Episode 6: Building your first digital marketing campaign with Geoff Main from Passionberry Marketing

Dec 13, 2019

Geoff Main, founder of Passionberry Marketing, a boutique agency that provides integrated marketing and communication strategies joins the Forward Thinking podcast to talk about all things marketing.

We cover a wide range of topics including why a cookie-cutter approach to your marketing will not work, why growth hacking is not the starting point of your marketing activity and how to take the first step and start a digital marketing campaign for your business.

Geoff also touches on business lessons that you can learn from your parents and how you can apply these to your business. How have your parents influenced your business life? Let me know in the comments below or the podcast reviews.

For any business owner who doesn’t know how to get started in digital marketing, this episode is a must-listen.

What you will learn

  • How to learn from your competitors while also staying true to your idea
  • The main marketing pain points that Geoff sees with the businesses he works with
  • Why a cookie-cutter approach to your marketing will not work
  • Geoff’s questions that he asks businesses when he starts working with them
  • How partnering with complementary brands can lead to a win for both brands
  • Why growth hacking is not the starting point of your marketing activity
  • How to develop your sales skills
  • How to build your marketing team
  • How to take the first step and start a digital marketing campaign for your business
  • Business lessons that you can learn from your parents

Resources mentioned in this episode

50% of all business fail within 2 years. One of the top two reasons is that business owners don’t know how to market themselves effectively.

PassionBerry Marketing

LinkedIn learning courses

Masterclass

The Mentor with Mark Bouris

Unicorn Hunting – Milos Nikolic

The Art Of War by Sun Tzu

SpyFu – Competitor Keyword Research Tool

SEMrush – Online Visibility Management Platform

 

Book Recommendation

Marketing Warfare By Al Ries and Jack Trout

 

Get in touch with Geoff

Geoff Main on LinkedIn

PassionBerry Marketing

 

Transcript

Brendan Hill:
Geoff, welcome to the show.

Geoff Main:
Thanks for having me Brendan, happy to be here.

Brendan Hill:
So you’ve been in marketing now for over 20 years. Can you tell us the story of your first exposure to marketing?

Geoff Main:
It probably started when I was really young. I love cricket and I, lucky enough, lived close to the ground in Hamilton New Zealand where I lived. So I had to try and work out a way of how to get into the ground for free and so I managed to find a way where I was selling pies and coke out of the pie cart, which had an unobstructed view of the ground. So it was great. And it’d just kind of go from there and do lots of fundraising for sports trips and stuff.

Brendan Hill:
And when did you come to the realization that this was an area that you wanted to dedicate a decent amount of your life to?

Geoff Main:
So I was at university, I was doing a management degree, but hadn’t quite worked out what I liked. I loved problem solving, I loved sort of building things, and I loved the strategic thinking, how do you make that happen, and then it was at summer school in my second year and it was my first time doing a marketing paper. And it just sort of seemed like everything came together. Like marketing was the genesis of this idea of where you can bring strategy and how you build a product or service and how do you really connect with people understanding their truths and how do you actually make something that actually can improve people’s lives. And it felt like marketing was the place where that started. Sales is important, making sure it’s profitable is important, but that kind of felt like that’s where the start was.

Brendan Hill:
Interesting.

Geoff Main:
I went from there.

Brendan Hill:
Awesome. And I mean now you’re working with a lot of early stage small business, meeting business and start ups. What are the main pain points that you see most of these guys are having?

Geoff Main:
They’re well rounded individuals with a couple of areas where they’ve got some specific knowledge. So either they’re passionate about what they do and have a really core understanding around the problem, or they’re very technically minded in terms of how to build a solution. But there’s sometimes like when I said how do I build this or how do I connect more people so they can come and find me. So not only just the acquisition, but then how do I retain these people, what’s important to them and how do I build something that I can then scale. And that’s a challenge everyone faces and there’s no cookie cutter approach. But if you’re able to think strategically and understand people and take a lot of those principles you learned from either marketing degree or just through life, you can then apply it to that specific situation and half the challenge for me is actually asking the questions of the startup and pulling the answers out of them, to then help them build a solution for themselves.

