Mark White has opened three multi-million dollar companies in the past two decades.
He has worn hats as an entrepreneur, financial analyst, marketer, and venture capitalist. After realizing that doctors aren’t taught the valuable marketing, management, and business skills to open their practice and scale their business, he made it his mission is to educate and empower doctors to learn those skills.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
I’m not boasting when we say that we were profitable right away. We actually created the very first lead-generation advertising campaign for doctors that focused on Testosterone called Vitality Connect. At the time, we were working with one doctor who was struggling to get through the front door. So we created the campaign for him, and after a few weeks, he called us begging for us to pause the campaign because he was receiving too many leads and didn’t have enough time to treat all his potential new patients.
That’s when it really tipped because we learned that if we could find a way to collaborate with more doctors, they could pay us a handsome fee for leads. So we started creating campaigns for doctors all across the US, and were very profitable for 10 years until Google changed everything. That’s when we had to start from scratch and rebuild from the ground up. What we failed to do was create a brand for ourselves and really establish it. That’s when we initiated a huge brand campaign, implemented a full in-house marketing team and opened our very own clinic in South Florida, HealthGAINS.
What I would have done differently: I would have started with building a brand first and then focused on a multi-channel advertising approach instead of relying solely on Google. If I had done that, we would have remained profitable and unaffected by Google’s advertising changes
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Honestly, it’s the people. In order to have a successful company, no matter which industry you’re in, you need to be surrounded by good-hearted people that have strengths in areas that you lack. I only hire “good” people, and good people will help you take your business further. I believe in a positive workplace, and if there is someone that is producing negative energy, I’m quick to remove them from my team.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes! It’s no secret that they don’t teach marketing, sales and operations in Medical School. And because of that, thousands of doctors struggle when opening an independent practice of their own.
That’s why we’ve created one of the only 2-day mastery workshops strictly for physicians and medical practice owners to help them grow their practice. In this 2-day mastery workshop, attendees work closely with our team of experts to gain valuable hands-on training and insights that you can implement immediately to accelerate the growth of your practice.
Through comprehensive instruction and coaching from our team of industry experts, attendees learn everything from sales to marketing and operations; by the completion of this workshop, doctors have all the tools and skills needed to develop and implement a robust marketing strategy for capturing and nurturing leads.
Our goal is to make sure that these doctors are able to run their practice successfully, so they don’t have to return to working for a larger organization.
What advice would you give to other marketers to thrive and avoid burnout?
You must constantly be learning and always try to be the first in your field, implement a new tool, etc. It will give you a huge competitive edge over any competitor. This was my mission with a company I created called GAINSWave, which is a branded shockwave medical treatment. Because we started on this right away, we’re the leaders in the industry and have dominated the market.
More advice: Surround yourself with great marketers by attending conferences and events, read as many marketing books as you can and listen to podcasts. The marketing realm is always evolving, and you must evolve with it.
Avoiding Burnout: Many entrepreneurs place a lot of attention on failed projects, thinking a campaign/company will fail after its first speed bump. Don’t do this. Just find a solution and don’t stress yourself out. What may seem like a huge disaster today, will be insignificant in a few months.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I would not be where I am today without my business partner and wife, Liliana White. Liliana worked at a tech-startup during the early stages of us creating our very first business, and she taught me the ins-and-outs of the marketing world. She’s a very knowledgeable marketer and was mentored by one of the “Sharks” on Columbia’s version of Shark Tank. You can’t do everything by yourself. My wife focuses on making sure our operations are running effectively, and I focus on the business and marketing side to promote our companies.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. There are hundreds of memorable marketing campaigns that have become part of the lexicon of our culture. What is your favorite marketing or branding campaign from history? Can you explain why you like that so much?
My favorite marketing campaign was Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” Not only did it put Wendy’s on the map as a new leader in the realm of fast-food, but it transcended genres and became an ever-lasting campaign whose tagline is still used today, despite the company ending its marketing campaign in the late 1980’s. The catchphrase gained national exposure, for free, during the 1984 Democratic debate between Walter Mondale and Gary Hart.
A successful marketing campaign to me lives forever and becomes personal to those that are not even affiliated with your organization or product, use it, which ultimately provides the business with free advertising and promotion for many years or even decades.
If you could break down a very successful campaign into a “blueprint”, what would that blueprint look like? Please share some stories or examples of your ideas.
A powerful campaign can be launched with a webinar. First, find a topic that resonates with your target audience and find a host(s) to lead the event online. Create a powerful lead-gen campaign using social media ads that drive prospects to register for the free event, which gives you new leads. Create an effective email nurturing campaign to send to existing leads that have not converted, directing them to the webinar. This will show them that you are constantly providing value. The webinar itself should not be salesy. It should be educational. And at the end, you can provide attendees with a special option to purchase your services/products at a discounted rate.
