Anna is a Social Media/Marketer, Content Queen, and Auteur for Trada. She invented spoken-word dubstep. is the co-creator of http://boniverotica.tumblr.com and curator of the Bad Art Museum Boulder.
→ Her background career as Social Media/Marketer at Trada
→ Her involvement in a lot of areas of online advertising
→ Her responsible for the scarfs ads on Entourage
→ Her thoughts on Doctor Vida
→ Her background as Content Queen and Auteur at Trada
→ Her webinar and email campaign
→ Her 50 webinars for products
→ How she created content and it can be an inbound source of leads
→ The importance of SEO campaign
→ Her thoughts on tunnel vision
→ And a whole lot more
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have Anna Sawyer with us. Anna, thanks for being here.
Anna: Hi. Thanks for having me.
Bronson: Absolutely. So you’re involved in a lot of areas of online advertising. There’s probably a lot of ways we could jump into this discussion. But let’s begin with Trotta. That’s the company you currently work with. So what is Trotta and who’s it for?
Anna: Sure. So, first of all, I’ve been with Trotta for three years and we were when I started, we were a pretty small startup. I was actually the 13th employee here at Trotta and Little Weird Building, and I started on March 18th in 2010, which is exactly three years ago, and now.
Bronson: It really is. Three years ago.
Anna: It was three episodes. That was the day we launched the marketing team and we were in private beta for 18 months before that. So Trotta is the world’s only performance based, crowdsourced paid search marketplace.
Bronson: Okay. What does that mean? I have no idea. No, I know. But for our audience, what does that mean?
Anna: I will explain. So when you run paid search like AdWords or Bing, you need to have a great level of expertize in order to be able to do it pays, which is really cool because in many ways it’s a marketing discipline that levels the playing field because you are not rewarded for for just paying the most by getting a better at position. You are rewarded for building your campaign intelligently and making sure that everything is relevant. And so it means that if you’re really, really, really smart about doing paid search you your ad can show up right next to Amazon’s ad or, you know, Foot Locker’s ad. You can sell shoes and Footlocker can sell shoes. Foot Locker can buy a billboard, and you probably can. Which is not to say that we necessarily work with really small businesses. We actually work with medium sized businesses. And I’ll get to that in a second. But let me kind of explain the way it all works. So you need this great level of expertize, and most people who run sort of medium sized businesses and small businesses don’t have the resources to have that in-house. So there are a few options for you if you don’t have the resources in-house or if you don’t have enough time to do it in-house. You can work with an agency, you can work with an algorithmic bed management platform, or you can maybe hire a consultant. And all of those things work for some types of companies. For example, if you’re a big enterprise company and you work with one of those big management platforms and they can work really well because you have this great volume of data, it’s called velocity. So there’s enough for the algorithm to be able to make intelligent decisions. If you’re a smaller company, you actually don’t have that much data. And a lot of times they have budget minimums that are too high anyway. Hmm. So if you’re a smaller business, there are solutions for you as well. There are these small business solutions, but when you’re a mid-sized company, you have very sophisticated needs. But you are maybe have what we call the marketing team of one example of that. Yeah. Don’t work in a marketing team of one. I work at a small marketing team where we’re all doing a million different things. Mm hmm. So and then the final problem, because an agency can work pretty well with with these types of companies is what we call goal alignment. If you are working with an agency, an agency most frequently charges you by charging you a percent of how much of your budget they spend, which means that if you think about it, they’re motivated. So Tronto is built on the idea that we want to bring that the people who do PPC and the people who need PPC together in one place and make sure that their goals are aligned. Okay.
Bronson: So so it’s a marketplace for that.
Anna: It is a marketplace for that, yes. So what is the marketplace? All work is done inside of product feeds onto Google and Bing. And what’s most important about it is the crowdsourcing aspect. So if you’re familiar with crowd sourcing, which I’m sure you are.
Bronson: Well, you can explain for your audience if you want, you know, explaining how crowd sourcing works with product.
