You are listening to the Taps and Tee show weekly conversations for people, passionate about marketing, golf and craft beer. Marty is the cofounder of Bad Rhino an award winning digital marketing agency helping golf and craft beer brands get real results in social media marketing. Here is your host, Marty McDonald. [00:21.7]
Marty: All right, everybody welcome to another episode of Taps and Tees and we're continuing this interview series with marketers and I'm pretty excited to have all these people come on. But this person I just met recently, he's a member of some of the mastermind groups that I'm in and he was dropping knowledge on these zoom calls that we've been having and was really impressed that he actually knows what he's talking about. And I think that's important that whether you own a craft brewery or you're in the golf business and you're evaluating who you're going to bring on to do all of your work, you need to have people that you can trust. You need to have people that have a lot of good information and background and Jason Smith is definitely one of those people. He founded Spotlight Social and before that, and he had an interesting background as an LA police officer for about 13 years. He lives in LA with his wife and two children. His story of kind of just going through the police force and then leaving that for digital marketing has been all over the place and you can actually find it on DigitalMarketer if you're familiar with that, can take a look at that and listen to it in depth. But when he's not doing it all his fun stuff on Instagram, Facebook, he enjoys wakeboarding, wake surfing and riding motocross. So without any more information, let's introduce Jason. Jason, how you doing today? [01:35.4]
Jason: Good. How are you doing today?
Marty: Doing very well, buddy. Really appreciate you coming on. Why don't you add in and tell us a little bit more about yourself other than my stellar intro there.
Jason: Yeah. Well, I appreciate it. Not sure I deserved all that, but but yeah, no. Yeah. So again, my name is Jason Smith. Yeah, the Gosh! the journey that led me to found Spotlight Social was kind of crazy as you said. I was a policeman in for LAPD for little over 13 years, almost 14 years actually. And gosh, you know, it was just getting tired of that lifestyle, a work in a ton. And I, you know, I didn't work all the nice neighborhoods. I worked, you know, South LA, Watts and if anyone's familiar with Los Angeles you know, East LA, Boyle Heights, all those areas were a mecca for gang members and shootings and homicides and all that stuff. And to give you a little example of how violent it was, you know in a six square mile area, in one of my areas, there was over 200 homicides in one year. [02:36.5]
Jason: So in six square miles. Yeah. So that'll give you a little taste of what I was dealing with for 13 years. And yeah, it just got old, you know, I was ready to kind of look for something, but I didn't really know exactly what, what to do or you know, cops always work these side gigs and part time jobs and stuff. And I was looking to kind of make the move and you know, I've been involved in tons of violent situations and I noticed it was wearing on my personal life. And you know, it's just a, you know, you don't as a policeman; you don't do any personal development. You don't read books, you just, man, you're, you go to the ghetto all day and, or all night I should say cause I work nights.
Jason: And chase gang members all night and you know, getting, getting fights and yeah, it's pretty crazy, so
Marty: Yeah, no, I think with police and firemen and everything else, and I think that those jobs are so critical, right. [03:33.9]
Marty: One and you lived it, right.
Marty: So, I think the other side of it is people need to understand just the general population needs to understand what the work environment is really like. You know, there's so much different, crazy sensationalism and I'm not taking this podcast that direction.
Marty: I just think what you said there was, you know, you're a police officer, you're working nights, it weighs heavy on your family and it's like.
Marty: People see a uniform or a badge and they don't remember that there's a person in there. And I think that's one of the things that when you look out in the landscape of any anywhere, any country, any time, you always have to remember that like there's people just doing a job, right?
Marty: And you kind of move from there. And I can imagine that weight on you and, and doing all that. What gave you like that marketing bug? Like, you know, most policemen that I know that retired or got out of it, they're like, you know, work with their hands.
Marty: And they're kind of doing manual stuff, not only for their, their mind just to kind of get that right, but what would make you jump in the marketing? [04:31.8]
Jason: Yeah, so it was kind of a crazy story. One of my one of my friends at the time a few years ago, and when I left the police department, when I was thinking about kind of leaving, he owned the supplement company, like fitness products and stuff, you know, proteins and you know, all that stuff. And this was kind of when Facebook ads was, I mean it was, it was underway, but it wasn't as detailed, obviously it is now.
Jason: And he's like, Hey, I'm thinking about running like some Facebook ads. And I'm like, yeah, cool. I wasn't even really on Facebook cause as a policemen, I didn't really want people all up in my Koolaid, you know, Facebook.
Marty: Right, yeah.
