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Benjamin: Welcome back to the MarTech Podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics sets the standard for innovation in the content and search engine optimization industry. They support businesses who care about understanding how both using content as a marketing channel and how to improve organic rankings in Google. If you're an enterprise level marketer, the Searchmetrics suite of software and services will help you optimize your existing content, help you understand what topics you need to cover in next, and how to ensure that your writers produce effective content. There are billions of Google searches happening every day, Searchmetrics gets your stories to the top.

Benjamin: Okay, today we're gonna talk about life cycle marketing. Erik Huberman is the founder and CEO of Hawke Media, a marketing consultancy. Hawke Media has grown from an niche consulting practice to a plug and play marketing arm that serves clients that range from startups, growth stage companies and even the Fortune 500. 

Benjamin: In this episode, Erik is going to walk us through his company's approach to creating and setting expectations, campaign evaluation, and how to nurture leads. Here's our interview with Erik Huberman from Hawke Media.

Benjamin: Erik, great to have you on the podcast today, and why don't we start off by you telling us what your company does and what's your role?

Erik: Sure. Basically, Hawke Media is an outsourced CMO and marketing team to company. So kind of be happy medium between hiring a team in house and hiring agency while you get this ala carte month to month expertise, meaning like a Facebook marketer or email marketer etc. Whatever you need, you spin up the team and it gets super flexible and I'm the founder and CEO.

Benjamin: You mentioned a couple of different channels already in terms of marketing. Tell me about your staff and what's the breath of services that you cover?

Erik: Sure, staff at this point, we're four years old. We're over a 130 people. Cover a lot of services. We have kind of five silos here. Strategy, which is that outsourced CMO piece. Media, which is Facebook, search, podcast, traditional meaning like radio, TV, billboards, etc. We have email marketing, which also encompasses SMS and chatbots and Facebook messenger. So all the kind of like ongoing messaging to customers. Then we have content, influencer, and social content all fall into kind of one. We built a whole content studio here. Creative, which includes web design, graphic design, and all sorts of the creative aspect of the process, and that covers it.

Benjamin: So tell me a little bit about your background. What lead up to you founding Hawke Media? What was your experience, and how did you decide how to position the company? 

Erik: So basically background is eCommerce. So I've had three of my own eCommerce companies. One in music and two in fashion. Sold both of the fashion companies, and about four in a half years ago, just started advising and consulting a bunch of brands on how to grow revenue. Some really big ones like Red Bull and Verizon down to a lot of startups and everywhere in between. Just saw the challenge that there were two options to executing on marketing, it's either hire an in house team or hire an agency. What I found was hiring in house isn't cost effective. That's if you can find an attractive client. So a lot of companies end up resorting to hiring these jack of all trades master of none, and it's just not a really good option. It's a lot of opportunity cost loss there. So the other option becomes agencies, but what I found was 99% of agencies have no experience in actually successfully growing a brand. So they're usually just selling snake oil. Then the few that are any good tend to be really expensive, not long contracts, high minimums, something that makes them hard to work for for someone that's trying to enter the market.

Erik: So just got sick of the ecosystem and decided to build what we built, which is kind of that happy medium.

Benjamin: So how do you define the difference between Hawke Media and an agency? 

Erik: It's a lot of the nuances about how we work. You're working directly with the team that we're putting on. So like when you build it ... Let's say you're a medium sized business, you need a Facebook person, an email person, a designer, and an overall marketing strategist. You're working with specific people. So you're building a part-time team just in our offices where you're working with the same people, you're building those relationships, you're there building that intrinsic knowledge, but everything's transparent. So you get all the benefits of hiring an in house team. You're gaining knowledge ongoing, you're building those relationships just like you would with an internal person. But you're getting it at a fraction of the price because you don't necessarily need all these people full time. So with us, you get them fractionally and there's an efficiency there. Then the benefits of agency come from seeing the forest from the trees, getting shared knowledge, getting economy to scale on the media buying side. All those kind of benefits we bring to the table as well. So the idea was best of both worlds and the benefits of both but that in between. 

Benjamin: So I'm going to go back to the question what do you call that type of service? Are you a consultancy? 

Erik: Yeah. We definitely use consultancy versus agency. 