Brendan Hill:
So how do you get these answers out of the startups? Because I mean they have a lot of information obviously, hard to analyze, they’re close to their business every day. So how do you take a step back and help them on that journey?

Geoff Main:
Usually you always start with the core question, so what’s your unique selling proposition or why did you get started, what makes you different, what’s the problem you’re truly trying to solve. And sometimes they’ll say one thing and then sometimes you might use five why’s. So you might as them why is that important to someone, why is that important to someone, and they kind of eventually get the core of the idea they might not have got to yet. And then from there you start saying, okay, who are the people who are most benefiting. You start asking the questions about the target market and understanding what those benefits are and what product or service would do to help them. Then you start trying to match that up, versus say, market fit, product fit, sometimes the channels you might use and then actually what’s the business model behind it. Because you need to have all those four working together. But you start with the very beginning and then you just slowly but surely kind of build up and hopefully over time out of the initial sessions they usually get very clear on the market and the product. And then if they want to have other sessions it kind of comes clearer that over time for themselves or they’ll just have more conversations later on.

Brendan Hill:
Are there any stories that you can tell us of some success stories that you’ve had of businesses that you’ve taken through these processes?

Geoff Main:
Yeah, it’s interesting because I’ve worked a lot in corporate and a lot of what I’ve learnt out of corporate applies in startups, but a lot of what startups do and how they should work actually would help a truckload of corporates. It’s just the corporate inability … Or the challenge for corporates is how do you act like a startup entrepreneurial with all the rules around that. So one of the key successes is probably one of the more recent ones, which was Nabo, which was a social network for neighborhoods. That recently got bought out last year by Nextdoor and they’re doing a fabulous job trying to connect neighborhoods across the world. But the interesting thing for me was, when I came in, it was clear that it had some strengths and some weaknesses and I was actually building those out. So we had ground cover across a lot of parts of Australia, but not really focused on those, and if you want to create something that’s going to grow, you need to have those super strong advocates or foundations with it to market a service you provide to be able to grow. So I filled those out. Well, tried to fill it out as best as I could with the team.

We also looked at a lot of different acquisition strategies, but it became clear we needed to acquire people who were going to do three things for us, not just one. So one thing is to sign up, but you also wanted someone to generate content as well, and you also wanted someone who might reply or engage or come back and read. Then you also would ideally love someone who would potentially be a lead within that suburb who could help new users come on board, help answer FAQ and the works sort of things. So if you can get one person to do three or four things then you’re making your life a lot easier and you’re actually making things scalable.

So we did a lot of that. A lot of the focus around new users wasn’t around people who were going to become a new user, it was about people who were going to be a user in three months time. So I was focusing on people who were going to be more likely to be retained, which therefore makes you more valuable. So probably the easiest measurement I can have is when we started comparing the Nabo metrics in the same time period in terms of from when you started to how you’re going on your journey versus Nextdoor’s, we were well behind the eight ball when I started. And within nine months we were ahead of where they were at the same lifetime. So that was the major change and it was only once we’d kind of gone through that process of listening to Nextdoor to see where had we been successful versus them and what have they done and what were their learnings. Because it kind of gave you some validation about what you’d been doing. Because that’s one of the toughest things for a startup is am I doing the right thing, no matter what part of it. With the tech, with the engagement, with just how I treat my people.

Brendan Hill:
It’s an interesting point, you touched on analyzing the competitors and the companies in your space and a lot of startups and small businesses don’t do that in the early days. But as you said, it can validate your idea, can learn a lot of lessons, see what channels they’re using already. I mean there’s always that famous quote from Sun Tzu, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of 100 battles.” So there’s so many advantages of knowing what your competitors are doing, what’s worked for them in the past, what channels have worked, you can use tools like SpyFu and SEM Rush to see what channels that your competitors are already having success in. I mean what other reasons are there to research your competitors?

