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In this episode, we get to talk with David Portnowitz, Chief Marketing Officer at Star2Star, a Sangoma company. We discuss Star2Star, their solutions, and how they’re providing services that address the challenges of our new normal. We also delve into Marketing in the 20s and leverage the lessons learned from 2020 to ready business for the future. Additionally, we evaluate the current marketing trends and hypothesize which opportunities hold the most value.
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🔗 Episode Links
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/dportno
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-portnowitz/
- Star2Star: https://www.star2star.com
- Sangoma: https://www.sangoma.com
- Project Hail Mary: https://www.amazon.com/Project-Hail-Mary-Andy-Weir/dp/0593135202
- Desktop-as-a-Service: https://www.star2star.com/DaaS
- Host: Frederick Weiss: https://twitter.com/FrederickWeiss
Frederick Weiss: welcome. I am Frederick Philip von Weiss, and you are consuming the Thunder Nerds! a conversation with the people behind the technology that love what they do, and do tech good! Welcome to the show everybody. Go ahead and start live chatting with us.
[00:01:38] We'll answer your questions in the order they are received. Additionally, make sure you subscribe to the show at YouTube.com/ThunderNerds and click on that notification bell to get alerts for new videos. And we also have exclusive subscriber giveaways. Now with that being said, and without any ados being furthered, let's go ahead and welcome our guests.
[00:02:03] We have: speaker, host, bourbon connoisseur, and chief marketing officer at Star2Star, a Sangoma company. David Portnowitz! David, welcome to the show. Appreciate you coming.
[00:02:17] David Portnowitz: [00:02:17] Thanks so much for having me, Frederick, it is so good to be here with you. I know this has been something we've been trying to schedule for a while.
[00:02:24] And I got to ask you about avocado labs. I'm getting hungry now.
[00:02:28] Frederick Weiss: [00:02:28] yeah, I hear what you mean. I do enjoy the avocado in the guacamole. It's one of my favorite treats, but yeah, man, I really appreciate you being on the show. We've worked together in some capacity now for a pretty long time, and I'm very grateful to have you on the show my friend.
[00:02:44] And, just thank you so much for sharing your time with us!
[00:02:47] David Portnowitz: [00:02:47] Yeah. We have a long history, right? I guess we could go back to just trying to think about 2007, 2008? I guess it would have been 2008 maybe. Was that, does that sound about?
[00:02:59] Frederick Weiss: [00:02:59] That does sound about right. Which sounds like a lifetime ago, really.
[00:03:04] Especially the way the world is changing. Excuse me. Just quick, disclaimer, I've been very sick, so you might hear some coughing, sneezing and other mysterious noises. So forgive me for that. Just putting that out there. But David let's build up a little bit of context about you for our audience first off.
[00:03:23] So you are the CMO at Star2Star communications, a Sangoma company. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about that. And so we could get a more idea about what you do, who you are.
[00:03:33] David Portnowitz: [00:03:33] Absolutely. So I have been at Star2Star now for going on, I guess this will be my eighth year there. I started in 2013 as head of digital and have worked my way up to the CMO role.
[00:03:47] I've been in that role now for about three years. And previous to that, I worked at IMG Academy, which is, if you're familiar with the sports world, the largest youth training facility in the world based here in Bradenton, Florida. And I started there right out of college and that was my first job.
[00:04:03] I, and I've spent seven or eight years there doing that. And that's where I met Fredrick when he was working at an agency nearby. And so we actually were using the agency and. I crossed paths first, and then I left IMG and I guess it would have been October of 2013 and started at Star2Star a month later about, I don't know, maybe a year later.
[00:04:24] When did you start there? I started to start,
[00:04:27] Frederick Weiss: [00:04:27] I think I started there maybe like nine months after you, because every time I see the career history on LinkedIn, you're like just a few months ahead of me on the thing. I think I'm set. I just got my seven years, your eight
[00:04:41] David Portnowitz: [00:04:41] years. Maybe I'll be eight in November, I think, because I think that makes sense, right?
[00:04:46] 20. Yeah, let me do it fast. And Star2Star. Just for all intents and purposes is a UCaaS company around. For 15 or 16 years and was recently acquired by a company called Sangoma that's based in Toronto, Canada. And we are really excited about this merger and coming together with the single-mode folks and joining forces.
[00:05:10] They've got an entire suite of communication as a service products. Obviously we are a full service UCaaS company and kind of put our products together. We think we have the largest sort of portfolio in the industry now. It was a very exciting time. We're going through all those integration pains.
[00:05:27] If you've been on, I'm sure many of you have probably experienced merging with another company and integrating. It's tough. There's a lot to Wade through it's nerve wracking. It's exciting. It's all of those things put together. So you know, we're going through that right now and yeah, that's kinda where we are.
[00:05:45] Frederick Weiss: Let me ask you a question. So as a CMO, what exactly do you do? What is your day to day like for people that might not understand that concept or are interested in maybe having aspirations to become a CMO?
[00:05:58] David Portnowitz: [00:05:58] Yeah, I think it's a lot. I spent a lot of time talking to the product side to the sales side, to customer service, trying to understand where we want to position ourselves in the market, how we want to talk to our customers and our partners where we want to put the focus where sales is where, what kind of leads we want to drive all of those things that.
[00:06:22] That we're focused on driving revenue essentially. And then executing from there, right? Like I then go down to my team and say, look, where's your, here's what we want to focus on. Here's the kind of campaign we want to run. Here are the priorities we have and I like to run my department in a couple of ways.
[00:06:42] One I'm not. I'm not a very, I'm not a micromanager. I think maybe Frederick will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't try to be a micromanager, not if I know there are times when I don't have to be a little bit more hands-on and try to push things through.
[00:07:00] I am impatient. I will tell you that. But I also like to run the group as more of an agency that kind of approach. And we help our partners out. We help our salespeople out. We help the company out. Those are our three main customers. If we were to look at the agency model and we are a lean to yes organization.
[00:07:20] We want to do what we can do to help. We will go out of our way to be responsive. I do think it's really important if someone sends us an email or someone sends us a note. Let's respond to them, let's make sure we hear they're, they feel like they're heard. And that goes a long way.
[00:07:35] And I think marketing for us, there has been a bit of a differentiator. When space, the UCaaS space has been commoditized, prices have been driving down partners. Their choices have been dwindling as companies merge together. Marketing is an area where we think we can differentiate ourselves in this and the level of service we provide and the quality of things we do and the content we create.