Benjamin: Okay. Tell me about who are the types of customers that you serve and who gets the biggest benefit out of that mode.

Erik: It's pretty wide. So it's kind of for us a belker. Really early or small companies that are just getting going our fees start at $2,000 a month. So anyone that can afford that, can really work with us on very small scale stuff. So we can work with companies out of people's bedrooms like really, really early. Little mom and pop shops, and honestly at this point we generally like to start around a $10,000 marketing budget, including ad spend all in to really be able to create effect. Because what we found is companies where their budgets are smaller than that, shouldn't be hiring anyone yet. They should be putting those dollars straight into the advertising or marketing and still managing it internally by themselves. If you can't afford to send $5,000 in advertising, why would you hire a $40,000-$50,000 employee to run it? That's kind of what we've seen more recently. So we try to stay around 10 but we can go as low as that. 

Erik: So we work with a lot of very small companies on that side, and then it scales up probably the core of our business are the $1 to $20 million companies trying to scale. So they've got traction. They see that there's a product market fit and now they need to grow it. We jump right in. That's a really, really core part of our business. But we also get a lot of business in like the Fortune 100 and 500 space on new product launches, team augmentation, bringing new blood in. So whether it's a sandbox to test new marketing channels they haven't tested before, and they don't just want to go just try to figure it out themselves, they want an expert. So they'll bring us in, or they're launching new product and they can't reallocate resources to that. So we helped launch the Red Bulletin. We have done this with a lot of big companies where they bring us in on just a small piece of it.

Benjamin: So you mentioned a couple of the different products that your consultancy provides. Can you run me through that list one more time.

Erik: So it's a pretty robust list in terms of like all the detailed services, but in terms of the departments that all of these fall under, it's strategy, media buying, email, marketing, and CRM, content and influencer and creative. 

Benjamin: So talk to me a little bit about the life cycle of marketing.

Erik: The first thing we do is set up scoreboard as to what does success look like, and then if it's a new company, we take all the data and knowledge we have from all the companies we already worked with to try to leverage that industry knowledge for that company. If it's someone that already has traction, frankly competitive knowledge is not as valuable other than knowing if their metrics are where they should be. Then it depends on the channels. Like for media buying, we're absolutely tracking ROI but one thing you have to take into account there that we often see ignored is purchase cycle. Most companies have a consideration period on a purchase from the first time someone sees the company to when they actually buy something, and most people understand this on an anecdotal level but when they look at their ROI on marketing, they're looking at it by day by day or week by week forgetting that when you advertise to someone, they don't buy right away generally. A lot of times people will cut off marketing and it's cutting off your nose despite your face because you don't even have the real data yet. 

Benjamin: So it sounds like the first thing that you're trying to do is set up some benchmarks to understand how to monitor success and then also understanding the time it takes for a product marketing to mature. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on what are sort of the keys that you look at to understand how long the product marketing life cycle is, how any impressions someone needs.

Erik: Honestly, on a personal level, I best track it on impressions. It's honestly more time assuming you're doing everything right from a retargeting perspective and email nurturing perspective. It's a timeline and what we've seen there is the highest corelation on that timeline is the average cart. So for a $50 average order value, we usually see about a three week purchase cycle give or take. It goes to five weeks for $100, about six weeks for $200, and then it slowly tapers off to like maybe two to three months on the outside. Obviously this depends on the product and if there's a factor of timing on it. But if it's impulse type of buy that someone could just buy it at any moment, like clothing, beauty products, fashion products, etc., that's usually the role of click through rates.

Benjamin: Super interesting. It also brings up a point that you are specifying your focus on products. Does Hawke Media specifically focus on eCommerce, something that is a physical sale, or have you done SAS products and things that are not necessarily direct purchase related? 

Erik: We've done all the above. So we're about 65% eCommerce, probably about 25% SAS, and 10% everything else. Again, the numbers I just gave in terms of average cart, that's also very sense of ballpark that we start with on product level for eCommerce. But we measure that and we get the accurate picture of what that average is with every company we work with.

Benjamin: I'm interested to hear do you have any sense of what the average timeline for campaign maturity would be for SAS products? 

