Episode 2: The State of Digital Marketing
November 29th, 2020 | Podcast Episode
We brought in the COO of the fastest digital marketing company to talk to us about the state of affairs. We cover a wide range of topics.
Welcome to growth hack by Papi Digital tips and tricks to master the algorithms from industry insiders. Now here's your host, Julian Espinosa.
Welcome back to growth hack where we break down marketing channels, such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and show them how to make them work for you. When we created this podcast, we had the idea to bring you today's latest growth hacks. As we began preparing for this series, we had the idea to bring in experts in their respective fields.
That way you don't have to listen to me. Every single episode, the intention of this podcast is not to promote myself or limit my listeners to solely my views. We wanted you to hear from people in the industry who are masters in their own craft, the process to find these guests have been cumbersome and long. It would have been easy if I would have just scrolled through my contacts to see who I knew, but I did not want to limit the audience to my network. I've searched far and interviewed guests personally several times before having them come on the show. To kick it off our very first guest, we wanted to lay the foundation for the state of all things, digital marketing and growth hacking.
In this episode, we will interview Tony Delmercado, COO and co-founder of Hawke Media. We brought him in because he is leading the fastest growing digital marketing company that exists in the United States. If anyone understands what's going on in the digital marketing world, it's this guy. Welcome Tony.
All right. I'm here with Tony. Welcome Tony. Thanks for having me, Julian. I'm excited to be here. Yeah. For those of you who don't know, Tony is Tony Delmercado from Hawk Media. I wanted to just quickly, before going into it, talk to us a little bit about your background and what you do, and like, Where are you from where you came from and what's going on?
Sure. I'll do the, I'll do the ultra abbreviated version, just cause I'll save your listeners some time. I grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, which is a West suburb of Minneapolis. During one chapter of my life, I was an architect in Boston. I worked in sales for a little while. Had the opportunity to turn around a company had an opportunity to run a nonprofit.
And then worked in e-commerce a little bit. And for the last six years have been running Hawk media, which is a digital marketing company, trying to be a one-stop shop for pretty much everything under the sun, as it relates to helping brands grow. Right. So we met. About two, maybe three years ago in we've come full circle here at expert dojo.
And we've had many conversations over the last couple of years. And I think one thing that I like about the conversation we have is like, we're always trying to elevate our industry and trying to, you know, make the industry better. And the industry we're talking about as a market getting industry. Yeah. And so today what we're going to be talking about is Kind of, we're going to fireside chat. This have a little bit of a conversation about like, what's going on. As a whole, not getting into the weeds on like what's the next best CPC and where, where, where the, where can you get the best CPMs, but generally like what's going on?
So far, our listeners can kind of understand, like from. The horse's mouth, what it's like to run an agency and taking it from that perspective. So one of the topics that we talk about is brand equity versus direct response. And there's so many directions a company can take in the marketing world. So philosophically, how do you handle.
Dr brand equity. And like, how do you guys go about that? Yeah. So I forget who it was a long time ago. There's like acquisition marketing and brand building. And we think about things in terms of like, Brand marketing brand acquisition, right? People, it's not a new concept. Folks deal with it all the time. I don't think they're mutually exclusive, but they are certainly things that one can do to make sure that a brand is ready to go to market, ready to spend money on acquisition marketing you know, ready to invest in whatever those platforms are. I think that, you know, frankly, there's too much shit in the world already. There there's a lot of brands. We don't need another t-shirt company. Unless somebody really has an idea of what their value proposition is how they're differentiated in the marketplace, what their story is, what their values are. That's what resonates in 2019 and for years, this is why Patagonia is a really successful brand. People believe in their ethos, just as much as in the product itself. And we have a really savvy consumer market now, right? Capitalism's a beautiful thing, but shit falls and cream rises to the top, you know, so you have to be good from a brand standpoint from having a great product. And then you can get into more direct response kind of activities, but unless you've checked a lot of those boxes along the way, again, they're not mutually exclusive.
You can sort of build the plane as you fly, but if you don't have a good story and a good idea of who you are, it's, it's tough to get out there in the world and compete. So if I'm reading between the lines, what you're saying is. We need to invest or companies that approach companies like you and me, we need to assess if they're ready for any kind of Dr.
We need to look at what's going on from a brand equity standpoint, like what's going on with their logo, what's going on with their missions, what's going on with their values. What's their company all about? Do they have some of these foundational things in place? So, how do you guys is there like a checklist you guys do?
Like how do you guys go through and say, this company is ready to start working with us? Yeah. I mean, everybody wants, everybody falls in love with traffic acquisition, right? Hey, look at the baby. Look at the baby. I've got this new thing. Like everyone come look at it. Right. I think a lot of times that's a poor choice because of the fact that, I mean, if somebody is selling a physical product, do they have supply chain and logistics nailed down?