[00:07:56] All of those things are things I focus on a daily basis. And you're also managing people. So that's something you have to be comfortable with. If you want to get into the CMO role. I It is you're dealing with people and you're dealing with their issues and you're making sure that they're taken care of.
[00:08:11] And all of those things are a balancing act. And that's what being a manager is in general. You've got people on top of you, you've got people below you and you've got to balance in between. It definitely makes for interesting days.
[00:08:25] Frederick Weiss: [00:08:25] Yes. And also you're responsible for your customers as well. And for your partners,
[00:08:32] David Portnowitz: [00:08:32] Yeah. For us, we're a partner led business. And we don't sell anything directly. We sell everything through a reseller or through an IT professional who is going to resell our product to an end-user, to a customer.
[00:08:46] Think about it like a car dealership, right? So when you go to buy a Subaru you don't go right to Subaru corporate to buy that car, there are, there's a Subaru dealer in your area. You go to them, they get, they buy the car from Subaru. They resell it to you at a higher price. There's a markup in there and they're making that money probably upfront whatever that difference is.
[00:09:07] There's probably some money in there recurring too. And once you're paying on a car payment so those are the kinds of that's the model that we say, so we've got partners that are local, if you needed. Voice service. If you needed security, if you needed a virtual desktop, if you needed those kinds of things, you would go to your local IT guy and say, Hey, look, I don't have an IT department.
[00:09:28] Or maybe my IT department can't handle this kind of thing. I need help. An MSP or which is a managed service provider will come in and say, okay, we recommend star to star. They can help solve these problems for you and et cetera, et cetera.
[00:09:41] Frederick Weiss: [00:09:41] Excellent. Yeah. So go ahead. Yeah. I wouldn't be the person or you wouldn't be the person I would go to then to say, Hey, my tires are, or I'm low on my Subaru.
[00:09:51] I would be going to my a Subaru dealer.
[00:09:55] David Portnowitz: [00:09:55] Yeah. And then the Subaru dealer is going to go back to Subaru and say, Hey Subaru, can you help us market these cars? Can you run ads? Can you give us money? Do you have money so that we can run local advertisements here? Do you have collateral on these cars that we can put in our dealerships?
[00:10:11] Do you have a portal we can go to and download all the assets that we need? That's the same kind of thing we do for our partners, right? Our partners are in the field they're selling, but they need the support, right? They need financial support. They need collateral support, they need content. They need to understand how the products work.
[00:10:28] They need to have, they need to be trained on what to say and how to sell the products. Is very similar to that. You could think about it like the real estate model as well. That if you're a real estate agent for Coldwell banker or something like that, or Coldwell banker is this massive corporate company, but you're going to you're a local agent.
[00:10:47] They're going to provide you with tons of material, tons of content, training, financial support, all of those things. So very similar to those kinds of models. And then. For us from a marketing standpoint we're charged with helping those partners sell. We're charged with making sure that they have the right materials, that they have the right people to help them.
[00:11:06] So all of those things are part of what we do on a daily basis. Yes.
[00:11:10] Frederick Weiss: [00:11:10] And for full transparency, this episode is sponsored by Subaru. They provide a little bit of cash for the analogies. Thank you. Subaru. Just want to get that out there. It's just in case all the cards are on the table. So
[00:11:22] David Portnowitz: [00:11:22] did you own a Subaru?
[00:11:24] I wish they were sponsoring. Cause then maybe my Subaru, but yeah.
[00:11:28] Frederick Weiss: [00:11:28] Do you like
[00:11:28] David Portnowitz: [00:11:28] your Subaru? I love my Subaru, so no, you're not
[00:11:32] Frederick Weiss: [00:11:32] You're not going to go the Tesla route.
[00:11:33] David Portnowitz: [00:11:35] I think I need a few more dollars to get into the Tesla route. So what do you think?
[00:11:41] Frederick Weiss: [00:11:42] I saw that I don't know if the Musk is, and has put in some jokes out there talking about how a cyber truck might cost a million dollars.
[00:11:50] Are there any, yeah. Is there any
[00:11:52] David Portnowitz: [00:11:54] I don't love the look of the cyber truck. I'm not going to be on it. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm sure I can do my thing. I do listen, I do the a, what is it? The why? I think, why is it worn out? I would definitely get a Y. My wife would love it if I got a Y she would love the idea of getting an electric car.
[00:12:11] So they're safe, two very safe cars. Yeah. They're just just a little bit out of my price range and just more money that I want to spend on a car. I should say I guess I'm not that kind of guy. I, it's not that important to me, I guess I would say,
[00:12:26] Frederick Weiss: [00:12:26] I think if you balance the if you look at a few different factors, like how much it costs like gas per month, and you factor that into your monthly payments, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:12:36] It had my balance out in some scenarios because of course your insurance goes up a little bit, depending on who your agency is. Yeah, but I
[00:12:44] David Portnowitz: [00:12:44] digress. I would love to get it. I'm not gonna lie to you. I'm like, I would love to get my love. I love the fact that it's just one big computer screen. It's very minimal.
[00:12:52] I love all that.
[00:12:52] Frederick Weiss: [00:12:52] So I'm in, yeah. I'd love to get the cyber tracker. That's definitely my style.
[00:12:57] David Portnowitz: [00:12:57] I need a cyber truck.
[00:12:59] Frederick Weiss: [00:12:59] I would love the cyber truck. That is me all day meat all
[00:13:02] David Portnowitz: [00:13:02] day. It looks like a, yeah. I don't know about that. I don't know about that. Look, it looks so weird
[00:13:09] Frederick Weiss: [00:13:09] again. Not you, I'm the target.
[00:13:13] David Portnowitz: [00:13:13] Okay. It looks very long. I don't think it would fit in a garage.
[00:13:18] Frederick Weiss: [00:13:18] I would make it fit. My garage is pretty long. I like it. I guess I would golf it all out. I totally would love that.
[00:13:24] David Portnowitz: [00:13:24] All right. I hope you will one day. Get it.
[00:13:28] Frederick Weiss: [00:13:28] Me too. That's my plan
[00:13:29] David Portnowitz: [00:13:29] right now. There's one, I think right now there's one of them.
[00:13:31] So I don't know.
[00:13:33] Frederick Weiss: [00:13:33] Just that one that Jalen was driving around. Yeah, exactly. I'm sure he has that in his thing. Let's go ahead and get to our main topic.
