Marco Torres – Your Brand Amplified Trancript

Welcome to Your Brand Amplified the podcast where we interview marketers, publicists and brands to learn their stories, what makes them tick and tips and tricks that make a difference. I am back for another episode of Your Brand Amplified as your host, Anika Jackson, and I am here with Marco Torres of Marketing Boost. Hi, Marco.

00;00;01;05 – 00;00;21;27
Anika

Welcome to Your Brand Amplified the podcast where we interview marketers, publicists and brands to learn their stories, what makes them tick and tips and tricks that make a difference. I am back for another episode of Your Brand Amplified as your host, Anika Jackson, and I am here with Marco Torres of Marketing Boost. Hi, Marco.

00;00;22;09 – 00;00;24;09
Marco Torres

Hi, Anika. Pleasure to be here.

00;00;24;20 – 00;00;43;28
Anika

Our pleasure to have you here. It’s a honestly- So we’re recording on a Friday. It’s a great way to start the weekend. I love talking to people who are helping entrepreneurs and who have, you know, different ways to connect in sales and marketing. So before we get into Marketing Boost, I’d love for you to share your journey with our audience.

00;00;44;11 – 00;01;11;00
Marco Torres

OK. Well, I’ve been an entrepreneur for a very long time. I’m no spring chicken, so I started actually a paper route at age nine, and by the time I was 12 was featured on the front page with the largest paper out in my area, San Juan, Puerto Rico, where I grew up. Then I went on to open restaurants when I got out of high school, didn’t want to go to college so I got together with my older brother, my mom.

00;01;11;00 – 00;01;32;23
Marco Torres

We opened five restaurants in five years. Wow. We sold those to Taco Bell when they hit the island of Puerto Rico. So that that turned out to be a good exit plan. We had a nightclub as well by the time I was 23. So I had a fun up growing in San Juan in the, in the business world.

00;01;33;06 – 00;01;58;01
Marco Torres

Moved to Florida, got into the travel industry, and I’ve been there pretty much ever since. So I’ve been in the online space, and then I got into the Internet marketing world in the mid-nineties very early on, when as an early adopter of email marketing, I was, you know, spamming before they called it spam. I was doing 100 million emails a month before.

00;01;58;12 – 00;01;59;04
Anika

Oh my gosh.

00;01;59;14 – 00;02;30;10
Marco Torres

Out of servers all over my garage. So it was pretty heavy duty but but yeah. So eventually we launched what became Marketingboost.com today, which is a travel incentive subscription service where we allow, we help business owners around the world enhance their calls to action, enhance their product line, their sales offers, by adding value with a travel incentive versus discounting, for example.

00;02;30;15 – 00;02;30;26
Marco Torres

Mm hmm.

00;02;31;27 – 00;02;51;29
Anika

Yeah. So that’s so interesting. I connect with you on a lot of these points. I got my start promoting nightclubs and DJs when I was still in high school. I was also in the early days of the Internet going into music chat rooms to find promoters across the country for a magazine that I worked for. That was a music magazine.

00;02;52;12 – 00;03;18;16
Anika

So I think when you’re an entrepreneur and you have that spirit, it bubbles up early, right? With your paper route. You didn’t even know that word entrepreneur probably. But, you know, it was just instilled in you. It’s ingrained in you, this drive to be creative and find innovative things to do that fit your lifestyle, that fit your interests, but would still help you have a business, make money, have a livelihood and then, you know, move on to the next thing.

00;03;18;25 – 00;03;40;01
Marco Torres

Yeah. You know, another thing I’ve always done in my career, I’ve always leveraged my network. I’ve always leveraged the people around me. Like, even I didn’t know I was doing this as a kid, but I had I got I recruited my buddies to help me deliver the papers and I focused on what I was good at, which was knocking on doors and selling the subscriptions.

00;03;40;13 – 00;04;01;29
Marco Torres

And then in those days, we had to go back and knock on the doors and collect the money, too. So I would focus on sales and collections, and I had my buddies helping me do all the deliveries. And so it was like a turn. And then my dad would actually help me manage the manage the books because it got like, oh, that’s, you know, between who owes me money and everything else.