Geoff Main:
So there’s a bit where it’s a fine line between what do I learn from my competitors but also staying true to my idea. That’s a balancing act that goes all the way through. I think from your competitors what you’re trying to learn is … It’s like sometimes playing chess, if you know what your competitor is likely to do, you can actually not only counter that move, you can actually set yourself up for success. I don’t play the game Go, but I’ve seen how you can actually use Go to block your competitors off from certain areas. And so that’s something I really strongly believe in when you’re building the strategy is that actually technically you’re trying to block them off, it may not be clear when you start but it becomes clearer as you move on. So the key things I’ve found is you’ve got to build barriers of entry.

So dealing with say a local store for example, if you’re trying to be a premium product, build partnerships with the other premium brands in your area for sort of services that are like or in the same kind of consumer set as yours. So we work with Luxaflex, they do blinds, awnings, shades, and shutters. We’ve got a really strong partnership with them and we do a lot of really good work with them, but they do some great work as well. But what we focus on is, okay, who’s the best interior designers in your suburb, who are the best builders of developers in your suburb, who are the best architects, who are the best furniture stores. And if you’re working with those their consumers will likely be more likely be your type of consumers. So for the digital growth hackers out there and I’m not a fan of growth marketing for a couple of reasons, but it’s the same thing as look like audiences. You’re just taking these consumers are interested in furniture, they’re likely going to be interested in the same type of products when they look at windows, and that works.

As well as if you’ve got the best businesses referring people to you as well as vouching for you from a social proof perspective, you might not have worked with the store, but hang on, the store I really love, they love them as well, so they must be good. But you’re building in real life. Rather than those we do with Google review testimonials, video testimonials, and all this sort of stuff when we’re dealing with startups digitally.

Brendan Hill:
Very interesting. I just wanted to rewind a second. You said that you’re not a big fan of growth marketing or growth hacking. A recent sort of trend coming out of the Silicon Valley area from Shawn Ellis back in 2011 I think it was. So tell me your views of growth hacking?

Geoff Main:
Yeah. So it absolutely has it’s place, but everyone thinks it’s like an end result and good marketers do growth hacking, but they also do growth selling and they also set up retention and everything else. So growth hacking is very technical and that’s great, but you’ve actually got to align it with a strategy, so the growth hacking is helpful for executional plays, but people seem to start with this is the starting point, it’s not. So it’s really helpful. Like I love looking at some of the techs and going, oh, that would be really quite good, I could use that to help me with this type of campaign. The problem is you’re not aiming for a campaign, you’re aiming for a consumer and end result and acquisition. So actually growth is driven by having really sustainable processes in your start up. So if I have an automated referral mechanism where it automatically asks for a review and everything else, then that will slowly build and it will also save you time so you can focus on other things.

I know I’ve seen some people say that those processes are growth marketing, which if that’s the case, I agree with. But the growth hacking thing feels like it’s quite a technical piece. It can absolutely deliver multiple home runs with one specific tactic and those are the unique approach of examples that I see. But what you’re looking for is the really strongest products and startups and everything else that I’ve seen even talking to investors in San Fran when I’ve had the opportunity, it’s about the build. It’s about the strategy, it’s about building in those processes and building in things that are actually going to make a sizeable difference going forward rather than the small technical things.

Brendan Hill:
So that element of sustainability as well.

Geoff Main:
Yeah. So hacking is useful as a tool, but it shouldn’t be the end game that I hear a lot of people talking that way and maybe I’m misreading that, but I’ve always learnt that a great marketer is at least a good salesperson, has at least good people skills, and a great salesperson always has a least good marketing skills. Because marketing, it’s not about developing a brand, and that is part of it, but building a brand is actually to build a business model, build something that actually will last and deliver money if you’re profitable inclined or create a social good or make a difference within a community or whatever your purpose is as a business.

Brendan Hill:
So you mentioned sales skills, obviously ever small business owner, medium business owner, startup owner, I mean ever owner just in general needs good sales skills, how did you develop your sales skills?

