Increase Lifetime Value Using Omnichannel Marketing Strategies With Mark Friedman

Mark Friedman

Mark Friedman is the Vice President of Digital at Eddie Bauer, a retail brand for outdoorsmen and adventure enthusiasts. As a collaborative leader with various specialties in the e-commerce industry and knowledge of driving website traffic, Mark has helped business owners scale their companies with digital marketing techniques and strategies. In addition to his expertise in e-commerce and brand marketing, Mark’s knowledge extends to various facets of business management, including development, project, financial, and marketplace.  

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What inspired Mark Friedman to pursue a career in e-commerce and marketing?
  • How our culture and mentality have transformed the e-commerce industry
  • Leveraging omnichannel marketing to increase your company's lifetime value
  • Common obstacles Mark encounters when consulting e-commerce brands
  • The value of knowing how to spend your marketing budget for optimal ROI
  • How Mark’s upbringing influenced the way he values relationships
  • Mark imparts wisdom for professionals in any industry

In this episode…

A strategic way to increase your brand's lifetime value is to establish a multichannel marketing approach. Although our culture favors the digital marketplace, allocating your sales strategies through brick-and-mortar and product catalogs is still viable for business growth. How can you expand your e-commerce brand to incorporate an omnichannel approach?

As an experienced brand and marketing consultant, Mark Friedman has helped e-commerce companies understand the value of enhancing the customer experience with omnichannel marketing strategies. To reap the benefits of a multichannel approach, you must evaluate your finances to determine the marketing channels to invest in for maximum ROI. As you diversify your marketing channels, your lifetime value will increase.

On this episode of the Up Arrow Podcast, William Harris welcomes Mark Friedman, VP of Digital Marketing at Eddie Bauer, to discuss utilizing omnichannel marketing strategies to leverage lifetime value and ROI. Mark shares how e-commerce has evolved in our culture, the common obstacles e-commerce brands experience, and the value of knowing how to spend your marketing budget.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Eluymnt is a performance driven e-commerce marketing agency focused on finding the best opportunities for you to grow and scale your business.

Our paid search, social, and programmatic services have proven to increase traffic and ROAS, allowing you to make more money efficiently.

To learn more, visit

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:03

Welcome to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris, featuring top business leaders sharing strategies and resources to get to the next level. Now, let's get started with the show.

William Harris 0:15

Hey everybody, William Harris here. I'm the founder and CEO of Elumynt. And I'm the host of this podcast where I feature experts in the e-commerce industry that are sharing strategies on how to scale your business and achieve your goals. Today's guest is Mark Friedman. He is currently the VP of Digital for Eddie Bauer. Additionally, he is a mentor, advisor, consultant, angel investor, host of his own podcast, The Marketing Playbook, which Mark I have had the pleasure of being a guest on. You should absolutely check that out. And we can link to that in the notes here below. But Mark, really excited to have you here.

Mark Friedman 0:48

Nice to see you, William. I'm always happy to get an opportunity to chat with you. And I'm sure that this will be a lot of fun.

William Harris 0:57

Yeah. Before we dig into the questions, I do want to at least announce our sponsorship message here. This episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Elumynt is an award winning advertising agency, optimizing e-commerce campaigns around profit. In fact, we have helped 13 of our customers get acquired with the largest one selling for nearly 800 million. And we were ranked as the 12th fastest growing agency in the world by Adweek. So pretty excited. If you haven't been to our website, check it out., which is spelled Alright, that's enough of the boring stuff Mark onto the good stuff. So you were in addition to where you're at right now, with Eddie Bauer, you are the CMO of Brooks Brothers, you were the president of e-commerce at Steve Madden, you've had an absolutely incredible career. And you got into e-commerce when he was still you know, small. And I think a lot of people don't realize this e-commerce as a percentage of total retail sales is still only about 15%. It's still really small. How did you know that this is what you wanted to get into? As you're starting going about your career. You got into this? Why what what pointers made you say this is where I want to go?

