Putting Brains into the Back End

Jamie Houston the back end guy with his family

I am thrilled to be able to share this article with you from the Careers section of the Wellington newspaper, the Dominion Post, which was published on July 29th 2107 and written by freelance journalist Deb Tapp.
I welcome you to take 5 minutes and have a read to find out more about me and not only my professional career path but also my personal and, now, family life.

Please click the image to open it as a PDF, or scroll down below the image to read the text…The back end guy Jamie Houston of Honk Marketing talks about back end marketing - Article in Dominion Post Newspaper

Marketing strategist Jamie Houston helps businesses, but he gets a kick out of teaching music too.

Wellingtonian Jamie Houston gets his fair share of strange looks when he tells people he’s “the back-end guy”.

“I met this lady the other day who asked what I did, I said ‘I look after your back end’, of course her mouth dropped and she looked at me and said ‘well you don’t look after mine’,” he laughs.

“I do it on purpose, they might not remember my name but they remember that I’m the back-end guy, it’s about getting people interested in what I do.”

Jamie is no health professional, as many suspect after such conversations but he is a back-end marketing strategist.

In a nutshell, it means he specialises in helping businesses implement what he describes as sales and marketing funnels and campaigns that quickly lead to more business by simply tapping into their existing databases.

“I specialise in past client reactivation, I talk about getting that old database out of the cupboard and dusted off because they are the people who have already spent money with you, why not nurture them, engage them and find out who is ready to buy off you again?”

He believes too many businesses “flush their profits down the toilet” by spending all their marketing budgets on the front end, that is finding new leads and converting them into clients.

“As funny as it may sound, when it comes to your business, looking after your back end really is serious business,” says Jamie.

As he explains, it’s about having the proper customer follow-up systems in place to maximize the “lifetime value” of each customer so that they buy again, and even make referrals to friends, family and social and business connections.

Through his own Lower Hutt-based company, Honk Marketing, Jamie builds these “marketing funnels” by using email and web pages for his clients after several meetings about the course of action.

Right now he’s building a new marketing campaign for one client, and uses a third party email marketing platform, through which an offer is made, and based on recipients’ actions figures out who is ready to buy.

“I will be creating and building a landing page, a specific web page related to the campaign not a generic website, I will make sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, I will write the email copy in conjunction with the client to make sure it’s in keeping with their language but it also has a strong call-to-action, and a deadline.”

Jamie speaks of another client who was looking for ways to utilise their company database but were unsure of where to begin.

After enlisting Jamie’s help, they dusted off their old database and got it to the point where it could be used, and then sent an email campaign making an offer to past and current clients.

“They generated nearly $300,000 in turnover in a couple of weeks as a result of that specific email campaign,” he says delightedly.

For Jamie, that’s the rewarding part.

“On one hand I’m trying to take a 30,000 foot view of the business overhead, and on the other hand I’m a details guy.

“So combining the two to build out a campaign like that, then seeing people work their way through it and my clients coming back to say they’ve got, say, five new sales they wouldn’t have otherwise got, that is very rewarding.

“It’s also exciting to see the lightbulb go off in their minds, realising they’ve been missing out on all this business for so many years because they’ve been ignoring their past clients.”

Jamie began his own business back in 2010 and almost eight years on he’s juggling it with family life and two young boys, aged eight months and almost three.

As well as being “the back-end guy”, he’s also a musician.

He plays piano, saxophone and ukulele as a “fun strummer” and teaches piano to children from his home one afternoon a week.

“I have six kids come to my house and learn piano off me, I do that to get my head out of the computer and marketing and into the creative space, and I love it.”

Jamie wanted to become a musician from a young age.

He began playing the piano at age eight and continued with the same teacher for 15 years.

“When she retired I was her longest standing pupil – I played classical but convinced her to try more pop and rock when Elton John wrote Song for Guy and I wanted to learn it.”

He discovered jazz as a student at Wellington College and learnt the saxophone as a result, as well as jazz piano.

“On the last day of school I got a message from the office saying Shand Millers musical instrument store was looking for someone to work in their sheet music department.

“I had basically wagged all my classes and just did music at school, so I was the first person they thought of, and off I went.”

Eventually Jamie took up a Bachelor of Music at Victoria University, majoring in composition.

Outside of his studies he played classical piano at former Plimmer House Restaurant, now Boulcott Street Bistro, and worked in the hospitality industry at Wilton House and James Cabaret.

An about-turn followed – he successfully applied for a job working for Wellington photographer Simon Woolf firstly in admin and then as one of his assistants (he had several!).

“I’d do BA5 (Business After 5pm) events, university graduations and weddings as well which was pretty exciting.”

After a stint overseas and working in a bar in Ireland, Jamie slotted back into his role at Woolf Photography before making a return to the music industry.

“I worked for three different musical instrument stores both here and in [Lismore] Australia over the next 10-12 years, and at that stage I was getting up to management level.

“I was doing all the marketing and advertising for each shop I was running and looking for better ways to do things.

“Eventually I got to the point where I was in my 40s, I couldn’t see a big future in staying doing what I was doing, so I started looking around for other things, which is when I discovered the online world of marketing.”

After finishing a course by original “back-end” specialist and American entrepreneur Steve Rosenbaum, Jamie took the plunge and set up his own consultancy.