Anna: At least crowdsourcing is a relatively contemporary idea in terms of the way businesses run themselves. And the idea here is that many heads are better than one. So if you were to do a job, you would probably do a good job at it. But if five people do a job, they’re collectively more likely to be better at it and try to is that there are a lot of different types of crowdsourcing, everything from like 99 designs and mechanical Turk. These are often just discrete tasks performed by a large number of people in order to get things done quickly. Try to is in the sort of subset known as expert sourcing where we take people who are experts and apply them to a problem. So we it works and try to say you’re a mid-market advertiser a lot of times. These are like specialty e-commerce stores or we have a lot of like lead generation type things and our customers are pretty broad, but I’ll use the example of an e-commerce store. So you’re a medium sized e-commerce store that sells socks on the Internet. Okay.
Bronson: And by the way, I heard that you’re responsible for the scarf ads on Entourage. Is that right?
Anna: I did make all of their socks.
Bronson: It’s kind of similar to scarves. So I thought maybe, you know, there’s a theme here with the products you picked to display your products. But go ahead. Sorry to interrupt.
Anna: We’re going to use scarves. Okay.
Anna: Which you know, I made that video like my first week at Toronto and it’s like a million inside jokes have now come out of that. And we’ve had spin offs and it’s become very absurd. But so you sell scarves on the Internet and you need some help with your paid search advertising because you don’t have enough time to do it in-house. So you would partner with China and try to would assign a multiple number of experts to work on your campaign. Depending on the size of your campaign, it could be anywhere from 2 to 10. So say you have a $20,000 a month budget. We probably give you like six experts. Now, collectively, they go in and they build out this campaign and they enter keywords and they write ads for testing and they manage bid prices. And they do all this before we launch your campaign. And one thing that’s interesting about these paid search experts, we call them optimizers, is that they are matched to your campaign using this very complicated algorithm known as optimizer matching. And we use things like their historical performance and their history working in specific verticals because it’s actually really important to to, you know, making your campaign work well. So it’s we’re really solving such a complicated problem. Doing feature search is so complicated and it requires so much expertize. So we apply, say, five experts to work on your staff campaign. They all individually build all their own little campaigns and then they all feed into Google, Yahoo! And Bing. And here is where it gets really, really interesting because. So selling scarves on the Internet requires you to be able to think about all the different types of people who might buy scarves. So one person writing ads for these scarf buyers, you might be like blue scarves for my wife, or you might be like, you know, scarves for summer. There are lots of different ways to sell scarves, and one individual person, as good as they may be at writing ads, is probably going to be incapable of thinking of all the different ways to sell scarves. But actively they have this great breadth and they can find new markets and be able to reach all these different types of customers. It’s beautiful, and they have the time to put in all of the work it’s required to do paid search effectively. And then here’s the part that really is the kicker that gets everyone on board try to is pay for performance. So you’re the guy who sells scarves on the Internet. You would work with China to set a target cost for action, which is the amount that you are willing to pay and the amount that’s profitable for you to pay to get a conversion on your Web site or to get a sale on your website. And our optimizers work to get you conversions below that price. And when they do, they keep the difference.
Bronson: Okay. So just to make sure I’m clear on this, because this really is the kicker, if I’m hearing it correctly. So if I know the lifetime value of my customer and let’s say it’s $50 or let’s say 50, so I’m willing to spend, let’s say $30 to acquire them. So I didn’t come to Trotter and say, look, you get me a new customer, I will give you $30. And you say, okay, and then you let other people work on the campaign if they give me a customer for $20. They just made $10. I made 20 over the lifetime value. And everyone’s happy.
Anna: That you were willing to pay anyway. So you’re psyched?
Bronson: Yeah. And so, I mean, do you allow people to come in with realistic numbers or do you just force them to, like, barely eke out a margin below their lifetime value of the customer? I mean, do you work with them to allow them to make money?
Anna: That’s a great question. The thing is, the optimizers make money when they beat the conversion goal, try to also only makes money when we beat that conversion goal. So we when we partner with a new company that a, we know that we can beat their goal. We set what I would call an attainable goal and then like we want set some crazy goal because then the optimization will work for them. They’ll be like, No, no, no. Right. And then actually, we, we very often work on bringing that CPA down over time. So if you set $30 an hour, optimize your start getting conversions for $5 and pocketing 25, we remove that CPA down and we see that happen over and over and over because if you’ve been doing search yourself in house, are using a different tool. A lot of times you feel like your campaign has been fully optimized, but you haven’t had that that great diversity of thinking that’s allowed you to really optimize below that price. And so a lot of times we can. Really, really help people are. A lot of our cases, we brought people’s CPAs down by 50% or we’re getting them the same number of leads and they’re spending half as much. And the thing is, that makes us happy, too, because that’s how we make our money.