Jason: So I like created a Facebook account just to like, you know, cause my buddy was like, Hey, I'm gonna run some ads. He's like, you know, it was like one of those things where you're like in conversation with a friend, right? And you're like, Hey dude, I'll help you out. You know, kind of like working on a truck or anything, right? Like, I'll do it, I'll, I'll help you out. And even though I didn't really know what I was doing, he didn't know what he was doing. And little did I know, I actually was pretty creative, which I never really tapped into. And what I mean by that is like, you know, ad copy and creative and stuff. I just, I guess I had like a, an eye for it and I wrote a bunch of ad copy and lo and behold, like his Facebook ads were like killing it. [05:24.8]
Jason: And and I'm like, wow, this is kind of crazy. And then you know, doing the research of Facebook ads, I ended up stumbling across a certification program that basically said, Hey, if you want to become an agency owner, work from, you know, and of course as a policeman, I'm really cynical. And I was like, yeah, this work from home crap is just a bunch of crap, right? I was like, nobody works from home and makes money, these are all MLM people.
Jason: Who like bug their family, you know, and yeah. But I, you know, I ended up just saying, you know what? Screw it. I'm just gonna. I'm gonna, I'm going to dive in and see what happens. And I literally showed up to the certification, dropped a lot of money to be there, show up to certification. I actually thought I was in the wrong room because, or the wrong area because here I am, you know, at the time I had a really long beard, long hair tattoos. I like my flannel on, you know, typical like, you know, guy from LA or whatever. I walk in and there's all these guys in like shirts and ties and I'm like, Holy crap, I think I'm in the wrong place. [06:45.7]
And they're all talking about how they're making 30 grand a month and all this stuff and here I am, some dumb policemen walks through the door, right? I'm like.
Jason: Man, what have I gotten myself into? But literally, you know, after sitting there the first day listening to these guys talking about how they had clients, they work from home; they have all this time freedom.
Jason: And I had no time freedom. I was working 12 hour shifts, testifying as a gang expert weapons expert, which sounds cool, right? You're like, Oh man, that's cool.
Marty: Cool. It's not right after the first time. That's so much, right.
Jason: Yeah, exactly. Because you get called into court on your days off. And I was gone. Like I literally lived at the station, I'd be at the station for like three or four days straight sometimes.
Jason: And I'm hearing these guys and it's like, what am I doing? You know, and they're making five times the amount of money I am you know.
Marty: Right. [07:34.8]
Jason: And money isn't important, but it's pretty important, you know?
Marty: And if you want to..
Jason: And all these guys are talking to. Yeah, exactly. And all these guys are talking about how they get to go on field trips with their kids and get to go to all their games. And here I am working every weekend in a gang unit and all this stuff and I'm just like, okay, I need to like really seriously, you know, I don't know, get my priorities straight, I guess you could say. So second day comes around, this was a seven day intensive course too. It wasn't just like a couple of days and you get to leave and you know, you're good to go. And yeah, the second day I just really dove in and left that certification with all the tools that I needed to like start a little, a little agency, you know one of the guys actually kind of believed in me and gave me a couple of clients right off the bat, applied all the information that I learned at the certification and started getting my first couple of clients really good results. [08:28.8]
And then that snowballed into 10 clients a few months later, like literally. And I would say in about six months, I was making about 20 grand a month, which I was totally blown away and I literally walked into the station, threw my resignation down and was like, peace out. I'm out of here.
Jason: You know, so it all.
Marty: That’s cool.
Jason: It all moved very fast, but it was, it was crazy. It was a crazy process. So,
Marty: Yeah, no, that, that's, I mean the more and more, I sort of have been doing this for 18 years marketing.
Marty: And started off for myself as a hobby that became a well paying hobby that then eventually became an agency and you know, all the things over the years that I've seen I totally get what you're saying like walking into a room.
Marty: And you kind of think of like all this weird stuff and.
Marty: I've worked in affiliate marketing and network marketing to a degree. [09:21.5]
Marty: As a consultant and it's really fascinating like when you really pull apart all the marketing things that I've seen over the last 18 years, sometimes you get lost in the shuffle of it and.
Marty: I have corporate clients down and bigger clients with Bad Rhino. And the funniest thing is, and you mentioned is like you hear people talk about it, right? Like.
Marty: The working from home part. No, that's not so much what drew me in there.
Marty: I can totally see how it draws somebody like you in there.
Marty: And what's impressed me the first time I heard you speak on the zoom call, I think we were with Joey.
Marty: Joey is going to be on the podcast next week. But the funniest thing was it was like, like my ears perked up. I'm like, this dude knows what he's talking about. Now mind you.
Jason: We're in a group.
Marty: Yeah. We're in a group that the majority of people in there know what they're talking about.
Jason: Yeah. Yeah, sure.