Are we gonna be able to deliver something to go that deep? We certainly look to understand those things, just so that we don't get surprised somewhere down the line right now we're not a three PL or something like that. We're not providing those solutions. We've got partners that do so we can say, Hey, look, this, this looks a little wonky.
Let's get this short up before we. Drive a bunch of people to your restaurant. You don't have any food. So making sure that side is dialed in having a brand identity, just knowing who you are, I think is really important. Can I swear on this? You can. I had an ANR guy in the music business a long time ago. Say like, why the fuck should I care? Right. Your kid with a guitar and sure. You just. Saying and do this and that, whatever. So are a million other people, I think in free market capitalism, especially in e-commerce it's even more challenging, right? Like why should someone care about your shoes? Oh, imported leather. Neat. Right. That they're a revolutionary design. Probably not. Right. So really understanding how you're differentiated and those sorts of things. If you can do that before. For working with a marketing company and being strong. That's helpful. If not folks like you and I are happy to help shepherd people through that process and dial in what their values and mission are and so on.
But yeah, I think that stuff has to be done. And then tactically mechanically, if you don't have a website that's ready to convert, right. If you don't have anything in terms of, you know, Email capture or automation and sort of lifecycle management around that stuff. There's lots of companies out there like ours that will help with those sorts of things.
But the more infrastructure you can have and sort of be sound before you just fall in love with the idea of bringing new eyeballs to your brand. Right? The better, I think it just pays dividends. I always talk about not getting into the weeds, but I like to get in the weeds. My mommy man. So when you talk about you're talking about e-commerce and you, and you mentioned This company has got better leather. Right? So give us, can you give us our audience and our listeners an example of what we don't mean? And then what we do mean. Yeah. Okay. Good one. I'll just use ubiquitous examples cause they're easier. Right. So if you're a company like Warby Parker and you're allowing somebody to try on glasses at home and you make that process really simple for people.
Okay. There's novelty in that, right? They're not differentiated on. The quality of their glasses or those sorts of things, they might suggest that the price point is more competitive because they're direct to consumer and yada yada, yada. But what what's interesting about that brand is this opportunity to do it. Independently. So that that's a novelty, right? That's something new that's you can make a case that that's an improvement. Now, in my case, I have a giant Gord. So Warby Parker doesn't make anything. I've had them send me 15 different pairs of glasses. I'm like, send me the widest stuff you have. So, so for me, I'm still a consumer that has to go in to get my glasses from an actual place where I can go try on 50 of them. Make sure I don't look like a dork, but that's, that's a good one. Right? If someone says You know, we offer the exact same product that you're familiar with, but you've never heard of us. And we're 20% less. The switching costs for most consumers is such that that probably won't happen. For me, that's not necessarily a great differentiation, right.
Unless you've already got some brand support there. If you look at. Yeah, material changes. Right? So things like that, especially in fashion, in beauty, right? The claims that people make in beauty and that industry at large, I think are widely varied, but the companies that are successful are the ones that have a philanthropic mission attached or something about.
Yeah, cruelty-free products and those sorts of things. So it's different for everybody. What's important is that it's authentic to the founders and the people executing the business, right. If someone really believes truly in their bones, that their product is better for cheaper, that can work as well. And I realize it's a convoluted answer.
Sure. But that can work as well. If you actually truly in your bones, believe that you're making that thing. Most people don't. Right. So coming from a circle the, the original question that we set set set up is. We want to make sure when you're doing digital marketing, that there's some sort of brand equity. Right. And for you, it sounds like it's a lot of messaging is really, really good. Important. Yeah. Go ahead. Oh, I was just going to say, I think just knowing, knowing why you exist, right? Like having a mission, having values, knowing why you exist in the world and what you're trying to do. I'm not saying again, I'm a free market capitalist.
I believe in. Profiteering as it were. Right. But unless you have a point of view and an idea about how you're doing that, that's unique and differentiated and you believe in it, like even when you're looking in the mirror, right. I think it's really tough to succeed. So having that gut check first and foremost, and then making great shit, whether it's a service or a product, you have to make it great.
And you have to make it better. Every day, if you're not growing, you're dying. If you're not improving your product, you're going to get swallowed up by the next kid, sleeping on a couch somewhere. That's hungry for your job. So you have to know why you exist. What let's say, those things are in place. Now you've got your brand, your messaging, your logo, your website, where do you begin?
Yeah. So, I mean, you mentioned a couple of them having like brand identity logo, messaging, website, website, I think gets zoomed past a lot. Absolutely. Especially because, you know, Shopify and WordPress and Squarespace, and I've seen people, you know, try and build brands on Wix and all these other things. There's, it's so easy to do to just like, get something up that I think people zoom past the idea of. Making an awesome user experience, right? And UX is an entire industry at this point, but making a great user experience on your website is really fundamental to making sure that you're effective with your ad dollars with.
Everything that comes thereafter, right. Making sure that your website is built for conversion, whatever that conversion event is. And it's a content hub, I think is really important. More and more every year, having your brand be a publisher that happens to sell stuff is a really cool strategy, but fundamentally having brand product.