Bronson: Yeah. Tell me about some of those companies that you’ve brought down, you know, 50% or whatever. What are some things you’ve done for some of your clients?
Anna: Sure. Yeah. Well, like I said, we work with a lot of different types of companies. So the two case studies that I prepared to talk about it today. One comes from the e-commerce side and one is on the lead generation side. And as I talk about them, you kind of see some of the other types of value that come out just beyond being your CPA and taking all this time off your hands by having someone else do all the work. Okay. So the first one is called my card. My card is a pretty cool company. They’re out of the U.K. and they essentially do Web security. So what they have developed is a product that allows you to prove who you are online. It can help you with things like dating and banking. And what’s interesting about them is that they have an in-house team that was doing PPC. We work really well with in-house teams. We’re definitely not a replacement because we do need that in-house team that’s knowledgeable about search to do the high level strategy and and to interface with the optimizers and to sort of drive the campaign as a whole. So one thing that’s fascinating about my card is that they use search not just to drive new customers, but also to test new markets. So they’re out there writing a whole bunch of different ads for different types of use cases for their app. And it’s actually driving their product strategy. And before they use product, they had a pretty small A-B testing situation going on. But when they started working with product, they were sites because they try to optimizers who are creative enough collectively to think of all these different potential uses for micro are able to go out and test markets and they use it to determine where they go next with their product.
Bronson: Yeah, no, that’s great. That’s a that’s a great example. I like how you said it informs their actual product because you don’t usually think about the marketing informing the product side of things. That’s cool. I like that.
Anna: Like the world’s biggest evangelist for the idea that paid search generates immediate, relevant data that you should use for everything. It is so valuable. Pizzas can bring people to your door, but they can also. It can also tell you what messages make people excited or what people click on. There’s so many things to measure.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely.
Anna: The other company is on the other side, the e-commerce side, and it’s called Doctor Vida. So Doctor Vida is a company that manufactures and sells vitamins and health and nutrition products and stuff, and they have a great value proposition because they ship directly to the consumer and so their stuff is pretty affordable. Hmm. After I interviewed Seth from Dr. Mateo for our case study, I was like, So should I be getting my vitamins from you? And now? Yeah. So this is a really interesting story as well. So in addition to the sort of old standby value props that Trotter offers, the goal alignment and the fact that it saves Seth time because someone else is doing the work. So this is interesting. In the vitamin and health product industry, sales are directly affected. And believe it or not, this is totally a real thing, directly affected by what television doctors say on TV. So you’re very, very nimble about what products are going to be successful right now because Dr.. Whatever will say, hey, take this supplement and suddenly sales will go completely berserk. So when they were doing search in house, they would all have to scramble to build all this stuff and like somebody would say something at 7 p.m. and suddenly all the people in America would be buying the new whatever. And now, because they use products that can just write on the optimizer. Well, hey, guys, new product. Is this right? So that’s where it plays. And because, you know, there are seven optimizers on that campaign and some of them live in Europe and they live all over, somebody will get that message. And he said sometimes people are writing ads and they are launched on Google within an hour.
Bronson: Wow, that’s cool. Yeah. So if you so if you’re in a quick moving industry, you might not be able to move as quick as your industry, but the collection of experts can. That’s great. I like that.
Anna: So I pulled out kind of some of these edge cases to show some of the other you know, it’s not like every industry is like when doctor, whoever says you need this vitamin on TV, you need to be. But a lot of companies maybe have new products that are coming out. We also work with a really cool company called Pure Fix that sells like fully assembled.
Bronson: Bicycles and really familiar with.
Anna: Their customers. And, you know, they’re like, oh, new glow in the dark bike suit or new summer accessories. And instead of having to go out and build all of those campaigns, they can just tell their optimizers and their optimizers will do it for them. And actually, perfect is a good example of a company that had this sort of problem before we worked with them, that they knew how to do search. They knew it was important. But the guy who’s running the campaign has a million other things to do, and sometimes he kind of wouldn’t pay attention to it. And search is one of those things where if you if you don’t log in all the time and optimize it, it kind of starts to falter. And sometimes he would actually pause the campaign because he was afraid it was wasting money and then no leads would come in that. Now he has this consistent drumbeat of leads or sales, which is really, really important for his business.