Mark Friedman 2:05

Yeah, I love to tell you that I was so smart and knew that this would be what it turned out to be. But I can't say that. I was in I started out my career in finance, I was a CPA, I worked for one of the big eight, which many of your listeners might even not know what the big eight is. But it was the biggest eight accounting firms I was an auditor coming out of school, really, you know, decided that that was not the career that I wanted to, to follow, and ultimately wound up going to work for a startup company in the catalog space. It was one of the first venture capital funded catalog businesses in the country. This is just to set the stage in the middle of 1980s. and wound up doing that I went there as controller, there were four of us in the business. We we barely had one computer that we could all share. And you know, that was a a great starting point for me, I was able to use my financial background and move into this startup business of which I knew nothing about. I didn't know anything about anything. So it was all on the job training. But ultimately, nine years later, after we had gotten acquired, and after I had spent some time at the parent companies, one of their other brands a business called the company store. I wound up went going to work for Brooks Brothers, I was hired. In those days, this is 2000, I was hired to be the general manager of their direct to consumer business, which was in those days a catalog business and a very nascent web business. Maybe they started the web business in 99, we were doing $3 million. And part of the reason to make that change is I was interested in diversifying from catalog only, which is what these other businesses were. And I was really intrigued about the store business. And then obviously the web. And in a short period of time, I wound up taking over marketing for all of our stores as well. And then ultimately, we got sold a few years later. But you know, long story too long answer to your question about how I got started in the web. It was just a perhaps a lucky break to go to Brooks Brothers. And you know, I will say that a lot of folks that I had interacted with in the catalog business. Were not as lucky as I many of them either chose not to make that leap into digital or didn't have the opportunity to make the leap. I was lucky to do that.

William Harris 4:47

Yeah, I think catalogs were huge. I can remember if I if I'm remembering correctly. That's really what sets Sears apart and at one point in time Sears was the biggest traded publicly company in the Halla was a really big part of that. I was I was recently out in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City visiting some clients and the road that one of them was on was Fingerhut. And I was like, is that because of the catalog? And they're like, Yeah, that's actually what it's from. But I think the thing that's interesting about catalogs, to me is what, at least for you here is, you know, you made that successful pivot. Is there still a place, though, at all for catalogs? Now, I actually haven't even talked about that in a while. But are people doing catalogs? Are you seeing success with that or anything along those lines? Yeah, I

Mark Friedman 5:31

think there's, you know, still a catalog industry and catalog business, it's a lot smaller than it used to be. I think what you've seen a lot of is businesses that were digitally native, who started you know, strictly by definition, digital natives are only doing digital, who have eventually, you know, evolved into opening stores. And then they also evolved into sending direct mail. And the distinction for me between direct mail and Catalog Catalog is, you know, 60 pages, 80 pages, hundreds of pages. Whereas these direct mail pieces are a lot smaller, they perhaps are more of a combination of branding and selling, and store traffic drivers, as opposed to a catalog a traditional catalog, which was intended to get a customer to actually pick up the phone or send in a an order or actually go to a website. So absolutely, there's a place for paper in the marketing mix today, in my opinion,

William Harris 6:33

well, and I think Amazon's even sending out something here, if I remember correctly, I remember looking at the Sears catalog as a kid and circling everything that we liked as a kid during, you know, coming up to Christmas. And I think Amazon sent something out, like along those lines as well. And so my kids were going through the Amazon catalog, which was interesting. When I think about even where you mentioned, like digitally native brands DMVs, I think there's a cockiness that came into this, where it was like, hey, all we need is the internet. And we're going to start everything, just online, just e-commerce. And eventually you get to a point where you realize that if you're going to be the most successful, you need to continue to look at other ways and you know, Omni channel marketing, getting into even just brick and mortar stores and catalogs, things along those lines. I imagine that you've seen a lot of changes and shifts over time. What are some of the big changes, aside from catalogs, what are some of the other big changes that you've noticed, in the e-commerce space?