All that stuff website next up, the list of importance to me is building a good mouse trap and it's counterintuitive. Most people think, Oh, we'll go get traffic. And then we'll have this mouse trap. I really believe in making sure that, you know, retargeting scripts, automated drip campaigns that come out of email acquisition, making sure that you've got incentivized email capture or something to get all the interest right.
Whatever your product or service services, let's say you convert at 3%, which would be solid right of the traffic. If the other 97% just leave and nothing happens to them, you've lost a great opportunity and you're not leveraging your ad dollars, which come next. Right? Everybody, again, flocks to traffic acquisition, they all fall in love with this idea of like new eyeballs.
But building a sound mouse trap for that attention is really important. Then, then I would say traffic acquisition, right? Getting new people to the brand and the easiest ways that most people can do are interruptive. And intent-based right. Intent-based is search. You know, I'm looking for a black t-shirt Google black, t-shirt a bunch of different options come up.
The interruptive is what people are familiar with on social or billboards or TV or. Everything else where I'm just living my life and then I see a black t-shirt and go, yeah, that's what I need right there. So then you can do that stuff. You don't have to do them necessarily in this order. That's just the way that. That I prefer to look at it. And then I think when you can buttress all that with social proof, right? Whether that's PR whether that's press referral programs, all those kinds of things really help. So without opening that can of worms, which I'm going to open up anyways, of course. Yeah. We talked about the website. So you said once your brand is in place, the reason why you exist is there, then the next. Biggest thing is hitting the website, which I agree with too. So let's tackle that. I heard things like Wix, I heard things like Squarespace. I heard things like big commerce come up. Are you suggesting? Those are not great. Platforms to use. Talk to us about that. Yeah. I think it's the carpenter, not the hammer right in 99 out of a hundred scenarios. Right now, there are constraints. There's limitations to like the, build it overnight platforms that exist. And I think they're great, right. Depending on what you're doing. If they're not done with intent.
If they're not done with, like, I'm sure you've experienced this. I can't tell you how many times I've had clients over the years be like, Oh, this template looks great. And I go, sweet. Let's get some photo assets. Right. And they're like, well, can't we just, and it's, it's like, this looks great because their photo assets are incredible.
Right? All the templates that you see in a Shopify environment that they've got great photo assets there. If your brand doesn't have great photo assets, Right away. You're sort of playing from behind. So I'm not implying that those things aren't perfectly serviceable. I'm saying they just need to be driven with the intent for whether it's conversion or awareness or whatever the website is functionally meant to do. In most cases, it's a storefront, right? It's a storefront for people. And so there has to be some focus on conversion as opposed to like, Oh, this is the template I got. So I'm just going to build it this way. Right. You know, it's funny. I, I, we've talked about this. I've set on this mission to win 100% of the time on my campaigns, which is awesome by the way.
Thank you. Thank you. And in that. I've learned, I've had to produce assets. How are you guys handling the production of these assets? So, as an example, you talk about these website templates on the Wix, on the Shopify, on the big commerce. They look beautiful. My clients are like, I want that. Right. And then you're like, okay, let's look at your assets.
And their assets are nowhere near what they need to be, or they don't even have them that. Right. Yeah. So like, how are you guys handling that? So we offer to do that for them. Right. At a fee we're we're in a fortunate position where the business I run has lots of people and also departments that can go out and knock out this stuff.
We have a photo studio in our office. We have great photographers. We can, we can go knock out great creative assets for our clients. We charge for it, of course, cause we're a for-profit enterprise, but generally speaking, there are. Clients that have resistance that don't fully understand it. So once you can help people understand and appreciate the context about it, if they can go out and do it themselves.
Awesome. Right. Great. If we can help them do it great. If we ever get to the point where the client, where we feel like their image assets are actually holding us back right then we'll probably just go out and do it. And be like, this is what we're doing. Speak now or forever, hold your peace. But what's great about photography, I think is that in whatever city you're listening to this, and there are great photographers, great contractors that can go do killer work, send you the RA's or can edit it or whatever.
And like, you can have great image assets anywhere in this country for not a ton of money. And if you're not investing in that year, Dumb it's okay. You guys, you heard it. You're dumb. Okay. So you're the interesting part because I'm going to add this layer to it. So what I've experienced on my end, a we were becoming not only just a marketing agency, we're also becoming a production, which is a whole nother animal that I don't want to tackle.
That's a private conversation. Sure. But what I'm noticing is Mo I have some great photographers. I've had some great freelancers. But they don't know Instagram. They don't know Facebook. They don't know Snapchat. They don't know Pinterest. And so what's interesting. And then let alone, they don't know website as an example, one of my campaigns where I was producing image assets for a website, the photographer doesn't know I needed like some white space, like an area to be able to put a headline call to action on it for my header image.
