NTR6: Marketing Expert Steve Smart

When it comes to marketing, a lot of business owners shoot from the hip - they don't really have a solid plan in place. This week's guest Steve Smart is an expert at taking businesses (and business owners) and building a plan that methodically attacks marketing from many angles. He asks great questions and has some awesome systems that you'll really enjoy learning about.

You'll Learn

  • What is D.A.V.E.S.?
  • 8 Questions every business owner should ask when preparing a marketing plan
  • About the lady with 4 thumbs
  • Why taking a smart approach actually saves you money
  • How to raise your ROI without acquiring new customers

Steve Smart - LN.Face1Links Mentioned in This Episode

About Steve Smart

Steve Smart is a friend and resource for small business owners. He's a great solution for business owners who want to achieve new marketing goals, but are not yet able to hire a full-time marketing professional.

A skilled communicator, Steve has proven himself in advertising, event planning, print and electronic media and other elements of marketing.

Steve is both a global and tactical thinker. His ability to develop the big picture combined with his keen attention to detail makes him a great "right hand man" for business owners or marketing managers who need a reliable collaborative partner.

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Transcript

Intro: Podcasting from baseball heaven, St. Louis Missouri; home to float trips, gooey butter cakes and the Gateway Arch. This is the Navigate the Rapids Podcast where you find out how to effectively run and market your business and now, here is your host, Will Hanke.

 

Will: Hey everyone, Will Hanke here, how are you today? Hope you’re doing well. Welcome to the Navigate the Rapids broadcasts; your weekly, online, marketing help broadcast for business owners. The whole point of the Navigate the Rapids, is to help business owners with all of their online marketing no matter what it may be. Each week, we have different guests and this we’re going to be talking about marketing in a broad sense and dig a little deeper into it but, there’s going to be some great tips. My name is Will Hanke, by the way, owner of Red Canoe Media and I really thank you for joining us today. Today’s October 10, 2014 and my guest today is Steve Smart, he’s a marketing consultant who is passionate about helping business owners and organizational leaders. He says he’s an introvert, but he has addressed audiences from fifteen to fifteen thousand and has been seen on YouTube over one million times. He claims to be a homebody, but is no stranger to foreign places; he rolled off the assembly line in Detroit, he grew up in Saint Louis and his travels have taken him to places as far as the slums of Haiti, the mountains of Peru and the Headhunters of the Philippines—we’ll have to talk about that, for sure. He’s honestly not sure which is more interesting; his chance encounter with Meg Ryan or the lady that had four thumbs—four thumbs, okay.

Steve: Yeah.

Will: Please welcome, Steve Smart the marketing guy; Steve Smart.

Steve: Will, all of that is true, I really did meet a lady with four thumbs one time in the Philippines.

Will: Oh that’s crazy.

Steve: Yeah, yeah and I don’t want to get too far off into that but, I’d never seen anything quite like that before she had, with each thumb, she had one that split off halfway up and so, there was kind of a second thumb and each had us its own thumbnail; so that was kind of odd.

Will: Well I guess, if you worked it right, you could get your typing done really quick.

Steve: Yeah, we were in a place where I doubt that she had access to a keyboard of any kind, but…

Will: Right, so tell me about after you got back from doing all that and how you started with your current marketing career.

Steve: Well, it was a few years after I got back from—I worked for a friend in a financial services company; very specialized and I ran the office for him. He was actually in another city and I ran the office for him and helped the company grow until we sold to a competitor and I became unnecessary and you know how some of those things go. So I thought; where am I going to go from here? And, without getting into the whole story, I realized that I really did have an ongoing passion for things that relate to communications and promotions and some of it was website oriented stuff; it really all fell under the umbrella of marketing. So, in my professional work and in my volunteer work, I consistently saw that I was a very good help to organizational leaders and I have the ability to help them think on the big picture level but then execute on the detail level and not a lot of people can work that executive level and see to it that the details are played out very well, so I just hung up my jingle and started working.

Will: Very good, that’s great. So, I know that you have talked about yourself in the past as a marketing generalist.