Mark Friedman 7:30

I think a couple of things, you know, the first there was a culture shift and a mentality shift, you know, if you were a catalog person, or if you were a store retail person, oftentimes you thought of the the web as a cannibalization factor of your business, as opposed to something that just gave a customer another opportunity and other way to shop with you. And I think the brands that were early, that had early success with digital, were the ones that were able to stimulate the culture and say, Look, you know, to some degree, we need to cannibalize ourselves before somebody else cannibalizes us. But I sat through many a meeting, trying to explain to folks that, you know, having a multi channel approach on the channel, call it what you want, giving the customer the opportunity to shop with you as many different ways as they may want to, was certainly, you know, the way forward in you know, in the old days of catalog, somebody that was a multi channel shopper, and in those days, channel was defined as somebody that bought out of a catalog and somebody that bought over the phone, you know, and through the mail, those were your best shoppers, they were multi channel, they were multi buyers, you know, fast forward to when maybe you're a retailer that's got catalog, web stores, you know, somebody that is a multi channel, a store, shopper, and a digital shopper is also going to have the greatest lifetime value, and be among your best customers certainly better than somebody who's only buying out of one channel.

William Harris 9:11

I love that you brought up lifetime value with that, because I feel like you know, one of the things that you and I talked a lot about at previous things that we've done together here is lifetime value. And a lot of times I feel like we are short sighted in the e-commerce space, oftentimes when it comes to lifetime value, or at least a lot of brands are and they're they're looking at things based on how can I be, you know, profitable on you know, first transaction or something along those lines, and they're missing that key component. How do you how do you get into really understanding lifetime value when you're looking at it from a complete omni channel perspective where you've got brick and mortar you've got, you know, the e-commerce store, you've got your Amazon store and things along those lines?

Mark Friedman 9:48

Yes, you know, certainly not easy. One of the things you've seen and I talk about on on my show is you know the devils in the details and you know, truly Not so easy to have a centralized database call it a data lake, call it a data warehouse call it a a CDP a consumer data platform, whatever it is, you need to have all of your data in one accessible tool, so that you can see Mark Friedman the customer who's buying across the various channels, once you can stitch that together, and I say stitch intentionally because, you know, as time has progressed, and who asked me what changes, you know, I've seen the mummy digress for a second, the complexities of knowing who is shopping with you has changed dramatically over time. You know, in the old days, if you were buying in catalog, you know, for the most part customer called up or wrote in a mail order. And they use the source code, the source code, if you were a customer identified who you are, and you were, you didn't have any stitching together, you knew that it was Mark Friedman, who placed that order, fast forward to where we are today, think about the number of ways that people can engage not only the channels, but the devices, you know, think of the way customers shop today, digitally, they say they get an email, they go to a website on a mobile device, they shop around a little bit, maybe later that day, they go to their desktop, they don't quite want to buy yet. So they go out to an affiliate website, you know, so you've got all these different tactics, all these different ways of talking. And in order to best understand who the customer was, and where the most efficient use of your marketing dollars was, you were, you need to stitch all of this data together. And you need to have a place to put it. And oh, by the way, you've got to have tools to allow you to access that data. And you need to have some smart people help you to interpret what all of that means. So that you can, you know, figure out where to spend your dollars more efficiently. And you know, look, that's how we worked with you. How do we leverage agencies or even internal teams to be able to

William Harris 12:08

do things like that. And so, you know, when it comes to figuring out that data, I feel like there's a lot of people that say that they're data driven, and then you get down into it. And they can't be data driven. Because there's this source that says this, there's another source that says this, and that source is actually just wrong. This source has completely opposite what that source says. And I feel like there's a lot of paralysis right now, for people to even just know, what should I do? What tools have you found to be helpful for you knowing that no tool is perfect, but it will at least the ones that you're like, these are the ones that I enjoy looking at and using?