Marty: But what really popped up as soon as I heard you speak about a few things about just PPC and a handful of other things that you're currently doing, I was like, damn. I'm like; I gotta talk to this dude. And I reached out like right on that zoom. I was like; I gotta talk to this guy. Because my whole point in saying that is you have, and the whole point of why I'm doing this little series here.
Marty: And people that are listening to it is you do have to be cautious of who you hire. You know?
Jason: Yup. [10:42.6]
Marty: So many times my agency replaces an agency, quote unquote, I used air quotes there.
Marty: That said they would do certain things
Marty: And they didn't do any of them.
Jason: Yup, yup.
Marty: And my clients are the new clients coming to me and they're gun shy.
Marty: If you're listening to this, you do want to do your due diligence on everybody and you do want to find out just because they're younger and you might be older, you might think they know technology better than you.
Marty: They don't.
Marty: We're just currently replacing a team, an entire team of people that the owner thought since they were, you know, younger that they understood everything.
Marty: And the nuances in digital marketing are so crazy. So you take that the whole thing, like Jason just said, you know, he put the work in to go and get the right right things and changed his own mindset in there.
Marty: Which is awesome.
Marty: So like right now, like what's kind of like an interesting areas that you're working in and you know, what's kind of fun for you right now in marketing? [11:39.8]
Jason: Gosh, I mean there's so much. That's a loaded question for sure. Especially in the Facebook and Instagram, you know, paid ads world, you know, but you know, I, I think the, the, the thing that we're working on right now with a couple clients is a lot of clients are really, you know, and you can do this on Facebook fairly easily, is go more global than just concentrate on maybe the country you live in. Like this particular client I'm talking about, you know, they, they were founded in the UK, live in the UK.
Jason: 90% of their business right now is in UK, but what they're doing is they're actually building landing pages in other languages.
Jason: 17 other languages to be exact. And Facebook has a tool called Dynamic Language Optimization where you can actually plug in the base language, which in our case would be English, right? And then literally build a campaign and put in Spanish, Dutch, you know, any language you want Japanese, you know, whatever you want in there. And based on the language that they choose and Facebook knows that it will translate that add from English into their native language. [12:53.8]
And we've just seen like a huge uptick in sales because of that one simple thing we did, you know, I mean, we're going like globally now, not really worldwide, but you know, to come to countries that, that we thought could do really well. I mean, you know, Italy and just all these countries and amongst all the pandemic and everything going on right now.
Jason: All of our clients are seeing like Black Friday numbers, which is pretty awesome. So if you know, if you're timid at all right now about running ads, don't be because you could be super successful. Now granted you gotta have the right person running your ad. It's kind of like what you said before, right?
Jason: But if you have the right person and you can, you know, and you don't necessarily have to trust that person, but as much, you know, I mean, cause they're always gun shy when they first start, but sure. But yeah, no, so that's kinda pretty cool. And actually a Facebook reached out to me yesterday and we had a big call with marketing science. [13:49.6]
Jason: and you know, their measurement team and all that stuff. And we're actually probably going to do a case study on this cause not a lot of companies, surprisingly you're using the camp the the options that Facebook has to translate, they're just running it all in their native language, you know, so, yeah. So it's pretty cool. So Facebook reaching out to us as an agency and wanting us to kind of head up the, you know, the fight in letting other advertisers know and other businesses know that they have the ability to translate and it's pretty well actually translates really good. It was pretty cool.
Jason: So that's kinda kind of cool stuff we're working on right now, so it'd be pretty awesome. So I'll have to drop the case
study for you guys once we get it done, you know.
Marty: Yeah, sure, sure. I'll share that all over.
Marty: I think I'm, no, your point there and I think is a very big point and this is why I wanted to have Jason on, cause like I said, you know, when I heard him talk about what he was doing, he, I could tell he knew what he was talking about. And the interesting part is, you know, like he said like, right now, and we'll get to you know the Corona virus here in a second, but the big thing is you need to have somebody that knows what they're doing. No. [15:01.2]
Marty: If you've ever heard me speak somewhere or on another podcast, I will tell everybody that you should not look at your ads on a daily basis, like whoever's running them, look at them on a daily basis.
Marty: Now because we're in this little pandemic, we're recording this right here at the tail end of April here in 2020 but, and now I'm, I'm recommending you look at them more because things have changed rapidly and you can, if you've never done it, run some ads right now and probably see some bigger success because of just the way the market is and what people are doing. I will tell you this with a caveat; you have to know what you're doing because things have changed really quick. I'm amazed like we were doing certain things for clients in the past week or so. And the amount of change that went in there that you needed to understand what the changes in the algorithms were going on and, and read the data.
