Catch Bernie Fussenegger on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Audio digitally transcribed by Descript
Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:10] And it's another day for the #PirateBroadcast™. Thank you so much. If you're watching live, if you're watching the replay, thank you so much for checking it out. Bernieis in the house. He's going to be sharing some nuggets of knowledge. We're going to be talking about a lot of different things. So welcome to the#PirateBroadcast™, Bernie. Good morning. How are you doing my friend?
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:00:33] Thank you for having me on again. Doing very well and good in Louisville, Kentucky. Can't complain. Summer school started for the kids, so it's even better.
Russ Johns: [00:00:42] Hopefully the rain will slow down and you get some sunshine there.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:00:45] I hope so. It's been raining for honestly 24 hours, it seems and let's get this out of here and get the sun in.
Russ Johns: [00:00:51] It's funny cause I used to live in Seattle where I was used to the rain. Northwest was always a little bit rainy and it was just a little bit for a long time. And when I moved to Houston, everybody said it always rains in Seattle. And I had to chuckle because it rains more in Houston than it rains in Seattle. It just comes all at once at the time. So one of the things we talked about last time, we started talking about marketing and some of the things that you were doing in your past, and you had a lot of experience in, so now you're doing a few things and I just wanted to get people caught up on if they don't know you or they haven't been in contact with you recently, let us know what you're doing right now. What are you focused in on? What are you excited about. Bernie?
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:01:39] There's a couple of things focused in on right now. I spent a good 20 year career at Papa John's running data-driven marketing programs on the digital side. And based on some of the news, they moved the headquarters back in March. So that was pretty much the end of my time there. So that gave me, even before that, time to reflect of what is it that I want to do and how do I want to do it and how do I want to approach it? So I've got my b2the7 brand where, focus on about a restaurant retail service industries. And looking at ways to help them increase their sales and transactions. We're relying a lot on my background on utilizing really the foundation that I've created and that I'm using to move forward is how do you reach, retain and regain consumers? And this could be an omni-channel approach. It could be a multi-channel approach. It's understanding who your customers are and when you look at reach, it's how do you bring in new customers to the brand? And once you get them in, how do you start collecting customer data on them? How do you introduce them to the brand? What are welcome programs to where you can, not only introduce to a brand, but collect more data. Then you want to move them over into the retain area, which essentially is the steady state. It's a lot of triggered transactional based on your customer history then you don't want anybody to go into the regain area because that means leaving your brand, so you want to come back over. It's really, how do you look at these companies that have either a ton of customer data and don't know what to do with it, how to set up the right programs to bring customers back in. And also looking at brands that have zero data, but want to get data so that they could then engage with their consumers. Customer data is so important, especially when you look at a loyalty program. A lot of brands think, oh, we're just giving stuff away. In reality, you are gathering a wealth of information on these consumers. What their frequency is, what their propensity to purchase, whatever, what their order history is, when their frequency is dropping and you need to, trigger something to bring them back in. And it's the same thing when you've got an app or you're asking someone to create an account. You've got all this useful information and how are you using it to market back to the customer. And that's where a lot of brands struggle with that, but, with some of my past experiences, even at Papa John's when we had limited data. And then, once you start building that up, what are the programs that you need to run? So that's really where I've stepped back and where I focus now in working with brands within the service industry to really help get them back where they need to be. But more importantly, to help their sales and transactions. That's what everybody wants to do, but let's use the data to get there. So that's like the B seven where I'm focused at. Yesterday and really over the last six months, I've got a partnership with Dean Levenson and Rachel Waters to where we have wrote out our three ring circus. And what that is social media creation, social media content, social media strategy, really focused in on high quality stock animation. We've got over 60 something plus years experience between the three of us. The theory and the thing about that is the three ratings. When you look at a circus, for example, There is so much going on in all the rings. Everything's constantly changing. And with social, things are always changing. So there's where you have the three rings, the three partners. And the idea there is, why be ordinary with your social when you can be extraordinary and do something that stands apart to where once again you create that community, create that engagement. You create ultimately a relationship where down the road, you're going to increase your sales and transactions there. So that's another avenue that's super fun for us. It's fun seeing the creative. It's really fun when you see your work out on a branded page and you are engaging with it. So that's where I am today. And it's been a little journey, but it's fun working with clients and helping them with their sales transactions, but having, really a foundation to sell, to use the sale. This is my foundation and this is how this foundation is going to help your brand.
