The Dead Pixels Society podcast

Mastering Marketing Discipline with Tim Fitzpatrick, Rialto Marketing

April 09, 2022 Gary Pageau/Tim Fitzpatrick Season 3 Episode 72
The Dead Pixels Society podcast
Mastering Marketing Discipline with Tim Fitzpatrick, Rialto Marketing
Show Notes Transcript

Gary Pageau of the Dead Pixels Society talks with Tim Fitzpatrick,  president of Rialto Marketing. Fitzpatrick discusses the three most important aspects of marketing for small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as the metrics they should use to gauge their success.

Rialto Marketing, based in Highlands Ranch, CO ,  helps B2B service-based businesses create, implement, and manage a marketing plan to communicate the right message to the right people, so they build results that last.

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Erin Manning  
Welcome to the Dead Pixels Society podcast, the photo imaging industry's leading news source. Here's your host, Gary Pageau.

Gary Pageau  
The Dead Pixels Society podcast is brought to you by Mediaclip, Photo Finale, and Advertek Printing. Hello again, and welcome to the Dead Pixels Society podcast. I'm your host, Gary Pageau. And today we're joined by Tim Fitzpatrick, the president of Rialto Marketing in Denver, Colorado. Hi, Tim, how are you today?

Tim Fitzpatrick  
I'm fantastic. Gary, thanks so much for having me. Tell me

Gary Pageau  
about Rialto Marketing and how you started the company.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
So I started the company back in late 20. It was 2013 timeframe. You know, my I was, this is what I would consider my third chapter on my entrepreneurial journey. Had a successful wholesale distribution company we sold that I got into real estate. For a while as a residential realtor, which I did, could not stand, I was waking up every day and near the end going like, oh, my gosh, I have to do this all over again. And I was like, I got to transition into something else. And that's when I started thinking about, you know, what were my skill sets, like the things I enjoy doing. And that's when I got involved in, in marketing. And I've certainly had some some shifts with reality marketing since I started it. But what we're doing today is, you know, we find a lot of people are just battling information overload when it comes to marketing, there's so many different channels, so many different tactics. And as a result, they're just not sure what their next step should be to get where they want to go. And so we we help businesses create, implement, and manage a marketing plan to get to communicate the right message to the right people so that they can build results that last you know, it's that's what marketing is all about, is getting your the right message in front of the right people. And having a plan of how you're actually going to do that. 

Gary Pageau  
When you talk to a small business person, how much time do you have to spend telling them what marketing actually doesn't what it can do, because what I've discovered is, there's a lot of confusion with the marketing and sales, right? That the marketing and sales are sort of the same thing kind of,

Tim Fitzpatrick  
to me, they go they they're connected. They, they're intertwined. But to me marketing is getting someone who has a need or a problem you can solve to know like and trust you. So the job of our marketing is to get is to help people find us, right and understand that, hey, you have this problem, I can uniquely solve that problem and help you get the results that you're looking for. And if marketing is doing its job, sales becomes much easier, you're not having cold conversations, you're not feeling like you have to convince somebody, those people are already warm, they know what you do, they know the problem you solve, and they know that they have that problem. And they're already predisposed to working with you. From there, it's just it is a handoff to sales and sales just picks up that conversation. So that's the way I view it. The other thing that I would also say is, no matter what you do, and I know you know, all your your target market is in the the photo and print industry. No matter what you do, you are a marketer, and you are a salesperson, because if you don't have those two things working for your business, then none of the other stuff matters. Like you could be the you know, the best photographer or, you know, whatever it might be, doesn't matter if marketing and sales is not bringing in leads that then turn into customers.

