Let’s chat today with Kevin Kelly, Founder and President of Big Buzz Marketing in NYC., and ask the one simple question – How the heck do you sell in the age of the pandemic? How do you do sell without being overly fake? Without ignoring people’s needs? Without being uncaring? Can you do it? The answer is yes. Join us and learn!

“You have to reach people where they are today.”

– Kevin Kelly

Transcript:

May 12. And we’re live. Hello everyone. Kevin, great to have you here guys. Always a pleasure to be here. We are talking to Kevin Kelly today. A good friend of mine known the guy for years. He is the founder of big buzz agency, great agency with phenomenal clients. And we were talking last week and said, you know, we should chat about how do you sell? How do you market in this crazy, crazy world?

So I’m glad you’re here. How you been? How you doing, man? All right. You know, same, same place as always. But yeah. So great to see you. I should mention that. I should mention that Kevin is a Corona survivor, and that you were one of the first people I knew. You’re the first person I knew in my world too, to get coronavirus and you both, you and your wife got it. Huh? We always like to be first. You like to be first, right? But you got through it and you survived it and you’re out on the other side, which is good. It wasn’t, it wasn’t terribly scary for you, which is good, but I’m glad to know that, that, that you guys are okay.

Um, so tell me how, first of all, how has it been working, uh, sort of in this world, in this craziness and this chaos for someone who does marketing for a living? Yeah. It’s been all over the place. We’ve been fortunate enough, um, you know, been a lot businesses usual, you know, over the years, very being a tech forward agency, we’ve got a lot of things in place that allow us to be efficient working from home. So, you know, our virtual world hasn’t really skipped a beat, but what we’re doing for our clients really has changed. Um, you know, change in two parts, right? The, the messaging and the medium. Um. You really have to be start from I, we believe this all the time, but you really need to start from a place of being helpful, right? And, um, you certainly have to be authentic.

Um, we, we would, Joe, you would appreciate this. I don’t know if anybody’s seen the Jersey Mike campaign, um, with the CEO talking to the camera in these difficult times. We want to help and they’re helping, uh, donate a portion of their proceeds to feed America, feeding America. I think it’s great. Some people are, uh, you would appreciate this being an eighties film buff that, um, it’s a little like the schooner tuna guy and mr mom.

But I, I don’t know. I think, I think it’s honest and authentic, and I think that’s really where you need to be with your messaging right now. It’s funny, I’ve actually been a huge fan of, of, of Jersey. Mike’s, they, they’ve sponsored many of shank minds. They’re there. I love their, I love their subs. That good, good stuff. Uh, we already have a question here, so we’ll throw it, we’ll throw it in a minute, but in the meantime, you know.

Talk about, um, what are clients asking for you? And now you’re talking, you said you have a lot of RFPs currently coming in. What are clients talking about? What are they asking for? Are they, are you seeing any differences in the kind of stuff that they’re looking for? You know, there’s, there’s differences in the timing of things and how they’re going to restart their marketing. A lot of people at Paul’s, obviously people have pulled back. Um, mostly because people weren’t. They’re not where they were two months ago. Right. So the medium has changed tremendously. Um, right.

Nobody’s in, I drove to my mom’s this weekend down in Jersey turnpike, and every billboard was either enough profit announcement or you know, thanks to the front liners and the health care workers. Nobody’s paying for outdoor because they don’t think anybody’s looking at it. Nobody’s outdoor it. So a lot has been, Hey, can you help us find a new way to reach people where they are today? Um, streaming over the top TV really hot. Right?

We’re all sitting home watching. So, um, we’re watching the commercials too, or watching the free roll, you know, for it. We get to the bunny cat video. I mean, if it begs the question, you know, I imagine there’s, I look at certain companies who, you know, just started a huge $10 million outdoor campaign, or, you know, for instance, my, my personal favorite, uh, you know, in America, I have heard of an American dream. American dream is the mall water parks, ski slope, but they’re trying to, they’re trying to Jersey, Dubai, and Jersey essentially. And, um, you know, they, they, they, they, they. They just launched it. I remember like three days before we all went into lockdown. Um, I get this, no, you’re, Hey, you got to come to this media showing this, you know, this TV media is your, you know, media and reporters showing of our new Waterslide park this Friday. And I’m just like that.

