Podcast

Strategies on How to Grow Your CBD Brand with Marco Hernandez

Marco Hernandez is the chief marketing officer of Kaizen Social, a marketing agency focused on growing e-commerce brands and the founder of Hoopla, a fast-growing premium brand CBD brand.

He’s been hearing about CBD for years and when opportunity knocked he thought he could use all this knowledge that he learned from other brands to innovate.

In this episode, Marco shares his inspiration behind Hoopla. How he is utilizing his skills and experience in pushing this industry forward. Some really effective strategies on how to grow your business and some inspirational messages from his mentor, Tony Robbins. 


My goal in life is to acquire freedom so I can enjoy the planet that we live in. – Marco Hernandez


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

3:06 – Marco’s background and transition to CBD
13:29 – Some key considerations for building a successful brand
16:22 – Investing time and money into getting your product
22:24 – Specific marketplaces that Hoopla is targeting right now
30:12 – Some marketing tips to earn consumers who are hesitant to spend much on quality products
42:05 – The bottlenecks in their business that’s making them hit a glass ceiling

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Marco Hernandez

Connect with Sonia Gomez

Transcript

Sonia Gomez: What’s up, everybody? Welcome back to The Hemp Revolution Podcast. I’m your host, Sonia Gomes, coming all the way from Denver, Colorado. And yet again, I am blowing your minds with another badass guest who is going to be talking about a little bit of a different facet of the industry that he is serving. Now here at The Hemp Revolution, we are all about telling the stories of the people who are pushing and pioneering this industry so that folks just like yourself know exactly how you can navigate your way through the treacherous landscape of starting or scaling your very own CBD or cannabis brand but also for those of you who are consumers, making sure that you know the story of the people who have the passion and are creating the products or at least making sure that you know which products are available on the marketplace and can actually deliver the results that are promised on the label.

So, our guest today Mr. Marco Hernandez is the CMO of Kaizen Social, a marketing agency focused on growing e-commerce brands and the founder of Hoopla, a fast-growing premium a CBD brand. Without further ado get help me give a Hemp Revolution welcome to our guest, Marco What’s going on, Mr. Hernandez?

Marco Hernandez: Hey, Sonia, thank you. Thank you for inviting me and having me on your podcast your show and especially for the trust of being in front of your audience. Hello, everybody, you’re probably going to watch the replay of this. So enjoy the show today.

Sonia Gomez: For those of you guys who are tuning in with us, make sure that you check out the different links that will be posting around this blog to follow along with anything that’s going on with Kaizen marketing or Hoopla CBD. All of the links will be posted here below and for the meantime, just sit back and enjoy the show. Marco, marketing for CBD probably one of the biggest bitches of our industry. Are you specifically focused in the marketing space for CBD? Or do you diversify across multiple industries?

Marco Hernandez: And you know it’s actually very funny because I have never worked on the marketing for CBD except for myself my own brand.

Sonia Gomez: Okay, cool. You’re cutting your teeth on your own stuff. I like it. Thank you.

Marco’s Background and Transition to CBD

Marco Hernandez: I got a call the other day from somebody that said, Hey, can you help me grow your brand? I’m like, no, I’d rather grow my brand first. And [inaudible]

So it’s an interesting animal to talk about definitely. No, my background comes from e-commerce from just traditional brands from the fashion space, skincare supplement industry. So more on that aspect, I try to work with a lot of brands that focus on improving the better of the human being. I always like to help those entrepreneurs that have a product that it’s going to do some good to somebody some point rather than just pushing any useless product out there in the market.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah changemakers.

Marco Hernandez: Exactly, exactly. It just aligns with my personality overall. So.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I love that. Where do you live right now? Where are you from? And how did you get into the whole marketing e-commerce, boom?

Marco Hernandez: That’s a great story because right now I’m based in Dallas. I say I’m stuck in Dallas for now. It’s not permanent, definitely. So I was born in Mexico more than a race down there. I moved to Dallas in 2011. I had my corporate job I was doing very very good for technology sales. So I’ve always been in the business development sales side of the world but just for technology, even back then I developed some very cool stuff that we can talk about it but telemetry for measuring with sensors how to irrigate correctly the soil and that even back then I said, I can make a lot of money probably selling this technology to wineries and hemp and marijuana, you know, like measuring and yeah doing all this stuff. It’s still in the pipeline. Nobody has built it.

Probably somebody listening to this is saying, Yeah, I thought about it. That career burned me. It really burned me down. And I built a couple of businesses kind of early, age 34. I’m 38 right now and decided to live a lot of passive income. I did investments, I was travelling around the world living the dream, you know, the typical Instagram photograph where people are like, Okay, what is this guy doing? He’s making money and he’s travelling around the world. For those that are enjoying that it’s not always permanent. So you always have to have a backup plan.

Things can go south in life and that’s what happened to me especially really, really aggressively at the beginning of last year. But one of my mentors Tony Robbins, but one of the things he says is you can lack resources, but you can never lack resourcefulness. So what ended up happening is I put together all those pieces about how to integrate your understanding of how to do sales how to do marketing into maybe a corporate world and translate it more into a business to consumer.

