Welcome to Business Superfans Podcast , the twice-weekly show that discusses why having customers, employees, and business allies deeply engaged with your brand is essential for sustained success.
I'm your host, Frederick Dudek the author of the book called Creating Business Superfans! I'll be bringing guest speakers and we'll explore the answers to these questions and much more.
For information about how you can support the show, please visit: Support Business Superfans Podcast
This is Episode 11 How to Leverage Marketing to attract Superfans with Catherine Oaks
Let me introduce our guest for today's show. Catherine Oaks | SliiceXR
Mentioned in this episode:
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Founder of SliceXR, Catherine Oaks is a highly experienced marketing
and branding professional with a
distinguished career spanning over 30
years across various regions, including
Europe, Asia Pacific, United Arab
Emirates, North Africa, and the USA.
Catherine is well known for her
innovative thought leadership campaigns
that boost brand recognition and
awareness for B2B and B2C companies.
She is fluent in English, French,
German, and Spanish, which combined
with her extensive global sales and
marketing background helps businesses
expand their marketing research
and gain international exposure.
Her strategic thinking, creative
genius, and tactical clarity enable
her to uncover a business's core
values and turn brands into magnets,
generating viral impact on any platform.
By bringing something extraordinary
to the world that did not exist
before, Catherine's visionary approach
enables her clients to establish a
purposeful life and achieve their goals.
Welcome to the show.
Catherine Oaks: Hello, Frederic.
How are you doing today?
Freddy D: I am doing fantastic.
How about yourself?
Catherine Oaks: Wonderful.
Thank you for having me here.
Freddy D: Thank you.
Tell us, Catherine, how did
you get started in marketing?
Catherine Oaks: My father wanted
me to be an engineer and I said,
I'm not going to be an engineer.
So he said, what else serious can you do?
Because I wanted to be an actress.
And my father said, you're
not going to be an actress.
I said, okay, but I'm
going to go in marketing.
That's how it happened.
Marketing was still a serious topic.
And it was going to involve
a lot of creativity, which
is what I always enjoyed.
So I'm going to go into marketing.
That's how it all started.
And then what led you to
start your own agency?
Because I'm an entrepreneur at heart.
I've tried to work for other people
and it does not work very well for me.
I think I'm too opinionated.
Express my opinions too often, which
very often creates a lot of chaos
or arguments and, insecure leaders.
don't deal very well with
someone who has lots of opinions.
I totally agree with that.
Because we feel threatened.
And so it's a combination that, that
does not very well, work very well.
So this is why my first agency,my first company I built in:
it was another advertising agency.
And I realized I am
made to work for myself.
And I did.
And since then I knew that there was no
other option for me that working for Other
companies is not what allows me to thrive.
It's not what allows me to create to
put in practice my inspiration and my
ideas, and I decided, okay, that the best
platform for me to have my own agency and
spread my creativity as much as possible.
Freddy D: So how long have
you owned your own agency now?
Catherine Oaks: This agency, which is
was the second one, because the first
one happened just before the 2008
crash, which took everything away from
me, just like a lot of other people.
This one I've had now since 2017.
So it's going to be,it was September:
So it's going to be almost six years now.
Freddy D: Okay, excellent.
So what can businesses do from a marketing
perspective that You know that they're
missing out on or they're not doing
a good job of doing marketing that's
going to expand their brand awareness.
Catherine Oaks: A lot of companies
make the mistake of talking
about themselves too much.
You see a lot of websites where they
display their products, their services.
So we speak about them.
That in itself does not attract
a lot of people because you are
not putting customers first.
Everything in your communication
needs to be customer centric.
Someone is going to come to you
because they have faith that
you will be solving the problem.
So you have to speak benefits.
What's also very important is to
determine what is your main product?
What is your core product?
What is it and how is it different
from anywhere else on anyone else
on the market to be put on your top
banner on your website or the top
areas of your marketing materials?
Because you have to remember one thing.
People have no time nowadays.
In average, it takes people about
three seconds to make an opinion
of your company on your website.
So if in three seconds you don't
grab their attention, they're gone.
We just don't have time to read.
They don't read.
People do not read anymore.
And then they have the attention.
Yeah, we always laugh
at that, but it's true.
They have the attention sparrow of
a goldfish, even less than that.
