Improving Your Marketing from the Inside Out

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Kirby Monestime, marketing maestro, shares his game-changing insights on transforming your marketing approach from the core.

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Kirby Monestime, marketing maestro, shares his game-changing insights on transforming your marketing approach from the core.

With over two decades of industry expertise and a knack for innovation, Kirby has cracked the code for building an unshakable brand presence and shares how important it is to make sure that our marketing starts from within.

Kirby’s entrepreneurial spirit and go-getter attitude have propelled him to the forefront of the dental marketing arena. As a strategic force behind CARE Market Group and many other companies prior, he has honed a personalized, diagnosis-based approach that strikes the perfect balance between high performance, helping people, and employee well-being – a winning formula for any business.

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Damon warmly welcomes Kirby to his show. He asks the guest about his journey into marketing.
Kirby reveals that he initially started in a call center role at JP Morgan Chase before transitioning into marketing within the credit card divisions of various companies like American Express and General Electric. American

Express was the first to establish a social media marketing department. Currently, Kirby works at CARE Market Group, helping dental practices define their growth strategies. Kirby thanks the collaborative effort of his talented team, including a CEO with over 20 years of experience in dental and marketing fields, and his dentist brother, for providing comprehensive support to dental practices.

In Kirby’s view, marketing is about establishing connections and achieving multiple returns on investment (ROI), such as attracting patients, boosting production, and increasing revenue. It is imperative to understand both—the target audience and employees to create a cohesive culture that enhances the overall marketing strategy.

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Similarly, the marketing maestro discusses various acquisition tools, including direct mail and digital channels like search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Ads. He lays stress on enhancing customer experience, whether in a physical or online setting, with factors like ambiance, teamwork, and content value. Kirby successfully aligns these elements with the CARE acronym—Culture, Acquisition, Retention, and Experience—as fundamental components of effective marketing strategies.

Damon commends Kirby for his concise yet comprehensive overview of marketing. He particularly appreciates Kirby’s belief in customer experience, team dynamics, and culture. Great marketing efforts ensure that every interaction, including customers walking up to the front steps and entering the door, contributes to a positive experience and ultimately attracts and retains customers.

Kirby agrees with Damon and mentions the interconnectedness of various marketing elements, such as online ad evaluation. For brand recognition, it is important to understand the ideal target audience to tailor imagery and messaging effectively. He shares insights from his experience in coaching clients on identifying their ideal target audience and underscores the necessity of consumer research in building an effective marketing strategy.

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Moreover, Kirby advocates for a mindful approach to marketing, focusing on solving the problems of the target audience rather than solely promoting one’s own ideas. Doing so requires thorough research to ensure that the brand effectively resonates with and supports the ideal target audience.

Damon refers to a common challenge in business ownership that the target audience may differ from oneself. He shares a recent conversation revolving around understanding the distinction between buyer persona and owner’s personal preferences. Damon suggests business owners feel their customers’ needs rather than projecting their own preferences onto the business strategy.

Kirby acknowledges the innate human tendency to believe in one’s own ideas and strategies. Leveraging user-generated content in marketing strategies enhances authenticity and credibility. Kirby encourages businesses to display customer reviews and experiences on social media platforms, allowing others’ voices to contribute to the brand narrative.

Agreeing with the guest, Damon reflects on the increasing reliance on reviews over the past decade that has enabled people to make more informed choices.

Kirby expands on the concept of reviews, advising clients to consider a broader scope when soliciting feedback. He suggests that reviews can encompass interactions beyond direct product or service usage. For instance, if someone has had positive experiences or interactions with an individual or brand, they can write a review based on those interactions, even if they haven’t directly used the product or service.

Damon comments on the impact of customer experience on differentiating businesses, noting that it often serves as a competitive advantage. He asks whether people sometimes overlook focusing on their competitive advantage enough in their marketing and businesses.

Kirby agrees with Damon’s observation and discusses the frequent oversight of focusing on one’s competitive advantage in marketing and business strategies. In saturated markets, having a unique competitive advantage is crucial for attracting and retaining ideal clients. It is important to integrate the competitive advantage into all aspects of marketing efforts, including content, website, and ads, to build a cohesive brand story.

Damon shares observations from TV ads, noting how some companies excel in marketing while others miss the mark. He cites an example of a plumbing company in Seattle that effectively differentiates itself by airing meticulous care for customers’ homes in its ads.

In response, Kirby advises utilizing multiple marketing channels to create an effective strategy tailored to the target audience. He discusses the potential of social media strategies to complement paid advertising efforts, citing examples like contests to broaden reach organically. In his view, a balanced strategy combines different tactics, with organic marketing and paid advertising playing a crucial role in long-term success and sustainability.

Likewise, Kirby notes that the majority of individuals use the internet to discover new products, services, or brands. He suggests that unless a business already has a well-established audience, search engine optimization (SEO) remains crucial for attracting new customers. Kirby says that SEO is a reliable method for drawing potential clients to a business, particularly for those seeking to expand their customer base.

Damon finds the point about prioritizing customer engagement over SEO intriguing. He shifts the conversation to ask Kirby about his insights into the evolving marketing practices and consumer behavior over the past five years, considering the impact of factors like COVID-19.

