About Tim Fitzpatrick: Tim Fitzpatrick founded Rialto Marketing, which provides marketing consulting, advisory, and outsourced or part-time marketing executive services. They help B2B professional service firms grow faster without the commitment or cost of a full-time executive. Tim achieves this by identifying and removing revenue roadblocks in three key marketing areas: Strategy, which serves as your fuel; Planning, your marketing vehicles; and Leadership, the driver behind it all. Aligning these three elements is crucial for accelerating your revenue growth. Tim tends to work with growth-focused B2B professional service firms like MSPs, IT consultants, cybersecurity firms, business consultants, accountants/tax advisors, attorneys, insurance brokers, etc. Check out the latest episode of our Conversational Selling podcast to learn more about Tim.
In this episode, Nancy and Tim discuss the following:
- Tim’s journey from a mathematics major to entrepreneurship in marketing
- The common pitfalls businesses face in wasting time and money on marketing due to information overload
- Why having a narrow target market is crucial for effective marketing
- Insights on the frequency and value of marketing messages
- The benefits of 90-day planning cycles over year-long plans.
- I will be the first person to tell you from a marketing standpoint that it is about testing: there is a lot of marketing you will do that will not work.
- I am a huge proponent of narrowing your market.
- The Revenant Roadblock Scorecard is a self-assessment and takes less than five minutes.
- How can you expect to consistently convert leads if you don’t have a sales process?
“There are several reasons why people are wasting time and money on marketing. In my opinion, what happens with marketing most of the time is that people battle information overload. There are so many different marketing channels and tactics within those marketing channels today. We’re just like, where do we even start? And what most people do is jump right to tactics. I need to have a website. I need to have a YouTube channel or a podcast, or I need to be on Facebook. We just immediately jumped to acting. But when we do that, we’re skipping strategy. And the way I think about strategy is strategy is like fuel. The marketing tactics, the channels, those are vehicles. And when we jump right into the vehicle with no fuel, we all know how well that’s going to work, right? ” – TIM
“Too many businesses do not have a firm handle on their ideal clients. And because they don’t have a firm handle on who their ideal clients are, their message to the market sucks. You can’t create a message that will attract and engage people until you know who the heck you’re trying to attract and engage. Without those two elements in place, it is very difficult for your marketing to work consistently and, frankly, for you to know why it’s working. Because most people are just throwing the spaghetti up against a wall, hoping it sticks. So, if we can take a step back and invest the time in strategy and then go back to the marketing vehicles, it’s going to work much better, it’s going to be more effective, and you’re going to experience much more consistent, repeatable results with it.” – TIM
“the pandemic is a perfect example of this. If you had a year-long marketing plan that you had put in place at the beginning of 2020, come March, that plan either went into a drawer or you lit it on fire. Because here’s why I don’t like yearlong plans. One, there is no year-long plan. And this goes with marketing. It goes with any other planning you’re doing for your business. In my opinion, year-long plans are the same at the end as they were at the beginning. They change, and they change quickly. And what tends to happen with year-long plans is they become very complex. There are too many moving pieces, and complexity is the enemy of results. We need to keep things simple. And when we can keep them simple, we have a much higher likelihood of effectively implementing and executing them. And if it’s going to change quickly anyways, why take the time?” – TIM
Connect with Tim Fitzpatrick:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timpfitzpatrick/
- Rialto Marketing: https://www.rialtomarketing.com/
Try Our Proven, 3-Step System, Guaranteeing Accountability and Transparency that Drives RESULTS by clicking on this link: https://oneofakindsales.com/call-center-in-a-box/
Connect with Nancy Calabrese:
- Phone: 908-879-2911
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ncalabrese/
- Email: email@example.com
Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi, it’s Nancy Calabrese, and it’s time again for Conversational selling – the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today, and it always starts with the human conversation. Today we’re speaking with Tim Fitzpatrick, the president and founder of Rialto Mobile Marketing, a company which provides marketing consulting and outsourced or fractional CMO services to help B2B professional service firms accelerate growth. With more than 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Tim helps clients remove revenue roadblocks by focusing on three critical areas of marketing strategy planning and leadership. Tim graduated with a mathematics major from UC Berkeley and started his career working in his family’s business before going into entrepreneurship Welcome to the show Tim. I’m so happy to have you!
Tim Fitzpatrick: Nancy, thanks for having me. I’m excited to connect with you today. [1:19]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, OK, so the one thing that jumps out to me, how does a math major wind up in marketing? Ha ha.