“I realised this was something that businesses really needed and I could offer it, so I quit my job after 30 years of having a job, it was a huge step and it took me almost two years to get up the guts to do it.”

At the time Jamie was still living in Australia, in Byron Bay, but he moved back to Wellington soon after to build up his business.

“Living in Byron Bay was amazing, the lifestyle was amazing, but everyone there is a lifestyler so it was hard starting a marketing consultancy and finding potential clients.”

Jamie has since joined various networking groups so that Honk Marketing can gather momentum and it is.

He’s also formed an online ukulele community that has about 16,000 followers on Facebook.

“I’ve actually built a little business out of ukulele merchandise, I did it as a way to show potential and current clients how you can build a following on social media and monetise it.”

Jamie enjoys the fact that working from home allows him to also be a family man.

After this interview he was taking his wife and two boys to Aroha Retirement Village where he runs a music group for toddlers.

“I take my ukulele and we have some fun for half an hour, it’s a very special time for me.

“It’s so fulfilling being able to share my love of music with all the little ones, to see their faces light up when their favourite song comes on and watch them do all the actions to go with it.

“Being able to run my business from home, and to have the flexibility to be with my family when it counts, is challenging, exciting and fulfilling, absolutely.”



20 Incredible Marketing Automation Stats

Editorial Comment: Here’s an article we have used and referred to many times in the past year since it was written. Here at Honk Marketing we specialise in designing, building and implementing automated marketing funnels, and when reading through the information and stats in the slides below, we realise how important it is to get this information out to as many businesses as possible.

More and more top-performing companies are adopting marketing automation solutions, and with the data uncovered over the past few years, it’s not hard to see why.

If you’re still not convinced, take a look at some of the marketing automation statistics below, and let the data speak for itself.

Original Article Source

Smart Marketing Ideas – Add ‘Memorable Value’

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends” Walt Disney

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In his excellent book ‘Turn Your Customers Into Your Salesforce’ author Ross Reck quotes the following startling business figures 25 percent of your success in business is getting a sale from a customer another 25 percent of your success comes from getting repeat sales from a customer a walking 50 percent of your business success comes from getting existing customers to recommend and promote you to the friends associates and colleagues.

So how do you get your customers to recommend your business to other people they may know? One proven strategy is to focus on adding ‘memorable’ value to them.


Here are some good examples of how to add Memorable Value:

1. The Nuts and Bolts Guy Who Improved Warehouse Operations:

Steve was industrial sales representative and sold hardware, nuts and bolts to industrial accounts. He dealt mainly with buyers in purchasing departments. His products were considered a commodity and he was under constant price pressure.

Now Steve was an engineer, and became interested in warehouse operations. During some extended sales calls, and during some of his weekends, he worked with the warehouse manager of one of his accounts. Together they upgraded the accounts warehouse management system. This saved the customer hundreds of thousands of dollars. His customer was very grateful and gave Steve all his hardware business with little concern for price (as Steve was generally reasonably price-competitive).

The owner of this company and the warehouse manager referred Steve to several other companies in the area and he helped install the same cost-saving warehouse system at some of these companies. Needless to say, he picked up their hardware business as well, again with little concern about pricing. Soon Steve was calling on the owners of companies (not the buyers) all over his territory. He offered the added value service of improved warehouse operations. This was accompanied of course by the purchase of his hardware line. Steve became the most successful sales person in his company.

Take Action

What inexpensive extra service or information could you give your customers that would create ‘Memorable’ Value for them?

2. The Shoe Repair Shop That Makes Life Easier For Customers:

A shoe repair shop adds great value to their clients by the way they do business. They provide a pick up and drop off service at no extra charge. They will always do it at a time that suits you, even if that is after-hours.

Then, as an added extra, they offer a key cutting service too! Wow, talk about making things easy. Most people have several pairs of shoes they would like to have repaired and several keys that they would like to get extra copies of. And guess when they intend to get them done? That’s right, when they have free time! Which of course never happens.

3. The ‘Vampire’ Dentist:

Many years ago a dentist in Los Angeles decided to set up a dental practice that only operated from 4 p.m. To 4 a.m. (I call him the ‘vampire’ dentist because he only opened at night).

He then took out small ads offering his services in the trade journals that supplied the Film Studios. He knew that films were very expensive to produce and the people involved in producing them often work long hours, so they didn’t have time to see a dentist during normal business hours.

No other dentist at the time offered the convenience of dental services after hours, and he made a great living for many years by doing this.

Take Action

How can you add ‘Memorable’ Value to your customers by making it a lot more convenient to do business with you?


Watch out for our next post where we will talk about “The Ten Minute Marketing Formula”.

Back End Marketing Strategies Exposed – Video

Watch as Jamie Houston of Honk Marketing in Wellington, New Zealand shows you how to build a large Facebook following from scratch and then capture them offline into a ‘Back End’ Funnel. This is an excellent demonstration of exactly what small businesses must do to monetise their Facebook Marketing.

This episode of Show Me Your Back End uncovers integral facts that many businesses ignore and illustrates step by step what businesses can do right now to start winning back past customers.

Click the video below to watch the “Show Me Your Back End Show” – brought to you by Build Big Biz & Steve Rosenbaum of ZapPowee.com

Jamie Houston Back End Exposed Video Screenshot