Kirby discusses technological advancements like AI and the increasing influence of social media, particularly accentuated during the pandemic. He observes a shift in consumer behavior towards being more open-minded about engaging with brands through various channels. Kirby acknowledges budget constraints for some entrepreneurs but advises them to remain open to exploring different channels as they grow, utilizing feedback from existing customers to understand the potential behavior patterns of new clients.

Damon inquires about recent technological advancements in the field, as Kirby mentioned AI and technology.

Kirby responds with the evolution and benefits of CRM systems and AI technology in marketing. He relates how these tools streamline operations, allowing business owners to focus on their core competencies and talents. By using CRM systems, entrepreneurs can efficiently manage customer data, personalize communication, and optimize marketing strategies.

Kirby is excited for the rest of 2024 and aspires to share his knowledge with others. He envisions speaking on stages and aims to continue livestreams like the one he’s currently involved in to manifest this dream. His goal is to mentor and coach entrepreneurs and small business owners, particularly those struggling with marketing.

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marketing, people, ideal target audience, marketing strategy, ads, feel, competitive advantage, business, entrepreneurs, customer, brand, work, reviews, strategy, dental practice, great, content, kirby, damon, crm systems
Damon Pistulka, Kirby Monestime

Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I am your host, Damon pistulka, and I am so excited today because we have none other than Kirby modesteem here today talking about marketing. We’re going to be talking about improving your marketing from the inside out. And I know no one probably realizes what that title means, but you certainly will after we talk a while. Kirby, thanks for being here today.

Kirby Monestime 00:31
Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here. It’s always great to hang out with you. So thank you.

Damon Pistulka 00:36
Yes, you are repeat offender, man, and I’m happy that we could make this work again,

Kirby Monestime 00:41
you know.

Damon Pistulka 00:42
And I always, always, always love talking with you about a variety of things, marketing, personal development. I think we’re going to talk about that a little bit. You know, our journeys in that and and how that all ties together in marketing. So how tell us first. Kirby, again, for those people who may not remember, how did you get into marketing? I mean, you started in American Express, doing things all the way. I mean, you, you’ve had a illustrious career in marketing. So yeah,

Kirby Monestime 01:14
I’ve had a I’ve had a wild journey, and super blessed in that journey, but I went to school for business management and marketing. Actually, my minor was in marketing. It was not my major and and when I graduated, well prior, prior to graduation, I was working for JP Morgan Chase in their call center, their credit card call center. And once I graduated and got my degree, they promoted me into a marketing role, and it’s, you know, when you start in one industry, it’s always easier to get your foot into similar businesses that are in that same industry. Yeah. So, so ultimately, my career took me from, you know, JP Morgan Chase to American Express, to General Electric all in their credit card divisions doing marketing, and as a matter of fact, for American Express, I started their first social media marketing department. So that was pretty exciting and fun several years ago, before social media was as big as it is today. Yeah, but just proves that, you know, there’s a place for all different strategies and all different channels in your marketing strategy. So I started there today. I work for an amazing, amazing, amazing company called care market group. We help dental practices who are in the middle of defining what their growth, their next phase of growth, looks like. We partner with them to create the marketing that’s going to pivot them right into their next phase of growth. So, you know, I have a very talented CEO that’s been in the marketing, I’m sorry, in the dental and marketing industry for over 20 something years. That’s part of that company. We’re working with the her brother, who is the CEO of some other companies as well. He’s a dentist with an amazing mind. So all of us come together, we put a lot of great energy into it, but we understand the dental landscape, and we know how to support dental practices and really going to the next level. So whether that means they want to sell to a larger dental services organization, or whether that means they just want to take their existing practice and increase in sales, or, you know, fully staff themselves, or, you know, just get to the point where they’re operating at a different level. We can help them with all of that growth. Yeah. And I’ve done a ton of things in between, in between notes, but I took you from the from the beginning kind of to the end.

Damon Pistulka 03:58
Yeah, yeah. So, you know, I don’t really have a lot of experience with the dental industry, sure, but I’ve gotta, I’ve gotta believe that something as calm as a common as dentistry, that the marketing is really key to, you know, staying top of mind, or, you know, just keeping your keeping your chairs full,