00;04;02;10 – 00;04;28;16
Marco Torres

My dad was teaching me how to, you know, organize a spreadsheet back then, you know, like, I don’t know, notebooks united, but basically being able to figure out, you keep track of who still owes me money, who, you know, and it was a little business. It was fun. And from there I just kept on going. But later on, I leveraged, like I said, my mother, my brother. Well, later on in life, I leveraged friends of mine that we launched a travel business together with buddies of mine that I had been in business with.

00;04;28;25 – 00;04;53;00
Marco Torres

None of us could have hired each other because we were all too top level, you know, top earners. So we would have never been able to hire the level of talent that we each brought to the table. But because we were, you know, we decided to come in together as a team, you know, one of us focused on sales and marketing and sales, the other one on marketing, the other one on resort relationships and contract the other one on finance issues or what have you.

00;04;53;00 – 00;05;19;19
Marco Torres

And and together we built, you know, a machine now for over 12 years. And that’s hard to do. You know, we have partnerships, but I find it easier than it is to try to do everything on your, you know, on your own. Being a one man team is very limiting you know, so I either coach my, my clients either build a team, you know, where you hire people smarter than you or, you know, leverage relationships and have partnerships and so on.

00;05;19;27 – 00;05;36;25
Anika

Yeah, well, I think those are two important points. One is looking at who is in your circle and making sure you’re surrounded by the right people, right. People that you would want to go into business with because I think working with friends can be very hard. I’ve tried it before. I’ve tried hiring friends. Sometimes it’s worked, sometimes it hasn’t.

00;05;37;05 – 00;05;48;16
Anika

And I think the key point, though, is making sure that if you’re hiring somebody who has a skill set that you don’t have, make sure that they know a lot more, that they are like able to pull their weight in that area.

00;05;49;01 – 00;06;09;27
Marco Torres

Well, that that’s yeah, that’s a good point. They weren’t just friends that we got together with. Yeah, sure. They were business associates that we all knew were super talented. So in other words, we did business together first, then we became friends. And then we eventually, eventually, you know, launched our own business together. But yeah, they’re just buddies.

00;06;10;13 – 00;06;13;19
Marco Torres

Right? Right. I was just my friend that never would have worked.

00;06;15;13 – 00;06;37;14
Anika

So I love that your business talks about incentive based marketing. And so instead of offering discounts to bring people in the door and starting from a deficit, you’re actually giving them something else to offer. So what are some of the businesses that have been most successful using your methods and using travel and other incentives?

00;06;37;25 – 00;07;09;24
Marco Torres

Cool. Yeah, let me kind of get into some success story or some examples. But first, let me kind of explain what marketing boost is is we provide, for example, one of our top incentives is complimentary hotel stays in over 125 destinations around the world. So we provide, you know, the business owner who’s a member of marketing because the ability to give away complimentary trips from three nights to five nights to seven nights in places like Phuket, Thailand for seven nights, Bali for four nights, Hawaii for five nights.

00;07;10;03 – 00;07;40;25
Marco Torres

Right now we’ve got some amazing properties in Cancun, Mexico for five nights, Las Vegas, Orlando, the San Diego Branson, Missouri, 30 destinations in the US and literally 125 really, you know, tourism, you know, top tourist destinations around the world. Then we have a hotel savings card with savings vouchers or cash credits from 100, 200, 300 or $500 in hotel savings compared to the “Expedias” of the world.

00;07;40;25 – 00;08;11;23
Marco Torres

So it doesn’t give somebody a free room, but it takes from it works like a gift card, but it takes from ten to 50% off of the what would normally be the retail rate like Expedia or what have you. And then we have restaurant savings vouchers that are good in the US and Canada that provide that, you know, buy one get one 25% off the whole check 10% off of this is a hundred thousand different offers from restaurants and other businesses literally all over the U.S. and Canada so those are the three main sorts of incentives that we offer.

00;08;12;03 – 00;08;51;10
Marco Torres

And how do our business owners use marketing to use them? For example, I had one guy that made almost $500,000 in four days by he had started his business in January of 2021. It was a business, a subscription model to people to pay him $97 a month, all built on the new platform Telegram and he had his members pay him $97 a month to get access to his team that he added of an analytical guys that would come up with when to buy when to sell stocks when they sell, you know crypto when to buy crypto, all that stuff and people were making money on his tips or what have you and gladly paying him $97 a month.

