In this DeBrief episode, Sam Sayer is joined once again by marketing expert Al Tepper from TepFu Marketing, to discuss lie number 6 in our 10 marketing lies series.


1:25- ‘You don’t need to spend time or money on marketing’.

4:07- The importane of striking a balance between sales and service in business.

7:00- The importance of delegation, and trust between your employees and clients.

8:38- The use of seasonal branding elements and branding framework for content creation.

10:22- The perfect dinner party guests.

Sam Sayer 0:04

Mr. Tepper, I always feel I should do some kind of like, entrance like this.

Al Tepper 0:09

Like a bond villan, Mr Tepper, we’ll meet again. Yes. How are you Sam, you well?

Sam Sayer 0:15

Good thanks mate. Yeah, good you.

Al Tepper 0:17

Yeah, not bad. No, but I can’t complain. As my dad used to say, it’s not me. It’s everybody else. So.

Sam Sayer 0:23

Absolutely, and you know what the last session we had, it was like a heatwave. And it really isn’t today.

Al Tepper 0:30

No, it’s but it’s all a bit of a blur, though, isn’t it? I mean, I, often say that there are no more days anymore. It’s just sort of one long week with some strategic naps in the middle.

Sam Sayer 0:41

Absolutely. I like that. Was it Frank Zappa who said, time is just a series of, or is it is punctuated by? I need to think of this, I’ll try and find it by the end of this clip, but it’s kind of without music to decorate it. Time is just a bunch of deadlines and bills to be paid off.

Al Tepper 0:59

Yes. And another great one. John Lennon said. Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Yes. Which I think is also good. So we’re all present. We’re all in the now. We’re all focused. And yeah.

Sam Sayer 1:15

So talking of James Bond, and Dr. Know, on the subject of No, and lies. Let’s hit it. We’re up to lie number six.

Al Tepper 1:25

We are now at lie number six, I get a bit edgy here. Maybe that is it might trigger people. And if it triggers you, I’m really not sorry. Because you need it to be good. So number six, the number six of the biggest lies told in and around marketing is you’ll launch something. And you’ll say to somebody, well, you know, I’ve got to be a bit flexible, or you’re running a small business, or even any business, I mean, even 10- 20 million pound businesses go through this. And you focus on revenue, you focus on things that are important. So you don’t spend time and money on marketing, because it’s not immediate marketing is for tomorrow, sales is for today. So you just wing it on the marketing side, you think look, you know, we’ve got loads of organic, you know, loads of people talk to us. We’ll park marketing, we’ll just focus on getting the revenue in.

The problem is, the problem is you don’t know when the taps going to be turned off. So you can’t predict when the slowdown is going to come, a slowdown will definitely come. Because when you move from your first circle of connections to the second circle, the second circle, you will have to work harder, you’ll have to market to there’ll be nurturing, they’ll be automation, there’ll be tonnes of stuff. When you’re in that first circle, where, like in the bar, cheers. Everybody knows your name. It’s really easy to generate revenue. Yeah, when you get into that second circle, and you won’t know when it’s coming, and it’ll hit you right in the face. Yeah, all of a sudden, you start to feel pipeline pressure. And you start to think it’s getting small in here. It’s a bit like that scene in Star Wars when they’re in the trash compactor, just the wall, the walls seem to be coming inwards, and you’re like, What the hell’s going on? That is pipeline pressure, you have to arrest it long before it even happens.

So not spending time on Marketing time and money on marketing today. means you’re going to have less hours tomorrow. Yeah, and you can’t do anything in life. By living for today only. I know sometimes, we just we’ve got a challenge, we need to revenue target. Yeah, I get it. I get it. But you need to make time to focus on what happens when we get to pipeline pressure. Who will we be talking to? And if you don’t, I can tell you what’s going to happen. You’re going to get there. You’re going to go to someone like Sam and say Sam help, please. And Sam will say when do you need help? And DeType are amazing. But they can’t flick a switch and make it all better by tomorrow. Nobody can do that. So whereas if you give DeType or someone like me, amazing runway, if you give us time to do it properly. The magic that can be created.

Sam Sayer 4:07


Al Tepper 4:08

The opposite is also true. If you give us no time. What do you expect us to do in no time?

Sam Sayer 4:13

100%. Do you know what I’ve gone from in quite well? Yeah, in the last year or so. We’ve gone from being a bit shoot from the hip in marketing, you know, doing we’ve had marketing going out there but now ramped up. And we’ve gone from me driving a lot of stuff to watch now we have a a weekly marketing and ops call with the team, which takes a big chunk of the day, which is great. And now stuff’s getting delegates. We’ve got right people in the right places doing the right things. It takes the pressure off massively and I was thinking this morning. I’ve just not been that active on LinkedIn recently. But do you know what we have been? Yes, that’s good. And I need to do more myself again, like you always have little peaks and troughs with it.

