Bert Martinez | The Basics of Marketing

Adam LeanPodcast

In today’s episode, we chat with serial entrepreneur, marketing and business strategist, and speaker, Bert Martinez. Bert helps business owners create measurable results in as little as 48 hours.

“Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I thought I could do it better,” says Bert on the topic of how he got started as an entrepreneur. “I wanted to do well enough to forge a trail for myself and my family.”

We’ll chat with Bert about what he sees entrepreneurs struggle with, the basics of marketing that everyone needs to keep in mind, and…

  • KPIs
  • Eliminating fear and pushing forward
  • Creating a reoccurring business model
  • How a Mindset of self-belief can transform your business and your life

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:


Adam Lean: In this episode, we’re going to talk with a sales and marketing expert on how you can build a business that provides you with predictable monthly income. We’re going to find out how you can build a recurring business model where customers pay every month. That way you can spend less time getting new clients and even less time stressing about money. This is P is for Profit.

Adam: Welcome to P is for Profit. My name is Adam Lean and I’m joined today by one of our CFOs Osbert Duran. We along with the rest of the team at The CFO Project are passionate about helping business owners improve the profitability of their business. Our guest today is a serial entrepreneur, marketing and business strategy and a speaker. Bert Martinez, welcome to the show.

Bert Martinez: Hey, thank you so much. I’m excited to be here. Love P is for Profit. And not only is it a great title, but it’s a great podcast. So I’m excited to be here with you guys. 

Adam: Well, we’re excited to have you. So, I mean, you help business owners create measurable results and according to your website s fast as 48 hours, so we’re really excited to jump in and find out what you do and how you do this. But before we dive in, tell us who you are and a little bit of your background and why you started working with business owners.

Bert’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Bert: Well, I am one of those individuals who I want to say like a lot of entrepreneurs out there, I just thought I could do it better, right? I was working for a couple of companies and I just thought I could do it better or at least do it well enough to kind of forge a trail for myself and my family. And so back when I was in my mid-20s I launched into the entrepreneurship, started my own marketing business. 

And lucky enough was fairly successful from the very beginning. And have, you know, just been able to work with literally thousands of small business owners, as well as some of, you know, some of the big companies out there that I was surprised would even consider hiring me as a consultant. 

I’ve been able to do some work for Google, for CBS News for CNN Media. And it’s just amazing to me how the basics of marketing sometimes will get lost. It’s just like we as humans, we tend to complicate things or overcomplicate things. And when you start stepping away from the basics, that’s when things get fuzzier and fuzzier. And before you know it, you’re scratching your head saying, Man, why aren’t things working? And it’s usually because we just have gotten too far away from the basics.

Adam: Yeah, that makes sense. So what do you do now?

Bert: So right now I do more or less the same thing I’ve always done which is marketing consulting. I help people figure out what’s working, what’s not working, you know, why they’re not in a profit situation or maybe why their sales have slumped. Even in today’s market, it’s a great market. The streets are lined with gold in our current economy.

 Everybody, you know, seems to be successful and making money but yet, we see companies that struggle every day. You know, just recently Shuttle, what’s it called, Super Shuttle, which has been around for, I believe, 25 plus years. And these guys were iconic, an iconic transportation company that serviced most of the airports in the US and even on some international levels, and because of changes in their market, Lyft and Uber, they shut their doors as of, you know, as of like two weeks ago. 

They have some franchisees are still operational, but they shut their doors because they couldn’t anticipate the market. They didn’,t they could not grow their transportation business anymore. And the owners decided, hey, instead of doing a pivot or redesigning the company, let’s just close it down. So, again, marketing is really the lifeblood of any company. 

Osbert Duran: Yeah. And hey, Burt, let me ask you something. What like, what common theme do you see like, that a lot of small business owners struggle with? Like, I know, you mentioned the marketing is a big component, but do you see a common theme that most of them struggle with?

Understanding Your Target Market

Bert: Great question, and yes, I do. So believe it or not, I have worked with companies that are in the million-dollar-plus range and the number one most common theme is that they’ve lost the identity of their ideal client. And again, it always impresses me that somebody can grow their company and not understand who their ideal customer is. 

And I’ll give you an example of two companies that are in the same industry but have slightly different customers. And so you have Domino’s Pizza and then you have Grimaldi’s, which is a gourmet pizza place. They’re, you know, and even though they both sell pizzas, you can go to Domino’s and you can get large pizza. It’ll probably run you about 15 or $20, somewhere in that neighborhood. 

