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July 3, 2020

Acres of Diamonds With Craig Valine

Acres of Diamonds With Craig Valine

In this episode, Andy discusses marketing strategies with marketing performance strategist and founder of EMP Alliance, Craig Valine.

Craig Valine focuses on enhancing marketing performance getting his clients better results from their marketing for about the same time, money and effort that they are already doing. He has been a marketing strategist for over 25 years.

Strategies discussed within this episode include acres of diamonds and three feet from gold. Both of these strategies are ways to increase your own customer’s value by increasing how much they spend or how often they purchase with your company. Discover what these strategies are and how you can use them to increase your own customers value.


Andy Splichal - Make Each Click Count PodcastAndy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and


Andy Splichal  0:00  

All right, welcome to make each click count the podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. And today I am joined by Craig Valine, marketing performance strategist and founder of EMP Alliance. Welcome, Craig.


Craig Valine  1:02  

Thank you so much for having me. 


Andy Splichal  1:04  

Well, it's great to have you. Why don't you tell our listeners if you don't mind? A little bit background about you?


Craig Valine  1:11  

Yeah, I am. Craig Valine. As you said, I'm a marketing performance strategist. And that's a fancy name for marketing consultant. And my focus is on enhancing marketing performance, to get better results from your marketing for about the same time, money and effort you're already spending. I've been doing this for over 25 years now. And if you hear a little little Boston accent, that's because I'm from a little town south of Boston called Hull, Massachusetts. And and so yeah, so that's what I do. 


Andy Splichal  1:50  

What I'm going to tell you how to how did you get into the business? How did you become a marketing performance strategist?


Craig Valine  1:56  

You know, I have been an entrepreneurial person and an entrepreneur since I was a kid. And it all started when my my father was giving my sister a $5 allowance, and I was getting a 5 50 cent allowance. And I figured it out one day, and I went to my dad and I said, What the heck, you know, he says, I'm gonna teach you a very valuable lesson that I don't think that your sister is gonna get. And he said, go out and earn it. So if you want money, go out and earn it. So I you know, I started that day, I had a friend who had three paper routes, and I remember her saying it's getting it was getting to her. So I said, I'll take any paper routes. And that went on to number one, I started making money, which is good about 20 or 30 bucks a week. And then she gave up another paper route, and then another paper route. And then suddenly, I was making about $150 a week just in paper routes. But then I started looking for opportunities. I started you know, mowing lawns. Every lawn on a hill, we had some big lawns, a hill, so wasn't just five bucks a lot. I'd make like 20 $30 every week to mow the lawn and started shoveling driveways during snowstorms. I had Christmas lights. I just looked for opportunity everywhere I could and my dad, as a joke bought me a book called How I raised myself from failure to success by Frank Bettger at he founded at a flea market, and I read it as an 11 year old and I just loved it. So one time, early, like I don't know, I guess I was 16 or 17 years old. And my friend, friend's family had a bicycle store down the bottom of our hill. And his dad was struggling to get business and he goes so my friend said you should talk to my dad, you're really good at making money and he's having some some tough times. So we went and just sat in his bike store for a little bit. And I just noticed that when people came in and looked around and didn't get what they were looking for, they walked out they never captured the information of an interested prospect. So I said, Why don't you talk to the people coming in and ask them what they're looking for. And if you can't find it, tell them you find it grabbed their information and then market them. Anyway, the story goes that it turned around the bike shop and my friend says you should do this for a living. So it didn't start out I didn't start out as a marketing consultant but ended up as one so yeah, so that's how I got into the business.


Andy Splichal  4:17  

Now was your friend's dad shocked when he got your invoice your bill for your service?


Craig Valine  4:24  

I did not build for that. For that free advice. I lesson learned later on in life I will say.


Andy Splichal  4:30  

Well that that story sounds like the missing chapter of Rich Dad Poor Dad.


Craig Valine  4:34  

Yeah, yeah.


Andy Splichal  4:37  

So EMP Alliance, what what is that all about?


