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Smart Online Marketing with Tom Libelt

Posted by Kevin Taeyaerts on May 13, 2020

Whether you are a small hardware store in the Midwest or a corporation based in LA, brand positioning matters. Where you show up in the search results matters. The type of customer reviews you are generating matters. What people are saying about you online helps to define your brand. Recognizing that is the first step to smart online marketing.

On the second episode of season 2, J&See host Meg Goodman talks online marketing with Tom Libelt. Tom, a marketing veteran with many hats, shares his approach to online positioning. From how to sell online martial arts classes, to starting businesses under an established brand. Read on as Meg and Tom discuss these and so much more. And of course, make sure to subscribe to J&See: Views on Marketing to hear a compelling interview like this once a month.

Q: How do you alter your marketing strategy for brick-and-mortar versus online companies?

A: With brick and mortar, the only real alteration that you think of when marketing is just that you’re geographical. It’s a local business. Instead of marketing on Facebook to your audience, you would do that and put constraints with your zip code or your area code. The same thing with Google. It’s much easier than trying to go after a big market … Instead of getting their email, you can bring them in. The email sequence doesn’t have to do the heavy lifting to sell anything because you can do it in-person (or your staff can).

[With brick-and-mortar businesses, you have] the ability to transfer that conversation easily to in-person. [That's] much easier to sell for most people than getting that flawlessly done online … If you have a local business, in most places, SEO is going to be super easy. If you’re thinking of Tulsa, Oklahoma and you have a fence company, it’s going to be much easier ranking for a fence company in Tulsa, Oklahoma than a fence company in the whole country.

Q: Marketing your own product can be really different from marketing a client’s product, so how do you approach client marketing differently than your own business?

A:  To create really good marketing, you need to have a really good handle on the sales process because marketing is just amplifying the sales process.

This is why I don’t like having people outsource copywriting too much, too. Because nobody will have a grasp on the sales process as much as you or your sales people … The main difference when I approach someone else’s project is I try to ask really good questions and don’t allow for cop-out answers because I need to get a good grasp as quickly as possible on the sales process and that gets really detailed: What’s the sales conversation like? Most people don’t even know why people are buying based on what they’re saying. They can’t figure out the elements … Getting those elements out and figuring out the real why behind why someone is buying, because that’s the most important thing.

Q: Today, is Smart Brand Marketing your entire focus or are there more ideas in the works that you can talk about?

A: So, what I’ve done recently, is put all my ideas under Smart Brand Marketing. We Market Online Courses is just a department of Smart Brand Marketing. We have another service called “We Track Your Marketing,” also under Smart Brand Marketing. What I’ve found is by keeping that brand alive, because it’s been around for a while, it helps me market my new ideas much quicker. It’s much easier to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond … I’ve been really focusing on just niche-ing down.


Listen to the whole episode to hear everything Tom shares about successful online marketing. Download J&See: Views on Marketing on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Or you can listen to the episode on Google Podcasts and Simplecast. And make sure you subscribe to get a new episode every month.

Topics: Direct Marketing, Podcast, SEO, Brand Positioning, entrepreneurship

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