Seth Price at Inman Connect San Francisco

Seth Price at Inman Connect San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — When Seth Price talks, people listen — and it’s not just because he’s on a stage with a microphone in his hand.

He had the full attention of the room during a session at Inman Connect San Francisco while spreading his marketing gospel, leaving attendees hungry for pie and and ready to watch a Bruce Lee movie. What does this have to do with courting customers? According to Price, almost everything.

Price, who is now vice president of industry relations at Placester, grew up with a love for martial arts, regularly boxing with his uncle and losing every time, he said. But his uncle always made him get up — something Price remembers to this day.

“Theres a real correlation between the things that we do as young people and the experiences that we have … and what we do to build a business,” he said.

Falling seven times and getting up eight became part of his mantra early on.

“Losing sucks, but if you can have some caring and respect from the person you lost to, it makes it inspirational,” he said. “It makes you want to get back up again.” Training with discipline, having respect for counterparts, looking for lessons from anyone you come across — that’s what Price learned in the dojo, and he’s taken it with him everywhere he goes.

From that, he was able to build a code that worked for him, and he utilized his ethics, morals and discipline to open two restaurants before he was 27. What do those three aspects create when put together? Culture, he said.

“Culture is not a buzzword. It’s not an Instagram quote,” he said. “You either buy into what your code of ethics are, or you don’t. You can’t fake it.”

“What’s the line that you won’t cross in your business?” he said. “What’s the line that you will cross?” After figuring out how create the right culture to attract customers, it’s time to get creative. That’s when the pies come in.

A kitchen is a place where someone can create anything he or she wants, Price said, and that creation brings happiness and connections to those who receive it. “That’s exactly what we do in business, in marketing,” he said. “Once you figure out your recipe, then you can scale it.”

But don’t grow too fast to where you lose your connection with customers. Price believes the digital experience has lost its creativity, and it’s on business owners to bring it back.

“If we want to be digital, we also have to be human,” he said. “The other side, the cooking — that’s where you get to play jazz.”

Email Thomas Mitchell

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