Jason: Yeah. [15:59.5]
Marty: I was really impressed, not only with my team but me jumping in there too and you know, putting my head back on and I'm like looking at this and I'm like, I've never seen it change so fast, but it's exciting.
Jason: Yeah, yeah.
Marty: Because there's a lot of things that you can capitalize on if you're running paid ads. So let's just get into that a little bit with you know, like I said, we're recording this year in April, 2020 from home. We're all in lockdown depending on where you're at, some degree of lockdown.
Marty: Or more so than anything. But what are you seeing just in your business and over the past six weeks with all this? [16:31.5]
Jason: Oh, man. Well you know, one, one thing, one thing I am preparing my clients for and you know how it is with any marketing, like when things were going good, that's when you need to like take a step back and say, okay you know, you know, we need to plan for when it's not going good. And I told my clients, I have all of them and I said, Hey listen, this is great. That it's going like this, you know, super low cost on Facebook and Instagram. More people are on, I think I had a, a PDF from our partner manager at Facebook sent us the other day and some numbers and it was like 58% increase on Facebook, 36% increase on Instagram. Obviously people are not shopping at Brick and Mortar stores right now. All that stuff's all online activity has gone up. But I told all my clients, I said, I do not want you to think this is going to be the norm cause it's not. It's going to end. It could be a month from now, it could be five months from now. But I don't want you to think this is going to continue like this. Let's still, let's capitalize on this and we can, you know, scale up a little bit. But I don't want you to think that this is going to be the new normal cause it's not.
Marty: Hmm…hmm. [17:40.5]
Jason: It's going to go back to the way it was before, right? Like when, when the world, you know, when the Corona virus and all this stuff kind of is behind us and knows when that'll be but we need to start planning for that now, right?
Jason: Cause if not, then you're going to be standing there going, wait a second, why did my ads just completely fall off a cliff? And it's, well because everybody's back to work now. You know, and your targeting has to change. Your ad copy has to change.
Jason: Like people are in a different mindset. So it was a shift coming into this. And what I mean by that is I had every client saying, Hey, let's, let's talk about the Corona virus and all this stuff. And then Facebook put a bunch of restrictions on that. Like, you can't even mention COVID-19 or pandemic in your ad copy. If you do, your ad account will get shut down and they will not let you advertise again. So they're that strict about it right now.
Marty: That’s strict.
Jason: Yeah, it's pretty great.
Marty: And they will shut it down in a heartbeat.
Jason: In a heartbeat.
Marty: Even though you are not trying to do anything. [18:34.6]
Jason: Yeah. Right. And actually what's happening right now is all these ads are getting disapproved that shouldn't be disapproved, but literally they're just disapproving everything. If they're little trolling bot seize one word or a comma, even though that looks out of place, everything's getting disapproved still. We're, you know, half of our day right now is literally spent, cause we have a higher level of access with Facebook. So I can actually chat with somebody at Facebook.
Jason: And say, Hey, what's going on? Why are these disapproved? And they can push them through to get them approved. And it's really frustrating, you know, for us because you know, I don't always like to talk about all the good stuff that goes on. And Facebook's a great platform. It's awesome. We're getting great results for our clients. But people also need to know too that, you know, it doesn't always go awesome, right?
Jason: Like it goes sideways sometimes and that's okay though. That's part of marketing, you know, and, and stuff's going to happen. But, but yeah, I mean all in all though I mean we've seen, you know, I, I guess I feel bad in a way because I see all these people jobless and here we are like just going, we're busier than ever right now, so it's pretty cool.
Marty: Yeah, we are too. [19:42.2]
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Marty: My business partner and I were talking last night and he was like, he's like, I got a question for you. I'm like, Oh oh. Cause that's like.
Jason: Oh yeah.
Marty: The Oh-Oh thing like since this whole thing started, it's like, Oh shit. Like what are we going to talk about now?
Marty: And he's like, I feel really weird. And I'm like, why? He's like, no, we closed two clients who big clients.
Marty: In the past week and he was like, everyone's asking how we're doing and he's like, we're actually doing pretty good.
Marty: You know, we had to, you know, we had to do some changes with our employees right out of the gate just to help protect them. [20:27.9]
Marty: But now like all that will be back to normal here in a very short period of time, but at the same time it's like looking at all this and it's really busy. But I wanted to bring up two quick points that Jason just said because I think it's important for anybody that's listening. When you hire an agency and where you hire. Somebody, what Jason just said is the first thing is have a long-term strategy. If they can't talk to you in six months, a year, 18 months type increments, they are not the person you want running your ads. Now there's a day to day piece and there's an immediacy. Don't get me wrong.
