Marketing Insights – Part I

This month I interviewed Brian Rouff, managing partner for one of Las Vegas’ top marketing firms Imagine Marketing. Brian is a published author of two books and countless articles, he’s an excellent writer and has over three decades of experience in marketing. I’ve known Brian a little over two years and in that time both our companies have benefited from the strategic partnership we’ve built. Brian and his team are a valuable ally to have in any economy and it’s for this reason that I asked him to contribute to this months article.

This interview is separated into two sections. First I wanted to get Brian’s take on how his company helps their clients grow, and then I asked him what his company is doing to remain competitive during these difficult times.

How long have you been in marketing and how is it different now then when you first started?
Brian – Hard to believe, but I’ve been in marketing for 32 years. Although the basic rules are the same (know your target market, appeal to them in an interesting way, look for an emotional connection), everything else has changed. Especially the delivery systems. The Internet and related innovations have sped up the process exponentially. Clients are also looking for faster, more cost-effective results, particularly in this economy.

What services or products do you offer?
Brian – Although we are a full service marketing firm, we specialize in high-end graphic design, business consulting, video production and web-based marketing. We’re also darned good copy writers.

How has technology impacted the services you provide?
Brian – Printing is becoming less relevant. We’re moving clients out of traditional media like the Yellow Pages and into online directories which can be changed almost instantly and provide trackable results. Where we previously produced printed newsletters for clients, we’re now creating and distributing e-newsletters for a fraction of the cost. Of course, a good website is still the cornerstone of most businesses, along with strategies to drive traffic to that site.

How has the Internet changed your approach in developing a marketing strategy for your clients?
Brian – We jumped into social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) early because we recognized the opportunities. It’s a low-risk, high-reward medium. We tested it for our own firm, then rolled it out for our clients. But it still requires a custom strategy and a person to manage the flow of information, as well as ride shotgun on the integrity of the messaging and brand. And it needs to be part of an overall marketing action plan. Effective use of the Internet shouldn’t be hit or miss.

How are you helping your clients adapt to the changes in technology?
Brian – There’s definitely some education involved. Because we test all of the new methodology on ourselves first, we’ve already made the mistakes and figured things out before we’re comfortable recommending a new program to our clients. Then we incorporate their feedback to continually fine tune the offerings.

What strategies seem to be working best for your clients during this down economy?
Brian – Many of our clients need more productive sales materials to develop new customers of their own. We are helping them repackage their existing offerings, re-message to better connect with current and prospective customers, and basically reinvent themselves to take advantage of new opportunities in the marketplace. We also seem to be doing a bit of emotional counseling. I joke that I’m not a therapist, I just play one at work.

Due to the amount of information Brian covers in this interview I’ve decided to break the article into two different emails.

In the second part of the interview Brian explains how his company has adapted to deal with the challenges of this “New Economy” and what strategies they use to stay ahead of competition.

If you have any questions for Brian please visit his website

If you would like to be considered for an interview in future newsletter please call or email Andrew Hall with AMI Studios.