The First Customer

The First Customer - Turning Heads and Boosting Sales with Co-founder Marco Torres

November 20, 2023 Jay Aigner Season 1 Episode 76
The First Customer - Turning Heads and Boosting Sales with Co-founder Marco Torres
The First Customer
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The First Customer
The First Customer - Turning Heads and Boosting Sales with Co-founder Marco Torres
Nov 20, 2023 Season 1 Episode 76
Jay Aigner

In this episode, I was lucky enough to interview Marco Torres, the Co-founder of Marketing

Marco explains how Marketing Boost started as a solution to obtain video testimonials for their travel business. To incentivize customers, they offered bonus vacations, leading to the creation of a system that eventually evolved into Marketing The company collaborates with hotels worldwide to offer complimentary stays and other incentives, helping businesses grow by leveraging these incentives in their marketing strategies.

Marco also shares how the company uses incentive-based marketing and how it can be applied in various business scenarios. Marco provides examples of how B2B companies can use incentives, such as offering hotel savings cards for booking Zoom calls, reducing no-show rates, and adding value to their offerings. He emphasizes the importance of creating a win-win scenario for both businesses and customers.

Enjoy listening to The First Customer's insightful episode with Marco Torres!

Guest Info:
Marketing Boost

Marco Torres' LinkedIn

Connect with Jay on LinkedIn
The First Customer Youtube Channel
The First Customer podcast website
Follow The First Customer on LinkedIn

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I was lucky enough to interview Marco Torres, the Co-founder of Marketing

Marco explains how Marketing Boost started as a solution to obtain video testimonials for their travel business. To incentivize customers, they offered bonus vacations, leading to the creation of a system that eventually evolved into Marketing The company collaborates with hotels worldwide to offer complimentary stays and other incentives, helping businesses grow by leveraging these incentives in their marketing strategies.

Marco also shares how the company uses incentive-based marketing and how it can be applied in various business scenarios. Marco provides examples of how B2B companies can use incentives, such as offering hotel savings cards for booking Zoom calls, reducing no-show rates, and adding value to their offerings. He emphasizes the importance of creating a win-win scenario for both businesses and customers.

Enjoy listening to The First Customer's insightful episode with Marco Torres!

Guest Info:
Marketing Boost

Marco Torres' LinkedIn

Connect with Jay on LinkedIn
The First Customer Youtube Channel
The First Customer podcast website
Follow The First Customer on LinkedIn

 [00:00:27] Jay: Hi, everyone. Welcome to The First Customer podcast. My name is Jay Aigner. Today, I'm lucky enough to be joined by Marco Torres, CEO and founder of marketingboost. com. Marco, hello, sir. How are you?

[00:00:38] Marco: Hey, thanks for having me. I'm glad to be here.

[00:00:40] Jay: you're calling in from paradise, I think, down, what'd you say, Puerto Rico?

[00:00:44] Marco: Yeah. I'm down in San Juan, Puerto Rico in a little beachfront cottage enjoying, but, I've been here so far about a week, so it's awesome.

[00:00:52] Jay: Well, you're living your brand, man. You're living your incentive based marketing, brand. So, I didn't know what that, I mean, I mean, I kind of got what that was when I read it, but, can you tell the audience a little bit more about what that is and, you know, how you got into it?

[00:01:03] Marco: Yeah, thanks for asking. Yeah, we have a company called marketingboost. com, which we launched in 2017. And, what we offer is, the WOWs, what I call the WOW Surprise and the Light Factor. We, our members who join Marketing Boost have the ability to give away our travel incentives, complimentary hotel stays, restaurant savings vouchers, and hotel savings cards that can be used by our members to acquire new clients, trade show giveaways, loyalty programs, lead generation sweepstakes, I mean, you name it, we can talk We're gonna talk about that along the show here on how to use incentives to grow and build, you know, whatever it is, whatever business or enhance whatever you're called action is

[00:01:50] Jay: So how did you get into it?

[00:01:52] Marco: great question. We came about this all came about by accident. Really? We were building. We've been in the travel space for You know, almost a couple of decades, and we were building a website in 20 started in 2012, and it was really doing really well. But, you know, we wanted video testimonials, and we were really trying to get our clients who were selling vacations and travel and resort destinations, but we couldn't get hardly anybody.

Do the go that extra mile and film a selfie testimonial for us bragging about the hotels that we were offering or the resort brands and our hotel brand. I mean our travel brand. And, because we knew if we only had more video testimonials, we'd use them on our Facebook ads or website or YouTube ads or, you know, TV ads.