Tim Fitzpatrick: Ha, it’s a winding road, let’s put it that way. You kind of touched on it. When I got out of college, I had no idea what the heck I wanted to do. And my dad had been a manufacturer’s rep for a long time. He had started a distribution company a couple of years before that, that was related to that business. And when I got out, I had no idea what I was going to do. And I was like, hey, I know you need help. He had no full-time people in the company at that point. And I said, let me help you for the summer. And so, I helped him for the summer, and I was hooked. Like we were selling home theater equipment, distributed audio, selling to contractors that were installing home theaters in people’s homes. Nancy, I learned more doing that in six months than I did in four years of college. I just, I loved it. I was hooked. And my dad and I ended up working together for nine years until we sold, but we grew about 60% a year. And it was fun, it was great. So, after we sold, I worked for the company for another three years. I stayed with the company and moved from where I was in Northern California to Colorado. And then in 2009, I got laid off. We got bought by a public company and we all know what happened in 2008. [2:49]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
Tim Fitzpatrick: And in 2009, they closed 30% of the branch locations that we had across the country. And so, after that, I transitioned. I got into real estate. So, I was a residential real estate agent. For several years, I was door knocking people that were in foreclosure at the time and doing a lot of short sale business. You know, Nate, you know, on the sales side, I mean, the first time I knocked on a door, I was absolutely freaking terrified. But the more I knocked, the more I got comfortable. You know, I was pushing myself outside of my comfort zone every day. But I got to a place where I was like waking up every day going, oh my God, I must do this all over again. And so that’s when I looked at shifting again and I looked at, you know, what am I good at? Where are my skill sets? And that’s when I got into marketing. And I’m not going to tell you my road, my path in marketing has been straight. It’s been winding as well because marketing is just so broad, but that’s how I got in marketing in a nutshell. [3:51]
Nancy Calabrese: Cool, well, you’ve got the sales edge too. Listen, you know, a lot of people feel that they’re wasting time and money on marketing. Why is that?
Tim Fitzpatrick: Ha! There are several reasons why people are wasting time and money on marketing. Because in my opinion, most of the time what happens with marketing is people are battling information overload. There are so many different marketing channels today and so many tactics within those marketing channels. We’re just like, where do we even start? And what most people do is jump right to tactics. I need to have a website. I need to have a YouTube channel or a podcast, or I need to be on Facebook. We just immediately jumped to acting. But when we do that, we’re skipping strategy. And the way I think about strategy is strategy is like fuel. The marketing tactics, the channels, those are vehicles. And when we just jump right into the vehicle with no fuel, we all know how well that’s going to work, right? [4:59]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
Tim Fitzpatrick: That’s why people end up wasting time and money on marketing. I will be the first person to tell you from marketing standpoint, it is about testing. There is a lot of marketing you’re going to do that is not going to work.
Nancy Calabrese: Really?
Tim Fitzpatrick: Absolutely. But when you find what works, say that again.
Nancy Calabrese: I mean, does that vary from business to business? Does that vary from business to business?
Tim Fitzpatrick: Ah, that you’re going to try marketing, that’s not going to work.
Nancy Calabrese: Well, like some marketing methods may work better in some industries over other industries.
Tim Fitzpatrick: Yes, that’s true. What I would say though is, any of the marketing vehicles can work. You know, you just, you must have the right strategy behind it. Too many businesses do not have a firm handle on who their ideal clients are. And because they don’t have a firm handle on who their ideal clients are, their message to the market sucks. Like you can’t create a message that’s going to attract and engage people until you know who the heck you’re trying to attract and engage. Without those two elements in place, it is very difficult for your marketing to work consistently and frankly for you to know why it’s working. Because most people are just throwing the spaghetti up against a wall hoping it sticks. So, if we can take a step back and invest the time in strategy and then go back to the marketing vehicles, it’s going to work much better, it’s going to be more effective, and you’re going to experience much more consistent, repeatable results with it. [6:50]
Nancy Calabrese: Huh. You know, I’ve often heard that it’s best to have a narrow target market. And why is that important and what’s a simple way to do it?
Tim Fitzpatrick: Yes, so I am definitely a huge proponent of narrowing your market. At least at first, most people’s initial roadblock is, well, if I narrow, then I’m closing off a bunch of the market. But the thing is when we focus, things become much, much easier. Most businesses are targeting a market that is far too broad, right? It’s almost like the only thing, when you target broadly, the only thing you can see is the entire red of the bullseye can’t see the rest of the target. When we focus, right, it brings that target into Zoom, and now we can hit a target that we can see. We can’t hit a target that we can’t. So when it’s too broad, we can’t see it. So, we’ve got to narrow it down. And when we narrow it down, what it allows us to do is, one, it makes it much easier to identify where we need to be to get in front of those people. It also allows us to create a message that is specific to that audience. And one of my mentors said specificity sells, right? The more specific we can be with our marketing and our sales message, the more effective it’s going to be. So, one of the easiest ways to start to narrow in on a target market and identify who your ideal clients are is if you’re an existing business, like you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You’ve been working with clients. [8:31]
Nancy Calabrese: Okay. Right.