00;08;51;18 – 00;09;07;10
Marco Torres

Well then he came in and offered a marketing boost incentive and saying look if you if you pay in advance for six months, if you become a bi annual member, I’ll give you four days and three nights in your choice of Las Vegas or Orlando. If you pay, if you join and pay for a year in advance become an annual member.

00;09;07;17 – 00;09;30;23
Marco Torres

And I forget what he called it, you know, platinum member or whatever, you become an annual member and we’ll pay and we’ll give you a complimentary trip of five nights. And your choice of Cancun or Hawaii. Well, he had hundreds of people step up and pay in advance. So now he had hundreds of people paying them, you know, over $1,000 for the annual membership or, you know, 700 for the- six to 700 for the for the for the bi monthly.

00;09;31;01 – 00;10;14;25
Marco Torres

And he generated literally almost $500,000 in four days. Now, that became part of his ongoing process. I’ve got a wedding photographer that we just had a conversation with the other day. It is he does wedding photography and videography for clients all over the country and he focuses on the sales and marketing but he has been discounting his price dramatically to compete with competitors and instead when he found Marketing Boost you know what I can I can include for example the Cancun Mexico trip as the honeymoon and now he can hold his price and still be a little bit cheaper than his competitors but you know he was getting about 2500 when his

00;10;14;25 – 00;10;53;07
Marco Torres

competitors get $5,000 for the video for the photography and the video and all of the parts of that that come with it you know all of the editing and so on so now when he includes the complimentary hotels day that’s worth another you know 1500 dollars retail value he’s getting nearly 4500 now and holding his price and it’s still cheaper than his competitors but making a huge amount more profit now because the complimentary trip with the way it works with marketing booths you can as a as a subscriber you can give away these things unlimited and you only pay a subscription model of as little as $37 a month.

00;10;53;07 – 00;11;14;24
Marco Torres

So it’s an amazing customer draw card that can be used in nearly every niche or industry. You don’t have to be in the travel business to use these. Your customer who receives the complimentary trips, sorry to keep on rambling in advance. I’m trying to get a lot of information in for your clients. Typically one of the first things that comes to mind or people is it sounds too good to be true, what’s the catch?

00;11;14;24 – 00;11;26;12
Anika

I was, I was just going to ask what is the catch? Does somebody have to listen to a marketing spiel when they get to the property, you know, what’s the thing that would keep somebody from doing this?

00;11;26;23 – 00;11;49;23
Marco Torres

Yeah, that’s the best question that the first question almost everybody has to I have to do one of those types of things. And the answer is absolutely not. There’s no timeshare present days or any other kind of sales previews required. There is no hoops to jump through it’s a, are- When we got in this business, we decided we wanted to totally revolutionize the industry because we are competitors.

00;11;49;23 – 00;12;12;02
Marco Torres

With that, we’re not the first to get involved to be in the travel incentive business. There’s plenty of been around for decades, but all of our competitors really the purpose, the design of these incentives are designed to almost impossible to use. They want you to give them, you know, 45 days of advance notice travel dates. They want you to give them select two dates, 90 days apart, all kinds of, you know, hoops to jump through.

00;12;12;09 – 00;12;38;13
Marco Torres

We make it easy. You’ve got in some destinations like Cancun right now, we offer as little as 14 days advance notice so they can log in after they activate the certificate, they can log into website, they search the dates, they want to travel. If the hotels are available, they can see which hotels they can select, the hotel they can book and get instant gratification, instant confirmation, no phone calls to make, no hoops to jump through, no waiting for an email back from the travel agent or whatever.

00;12;38;22 – 00;12;57;22
Marco Torres

It’s just like booking on Expedia, except that there is going to be limited- there’s, you know, we have a few hotels per destination that are participants in this program. There are some let’s see what else here. What I would, I would say. So again, we make it easy to use. The client doesn’t have to decide, doesn’t have to know when they want to travel.