Mark Friedman 12:39

Yeah, you know, without going into any specific names, I think that you're, you know, being able to find, you know, if you happen to be on Shopify, I guess I'll use a name. But if you happen to be a Shopify e-commerce platform, there are so many tools, whether it's the native Shopify analytics, or plugins that you can put in, they're actually pretty sophisticated, and they're very user friendly. And the visualization that you get from them, is actually pretty good. So being able to see, you know, a cohort of, you know, by month, how many new customers that I acquire, and what does their rebuy rate look like over each successive month to some period of time. And building, you know, that graph that flow of what your rebuy rate is, depending upon how you want to define it, tools like that really help you understand, you could be a simple GA shop, Google Analytics shop, whether it be free, or you can pay for it. And in tools like that. They also have good visualization. They also what I like about it, I always like to steer away from what I call the a word, attribution, because we could spend hours about attribution, and nobody ever wants to talk about it. But you know, that's really one of the most important things you could be doing. You know, we talked about lifetime value, but being able to understand where your marketing dollar went to driving a customer, how was it dollars you spent with Mata was it dollars you spent with Google? Was it dollars you spent with some kind of affiliate, you know, having some sense, even if you use last click, which we all know is probably the wrong thing to use. It's better than nothing.

William Harris 14:28

Yeah. And I'm glad you call that out too. Because I feel like you have to have something you have to have something that you're going to go and if it's last click, that's fine. But then how do you to decide whether or not that's even accurate from something or what else went into it? Right? There are 15 touches that went into it, and then you get to that last click. And I know one of the things that we did with with you and the client we were on together. We just did a holdout test. And I think it's sometimes it's undervalued and a lot of people maybe don't get around to doing it. But the idea for anybody else who's listening is is just how do you segment, let's say you'll pick these five states and you've got that aren't going to receive ads or they are and the other ones that aren't going to receive ads and you say, okay, great, we're gonna run these ads. And that's Facebook, maybe it's a new channel, it's Tik Tok, or something along those lines, and you find out at the end of your period, your test period, did it? Did it go up or not? And let's just say for ease of use, let's say the control group that didn't receive the Tik Tok ads is up 10% over that period of time, but the the test group that received the ads is at 50%. Well, you know, that's a Delta there, you know, 50% minus the 10% 40% difference? How much is that in actual real dollars? Now, you're starting to understand how incremental was that ticked off, even if it didn't receive any last click attribution?

Mark Friedman 15:43

Yeah, you know, those kinds of analyses are tough, because there's not to say that you shouldn't do it, there's just a lot of noise that goes on phone are difficult when you're doing tests like that to control to have a control environment. And then you know, also, frankly, depending upon, you know, the test that you're doing, you know, we've been involved in a number of tests around, spend on brand terms. If you do that test, and try to measure the incrementality of spending and brand spending to a certain level of impression share, to do that test, right, you've got to hold out some people and or some regions, and you're leaving money on the table. And we all know that we should we should all know that brand spend is, you know, the most efficient spend that you can have. So but no, no. From a perspective of holdout and analytics, super important to do

William Harris 16:36

that. Yeah, well, and on the brand side, I appreciate that you call that out a lot of times, I think people forget that. In addition to just bidding on your brand terms, you're able to show different site links, you're able to have a lot more control over the creative of what shows up for you versus, you know, if you just leave that up to Google's, you know, willy nilly decision on what it wants to show for you when somebody searches for you. And so there's even just an increase in the conversion rate that you can have, by even making sure that your ad shows up there, even if you're already number one organically for your own brand term. Um, I want to dig into some of the things because, you know, in addition to right now, being the VP of Digital over there at Eddie Bauer, I know that you've done a lot of consulting over the years as well. And so, you know, you've seen a lot of different stores, what are some of the things that you see as common themes that just the general e-commerce company runs into roadblocks or stumbling blocks or things that you have to help them through?