Russ Johns: [00:05:45] It's interesting too, Bernie as you walk through that scenario and kind of explain to people, this transition from you going from Papa John's to doing something on your own with other people and recreating this whole marketing effort. It's interesting to see and watch, and have you explain the growth that you've had in the last little while and marketing yourself, putting yourself out there. And sometimes, the cobbler's shoes, the plumbers sink always leaks, whatever you want to say, the reality is that you do have to measure and maintain a little bit of presence here, and you've done a lot of social media work. You've also done traditional, the Omni approach. Is there any one process that you use over and over? Is there a framework that you use or you think about when you're starting out on a marketing program or you're doing some marketing for a new company and you're looking at their data and they may not have any, or if it's a new brand, what kind of strategy do you put in place, or how do you think about that and approach that?
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:06:57] Yes. So when I approach any brand that I'm working with, the biggest part is how do you reach, retain, and regain? I'm going to keep going back to that cause that's just the foundation, but, when I go in and start the evaluation, that's how I look at all the omni-channel experiences to understand what it is that they're currently doing. What are they currently collecting? And ultimately, what is the strategy and goals that they want to achieve? Then based off of that, you've got the pillars that really rise up to that. So you can look at reach, for example, how do we onboard new customers and what channels do you have? You've got a website, you've got an app, you've got you're in store team members or whatever. And what are the messaging that these individuals have? So then you start begin to build these layers and that measure up to that foundation. So once you get into retain, okay, you've got social media, you've got email marketing, you've got SMS, you've got your homepage, you've got your apps to where you can then trigger these messages. That begins to set the foundation to help with the strategy and recommendations of where your customers are within that journey. And really, the reach, retain and regain can then be set upon your customer journey to understand, okay, a customer comes into the store, this is what their experience is. Are they a new customer or are they an existing customer? Then you start seeing the paths go differently. But then, the programs start rolling up to each one of these and the outcome of a lot of the strategy sessions I have are a lot of tactics that roll back up. And it's not, I could give you 80 different things and then it's setting the priority of what is it that we want to accomplish first. Okay, we've got social, we've got the email program and we've got whatever else, but then rolling up these tactics that then support those strategies. But the foundation always comes back to reach, retain, and regain and where your customer is within that customer journey. And then how are you going to reach it? And what tools do you have? So really that's the foundation that I've used. Been pretty good. It's been very effective and if you've got customer data, that's what we want. We want that customer data. We want to utilize that customer data. And then you've got programs that then support that customer data to then bring them back in or engage back with that consumer.
Russ Johns: [00:09:04] That's awesome. I love the idea of creating something from nothing. And I know in today's arena, the social media and some of the things that we can do on marketing is oftentimes challenging to get a little bit of attention in, start that awareness program. And so I don't know if you've had to start from zero and grow this, it's obviously not always the easiest process. Is there anything that you can share with the community that would give them an idea if they're starting out with a new program?
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:09:38] Yeah. Even with your brand, whether it's personal, whether it's your professional brand, I started really branding b2the7 three years ago. And it's always been a sad hustle if you will, it's not something that's going to happen one day. You've got to network, you've got to engage. You've got to create content that's valuable, but more importantly, you've got to find your community. And once you find that community, you've got to support that community. You've got to call people out in a good way, supporting them if they've got a program or if they got promotion that they're running, call it out, support them, retweet it, share it, do whatever. That's part of building that community. And the content part of it, you're creating content. You may not get a lot of likes or whatever, but being consistent, showing your knowledge, your authority, that you're maybe not necessarily an expert, this is your realm that you understand, this is your realm where you've got that knowledge that you want to share. And I've spent a lot of time creating this content. But also getting more into video. Video, two years ago, I would've never done just because I'm not comfortable with it. And I look back to that first video I did, and it's whew, that's a little rough. The more that you can get in front and be comfortable with yourself and talking about what it is that you do when you go to meet a client or you go to meet someone else, you can explain it, but you have that comfort level of communicating back and forth. But social, it's the long tail. It's not something where you're going to see immediate results tomorrow because you put out something today. When you post something, you've got to engage with it. You better engage with your community. And it takes time and you've gotta be patient, consistent, you've gotta be yourself. Don't be fake. Be the person, if you were to meet someone in real life, they'd see the exact same thing and there'd be no variants or no differences.
