Catch Matt Deutschman on the #PirateBroadcast™
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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 0:18
It's a beautiful day for the #PirateBroadcast™. And welcome, welcome, welcome. Love that you're here. If you're watching this in the future, a frequent view and all the gratitude in the world for you being here. Today, we got Matt on the phone and on the call and on the #PirateBroadcast™. We're gonna be talking a little bit about promotions and, you know, #motivation, #inspiration, a little bit about all things pirate. So Matt, welcome to the party. How you doing?
Matt Deutschman 0:49
I'm doing great. Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure.
Russ Johns 0:52
Now you're officially a pirate so we can have a conversation. So thank you, thank you so much. And I appreciate the fact that we're talking about, you know, we're wrapping up 2020, which everybody's thinking, okay, this is gonna be great. However, things are still getting involved in, you know, kind of change around things. You know, how we're dealing with everything. And you're in a business that is very supportive of encouraging people,. People come to you and talk about promotional material. And so walk us through what your business entails and who you focus on and how you help.
Matt Deutschman 1:35
That's a great way to put it, I love it. Yeah, we, the company is Double Take Promotional Marketing, and we do promotional products and branded merchandise. So in a nutshell, we put logos on things. But I think one of my favorite things about what we do, is seeing our clients smile when they see their brand on something, you know, so we are, , in a way, just spreading that joy and spreading the positivity, you know, through branded marketing. Yeah, so we work mainly with colleges, universities, professional services and financial firms and advertising and marketing agencies.
Russ Johns 2:22
So I was talking to another pirate who has been on before on the show, he runs Eagles and Arrows. It's a golf line, golf clubs, golf clubs, things like that. And he's actually got some really cool leather goods that he was starting to brand. So I should probably connect you guys and introduce you. Because he was looking, he's not much. He's not involved in the promotional side. But he really loves the quality content and, you know, the pieces and the gear, and good combination too because a lot of people in golf, you know, it's nice to be able to send somebody something really special that has your brand on it and everything that goes along with it. And I know that, you know, some of my clients in the marketing world, Christmas gifts or holiday gifts, or thank you for purchasing, doing business with us shirts, I actually have shirts, you know. If you didn't know this, we have coffee mugs, the #PirateBroadcast™ coffee mugs and, and a few other things on the website. So it's part of business. And it's really exciting. So walk us through how you mentioned before that your family's in it. And you've been involved in the industry for a while or how long have you been involved? Talk about that.
Matt Deutschman 3:56
Yeah, I'm fourth generation in my family in the industry. My great grandfather, Paul, and my grandfather, Maynard, founded the Paul May company in 1935. It was a factory in New York, they were manufacturing, vinyl, office supplies, desk, folders, card cases, wallets, things like that all custom and printed for the promotional products industry. And my dad ran the company for 30 plus years and just kind of by happenstance, I wound up working for my dad, worked for him for about a year and I kind of jumped the fence to the distribution side of the industry. So I left the manufacturing side and I started my own company in 2010. Doing what I do now, so we work directly with clients but if I had been in business at the same time as my dad and my family, I would have been his customer. So that would have been an interesting dynamic to our relationship.
Russ Johns 4:53
Very cool. Very cool. You know, I have friends in the industry and I've purchased...I've been more on the receiving side of it, you know, as far as client side work, but you know, being in larger organizations where I have a closet full of things that I've received, you know, branded shirts and T shirts and jackets and things like that. I mean, it's all around us, however, it's one of those industries that unless you're really in the industry, you really don't know about the industry.
Matt Deutschman 5:29
Yeah, it's, um, you know, it's not something you say, I want to do that when I grow up. So being in the family line is kind of one of the only ways I guess, to fall into it, but, you know, here we are, I love it, I love what I do. And it's funny, you mentioned, you know, closet full of, you know, I hear that my junk drawer is filled with that kind of stuff. And that's like, those little like, anecdotes, or whatever are #inspiration for me and actually drive me to do it. Well, to be better than that, you know, we don't want to do stuff for our clients that's going to wind up in the junk drawer or wind up stashed in the back of the closet and then 10 years later you find it. We want to do something that's going to be useful at the end of the day for our clients. You know, our tagline, doubletake is make them look twice. And that's a two pronged tagline. It's a mission that every project we work on for a client is going to make their recipients look twice.
