Pete Walter: From TV producer and media consultant to marketing services provider – MAF178

My guest this week is Pete Walter, one time TV producer now a media consultant who recently set up his own marketing services company.

We talk about how Pete set up BuzzRamp and the challenges he faced, and how his subscription model works and differs from traditional marketing agencies.

Welcome to episode 178 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Pete Walter: From TV producer and media consultant to marketing services provider - MAF178

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • What a TV producer does
  • How to deal with difficult media questions
  • Why Pete decided to launch a marketing business
  • How Pete’s company helps small businesses
  • Where it fits in with other agency solutions
  • The biggest challenge Pete faced setting up BuzzRamp

Who is Pete Walter?

After university Pete wanted to be an author and to run nightclub events for under 16s. When he failed at both of these, he worked his way up in television. Pete was a BBC producer for a range of politics, comedy and detective shows.

Moving between TV genres, Pete realised he didn’t enjoy his job. He was briefly a singer/songwriter and hosted a cabaret night. He became a media trainer and still runs that business. This led him to marketing and PR, and he now runs a marketing agency helping people produce content. He loves making ideas happen and says that’s what drives him.

Summary of our chat

Pete explains that a TV producer is essentially the project manager of the show. He has responsibility for one episode, working alongside the series producer. He says the role played to his strengths as he’s interested in a variety of things. It allowed him to get involved in bringing the whole project together.

We talked about handling difficult media conversations, for example an appearance on a Watchdog type programme. Pete says if you manage to convey one of your business messages in a media interview, that’s good. The trick is to turn any question you’re asked into an answer to express a message elegantly. It’s a useful skill to have, as you can avoid certain topics and put your point across.

While running a media training business, Pete created an eLearning course which forms part of the package he offers to big clients. He tried to sell it to small businesses, assuming they’d be preparing for media appearances. However, this wasn’t a priority for them, but the basics of PR and social media were.

Pete’s company is designed for small businesses doing their own marketing who can’t afford an agency. His solution makes their marketing as effective as possible, especially when they don’t have enough time for it. The platform provides support for a range of marketing needs, giving suggested tasks for each.

BuzzRamp fits in between people who are trying to do it all themselves and those who can afford an agency. If people can build their social media, have hits with PR and grow their business through the support on the BuzzRamp website, that’s a success story for the business.

Pete says his biggest mistake was not creating enough of an audience before he launched. He found it challenging being in the software world, because he doesn’t speak developers’ language. Focusing on the technical side meant that building an audience fell by the wayside. It’s important not to neglect that.

One Thing Pete Would Like Listeners to Take Away

Pete recommends concentrating on one platform to market yourself, and doing that to the very best of your abilities. It’s fine to be across different social media platforms, but if you’re a solopreneur or have a small team, it’s about choosing the one where your audience is.

People can often get caught up with the latest feature on a platform and don’t produce content consistently, which is the key to communicating effectively with your customers.

A marketing campaign or product that grabbed Pete’s attention

Pete said he recently saw an advert for Greggs Bakers where they attended a foodie event. They rebranded themselves as Gregory and Gregory and set up a stall with grey branding.

They gave out samples of the new Greggs summer menu, and all the foodies compliment the food. When they ask who the company is the staff turn the signs around to show that they’re actually Greggs.

Pete loves a good publicity stunt and is trying to come up with one for BuzzRamp – possibly giving someone free lifetime subscription if they have the initials PR. He wants to do something that makes people sit up and take notice.

Pete’s book recommendation

Pete says he’s a big fan of Contagious by Jonah Berger, which is quite a famous marketing book. He thinks it’s fantastic for anyone who wants to learn about what makes things go viral and why publicity stunts work, or don’t work.

Links and contact details

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