If you go to Grimaldi’s it’s a gourmet pizza place and a pizza there, the same size pizza is going to cost you about $40. And the difference is is that Domino’s knows who their market is and Grimaldi’s knows who their market is. And even though they sell what seems on the surface to be a very similar product, people want a different experience. And so they market to different people, and they tailor their message to fit that market. Does that make sense?

Osbert: Oh, yeah, definitely. Like, to the example you gave the Domino’s, you know, I remember Domino’s 10 years ago versus what it is now. You know, I walk in and everything is almost very self-service. So you can definitely see that their tailoring and focusing on their customers in those that are, I’d say more millennials and who just want to go in and type in a number and get their pizza in and out. That’s a very good example you gave.

Bert: Yeah, and if you look at the Domino’s Pizza history, they get a lot of their money from the broke or frugal crowd. When I say broke, you know, they marketed to, if you remember when they first started, they were 30 minutes or it’s free kind of a thing and they were marketing themselves really to a lot of people in the college campuses. And then, of course, they grew from there and they started marketing themselves to the neighborhoods. 

And they are still a well-known brand that markets themselves to somebody who, let’s say is more budget-conscious, you know, and who don’t want to spend, you know, 30 or 40 or $50 on a pizza. They say, hey, I want them I want my pizza. I want it now. And, you know, but they know who their market is. 

Adam: So I want to go back to something that you said a little earlier that I want to dig a little bit more in. You said that, you know, a lot of business owners forget the basics of marketing. So what are the basics of marketing that everybody whether they just started or they had been in business for 20 years need to keep in mind?

Bert: Sure. So the number one thing is you have to know who your customers are. You have to understand who that customer is really on an emotional level. All marketing is emotional. And, you know, there’s a lot of confusion out there where there’s some people who will say, Hey, we buy with emotion, but we justify with logic. 

And logic is also an emotion. It’s the emotion that you have eliminated your risk. It’s the emotion of certainty. Hey, I checked off all the possible issues, and therefore I feel confident, I feel certain that moving forward is going to be a good decision for me. That’s logic and it’s emotional, even though thought would argue with me, it really is an emotion. And so the number one thing is you have to know who your customer is and you have to know why they are emotionally triggered or how they’re emotionally triggered. 

And it’s different for everybody. Some people want to save time, some people want to save money, some people want to increase their credibility or their authority. And I use the example of, let’s say, a Rolls Royce. You know, you’re buying that car, not just for transportation to get you from point A to point B, but to let everybody know that you’re cool, that you’ve arrived, that you have a certain level of success. It’s a prestige piece just like buying a Rolex. So you have to know what emotions trigger your customers. What keeps them up at night? For example, if you sell insurance, what is keeping your customer up at night? 

Well, maybe that customers is tossing and turning about how is he going to protect his family? How is he going to afford to pay for college? And so there are certain financial instruments and insurance instruments that might fit that customers need. So, number one thing is know your customer and know their emotion. And that’s what I mean by that. The number two is, the number two thing is, is that your message must resonate with your customers. So the message then helps you decide what media to use. So maybe it’s direct mail because you’re selling a very upscale product. 

I have a customer right now who serves, he has a jet charter company. And so he’s serving CEOs and CFOs and people who are time-constrained. They don’t care to spend three or four hours lounging around in an airport. They gotta, you know, they got to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Sometimes it’s a security thing. So, it’s that message. So, those are the real basics. And what happens is you see some customers that drift away from who their ideal customer is. 

And they try to do, you know, they try to have too many messages, and that typically fails. But yeah, the number one thing is you got to know your customer, you got to know what triggers them, you got to know what, how to deliver that message to that customer. And then after that, you have to be able to measure and track how your marketing is working. And then the last Is the follow-up. So with today’s technology, somebody could go visit your website, not opt-in or anything, but they just visit your website. 

And with today’s technology, we can track who that customer is, and be able to show them more content, whether they go to, let’s say, from your website, to Facebook, to Amazon, to, you know, whatever other website they go to, we can literally follow them throughout the internet in a kind of a creepy, stocky way. But it works because now they see your message all over the place. And that’s what it takes. It takes multiple impressions of the same message before we as a consumer understand that this is a brand that serves one of my needs.