00;12;57;22 – 00;13;22;06
Marco Torres

So they activated and they have 18 months to select travel dates. And of course airfare is not included, food and beverage is not included, and the government taxes are not included. The government is always going to have their hand out in every country around the world here. So yeah, so the we the activation fee that we have covers the VAT or taxes for that hotel room based on the retail price.

00;13;22;14 – 00;13;47;29
Marco Torres

So the activation fee is typically around $30-$35 per night. And then the client is, you know, paying their own way to the hotel and they’ve got the free rooms stay and, but they’re, you know, they are paying their own way there, and thier taxes. Now why does this work? I can tell you really quickly, the, the hotel industry we found out because we’ve been in the travel business, we have a huge travel site, one of the fastest growing in North America.

00;13;48;12 – 00;14;23;10
Marco Torres

And it’s called bookvip.com. And anyway, with that and those relationships, we found that those hotels are never full year round, even the best ones. They’re full in peak season. They’re full in special holidays weekend, but they have a lot of room available, you know, 70% of the year. So we we help them put warm bodies in those rooms and convince these hotels to participate with us where we put warm bodies in their rooms that are going to spend money at the restaurants, the bars, the know, the spa, the, you know, the gift shop, et cetera.

00;14;23;15 – 00;14;47;20
Marco Torres

And rather than having the room go empty, they still have the same fixed cost they’ve got mortgage paid. I got that’s that, you know, cleaning staff. So the only additional staff is the maid service because they’re going to have that expense regardless of room goes in. So some warm bodies in there, they generate some revenue versus zero. So it’s a win for the resort or a win for your client that gets the free trip and a win for the marketing booth member who’s has this program.

00;14;49;02 – 00;15;12;05
Anika

Wonderful. I think it’s I’ve seen I’ve seen this kind of thing be used for charities. You know, a lot because I’m involved in a lot of different philanthropy. I’ve never seen it used in business. And so I like the innovation that you’re bringing of this is an industry you’re already familiar with. You know what the challenges are with the hotels, with the restaurants, with people in the industry.

00;15;12;12 – 00;15;16;12
Anika

And chances are if somebody goes on one of these trips and they love it, they’re going to come back.

00;15;16;29 – 00;15;17;20
Marco Torres

Right.

00;15;17;24 – 00;15;36;21
Anika

We’re creatures of habit. We like to have you know, I think like I have Friday night dates with my partner and we have like four restaurants that we like to go to our order from or, you know, thinking of that or like people like to go back to places that they enjoy going to or that they’ve had a great experience and so you’re helping create that, too.

00;15;37;22 – 00;16;16;10
Marco Torres

Yeah, absolutely. And that’s one of the reasons the hotels want to participate. They know people will come back and stay at the hotel in the future. Painful price, or they’ll book extra nights and so on. But, you know, speaking of charities, that’s another one of the big ways we teach a lot of our members to use our product, which is to lead by giving, and they can be supporting local charities and local fundraising opportunities of any kind from the from the football, you know, local high school football, you know, equipment, fundraising, to you name it, so they can step up and be building their personal brand or their or their business and saying, look,

00;16;16;10 – 00;16;34;21
Marco Torres

my company’s going to sponsor this fundraising. We’re going to provide you with you know, we’re going to give away five trips. And so we’re going to do this with an auction and we’re going to, you know, auction off the trips or we’re going to do a blind auction or whatever, or everybody who donates a minimum of $100 will get one of these trips, for example.

00;16;35;02 – 00;16;50;02
Marco Torres

And so now they get they may be in front of a captive audience the day of the event. And they can tell everybody, look, this is what I do. I’m an expert in real estate, this, that and the other and my firm is sponsoring these trips. So if any of you, you know, please bid on the trips, you’re going to have a wonderful time, et cetera.

00;16;50;02 – 00;17;17;06
Marco Torres

This is how they work. You’re going to be responsible for the taxes. But you know, other than that, you say you’re supporting a good cause and you’re going to be off on a good, great trip. By the way, if you need a real estate expert, if you need to do that, don’t forget me. And so they’re so they’re finding ways to use our incentives in a different way by by giving first versus versus, you know, and then they’re seen as the expert in their community and they get leads out of ’em.