But. We couldn't get them, so we came up with an idea. Well, let's offer a bonus vacation. While they're on vacation, we'll send them a message saying, Hey, if you'd film a selfie testimonial, we'll give you an extra, another three nights at another destination down the road. And, boom! We started to get... video testimonials coming in, you know, left and right, and it was perfect.

It was exactly what we needed to really leverage those testimonials into new sales all over the place. But then we had to shut it down, you know, quickly because it was like, it was expensive to fulfill giving away three night hotel stays. We were giving Orlando or Las Vegas. And so we had to fulfill three nights of hotel stay in Orlando or Las Vegas for everybody who sent us a video testimonial.

started to get expensive. So we shut the campaign down and we decided, you know, that's a shame to shut this off. Let's go back to these hotel partners and see if we can come up with an idea to make this more affordable for ourselves. So we went back to these guys and said, look, let's be honest. Your hotel is never full year round.

I mean, you're full on certain weekends, certain holidays, peak season, special events, but 70 percent of the year, you know, 30, 40, 50 percent of your rooms are going empty. And they agreed. And so we said, Why don't you give us those rooms? We're going to help you put warm bodies, couples, families, individuals in those hotel rooms, which would otherwise be go empty because there haven't been rented, which is the most expensive room for any hotels or room that went empty last night.

And so We had, we got these hotels, we had a couple of hotels to agree in Orlando and Vegas to give us access to this inventory where we'd put couples in and we'd convince them, look, they're going to spend money at the restaurant, the bar, the casino, the gift shop, the excursion desk, the, they're going to book extra nights, they might upgrade room types, they're going to order room service.

And so they agreed and, you know, and it started to work out, and then we thought, can you imagine if we had hotels like this participating all over the world? We'd have a whole nother stand alone business and eventually that's what became marketingboost. com. When we launched in 2017, we had six destinations.

We now offer complimentary hotel stays from three to seven night stays in 130 destinations around the world. Plus the hotel savings card is good at about a million hotels worldwide. And our restaurant savings cards that are good at about a quarter of a million destinations are offers throughout the USA and Canada So those are the three incentives that a that we offer and then we teach our members how to plug those in to different calls to action as an additional value stack in coming up with Reasons to do business with you now or reasons to take action now or reasons to give you their phone number email et cetera, in order to, you know, download your ebook or your pdf or what have you.

And so you're giving them an extra reason to take some sort of call to action with you.

[00:05:30] Jay: Is it a, is it ever a response that people feel like it would counter what they're offering or it would kind of, I'm not gonna say cheap in the offer, but would make it less authentic or genuine. Is that something you guys have had to combat as part of your sales process?

[00:05:46] Marco: Absolutely, you can make it sound too good to be true. So we do teach our members that, for example, if you become a Marketing Boost member, it's only, if you don't mind me, plug in the price. It's right. Currently, it's only 37 a month, which is like a ridiculous no brainer for anybody, any entrepreneur to give this a shot.

But, we, although you could give away as many of the incentives as you'd like that we offer, we do teach our members, don't give them away like candy. You need to create scarcity and urgency and offer the right incentive for the right call to action. So you want to use a micro incentive for a micro call to action.

You're not going to offer a five night complimentary getaway in Cancun to join your email newsletter list. however, you know, it sounds too good to be true. And instead of helping you, it's going to hurt you. On the other hand, you might say, you know, join our newsletter list. And be entered to win five nights in Cancun as we're giving away one complimentary getaway a week, for example.

And so now you make it, you know, relatively easy or a good shot at winning. But you're not giving them, you're not saying, you know, enter your email and get a free trip. So you've got to, you know, you might do that with pay for an annual membership. You know, join our program, pay for a year in advance and we'll give you a complimentary.

Three nights in Las Vegas, you know, and that kind of thing. And so you're making people earn these incentives with a call to action. You know, one of the things, if you don't mind me saying, Jay, a lot of people don't understand what incentive based marketing or how they might use incentives in their own business, or they don't even recognize when other businesses.

are doing it yet. We've been seeing it all our lives. I can give you a two big examples that everybody would recognize and begin to think how I might use incentives. Amazon. Jeff Bezos is, you know, we all recognize that most one of the richest men in the world of one of the most successful retailers in the world.

More than 10 years ago, he launched Amazon Prime and the incentive Adoptive. You know, when we, when he first launched it, streaming video was nowhere near as popular as it is today. And we didn't buy Amazon Prime because we wanted video content. We bought Amazon Prime because we wanted the incentive, which was two day free shipping.

And we paid that 99 bucks a year for the free shipping. That was the incentive, free shipping. Then we found out, well, it comes with video. And before you know it, we're watching the streaming video on Amazon. But most of us back then weren't even bothered to care about the videos. It was the free shipping.

