Debra Murphy is president of Masterful Marketing®, a full-service marketing agency that provides marketing services to small businesses who want to invest in the success of their company. Her passion is to help business owners navigate the complex maze of online marketing to increase visibility and generate inbound leads.
Experienced across all traditional marketing channels, Debra specializes in inbound marketing, a combination of search, social media and content marketing, to help small businesses effectively utilize this new media to gain visibility and generate inbound leads.
In combination with her marketing expertise, Debra has incorporated the 90 Day Year System of Performance, Achievement and Execution into her services. Incorporating this unique, proven and science-backed system of high performance into your day-to-day execution, helps you get more done in 90 days than most do in one year.
She enjoys sharing knowledge, inspiring success and motivating business owners both individually, in groups and by speaking at events.
How did you start out as a marketer?
I got my start in marketing when I was back in corporate America, working for technology companies. With a background in computer science, I worked in engineering as a product manager. I then joined a former manager at a small software startup as the director of marketing, and eventually VP of Marketing. I have to credit my breadth of knowledge to that opportunity. Since we were so small, I had to do all of the marketing strategy, communications, advertising, seminars and eventually, manage the website project. That experience gave me a solid foundation to start my own agency and evolve into one that focuses on inbound marketing for small businesses.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
The most rewarding thing for me is helping a small business implement a custom marketing strategy for their business. Most small business owners don’t have the time or knowledge to market their businesses in today’s online world. Gone are the days of placing an ad in the Yellow Pages and that’s all you needed to get your phone to ring. With the complexities of the online channels, they know they need help. When I can build their professional online presenceand get those inbound leads flowing, I see the gratitude in their eyes. They get so excited that they have visibility and can focus on running their business.
But I also like working with the owners to educate them on how to market their business. Many of my clients need the education so they can make informed decisions in the future. I tend to split my time between being a consultant and a coach.
What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?
My focus is on inbound marketing. Most small businesses don’t have the money for advertising. Creating a powerful web presence and then getting found through organic search is a much better and longer term strategy.
SEO fascinates me. I love to research how and why people search and then create a strategy that can use that information to gain visibility in the search results.
What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
I am a constant learner. I read a lot of blog posts in my specialty. I also do a lot of research when I write my blog posts, learning about the topic so I can write about it intelligently.
Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?
This is hard to answer because I’m proud of all the work that I do for my clients. My goal is to help them their goals. When I do that successfully, even if the project was small, I have succeeded. For example, I just recently launched an eCommerce website for a client in early August. The traffic for August was up over 100% from July. Their comment to me was “You did a great job. We feel it at the store. We are oversold now on [the product] and in somewhat of a pickle. Good problem to have.” Those types of results make me proud.
What advice would you share with other Marketers who want to become more productive?
Focus on one area of marketing that you can become the expert. It’s impossible for one person to know everything about online marketing. Pick what interests you most and become the best in it. Then don’t be afraid to say “That is not my area of expertise. Let me bring in someone who specializes in it”. Partner with other marketers whose focus is different. Work together to pass business to each other. That has helped me gain and keep clients. Nothing frustrates clients more than getting someone who says they are the expert but really don’t know a lot about marketing.