[00:13:45] So David, our main topic is marketing in the roaring twenties. Ooh. What's some of the dances in the twenties, the chocolate
[00:13:54] David Portnowitz: [00:13:54] Charleston
[00:13:55] Frederick Weiss: [00:13:55] has
[00:13:57] David Portnowitz: [00:13:57] the arms in your legs like together, like
[00:13:59] Frederick Weiss: [00:13:59] a cross. I just see Amy Poehler in somebody doing that yeah.
[00:14:07] David Portnowitz: [00:14:07] I think icebergs had a moment there.
[00:14:10] Frederick Weiss: [00:14:10] didn't have a moment. Maybe that was before then all that stuff could come back. I do love the cold. One of the things that I go to in my head right away with the roaring twenties. It's a product of the COVID is everything to do with coffee and the industrial revolution, really.
[00:14:32] And I promise I'm going somewhere where people used to drink alcohol all the time, because it was safer than water. And then people started drinking coffee because it was a different kind of beverage that allowed us to not be governed by the sun and the moon. We could work linked to the day.
[00:14:49] We could be more productive and frankly, we weren't drunk as we were trying to get things accomplished. And then in the late 17 hundreds coffee became very popular, industrial revolution, et cetera, et cetera. Then we started having the coffee breaks and I think in Wisconsin, in the late fifties, maybe early fifties, 51 ish somewhere back to the future with Marnie, the coffee break became law, right?
[00:15:16] What happened with the coffee break is people started to become more productive. They had a coffee break in the morning and then the afternoon. And I think there's a lot of similarities here. Some parallels if you think about it with remote work and flexible work, and we're seeing that people started with remote work and flexible work or rather remote work at the beginning of the pandemic, that people would work a lot more.
[00:15:42] They wouldn't take a lot of breaks, so they would work way into the night. I think a lot of people have done that. I know I did that. I subscribed to that kind of lifestyle, but they were also happier and more productive and got a lot more done. Do you see any kind of similarities to this?
[00:15:59] David Portnowitz: [00:16:00] Yeah, first off, I don't know what you're talking about. So excuse me.
[00:16:04] Frederick Weiss: [00:16:04] How did you not catch
[00:16:05] David Portnowitz: [00:16:05] that? No, I didn't know. I didn't know where you're going with the coffee thing, but now it makes sense. No, I think, look, when you, when we were home last year, there was less of a, there was you didn't have that sort of difference between work in your home, you were working from your house all the time. There was no break. When you left work, you could stop thinking about it or you could put it behind you and you could go home and you could be with your family. There was less of that and it spilled over into 1, 1, 1 big blob of work and home and kids and your significant other was that it was just, it was chaos.
[00:16:44] And. As we are getting back into the office a little bit there's definitely going to be this idea of a hybrid environment where there is you're home for a little bit, you're at work for a little bit, you're in the office there, and I think we're all going to have to get used to that.
[00:17:02] What does that look like? For example, one of the things that I just was like I'm so tired of carrying my monitor and my key in my mouse and this back and forth. So I was like, I'm just gonna order a second one for my home. And second, the idea of needing this and then not having a setup every time you move back and forth that wasn't something we had to deal with 18 months ago.
[00:17:24] I think there's going to be a. Yeah. A learning curve for a lot of companies. So how to do this. I think the technology side is going to be very interesting. Cause I think everyone was like, oh, we gotta get everyone set up to work from home. They did that now, how do you deal with getting everyone working from home and also working from the office at the same time and balancing that and dealing with COVID and dealing with someone in the office getting sick and then people going back home for all of this is going to happen.
[00:17:53] We were fortunate enough in our. World where we didn't have to go into the office last year there and there are a lot of people who, that, that wasn't the case, the majority of people. We're a little bit, but you and I are a little bit behind that curve, so we're going to have to figure out what it's going to be, it's going to be interesting to see what else.
[00:18:13] Frederick Weiss: [00:18:13] a thing I want to read here from Apollo technical.com? I'm going to read this quote, Upwork estimates that one in four Americans and over 26% of the American workforce will be working remotely through 2021. And they continue to say, they also estimate that 22% of the workforce, 36.2 million Americans will work remotely by 2025.
[00:18:45] So that being said, how do we take advantage of that from a marketing perspective? What do we think?
[00:18:53] David Portnowitz: [00:18:53] I think I think it's probably pretty accurate. As we see companies have plans to send people back to the office just this month and had to push those back because of COVID.
[00:19:03] I think it's a rolling kind of calendar. No one knows exactly when that's going to be. How do we take advantage of it as one we have to be more personal, right? We have to understand that people are at home. We have to understand how they're spending their time.
[00:19:18] If you look at Gartner, they put out a digital distraction document that I thought was fascinating. That the sort of the top distractions impacting employees, ability to concentrate, and you had this sort of work distractions like emails, unscheduled work-related calls, and some messaging mixed with digital distractions, like your personal emails, your text messages, your social media alerts mixed with personal distractions, like housekeeping responsibilities, caretaking deliveries, mail.
[00:19:44] Yeah. Picking up your kids, all those kinds of things. And there's sort of a point where at least things overlap we have to be cognizant of that. You have to be able to if you're trying to get a customer that's working from home, you need to be able to speak to them in their language.
[00:19:58] What are the things they're dealing with? How do we help them get through the Workday when their kids are at school and their significant other is here. And they've got, they're dealing with trying to do laundry and clean all of these things at the same time. I think it's important that marketers understand those kinds of things.
[00:20:18] And if you're going to send something to them, if you're going to send them a package, don't send it to their work address, find out their home address, little things like that make a big difference. And I've seen some companies do that well and some companies still struggle with it.
[00:20:30] Yeah. Yeah. I I think it's all about understanding the mindset or what the customer is dealing with at the time.
[00:20:40] Frederick Weiss: [00:20:40] It's interesting. You bring that up. What is besides that? What are some other lessons we've learned from the lack of face to face that we didn't have, this deficiency in business that we could and empower ourselves to use going into 2020.
[00:21:02] David Portnowitz: [00:21:02] Wow.
[00:21:02] Frederick Weiss: [00:21:04] Like some best practices, the future. Yeah.
[00:21:05] David Portnowitz: [00:21:05] I think one, it is if you're if you're managing people, I think it's being flexible. I think you have to be flexible. I think you have to understand that people are going to work from home. Sometimes they're going to come into the office.