Al Tepper 4:53

Well you can always do more. Let’s face it. You know, if you’ve got a spare hour, you can always go spend it on LinkedIn. But again, But again, it’s it’s letting go, it’s having confidence in the people around you. It’s having confidence in your processes in your frameworks, your structures, your methodologies. Yeah. And it’s also, it’s what we were talking about just before we hit record. It’s also the message you want to send to your customers, either you’re in, you know, either you’re in sales pressure mode, or you’re in service pressure mode. And sales pressure mode is the kind of place and we’ve all been there. I just need to get something in, I’ve got to hit the phones, I’ve got to be a bit of a patient. I’ve got to sell, sell, sell. Yeah, everyone’s experienced that. But the problem is, your customers can feel it. And nobody wants to work with somebody who’s pure sales all the time. Because I need to be served. If I’m your client, I want service, I don’t care about your sales problem. I care about the service problem. And so if you put yourself out of service pressure into sales pressure, it’s not gonna go well for your customers either. So yeah.

Sam Sayer 5:57

Yeah, I was just saying this just last week with a client and friend of mine. Who’s what a difference it makes me don’t need the sale.

Al Tepper 6:04

Oh my God, the best business I’ve ever done, is when I didn’t need the business. Oh, it’s the best business in the world. Because you can be picky. You can choose the work you can choose the people you work with, you can choose the rates you work for. You choose all of it. I mean, happy days. No, the alternative is unthinkable, isn’t it? Where you’re saying yes to everything for low margin? And where the people aren’t nice and pleasant to work with? Oh, I’ve been there. Done that. Wearing the t-shirt

Sam Sayer 6:32

absolutely, absolutely. And I was saying earlier, because we’ve got a good structure in like, the framework is in place now. Where, oh has my camera frozen. I think it has

Al Tepper 6:44

It has, or you’re holding a very

Sam Sayer 6:47

This is my catalogue pose. Let’s switch this one.

Al Tepper 6:52

So blue steel.

Sam Sayer 6:56

That’s my favourite film of all time.

Al Tepper 6:57

Oh my God is brilliant.

Sam Sayer 7:00

Anyway, yeah. So rather than me micromanaging everything, looking at everything, we’ve built, the trust, and the framework in we know stuff can go out. So we’ve set a formula whereby, if it satisfies three of these six things, it can go out as our content. Yes, it just enables the team to get out there and do things and it makes such a difference. You know, unless it offers in a way.

Al Tepper 7:22

It makes all the difference, because I know of another organisation where there’s a lot of bottlenecks. And what bottlenecks really mean is I don’t trust my staff. Right? When there’s a bottleneck that what you’re saying to the people around you is, you’re not good enough to do this without absolute supervision. And I’m sorry, but that’s not the future of business. You need to work with people and trust them. You know, I’m sure the people you work with have trust of you, and you have trusted them and you enable them to make decisions. Anything else is just, you know, one way top down leadership doesn’t work anymore. Yeah. Especially in marketing, where you want to, you want to free people to be creative. You know.

Sam Sayer 7:40

That’s it. Yeah. And I think it’s, you know, it’s getting everyone on the same page with that, right. And this is why I love our weekly meetings now, because we just buzz off them, we get more and more ideas. Yeah. Because we’ve set such a tight not, a tight parameter, we’ve set a clear parameter. That’s the key, I think, you know, we’ve got wiggle room, I always think about, you know, when we do brand guidelines is a guide doesn’t have as long as a certain structure, it’s okay. You know, you can go have a different font for certain campaign, you know, that kind of thing. So, yeah,

Al Tepper 8:35

yeah, rules are made to be broken. Absolutely.

Sam Sayer 8:37

You got to know the rules.

Al Tepper 8:38

Especially brand guidelines. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. But again, it’s, it’s what you can stand up it’s what makes sense, you know, your brand guidelines. Absolutely sacrosanct and biblical tho they should be when it comes to Halloween. You know, if there’s no green in the palette, well, it’s Halloween, there’s got to be green and orange. So you might have to go outside the brand guidelines. But you what you would do, if you’re working with DeType, you’d speak to the tag team and say, in a month, we want to do something Halloween, we don’t have green orange in our palette, help. How do we, you know, how do we create spooky colours with the colours we’ve got? Because then you can adapt and adjust? Absolutely. Oh, I will absolutely draw the line at putting a Santa hat on your logo for Christmas. Yeah, I mean, swings and roundabouts there, but some people will swear by doing that all the time. You know, the only people who’ve got away with it, are Google, really the only people who’ve managed to personalise events. Yeah. And they change the logo, and that’s epic. And it’s been epic for 20 years they’ve been doing that.

Sam Sayer 9:36

But I think the difference there is they’ve only they’ve made it their thing.

Al Tepper 9:41

Yeah, they invented it.

Sam Sayer 9:42

Yeah, exactly.

Al Tepper 9:43

They were the first people to do anything like that. And I think you know, the rest of us. I don’t see the point of putting your sand hat on or a bit of snow. I just don’t know. I think maybe back in sort of 1998 You know, when you used to get you know, when you get in the early days of the internet, you get little under construction little yellow, black animated GIF. Those were the days where, you know, Santa hats were appropriate.