And then, of course, what happened? We all became loyal. Amazon shoppers. McDonald's has the Happy Meal. Here's another one you're going to recognize. Here's the incentive. The Happy Meal. Parents choose McDonald's over other fast foods to the tune of about 3 billion a year in extra revenue for decades.

Every year. And people choose the McDonald's over other fast foods. Why? Because they're, if they have kids especially, because they're going to take their eye off the price Focus on the prize and they got the seasonal gift for the following movie and they're paying for the burger, the snack, the soda, the fruit, and the toy, which becomes the incentive.

So what we do at Marketing Boost is we're always promoting, what is your adult happy meal? What are you offering to kind of stand out from the crowd, whether you use Marketing Boost or not. What could you do to create incentives, adding value to your value stack versus just discounting the price, for example, and coming up with ways to create additional value for whatever your call to action is versus offering 10 percent off 50 percent off or what have you.

It's been proven over and over. Studies have shown that people respond more to a incentive or a buy one, get one free or some additional value add versus a discount. And again, whether you use marketing boost incentives or not, I mean, you can other ideas. I mean, you might Collaborate with a colleague and offer, you know, when you buy my course, you get my partner's course or a portion of my partner's course included free and, you know, you're creating additional value in trying to create something that makes your offer more valuable.

Too good to, you know, too, stupid to say no to as, many, you know, experts have come up with, or one of the ways, of course, is plugging, you know, my product and try using incentives occasionally for marketing boost. And again, they can be full blown big marketing campaigns, or they can even just be used, you know, occasionally.

to enhance, and create, excitement around some new offer you've got going on or engagement on your Facebook group. And I can go through a bunch of ideas as we go along. I'm sure you got questions.

[00:10:32] Jay: Yeah. my number one question is what about B2B? It seems like B2C, this makes a ton of sense,

right? Some guys buying some thing you want them to join your newsletter. but what about my business, right? I have a software testing agency and a bunch of my customers are CEOs and CTOs of custom software development companies or SaaS companies. How would incentive based marketing not, you know, not seem like that too good to be true or not feel out of place in, or just does it not fit in some industries? Like how does that, something like that work where it would be, you know, an agency model that's selling a B2B service. How could they use something like this as opposed to a B2C?

[00:11:16] Marco: there's, a lot of people have done come up with some interesting ways. Clients of ours that have, for example, one way, that it works well in B2B is one of the things we're all challenged with in B2B is getting people on. a demonstration call. You know, you're promoting, Hey, book a demo book and zoom call for yourself or for your sales staff.

And, I get them in my linkedin feed all the time. People are saying stuff like, Hey, I'll give you 100. We'll give you 100 Amazon gift card. If you attend the, you know, the zoom webinar or, you know, attend our one on one, you know, zoom presentation. And of course that cost you, you give 100 Amazon gift card that costs you a hard 100 with a marketing boost incentive.

You can say, Hey, you know, join our, you know, join our webinar. We have a live webinar Tuesday at 4 p. m. stay till the end. We're giving away. Three complimentary getaways to either Hawaii or Cancun, Mexico. At the end of the webinar, you might want to stay to the end and participate in the call and you might be selected as a winner.

So again, you're creating some scarcity and urgency and a reason to maybe join your webinar. Or you might say, look, book that Zoom call. And we're going to give you a 200. We know your time is valuable. We think your time, we respect your time is very valuable. We think our time is very valuable as well.

If you'll book that call, we'll reward you with a 200 hotel savings card. Good at over a million hotels worldwide. And, if you show up on time for our appointment, we're going to reward you with that 200 hotel savings card on us. No obligation to do business with us, but if you know, we want to reward you if you can make that call on time, please.

And so now you're killing two birds with one stone. One, you're getting, you're helping book more appointments by dangling a little sweetener to the... To the, go ahead and book the call, no obligation, but we're going to give you a two, three, or 500 hotel savings card just for showing up and then all of your reminder sequencing messages to, you know, with your calendar or your automation platform for your calendar, you're reminding them, add to the reminder, but don't forget, show up on time and we'll reward you with, you know, a 300 or 500 hotel savings card.

And you can test, they come in different amounts so you can test what works for your audience. to get them to, add, you know, another extra sweetener to, for example, join the zoom call, which that in itself, if you, we've had many member use them in this format, either with a client or, you know, either B2C or B2B, because if you can get more people to book those appointments, obviously that's a winner for your sales team.

