinct areas of expertise, yeah, those are going to be tough to develop quickly.
Marcus: I also feel like, through the years, I still very much believe personally that social media often is handled best in house because you do want to understand your customer/ you do want to understand the conversation. But where an agency can provide value is putting a framework of discipline into it and saying, “Okay, how often are we posting? What are we posting about?” Trying to set up a structure. So to your point, the analytics then make sense because if you’re just posting willy nilly or not posting willy nilly, it’s gonna be a little bit difficult to read the tea leaves, if you will.
John: I agree. Social media, I view that it’s partially a marketing channel, but it’s partially a customer service channel. You don’t want to outsource customer service. You don’t want to outsource the customer service experience. At least owning parts of that or having a real understanding of it and monitoring it is going to be critical for businesses.
Marcus: Yeah, outstanding. Well, it’s going to be a great topic, a great presentation when you come to Insight Lanc in September. But I’m going to take this opportunity to run you through the ringer here, Mr. Walker.
Marcus: You know, one of the jokes about marketers is that, not unlike doctors who are miserable patients, we often don’t take our own advice, John.
John: Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s funny and it’s true. And I gotta tell you, as soon as I embarked on this, I became a small business. I became a business owner, a very small one, but I started acting like a business owner in some ways in that I have been very hesitant to invest in mass marketing because I’m counting every penny, just like business owners do. And I’m determined to see a return on investment. So you ask if I’m sort of following my own advice? In some ways I am. One is that I’m trying to be very disciplined about identifying a niche and devoting myself to that niche single mindedly. And the niche that I’ve mentioned is marketing strategy. So I’ve had clients say, “Hey, can you run this campaign?” or can you do this other thing that’s outside of my niche.
Marcus: I even tried to give some leads outside of it!
John: I know you did. And it’s tremendously tempting! You and I were meeting and you said, “Hey, why don’t you run this campaign?” And I am thinking to myself, like a business owner, that’s revenue. Boy, I like that. But I’m also saying to myself, “Okay, but let’s talk about where I can add more value than anyone else in the marketplace and where I can’t.” And so in the area of running campaigns, there are other people who are better at it than I am. In the area of strategy? Well, that’s the area that I’m really devoting myself to. So hopefully I’m following that sort of doctrine of stick to your knitting.
Marcus: Right, outstanding. So you set it up. You walked out of here in April and said, Here I go!” Like anybody else, you put together a business plan, and business plans are always kind of fun because the moment you write them and you’re like, “This is exactly what’s going to happen.” It’s like that book, The Secret, right? Cast that out into the university… But, yeah. What were some surprises? What’s been happening for you?
John: Well, so the foundation of my business plan, at least from a business development standpoint, has been to meet with and talk to lots of people. I’ve probably reached out to about 60 people. I’m actually keeping a list. So the $10,000 question for me related to my business plan was, what happens after I meet with those 60 people? How much business do I get? What happens to the business? And the surprise if you call it a surprise, has been that things have worked out even better than I hoped, and I have to thank the Lancaster business community for that. The surprise has been that people were even more supportive and encouraging to me then I hope they would be. So I am very grateful for that. People have met with me. People have given me encouragement, and people have even hired me! So, it has been great so far.
Marcus: Well, I am glad to hear that, John.
Marcus: Okay. That sound, John? It means– We didn’t do this on our podcasts: the Marketing Minute.
John: Oh, okay. I guess this is when you pepper me with questions. Right?
Marcus: That is Right. This is rapid-fire marketing questions. I have had a blast reconnecting with you today, John, but this is the Marketing Minute, so we’re going to rip right through it. You’re ready?
John: I’m ready.
Marcus: Here we go, buddy. Apple or Android?
Marcus: All right. You’re going out for a drink and you can’t take Marcus Grimm. Is it going to be Don Draper, Elon Musk, or Steve Jobs?
John: Steve Jobs.
Marcus: All right. He’s going Apple two for two there. John, if I were to take a look at that computer screen right now, ad blocker or no?
John: Ad blocker. Tell me about that, John.
John: All right. So I’ve become sort of a fanatic on privacy. I know, it’s ironic, but I value my privacy. And I think we may have gone a little bit too far in some of the targeting techniques that we have.
Marcus: Fair enough. All right, sir. Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest.
John: LinkedIn for sure. 100%.
John: All right. And I’ve seen a lot of great content that you’ve been posting there lately. Now, John, we’ve talked about your business plans and we’ve talked about revenue. So these days would we find you to be a cord cutter or a cable-holic.
John: Cord cutter.
Marcus: Is that right?
John: Yeah, but I’m still trying to crack the code on that. What I’ve found is that I can cut the cord and save like $4.99 a month. This whole cord cutter thing: people are like, “I saved hundreds!” But how much were you spending to start?! So if you have any tips, I’d appreciate that.
Marcus: Outstanding. And finally, and this one’s just for you! Is it a Johnny Walker Red or Black?
John: It’s Johnny Walker Red. I’m some something of a scotch drinker, and Black was sort of out of my price range for quite awhile. So it’s generally Red.
Marcus: Outstanding. Hey, John, I’m sure people would love to get a hold of you. Obviously they can come see you speak at Insight Lanc in September. Looking forward to it. Insightlanc.com. Get those early bird tickets where they can. Hey, you even got a website spun up for yourself. Where can they find you there?
John: Jwalkermktg.com. Now you’d think as a marketer, I would’ve gotten a better URL, but hey! It’s Jwalkermktg.com. It was the best I could do.
Marcus: There’s always next year! Hey, I want to thank John Walker for joining us today. It’s been a lot of fun. He is one of the great speakers in our lineup for insightlanc.com. Certainly you can learn about Web Talent Marketing at webtalentmarketing.com or insightlanc.com. You’ve been listening to The Revenue Stream from Web Talent Marketing. I’m Marcus Grimm.