Marty: But if they can't look into their crystal ball and help guide you six months down the road and ask questions. That's a huge red flag if they don't do that. Number two, you know I love when we, you know it was about four years ago, I think we got one of the first Facebook reps based on that, so much we were spending.
Marty: On Facebook ad accounts.
Marty: That's worth its weight in gold. [21:29.1]
Marty: And that's another question. And if you're planning to run some big bigger ads, I would say more than more than $10,000 a month seems to trigger that. So if you're interviewing or you're working with somebody and the question you want to ask them if they're going to run your ads but you want them to run your ads, just ask them if they have a direct Facebook rep.
Marty: Cause if they don't, they've never really done big business on Facebook.
Jason: Yup, exactly.
Marty: And this is why I'm bringing people like this on because I want to get these out here because it is a crazy time and we're going to get back to beer and golf. You know, and there's a ton of other interviews that we have coming up, but these are important because you know, whether you hire somebody like Bad Rhino or you go out and you go and you hire somebody like Jason, these are good people that I'm bringing on because I want, people would be educated when they're doing it and it's helpful. So let's move out of like the marketing thing. I have one last question about marketing. What do you hate about marketing? You rattled off everything you disliked about being a police officer.
Marty: What do you hate? And I don't mean it that it's like I've been clarifying this question.
Marty: Like, what have you found in the industry that you're just like, Oh my gosh, like why is this even exists? Or something that irks you, you don't have to hate it. [22:44.0]
Marty: That's a harsh word, but what's much just gets under your skin about it?
Jason: Well, that's a good question and I, and I will answer that with gosh, I, I'm totally on the same page with you where, you know, people just don't know what they're doing. And it really ticks me off, like really bad.
Jason: No, I just want to like slap them, you know, because what's happening and what I find is like, you know, I'll bring clients on and then they're in these Facebook groups and then they're, and they're like, and they're like, Hey, so in this Facebook group, I heard that we should be testing this way. Why aren't you guys doing that? And I'm like, it's just like, I just have to kind of like take a step back, you know, and just say, okay, listen, like, how much did you pay to get into that Facebook group? We pay a hundred bucks a month. You really think you're going to get a ton of value out of that. You know what I mean? Like if you hire an agency, get out of the damn Facebook group, you know, and don't, I mean, again, I don't mind, you know, if you want come to me and say, hey, let's tweak the ad copy. Let's do this. Let's, you know, strategize. Awesome. Right? But, but when, when it comes to like stuff like that, I'm just like, man, like we, we kinda know what we're doing here and we're actually updated on all the, the tried and true things that actually work on Facebook right now. And these groups are just hilarious, you know? [24:06.4]
Jason: And then the other thing that if I could just piggyback on that.
Jason: The thing is people like, like you said, who don't know what they're doing, right? Agency owners or, you know, I, I hear it daily almost when I talk to people, like all the, the last guy totally messed up my ads, right?
Jason: Like, and I'm not hiring Facebook ads don't work because no one knows how to like, okay, you know, like it really just gets under my skin because all these other guys who don't know what they're doing, you know, like you said, right. Give us a bad name and then we have to go into conversations talking about like, okay, well what differentiates you from the other agency?
Jason: And you know, I also think a life experience comes into that too Man. I've been around for a while.
Marty: 100%. [24:54.3]
Jason: Okay, I've been around the block dude, like there's nothing that you're going to tell me that's going to like intimidate me or, and I'm not trying to sound like a jerk. I'm just saying like, you know, going from getting shot at being involved in shootings, all that stuff too, like the marketing world.
Jason: And you trying to like call me out on stuff. I'm just gonna you know, just kind of laugh it off just to be like.
Jason: Well you know, like awesome!
Marty: Do you know like you understand what I've seen? I mean, you know and done.
Marty: And like you said, being shot at those types of things give, us so much perspective. But I got it. We're going to extend this little segment a little bit longer because I got to tell you a story that I think you'll get a kick out of.
Marty: So I'm the same way like I've been like, no, you don't want to admit like sometimes it's like I'll be 45 in July and I don't feel old and.
Jason: Right. [25:49.8]
Marty: But like when I add up like all the years of marketing experience and then running an agency for 10 years, it's frustrating as hell when there's like a, and I'm not knocking like, you know, “not knocking the hustle.”
Marty: Like I understand.
Jason: Yeah, you gotta work hard, you gotta hustle.
Marty: Yeah, and it was like a, you know, a 25 year old kid, and I don't mean this to be disparaging because I know some 25 year old agency guys that are crushing it and girls.