Steve: Yes.

Will: And I can only assume, that there are a lot of business owners who know that they have to do marketing, don’t know how, don’t know where to start or they hear something from a friend. But you help business owners in that way that you start to culminate all of the different things and help them start to execute a plan.

Steve: That’s right, the way—I like to put it like this, I help people pull the puzzle pieces together and see to it that they fit properly and after I hung up my shingle and started doing more work in the area of marketing, I looked around and marketing such an enormous world; there are so many things out there and I began to think, as I’m working as an advocate for my clients I’m thinking, how do you make sense out of all this? So, you’ve got different people who are selling the different services, providing different services, and doing a good job of it, but how do you make sense out of all of it and how do you figure out how all the pieces fit together? And so I started a quest to answer those questions for myself, and that’s what I like to do with small business owners, is help them with principles and tools to make sense out of all this and make better decisions and kill their chaos, so to speak.

Will: Right and we’ve talked that about in the past, what do you actually mean by killing the marketing chaos?

Steve: Well, chaos shows up in a lot of different places and in life and business; it can show up in simple ways and in operations, for example you may not know this, but I worked in machine shop after I graduated high school. So, I remember—I’ll take a little style journey just to make this—do you remember the swing away can openers?

Will: Nope, not really.

Steve: There’s a brand of can openers that was made here in St. Louis and one of the machines that I ran, made those can opener cutters which is that little, sharp lid; that sharp thing that cuts the lid off the can.

Will: Right, yeah.

Steve: I ran a machine that made thousands of those every day. Well, when I started running it, I load the machine with new materials; I don’t really check anything I just load all these different missions with the new material. So one of the guys that was supervising me, thought that he had told the other guy that was supervising me that I was supposed to check the dimensions of the parts; well, nobody told me to do that.

Will: Oh no.

Steve: so, we had a whole run of, I don’t know, three or four thousand of these parts with a whole dimension that was off.

Will: Oh, wow.

Steve: And so, that was one example of chaos and where it can show up in operations and the way that shows up is when somebody starts checking something against a defined standard.

Will: Right, if there is such a thing.

Steve: If there is a defined standard and in a lot of things, there is a defined standard.

Will: Right.

Steve: So we had what we called a, plug gage. So it was just a piece of—had a thing on end, thing on the other end and if you put one end in the hole, if it doesn’t go in, then the hole isn’t too big and, if this end doesn’t go in, well then the whole is too small. So you have a defined standard against which you’re measuring things so you can go okay, we’ve got a problem; we can fix things. However, when it comes to marketing, there isn’t really a physical, defined standard, to tell you when you’re on the right track and when you’re not on the right track.

Will: Definitely.

Steve: It can show up in your leads but, that’s after you’ve run your part, so to speak; that’s after you’ve spent your money, that’s after you’ve made your plans. So, I began to think about alright so, how do I build a framework to help people, for example, make good decisions about their marketing efforts? People just— you probably know as well as I do, people like to shoot from the hip, in small business.

Will: Oh definitely, yeah and like I said earlier, they may have heard of this way that works well for one of their friends or at a chamber meeting or something and they think oh man, we better start doing that. But, they don’t educate themselves, so they just shoot from the hip and try it.

Steve: That’s right, that’s right and when you think about shooting from the hip, you see the guy on TV, the cowboy in the wild West, and he’s got six beer bottles lined up on a board out there in the field somewhere and he pulls his gun from his holster and he shoots all those beer bottles; who can do that? Nobody can do that, you can’t do that and you think about snipers, trained snipers, they line up their shot; they aim and so I think you’re right about people in the way that they make their decisions about marketing tactics.

Will: Definitely, there’s a phrase that I referenced in the past, I think it was by a guy named John Wanamaker who says, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; I just don’t know which half.”

Steve: Yeah and some of this stuff is fuzzy, in marketing, and I understand that but I do believe that there are ways and I feel like I’ve developed some ways, to help people think through these things and make better decisions.

Will: Yep so, that was my next questions, how can you start to sort through the chaos?