And that took me to the agency space back then. And that took me to meeting interesting people like one of my mentors Scott hollow, which took me to another level, which took me to knowing more marketers, which landed me into the CBD space. So I like to say things Steve Jobs mentioned one time, he says, You don’t know what’s coming until you look back and connect the dots. Why are things have happened in your life? just acknowledge that you’re there for a reason. And you just going to take it as it is. And you’re there too, because of something greater that you can’t understand until maybe 10 years later down the road.

So when CBD falls below my lap, this opportunity was completely– for years I’ve been hearing about it especially and falling in the THC space. When this came, I said you know what, I’ve made a lot of money to different companies. I think this is something that I can innovate in and take all this knowledge from other brands that I’ve tapped into. I’ve experimented, help grow, and do it for myself and recover that time freedom. So every time that I talk to an entrepreneur, I always tell this my goal in life is to acquire freedom so I can enjoy the planet that we live in.

We’re too bound to nine to fives and like money, money, money, money, but it’s all about the quality of the life. So, if I can be less stress, if I can eat better, if I can help people with that through my businesses, I will always do it. So

Sonia Gomez: I love it. Tell me about Hoopla the CBD wellness brand. Excited to hear, I’m excited to– first of all, what part of Mexico are you from?

Marco Hernandez: Mexico City?

Sonia Gomez: Okay, nice. I have some good friends from Mexico City. My father’s from Argentina. So immediately I resonate with the Latin lifestyle. And we are nomadic people by the way like we are not– my father always says that one husband for an Argentinian woman is not enough because she’ll eat you up and spit you out. And he’s like, every 20 years you need a new husband, Sonia.

Marco Hernandez: It’s all right nothing wrong with that.

Sonia Gomez: Nothing wrong with that. Anyways, just a little love for our people down there.

Marco Hernandez: And true By the way. It’s a beautiful place.

Sonia Gomez: Oh, yeah, I mean, the food, the women, the dancing, forget about it. Politics are bullshit though. So the soccer team though it was really good. So tell me about Hoopla. How did you get started into Hoopla? What is your guys’ area of expertise? Tell me all about it.

Marco Hernandez: So, Hoopla, it’s funny because the actual name, I don’t know if people know this, but the word Hoopla does exist. It’s actually a word in the English language. But so when I created the brand, I really wanted to start with concepts so basic as having a catchy name. And we’ll talk a little bit about the product and, but it all starts with the impression that people have about a product and the visual aspects. Just like when you go out dating, you can meet an extraordinary person once you dig in but we’re always captivated by the first initial senses, auditory, visual, kinesthetic.

Just like when you go out dating, you can meet an extraordinary person once you dig in but we're always captivated by the first initial senses, auditory, visual, kinesthetic. - Marco Hernandez Click To Tweet

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, certain aspects of our brand, which leave a lasting impression.

Marco Hernandez: Exactly. So I wanted to first of all start the brand like that and to make it really cool. I think there’s a lot of unknown and a lot of stigmas behind, still behind CBD. those that are consumers like us. We’re okay like, we don’t mind. The consumer behind it doesn’t understand fully what it is. So there’s a lot of evangelization process that needs to happen. And we’ve been slowly by little getting towards that aspect where we say, hey, it’s cool, it’s safe, there’s no problem. And that’s one of the things that within our product, we’re really, really, really strict about that.

And I’ve done THC, I’m okay, smoking, I don’t care. But there’s a lot of consumer market that it’s not comfortable. One because they don’t like it, two, because they really can’t, because their jobs are checking constantly. So we wanted to have a product that sits in the middle, where people can take it safely. They don’t have to worry about testing THC positive, but we’re not on the isolette spectrum. So we developed a broad spectrum product so that way, it’s easier for us to evangelize saying, hey, you’re cool. Don’t worry about this. But we have a rich product that will have terpenes and it’s just rich in other things besides just CBD.

Sonia Gomez: Love that. Love. So tell me a little bit about– from the marketing– I absolutely love the perspectives that you’re offering on my key considerations when you’re starting your brand. How do you approach the beginning, middle and end of building the brand? So talk to me a little bit like, let’s say that you are catering to the folks who are budding entrepreneurs or already have an established brand, and perhaps they’ve had a glass ceiling?

What are some key pieces of advice that you could offer them around the Getting Started? And like, what do you do to build, you know, to what are some key considerations for building a successful brand?

Some Key Considerations for Building a Successful Brand

Marco Hernandez: Absolutely, I’d say, first of all, don’t fall into the hype of anything. Even though it’s a very lucrative domain, it’s a lot and there’s a lot of brands popping every day because the accessibility of the business it’s to almost anybody can launch their own brands. I’ve been approached by a lot of companies say hey, can you private label me? Why would you even start up– Like you understand the concept about building a brand? Do you have identity? What’s your goal, your vision mission? They don’t have, they just say, Oh, I just want to do CBD and make money.

