Top 5 Tried + True Marketing Strategies
An Interview With Rachel Kline
Account Management: Don’t forget to market to your existing clients. Utilize strategic opportunities to upsell/cross-sell. Not only is it cheaper, but you also have a greater ROI when working with existing clients as opposed to sourcing new clients.
Generally speaking, someone who is a CMO has learned a tremendous amount about marketing through years of experience. A CMO is in a perfect position to know what is more likely and less likely to work when it comes to marketing. What are the top 5 tried and true marketing strategies that CMOs recommend to other business leaders? As a part of our series called “CMOs Share Their Top 5 Tried + True Marketing Strategies,” we had the pleasure of interviewing Maurice Harary.
Maurice Harary is the co-founder and CEO of The Bid Lab, a consulting company dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses find, manage and build their RFPs and proposals. His experience building a company that started with just $1,500 into a company that has grown tremendously is a great way to help with stories and pitches outside of just procurement and the RFP process. Furthermore, he has helped countless small and medium-sized businesses win their first multi-million dollar deals, and helping smaller businesses drives The Bid Lab’s mission!
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was in college it was my goal to work for a large tech company. I had my heart set on working for a specific firm, but the only opening they had was on the ‘RFP’ team. Even though I had no idea what that was, I went for it. (I was on spring break in Chile at the time, so of course, I accepted!) Once I started actually responding to RFPs I found that it was work that was both challenging and rewarding, and I worked my way up to be a top performer on my team. Eventually, with a little encouragement from my Co-Founder and wife, Jordan, I took the leap and went out on my own starting The Bid Lab.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Did you know that the vast majority of married couples choose not to work together? My wife and I are the exception. Jordan is my partner in every sense of the word. Back in 2017, she was climbing the ladder in the automotive industry while I was working at IHS Markit. Jordan was tasked with completing an RFP for her business and hired an outside consultant for assistance. When we saw the final work product, we were shocked by the subpar quality that seemed to be accepted by the industry at large. The formatting was off, the writing was shoddy and the information was not even compliant.
She called me and we worked through the night putting together a proposal she could stand behind. It was then that we realized combining her writing talent with my RFP knowledge was a winning formula for success.
Since then, we’ve created the world’s leading RFP company, had two daughters and recently launched our own RFP search engine, Bid Banana.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I’m passionate about helping small and medium-sized businesses grow and expand. Many clients come to us with no previous experience in the bidding process. Or, they come to us at the eleventh hour, stressed and overwhelmed. Unlike our competitors, we focus on our clients, understanding what makes them unique and walking them through the process with complete transparency.
This understanding and focus translate into winning RFPs and happy clients. We are fortunate to showcase so many success stories in the Case Studies section of our website, which covers businesses in all industries. You can see what we’ve done for a singer-songwriter who focuses on disability advocacy, a software development company that handles pension technology, and even the Wyoming Office of Tourism that needed assistance with their procurement process.
With such varying projects, it’s easy to have fun while working on RFPs and we do our best to carry that over to every client interaction. Clients trust us to get the job done with a positive outlook, no matter the time crunch or the size of the request. We’re flexible and with staff spread across the country, we’re able to be available when our clients are. And despite our light-hearted nature, we are incredibly dedicated to what we do, ensuring a high-quality experience for our clients.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We recently launched our new RFP search engine, Bid Banana. We wanted to make searching for RFPs both easy and accessible, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. I am beyond proud of what we have been able to accomplish. We’ve created a search engine that pulls RFPs from all over and puts them into a user-friendly interface. You can search by RFP due date, keywords, location, etc. We even added a favorites feature so you can save multiple bids and compare them to see which one is the right option for your business. Allowing small and medium-sized businesses access to RFPs in an easy to comprehend format really emphasizes what we are most passionate about — helping businesses grow to achieve their full potential.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. There are so many different types of marketing, from digital campaigns and content to influencer and PR. In your experience, has any one area had a bigger impact on business over the rest? Have any of these changed over time?
For our business, digital marketing has been the most successful. Especially when we were first getting started, we were able to control every dollar and cent spent in a very measurable way. For us, it gave us the confidence to slowly spend more and more and grow our brand in the space.
