Robert Fukui, President and CEO of High Point Marketing, talks about how his years of experience in sales and marketing led him to start his own marketing consulting business.
What are the primary service(s) or product(s) that your business provides?
My company offers marketing consulting that provides strategies to increase profits by focusing on a internal improvements first before a company spends a dime on advertising and promotion. I also have a second arm to the business that provides full service printing support for print marketing collateral and books for self-publishers.
Who’s your perfect customer? Do you work with other business (B2B), or consumers (B2C), or both?
The work we do is B2B. Retailers and other product-based businesses are perfect for me to leverage my 21 years of marketing experience with Coca-Cola and other consumer based products.
When did you start your company? Share a little about your professional history leading up to starting your company.
I started my business four years ago after helping a friend with his start-up. I received my bachelors degree in marketing in 1993, and landed my first marketing/sales job with Coca-Cola. I was involved with the successful launch of Powerade and worked the World Cup when it was in the U.S. in 1994. After a few years with Coca-Cola, I ventured into the pharmaceutical industry, where I continued my marketing/sales career, successfully launching several drugs into the market. I served as a sales trainer and supported the marketing department on a variety of projects and focus groups.
After my experience helping my friend with some marketing for his start-up business, I realized that I could bring a lot of value to businesses of all sizes in the area of marketing. I soon found that the marketing principles and practices that I took for granted in the corporate world were being missed by many small and medium sized businesses. Since I also loved teaching and training, consulting seemed to be a natural fit.
What are one or two things that you’ve learned the hard way?
The first thing I’ve learned is to listen to my wife. Even though she may not understand some of the complexities of business and what I do, she does have a sense about her that I’ve found I need to listen to. When I haven’t, things haven’t gone well. The second thing I’ve learned goes along with the first: marketing is part art and part science. Since I’m very analytical, I always have to remind myself to listen to that voice inside my head and give any marketing plan I create the “feel” test. In other words, does it feel right? There have been times when a plan looks good on paper but something didn’t feel right. Most of the time I found that I should have listened to that “feeling.”
What is one thing that most people don’t know about your business or industry that you wish they did?
Marketing is not as tough as people make it out to be, but most don’t want to take the time to learn and implement some fundamentals. Marketing is mostly just common sense. If the business owners would put themselves in their customers’ shoes, they would learn a lot. They should ask themselves questions like: How do I best respond to any type of promotion? How would I want to be followed up on (customer service)? Do I like to get a bunch of eblasts in my inbox? If so, what would make me actually open an eblast? Would I respond to an ad on Facebook? What type of Facebook posts do I click on? What type of sales pitch gets my attention? Before you embark on any type of marketing campaign, you need to be honest with yourself and see if you would respond to the campaign that you’re going to throw at your customers.
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