So I think you have to have to clear your values of why you want to enter into this space. And not only one to two-year vision, but a 5-year 10-year plan. I think like anything, it’s going to hit an inflection point, maybe next year, and maybe a year and a half, where a lot of brands will go away because regulation might come in structure. So you could have foreseen that, that this is not going to be a quick book, you might make a lot of money real quick. But you have to be very natural in their long term gain here.

You got to be able to plan accordingly so that you can fulfill that supply chain that you have behind it. Make your consumers happy so they can come over and over and over. You’ve talked hundreds of brands and thousands of consumers and you know that a lot of them have tried products and they are Yeah, I tried it didn’t really make anything to me and they drop it. If you’re serious about building a brand you have to do your due diligence where you’re getting the source from, what level of quality, what testing. And second, if you can scale that production.

It’s easy to have somebody make you 3, 10, 20 or 100 bottles but if you’re talking about selling 10,000 bottles of a month, the story is going to change. It’s going to be a real real problem. That’s business, not a hobby. So identifying something that you want to do maybe on the side, or really you’re going to take serious and drive down that path. I’d say that’s my initial thoughts.

Sonia Gomez: For you when you were for wait for you when you were starting out your business I think a lot of people are surprised to find out because there are so many brands popping up I think that there’s a misrepresentation in the marketplace right now to really understand like, how capital intensive it is to build your brand, have that brand you know, I uniqueness, the unique selling proposition for your brand, but then also like, I don’t think people are considering inventory, marketing, branding, all of these different things that you have to invest in.

And it’s a little bit of a misrepresentation because there are so many brands popping up right now you’re like, you can get in for a business in a box 10 grand, and we’re all good, when in fact, it really takes quite a bit more. Talk to me a little bit about how capital and time like, what’s the time and what’s the money investment into getting your product off the ground?

Investing Time and Money into Getting Your Product

Marco Hernandez: Actually, you touched a very important topic. I’ll talk a couple of aspects including something that happened in April. So I was very fortunate to have the right people and the right connections to get into the space the right way. Like any business, you have to put a lot of capital upfront, I believe that the manufacturing space became a little bit. I don’t want to say wrigged, but at least they understood the way of making money you have to change.

So before you need to be always a manufacturer You have to put millions of dollars in infrastructure to produce products. And the best example of this is supplement industry. Everybody was their own manufacturing, then manufacturers realized that it was easier if they could sell to the end consumers the idea that they could manufacture through them and private label and create their own brands. And now you see thousands of different protein products actually, they’re made by the same manufacturers. It just boils down to marketing, whose marketing better their product because they’re all the same formulations.

People are not creating innovation. It’s just which one has the pretty label and which one doesn’t and who’s willing to drop their margins and sell cheaper and that’s about it so there’s no fun in that. And what happened a lot with CBD was very similar trend, like from people that were growing and making their products to selling. Then big companies started actually private labeling to a lot of people. So a lot of brands are right from the same sources. That’s why you see the same flavors over and over and over in the market.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah.

Marco Hernandez: They chase the same. So there’s no innovation there. What we did was a different approach. So we had to establish the relationships in the back end with the farms, all our hemp has grown in Colorado. So we had to establish that. But what we did different was Connect the dots and create that supply chain on our own. So we have strategic partnerships in each part of the phase. So that allows us to manufacture products in a different way.

So we did go down the road of trying to private label that helps us grow volumes. But at some point you want to cut back and you and say, well, the big moneymaker is us as a brand, hitting the consumers and actually getting the source so it’s a two ends the middle part, you can make a lot of money but that doesn’t ensure that the companies that you’re selling the products to make the money so I in my deep core, I think that’s misleading in a lot of industries, but it works for them. We try to do it in a different way. So we’re now doing our own brands. And that’s it.

Sonia Gomez: I love that. I love that I love hearing the growth because I think it’s like a 16-year-old boy who gets in bed with a naked girl. They’re like, what am I touching first, right? Like, we got with, there’s everything here. It’s like a buffet of excellence. But what happens in the CBD space or in a lot of spaces is people want to be everything to everyone and they forget the value.

And this age old teaching amongst the entrepreneurial circles that I think we’re both a part of the riches are in the niches. And this is like, this is something that the CBD space, I believe, has skipped right over. And because everyone’s so anxious to just get to the goodies, right? And then it’s over in seconds and they either lost their ass or now they’re over-leveraged and have to bring on outside investors and they’re giving away key parts of their company and there’s all different kinds of growing pains there.

So what I love about what you’re saying is that you too started to go through this sort of windy road of CBD entrepreneurship and wanting to take advantage of opportunity to generate cash flow, but when you really stepped back from the picture, right, like, if you were to step back, if you were painting the Mona Lisa, and you’re stepping back to see does this really look the way that I want it to look before going back in and finishing out the detail?

It’s hard when you’re this close to the business to step back and take perspective and make the necessary adjustments because of what you could be risking, in the short term. To have that long term vision of like, is this really what I want to be doing? Do I really want to be another white label brand? Or do I really want to be another white-label manufacturer and put my time and attention and resources towards building that aspect of my business?