00;17;17;28 – 00;17;27;18
Anika

Wonderful. So what has been the most surprising thing that you found in your journey of being an entrepreneur, having all of these different kinds of businesses and then where you are now?

00;17;28;08 – 00;17;49;21
Marco Torres

The surprising thing in my journey is well, I guess it’s been that I never knew I would enjoy. So my when I was in the restaurant business, when I was in the restaurant business, I got burnt out on people after half of, you know, I don’t remember how many years I was in that business, but I started to, like, dislike people.

00;17;49;22 – 00;17;49;29
Marco Torres

And I-

00;17;50;07 – 00;17;51;16
Anika

Oh.

00;17;52;13 – 00;18;16;00
Marco Torres

It’s like I don’t want to have anything to do with people anymore. But you know, this new business has turned reinvigorated that passion where I now, you know, I have a Facebook group with almost 28,000 members in it. I’m on, you know, events and zoom calls and live events. And I really enjoy the passion of helping entrepreneurs now succeed and help them with ideas.

00;18;16;00 – 00;18;36;14
Marco Torres

A lot of people call me the idea man. So I love to come up with ideas to help an entrepreneur think of new ways, new campaigns, how they can, you know, grow their business and then reap the rewards of success. You know, like Zig Ziglar used to say way back when, you know, you help enough other people and get what they want in life and you’ll get what you want automatically.

00;18;36;23 – 00;18;37;05
Marco Torres

So.

00;18;38;06 – 00;18;56;02
Anika

Yeah, that’s been a recurring theme on the podcast, too. I’ve had a few people come in and talk about giving and making sure you’re a giver, not just a taker, and that when you do help people, it just comes back so much more to every part of your life, including your business. So that’s those are some wise words.

00;18;56;25 – 00;19;08;22
Anika

Well, what is next for Marketing Boost and for you as an entrepreneur? Do you have other projects that you’re going to start working on as far you’re adding more things to marketing, boosting other areas that your clients need support?

00;19;09;03 – 00;19;50;12
Marco Torres

Great question, and absolutely. You know, for, for the last few years, yeah, we really focus on just the incentives, which is a tool that any entrepreneur can use. But what we ended up doing is now is we’re providing what we call marketing boost solutions, and we’re providing a full CRM platform, a complete all in one place, a place where you can you can manage your business from email marketing, text messaging, voicemail broadcasting, workflows, appointment to calendars, appointment setting, funnel builders, getting tongue tied here.

00;19;50;22 – 00;20;26;21
Marco Torres

So the whole Funnel Builder platform, everything and all of it’s integrated with the marketing boost incentives so that the incentives can be automated. So essentially it’s a system of automation we call the automationbooster.com and it takes your business and scales it to the next level. So everything can be automated, including your appointment, setting your calendars, your workflows, your email marketing, text messaging and the marketing boost incentives going out based on your call to action automatically and in addition to some other softwares to help business owners, you know, automate and drive versus just kind of stumble along.

00;20;27;01 – 00;20;56;04
Anika

Yeah, I think that’s fantastic because it is hard to know, OK, which, you know, which service do I want to use for automatic replies on my Instagram or my Facebook versus who do I use for text messaging clients and all of those things. And there are so many solutions. It’s harder through the noise and it I think it’s, you know, convenience, having a one stop shop where you can put everything in and you can see it all in one place and know exactly what’s performing, what’s not performing or what to change.

00;20;56;10 – 00;21;01;13
Anika

OK, the messaging is doing really well for this segment. Maybe I need to move it over to user for this segment too.

00;21;01;25 – 00;21;23;08
Marco Torres

Yeah, no. And in some ways it’s so frustrating because the the different platforms, they don’t communicate with each other, right? You’re emailing, you’re logging in constant contact or something. The email over here, you’re logging into simple texting over here to text message. Somebody opts out of their text message, but then they didn’t know they didn’t want to have you, you know, but now you’re still emailing them.

00;21;23;08 – 00;21;40;08
Marco Torres

So they complain, you know, so if it’s all in one place, it’s the way it should be where it’s all in the same platform. And then you log in to one place and you see you communicate with your people that were however they would prefer to be communicated with, whether it’s text, email, phone calls, the whole platform.