Gary Pageau  
When you're talking to entrepreneurs, maybe folks who have started their own business, maybe not even in photo, let's say like a bakery or something like that. They've gotten into the business because they'd like to do that thing. Or they got into photography, because they like to print photos, or they like to take photos, or they like to bake cakes or whatever. That's why they started their business. They didn't start the business to do marketing, or sales, or accounting or all the other pieces, right. That's what I find with entrepreneurs is they got into business to do one thing, and then they been 80% of their time is spent doing the stuff they don't like to do. Yeah, what are the marketing fundamentals you have to cover with someone who is sort of in that boat right there. They don't have a marketing mindset. They have a production mindset, right process mindset,

Tim Fitzpatrick  
the way I look at them Gary's the icon, the marketing strategy trilogy. So there's obviously three. The first one is your target market. You have to understand who your target market is, in your case, right, it's photo. But even within photo, not everybody in your target market is going to be an ideal client for you. You need to understand who your ideal clients are. within the market that you want to serve, right, so a lot of people refer to this as like your who everything from a marketing standpoint starts with who Who do you want to work with, you have to know that, and it has to be, it has to be at least somewhat targeted, you cannot target broadly, right. As a small business owner, you can't target broadly because targeting broadly costs, you know, hundreds of millions dollars, right? You when when you have a limited budget, you have to you have to narrow but the other benefit in narrowing is you can really get into the head of those people that you intend to work with, you need to enter the conversation that they are having in their mind as it relates to what you do. And you need to be able to speak in their language, not yours, right? Because when they see a message that is in their words, it's going to resonate that much more than a message that is in your words. Right. So everything starts with who, then and only then can you move to the second step in the trilogy, which is your messaging, what are you going to say to them? How are you going to talk about the problems that they have? How are you going to talk about the results that they're looking for? How do you communicate your value in what you do, right. And then the third element of the trilogy is you have to have a plan. Like, if you don't have a plan, I don't care what it is, whether it's marketing or not, if you don't have a plan, you're just like throwing stuff up against the wall, seeing what sticks, right. And when you're doing that, one, things inevitably don't work, you don't get consistent, repeatable results, you don't know what your priorities are. So it's very easy to get distracted, and just do like Chase new things each and every week, you're never gonna gain traction. So you have to have a plan of how you're going to get that message in front of those people. So that's how I see the fundamentals. And they lay the foundation for you to build the rest of your house from. And if you think about the fundamentals as fuel, or everything else, from a marketing standpoint, the tactics are your different vehicles. But if you don't have the fuel to put in those vehicles, then they're never going to work. And that's what happens, people get the vehicle and they try to so they start pushing the vehicle down the road. And they're like, gosh, this isn't working.

Gary Pageau  
So for example, and an example would be, let's say, your, your target market for printing photos is you know, young parents, right, or someone like that. You may chase a, a vehicle, use a vehicle to communicate with them that may be inappropriate or ineffective is what you're saying? Like you may Yeah, we try to reach young parents by going on LinkedIn, and putting ads out there, for example.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Yeah. Or you might say, Hey, I'm gonna, I'm gonna start creating content, I'm gonna start creating videos. Right, right. And you don't you haven't even narrow down that you want to communicate that your ideal clients or young parents, right? You just start putting out videos and you're like, gosh, these aren't working? Well. Yeah, cuz they don't speak to anybody.

Gary Pageau  
Well, one of the things we see on the photo side of business, other folks I, you know, I talked to is, they think they know the customer, because usually their customer is what they think is somebody like them, right? Like a young photographer, may get into the wedding photography business, because he because he's a young woman and enjoys photography, so she wants to do photography for people like her. You're You're a, you know, you're involved in your community. So you want to have your camera store and work with the community and that sort of thing. I think what happens, though, to some people is, is sort of the converse where they, they may have blinders on to adjacent markets within those segments.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Yeah. Yeah, that happens. That happens all the time with us as business owners, right? Where I was just talking to somebody, and he, the way he put it, was, we're too close to the fire. Right? You know, the way I always relate is, you know, we can't see the forest through the trees, right. We can't think objectively about our business, because we're too in it. And so one of the things that where we always start with target market work, is actually interviewing your current ideal clients. Right? What first, it's, sometimes people don't even they don't even know who their ideal clients are. So we have to start there and figure out but the easiest place to start looking for your ideal clients is what is within your existing in your past customer base. And then once you hone in on who those ideal clients are that you've worked with, then it's having conversations.

