December 18, 2015. I had a very productive two-hour chat with Roel Manarang, founder of Enamtila, a digital marketing agency.
At the time, career-wise, I was stuck in freelance growth limbo, and I knew that only something bigger than myself could get me out of the rut I was in. I was easily distracted and having difficulty staying on schedule.
I needed help finding my way back into the light, so to speak. Self-help guides weren’t working, largely because I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going.
And Roel made time to impart the knowledge he has gained from the years of building his own business from the ground up.
I messaged him via Facebook the night of the 17th, and asked if we could possibly meet over coffee. He was a busy man, and I surmised he would probably fit me into his schedule after the holidays. To my surprise, he told me he would meet me the next day at 7 p.m.
He arrived at our meeting place, a Starbucks inside a mall, a few minutes before 7 p.m. My kids and I arrived at the mall at least a couple of hours earlier, but they insisted that we first had dinner. Despite my resolve to be at Starbucks ahead of him, he was there before us.
Because kids, you know – but yes, no excuses.
He was seated with his back to the entrance, sipping coffee while reading a book. I’ve only met Roel once prior to this meeting, twice if you include that instance he was a guest speaker at a conference I attended.
The minute he saw me, he stood up and gave me a firm handshake. When we were both seated, we dug right into the meat of the matter. I could tell, he was wise beyond his years.
Two weeks ago, I sent him another message, asking if he could kindly participate in an interview series I would like to launch on the blog. Again, he readily agreed, hence this article – the first ever on our Digital Marketing Spotlight Interview series.
All that out of the way, here’s Roel.
When did you decide to become an inbound marketing specialist?
I started my career as a sales and marketing manager for a local business. Back then, I was using traditional marketing methods to promote the business.
In 2011, I embarked on a career in online marketing handling social media marketing projects. I also became interested in SEO and lead generation in the same year. 2012 came, and without even realizing it, I was already providing full-scale inbound marketing services to my clients.
Becoming an inbound marketing specialist was never a conscious decision I had to make. It just came about naturally due to my curiosity and hunger to learn.
What exactly is an inbound marketing specialist?
I have a slightly different definition. For me, an inbound marketing specialist is someone who values growth, focuses on ROI, and has an ability to connect and execute different marketing methods depending on the stages of the purchase funnel.
He/she should be able to drive results and earn the attention of prospective customers by producing interesting content, which is in contrast with outbound marketing.
What’s so exciting about inbound marketing?
Personally, nothing excites me more than seeing growth in terms of revenue, profit, traffic, and qualified leads generated. I love numbers, and metrics matter most for entrepreneurs.
Is there any particular aspect of inbound marketing you’re focused on? If so, why?
None that I can think of, but I keep a list of my favorite methods. My top three favorites include social media, content marketing, and lead generation – which also I think I’m best with.
Which tools, apps, and resources can’t you live without? And why?
I live and work as a minimalist, so I use quite a few tools. Here are some I can’t live without:
- Google Analytics for tracking and measuring marketing campaigns
- WordPress for developing custom landing pages, blogging, and more
- Sprout Social for scheduling social media posts
- Email marketing software (MailChimp, Aweber, Klaviyo or Bronto) for email marketing, marketing automation, and sales
- Others: Gmail, Asana, and Skype for communication
I know you’re big on books. Which five books made the most impact in your life?
Yes, books are the best investments I’ve made in my more than eight years in the marketing field. Below are five that made the most impact in my life:
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill on entrepreneurship
- Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh on delighting customers
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss on business
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu on competition
- The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene on influence
I also read different books that international schools use.
Which marketing blog/s would you recommend that other marketers read?
I don’t read a lot of marketing blogs nor do I have a favorites list. I rely heavily on experiments and A/B testing because marketing methods tend to be different for every business.
However, I read case study articles and execute the good ideas I learn from them.
Just to answer this question, those blogs I recommend that other marketers read are Moz.com and my personal blog (see link below). I rarely post though.
Where do you see the inbound marketing landscape in the next 12 months?
I see the inbound marketing landscape to revolve more around content in the next 12 months, or even in the next three years. Videos, podcasts/audio, images/photos, and articles would still remain the best tools in building online presence through inbound marketing for businesses.
What piece of digital marketing advice would you like to leave our readers?
The results you create depend on how you strategically execute your ideas.
Roel Manarang is the founder of Enamtila and Tycoon.ph. To date, he has helped more than 170 businesses from around the world, from small businesses to Fortune 500s. He also writes about digital marketing, profitability, work, and growth. Learn more about him at roelmanarang.com.