Right. So like, Do you, how deep do you guys go? Cause like I'm for, for right now, which is not scalable. I'm on set. Yeah. Right. And I'm watching what's happening. I'm looking at the camera and saying, okay, this is what needs to go in this shape. I need, I need these shapes. So how are you guys handling that? Yeah. So we're, we're really fortunate in that the, the woman that runs our our photo department. Yeah. Yeah. Well, different animals, but she is. So buttoned up in terms of like a punch list and just saying these shots, these dimensions, these are the placements. This is what, what we're looking for. You are lucky. Yeah. Very, very much so. So I think that in the absence of someone like that without spending all day on set, just being as articulate as, as possible. Right? So for us, our involvement is, is pretty, pretty high with the brands that we work with. We have. Some clients that are like, yep, you take the wheel, you know, figure it all out, make it work.
And then we have some that are really peculiar about, and usually because they have a good idea, identity, a good brand vision. So they're really peculiar and we'll work with them to identify what are the best assets? How should we shoot them? Where are they going to get placed? And then get signed off on that before you end up standing around with models and a camera and all that other stuff.
Right. So. Pre-production is just huge on anything. I mean, like you said, it's a can of worms we won't get into, but productions a maniac. So what I'm hearing there, you guys is you guys have a person who manages this list of assets that needs to get produced. So a shot list, if you will, with exact dimensions yep. And doing that. Excellent. Yeah. And then we always, just, as a matter, of course, even if someone didn't necessarily like pay us for Instagram ready or stories or these kinds of things, we'll grab as much as we humanly can, because then we've got it and it's fodder to either help us or sell it to them or whatever the thing might be.
But the truth is we'll end up throwing in a bunch of stuff. Cause we're already there. And most clients don't know, they don't know what they need or why or where it's going to go, but we do. You know, it's funny. I got a good, another good story. So when I, one of our, I think it was our second campaign, we were given a $15,000 budget and this $15,000 budget may sound like, Oh, that's a good number.
But when you looked at the deliverable list, it was like, wow. So it was website messaging, logo, branding, commercials, ads. It was pretty much like everything to get the. Get get the client up and running. And I had, I was never, at the time, I wasn't even a production company. I didn't even know what it meant to produce a video produce pictures.
I didn't know what it meant. And what was interesting is I had to then factor in how do I create videos, photos, and all these assets in one day? Like, how does that even happen? Right. And so what I ended up. Figuring out is I could not afford to pay a set designer who was by the way, $1,800. Look at that budget. It was 15 grand, $1,800 for a set designer. I couldn't pay for her to appear on two different day sets. So what I did was I picked my photography studio near where we were filling the commercial assets with a 10 minute drive. So I had her half day on one set and half day on another. Nice. Being given these constraints, I developed a system, which is what sounds like you guys have done is in one day, get as much as you can. Exactly. That's I mean, that's really it, right. As, especially as you're, as you're growing a team or a department or an internal team, or, you know, you just have to be scrappy. I think this idea that. You know, you can just throw money at problems and it works. You even companies, as they grow and get larger are, are pretty efficient with how they spend money.
Like the best production companies. There's not a ton of waste. Right? I mean, they're really getting the most bang for the buck that they can. Nice. Well, you, you, you talk about big companies. That's coming up next. We're going to be talking about some larger companies that you've worked at some of the biggest name with the biggest names.
So we're going to be covering that and asking you some questions about that. Sounds good. All right. All right, guys. Welcome back. I'm here still with Tony Del Mercado, talking about agencies marketing and all things production. We left off talking about. Working with some of the largest companies and working with some really small companies.
So question that my audience definitely has is when you're working with a small company they just started out it's, they're selling leather sandals versus some of the biggest companies you've worked with. What's the difference in how you approach marketing for them? Yeah, the approach is generally, excuse me, pretty similar. With the exception that a lot more of the boxes have been checked by bigger companies that are more established in terms of marketing there's, you know, awareness, building, nurturing relationships with prospective clients or customers and then trust, right? So you have to spend a lot of time and energy and. Ultimately money on building trust and awareness in the marketplace, if you're newer. Right. So bigger companies generally already have an awareness and have some degree of trust because of ignition. Yeah. The market's validated that that's a real thing. And then really it's about nurturing, you know, prospect of customers or clients into whatever, again, conversion event that it looks like.
The same things are true that you want to have brand. You want to have a good idea of what your story is, and then move into all the different methodologies. The advantage of some bigger companies is that because they have a war chest they're ubiquitous, right? You can be in every platform you can be in print. You can be in an ad on a streaming service, you can be on social. You can be in search, you can be in all these places. So that's something I also want to make sure that. Everybody knows that bigger, isn't always better. Right? There's big companies that are wildly inefficient with their marketing that have, you know, internal bureaucracy that keeps things like image assets from being approved or, you know, not, not being willing to take chances and do things like that.