Erik: Not off hand. We do have a whole data platform I can probably look into. I don't think SAS you can bucket it the same way because it just depends on the problem you're solving. Hawke Media is an example. Our average retainer is $8,000 a month, but the thing is we're taking over an aspect of the company. That's a very normal price point. If we were trending $8,000 a month as an email software, we'd probably have a lot longer purchase cycle. So it just depends on where you're implementing and what you're taking over, what problem your solving, and where the ROI comes in on that.

Benjamin: I think that for SAS, where it's specifically software, not services, the price point is obviously going to be a big factor just like it would with eCommerce.

Erik: Sure.

Benjamin: Where you're saying a product like Hawke Media I would sort of bucket that as a professional service, which I would imagine has a much longer turn around time.

Erik: That's a fair assumption that I would make the same thing, but from our data, our numbers are very, very in line with what we see on the SAS side. So our purchase cycle at Hawke is 27 days I think is average for a $8,000 order. From first time meeting someone to when they sign is usually around 27 days. It's a yes or a no. 

Benjamin: What's the next step once you have a sense of how long it takes for someone to drive a conversion? 

Erik: It all depends on what stage the business is in. So if there's a lot of data analyzed and actually learn from, that's great. Sometimes we just have to use just our knowledge from the industry.

Benjamin: Benchmarks.

Erik: Yeah, exactly. We'll put together a plan that we think is the best one to go forward with, and then set a benchmark, set expectations, and then launch with what you think would be the best foot forward and monitor it so during that purchase period, you're watching for early indicators like click through rates, leads, and even conversions. What kind of early conversions are we getting? So just watching those indicators of ROI on that advertising as well as making sure to do all the things right to convert it, and, depending on the product, building some third party validation or trust because if it's anything you ingest or anything you have to be cautious about, people are going to be looking for testimonials, reviews, press, etc. 

Benjamin: So talk to me a little bit about your toolkit. What are some of the channels that you see growth in terms of your MarTech stack and what are your work courses or go to sources of driving traffic and revenue? 

Erik: We continue to see success in Facebook and Instagram marketing for any type of brand that you can create demand for. So the important thing to look at with any time is top of the funnel stuff, whether it's Facebook search, all these different advertising channels, is the context in which someone's on it when you're advertising to them. The reason Facebook and Instagram have had so much success is because when someone's on those platforms, frankly they're not doing anything productive. So you can target the exact person that fits your customer profile with hopefully a good piece of good advertisement at a time when they're basically telling you they're bored and not doing anything. 

Erik: So the performance there is pretty massive from a top of the funnel for that type of business, but if you're something like a DUI attorney and you just need to be there when someone needs help for a DUI, Facebook's not going to do very much because there's not a lot of social indicators that say this person's going to get a DUI. So maybe there are a few and maybe there could be research around that, but it's a lot easier to go onto Google and just be there when someone says, "I need a DUI attorney." So it's that context of like are you looking for someone that has actual intent right now or are you looking for someone to create new demands? So it's answering existing demand versus creating new demand is how I look at those two channels. So, again, it depends on what type of product or service you're working with. Search is a lot more beneficial to Hawke Media, but Facebook and LinkedIn have been good markets because even though someone may not need marketing help right now, getting us in front of who could potentially be our customer, we're able to target those people have the right type of business that works.

Erik: After that, really important to nurture that traffic because, again, back to the purchase cycle, not everyone converts right away. So we always want to plug in some sort of email service provider and do drip campaigns and some automation around it. So for eCommerce we use Klaviyo, K-L-A-V-I-Y-O. Along with a few others Amaris, Bronto, there's some good ones depending on different products fit different companies better. Then, as I mentioned earlier, we're getting a lot more into SMS messaging and actually are working in partnership with a new SMS platform coming out that we think is going to be kind of a game changer because we're giving them all the feedback of here's the things we need for our clients, and they're putting them in. We've done that before with other softwares including Klaviyo. Then chat messenger, etc. and retargeting. Those are all the piece of the nurturing. 

Erik: So how we look at marketing in general are kind of three pillars. It's this awareness, which is all the advertising I've been talking about. Nurturing, so what you do after you get that awareness. The last piece being trust because of a lot of people whether it's a fashion company, we just want to make sure that stuff doesn't fall apart and shows up like it looks on the internet or it's a supplement that we want to make sure we don't die when we swallow it. People are looking for that third party validation. So that's influencer marketing, press, testimonials, content, etc. 