Gary Pageau  
So a digital standpoint, a lot of that is the Google reviews and things like that.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Absolutely good. So Gary, Google reviews is a great is a great thing to bring up here because a lot of people say well, I don't I don't. Maybe I'm just starting out and I don't have a lot of customers. Google review Use is a treasure trove of information about your, your market. So even if you're just starting out, go to your competitors and see what the heck people are talking about, like, what kind of problems? Are they talking about? What kind of results are they? Are they talking about, those are the things that we need to start to hone in on. Right, we need to figure out those things that are important to them. Because when you think about marketing people buy, because they they have problems that they need to solve, or their results that they want. That they're not getting. And our marketing needs to focus on those problems. They haven't don't want, and or those results they want and don't have. And if you look at if we have conversations with with our customers, we can start to pull those out. But but if you can't do that, you can go to reviews and do the same thing.

Gary Pageau  
Or like you said, Go to competitors even I mean, I mean no want to focus on competitors, per se, because I know people have kind of gone down a rabbit hole of just being reactive and not proactive when you do that. But it is it is information that's readily available, that may be an opportunity for you to exploit.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Yep, absolutely. Or think about, you know, Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups or forums. I mean, there's forums for every single niche out there, you can go into those types of online communities to just start to search and see what people are talking about as it relates to your industry. If you go

Gary Pageau  
into those communities, you have to be careful, right? Because you can't go in there and say, you know, I'm Bob's camera, I've got the new Sony's in, please come by one.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you need to be careful about that. And when I talk about going into those communities, from a REIT, there's, there's two different ways besides this, the first side of it is going into into communities like that, where your ideal clients are to just get to know people and see what they're talking about, right? That is more of just a just be human and start to interact with people, you, nobody wants you to go into groups like that, and immediately start pitching. Right, right. But then the second side of that is, you can use communities like that, to start to build business. So once you've done research and, and you know, your target market, you can start to interact and add value and serve people in those communities to start to build your business. I mean, I have a client right now that we're working with who is in the consumer electronics space that I used to be in when I was in distribution, who it's a very niche side of consumer electronics. And when he initially started his business, he went into two main forums for for his niche, and just started answering questions, adding value serving people, they were like, Hey, I'm running into this problem with my with my home theater, and he would give them his feedback. And to this day, he still generates business from all of that activity, because it's evergreen, it's all there. You know, he doesn't interact in there, as far as I know, on a regular basis anymore. But for the first, you know, I think he spent two, three years of pretty consistent activity just going in and helping you generate business from that to this day.

Gary Pageau  
Well, in photography, there's certainly a lot of opportunity for that. Because, you know, for end users, if you're serving consumers, there's a lot of places online where people are looking for information, you can also do that within your own website, right with facts, you know, frequently asked questions and all that. So there's a lot of opportunities for that. But the question we run into, with all of these type of activities is, so got to run a business. Right. And, you know, a lot of our listeners are, you know, may not have the largest staff may not have a dedicated marketing department, a lot of this stuff sounds great if that's your full time job. But in what in many cases, you know, you're also warming up the printing equipment in the morning. Yeah, and you're dealing with vendor issues, and you're trying to deal with the, the sales work who called in? So how do you how would you recommend someone manage that? Should they just focus on one or two or three areas and kind of in be aware of the rest, but not try to overextend themselves?

