Welcome to “The Horse’s Mouth” with Tom McManus, a cool, unique talk show where guests belly up to the bar to discuss business, marketing, and life. No gossip, no hearsay, no BS, just the straight-up truth, right from the source.
Tom’s longtime love of bartending has come full circle since his days as a linebacker on the inaugural Jacksonville Jaguars football team—slinging drinks and talking shop with everyone from high-profile sports figures and entertainers to business leaders, journalists, and community leaders. Tom and guests trade insight and anecdotes, explore day-to-day topics and tackle the hard subjects, all with equal measures of energy, honesty, and laughter. Get the skinny on the real people behind the headlines, straight from the horse’s mouth.
This week, Tom spoke with Eric Graybeal from Mint Magazine, Cathy Curtis from The Times Union, Chuck Coker from Yesha Ministries, Todd Philcox from Salty Charters of Jacksonville, and Joey Scharf from your850.
How important are advertising and promoting in your company?
Mint Magazine has been around over 30 years now. Most people think we’re just the magazine, but we do far more than that. We have direct mail postcards. We have a home improvement based magazine called Prestigious Living. We do various types of inserts. We have an app, an e-mail program, and a local website localflavor.com. We make sure to hit the digital side, the print side, and everything else in between.
For us, The Times Union has almost 80,000 subscribers and people are reading the actual paper, but most are reading it on their phones. While the print subscriptions may be declining, our digital side, such as our website, Jacksonville.com, make sure we still are providing news and information. You’re getting your specials, you’re getting your deals, you’re learning about events, it’s all on your phone. That is the world we live in today.
Marketing is incredibly important for us at Yesha Ministries. We use a lot of Facebook, we’ve got four or five different Facebook pages. I made sure we had a place on LinkedIn. When Mayor (John) Delaney was mayor, he said we were the best-kept secret in Jacksonville. I don’t want us to be a secret, I had to get the word out and social media marketing accomplished that.
I’m a sole proprietor of small business, about as small as you can get. You have a limited amount of time. I’ve got one boat, and I can only do so many trips a day. When it comes to promoting, I’m limited in ways. It’s got to be quantifiable. You’ve got to know where you’re spending money and you have gotta get a return for it. My revenue is a limitation on what I can bring in over the course of a year. When I do spend money, it’s got to work. I’ve found that digital works best whether it’s Google or Facebook. Those are the kinds of areas where I can reach people both locally and within the travel agency.
For us, at your850, marketing is one of our top priorities. We are fighting a bad industry with a bad reputation. It is important that we get the word out that we are different. We are actually there for consumers. We do a lot of social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, and many others. However, the thing with today’s technology that’s really nice, that we didn’t have 20 years ago, we can do apps on people’s phones. Everybody has that, whether you are 14 or 60. People are walking around reading and trying to stay caught up with what is happening. With an app, people are given updates and lets people go online so that they can stay in tune with everything.
How important is social media in your business?
It is a central part, especially since we are such an organization that’s so spread out. We are located in multiple states. Without social media, it would be a massive investment we, as a nonprofit, could not afford. Social media allows us to get information out to our students and their families easily. We always welcome corporate sponsors that want to see character built into younger athletes. We’ve had so many of our graduates over the past 35 years turn into city councilman, county council, pastors, teachers, leaders and even one in the State Senate. So while we’re excited about what we’re doing for the youth and for their families, keeping them current is the key.
Your company has to be on the big three. You’ve got to be on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Instagram is where your millennial-type crowds will flock towards, while Gen X and Y are more involved with Facebook. You want to be able to hit all of the age groups.