To provide useful tips and information in an entertaining manner that makes you want to hire us to speak and purchase our books because you love us that much!
Ranalli & Volpe, each with an entrepreneurial spirit, a unique perspective on marketing & communications, and an affinity for broadcast, teamed up to bring you Marketing RV. Don’t let the recreational vehicle fool you. Neither Lorraine nor Gene has a particular passion for these vehicles but both are passionate about helping others select the right vehicle to deliver the right message to the right audience. RV = Ranalli & Volpe. They are movers and shakers whose show is agile and mobile. Come on board and enjoy the ride!
MA & PA CAN HOLD THEIR OWN - EPISODE 015
It’s always parochial in Philadelphia! Callistus or Donato’s? That question sparked a very enjoyable, relatable, and interesting conversation between Marketing RV hosts Ranalli and Volpeand Antonella’s Italian Kitchen owners Antonella and Ray Santacroce at their Bryn Mawr, PA establishment. Gene was born and raised in the same neighborhood where Ray and Antonella grew up, albeit a few years after the restaurateurs.
Most restaurants fail within the first year. So, how did Antonella and Ray manage to keep growing their business year after year for 24 years? The secret is literally in the sauce and in everything else they make. With passion for quality and attention to details, this Ma & Pa pair keeps people, product, and process top of mind. The best part about it is that their recipe for success comes naturally to them. What’s even better is that they share it with us! In addition to a half hour of entertainment, you’ll get some good takeaways from this episode.
Download Marketing RV here.
INVOKING MULTIPLE SENSES FOR OPTIMAL MARKETING - EPISODE 014
Lorraine and Gene dig deep into the food and beverage to understand the marketing philosophy that differentiates Autograph Brasserie in Wayne, PA from a myriad of restaurants. One of Fearless Restaurants’ nine unique restaurants, Autograph features themed dining areas and every room, including the restrooms, is adorned with signed photos and album covers of noted actors and musicians. From the oversized lounge and the boulevard to the fresh and easy sycamore room and the handsome clubroom, the ambiance is exquisite.
Hospitality is manager Casey Kyler’s main focus. The Katharine Hepburn look-alike has been in the restaurant biz since she was a teenager and with Fearless Restaurants for several years, having managed their White Dog Café in Wayne prior to running Autograph. She said the wow factor at Autograph never gets old. Three years after it first opened, Autograph continues to attract first-time visitors, as well as regulars.
According to Len Boris, Fearless Restaurant’s Beverage Director, naming the restaurants’ signature cocktails is much more challenging than conceptualizing them. Len has a job to envy. He works with the bartenders at each of the restaurants to develop effervescent blends that tantalize the senses, on par with the entire Autograph experience.
As Gene accurately stated, it’s pure genius. “The more senses you invoke, the better you’re remembered.”
Hearing Casey and Len describe Autograph is like listening to artists describe their creation. It’s clear their respective roles are passion-driven, which drives the success at Autograph.
Any business can be as successful when its leaders imbue passion, engage employees, and aim to be hospitable.
Download Marketing RV here.
PROBLEM SOLVING & HUMAN CAPITAL TO ENHANCE MARKETING FROM THE INSIDE OUT - EPISODE 013
Lorraine and Gene take Marketing RV on the road to Autograph Brasserie in Wayne, PA. Another of the nine Fearless Restaurants does not disappoint. Typical of these establishments, Autograph provides experiences for the senses—from the exquisite food and creative beverages to the ambiance and well-appointed décor, this restaurant is a must-visit-and-return-often.
Marketing RV guest du jour is Natalie Pantaleo, a creative problem-solving consultant and facilitator with a rich history in Marketing-Communications. By centering her approach on collaboration and a belief that the sum is greater than its parts, she created many meaningful relationships, campaigns, and subsequent success stories. She shares some of these stories as she explains the genius behind Synectics, how she arrived at the program in her career, and how the program has been used successfully for half a century.
According to Natalie, drawing on 50+ years of observing human dynamics, Synectics foiled the things that caused the breakdown in innovation and true problem-solving. Quoting Einstein, she said, “You cannot create a solution within the space where the problem was created.”
Synectics allows participants to think outside themselves through the use of various tools that include language, metaphors, and spring-boarding techniques. “It’s much easier to work feasibility into a new idea than to work newness into a feasible one,” Natalie said.
Anyone in any business or organization will benefit from learning about Synectics through Natalie. Of course, Lorraine and Gene are interested in the benefits from an internal and external marketing perspective, but access to such a program is a must-have in any HR toolbox. Contact Natalie at NPanteleo@SynecticsWorld.com.