The goldfish had about eight seconds.
It's proven that humans attention in 2023.
It's about four you go.
If you don't grab four seconds,
you lose po it hurts your company.
It that's very damaging.
So when I said, you have to define
your unique selling proposition, i.
USP, and what problems you're
going to solve for your audience.
And then once that is determined, you
have to develop the confidence, self
confidence, that you can deliver.
Your clients are going
to want to see results.
So you have to provide statistical data
showing progress in the right direction.
And then you have to leverage technology.
Nowadays, we are incredibly lucky to
live in the world of the metaverse.
Although there is a lot of questioning
about new technologies, just
like we had a lot of questioning
with the internet 25 years ago.
It's really critical now that
businesses stay aware of the
options that they are going to have.
Very soon they have them now, but very
soon they're going to be forced to
change the way they market themselves
because their competitors will
have embraced new technologies like
virtual reality, augmented reality,
artificial intelligence, everybody's
talking about this, and they will have
leveraged those technologies while at
the same time grabbing market shares.
So if you react too late, it's
going to take you too long
to get to that same level.
Freddy D: You'll miss the window
of opportunity, it'll have gone by.
Catherine Oaks: Not
going to miss the boat,
Freddy D: Yes.
Yeah, and as you mentioned, I think a lot
of companies get caught up and says I just
got the stuff and it's all good and stuff,
but it really needs to evolve marketing
needs to be continually changing, adapting
with the times and the approaches and
the messaging needs to be refreshed on
a regular basis where people build it.
And, I've heard in the past where,
people says I used to show up on the
front page of, Google now I'm on page
27 and that's when's the last time you
up posted anything to your website?
About three years ago.
There you go.
So it's a consistent and constant effort.
It's being very light on your feet
because you need to adapt very quickly.
You don't have months or years to
adapt anymore because the speed train
is going at a higher speed nowadays.
So first you have to educate yourself
to really understand your options.
Then you have to bring with you the
right partners that can help you along
the way, establish the new strategies
that will take you where you need to be.
And then you have to implement properly.
So you have to have the right
team with you to be able to
implement a team you can trust.
Because there is no way you
can do everything on your own.
You have to have the right team to put
in place your strategy and your tactics
and ensure it's done with professionalism
and it is constantly measured.
So Catherine, how can, we're talking
about market hustle, how can a small
entrepreneur, small business, medium
sized business take marketing to
engage with their customers and create
and convert those customers, those
business partners into superfans that
in turn are out expanding that brand
awareness for that particular business.
Catherine Oaks: First of all, you
have to have a very clear message that
resonates with your core audience's needs.
Once you have that message, you have to
spread the message on all social media
channels and communicate every day.
And that's, it's not just once a day
when you launch communicate two or three
times a day, use videos, use audios,
use mediums that most people don't want
to use because we just don't want to
be on video for some reason, or they
just don't want to make the effort of.
Developing an audio message,
so you have to do what others
don't and leverage social media.
Social media is very inexpensive.
You don't have to buy paid ads.
You can make organic social media by
posting with the right hashtags by
commenting on people's feeds that are
your target audience by engaging others.
We've posts that are not just
sales oriented, but posts that
are going to provide inspiration
that are going to entertain them
because people need that nowadays.
They need to be entertained
too, so that they feel better.
Once you allow your clients
to feel better, guess what?
They're going to talk about you.
And this is how you're going
to generate those super fans
that you're talking about.
And, but key is consistency.
You have to do it.
Day in day out.
That's beyond the network.
Freddy D: So for example, on the social
media, you start getting a super fan
is someone that would start reposting
because they resonate with your message.
So now they're reposting it to
their audience and their people.
And so now some you're growing.
Brand awareness is growing exponentially
because you've got, let's say, 55 super
fans that really like the messaging
and the service and the business
and the products that, you know,
whether it's a service or product
that your business is providing.
And now they're starting to promote
the messaging to their audience.
And let's just say that.
You have a following of, let's
say, a thousand people, I'll
just keep it conservative, and
they have a thousand people.
So you've got five superfans that
reposted that, now you've got
an audience of 6, 000 people.
Catherine Oaks: That's exactly what
it is, and that's very important.
There's one thing I think is
even more important, is that
you have to have a personality.
You cannot blend and be
just like everybody else.
