Building Brands: Marketing isn’t magic and other great tips from an Emmy-winning motivational speaker

You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Ryan Dohrn, a well-known, Emmy-winning sales professional and speaker, share 60 sales tips in 60 minutes. It’s a tour de force in sales training that will leave you both impressed and a tad overwhelmed. Our team had the privilege of being witness to it last month.
Dohrn was one of the speakers at the annual Michigan Press Association (MPA) conference. In addition to his 60 sales tips in 60 minutes presentation, View Newspaper Group team members had the opportunity to hear Dohrn speak on a number of sales, advertising and marketing topics. He is so full of valuable information it’s no wonder it took the MPA years to secure Dohrn on the agenda.
The MPA gathering is one I always look forward to thanks to the guest speakers, the opportunity to meet with fellow newspaper professionals and the chance to connect with our team outside of the office. Of course, the knowledge we all walk away with is another huge perk. You leave feeling like you’ve picked the best career in the world and you have all the right tools to be successful.
Our sales team walked away with lots of great knowledge, but Dohrn shared advertising and marketing information that is relevant to every business leader, no matter your industry.
Since he’s thanked me for sharing some of his thoughts in this space before, I’m hopeful he’s OK with me sharing a few takeaways from last month that benefit everyone.
Understand how advertising works: Dohrn shared the following stats, which are important to remember before embarking on a campaign. Think of advertising as a pie chart with three pieces:
The largest slice — 60-70% re-engages customers — this is where advertising really shines.
A smaller slice — 15-20% thanks customers for their business and encourages referrals.
The smallest slice — 5% finds new customers.
A lot of business leaders may expect the largest slice to find new customers, however, that’s not the case and knowing that is important in order to set realistic expectations. The reality is not all customers are ready to buy the moment they see a marketing message. The key is keeping your message out there in a frequent and consistent way that ensures that when a customer is ready to buy, your business is who they buy from. Dohrn calls this the “no-loop.” Customers see an ad and say “no” until the need arises.
When it comes to referrals Dohrn pointed out something so true. You don’t need to have used a business to recommend it, you simply need to know about it. We all like to be helpful so even if you’ve never had to call an HVAC company, for example, it’s nice to have one top of mind (achieved by advertising!) when your neighbor needs a recommendation.
Advertise even when you’re busy: It can be tempting to pause marketing efforts when you’re busy but Dohrn warns against this saying businesses should continue to advertise when busy to:
Validate a customer’s purchase: Everyone likes to feel like they’ve made the right move by continuing to see something they’ve bought advertised.
Create barriers to competition: If you stop advertising your competition will start.
Keep demand high: For example, current customers will continue to see your message and it will encourage referrals.
Determine how you want to be perceived in your community: Dohrn asks, as a business leader do you want your business to have a presence, be competitive or dominate. Take a look around at other businesses, even competitors, and see what category they fit into and how their marketing and advertising efforts line up. We know that those who dominate invest a lot — both in time and money — in marketing and advertising.
Marketing isn’t magic: Dohrn is big on cutting to the chase and he does just that with this statement. The bottom line is marketing takes work. It takes time management and it takes setting realistic expectations. Marketing is not magic, it’s a predictable process. You get out what you put into it.
If you’ve had the opportunity to see Dohrn present or watch his online training I’d love to hear what piece of advice resonates the most with you. Email me at
Emily Caswell is the Brand Manager for VIEW Group, the branding division of View Newspaper Group.

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