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April 28, 2022

What a High School Shark Tank Competition Can Teach You About Marketing

What a High School Shark Tank Competition Can Teach You About Marketing

Can you summarize your current marketing program in a 30-second elevator pitch?

And if you could what would it include?

This episode is inspired by a shark tank competition for high schoolers that my children competed in and looking at your marketing in fresh eyes through the perspective of teenagers!

You are guaranteed to look at your marketing in a different way after listening to this episode...

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Neal Schaffer:

What can your business learn from a shark tank of high schoolers? Stay tuned to find out in this next episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast. Digital social media content influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick talking LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing, who there's a lot to cover, whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got, Neil, on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach. And this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody. Welcome to your digital marketing coach podcast. This is obviously your digital marketing coach, Neal Schaffer, how the heck are you doing today. So today, I am actually finally using a standing desk that I got in the heart of COVID. And well, hopefully you can hear the difference. I feel like when I stand and present just like I am speaking on stage, I have more energy. And I'm hoping that this makes my podcasts even more energetic. we'd love your feedback either way, on what you think, feel free to hit me up on social, or just send me an email Neal at Neal schaffer.com. But let's get into today's topic, which is very, very fresh on mine. For those of you that know me, I actually have two children who are in high school. They are very influenced potentially by my work, but they are very interested in marketing and in entrepreneurship. And there is a local university here in Irvine, California called Concordia University that actually sponsors a shark tank competition for high schoolers. So they actually did this last year. And because it was COVID, it was all done virtually over zoom presentations. But this year, thankfully, the rates of COVID have come down significantly, where I am here in Southern California. So we were able to do it in person, absolutely no masks whatsoever in the auditorium. Very grateful for that. So it was a very, very interesting competition where there were nine groups, and every group had to do a presentation where they were on stage for eight minutes. And then they had a maximum of four minutes of q&a from the judges. The judges were either professors at the university or legit entrepreneurs, successful business people that had built, one of the gentlemen there, I think, had built like, I don't know, 20 startups and sold them all successfully. Anyway. This won't go as far as the TV version or Shark Tank. But needless to say, I thought that it was a very, very high caliber of judges that asked really, really great questions. But the idea behind Shark Tank, for those of you not familiar, I assume you are, but maybe some of my listeners overseas aren't, is you got to give an elevator pitch. And you got to pitch your business, you got to say what your product is why people would buy it, you need to go into the financials as to how much you plan to sell, you need to ask the judges for an investment. In other words, I am asking for a 10%, equity stake for $40,000, or whatever it is. And then you need to obviously go through how you plan to promote your product. And that is obviously from my perspective, the marketing angle. That was a necessity for every single one of these presentations of you know what, what it was? What did it include? And that's really the topic of today's podcast episode. Because sometimes we really need to dumb down what we are doing. It was really refreshing recently to present on clear, who is one of the leading influencer marketing platforms, they are now part of meltwater who are one of the leading social listening and PR platforms. And for those of you that join me, thank you, but for those who didn't, I did a presentation on really aligning your influencer marketing activities with the funnel. So it's been a little bit more strategic as to why you are doing what, and this is very, very specific to influencer marketing. But it really led me on this mission to say, Hey, can you simplify what you are doing and explain what you are doing in more simple terms as to how it all adds up? Now one of the interesting things, a side project that I have is working on my next book, I know I've been saying that for a while, but I've been reaching out to university professors and marketing and asking them what are the gaps that they're finding in the textbooks and other resources from materials that they're using to teach digital marketing? And one professor said, ROI, there just isn't a lot about the subject. have digital marketing ROI. So it's easy to spend lots of money. But how are you measuring it? And what is the exact ROI? And that presentation I did with clear on the influence and marketing funnel really tried to address that step by step by each stage of the funnel. Now, the groups that presented yesterday, the nine groups, they were primarily or I should say 100% b2c. So as you can imagine, you know, they are high school students, I, you know, I think b2b, it tends to be a little bit more savvier. Have a thought process, maybe. But anyway, I think that, you know, when I was in high school and thinking about business, it was really about what were my needs? What were the needs of high school friends, and what can I sell to them, right. And I think that these high schoolers had really the same approach just based on their own experiences as to what sort of product that they could sell. Now, the products ranged from a, actually, the first prize was a subscription box of crafts. So every month, you would receive a craft, with instructions on, basically, you know, how to build that craft, whether it's stitching or embroider, or whatever it might be. And it would include all of the materials that you need in order to create that craft. So if you have young children every month, you can look forward to a new project to do together, if you're homeschooling kids, it actually has been shown to be very effective with mentally challenged children, what have you to work on crafts, as a sort of therapy. So they had a really, really compelling presentation. And it was, it was actually