Some industries — like sports, social media, or entertainment — exude cool while others — like accounting, insurance, and IT — do not. But if your industry isn’t sexy, does that mean that your marketing campaigns can’t be either? Danielle Kilberg, Director of Marketing at Scott Griffin Financial, pushes back against this notion. She explains how she leverages a company’s people to overcome a boring image.
[00:00:00] Seth: Hello, and welcome to the Bad Marketing Advice podcast. This is the podcast where we invite marketing professionals on to tell us about the worst marketing advice that they have ever received in their career. My name is Seth Resler. I’m your host. I am the founder of Community Marketing Revolution. We produce branded podcasts and virtual events for organizations. So if you ever thought about using a podcast to engage with either your clients, your customers, uh, or even to use it for internal communication within your company, that’s what we do. Give us a call we’re at communitymarketingrevolution.com.
[00:00:42] I wanna welcome our guest for today. She is the director of marketing for Scott Griffin Financial. Welcome to the show, Danielle Kilberg.
[00:00:51] Danielle: Hello. Thanks for having me.
[00:00:53] Seth: Thank you for being on. So tell me a little bit about what Scott Griffin Financial does, who are your customers and, and what’s the problem you solve for them?
[00:01:01] Danielle: Yes, absolutely. So Scott Griffin Financial is a top mortgage real estate broker. So what we do is we make the reality of home owner a true dream for people, right? So we provide mortgage needs. I’ve been in financial marketing for quite some time. So that’s what we do, right? Anything from offering them good products, work with a ton with realtors all around the country to help their clients obviously win homes. And start the home ownership dream.
[00:01:27] Seth: So I have a mortgage. Yes. And you know, I’ve, I’ve had a couple, I imagine the average person probably doesn’t have a ton of mortgages over their lifetime.
[00:01:35] Danielle: Correct.
[00:01:35] Seth: And it’s one of those things that you don’t think about until you need it. And then all of a sudden you’re like, oh, I, you know, I need to go on the internet and become an expert in this in three hours. How do you stand out as a mortgage broker? What are people looking for when they’re choosing one?
[00:01:49] Danielle: Oh my gosh. That is the best question ever. And that’s part of my job. I think. There’s so many factors that go into standing out. I think one thing is you gotta be, I think first it’s your marketing. I know that sounds corny because we’re on this podcast, I’m saying about marketing, but it’s true. Right. Being in front of people, sharing your story sharing. And I think too, the education purposes, right? Cause like you said, We don’t get a lot of repeat customers. We want people to be happy and then if they wanna move up and move out, we want them to be our first choice after six, seven years. How are they gonna remember who did I do a deal with back in the day? Right.
[00:02:20] So the reason being is staying in front of them, whether it’s with social media email, we’re calling to check in to see how is it going, right. So really being relevant and in always in front of them, whether. You’re educating them on what’s going on, or you’re calling them to say, Hey, actually, we could save you some money and you’re still in the same mortgage. Let’s do a refinance.
[00:02:38] So there’s a lot of different ways. You have to be really diligent and think creatively on getting, not only engage with your past clients, but then too in front of new people to kind of just educate them on how we can, you know, best serve them.
[00:02:53] Seth: You know, you mentioned saving money. Is this an industry where people are just looking for the least expensive product? And if so, how do you compete? Uh, in that type of an industry.
[00:03:02] Danielle: Oh yeah. It’s definitely the average I’ve been to mortgages for good couple years. Now. It is. I, the normal consumer thinks, Hey, whatever they see rate, they want it low. They see monthly price. They want it low, but there’s so much on the back end of speed and service and. You wanna, we can close within 10 days. Not many other people can it’s because of our products and services. Right? So there’s a lot of different things that you have to do on the back end as a mortgage and financial professional, besides just, okay. Everyone rates are kind of, you know, they’re getting a little higher right now. So what else can we do to make people want to do business with us? So it is our speed, our service, and really thinking about our skill sets and how we can change them and offer them different things to really be fast and simple process, right.
[00:03:47] It comes down to customer service and client experience and all that good stuff. So it’s definitely a competitive market, but it makes I think our job a little more fun to figure out how we can adapt to what’s going on in market accordingly.
[00:04:02] Seth: So as a marketer, what does a typical week look like for you? What are you working on?
[00:04:06] Danielle: Okay. A lot. So as a typical marketer, we do a lot here. So one thing that Scott Griffin Financial does is our CEO, Scott Griffin, of course, he actually is a national TV host. So he’s on travel channel, CNBC, Bloomberg, and he talks to top real estate agents in the country about real estate and things like that.
[00:04:26] So we talk about casting calls for this show, talking about networks, things like that. So it can be a lot of media certain weeks, right? If he’s filming and things like that, all the way to social strategy, we have new loan products that we have to market. And I think hardest part or even challenging part is how do you take a loan product?
[00:04:44] Right? You know what people want a home. They don’t want a mortgage. That’s just the, that’s the truth of it. Right. They find the home. They’re like, oh crap. How do I pay for this?
[00:04:51] Seth: If I could have found one without a mortgage, I would’ve taken it.
[00:04:55] Danielle: Yeah. And everyone would have the best. Right. So it’s kind of thinking too. Okay. How do we take this complex thing about rates and how much you put down and all the different nitty gritty that is not sexy and make it sexy. um, it kinda goes into my advice, but make it sexy on, you know, making it very easy to digest for the average consumer. Right? So there’s a lot of things with social, with media and also to brand awareness is a big part of my week.
[00:05:22] Right? So with Scott Griffin Financial, he’s a top mortgage broker. We were, uh, we are in LA, California, and in Michigan and Florida are markets we serve. So we’re also thinking, how are these markets gonna know who we are? Right. As we branch out. So that’s a big, big, big part of my weekly role and responsibility here too, is, you know, what community events, what other things can we be a part of the network to kind of put our brand out there?
[00:05:46] Seth: And this is a brand that is obviously named after an individual. It sounds like you’re trying really hard to put a face on the brand that there’s actually a person there.
[00:05:55] Danielle: Correct. Yes. Scott is our founder, CEO and namesake of the company and it was just him for a while, right. As most. And that’s kind of how real estate brokers, um, and mortgage brokers adapt where it starts out years and years ago as one person and then more and more business come and they need a team and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger, but it is, you know, he is definitely the face of the brand, but we’ve learned through different marketing testing that we’ve done is people like seeing our employees, right.
[00:06:23] People like people. So when we showcase our team on social, it’s insane. Everyone’s like, oh my gosh, I love this person. Or I know them, you know, so definitely trying new ways to humanize ourselves beyond just, Hey, here’s Scott Griffin, you want a mortgage, other cool ways to, you know, showcase our brand.
[00:06:39] Seth: Well, and I imagine it’s really helpful when you have a guy who can perform on radio or, or be on television.
[00:06:45] Danielle: Yes.
[00:06:45] Seth: And not every company has that in their, you know, leader.
[00:06:50] Danielle: Oh, we love it to the nth degree. Because as a marketer, you love it. You love it. When you have a CEO and someone who’s highly respected, who enjoys doing media and is good at it. Right. He’ll go on video. He’ll do live. He’ll be on social. And it makes my job so much easier and more fun because they truly like doing it where I’m sure we all work with people who it is pulling teeth to get them on camera, or even just to take a photo or do it real or a TikTok.
[00:07:15] They don’t wanna do it. They feel awkward. So we can definitely have a lot more fun because he is so open and open-minded too being on camera and doing a lot of different.
[00:07:24] Seth: Cool. Well, let’s get into the worst marketing advice you’ve ever received. Uh, what is it? Tell us.
[00:07:31] Danielle: I think, I mean, I we’ve all received a lot of advice. I think the worst one is, and it kind of goes into financial industry and it’s not from just one person who told me this, like, Hey Danielle, this is something, but it’s kind of the whole notion of keeping your marketing unsexy because your industry’s unsexy right?
[00:07:47] Where I’ve been in. I’ve worked for marketing for hospitals, for accounting firms, for financial institutions and now mortgages, all of those things are not sexy. Let’s be honest. They’re not who wants to market a hospital. Okay. Maybe that’s kind of nice, but not always a positive attribute with hospitals.
[00:08:05] Accounting. That’s boring. Right? You think of accounting? Not, not sexy.
[00:08:09] And then mortgages, like I said before, people want the house. They don’t want the mortgage. I don’t wanna deal with rates and how much I have to put down. So it’s kind of the, because all you’re not really doing a sexy product or you don’t have a celebrity spokesperson or things like that, your marketing’s just fit in the parameters of finance, right. The education, the boringness.
[00:08:28] So I think over the years I’ve gotten a lot of advice on, well, we can’t do that because we’re just marketing mortgages. Well, we can’t do that because it’s like, you know, it’s an accounting service Danielle. Right. So it’s always the no based on the..
[00:08:40] Seth: Give me an example, like what kind of thing would you wanna do and people would say, oh, that’s a, that’s that’s too sexy for us.
[00:08:45] Danielle: Oh, I think the one big thing is when tick, this is not here, but, um, at a previous job when TikTok and like Instagram reels first were becoming popular, I’m like, this is perfect. Let’s do some TikToks. It would be fun to do that. And they’re like, what would we do it on? Why we’re just, you know, no we’re in finance. Like what, what would we talk about? But now as you go on TikTok, there’s so many mortgage brokers. There’s so many people doing these trends, adapting them to their industries. And I’m like, I knew it. See people like this. So little things like that, or even being creative with your C-suite, right?
[00:09:19] If you have a like humanizing your C-suite as well, you know, people are like, well, we’re a little more reserved, very conservative, which is fine. But people, I always say this and I said it before people like seeing people, people like feeling, you know, your brand through who you are. And I think the biggest thing I’ve learned when I get that advice of like, you know, we can’t really do anything super cool or super sexy because we don’t have a product. Right. We don’t have anything people are going online, pressing the checkout button, getting to their door. So I think one big thing that I learned to combat everything is using your people to the nth degree who are willing to do fun things, right? Cause that’s when people get the most engaged, they’re like, that’s so cool, that company looks fun and exciting and your brand gets more of a positive attribution. So there’s a lot of different things that I’ve learned from that. And you know, it is a challenge though, right?
[00:10:10] It is. I’m not marketing something cool and sexy. I’m not, no.
[00:10:14] Seth: But I love this. I love this idea that, you know, I don’t, I don’t want. A boring industry doesn’t mean that you have to have a boring marketing campaign for your company.
[00:10:22] Danielle: Exactly.
[00:10:23] Seth: You know? Uh, that’s great. No, I love that. That’s and now I’m have the right said red song. I’m too sexy, stuck in my head.
[00:10:30] Danielle: I know I keep the word sexy.
[00:10:33] Seth: Uh, I’m too sexy for my mortgage.
[00:10:35] Danielle: Right.
[00:10:36] Seth: Well, look, Danielle that’s, thank you so much. I love you’re actually one of our first guests, so it’s great to have you on. Thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing the, uh, the worst marketing advice you’ve ever had with the Bad Marketing Advice podcast, people can go to scottgriffin.com. If they wanna find out more about the company, if they need a mortgage.
[00:10:53] Danielle: Correct.
[00:10:53] Seth: If they want a, a sexy mortgage, they can go get it there.
[00:10:56] Danielle: Sexy mortgages.
[00:10:57] Seth: Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast.
[00:10:59] Danielle: Thank you for having me. It was awesome.
[00:11:01] Seth: I am sethrestler.com. This is the Bad Marketing Advice podcast. Thank you for being here. I am the founder of Community Marketing Revolution. Go to communitymarketingrevolution.com. If you want a branded podcast for your organization, we’d be happy to talk to you about it. Thanks. We’ll talk to you next time.
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