Kirby Monestime 04:24
yeah, you know, marketing is the science of connection, right? And and at the end of that connection, there’s multiple ROI that you’re looking to achieve. So whether it’s patients and seats, whether it’s overall production, whether it is, you know, overall revenue at the end of the day, you know, all of those things require a marketing strategy in order to ensure their level of success, right? And so, so we take pride in really understanding who our patients are, right? So I think at the fundamental level. Of any marketing strategy, whether you’re doing it for a dental practice or whether you’re doing it for otherwise, you really need to build a culture, and part of that culture is understanding who your who your target audience is, but also understanding your employees and the people that work with you and for you, and how we connect all of those people together to create a seamless experience, right? Culture is a huge part of your overall strategy. And then we think about, you know, acquisition, right? So what are the tools that are that we’re going to use to acquire people in the dental industry, in the healthcare space, you know, direct mail works really well. I know for some other for some other industries, that may be a little antiquated, but I do think there’s something to be said for you know, when you’re working in the healthcare field and there’s or you’re a potential patient looking for a resource in the healthcare field, that you have something in your hand that’s tangible, where you can see kind of the culture of the office, the locations, the services they provide. So direct mail plays a plays a big part in the overall marketing strategy, but so do the digital channels, right? So search engine optimization, you want to be sure that people can find you and by creating consistent content and having that content really be robust that no that not only makes you a subject matter expert in the field, but it also helps to increase your rankings on Google and other search engines, right? So search engine optimization becomes part of your strategy. In the dental offices, we have a heavy focus on Google ads. Because, you know, where do people go when they’re Yeah, for when they’re searching for a resource that they don’t have access to already, right? Everyone’s using the internet today, so making sure that you know you have a presence on the Internet is really important. And then the the big, another big piece that kind of ties to culture is what’s the overall experience. And again, you know, a lot of the things that I’m going to talk about today and share is not specific to just dental offices. It’s about marketing in general, and it’s about it’s about a customer or a patient’s journey in general, right? So what type of experience do they have when they step into your facility? What is the look? What is the feel? What is the camaraderie amongst the team members? If it’s a brick and mortar, if it’s not a brick and mortar, and it’s an online entity. How do I feel when I’m reading your content? Am I connecting with you? Are you giving me value points that really allow me to solve a problem that I might have and do it in a way that’s going to really be optimal for me as that patient or that consumer, right? So, and if you notice what I did there is what care stands for in our in our dental practices, it is culture, acquisition, retention and experience, right? So, those are some key critical components to a great marketing

Damon Pistulka 08:20
strategy. Very cool, yeah. Well, you it in about three minutes. You tied everything in marketing all together there, which is super cool, man, it shows your experience. Thank you. So one of the things you hit that I love, I love, absolutely love, is that you talked about customer experience, the team, the culture, because I think a lot of people get think that, well, I can just market and people will come to our door or come to our website and and buy from us. But the customer experience, whether that’s in person or online is so critical anymore that if, if you know, if you’re like a dental practice, if you come into the dental practice and people aren’t friendly, that’s a big deal.

Kirby Monestime 09:10
Yeah. I mean, I certainly agree with you, Damon, like the experience is a critical component to your overall strategy, and it’s thinking about every touch point, right? So if I use the dental office as an example, it’s, you know, when I, when I walk up to the front door, how am I feeling? Well, most people are, you know, they’re going to a dental practice, they’re feeling some sort of intimidation. They may be feeling some kind of fear, stress, anxiety, whether they’re thinking about the treatment that they’re they’re about to receive, if that’s going to hurt or not, or whether they’re thinking about, okay, my insurance can actually cover this? Am I going to have an out of pocket expense? There’s a lot of emotions, and there’s a lot of feeling that people are stepping into that, that appointment with, right? And so, you know, you want to make your ex. Experience robots, from the second that they open the door to how they’re greeted by your, you know, patient care coordinators or your front desk receptionist, to what is your waiting room look like? To what is, you know, what’s playing in that waiting room. Do you have a TV? What is there? Is there soothing, calm, kind of content that’s playing on that TV. Do you have marketing around so that people can sense who you are, right? So your brochures and posters, people are going to get a sense of how you operate as a business based on the experience that you provide from them, from the second they walk into the door until the second they exit the door. So you always so as business owners and as entrepreneurs, we always want to think about and put ourselves in the shoes of our consumer and say to ourselves, okay, you know, how do I feel when? And then fill in the dot when I fill in the blanks, right, when I walked into this practice when I stepped to and you know, the front desk to check in when I sit in the chair and I’m either being seen or spoken to by a dental assistant and then by the doctor or the hygienist, right to when I’m checking out, and how am I paying and what’s my experience from My insurance company, and do you accept my insurance company? All of those apps, those facets, contribute to your overall experience. So I would argue that experience is a huge part of marketing. The customer’s experience and marketing go hand in hand, and when you tie those things together, you really create a scenario for yourself where you have a positive strategy and a great strategy for marketing in your practice.

Damon Pistulka 11:47
Yeah, yeah. And I think this is these are universal points too, because you’re walking through this customer journey and thinking about it in ways, from the customer’s perspective, that if I’m in a business and I am, say I’m an HVAC company, or I’m a roofing contractor, or I’m a medical provider of some other sort, or anything, you know, chiropractors just say is, like, what is that? What’s going on in their mind when they’re starting to look for us like you said, talked about Google ads. Do we have the right ads that get them? And then you said to the the content, the robust and and really relevant content for them that answers that question at that point for those, those potential customers, is huge, all the way into walking up to the front steps and going to the door, yeah.