Steve: So I have different tools that I use, one of them is business DNA and we may or may not talk about that very much today. We talked about this earlier; I don’t like to talk about and overwhelmed with too much information.

Will: Sure.

Steve: I’d rather give people something they can walk away with and use, even that makes our sessions shorter.

Steve: So, let’s make that our objective, is that people can walkover with something that they can use. So, business DNA is one of the tools that I’ve developed one is called, the DAVE’S Marketing Matrix; it’s not named after a guy, it’s just an acronym.

Will: Okay.

Steve: So in all simplicity, here’s how I normally describe it. People sometimes asked me, what’s the hot thing? What’s the thing that I’ve got to be doing in marketing, what’s the thing that’s going to put my business—take my business to the next level; what’s the hot thing? And I like to respond by saying, I don’t think that’s a good first question; I think a better first question is, how can I make sure that I’m covering my bases and what are the different things that I need to be doing? Let’s step back and so when somebody says, what’s the one thing…? I don’t think that’s a good question—part of it, that violates one of my core guiding principles and that is, there is no magic pill; there is no single tactic, there is no group of tactics that will universally work for all businesses, all the time.

Will: Absolutely.

Steve: So I think the better question is well, what are the different bases that I need to cover? So I divided it up like this I came up with, the DAVE’S Marketing Matrix and how I came up with that, I have no idea; I think it just occurred to me one day.

Will: Right.

Steve: So, I’ll walk to you through that acronym and then we can discuss each one separately.

Will: Okay.

Steve: So ‘D’ stands for discovery, ‘A’ stands for wariness, ‘V’ stands for validation, ‘E’ stands for engagement and ‘S’ stands for satisfaction. So, if you like, I can go through those one by one.

Will: Absolutely; let’s start with the D.

Steve: D: discover. So it’s not rocket science that, one way or another, you have to find ways to help people find out about you for the first time.

Will: Right.

Steve: But it’s not just finding out about you, it’s also being relevant, when people find out about you. So, people have to know pretty quickly, why you matter and what makes you different and better and more attractive than your competitor. Did you have a comment about that?

Will: Yeah, no I agree. Back when SEO was in it’s very infancy, you could keyword stuff—pretty much any words into your website and start to rank for them and we would put things like

[13:49-56] and we can get a lot of traffic from that but, it wasn’t relevant. So, what’s the point?

Steve: Right, right.

Will: It was fun to do, but there was no point behind it. So, getting the traffic that matters is definitely important.

Steve: Exactly and whether it’s web traffic or phone traffic or however it is that you do business, if I am a car dealer who handles a brand that several other people around town handle, well what is it that’s going to make me different, better and more attractive? And to go down another trail that’s related to this, if you compete on price, then you’re probably just going to have thinner margins.

Will: Right.

Steve: And is that what you want? But, if you compete on value, then you’re in better shape and so, if you can figure out what makes you different better and more attractive and what promises you can make and consistently deliver and satisfy people with well then, you’ve got something. So it’s not just about people finding out about you for the first time, but it’s also why you matter and being and being able to communicate that well and plus there are tons of ways under the sun, that you can see to it that people discovery you for the first time; you talked about SEO. There are a lot of different ways to make that happen, but that is a base that you have to cover and you have to devote some of marketing resources in that direction.

So then there’s the, A: awareness. Depending on the products that you have people, when they find out about you, they are not necessarily ready to hit the buy button right away especially in a long sales cycle what’s called a, high involvement purchase. A high involvement purchase is one that requires more thought; more consideration and usually is a higher ticket item. So, if you compare say a candy bar, that’s not a purchase you have to think about, although my wife tells me I should think about my candy bar purchases but that’s a different story. So a candy bar is not a high involvement purchase. Maybe a big screen TV is an example of a high involvement purchase, may be—you can make a long list of high involvement purchases. So somebody finds out about you well, how do you build and maintain awareness? If they’re not ready to hit the buy button, then you have to cover another base and that base is building and maintaining awareness; somebody finds out about you for the first time, if you don’t build and maintain awareness, they’re going to forget about you.