[00:21:18] You can't have this Idea that everyone's just going to be there every day. I think you have to have that. I think you need to be realistic with people. People have been working from home and they like the idea that they can do that. And I think you need to be realistic about what's going to happen sometimes.
[00:21:34] And to me, those are the kinds of things I think about from from the customer standpoint w what's going to drive them is they're going to be looking for technology that makes it easier for them to go back and forth, to work from anywhere to have one seamless application that they can do all these things in they don't want to have to drag a big computer back and forth.
[00:21:55] They want to be able to boot up quickly. They want to be able to get their stuff right away. You want to make their life as simple as possible. It's going to help increase their productivity. It's going to make them. No technology stack is easier. These are the things that we're hearing from our customers.
[00:22:11] They want one vendor for these things. They want to be able to go to one place and get all this stuff. That's what's important to our customers.
[00:22:19] Frederick Weiss: [00:22:19] Yeah. I hear you when you talk about that kind of stuff, that makes me think about things like desktop as a service to where people could utilize some kind of central source for their for that kind of technology and then to distribute basically machines and all that stuff is going to cover you don't have to worry about the security of what happens if that laptop gets stolen or you don't have to worry about having somebody come to your location and loading a bunch of things on their machine.
[00:22:52] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Do you mind just maybe I know I just put out a statement like that. Do you mind just briefly with some brevity's just going over, what that Daws solution might be.
[00:23:04] David Portnowitz: [00:23:04] Yeah. You think about it, you want to boot up your computer and you want to be able to have the applications that you use every day.
[00:23:11] So let's say you're in Salesforce every day. You use Adobe and you use your email. Those are really the only applications you use. So you have a virtual desktop, so you boot booted up, it looks like a regular computer, but those applications are in the cloud. And you're not taking up your computer hard drive space.
[00:23:26] You could use a thin client. If you could use a Chromebook or a lightweight tablet or something like that. And the applications are in the cloud, they're secure. If you lose it, like you mentioned, you can just erase it from wherever you are and then get a new one.
[00:23:42] Inexpensive piece of hardware and global applications. And again, be you left off in someplace, you were doing emails you were using office 365 or whatever the case is, and you want to pick right back up. You can do those things because it's all stored in the cloud. Yeah. And from a corporate standpoint, it's really nice because I can control what's on the machine they're on, they can't download their own personal email.
[00:24:05] They can't be checking Facebook. You can monitor those things and it reduces your costs, right? You don't have to buy everybody a $1,500 Macbook. Although we like our nice Macbooks or you can get a Chromebook. Yeah. But you can spend two or $300 on a Chromebook and you can get the same kind of functionality or you can, a lot of times you can, you might even just build this with a raspberry PI 40, 50 bucks monitor and be good to go.
[00:24:29] Those are the kinds of things you can do in a virtual desktop experience. And we work closely with Citrix and they're the leader in this space on the virtual desktop side. And there are. Multi-billion dollar, large enterprises using virtual desktops.
[00:24:46] It's a it's and it became more popular during the pandemic because you had people working from home and you wanted companies to be able to control the applications on the computer. And they wanted to make sure it was secure and that and they want to make it so that you don't have to VPN in, it slows you down.
[00:25:02] This takes all that away. So it's just it's a very elegant solution for that problem.
[00:25:08] Frederick Weiss: [00:25:08] Yeah. I would say if anybody wants to learn more about that, they could go to Star2Star.com/DaaS, and we'll put a link to that, obviously in the show notes.
[00:25:24] Frederick Weiss: [00:25:24] Let's go to our next kind of topic here.
[00:25:28] It is Virtual Event Marketing. One of the things that I know you very much enjoy for these virtual events without these events and These kinds of things in 2020 it's what did businesses do? And more importantly what are the takeaways for empowering the future?
[00:25:48] We're gonna start to get back to the way things look a little bit we're going to have some of these events, but w we've learned that a lot of times these virtual events people are either they're halfway there halfway, not they're either eating Chinese food or yeah.
[00:26:07] Really not even that I'm being gracious.
[00:26:09] David Portnowitz: [00:26:09] Yeah. I think you're being very gracious.
[00:26:10] Frederick Weiss: [00:26:11] Tell me about that. What do you think the results were and what can we do better moving forward? Obviously people are starting to get out a little bit. We don't know what the fursuit foreseeable future holds, but we'll not jump into
[00:26:24] David Portnowitz: [00:26:24] that.
[00:26:24] Yeah. So I think last year, the virtual events were really, really difficult. I think people were overwhelmed with them. It's very hard to do a virtual event while also being. Checking your email and doing work. I think when you're at an event, you can be there. You can monitor your email on a phone.
[00:26:42] If you need to jump on a quick call, you can do that, but you're not really in the office. Your staff knows you're not there. There's not an expectation that you're going to be able to return this email in two seconds or that you're going to be able to jump on this project right away but when you're at a virtual event, I think some of those barriers are not as clear.
[00:27:03] There is an expectation that you're doing the virtual event and you're still working at the same time. And it's hard to schedule around. I You really needed to pretend like you're at an event and then clear your calendar and then do that all day. And I think that's hard.
[00:27:16] It was hard for me because some other people may have been more successful with it. It was not for me and for the events that we tried to do and do recruiting in and things like that, they were just not super successful. I am looking forward to getting back to in-person events when it's safe.
[00:27:32] I'm hoping that we can do that this year. And I think that they're not going to be as, as well attended as they have been in the past. I think that's going to be part of the new normal all over the next, I don't know, 12, 24 months. But I think people were also excited to get back out.
[00:27:50] You look at, I know you look at places like Las Vegas and Florida, which we do a lot of. There's a lot of people who come to Orlando for events big, and center. Those places have been pretty crowded. Yeah, no. So I think people, they want to go, they want to be able to travel again.
[00:28:06] I know if you have, if you have done any traveling and had in the past six months, you know how hard it is. Flights are expensive. Rental cars are hard to get. Hotel rooms are expensive. And again so people are, people want to get out of the house. Virtual goal of going back to virtual events is to not for me.
[00:28:26] I didn't find anything that really worked.
[00:28:29] Frederick Weiss: [00:28:29] Yeah. I hear a lot of people talking about things like incentivizing with games, contests, quizzes, but I, it seems like everybody had that same kind of experience where they tried so many different things, but again it's one of those video fatigues.