Russ Johns: [00:11:28] Yeah. And, after over 400 episodes of #PirateBroadcast, I think people understand that we are going to be showing up. We're going to be here. We're going to be talking about different things, different topics and different ideas around all kinds of things. Yeah, there's a double-edged sword to that because I'm a fan of video. I've done podcasting, audio, video, images, words, blogging, all of these things. I've tested all of those and I believe in combination like the Omni approach. And I thought about doing some press releases. Press releases are still a thing, they're still great. It's still very effective. And great imagery photography is great. Taking some product shots is an amazing opportunity to get your product out there. And the reason I bring it up is because a lot of people, especially with podcasting, they think nowadays, I'm just going to launch podcasts and everybody know me immediately. And it is a long game. It's not one and done. The work still has to take place. And even in social media, it's a long tail, like you said, and it's really important for people to understand that.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:12:39] It is. And you still look at a lot of brands and it's the one message for everyone. It's let's broadcast the promotion and that's good short game. You may get some sales transactions, but how are you truly building that relationship with your customers, with your audiences, if all you're doing is blasting them with promotional items or promotional messaging that you're not really building a long-term relationship and how do you engage with these individuals to treat them like they are special, that they are part of that community. And you can reach out to them for so much. It could be, this is your AB test. This is your ability to have a community to where you can even create a smaller one where you're throwing questions at them. What is the next product? What are things that you'd like to see improved to help really improve your brand, whether it's professional or personal? And using social to truly listen and engage. It's something that a lot of brands, I think, miss out on that opportunity,
Russ Johns: [00:13:37] All the time. I see brands that could be much bigger, much broader and it's just in their messaging alone?
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:13:45] Absolutely.
Russ Johns: [00:13:46] I live in a retirement community cause I'm here caring for my mom and she watches TV and I see the commercials and it's commercial after commercial. It's very targeted to the senior community, it's very targeted towards pharmaceuticals. It's hey, you need this drug. And I'm just thinking to myself, wow, I guess it still exists. It still happens and a lot of businesses even now I still have business owners that tell me, yeah, my customers aren't on social. That's not how I reach customers. And I'm just thinking that's just a channel. It's just a tool. It's just an avenue you can use to make communication.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:14:30] Yeah, and I think you hit it there. It's going back to almost the basics. Who is your audience? Who are your customers and what channels do they use? And when you look at digital direct mail, social, those are just levers that you're pulling to then help achieve that strategy that you've set and how to reach those consumers. Strategy for social is not just this big thing. It's part of a larger strategy that you have put together that just rose up and supports.
Russ Johns: [00:14:59] Yeah. And even in myself, I've been doing the #PirateBroadcast for a long time and it's not huge. It's not Joe Rogan level podcast or anything like that. However, there is growth in it. I look at the numbers and sometimes it's discouraging because it's... and I'm not a numbers freak in terms of, oh, I didn't get a... it's more about how do I grow the community? Because I really believe in the future, people are starting to gravitate more around the idea of a community minded individuals that want to be a part of something. And #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree is a platform I've been promoting for years. It's not new with the #PirateSyndicate or the #PirateBroadcast™. And it's a good, solid idea that you can't really argue with.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:15:50] No, not at all.
Russ Johns: [00:15:53] And so promoting that and producing results from that and generating a business, building a business from that is a unique opportunity. Any suggestions you have from your perspective in terms of continued growth from a social media perspective?
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:16:06] Even what you're doing, if you can help just one person and that's the way I've always looked at it, it's how can you help just one person and what good is experience and knowledge if you're not willing to share it with others? You don't get to a certain point without, you've had a team. I look at my experiences over the years and it's not just because of Bernie that I'm here. There's a lot of people along the way that helped me get to where I'm at now and how do you help others get there as well? Look at what you're doing and how you're able to... you're bringing on guests, you're sharing the knowledge and you're helping them. You're across multiple channels as you're building a community. And I know, every day, if I'm not within a meeting or something, to jump on and join you. But knowing what type of person you are and what type of host you are, I want to be part of that. And I want other people to be, as well. Having that ability to share, but you know what you're doing. Gosh, it takes time, it takes consistency, it takes patience, but you're building along the way, which is pretty cool.