Craig Valine  4:40  

So EMP Alliance, EMP is short for Enhanced Marketing Performance, which is the name of my company. EMP Alliance was is the derivative the the after effect of a local group that I had taken on back in 2007 called a The GKIC Inner Circle or local chapter of GKIC. GKIC stands for Glazer-Kennedy Insiders Circle. And that is the teachings of Bill Glazer and Dan Kennedy, who are direct marketing, direct marketers, marketing strategist, authors, Dan Kennedy is the author of over 20 books. I had been a student of his, for many, many moons, and they gave the opportunity to hold the Local Group basically, to attract like minded people. And in as a secondary benefit, you made money if you sold their books and got them to events and things like that. I did that starting in 2007. With another guy he left he left it to me. And we were very successful, we had one of the largest groups in the United States meeting once a month, just sharing ideas, here's what's working, here's what's not, you know, and that also turned into another group, a more advanced group, which you're a member of now, which is the advanced marketing mastermind group. And that is really a more a more a tighter group of like minded people who get results by just holding themselves accountable. So emp, the excuse me, EMP Alliance, became its own entity in 2013. And, you know, we just, we just really a support group for entrepreneurs. You know, it's like, whatever we can do together to help one another be more successful. I think we all benefit, you know, I benefit from helping others and others helped me in the process. So, yeah, so


Andy Splichal  6:38  

Well, that's a great community. Now, before we go any further in the interview, just what's an interesting fact you can share about yourself that not many people know?


Craig Valine  6:48  

You know, I started martial arts when I was nine years old, has nothing to do with marketing or anything, but I started martial arts when I was nine years old. And I became a black belt early on in my, in my teens. And early in my 20s. I had the chance to fight former patriots linebacker Andre Tippett in a battle down in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and I actually won November if you know, Andre Tippett or if you can see him, but a linebacker, it'd be a big guy, big guy, for some reason, I ended up in the same way class, and I'm not a big guy, I you know, especially at that time, I ended up in the heavyweight division of the fighting class. And it's called Point karate. So you have to basically, you know, punch a targeted area, and the judges have to see it. So it has to be clear, and did this double this kick, basically a sidekick to his midsection, and he almost grabbed it. And I pulled it away again, without dropping into the ground and I kicked again and I got him in the side. And that was the winning thing. I fell to the ground when that happened. He picked me up basically by my Gee and he says that'll never happen again, little man. So pretty funny.


Andy Splichal  8:02  

 Was that, was that a form of Miyagi Dojo Karate ?


Craig Valine  8:07  

Miyagi Dojo Karate. Now, this is Billy Blanks, karate, Billy Blanks if you're familiar with the typo. Billy Blanks was my instructor back in Quincy, Massachusetts for a while so,


Andy Splichal  8:18  

Oh, that's, that's a great story. Now, before we go any further, Craig had mentioned it, but I wanted to also say I am a member of his advanced mastermind group. And as of such, you know, I get a quite a bit of the content that you send out on a regular basis, right. On the last episode, I had spoken in the episode named wrangling up your customer value, the importance of calculating an often forgotten metric called the Customer lifetime value CLTV. And what that is, is the average order value, multiplied by the average times that customer makes a purchase, right? Did you happen to catch that episode?


Craig Valine  8:56  

I did. I did. 


Andy Splichal  8:59  

Cool. Well, one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show today was because I got one of the emails that you sent out regarding a interesting concept that which is very similar called acres of diamonds. Yeah. And I thought you might like to explain that a little bit as it would be a great extension to that podcast episode for the listeners out there.


Craig Valine  9:21  

Sure. Well, your episode, you know, describing your visit up to the dude ranch in the hotel up there. And, you know, their ability or inability to make your decision easy to come back, you know, is one of those things that every business deals with? And so, you know, the concept of acres of diamonds comes from a speech by a guy named I think it's Russell Conwell. It's an odd, odd speech, but it made the point that most people look everywhere for opportunity, happiness, etc, except under their own feet, where they're most likely to I find it with regards to the business owner, or ecommerce owner, or anybody who's in business, you know, they are so busy looking for that next shiny object and that shiny object means, What's the thing that's going to bring in a ton of new customers to drive a bunch of sales? When, in fact, a lot of that answer is sits right within their business.