[00:28:45] Like you don't want to sit in front of the camera or the computer for some kind of events such as this or such as that rather for a five hour time period. It's just, it's
[00:28:57] David Portnowitz: [00:28:57] too much. It is absolutely too much. It's there, it's exhausting. You just can't do it all day. The video fatigue was real, it was a real thing.
[00:29:05] People experienced it all across the world really. And it's just, it's a lot to sit there and listen just to listen to sessions and listen, and that's hard to do and it's hard to not get distracted and go back to that digital distraction thing that I talked about it's hard to not do laundry at the same time, or you're checking Twitter or you're texting with your friend, or you're also doing email those things all come up when you're just sitting there you're like I'm just sitting here listening.
[00:29:34] I could do this at the same time. When you start doing those things, you're not really listening anymore. You're like half listening, half doing this, a third, doing that so it's becomes very difficult to keep anybody's attention for any period of time.
[00:29:47] Frederick Weiss: [00:29:47] Yeah. And it makes a lot of sense speaking of that then Jumping into my next question which blends into what we were just talking about.
[00:29:55] I wanted to ask you about how you re-imagined marketing through all this. And what did you find successful? If we think about demand generation being the top of the funnel, the marketing qualified leads and the bottom of the funnel being sales, qualified leads, like how, w what exactly did you do in the response once?
[00:30:15] Once we got a little bit down the line of 20, 21, and maybe w what kind of takeaways can we apply that's applicable to next year?
[00:30:27] David Portnowitz: [00:30:27] Yeah, good question. So I think for us, it was important to double down on digital, wherever we could this was the case for a lot of companies now, you were looking for ways to drive new leads. People were spending a lot of time online. How could you engage with them through SEM, through SEO? How could you engage with them where they are, what the platforms they're using and how do you reach them at home?
[00:30:49] We did several things where we mailed something to someone's house. That was not something we used to do. We would send somebody to the office courtesy of their name. And those kinds of things were important to us and we all, so we were cognizant that people were.
[00:31:05] They were, it was a time of unease, right? So people didn't know what to expect. They didn't know where we were, so we tried to be very comforting to them. We tried to be there for them to support them both financially. And when you did, we tried to make sure that their needs were taken care of if they needed something someone got sick God forbid we, you just tried to be a good partner.
[00:31:26] And from my driving lead standpoint, I think you really needed to focus on digital. You need to be socially socially there, you need to have a presence there. You need to be tapping into that. You needed to be. When people were looking for you online you needed to be there.
[00:31:41] You needed to look at review sites and be, have a presence there you needed to do no marketing, which I think God got we've. We certainly jumped the shark there. If we hadn't already five years ago, we certainly did last year with the amount of emails that we, you would get from companies trying to be a little bit pitchy about, oh yeah, you're at home so look, everyone we all have we all dealt with that.
[00:32:10] Yeah. But there are only so many levers you can pull and you just have to be, you have to pull the right one at the right time and that's it's more sometimes a little bit marketing is a little bit more of an art. That's balancing that art with that side.
[00:32:27] Frederick Weiss: [00:32:27] Yeah, that's fair. It's definitely numbers and numbers and all that. Yeah so do, would you then think that COVID has has changed the practice of business as a whole forever? Will marketing ever be the same or are we just full on focusing on these digital experiences?
[00:32:45] David Portnowitz: [00:32:45] No I think that there have been some areas where it's, we're, you're never going to go back.
[00:32:50] It's never like we talked about events. They're never going to be as big as they were before. Just because people are there, they don't have to travel. They don't feel that need. I think, like I said, there may be, there's going to be a boom. People wanna get out of the house.
[00:33:06] But then they'll probably slowly trend back down. When people get tired of traveling again when they get in the airport and they're stuck there overnight and they're flames, plane's been delayed for no reason people are going to remember why they didn't want to travel to begin with quick, quickly get reminded when you go to an airport and you're like, oh God.
[00:33:21] Now I know I didn't want to do it because I think there are some things that will change. I think digitally the main thing that I think we're going to see going forward is people want to be able to get access to the information as quickly. This is already the case, but I think it was doubled down on because people don't want to spend a lot of time on your site looking for a million different things.
[00:33:45] They come there for a specific reason. They've most likely already done the research, as you'll hear that they've already talked to somebody about your company. They've already looked you up online. They've thought they've read a review, they come to your site, they want to be able to buy or download or, and when they want to go they don't want to spend a lot of time.
[00:34:03] So I think you have to do a good job of trying to capture their attention right away. You want to provide the right content to them that they're happy and they don't feel like you're attacking them, or they don't feel like your Dropping in on them and pouncing on them.
[00:34:17] That was one thing that you saw a lot of, I, I didn't even bring this up, but like this whole, like LinkedIn pouncing thing where you would, I don't know, I got so many LinkedIn invites and you would get in time, you get an, all the time, you get an, a, you get an accept and then three seconds later, they're pouncing on you with it, with a message.
[00:34:34] And you're like, dude, I don't even know who you are.
[00:34:36] Frederick Weiss: [00:34:37] 10 paragraphs Hey good buddy. And you instantly regret, like I, why did I?
[00:34:45] David Portnowitz: [00:34:45] Yeah, I have been like, I have definitely found myself being way more discerning around LinkedIn invites. I'm like, if I don't know you, or if I don't have a lot in common with you, I'm definitely not accepting you.
[00:34:58] And it is a cesspool right now to me and I have no offense to LinkedIn, but it's hard to navigate. It's hard to know when things were posted, like the time it's really good for me to be in interacting, but as a, as someone who just goes on there to see what others are talking about, as someone who you might be using it for job searching or things like that, it's it is overwhelming the amount of pitches you get and yeah.
[00:35:26] People trying to sell you something. It's just, it is tough. It's tough to break through there. And it's very hard. The pouncing is really annoying. Like it's very annoying. I
[00:35:36] Frederick Weiss: [00:35:36] think it goes back to the the old 80 20 rule, which is you want to make sure that your take 80% of your time and use that to provide value, give things back like podcasts or courses, live streams or special links that you find will be usable for your audience.
[00:35:57] Things that they find value in, and then take that other 20% and then actually promote your business and talk about the things that you're doing. Otherwise, you just become like a small piece in the mosaic of a spam on the wall, and nobody hears you. It's there, there is no value in it.
[00:36:18] David Portnowitz: [00:36:18] Yeah.