heartwarming to see them were first winning first prize, but that was, you know, one project another one. And there was some very lofty projects coming from high school students was to build a luxury hotel in South Africa, that was going to be eco friendly. And, you know, for people who wanted to go on a luxurious retreat, it was purely focused on that luxury luxury market. Another one was a fully robotic gas station, for people that did not want to get their hands dirty, or touch any machine, or the ability to actually plug in as well, if you had an electric car, in addition to getting gasoline, all done by robots, were pretty cool idea. That obviously, is a very expansive thought process as to what you need to do in order to actually, I mean, it's gonna cost a lot of money. And then you're competing against Costco and all the major gas stations. So there was a variety of projects. And the one thing that I wanted to touch upon on this podcast was there were two unifying things that all of these projects mentioned when it came to their marketing plans. So, you know, when I talk about digital first marketing, I talk about search, social email. And if you think about it in the funnel, in terms of brand awareness, search is a great way to get brand awareness, you know, Google, YouTube podcasts. And then you have the social part, which is another great way to get brand awareness, although it is harder and harder for brands to get that brand awareness, unless you pay to play on those networks. And then you have the email, which is really to build loyalty, and to convert people more in the middle or lower funnel. And not to say that, you know, all of these techniques can be used at every stage of the funnel, but some, you know, worked better at some stages of the funnel rather than others. But the two things that were in common from all these pitches was number one social media. And it wasn't just social media in general. It was Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, this was like the common answer for everyone. Now, there was one project where they wanted to create a website of reviews of beauty products that were done by doctors and certified professionals. And that was the only one that mentioned tick tock, even though I knew that everybody on stage was a tick tock user. A lot of them were focused on more of the 25 to 40 demographic, there were some that were more of like 15 to 30, where I would expect tick tock so only one of the nine included tick tock, but they pretty much all included Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Twitter was sort of a surprising one for me. But I think with Elon Musk, what have you, we've seen a resurgence of interest in Twitter, especially NFT community is one of these communities that is driving Twitter, a lot of content creators, if you listen to a lot of podcasts, even Pat Flynn, or I listened to the vid IQ, podcast Viper famous Youtuber, he's saying, hey, hit us up on Twitter. So I think a lot of people are seeing Twitter as a great platform for communication as well. Just raw communication that's really, really hard to have on the other social networks. And when the high schoolers were talking about social media, they were really just talking primarily organic, like we're gonna be on social media and meet people where they are. That's a no brainer, right. But the other common components was influencers. We're all gonna use influencers, and it's such a no brainer in 2022 that it still shocks me that a lot of brands still ask, well, what's the ROI? Why do we need to do influencer marketing and it really brings me back to the early days of social media marketing, where people We're asking the same thing. The question isn't, do we need to do influencer marketing? The question is, well, how do we do it? So, you know, from my perspective, if I was able to get on stage and sort of mentor these high schoolers, I'd say, Well, you know, the organic social is great. Once you get brand awareness, and you get fans, you can republish their content and user generated content, you can make relationships with them. But at the end of the day, it's going to become more pay to play until you actually have customers where you can republish their content. I'm working on a blog post about user generated content, and some of the most famous brands that are loved by younger audiences, like glossy air. The beauty brand, really leverages user generated content, to gain credibility, to have a, you know, a common experience with with their fans, build a deeper relationship, what have you. So until you get to that point, it's really, really hard to break through the noise, starting from zero followers and get that brand awareness that we all want to get on social media. And that's where the influence has become even more important, especially at the beginning, when you don't have brand awareness. If you have brand awareness, but you don't have people talking about you. Well, you need to incite either your customers to talk about you, or you need to work together with influencers. And I know that I mentioned that pretty much all of these projects that were presented on the Shark Tank competition, were at B to C, but it is as relevant for b2b. I've had a few companies reach out to me recently for my fractional cmo work. And they their b2b companies, they want to leverage influencers, who are the people talking about them. And what's interesting, you know, juxtaposing the high schoolers with normal businesses is they didn't talk about Google or YouTube at all, one of the companies mentioned Google ads. And that was it. It was basically organic through social or if you're going to do paid ads to influencers. And this is pretty much the way that I view a lot of marketing as well, in all honesty. So it was really refreshing to see that the heaviest users of social media, the younger demographics, understood this more than anyone. And to me, it was sort of a pat on the back that riding the age of influence, and evangelizing influencer marketing is the wave of the future. Now, if you've been doing it, and you haven't been doing it, right, we need to tweak it. But it just is the biggest no brainer. And that Shark Tank competition was a reminder that it was the biggest no brainer for marketing today. Now, I could have said, hey, you know, what about SEO and blogging? What about email marketing? The subscription box company did talk about email, which was very, very smart. The beauty review site also talked about email as a way hey, sign up, so that when there's a new review, you you, you know, you hear about it, but it comes down to a combination of all these right, you can't have one without the other. And I do