Russ Johns 6:35
it's really, how can I, as a business owner, how can I personalize a gift for my clients that will allow them to have it on hand and remember, and remind them that I'm here to help them? You know, and I think that's really part of the equation, it's part of the exercise of how do you make it special. How do you surprise or wow, people?
Matt Deutschman 7:05
Yeah, there always has to be strategy behind it. We really focus with our clients on brand consistency, and, you know, understanding their target market and how best to reach them. And, you know, the end of the day, we have millions of different products at our disposal but you know, we we don't really care which one our clients use as long as it's the right one. And so it's our job to figure out what the right one is. And that's the process that we take.
Russ Johns 7:33
So do you have some examples of some unique or special offers that companies purchase for their gifts? For their assortment of promotional materials?
Matt Deutschman 7:47
Um, yeah, I mean, since we're in the throes of holiday gift season now. You know, we do a lot of projects for clients where they do gifts to show appreciation to their clients or to show appreciation to their staff. And I'd say, just a recent one that we had a really good experience with, we had a client who did branded Yeti tumblers. And so we developed... this year has added a new wrinkle. Most people have their clients mailing address, if it's a b2b type business, they have their clients office address, but not with everybody working from home, we're running into a lot of our clients are saying,well, where do we even send this stuff? We're developing a lot of web stores for clients where they share out a link that's kind of like a landing page that we brand with their branding. And it has, you know, if they're providing the choice of gifts, or even if it's just has the gift that they're offering. But it also, most importantly, it has a way for their recipient to input their preferred mailing address. And then we get a feed of that on the back end. And we can do all the distribution. So we had one client that after sharing that webstore out with his recipients, two people reached out to him saying, oh, this is awesome, you know? Can we actually steal this idea and do the same thing? So it generated two referral opportunities for us. And that was because of the webstore concept and a Yeti gift, I think, by the recipients for that,
Russ Johns 9:26
Don't you find that interesting that, you know, ideas like that innovation, you know, because a lot of times, challenging moments, create a little bit of creativity, and by being creative and how to deliver and how to have your recipients access that is really a simple process. I love the idea that all of a sudden you get more referrals from it just because of the creativity that went into that. So hat's off to you. That's fantastic. So I guess, you know, talking about 2020 and the chaos, it's ensuing on all of us these days, you know, are promotions up or down? Or where's the market going for you? I mean, overall, what's the status right now?
Matt Deutschman 10:23
Yeah, it's been, I mean, it's been a turbulent year for all of us, right? But we're definitely no different and I think we might even be an extreme example. March, April, May, when COVID first hit, those three months were completely barren, there wasn't a lot of the...most of our clients were just in triage mode and going on at all. Interestingly, we found ourselves in a unique position with a lot of our overseas manufacturers kind of readjusted their manufacturing to make masks and other PPE, personal protective equipment. And at the time, there was a global shortage of masks and everything. So you know, at the time, there wasn't much else going on, we were doing a lot of that, and I made the decision at the time to sell masks for no profit, just to try to facilitate the orders to get them to where they needed for hospitals, for not for profit organizations that, you know, had your healthcare healthcare workers or people in with highly susceptible populations. So, we facilitated production of 1000s upon 1000s of masks, and that was keeping me busy. At the time, there wasn't much else to do, but you're getting to the cause. And then, you know, there wasn't much profitable work going on. But then after that period, really over the summer, we got very busy doing PPE kits, branded PPE kits, for a lot of our colleges, University clients, as they were preparing to reopen their campuses and they, in many cases, colleges needed, they were mandated by state governments to provide a plan for how they were going to safely reopen. And those plans needed to include how they were going to adequately distribute PPE to their students and their staff on campus. So we became, I think the word essential is overused these days, but we became an important component for those clients in just planning and figuring out how they were going to operate. So did a lot of branded PPE kits over the summer and then from there, the fall. And, you know, this early part of the winter has really been focused on appreciation gifts, which is a pretty typical fourth quarter for us. And business has really been strong, over the last like, five, six months since the initial craziness with the pandemic. So it's been lowest the lows and the highs for us over the course of the year. It's crazy.