Tim Fitzpatrick  
This is a this is a really good question. And it's, there's, I have a few thoughts here. One is like when I talk about the various marketing channels, I when I looked at various marketing channels, there's eight of them. And when I talk about them, a lot of people start to think, oh my gosh, like I need to be in every one of these marketing channels, right? You do not you know, and so, in the beginning, especially, it's about focus, you have to focus and figure out one that the tactics that you choose and the channels you choose to get involved in from a marketing standpoint, they have to resonate with you. Right like if I see you hate Gary, you know, you need to start creating content and it needs to be video and you're like, Oh my God, no, like, you know, I'm terrified of being on camera, well, I can tell you that you have to do that. And you're not going to be successful because it doesn't resonate with you, right? So you have to feel good about it. The activities that you do from a marketing standpoint, if you're going to be doing them yourself, they need to be easy, and effortless for you to do otherwise, you're gonna fail at them, right? So you need to focus, I think, as your business expands, the more channels you can get involved in the better, because then your lead generation is going to be more diversified, right? It's like riding a unicycle versus a four wheel. Right? You know, if all my business is coming from referral, I'm riding a unicycle. If the tire goes flat, I got a problem. Right? If I'm generating leads from from referral, and from social media, and from speaking, well, I'm writing my three wheeler. But if one of those tires goes flat, I can still get to my destination. So in the beginning, we need to focus, the easiest place to focus is to look at what's already working in your business. Like we don't need to reinvent the wheel. Right? If you've been in business for a while something is working. Right? The problem is a lot of business owners don't know what that is because they haven't spent the time to actually look at it. So let's look at it. And start by going hey, where where has it? Where's where's our business come from in the last year? Hmm. Well, it's these people were How did those people find out about us? Right? And, and then just do more of that. Right, exactly. And then you do more of that. Now, it's, you do more of that. Right. But you also so you look at that process? So let's say it's referral? Well, do we have? Do we have a set referral process? Like, are we consistently asking for referrals? If we are like, do we have a referral program? What in our current process is working? So that we can do more of what's working, but what gaps can we fill right? To get even better results from our referral process? So it's doing more of what's working, and it's filling gaps, so that so that you just you're, it's like, you're, you're pouring white gas on the fire. So Let's optimize what's already working in our business, then we can start to expand out from there. But the other place you have to start is these fundamentals, we've talked about, like, you got to know target market, you got to have a message that's going to resonate with those people. Because guess what, if your marketing is getting in front of those people that you love to work with, that are profitable, that you do great work for, your business is naturally going to grow from that, and the marketing that you do is going to work that much better.

Gary Pageau  
It mentioned the word target market or the phrase target market several times, what are the essential elements that a business owner needs to know about their target market? You can know a lot of things, but a lot of that information may not be necessary.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Yeah. target market can be super broad. Right? It can be I work with small business owners, right? Or entrepreneurs? In my opinion, that's, that's too broad, you have to start to narrow it down. Well, who? Who are those small business owners that are best for you? What are the demographics, the numbers behind those people that start to help you identify who those people are? Sure. Um, and the psychographics? The psychographics? Are what what get people to buy? Right? What are the problems? They have the the aspirations, the results, they're looking for those types of things. But in general, with the target market, you want to look at? Is the market large enough? Right? The problem that I solve, do they see that as being a problem? Right? Exactly. If they see it as being a problem, are they willing to pay to solve that problem? Right? Those are, those are typically the three things that we start with when you start to look at a target market. And then from there, if you say, Okay, well, yeah, this is great. Well, and let me add one more thing there. The fourth element that you need to consider is can you reach them? Like, if they're going to be a nightmare to reach and get in front of, then, even if it's large enough, and they have the problem and they're willing to pay to solve it? That may not that's not going to be a good target market, because you're going to bang your head against the wall trying to get in front of them? Right? So you need to look at those four elements. And then from there, you can start to dig deeper into Okay, who are my ideal clients within that overall target market?

Gary Pageau  
You've been doing this for a while. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see in marketing that are that are prevail and

Tim Fitzpatrick  
oh, god acids there, there's a lot of them. There's a lot, but I'll just tell you the ones that come to my mind right off the top of my head. And a lot of them still come down back to target market. Too many people want that. They're impatient. Okay, they don't think long term. Okay, we need to think long term, not just with our business, but with our marketing as well. Like, yes. Are there things that we can do to get quicker results? Yes, there are. I already just touched on one of them, look at what's already working and and do more of it and fill the gaps, you will get quick results with that, because it's already working. But too many people with marketing are like they are short term, how do I generate leads today, tomorrow next week. And because of that, they don't give the tactics enough time to actually work. They give up on the tactics before they have the opportunity to work. And because of that, they just like there. It's a constantly revolving door. I tried that it didn't work. So I went here and that didn't work. And no, it's, you're not they're not giving things enough time to work. The sequencing is out of whack. Okay, what you do is just as important is when you do it, right. Okay, if you do things before you have those fundamentals in place, the sequencing is out of whack, the tactic is not going to work as well as it should. It might work. But it's not going to work as well as it should. And so we've got to get the sequencing, correct, right. So, to me, it's the fundamentals. Right? If you have to Dan Kennedy, who's for people that don't know, Dan Kennedy, he's been in marketing, small business marketing for years. He is like the father of direct response marketing, he talks about message to market match, too many people jump into the tactics, right, without having that message to market match and wonder why things aren't working. If a