Or do we really want to focus on direct to consumer business model and create a marketplace that has a trusted brand and a trusted resource for the consumer? Those are two different business models. It’s not under one umbrella. You know. And I think that’s a common mistake for new entrepreneurs approaching, especially in this space, they’re seeing this as a get rich, quick opportunity.

They’re very much treating it like that. And they’re on the hustle and on the grind, trying to generate cash flow rather than really getting committed to the brand of values and creating those strategic alliances, those partnerships. There’s a lot of ways to do this. By the way, there’s no wrong answer. But what you do from start, from phase one to phase two, phase two to phase three, putting things into sequence is so important. And understanding how much time to spend on each one of these steps is so important because that’s how you avoid expensive pitfalls.

I can’t tell you how many companies I come across who are like Well, I’m going to develop this line and I have this line over here and then we’re starting our pet thing and I’m like, cool, which one is your bread and Butter making you, while we’re going to bring on an investor so that we can do all of these other things. And I’m like, guys, I’ll see you on the second bottom. Yeah, when I go there to pick up your, buy your company for pennies on the dollar, so let me know how that goes.

Talk to me a little bit about the demographics that you want to serve with hoopla now that you know that you’re committed to creating consumer, you know, direct to consumer brands, what are some of the specific marketplaces that you’re going to work to target right now.

Specific Marketplaces That Hoopla Is Targeting Right Now

Marco Hernandez: So first of all, what we have is a premium product. So we’re not going into the competition in the low cost a milligramme per– dollar per milligramme competition that a lot of big brands go into. I mean, we’d like to protect that just there are a few of their like, not only there are a few out there that may be hovering the 8.6 milligrammes, nine cents per milligramme range. We want to keep that around that level.

So that comes a pressure point on which audience we want to reach. Definitely, I think that and I’ll attack into angles, So we phased out a lot of products that were in the 300 500. milligrammes, I personally don’t think that those type of products are effective for the general audience, I think we need harder and stronger strengths. And the reason is my background in biohacking and nutrition.

Just like you have certain protein intake and certain calorie intake you need to accumulate certain things based on your body weight, and there are tables of reference of how many milligrams a day you need to start accumulating in your body for to really serve. You can’t just say, hey, somebody that is six foot six cannot take can take 500 milligrams because it was a cheap product $50 park, it has to come from a different angle. So what we did is we, first of all, we got rid of a lot of the products that we didn’t think that we’re going to serve as a purpose. Yeah, on higher concentrations.

So the lowest one we do right now it’s 750. So that covers in the $80 range. It’s actually I think, 79 right now we have priced it up. But the premium one, the top seller was it always been the 1500. So what we did is define the price points and the real densities that we need. So normally people buy between 750 and 1500, we developed at 1000 milligramme.

So it positions a product that has a cost of acquisition that’s serious, somebody that’s really serious about testing and having a good quality product that is going to deliver that benefit. So in the weird position is it has a price point, we’re not going to move over that we’re not going to fight the market. Eventually, it’ll go down and it’ll put pressure on us because the larger the demand, it’s going to put the price points down. But the person who’s willing to put at $100 in their pocket, or out of their pocket to buy a product, that’s what I’m interested in. I’m not interested in the person who’s like, Oh, well, I only got $50. I’m going to buy it and see how it goes because it’s not going to work that way.

If somebody in the US currently does not have $100 to put through their health, they are in problems in other aspects, not because of my product because it being at a higher price point or not. So I created the brand to a demographic that’s in a 25 to 50-year-old, so it’s flexible enough, I’m not interested in the snap chatter that it’s 18-year old that vapes cool, good stuff stay with that. If you’re not going to invest in your health, with a good product, you’re going to blow it on whatever you want on that weekend, or you’re going to go out drinking, so it’s going to be contradictory, and you’re gonna see us an expense rather than investment in your health. That’s how I put the product in. That makes sense.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, that makes perfect sense to me. And for those of you guys who are listening, one of the most powerful tools that you could ever go through or powerful exercises that you could ever go through is getting really laser-focused on who you want to serve. Understanding the key intricacies like I love Marco how you just isolated out the difference between somebody who considers the money leaving their wallet as an investment versus an expense.

And I think that that’s a key differentiator and how demographics are separated is what is the mentality of this person? How are they approaching their buying decision? Is this a necessity or was something that they were willing to invest in? Or is this a desire, something that they could or could not live without? And I think that that is a really important process to go through you guys while you’re listening to this. And considering what’s your entry point or what’s your– a lot of the people who even have existing brands as you’re listening to this, a lot of your bottlenecks have to do with not knowing who you are serving. you got started you were excited, you blew your load all over the place. There you are, you know, naked girls in the bed and you’re too excited and you lose your stuff, right? But now you’re– what?

Marco Hernandez: [inaudible]

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, exactly. So now you have to look, now you have to go back retrace the steps and like, how can I approach this like a pro, right? And the professionals, the people who are really going to be a name state in this business are doing 80% of their time and attention and resources on the planning 20% into execution. And the first step is understanding, why do you want to do this? And for whom? Do you want to do this? What are their key considerations? What are the problems that they’re experiencing right now that you want to solve for them? And more importantly, what problems are their problems causing? That it’s never about the thing that’s on the surface? Oh, well, I’m fat. Well, you could go to the gym and not be fat or change your eating habits and not be fat. But it was that easy, you would have already done it. There’s something that’s happening to you psychologically. Because you don’t look or feel or get the way that you want to look and feel you’re not getting the attention that you want to get. And that is what is the triggers the psychological buying decision behind any one product.

