Monday, August 7, 2017

Two-Step Marketing for Liberty Lodging

Below is the "step-one" marketing lead.

See the following link for the "step-two" attention grabber: 

Explanation, Testing and Analysis:

For my testing I used a Facebook post on my company's page (, and asked a couple of our previous customers if they wouldn't mind telling me what they thought of it as a possible paid for advertising campaign.  I also asked them to answer a few yes or no questions as a short follow-up survey.

The premise of this campaign would be to run "step-one" ad on Facebook directly aimed at certain zip codes or friends of people that have liked our page.  Possible customers would then click the cup of "Joe" which would re-direct them to the about page of our website.  On our about page it gives a run down of what our company provides, and testimonials from other customers that have stayed with us in the past.  The hope would be that the customer would book lodging with us for a scheduled trip, or like our Facebook page to serve as a reminder of our company for their future travel needs.  If they decide to book with us, we automatically have their email from a direct booking (which we already use for marketing and reaching out to previous customers), or we have a new potential follower on Facebook.       

3 previous guests were willing to take a short survey after I ran the post.  Here are the questions and answers to that survey:

1) Did this ad click take you somewhere that had useful information?  Results: YYY

2) Through this ad were you able to find the information needed to book a room with our company? Results: YYY

3) Was this ad an attention grabber?  Results: YYY

4) Would you have preferred that this ad took you to our home page as opposed to our about page?  Results: YNN

After the survey, I had brief on-line discussions with these individuals. The consensus among them is that campaign advertising blasts from a hotel in a very specific market segment is questionable.  Though they generally liked the ad and thought the information was useful, it's only truly of use if they have travel plans to this area...which is a rare occasion among most people.  What they did think it was effective in was garnering possible likes for our page among individuals who might possibly be traveling this way in the future, or know someone with this specific need who they could tag or forward the post to.

Overall, my impression is that step-two advertising is a great tool.  Very effective for local and online businesses, but not a perfect match in all circumstances.


Extended Pitch and Elevator Pitch for Liberty Lodging

Hi guys,

I have a few items for your to view...

This is my extended elevator pitch explaining my company in depth:

Here is my shorter pitch, something more reflective of an actual elevator a 1:45 its still a bit longer than I would like it to be


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Talking Logo Elevator Speech for Liberty Lodging

Please see the below video.

Here's a quick summary of the product that Liberty Lodging provides:
Those that have traveled on official DoD business understand the innate need for long term lodging accommodations like those provided at Liberty Lodging.  Currently, “Base Lodging” (on-base accommodations provided at DoD facilities) serves as the standard issue hotel for transient government travel.  These facilities provide basic overnight accommodations comparable to 1 ½ to 2-star hotels.  Generally, these units have a queen bed, shower, microwave, mini-fridge, standard cable television, desk workspace, and below average décor; the words dingy, uncomfortable, uninviting and basic, best summarize what the customer experiences.  To their credit, these facilities do a great job of catering to short-term billeting, being sufficient/bearable enough to get a traveler through a single work week.  However, what we have found and experienced ourselves is that there are many short-term assignments and extended training programs throughout the DoD that require a government traveler to remain at a temporary location, anywhere from 2 weeks to an excess of 3 months.  These travelers, truly in need of extended-stay accommodations, are expected to rely on this same inferior/short-term product.  What has been built at Liberty Lodging is the solution to this problem.     

Liberty Lodging is a cost-efficient communal living substitute, providing each customer with what would be received at a hotel and much more.  Our private bedrooms are equipped with plush queen size beds, desk workspaces, flat screen TVs, private bathrooms, full length mirrors, and a touch of décor that makes the traveler feel at home.  In addition, we offer a shared living room with home theater and bar area, a completely equipped full-size kitchen, attached laundry room, and additional amenities by location.  So far, we have found that the majority of those traveling in groups appreciate the team building atmosphere and companionship offered by these shared living circumstances.  We understand that communal living isn’t for everyone, but the reception and growing demand for our services speaks volumes; there is no doubt that we have created a highly desirable product.     

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Social Media Networks that Matter Most

I must first admit that I am neither well versed nor do I have a diverse social media presence.  When I was in college for my undergrad, Facebook was really the first social media experience I encountered.  It came out actually while I was in college, so I got to experience firsthand the changes that took place during the first years of the platform.  At first, Facebook was intended to unite college students within the same university network.  If I remember correctly, you actually had to have a university email address to even create an account.  That was kind of a cool feature because it created a club with a unique membership.  Myspace was another social media platform (I think it’s still around?) similar to Facebook that granted everyone access, giving Facebook kind of an elitist feel.  I think that is one of the reasons that Facebook may have overtaken Myspace; everyone wanted in but only a few were granted access, and you know that everyone wants a piece of those kinds of clubs!  But it was pretty obvious during those early days that Facebook’s popularity was going to overtake this hurdle.  A few years later, Facebook opened up to the world.  (check out this article 

It was after going fully public that the unique paid for features started popping up, (giving “gifts”, advertising, etc.)  Here, Facebook’s true intrinsic value overcame speculation and began to be realized for what it was.  Now Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform, and according to Zephoria Digital Marketing (, Facebook now has over 1.9 billion users.  For perspective, it is estimated that the world is currently populated with 7.4 billion people, which would mean that over 25% of the world’s population uses Facebook!