Osbert: And I think you actually brought up a really good point about, you know, tracking, sort of these things that we call like when we work with our clients is KPIs, key performance indicators. And so I think, you know, I want to really highlight that point that you mentioned, it’s important to track kind of where your clientele is coming from a marketing perspective so that you can really, you know, grow your business and become profitable.

Bert: Yeah, absolutely. And I’m glad you brought up the KPI. So a lot of people don’t track any kind of KPI. They don’t track anything. So, you know, from a CFO point of view, there is some of the things that most people miss. And this is again, basic information is what does it cost to acquire a customer? How much is that initial sale? And then what is the lifetime value of that customer? And those three indicators are so vitally important and I think that a lot of people miss those. 

They again, they strive, you know, they may start there, and then they, you know, forget and they go, you know, because entrepreneurs are typically creative people and they’ll focus on their craft, or they’ll focus on sales. But it takes a real special individual to focus on the numbers. And the numbers make all the difference. The numbers don’t lie, the numbers tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. So it’s vitally important to know those indicators.

Osbert: Right, right. Exactly. And I want to kind of segue into something that, you know, you talk a lot about, and I’ve seen some of your videos on just the word eliminating fear. I think as like, as an entrepreneur, you know, can you tell me what does it mean to eliminate my fear? Especially if I want to continue to grow a business and, you know, really become where I wanted the company to be at. 

Bert: Sure. Great question. I think that the difference between somebody who is an entrepreneur and somebody who isn’t that they have a certain amount of, they’ve over a certain amount of fear because it is scary to quit a job and start a company. And however you use, whatever term that you use, some people don’t like to use the word scared because that’s not manly enough. So they’ll say, hey, it’s stressful. You know, so whatever words or terms that you use, I like to use the word scared or fear because that’s ultimately what it is. It’s a very strong emotion. 

And so the difference between the person who makes 100 grand a year, and a person who makes a million dollars a year in sales is the mindset. And part of that mindset is your comfort with being uncomfortable. Your comfort with taking risk. And so the more let me rephrase that, the less fear you have, or the more risk you’re willing to take, two things are going to happen. You’re gonna make more mistakes because things don’t always work out. So maybe it’s not the, maybe the word mistake isn’t the right word, but you’re going to have results you don’t like. 

But you’re also going to have results you do like, and so the person who’s willing to risk their comfort zone, who’s willing to say, hey, this scares me, but I’m going to do it anyway, that kind of mindset typically separates people who never get out of that hundred thousand to $200,000 a year income range. And don’t get me wrong, if you have a business that’s making two or 300 grand a year, you’re, it’s not a bad business to have. You know, as you guys know, most businesses never break a million dollars. Why? 

Because the people in charge are scared to push further, right? To look at the numbers, to maybe get a consultant and say, Hey, we’re at 300 grand and we want to get into 500 grand. How do we do that? So, fear can sometimes motivate us but 80% of the time, I think fear just kind of paralyzes us, right? And we are, we’re so focused on, let’s say, failing. And man, if I fail, I’m going to look bad to my peers, my wife might yell at me. You know, I’m going to look foolish. So therefore, I’ll just play it safe. And playing it safe seldom gives us the result we want. 

Adam: I mean, it makes sense. How that, how do you push through that? How do you work through that because everybody’s going to have fear, but to get to the next level, how do you push through that?

Sometimes it’s scary NOT to Take Risks

Bert: That’s a great question. So when I am hit squarely in the face with something that scares me, the first thing I look at is, what if I don’t do it? So maybe you can use fear to motivate you by looking at what will happen if you don’t do it. If you don’t take this chance and open up your business, what is the lifetime effect? 

Well, you know, I’m not going to be fulfilled, I’m not going to be able to help my family or impact my family as much as I want, I’m going to be, I’m going to stay with a job that’s going to control my time, as well as my wealth. So that’s pretty scary, too. If you’re, already an entrepreneur and you’re thinking, Man, I’m at this million-dollar mark and I want to push harder, further, faster, again, you got to look at what if I don’t do it? That is also scary. And then what would have to be true for me to move beyond this fear that I have? And so, you have to find out, what assumptions have to be true with, if this was true, could I move forward? 

And most people, if they sift through it, they will realize that they have more to gain then they have to lose. And just because you have a thriving business today, we know that that doesn’t mean anything. And you look at Blockbuster. Blockbuster was this the biggest rental, video rental entertainment rental company in the world at one point. They got so focused, they were so afraid that hey, if we start trying to do stuff online, we’re going to stray from our clients and all this other stuff. 