Geoff Main:
So from what I’ve been told I innately had them, but you can’t rely on that. I’ve been lucky enough to … I’ve worked in a lot of corporate organizations, so I’ve worked at Tip Top Ice cream, which selling ice cream is a pretty handy things to do. So I’ve learnt a lot of the tactics around that, but also the strategies and had a lot of that really good sales training, I also had that out of Nestle. So that kind of allowed me to refine my skills. But then also all the stuff you do outside of work. So when I’m working for not for profits, when I’m working at trying to sell an idea to someone in my sports team about why I need them to play a certain position in the certain plays, a lot of the strategies are still there. And I think the other thing as well is just be really clear about who you are and what you do and if you’re consistent with someone then they’ll trust you even if you’re asking them to do something difficult or something that’s not in their best interests. And I’m pretty consistent around I want the best, I’m a glass half full person, I want everyone to generally succeed, I don’t believe success is a zero sum game where someone wins and someone loses. Yeah, that happens, but ultimately you can have positive results for both situations.

Brendan Hill:
Interesting. Same kind of statistic out of Harvard last week, it said 90% of businesses fail within the first two years and the top reason that they fail is that they don’t know how to market themselves effectively. So what would you say to a new business owner, they’re about to start a business, they read this statistic, what do they do next?

Geoff Main:
So for some business owners, and I think this works for startups, is that sometimes you just don’t jump in full bore. So you develop your idea, sometimes a lot of our startups develop ideas while they’re also working on their full time job. So what you want to do is test an idea, make sure it works, it actually resonates with people. And if it resonates you can actually take that step in saying okay, well let’s jump in full time, let’s do some work in terms of getting some funding, putting some money behind it, or spending more time. The three key resources anyone’s got is time, money, and people, and how you flexibly use that can make a difference for any business. If you personally believe in it but you have someone who can help you with the business model, someone you can trust, that works really well. I have a brother and his partner have run an antiquing collectible store for 20 odd years. There’s only so much marketing advice I can give to my brother before he tells me where to go. As with any good family relationship.

But talking to him he understands his market, he understands what influences people and everything like that. So sometimes actually saying, okay, from a business side, how we work the rent, how are we working our advertising, how are we doing these pieces. And my job is kind of sometimes to ask him the questions and see what his answers are and if that feels right for him then he’s making the right thing, but the challenge for small business is they don’t have those experts to call on and that’s one of the reasons why I started Passion Berry Marketing. If I can provide good experts it kind of takes the pressure off in one area because a business owner has to worry about not only just seven things, like 25 things.

So whether it’s marketing, legal, people, property concerns, actually delivering the product, all these different things, if they know they can have someone who’s handling four or five of those things for them then they can actually spend more of their time on some of the areas where they need to focus their time on. And I think every business benefits from that. I mean that’s why we have startups who try to scale. If they’ve got a really good CTO it’s like, okay, the pressure is off, I know that’s sorted. Now I need to work out who in my team can do some of the more ground work of getting new leads and who in my team can actually help me build a community event to reach out to people who are in need of help or need of assistance and they’re the people that we’re targeting.

Brendan Hill:
So you mentioned Passion Berry, your latest business. Can you tell us the story of why you started Passion Berry?

Geoff Main:
Yeah. I think the interesting thing for me is like I’m very lucky to have worked on several amazing projects and different things like that and I think the ability to work with people who are doing businesses that are wanting to make a sizeable change in what they do or are needing that sort of support and can actually kind of grow is quite interesting. I mean I still do I guess I’m a CMA for hire as well, hence my work with Nabo and Nextdoor. I was working on that full time, well close to full time, while also working on the Passion Berry stuff with my clients. I’ve worked with Security and with Luxaflex and a few others. But there’s this ability to find lots of really cool projects to work on. So I started it because a few of us were sitting around the table as marketers at this stage a mix of marketing managers and heads of marketing and senior brand managers going wouldn’t it be great if an agency could do this, wouldn’t it be great if an agency could actually put you first rather than you feeling like they’re literally just trying to hold on to a 30 grand budget because that’s the revenue that they need. Rather than necessarily sometimes putting your thing first.