Benjamin: You mention sort of the nurture stage and retargeting. What are some of the other things you do to stay in front of a customer who may or may not have given you their contact information? 

Erik: So yeah, if they're not willing to, which what we've seen is about 10% to 20% of people are, the rest a lot of times obviously are quite a few of those people are just not interested. So got to let them go. But we a lot of times will cook you a computer. Most of the time we do what's called retargeting, which is everyone seen those ads that follow you over the internet after you visit a website. So we'll focus on that, and by building a good funnel based on what hey did on the website, targeting them with different ads. 

Benjamin: Okay. That's a great stopping point. That wraps up this episodes of the MarTech podcast. Thanks again to Erik Huberman for joining us. In part two of this interview, which we'll publish tomorrow morning, Erik is going to talk us through how Hawke Media looks at marketing funnels for their clients, how they develop credibility for brands, and how they allocate budgets between proven and test marketing channels.

Benjamin: If you can't wait for the second part of this interview and you'd like to learn more about Hawke Media, go to HawkeMedia.com. That's H-A-W-K-E Media.com. A special thanks to Searchmetrics for sponsoring this podcast. If you're looking to grow your online presence, go to Searchmetrics.com to request your free tour of their platform. If you'd like to ad the transcript of this podcast, we've published it on MarTechpod.com. 

Benjamin: A special thanks to the subscribers of the MarTech podcast. If you're a subscriber, we want you to feel like a member of our community. So if you ever have any questions, comments, or if you'd like to be a guest on our show, feel free to reach out to me directly at podcast@benjshap.com or on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Our handle is BenJShapLLC. If you haven't subscribed yet and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge in your podcast feed, in addition to part to of our interview with Erik Huberman, we've got some great episodes lined up over the next few weeks. So if you're interested in learning about topics like direct mail, growth hacking, B2B marketing, hit that subscribe button in your podcast app.

Benjamin: Okay. That's it for today, but until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy. 

Benjamin: Welcome back to the Martech Podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Search Metrics. Search Metrics sets the standard for innovation in the content and search engine optimization industries. They support businesses who care about understanding both how to use content as a marketing channel, and how to improve organic rankings in Google. If you're a enterprise level marketer, the Search Metrics suite of software and services will help you optimize your existing content, help you understand what topics you need to cover next, and how to ensure that your writers product effective content. There are billions of Google searches happening every day, Search Metrics gets your stories to the top.

Benjamin: Okay, today we're gonna finish our discussion centered about full funnel marketing. In our last episode, Erik Huberman, who is the founder and CEO of Hawke Media, a plug and play marketing consultancy walked us through Hawke Media's approach to creating expectations, campaign evaluation, and nurturing leads. If you missed that episode, I highly recommend you go back and give it a listen. That said, in the second part of our conversation with Erik, he's going to tell us how Hawke Media looks at developing marketing funnels for their clients, how they create credibility for brands, and how they allocate budgets between proven and test marketing channels. Here's the second part of our interview with Erik Huberman from Hawke Media.

Benjamin: How do you break down the funnel, let's use E-commerce as an example, right? I'm selling a physical product, it's a fashion brand T-shirt.

Erik: Yeah.

Benjamin: And somebody comes to my website, they look, they don't give me their email address, they don't sign up. They're at different stages in their buying cycle, how would you think about the marketing funnel?

Erik: If they don't sign up, they don't give you their email address, and they end up going it'd again, be reinforcing why they should buy through advertisement. They already know who you are, so going back at them with, "Hey, we're Hawke Media," it'd be more like, "Here are the reasons you should reconsider working with us." Because they left doesn't mean they're not interested, they could've just been rushed out. So it's more of a reminder. They already know about you, so now take that step further to really articulate the different value propositions and the different benefits as to why they should buy your product or service.

Erik: So if it's a shoe company, here's how cool our shoes look, more pictures of shoes, here's the celebrities that are wearing them. Again, that third party validation. Here's the reason we exist, so the mission driven type of people. So people have different reasons they buy, different value propositions resonate with different people. So presenting each one very concisely, but one at a time, you're gonna get different people to purchase at different points because of those.