Bronson: Now, those are great. Those are great case studies. Now, I was reading your Twitter Twitter bio and it says that you a content queen at Toronto, right? I’m sure that’s one of your many titles. Tell us, what is a content queen?
Anna: Well, as I’m sure you’re aware, there is a trend right now among sort of unsupervised people at companies with their own titles.
Bronson: I wouldn’t know anything about that. My title of one of my companies is dumping it so.
Anna: That your Twitter bio or your your page. But yeah, so I have a pretty, I would say, nontraditional background when it comes to having the job that I have. I didn’t study marketing in school. I got into marketing because I was a writer. And I actually before I worked at Toronto, I did children’s collection development for an independent bookshop, but I did some marketing for them as well. And I got the job at Toronto because I was a strong writer and I had a lot of passion for doing stuff. So in many ways, my role as the person who who runs all of content at Trotta, it’s I’ve always had that role, but it’s meant a lot of different things. For example, you mentioned the staff videos on our website. There was a time when my job consisted of making a lot of idiotic videos for the Internet. So when I say Content Queen, I guess I just mean that I manage all of our content strategy. And I also create, I would say, the lion’s share of our content at this point at different times in the company. We’ve had other people create it. But at present, I am really the person who is the the person who writes everything you read.
Bronson: Yeah. So give us some examples of the kinds of content you’re producing. NASCAR videos is one. What else? What other categories of things are you doing?
Anna: Well, I have to be it. Any fun videos in a long time, but hopefully, hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to do that at some point in the future. As our marketing organization has evolved and matured and we really have changed a lot since we were 13 people in that weird little building. We we are really focused now on things that are measurable and that directly move the needle. And I know it probably sounds boring, you know, compared to all the fun that I used to have. But but it’s incredibly rewarding to see to see this work. So to give you an idea of the way the marketing team is structured. Myself and then my coworker Alex really sort of are the ones who drive all of the programs. And Alex, does she sort of the more on the analytical side and I’m more on the creative side. And so a lot of what I do is I essentially we we develop programs together and I provide the creative and then she tracks them and builds programs. So a big example is email nurture. We shifted a lot of our marketing from inbound to outbound because it just turned out that it was a better choice for our company. So a lot of what we do is we acquire leads and we nurture them and it has become immensely successful. So a big part of that is writing and testing email content. A lot of it comes from the sales team and then sometimes it’s actually marketing content, stuff like assets and white papers and whatever. But the one I really wanted to talk to you about today’s webinars. Webinars have always been huge for us. I have actually developed, produced, hosted, started everything over 50 webinars for product.
Bronson: Wow, 50 000.
Anna: And it’s a huge amount of work, but it’s immensely valuable. Webinars are so multi-disciplinary and they’re also so multifaceted that just by their nature they produce a lot of stuff and that stuff is very reusable and it’s also appealing in lots of different ways. So if you think about the different ways that everyone absorbs information, some of us would prefer to watch a video and some of us would prefer to read an email, and some of us would prefer to get a phone call. And, you know, some of it, you.
Bronson: Know, phone.
Anna: Rings. I’m like, what’s that noise?
Anna: Yeah. But I mean, everyone works in different ways. And one of the things about webinars is that webinars naturally just produce all this stuff. So let me see if I can even list it all that. But first of all, well, let me point out that after doing 50 webinars, I have it down to a science and I work hard to squeeze every last drop out of all the work. But I put it so you create a concept and sometimes you work with a partner. And that partnership itself is very, very valuable for a number of reasons. Depending on the partnership, it can draw attendance. So we did a webinar with Google. People are like Google Web. Welcome to that. A thousand registrants for that. But then also because you’re working with a partner who has a different perspective from you, they also inform the content. So that’s great. So you have this initial block of people who decide they want to come to a live webinar because this is a thing they do. Mm hmm. Because even though I do webinars, I don’t go to a lot of webinars. Webinars are not the way I learn, interestingly. But course, I’m. I go to some. But so we have this this group of people who sign up for a webinar. And sometimes the value is in the fact that we have sent this to our sort of house list and we have nurtured them and we have reminded them that try to exist and that try to as a leader. And sometimes we might use like a cost per lead program to bring people to our webinar. So this brings in new leads. And if we work with the partner, a lot of times they market to their list and we get their leads. So you have this initial value right here, all the people. Then you have all the people who look at their recorded webinar recording. And I do this in a couple of different ways. I post the actual recording online, and then I share it with everyone who came to the webinar and everyone who wasn’t able to attend. I also cut the webinar up into clips because some people would prefer not to watch an hour long webinar. They just want to see the five minute clip where I go totally ballistic about enhanced campaigns.