Will: Yes.

Steve: So, that’s the ‘A’.

Will: Okay and some ways of doing that would include a newsletter.

Steve: That’s the example I like to give, yeah.

Will: Something that just keeps you in front of them on a regular basis, has some good content so it’s not just an ad, it actually solves some things that maybe they didn’t know they should solve or addresses a specific part of their industry or something like that.

Steve: That’s right and I also like to say this that, with the awareness—you build and maintain awareness and you also can tell the rest of your story.

Will: That’s true, yeah, even in little bits.

Steve: So people can say okay, they make widgets, they’re a widget maker, but maybe there’s a lot more to it than that; maybe it’s how they’re packaged, maybe how it’s delivered, maybe how you buy that, maybe how you pay for them. They’re just so many different aspects of marketing, and maybe there some special feature about the widget and why is it that way and people can’t necessarily pick that up from that ad—that online ad that or however you advertise. From that first point of the awareness, from the first point of discovery, they don’t necessarily know the whole story.

Will: Definitely and especially with marketing, like you said, there are so many different ways; if they saw a billboard and it happened to be relevant at that moment, you can’t tell your whole story—well I guess you could on a billboard but that’d probably be a waste of money.

Steve: Well, please don’t because I don’t people driving around me, spending a lot of time reading a particular billboard.

Will: Right.

Steve: But you’re right, there are certain aspects of marketing that are meant to be on the shallow end but then, if you want to draw people in deeper, then you need to tell more of your story. There’s also the validation part, that’s where the ‘V’ comes in.

Will: Yeah, tell us about that.

Steve: This isn’t necessarily—some of these things, all these different bases, it’s not that you have to have a percentage of your marketing on each base and that percentage is the same for a business, you have to configure this to suit your own business. But, V stands for validation and I like to say it like this, you can call it proof, you can call it logic, you can call it facts but, especially with a high involvement purchase, emotion is involved, certainly. But, with higher involvement, long cycle purchases, there’s more logic and proof required.

Will: Definitely.

Steve: So, that can be a thread that runs through everything you do; how do we really prove, what kind of facts, how do we provide logic? So, if you’ve created an attraction with discovery and awareness but sometimes, people need to justify that attraction in order to hit the buy button and that’s what that V is about; that’s what that validation is about.

Will: So what would be an example of a way to get out of— say you’ve got a new newsletter, for instance, what is a good way to get the validation of part of it across?

Steve: Well, there are different—thanks for asking about that, there different angles that you can pursue. You can pursue angles that highlight the needs of an individual say, three out of five people have some kind of gum disease and this is how it plays out, so you’re using facts and figures to highlight their need. You can also do things that highlight your expertise so, for example, if you have some kind of special certification or something of that nature or if you have some remarkable experience that proves wow, these people really know what they’re doing, but it generally involves facts and figures. In the SEO world, what would be a mark in the SEO world that people can say oh well, because he has a certification, he’s got to know what he’s doing; what would be an example of that?

Will: Well, there really isn’t a certification but, there are other things. I think, just the fact that somebody does public speaking on a regular basis, justifies or shows that they’re not afraid to go and tell other people what they think.

Steve: Yeah, so that’s kind of a softer side of validation. Maybe a more factual side would be well, here are some case studies where we helped this business growth thirty percent in two years; that would be a good example.

Will: Those are great, yeah.

Steve: So we’ve covered the discovery aspect, people have to find out about you for the first time; you have to be relevant. Then there’s the awareness—building and maintaining awareness and telling the rest the story and; then there’s the validation and then, there’s engagement. So, you’ve created an attraction and you’ve been taking steps towards people; how do you get them to take steps towards you, how do you get them to say okay, I know about them but I want to find out more, I want to take a step deeper? And it can be attending a seminar, for example, it could be picking up the phone and calling for free consultation, it could be saying I’m going to subscribe to their newsletter or I’m going to subscribe to their YouTube channel; it’s really something that gets your prospective customers a little bit deeper in the sales funnel and they start investing in the relationship, that’s what the engagement is all about.