Download the Marketing RV here.
CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE SECRET SAUCE - EPISODE 012
Marketing RV was invited to pull into White Dog Café, Wayne, and hung out for this second episode featuring General Manager Ettore Ceraso. The theme of this episode is simple yet crucial in terms of marketing, and Ettore is an expert on the topic.
A native of Naples, Ettore immigrated to the United States as child and, with his family, settled in Philadelphia where he was educated and took a shine to the restaurant and hotel industry. Ettore says he’s in the service industry. This disposition is key to his success because his mission is not self-service but customer service. It’s that simple! Imagine what that approach can do for your brand, your business, your personal success.
Ettore began his career at The Fountain at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia. He later helped open Davio’s Steak House, where he remained for two decades. Now, he’s on a mission to learn his new Main Line audience as he prepares to open Rosalie’s in the historic Wayne Hotel. White Dog’s executive chef Merick Devine has been tapped to be the executive chef at Rosalie’s. “He blew my socks away,” said Ettore. “After that [tasting], I knew I wanted to join the team.”
Rosalie’s will feature “Italian Soul Food,” a term Lorraine notes was cleverly coined in a popular 2009 publication. Rosalie’s is named after the mother of Fearless Restaurant’s Marty Grims, a visionary who constantly reinvests in the Fearless brand.
Regarding customer service, Ettore said it all begins at the back door, with each member of the team. Training, development, and coaching is vital, and sometimes “our servers coach us,” said Ettore.
Download the Marketing RV here.
THE GENIUS OF GROWING VIA PR - EPISODE 011
While Ranalli and Volpe broadcast from White Dog Café in Wayne, Pa., they explain their unique podcast model that marries new and traditional media, and they dig into the success of Fearless Restaurants. So, there’s a little something for every business enthusiast in this show.
White Dog is all about being a good neighbor. Partnering with Alpha Bravo Canine, a local organization that raises and trains service dogs for veterans with PTSD, the three (soon to be four) White Dog Cafés raise funds via Dining Out with the Dogs. The goal is to raise at least $50,000 through the annual event to cover the cost of training one dog for one veteran. Hmmm… What if the annual event, in partnership with Philadelphia’s WMMR, raised $50K at each White Dog Café location to cover the cost of raising and training three dogs? Consider that a challenge!
Here’s a challengefor Marketing RV enthusiasts: Alpha Bravo Canine’s Jennifer Green is looking for warehouse space to train the dogs with veterans. It needs to be ground level to accommodate the veterans. It doesn’t have to be an entire warehouse. What a great opportunity to be charitable and serve!
Jaimi Blackburn is the Director of Public Relations for Fearless Restaurants. Wait until you hear some of the fantastic events she’s cooked up to promote the chain and engage the community, including the Fearless Women Speakers Series.
Ranalli and Volpe pack a lot of info in each 30-ish-minute episode of Marketing RV. Yes, even the useless info is fun! Check out the highlights if you’re too cool to listen beginning to end, but don’t miss what Gene has to say about Facebookchanging its newsfeed to make it more one-on-one. And you thought you could rest on the laurels of your current social media strategy?
Download the Marketing RV podcast here.
#LIFEHACKS - EPISODE 010
“Life hack (or life hacking) is any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life” ().is the name of business. Similar to traditional speakers’ bureaus, Jennifer’s speakers are experts in their fields who offer a valuable life hack and go through a vetting process. The secret sauce is how this business serves a broader niche and pairs speakers with businesses and organizations.
Jennifer is a Super Connector, who through skillfulness, perseverance, and risk-taking has been involved with the success of at least three major networking services as either founder, partner, or both. Jennifer shared her story of beating the odds after being hacked, if you will, personally and professionally by a former trusted paid consultant. Despite the attempted sabotage, , a networking/social group with chapters across the country, prevailed. Fabulous Shoe Night has a for-profit model that raises funds for local charities or people in need.
is a networking group with which Jennifer has been involved for more than five years, and for which she now runs a territory. Its unique model takes the guesswork out of networking by pairing professionals with individuals working in fields with which they want to network. After joining the PowerMatch staff, Jen identified a need and started her business. She’s a serial entrepreneur who understands partnering to marketing, which made her an ideal Marketing RV guest.
After receiving a last minute invitation, Jennifer spontaneously joined Lorraine and Gene for this Marketing RV podcast from in Springfield. Everything about this episode is serendipitous—from the way it came about, to the topics and the various interconnections uncovered between hosts and guest.
