We speak with Mark Norquist, a digital marketing expert passionate about helping companies connect with others in more meaningful ways. His corporate experience includes being a Vice President at Effect Partners and Scout Media. Mark founded GreenHead Strategies and Greenhead Productions as well as Modern Carnivore.
Bobby: Thanks for joining us today Mark. You were very particular about sound when we were setting up for this podcast. You’re in digital media, tell us why sound is so important.
Mark Norquist: Yeah, sound is actually more important than video quality. The audience will forgive you for having a poor image but not for poor audio quality. There is something important about story-telling and making the audience feel as if you are right there with them in the room.
Bobby: Okay. Let’s hop back to your background. Tell me more about what you went through at Scout Media. You were the VP of Group Publishing there.
Mark Norquist: Yeah. Scout Media was a MN-based company that was a lifestyle and affinity membership club. It grew into one of the largest direct mail marketing companies in the U.S. The company had a number of membership groups based on interests, such as the Hunting Club of America and Cooking Club of America. We were transitioning the company from a traditional company to a digital marketing company. It was a half billion-dollar company.
We did some things well and some things not so well. We ended up filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. We were very good at engaging with the audience. But during the shift to digital media, we did not have enough appreciation for what we were asking the audience to do as we tried moving our media to a digital platform.
Bobby: So, what’s important in capturing the audience’s attention?
Mark Norquist: There are fundamentals in marketing that are true regardless of changes in technology. Then there are tricks and hacks within new technologies. No matter what, you always need a clear and concise message. What has changed with technology, however, is that the time frame for delivering this message has become much shorter.
Also, nowadays the algorithms have gotten so much smarter. There are not as many tricks like keyword stuffing that will help you with your SEO. Today, you can really focus on creating high quality content that delivers value instead of all the little hacks that were so important in the past. If you have something of value, take it out in the most authentic way. If you are clear on your messaging, then that thing of value will end up on top.
Bobby: Great. Video is an essential element of any digital marketing strategy today. What makes a good video?
Mark Norquist: Yes, good question. The key elements can be broken down into technical and content components. Today, there is so much good quality gear available. A feature film a couple years ago called Orange Crush was shot on an iPhone. Everyone has great tools at their fingertips. On the technical side you should choose your equipment based on your audience.
On the content side, always think of videos in three stages: pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production is the most important; this is where you plan out your message. Articulate what your call to action is, etc. This will help you during the rest of the production process. Post-production, editing the video, will be based on the planning you do on the front-end. Doing a lot of work during pre-production will make everything go much more smoothly.
Bobby: Great. Let’s get to the fire round. It’s really not quick at all, but let’s get started. Random question: What is something that is popular now but will be embarrassing later on?
Mark Norquist: I would say maybe fidget spinners. Maybe not. I do think there will be a backlash in about five years on social media and how addicted we have gotten to it. It has become so distracting and unhealthy for a lot of us. It is my hope that the social media obsession will someday become looked down upon.
And being in digital marketing, I obviously love social media. It is a such a powerful tool to get messages out to an audience. But I have concerns about how far it has gone. For instance, I see people hunting and fishing spending a majority of their time on their phones; we are losing a special connection with nature, with each other.
Bobby: Awesome. If you were hiring a millennial or college student today, what would you look for?
Mark Norquist: Drive, passion of any sort, compassion and interest for others. If someone has these attributes, I think he or she will likely be a good fit for my organization. And if that individual doesn’t have passions that are inline with my organization, then I will help that soon to be successful individual find an organization that is more fitting.
Also, someone who sends a follow-up message. If you do not send a follow-up after a meeting or interaction, then you are going to miss out on so many opportunities. Just send out a follow-up message then an update a few months later to stay connected with others.
Bobby: What do you believe you have to give up to be successful?
Mark Norquist: If you want to be successful, there will be sacrifices no matter which path you take. There will always be financial and time sacrifices. You will always have to reallocate your finances and/or your daily schedule if you want to be successful.
Bobby: What is one life-hack listeners can apply to their lives this very week to become more successful?
Mark Norquist: This week, right now, think about what you want to do with your next five years. Then think of one person who could positively help you down that path. Put a plan into place today figuring how you will get in front of that individual to tell your story and build a relationship with. It could be someone who you have no business talking to, some famous person. Or it could just be that successful guy next door.
Whoever it is, put a plan into place to reach that person. It might be uncomfortable and that’s a good thing. Make it a priority to get coffee or lunch with this individual and see what comes of it. Don’t put together a list of people you want to meet with… list just one person. Do that this week.
Bobby: Great. That’s some awesome advice. We’ll let you get on your way. Any last words you’d like to say?
Bobby: Great. Thank you so much for joining us today Mark. We’ll stay in touch.
Some reminders from this podcast:
1. As Mark pointed out… connecting with an audience, whatever that audience may be, is all about delivering a clear, concise message while being true to yourself.
2. THIS WEEK: Think of one person who will help you live your best life. This could be an influencer you’ve always admired from afar, a business mogul in an industry you’re interested in, a successful neighbor, etc. Create a plan of action of how you will reach this individual to develop a personal relationship with.