Russ Johns 13:14
It's amazing. I talked to so many people that have had that similar experience, you know, when when it first hit, everybody was just kind of like, in shock. It's like, is this really happening? Is this really happening? My clients were like, my business is closing. And then the next thing you know, they, just like most entrepreneurs, they think about how I mean, the whole point of being an entrepreneur is thinking about how I can navigate in and around the obstacles, the challenges the day to day, you know, and that's one of the things that I really admire about a lot of the people that I've talked to on the #PirateBroadcast™ is they have figured out alternative ways of dealing with their situation and their circumstance. And either adjusting their business, modifying their business, changing their business, completely starting a new business. I mean, all of these activities are something that we can all think about and contribute to, either helping others or being able to offer advice or support or in some cases, gifts, and say, hey, thank you for being you, and maybe a branded mask. That sounds pretty cool to me.
Matt Deutschman 14:39
Yeah, we celebrated 10 years in business in April and it was when I celebrated five years in business. I rented out a private suite at a minor league baseball game. The team was a client of ours. I had this arrangement where I threw out the first pitch at the game and I did a whole 50/50 raffle. People had to guess my pitch speed and we had it on a radar gun. And, you know, the winning guests got some cash and the rest got donated to charity. I was trying to do something creative and fun like that for 10 years, but you know, best laid plans. So we decided to still do something fun and unique, something to just to really celebrate and not just, you know, hunker down and kind of cower amongst the circumstances. We did a zoom party, you know, those are kind of commonplace now. But that was like a revolutionary thing, having like a zoom happy hour. And then we did...similar to the gift, the web store that I was explaining, for we did a gift store like that, for a lot of our clients, giving them a choice of some kind of fun, pick me up, like work from home or like, just fun packages of promotional items that can kind of get them through the the working from home slog we got. The reason I bring it up is because it was, for us, it was a decision to kind of just still celebrate even amidst an adverse circumstance. And we got a lot of really positive feedback that was really rewarding just from clients of ours, saying that they really appreciated the positive vibe and they were excited to kind of share in the celebration with us, and kind of take their mind off some of the more serious things going on. So I'm really just looking back now on what we did in April. I'm really happy that we did that, because I think it just helped kind of focus on mindset on the positives.
Russ Johns 16:51
Yeah. Well, and you know, everybody has an option to look at both sides of the equation. And I always say, hey, if you can actually think about what is possible, rather than all of the problems you have, you know, let's let's look at the opportunities, not the problems, you know. Turn it around. And it's two sides of the same perspective for a lot of people and we have to think about what it is we can do with where we are right now. And I think that there's probably a lot of people thinking about gifts in a different way. You know, they're thinking, how can I contribute back? How can I move it forward? How can I appreciate all of the clients that have stuck around and everything else. Have the gifts changed in fourth quarter this year? I mean, as far as the actual gifts themselves, or the way that people are approaching gifts right now, in your business
Matt Deutschman 17:51
It hasn't changed so much. I mean, the biggest change is just the logistics of how to get it to the people. I've talked about that a little bit already. But what we're finding a lot of is, you know, we, in a lot of the gift projects that we do, we the gift, the product is accompanied with a greeting card. And whereas in years past, that may just be sort of a generic, like, you know, happy holidays, we appreciate working with you kind of message, we're seeing some really heartfelt messages from people this year that are just, it's really nice to see because it's again, at the end of the day, it's all about relationships. So even us just kind of facilitating these projects and seeing, you know, just in the act of printing the cards, so we're seeing the messages that are being sent. It's really awesome for us to just see the meaningful relationships that our clients have with their clients. That they're sending these gifts to. It's just really nice to see that there's the human element of all of this.
Russ Johns 19:02
There's a lot of compassion around right now. And I think people understand that. And this is a circumstance we're all working through. You know, nobody's exempt from this. Nobody's saying, hey, this doesn't affect me, it affects everyone. And I think that one thing that I really love to present in the pirate community is the idea that, hey, let's help each other and let's make sure that we support each other. You know, mental health is an issue and it's a huge challenge with a lot of people right now. People are out of work or they're stressed about work or they're stressed about their family getting exposed or sick or you know, they're working in health care, and it's like they're always on overload and stressed out. So, think about how you can actually think through this process. Support each other with your opportunity. Maybe send out something for your clients or your community and/or start some fundraisers or something along those lines. I know Karen Joseph here in Arizona, she goes around and collects shoes and delivers them to people. She's an awesome individual that does that. And I know so many people that do that, and the list goes on and on. And it's just really satisfying to hear these stories, rather than in the news that are claiming that the sky is falling, and we're all gonna, that world is gonna end here anytime. It's like, I don't want to listen to that. You know, let's listen to something a little more positive. So get your promotions today from Matt. Unbridled plug, you know. So what about the family side? Is everybody staying safe and healthy and everything? And you're now in Chicago. So temperature's dripping a little bit. So it's not as warm, but no snow. You don't have snow yet?