And it was interesting because I was talking to a lot of Aussies and I said well, in New Zealand I’ve actually had a couple of those agencies who do that and I had an experience, we did a launch for Soothers Liquid Centers which was a functional product. I had five or six agencies who I’d work with for two or three years and finally got them all into the room to work on this project which was a major one. We tried launching the brand three times in the market and had failed each time. My boss had failed, my boss’s boss had failed, so everyone was kind of like, well what makes you different. So as a team we came together and said, okay, this would be how we would do this. How do you actually create a sizeable change with a consumer, also with the channels, the supermarkets remember these launches. And everyone kind of worked together and said, okay, we think we should do this. And when you’ve got a PR team saying, actually, we need to spend some more money on sampling. So I’d reckon you guys use budget will decrease a little bit of what we’re doing because I don’t think it’s as important as this. That’s a mindset change where everyone’s going towards a common goal.

So I sort of said, well what if I started out working on Luxaflex where I had a good relationship with the head of marketing who’s a super talented CMO. And she just needed help to organize the local stores and the franchises. So we just said, okay, we’ll give them the advice that they need as an independent person. Like if they want to take it that’s great and our job is to sort of sell that. But then there are corporates who need that. They need that organization that can step into a project and say, yeah, we’ll take that, and it’s a small project. Like a national agencies not going to do it or it’s not in their skill set or they have to try and get freelancers in. But that’s something we can do. So what’s happened is over time we’ve then been that agency who’s your MacGyver type element of okay, can you do this. And I said, well, we don’t have that skills in house but here’s two freelancers who are awesome who’d like to work with us. Do you want me to put you in touch with them or do you want me to project manage it for you, how would you like that to work? Sometimes they go directly in to that organization and there’s no benefit for me, which I’m fine with because I’m helping my client get to where they need to get to.

So it’s around being a really flexible resource. So we have our tagline or kind of what we say as a one liner is “experienced marketing specialists available as you need them, tailored to your project.” So I don’t have to sell this graphic designer 40 hours a week every week to my clients. It’s like no, here’s nine graphic designers, now you need this sort of budget, that probably takes out about four of them. You need someone local, okay, that leaves us with these three, and you’re needing a branding project for an idea which you’ve said, I need it to be orange and here’s a name, go create me a brand. There are only so many graphic designers who can do something like that versus where you’ve got a nice, neat, boxed brief. So okay, here’s the designer I’d recommend, they’ve done these sort of things before, and it takes pressure off our clients. The corporates and the mid levels, they go, okay, Geoff’s got this, Geoff and his team have got this, this is great. And then so we kind of go from there.

Brendan Hill:
It sounds like an amazing approach.

Geoff Main:
It’s doing the right things in the right way for the right people. And it doesn’t always work and we want to only work with partners who appreciate us as well as kind of understand what we try and offer. So we have a lot of our projects are ad hocs with the bigger sort of organizations. But it’s the same approach I take with startups, it’s the same approach I’ve taken with how I built corporate projects when I was working on the client side of Nestle both here and Australia and in New Zealand. How do you build a team that can get you where you need to get to? And that’s kind of one of the things that define us. And it’s having the right attitude but lucky enough to have those people in both my teams and everything else saying actually no, we need to look at it and understand the starters saying us we should do something different. And if you’re flexible enough to be willing to listen to somebody then you’re more likely to find the right results rather than just go steaming down the tracks.

Brendan Hill: Yeah. So what are your main pain points at Passion Berry at the moment? What’s in your black box? What problems are you currently trying to solve?

Geoff Main:
Yeah. So the interesting thing for me was at the moment it’s the same problem we’ve been trying to solve since we started. So that’s around sort of local marketing. So in an ideal world, it’s a model where local marketing is done by true marketing experts because the stores don’t know, is the guy from Yellow Pages just selling it me or does this agency know what they’re doing. At a price that a local business can afford. As you can imagine, especially in Sydney but even across Australia, not using 100% AI, it’s actually developing processes but not just assuming it’s going to do that, because humans connect with humans. So you actually need to have that both digital and the physical approach to your plans. Although it was scary looking at some of the latest sort of computer created humans I’ve seen one that looks really really real.

Brendan Hill:
It’s getting a bit scary, isn’t it.