Mark Friedman 17:36

Yeah, you know, I don't look at myself as a traditional consultant, I really, you know, I'm an operator, I didn't grow up, you know, being a consultant. And frankly, you know, the reason that I got into consulting is because I lost my job. And you know, you, I'm not to stay at home, kind of, you know, lay on the couch, you know, kind of guy. One of the things that I have found very interesting, whether it was businesses that I was working in as an employee or consulting, this is a common theme. Everybody thinks that what they do sucks, and that everybody else, all the other businesses have figured it out. The fact is that everybody sucks a little bit. And some cases, some of you, some of us suck a lot. So I think getting past the fact that you know, you're the only business that's not doing it right is a real important thing to do. Oftentimes, when I work in businesses, they don't have enough financial acumen. So they don't understand the analytics of the p&l. Maybe it's not the analytics, but they don't understand the p&l, well, you know, I got my start, like I said, in finance, and I think one of the best ways to learn a business is through the p&l, because it causes you to learn how to drive the sales, all the way to cost of goods, all the expenses associated with driving the business down to the, you know, the operating profit or the EBIT, da or whatever you want to do measure. So I think there's that having people that are not as analytically inclined as you might like to, to have. I think the other thing is what we talked a little bit about, and it's this issue of media mix, how do I really know where I should be spending my marketing dollars. And one of the things I tell businesses and now I'm telling myself is, if I don't know where I'm going to spend the next dollar of my ad spend, which tactic I'm going to use, then that means I really don't understand the return on the investment or the return on adspend of all the other dollars that I'm doing, and you need to have a feel for that is the next best dollar spent on a direct mail program. Is it best spent in Tik Tok, or a non brand on Google? Or where which you really in order to manage these businesses need to have that sense of sensibility? And so many businesses really don't?

William Harris 20:00

Yeah, you know, and there's a couple of points you brought up that I want to make sure I touch on. One on the EBITA. side, I think that I never worked at an agency before I started this agency. And so I remember hearing people say, you know, oh, the agency doesn't understand our business, I would hear that from people in, you know, other circles. And I realized, I think what they really meant was they don't understand business, they don't understand the p&l is and how to make sure that what they're doing is actually impacting what really matters to the business. And I can remember there was a time when we, that's something that we've actually worked with on our team. And so every one of our strategists works within p&l, and not every client shares them, but we at least have something that's at least analogous to it, usually. And I can remember a client coming in saying, Hey, we, you know, normally pay $10,000 to our agency, we paid you guys $15,000, this month was our first month with them. And they're like, because, like, I'm gonna get in a lot of trouble for this. That's a lot more than what we what we typically pair agency and say, Well, wait a minute, though, you know, we were able to spend $20,000, more than you know, than you had previously been able to do. And as a result, you made this revenue minus your cost of goods sold minus your overhead minus the ad spend minus the agency fee minus the returns cost, and you've got $100,000, more profit month over month two, is that okay? And he was like, Well, yeah, I guess that's okay. That's a good thing. And it's like, well, that's the way we'd like to look at it. But but it is, I think there's a big lack of people, oftentimes, marketing and finance kind of just meeting together and understanding each other in the terms and where they're at. So so I'm glad you called that out. The other thing that you caught out, the idea that I like here is knowing which dollar and where to put it as far as whether or not it's in in the right place. And I feel like a lot of times I see people who maybe are attracted to the shiny new object, in oftentimes, the next best place to put that dollar is something that you just haven't fully exploited. How often do you see that being the case?

Mark Friedman 21:56

Yeah, I think you see it, you know, almost in every engagement or every business to some degree. You know, I think the the other part of this, you know, that we haven't touched on yet, you know, it really depends upon the kind of businesses the business that you're in, and the tolerances and what you're trying to accomplish, right. So, you know, for those people that are listening may not be as savvy as you are, you know, you've got top of funnel, which are those things are, you know, the, it's the spend, that's helping to extend the brand. And although you would like to be able to measure the performance, the sales that are generated from that top of funnel spend, it's really more measured, perhaps on how many, how much traffic you get to the site, how many people you can retarget you know, how you're getting brand awareness, or you're extending your brand awareness, as opposed to bottom of funnel, which is all essentially, measured on? Did we get a click? Did we get $1 of sales? And, you know, I think oftentimes, there's this clash within the business, jeez, we, we need brand awareness, we need to be able to, you know, have people know who we are. But we also need the revenue, and we have a return on adspend that we need to hit. And that's a big problem. And, you know, oftentimes what you see, and I've seen this a lot, is you have businesses that are not spending top of funnel dollars, not letting people know who they are, what they stand for, and why you should shop with them. And they wonder why they can't spend more in brand, which as we said is the most efficient place to spend, or they can't spend anywhere else, or their direct low traffic is low or their natural search traffic is low. All these things play together. And you can't just look at performance dollars to help drive your business.