Will: Right and I’d say most business owners, especially the ones that are shooting from the hip, are assuming that as soon as they do whatever this X piece of marketing is that they’ll get straight to that engagement place, where people will just pick up the phone and start calling them like crazy.

Steve: Yeah, well I think that’s a good point, Will and that’s probably—I never really thought about it in this way but, that’s probably another area of chaos; unrealistic expectations. So, yeah, we’d love to sit and dream that when we put this radio at out there and we’ll get tons of calls and those calls became customers right away and yes, some of that might happen, but it is a lot of times about nurturing a relationship.

Will: Yeah it really is. I think it’s a big mistake a lot of business owners assume, that no matter what the marketing channel is, that there’s going to be an immediate embracing of that channel and whether that means the phone’s going to start ringing or people are going to start walking in the door or the website traffics going to spike; without the nurturing part of it, you’re not going to get to this part.

Steve: Right and I think it varies, from one business to another, what a realistic expectation is but here is a simple thing, now this is after purchases been made but, of course, just because somebody has bought from you, doesn’t mean that you don’t continue to nurture the relationship. There is a particular car dealer that I like to go to, because they give me a call a free car wash whenever I want.

Will: Oh, okay.

Steve: As long as the weather is conducive, as long as their carwash is functional, I can go; I don’t have to have an oil change or anything, I can just go get my car washed and so what happens then is that, because my feet are in their store on somewhat of a regular basis, the likelihood of me buying another car from them is a lot greater.

Will: Right and it’ll only cost them a couple dollars—if a dollars’ worth of water.

Steve: Exactly, so they’re thinking about well, how can we continue to serve people; how can we nurture relationships so that they will, in this case, buy again? So, that’s an example of engagement.

Will: Right, so that’s an example of after a purchase, what about before purchase?

Steve: Before a purchase, it can be some things we talked about earlier like extending a seminar. So, somebody says well okay, I will attend this seminar or hear this Google Hangout, somebody says I’m going to break out part of my schedule and I’m going to go and I’m going to attend or I’m going to watch this Google Hangout or I’m going to go to this seminar; it’s something that involves them investing themselves in some way.

Will: Yeah, so taking an action.

Steve: Yes so, there’s a call to action and it can’t be downloaded a white paper; these things, of course, are in varying degrees of commitment and varying degrees of meaning but, if somehow, making them have skin in the game.

Will: Yeah, alright; tell us about the S.

Steve: When I first thought about this DAVE’S Marketing Matrix, at first the S was making the sale; that’s really want right? That’s why we’re doing this, so we can make a sale. Pretty quickly I realized—I was playing all of this out in my head and I thought well wait a minute, if all we’re after his making the sale, I think we’re shortsighted.

Will: Right, definitely.

Steve: Really what we want is to satisfy customers; it’s not just about okay, you bought my gizmo, I got your money, see you later. Well, what if they walk away and are not happy, are that what you want? I don’t think so.

Will: Right.

Steve: So really the S is for satisfaction and our objective isn’t just to make a sale—certainly we have sales numbers and all that but, our objective isn’t just to make the sales, it’s to satisfy our customers to the degree that the by again and to the degree that they refer others who will buy from us.

Will: Yeah I think this huge. I’m reading a book right now called, ‘Unselling’ by Scott Stratton and he talks about the pulse of any client that you have or any customers that you have; at some point they’re maybe dissatisfied or they’re satisfied or they’re ecstatic.

Steve: Okay.

Will: And there are these different levels and when they get to the ecstatic point, that’s when they’re satisfied and that’s when they’re going to start referring you. People that are just—yeah, I bought it; it was good, it was okay, those aren’t the cheerleaders that you’re after.

Steve: Right, that’s a good point. I remember doing a presentation, not long ago; I did a video about this called The Exponential Power of Customer Satisfaction. If you have X amount of money that you’re investing in marketing and you get—I’ll just pull a number—five hundred purchases is from that investment. Well okay, if people buy from you one time and those five hundred purchases are worth X amount to you and you’ve spent X amount of money in marketing, that’s how much your ROI is in marketing. However, if you can satisfy people to the degree that they return to you and buy again, well then you’re looking at your ROI and it’s a lot higher.