I won't say who, but one very large company that we worked with essentially said, you know what? I know the name of it. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So 70% of their marketing is on stuff that they know works, right. 20% is on stuff that they're pretty sure works. And 10% is like exploratory. Right now, if you're a newer business, you probably iterate faster.
You're a little bit more you got a higher risk threshold. You're willing to throw some shit against the wall and kind of see what sticks. So I think there are some bigger companies that are a little bit more. Entrenched that if they, if they don't innovate and if they don't keep things going from a marketing standpoint, it'll be hard for them to keep up.
But in general, The practices are universal. Now there's some great companies that aren't necessarily big and there's some big companies that are great. Obviously from marketing standpoint, the ones that the great companies do, and this represents a lot of big ones is they just have a longer term view, right? They're not looking at, I think when, when they're. When you, you've got a newer business and you're trying to enter a new market or win over new customers. There's a tendency to look at, you know, daily return on ad spend. And what's my campaign return on this over the course of a couple of weeks. And we've worked with a number of newer companies that, you know, what do you sell?
And they say X, and what's the typical purchase cycle for that. And they're like, I don't know, 40 days. And they're still looking at like seven day returns on ad spend. It's like, well, we just talked about this, right? So larger companies from a and better companies from a marketing perspective, tend to have a longer view, right?
I'm not as concerned with specific channel attribution, more concerned about general overall growth and lift over longer time horizons that factor in purchase cycles and blended CPAs and all that other fun stuff. So I think that. Bigger companies. Aren't always better. But when we think about marketing, we definitely are fortunate to be able to like, look at things over a longer time horizon and be more omni-channel kind of a cliche term, but that's the idea leads.
I have two questions for you. The first thing is that big company that you're talking about, that you can't reveal the name. They have 90% of the things that they do, they think are going to pretty much work and then 10% is exploratory. Yeah. So the first question is. Talk about that ratio. And then the second question is do we'll start there actually.
Okay. Okay. Yeah. So the, the ratio would be like if we know 70% of our ad dollars have always gone through this TV agency and their creative department and this and this and this, and we just know that. TV works for us in these markets, with this creative doing these things. So that's what we're going to do, right.
20% is can we use, and by the way, in our case, we represented the 10%. Right? Right. We weren't the 70 or the 20, we were the 10. That was, ah, let's see. Right. Which is a fun opportunity, especially, you know, as a, as a growing marketing company and trying to make inroads with some of these places. That's, that's great for us. So Yeah, the 70 and 20 are just things that you would think of that larger established brands, TV, print it in store experiential kind of stuff. They've got a good mix of digital and physical presence. So making sure that those things talk about paying attention to social know, I think we'll talk about this more later in terms of like, what's next, but generally speaking those companies that are.
Working with bigger budgets also do more with personalization and have the technology behind that. So I think that's big. But yeah, and then the 20% would be things like things that they had seen other competitors do effectively. Got it right where they said, we're pretty sure this is going to work for us. Cause we've seen some competitors do this effectively. And the 10% for us was essentially like, whatever the hell you think. Right. Which is fun. And those were doing things in. Platforms that were emerging. Right? One of the things that I don't understand at all, because I'm a 37 year old man with children, but like Tik TOK is just all the rage.
And so working with specific brands in emerging platforms is super fun. And seeing how this like whole subset of people work and live is. Really interesting. So, yeah, that's, that's the typical makeup. I think that's an okay approach to looking at marketing. I think if you're newer, if you're trying to gain market share, or like build a brand, you want to be a little bit more a little bit more creative and like risk-taking right. Yeah. The other element that I heard in your long monologue was longevity. And the longterm. Right? And so some of the, you, you even pointed out, it's not even the best comp, it's not the biggest companies that they're just the companies that are doing it. Right. Looking at it. Long-term like you ask a client they're buying cycles 40 days and looking at a seven day conversion.
And you're like, what? Yeah. Does that even make sense? Like your clients don't even buy in seven days and you're looking at your metrics. So these companies that are looking at it long, I think the question that I have continued to have, cause I think I'm still trying to figure it out too is like, when is it the right time to start at least running traffic.
Right? Cause we talk about, you always start marketing, but like when you start running track traffic, because the company may not have the capital. For the long, right. So talk about, yeah. I mean like, like we talked about earlier, if you've got a good website set up, you've got a mousetrap built, then you can start running traffic.
Right. I really believe that you want, you want to be as efficient with that as possible. And that's not just about, you know, are you getting effective CPMs? Are you getting high click-through rates or, you know, low CPCs or whatever it might be. Once somebody lands on the site, right? Are you getting. You know, low bounce rates, unless that's the intention, if it's like a squeeze page or something like that, but are people engaging with your content?
Are they opting into, you know, stay in communication if they aren't purchasing and then are you effectively retargeting them? So in my mind, you can start that as soon as you've got an idea and a methodology and a framework for capturing that intent, then you can go out and get traffic. Okay. And if you don't have a huge war chest, you know, boots on the pavement works really well.
