Does Your Marketing Support Business Development?

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response has made every organization examine its own ability to adapt during these stressful times. There isn’t a sector that’s been left unchanged by this environment. Some businesses may have been impacted more than others, but at some point everyone will feel the effects in one way or another. 

With this in mind, businesses have been forced to be as steadfast and creative as ever. One area this has been evident is in the spectrum of marketing and branding. It’s vital that businesses take this opportunity to reinforce their messaging to show their organizational flexibility during a period of extreme instability. Focusing on strong, consistent messaging can be the difference between a business weathering the storm and failing to do so. 

So how does a business shift its marketing approach during lean times to drive engagement, continue generating leads, and help bolster its bottom line? By adopting a marketing strategy that places a premium on resilience. This will lead to the adoption of marketing tactics that engage more potential customers and, in turn, lead to more business. 

Here are four best practices you can follow to help your marketing efforts foster greater business development. 

Develop a message that is relevant for today and tomorrow

Your brand message is about more than just your mission statement, though that’s a big part of it too. Your brand message is what permeates throughout all external-facing messaging to communicate what your organization is all about. It’s present in your logo, the language you use to describe your goals and values, and even the colors you choose to represent your business.

Your brand message should be consistent and it should be clear. Think of some of the most valuable brands you know — Nike, Apple, or Coca Cola. What do they have in common? Everything surrounding the brand — messaging, visuals, language — all leads back to the same core idea. 

Whether there’s a pandemic or not, your brand message should communicate that your business is in it for the long haul. It should reflect the reality of today and predict the future of tomorrow. How do you do this? By developing a brand that commits to your core values, has a clear-cut mission in mind, and feels congruent across all its platforms and materials. 

Update your digital presence

The pandemic has been a time of great turmoil and uncertainty for many. While this is unavoidable for some, it’s important to attempt to stay proactive and positive during a tough time. 

From a marketing standpoint, look at this time as an opportunity to hit the “reset” button on your marketing operations. Is there any part of your digital presence that needs updating? Now is the time to do it. That means ensuring you have the following: 

  • An up to date website that provides your potential customers with a clear picture of the solutions you offer with customer testimonials and evidence of why your offering is the right solution for them. 
  • A social media presence that engages your customers with genuine and thought-provoking content across multiple platforms, whether it be via LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. 
  • Thought leadership content (blogs, podcasts, videos, etc.) that establish you as a credible authority in your chosen field. This material should be well-researched and delivered confidently, as it can really help set you apart from your competition. 
  • Establish effective “Call to Actions” on your website. Because potential customers are in different stages of their decision-making process, you need different CTAs for each stage. For example, a prospect could be in the research stage, so a video explaining your expertise will be more helpful than asking them to contact you. Potential examples of effective CTAs include: 
    • Schedule a Demo
    • Download 5 Ways to Market Your Business During COVID-19
    • Call for a Messaging Review
    • Watch this video

It’s true that you can’t meet in person right now. While some may see that as a negative, you can choose to see it as a positive. That also means there’s never been a better time to hold a digital event like a webinar to attract potential new customers. Right now more prospects than ever are glued to their phones and laptops. You’ll have to get creative, but there’s never been a better time to bolster your digital efforts in a way that can garner more eyes and more business. 

Create a business development drip campaign

Often times after you meet a potential customer, they may not be ready to discuss your product or service. That’s okay – you can put them into an email drip campaign. This allows you to keep your brand top of mind with valuable content for them. This way, you continue to provide them value and prove your worth as a source of solutions to their problems. They’ll consider this when eventually making their buying decision. 

Content for an email drip campaign can include a video on your product or service, a testimonial from a client about your product or service, data and research, or relevant tips and ideas. 

Adopt a client referral program

Finally, look to develop your brand evangelists in the form of clients or customers you’ve delighted in the past who want to spread the good word of what you’ve done for them to others. When you’ve done an effective job, you’ll want to tap into a program that rewards clients who talk about your successes to others and draw in new business. Offer discounts to clients who steer you in the direction of other potential customers. 

The bottom line on adopting a marketing approach that supports business development

So what’s the next step? Pull together your executive and marketing teams and organize a brainstorming session. With the best practices mentioned above in mind, identify opportunities to continue providing your customers with great service while also driving greater customer acquisition

Are you interested in adapting your marketing to help build new business? Reach out to REBL today. We’ve got experience and knowledge in developing winning marketing campaigns that lead to a healthier bottom line. For more on how we can help, contact us today.

Have Lots of Coffees – Reblutionize Interview with Tim Owens

This interview with Tim Owens was before COVID-19 hit how we network, but the principles of how you connect and build relationships are still the same. You must be authentic, ask people to a lot of coffees, and get out there! Part of networking is also to find people that you can partner and collaborate with to mutually grow each other’s businesses.

Marketers, make the CEO’s your best friend

Marketing Should be the CEO’s Best Friend: Miro Copic, BottomLine Marketing [REBLutionize Interview]

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If you are a CMO, Head of Marketing, or Up-and-Coming new marketer, you should watch this interview. You need to be at the table with the other executives and participate in the companies overall strategies so you can drive marketing efforts that help support those objectives.