Kirby Monestime 12:46
And it’s all interrelated, right? So even as an example, if I’m searching for something online, right? And I am, you know, and an ad pops up, right? Me as the individual or the consumer, whether it be consciously or subconsciously, I’m evaluating that ad in order to determine what my next step is going to be, yeah, so it could be the imagery that you use too, right? So knowing your ideal target audience is going to help you define what’s the type of imagery am I going to use in my ads and my brochures and all of my marketing material. And does it? Does it coincide with who my ideal target audience is? Now, what’s my brand vision? What’s my brand mission? What is my competitive advantage? You know, I talk to people all the time about the power of the competitive advantage, because no matter what industry you’re in, most industries have a competitor right next door, right down the street, yeah, yeah, a click away that that a consumer can go to, right so your competitive advantage of what makes You stand out in the marketplace is going to be one of your contributing factors as to whether or not you’re going to glean this new person as a customer or not. So as I talk to people about marketing, whether it be from the dental practice standpoint, I also have my own marketing company as well where I help all sorts of clients, except dental clients, because that’s a conflict of interest. But I help all sorts of other clients, and in that practice, one of the things that I always coach people on is identifying your target audience. And if you don’t know who they are, take a pause, take a beat, do your consumer research, figure out who they are, and then go back to your to building your strategy, because without identifying your ideal target audience, you don’t know how to speak to them. You don’t know what your visual esthetic should be. You don’t know what your mission and vision should be. It’s hard to identify those components without having an idea of who your ideal target audience. Bit,

Damon Pistulka 15:01
yeah, that’s that’s huge, because you you have to understand, just like you said before we were talking. And when you understand that target audience, who your customer is likely going to be, then you can talk about their concerns, their education they would like to see, what they would like to understand about you what’s really important in a customer testimonial from them all the way through, to really help show them what you need to show them about you that gets them to the No, down the no like and trust path, far enough for them to reach out yeah and, and either come to your place of business and do business with you, or or search further, or, in the case of a dental practice, call and schedule an appointment or schedule an appointment online.

Kirby Monestime 15:53
Yep, you know you, you’ve probably heard me say this before, because I say it a lot, but you know, if we have to learn to remove the ego and ourselves from our idea of what marketing should be, yeah, if we were, if we were our ideal client and we were buying from ourselves all day long, then let your ego run wild, right? But the fact of the matter is, most people, most entrepreneurs, business owners, they are not looking for themselves. They’re looking for new clients. So when you’re looking for new clients that are not yourself, there’s a there is a mindful aspect that goes into marketing, where you have to say, Okay, this is a great idea, and this would work for me, however, is it solving a problem for my ideal target audience? And if you don’t represent your ideal target audience, you have a little more work to do, right, to dig and find those people, to make sure that what you’re offering represents and supports that ideal target audience. So you know, part of marketing is removing the ego and focusing on the ideal target audience, whoever that ideal target audience is. And if you are your ideal target audience, then that’s great, but there’s still some more work you need to do, because you’re only a feedback group of one. You’re not a feedback group of many, so there’s more work you need to do to make sure that your brand is effective in the space that it’s playing in.

Damon Pistulka 17:29
Yeah, that’s great. And you mentioned one, one thing that actually, actually came up with me today, with someone, and not in a marketing conversation, but just a business conversation, and I was explaining to someone, I said, you have to understand that the people buying from us are not you. They’re not me. This is what this buyer looks like, and this buyer is is someone that we are not talking to right now this very same conversation because it’s so easy as an owner of a business to get tied up into what I would do, where I what I wouldn’t do as a customer, and you know, me and a teen clothing store, as a teen clothing store owner, I just need to be quiet and go look at every talk to everyone else, and be mindful of what my customers really want, not really what I think they should want. And that’s a huge thing to get over in some businesses,

Kirby Monestime 18:27
and it’s a challenging thing. Listen, we’re all human beings, and the human the human mindset, is just to listen to what we all think we’re right. We all think we know it. We all think we’re right. We got the strategy mapped out. It’s great. It’s done. But there’s so much power when you allow other people to bring in their ideas, to bring in their thoughts, to bring in, you know, experiences that they’ve had, it will bring power to your brand. Actually make you even more effective. And that’s why, even when we talk, like, when I talk to clients about social media strategy, I’m like, use user generated content, like, what are your what? What are the reviews that other people are providing about your business, post that on your social media page, because then it’s not your voice, it’s somebody else’s voice, yeah, actually sharing their perspective on the experience that they’ve had with your business, and people will lean in more to that than if it’s just always your voice that you know resounding within your content. So so the use of user generated content in a marketing strategy is a really great way to kind of break down the walls and and have an opportunity for other people to become part of your marketing strategy.

Damon Pistulka 19:49
Yeah, yeah, that is cool. That’s cool. And that the reviews are always so powerful too, because hearing others say good things about you or bad, depending. On what it is, you know, is, is, is at least perceived as the truth. And that’s a it’s a good indicator for a lot of other people. I mean, I was just searching for something yesterday, and I was looking at reviews. And I looked at a lot of reviews, because, you know, these important decisions, you want to make sure you’re making the best choice, and you want to see what people said good and bad, because you can tell. Because the other thing I always, I always, when we talk about reviews, it’s always interesting to me to read reviews and read negative reviews, because if I’m buying something or I’m buying a service, you can learn so much from those reviews, even the negative reviews, because what was important to one person, you may not care at all, sure. And if I have three people that say, well, they, they, whatever, whatever, you know, they didn’t call me fast enough or something, you know, I really don’t care about that. Well, that’s it. That might be a non issue for you. And I think that the whole thing, and the the increase of reliance on reviews over the last decade or so really helps us to choose better places.

