Marketing as a Profit Center

Eddy Badrina is President of BuzzShift, a Dallas, Texas-based digital strategy agency that focuses on B2B and B2C client growth through the synthesis of business metrics, strategy, and creativity. In this podcast, he explores how digital marketing can revolutionize the brand CMO’s role from being an advertiser running a cost center to functioning as a Chief Marketing & Technology Officer, redefining IT, restructuring operations, and leveraging digital marketing and the online ordering experience to drive bottom line profits … and in a measurable way.

A company’s problems are best solved though hiring the right people, rather than requiring people to “spin their wheels” trying to do something they are not good at doing. Prospective employees take a StrengthFinders test, which identifies 37 strengths in one of four buckets: executing, strategy, relationships, and influencing. Eddy knows what he has to see in the results… and hires people who it BuzzShift’s culture, have the needed skills, and are strong in the areas where the company needs more strength.

Eddy has had the unusual experience of selling his company … and then “unselling” it. He reviews this on his blog in:”Unacquired: That Time We Sold Our Digital Agency and Then Bought It Back.”

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Marketing Forensics: Sleuthing Out Sales Closing Drivers and Building Scalable Pipelines

Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing, a B2B sales and marketing consulting firm based out of Seattle, Washington, is an author, blogger, speaker, and host of Sales Pipeline Radio podcast. Heinz Marketing builds predictable, scalable sales pipelines for startups and for companies targeting enhanced, consistent growth. In this presentation, Matt relates that “61% of decision-makers include podcasts as part of their research process at the beginning of a buying journey,” and emphasizes the importance of dynamic conversational interaction on social media (as contrasted with static website content and printed collateral). He challenges marketers to take holistic responsibility, not just for top-of-the-funnel leads, but for nurturing prospective customers through the sales funnel and collaborating with the sales force to drive sales and revenue performance. He warns that marketing and other professional services companies must, in order to be successful, always be watching and building their pipelines and to know their numbers?the percentage of deals they will close.

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Looking to Grow your Company? Lead with Marketing, Follow with Sales

Alex Membrillo, CEO of Cardinal Digital Marketing, based in Atlanta, Georgia, talks about how companies that want to grow have found that marketing comes first to “plant the seed” the sales force harvests. Alex started his agency as an SEO company in 2009, when he got out of Georgia State on the tail of the Great Recession of 2008. Today, his company provides search, paid social, and programmatic display services. The primary client focus is on restaurants (Cardinal excels in balancing the challenges of national brand awareness vs. the needs of local franchisees) and healthcare (Cardinal increases leads and conversions, cuts lead costs, and ameliorates reputation management issues related to Healthgrades ratings).

To track campaign value, Cardinal Digital Marketing develops powerful client tools:

  • The imminently-to-be-launched software platform, “Jimoto,” allows SMB franchise restaurants to target campaigns to discrete geographic markets and track lead vs. spend at a local level.
  • “Ladybug,” a visualization tool, enables multi-location companies to log on and see how each location is performing with spend and lead volume.
  • A tool, currently under development, will enable medical practice and health systems to track the number of leads being driven into their systems, the number of patients from those leads, and the value of those patients?by linking CRM with Facebook or search campaigns.

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Hell-bent on New and Cutting-Edge Marketing and Legitimizing Tomorrow’s Paradigms

Kevin Planovsky, Principal of Vert Digital in Atlanta, Georgia, discusses how he started his “full stack” mobile- and social-focused marketing consultancy. Keys to Vert Digital’s success include:

  • comprehending clients’ business models, problems, and KPIs
  • understanding the administrative challenges CMOs face in translating corporate directives to actionable challenges for their marketing organizations and agencies , and
  • bridging the creative/technology gap with data-heavy campaign execution.

What motivates Kevin? The thrill of driving change and the opportunity to provide value to clients where others have not. In light of the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal, he believes the marketing industry should be transparent and inform people of the personal data they may not know they have disclosed.