William Harris 23:53

I love that you said that because I feel like we run into this very often as well. If you're going to look at the the actual return on adspend or the incremental MER or something along those lines for prospecting campaigns on a paid social network. It's not going to look as great as retargeting might, right, you're gonna have a higher row as on retargeting. But one of the things that, you know, you just called out, it's like, well, that has a limited capacity, you can only retarget as many people as you've driven to the website. And so you need to get more people there, you need that funnel to be bigger, otherwise, the efficiency is gonna be lost, and there's no more scale. And we see that often two times as well. I want to also dig into a little bit about just who is Mark Friedman, one of the things that I really like, is understanding the mindset of what makes somebody successful, and what has happened to bring you to this point. And so, first off, just Are there any abnormalities or ticks or anything that make you unique, where if I was sitting in an office with you, I would find out that you know, you're the guy who types are loudly or something like that you're like, Oh, this is something that you would get a kick out of.

Mark Friedman 25:04

That's funny because my, my kids and my wife, you know, kind of have this routine after dinner, you know, we'll watch some TV and I've got my iPad in my lap. And it used to be that I could sit and watch a TV show without an iPad in my lap, and it would keep my attention, but that ship has sailed. So I've got the I've got the iPad in my lap, and I probably type pretty, pretty hard on on that. But, you know, I don't think I have anything that's that unusual, you'd have to ask my friends and my family about that. And look, you know, you mentioned, you know, about being successful. I don't, I've never looked at myself as successful, not successful. I've been lucky, I think, you know, along the way, I've been in the right place at the right time. You know, I was fortunate for most of my career not have to not having to go out and look for a job. Although I did have to, you know, a few times. You know, that's never fun. But, you know, most often was either I knew somebody or was recruited, or, or what have you. And, and so, I feel like I've been lucky, I've been fortunate enough to make that shift into digital, like I talked about, you know, for those that are listening, you know, if you're early in your career, you know, I've always said, you know, just because you came out of school, and you were going to be trained as an accountant, you don't have to stay being an accountant, I made that that pivot and, and I went to a startup company. And, you know, for me, I felt the risk was really low. Because if it didn't work out, I always felt like I could get a job back in accounting, I wouldn't have been happy, but that's what I felt and, and with each successive role, you know, I've felt very fortunate to take on new things. I've been lucky also to work for really good brands, whether it was you know, Steve Madden for seven years, Brooks Brothers, you know, essentially twice in my career, Calvin Klein underwear, Calvin Klein Jeans and, and Speedo, we're licensed brands, buy from a company called Warren ago had opportunity to work there. So lots of, you know, good things. And, you know, also, you know, I think one thing to call out for folks, I'm not a big I'm not at all a burn have burned a bridge kind of guy. I, I've always tried to be a good networker, because you never know what's going to happen. And in fact, twice in my career, I wound up working for the same person twice. And, you know, I've always been thankful of when we parted ways the first time. I thought I was a gentleman. And obviously, by virtue of the fact that they hired me again, or came in on top of me, you know, you do the right, you know, try to do the right thing

William Harris 27:59

was a very wholesome answer. I appreciate it. Very, very, very good to but I would say, you know, let's say up imposter syndrome aside, you've done great work repeatedly. And so you go beyond luck, when you say, okay, sure, first time, Lucky. second time, third time, fourth time, when you repeatedly do good work, there's something there that's made you a little bit about who you are. And let's just even say if we just dial it back to what you said about the networking relationships. And there's something that's intrinsic about you that recognizes the value of that human relationship and making sure that you maintain relationships. And I've learned a lot about that from you as well. I tend to be the guy who loves to sit behind my computer, typically crank cranking away on numbers, and you've been really good about helping me to do a better job with that. Is there something in your childhood? Mom, dad, grandparents, somebody that helped to instill in you that value of relationships?