Matt Deutschman 21:12
Not yet. We had a couple times in October, but nothing really.
Russ Johns 21:15
I got a little nervous for you guys when it started snowing in Chicago.
Matt Deutschman 21:21
I played golf one of those days in October that it was not in the forecast. But yeah, family is good. I'm married. I have two kids, a four year old son, a two year old daughter. And yeah, it's been a challenging year trying to balance childcare and working from home and my wife working from home and still, you know, being good parents and good workers when we're doing what we're doing, but you know, we definitely spent a lot more time together. And that's a silver lining to all this, big silver lining.
Russ Johns 21:56
Yeah, a big silver lining. You know, there's so many times where I think when I was, you know, in my career, raising kids and things like that, and I was on the road more than I was home half the time, and I was looking back and thinking, wow, it's so different today. Now, you get on a zoom session with a call or a colleague, and there's kids in the background, or the dogs are barking or something's going on. It's like, never mind that. They're doing the yard work outside. It's all good. What we're doing and we're all doing it together.
Matt Deutschman 22:35
It's real life.
Russ Johns 22:38
So how do you see... I mean, next year, I would like to imagine that there's some things that are going to be improving as far as access and activities. How do you see your business evolving and growing in 2021 and 2022?
Matt Deutschman 22:56
I would say we're better poised for growth now than at any point in the past. I actually hired a new employee on March 9, that was her first day. And she was with a remote team. So Bethany was in from Rhode Island, where she lives here in Chicago that week. And that was the week that like, every day, some other major event was getting canceled. And the two of us were just like, really, let's just get through this week and see what happens. And so, you know, it was not the ideal time, I guess, to to bring on a new member of the team but, you know, I stuck with the plan. And you know, if it was a smart decision on January 3, or whatever, then it was a smart decision on March 9, it was a smart decision on April whatever. I mean she's awesome. And the infusion that she has brought to our team has just been so great. And we as a team have gotten so much stronger over the last several months, and have just evolved our capabilities and really strengthened our capabilities in a lot of ways. And I'm really excited heading into next year, we've got some interesting new initiatives that we're working on. I mentioned that we work with higher ed a lot. So we developed kind of a little marketing program or marketing strategy for our own company. We've created a mock University double take university with the mascot the double take defenders, because we're the defenders of your brand standards. And that's just a way of us that we've kind of built some things off of that to connect with our higher ed vertical. And so we're going to be employing that quite a bit more into 2021 and then an offshoot of that was as a result of the pandemic, we created a website doubletakedefenders.com, which is not higher ed related. It's defending against germs and it's a build your own PPE kit tool. So you can go right on that website and like and create your own custom branded PPE kits that's great for companies that are returning to the office and also great for schools, colleges, universities, great for anyone who is looking for branded PPE of any kind. So that's just something you know, I'm not trying to like, shamelessly plug, it's just an exciting thing that adaptation is something totally new for our business that we're really launching things.
Russ Johns 25:47
So is that website up now? Is that something that's available right now?
Matt Deutschman 25:51
Yeah, it is. Yeah, really confusing it already.
Russ Johns 25:54
So what's the website, Matt?
Matt Deutschman 25:55
Russ Johns 25:58
doubletakedefenders.com. So our wonderful producer of the show, Tracie, oh, she'll put that in the notes and be available later on. Hey, I want to take a minute here and just shout out to some of the individuals that are on the program. Kady joined us from Sugarland, Texas, southwest of Houston. I know exactly where Sugarland, Texas is. I used to broadcast the Sugarland skeeters baseball team down there and on am radio So, I know the area, I've been there many times. Warren, Warren and Mark and a few friends over there and and Hiett are here. Patrick's in the house. Thank you so much, Paige is here. Hey, thank you for being here. That's a scrumptious, delicious, edible, tasty looking coffee mug. Yes, it is. I'm very happy to have my coffee mug. It's very fun. Hiett, he's a Houston native as well. Unable to stay with y'all this morning. Well, thank you for being here. And Gabriel says good morning, gentlemen, fellow pirates, loving the community and conversation this morning. Mark LeCour. Any tips for managing remote teams? That's a great one. Matt. Let's talk about that. Remote teams, what's your style? What's your ideas? What are your thoughts? What are your recommendations?