Bronson: There you go.
Anna: True story from last week. You also often publish a white paper just with that content as well. May as well. We just researched all that stuff. We may as well just create as many things as we possibly can. Now, valuable asset, the white paper, which I can use in email campaigns and I can put it on our blog and I can put it on the website and I can put it behind the lead form, and I can do just essentially a bajillion things with it. I have all these different types of value, and then also over time, because we’ve had so many webinars and because so many people come to them, we have this sort of cachet as well. So people come to our webinars. So trying to think of missing anything, there are SlideShare.
Bronson: You put them on SlideShare, too, don’t you?
Anna: Yes, right, exactly. Well, thank you for that. So it is it is immensely, immensely valuable to to create something that is so multi-disciplinary. And it also allows us to align all of our other campaigns around it. So for truly integrated marketing know we have a banner ad on our blog that talks about the webinar and our email campaign. We mention it and we inform the sales team. So if they talk to someone that they think might be interested in coming to the webinar, or if there’s someone who is not really ready for it, it can put them on that webinar nurture list. It’s, it’s, it’s a whole thing valuable. Now, I will say I don’t think webinars are for everyone. For one thing, they’re there. They’re an immense amount of work. And when I first started doing them, they took even more time because I didn’t really have it down to a science. And, you know, I think they’re probably stronger for more verticals, you know, or for certain verticals over others. It works really perfectly for us because a big part of people coming to try to is is us establishing ourselves as thought leaders. You know, we are the people who know all there is to know about search. Come to us when you’re ready. Let us do it for you now.
Bronson: That’s great. Thank you. Let’s actually talk about a few of your webinars here. So you mentioned the the enhanced Google campaign in one of your webinars recently that you freaked out about. Would you freak out about now? I’m interested.
Anna: Yeah. So, you know, this is something that is very topical right now. Google makes a lot of changes. They actually change their algorithm over 500 times per year. But every once in a while, they make an announcement that makes it just it causes a huge kerfuffle and intense campaigns is one of those announcements. And this announcement was made, I want to say, just about a month ago. And I there is actually a clip of me talking about enhanced campaigns and it’s like 11 minutes long. So I’ll do the two minute version right now.
Anna: So essentially a search marketers who are relatively advanced and I would say the upper 70%, the 30% down here build really basic stuff and then everybody else does these is up here has been knowledgeable about the idea that mobile search is really important for maybe a couple of years. Two years ago, nobody cared about mental search. Over the last two years, people have been like, all right, we have to strategize around mobile search. And there are a few reasons for that. One is that at this point, something like one in four searches is on mobile. So, you know, you kind of have to think about the fact that people who are searching on mobile think differently. They’re looking for shorter ads, they’re typing in shorter keywords. A lot of times the action they’re looking for is different. So if you’re searching for pizza on your phone, you’re probably looking for a phone number so you can call it up and order a pizza, right? Whereas if you’re at home searching on your desktop computer, your behavior might be different. So Google released this thing called enhanced campaigns. Well, okay, so let me actually first say that. Search marketers love best practices, optimization and setting stuff up in all sorts of crazy ways. And so over the past couple of years, since mobile has been such a big deal, there are all these best practices about how to set up your mobile campaign. And everyone, including Google, has said keep them in two separate campaigns because click prices are different and everything works differently and the action is different and blah blah blah. So about a month ago, Google was like, All right, guys, in as few as four weeks, and by June there will be no more splitting up your mobile and your desktop campaigns. And we are going to force merge all campaigns and they’re like, We’re doing this for a good reason. We’re actually doing this so that you can have more, more visibility into the way that people do things. And their idea here is actually that you’re the way you use your cell phone is no longer necessarily indicating that you’re out and about. And it’s also not true for tablets. And like they’re basically saying, user behavior is changing and this is supposed to support that. Now, a big percent of the PPC community was like because they think they’re losing control and that may actually be true. So they’re like, we spent all this time setting up all this stuff and writing a million blog posts. And this is this is fundamentally changing the way everybody’s going to do their campaigns. So I’m not going to educate you about it right now because I could go for a million years, but you can totally go to the trial website and learn all about it.