Russ Johns: [00:17:05] Yeah. We talked about Michael Ray, he's in your neighborhood, as well, with Louisville Smile Project. And people like that, you just have to, you cannot help but say, I want to support this. It's just one of those things. And I got some amazing supporters here. Wendy's in the house. Welcome back, pirate Bernie. Thank you so much. Elize is here. Elize Von Stratton. Good morning, Russ and Bernie. She's also more on LinkedIn. Good morning, pirates. Love it. Ben Wolf is in the house. Ben, good morning. Michael Baker's here. Everything has to go through a process and reaching maturity to produce fruits of one's effort.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:17:48] That's very true.
Russ Johns: [00:17:48] Absolutely. And also, Bernie is going to be given away some time, he's going to donate some time to the community here. So type in hashtag #piratenation and we're going to give away, we'll connect you guys. It's another way to start a conversation. And Bernie, if I can start a conversation or make a connection, my day's a winner.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:18:13] Absolutely.
Russ Johns: [00:18:14] To be a part, one must participate in. Absolutely. Hey, Ben says, this is the kind of conversation and interaction that I love and enjoy. And so I just really want to be able to say, thank you so much for being here. I want to put this banner up here. Enter the giveaway so people can see this, but just type in the hashtag #piratenation. Howard Kaufman, yes. #piratenation sometimes you have to go slow to go fast.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:18:44] Absolutely.
Russ Johns: [00:18:45] I love that.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:18:47] And sometimes you've got to fail and fail fast to figure out how to keep moving forward in a positive way. Not everything's going to be success.
Russ Johns: [00:18:55] Louis says that's groovy. It's funny because I'm surprised that on occasion about people that are quiet listeners, they just listen on their channels. And every episode of this the #PirateBroadcast™ that goes out, talking about Omni channel, it hits. This information hits at least 20 locations day one.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:19:21] Which is amazing.
Russ Johns: [00:19:22] So just being able to build that authority just by showing up, and having a position where you can actually do that and every business can do this. No, it's not unique to me. I've built my system and that's what I share with the #PirateSyndicate. It's possible for any business right now to produce results.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:19:41] And it's it's amazing how many don't want to do that because they're afraid of video or they're afraid of the technology or they want to stay within the backgrounds. But in reality, if you want to truly build your brand, your business, there are so many mechanisms and so many channels. You mentioned that whether it's a podcast, whether it's a live stream, whether it's a Facebook live, instagram, there's just so many ways. You look at a restaurant, for example, I'm just gonna throw out a pizza one because that's fun. What if they've got an order for 40 pies that are going right to some non-profit down the street. That's the perfect opportunity to Facebook live that to where you're showing the making of the pizzas. You're showing them putting the pizzas in the car. You're showing them driving down to this nonprofit. Opening up the car and giving the pizzas to the happy kids or whatever. But that shows as a brand, one, they're involved in a community. They're getting their fan base excited about what they do. But it's also free. It doesn't cost a dime to do that except for time and effort. And it talks about who they are as a brand. Like you said, there's so many little things like that, that you don't have to spend much money on the time and the effort. It's the patience and it's the long tail, it's not something that's going to happen over a day, but, having that consistency and persistence to build that brand, to build that community.
Russ Johns: [00:21:02] I love some of the creative campaigns that have been famous campaigns, like the Dropbox campaign. You share it out, you get more storage. Those kinds of ideas are what I love to think about and consume it in my day. Is promotion and recognition, building authority and helping clients grow their business. And I think video is one of the strongest tools you can use right now because you can take it and I call it the traffic circle. You have this traffic circle where you take one piece of content, like the live stream. I take it and make it into a podcast and I make it.... or my producer, Tracie, is on board. I love Tracie. She helps me do all this work. And like you mentioned, it's a team, so then you take the transcription, then you can actually have words in there. I was talking to Liz Lawless on Monday and she goes, you can take some of the podcasts that you've done the transcriptions from those podcasts, edit that and turn it into a book.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:22:05] Oh yeah.