While Lorraine and Gene were thrilled and delighted by providence, they were not surprised because this is exactly the type of marketing they practice and the intended outcome for which they strive via the Marketing RV podcast.
Unable to contain her enthusiasm as Jennifer described , Lorraine divulged details about her 2017 #public speaking Twitter experiment that led to the release of her book, . Like an excitable kid in a candy store, Lorraine continued connecting dots, pitching herself and Gene as #LifeHacks Speakers and offering Gene’s consulting services.
Pay particular attention to the very end of the show when Jen reveals the irony of a personal challenge in light of her newest endeavor.
Download the Marketing RV podcast here: https://marketingrv.gvimedia.com/episode-010-lifehacks.
Download the Marketing RV podcast here: https://marketingrv.gvimedia.com/episode-010-lifehacks.
LEVERAGE EMPLOYEE AMBASSADORS - EPISODE 009
How do you leverage your employees for marketing purposes? With the right protocols in place, the concept is not as risky as it appears. Lorraine advocates for identifying those within an organization who are most likely to actively cheerlead, and then equipping them to do so. Gene waves the caution flag, noting potential liability.
In the end, both Lorraine and Gene agree that all things considered—industry, type of organization, product, mission, etc.—with solid policies in place, clear communication, and sound training and development in place, employees or staff should be encouraged to function as brand ambassadors. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s video, Why you might need to fire your most talented employee. He explains the value of emotional intelligence and how continuity and lack of politics will make your company grow faster. If Gary’s three-minute video is not enough to convince you to choose wisely for your organization, read Jim Collins’ Good to Great.
This episode of Marketing RV was recorded at The Porch at the Lamb Tavern in Springfield, PA. Lorraine and Gene make the rounds actively with Marketing RV. Get in touch to find out how to bring the podcast to your location.
Here are links to upcoming broadcast venues mentioned in this show:
TERRESTRIAL & WEB RADIO - EPISODE 008
Radio is not dead. It’s more alive now than ever with a plethora of options, niche shows, and channels that include everything from podcasts, to traditional AM/FM to shortwave. While platforms and delivery methods vary, the common denominator is delivering content, providing listeners with value to keep them tuned in. Marketing RV welcomes veteran broadcaster and Nashville darling Paul Ladd to the show to discuss his program, which broadcasts worldwide over shortwave and online.
Lorraine has fun discussing the industry with her fellow radio veteran and you’ll appreciate how terrestrial radio seamlessly utilizes electronic marketing to attract listeners. This is just another example how new and traditional media unite.
Paul’s show, The English Hour, airs twice daily on World Christian Radio, a network he describes as “NPR got Religion.” The English Hour is a human-interest show featuring well known authors, politicians, entertainers, journalists, etc. He tells the RV about several of his more notable interviews including news anchor Larry Kane, singer/song writer Michael McDonald, and the famed Fisk Jubilee Singers. Paul was in town for a keynote at the Shortwave Speakers Festival.
In this episode you’ll get a preview of Gene’s new podcast Barbells & Brews as well as insight into his musical tastes, or lack thereof. Help Gene answer his burning question, “If I come to Nashville, will I want to kill myself?”
We are grateful to DiFabio’s for allowing us to take up valuable dining room real estate. The food was delicious as always. We are also grateful to Chico’s Vibe for granting us permission to use their copyrighted music as show beds. Here’s a great clip of Chico’s Vibe from a few years back with Preston & Steve on WMMR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znr1MeOyHN4.
COPYRIGHTS & TRADEMARKS - EPISODE 007
Intellectual property is a topic with which anyone active in social media, blogging, and any form of electronic media must familiarize themselves. Attorney Adam Garson discusses with Ranalli and Volpe various aspects of intellectual property with focus on his forte, copyright and trademark law.
Copyright infringement comes in many forms. Adam explains that simply attributing content to its proper owner does not necessarily indemnify a poster from copyright infringement. Permissions are necessary. Likewise, by sharing content on certain sites, an author often relinquishes his copyright to that content. Of course, if the author is a known entity—an established brand—his name is protected by a common law trademark. That means anyone who claims attribution for his content is in violation of that trademark.
The lines might appear fine and confusing, which is why it is always best to consult a professional.
Thank you DiFabio’s for allowing us to take up valuable dining room real estate. The food was delicious as always. Thank you Chico’s Vibe for allowing us to use your copyrighted music as beds to our show. If you’ve never heard Chico’s Vibe, check out this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znr1MeOyHN4.