Benjamin: So it sounds like the mission driven retargeting, here's the reason why the company has a point of view, product driven, showing here's just more examples of the product and how great it looks, social proof, here's a celebrity that's using the product. Did I miss anything else?

Erik: No, those are examples. I mean every company, again, is different. So with us, we may use case studies, we may use success stories, we may use testimonials, we may use all sorts of different tactics to be like, "Hey, you really should be working with us." But if it's a fashion company it's more about building the lifestyle in different ways then people are like, "Okay, I really need to get that pair of shoes."

Benjamin: Understood. So you mentioned before the idea of building some social proof. Talk to me about the strategy for the third part of the funnel that you've laid out.

Erik: Yeah, so traditionally in this section is a good point to bring up we did a lot of influencer marketing when influencer were helping build a lot of credibility. The problem is it became so over-saturated. And now with the FTC regulations, there's just no credibility or authenticity there. So building content on site really helps, because if you can show yourself as an expert in your field, people feel a lot better. And what I mean by that is from a B to B standpoint or a stats standpoint, if we're constantly publishing marketing documents, white paper and things that really help people, it helps show we do know what we're talking about, so people feel more comfortable working with us.

Erik: With a fashion brand, if you're putting out really interesting styles guides, and lifestyle guides that really fit with your customer, again, they'll trust you that you're making good products because you obviously have a knowledge for the type of person they are. So content on site is becoming more and more important, and a lot easier to manage than this influencer piece. But things like endorsement deals still work, because actual celebrities still drive credibility to a brand. So that's a big piece. Press is awesome. You know getting some good pieces about you in the publications that write about your industry always help to show, "Hey, we've been validated by a real publication." That again, gives people that little bit more trust. Awards are great, submitting for awards. It just depends on your business, everything is different. But the idea is showing that other people have already gone through the process of figuring out if they can trust you, and they do, and they're credible people that you trust. So it's almost a transfer of trust. Again, the people don't trust influencers anymore, so you're not really getting a transfer of trust. But in other ways, there's way to do that.

Benjamin: So I'm interested, you mentioned one of the key strategies for building credibility is to create your own content. Publishing your content on your properties only gets you so far, what are you doing to take the content, the white papers, and the blog posts that you're creating, to distribute them?

Erik: So a few things, one, back to the nurturing side, we definitely send emails out saying here's some content, here's some stuff to share with you, et cetera. We use that content in our advertising. A lot of times we'll just advertise the fact that we have this white paper that we've put out, and you should check it out, and if we can help you let us know. And partnering with outlets, so I write for Entrepreneur Forbes, I published an article in Ad Week Today. So a lot of the content I'm creating and a lot of the opinions I'm developing I'll put out through other publications, not just our own content on site. And that just makes us look credible.

Benjamin: I understand for a brand like Hawke Media where have been successful and have built up credibility. So you're able to go and publish articles in Forbes, and Ad Age. For companies that are just starting out, or people that don't have the level of influence that you have, tell me a little about what you'd suggest for them distributing their content.

Erik: If you're running a business in the industry, and you are doing a good job, you already deserve that credibility. So if you've built a fashion brand and it's amazing, fashion publications are gonna wanna hear from you. If you're building a good business service and actually know how to provide those services, which again, back to the very beginning, most agencies don't. But if you do a good job, you're reputation is gonna get out there pretty quickly, and it's just about putting yourself out there. But again, it's also start with your own content. I mean, I wrote on our own blog almost every day until I started hiring people, and then had other people write so that we had content going out every day for a long time before I started writing for other publications. 

Erik: And then frankly, my first real contributing writing was I moved into the same building as the Santa Monica Daily Press, which is an awesome local paper, but it's a very small local paper. And I asked if I could interview a local entrepreneur once a week for them. And they said, "Absolutely, go for it." And that was the start of that side of my career. 

Benjamin: So talk to me about analytics, and once you sort of have gone through finding who your prospects are, nurtured them, shown them social proof, how do you understand what's converting and think about driving ROI. How do you optimize?