That just doesn’t seem like a good idea. You know, it’s like, what, what are, what are you hearing? Are you getting any calls from clients who are, are, um, uh, sort of in that level of hell that, Hey, we are timing just stops. Now what do we do? No. A lot of those folks are kind of in duck and cover mode. Um, the smart ones are reaching out. Um, so we’re not seeing a ton of people that, you know, so we. Really just recently got more involved in hospitality. We’ve been dabbling, you know, as some hospitality, hospitality clients are working with hard rock on the launch of the new reverb hotel. Um, parking Foxwoods.

So two casinos that have been closed for the last two months. Um, it’s for them. It’s really about. How can they be helpful? Her Roxanne, that’s a ton of give back to the community, which is great. Um, yeah, it’s, it’s tough for those folks that are like, Hey, we’re open and no one can go out. Um, no, no silver bullet for them. Um, we’re doing some non-for-profit help where like, helping organizations that connect, um, local restaurants to. People that want to do takeout, right? So let’s help amplify that. So people know, cause I don’t know about you, I actually do know about you. You, you definitely are kind of guy that would be really conscious about, all right, we’re going to eat tonight that I could also help my hood, right? So, you know, called Joe’s Italian pizza place, you know, and, and help the neighborhoods.

So we’re doing some of that where we connect those people and raise awareness wherever we can. Um, so, so, uh. There’s a question here. Um, Lisa has a large Facebook group and she’s switching over to the membership groups. Should she keep the group on Facebook or switch to a forum? I are people still hanging, I guess. Are people hanging out on Facebook? My thought is that people go where they can when they can write. I don’t think now is the time to start launching your own private network off of Facebook as much as Facebook drives me up, you know? Insane. It’s where people go in times of crisis when you agree, Oh, people are spending tons of time on social media, so I wouldn’t lead Facebook.

Facebook is the new television now. It’s not new anymore, but I mean, when people ask me how do I reach millions of people, it was get a broadcast TV spot, which you could still do if that’s the right thing for you. Facebook is the other way to reach people and really target them. So the instant thing, and it’s like no more people are watching TV with the headline was more people watching TV now, the stuck home with the virus. But the premise was more people are watching a screen and people aren’t necessarily watching television anymore. Um, you know, had this been, that, had this happened 20 years ago, I mean, TV advertising rates would have been through the roof. Right? But. So reference to time.

I like to, I wrote an article and I never published it. I shoot, it’s, um, basically this whole, this whole thing is pushing us 10 years into the future. Um, it’s funny, we had a client last year, a healthcare client, and they’re like, we’re just thinking about starting tele-medicine. Fast forward 10 years, everyone’s doing telemedicine. I’m going a kid, you know, did your kid have online schooling? Cause mine has a Google class. It’s like. It’s all, you know, pushes 10 years forward. And unfortunately, along with that was the slow demise of retail and like, you know, so fast forward that to me it was like you’re watching umbrella Academy and you’re number five who finds himself in Armageddon and there’s nobody left. That’s kind of where we are on retail. Um, it’s interesting. Uh, you know, what we’re seeing is that, is that people tend to, to jump on. The bandwagon is either incessantly, early or inherently late. Very few people randomly get it at the right moment in time.

I remember, uh, I mean, I think that, that, that, that 20 years from now when we start writing, when we started this in history books and stuff like that and the business books, one of the things is going to be that, that, you know, everything in the world does tend to come down to luck in incredible, incredible amounts. I mean, if you look at, um. Could you imagine a better time to have an IPO than foremost before this if you’re Peloton right. You know what I mean? You look at things like that. It’s just, it’s just incredible. Honey, I’m actually, I’m on a call right now if you need me five more minutes. Thanks honey. And it’s pretty crazy. It’s just, it’s amazing how that happens. Now, the word luck though, I always say, and it was either Oprah or Abraham Lincoln said that it was Lincoln. I’m a big believer in good fortune. I find the harder I work, the more that I have.

