What does Joan Rivers have to do with it? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Early on, she recognized, as have other business leaders, the wisdom of Lauri Levy’s strategically targeted marketing strategies.
“Seriously, I have been talking with people about you and they said you were the first person to buy my show and you didn’t wait to see what other people thought. I’m really grateful to you. It’s a tough business and very few people say, ‘yeah, I believe,’” said Rivers.
Lauri Levy, a marketing consultant with decades of experience, cofounded a successful ad agency in Portland, Oregon. Her bold straightforward, how-to marketing advice comes from leading the way for some of the country’s biggest businesses.
She started her company with no formal education, no money and no ad agency experience, but the business was successful from the start. She has worked with all forms of media from print and broadcast to outdoor and direct mail advertising.
“Marketing is more of an art than a science,” she said. Her success comes from being part philosopher, part strategist combined with a unique Ph.D.
“I tell people my P.H.D stands for Passion, Hunger and Drive,” she said. “A sense of humor goes a long way too.”
Marketing during a pandemic
If you’re taking a hard look at how your business is doing during the pandemic, Levy says consider this. “My No. 1 strategy for reaching customers is empathy. It’s not enough to understand who your customers are, you need to show them you empathize with them—that’s especially true during a pandemic.”
For example, she notes recent ads from the University of Phoenix resonate with empathy for today’s challenging times. The university was offering up to $1 million in competitive scholarships so more students would be able to access degrees.
Levy helps companies and organizations find their voice through innovative sales, branding and media strategies via her business Quantum Leap. She has the well-earned reputation for out-of-the-box thinking and business acumen. In Free Advice she shares numerous lessons learned.
Readers and those who have benefitted from working with her one-on-one often find they learn what might have taken years to learn in the workplace through her capstone projects that tackle real world marketing issues.
“Lauri is a team player and a leader, that’s hard to find in one person. For her, ‘no’ is the beginning of a conversation and as her client, she always out-performed our expectations,” remarked Berna Kieler, Creative Director, Impo International.
“In order to reach your business goals, you need to have good instincts, common sense, and focus your attention on the right targets,” she said. “That means you can’t be everything to everyone.”
Being successful starts with a hard look at these questions. Who is your target audience? What are they thinking? Has your audience shifted during the pandemic?
In Free Advice, Levy discusses real-world examples of marketing strategies and what it takes to have the ‘right stuff’ to succeed in any business.
As the famous adage goes, “If you are given the opportunity, be the change you wish to see in the world.” That could describe the approach Levy has taken in helping countless businesses survive and thrive. Imagination and innovation are hallmarks of her ability to create new opportunities for business where inherent problems may have held a company back.
Getting results with less
Levy points out networking and knowledge can pay off.
“Getting results in less than opportune times reminds me of when I had to promote a newly acquired art college by a national school chain that had little to no awareness in the market,” Levy said. “There was very little budget, no sign on the old building that the company was stuck with due to the lease, inadequate parking, and little to no street traffic.”
Her long-standing media relationships made a difference.
“I developed and executed a campaign to reach several target markets: regional high school counselors, prospective students, and their parents,” Levy recalled. “I created events in partnership with the Comedy Central network, Clear Channel outdoor, and the local ABC TV affiliate. The TV and outdoor campaign were gratis because all proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the state’s Art Educators Fund. The contribution from these two events was larger than this organization’s annual budget.”
At the end of the day, she says, “If you’re in business, ask yourself, what is your differentiator, what is your mission. Business is all about coming up with solutions for problems and getting results. My specialty always has been how to achieve results effectively and not rely on spending a tremendous amount of money.”
While there is no guarantee that everything you do in business is going to be successful, Levy says that when you have empathy for others, compassion will go a long way.