Erik: So analytics, again, we wanna track for everything. Google analytics is a great first glance into a business and what's going on, especially if you make sure to set everything up right. You're tagging the different sources, and I don't wanna speak too complexly, but there's something called UTM codes, you should Google it, so can see how to create it. But it basically gives you the chance for every link you put out there, it tells Google Analytics exactly what the source and medium in terms of it's from Facebook, and it's a PPC campaign, or whatever it is. You can track exactly where your sources are coming from, so you can see a little deeper.

Erik: Then sometimes we'll use deeper analytics tools, like [inaudible 00:08:32] that helps us track that longer tail in case the purchase cycle is beyond what we can track through a platform like Facebook, et cetera. Which, as an example, Facebook only tracks conversions up to 28 days. If you have higher than a 28 day purchase cycle, it's gonna be misleading. So we set up a custom dashboard that has all the KPIs we are about, ROI, et cetera, clicks, conversions, revenue, spend, et cetera, so that we're watching those. And then it's about the details. Once we set up a campaign that overall is running in the right direction, watching each advertisement, each target we're targeting, each picture we're using, or photograph, or banner ad, each piece of copy we're using, and optimizing consistently to get a better and better and better ROI. That's the game here. 

Erik: And while we're doing that, we're also usually testing with 10 to 20% of budget to continue to try to find other channels that we can go down, whether it's other targets, other completely different marketing channels, depending on the size of the budget so that we don't spread too thin. But we're constantly trying to find those new pieces, because things change, and ebb and flow constantly. And you wanna diversify. Just like an investment portfolio, you have to diversify your marketing expense.

Benjamin: I think that's a great tip, where you have 80% of your budget invested in channels that you know work, but you're spending 10 to 20% trying to cultivate new channels. 

Erik: Yeah, and again, it goes really in line with investing in blue chip stock, and having 20% in high [inaudible 00:09:50] risks, because if it goes away, oh well. But if you succeed, there could be a great benefit.

Benjamin: So talk to me about your goals for the company, where are you? What are you trying to achieve?

Erik: Yeah. You know, we're again, 130 people, which is pretty in line with revenue is about a 13 million run rate. Kinda the way it's been the entire time we've been in business, about $100,000 ahead. So next four years we'd like to be $100 million business. It's less than doubling year over year the next four years basically. We've over doubled every year up until now. So slowing that down slightly, but still very rapid growth, and at a different scale. So it's frankly a lot harder. But that's the goals we've set out, and to do that we have a lot of things going into the business. We have our core business, which is what we spoke to. 

Erik: We're also developing kind of a self serve marketing platform I'll be launching soon, that the idea is you can go in and just get a very bit sized piece of what we do. So I just need an email design, so you don't have to hire a month to month expert, you're just getting one very specific service, which allows these really small businesses to work with us on just filling holes in what they need on bandwidth. So building that, but also building the exact other side of our business, which is more of an enterprise offering. We've partnered with a few pretty all star CMOs, and we're gonna be inserting them in companies for six months to a year using our resources and help along with some marketing data partners, and really building out and turning around a lot of large enterprise companies that are having trouble keeping up from a marketing perspective. 

Erik: We're actually gonna probably be expanding into Europe beginning of next year, so starting to lay the groundwork there. Really have built out an executive team, that we're rounding out over the next month. We have some amazing directors on the marketing side of the business, but bringing in some gray hair so to speak, to help us become an adult. My head of partnership said to me a great line today that is totally true is, "We're in puberty right now, and we're becoming an adult." So we're in a little awkward phase where we've been a really cool scrappy agency, and now we're growing up to really systematize things, really make things replicable, and its been interesting. Its got all the metaphors of puberty that you would expect. So that's kinda where the business is right now. 

Erik: And on top of that, we've been lucky enough to have this venture capital arm that we've been able to invest in a lot of really successful companies, and be partners in through sweat equity, in a lot of really cool organizations. That's kind of the only [inaudible 00:12:03] in the business really goes down to though, really wanna be the number one marketing partner to all sized businesses in the world. That's the goal.

Benjamin: It sounds like from an organizational perspective, you're starting to see some changes, aren't you?