Sam Sayer 10:06

Yeah and you can make it Snow, what? you can make it snow on the screen. Yeah, we’ve done that.

Al Tepper 10:12

I remember the first time. Yeah. I mean, look, it happens, and sometimes it’s appropriate. But yeah, I think it does get used rather liberally.

Sam Sayer 10:22

Absolutely. So that is a great wrap up there, I think Al, what I’m going to ask you a lot to finish on a question. So I think this will be particularly interesting, because we have, you know, it’s about bringing team dynamics together. All right, for the best results, and I think with ease, so if you were to have any three people dead or alive at dinner party, or who would you have?

Al Tepper 10:45

Oh my God, any three people dead or alive? Well, I suppose the first three people who come to mind are sort of, you know, sort of the Jesus Buddha, right of, I don’t know, Moses triangle, because it would just be fascinating to hear what they think of religions and things like that. But then, I mean, there’s so many people, you know, I’m genuinely stumped. Because there’s musicians. Yeah, there’s musicians I could have. I mean, three is tough. I think, Oh, if I had to actually pick

Sam Sayer 11:32

or fictional, yeah.

Al Tepper 11:32

Or fictional. Oh, my God, let’s open up even more. I mean, so Well, obviously. I mean, if it’s fictional, I think I’d have Ironman Black Widow. And Spider Man. Yeah, that’d be amazing. What a dinner. What friends to make. I mean, yeah, for sure. There’s a lot of different answers I could give to that. And I think the context, you know, if it was it was a, it was a marketing chat. I’d have Seth Godin. Yeah. Gary Vaynerchuk. Yeah. And you, Sam, you can be the third guest. That’d be good wouldn’t. Would you come to that dinner? That’d be brilliant, wouldn’t it?

Sam Sayer 12:18

I would, absolutely. If we can, at least a few of us will be bald-wearing glasses. So you know.

Al Tepper 12:23

That’s right. We can start a boy band on that basis alone. Absolutely. I will have here.

Sam Sayer 12:30

Yeah. So I wrote three put down very quickly. I just got a call. So by Freddie Mercury. Oh, yes. Pure party dynamics and absurdity. Maya Angelou.

Al Tepper 12:41

Yes. Very nice. Very Nice.

Sam Sayer 12:42

Immense wisdom she has.

Al Tepper 12:44

Yes, she’s gotten a phenomenal, phenomenal book. If you get the chance to read it. It’s called Why The Caged Bird Sings. And it’s our autobiography and mind blowing, you know, you want to understand the story of her and how she produced the poetry she produced. But yes, God, who’s the third? Interesting,

Sam Sayer 13:00

And Miriam Margolyes again, amazing party guest and would not hold back.

Al Tepper 13:07

I’ve been to see her live I went live a couple of years ago. Not sure I would now but she’s just so rude. She just, she just just very rude and farts at will. So it’s possible to be around some old granny who, who behaves like that and not find it amusing. But yeah, she’s a real character for sure.

Sam Sayer 13:30

Nice. Thanks, as always Al. Much appreciated.

Al Tepper 13:33

My pleasure. Thankyou for having me.

Sam Sayer 13:34

So people getting in touch with you. How do they find Mr. Tepper?

Al Tepper 13:39

Well, genuinely the simplest thing is type my name into Google and find me on LinkedIn. That’s the best place, message me. Tell me who you are. Tell me what you do. I’d love to find out about all of you. Every single one of you listening. I’m a people person. So come at me, people. Tell me who you are. Tell me what you need. And you never know what might happen.

Sam Sayer 13:58

Brill, we’ll put links in with the notes as well. And it’s Alan Tepper on LinkedIn, isn’t it?

Al Tepper 14:04

Well yes, but call me Al. It’s only Alan Tapper for the LinkedIn verification process. It’s annoying

Sam Sayer 14:12

This is why I will not verify myself on LinkedIn.

Al Tepper 14:16

But I’ll tell you what the 60 I recognise a 60% bump in traffic when you do.

Sam Sayer 14:21

Do you reckon?

Al Tepper 14:22

Well, 60% profile? Yeah, I’ve seen a significant uptick in profile views.

Sam Sayer 14:26

Well, I’ve changed my name once in my life. I could always change it again.

Al Tepper 14:31

Well, it’s whatever is on your passport. That’s what they want. That’s why to change it to Alan. But I think LinkedIn are doing I think we’re gonna see more and more of this, because it’s the only way to get rid of spammers, you know, okay, you just forced them to vote because basically is now a mark of authenticity for me. If somebody’s got a verified account on LinkedIn, I know they’re real. So it won’t be long before we slip over to the point where if you have an unverified account, the default is you’re not real right now. So I think By building a standard there, so get ahead of it. Don’t wait till it’s mandatory because I’m sure be I’d be very surprised if at some point, you know, LinkedIn can make themselves the best social network overnight if they got rid of all the spammers. Yeah. And all they have to do is force verification to do it. Yeah. There you go.

Sam Sayer 15:19

Nice. Thanks, Al. I’ll catch you next time, buddy. All right. Cheers.

Al Tepper 15:22

Cheers, thanks