Posted by Matt Register

Basya Benshushan, CEO of Pink Cilantro, joins us to talk about her digital agency.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Jay Curry: And we’re back. Hello Texas, welcome to Texas Business Radio. We’ve got a great program. We’ve been having so much fun. We’ve been talking about marketing, branding, all kinds of things and we get to wrap it up now with maybe one of the best. This is gonna be a lotta fun. Before we get started, let me remind everybody, Texasbusinessradio.com. Really don’t need to know anything else, just Texasbusinessradio.com. Relax now, enjoy the program. You can go to Texasbusinessradio.com later. Everything will be there. Beautiful high definition video, all of our sponsors, every one of our guests, George, Matt, myself. Everything’s there. Texasbusinessradio.com. Now, we do monitor a 24 hour hot line. We’re famous for that, right? Matt tells you, call at 2 o’clock in the morning. He’ll answer it, right? No. But we will get the experts and we will get your answer and we will get it on the program for you. So, dial in. 844-814-8144. Alright? 24 hours and if you’d like to twitter, or tweet, I guess you say, hashtag TBR is a Texas Business Radio. Hashtag TBR, 844-814-8144 and most important of all, Texasbusinessradio.com.

We’ve got all that behind this now, you can put your pencils down if you’re driving, keep your eyes on the road and enjoy this great program as we wrap up a wonderful program on marketing, branding and etc. I have a very special guest in for this segment. I’m gonna start with introducing my friend and Matt’s partner, George Walden of Corporate Finance. George, what do you think about this day?
George Walden: Oh, this has been a fun show. Basya, whom you’re about to introduce is an amazing, amazing marketer.

Jay Curry: Yes.

George Walden: Everybody needs to listen to her.

Jay Curry: I wanna hear her for a whole hour because it kind of ties everything else together and takes it to a depth, but Basya Benshuhan, is that close?

Basya Benshushan: Close enough. Basya Benshushan.

Jay Curry: Shushan. Okay, Basya, we’re delighted to have you. You are the CEO of Pink Cilantro and I’m real curious what that’s all about? So-

Jay Curry: What is Pink Cilantro all about?

Basya Benshushan: So, Pink Cilantro, we’re an advertising agency. We’ve been around for a little over three years. So, we’re fairly young and we started off with a digital first approach and we’ve matured into an integrated marketing agency. We service customers world-wide and we work with Fortune 500 to small business and start-ups and we’ve been able to earn a pretty good reputation through word of mouth because of our unique approach and philosophy to marketing.

Jay Curry: So, talk to us a little bit about what that means. You’re unique approach because if there’s anything that’s marketing, branding, concept needs, is some uniqueness. It’s everywhere right now. What’s that?
Basya Benshushan: Right. So, right now what we’re seeing is a lot of people are, or a lot of brands and small businesses and start-ups are getting very hyper about tactics. So, you see a lot of head blinds today about Facebook ads and being on Facebook. If you’re not on Facebook, you’re irrelevant, or LinkedIn or Twitter and drip campaigns and email marketing and businesses are gravitating towards this digital space and they aren’t really building out in a strategic fashion.

Jay Curry: Right.

Basya Benshushan: So, the reason why they’re playing across this space is because it’s the least expensive space to play in, but at the end of the day you end up wasting time and money if you don’t start-up up front by understanding your consumer landscape.

George Walden: So, that’s talking about a strategic plan, versus a tactical plan.

Basya Benshushan: Yes, absolutely.

George Walden: So, when you go in and you talk about strategic plans, what do you really reference?

Basya Benshushan: So, what we like to do is you know, typically when we have a customer that comes in, they typically either tell us the problem that they want us to solve, or they start off right away diving into, I need a website. I need to be number one on the search engines and we slow them down and we start to walk them through to get the root of what they’re really trying to solve and you know, what we kind of get them to the point of we need you to understand who your customer is before we build out any campaigns or throw up any social media content because when it comes to building relationships, you have to have a repeat show, a repeat engagement, in order to earn that trust within the market. So, by throwing up content that’s wide and might be meaningful because the team says this is what’s creative and this is the way that they’re doing it.