Gary Pageau  
55 year old camera store owner says I need a tick tock. He's probably making a mistake.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
It depends on who they intend to work with. Right? Who those ideal clients are, what's important to them where they are, right, that's another important thing. We haven't talked about Gary's, once you understand who the people are you intend to work with, then and only then can you start to create that list of where are they? Right? Where are they offline and online. And once you have that list, then you now you have a list of where you can get in front of the right people, you can fish where the fish are, instead of just casting a line out in the middle of the ocean going, I hope I get something

Gary Pageau  
good, because I think one of the challenges people have is so much of our business news these days, is built around marketing, right? It's Google's doing this, Facebook's doing that, hey, there's a new platform, you should have a blog or a podcast of your own and your YouTube channel. And you need a Snapchat and, you know, I and I think you know, there's value in each of those platforms. But there's also a value to understanding, you know, where your customers are likely to encounter you. And I think too many businesses want to be everywhere. For the sake of being everywhere. Yeah, look, I'm busy. Look, I'm doing something. And they're not really acting on the benefits of their business, what's going to benefit their business?

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Which starts to lead into the metrics, right? We a lot of people don't know whether certain aspects of their marketing are working, because they haven't identified the metrics that they need to track, right? You know, everything that we do from a marketing standpoint, we should be tracking something so that we can determine whether it's working or not, right? And if it's, but if we don't have the right data, we can't do that.

Gary Pageau  
Right. So and you should go into a project, any marketing project with some sort of objective, right? And sometimes to know why you're doing it. Right, exactly. Because it may be, hey, I'm going to exhibit at this photography show, because I want to sell prints, I'm going to bring some prints, I'm going to sell them, or I'm going to exhibit at this photography show. And I'm going to display my work. But my objective is really to send out a message to the community that I'm a great photographer, and I know I'm going to get more business afterwards. And how you approach that event is different.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Yes, depending on what your goal is, and what you want out of it. That's going to determine how you what you do at that event, or whatever tactic it is, right? That's gonna help drive what you choose to do. So it's important to to know why you're doing each of these, and what metrics you're going to track to Determine whether the marketing that you're using is actually working or not. And whether you should What do you

Gary Pageau  
say with someone who has the attitude of the only metric that matters is sales?

Tim Fitzpatrick  
I personally, I think they're on the right track. Okay. But because to me the with with marketing, there's too many vanity metrics, Gary, that don't mean anything like how many people are on your email list? How many people follow you on Facebook? Who cares? Are those people turning into leads that are then turning to customers? Right? That is really what matters. But the other the other thing, if you just if you're just tracking leads, and you're not tracking where they're coming from, you still don't have enough information? Right? Right. So the three metrics, I always talk about where people should start is leads lead source where the lead came from, because if I know where it came from, now I start now I'm armed with some information going, Hey, we generated five leads from our social media activity last month, something's happening here, right? Or, you know, 75% of our business, our leads are coming from referrals, right? Then we need to understand how many leads are then converting to customers. That's our conversion rate. And now, we're on to some pretty good information. Can we go deeper than that and get more sophisticated? Yes, we can. But we need to walk before we run. So start with those three metrics. And then you can start to dive deeper if you need to. But those are the three easiest places to start.

Gary Pageau  
So where does someone go to learn more about Rialto Marketing and the services you offer?

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Our website is the easiest place which is Rialtomarketing.com. That's our IA o to marketing.com. We have a ton of free resources on there. We have podcasts, we have all kinds of, of blog content on there. The other place that I will mention here, if people want to get a glimpse into our 90 Day Marketing Plan process, they can go to growth, marketing, plan.com that's growth, marketing, plan.com, our video instruction, all the tools, templates, downloads, resources that we use for our planning and for our clients are there. You got to start with the plan. No plan is going to be perfect. But if you have a plan, you know what your priorities are, you have clarity and you you will start to get more consistent, repeatable results from what you're doing.

Gary Pageau  
Okay, well, thank you, Tim, for your time wishing you much success and hope to talk to you again soon.

Tim Fitzpatrick  
Sandy. Thanks so much, Gary.

Erin Manning  
Thank you for listening to the Dead Pixels Society podcast. Read more great stories and sign up for the newsletter at www.thedeadpixels.society.com

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