Kirby Monestime 21:17
And you know, now that we’re on the topic of reviews, you know, this is something else that I like to tell my clients, right? And I want to share a little tip on reviews. So most people think that, or most people like as entrepreneurs, we typically won’t ask somebody for a review unless they have utilized our product or service, right? But a review is so much broader than that. So let’s just say Damon that you have, you know, a service that you offer to somebody, right? And I’ve never used that service before, but I’ve certainly had conversations with Damon as an individual. I know that he has a ton of subject matter expertise. I know that he’s a connected individual, and that he really, really connects with people on a deeper level than something that’s just surface, then somebody can write a review about that and be transparent to say, I haven’t specifically used his services, but as an individual, he’s a stand up guy, and I suggest that you at least have a conversation with him, right? Because a lot of a lot of consumerism is based on relationships, how people when people buy, and how they buy, and the buying decisions that they make are based on how they feel, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and so if you can tap into how that individual is feeling in a way that brings about tons of positive attributes, they don’t necessarily even need to know about the product or service, they will connect with The brand or the individual or the entrepreneur, and then they will be more apt to try that product and service and create an experience of their own. So I always say, you know, regardless of whether you know somebody is utilizing your service or not, if they’ve interacted with you, if you’ve given them some kind of education, if you’ve connected them with somebody, if you’ve had a positive experience with them, you can write about that in your review as well. And again, I encourage people to be transparent and just say, Hey, I haven’t used this specific service. However, as an individual, I think that you would align really well with the values of you know that Damon has because you’re both similar in that right? And in that aspect, you should try having a conversation with him, yeah? So the review is not just about the product or service. It’s about the business, the brand, the individual, the people that are working there. There’s so many different components that you can utilize to write a review based on, yeah,

Damon Pistulka 24:01
that’s a great point because, you know, there are some businesses just starting out, there are some businesses that, you know, honestly don’t have a ton of customers that or or don’t have a ton of customers that would leave reviews. I mean, there’s that that as well. So that’s a great point because it can be broader than the actual product or service, but it can still speak to the quality of the individuals in the business. And

Kirby Monestime 24:25
guess what? Usually, the quality of the individual lends to the quality of the service, usually, usually buyers to that, but usually it’s the same,

Damon Pistulka 24:34
yeah, yeah. Say real quick hello to Inger. Hey, Inger. How you doing this evening here, and we got emu from California, alright, and, and I believe it’s Ellie, yeah. Hi. Ellie, yeah, yeah, yeah. So, and she said, when it feels authentic, it will flow effortlessly and efficiently. That that’s the way that customer. Experience should go. I mean, absolutely it is so crazy, the difference that we see. And you know, you can have, like you said, two, two, the same businesses side by side, and the culture and the way that people are treated, the customer experience into is so much different at that, it is your differentiator, it is your your specialty, or whatever, your competitive advantage. And that’s Do you think that sometimes people forget to focus on their competitive advantage is enough in their marketing and in their businesses

Kirby Monestime 25:40
all the time, absolutely and the end. And the challenge with that becomes, again, you know, if your market is super saturated, then there’s, there’s opportunities for your ideal client to find somebody else. And your competitive advantage is something that is unique to you, and it’s unique to your business, but should be part of your marketing strategy. It should be integrated in your content that you put out. It should be integrated in your website. It should be integrated into your ads, right? It becomes part of that culture, and it becomes part of your brand story. Your competitive advantage should be part of your brand. So as people are, you know, as people are experiencing you, they’re also experiencing that competitive advantage, and they know why they’ve employed you over somebody else to to help support them. But yes, Damon, so many times as business owners, as entrepreneurs, especially, we skip the step of figuring out what makes me different than the other 100. You know, marketers that are out there, yeah. And that’s really important,

Damon Pistulka 26:56
yeah. And you know, when we talk about competitive advantages. I think that so many people get caught up in that. Well, I I do plumbing just like the plumber down the street from me, but we all have different competitive advantages that if we take the time to find them and then recognize it across the organization and even institutionalize it a bit more so it’s, it’s one of those things that we just do that that can become almost an anchor point in your marketing,

Kirby Monestime 27:30
absolutely. And you know what your competitive advantage can be just as simple as the type of experience that you provide, right? So if you know, like you were just mentioning the plumber, right? If every plumber, if I’m a plumber, and I’ve created my, my plumbing company, and my, my competitive advantage is that with every single client that I meet, you know, I send them a thank you card afterwards, or I, you know, I don’t know. I leave them a branded plunger. I don’t know. It’s like, it doesn’t have to be this monstrosity of a thing where you’re like, oh my gosh, what is it? It’s just your your competitive advantage are the small steps that you take to connect with your audience that ideally, people in your industry are not doing, yeah, and that’s and it’s you standing above the rest. So yeah, that that competitive advantage is truly important. I really ask, you know, and I really, as I talk to entrepreneurs, I I impress upon them the importance of just identifying what that is and making sure it’s really, you know, laid out in their marketing, and it’s really distinct and delineated, so that people can see that, yeah,