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14 Entrepreneurs Discuss How Entrepreneurship Academic Programs Will Look Like in the Future

The landscape of entrepreneurship programs is rapidly changing and giving special emphasis to hands-on experience. Obtaining an academic program is important in validating your business concept but many will argue that is no longer the case. The future of entrepreneurship academic programs remains dynamic and there’s need for aspiring entrepreneurs to adapt to the changing environment.

Here what entrepreneurship academic programs will look like in the future according to entrepreneurs and business owners.

#1- With actionable learning

Photo Credit: Reb Risty

The future of entrepreneurship academic programs has been evolving exponentially over the last few years with access to a plethora of low cost and no-cost training online. Entrepreneurs are moving faster than ever, and they want practical advice and training from people who have been there. Going to a 4-year university is not how the modern entrepreneur educates themselves today. They want actionable learning that they can use on the job.

Thanks to Reb Risty, REBL Marketing!

Originally Published at CBNation

Build A Trusted Brand Through Video Testimonials

Customer testimonials are a valuable way to build trust in your brand. To a potential customer, a testimonial is similar to a personal recommendation for a product or service. Videos are also an important tool in your marketing funnel. They are entertaining, engaging and easy to digest. Putting the two together creates a powerful marketing tool to create sincere and entertaining recommendations from existing customers. 

Why do video testimonials make great marketing tools?

The power of a video testimonial goes beyond the idea of combining one effective marketing technique with another. When a video testimonial includes the right content, it is the act of one customer sharing the most important details of a product or service with another customer. A potential customer viewing a video testimonial should feel like an impartial bystander is offering them a helping hand. Consider these five reasons to add video testimonials to your marketing plan.

1. Video testimonials build trust.

A written testimonial provides a thought-out opinion of a product or service. Video allows your customers to see and hear a reaction, which makes it more credible, engaging and authentic. Consider conversations in your personal or business life that seem too important to take place over the phone, text or email. You prefer these conversations be carried out face to face so you can see and hear the other person’s reaction. A video testimonial provides the same type of visual confirmation.

2. Video has a higher retention rate.

While a long written review may contain more information, your potential customers might not finish reading it. Even worse, they may only remember a small percentage of what they read. Videos provide an entirely different experience. Viewers are not only more likely to watch a complete video, but they also reportedly retain 95% of a message viewed in a video, compared to 10% when reading text. 

3. Video is preferred.

Video is the preferred form of content by most viewers. YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the internet with over two billion users. A video engages viewers with a real person to whom they can relate. Then, it uses the powerful tool of storytelling to show your potential customers why your product or service is worthy.

4. Videos get shared.

Since videos are enjoyable to watch, consumers love sharing them. When video sharing extends to user testimonials, your loyal customers naturally become brand ambassadors.

5. Video testimonials convert.

Conversion is one of the most important parts of your marketing process. It’s that magical moment that turns your potential customers into paying customers. When a potential customer is faced with a decision, they have to find a person they can trust. Customers are more likely to trust one another than an advertisement designed to promote your brand simply because it’s a person to whom they can relate. This relatability is only increased when your viewers see and hear a story similar to their own.

How do you make a good testimonial video?

The purpose of a testimonial video is not the same as that of a polished commercial that features professional actors. Your potential customers want to see the sincere opinions of ordinary customers to whom they can relate. Use these tips to teach your customers to make video testimonials.

• Give direction instead of providing a script. Customers reading from a script don’t provide authentic experiences or genuine emotions. Instead, have a conversation about the customer journey and how your product or service resolved the issue. 

• Keep it short. In my experience, the optimal length for a video testimonial is around 90 to 120 seconds. Use the time wisely to give specific details.

• Avoid yes-no questions. When using an interview format, ask questions that evoke emotions and lead to descriptions of how the product solves problems.

• Ask for a testimonial as soon as a project/service is complete. Your happy customers are most likely to create compelling video testimonials when they’re excited about the results of your product or the service you provided.

• Suggest customers compare you to the competition. How do you measure up? Often, before finding a solution to a problem, consumers struggle with disappointments. Your potential customers may be comparing your service to others before making a purchase.

Use these four key areas to create an effective video testimonial.

Providing consumers with guidelines can help them become more confident in creating video testimonials about your product or service. Suggest your customers talk about these four key points.

• Themselves: Your customers want to be able to relate to the person in the video they’re watching. Real people have backgrounds. Your customer should provide a bit of relevant information that makes them relatable (such as age, career or parental status).

• Their challenge: What problem led them to seek your products or service? When the viewer is having a similar problem, they instantly connect with the person sharing the video.

• Why they chose you: Were there other products or services that didn’t measure up to your brand? Did the customer try other potential solutions without success?

• The results: Use these queries to prompt specific experiences. “Are you happy with the product or services provided? Please share specific details about how the product worked to solve the initial problem. Finish with the reason you recommend the product to other customers.”