Bronson: And that’s why webinars are important, because you have something to refer people back to. You’ve already created the content and it can be an inbound source of leads. It’s great. Now thank you for that and it’s good for us to be on the cutting edge of kind of what Google is doing. So thanks for informing us.
Anna: It’s my pleasure.
Bronson: And I want to ask about one other webinar that you did, because I was actually looking through your webinars and this one really stood out to me. I think you did it about a year ago, but it just seemed like such good, practical, timely advice. And it was kind of the advice. It just kind of stretches across changes that Google might make or something like that. It was kind of base level. You need to understand high level kind of advice and you titled it Big, Fat and Marketing Mistakes, right? So I want to end this interview with you walking us through those ten things just briefly, the ten things on the big fat marketing mistakes. I think the first one was you don’t know your goal, so go ahead and start there.
Anna: Okay. Well, let me preface this by saying these are mistakes that everyone makes. Like it’s not like I’m pointing out some bozos who, you know, who are making mistakes. The truth is marketing is really difficult and it’s difficult to hold all those balls in the air and it’s difficult to measure everything properly and to set things up correctly and to work on a team with other people who are doing other things. And the truth is, even very sophisticated marketers make these mistakes. And I can guarantee I’ve made every single one of these.
Bronson: Points with humility.
Anna: Which was the first one.
Bronson: I think you don’t know your goals, I think is the first one.
Anna: Okay. So this is a very basic one. And yet this is one that we see all the time. Understanding really basic goals about your business is the first step before you even do any marketing. A lot of times we, you know, try to meet up with businesses who are like, okay, I’m ready to do PPC. And we’re like, okay, well, how much is the conversion worth to you or what is the lifetime value of your customer or what is your average order size? And if they don’t understand these going in, there’s no way to know if they’re being successful, there’s no way to improve. And it also means that they probably don’t have a measurement system set up. So a very fundamental first step is to make sure that you understand your business well enough to know when you’re being successful and to make sure that you have a way to measure all the work that you’re doing.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. And then that kind of leads into targeting everyone. Is the second mistake, the big fat marketing mistake.
Anna: Sure. So, I mean, this this goes back to everyone’s desire to make everyone happy or maybe especially in a startup types of type of situation. I think a common pitfall is to take any customer because you’re just so happy to have any customer when potentially you actually probably can’t serve every type of customer that well. So I would say hands down, one of the most valuable projects, possibly the most valuable project I’ve ever done. And it took a while for me to get the go ahead from the guys upstairs to be able to do this was to take a whole bunch of time off from everything else and do a really in-depth research project about who are ideal customers are so ideal customers, ideal buyers. Not only can this help you make sure that you aren’t bringing in customers that you ultimately won’t make happy, who will then go play you on Twitter because you didn’t make them happy? But it also helps your marketing team understand how to speak to these different types of people. So everyone has a subset of specific types of customers that they work with the best. And then inside of that specific types of. Byers So those people within the organization that they actually need to write that email copy to Target. And I think a sort of example of this is, you know, we work with a lot of different types of marketers, but because we work with mid-sized companies, sometimes the person who does the paid search is the founder of that company. I mean, and he he’s been running this business and he’s an entrepreneur and he does the search himself. But sometimes we work with like a marketing manager, someone who looks like me. And when you write emails for them, they’re totally different emails. They also care about different things. This check is like, I just want to make my boss happy. And I have a million other things that I’m doing right now and I don’t want to be replaced. And this guy is like, I don’t want my business to fail. So you think about those things in two different ways. And I think a really common mistake is to be like, well, everyone that we send emails to wants a better search. So you send an email that’s like a better search. We can do it. That’s too vague. And and understanding your buyers allows you to write much more targeted messages.
Bronson: No, that’s great. That’s perfect. And then the third one is you don’t follow up right away.
Anna: So this is something that I would say is a deeply personal one for me. I’ll give you an example. If I run a webinar and some people in the webinar have expressed interest in learning more about Trotta, they want to hear back from you pretty quickly because if they don’t, the longer we wait and we’ve learned this by testing it, we call it an asset lag. The longer we wait, the less likely we are to become a customer. So following up immediately when someone reaches out to information on an inbound lead is utterly, utterly imperative.