You have to have a personality, which
means you have to have self confidence,
you have to know yourself, and you cannot
be afraid of being a little bit eccentric.
Because people like that,
they want to be entertained.
Remember if you're flat boring,
nobody's going to follow you.
If you're a little eccentric and fun
and you go over the edges a little
bit while still being very correct.
I'm not telling people to not be correct
and being very ethical and respectful.
But if you find a way to, to establish
a personality that's unique and that
will be attractive, then your super
friends are going to grow a lot faster.
Freddy D: Absolutely.
That's why, my business name is
Frederick and for this podcast
and stuff is the Freddie D dude.
He's much more fun, much more relaxed,
business is, the tie and everything else.
And here we're having a show.
We're having fun and we're educating
people on how to grow their businesses
and build their own superfans.
Catherine Oaks: Very
important to be approachable.
Freddy D: So what do you think about
rewards programs and retention programs
that from a marketing perspective that
businesses could be doing or should
be doing to retain clients and get
repeat business out of those customers?
Catherine Oaks: It
depends on the business.
If it's a B2B, maybe you have
to have a rewards program
that's different, obviously.
But I'm always favorable
of using rewards program.
People love rewards, or
even referral programs.
People love to get something in exchange
of sharing somebody else's information.
So these are additional benefits.
That maybe others don't offer and
another way of differentiating yourself
and bringing value and rewarding
saying thank you with a little gift.
People love that.
Just, we're still big kids.
We will always be big kids, whether
we are five or 95 years old.
So you have to play those cards.
Freddy D: Because yeah, loyalty program
is a great way to say thank you to
a unique way to say thank you to the
customer, especially if you're the
B2C type of a business, you keep them
there, but you got to make it work
so the loyalty program is worthwhile
and the goal and the achievement of.
The prize, whatever it is achievable.
It's not something that, is designed
as a gimmick to where, the chances of
really getting the reward is slim and
none versus, oh, wow, I come here five
times and I get something out of it.
I'll be back here five times,
Catherine Oaks: it has to
be simple and achievable.
Freddy D: That's important.
What about when you look at email
marketing and engagement of that,
how important is that today?
And do you think cold email
marketing is coming back?
Catherine Oaks: I think it has to be
part of your marketing mix because
it's an additional touch point.
And the good thing about
emails is that people passively
get messages in their inbox.
They don't have to take
any initiatives themselves.
It's a passive way of communicating.
Now, a lot of people don't like it.
They can delete it.
Even if you delete the email
that you're sending, they're
not going to see your name.
It is brand awareness.
It can be positive, right?
Like I said, they want to
delete it, they delete it.
So I always recommend including
email in your marketing mix because
it's an additional touch point.
And the more touch points you
have in marketing, the better.
However, it has to be consistent.
All those messages that you're sending
out, whether it's on social media,
via YouTube, with with PowerPoint
presentations or emails, you have to
have that consistent core message.
Consistent branding because this is
how people will recognize you and this
is how you will build credibility.
That's very important.
This is why I always tell my clients
before you start a program or
strategy or communication strategy,
you need to have a brand book.
You need to know exactly
what to say, when to say it.
You have to have your own style.
You have to use the same colors.
You have to make sure everything
is presented in the right way,
because this is part of your brand
and the more you follow your brand.
The more successful you will be.
Freddy D: Yeah, no, absolutely.
That's absolutely 100 percent correct.
And I think another part, component in the
engagement of various marketing channels
is people forget to use, we've got all
the social media stuff and all these
other tools, but there's an old platform
that works very well, and that is Mail.
And, mail still works because it gets to
the person, there's a couple countries,
I think it's Canada and Germany, that you
can't do cold email suits against the law.
And, but you can do anybody and
that will get into their email,
their mailbox, and most likely
people don't get real mail anymore.
Catherine Oaks: And so it gets open.
And so you have a solid
chance of being seen.
Freddy D: Absolutely.
That's something that most
companies don't use anymore.
So if you have, I do a couple of
oversized mirrors that are very
beautiful, very attractive, that
communicate the message clearly.
And they are so beautiful, so big that
people don't throw them away in the trash.
Very often they keep them on their desk.
And guess what?
That's something that your
competitors probably don't do.
And when you're top of mind
all the time, you have a better
chance of getting some business.