[00:36:18] Or you just become a Nat,
[00:36:22] Frederick Weiss: [00:36:22] just go
[00:36:22] David Portnowitz: [00:36:23] Go away. I hope LinkedIn, I'm sure LinkedIn has obviously seen them, probably their open rates are very low in those kinds of I'm sure that they're working on things to help improve that. But they also will probably like it, people are on their site. More people are connecting more. Those are all things LinkedIn wants you to do. It does not make for a real grading experience in my mind. I have a hard time with it. Yeah, even if you're, even if you're getting, sorry to interject, but even if you're getting like those meet those quick span things like blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:37:00] Frederick Weiss: [00:37:00] If you read it for an extra 10 seconds, while you stayed on the site a little bit longer, he stayed there.
[00:37:07] David Portnowitz: [00:37:07] I think LinkedIn has served its purpose with job searching with some networking and people in your community with being able to reach out to potential partners or customers.
[00:37:22] But understanding that it's just one medium for that, that it's not going to be the be all end all like you can't just say, oh we're just gonna do all of our things here on LinkedIn, which I think a lot of companies do. They just rely on LinkedIn for finding new customers all the time.
[00:37:36] And I think you have to just understand how it should be. And understand that people do not want to spend hours reading your 10 paragraph LinkedIn mail about your company. It's just pointless, be quick, be direct, be connected with them on something. Mention that you mentioned the university that you both went to, or connect try to bring something to the conversation other than just being annoying.
[00:38:02] Frederick Weiss: [00:38:02] I love that. Yeah. Speaking of LinkedIn, what about some other platforms? There's a lot of buzz about these audio only platforms. There's things like clubhouse Twitter spaces, discord, and now Spotify has Spotify greenroom, which I've downloaded about.
[00:38:21] I haven't had a chance to actually try it out yet. What do you think about these? These are going to be the future. They're definitely the answer to video fatigue. And there are certainly a great way for a lot of people to just open up without having to quote unquote, to be on camera for people that don't care for that.
[00:38:39] David Portnowitz: [00:38:39] Yeah. I was following the clubhouse pretty closely. And if you notice their trends last year, they added a ton of users. They were in beta. For a long time. And then their numbers went plateaued, right? People were interested in it. They thought it was CMO. And then the numbers kind of plateaued.
[00:38:56] They just recently opened it up to open up any, anybody, their numbers went up again, I think last week, but they're not they were not adding the same number of users that they were back in the middle of the pandemic last year. So I think there's a little bit of interest there.
[00:39:10] I am keen to see where it goes. You obviously see companies like Spotify and Twitter putting money into this. So there's something there for them. I saw Twitter spaces are allowing their content creators to Mo monetize those things. So you could create a Twitter space you can charge for that exclusive content, which is very CMO.
[00:39:30] I think that's an awesome thing for Twitter to do. I think Apple's
[00:39:34] Frederick Weiss: [00:39:34] doing that now, too. Apple. Yeah, they're going to start doing some exclusive paid podcasts. I believe in podcasts.
[00:39:42] David Portnowitz: [00:39:42] Yeah, I did. I did see that too. I think. And Spotify does that as well. So I think any time these companies are giving their creators opportunities to make to monetize what they're doing.
[00:39:53] I think that's great. I'm all for that. The gig economy, I think, is still roaring with people who may disagree with me there, but I think people are still doing a lot of freelance work and creating content on the side. And if Apple and Twitter and Spotify or giving are providing opportunities for them to monetize that in any way to do that and make that easier, I think that's great.
[00:40:11] I'm absolutely all for that now. I think there will come a time when those platforms are. Maybe hit their limit. I don't know. We haven't seen it yet. Obviously. I don't know. But I am, I think there's a limit to the sort of audio only spaces. I don't know. We'll see. We're not there yet.
[00:40:33] But I do think at some point there's going to be just too many applications. Look at TikTok, there's a lot of people that are making money with TikTok. It's really easy to do that. You don't have to do overproduced content because it's more about just being authentic, being yourself and getting things out there.
[00:41:01] Frederick Weiss: [00:41:01] Look at the ocean spray guy, right? A guy riding the skateboard, ocean spray C singing, Stevie Nicks or something like that. Look how much interest that generated for the ocean. And that, that came out of nowhere and then ocean spray, like just banked on that. And that guy became a pseudo famous on his own.
[00:41:22] In, in that 15 minutes, but there's so many opportunities and these in these emerging communities and platforms, that's you'd be crazy not to try to take advantage
[00:41:33] David Portnowitz: [00:41:33] oh yeah. I agree. I think right now you want to strike while the iron's hot. So I think you want to be there.
[00:41:40] And I'm getting some funny comments here. I think there's an opportunity to try to monopolize, to try to take advantage of those while they're, while people are using them. But again, now there's Twitter space and there is a Spotify green room and there is a clubhouse where people actually like it. It's hard you just, there's one after another, and you're trying to reach those people.
[00:42:06] Frederick Weiss: [00:42:06] Sorry to chuckle. I'm just looking at Jeremy's comment here about how for the record, ocean spray is nasty. Thank you for your clever insight there. Jeremy much appreciated. I don't think
[00:42:17] David Portnowitz: [00:42:17] I've ever had ocean spray, to be honest with you. I
[00:42:20] Frederick Weiss: [00:42:20] think I had ocean spray quite a while ago, and yes you might have to add some simple syrup to that.
[00:42:26] I'm not a fan of cranberry juice in general. So that's not my thing I
[00:42:31] David Portnowitz: [00:42:31] prefer two things in that, from that video, I prefer Fleetwood Mac over oceans.
[00:42:36] Frederick Weiss: [00:42:36] Yes, I would. I would definitely lean into the Fleetwood Mac over the ocean spray. It's just nasty. They got a lot of hits.
[00:42:43] They did. I'm sure people went out and tried their nasty drink and said, oh it's good enough for that guy. I don't know how that worked out for them, but apparently well,
[00:42:54] David Portnowitz: [00:42:54] Now that you've ruined your opportunity to ever get ocean spray is fun. I,
[00:42:59] Frederick Weiss: [00:42:59] you know what I think I'm okay with that.
[00:43:01] Sorry, but speaking of those audio platforms like we were talking about discussing clubhouse, et cetera, et cetera, audio format and video content are really becoming more of a big thing. Because, and you see that trend a lot now because nobody wants to Google things like how to tie a tie for example, and see a 1500 word article on it and read it and go, okay, CMO.