Bronson: Yeah, great. And then what about wearing competition blinders? What do you mean by that?
Anna: So I think a lot of people on marketing teams, and especially people who run their own companies, like to think that they are special and unique. And you’re you probably are. But let’s get right.
Anna: But everyone has a competitor, whether or not the company looks like yours. People either are going to go to you first, Lucian, or they’re going to go to someone else for a solution. Or they’re going to buy t shirts from you or they’re going to buy t shirts for you. So even if your t shirts are totally different, people are people love to cover their bodies. Right. So I am a huge proponent of stalking your competitors. And there are so many ways to do this that are so fun. I mean, there are tools out there that are practically almost be illegal. You can see what people are like, what keywords people are bidding on in PBC. You can see what SEO keywords people are using on their websites. You should go to your competitors websites and see what messaging they’re using. You should sign up for their webinars. You should download their white papers, you should buy their products. You want to see what their packaging looks like because anything you can do to educate yourself about the way that other people are doing it can allow you to differentiate. Or if they’re doing a great job, it can allow you to copy them. The other thing is, you know, using competitor language, you know, sometimes it is a good idea to be more aggressive and to use competitor language. So understanding the enemy and louder can go a really, really long way. And if you ask yourself, you know, who are my five biggest competitors and you can’t answer that question, you have some work to do.
Bronson: Great advice. Another mistake you mentioned is starving the budget. I think I know what it means, but go ahead and tell us briefly.
Anna: Yeah. So this is another thing that we see a lot with startups and anyone who works at a startup understands this as a marketing team, especially when you’re a smaller marketing team, you are challenged with getting as much as you can for nothing. The truth is, you have to spend money on marketing. The reason that big, big companies spend millions of dollars a month on marketing is because it brings them billions of dollars of revenue. So this goes back to understanding things like your lifetime value, which is so valuable to understand, because a lot of times understanding your lifetime value makes you realize that you can spend you can spend more to acquire a customer than you thought you could. And as a marketer, especially a marketer on a smaller team, you need to empower yourself with this information largely so you can go and ask your boss for money. Not spending any money on marketing is a total fool’s errand. Thinking that things that are that are free are going to be better for you is not true at all. SEO is free, but SEO is a full time job, so nothing. And SEO is not important. SEO is very important, but SEO isn’t free. And social media, social media, it’s not free because someone has to do the social media. So a lot of times paid programs can actually be cheaper than free programs. And understanding that and understanding that you have to spend money to make money and being empowered to go and tell the people who aren’t marketers, who are the ones who give you money is super, super important.
Bronson: Now, that’s great advice. You also mentioned that it’s a mistake to count on one touchpoint. What does that mean?
Anna: Well. Again, I think a lot of times we look for programs that will bring us a sale or programs that will directly bring us to a customer who is ready to buy. But don’t forget that a lot of times customers need to be educated about why you’re the best solution or the best product, and most customers are not necessarily ready to buy. So there’s this very old school marketing idea that you need five touch points. And whether or not that’s actually true and of course it may be true for your business or not, it’s a good idea to try and touch people in lots of different ways. So that’s why we suggest things like if you’re using a paid search campaign, also use retargeting or supplement it with display advertising. Display advertising can increase paid search by 20%. It just gives you this lift. And so understanding the value of these programs individually but also collectively is really, really important. And, you know, touch points could also mean, you know, sending people emails and nurturing them and doing all sorts of different things or targeting different stages of the funnel. So if you think of it from a paid search standpoint, you’re going to write ads for people who are ready to buy shoes by writing an ad for Nike, whatever shoe that they’re ready to buy. You’re also going to write ads for people who are thinking that they might need to buy shoes someday. You know, a lot of times people need some convincing. So spending time on on marketing campaigns that are not a direct action to sale can really go a long way towards helping you reach a more like wide breadth of customers and then also more customers overall.
Bronson: That’s great. The next one is not as obvious to me as the other ones are. You say it’s a mistake to sell only to your new customers. I thought that was the only people I was selling to explain that to me.
Anna: Well, don’t don’t underestimate the value of people who are already your customer. First of all, they probably already like you. And so the idea of remarketing is something that can be immensely valuable. It can be something as small as putting on your thank you page. So say I buy a scarf from you.