Erik: Oh yeah. And we do every year, to be honest. We went from zero to 17 in the first year, 17 to 35 the second year, 35 to 65 the third year, 65 to 120 the fourth year. Every year we've had to make huge shifts in the way the organization interacts and how it operates. And this year is no different. But it's a bigger and bigger change just because the bigger you are, the bigger those changes affect just so much more. My partner said something very poignant to me awhile ago. I'm a yes guy when people ask me for stuff, I like to give full autonomy. So if someones saying, "Can I do this?" Or, "Can I do that?" I air on the side of saying yes. But he stopped me, 'cause he's like, "When you say yes to an employee from now on, remember you're saying yes 130 times." 

Benjamin: That's good advice.

Erik: So I took a pause there. It definitely changes a little bit, but what's nice is that we're fortunate enough to have, the culture has been very similar, the type of people we have. We're very careful who we hire and what types of people from both a work ethic perspective, and an intelligence perspective, as well as just a culture fit, a personality fit. So it's fun because you see things, you know there was a birthday party for one of our employees a week ago, I was invited, I showed up, and like 40 of the people on the team were there for Friday evening after work. So they like each other, which is a really nice thing to see. 

Benjamin: Did everybody leave when the boss shows up?

Erik: Pretty much. No, it's funny, 'cause the specific employee knows me pretty well, and has been with us a long time. So they're not awkward about it, but there were some new employees that were kinda like, "Oh, hi." And I'm used to it, it's my fifth business, so I always know I'm that guy. But in general, I try to let them do their own thing. But it wouldn't have been surprising if a few ducked out.

Benjamin: So it sounds like you're working with a fair amount of junior level people that are new in their career. And I ask this to everyone on the podcast, what advice would you have to someone that's new in marketing, starting their career to help shape the direction that they should go and get into the Martech field?

Erik: Something I've seen really cool, that a lot of our really good employees do is do something on the side that builds your knowledge. Have fun with it. If you don't enjoy what you do professionally, you're gonna hate life and be bad at it anyway. So if you're getting into marketing, I hope you actually enjoy marketing. And if you enjoy marketing, go launch a product on Shopify, go do some drop shipping. If you wanna get into socia marketing, go build some influencer Instagram channels. Whatever it is, go learn how to do it for yourself. 'Cause you're gonna be so much more valuable to other people. That's how we built this company was I had done it for myself. And now our top sales guy owns his own men's swimwear line, just as an example. So when he talks to a business owner about marketing with us, he's actually using us, he knows how we work intimately, and he knows why they need us. So really easy sale.

Erik: And then you go to the [inaudible 00:14:44] marketing side, and when you're talking about running certain ads, or increasing budgets, or everything, you've been through it, so it's like listen, you can speak to someone with, "I know, I understand," but you can make recommendations based on real knowledge, not just theoretical outcomes. 

Benjamin: Last question for you, is there anyone you're trying to meet? Anything you'd like to promote? How can the people listening to this podcast get ahold of you?

Erik: Really open, I love meeting people, love helping. So whether I can help you as a business, or I can help you personally, I'm happy to connect, it's really easy to find me. It's just slash, or at Erik Huberman on any social media channel. So it's E-R-I-K H-U-B-E-R-M-A-N, so feel free to reach out. Sorry if I don't get back right away, I do get bombarded, but I usually am pretty good about responding.

Benjamin: Great, Erik from Hawke Media, thank you so much for joining us.

Erik: Thank you as well.

Benjamin: Okay, that wraps up this episode of the Martech Podcast. Thanks to Erik Huberman for joining us. If you're interested in learning more about Erik or Hawke Media, you can go to HawkeMedia.com, that's H-A-W-K-E media.com. A special thanks to Search Metrics for sponsoring this podcast. If you're looking to grow your online presence go to searchmetrics.com to request your free tour of their platform. If you'd like to read the transcript of this podcast, we've published it on our website MarTechPod.com. If you are a subscriber to the Martech Podcast, thank you very much. We want you to feel like a member of our community, so if you have questions, comments, or you'd like to be a guest on the show, feel free to reach out to me directly at Podcast@BenJShap.com, or on LinkedIn, or Twitter, or Facebook. Our handle is BenJShapLLC. If you haven't subscribed yet, and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge in your podcast feed, welcome to the show, we've got some great episodes lined up for you in the next few weeks.

Benjamin: Okay, that's it for today. But until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy.

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