Brian Kato is the founder of Fusion Vine.
Brian Kato’s passion for marketing stems from his love of problem-solving. After earning his degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University with a modest 3.98 GPA, Brian applied his skills to help others. Seeing the importance of a company’s digital presence, Brian applied his problem-solving talents to enhance the digital presence of the companies in his previous roles. Having honed in his skills, Brian founded Fusion Vine at the beginning of 2019. Brian’s work at Fusion Vine has helped many clients improve their online positions to drive measurable successes through SEO, multi-media approaches and guerrilla marketing tactics.
He sat down with OnePitch to give his insights into how he got started, his day-to-day, and where he sees marketing heading in the future.
A lot of the marketers we talk to start their careers with internships. What made you get into this industry?
I started my career as a digital marketer by building websites and doing reputation management. My first project was for a construction company I was working for. I built their website and realized quickly that there was much more to developing an online presence than just building the site—proper SEO and marketing is absolutely essential to being found (this was nearly 10 years ago!)
What does a day in your life look like?
I typically start the day before by prioritizing 1-3 items that MUST be done the following day.
At the beginning of each day, I review my inbox and re-evaluate the list I’ve created the previous night. This helps me prioritize and make sure any “fires” are properly addressed. Because, occasionally, things can come up, it’s important not to overload my priority items.
Next, I shut down email and do not check it again until around 11 am. I find that this helps eliminate any distractions from obsessively checking my inbox. Obviously, if clients have an emergency come up, they have my phone number and can call me directly in the event there’s something that cannot wait.
Around noon, I’m typically done with my priority items. At this point, I start pulling second-tier priority items. Again, I will close my inbox and social media tabs (unless I’m working on an SMM project) to focus on the task at hand.
Typically, around 4 pm, I check my inbox one last time and answer any emails. I have a “sunset policy” meaning that all emails from clients must be answered that day—even if it’s only to acknowledge receipt.
The last 30 mins to 1-hour of my day are spent prioritizing and coming up with the list for the next day.
What is your favorite part about working in marketing?
Problem-solving. I’ve always hated monotonous tasks and love the fact that digital marketing involves critical thinking and finding solutions for clients.
What is one of your most memorable career moments?
I was able to push a website to page 1 using entity-based SEO and structured data.
What types of companies do you prefer to work for or with?
Typically, I work with local service-based businesses. It’s important to discuss goals and budgets to make sure we’re on the same page. For me, “getting to no,” is an important part of the vetting process—it can help eliminate low-budget prospects or those with unrealistic expectations.
What are your must-have tools for your day-to-day tasks?
Some tools that are absolutely invaluable for my day-to-day tasks are:
- Clickup: I use this for all of my project management tools. It seamlessly integrates with other tools, like Dropbox and Drive, so that I minimize time spent looking for docs.
- Evernote: I use this for all swipe files and content ideation. The web clipper is a life-saver.
- SEO Powersuite: I use this for website audits, rank tracking, and link analysis
- SEMrush: I use this for PPC analysis, keyword research, and content analysis
- ahrefs: I use this for link analysis and trending content ideation
What are some of the marketing trends you saw take shape this year?
Entity-based SEO and natural language processing. Search is moving beyond queries and focusing on the relationship between things. If you’re not working on your brand as an entity, you’re way behind the curve.
With PR and marketing becoming more intertwined, what marketing skills will become more desirable over the next year?
Developing meaningful relationships will become absolutely essential. Having a network of people who know, like, and trust you will become essential in cutting through the noise of an increasingly saturated marketplace.
How do you see PR and marketing changing in the next 10 years?
PR will become a conduit to amplify content. It goes without saying that businesses should still create engaging content. Developing solid PR strategies, however, will provide businesses with a megaphone in which that content can stand out in a sea of noise.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new marketing professional, what would it be?
Be tenacious. In marketing, you will have massive successes and massive failures. Not every prospect or idea is going to resonate with people. Be ok with hearing, “no” and moving on. Keeping an eye out for opportunities isn’t enough—successful marketers make their own opportunities.
Brian highlighted the increasing importance of PR and marketing working hand-in-hand. Head over to our PR Profile series to hear the other side of the dynamic duo. To start, check out Public Relations Profile: Krystal Covington, GO Lead for some more great PR and marketing tips, tricks, and insights!