And if you can get. So no show problem or reduce the no show issue because people book these zoom calls and then your staff is there waiting and nobody shows up. So if you can reduce that no show rate by adding one of these incentives, how much is that worth? You know, to add to eliminate a percentage of your no show rates or eliminated entirely by adding a sweetener to join our zoom call and get a reward.

So that might is one way they can be used with lead generation, J for example, you know, Hey, download our PDF in free info kit on how do you know, this software can solve your problem and just for downloading the PDF, we're going to reward you with a Thank you. 100 restaurant savings certificate good at, you know, a bunch of restaurants in your zip code and It'll be our gift to you just for downloading our PDF And now you've got an accurate email and phone number to fill out to receive it as they in order to get that PD Restaurant savings card, you know, you're going to text it to them so that you need their phone number and now you're you know You're getting an accurate phone number and email and you are, you know, have it getting maybe more downloads for your ebook or your, you know, draw card.

[00:15:00] Jay: Got it. That's great. What? Who? Alright, so the B2B side of things is interesting for me. From you, from your perspective. Because you guys had to go after these hotels to try to convince them to let them participate in your program. You don't have to mention any names, but who was your first customer in that perspective?

Who was the first, you know... Hotel or you know type of hotel or whatever it was that said yes And how did you guys kind of procure that from them to convince them? And I know you kind of mentioned some of it earlier some of the things that the benefits you would offer to them But who was that first customer

[00:15:38] Marco: That's a great question. Our first customer was a company called Westgate Resorts. They have about 27 resorts throughout the United States. And, we got the first one they gave us was Orlando. And then we got them in their property in Las Vegas. And, we used to be in the timeshare marketing industry and by the way, all of our incentives have nothing to do with having to attend one of those timeshare presentations or something along those lines.

But that is what we used to do. So we used to promote a discounted getaways that required folks to attend a timeshare presentation. And so we went back to those first. You know, gorgeous five star timeshare resorts around the world that we were representing and went to them and said, look, we've got, you know, we've got this opportunity.

We want to offer that your properties, but you know, that we're not going to market them if you require anybody to attend any kind of presentation, but we can again, fill those empty rooms with warm bodies and what have you. And so that's where that started because we had these huge relationships with some really nice properties.

And then we went, you know, in Mexico, we had. properties like the, the fives. They are, you know, four diamond resorts in Cancun, Mexico. We had Palmos Del Mar in Cancun and in Cabo San Lucas. And so we had some, you know, ended up getting in some amazing resorts that we represented to come on board and still have them.

And then, of course, we added, started adding more resorts and more hotels, literally around the world to the pro, to the program.

[00:17:11] Jay: love that if you had to start marketing boost comm over tomorrow with everything you learned and you know, maybe none of the existing connections to make it as easy as just going to a hotel that you had previously gone to. What would be step one? What would be step one for you if you started this business over again tomorrow?

[00:17:30] Marco: Wow. Yeah, the first thing you've got to have it to duplicate this Would be, would start with, you know, con the relationships with the resorts. And in our case, that only came about 'cause we were already high volume, sales, travel sales company. So we had already been, you know, sold over a, you know, a million travelers before we'd even launched Marketing Boost.

And we had that credibility to prove that, you know, we could deliver on. On filling these if they were going to give us access to this unsold inventory that we'd be able to fulfill it and also keep our promise that these that this properties were not we were not going to diminish the value of their hotels by reselling that, you know, that inventory online somewhere at at crazy discounted prices because by the way, that is one of the rules.

Our members can give away our incentives with a, in a closed door environment with whatever, you know, in some sort of a call to action that they did with one of our members, but they can't go out and resell our incentives. So And in other words, if you were to become a member with me, Jay, you wouldn't be allowed to go out and say, Hey, I've got these great incentives.

You can stay at the, you know, the fives in Cancun for a few hundred, you know, and resell that incentive for some particular price because then that would be Diminishing the value and of their property. And, you know, somebody, Expedia would see that, hey, you know, how can you guys give these guys this discounted rate, you know, and so on.

And so we had to keep this as a private, you know, a closed environment where you only got this incentive promotion when you'd got it through another one of our partners by doing something, like buying a product, booking an appointment, winning a sweepstakes, something along those lines. So. to duplicate this, not easy to do.

I don't know, it'd be hard to start all over. And then, of course, you've got to go and do the, build the technology behind it. One of the things that we did, we're not the first to offer travel incentives, but we really reinvented the wheel in multiple ways, Jay, because we made it super affordable for the, we created what I call, refer to as a win scenario.

It's a win. for the resorts. We're helping them fill rooms that would otherwise go empty and they get some revenue versus none. It's a win for the marketing boost member because they have these very high perceived value travel incentives that they can now add to create value in whatever their call to action is.