Geoff Main:
Yeah. And the other thing was men’s mental health and a couple of different approaches to that, so there’s a couple of really good startups who are doing some space directly dealing with that, but also if you can take pressure off people, their mental health improves. So sometimes it’s about providing products or services that make your life easier. So as a scout I’m working on right now and then there’s a couple of startups I’m sort of supporting at the moment.

Brendan Hill:
Amazing. So you mentioned the local businesses are small guys who might not have any online presence. What’s the best way for those guys to get started?

Geoff Main:
So half of it is to start because nearly every local business is scared of making a mistake. And you know what, that’s completely fair enough. We’ve all been in the area with, how do I take the first step. And sometimes it’s about lifting the left foot and then placing it in front of you. So I think one of the things is have a look at what a lot of other people are doing, but then also be really clear about who you are, who you are trying to talk to, and how you can provide value. So it’s not about selling. If you do a good enough job of everything else, you will sell no matter what. But how are you helping them solve a problem, here’s our advice, here’s something that we’ve done, our clients seem to come in with these sort of problems, here’s generally the solutions that we’d recommend. If you’re looking for someone who wants to create a beautiful interior design, here’s another business we’d recommend. Here’s a favorite article that we’ve seen about trends that are coming out from this great organization that we really love working with. Build your story in the same ways you’ve built your career or you’ve built who you are.

So I still believe … I’m still a bit … It’s a bit of a, there’s a view about brands being human and things like that, but I think local businesses have the absolute advantage in that area. Because sometimes you are the face of that organization and being able to do that at a higher level, at a corporate level, is stuff that I’ve actually been able to do, but it’s so much more harder. So a lot of everything that we do at local applies corporately. The amount of times I’ve heard, “But you’ve not worked with a 20 million dollar budget.” And I’ve said, 20 million dollars is made up of 20 one million dollar budgets and it’s made up of $10000 ideas. So the point is if you build it from the bottom up as much as you take a top down approach, that’s how you spend the money. It’s just adding an extra zero sometimes. Which is a lot easier … The Nestle’s of the worlds money, the corporates money, the Com Banks and whatever big organizations or Uber’s spend, it’s a lot easier when it’s their money, not yours.

So as a store owner, talking to them, it’s about showing them what their return is, but also trying to find a way where they understand it actually moves them where they want to get to. Which is a business that they’re proud of, a business that allows them to spend time with their family but also meet really good people and work with really good people and actually some of them it’s about making a difference in their community, but that’s a side piece of making sure that there’s money coming on the table for their family. Because ultimately that’s the reason why they’ve got there for flexibility.

And then my dad was an electrician and I’ve watched the struggles. And I love my father not only just for being my father but for what he did in the approach and how he treated people and everything else and the love that he got back was huge for me and at his funeral it was amazing for me to see everybody, and people who I’d … 10 years ago when I was like 10 or something like that come out and just talk about him. And it’s just like, that’s what you want to create because at the end that’s the longer legacy you have is the impact you have on the people who are still around to be able to help them live better lives. So all these lessons you take from life and you apply them to what you do.

Brendan Hill:
So it’s really interesting that you mention your dad because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how have your parents influenced you in your business journey. So I mean when I was growing up I had a sister two years younger, so my mom took five years off work, she had a lot of side hustles, you know piano teacher, ironing, dancing classes. I mean also today there’s a lot of second generation businesses, parents handing the business down. What do we learn from our parents and what did you learn from your parents growing up and how have they shaped your business journey?

Geoff Main:
I think the parents are the people we spend most of our time with up until we sort of get into our teenage years, you kind of just see how they operate and you learn what to do and what not to do. I was lucky enough to learn a lot more about what to do. So I’m very fortunate for that. I mean, I know we talk about dad, but mum, serial entrepreneur. Like in a very, very small sort of sense. Like mum came from … She had parents then she had two kids early on in life and then she had to leave her first husband and then she was literally trying to survive. And so I didn’t understand that until I got into my late 20s or 30s when mum actually would talk about that.