Mark Friedman 28:53

Yeah, you know, it's funny in my show, you know, we talk about the first story, and you know, because I have found, especially for entrepreneurs, there really is something to the fact of how you're brought up and what you wind up doing and but you My life was is very different as an adult than it was as a child. I had, you know, two parents, they were great providers, and I have a sister. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where seemingly lots of people got their start. And you know, we were in a four story walk up building, we live paycheck to paycheck, but I always knew that, you know, I was going to go away to college. And I was the first one in my family to do that. And, you know, as my dad was, and both my parents were mentors in their own way, I also had very close relationship with an uncle, my mom's brother to this day, you know, we're we're very close. He was, you know, a college graduate. He went to law school, then ultimately went Have to have to run his own business. But he was the guy who, you know, kind of identified the colleges that I would look for. He knew that I needed to go to college, I always knew I needed to go to college. And, you know, I also had very close grandparent relationships. One of my grandparents sets of grandparents lived one block in one direction, and the other set lived one block in the other beautiful shin. And we were all very close. And, you know, routinely, on a Saturday night, as a 10, year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, I was having dinner with my four grandparents at a restaurant, and it was the five of us. And you know, those are things that you always forget. And, you know, I also think without getting too sentimental, you know, my kids saw the relationship. And my kids saw a good number of our grandparents, my wife's as well. And you can't teach that you can't teach how to treat your elders, and you know, your grandparents or your parents, and both of my kids, thankfully absorbed it, and have had very strong relationships with their respective

William Harris 31:19

you may not be able to teach it, I'd say maybe you can't force it. But I think there's some observational aspect of it. You know, they see that in you they see that being something that you value, and so they recognize then that as well.

Mark Friedman 31:31

Yeah, I agree.

William Harris 31:33

Okay, how do you stay grounded, one of the things that I always appreciated about being on phone calls with you is, even when things sucked that week, you had the ability to, you know, stay grounded, and I'm sure that there are times in your career that you've been stressed out frustrated, overwhelmed, things that we all experience in our professional lives, you know, is there a song that you go to or, you know, you gotta go hit the punching bag, when you're done with a call? Or what is what is it for you that helps you stay grounded?

Mark Friedman 32:04

That's a really good question. I would, I would say, you know, you knew me, you know, me, you know, I'm much more mature than I was in my younger days. And, you know, in my younger days, you probably wouldn't have said cheese, you're pretty grounded. I'm by nature, and still am very impatient. Not only my personal life, but in my business life, some will say, I'm much more patient in my business life than I am in my personal life. But, but I have found that it became more important as I got mature, to, I don't want to over emphasize this are overstated, but to be a role model for the people that I worked with, you know, you know, I'm a big believer, you know, you can't, you know, the cliche, you can't command respect, you have to earn it. I've never asked anybody to respect me, I've just asked them to work as hard as I will. Not everybody's going to, I've asked them to treat, you know, their colleagues and their vendors and their their management, you know, with respect. And, you know, like I said, I learned a lot over my career. And it took me a long time to live by what I just said, I hope I'm self aware. But, you know, look, I can't worry about that, I have to do what I think is right. And hopefully, you know, people around me will, will feel that I'm being, you know, fair, it's really important for me to work with people that I feel like I can help grow their career, there were people, you know, that I worked with, that helped me grow and like to return the favor.