It's a win for the end user who receives the complimentary hotel stay or one of the incentives because now they're traveling for pennies on the dollar and we have thousands of reviews, even clients thanking the member who gave them the incentive because we never would have been able to travel to Hawaii if we hadn't been this promotion or what have you.

And then it's the win, it's a win for the community because when people do travel to Cancun or Las Vegas or Orlando or whatever, those folks are spending money in the local communities or the restaurants, the bars, the casino, the staff, the waiters, the bartenders. You know, there's cash moving around in that community.

So it's really a win. And that's what that's one of my passions about it now is I get the I get to wake up every day and reach back and help other entrepreneurs see successes to the tune in some cases of hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional revenue a year that they're making from these that they've been able to pinpoint saying we're this additional profit is Thanks to the use of the marketing boost incentives and those case studies are all over our website, by the way.

[00:21:02] Jay: Love that. Let's switch gears a little bit. As a founder and CEO of multiple companies, how are you keeping yourself healthy? what are three health things you live by that are kind of helping increase your longevity?

[00:21:17] Marco: One of them I'm 

[00:21:18] Jay: It looks like, I was about to say, it looks like you've got a good handle on the hydration part.

[00:21:22] Marco: Yeah, I'm Drinking down fresh coconut water. And so I try to get my hands on fresh coconut water in this case, you can't be being right in Puerto Rico and Getting I had 

[00:21:33] Jay: got it from out back, yeah 

[00:21:34] Marco: yeah Ten coconuts and then where I live in Florida same thing. I got coconut trees behind my house I learned how to use a machete.

So I'm chopping drinking coconut juice every day. I swim Every day. I have a lap pool in my of course, it's harder to do when I've traveled I don't always have the ability to swim but in my at home I've got a nice big lap pool and I swim 40 laps a day which is it's a pretty decent long pool, so I get in some good exercise and 50 or so You know, 50 to 100 pushups a day, so I'm, I try to stay physically fit, I have had open heart surgery six years ago, quadruple open heart surgery and, inherited diabetes from my father.

So I've got issues that I need to keep an eye on. And so, you know, I gotta keep an eye on my weight and stay healthy and, you know, so yeah, I attempt to do all of the above.

[00:22:30] Jay: Love it. Final question. Non business related. If you could do anything on earth, bucket list item, anything physical, what, and you knew you couldn't fail, what would it be?

[00:22:49] Marco: If I could do anything physical or what have you and I knew I couldn't fail. That would be hang gliding. I would, I don't have quite the guts to do it at my age. I've always wanted to, but at my age, I look at that as well, I'd probably end up with broken legs or something on the way down.

[00:23:07] Jay: I

gotta tell you man, that's one of my favorite answers. That's such a great, that's a great realistic answer.

I love it. 

[00:23:15] Marco: So yeah, if I knew I couldn't fail, I'd be up jumping off a mountain 

[00:23:19] Jay: that's the bounds, that's the bounds of the question, you know, you can't fail. So, I love it. All right, well, Marco, you're fantastic. I love your story.

I love, the product you guys have. How do people find you? How do they find Marketing Boost? I know it's marketingboost. com. any other ways to get in touch with you if they, if somebody wants to reach out?

[00:23:36] Marco: Yeah, I've got another website we call Marketing Boost Solutions dot com. Marketing Boost Solutions dot com, where we offer a number of other add on products and services to enhance what we give you with Marketing Boost. So, for example, we have a full CRM platform form with dozens of sales funnel templates for multiple industry niches with the marketing boost incentives already built in.

We have a software, you know, a couple of software tools are available at marketing boost solutions. com and or join our Facebook group. We have over 30, 000 entrepreneurs on our marketing boost Facebook group. And, there we're always, the community is helping each other by posting ideas on how they're using incentives and how they've been making it work.

So that's a great place free to join the Facebook group. And by the way, we do offer a free version of Marketing Boost, marketing No credit card required even to go in and get a glimpse of what the program is. So our freemium version, it only includes seven destinations. They are top destinations, but anyway, there's it's a glimpse of the platform and you can check it out with no credit card required at marketingboost.

com or marketingboostsolutions. com.

[00:24:51] Jay: Beautiful. Well, Marco, enjoy the beach and the beautiful weather down there, my friend. you're a delight. I love your background by the way, it looks very much like Puerto Rican cottage

[00:25:02] Marco: Yeah,

[00:25:02] Jay: so enjoy the rest of your trip my friend and let's catch up again soon alright?

[00:25:07] Marco: you bet. Thank you, Jay. Thanks for having me.

[00:25:09] Jay: Thanks Marco.