Matt Deutschman 27:34
Yeah, that's something I'm an ever evolving remote boss. But I am, you know, my company has been operating remotely for years. So that's, I'd say, the one thing that did not completely turn my business upside down on March 16, was that we...it didn't really change the way we operate, we still have a remote team. So I'd say biggest tips are...number one, I have a weekly accountability meeting, I have a small team, I have a team of three, in addition to myself. So I have a weekly accountability meeting with each of my employees every Friday, where we talk about just kind of recapping some projects that we worked on for the week and establish goals to head into the following week. And then we assess the progress on those goals at the the subsequent week's meeting. And then we also reserve just a few minutes during that meeting for kind of like admin questions, anything like scheduling or any administrative things that we need to go over and what we call WHAM, weekly accountability meeting. And what the Wham does is, it just it reduces the need for some of the random phone calls made back and forth during the week that can really interrupt your flow. If I know that I need to discuss this minor thing with Bethany or with Laura or with Judy, I'll write it down. I have a little column in my notebook for their Wham each week. And I'll just write it down there in my notes. And that way, I know that we're going to cover it later in the week. We don't have to take the time right now. Something pops into your head. So another thing I'd say is, when I call an A member of my team, I always try to ask them if they have time to talk. Just because I'm the owner of the company doesn't mean that I'm allowed to interrupt their flow if they're in the middle of something, if they're working on something. So that's something that I've tried to be really conscious of, especially recently when we're extremely busy with holiday projects, a lot of things on deadline. I never take it for granted that you know, they have time to speak to me just because I'm the one who is calling them. So we try to encourage that back and forth that we make because it's just very easy to fall into a pattern of getting easily distracted and interrupted, especially when everybody's working from home. So those are a couple things. And then we also have weekly team calls, which are either on phone or on zoom. And we have an agenda that we go through on that. We have points of collaboration, any projects that we're working on, that we need help with, or want to share ideas on, we have a time for that. We have goals and updates, time where we establish what we announced what our goals are, what we're working on, and give updates on that. That holds one another accountable when we kind of communicate it out to one another. We share wins every Friday, we share wins for the week. So we want to end the week on positive note. And then every Friday, we also do gratitude. And that was something that I heard someone else did with his team that I thought was a great idea. And so each of us come up with something that we're grateful for on that Friday team call and that it could be something business wise, it could be something persona,l it could be, and it doesn't matter what it is, but we all have to come up with something. And that has really brought us closer together than really anything else we could have discussed business wise, is just sharing some of these points of gratitude. These are things that have really helped forge a tight knit team.
Russ Johns 31:36
Wow. Well, Matt, I know that there's a lot of things we could talk about and expand on. And I just have all the gratitude in the world for you here today. So it's a great segueway because I know we're wrapping up and I know you have a busy day ahead of you, but I just want to thank all of the pirates in the community, I want to also extend an invitation for everyone to join the #PirateSyndicate™ every single day 7am and make sure that you have an opportunity to join us. Listen in and pick up a few nuggets of knowledge and some information that is going to be useful, beneficial, maybe inspirational. I don't know. A little gratitude, right? So how do you like to have people get a hold of you? How do you like to have people reach out to you and where can they find you, Matt?
Matt Deutschman 32:29
Sure. They can find me on LinkedIn. Matt Deutschman. Not a lot of Matt Deutschman's out there. And then our website is makethemlooktwice.com.
Russ Johns 32:37
Matt Deutschman 32:38
We talked about that doubletakedefenders.com website also.
Russ Johns 32:44
I love it. I love it. Well, thank you so much for being here, man. I really appreciate it. Stay safe and healthy. We're gonna get through this. Keep putting out promotions, make sure that we have everything in place and making people smile, because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree, so you know what I'm talking about. #Enjoytheday. Thank you, everyone. Bye.
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