Keith Bansemer, a marketing and eCommerce expert, is the VP of Marketing of My Patriot Supply, a company focused on providing patriotic Americans with the supplies necessary for achieving true independence and total self-reliance. The company was founded in 2008, when Matt Redhawk felt a sense of dismay over the realization that far too many Americans had been taken advantage of by companies operating in the preparedness and self-reliance industry. My Patriot Supply was established as a cost-effective alternative, and the team, including Bansemer, has since remained deeply committed to providing the highest-quality survival tools and emergency supplies so people all over the country are able to prepare for a sudden upheaval.
Bansemer joined My Patriot Supply at the start of 2016 brings over two decades of marketing and eCommerce experience to the company. Prior to his illustrious career in marketing and digital strategy, Bansemer was a Chicagoland-area radio talk show host in the 1980-90s. Below, he shares stories of his career and insights into My Patriot Supply.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I spent eleven years in radio broadcasting prior to my marketing and eCommerce career but have been leading marketing teams in one way or the other for about 30 years now.
How do you make money?
My Patriot Supply sell tools, supplies, educational materials and more, all designed to assist those looking to foster a greater sense of independence through self-reliance.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It was some time before My Patriot Supply was profitable, mainly because our founder has always been motivated to keep the costs of our products as low as possible. This patience was ultimately rewarded, and My Patriot Supply has expanded into several branches selling through over three dozen unique web sites.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I landed a job in the industry I was pursuing right out of college and have steadily been climbing the ranks since then. I don’t believe there was a time where I ever doubted I would end up where I am today. I simply make progress one day and one step at a time.
How did you get your first customer?
I asked founder Matt Redhawk to share this story: “It depends on how you define the term “customer,” since it was over a year before I had an actual paying customer. Prior to that, I had plenty of customers who paid with paper “money,” but my first real customer traded a beautiful piece of silver for one of my products. I still carry that piece of silver with me today”.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Outside of our regular strategies we’re employing every day, we host educational seminars and workshops in which team members teach basic survival and emergency preparedness skills.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I have to travel fairly often, and am lucky to be able to do some. It can be tough leaving my wife and Idaho for long stretches of time.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We plan on expanding our product inventory by 100 percent over the next 12 months, and I am excited about the opportunity to assist others in becoming more self-reliant in preparation for an uncertain future.
What business books have inspired you?
On the surface, Our Iceberg Is Melting is a simple story of a colony of penguins facing a dilemma. But this quick read by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber is really about preparing for the future and the quickly changing times we are now all living within.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
We’ve always heavily reinvested in research and development, which is a key reason our water filtration and purification systems — as well as all of the products we offer — are so consistently effective.