Russ Johns: [00:22:06] It'd be great. I'm thinking about doing some shows outside of the #PirateBroadcast™ and maybe do panel discussions, in the afternoons, for different time zones and then grab some people in some specific disciplines and then having conversations about those disciplines.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:22:25] But you are definitely right about the content. Here's a great example, of Chris Straw I'm not sure how many people know him or follow him on social, but he basically documented his experience of going to 50 states in a hundred days. And each page is a different experience, it's taking that content of a hundred different things and bringing it together as one. It's a book, but it shows who he is as a person, the organizations that he's touched along the way, but it's fun how you can take that content and he's used that to create so much more content that then relays back into the book.
Russ Johns: [00:23:01] Yeah. And what it does is it builds a bridge to allow people to say, I want to hang out with Bernie. I see you on Twitter. You've done your Twitter chat, which I'm nearly, I've been on Twitter a long time, there's a lot of things on Twitter. I still don't really completely... I just need to get on there and test drive it.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:23:19] Yeah. Twitter chat, think of it like this. It's every day, or not every day, you could do one every day, but Twitter smarter, for example, it's every Thursday at 1:00 PM by Madeline Skylar. And basically she has a guest who's a expert in whatever the topic or theme, each week is different from the previous week. So it might be social media tools one week, and she could have anywhere from 10 to 200 people that are participating in this Twitter chat and everyone's following the hashtag. Usually it's got seven questions and people are just offering their recommendations. What tools that they're using and freely sharing. These are peer to peer, very much the same interest. And it goes pretty quick as well. They're fun. You gain a lot of knowledge. It's community building and these are their groups, their communities. A lot of the same people are on each one of these different chats, but it's very similar to a podcast almost in a sense that you've got a guest, you've got seven questions, but the big difference is you've got 50 other people that are also participating with their comments and with their insights. And the nice thing is it's always respecting other people's opinions. You very rarely see someone that is outside of those lines, which makes these communities and groups even better.
Russ Johns: [00:24:38] Yeah. I really appreciate Madeline and what she's done. I knew Madeline when I was in Houston.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:24:43] Oh, that's right. She is in Houston.
Russ Johns: [00:24:45] She's in Houston and a lot of the things that are taking place online and evolving and things like that, it's I'm always curious and it's always something new and it just builds on my curiosity. So I really appreciate people doing things like that. So is there anything you're excited about, really excited about Bernie before we wrap up today and put things out there that you want to share?
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:25:11] I'm just excited to see where both my brands go here within the next few months. To see how many other brands that we can help. And it's a big step when you've been at a huge organization and now you're on your own and taking that knowledge and hopefully things keep going.
Russ Johns: [00:25:27] I applaud your efforts and keep doing what you're doing, man, because that's what it's all about. I just want to share this, let's share this screen and draw the winner today. This is for Bernie's time. Bernie's going to be doing some things. So let's do this. Drawing coming up. See who the winner is.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:25:45] That's pretty cool.
Russ Johns: [00:25:47] Come on. Winner Winner chicken dinner. Michael Baker from Florida. Michael, thank you so much for being here today. You're the winner. I love it. I love it. I love it. So thank you so much, but I really love that you're here, Michael. And thank you so much for being here, Bernie. How much fun can we have today? Really.
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:26:10] In reality, it's your mindset. You can have as much fun as you want, have that positive attitude, the mental attitude, learn, share, grow, and like you say smile. And be nice to other people on top of it.
Russ Johns: [00:26:24] If anybody found this podcast, this broadcast here today, what would you like to have them experience as a result of listening to this episode?
Bernie Fussenegger: [00:26:35] Hopefully knowing more of who I am as an individual and even the brands that I help, but more importantly, let's connect, if there's something I can share and help with. And it's all about building community. It's about respecting others. And hopefully, you got that, as well, out of this podcast and you know how to be better on social and how to engage more on social and how to build that community as well.
Russ Johns: [00:26:58] I love it. I love it. Bernie. Thank you. As always, it's a pleasure to hang out and have a conversation. Everyone in the #PirateBroadcast and #piratenation thank you so much for being here because as you know, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. Till next time. Bye-bye.
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