00;21;40;08 – 00;21;43;29
Marco Torres

It does it all. It’s amazing. So that’s also another thing we do.

00;21;44;11 – 00;21;58;01
Anika

Wonderful. Great, well can anybody join your Facebook group? Do you have to be a like a registered subscriber or can people join kind of get to know everybody else and then join?

00;21;58;02 – 00;22;21;07
Marco Torres

Absolutely. It’s free to join the Facebook group. Just go to Facebook and search for marketing boost the entrepreneur sales and marketing support group and that that’s free to join. And yeah, that’s one way to come in and get and get an idea of what the community is about, where we literally the business owners are there to help each other with ideas on and critique each other’s campaigns and stuff like that.

00;22;21;15 – 00;22;56;29
Marco Torres

Joining marketing boost, by the way, we went about middle of last year, we decided to go global and one of the things we did was lower our price. We were at 187 a month to have access to marketing boost and currently we went to $37 a month, which was the price we started at in 2017. So it’s only $37 a month and that we wanted to do that to make it easily or no brainer affordable price for any small entrepreneur or solopreneur anywhere in the world, whether they be in India Pakistan, Philippines, Australia or the US.

00;22;57;12 – 00;23;19;29
Marco Torres

We made it, you know, one price. So instead of being like the pharmaceuticals that charge more Americans and less to the Indians, yeah, we made it one low price for everybody and, and that’s helped us just literally start growing around with clients around the world. So it’s easy to join and very affordable. And the first thing you ought to do, if you do want to give it a shot, is give yourself a complimentary trip.

00;23;19;29 – 00;23;40;05
Marco Torres

And I’d recommend Cancun because the offers we have every day, the resort we have right there now, our is a three is a three diamond. I mean, it’s already triple A, 4 diamond resort in Cancun on the beach. 15 restaurants and bars, those gorgeous resorts. And it’s incredible for the for the value.

00;23;40;10 – 00;23;57;04
Anika

So yeah, no, that’s a good point. Try it yourself because then you can talk about it even more excitedly. And, you know, and with that expertize of having done it yourself when you are giving it to your clients. Well, anything else you want to share with our audience today before we sign off.

00;23;57;14 – 00;23;59;28
Marco Torres

I could give you an offer for your clients if I could do that.

00;23;59;29 – 00;24;00;28
Anika

Absolutely!

00;24;01;10 – 00;24;23;03
Marco Torres

So we’ve got a special offer for your clients here. If you’ll go to marketingboost.com/podcast. OK, you can get 30 days of marketing boost for only $1. Wow. I’ll give it a shot. Try it for a month for a dollar and give yourself the first complimentary trip and you got yourself a deal.

00;24;23;14 – 00;24;42;08
Anika

Nice. Yeah. And then, you know, I will also put that in the show notes so that everybody can find the Facebook group. Your different websites and the special offer very easily. And now I always ask one last question. Do you have a favorite quote?

00;24;42;18 – 00;25;01;20
Marco Torres

It my and I kind of just said it, but I missed the first part of it earlier. But the Zig Ziglar, in other words, the whole and I forgot exactly how his quote goes with the theme essentially is, again, to help other people get exactly what they want. And you’ll get what you want. Yeah. And yeah. So stay thirsty, my friends.

00;25;01;28 – 00;25;21;16
Anika

Yes. 100%. Marco, thank you so much for your time today. It was great learning about this other way. I mean, I’ve literally have only thought of doing this kind of stuff for nonprofit stuff, for fundraising. And so I love that you’re changing it and make it saying, Yeah, you can do it for that. But you can also really help your business.

00;25;21;25 – 00;25;22;09
Marco Torres

Absolutely.

00;25;22;09 – 00;25;25;17
Anika

Yeah. Yeah. Any final words? Anything else you want to share today?

00;25;26;05 – 00;25;28;08
Marco Torres

Oh, I think I’m good.

00;25;28;08 – 00;25;46;19
Anika

All right. Well, thank you so much to our audience for listening to another episode of Your Brand Amplified. I’m Anika Jackson here with Marco Torres from Marketing Boost. And I’ll be back next week. Want more? check out AmplifywithAnika.com or follow me on socials @AmplifywithAnika.

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