[00:43:31] They want things that are easily digestible and they could consume it, get it like that and get on with their day. So things like short form videos and audio it's so powerful. If you create like a little three minute video, and again talking about that ocean spray guy, that was a three minute video and look at the power that, that Yeah.
[00:43:54] Yeah. I know people getting more into that.
[00:43:57] David Portnowitz: [00:43:57] Yeah, I think I think that's right. I think that's only going to continue. I'll give you a good example. I had, I bought during the pandemic, I got a Peloton bike and I started in the first day I get it. I get it. I clip in with my shoes and on, and then the clique, I didn't have it screwed in all the way.
[00:44:14] And it got stuck in the thing. So I'm like, gosh, Nike's first day I have this thing and I've already broken it, but I go, I Google it. I search for what would happen and then boom, Peloton. Literally a one minute video on if this happened to you, here's how you, here's, how you get to clean out.
[00:44:30] Th did. It was like that, so I didn't have to read anything. I watched the video. It was very, it was quick, it was informative. It showed me exactly what to do and how to get the cleat out. And boom, I was back, I was riding like, so it was really nice to have them answer my question right away.
[00:44:45] And that kind of thing I think is going to become it. Isn't it already more, it's already pervasive to be able to serve up that kind of content for your customers is super helpful. I think that right there a customer has a problem. Doesn't need contact support.
[00:45:03] Isn't tying up your people isn't driving up your wait times on your support line. You created this video, which probably took you about 20 minutes to create an edit and boom, you fixed it, so like it's super, super common as only going to become more.
[00:45:19] Frederick Weiss: [00:45:19] It's interesting here.
[00:45:20] Here's an interesting comment from Jeremy again. Thank you so much, Jeremy talking about going back to the ocean spray just a little bit and how this affects Spotify. That's very interesting. Do you have any response to this?
[00:45:32] David Portnowitz: [00:45:33] Yeah. The tick tock has a huge draw on what songs are popular.
[00:45:37] I am not the guy you want to talk to about what's popular on TikTok. That is not an app I have on my phone. I've only recently discovered Instagram stories, Instagram reels and oh yeah, that was fascinating to me. That was like a bad rabbit hole for two weeks.
[00:45:55] But I have not delved into the Tik talk. I feel like I need to spend less time on my phone. Not more so I don't think, I don't think that would be healthy for me. I think my dog has started watching TikTok videos nonstop. Am I already spending too much time on Twitter as well? But
[00:46:11] Frederick Weiss: [00:46:11] maybe you could be more of a content creator mindset, maybe it could be a thing where we may need to start looking at TikTok and more of a serious kind of fun way to help get things out.
[00:46:24] It's definitely about putting out things like marketing tips or sales tips. They're there, there's an endless amount of different things you could do depending on who your audience is. That would very much enjoy a little things like that, that you put out one of the things that I do want to hold on, hold
[00:46:42] David Portnowitz: [00:46:42] on. Do I have to dance? Do I have to like, do a little dance while I'm like, where you like point to something and then like pops up and then like you point to over here. And then it pops, like if I have to do like one of
[00:46:51] Frederick Weiss: [00:46:51] They do recommend using a song,, a very popular song and the filters to get your views up.
[00:46:57] So yeah, I'm going to say that's mandatory.
[00:47:00] David Portnowitz: [00:47:00] All right. I I can dance.
[00:47:02] Frederick Weiss: [00:47:02] I recommend the Macarena.
[00:47:03] David Portnowitz: [00:47:03] Oh okay. We'll see what we can.
[00:47:07] Frederick Weiss: [00:47:07] I know why, but I do, you know what, one of the things that I wanted to get to quickly we don't have to touch on the too fast, but Google localization I think a lot of people don't understand the the power here of having things like a local phone number or a local website and showing up in the SERPs for things that are very local.
[00:47:28] For example if you are in Washington, DC and you're in Atlanta, Georgia, and you search for a lawn company, you're going to get very different results. Obviously, but do you mind touching on that and just with some brevity about the power of that and exactly how people could take advantage of Google.
[00:47:49] David Portnowitz: [00:47:49] You have to think of Google maps as a social network. That's the way I would say it is Google maps. And Google maps and Google localization tie right there. They're there, they're basically two sides of a coin, right? So you're gonna, you're going to if you're a co a company that is promoting some kind of product in your area and you want people to find you, you've got to be localized to that area and you've got to be on Google maps.
[00:48:16] If you're, if you've got a retail if you've got a retail side of your business, you know why there are more people spending time on Google maps and they're probably spending time on anything else. And Google maps makes it super easy to localize your business to add in descriptors, to add keywords, to add in videos, to answer reviews, to post pictures.
[00:48:35] It has all the things that you would think about in a social network, but you just don't think about it like that. To me it's as crucial as anything else, especially if you've got a retail side of your business. If you're not on Google maps and you don't show up there, you don't exist.
[00:48:51] And from a local SEM standpoint you need to. Be optimized for the area you're in. You've got to have keywords that are local to your area that you use. If you're in Atlanta, like Jeremy is, you've got to be able to say if Atlanta something or other Atlanta, this this, isn't it like, you have to put that in on your website.
[00:49:12] You've got to put videos out, that talk about that. You've got to have customer testimonials that Google wants to see all of these things. You can't just stuff your page with the word. You have to have other stuff up there. You've got to have video. You have to have social skills. All of those things are super, super important.
[00:49:27] To me, if you're a small business, that's local there is nothing more important than being optimized on Google. It is if you're not you're dead.
[00:49:41] Frederick Weiss: [00:49:41] Well said if you're not, but yeah I totally get your point in that. It's super valuable and definitely worth investing.
[00:49:49] We're getting really short on time here. So I want to get to the two last segments. The first one being
[00:50:01] David Portnowitz: [00:50:01] while I was dancing,
[00:50:02] Frederick Weiss: [00:50:02] I was a good dancer. I think we got that on camera. So I'm really happy about that. Yeah. So the lightning round, just that it's exactly how it sounds. I'm going to ask you some questions. We'll do some quick Q and a here. David, what is your favorite thing about yourself?
[00:50:19] David Portnowitz: [00:50:19] My favorite thing about myself. Gosh, just about yourself is a lightning round question.
[00:50:26] Frederick Weiss: [00:50:26] You should have answered already. It's a
[00:50:28] David Portnowitz: [00:50:28] lightning round. My favorite thing about myself honestly, I guess it would be my, my sense of humor.