Damon Pistulka 28:50
it’s, it’s interesting and, and I don’t watch a lot of television, but the little bit that I do watch, and I do watch in the evening, You know, around the news time and things like that. And I really, you can really, as I talk about marketing with more people, and I get to like yourself, and then you start to watch some of the the advertising, the TV ads. There are some people that are really good at it, and there’s some people that just miss the vote because they’re they’re here in Seattle, there’s a plumbing company. I don’t even know what the name of it is, but i i That’s bad because I didn’t remember that. But the one thing that you always can tell from their ads is their people are very neat. They are they, they they show how before they step in the house. In the commercial, they take the time to show that they put the booties on. They then take the time to show how they lay down a mat before they do the work. So they’re they’re showing them meticulous care for your home that they’re going to give your home when they come into it. And I thought that the other day that that was really. Interesting because they’re doing plumbing. Let’s get, let’s, let’s be real, right? You know, it’s plumbing, right? Like a lot of us, we do a lot of stuff like that. I’m not saying that’s, that’s a hard job. I know it is. But the but the way you can differentiate are, it’s just those little, tiny things done really well.

Kirby Monestime 30:17
Yeah, it’s little things go a long way. So, yeah, I certainly agree that it’s really important to just identify what that thing is and make sure that you’re utilizing

Damon Pistulka 30:31
very, very cool. Well, I got a question here. I can’t tell who it is from here, but they asked this, do you think brands can grow organically without using paid ads,

Kirby Monestime 30:44
I do, but let me clarify that. So in my opinion, any any good marketing strategy is going to have some key different channels in it. You’re not going to just utilize one channel. It’s going to be a combination of channels, and it’s really going to be based on, you know who your audience is and where they are, right? Um, so as an example, you know, you can utilize a strong social media strategy to get your messages out, to share video content of what you do in your business, and that could be just as powerful as having, you know, paid ads, and maybe you do contests in your social media channel where it’s like, hey, tag a friend and you know, you’ll win something, and that friend will win something if you comment X, Y and Z, right? So now what you’re doing is you’re broadening your reach. You’re without paying for ads. You’re actually utilizing a contest or a strategy to get your existing target audience to now invite their friends to your page, right? So, yes, is it possible to grow a brand without, you know, organically, without paying for ads. Yes, do I think it’s sustainable? Probably not, depending upon the industry, the product and the service, it may not be sustainable over the long term. So you want to test and learn. You want to try a couple of things. You want to see if, even if you start at a small budget with your ads, you want to see what kind of return on investments that that’s bringing to you. You know, Damon, we’ve had these conversations before. And another thing that I always say, and I’m sure you’ll remember that I’ve said this before, is, marketing is an investment. It’s not an expense, and you and as as individuals and as entrepreneurs and as people who are building businesses, a critical thing to remember is that you need to think of marketing as an investment if you want long term success. So anything can work for a short period of time, but when you want sustainability, you’re going to need to deploy a strategy that’s a combination of a couple of things, and ads would probably be a strong part of that combination.

Damon Pistulka 33:12
Yeah, yeah. I mean, it is, especially if you’ve got a local brand, I think it would be, it would be, not necessarily, especially if local brand. But it’s hard anymore, because of the the amount, like you’re talking earlier, you know, people search Google for everything, yeah, or a certain, a similar search engine. And it’s, it’s really hard, if you’re not well known, to to come out of the the the trees and be found. And that’s, that’s really all we’re trying to do is get that, get that initial look that brings them in for another, another bit of a look.

Kirby Monestime 33:54
Yep, so and your ads are part of a strategy for you to be found, right? So again, I do, I think it can work in the short term. Sure, if you’re looking for sustainability and long term growth, you’re going to want to consider having some sort of ad strategy as part of your overall strategy. Now, again, again. I just want to you know, depending upon your industry, depending upon your product, depending upon your service, there may be some differentiation there, but for the most part, you know, ads work,

Damon Pistulka 34:27
yeah, yeah, you know. And someone said this to me in a in a recent marketing conversation, and I didn’t realize this. It was a manufacturing discussion, and they were talking about that. You know, this made me think of ads, but they were talking in terms of SEO, and they were like, well, you know, our SEO is important. We want to make sure we’re showing up, but SEO is not the top of the list for us, because we are trying. We know who our customers. We know. The customers that we want to see, and we have to really be more concerned about being talking to them appropriately, and getting in front of them in all kinds of ways, because they’ll find us when it’s appropriate, but they have to see exactly what they need when they find us. I don’t know if I’m 100% in that with them. But I can see where the differences in business definitely dictate how much you’re using all this, because we have all these tools in our tool belt that we can use for marketing. And, you know, some may be heavily dependent on social media. Some may be heavily dependent on Google. Some may, you know, on something else could be like you said, direct mail might be a really good option for people, but it’s so interesting. So

Kirby Monestime 35:47
my question to that that individual is, how are those people finding you? How are they finding you? Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 35:55
I was, I was thinking about the same thing. I was,

Kirby Monestime 35:58
most people use the internet, most people are using the internet if they don’t already have a product or service or a brand in mind that they’re going to utilize, they’re using some kind of online tool to be able to find those types of clients. So unless you’ve got an already established audience, and granted, some people may, maybe you’re in business for 20 years and you’ve got you all you’re looking to do now is retain your existing clients. Then perhaps, yeah, search engine optimization is not something that’s important. But if you’re looking for new blood, and you’re people that is going to be one of your most you know proven ways of having those people come to your front doorstep,

Damon Pistulka 36:42
yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. I thought it was just an interesting, interesting point. I was like, I’ve never heard that, but I think it’s interesting. I don’t know, but so as I was going to ask this too, because you know, you’ve been marketing a long time, right? And so well before covid, through covid, now after covid, how do you think that the whole marketing and buying habits of people has changed through the last five or so years?