And what we saw happen with blockbuster because they were so afraid and they didn’t take action. I think a lot of people don’t know this, but they had a chance. Netflix approached Blockbuster and they actually met with Netflix twice and decided that this doing this DVD stuff via mail and going online wasn’t for them. Five years after their first meeting, they finally started to do the Blockbuster on, Blockbuster Home, which was their online service. And they started to try to compete with Netflix. But by that time, it was too late. They were having some internal struggles.

 And 10 years from the first time they met with Netflix, they’re filing for bankruptcy. So that’s what I mean by allowing your fears to not only stop you but if they would have looked at this, if they would have looked at this and said, Man, if we don’t do something, we could lose this multi-billion dollar business that we’ve created and we could have, you know, we could, you know, we could lose everything. And that fear would have probably got them to take action quicker, better, faster. The other thing that, believe it or not, the other thing that works really good with overcoming your fear is a simple affirmation. 

We are constantly, when I say we, we as humans are constantly talking to ourselves. And most of the stuff that we say is based in fear and based in negativity. You know, we don’t go around talking to ourselves saying, Hey, man, you’re doing a good job, and you’ll, and you’ll be better. You’ll do better tomorrow, and you’re a smart person. And, you know, we don’t have these uplifting, affirming conversations. Most of the time, it’s all negative. You know, what are you doing? You know, should, you know, should you be doing this? What if people laugh at you? All this other stuff. And, you know, then we call ourselves names. 

Oh, I can’t believe you screwed that up. You’re so stupid. So changing the way we talk to ourselves has a huge impact on breaking through fear. And it’s, you know, for us guys, I relate a lot of it to asking a girl out to dance or asking a girl out for a date. It can be scary, but we all feel better asking a girl out, then not asking her out. We may get rejected but if we don’t take action, you know, as Wayne Gretzky would say, you know, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. 

That’s the other thing to focus on is what if it goes the way I think it’s going to go? not to be crazy optimistic, you know, but to look at it and say, Man, I think there’s a good possibility that this will work. And if this does work, it’s going to result in this, that and the other things. So using fear as a way to motivate you, changing the way you talk to yourself and looking at what the result is going to be. How is it going to impact my life or my business or my family as this, as we move forward in this thing goes the way I think it might go. So just to let people know it’s a process. 

It doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t happen overnight. But just like anything else you can learn how to quash fear little by little, right? So you deal with your fear today and maybe take a baby step towards a goal that scares you. And you realize, Oh, the world didn’t end. Okay, so maybe I’ll take another step. And then one of the other things I looked at is some of the people that have come before me that we have in today’s ages, a lot of people are taking massive risks. Elon Musk, I mean, look at Elon Musk. He had enough money to do his Space X mission three times. 

All three of those times failed and everybody told them don’t do it anymore. You know, this will bankrupt you. You know, you’re gonna lose everything if you launch this thing one more time. He didn’t listen to the naysayers. He did it one more time. That rocket ship worked perfectly, it landed perfectly and he got a $2 billion contract from NASA. So, you know, that how we talk to ourselves, our mindset is so critically important in business, in reaching our goals in all of our lives.

Osbert: Yeah, I think I want to bring this up too. You know, I know you have a book Dominating Your Mind and it goes the 10 simple affirmations that will crush your fears, destroy your doubts and make you unstoppable. And, you know, I have the sample in here and I mean, just right, that I think what you just said is basically kind of summarizing the entire book. You hit on a lot of good points about, you know, being mentally positive. And it really becomes into, you know, once you become so positive and have that mindset into doing what you want to do, it becomes a belief system. So, I’m glad you touched on those points.

A Confident Outlook Can Make All the Difference

Bert: Yeah. And I’m glad you brought that up. Thank you for plugging the book. And so, yeah, you look at somebody like Arnold Schwarzenegger who has become a friend of mine, and I profiled him in the book and stuff like that. You know, here’s a guy who, by most people’s standards should not have been, who should not have been as successful as he has been. But when you look at his mindset, and this is the thing that I’ve learned from him, this guy is not afraid of hard work. 

