Lessons from Rock Stars and Trade Shows with Alex Ordoñez

???? Episode 85 of Yes, and Marketing

You can probably name a handful of rockstar marketers. But how about marketers of actual rockstars?

Alex Ordoñez is a music industry marketer with decades of experience, and in this episode of Yes, and Marketing, he and Steve go deep on the theme of ‘build relationships with people and good marketing will come.’

Alex gave the inside scoop on marketing channels that are central to the music industry, tips for measuring your return on event marketing, and how Gene Simmons of KISS is an expert marketer, plus a whole lot more:

  • How to create authentic experiences from face-to-face interactions  
  • Guidance on gathering voice of customer feedback at trade shows
  • Why you should never be afraid to ask questions
  • When to stay focused on the process, not just the sale
  • Connecting with trade journals to maximize earned media opportunities

Tap through the chapters above to listen or read on for our highlights from the conversation. You can also see a snippet of this conversation (and all our other episodes!) at our show page.

???? Who is Alex Ordoñez?

Name: Alex Ordoñez

What he does: Marketing manager at Group One Ltd.

Find Alex on the web: Group One Ltd | LinkedIn

Get smart: “We can give direction all day long, but without a purpose it really doesn’t mean anything.”

????‍???? Yes, and… Rock stars

“Some rock stars are very natural marketers,” Alex says. “My favorite marketer AKA rockstar Gene Simmons—if you look at what Gene Simmons has done for not just Gene Simmons but the brand KISS from when they started to where they are now, it’s insane the empire he’s built.

And Gene Simmons doesn’t have an MBA, he’s not like this highly educated guy in marketing, but he understood the power of influencing people, folks, his fans, early on and really just drove that.”

Not familiar with 70s rock bands? Shame on you.

Kidding, kinda. Fortunately, Alex is here with Pop Culture Icons 101:

“KISS is a great, hard rock band from the seventies that’s still relevant to today. In those days, apparel and having an entire like toy line and all that—it wasn’t as big with a lot of artists. 

When they were coming up, KISS was known for having a very unique look. They painted their face, had costumes, and all that, so they were already very unique in the industry and he took advantage of their uniqueness and created a bunch of lines based off of their image and their creativity. So there was a toy line. There was cartoons. Anything you could possibly imagine branded KISS, they did it. 

But they were really some of the very first to ever do that, from a rockstar standpoint. And now you see it everywhere.”

???? Episode Highlights

Read verbatim excerpts from our interview with Alex Ordoñez.

Career advice

“Never be afraid to ask. I don’t care if you’re the lowest guy on the totem pole, if you’re the guy who’s making photocopies and you see no value in that—I bet you anything there’s value. You can find value. You just have to ask the question. 

So I was that guy who asked, ‘What am I photocopying?’ ‘Oh, well, it’s these contracts.’ ‘What are these contracts for?’ And I just kept asking questions. I remember them always saying, ‘I love that you ask questions. Nobody really asks questions like this.’”

Return-on-event is all about engagement…

“How do we measure the return on the event? What does that look like? And we came up with, it’s all about engagement.

You can’t forcibly make somebody take out their wallet and buy something. I also don’t believe that somebody goes to one event and they’re like, ‘Okay, that’s it. Now I’m a customer.’ It’s a culmination of all the different marketing activities happening. It’s just the event is that one opportunity where you have the opportunity to have face-to-face communication.”

…and here’s how to measure that

“It’s not just how many people came into the booth, but the people that came into a booth that are prospective customers. How many are what we’re looking for? How many of those people did we actually approach? Not just to say hi, but engage them and have a meaningful conversation. And was the conversation just one-way or did we actually learn from them? And if we did learn from them, what did we learn from them?

Capturing all of that on your post show reports really shows the value of what that trade show was for your company. So for example, I always like to measure boot traffic, yes, but I like to measure how many meaningful conversations did we have per day? And then year-over-year, are those meaningful conversations growing? Are they decreasing? And then you start to get a little bit of insight of the value of that show or conference or trade show.” 

Face-to-face = authenticity

“I love digital. I love all the different, cool marketing things you can do, but there’s nothing better than face-to-face. I think you can accomplish so much more face-to-face because anybody has the ability to tell the story, but when you’re telling it face-to-face instead of in an email or any type of digital campaign—it’s just authentic.”

Learn what’s not working

“Being at a trade show face-to-face, it’s fun and great and all that—but you also get to learn about the bad things about your company, and that is just as valuable. To me, that’s a great return for a company, to know where they’re missing, and then you can come back and take that and improve.”

How he connects with trade journals

“They’re always at the trade shows, so I’ve always been proactive about reaching out to the folks at trade magazines: ‘Can we meet up for dinner? Can we meet up for a cocktail? Can we meet up just for five minutes? Come to the booth, I’d love to show you some things,’ and being very consistent every year, year-over-year, year-over-year, doing that stuff. And as a result of always doing that, a lot of these have turned from business relationships to true friendships.”

Focus on process, not sales

“If you have a clear and clean process that makes sense to you, to the team, to whoever needs to be a part of it—the results will come in exactly where you want them to come in.”

????️ Alex Ordoñez Quotes

“People can be very good at giving you direction, but not everybody is good—from a management standpoint—at giving direction and purpose. “

“If you don’t understand why you’re doing something, you’re not going to be fulfilled.”

“People want to know that you really believe in what you’re telling them, and that can come across in a face-to-face conversation.”

“Focus on the process, not always just the sale itself.”

“We can give direction all day long, but without a purpose it really doesn’t mean anything.”

???? Learn More

Listen to a hit from Alex’s musical obsession, 311.

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Megan Skalbeck

Megan has been following the world of AI since the initial GPT release in 2018. As Head of AI Projects at Verblio, she's responsible for figuring out the best ways to blend the capabilities of artificial intelligence with the quality of our human freelance writers. When she's not doing tech things, she's making music, writing existentialist fiction, or getting reckless on two wheels.

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