2540 Kensington Road N.W. Calgary AB accelerator@districtventures.ca Member Portal

Terry O’Reilly shares his marketing advice for entrepreneurs

August 22, 2017 — CBC host, author, and entrepreneur, Terry O’Reilly, joined Arlene Dickinson on this week’s episode of Venturing Out with Arlene Dickinson.

In this episode, Arlene chats with Terry O’Reilly, CBC host of Under The Influence, author and serial entrepreneur, about the importance of marketing when it comes to branding a business. Arlene and Terry also share tips about what is the best approach when it comes to  entrepreneurs using social media.

Terry began his career as a copywriter at a local radio station, and went on to be on the creative team of a major advertising agency. Risking it all, he went out on his own and became an entrepreneur at the age of 29, co-founding Pirate Radio & Television. Along the way, Terry has gained a lot of advertising wisdom, especially how advertising is not about selling stuff:

“Amateurs think that marketing is about selling stuff, and I think the pros know that it’s about differentiating your business. Once you can differentiate your business in your category, then I think the selling really starts for you. And until you do that, until you have a story, you don’t have a business.”

This concept is also true for business owners who are trying to stand out. Take note from Terry’s story below:

“So we started out as a radio company and then eventually became a radio and TV company. But what we did is that we made radio sexy. Radio in an advertising agency was always the bottom of the ladder. It was given to the juniors. Nobody cared about it. The studios were small dingy basements, and I hated that, too.

So my partner and I built a studio that was beautiful and had windows to the outside and were decorated like beautiful cottages in Muskoka. And instead of just handing menus out at lunch, we brought in five-star catering. We fed our staff breakfast every morning, we flipped pancakes — because the family that eats together stays together. So we created a whole new way to create radio.

On my radio show, I think maybe, if I do stand out, one of the reasons might be because I aim my show at the average Canadian — in other words, not at marketers. It’s to the average Canadian that I’m talking to. And I really…one of my favourite emails I get, Arlene, and I get it often, is this… ‘hate advertising, love your show.’ Hate advertising, right?”

For more marketing tips from Terry on Episode 6, click here.

CBC Calgary presents Venturing Out with Arlene Dickinson. It’s a seven-part series of candid conversations between Dickinson and some of Canada’s top entrepreneurs. They cover the highs, the lows and everything in between when it comes to starting and running a business in Canada.