Welcome to Marketer Interview, where we speak to successful and innovative marketers to gain insights into their career journeys, expertise, and tools of the trade.
In this interview, we’ll speak with Kyle Hamilton, founder of Birr Agency and Sucre Interactive Technologies. With over two decades of experience in various industries, Kyle brings a wealth of knowledge.
We’ll discuss his background in marketing, career, field of expertise, and the tools he uses. Let’s dive in!
- 1 Can you tell us about your marketing journey?
- 2 What inspired you to start your marketing agency, Birr Agency?
- 3 How do you approach developing marketing strategies for your clients?
- 4 Can you tell us about a particularly challenging project you worked on?
- 5 What are some of the most important skills a marketer should possess?
- 6 How do you stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends and technologies?
- 7 What are some common misconceptions about marketing that you’ve encountered in your career?
- 8 Can you tell us about your experience in branding and how it ties into your work at Birr Agency?
- 9 What advice would you give someone starting in the marketing industry?
- 10 What essential tools and software do you use in your work?
I fell into marketing.
I had been shooting some photography work as a side hustle. After a couple of years of trying to balance a career in hospitality, managing 2 hotel properties, and shooting weddings and portraits on the side, I became a full-time photographer.
This led me to research and understand how to market myself in the highly competitive and saturated wedding photography industry.
This taught me how to build social media followings, content creation, SEO, branding, and digital marketing strategy.
I’ve always been entrepreneurial and envisioned starting a highly successful company that would outlast my professional career.
Birr agency was born out of a desire to build a company that I could use to share my knowledge of digital marketing with other entrepreneurs and build a company that would have long-term value.
We’ve supported many businesses with various marketing needs. Still, having helped two entrepreneurs rebrand their companies, build a marketing strategy, and achieve successful exits, I’ve realized that this is where we can best support our clients.
We start at the beginning.
Building a marketing strategy for a client starts with understanding everything we can about the company, from the founder’s vision and goals to their industry and ideal client, to what’s worked in the past and what hasn’t.
We approach strategies holistically. Even though we are a “digital agency,” we recognize that sometimes the best activity for a client might be more traditional marketing.
At their core, most strategies we develop revolve around creating content, ensuring that the entire organization is “on brand” and what channels that content is being shared across.
Tactics and channels will come and go, but having a cohesive brand message, and content that conveys that message, will have a more excellent lifetime value for the client business.
We have worked with several governmental and quasi-governmental organizations and agencies on branding and strategy projects.
These projects are challenging because there are always many stakeholders, often competing interests and objectives.
Listening to each stakeholder, distilling their objectives, and finding the alignment and agreement across all involved parties has helped us successfully deliver branding and strategies that these clients have used to great success.
The most important skill a marketer can have is the ability to listen. It’s followed closely by creativity. Not creativity in the sense of being artistic but in the sense of being able to solve problems in unique ways.
Our job is all about talking and telling; we often spend too much time doing that, especially to clients. But the more we listen to what our clients say about their goals and what is happening in the marketplace or specific verticals, the more we can leverage our creative skill sets to help our clients achieve their desired outcomes.
The best way to stay current is to sign up for other thought leaders and industry newsletters. However, I will always be late to the party by jumping on the latest trends or technologies.
Our business philosophy is to build brands and businesses with staying power, not flash in the pans.
For example, I learned early on as a wedding photographer about the perils of chasing the latest social platform, and building massive followings, only to have my engagement rates crushed by changes to an algorithm I didn’t control.
Even watching the shift over the last two years away from Snap and Instagram to TikTok, the risk of TikTok being banned or limited across much of the Western world… what happens to all of the business’s who’ve pegged their lead generation to these social platforms?
The biggest misconception is the time it takes to build successful campaigns. A well-executed campaign could take months, from mapping out a strategy to creating the content to scheduling and responding to online engagement.
However, people outside of the industry think that because they can snap a photo on their phone, share it to a social media platform in a couple of minutes, and then respond to comments while they are going about their day, it should be relatively the same for an agency to do it for them.
My experience with branding started as I was building my wedding photography business.
I realized that my brand was more than just some cool design I could use as a watermark on my images. It was about the clients I wanted to work with, how I communicated with them and positioned myself in the marketplace, and the images I created.
This ties directly into our work at Birr, helping clients identify their target audience and how they want to be perceived in the marketplace.
We always remind clients that their branding is more than just the company’s logo. It embodies what their customers can expect from an interaction with their business. And it needs to be present and consistent across every single touchpoint that your customers have with your business.
Learn how to write. Not just in a technical sense of spelling, punctuation, and proper grammar (although this is SUPER important!), but in the sense of understanding psychology and how you can leverage writing and word choice to create an emotional response in your reader.
Marketing is about making a potential customer feel something, so the better you are at making feelings happen, especially with words, the more successful you’ll be in the marketing industry.
As a globally remote business with staff and clients across multiple continents,
Slack has become our go-to platform for communication. Google Drive helps us keep all of our work accessible to anyone that needs it, regardless of device or location, and we’ve recently started using ClickUp for project management.
But the most essential tool in my marketing tool belt has become my mobile phone. I hate how it is always in my hand, but it’s a supercomputer I always have with me.
I can capture and create content, draft emails, review client briefs and creatives, and keep in touch with my team and clients across various time zones without having to be at my desk 24/7.
The power and usefulness of mobile devices these days are mind-blowing.