January 28, 2019
In Part 2 of our interview, “CEO Whisperer” Cameron Herold shares his insights on what’s going right and wrong in marketing and why storytelling is one of the most powerful and versatile assets for entrepreneurial brands.
This is The 19. In 19 minutes or less, game-changing insights from Orange Label, the leading response marketing agency for established brands that are driven by a fearless entrepreneurial mindset.
Hi there, this is Rochelle Reiter, agency principal at Orange Label. Today on The 19, we’re continuing our entrepreneur special with part two of our Cameron Herold interview. Now, in part one, Cameron shared some incredible insights on how to lay the foundation and create alignment through a vivid vision. In part two of our interview, Cameron addresses what’s going right in marketing, and wrong for that matter, and tells us why storytelling is one of the most powerful and versatile assets for entrepreneurial brands. So without further ado, here’s Cameron Herold.
Cameron: Hey Rochelle, thanks for having me.
Rochelle: We’re switching gears over to the marketing side. You talked about how a vivid vision can help in marketing to employees, suppliers, and those types of audiences. What do you see in the world today, from your perspective, that’s going right in marketing?
Cameron: I think it’s truth, is one. Is where brands have to absolutely be sixty-minutes proofed, and tell the truth. The customer just won’t deal with being misled or lied to or having their arm twisted. So there’s this simplicity, that’s one. There’s definitely something around thought leadership and influencers. I think that a really powerful – I mean we’ve always had that spokesperson for our brand, but we always knew that they were being paid. Now it’s more looking for the thought leaders and the spokespeople who are actually fans. So its like seeing the person walk down the street wearing a piece of clothing, or I’ve seen it now where I walk onto a plane and see someone reading the book Vivid Vision or I see someone reading the book Double Double and I’m like, wow it’s actually rolling out. People are starting to catch this.
Cameron: And then people sharing on social media. So I think that’s one. So I think that simplicity and then truth then just really working with influencers are key. And the last one I think is really truly understanding your demographic and psychographic that you’re going after. You know, we realized in the very early days of College Pro Painters and then later with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Both companies were business to consumer. You know, both companies were rolled out North America wide. Both companies we were doing work at people’s homes. And in every case people thought that the male was the decision maker where in actual fact the female was the decision maker. And what we identified was that women made 85 percent of the household buying decisions between the age of 35 and 60. So the female was making all the decisions at her home, plus she was making all the decisions at her parent’s home, plus she was making all the decisions of his parent’s home. So why was any of our marketing materials geared at men? So we made all of our marketing materials female friendly. We used female copywriters we used female colors, we used female branding experts. Because they think differently, talk differently, and act differently than a male does. So I think that’s something that’s happening in marketing now is truly, truly understanding your demographic, what’s being called the avatar and really understanding that and marketing to it.
Rochelle: Are there any brands that come to mind that are doing this well in your opinion?
Cameron: Well, Apple, for sure. I mean it’s tiresome, but God, they are perfect. I just went to my team the other day and I said, “Can we just rip off Apple?” I’m at the point where I’m like, why are we trying to come up with a good font? Just use the fonts they use, just take it. God, they’ve spent millions on this. So they’re one. I like a lot of the digital brands, like the Warby Parkers, the Danby Shoes.
Rochelle: Let’s talk about your new book and PR and sounds like good old traditional picking up the phone. Let’s talk about what you’re seeing in the world of PR and how to build that.
Cameron: So PR is getting covered in the media, whether it’s newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, bloggers, podcasters, it’s getting covered by the press. And what I love about that is, if you are in the press, you will always be in the press. And people still believe the news. It’s kinda like the path of least resistance. Right, if everyone is in a line, find the door that doesn’t have the line up, or if everyone is sending emails and press releases, I’m gonna pick up the phone and call them. Because the reality is that most people never get a phone call. So my basic pitch is understanding which outlet to contact, understanding why their reader might care about my story, and then picking up the phone and calling the journalist or the photographer. Not the news desk, not the city desk, not the editor. But calling the photographer or the journalist directly and saying hey do you have two minutes I think I have a good story or I think I have a good photo op for you.