Marco Hernandez: So you’re totally on the spot. I have a specific client we get her orders every month, she spends an average between $500 to $600. So and what I noticed is we have a very unique 3000 mg bottle, its price here that means $250 but actually the price per milligramme is okay. It’s just for a one time purchase sometimes a normal consumer might be hesitant about it, and she was one of the few orders that come to that level of strength.

And so we reached out to her and asked her what was going on like why did she buy that one and ended up being that her daughter she has epilepsy and she found that she was getting great results with not have episodes with our brand. So when you’re able to touch a consumer to that level and make them happy, like money is not an issue, like, I’m going to buy as much as I can for my child to be happy that’s life-changing. And there’s no price tag to that.

So I think whoever goes and approaches an industry like business as well, that product is pricey, you know, really behind what have you. And if you’re getting what’s supposed to be giving you, and what is the issue of the price tag, price is always a value of perception of value. So that’s a– her story has been really impactful for me, like, I keep telling her over and over because it’s just amazing. So and just think a lot of people have been out there like that.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I think it helps to keep things into perspective when you really look at it. And you know, there’s plenty of black hat folks out there who are just like churning and burning on the traffic side and, you know, truthfully doing an incredible disservice to the industry because they’re just blowing out list and putting out product that’s at a lower price point and that the people who are getting access to it or buying it do not experience the results. And so they lose faith. And but this is a solution.

Some Marketing Tips to Earn Consumers Who Are Hesitant to Spend Much on Quality Products

Marco Hernandez: Something very interesting that I want to share with community something that I learned in marketing good I applied here and getting great, great results for us. So a lot of times the entry price points are tough for a consumer they had a bad experience with the company, they spend maybe $60, $70 $80 on a product and didn’t work. Now they don’t want to spend maybe 100 or 150 on a good product.

So when I looked at that behaviour, I said, Okay, what do we do in the marketing world? Well, you have a coach that says, hey, buy my product for $5,000. Is it going to be good or not? So what did they do? They use in marketing something called a tripwire. So if you build a funnel around your products, a physical funnel where you say, well, don’t worry about the hundred bucks or 70 bucks. What does it give you the opportunity to try my product for a low low low low entry barrier point of like $15?

So what I developed this I was looking for the little bottle, I can’t find it, but it’s on my site, we developed a little three-millilitre bottle. So people can actually be sent a product. It’s a paid sample, but it gives the opportunity to users say, hey, okay, let me try your brand and see if at least I’d like the flavour because a lot of people complain about flavour and CBD brands, so they get to experience three days 150 milligrammes for 15 bucks. So, when I noticed that, like, no companies doing that in the market, so it’s low entry, they’re like, yeah, I’ll try it if I like it, and guess what? 20 30% conversion upwards because people try it they say okay, yeah, like that tastes good. I could feel a little bit but then there’s a drops resistance to it.

So it’s all about being smart on your brand on how do you want to position yourself. Never drop prices. You always have to do sales and incentivize them but the price is never the issue. The issue is the trust with the brand and once you [inaudible] pour thousands of dollars to you.

Never drop prices. You always have to do sales and incentivize them but the price is never the issue. The issue is the trust with the brand - Marco Hernandez Click To Tweet

Sonia Gomez: Totally agree. I totally agree and this is a lot of how my Emerald Circle Mastermind got started. So through and since we have the captured audience and we have spent a tonne of time on just nurturing and educating the consumer that was one of the huge gaps that we saw in the marketplace was everybody was starting brands, but there was no education or trusted voice to say to the consumer, like, hey, this brand is bullshit or PS, you know, if you’re suffering from these things, try this strength of product. These are the brands that you can trust. So that’s a lot of what we were doing.

And because we have the captured audience and advertising is such a challenge in the industry. We started to attract a lot of the brands who wanted to speak to a targeted trusted audience. Well, I would go start to go through their assets and what I recognized was, I could send you 10 clicks, I could send you 10,000 clicks at the push of a button. I can give you as much traffic as you want. Challenges. You’re not ready to receive it, you don’t have a net, you don’t have a basket, you don’t have a bucket. There’s nothing there for you don’t have an irresistible offer. You don’t even know how to construct an offer. There’s no follow up sequences.

There’s all of this infrastructure that you need to develop digitally in order to catch the traffic. Like if you’re just starting with the product to the sale, there’s a huge amount of real estate to cover there that is not yet developed. So we started to develop the Mastermind and opened up the mastermind so that we could help these folks develop, you know, in house traffic solutions, build and grow their own audiences, develop relationships with micro and macro influencers, understand how to put together an irresistible offer.