LAWS & STORIES - EPISODE 006
Think about the fond conversations you have with family and friends as you sit around a kitchen table breaking bread. That warm, familial, and familiar feeling is akin to the Marketing RV podcast experience. Like a kitchen table conversation, this show moves quickly, entertaining while informing about the topic at hand. It is not too dissimilar to Cucina Chatter, Lorraine’s radio show and podcast from 2010 to 2012 that Gene often references and intentionally botches.
In this episode Lorraine and Gene broach legal issues involving online content. Find out who owns copyrights, how easy it is for anyone to violate trademarks, and how infringement on either damages an organization’s reputation.
Realtor Dave Joslin returns to the show to discuss Isagenix, the weight loss program that put his brand on the map. Isagenix is a weight loss program sold via multilevel marketing. Dave was never interested in it but purchased it in 2017 from a friend who pitched it incessantly. The product sat for months until one day in mid-2018 Dave got fed up with his body and decided to make a change. He has never looked back and by all accounts has not looked as good in years. Dave shares the story of his weight loss and his viral ham video.
Interesting and relatable as a weight loss story is, Lorraine and Gene were taken by the way this personal story boosted Dave’s presence in the crowded real estate landscape. Sometimes successful marketing is a matter of sitting back, taking stock of all the elements that comprise your brand, and leveraging to the best of your ability. Dave said the key is to just start.
Gene echoes Dave’s sentiments when Lorraine questions him about the most common concerns of his clients. When it comes to marketing, it appears getting started is the most difficult think for individuals and organizations, even those that have all the tools in place.
Lorraine touts Nike’s hugely successful “Just do it!” tag line that will live in infamy. She latter posted the infamous swoosh on her LinkedIn page, inviting followers to share their favorite tag lines. The post is still going strong and attracting thousands of views.
Bringing the show full circle, Lorraine and Gene advise not to run from or hide negative responses and feedback to social posts and welcome your feedback to the Marketing RV podcast. So, listen and leave your comments! The podcast is free and you will not regret investing 30 minutes.
Shout outs to Chico’s Vibe and Doc 7 for the show’s theme music!
BLOGS & CONTENT - EPISODE 005
To blog or not to blog that is the question posed in this episode of Marketing RV. While businesses scramble to embrace content marketing, which is all the rage, how many understand the impetus for content. Lorraine, the PR traditionalist, touts the benefits of attracting attention by giving the audience key takeaways via content. Although Gene prefers video messaging over straight text, he explains why text is such an important part of all your electronic marketing.
Two guests get some airtime on this show. Real estate agent Dave Joslin reveals the best piece of advice Gene ever gave him. As Gene’s former high school football coach, Dave also speaks candidly about Gene’s athletic prowess, or lack thereof.
Christine Rizzo also dropped by DiFabio’s Market & Tap to participate in the show and gain insight on leveraging social media to promote the Shevlin Family Foundation, where she serves as executive director. The Shevlin Family Foundation supports families of those struggling with addiction. They provide short-term housing for addicts going into or coming out of recovery. They also supply basic household goods. Christine also explains her transition from regulatory compliance consultant to teacher, to non-profit leader.
Food is always an integral part of Marketing RV but you’ll also snag these takeaways:
- LinkedIn’s blogging feature always ranks well.
- Simply having social media is no longer enough. You must provide relevant content consistently.
- Short videos make great content.
- “The Latest Tips for Branding Yourself on LinkedIn.”
Plus, you’ll learn how and why memes came to be.
Our goal is to reach 55,000 followers by summer. So, download the show free from your preferred podcast vendor and tell two friends about it. Then they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on…
TECH & BEER - EPISODE 003
When marketing our businesses, it is easy to use the tools with which we are most comfortable. However, as Lorraine constantly stresses in her writing and soft skills training courses, it is always best to cater to the audience by communicating in their preferred style. The concept seems obvious. Often businesses or business leaders think they do just that when in reality, they do not. That is because we are wired to go with what we know, and we assume what is familiar and comfortable to us is familiar and comfortable to others, too.
“Like, duh! Everyone knows that.”
The truth is we all grow up accepting the reality that has been presented to us. So, we use the tools that we find most comfortable. For generations of people born around 1980 or later, those tools are likely electronic in nature. It’s what they know because electronics have always been part of their lives. Those born before 1980 have to learn the new tools. Many embrace change and take it upon themselves to learn the new. Thus, the learning curve is seamless. Reluctant types find adapting a little more difficult. Still, some refuse to learn, rendering themselves or their businesses obsolete.