The competition’s doing it but it doesn’t really give value to the customer and so for us, what we do upfront is, we do a landscape analysis where we really dive deep to understand who is your ideal customer and from there we can build out a brand plan around campaigns that provide value for your customer, whether that’s online or offline. So, you know, these spaces are fun because the cost of entry is low but throwing up pasta on the wall is not how you build a successful business.

Jay Curry: Yeah. One of the things that struck me in our conversation during the break was kind of what you described. You could say that that’s just staying shallow. I’m an executive coach for about 40 CEO’s and I promise you, they’re shallow and it needs somebody like you to say, you may know who your customer is but you don’t really know what turns them on, what they like, what they hear, what you’re doing that really gets them to move and you go deep with them and you get there, right? That’s so important.

Basya Benshushan: What’s really fun is once the campaigns all ready to launch and they go into play is the amount of data you can collect when you are playing across the digital landscape. So, you can really see in real time what your markets are responding to in a positive or negative way. We hear, well, I’m producing so much content but we’re not getting enough reach or engagement. Is it truly a value to your end consumer or are you positioning across the right platform in the right way? But, I also wanna, and you know, that’s a bit tactical. I wanna, I think sharing an example of a brand that’s really doing this right might be helpful.

Jay Curry: I think it would be.

Basya Benshushan: So, let’s give an example. Domino’s in 2009, they were known as the pizza with the cardboard crust and the ketchup sauce and this were across twitter and the blogger’s sphere and the executives were very quick to brush this off and 2010, they took a hit.

Jay Curry: Bit crater.

Basya Benshushan: Yes and CEO Patrick Doyle said we need to take this digital space seriously and what they ended up doing was building out, and this is going deep, building out a reality TV show on YouTube where they reinvented the recipe and they were very playful in acknowledging how they did their customer wrong and for the final seal of approval, they went to the angry twitter users and bloggers to taste test. What that did was created a space for transparency and they earn back trust and what’s so remarkable about what Domino’s did is they, you know, to transform your message and really invest in new tactics, this was a bit of a shift and painful for them. The mindset, well, we don’t talk to our customer directly online and if we do, we’re just showing a little picture of a pizza but now we have all this feedback coming in, negative feedback. They really took it seriously and they had a shift in the way that they conduct business with their customer and the way that they build their relationships with a customer and it’s really paid off for them.

They were the first pizza company that you could tweet for delivery. They are early adopters of voice and in 2010, their stock was trading at 9 dollars a share, today it’s 195, that’s comparable to a tech company and then let’s say if they did got wide, what that could of looked like is they could of put together some sort of press release with a celebrity chef reinventing the recipe and now engaged the customer and that would be out of touch with how the market is shifting. So, that’s the difference between going deep and wide and it takes time and patience to nurture and build those relationships to engineer those relationships but in the long run, it’s proven to be ROI positive.

We see big players like Toys R Us. They just went bankrupt early on.

Jay Curry: They could have done it.

Basya Benshushan: To get –

Jay Curry: So much differently. If they had the knowledge. I mean, we compare this to going shallow. We need a lot more time Basya.

Basya Benshushan: Oh, I could go on and on.

Jay Curry: So, if somebody’s interested in learning more and learning about your company and how you can help them, how do they get a hold of you?

Basya Benshushan: They can send me an email at Basya at pinkcilantro.com, that’s B-A-S-Y-A at pinkcilantro.com. The color and the herb dot com.

Jay Curry: There you go folks. Well, we gotta wrap this up. It’s been a great day. We’ve had a wonderful program and topping it off with Basya just makes it extra special. We’re gonna have to break now. We’ve told you everything we know. We’re gonna have to start all over again, get it out for you next weekend, so, we’re gonna say bye for now but we will talk to you next weekend.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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