Tim Fitzpatrick: Start with your existing and your past clients. It’s the easiest place to start. And what I call these, the three power questions. Who do you love working with? Who are your most profitable clients? And who do you get great results for? You are looking for people that check all three of those boxes.
Nancy Calabrese: I like that.
Tim Fitzpatrick: Once you have that group, then you can start to look in that group to find where the commonalities are. And with that, we start to look at demographics, the numbers behind those people, but also the psychographics behind those people. What are their goals? What are the common problems they have? How are they feeling? Those things. And what ends up happening when you go through this process, Nancy, is inevitably you end up with some subgroups that have commonalities. And so, for example, I just, I just interviewed a managed service provider and IT consultant on my podcast who went through this process about two years ago. And they were like, Oh my God, over half of our clients are in the healthcare space. Why are we not? Why are we not focusing strictly on the healthcare space? Okay, and so that’s what they did. It is a very eye-opening process. If people that are listening to this do one thing from this interview, do that one thing. You will be shocked at what you see, and then you can start to take the steps to improve your marketing once you have that data. [10:16]
Nancy Calabrese: Right. Wow. Huh, great suggestion. How often should we be sending marketing messages out? How frequent?
Tim Fitzpatrick: That’s a loaded question, Nancy. As often as you can, I think certainly your market needs to be accustomed to how you’re going to communicate. But think about it also depends on the medium. On social, you can post on social as many times as you want. As long as you’ve got something important to say and share. You know, the email’s different, but I don’t know about you, Nancy, but I’m on some email lists where I get daily emails. And I get daily email messages from those people marketing their business. [11:11]
Nancy Calabrese: You get daily meetings? Oh. Yeah, well that annoys me. Yeah.
Tim Fitzpatrick: So right for me though, for these particular people, I’m okay with that because they’re sending out valuable information. So how often you communicate, again, this comes back to understanding your market and understanding what type of frequency you need to communicate with them. But I would tell you, most people are not communicating enough.
Nancy Calabrese: Huh, interesting.
Tim Fitzpatrick: Okay, because, you know, if you’re not staying in front of your ideal clients, they’re gonna forget about you, right, but you need to add value to people. If all you’re getting is a sales message every day, like that’s gonna be annoying for people, right? But if you’re providing information that’s valuable for them, that’s helping them, are they gonna care? No, they’re not, because it’s helping them. [12:13]
Nancy Calabrese: Well, listen, let’s talk about your revenue roadblock scoreboard. Tell us about that.
Tim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, yeah, revenue roadblock scorecard is what we call it. And it’s you mentioned this in the beginning, you know, at my company, Realtor Marketing, when we work with clients, we are helping them remove their roadblocks, right? If you want to grow, if you want to accelerate growth, you need to remove the roadblocks that are in your way. And we focus on three critical areas of marketing strategy, planning, leadership. Right. So, you think of strategy like fuel planning is the vehicles and leadership are the driver who’s going to be the driver. So, within those three areas, there are three additional roadblocks and we focus on helping people remove those. So, all also there’s nine in total. You’ve got your target market. You’ve got your message. You’ve got your services in your offers. Then you look at lead generation. How are you going to generate leads? Then you look at lead conversion. How are you actually going to convert them? I’m sure you see this on the sales side. A lot of people have no sales process. Like if you don’t have a sales process, how can you expect to consistently convert leads? Then we look at what are you doing to retain clients and what are you doing to generate referrals? And then when we transition into the leadership side of it, we look at what metrics are you gonna track, overseeing implementation and execution, and then ongoing optimization. Those are the nine roadblocks. So, the Revenant Roadblock Scorecard, it is a self-assessment. It takes less than five minutes. You go there, you answer some questions, and then it grades you on each of those roadblocks, so that you start to get an idea of, hey, where are we doing well and where are we not? Because all of these things, if they are a roadblock and you don’t have those dialed in, they are going to be a roadblock in your way to growing revenue and accelerating growth. [14:29]
Nancy Calabrese: Oh, how can my people access that?
Tim Fitzpatrick: They can access that at revenueroadblockscorecard.com.
Nancy Calabrese: Cool, cool. So a company engages your services. How long does it take for them to see a return on their investment?