Andy Splichal  10:24  

Right, right, I could see for Ecommerce that probably applies to communicating with customers, or, or how would you see it apply to ecommerce?


Craig Valine  10:35  

Yeah, well, you know, a lot of people have the stigma to emailing their customers on a regular basis. You know, they think I don't basically they use their own biases to prevent themselves from, from creating a relationship. And so they don't email their list on a regular basis, they might post sales, you know, Here's what's coming up for sale, you know, you know, when it's time, maybe once a quarter, once a month, whatever, but they don't have a dialogue with them. So the relationship is, number one, that's an opportunity, but what they should be doing is making more offers of products and services to their list. So it could be just in general what they have, but if they have, like, for instance, on Amazon, if you buy this, people who like this, also buy this. So it's like, if you like this category of this genre product, you also might like this, you know, so that's one way to do it. Make offers to customers more often reward people who buy a lot, you know, a lot of people treat every customer the same, and not every customer is the same. There's a category of customers who are buyers, buyers, buyers buyers, so when when someone buys often, you want to reward them for that, by giving them either freebies, or discounts, or unexpected rewards. You want to reward high volume purchases, people who spend a lot more than the average person who was a purchaser or customer, you might create VIP groups, or memberships or exclusive privileges for people. You know, again, if people feel special, they're more likely to continue to do business with you. Like for instance, if that hotel had offered you a VIP package here, you know, that offered you benefits that nobody else can does or will offer in that area, you might be more inclined to go back to that hotel, because now you're a VIP, and you'll be treated as such. But if you're just another, just and I always say this just another customer or just another business or just another blank, then you don't feel special. Yeah, so this thing that the ecommerce can do, I think.


Andy Splichal  12:39  

Yeah, no, I definitely or even have my information and sent newsletters or anything like that, I think would have been a would be a great way for them to to attract repeat business for sure, right. So that definitely it sounds like this can be used this strategy for Ecommerce as well as professional service companies?


Craig Valine  12:58  

Every business can benefit from this. You know, an Ecommerce business is just a business that does business online. Professional Services Company, you know, is someone who does business with clients, and the relationship still matters. You know, you still have to remind people that you're there, why you're there, that the person who chose to do business with you, you know, is special, that they put their trust in you. So you have to be it's like, and I think I said this the other day, when we were on the EMP Alliance call. And forgive me if I didn't, but I'm gonna say that anyway, is that you have to treat a relationship with a client or a customer the same way you would the one who's special in life and your case, it's your wife, right? If you don't let your wife know that she's special by just letting her know on a regular basis, giving her a hug or a kiss, giving her flowers doing something nice for her. Hey, I was just out and I thought I saw these flowers and I thought of you and she's gonna go oh my god, I can't believe you did that. For me, a customer has to feel that same way. Otherwise, if you don't let them know they're special, that's the moment someone else comes along that has something similar to yours they're gonna go with them.


Andy Splichal  14:11  

That's that's very similar in the podcast I call up my mother rule on how would you give your deliverable if it was your mother who was ordering it? That's right. So ya know, very similar. Now you also had mentioned a concept that was very similar to acres of diamond called Three Feet From Gold right? Now, you know it's besides being a jewel and a valuable mineral what what's what's the difference? What's What are they have in common?