believe that even in competitive b2c industries, there is a role for search. And there is a role for leveraging influencers with search as well when we talk about bloggers, and YouTubers and podcasters. In fact, yesterday, I was listening to a podcast, I'm gonna give me words content, teknicks podcast, give her a shout out because her podcasts is one of the best. It's on my list of Best Social Media Marketing podcasts to listen to, I'll have to put that in the show notes. And her guests was talking about, well, let's say you want to get the word out about your business. This is a PR Visibility Coach, I forget her name, I'm sorry. But she specializes in helping online coaches get leads. So here's the system, basically get on, let's say 10 podcasts a month. And over the course of a year, that's 120 podcasts. But let's say every podcast has, I don't know, 200 listeners. And you can convert 2% of those 200 listeners per podcast to actually download something that you offer at the end of the podcast. Now, the math 2% of 200. We're looking at one podcast, you know would be for people correct me if I'm wrong. And if you multiply that by 10 podcast, that's 40 people, that's 40 people a month. That is basically over the course of a year, almost 500 people that you have generated potential leads from because they've heard you on the podcast, they see you as a leader. Because you're on the podcast, you're a guest. And they have gone out and reached out for whatever offer that you have. They've gone through the trouble of listening and then typing in a URL to access whatever lead magnet you have. Brilliant, right? How else can you do that? Now, obviously, it's not for every industry for an online coach. It makes a lot of sense. It may not make sense for other industries. But it is an example of a very, very simple equation. But once again, you're leveraging influencers you're leveraging podcasters as influencers, you're leveraging their audience, and you know I look at podcasts as a type of search. Obviously Google YouTube with the biggest searches but we find out about podcasts do searches on Apple podcasts on Spotify. These are audio search engines for lack of a better word, it still comes down to role of influencers. So I want to ask you, I want to give you two pieces of homework. I want you to do your own Shark Tank, I want you to do your own elevator pitch in 30 seconds in a minute. Tell me about your marketing. Tell me, why you do, what you do, and how everything fits together in the same funnel. I leverage social media to build relationships. Above the funnel, I bring people further down the funnel through social media, I use Google, I use YouTube, I use podcasts above the funnel, although podcasting, similar to social media allows me to build a deeper relationship because people are subscribed to the content. And ultimately, it's email where I convert people an email where I have my offers, although sometimes I do offer them on the podcast, in social and on my website. But really, it's the email component that allows me to build that deeper relationship and ultimately convert people, as my data has shown. I don't necessarily leverage influencers per se. People tend to reach out to me as an influencer. But there are occasions where like when I published the age of influence, where I proactively reached out and was published, or I was on a guest on 100 podcasts over the course of 90 days, I recorded a podcast episode about that, that you could listen to, if you're curious about it. And I also am right now reaching out to university professors like I did with the age of influence, and hoping that that might fuel some more sales through collaboration as well. I'm hoping to Leverage Marketing professors to help provide input and maybe if they feel they're a part of the book, they might want to recommend it to their readers, their students as well. And that's how it all works, it all works together, you should be able to take a step back to what you're doing, and redefine it in a 30 to 62nd elevator pitch. That is the number one homework I'm gonna give you today, as a university, University professor, myself, and then number two homework is, think harder about how you can start to or better leverage influencers in your business. If you're looking for handhold custom consulting help, I hope you'll consider my fractional cmo consulting, I would love to help you It'd be an honor, you can go to Neal schaffer.com/cmo, it'll forward you to my page, if you just want more of a lesser expensive, but a group coaching mastermind community that I have digital first, we cap it at 15 members at every one time. And we have four zoom calls a month, where you can access me if you're interested in that go to Neal schaffer.com/membership. We currently do have openings, not very many obviously, we're always near capacity. But if there's an opening, we'd love to invite you there. And even if you just joined for a month to ask a question or two on one call, I think for the price of what you're paying, you're definitely going to get amazing ROI out of that. So that's it for another episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast. If you're not a subscriber and you're brand new, I do hope that you'll hit that subscribe button. Half of these episodes are interviews, I am trying harder and harder to find more and more real thought leaders to interview for this podcast. If there's someone that you want me to interview or you think there's a subject missing from this podcast, please feel free to reach out to me. And also if you've been listening and you haven't had a chance to do it, I'd really be honored if you could just spend 30 seconds to go into the podcast app of your choice. And just write a real simple review. With Spotify. You can just easily do a five star rating and you know podcasts attic overcast castbox. I know a lot of you don't necessarily listen to Apple. But there are other ways of writing reviews there. I do read the reviews and I do really appreciate them. And hey, that's it for another episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast. As a reminder, always keep your eye on the goal. This is Neal Schaffer, your digital marketing coach signing off. You've been listening to your digital marketing coach, questions, comments, requests links, go to podcast dot Neal schaffer.com. Get the show notes to this and 200 plus podcast episodes and Neal schaffer.com to tap into the 400 Plus blog posts that Neil has published to support your business. While you're there, check out Neil's Digital First group coaching membership community if you or your business needs a little helping hand. See you next time on your digital marketing coach.