Catherine Oaks: Yeah, absolutely.
It's I think direct mail is
overlooked in a lot of cases.
And postcards is another good platform,
I think, not the smaller ones, but a
bigger size postcard, because at least
it gets you a chance to get, someone's
going to look at it and okay, they
may toss it aside, but it's still
registered and got the message across.
And they may say second time they see
you at night, you hit them with an email
marketing or they see on social media.
I was like, Oh yeah, I remember that.
I saw that company someplace.
No, that's true.
This is why I mentioned each time.
The average person reacts
after touch point number nine.
It takes an average nine touch points
for someone to start remembering you.
So people remember that because
a lot of people give up after
touch point number three.
And they say marketing is not working.
That's the reaction we have.
So this is unreasonable type of reaction.
It's it's not grounded on
the right type of strategy.
And it's something that needs
to be rethought when they have
this type of Belief, right?
Nine touch points.
I'm going to remember nine touch points.
Freddy D: No, that's very good.
So how important is it?
If a company is looking to create
superfans, basically brand advocates
are going to be going out there,
promoting their business, which would
be, customers, business partners,
employees, and stuff like that.
How important is tracking your
efforts in your marketing initiative?
Catherine Oaks: Tracking is always
important, no matter what, because
whether you're looking for investors
or you're looking for partners or
you're looking for influencers that can
become the source of your super fans,
they're going to ask you for statistics.
They are they're going to want
to see the amount of people who
come to your website every day
and where those people come from.
They want to know how old
those people are, if they are
part of your target audience.
So they are going to ask for
data that needs to be organized.
If you don't have it,
they won't talk with you.
It's as simple as that.
So that's something that you need
to do regularly and keep track
of in reports and in a way that's
ready to be shared professionally.
Freddy D: So what are some things
that a small business, you've got
the solopreneur, you've got the small
business that's, 10 people in your
organization, how can they manage
their marketing efforts themselves?
Catherine Oaks: Can tell you,
I've launched my company on my
own, no seed capital, nothing.
I did everything by myself.
You, if you really want
something, you find a way.
Freddy D: What tools what
tools could they be using?
Catherine Oaks: You can nowadays with
artificial intelligence, you have
incredible platforms out there available.
That's going to save you so much time.
Chad GPT is one of them.
You have content creation tools,
design tools that do the work for you.
All the AI tools are there.
You have thousands of them nowadays.
It's like having 25 assistants
that are working with you,
saving you huge amounts of time.
I did not have that when
I launched my company.
I did everything on my own.
You learn Photoshop, you learn
Illustrator, you now Canva.
Canva is an incredible tool
to create your own graphics.
You can even create videos using Canva.
You can create audio using Canva.
These are tools out there
that are really easy.
They are very user friendly.
They don't require a lot of training
in order for you to use them.
Everybody knows YouTube, you
can train yourself on YouTube.
There's a tropic on everything on YouTube.
So when there's a way when there's a
will, there's a way and too many people
give up because it's so difficult.
Yes, for sure.
Most businesses don't
make it because it's hard.
So if you want to, you can learn
and you can make anything happen.
Then what's really critical is to work on
your mentor, because I just said it's very
difficult and because it's very difficult.
People give up.
You have to have the mentor of a warrior.
Where you have to push every barrier in
front of you, every wall in front of you,
you have to make a conscious decision
that you will not give up because you will
be tempted to give up 10 million times.
So surround yourself with positive
people, have the right mindset, develop
self confidence, work on yourself.
Have a healthy lifestyle because this
is going to take everything you have
is going to take your strength, your
mental strength, your physical strength.
So you have to establish a
healthy environment at all levels.
If you want to succeed and determine
that you will reach your goals at the
same time, be flexible because you're.
Vision or your tactics may have to change.
So don't establish tactics
that are not going to change.
You cannot have something
that's set in stone.
You have to be flexible.
You have to make some
adjustments along the way.
So I think that's really
the recipe for success.
But the most important thing
is to have the right mindset.
Freddy D: MIndset.
And then it's, that's everything.
Mindset is everything.
But at the same time, I think
that you have to track what you're
doing to see if it's working.