Marty: Which is doing really well. But then everyone tries to mimic what they think. And I got into this meaning and my client is sitting there and he's rattling off all these ideas and I'm sitting there and he's doing the same thing. I read this, and I did this, I don't want to hear. And I'm like, and I'm looking at them and I'm just staring at him. And I was like, are you, are you done? I don't want to interrupt you with all these brilliant ideas you have. And I was a little pissed.
Jason: Yeah. [25:46.3]
Marty: And he's like, well, what do you need? He's like, aren't you guys doing all this stuff? And I go no,
Marty: I go no, no we're not. And he's like, well, all these things are these people that are doing this and they're showing like all these results. Na I mean this is a midsize company that's getting, you know, 99 cent information from places, right.
Jason: Right, right.
Marty: What do you, I'm like, so I just said to them, I said, my first thing was, you know, I went to a state school, I didn't spend a ton of money on my education for college.
Marty: So when I got out and I started realizing what I needed to learn, I said, I've spent well over 300 almost probably close to half a mill now on my marketing education, now that I think about it.
Marty: And they're like, what? And I'm like, yeah, because it doesn't stop. Right.
Jason: Right, right.
Marty: So I'm like, if you're reading that, yeah, I've already read it. And I said, and on the other side I go, do you know the fastest way I go out of business? And he's like, no. If I took all the ideas my clients had and I started to run with them because they are not going to work.
Jason: Exactly…exactly. [27:45.8]
Marty: And I go, I go, when you walk in, the doctor goes, you need heart surgery and two of your arteries are clogged. Do you go, well I read over here that if I eat this herb…
Marty: I can clear up my arteries and the doctor goes, well, yeah, that's partially true, but you're well past that point. Do you go, no, I, I, you know we're going to do this instead.
Marty: Like, no you don't. You go, well, what's going to happen? Well, if you don't get this surgery very, very soon, you're going to die.
Marty: I'm like, I'm not saying marketing is life or death like that, but the pushback is so funny and it's comes from the spot where they fall for the marketing. [28:20.4]
Marty: And I'm like, do you understand like the process here.
Marty: You felt for the marketing?
Marty: And that's what we're putting in place.
Marty: So I could talk about that for hours, but I want to kind of moving hearing and start to close this out. Random question. And you have an interesting background and I was trying to think of like the random question I would ask you.
Marty: I think we'll save that for like when we're talking, not when you're being recorded, you know, just in, you know, that shift going from, you know, starting out as a police officer, what means you get in to be a police officer? [28:52.1]
Jason: Well, kind of a long line. So my dad is a, well at the time he wasn't retired but retired FBI, my brother was a fireman and you know, growing up in like a, a smaller town of Los…about an hour and a half North of Los Angeles, you know, that's just kinda what everybody was doing and it was a good, you know, I didn't like school as much, so you know.
Jason: I never finished college, right. But it was one of those things. And then, and then I, you know, looking at my dad, it was cool, right? Like all man FBI agent. But I didn't, I was more hands on, I'm a little bit more, you know, I like to fight it up with people and stuff hands on. Like, use my hands. So I didn't want to be stuck behind a desk so much.
Jason: So I, I applied for the police, so I only applied for two police departments. It was the LA County Sheriff's and LAPD. And LAPD is the first one that, that hired me. And then a week later Sheriff said, Hey, you know, would you come to our Academy? I said, well, you, LAPD beat you to it. But yeah, it was more of just like, I thought it was the cool thing to do. It wasn't a story where I'm like, Oh, I want her to be a police officer since I was four years old. Like, you know.
Marty: Gotcha. [30:02.3]
Jason: People will say that, but it's, you know, that's like, that's not really why they'd be wanting to become a police officer. A lot of these guys become policemen because they think it's cool and, and then you, and then, you know, you figure out it's not that cool you know, 10 years into it, but, but yeah, I mean it was really just the, Hey, I get to carry a gun and, and work the streets of LA. Like, you know, the biggest police department besides New York, like in the world, you know.
Jason: Best training and all that stuff and you just kind of look at as a whole. And I didn't go into it like, cause a lot of guys, that's all they want to do, right? So I got to get hired and then they don't get hired and then it's like what do they do? But I was the opposite. I was like, Hey, I'm going to test if I get hired. Cool. I actually already had a good job. I was a, I was in medical sales before that and I was a Craniomaxillofacial big word, big, long word there. I'm like sales rep for Stryker.
Marty: Oh yeah.
Jason: So I already had a job. I was actually making more money doing that than I was as a, as a police department. And I actually took a pay cut.
Jason: But again, it's like, Oh man, it's cool job. Right. You know, I should've stayed there probably, but then I would have never taken the marketing path probably, so.
Marty: Yeah…no no.
