DMM is a fresh, forward-thinking marketing company. Check out my interview with owner, Diana Martinez, as she shares her journey to success, and provides marketing tips.
1. What does DMM do, exactly, that sets it apart from its competitors?
Well for starters, Iʼm not a marketing major but an Anthropology & Archaeology major, so right out of the box my perspective is already different to a trained marketer: as an anthropologist, my expertise lies in culture and people. Now, most people think of culture and imagine the arts, or history or traveling, all of which is fine but culture is also a set of belief and customs belonging to a specific group of people, such a nation, city, or workplace. Even families have their own idyosincratic culture where there are things you do as a family that are only specific to you all, right? Similarly, any company, any workplace has its own culture and so part of my job is to take that culture and translate it for the people. The strategy we utilize for marketing your brand and business is closely tied with your specific culture and shared with your desired audience in a way that is easily understood and viewed positively. Another thing that we like to do is, I donʼt like to have a set price but instead I like to craft my fees according to the clientʼs specific needs, so this gives me the freedom to work with companies that have a great service or product to sell but no marketing budget to get it off the ground. Being fully bilingual also means I can easily reach the Spanish market for my clients.
2. Do you only do medical marketing?
Although I started out doing mostly medical marketing, I do not want to limit my options to healthcare marketing. I am quite open to taking on clients from different fields and industries. We not only do healthcare marketing but also social media marketing, business branding, brand management & representation are some of the other services we can combine to offer a more “wholistic” experience for our clients. Not everyone has to enter into a contract, I am certainly open to working on custom projects as well.
3. What is the most frustrating thing about your job?
Honestly? A client who tries to control too much simply defeats the purpose of hiring me and it becomes frustrating to deal with that. I think at times it can be hard to differentiate between an employee and a consultant and the lines can get blurred. For example, your employees are expected to work a certain schedule, complete specific tasks and be under constant supervision from a member of management to whom they answer whereas a consultant is a person who has the ability and the freedom to do the work on their own terms, so long as the result matches what the client expects. Actually trying to control too much of how the work is done blurs the lines between consultant (typically a 1099) and an employee (w-2) which can have repercussions for both parties with the IRS, for example. Now, if you bring me on so I can use my creativity to figure out how to sell your brand, how to package it and sell it to the consumer, but you insist on me doing things your way, itʼs simply not going to work out. We are all adults, youʼve got to respect my creative skills, and my ability to manage my time effectively. Another thing that is hard is having to tell a client that their current efforts are lacking – surely no one likes to hear that, but if my job is to get your brand known and recognized, or to increase your referral base, or whatever your goal is, then I have to tell you what works and what doesnʼt. Finally, donʼt nitpick my time – being told “this task should have only taken 10 minutes”, etc. is quite unrealistic and having to shorten the time it takes for me to do my job properly to save a few bucks can be more trouble than itʼs worth. I think being upfront and clear with communication is important to avoid these situations from taking place.
4. What is the one word of advice youʼd give people who are a business owner looking to increase marketing?
Social media is probably the biggest tool you can use to market a product or service. The reach and the ability for things to go viral in todayʼs world means that social media is a hugely underutilized marketing tool and having the ability to understand the people using this social media platform is key. We are experts at helping you build & maintain your social media presence! We do more than just post articles, we study your demographics in depth to understand who your audience is, what they like, what they donʼt like, and we utilize that information to craft a marketing strategy that captures their attention while remaining true to your brand.
5. What do people not realize about marketing?
Thereʼs so much more to marketing than posting an article, or delivering gifts and holiday cards. Also, not all marketers do sales; at least I donʼt. When youʼre thinking in terms of creative strategy, that takes a lot of brainstorming, a lot of trying and discarding methods until something works, then trying to build around that concept. Itʼs fun! I feel like the skyʼs the limit when it comes to our creativity and the marketing skills we have to offer.
6. What made you go into marketing?
Well honestly to do anything major in archaeology youʼve got to have at least a masterʼs or PhD and so while I have participated in archaeological digs in Houston, itʼs gonna be a while before Iʼm in charge of directing anything so marketing is another area that has my interest. A friend needed help with marketing their familyʼs business and she said to me, “you know, you have that personality, so maybe give it a try?” And I agreed to take it on and here we are. I think that although Iʼm by nature a more reserved and introspective person, at the same time I can be quite the extrovert when the need arises. I have a background in modeling, acting, and beauty pageantry from my younger years so I am pretty good at just going up to people and talking to them and selling an image, product or service, at being the face of a brand or business when networking or in public events, etc. I do enjoy it, but at the end of the day I am quite happy to have some quiet time with my dogs in my garden.
7. Why should a company invest in marketing?
Is it necessary? I have to say marketing is absolutely necessary now. Why? Because if you donʼt fill a niche, someone else will and we live in the age of information so most businesses out there, big and small, all have some kind of presence online. I find that at times, depending on the product/service, a full website may not be as necessary as your social media presence. And the reason for this is that the reach is higher on social media (due peopleʼs ability to share and forward information) and because you have the ability to create and maintain a rapport with your audience, which you donʼt really have on your website. This is why itʼs so important to strike the right tone when posting or commenting on social media. You must be engaging, respectful, amusing but also knowledgeable and professional, especially when handling negative reviews and unhappy customers. You also must be consistent and dynamic but not bothersome. It takes some skill to strike the right balance, but thatʼs part of the fun!