Not everyone will buy instantly, so you must create a comprehensive nurturing campaign that delivers more value and social proof to those that do not purchase. After a while, you can create an automated webinar that continues to run on its own, generating leads and building your brand’s reputation while you focus on new initiatives. We host webinars to educate doctors on how they can grow their practices and we also host webinars to educate consumers on how they can better our health. These webinars are all automated at this point, which requires no manpower from my team. Together, they have easily generated over $300k in just four months.
Companies like Google and Facebook have totally disrupted how companies market over the past 15 years. At the same time, consumers have become more jaded and resistant to anything “salesy”. In your industry, where do you see the future of marketing going?
So true. Google completely disrupted my business model after 10 years of unattested success. The future of marketing, which we’re currently living in right now, has shifted to authenticity and engagement. You have to show your warts and avoid the traditional angle of being manipulative. In my experience, if you’re able to be truthful, show your warts and use real stories to engage your audience, you will be successful — especially now with the transparency provided by social media.
Then, it’s imperative that you don’t rely on one source to build your business. For example, 10 years ago, my company only relied on Google, and we received 95% of our business from them. But then things changed. Now, it’s imperative that all businesses use a multi-channel approach with marketing. You need to be able to reach people on the platforms they prefer and do it continuously.
Can you please tell us the 5 things you wish someone told you before you started? Can you please share a story or example for each.
1. Brand Yourself: I’m humble and don’t need to be in the limelight. So, I started building brands for physicians I employed. But after we split ways, they took credit for all of the success and innovations that I had created. So, I was responsible for creating shifts in the market, but because I credited my employees for lack of being in the spotlight, I lost my credibility for those successes while they took them with them.
2. Don’t mix business and friendship: I once started a business with my best friend. We opened an office, bought computers and started doing well. We spoke one night about an idea I had that would be extremely profitable. The next day, I came into our office and noticed that his computer had been stolen! So I called the police and him as well to tell him we had been robbed. Well… I didn’t hear from him for two weeks, and then I discovered that he had stolen my idea, and started his own business utilizing it.
3. Don’t be too social with your employees: During the early stages of building my first business, I became friends with my employees. We’d go out for drinks, dinner, etc. What I learned is that being friends with your employees clouds your judgment, making it difficult to determine when it’s time to split ways with one of them. Employees are employees. If you get too close, your business will suffer.
4. There’s no magic bullet: I used to think that I could find one person, or one tool that would lead to my business’s success. That’s not the case. No one person is going to change your business. No one marketing tool is going to make you millions of dollars.
5. Take it all in stride: As an entrepreneur, you will be faced with many obstacles and failures. When you encounter these, don’t overstress them. Every failure makes you stronger. Just focus on finding a solution. I learned this when Google almost completely ruined my first business. But it actually led to the creation of multiple successful companies.
Can you share a few examples of marketing tools or marketing technology that you think can dramatically empower small business owners to become more effective marketers?
A powerful CRM like HubSpot can greatly help any business. This all-in-one platforms does everything from supporting automated email campaigns, tracking sales calls and notes, scheduling social media posts for the future and so much more. Every company that wants to be efficient and effective MUST utilizes a powerful CRM. It will save you time and manpower while keeping all of your efforts and that of your team, organized.
Secondly, webinars. Webinars are phenomenal tools to help you capture leads, build relationships and make sales. I actually wrote a 2-part article on the power of webinars that I will be sharing. As far as systems, I’ve found WebinarJam and ClickFunnels to be the most effective.
What books, podcasts, documentaries or other resources do you use to sharpen your marketing skills?
– Books: Anything by Dan Kennedy, Russell Brunson, Seth Godin and Jim Collins. Good to Great is also one of my favorite books.
– Events: Mindshare, Traffic & Conversion Summit, Tony Robbin’s events.
– Podcasts: Sales Influence with Victor Antonio and The Ben Greenfield Podcast
Who is your hero? Can you explain or share a story about why that person resonates with you?
My dad is my hero. He was an entrepreneur. He’s my hero because of his willpower and resilience to overcome any and all obstacles thrown his way. He taught me to use obstacles to my advantage.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
It would definitely be climate control related. The fossil fuel companies are doing a good job at convincing the world that climate change is not a real thing. It’s sad because if we keep going at this rate, the earth will still be here, but our grandchildren won’t. I’d like to lead a movement that helps us save the world, because if we don’t do something about it right now, we won’t be around much longer.
How can our readers follow you online?
Articles & Resources:
1. Webinar Success Workbook by Mark L. White:https://joingainswave.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/WebinarWorkbook.pdf
2. Why Webinars Are Vital For Your Practices Growth Part 1 — Article: https://www.scribd.com/document/414365171/Why-Webinars-Are-Vital-for-Your-Practice-s-Growth-Part1?fbclid=IwAR2G6DOc5ycYqdWD_BLAwhJ4VUuNAX80DNh0whqpU_jGph3ih6kz_MibjaQ
3. Why Webinars Are Vital For Your Practices Growth Part 2 — Article: