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Rafe Gomez is a principal at VC Inc. Marketing, which provides messaging, lead generation/sales support, revenue generation, and SEO media/p.r. consulting services to small-to-medium sized businesses across the U.S.
VC Inc. Marketing’s clients include companies in a variety of industries, including radio, food/beverage, pharma/wellness, IT, new media, and arts education.
Rafe’s ideas, advice, and perspectives have been featured on Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and PBS; and in FoxBusiness.com, Adweek, Brandweek, the American Express OPEN Forum, Direct Marketing News, and The New York Daily News.
MO: Can you talk about your unusual entrepreneurial journey from being an internationally acclaimed DJ to launching your own marketing company?
Rafe: In the early to late 2000’s, I was a full-time radio mix show and club DJ. I performed in nightclubs and at music festivals around the country, I was heard in the biggest American radio markets, I did t.v. appearances, I released CD’s around the world, and I even had my own show on QVC. My success was a combination of consistently delivering a superior service and creating marketplace awareness of my work. I handled every aspect of my business, including sales, marketing, and promotion. Every move I made had to be effective and deliver excellent ROI – I had no room for error. When my DJ career wound down, I realized that my results-driven way of doing business, and marketing in particular, could benefit any size company in any industry, so I made my strategy and methodology available to clients. It’s a refreshing approach that insists on the delivery of measurable solutions using innovative and sometimes unconventional tactics, and it works!
MO: What are some ways that you strategically empower your clients’ messaging with the goal of generating viable leads for their organizations?
Rafe: A company’s messaging will never be effective if it only focuses on them. For a company’s marketing, sales, or p.r. communications to be successful, they need to be about their customers, and specifically, how their product or service successfully addresses their customers’ unique needs, goals, and challenges. If a company’s messaging is too infatuated with the features that its products or services offer, and not the benefits that are delivered, the messaging won’t connect with customers and sales will suffer. I help my clients understand the difference between features and benefits, and I work with them to ensure that every element of their messaging emphasizes how their products or services are essential solutions that solve the problems of customers and potential customers.
MO: Can you talk about the concept behind relevant “gold nugget keywords” that can help improve search rank?
Rafe: A gold nugget keyword is one that delivers valuable SEO benefits for a company. It’s not just a keyword to buy using Google Adwords so your ad shows up when the keyword is searched. It’s also a keyword that should be sprinkled throughout all of a company’s online content, including its website, press releases, emails, landing pages, podcast details, Youtube transcripts, and so on. The strategic placement of highly relevant, highly commercial, and top researched gold nugget keywords can build backlinks, improve search rank, and create new sales opportunities – so I advise companies on how to discover these keywords and create the multimedia content that will leverage them.
MO: How do you help your clients identify overlooked opportunities that are ripe for them pursue?
Rafe: Since I’ve worked with clients in so many different industries, I can bring new ways of looking at a company’s business, customers, and industry to them. A lot of times, company personnel – especially those who have been in the same industry for their entire careers – get locked into a rigid way of looking at what they do. I approach the area of lead generation, strategic messaging, and revenue development with a “what if?” perspective that can inspire new and profitable options.
MO: What advice would you give to a start-up in need of a social media strategy but isn’t sure where to start?
Rafe: Too many companies make the mistake of treating social media as a new sales or promotion tool. Companies that do this will be disappointed by the results of their efforts. Instead, companies need to realize that social media is a unique messaging vehicle with ROI that takes time to develop, and can sometimes be difficult to measure. The opportunities for results vary from industry to industry, but the core goal of social media is to create conversations between the company and its customers, and also between the customers themselves (that’s the social part). If a company’s social media messaging inspires these conversations and also creates a reputation for being a useful source of interesting, distinctive, and inspirational content, the company will increase what I call its “Medeco effect”, which locks customers in and creates a dependence on the product or service that it offers.
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