Tim Fitzpatrick: The answer that I’m going to give you, which is what everybody hates, is it depends. Here’s what I will tell you. Most of the things that I am focusing on, marketing takes time. OK. Another reason why marketing fails for most people is they’re thinking short term, not long term. And they don’t give the marketing that they’re doing enough time to work. So, when you engage anybody from a marketing standpoint, you need to be thinking long term. [15:21]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, right.
Tim Fitzpatrick: Okay. Having said that, there are things that you can do to get more immediate results while you’re investing the time and the effort on those things that are going to take a little bit longer to bear fruit. Okay. So, for example, okay, when we work with the client, there are some areas for quick wins. I’m going to give you; I’ll give you some right now. One, what’s already working in your business. What’s already working to generate leads? So, here’s an example for that. Most people are generating a lot of referrals. When I ask them, how are you doing that? Most of them say it’s just happening. What you are already doing that’s working is not fully optimized. You don’t have, if you don’t have a system in place or have gaps in that system, you want to fill those. So, that’s a quick win area. If you can put in a system if you don’t have it or fill in some gaps in that system to make it even better, that’s an area for a quick win. Another area for a quick win is what used to work that you stopped doing. We all have things that we used to do and then we got to, they were working great and then we got distracted with something else and we stopped. Well, you can go back and start doing that again. [16:46]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
Tim Fitzpatrick: Those are two simple areas for quick wins while you’re working on your marketing efforts that are gonna take more time to bear fruit. The other thing is paid ads. Paid ads, you know, Google ads, Facebook ads, you know, social ads of any kind can be a way to start to generate quicker leads, but I’m gonna tell you, even with those, it does take, you know, it can take a month, two months, three months to really optimize that and dial it in. [17:18]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. And that could be expensive, don’t you think? Yeah.
Tim Fitzpatrick: Yes, it can. It can be. Yeah, it can be if you’re not generating the right leads or you’re not and/or you’re not converting.
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. You know, you shared with me that you think a year-long marketing plan is a waste of time. Why is that?
Tim Fitzpatrick: Yeah. So, Nancy, the pandemic is a perfect example of this. If you had a year-long marketing plan that you had put in place the beginning of 2020, come March, that plan either went into a drawer or you lit it on fire. Because here’s why I don’t like yearlong plans. One, there is no year-long plan. And this goes with marketing. It goes with any other planning you’re doing for your business. In my opinion, year-long plans, no yearlong plan is the same at the end as it was at the beginning. They change and they change quickly. And what tends to happen with year-long plans is they become very complex. There’s too many moving pieces and complexity is the enemy of results. We need to keep things simple. And when we can keep them simple, we have a much higher likelihood of effectively implementing and executing on it. And if it’s going to change quickly anyways, why take the time? [18:44]
Nancy Calabrese: That’s true.
Tim Fitzpatrick: I think you need to have an idea of what your goals are for a year out, three years out. But I think we need to focus on our planning in 90-days sprints. 90-days keeps it simple. It allows you to identify those, you know, those one, two, three really important objectives that if you accomplish those, it’s gonna help you get one step closer to your, to your long-term goals, but it just, it doesn’t, it keeps things simple, and you know exactly what you need to focus on. 90 days with marketing is long enough to start seeing traction, right? Is the action that we’ve taken over the past 90 days helping us push forward, but it’s short enough where we can make course corrections, and then we just wash, rinse, repeat every 90 days. [19:41]
Nancy Calabrese: Love it. I can’t believe, Tim, we’re up with time. I find what you say fascinating. How can my people find you?
Tim Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Two ways one we already touched on which is the Revenue Roadblock scorecard.com The other way is going directly to the Rialto marketing website. It’s our www.rialtomarketing.com you can connect with all our social there. We put out a ton of content I got a podcast blog content That’s the best place to start. I am also super active on LinkedIn. So if anybody wants to connect with me there That’s another great place. [20:20]
Nancy Calabrese: Okay. So, you must love Florence.
Tim Fitzpatrick: So, I visited, I went on a cruise in 2006 that started in Venice. And the Venice Bridge, the Rialto Bridge is in Venice. Yeah, yeah, it’s in Venice. And so that’s kind of where the name came from, but…
Nancy Calabrese: Okay. Oh it is? I thought it was in Florence.
Tim Fitzpatrick: I also, when I think of marketing, I think of marketing as a bridge that helps people get from where they are to where they wanna be.
Nancy Calabrese: I love it. Listen, you know what? I’m just confusing it with Ponte Vecchio. So anyway, I love Italy. I loved our conversation. I hope you’ll come back and people out there, take advantage of the Revenue Roadblock Scorecard and see where it takes you. And get in touch with Tim if you really wanna scale your marketing efforts. So, until we speak again, make it a great sales and marketing day. See you next time. [21:27]