You know, I'm, I'm always surprised by how few people are willing to like go to industry events, go shake hands and kiss babies, just like get out on the street and do something. One of the reasons our company has grown and this gives us a platform to obviously talk with companies about how they can grow.
Our first couple of years in business, we were just everywhere and I mean, physically. Everywhere. Anything related to our industry, we were physically there and we did it on a shoestring budget to try and get long leverage, excuse me, out of the ad dollars that we had so that when someone saw us online, it was like, I think I met that guy over at that thing, and then there's a press hit and then they see us again.
And so building all that stuff in, I think you want to do, as soon as you have a good framework to do it on top of. Awesome before we jump off big companies and some of the largest companies that you've worked for or worked with and for what would surprise us. About their marketing departments. I think the, the most surprising things that I've experienced are that they're not that different, right. They're, they're challenged by the same, same things. Right. Rising CPMs hit everybody the exact same way. I think that. In again, in the good companies, they're like well-oiled matrix to sort of creative hive mind in, in the poorly oiled companies they're bureaucratic and stuff stalls out and dies, or it doesn't get turned fast enough.
I find that again, a lot of big companies come from a scarcity mindset or like from a place of fear, they don't want to lose position. They're more focused on not losing position than they are on gaining position. I think having that like abundance mentality and just constantly trying to like grow and grow and grow and grow and grow is really important.
And for some reason, people get big enough that they sometimes forget that. But by and large, there's, there's more similarities than differences. And we were talking during the break actually about some of our marketing efforts and we're, we're not a huge company. We're not as big as some of the companies that we've worked with, but.
Even during the break when we were talking, it's like, yeah, we, this thing that we're supposed to be doing just kind of fell off because we're doing these other 95 things, right. When you only have the budget to do five things, they're all top of mind. Right? So larger companies, companies, as they scale, if they're doing 90 different programs to try and build awareness and trust and nurture clients through you can lose sight of them.
Got it. Got it. So let's leap into the next segment of our conversation, which is discussing the future. So right now, social media ads are huge. There's I mean, everyone and their mother was running a social media ad. Right. It's driving our CPMs up, which is annoying, but that's another conversation.
So with that being said.
What's next what's in five years. What are we going to be doing? Yeah. Well, I hope it, I hope it happens in five years because I'm personally interested in it. But you know, actually I'll say this first social isn't ever going to go away, right? The fact that humans forget the names of the platforms that that's irrelevant. The idea of having a social platforms by which humans interact with each other online, that is always going to exist. And that is always going to have advertising as a part of the equation. And if that's where people gravitate, that is, that is where people will convert. That's where awareness will be built.
That's where stories will be brand stories will be told. That is how people will find new things that are exciting and interesting to them. Hopefully as personalization increases and as. We as marketers get better, there is less total ad volume. It's just more and more relevant and more, more exciting to us as a consumer, as a user of those platforms.
So I don't think that'll go away. What I think is next, or at least what I think is the next big leap. Right. We talked about voice a little bit. I think that's really interesting. There are really cool things with SMS and chatbots that I don't think are anywhere near where they could be. That I think is cool.
But the next big leap I think, is in AR if somebody gets the form factor, right. Augmented reality, I think is super cool. And I've seen some demonstrations of stuff. That's amazing. You know, when Google glass came out we, we bought it and we're like, Oh yeah, this is going to be amazing. Right. The form factor is.
Suboptimal we'll say it that way. Right. But my sunglasses that are sitting on the counter out there, if I had, you know, just the typical, you know, electric sunglasses, walking around doing my thing and I don't know where to eat and I'm walking down the prominent in Santa Monica and it's like, Hey, 15% off over here.
If you go to this spot, I think that's really interesting if I'm driving around in my car and there's a heads up display, it's like, You're going to this place, but between here and there, you usually eat lunch around this time and there's this awesome spot that you dig. That's only two miles out of the way.
If you take this freeway, that kind of stuff I think is going to be. Really, really, really cool. But again, it's all about the form factor, right? People won't use these amazing technological advancements unless they fit into our daily lives really well. You know, the wearables are really cool. So again, if that can help that that's a step in the right direction.
So I, I'm not a hyper technologist, but I think that whoever figures out how to make these things roll into our daily lives in an easy way is going to be An amazing advertising vehicle. You're talking about the real world version of Jarvis. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Right. So you bring up an extra selling point.
You're not a technologist and I'm not a technologist. And I think when I, my outward messaging with clients is I have two outward messaging, things that I say constantly. I want to win 100% of the time and I'm not on the bleeding edge. I tell them, I tell every client, this I'm not on the bleeding edge.
I'm not the guy that knows the latest hack on Facebook ads. I'm not the guy that knows the latest thing on Tik talk. I just started getting into Pinterest eCommerce, right? So I'm not that guy. I'm the guy. That's one. Or maybe probably closer to two steps behind the bleeding edge that has seen these, that's read the case studies that these things are working and I'm implementing, what's working.