Bronson: Back to scarves. Yes.
Anna: Goodbye. And then there’s like, thank you for ordering. This is a good opportunity for you to give me a coupon for next time or for you to put a social media button so that I can share it with my friends or from a C. So you run software, you sell software and you are my loyal customer for my personal banking software. I don’t know. I think something so boring, but.
Bronson: We’ve got to keep all the money you made from scarves.
Anna: Right? Okay. So my awesome new hip thinking software, if I have a new product, am I going to go sell that product to a whole bunch of new people or should I sell to my customers who already love me? I might say, Hey, now I also have credit card fraud protection. I’m going to sell that to you. This is a sort of ancient idea. I mean, I’m pretty sure that like blacksmiths were like, hey, I have these new horseshoes now that.
Bronson: I know it’s a good example. It’s good example. Now, this next one, you’ve kind of covered the whole time we’ve been talking, but you say it’s a mistake to do it all yourself. I think you’ve already mentioned that. Is that just the idea that this is hard bring in other people? What do you say about that?
Anna: I mean, marketers are busy. We all do a million different things. When I look at my checklist of things for the day, it’s not the things I thought it would be. When I got into marketing, a lot of times it’s stuff that I’m like and like maybe I don’t know how to do this. And especially when you’re on a new young startup marketing team, your strategy going into things is to try everything and see what works. There are so many tools and services out there that can help you. Amazing tools and services. And the number 11i think I was probably going for with this is crowdsourcing. So for a smaller company or for a startup, crowdsourcing is your best friend. Crowdsourcing can help you design your logo. It can help you do your paid search. It can help you write content. It can help you do translations. It can help you. I can help you do little weird research tasks like on Mechanical Turk. The possibilities are endless.
Bronson: Now, that’s great. You also say it’s a mistake to have tunnel vision. What does that mean?
Anna: So I’m pretty sure that tunnel vision one here was about the value of data generated from one marketing activity and how it applies to another marketing activity. So as I mentioned before in my impassioned speech about data, paid search is a really good example. So paid search is out there to help us bring in leads or sales, but it can also generate immediate real time data about what types of messages work and what your customers care about. So if you write one ad that says, you know, 20% off and one ad that says free thing comes with another thing, and this one performs way, way better, you should take that message and use it in your emails and on your landing page and all your whatever you can use. You can essentially create a real time, highly specialized A-B message testing platform right inside of your paid search campaign, and then you should use it to inform everything else. And the other thing is, you know, to use what you learned from PPC in SEO and vice versa. So if you want to launch an SEO campaign and you have no data whatsoever, you go out and you do all this research and you try and figure out what might work, and then you try it. But you could actually just try a bunch of PPC keywords and see what works and then use those as your SEO keywords. So here is you have a bunch of different activities. Make sure that they talk to each other and that the data informs them.
Bronson: Yeah, no, it’s great. It’s kind of like the example you mentioned earlier with my card, how their product is being informed by their pay per click and what’s working is that same idea. But tunnel vision, you wouldn’t allow it to inform your product. So that’s great advice. All right. Last one. You say don’t have too many cooks. But you also said to crowdsource. So tell me how that works together.
Anna: You should definitely consider crowdsourcing to solve all your problems. Too many cooks is really about messing up data. So say you have a very comprehensive AB message testing program going on in your Edwards campaign and you’re like, Man, I can’t wait to see what happens here. But then someone else who has the log and gets in and writes a bunch of new ads. This may be more of a sad, personal story, but when you’re especially on a team that’s very sort of, you know, everyone’s doing a lot of things together and you’re really trying to like hustle and make things happen. I mean, working on a marketing team is like a race all the time. It’s never chill. And a lot of people are always trying to, like, help each other out. And Anna’s on vacation, so I’m no mess with her campaign. Just make sure that, like, you have a system not only for who does what in a campaign or on a team, but also that for every activity, one person is accountable. Because if everyone’s sort of accountable, then really no one’s accountable?
Bronson: No, absolutely. Well, you’ve given us so much good advice today. You’re obviously very enthusiastic and excited about your job marketing with China. And so I hope that people listen to so go check out, try to, you know, possibly use them as a service but have nothing else to learn from you and the kinds of insights you have on the industry. So it’s been a great interview. Thank you so much for coming on here.
Anna: It has been utterly my pleasure. Thank you. Thank you.
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