Kevin selects his team members (Vertbags) based on their self-identified position on a scale of “loving technology for technology’s sake” versus “being a communicator who solves marketing problems.” He knows exactly where his ideal employees will be on that line.

Kevin can be reached at @kplanovsky on Twitter, on the company website at:, and through @vertspeaks on all of the popular social media.


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Creativity at Speed, Ephemeral Content, and Solid, Long-term Growth

Mike Popowski, CEO of Dagger Agency based in Atlanta, Georgia, explains the orientation of his strategic content agency, where content is the touch point between brand and consumer and platform placement follows customer behavioral trends. His company focuses on content development, right placement, right timing, and analytics, primarily in video production. Mike notes that content today is far different from what it was 15 years ago . . . more ephemeral and notably less polished.


Critical to Dagger’s success in this market? A strong team and an organization big enough to have the requisite manpower . . . and lean enough to be capable of reactive marketing?nimble, speedy responses to marketing opportunities.

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Coaching Digital Marketing Agencies to Boost Profits and Agency Growth

Jason Swenk, Digital Marketing Agency Advisor, Coach, and Mentor, provides a comprehensive framework to expedite agency growth and life-cycle agency management. In this podcast, he covers:

  • Vision: Where do I want to go and why do I want to do that? The importance and application of passion, knowledge, and expertise.
  • Position: Why specialize in one client-focused niche, master it, and then port that knowledge to other niches.
  • Defining your Offering: What are you offering and what is your price? Radical thoughts on pricing strategies that will maximize profits?How to figure out what to charge, when, and why it really isn’t about the money.

Jason also defines the critical mass for selling your agency at a profit, why you should say “No” to Earn-Outs, and how to handle RFPs and get the contract . . . at the right price.

To learn more about Jason’s online agency system training program for scaling your agency and increasing profits, go to: or google “Swenk It”.

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Focus, Influencer Marketing, and the Road to Authenticity

Danica Kombol, President of Everywhere Agency, talks about the impact of personal storytelling on brand-building and future purchase behaviors and highlights an opportunity many companies miss when they hire influencers to talk about the products/brands they love: that brands, trapped in a traditional “slick” advertising mindset, fail to repurpose the gorgeous, visually-rich, more authentic influencer-created content. Danica also discusses the importance of knowing the business you want to be in, staying in those lanes, and opting out of what you don’t want to do.

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Mapping an Intensive Digital Strategy, Tracking KPIs in the Funnel, and Using Facebook to Drive Customer ROI

Nathan Taitt, CEO of Blueprint Digital, based in Atlanta, GA, discusses his company’s use of integrated digital, multi-channel lead generation strategies for his service-industry customers. He believes that:

1) Facebook can play a key role at all funnel levels,

2) Establishing funnel-stage KPIs facilitates customer expectation management, and

3) On the leadership side, the employee and top line revenue numbers say little about a company’s success.

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Legal Marketing Challenges & Opportunities in Social and Digital Marketing

Guy Alvarez, recovering attorney and Founder and Chief Engagement Officer of Good2bSocial, a full service digital marketing and social media consulting agency, provides a brief overview of effective social marketing strategies in the “legal” niche market. Good2bSocial’s clients include some of the largest law firms in the world, as well as consumer-focused law firms, ad agencies for clients with law-associated interests, and other professional services companies.

Guy can be reached on his company website:, by email at: Guy@, or you can follow him on Twitter (@GuyLaw1313).

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How Amazon Revolutionized Buyer Communication and Brick & Mortar Shopper Habits

Eric Heller, founder of Marketplace Ignition (Atlanta, GA) exposes how Amazon changes how brands “speak” to customers, the reason for the phenomenal growth of digital brands, and the algorithms that determine what you see when you search Amazon for a product. Eric raises the question, “What is the value of a dollar spent on Amazon?” and explains how that dollar can affect brick-and-mortar (off-Amazon) brand-selection decisions

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