That's who I am. Right. So how do you guys factor in like, so you threw out tech talk, right? We know that platform's growing. We just got to figure out how to. Make that work for our clients. How do you guys factor within like latest technologies that are coming up considering you and I, aren't not technologists and knowing what our agency is going to look like in the next three to five to 10 years.
Yeah. So it's a great question. I think that having H having high-tech people around is super helpful. In my case, there's people that would claim that they are on the bleeding edge of all those things. And they're the ones, you know, cutting a path through the forest and figuring stuff out and breaking it.
All of that is predicated on clients' willingness to be part of that bleeding edge. Right. If someone said. You know, it's almost like an investment portfolio strategy, right? Depending on the investor, they might want a lot of blue chips in high risk and, you know, big returns maybe, but we'll see if they don't, we would never take a client's resources and then deploy them in a way that's unproven, unless we were super transparent about it and say, Hey, look, we don't know, but it's cool.
We got a thesis. We'd love to test it. So for us, I think that having a good mix of that. Well, like I said, almost like investment strategy where you're thinking about how things can evolve and how cool stuff can be used. And, and giving it the credence to at least check it out. We also, with our own brand, just check out new stuff as it comes up, just so we know, so we can be in the conversation, but we also tend to be fairly. Practice driven, right. Standards and practices. And SOP is about how we go about our business, because at the end of the day, we want to drive a result and we know that there's some predictability in doing things this way, as a, as a business, one of our goals is to become more and more technology enabled.
So if a typical marketing person or marketing company, it's, you know, 95% of the work is done by them. And 5% is enabled by technology. We want to be at 80 20 by the end of 2020 and then try and tick 5% off of that, essentially until there's a technological barrier to us doing it less. I, I like the idea of humans, leveraging technology, not replacing humans with technology, which is a way separate conversation that we can have But we have to be looking at tools that are in service of marketing initiatives in order to do that so that we can continue to be creative and thoughtful and strategic.
Leveraging these great tools that are coming out all the time. Is there anything that's exciting right now? So we talked about tech talk, which I haven't delve too deeply into it, but is there anything exciting out there that you're, that your ears are perked up about? Yeah. Yeah. You know, from, for me the stuff that's exciting is more operational.
It's more about company management and those things these days, I'm sure there are a million. Things out there that are really, really cool from marketing standpoint. I'm honestly not that hip on them these days. But there are really cool tools and technology out there that exist for running it. Yeah, the company that, I'm a pretty big fan of throw them out. I'm across company, I guess it was like six months ago called gong. And it listens it's basically intelligent natural language processing for calls. Right. So all of the calls that we have with our prospective clients, And with our current clients get recorded just as a matter of archiving helps us, helps them.
But now we run them through this thing called gong, which we can identify keywords phrases, things like this. It'll spit out reports and alerts. It translates to text every single word of every call, spits out metrics about how much we're talking. The client's talking what we're talking about. If we're asking questions, if we're answering questions, longest pause, longest monologue.
Just. Bitch and stuff sounds pretty cool, which is awesome to be able to go, Hey, I wonder Rojas right. Or return on ad spend. Right. So I want to. I want an email every day of every time that came up on a call with one of these 20 clients. Right. And it'll just send me an email with the snippet of text where that happened. And if I click on it, I can go listen to the context of that call around, you know, a minute or two on either side, or I can listen to the whole call and I can hear how we're describing return on ad spend to our clients. Which is great because most of them want to see it, you know, daily, weekly, et cetera, but they might have a purchase cycle of 40 days, like we talked about earlier.
So helping clients to understand and frame how they're looking at the results of their marketing is it's a great tool. That's pretty cool. I mean, I, I don't know how helpful that will be from a marketing standpoint, but I feel like our audience would appreciate a tool like that. So what is it?
What's the website and how do they. Go to that. I think it's gong.io.io or something like that, by the way, gong didn't pay us to no, no, no. It's just, it's the coolest thing that I've touched in a while where I'm like, Whoa, that is that's awesome. Really, really cool. That's awesome. So you and I talk about elevating our industry and what we mean by that is there's a lot of ways and there's a lot of different ways to make sausage, right.
And so how, how. Other people are making sausage versus how you and I are making sausage. I mean, we make it differently, but philosophically, I think we agree on a lot of cool things. And so like talk to us about like that conversation. Yeah. I think the marketing industry, I mean, like what you're doing is rad because you're saying I want to win a hundred percent of the time.
Right. There's a framework that you've set and said, I'm going to evaluate the brands that I work with based on these things. And over the course of this campaign, with these terms, I'm going to get a positive return, a hundred percent of the time. That's where I'm going to stick my flag in the ground.