Kirby Monestime 37:18
So, I mean, I think that there’s more technological advances. I mean, AI is a big one where it’s changing the landscape of how people promote content and how people search for the things that they’re looking for. I think that, you know, since the pandemic, listen during the pandemic, so many people were sitting on their phones on social media. So the the power of social media to connect with people and to help help brands, you know, sell services and products versus just connecting, has grown in that time frame as well. So there’s, I feel like we continue to evolve, and we continue to change, and the technology continues to enhance, and people are more open to making purchases based on other experiences. So seeing something on social media, you know, seeing getting a referral from, you know, a an online referral platform looking for, like, looking at a my Google business page and saying, Oh, I might want to utilize that business. I think people are more open minded to different ways to connect with brands. Then, you know, then they may have been five years ago, and so we continue to evolve so and that’s another reason why you always want to have an integrated marketing strategy, right? You don’t want to solely rely on okay, I’m just going to do social media marketing, and I’m not going to do anything else, because your audiences and people live in different places, the more exposure of your brand that you have in different places, the more opportunities you’re going to have for people to find you. And granted, you know, I know some of us out there are entrepreneurs. We’re just starting our businesses. And you know, some people are saying, Kirby, I can’t afford to do all of these different things, and that’s okay, as long as you’re open to as you grow as a business, as long as you’re open to exploring some of the channels that are really going to help you expand your brand and listening to your audiences, right? Listen to the people who are buying from you. Ask them all, right, where did you find me? You know, what other what other channels do you use to find brands and things that you purchase? Because, remember, birds of a feather flock together. So, so if you use your existing customers to understand the potential behavior patterns of your new customers, you’re going to be a step ahead of the game in terms of. Of you know how you bring in new clients into your into the bubbles, yeah,

Damon Pistulka 40:03
yeah. That’s for sure. That’s for sure. And it is. It is. You said it multiple times today, that integrated marketing plan, really knowing how it is going to be, this piece, that piece, that piece, that piece, working together to really find your ideal customers where they’re at and continue to keep them aware of you

Kirby Monestime 40:25
absolutely. Yeah, important.

Damon Pistulka 40:29
So what is you talked a little bit about AI and technology. What are some of the exciting technology things that you’ve seen developed recently?

Kirby Monestime 40:37
Well, I utilize AI for a lot of things. So, you know, I I have become dependent on it, but I think it’s great in terms of, you know, help not only just research, but from a content perspective, um, there are a lot of CRM systems that are out there that are now evolving and developing, so that you can literally run your entire marketing strategy on some of these, you know, hubspots and thrive, and, you know, all of these CRM systems that are out there. So I think that’s that’s evolving as well, and that piece of technology is great, you know, it’s, it’s really great when you have a platform where it’s like, okay, I can load up all of my customers, and I have something that’s tracking, you know, not only their buy in patterns, but the critical key things that are important to them, their birthdays, their anniversaries. You know, how do I send them? When do I send them an email or when, like, it’s a having a CRM system, I think is one of the things that, you know, I’ve seen grow and evolve over the last couple of years. Oh, wow, yeah, that is really helpful to the person who owns the business and is trying to operate their business.

Damon Pistulka 41:55
Yeah, I agree completely this. It’s really pretty amazing how CRMs have evolved in the last five years. We’ve, we’ve had one in our company for years and moved to a different one simply because that one wasn’t evolving as fast as the rest of the market. And and when you can do, as you said, we went from five or six different tools down to one to do what we need to do, and that is that’s huge, huge for just everything from, like you said, building, building and landing page to email marketing campaigns to social media and and contact you know, customer management, like originally, are made to do, just Making sure you’re doing things.