Jason: You know, and I always liked guns, you know, grew up around guns. My dad was a big gun guy and was shooting all the time and all that good stuff. So that's kind of why I took the plunge originally. [31:21.4]
Marty: That's awesome. No, that's really, yeah, really cool. I think when people go into those things; it's not just like a decision. I think it's just inherently somewhere in their system.
Marty: That they can do that job. I know I couldn't, I don't have the patience to be a police officer for sure.
Jason: Yeah. I mean, it is a tough job. You know, people criticize policemen a lot. I mean, I even criticized stuff that I watch all the time.
Jason: And you gotta remember to like, you know, at LAPD, you're, I was involved in stressful situations every single night. Like I was chasing gang members, you know, with AK-47s, you know what I mean? Like they were running with rifles in their hands from, from me, you know so.
Jason: And, and, you know, and then you get a police officer who's caught on tape doing something stupid. Well, dude, he's probably scared. He's probably a little nervous. Like most policemen don't draw their gun 20 times a night, like I used to when I was a policeman, you know. [32:14.2]
Jason: Because they weren't dealing with the violence right. For me it wasn't, it was second nature to run after a gang member and you know, tackle them and fight with them a little bit. Cause you guys aren't going to jail, so they'll fight with you, you know? And.
Jason: That's just the way it is, you know?
Jason: And yeah, it sucks, but what are you gonna do? I'm just so glad I’m..
Marty: Go into marketing, right?
Jason: Yeah, exactly. When it's funny, I just want to mention to my parents.
Jason: When I, when I quit the police department, like a week later, my parents were w told me, they're like, you look 10 years younger.
Marty: I’m sure.
Jason: Like, seriously, you know, I was happier. I was at home. Like I was making pretty decent money at the time. I just, I felt good, you know, and I look 10 years younger and I, you know, I'm actually your age and I think I look pretty good, you know, for my age.
Jason: And I'll tell you what, if I was still a policeman, I'd have a lot more gray hair and I wouldn't look left for the way I look now. That's for sure, so.
Marty: Good for you man. So since this is you know, normally beer and golf that we talk a lot about. Do you drink beer dude? [33:15.5]
Jason: I used to. I'm kind of taking a, I kind of taken a break from a, from beer, but yeah, I used to drink a lot of, a lot of dark high alcohol content, beer, so.
Jason: That was my thing. I'm like give me the strongest beer you got. You know, I wasn't, I was more, I'm more of a whiskey guy.
Jason: You know, I like, you know, whiskey and just straight on the rocks and down it.
Jason: You know, all that good stuff. But, but yeah, but I did drink a beer I think from Chicago. What was it called? Something goose. It had a picture of this Island.
Marty: It’s called Goose Island.
Jason: There we go. Goose Island. I really liked that one. And one of my buddies gets an imported there from, from from Chicago there. Cause that's, I don't think you can buy those in the store. I don't, I don't believe you can. Maybe you can now.
Marty: Yeah, in certain parts of the country. I don't know what it is out West. Goose Island was an independent brewery and then they got bought. They have a bigger footprint now, but yeah, they, they make some decent beers, a little bit different now than it used to be, but still pretty solid. [34:13.7]
Jason: Yeah. And I used to hang out at a Golden Road a lot.
Marty: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah,
Jason: Oh yeah, that was right by my house in LA when I used to live in LA. Like, you know, pretty close to the city. And yeah, I liked hanging out at Golden Road. And then they got bought out by think Anheuser Busch.
Marty: They did.
Jason: And then of course all these people in LA got all pissed off and stopped going there… so.
Marty: Yeah, they had, when right before they got bought, they started distributing out here, out in the East coast and right before, and they had a Wolf pup, which was their session IPA.
Marty: Which I love.
Jason: Yup, yup.
Marty: And then being a craft beer guy, like know, yeah, I still have an occasional Miller Lite or a High Life.
Marty: But I try to stay away from, you know, the big Macro Beer.
Marty: Now you don't strike me as a golfer. [35:00.3]
Jason: Nope, definitely not a golfer… run ads for a, a golf coach though.
Marty: Yeah, that’s right.
Jason: Yeah, yeah.
Marty: I know, I remember talking about that. So this is a good question because when people don't golf and obviously I always ask the question of like how you perceive the sport as well as how you perceive the marketing of the sport.
Marty: Because I've been in the golf industry in one way, shape or form from a marketing perspective for close to six years. And the one thing I just did a presentation on Wednesday for the PGA section of Philadelphia.
Jason: Oh well.
Marty: It is always interesting when you start talking about the marketing. So now to golfers, it means something totally different. So asking somebody that doesn't play golf but then it is involved in marketing and sure it's successful in knowing how you run you’re everything. What's your perception of the whole thing? [35:51.9]
Jason: Well, I you know, growing up where I, where I grew up now, I don't know. Well I'm sure you've probably heard of it. You know, have you heard of the Sherwood golf course?