And so Arnold became famous first from his bodybuilding stuff. and back then the top bodybuilder in the world would get like 1500 dollars for winning the Mr. Olympia, as opposed to today they get like $500,000. And so he’s in a sport that most people make fun of, that has no recognition whatsoever as opposed to like, let’s say football or soccer. And he’s doing it anyway. So he becomes a champion there. 

And he says that that was the thing that he learned how to do was to work really, really hard and to make his goals come true. And of course, you know, he’s been a movie star and a governor and everybody in the world can make fun of his accent, or at least imitate him on some level. And when you look at it on a superficial level, it doesn’t make sense that this guy would do all the stuff that he’s done. But yet he’s got this crazy over the top self-belief that I can do it and therefore he does. 

Adam: Very powerful. I’ve been taking a lot of notes myself. We’re almost out of time but I did want to touch on the, you know, you talk a lot about, you’re a big proponent of creating a reoccurring business model. Can you explain what that is and sort of a high-level view of what somebody could do to incorporate that in their business?

It’s Always Worth the Repeat Business

Bert: Sure, and this is so important. So whether you are, let’s say, a restaurant. A recurring model for a restaurant is maybe you could be, the restaurant starts a VIP club, and that VIP club is, let’s say, I don’t know, $50 a month. And for $50 a month, you get, let’s say a meal for two people at the restaurant once a month. And so whether those people show up or not, they’re going to get that $50. 

Or maybe you’re going to do a wine club at that restaurant. And it’s a recurring model to it and again, t’s a $50 membership or $100 membership. And once or twice a month you have a wine tasting event at that restaurant. It’s a recurring model. It also helps you sell more of your product. So it’s a win-win. You’re literally creating a model where your best customers are paying you to become better customers. Lawyers can do this, especially business lawyers who are constantly being asked to draft specific contracts, let’s say a non compete. 

So yeah, the attorney might be able to make more money if he drafts one individually but the reality is that’s not necessary. Why don’t you make less money but have it as a recurring model where maybe your business clients get the five or six or 10 most popular contracts that they’re going to need? Again, it’s a membership model where they pay whatever, 100 bucks a month and you have access to these documents or you have access to, you know, certain amount of legal advice or, you know, it’s a club, call it a legal club. 

And so this works for almost any business. We did this for example, we did this with a carpet cleaning service where they had two levels of recurring membership. And one of them was we’ll come and do your carpets four times a year and one was to do your carpet two times a year. And it was kind of a, you know, they knew that no matter what they had this money coming in. So if you’re a consultant, a nice recurring model for consultant is having a course. 

Having some kind of program where maybe it’s, you know, it again, you sell it for whatever you want, hundred bucks a month, 1000 bucks a month. Obviously, it has to have the value or more than the value than you’re asking for it. So the return model is multiple things. One of them, it’s a great way for people to get to know, like and trust you. And they’re risking a little bit of money to do that. And it’s a great way for you to be able to say, hey, great, I’m so glad you’re at this level of membership. If you need more of my help, then I’m here for you and we could do all these other services for you. 

So it’s a great way of decreasing your marketing cost substantially. Also, it will, in some cases, it will cover all your expenses for the month. So most people just have to be creative and figure out how can I produce a recurring model in my business. And there’s, I want to say usually, you can find one or two things that somebody can do on a recurring, automated basis where it doesn’t take any more time for that entrepreneur, that consultant, that lawyer, that doctor, but yet they’re still getting that revenue.

Adam: That’s very powerful. We can, we could do a whole episode just on a reoccurring business model. You know, Bert, thank you so much for being our guest today. So one last question. Where can people find you online?

Bert: Well, so for those who are listening to the show, I do want to let them know that they can get my book for free. Since you mentioned it, they can go to and then get the book there for free. And and all they’re going to do is pay for a little shipping, or they can go to Amazon and pay retail for the book plus shipping. 

So if you go to and get it there for free. If you’re looking for help, if you want some ideas, if you want to just, you know, if you’re looking for maybe a speaker or consultant or want to brainstorm an idea, My, you know, we’re glad to help you and see if there’s, we can point you in the right direction and glad to do that for free as well. 

Adam: Excellent. Yeah, so we’ll put those links in the show notes. So for the book and the book’s called Dominating Your Mind. And then also And we’ll put those in the show notes. Thank you again for being here, Bert. This was very valuable. I took a lot of notes myself. And thank everybody for listening. And remember the goal of your business should be to make more profit than last year and turn that into cash that you get to keep. Have a wonderful rest of your day.