Kirby Monestime 42:41
You’ve got some powerful CRM systems out there right now that even do your segmentation and your targeting for you, right? So it’s like you, you know, and then it spits out like your content or your marketing piece, you know, there’s, there’s just so much power in that. But what it also helps you do as as an entrepreneur, is be really thoughtful about your overall strategy. Spend time on this thing. Listen, God has given us all talents that we are in charge of giving to the world, right? And so if you’re spending you know, marketing is one of my talents. If I’m spending my time in finance and giving that to the world and trying to figure that out, I’m robbing people of that marketing experience that they should be getting from me, right? So as entrepreneurs, we got to think about the things that we love to do and that we’re good at, yeah, either hire people or utilize the tools and technologies that are out there to do the other stuff so that our God given talents are the things that we are putting out into the universe. Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 43:46
that’s, that’s a great point. And you know, part of the part of the title of today is, is improving your marketing for the end, from the inside out. And I really believe that when, when you can let the when you adopt a philosophy of personal professional development in your business, in your culture, in your in your ecosphere, even, and you let that come through in your marketing and your business, it is so much healthier For for your business, your your potential customers feel that, and it’s just a, just a much more rewarding experience, like you said,

Kirby Monestime 44:28
Yeah, and when you and you had mentioned just a second ago about marketing from the inside out, so part of the inner part of marketing is your authenticity that we were talking about before, your vulnerability, your ability to share some of your story with your target audience, right? Because they that stuff is the stuff that people that makes people buy, yeah, people, when somebody can hear your story, and they can lean in and they can say, oh my gosh, you know what I you know, Kirby. Had a bankruptcy, and, you know, in his childhood, and I had the same thing, like, I want to support this individual, right? Yeah, so a lot of times marketing from the inside is, you know, what are the pieces of my story that I feel comfortable sharing with the world, that I can integrate into my marketing that creates a level of vulnerability, create the level of authenticity, but then ultimately creates a level of connectivity with people, and then that that creates this stickiness where people want to support you and buy from you, or get to know you more, or support your brand, or support a philanthropy that your brand, yeah, etc,

Damon Pistulka 45:43
yeah, that’s a great way to say it, man. So, so so good, so good. Because sharing your story, everybody’s got awesome stories, right in business, they do. They don’t realize it, but they do. And when, when those people hear that and hear the realness in your voice of a great thing that happened, a challenge, whatever it is, and how you got there is such a such just those things really help to connect with the world. I

Kirby Monestime 46:12
think some people get intimidated because they feel that their story might be a little messy, but your your your your mess is your message, right? I’ve heard that. There you go. And and that is really going to that will connect people to you, so that level of vulnerability is key and a strong marketing strategy, yeah,

Damon Pistulka 46:34
no doubt. So what are you looking forward? What are you excited for the rest of 2024, and into the future,

Kirby Monestime 46:45
you know, and this is a great platform. Part of, part of what I want out of life is I dream about being on stages and speaking on stages one day, and having opportunities like this bring about and help to manifest this dream of mine, to be on stages. So I want to continue doing, you know, programs like this where I can share my insight and value added tips with people. I want to continue to mentor and coach people and educate. You know, there’s a world of entrepreneurs, small business owners and people out there that are struggling to be successful in their business because they don’t understand marketing and they don’t understand how to get started. And my goal is to be a an advocate for those people and help them to understand the basics of marketing and some of the things that we talked about today are preliminary basic things. But when you’re in the heat of building your own business, those preliminary basic things are the first things to go out the window. Yeah, yeah. So you need, like, a partner, or somebody that’s going to really or an accountability partner that’s really going to say to you, did you consider this? Did you consider your brand strategy? What’s your mission statement? What’s your vision statement, what’s the look and feel of your brand? Who’s your audience? What are your goals for this business? Like you need, you need a coach or a mentor or somebody that’s going to walk side by side with you and help you really critically analyze what you need to be a success. So I want to you know as I look into the the future, I want to do that as part of care market group. I want to do that as part of my business content redefined just anybody that I come in contact with. I want to be a support structure for their growth through coaching and mentoring.

Damon Pistulka 48:39
Awesome, awesome. Well, Kirby, it is so great to get to talk to you again, and as usual, so many great things that you shared with us today about marketing, about life, about really creating the right customer experience too. Because I that was a huge thing from today, is make sure your customer experience is right, because your marketing is not going to do much good if they don’t like what they find when they get to you. Absolutely. Yeah. So if someone wants to get a hold of you, to talk to you about marketing or getting on the big stage, what’s the best way to get a hold of you?

Kirby Monestime 49:15
So you can find me on LinkedIn at Kirby Mona theme. You can also email me at content redefined, I am on content redefined is on LinkedIn as well, and it’s also on Instagram as well. So you can find me there also, one more thing I want to put a plug out for is recently, I’ve had the urge and desire to put content out on LinkedIn just about success and my vision of what success looks like and how you can harness success in your life. And it’s just my perspective and feedback which has been very helpful to me in my life, in terms of success and. I want to share that with other people. So if you can find me on LinkedIn, Kirby, Mona, if you see my content, please like it, please comment, please share and let’s just continue to build community together. We are all the pieces of business, all of us,

Damon Pistulka 50:14
awesome, awesome. Kirby, so great to talk to you again. Thanks for being here today. Thank

Kirby Monestime 50:19
you for having me. It was, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Damon Pistulka 50:22
Yeah, this is so much fun, so much fun. So we had, I just want to thank everyone for being here Inger, stopping by Ellie. We had, I can’t pronounce your first name, from Diana. Excuse me. I apologize for that profusely. And then emu from the momos HR consulting. Thanks so much for being here today. If you got in on this late, go back to the beginning and listen to Kirby dropped a lot of golden nuggets in here about marketing, culture, customer experience. Thanks so much everyone for being here. Kirby. Hang out for a moment and we’ll finish up offline. I.

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