I dream of a day when governments work collectively to build an international mandate that feeds every hungry individual regardless of where they live.
As a part of my Marketing Strategy Series, I’m talking with my fellow marketing pros at the top of their game to give entrepreneurs and marketers an inside look at proven strategies you might also be able to leverage to grow your business or your career. Today I had the pleasure of talking with David Hernandez.
With over 20 years of leadership experience in both retail and marketing, David Hernandez is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of lotus823, an award-winning integrated communications and marketing agency specializing in home and housewares, smart home, consumer tech and lifestyle. David’s passion and creative energy underscore the collaborative culture of lotus823. He has previously been a TEDx speaker and is a professional musician who has worked and toured internationally.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting and what lesson you learned from that?
Early on we built out a trade show promotion for a client and I was ordering metal buckets that would be filled with the brand’s product and some promotional items. Unfortunately, when I ordered them, I failed to notice that they were miniature buckets! When our team received them, it was like a scene from This Is Spinal Tap! Everyone laughed at how tiny — and unusable — they were, and I must have turned purple. Luckily, we had time to order the correct ones and the client was none the wiser.
What advice would you give to other marketers to thrive and avoid burnout?
You can do whatever you set your mind to. You need to work harder than others and this is inevitably harder than you ever expected. Be prepared to take risks and know you’ll fail many times along the way; it’s all a learning process. You’ll always be more successful by surrounding yourself with good people.
Consumers have become more jaded and resistant to anything “salesy”. Where do you see the future of marketing headed?
I see there being a shift in the most in-demand marketing capabilities and technologies. Some trends that the industry may be talking about in the future digital era includes more brands utilizing integrated marketing strategies, an increase in virtual events, and more online publications versus print outlets. Finally, from a brand standpoint, the importance of brands being transparent and engaged with their customers will continue to increase in importance.
Can you please tell us the 5 things you wish someone told you before you started? Can you please share a story or example for each.
There are many but here’s my top 5:
- Be Flexible. Your vision or ‘big idea’ will evolve and you need to need to know when to flex — and when not to.
- Find a mentor, professional or spiritual. It will help you tremendously in expanding your view of what is possible and gives you another perspective for the times (and there will be times) where you will question what you’re doing.
- Plan ahead but also be in the now. It’s easy to constantly be focused on the business strategy, the next step, the next horizon — and that’s important — but you cannot forget that you must live each day and be as present as possible for your loved ones, your friends, and your team.
- You will be tested. Most start-up failures can be linked to giving up. It takes a tremendous amount of energy, passion, and sheer hard work to breathe life into an idea and bring it to life.
- Stay humble and lead from the back of the room. The best leaders and managers I have met all do one thing really well. They know how to hire and keep great talented people. Build a great team and create a culture that allows for balance, creativity, and big ideas as well as permission to take calculated risks.
What books, podcasts, documentaries or other resources do you use to sharpen your marketing skills?
The foundational elements of our company were built on the idea of continuous improvement and always striving for greatness which was inspired by reading Good to Great by Jim Collins. The idea of continuous improvement is a cornerstone of our agency’s culture. One of my favorite books that has helped our team evolve further is, “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr. This book was the movement behind the tremendous growth of many companies such as Google, Amazon, Intel, and Uber. Company-wide we have set OKRs also known as Objectives and Key Results. It accelerated our company’s effectiveness in creating, measuring, and executing top-priority goals, with all members of the team working together towards aligned objectives.
Thank you so much for sharing so much value with us!