But when I look back it makes perfect sense versus what she then did when I was there. So the home grown garden was huge because she believed in using the vegetables and saving money that way. So she loved to try and do something she was passionate about, but then find a way to make money from it. But enough to still allow her to actually keep doing it. So she would do knitting and knit clothes for people and sometimes myself, which naturally I’d try not to wear in public. But my brother, myself I think suffered from bowl haircuts. I think that stopped when I was about eight, which was thankful. And I’ve learnt from that lesson today to get proper haircuts. But then she did a lot of stained glass and she would create these amazing pieces.

Not only she would go to classes to learn but she was self taught and then she would surround herself with other people who could help her, but also she’d help them. And she was very giving with her time and one of the lessons I felt that she was way too giving. Like she’d give so much to other people sometimes I wish she’d give a little bit to herself. And it was just about how she built this community that enabled her to do more things than she could have if she was then by herself or just with the husband and the kids. And for me, I know I’ve taken that into my life here because I’m single with currently no kids, no sort of family side. But I’ve built a family of people around me who mean the world to me and support me and I will support them to the ends of the earth if I can. But I’m able to do so many more things with that community than I wouldn’t be if I didn’t have them. I think that’s something I learnt from my mum as much as the entrepreneurial side, it’s also that community side. And obviously it’s a lot harder nowadays because we don’t have as much of that community, I mean maybe you have that through the schools if you’ve got kids and stuff. But super important.

Brendan Hill:
It’s like the lesson is, everyone listening, if you own a business phone or message your mom and dad today and tell them thank you.

Geoff Main:
Yes. Thank your parents, sometimes even if you don’t feel like you want to. You should thank them.

Brendan Hill:
Yes, so I mean you’re doing amazing work at Passion Berry, so taking a bit of a personal angle now, are there any investments that you’ve made in yourself, could be a course, a tool, that have made a massive difference in the last sort of one to two years?

Geoff Main:
I haven’t been able to find that sort of one piece, but I’ve been actively looking. Like I considered do you want to do an MBA or not or that sort of thing or what are the digital online courses you should be looking at. So I try and … So my commitment to me is I try and make sure I’m doing one course a month on something. So it’s a linked in learning course, the master class courses that are from the states, Steve Martin talking about comedy. Like I haven’t done that one yet, that’s on my list. But I try and … Just to see if there’s something that resonates with me that I want to spend more time on.

Geoff Main: So there’s a couple of courses I’m looking at and going, okay, they look pretty good. But I haven’t necessarily found one which I’ve gone and gone all in on. So I’m still kind of looking. I find reading good books, reading good articles, following good podcasts like this one but also following sort of blogs and idea thinkers. A lot of it feels sometimes a bit consumable in the sense that you see something on LinkedIn and you’re on to the next thing and on to the next thing. It’s when you know that you see something and you stop and you think and you read and then you save it and then you go back and read it again and you want to use it for something else. And it’s trying to find those people who do that a little bit more often than everyone else.

Brendan Hill:
Yeah. So you mentioned podcasts. Any recommendations on marketing or business podcasts?

Geoff Main:
I think the Mark Burris one is quite good. I have a friend of mine who is from Nabo, Milosh. He’s got the unicorn sort of podcast. So for unicorn hunter. So that’s sort of quite still early stages, but Milosh’s thinking is quite an interesting way because he’s not only a CTO he also understands business having worked on a lot of startups. So that’s quite interesting. I have to admit I’m not as much of a podcast person as I am some of the written things I find to get myself into the right frame of mine during the day I have to listen to music. It gets me into the mindset of where I need to be, positive thinking, all that sort of stuff, and then I kind of might do some reading, a lot of video watching sometimes as well. Just in different areas where I’m trying to learn something knew.

Brendan Hill:
So what about books? Are you a big reader?