All of these different things that give people a minimal commitment that builds the trust with the brand and ultimately gets them a lifelong customer of your brand and product because of the time that you took to nurture them along in the buying process. I love how you’re talking about this because I don’t think that enough people are representing what it actually takes to acquire a customer. And then in the follow-up, I’d love to hear you talk a little bit about the follow-up piece of like, how do you connect and communicate with them once they have viewed your offer and fallen off or made a purchase with you? And, you know, now they have to be continuously nurtured so that they buy from you again, talk to me a little bit about how you access the fortunate in your follow up.

Marco Hernandez: Yeah, that is a great question. I think even with other brands that I’ve worked in the past, that’s the weakest part of it because people think that oh, I made a sale. Great. Well, that’s just the beginning because you– It could have been an organic sale through posts, for example. Well, you didn’t actually put money upfront for that. But when you’re investing to paid media, normally– I’ll speak for general e-commerce, normally kind of breakeven on the front end, like your customer acquisition and all your costs and you prorated backwards on what all the money you spent in building your brand. When you get that first order that really pays for everything that you’ve done in the past. The key is, okay, now that they bought it, how do I hook them to actually come back and buy three or four times more.

The average consumer on the e-commerce world comes back three and four times a year to you. So if I buy $100 products, maybe 1400, maybe $400 $500, maybe your lifetime value over a year. So you’re going to be able to nurture those. And that’s a key component that we’re really starting to work even more aggressively. Email Marketing was still the best medium to reach consumers. People still open emails, we’re definitely exploring techniques through messenger bots. I think messengers are a great communication tool. Sometimes the rules are all over the place, but it has a great reach to speak with a couple of brands.

I don’t think personally, we’re going to go this route. But a lot of brands have taken this through SMS marketing. It’s a little private to really start a conversation as a brand to consumers unless they really love you. They’re going to engage back with SMS marketing, but for the general population, I would say, have your proper email sequences in place, just send them notifications, send them updates on the industry, about your products, free giveaways, all that stuff to make them excited about opening that email. That’s number one.

Number two, I think things like you’re doing bringing authority people in the space. I think brands like would evolve to that part would say, Hey, why don’t you share your story with me? And that’s something we’re going to start doing. Hey, record a five-minute video we want to feature you, we want to have that voice because it’s not about a brand. A brand is made out of the people that use it. Those are the ones who are going to be your ambassadors, those are going to be the people, they’re going to speak about your product. And that’s going to be really the free marketing that you’re going to get.

So if you’re smart about your audiences, and you bring them into your process into your sales process, they’re going to be your best ambassadors. So make them part of the culture. And that’s why I initiated this conversation talking about a tribe. My biggest mentor is Tony Robbins. So what he teaches you in a lot of ways from how to build your business, how to create a mastery out of your business, it’s about creating raving fans.

A fan. Look, I’m speaking on a MacBook, I have an iPhone, I have an Apple Watch, not because somebody put a gun to me to say, hey, buy Apple products. Actually, there’s other technologies that are better. It’s just you become a fan of it. You like it and you promote it, you talk to them like Hey, have you seen the new iPhone? Have you seen this? Have you seen that?  Apple doesn’t pay me. What I’m doing a lot of free marketing for them. And if you’re a brand or able to convey that point where users are talking about without even asking them to do it. That’s amazing.

So my goal is to push will not push to gravitate towards that, where the consumers are my voice, and they’re welcome. Every time I get a review, I go back to them say, Hey, thank you for that, how can we make it better? How can we help you? Because it’s them that are going to make us 10 times larger.

Sonia Gomez: I have to agree with you 100% on that, I think it’s super important. stick to what you know. And that’s, that’s the thing. I think that Apple is done really well. It’s like, stick to what you know, and build a raving fan base around that, you know, proactive, spent $300 to acquire a customer because they knew over the lifespan that they’d be worth over 1000. And so it didn’t matter to them that they lost money on the front end for the first year and a half. By the end of the third year, they had recovered three times their investment. So you having that long scope versus that like really Close up again. It’s like how do you get perspective from the artistry that you’re creating right now you have to take a step back and really get laser-focused on like, what kind of business that you want to build, and what are the brand values and every step that you take, and every piece of every brick that you add to the building has to be in full alignment with that.

Marco Hernandez: And I’m going to take it to extreme some, but somebody like Kylie Jenner, I mean, she’s the perfect symbol. She built a brand through her people. Whatever number of million followers that she has, those are the guys that created the brand. You know, that’s the reality. So yeah, I mean, she’s an extreme lady. Some–

Sonia Gomez: not so extreme. She’s not inaccessible, either. I’ll tell you that much right now. Like the girl can be bought. Okay. Love you, Kylie. But a million dollars will get me on your feet. Like you have no filter.

Marco Hernandez: Actually, it’s actually less I think $50,000 you can pay for her to advertise your product.

Sonia Gomez: So yeah, I think it’s seven figures for Kim. You And I think for Kylie as well, but the other girls, you can definitely get on their feet really easy.

Marco Hernandez: The money you can get them to get their endorsements. So it’s a business decision. Now it’s not Yeah,

Sonia Gomez: totally. Well, that’s a lot of what we’ve done, we created a raving fan base. And because of that, we’re able to offer a lot more value and diversify the offers that we make into the marketplace. And were directly positioned to be with our own internal ecosystem. And a lot of what we specialize in helping other brands duplicate are the results that we’ve been able to get.