Craig Valine  14:43  

Well, the concept Three Feet From Gold, I heard from thinking Grow Rich. Napoleon Hill he used the analogy of a young man who was mining for gold during the Gold Rush who got tired and stopped short just to have the next man who came along replacement find the gold three feet away from where the young man left off. And I use this analogy, it's like when you go into a casino, and you're sitting in front of a slot machine for an hour, and then it said, all of a sudden you decide to move to the one to the left and start playing that one, and someone comes in and sits in your old machine, and all of a sudden, they win. You know, it's like some people give up way too early, before they can mine the results that are truly there. So there's just a ton of gold, what what I would call Gold and Gold is the reward the benefit the results that are sitting within a business, and for the business. It's your past current and future customer lists, and the relationship, you have that list. Remember, it's important to maintain that relationship, just as I said before, it's making more irresistible offers more often, it's your special knowledge or expertise that that they may not even be aware of that you have to share with them. That is gold to them. And it's gold for you to benefit from your unique products or services that no one else offers underperforming marketing assets. I just wrote about that today. I don't know if you saw the email, but you know about little hinges swing big doors. And really, it's about underperforming more marketing tactics to a marketing campaigns that if you just test one thing against another one variable against another, you can get a far superior result. And that's what we call an underperforming marketing asset. If an ad is already working, and it's generating a result for you, how much better result can we get for the same time and effort? You know, well, that's it, you know, it's like, how much better result can we get how if we just test one headline versus another, if we test one offer versus another one list segment versus another, you know, we can get far superior results for for the same time, money and effort. And that's really where the gold is, it's like stop going and find that new strategy, when you have these things that work for you that you have what we call marketing assets, that gold, and all you have to do is utilize them more often and better.


Andy Splichal  17:08  

So the concept, if I understand it, is to tweak what's working and continually test it to improve it. As opposed to going out and looking for something new that may or may not work? 


Craig Valine  17:18  

Correct. If something works, even if it generated one new customer, we have to test against that to see what will get a better result for the same time, money and effort. And you know, in my article today, I wrote if you're spending $30 and generate five new prospects for that same $30, we can test a different headline against another we can do an ad split right in Facebook, if we were doing that on Google, right? We can test the different offers same one against the other and see which one out pulls the other. And so yeah, that's one aspect of it. But the other aspect, of course, is mining that gold. You know, the way I guess I would be? Yeah. Keep testing it until you find that better result, don't just stop if it didn't work this time or if it didn't produce outstanding results. That doesn't mean it can't by testing against another.


Andy Splichal  18:07  

Well, that's that's a great tip. Now with your coaching, tell me do you have a favorite type of business your work with?


Craig Valine  18:16  

My favorite type of person to work with? Is someone like you someone who has expert knowledge, who has expertise to solve problems. You know, I relate the person who can solve a problem to the character on Pulp Fiction Winston Wolf, Winston Wolf, it's like I'm here to solve a problem boys if you don't want to hear me. My advice and good luck. You know, I, I believe that there's a unique way to position such such a professional. And so I like working with them. And you know, it's just, you know, people solve problems with the best people to work with, in my opinion.


Andy Splichal  18:52  

Great, great. And if somebody did have a question for you, or wanting more information about getting some, uh, getting some of that advice, how can they reach you?


Craig Valine  19:02  

Yeah, you can visit my website first, which is Craig is C R A I G valine is a V A L I N E I can find me on on excuse me, Facebook. Under No B.S. Craig Valine. So Or you can just email me and my email is


Andy Splichal  19:34  

Okay, great. Well, thanks for joining us today, Craig.


Craig Valine  19:37  

Yeah, thank you. Yeah, I love to talk.


Andy Splichal  19:43  

You gave some great tips. So definitely thank you.


Craig Valine  19:46  

I hope it was valuable. 


Andy Splichal  19:48  

So that's it today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave a five star review. And if you're looking for better results from your online marketing request to join the Make Each Click Count Facebook group. We keep expanding need in fact, Craig just joined us all this morning that group. And if you ask him nicely within the group, he may be willing to answer a question or two you have regarding acres of diamonds are two feet from coal. Would you be willing to do that, Greg? 


Craig Valine  20:12  

Absolutely. Okay, great. 


Andy Splichal  20:14  

Well, thank you again. And that's it for today. Remember everybody stay safe and keep healthy. Happy marketing. This is Andy.