Episode 170: David Baer – The Power of Strategy: Bridging the Gap Between Tactics and Success

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In an engaging episode of the builders podcast, host Matt welcomes David Baer, a seasoned marketing expert and creative partner. The conversation unveils David's unique trajectory from theater management to wine marketing and eventually to pioneering strategies in direct response marketing. David shares valuable insights into the evolution of his career, the pivot points that led to entrepreneurship, and the lessons learned from the peaks and valleys of his journey.

David delves into the essence of strategic marketing, discussing how tactics and strategy interplay like the precarious rungs on a bridge in an Indiana Jones film. He speaks to the necessity of aligning marketing initiatives with broader business strategies and the importance of adopting technology, such as AI, in ways that amplify a business's capabilities. The episode is rich with David's experiences and his philosophy on nurturing a business ecosystem where technology enhances, not replaces, human potential.

Key Takeaways:

  • Embrace the concept of strategy as a guiding force to navigate from the current state of business to the desired future state, understanding that it's not a straightforward path, but a squiggly line filled with tested tactics.
  • Utilize AI and technology as a way to expand organizational capacity and improve efficiency, rather than replacing the workforce.
  • Marketing tactics should be employed in the context of the overarching business strategy, ensuring each step taken aligns with the end goal.
  • Trust, but verify – a lesson David stresses from his journey through entrepreneurship, highlighting the importance of due diligence in business decisions.
  • Access to advanced marketing and AI tools is leveling the playing field for small and medium businesses, allowing them to compete with larger enterprises.
David Baer, a Marketing Strategist & Direct Response Copywriter.

I'm a Marketing Strategist & Direct Response Copywriter helping my clients create profitable marketing systems designed to engage prospects and convert them into clients, customers, patients, members, and buyers.

I've been marketing since 1996 when I ran my first email marketing campaigns to sell classical music subscriptions. And over the last several years I've been helping entrepreneurs and businesses make smart marketing decisions that have enabled them to automate revenues and increase their bottom lines with little ongoing effort.

My clients include Financial Advisors, Wineries, Local Retailers, Health and Wellness Providers, Consultants, Service Professionals, Tech Startups, Information Marketers, Course Creators, and other Online Entrepreneurs.


  • Introduction
    • Opening remarks
    • Introduction of David Baer
  • Guest Background: David Baer
    • Background and experience in direct response marketing
    • Personal interests in wine and theater
  • Career Journey
    • Transition from theater to the wine business
    • Shift to entrepreneurship and challenges faced
  • Insights on Entrepreneurship
    • Learning from failures and financial risks
    • Importance of trust but verify in business dealings
  • Marketing Strategy and Consulting
    • Repositioning marketing agencies as strategic consultants
    • Training marketers to focus on bigger picture solutions
  • Business Strategy Discussion
    • Discussion of business strategies using the Indiana Jones bridge analogy
    • Importance of strategy in navigating business tactics
    • The role of AI in modern business strategies
  • Engagement with Technology
    • Perceptions and impacts of AI on business
    • Overcoming resistance to AI adoption within organizations
  • Closing Remarks
    • How to reach David Baer for consulting
    • Conclusion and sponsor message

Click to See Episode Chapters and Timestamp

0:00:23The analogy of the Indiana Jones bridge
0:00:53Considering tactics in the context of the bigger strategy
0:01:29Introduction of David Baer
0:02:18David's background and experience in direct response marketing
0:03:00David's interest in wine and theater
0:04:49Transition from theater to the wine business
0:06:15Enjoyment of working in a group effort
0:08:21Transition to entrepreneurship after employer went out of business
0:10:25Appreciation for working with others and learning from them
0:12:07Importance of surrounding oneself with knowledgeable people
0:12:57Matt talks about his experience working with Rapid Crush and the founders.
0:13:47Matt asks David about his first foray into entrepreneurship.
0:14:35David shares how he started doing consulting for wineries on Facebook ads.
0:15:26David discusses how his Udemy courses led to clients for his agency.
0:16:43David talks about his experience with a failed franchise investment and personal bankruptcy.
0:18:13David reflects on the importance of trust but verify in entrepreneurship.
0:19:31David shares the risks and funding methods associated with franchises.
0:21:12Matt and David discuss the lessons learned from their failures and financial experiences.
0:21:52David explains his current focus on working with marketing agencies and helping them provide the right solutions to businesses.
0:26:37David discusses how he and his business partner repositioned their agencies as marketing strategy consultants.
0:27:25Training marketers to focus on bigger picture solutions.
0:28:14Being the person who pulls together different expertise for clients.
0:29:11Small businesses lack professional guidance in revenue operations.
0:30:05Repositioning marketing service providers as trusted revenue growth advisors.
0:30:55Marketing and sales are more abstract and require strategic thinking.
0:32:02Small business owners often focus on the technical aspect of their business.
0:33:44Convincing business owners to start thinking strategically.
0:35:10Finding evidence of businesses already trying to achieve their goals.
0:37:21Strategy involves navigating tactics to move from the current to future state.
0:39:41Testing tactics within the context of the overall strategy.
0:40:26AI is an external factor that influences strategy and tactics.
0:41:07AI as a new technology and its impact on businesses
0:42:28Perception of AI by business owners
0:43:37Early days of AI and its potential impact
0:45:16AI enabling smaller businesses to compete with larger companies
0:47:08AI allowing businesses to do more with less
0:48:11Avoiding job loss and adding capability with AI
0:50:02Importance of identifying business problems for AI application
0:50:53Overcoming resistance to AI adoption within organizations
0:51:55How to reach David Baer for assistance
0:53:14Conclusion and closing remarks

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