How often do you try a new marketing strategy, and which ‘boxes’ does it need to tick before you’re willing to implement it?
On average, we try a new marketing strategy once per quarter. We take time to plan, execute, test and refine to see what is really working for us. The biggest ‘boxes’ are ROI and attracting the right types of clients. We want to communicate what we do effectively so we drive in the clients that can really benefit from our partnership.
In your opinion, is it better to try out new marketing tactics or to stick with what you know works? How do you decide where to allocate your budget and resources?
You should always balance the two, but if you try something new and the ROI is higher than older ways of marketing, it makes sense to pivot. However, you need to give the new marketing method time to breathe and be refined to ensure it can properly be compared against previous marketing strategies that have already been polished.
This is the main question of our interview. Can you please tell us your top five most successful marketing strategies? What kind of results did you see? Can you please share a story or example for each?
1 . Organic Content: More than half of our leads are from people reading our articles. It’s a long-term investment, because our 100+ articles have taken us years to develop and refine, but they pay huge dividends. Plus, we’re constantly refreshing our content with new information. In our article Why Should I Search for RFPs Online we provide multiple options for updated, online RFP search engines.
2 . Referrals: Getting referrals, advertising a referral program and compensating for referrals is huge for a consulting firm! In our case, a firm that came to us as a referral ended up being one of our biggest clients.
3 . Paid Ads: Paid ads can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare. If not managed properly, they can ineffectively represent your brand, be served to the wrong audience and do nothing to attract the type of customer you are after. (We’ve been there.) If executed effectively, they can tell your company’s story, reach people who you wouldn’t have touched otherwise and track every single interaction. (Now we’re here!)
4 . Guerilla Marketing: Find cheaper and nontraditional ways to advertise your services to really make yourself stand out from the crowd of competitors. We just launched our new RFP search engine, Bid Banana, so we’re sending banana gear to clients. This quirky form of advertisement creates a lasting impression and really sets us apart, while also conveying our spirit of fun and positivity.
5 . Account Management: Don’t forget to market to your existing clients. Utilize strategic opportunities to upsell/cross-sell. Not only is it cheaper, but you also have a greater ROI when working with existing clients as opposed to sourcing new clients.
Can you share a time when a strategy didn’t deliver the results you expected and what you learned from the experience?
For us, social media ads just did not pan out when it came to marketing our consulting services. What we learned from this was that just because we weren’t converting from social media, that didn’t mean we weren’t gaining brand awareness. Now, we spend our time tailoring our social media posts and focus on engagement instead of conversions.
What expert tips can you share with those who just starting to build out their marketing strategy?
Focus on your marketing strategy. And if you cannot pay attention to your marketing strategy, hire people who can. Marketing is all in the details. This isn’t something that can merely run on autopilot. Set aside specific time to focus and refine your marketing on a regular basis and ensure you have a team in place that shares your vision and can help you expand.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Remote work is professional work.
I, too, used to go into a 52-story skyscraper in New York City in a full suit every day. But, when I founded The Bid Lab, I remembered that the people I worked most closely with on my previous team worked out of the UK and India. Why couldn’t I work closely with people who weren’t located geographically nearby to me?
The Bid Lab is, and always has been, a remote company. While there are myriad reasons why remote work is worth championing (environmental impact, productivity, work/life balance, etc.) one of the reasons why I think it works best for The Bid Lab is because it allows us to hire from a unique pool of individuals. I’m looking at you, an amazing writer, living three hours outside of Albuquerque who needs to be available to her elderly mother in the afternoons. And I’m also looking at you, a sales superstar who wants to homeschool her kids, but can also sell ice to an Eskimo.
I’m proud of the fact that The Bid Lab is made up of a team of individuals who have individual needs but also a common ability to log into work wherever they may be.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Check out all that we’re doing at The Bid Lab or Bid Banana. From articles in our Learning Center to our extensive list of Case Studies you can find information to grow your business or inspiration on how we’ve helped others grow theirs. You can also check us out on:
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
Authority Magazine Article Link: Maurice Harary of The Bid Lab: Here Are My Top 5 Tried + True Marketing Strategies