That's awesome. Right. For us, we we exist to provide great marketing. I should say. We exist to provide access to great marketing for everyone right now. Not everyone can afford our services. We're not necessarily doing it for free, but the idea of great marketing, not being a barrier to entry for a growth stage company, someone new, trying to get off the ground, even if they have a horrible website, no idea of who they are and why they should exist in the world.
We're down to help them. By by making sure that everybody has access to great marketing and not trying to like nickel and dime people throughout the process. We're, we're doing a good service. We're empowering entrepreneurs. We're letting people pursue their dreams, but the ecosystem at large, I don't know if someone will send you an angry email about this, but there's probably 10,000 independent agencies and consultants. The average size of an agency in the U S is eight people. A huge number of them are one or two people. And they're good at sales. They're good at getting people through the front door. They're good at giving them a, you know, a vision of what it could be like with them. And then they might sign them to a contract. That's tough to get out of that is not really benefiting the client. And they may or may not know how to do all the work that they said that they're going to. There's folks that are just self interested. They're interested in making money. And I I'm not one of those people. I'm a fan of free market capitalism, for sure. I like the idea of driving a profitable business so that I can help other entrepreneurs succeed and have a great team of employees that we support financially. But doing marketing the right way is a sticky conversation. I think just doing things ethically, doing things the way that you would do it, if it was your own money looking at whether or not you're actually driving a client success, like if you sleep well at night, knowing that you're taking care of the people that are.
You know, giving you money. I think that that's, that's what it's all about. I've spoken at a number of events. I said just don't piss in the pool. Right? Don't make a bad name for marketing. Last thing on that, I was at content marketing world this year. And what was her name? I want to give her credit, Katie something. She said she showed a slide. And marketers and advertisers are regarded more poorly and trusted, less than used car salesman than the U S Congress than virtually anything else that you could possibly pull for. And that's a function of people being shitty out there. And so I think that our industry at large needs to elevate.
So I'm glad that you're on the same page. Right? So with that being said, what would, if, if we had, you know, A hundred of these agencies in this room, what would be the outward message you would say? Man, that's a great question. I think the biggest thing is like, Quit promising that you know how to make this like work. Right. You're a different case because you're, pre-qualifying a ton right now in your case, if you're pre-qualifying a ton and you're saying, I know exactly what this brand is. I know what their story is. They've checked all these boxes for me. So I'm confident enough in my game, on a campaign basis that I'm going to win for these guys.
That's great. But for folks that are out there, sight unseen saying, Oh, you know, we get four X return on ad spend, just come work with us. That's so fucking lame, right? If you had a magic box, you put a dollar in one side and got four out the other that's all you would do all day, right? You wouldn't need clients. You wouldn't need to be out in the world marketing. You would just put your money into this magic box that you know how to work and get four more out the other side. So that idea of. Promising the sun, moon and stars. It just hurts us as, as an industry. It pits us against each other. Right. And I would also say that, I mean, it's kind of a challenge to the industry at large, but some level of professional certification, right? You can't run a law firm without passing the bar and being licensed in your state. Right. Marketing doesn't have anything like that. So I think that would be, it'd be cool to try and figure out. I like that you bring that up. It's funny. LinkedIn just released under skills verified skills that you can take a test on and they have not.
Right. Depending on their margins, how valuable is that ATM machine to someone. Right. And like, how do you build an ATM machine that gives you. More money back than you put in my 2 cents. If I had a hundred agencies in this room is. That I've worked at agencies where they're providing like singular services where they're providing maybe just like social media ads or they're just providing SEO, or they're just providing like these singular assets or singular channels.
And I think my thing is at least today, I haven't seen. One agency that do that well without tackling the other parts of it. Right. Tackling the website as well, tech tackling the assets. How do you do good Facebook ads without ad creation, right. Without video ads without these messaging. Right. Right. So like, I think cutting out all the agencies that are just providing.
Ad buying services or organic SEO services. I think there's like, there's a bigger thing that needs to be looked at. And that's why I. Created the company that I created, which is tackling the big thing, which is when you and I talked about his strategy. Yep. There's needs to be strategy here. Right. And going, and just doing an SEO campaign, like in 2019.
Good luck. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think that it's interesting, even in our business where we provide all of these things, As we've grown originally, it was okay. We've got someone that does Facebook, well, someone that does email, well, someone that does like influencer marketing and kind of community management, while someone that does strategy well and someone that does websites and like creative assets.
Well, and then multiply that by a bunch of people as those departments have grown and kind of back-filled under that. And we, at times, what we're working really hard to avoid is it can feel siloed. It can feel sort of departmentalized. So breaking those walls down and making sure that our content department isn't independent from our ad creation, right?
Because obviously we've got great copywriters and people that understand how to process all this information. And so making sure that everything is in lock step from a marketing standpoint is really hard first and foremost. And there's not that many companies, like you said, that are looking at the whole picture. So, yeah. Great. Great thought. Thank you. Thank you. All right, Tony. Well, I appreciate having you here and thanks for coming in today. My pleasure, man. All right. See you guys later.