Alright, well simply put what the version I have is luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation. People say, Oh, how do you know? How do you get lucky all the time? It’s like, well, it’s prepared and you’re, you’re, you’re everywhere all the time and you’re ready to go. No, I know I’m dealing with childhood who started crying for some reason, but, um. I’m sure you can hear it. Right. So that’s another thing. I think one of the biggest questions is what’s going to happen to the office? So Twitter announced today that everyone could work from home for as long as they want for the rest of their employment. Right? I mean, that’s a pretty impressive thing, especially here that just like two or three years ago, we were at a point where, um. Where, uh, uh, what was the name from, from Yahoo. Uh, said no one’s allowed to work from home anymore. Right?

So we have really gone 180 degrees from that. Uh, what do you see in terms of, you know, I, I, we’re bringing someone on the next week, um, who’s the head of a very large industrial design firm. He’s gonna talk all about what he sees for offices, things like that. But what do you see along those lines? Well, talk about necessity, forcing us to innovate, you know. I would get together with other agencies and we talk about what’s your working home policy? It’s like, no, no, no. We’re all working from home. Um, we’re figuring out how to do it better and better every day. And I sent out a survey to my team last week asking them, um, you know, how do you feel about working from home? How do you feel about going back to the office? You know, are you excited? Do you have anxiety? Um, and. How would you feel about a hybrid version when we do return to the office? And I’m careful to say return to the office, cause some people say when you go back to work, I’ve been working my ass off.

So you know, we’re definitely going to have some sort of hybrid. Um, there’s no way we’re going to snap our fingers and like everybody see you on Monday, you know. Maybe half the team shows up a Wednesday, half the team shows up on Thursday. Um, and it’s all gonna depend on the data available, the vaccines, you know, in New York city, I think it’s the greatest place on earth, but if you live 45 minutes away or four minutes away, you probably. Around a lot of people on the train. I mean, you know, even just the premise of, of, of, you know, how things like trains are in come back to them. I mean, you know, you’re not going to be able to get a social distance on it. Have you ever been? I don’t ever see somebody, you’re just not going to get social distancing. LCWR and so the concept of reopening,

I think we’re going to see a lot of businesses that have found that they really haven’t lost a lot of, of, of momentum or revenue or anything like that while people have been working from home. Um, I can tell you I’m probably getting rid of my Regis space. I don’t really, other than I, you know. Assuming they, you can go back to the back to school. Um, I don’t really see the need, you know, I had this office that I haven’t, I’ve been to, I stopped by once to see once a week, see if there are any checks. But, uh, that’s about it. You know, we have been, we working, I’ve been working harder in some cases here than I have when I wasn’t at office. And I think my team has to, I think all of them, they are working, they’ve always kind of worked all hours, but now the lines are even more blurred. And you know, you stop and hopefully you can either eat a meal with your family, but then most of us are heading back to the home office or even on the couch, which has become our home office to have the question from Lisa, where do you see events, conferences, and especially weddings where it’s a guest experience that’s important going to move forward. What do you say that going? That’s a great question. I have a friend and associate who was in trade shows and he launched his company about two years ago. He was with a big trade show company.

Um, one of the dove going as Adam gets on his own, doing fantastic about to hit 20, 20 is the banner year. Um, and then this happens, right? So he again, uh, innovate. So a lot of talk about augmented reality, creating virtual spaces for brands that can then plug into a conference, right? So I don’t have to. Spend $200,000 on my trade show booth and then do it again next year. I mean, a lot of our clients are spending six figures annually just updating, so I think it was going to go virtual. Um, honestly, I, I don’t ever, I don’t, when we’ll go physical, I don’t know if we’re going to lose it entirely. The trade show industry just in America itself is a one point $2 trillion industry. Right? We’re not going to lose that. You’re not going to see Vegas go dark. It just can’t disappear all of a sudden.

But I do believe that we’re going to see a middle of both things. So for instance, I see that we’ll be able to have, um, you know, much, much like how, uh, big corporations won’t send all their top executives on the same airplane. Right? I think we’re going to see things like that where we’ll still have, you’re not going to lose concrete world. I mean, concrete world is a, is a, is a, is a $400 million share, right? You’re not gonna lose the concrete world, but what you’re going to get. It’s perhaps the CEO, not all the CEOs are going to go, perhaps a half the CEO is going to go, the other half are going to stay and do things virtually. So I think that that, um, meeting planners, wedding planners, uh, facilitators, things like that should be very much aware of what they can do virtually too.

