Interview with David Nies

Since 2001, David has been successfully advancing his career on the selling side of the advertising desk. Having sold for daily newspapers, broadcast television, and regional radio markets he developed a sustained and strong sense of the traditional mediums. After some time spent on the buying, planning, and implementation side of the desk David was able to experience how and where the traditional advertising mediums could be improved. This background led to David and a business partner launching Ballyhoo Mobile Marketing, Inc. with offices in Jacksonville, FL and Denver, CO.

When did you decide that you wanted to become an entrepreneur?

I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur after the debacle that was Enron, WorldCom, etc. I dreamed for years about climbing the ladder to a corner office, but seeing people lose all of their eggs from one basket falling changed that desire. From then on out, I decided I wanted to control my own destiny.

How did you know your business idea was the right idea?

Gut feelings led to the initial investigation: people use their phones more and more, period. Next, an in-depth business analysis proved revenue growth potential was there. Finally, I pulled from past experience, namely in radio advertising, to formulate a unique approach to molding mobile into the traditional advertising mediums for overall advertiser penetration and success.

What was the most difficult part in getting started?

Helping advertisers through the learning curve! Mobile marketing very much was and is the Wild West. There is no standard method for pricing, for sending messages, for developing applications, or launching mobile banner ad campaigns. This makes it incredibly difficult for advertisers, who are already wearing ten hats, to understand and embrace mobile. For us, this meant a much longer sales cycle than is experience with traditional advertising.

What is the top skill (or skills) needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Faith in your decisions is critical. In an industry that changes as rapidly as the mobile industry, it is easy to chase too many new products and lose focus. I am sure to always analyze all new opportunities but am careful to not pursue all of them and lose who and what we are.

What motivates you and/or keeps you motivated?

Showing our clients success! I originally got into advertising to actually make a difference and be creative, not to simply meet a budget and make commissions. I carry this passion through in what we do today and it motivates me everyday when we produce results.

What do you think is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Aversion to risk. There are many adjectives to describe entrepreneurs but I believe almost all stem from the willingness to lose big. Entrepreneurship isn’t gambling but the loss potential is much greater than working for someone else.

What has been one of your failures, and what have you learned from it?

Not anticipating the much longer sales cycle when we first started this business. It caused revenue to fall short of expectations. The lesson learned was how to shift budgeting, forecasting, and planning to embrace the longer sales cycle and still create a quality, relationship-based client base versus rushing the process.

Zig Ziglar once said "If you don't see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner." What are your thoughts on that quote?

I believe this quote is true; the mind is a very powerful thing and it will do what we tell it. Belief in one’s self is critical to success. Another favorite is by Thomas Edison and it reads “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” These two quotes reference belief and action; those two combined are a recipe for success.

What was the most crucial thing you have done to grow your business?

The most crucial move we made was proper planning. Being an entrepreneurial spirit, I am inclined to act instantly. However, proper planning both laid the proper groundwork to being and also helped keep the business on the correct path during times of question.

What advice would you give an entrepreneur who is just starting out?

Begin your research, planning, and then act…today! There is no time like the present. The economy and politics will always be debatable and, as an entrepreneur, you will have to work through all of it. So get started today and make your plan a reality.

Company Description:

Ballyhoo is a leader in all things mobile: SMS campaign management, mobile application development, mobile website development, mobile banner ads, mobile search, and in-application ads. Since the inception of Ballyhoo Mobile Marketing in May 2008, the company has grown by 300% annually thanks to successful campaigns helping advertisers both measure the return on investment experienced with current advertising and develop new campaigns that reach more deeply into customer relationships through mobile marketing technology. Ballyhoo lives its goal every day by creating mobile marketing campaigns that blend perfectly with an advertiser's current marketing mix and strategy.

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