Jason: Yeah. So PGA plays there. I live like 15 minutes from Sherwood's. So growing up where I grew up, now golfing is, it's not huge, huge, but I mean Sherwood's right there. So you're, I always…golfing to me is like a rich guy's sport, right? Like that's kinda, that's how I grew up seeing it. Because, you know, Lake Sherwood right there and all that. And you got what Tiger Woods playing there and all these prominent guys playing at Sherwood. So that's growing up. And then it kind of changed a little bit. But for me, golf is like a language that I just can't speak. That's my best, best description. And then when we took on this, this coach who we run ads for, you know, it was funny when I, when he, he sent all this content over and he's talking about how, you know, you maximize your swinging and doing all this stuff. And I'm just like, dude, I can, this is the normal person gonna be able to understand this because I don't understand what's going on here. And he's like, yeah, trust me, don't worry about it. It's people understand that like the what I'm talking about in these videos and stuff. And I said, okay. But no, it was a, it was a bit of a challenge for us to like wrap our heads around like, how do we write ad copy for this, you know and sound
Marty: Sure. [37:13.5]
Jason: Like George Gankas is our client and I'm like, how do we sound like him? You know? But but it turns out, I mean, you know, I, I'm, I'm happy to say that I was a little wrong coming into it because, you know, it's a great sport, but I've met some people running ads for him that are just super cool dudes and I'm like, Oh man, I could totally hang out.
Jason: And have a drink with this guy any day. Right? Like, so my golf view was misconstrued when I was younger, but I've, I've grown to, to love it from afar, I guess you could say.
Marty: Yup. No, I think, I think you know, that perception is, is common. I mean,
Marty: I mean it's not a cheap thing to get into. I was lucky.
Jason: Right. [37:54.8]
Marty: My grandfather had, gave me his own clubs and I don't know whether he made me, but I was always enthralled. Like you always had golf on TV. It was like, because I was young, so this is like very early eighties.
Marty: He would always be watching what was kind of brand new going into that point it was what was called the Senior’s Tour. Now they call it Champions Tour.
Marty: And so I was like always watching like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicholas and all those guys.
Marty: And then I was like 12, 11 or 12 was the first time I went out and I was like hooked right away.
Marty: But mind you like, I mean it didn't have a ton of money growing up.
Marty: I wasn't destitute, but no, I was always paying like after, after four, you know, I had my parents dropped me off. [38:41.4]
Jason: That’s awesome.
Marty: And you know, eight bucks a public course, which definitely was not the nicest course in the world, but you wanted to go play. And my buddies and I, we used to go out and play and I was hooked ever since.
Marty: But there's two things to that sport, right? You have what you perceive, right?
Marty: Which is the high end and this totally exists, right? You know that.
Marty: And then you also have what I call is just like the blue collar golf. And that's where I've always been involved as you know, not until I was older did I play many high end country clubs. But like you put, you know, that whole atmosphere, yeah, it takes money to get in, but it, it comes down to like that same comradery.
Marty: And that funds stuff that you were talking about.
Marty: So it's always interesting with the marketing of the sport and what the perceptions are. So dude, I really appreciate it. We went a little bit longer than we normally do on these interviews just cause I think that's interesting.
Jason: Yeah sorry about that. [39:35.8]
Marty: Nah, I would have cut it off but I didn't want to hear it. You have a really good perspective and I appreciate you coming on. What you know, where can people reach you? No, just put out your stuff there.
Jason: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So if you want to get ahold of us, you can email me @jasonatspotlightsocialllc.com or our site. You can fill out a contact form there on our site, which is a spotlightsocialadvertising.com and we'd love to, to chat with anybody who wants to reach out to us. Yeah, I appreciate you having us, having me on and let me tell my story. It's always hard for me to talk about myself. I don't know why, but I always tend to say, nah, let me talk about you. But now I do appreciate it man. And thanks for all the, the props too. It's, it's good also to, so, you know, deal with people who know what they're doing, especially being in our mastermind and stuff. It's a, you know, it's a good group of guys and a good group of gals in there that know what they're doing and at high-level, so it's pretty cool. [40:32.8]
Marty: Yeah, it's always fun and that's why I definitely wanted to have you on, so I appreciate it my friend. Another episode of Taps and Tees, we're going to do these, and I have about 10 or 20 marketers and won't bore you with everything, but I think it's important that you know who the good people are out there, so I appreciate it and see you on the next episode.
Jason: Thanks. Bye. Bye. [40:50.2]
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