Gene and Lorraine explore the effects of adopting technology on personal and professional success and the direct correlation to wealth accumulation. They reference the Bloomberg article, Super Rich Americans are Getting Younger and Multiplying. This show is not all about facts and figures, unless you consider the effect of beer on your figure, which is the central theme of Gene’s soon-to-be-launched podcast Barbells & Beer. Lorraine, on the other hand, isn’t really a drinker but seems to really enjoy hanging out at bars, which is why the pair broadcasts from Pica’s in West Chester, PA. They welcome you to the table. So, keep an eye on the Marketing RV social pages to find out when you can be part of their next broadcast.
Shout outs to Chico’s Vibe and their spinoff band Doc 7 for the Marketing RV music bed. The song you hear is She is There by Doc 7.
REGULATING INFLUENCERS - EPISODE 004
RROn one hand, our Marketing RV hosts think the internet should be completely free from government regulation. Actually, that’s the only hand that matters to both Ranalli and Volpe. They do recognize, however, that none are immune from making stupid decisions based on influencers. So maybe the solution is for individuals to be aware of the potential fraud in cyberspace and any space, and to do some homework before acting or reacting. Whether it’s a purchase, a diet trend, trying a new exercise, or even commenting on a post, pause and think about the consequences. Sure, that’s easier said than done but the alternative is a nanny state, and who wants that?
Social media influencers is the topic of this podcast. One story our food-enthusiast hosts did not cover was the Fyre that burned a lot of young people expecting a luxury vacation and music festival.
Fyre may have singed the entire influencer industry, or at the very least created permanent smoke damage. Click here to read about the scandal involving a remote tropical island, models, and much anticipated music festival. If you’re not familiar with the story, check out Variety.
BEGIN! - EPISODE 002
Marketing as Part of Your Business Plan from the Beginning!
There are two common mistakes made regarding marketing: incorporating it after establishing a business rather than making it an integral part of a business plan and placing it first on the chopping block during rough fiscal spells. Ranalli and Volpe advise otherwise. It is always important to make marketing a priority from the get-go and beyond. The cost involved does not have to be astronomical but be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Better yet, hire a pro to do the work for you.
In this episode, Gene discusses the importance of social media analytics, and offers three steps for dealing with negative online reviews. You will learn how your business can show up at the top of a web search, Google in particular, and how to ensure positive news appears first.
In terms of promoting your business and maintaining a positive image, always control your messaging. Get in front of any story about you, your business, or your product. This require active marketing.
Walk away from these faulty beliefs about marketing:
Anyone can do this, there’s no need to hire a professional.
- FALSE! Let an objective, experienced marketing professional research your target audience, craft your message, and execute a well-prepared marketing plan while you concentrate on what you do best. Sure, your input is necessary, and your product/brand is personal. It’s your baby. If you want your baby to succeed, do your research and bring in a trusted professional.
The product will sell itself, and once it does, there will be enough money to advertise.
- MAYBE, but that is a big risk. Your passion is admirable, so don’t be delusional. Even if you conduct solid market research to guarantee a certain level of sales before launching your business, do you really want to cap growth potential?
Marketing is not affordable.
- FALSE! You can’t afford not to market your business. Period. Consult a pro to find out how to market within your budget. You will be surprised by the options.
Once a certain revenue level is reached, it makes sense to tighten the marketing budget.
- This line of thinking is only true if the intent is to phase out your business.
In a bear market, reduce the marketing/PR budget first.
- FALSE! If the market goes bearish, you go bullish. Do not rest on your laurels. Get creative. Remaining top of mind is of utmost importance.
BRANDING - EPISODE 001
In the inaugural episode of Marketing RV, Ranalli and Volpe discuss the importance of naming your brand, or product. The pair picked an easy and necessary topic to launch their show, as at that point they had no name for their podcast. They only knew they wanted to share with the masses their passion for marketing. Throughout the show, they discuss various methods for coming up with a brand name and how the process is part of defining your brand.
This half hour of fun is as important to fledgling businesses as it is to established businesses because it is always wise to step back and evaluate your brand for lasting power. One of the key tips to attaching a name to your brand is to consider scalability. Will your name serve you as your business grows geographically and fiscally?
Alas, Ranalli and Volpe complete the show without choosing a name for their brand but like a baby cannot leave a hospital without a name, the pair does not leave Pica’s without one. Instead, they pool their resources, including the live audience, to establish Marketing RV. Find out how they came up with it and what it means in episode two.