In Dave Kerpen’s Likeable Social Media, he ends with an Appendix on titled “A Refresher Guide to Social Networks That Matter Most”.   In this chapter, he discusses the social media platforms that entrepreneurs should become proficient in or at least be familiar with.  During this discussion, he notes what each platform is best used for.  He, of course, notes Facebook, but also goes on to discuss Twitter, Myspace, YouTube (which I think is arguably not a true targeted social media platform), Foursquare, LinkedIn, Blogosphere, Flickr, Yelp, etc.  Facebook is best used for engaging a target audience, Twitter for gathering Consumer Insight and Customer Service, YouTube for marketing, LinkedIn for networking and recruitment, and all others for connecting to a highly targeted audience.     

I agree that social media can take shape in many forms and that having a basic understanding of all platforms is beneficial.  But for those entrepreneurs that are not social media savvy, like me, Facebook is by far of the greatest concern.  According to Statista (, next in the running is WhatsApp with 1.2B users, and YouTube with right at 1B users.  All others represent a fraction of Facebook’s user base.  While I do think that each platform has a specific purpose, Facebook is the platform that users mindlessly utilize the most.  The others are more purpose driven, and I would argue that users tend to ignore advertising when actively engaging.  Kind of liking watching TV, I see marketing on other social media platforms as noise or an interruption to programming.  I think that users get on Facebook with no real purpose in mind much of the time… so it’s a great (possibly the best) opportunity take advantage of the mindless browsing!             

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mark Cuban's 12 Rules for Startups


Having an exit strategy from the beginning stages of business conception gives a sense of comfort and confidence moving forward to everyone involved in the business plan.  Even exit plans that address an unsuccessful result offer support; they inspire risk and poise by giving failure a face.  When the outlook of failure can be identified, it no longer is equated to the end of the world; it becomes a surmountable reality. 

However, exit plans do not all revolve around the failure of a business.  They also address fulfillments to obligations and shareholders.  The eventual harvest of profits is the goal of both the entrepreneur and investor, so making the terms of well-defined is important to create a goal-oriented business strategy. 

Here are some exit plans that address this idea of Harvesting:

Strategic Sale – Strategic sales are generally labeled mergers and acquisitions.  In this scenario, an industry player can buy or merge the business with a similar company.  These sales generally create a win-win scenario for all parties involved.

Initial Public Offering – An initial public offering or IPO are the preferred method for venture capitalists and other savvy investors, especially when markets are bullish and the company is need of cash.  Having a publicly traded company is an easy route to raising additional capital.  Also, investors and stakeholders alike stand to gain a significant return from the sale of holdings after the IPO has completed. 

Financial Sale – In this transaction, buyers purchase the business based on current value and future cash-flow expectations, making the return of investment somewhat predictable.  It’s a very clean way to cash out and pay investors.  Do your business and its stakeholder a service by ensuring the sale goes to a competent buyer.      


Amis, A. & Stevenson, H. (2001). Winning Angels: The 7 Fundamentals of Early Stage Investing. Great Britain: Pearson Education.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Savvy investors can not only be a great source of financing, they can also be a great source of information when starting a new business.  Angel investors often look to take on a role in the new business, and this usually is realized in the form of a coach or mentor.  Having the perspective of and investors and a third party, in general, is a great way to make sure you are on the right track.
Sometimes they are the voice of reason when a reality check is needed.

These are the roles an investor/advisor can offer you support:

Strategic Planning – You may have a great idea or a great product but no definitive direction to take it; this is where having an advisor can absolutely help.  An advisor can offer much-needed clarity by helping with the creation of mission, goals, and objectives.    

Business Plan – For some entrepreneurs, this may be their first attempt at writing a business plan.  For the investor/mentor, this may be the hundredth business plan they have been presented.  A mentor can help guide the entrepreneur in making a solid business plan in line with what would be investors are looking for.

Business Negotiations – Not all entrepreneurs have the experience or confidence needed to negotiate with well-seasoned investors.  An advisor can assist in lending the entrepreneur the investors perspective.  This can at least help the business owner know what the person on the other side of the table is looking for in finalizing a deal.  Having insight on these variables can help facilitate the entrepreneur’s presentation.


Amis, A. & Stevenson, H. (2001). Winning Angels: The 7 Fundamentals of Early Stage Investing. Great Britain: Pearson Education.