Geoff Main:
The last six months have been manic. So I have a pile of 12 unread books. One book I actually want to go back to in the same way that … Something that resonates with you is a book I recommend is The Marketing Warfare book. So it talks about not only the strategy but how you execute and how you pivot versus what your competitor is doing and understanding that you adapt to what your competitors give you. And actually that’s the easiest book I’ve been able to give to some of my juniors and say, listen, I’ve told you this, I’ve shown you this, go and read this. Because I’m reviewing what we’re doing from a local marketing perspective and what may be the next think that’s coming up in 12 months that I need to set up this business for in the next three months to have that process available for when it actually arrives. I’m actually going back to read that book.

Brendan Hill:
Oh, nice.

Geoff Main:
But I generally read lots of autobiographies and stories about … They talk about what they’ve done but you actually have to understand the thinking behind it, that’s the learning.

Brendan Hill:
I’ll definitely check that out. And that will be in the show notes along with everything else that Geoff has mentioned today. And final question Geoff, it’s a bit of an abstract question. We like to ask all our guests this one to get some creativity flowing. So you’re on the first flight to Mars with Elon Musk and the first settlers aboard the Space X star ship rocket. What business do you start when you land on Mars and how would you market it to the new Martians?

Geoff Main:
So one of the things to me is become indispensable. So if you become indispensable not only do you solve someone’s problems and do it in a way that actually improves their lives, but they’re more likely to get other people to come and use you because you also reflect nice on them. So if I’m taking that philosophy, because we’re the first settlers, I’d say like a personal concierge. So help people start their lives on Mars. So it might be, especially with the first ones starting as they arrive, making sure they’ve got experience, how do you find where you live, how do you get all the different sort of things and actually help them. And that way once you’ve done that they’re all very happy, get some testimonials, build a referral system.

Geoff Main:
But then what you’ll do is you would be working with Elon Musk and saying, hey, listen I can provide this service that can get more people onto Mars for you. He’s like, that sounds like a really good idea but I don’t need anybody, I need people that are going to pay like a million, two million, whatever the latest price is to go to Mars. So what you do is you might help find them, but if he’s finding them you’re helping people have a better experience in terms of going there. Because if they’re having a good experience on Mars, they’ll talk about their friends on Earth, why you should go up.

Geoff Main:
So you’d have some preflight marketing on Earth, all that sort of stuff. You might build a system that makes their lives easier so that you’re constantly solving their problems, and then you’re building data about them. Once you’re building data you actually can take that Amazon approach of, people have had this problem, you may also find this helpful as well. And just build that emotional relationship that’s actually people based. So it’s not just digital marketing, it’s actually people there to welcome you, hey, can we help you. So especially when you’re in a new place and I appreciate moving from New Zealand to Australia is not exactly like moving from Earth to Mars, but I knew two people when I came here, and for me when I came to Sydney which is where I first landed and I lived in Melbourne as well, the first nine months I didn’t feel comfortable at all. Everything was new, I didn’t know what the rules were, I didn’t even know the non official rules. So having someone to have helped me through that, and eventually I made lots of friends and that kind of help is invaluable and it’s something that you remember because it’s when you’re at your most vulnerable. So I’d go with something like that.

Brendan Hill:
Sounds amazing. The ultimate Martian onboarding experience. It’s data driven as well, going to get some referrals. I love it. So Geoff, just wanted to thank you for the time that you’ve taken today and the value that you’ve dropped to the audience. Is there anything else that you’d like to say before we wrap up and how can people get in touch?

Geoff Main:
Yeah, so listen, I hope it’s been valuable, I don’t like wasting people’s time. I know how precious time is, it’s the one thing you can’t buy sometimes. So if anyone wants to get in touch you can find me, Passion Berry Marketing, I’m on LinkedIn, so if anyone’s looking for, from a corporate CMO or if you’re looking for a CMO to hire, give me a bell I’ll see if I’m available. But if you want an agency that can actually help you and can work with other agencies without causing problems, then you should definitely give us a call, we’ve got lots of good testimonials and referrals. So happy to help anybody who just wants to have a chat as well. So if they just want to have a chat, I’m here to help.

Brendan Hill:
Awesome Geoff. And you can view all the show notes, which will feature all the resources that Geoff’s mentioned at metigy.com/podcast. Geoff, it’s been fun, thanks for coming in.

Geoff Main:
Thanks Brendan.

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