We’ve been made– and ours was a long term strategy. What do we need to invest now to be able to generate income, you know, two years, three years from now and I’m telling you what we invested on the first 12 months, I’ve gotten back four or fivefold in the third year and that having that foresight and just being really committed to what you want to do. It all starts with the audience.

Harpo was where Oprah made her money but she built her brand through her followers and raving fanatics. she built a culture within those fans on The Oprah Show. So she took maybe she worked for somebody else in another network for whatever, 25 years but when she built Harpo, that’s when she hit became the first African American self-made billionaire.

So those are the think exponentially around the way that you’re approaching your brand. And for those of you guys who are consumers, make sure that you are subscribing and paying attention to the people who are behind the products that you are buying. There’s a certain amount of passion and purpose that goes behind each one of these things and your hard-earned money is your choice on where you send it.

So I would recommend that you check out brands like Hoopla who have somebody in the background really thinking about you as a person and not as a consumer of their brand or product. I would love to know that from you because I asked everybody these questions and It’s always a mixed bag of answers. But what are three sorts of bottlenecks or roadblocks in your, in your business right now that’s making you hit a glass ceiling?

The Bottlenecks in Their Business That’s Making Them Hit a Glass Ceiling

Marco Hernandez: I definitely say Facebook.

Sonia Gomez: So advertise Facebook advertising is advertising fall into that or just in general?

Marco Hernandez: I do for other brands. And on my own Facebook, we had a client that we hit 40 rules for zero not you’re not hearing it wrong. 40 rule last month.

Sonia Gomez: oh my god.

Marco Hernandez: Imagine how would that change anybody’s business? anybody’s life? If you have that. it’s just unconcealed mathematics was like what? Yeah, a lot of money. So, Facebook is definitely bought. I think that no speak Facebook as any paid media. The approach that we have is we can’t get to the right audiences. And I’ll say the right order. is just in a very natural way, like any other brand. I think legislation needs to loosen up a little bit and not necessarily legislation but incorporated with private corporations. They need to loosen up a little bit on that aspect. That’s a, I would say that number one.

Number two is just I would love– one of the things that I’ve encountered in the CBD space is there’s no it’s a wild wild west. And it’s just like, it reminds me of how the cryptocurrency space was two years ago where ICOs were popping like crazy like I would just turn on my computer, create an ICO and put it and make a million dollars and so many people got scammed because of all of that. I think I’m not talking about strict regulation, but I’m talking about standardization and key guidelines of what you should be out there in the market, which products should be kicked out, which be allowed and just like in supplements, there is a little bit of guidance. It’s still a grey area and supplements, but something to benchmark and say, hey, at least you’re compliant with ABCDE as a company, you’re safe your products. You’re not lying to consumers.

Marco Hernandez: When I was 1500, milligramme product being sold for like $40, like on Amazon. What am I getting into my body? And I’m going to put a video out there on YouTube about it’s like, people don’t even know what they’re buying. So that consumer protection, I think it’s important. It’s not hitting a bottleneck, but it’s really making me uncomfortable where anybody can put a sticker and do anything and sell it without any repercussions. And I don’t like that. And finally, I don’t know, maybe more–

Probably, It’s not going to hit. It’s not hitting the bottleneck, but I just see this contraction coming up where the market is abusing, infusing CBD into everything and anything that they can. There’s a time plays for things and it’s like now you end up seeing carbonated drinks and all these things that go against traditional health like, okay, you’re what’s it have something healthy and you’re combining it with something unhealthy like–

Sonia Gomez: CBD coke.

Marco Hernandez: Don’t get me wrong like, it doesn’t make sense. Now I want to say like right now I’m going to watch the market a CBD coffee. So we have nanotechnology we’re creating powder out of the CBD so we’re combining it with the coffee tastes great. And I’m testing that on my body and seeing okay, how do I feel I drink a lot of coffee on a daily basis. You were saying that earlier? Is that relaxing me? Is that just making it neutralizing that effect or not? Because naturally, you might say, Well, why would you combine caffeine with CBD? Why not? If it can provide you with that focus? Why not?

So we developed a few products out of that combining, but it’s a research-based combination, rather than I’m going to put it on beer just because well, why? There’s like you’re misleading the consumers, they’re not going to get any benefit out of it. So,

Sonia Gomez: yeah, they’re treating it as a marketing gimmick right now rather than an actual, you know, and I think for those of you guys who are listening hard consumers, you are real people too. But I think you guys are savvy. I think that marketing gimmicks and games are like they’re over with, you know, and the big brand loyalty like cores and Wrigley’s and Jelly Belly and you know, Coca Cola. And I’m like shouting out all of these big-name brands who have recently announced their involvement with cannabis or hemp. I think that they’re going to have brand loyalty and the Middle Earth or the Homer Simpson’s of the world, they’re going to get access to it, and maybe they’re going to feel something and maybe they’re not.