To promote what’s already happening. So it might be a smaller show in terms of people, but a larger show in terms of the people that are attaching virtually, you know, the first, the first trade show company to say, yeah, we are creating virtual booths or virtual rooms where you’ll be able to sit at holograph your clients in or holograph your clients out, or whatever the case may be. We’ll also, I think win big. Yeah, I agree. Totally. You know, there will be CES 2022 you know, I’m about 2021 but you know, we’re going to have a vaccine. We’re going to. You know, be safer and we’ll all, we may also all show up with masks, but yeah, I mean, in Asia, that’s not, that’s not uncommon. I, you know, there are masks all the time in Asia, right? Um, Spencer has a good question. What technologies have been used to help with marketing, adapting to the pandemic era? Um.

You know, we’ve had so many technologies in place that have let us do our work remotely and electronically and, you know, monitor our data. We haven’t seen a huge shift yet. Um, as far as adapting what we’re doing, um, what we’ve seen is cool things like new mediums like Quimby, one technology that was born out of the pandemic. Now I, I have to believe that they were poised to be released and couldn’t ramp this up in a video. Yeah. So that was, I was reading about that last year. Yeah. So 10 minute episodes. It’s pretty cool in that, um, if you hold it vertically, the whole edit changes. So everything is in, so if you’ve got lower thirds, things like that, really cool. I watched a couple of quick Quimby’s actually when waiting online line at Jersey Mike’s to bring it full circle. Um, but I love, I love their campaign

Um, you know, in equipping, let’s go right out right out of the gate and kinda, um. Make our brand a, not a verb, but it’s a part of speech. So I’m just, yeah, Spencer, sorry, I don’t have a real clear answer on what technologies will be born from this, but, um, being a digital agency and always, you know, looking for the next great opportunity for our client partners. Um, we’ve been using a lot of the online platforms that let us continue work as usual. Yeah, no question about it. I think we’re also going to see, you know, the, the concept that so many things that we used to take for granted having to happen, cause that’s what they have to happen. You know, I think that that, which is a bummer. I mean, you know me, I like being on an airplane. I, my happy place is an airplane and I don’t know if we’re going to have somebody that, you know, Nelson asked what about CES? He said, see us in January, one of the hugest shows in the world. What do you think will happen to it?

I mean, I think it’s two other times I think it might not happen for 2021 but I can’t imagine CS is simply going away. But then again in 97 who would’ve thought that we’d never go to Comdex again? Or S or South by Southwest. I mean that’s, that’s when it got serious for me. I was like, Oh boy, we’re going to get through this, you know, meet a couple of, couple of weeks at home and then South I got canceled. But, um, they’re gonna do everything they can. Like, to your point, it’s, you know, billion dollar industry, trillion dollar industry, all those organizations are going to do everything they can to assure us it’s safe. I know the answer to this, but I’m going to ask you, and it’s the last question. What do you say to. A client who says, you know, we just don’t really think we should be spending money on marketing right now. Big mistake. Yeah. I mean, there’s just straight up stats.

Those who spend during recessions or downturns like this are the winners. As you emerge, those who can cover are the big losers and sometimes go all the way South and shut it down. No question about what everyone else being quiet. And you should talk the loudest. Kevin, how can people find you? Um, big buzz.com that’s a site. I’m over there at big buds, Kevin on Instagram, Twitter, and you can always ping me on Facebook. Cool.

Tomorrow you should tune in for this, Kevin. Tomorrow. You know, everyone’s been talking about how to survive a, you know, Oh my God. It’s like being in jail. Well, you know what, I don’t necessarily agree. It’s like being in jail. So I went out and found a criminal Morrow, not you, but tomorrow we’ve been talking to Mark Clifford, who sent, Sue served 10 years in a federal pen for bank fraud. And so we are going to be talking about what it’s really like to be in jail. 1:30 PM tomorrow. Don’t miss it here on 20 minutes in Lockdown. Kevin. Thank you. As always, appreciate your time and you’re a good friend. I love you guy. Thank you for watching everyone sticking around. Next week or tomorrow, we’re going to have a Mark. Clifford has been talking about jail, 20 minutes locked down, and by the way, 20minutesinlockdown.com Is live as well, so we will talk to you guys soon. All right, thanks everyone. .

Follow Kevin’s adventures on his website and Twitter

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