And if it's not working, you also have
to be, be able to have the wherewithal to
make the decision, say, okay, the strategy
that I'm using, I've tracked it and I've,
I've done my Google analytics, I've done
my, I looked at my Facebook marketing
activities and stuff like that, and I'm
not getting the traction, I'm not getting
the conversions and therefore that effort.
Needs to be scrapped and I need to start
all over again and go a different approach
because , that didn't work where I think
a lot of people get stuck and say I put
all this effort, I put all this money.
It's got to work.
It's got to work and let
it run a little longer.
And now they're just wasting
money and are hurting their
brand versus helping their brand.
Catherine Oaks: That's so true.
That's so true.
I've seen many cases where people
have invested a lot of money and they
are not willing to adjust anything.
And then we think it's inevitable.
They're going to sink because
especially nowadays, things
change at the speed of light.
So like I mentioned before, you
have to be flexible on your feet.
You have to be adaptable,
Freddy D: Right, and that's the thing
that I think that's what a lot of
businesses make mistake is that they
don't, they're too afraid to Say, okay,
that didn't work, and admit that it didn't
work, and make an adjustment, regroup.
Go back out, change the messaging, improve
the messaging, make the messaging more
as we talked earlier, customer centric.
Not about them because
nobody cares about them.
And, but everybody cares about,
what are you going to do for me?
How are you going to help me?
How are you going to solve my problem?
That's what everybody's at.
And so the messaging has to
come across that way , to.
Get somebody to make the phone call,
and then more importantly, okay, so they
found your website, they made the phone
call, they filled out the form, the
next, that's all the marketing, but then.
The response has to be the same messaging
within the people that the the team at
the company has to have the right attitude
and the right mindset to continue that
messaging of being customer centric.
Catherine Oaks: That's important.
And on top of that, you have to
have the right management style.
You have to be themselves.
You have to allow people to be creative
and not watch every single move
they make and criticize everything,
single thing they do, right?
That's the difference.
I always compare, there's a difference
between Apple and Microsoft almost,
I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea.
It's, it, when you have a management
style that allow people to be
creative and to feel secure in their
environment, it's a game changer.
Freddy D: Oh, absolutely.
Because, yYou can have the person that
handles that inquiry, and they feel
unappreciated they haven't been recognized
for any of their efforts and stuff like
that, so they're gonna they're told for
that prospect that's actually looking
to potentially do business with you, and
that could turn that person off, and it's
just all that marketing effort that was
just done, the money that was spent, the
effort goes out the window, thank you.
Because you have a begruntled
employee because, you didn't
recognize them, didn't appreciate
them, and they feel underappreciated.
And there's a disconnect.
And so you can have all the best marketing
and the best approach, but you have to
have the team mentally on the same page.
Catherine Oaks: true on the
same page and motivated.
It's part of the the
success picture, right?
Freddy D: Yes.
It's very motivated.
So the company has to have their own
super fans with, of the employees.
So it comes across to the new
prospective customer that,
this is an exciting company.
As people were excited to work
there, there was an example that
somebody brought up to me is you
go into a circle K gas station.
They have them here.
I don't know if they have enough
in Nevada, but you go there and the
person they don't even say hi to you.
They don't say nothing.
It just you go in.
There's a cutie, which is
a different a gas station.
You walk in and the tenant might be
working with somebody look up and say,
Hello, welcome to cutie, and it's just
a whole different Ambiance and just that
little thing is a huge marketing aspect.
That's why you look at, a QT
gas station here in Arizona.
And I think there's there in a few
other states, they're always packed.
And you look at some of the other stations
that are not, and this is just simple
gas station level stuff, but, they
don't have the same level of customers.
Catherine Oaks: trickles
down from the top.
So you don't have the right management.
It's all important.
Catherine, how can people find you?
They can go to slicexr.
Slice with two I's.
And we'll have them grab
a slice of their market.
Everything is in there to connect with me.
Freddy D: Okay.
And do you have anything that that you're
offering any of our viewers and listeners?
Catherine Oaks: Yeah, so people can
send me an email at info at slicexr.
com and I can provide them with a
deck that gives them the guidelines to
establish a presence in the metaverse.
Freddy D: Okay.
Catherine, thank you very
much for being on this show.
It was great conversation.
Great talking to you.
And I'm sure we'll be seeing each
other again on the show down the road.
And thank you again.
Catherine Oaks: Thank you
so much for having me.