And when we look at like, what, again, what is the demographic that we honestly want to serve and the difference that we’re actually making it? It comes in to like what are those key pain points that we’re solving for and maybe the Homer Simpson’s are not it, you know, they’re not going to be the ones because no matter how much CBD or cannabis you take, if you’re eating fucking tacos, and goddamn McDonald’s, like your ass, is still going to be fat and you’re still going to be constipated at the end of the week like, no amount of CBD or cannabis is going to change that. Okay?

For me, it’s like an entourage effect of habits and health, like, what do you want it? What kind of results do you want to create? Because cannabis and CBD can help create those results. But it takes really conscious self-care consideration, like what do I do on a daily basis that helped to cultivate the environment in my own body, an ecosystem that will allow me to thrive instead of just survive? And that’s the game guys. Life is a game of survival or thriving. Which one, which path Do you want to pick, they’re both cool, but one of them is game over a little bit earlier than the next unless you’re one of those crazy bionic people who can do whatever they want for their whole lives and live until they’re 99.

Marco Hernandez: Absolutely.

Sonia Gomez: Closing thoughts on that, as we bring our show to excuse as I get my hair out of whack and being passionate about this, but I talked to the consumers every day where they’re just like, Oh, I’m, you know, I have a migraines and I’m crippled, and I have arthritis. And I’m like, cool. Let’s talk a little bit about, what are you doing on a daily basis? Well, I drink four cups of coffee. No, I don’t drink any water. I like to drink sun tea or sweet tea, and I’m eating a full carbonate carb diet and I’m like, cool. Which one of these do we want to eliminate first? Because my CBD is not going to help that.

Marco Hernandez: Look, for example, is a perfect sample of that is something that trended a long while with just CBD gummies nothing wrong. We haven’t in our portfolio because people want them. But from a holistic standpoint, I think that defeats my purpose of trying to help people because, at the end, you’re getting sugars. Getting things that you don’t want it just because they want to have fun with the product. In the end, this is a healthy trend treat it responsibly with that just don’t make it from infusing it into products that are not going to make it better because you as an end consumer, you’re just blowing your money. You’re buying expensive $5 CBD bottled waters, hey, do you want to blow your money, that’s fine, but–

Sonia Gomez: Just blow it in my direction. If you want to blow your money in my direction. I’ll help you make a wish.

Marco Hernandez: Make conscious decisions. That’s, that’s a brand was told that pain if it’s mine, or if it’s my competitors cool as long as it was an informed decision. And it was not because you were being misled with some false statements or promises of a benefit.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, totally. I just say you know, for those of you who are consumers and brand owners and budding entrepreneurs, get informed, be informed, get educated, be educated. Don’t be a part of the problem that this industry already has, which is a bunch of knuckleheads with a freakin daddy’s credit card trying to get started in this space, making it happen.

And I’m not downplaying the people who are actually making traction like I get everybody’s out here working really hard and wanting to make a difference. And at the same time how you do one thing is how you do everything. Be really Cognizant and considerate and conscientious of the choices that you’re making the businesses that you’re building, the brands that you are promoting, and the audience that you are serving. And I think that as an industry, we can help hold each other accountable, as we self govern our way through to bridge the gap between the time that these government these untrusted government agencies that quite literally the hemp revolution is the biggest disruption to health care that we will ever witness and the other big business industries are right behind it.

For years, the hippies, quote-unquote, have been advocating for the difference that hemp fuel that hemp construction that has clothing all of these different things can transform cannabis and hemp are a part of the biggest cash-rich, fastest-growing industry in the world right now in our lifetime, we will not see a different wealth opportunity that we will have to take advantage of that has such little barrier to entry and unless you would empower and educate yourself with the truth about hemp and cannabis, it’ll be difficult for you to navigate your way through the inevitable challenges that will both promote and prevent your success. So those are my closing thoughts on today’s interview market and Marco anything else?

Marco Hernandez: No been a pleasure having you both having been here with you talking and with your audience. So anything guys free access? Always give that by contact to people so you have my information any questions you have about the industry, about us about our transparency. We’re that’s my number one thing as a company I want to be transparent and provide good quality products to people because I value my health and just like I keep my health I want people to take care of their so you’re more than welcome to be part of this trial.

Sonia Gomez: Love it and where can they find you?

Marco Hernandez: Our website is called simplyhoopla.com That’s simply, S I M P L Y, Hoopla is H O O P L A hoopla.com. And the email is just Hello out so [email protected] that’s the main inbox we get distributed so we all get it. And we can read any comments that you guys have.

Sonia Gomez: I love it. Well, thank you and to the Hoopla team. We’re so excited to have you guys on you guys make sure that you check out the blog highlights from today’s interview and check out simplyhoopla.com to find out more about how and who or how and what you should be using from the Hoopla suite. I’m your host Sonia Gomez. This is The Hemp Revolution and if you guys are considering getting into the industry you’re already into the industry check us out on theemeraldcircle.com. If you’re a consumer looking for the best products that you can trust to deliver the reliable results, you’re looking for medical.secrets.com is just for you. Thank you so much for being a part of this community. And we’ll see you guys on our next show. Take care.

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