Video testimonials combine a variety of powerful tactics to promote your brand to potential customers. Videos are an immensely popular medium that provides engaging stories to sell your products or services. Additionally, sincere customers who provide genuine reactions naturally build trust in your brand — and every business wants that.

Article originally posted on

Meet Reb Risty of REBL Marketing in Downtown San Diego


Today we’d like to introduce you to Reb Risty.

Reb, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?

I think most of my past employers would say Reb is the ideal employee. I always arrive early, stay late when needed, and do what I say I will do, self-motivated, positive and a good team member. When I pursued my MBA in 2005, is when I realized I had an entrepreneurial spirit. Although the professors and curriculum were very good, it was my fellow classmates that I learned the most from. I majored in Marketing and Entrepreneurship at SDSU. I took a class with Giles Bateman, former CFO for Price Club, which became Costco. He was the professor that challenged me to think like an entrepreneur instead of an employee. It was my fellow classmates, Jennifer, Mark and Erik whom I competed with in a Business Plan Competition and showed me I could start a Company of my own.

In 2008, when the economy crashed, I was laid off from the marketing agency where I had been working for the previous 2 years. At that point I did what any sensible unemployed person does, I started a consulting business, and RebL Marketing was born. Fortunately enough, I found a full time position within a few months, and RebL took a backseat. It was in 2016, when the RebL voice in my head began getting louder.

I was working as a marketing director for an aviation company that I really liked, but the work was not satisfying. When I started in aviation, I was constantly being asked for my advice, recommendations, reviews, and even job offers. I realized there is a real need for someone with my background and outsider knowledge. I did have a consulting client, Pro Back Office that I had worked with for year and saw how successful they had been providing outsourced Accounting and Finance services.

I thought, why I can’t do the same with Marketing and Communications services? With the encouragement of my client and good friend, Jennifer Barnes, I started to focus RebL Marketing on Outsourced Marketing Teams and Services. As I quickly found out, there is a demand for growing companies that are in need of experienced marketing professionals, just not necessarily on a full-time basis. So, I quit my full-time job and jumped in.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?

One of the biggest struggles I had to get over first was the decision to actually go out on my own and start RebL Marketing full-time. I had been consulting on the side for years and that was my comfort zone. I wish I could say there is a right time and you know it, but it wasn’t that oblivious. From the time I decided I wanted to run RebL full time to when I actually quit my job was just under a year. There were a number of reason, my employer at the time convinced me to stay longer and give them a chance to provide me with a better work situation. It was like trying to break up with a boyfriend, they kept saying things would get better, but it didn’t. Anyway, the time finally came that made me take the leap of faith and start RebL full time.

The other challenge I’ve had is growth and managing my team. I’ve grown quickly over the last few months and managing projects as well as growing and training my team has been a huge time struggle. Unfortunately I had to let a team member go this week. They just weren’t performing and causing more work for the rest of the team. The person is a nice person, but just couldn’t see what they were doing wrong or couldn’t admit it. This has been tough, but I know it won’t be the last time.

RebL Marketing – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?

With RebL Marketing the client gets a whole team or marketing department vs. one full-time employee. We can provide full marketing management at a fraction of the cost, on-site, remote, and when needed.

Unlike more traditional marketing firms that are good on a project basis RebL stays with the client to execute for a long team. This is where the RebL team really shines. We know how to develop, execute, evaluate and adjust. Our goal is to be the client’s marketing team that is proactive verses just doing the marketing.

I’ve been on the agency side and client side. I understand the frustration of being a client, paying a significant amount to the agency to end up doing half of the work or just can’t get what is needed out of the agency. I also understand that clients don’t always understand what marketing can really do. The best approach is to work together as a team, learning and willingness to be flexible on both sides.

I’m most proud of my long-term clients that I’ve been able to grow with and be a part of their success. One client, Pro Back Office, has grown significantly over the last 5 years. Winning SDBJ Fastest Growing award two years in a row and listed on the Inc. 5000. I’ve been with them since they started out of Jennifer Barnes back room office. We’ve also become good friends.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?

Happiness. When you can wake up ready to start your day and your work, that’s success to me.

Contact Info:

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Reb Risty – Marketing in the Virtual Universe: 5 Reasons Every Business Should Use Video Testimonials

Reb Risty, Head and CEO of REBL Marketing, is a marketing expert with useful information for communicating with your customers in these unique times. After starting her company in 2008, her mission has been to help her clients clearly communicate their value propositions and boost engagement. The marketplace has rapidly shifted from a digital world to a virtual universe, so online presence is more important than ever before, and video testimonials are a great place to start. As we begin to reopen, Reb has tips for marketing in a cognizant manner.

In her interview, Reb discusses the importance of continuing communication with your customers. She dives deep on the importance of having not just testimonials, but video testimonials from clients. Reb shares some of the reasons video testimonials are so successful and how you can easily start generating your own. It is essential to adapt to the changing marketplace, use Reb’s tips to thrive in the virtual space.

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