Will: Yeah.

Steve: You don’t have to reach new people, you do have to develop new markets; you’re getting the same people. Then you know that your ROI is going up, it’s on an upward curve, if they then are so, so satisfied that they refer others, then it takes it to the next level. So, your ROI increases wonderfully, when people are highly satisfied so it’s not just about making the sale; it’s about satisfying people to a high degree and paying attention to their level of satisfaction. So that becomes a marketing objective, that becomes one of the bases you have to cover and so that’s where you’re building cross functional teams with customer service and delivery or whatever aspects of business you have, those other pieces of the business have to understand that they are part of the marketing.

Will: Yeah.

Steve: That’s part of marketing your product; taking it to market and satisfying people.

Will: Yes, definitely. I heard once that the easiest client to get is the one you already have.

Steve: Exactly, of course you don’t want to—through attrition you’ll lose some but, of course, that’s exactly right; if you’re satisfying them, and then find ways to satisfy them again and again and again.

Will: So, what you do that do, Steve, is you help business owners get all of these pieces together, in one place.

Steve: That’s right because they have to harmonize.

Will: Yes and where I was leading with that is, is it possible just to pick out the A and the S and it’ll work?

Steve: I don’t think so. I’ll say this, there are people who can succeed by mistake and more power to them; I think that’s great. However, if you have the choice between being intentional and just being haphazard, my system of belief tells me that being intentional trumps being haphazard all the time.

Will: Absolutely and I totally agree with you, I think having all these pieces in the right place, in one place, is well worth it. So, the other thing you mentioned was the business DNA, do you mind if we talk a little bit about that?

Steve: Here’s what I’d like to do, I don’t know if  I talked to you about this before; there’s another piece to this DAVE’S that I’d like to talk about for a few minutes and this may be how we end up, if that’s okay with you.

Will: That’s fine.

Steve: What I found, is that business owners are not very often armed with very good questions. So, they are bombarded with messages about different kinds of marketing that they can buy; marketing services, market and product and so they’re often just at the mercy of the seller and what the seller knows and so does that sound good? Yeah, I guess we’ll do that and business associates George’s here, he’s doing it; he seems to like it. So what I’ve done, is I’ve developed a list of questions, seven—you can add more but there are actually, eight key questions that I like to encourage people to ask when they are considering different marketing tactics and, if you’re game, I could work through those eight questions.

Will: Yeah let’s knock them out; sounds great.

Steve: Okay, five of them relate to the buying and decision-making process and three of them relate more to the implementation part. The first question is: who will be our expert advisor?

Will: Okay.

Steve: The reason I have that question is there is, oftentimes what happens, is a small business owner will say okay, we’re going to do this particular thing; maybe it’s social media, maybe a brochure, whatever it is, we’re going to do this. Well, what happens is that, oftentimes, they do not execute well. So even if they are doing stuff—they probably shouldn’t be doing a lot on their own but you’ve got to run your business, you’ve probably got more important things to do, but even if you’ve delegated to someone in your organization, it makes a lot of sense to me, to be connected on an ongoing basis, to somebody who has a lot of expertise in that given area, that can provide ongoing guidance. Otherwise, what happens is you’re probably not going to execute well.

Will: Right.

Steve: That’s the first question is: who will be our expert advisor? And the second question, really I just mentioned, the second question is: what does it take to execute well? For example, if you think about… there are probably still people who think that alright well, SEO; putting keywords at the bottom of our page and we do these little things and now we’ve got SEO, wow!

Will: It really is just that easy.

Steve: What happens is that people get turned on to a particular tactic or they get interested in a particular tactic and sometimes, depending on who’s presenting, they make it sound like it’s easy.

Will: Right.

Steve: Because they’re trying to sell it.

Will: Yeah.