William Harris 33:47

That's good. You talked about how you're, you know, let's say impatient, or at least had been, you know, as you're younger, and you've gotten better. Somebody who's impatient as myself, I've made my fair share of interesting choices out of inpatients. What's one of the craziest things you've ever done? Is there something that you feel like you could share doesn't have to be like a bad thing? It'd be a good thing. But

Mark Friedman 34:10

yeah, you know, honestly, I don't know. I'm not a, you know, we've over the course of my career, you know, you had to do these personality tests and identify, you know, are you the organizer or you're the leader, you're the follower. You know, I'm kind of the what's the right word, you know, I'm kind of the I like control, right? I'm guilty as charged. I like to have control. I don't like to sit in the passenger seat of any vehicle, whether it be the golf cart, or my automobile. I like to have that control, but I also feel and again, hard to know if if this is a fair assessment. I also feel like I'm good at being in control. That might sound a little cocky. But, you know, doesn't mean that they're not other people that are equally or more capable of being in control. But I don't shy away from taking the control. And, you know, I'm really organized, probably sometimes too organized. And you know, but I also like to learn, you know, and you know, you talked about advisor and mentor. A lot of the mentoring is with early stage companies. And what I have found amazing, you know, over the last dozen years or so, while I've really done a lot of that is how much I learn from the founders, and the entrepreneurs. And, you know, there's things I can share with them. But the things that they know how they think about things, the work ethic that they have, is absolutely incredible.

William Harris 35:49

Yeah. You mentioned you like to learn, if if you were gonna give some advice to somebody who is, you know, just embarking on their career right now, too. Are there books or websites or resources that you would point them to that you say, this is, this is a good place to start this book, this website, this video, whatever that might be?

Mark Friedman 36:12

Yeah, you know, I'm not a reader. I don't read business books. I just back to the patience, I don't have the patience. For much like I tried to. I tried to meditate, you know, to calm down. I couldn't wait till the meditation was over two minutes. And I'm like, Is it done yet? But that's, you know, that's my personality, that for me, the single biggest benefit for me is maintaining meeting people and maintaining those relationships. Yeah. And, you know, I've tried to explain to, you know, to my kids, when they first got out of college that, you know, network, and you know, the answer is how do you network? Well, you meet one person, and that one person, hopefully introduces you to another person, and ultimately, it just, you know, continues to grow. And it was almost, you know, it was LinkedIn before it was dead. And, you know, look, I said, this, you and I worked together for, I don't know, maybe it was eight or nine months. And, you know, we've now known each other for three years, and you know, way longer than we have not worked together for a much longer period of time than we did. And, you know, part of what attracted me to staying friendly with you friends with you was your your knowledge, but also the people that you surrounded yourself with, and you know, this is, I'm sure you're okay with this, but this wasn't intended to be a commercial for Elumynt. But, you know, I've worked with a lot of agencies. And you know, an agency is only as good as the members of the agency. And when you work with large agencies, you can have a great account team, or you can have a terrible account team. You have a I don't know how you want to call it the size, but you have a team of people that I was always impressed with. And, you know, that's what I tried to surround myself with.

William Harris 38:07

I really appreciate that. You're welcome to keep going on on that subject, if you want. No, but okay, but we are coming to the end of this. And I do want to make sure if people want to reach out and connect with you and interact with you. What's the best way for them to follow you and stay in touch?

Mark Friedman 38:25

Yeah, there's there's a few different ways. So you know, we talked about the Marketing Playbook Podcast, you can listen to that, you know, on Spotify, or Apple podcasts, wherever you get your podcast, I've been lucky enough to do 75 shows so far, which is kind of incredible, even when I say that fast. And then also, you know, I'm very active on LinkedIn, lots of connections, you can follow me there. And also, my company website

William Harris 38:56

Awesome. Thanks, Mark. I really appreciate you coming on the show here sharing your knowledge with us.

Mark Friedman 39:01

Yeah, it was nice to see you. Stay in touch and happy to do this. I really enjoyed it.

William Harris 39:06

Yeah, everybody. Thanks for tuning in, and we'll catch you next week.

Outro 39:12

Thanks for listening to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.

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