Cameron: And they almost always are going to say one of two things. Either no, I’m on a deadline, at which point I’ll say great, do you mind if I call you Tuesday or how about Thursday next week? And they don’t know what to do because they’ve never been pitched before. They’ve never dealt with a salesperson.
Cameron: Or the second thing is they’ll say sure what do you have, and I’ll say well, my story is about overcoming adversity and how people who are coming to our gym Fit Body Boot Camp have reconnected with their significant other because they’re feeling better about themselves and their fitness. Everyone’s talking about fitness for losing weight, but we’re talking about how people have reconnected with their families because they feel good about themselves from going to the gym every day. And the journalist was like, wait, what? Talk to me about that again? So yeah, we have 700 locations in North America called Fit Body Boot Camp, and people are coming into our gym in the morning, and they’re working hard and they’re leaving all sweaty and they’re going to work and they’re feeling inspired and they’ve got all the dopamine that gets released, and they’re feeling good about themselves. And they go home at the end of the day feeling good, and it’s rekindling their relationship with their spouse. They’re having better relationships with their kids, and they’re not as stressed anymore. So working out is actually what’s rebuilding the fabric of some of our neighborhoods. And I’ve got this guy Bob who just did it, would you want to talk to Bob? And the journalist is always like yeah, who’s Bob? Well, he’s one of our customers. So the story becomes about Bob, but the brand Fit Body Boot Camp gets built into that story.
Rochelle: It’s really bringing out the emotional benefits of what people are really experiencing, and the bottom line benefit of that. It’s almost – it is the why. It’s reconnecting.
Cameron: So that’s one story, right? Well, here’s another story. Well Bedros, who’s the CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp, lived on the streets when he was younger and grew up very, very poor. And he was so angry that he kept going to the gym to work out, and when he kept going to the gym he realized that gyms were shitty and he decided to start a really good one. And he just decided to obsess about marketing because he didn’t like meeting people, and so he sat at home everyday reading books about marketing. So he became a really great marketer. And it turns out now he’s got 700 locations in North America. This is the shy, insecure kid who became a bodybuilder and a marketer, and how he overcame that adversity. You know, there’s a great story there to share about how people can do – and people are like wow, let me tell that story. And now this example that I’m using is actually a client. I coach this CEO and the team at Fit Body Boot Camp. But it just came to mind because we’re talking about PR. And no one’s approaching it that way. Everyone’s calling a PR firm and paying six thousand dollars a month to a PR firm, and you might get one of their people one day a week. But for five thousand dollars a month, you can have your own, full-time in-house PR person who’s pitching you five days a week. You know, which cost is more successful?
Rochelle: Sure. So it’s really about the storytelling and finding the angles internally.
Cameron: Yeah. And then pitching the same stories for years. You know at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? when I started there at the fourteenth employee, when I left six and a half years later with three thousand one hundred employees, I was the chief operating officer. I built our PR team of six people. None of them had PR experience. In that six and a half years, we landed five thousand two hundred stories in the media. And unfortunately, like how that’s amazing. But unfortunately that was all done before Facebook started.
Cameron: Yeah, right? So when I left – Imagine if we could have done it when Facebook was around. Because then we could amplified it. Then I could have shared it, right. But we didn’t have Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and Snapchat, Instagram, to share all those media hits that we were getting. Because now when you get one story – like we were on Oprah in 2003, but we couldn’t tell anybody. Well imagine if you could share that now. And how you can amplify the press. And people love just to see what’s successful. They like to learn from it, they like to be inspired. And that’s why I’m writing the book Free PR is to teach those stories.
Rochelle: That’s amazing. Cameron, it’s been so great having you today. I think the listeners will be excited about your vivid vision and the whole idea of that. We at Orange Label did one in 2014, and then redid it for 2020.
Cameron: Send me your vivid vision so I can share it. I’ll share it on social media as a great example.
Rochelle: Okay. So I will do that for you. Thank you so much.
Cameron: Yeah, that would be great. You’re welcome.
Thank you for listening to part two of The 19: Entrepreneur Edition featuring Cameron Herold. If you have additional thoughts on this topic, send us an email! You can send questions, comments, and more to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to subscribe to The 19 on iTunes and Google Play, and if you like what you heard today, leave us a review.