[00:50:37] Frederick Weiss: [00:50:37] I wouldn't go with that, but, okay. That's good. I'm just joking.
[00:50:42] That is my humor. Just being funny. What book are you reading right now for enjoyment?
[00:50:49] David Portnowitz: [00:50:49] I just picked up the new Andy Weir book. The guy who wrote the mat was that Matt Damon movie. That was about Mars. I'm talking about the Marshall, the Martian Marshall. Yeah. I read that book, Martian, and he just wrote a new book.
[00:51:03] And I just got that and I, I got that two days ago, so I'm really excited to, to break that open and start reading that,
[00:51:10] Frederick Weiss: [00:51:10] that sounds great. You'll have to send me a link so I can put that in the show notes.
[00:51:13] David Portnowitz: [00:51:13] Hold on. I'm going to tell you the name of it. I'm going to Google it cause I'm on cause you can do those kinds of things.
[00:51:18] It's called a project.
[00:51:22] Frederick Weiss: [00:51:22] Ooh. Okay, CMO. Yeah. Yeah. Shoot me a link if you can please. So I have it in the show notes. David, if you can not be around computers for the rest of your life, what would you play? Golf and golf. Oh, are
[00:51:34] David Portnowitz: [00:51:34] Are you good at golf? I did too, I define your definition of good.
[00:51:36] I can, I
[00:51:39] Frederick Weiss: [00:51:39] I'll take that as a note. Next question, David, just get
[00:51:43] David Portnowitz: [00:51:43] it. I enjoy playing golf. I, it's my favorite thing to do outside of work and that, and collect bourbon. I need a computer for that project. But the golf thing I can do with that,
[00:51:57] Frederick Weiss: [00:51:57] I think my last lightning question here is tell me about being a bourbon kind of store.
[00:52:03] Tell me a little bit about your bourbon collector.
[00:52:05] David Portnowitz: [00:52:05] What do you want to know? I've got an, I know I have a spreadsheet. I spent one Saturday morning, about two weeks ago, creating a spreadsheet where I categorized all my bourbons that I have. I've got about another 105 bottles or so and it makes a good bourbon.
[00:52:19] Frederick Weiss: [00:52:19] Then tell me that
[00:52:21] David Portnowitz: [00:52:21] I like a weeded bourbon that's something that's been aged probably at least four to six years. Something that's got a little wheat flavor to it, maybe a little bit of spice. I like something that you can sip very easily, a little bit.
[00:52:36] Maybe it has a little bit of that vanilla or nutmeg and/or cherry flavor. They're just, it's just a nice way to end the evening, I would say. So I gotta tell you the best, the most fun thing about the whole bourbon thing is collecting. It's just finding the CMO, finding different bottles that you would, you could it, it is that to me is the most fun part, right?
[00:53:00] You're trying to find new bottles that are not you can't buy in every store that maybe you're behind the counter or you have to build a relationship with someone to get it. There is, there's just there's a whole it's basically it's the same if you're collecting baseball cards it's the same kind of concept. I'll tell you a quick, funny story. So please, my son is super into Pokemon and has this big Pokemon card collection. And one day he got, we picked, I picked him up from school and I was with my daughter in the car and she had a couple of his Pokemon cards in her hand and she was playing with them and she, and he was like, give him back to me and give them back to me.
[00:53:39] And I was like, are you, it's fine. Just let her hold him. And he was like, what would you say if I was taking your bourbon bottles, you feel
[00:53:48] Frederick Weiss: [00:53:48] got you. That's awesome.
[00:53:50] David Portnowitz: [00:53:50] So I was kinda like, oh, I guess you're right. So I was like, all right, so I'll give them back.
[00:53:57] Frederick Weiss: [00:53:57] I love that. That's so CMO. Could you mix bourbon with ocean spray? You think that would
[00:54:02] David Portnowitz: [00:54:02] improved. Like cranberry juice and bourbon. I'm sure you could come up with something.
[00:54:07] I see there's a tic-tac right there. Yeah. I guess ocean spray. If they want to sponsor my tick talk, if I could, you know what I'm like I don't care about the ocean spray sponsorship, but if Buffalo trace wants to come in and send me free bourbon to try and then I make I'm in for that.
[00:54:23] Frederick Weiss: [00:54:23] I love it.
[00:54:24] All right, David, let's get to our very last segment here
[00:54:31] again. Excellent dancing applause. By the way, you look very dapper today looking good. I like your outfit as always a very dapper man, David. This is our part where we like to provide an opportunity for a parting words of wisdom for our audience. All you, my friend
[00:54:47] David Portnowitz: [00:54:47] Parting words of wisdom. Get vaccinated and wear a
[00:54:52] Frederick Weiss: [00:54:52] mask.
[00:54:53] Excellent. Any kind of marketing stuff.
[00:54:56] David Portnowitz: [00:54:56] That's not what you expected me to say, right?
[00:54:59] Frederick Weiss: [00:54:59] Maybe not.
[00:55:00] David Portnowitz: [00:55:00] No, I think from a marketing standpoint be agile, be flexible, be authentic. Don't be too pushy. Customers will find you if you have the right content in place. And it's, it is a matter of.
[00:55:19] Making sure you're ready for them to come to you and making sure that you have the right process in place to take advantage when they do come. Be prepared, all of those things are going to happen. And lastly, the last thing I'll say is if you're running an organization or if you have people take care of your people too.
[00:55:38] They're the lifeblood of what you're doing and make sure that they're happy and they're healthy. Those are my, I guess my parting thoughts.
[00:55:47] Frederick Weiss: [00:55:47] Those are great. No, that's excellent. Thank you so much, David. And for people that want to find out more about David Portman, which you can find them at Twitter, De port no.
[00:55:56] And the website for Star2Star.com. You can find him on LinkedIn and saying goma.com. We'll have all those links in the show notes, David Portnowitz. Thank you so much for being on the show. Super appreciate it. And you are sharing your time with us. And again, my friend, I'm very grateful and honored for you to come on the show.
[00:56:17] Thank you
[00:56:17] David Portnowitz: [00:56:17] so much. It was great being here. I just wish that we could have had Brian on too, but it was great talking to your friends.
[00:56:23] Frederick Weiss: [00:56:23] Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much. And thanks everybody for watching. We'll catch you next time. Take care!