Steve: So, a lot of times, a tactic takes more effort and more determination and maybe more resources than what’s advertised and you really have to ask good questions; okay, what does it take to execute well ? Content marketing, for example, all you’ve got to do is write it articles and the more articles you write, the better off you are and yeah, that’s part of the truth but, who’s going to let those articles and how’s that going to get done? It sounds easy, then you get started the next thing you know you’re scratching your head; I don’t know what to write about. So, that’s the next question is: what does it take to execute well? The third one is: what other elements are important? And I can elaborate on this by describing—there are a series of videos I did for client and it just got a ton of views. There’s one particular video and it’s had about a half a million views; the total views of all the videos was over one million and it did a great job of directing a lot of traffic, a lot of good, solid traffic to the website. There were a lot of pages viewed, a lot of time on page, however, good traffic doesn’t necessarily, automatically, become sales.

Will: Right.

Steve: So, we had that piece of the puzzle, but there was another piece of the puzzle that was very important and that was what…? You can tell me.

Will: No, go ahead.

Steve: Conversion optimization; you can be doing one thing well, but sometimes you need another piece of the puzzle, a complementary piece of the puzzle, if you’re going to get the end result that you’re looking for.

Will: Right.

Steve: So you have to answer that question, what other pieces are important? And then allocate your resources accordingly.

Will: Right.

Steve: Here’s question number four: how will this tactic; how will any given tactic fit in the DAVE’S Matrix or in the overall schemes of things? Is there unnecessary duplication or are you missing some Bases or can one particular tactic, maybe, cover more than one base?

Will: Okay.

Steve: So you have to start thinking about how you’re covering your bases; how you’re allocating services and how does it fit in the grand scheme of things? Then, there is the fifth question and that is: how much control do I have?

Will: Good.

Steve: I’ll tell you what I mean by that and we can talk about SEO. You know, as well as I do, that there have been several companies out there who have been rolling along with different SEO tactics and then, boom! Google changes their algorithm and it goes down the toilet.

Will: Yes.

Steve: So there are some tactics, Facebook is an example. Facebook starts their business pages and wow! People are liking, people are seeing; we’re reaching people and then Facebook changes their algorithm and nobody likes me, nobody seeing my stuff anymore.

Will: Right.

Steve: So, there are some marketing tactics that are fluid, and you have to understand when you commit to a particular tactic; how stable is it? You may have to allocate your marketing resources in ways that allow you to prepare for instability in a particular tactic, does that make sense?

Will: Absolutely and even further beyond that, some people think that they can throw some money at SEO, for instance, and get immediate results and that needs to be understood ahead of time as well, that it’s going to take a while and it’s going to take some investment before you start moving the needle.

Steve: That’s a great point, Will, because another question that I don’t have listed here but one that—the list of questions can become so long that it’s like well, how does this become helpful to the people? But that’s one that I have off to the side and maybe it should be closer to the center and that’s the questions: what’s our time horizon to success? Then I’ve got some other questions and these relate more to implementation. One is: who will be responsible for what? It may be, that a tactic that you’re considering, is just purely outsourced, so it’s pretty easy to answer the question, who will be responsible for what? However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have any responsibility at all, as the business owner, because you should be somehow monitoring the results that you’re getting; you do have some level of responsibility no matter what. But, if you have members of your staff that are dedicated to certain aspects of marketing, each of them have to know what their roles are and they have to have the support and the tools they need, the resources that they need to get the job done.

Will: Right.

Steve: This is all part of the planning and I think you can agree that, if execution is not done well, you can’t expect good results.

Will: That’s one hundred percent true, yes.

Steve: So, there’s another question that relates the implementation and that is: how will we monitor quality? So many things—here’s an example, if I decide okay, I’m going to write content or do social media posts or whatever, on the one hand—let me back up—on the one hand, I think it’s great and it’s important to develop patterns of activity to reduce costs. So, if you can develop something that is repeatable, then you can find people to do it on an ongoing basis and lower your cost. However, you also have to be aware that whenever you have a pattern and you have somebody working a pattern, they can of getting to a rut and get in the grind and lose their edge or lose quality and just be stamping it out week after week. Having a fresh set of eyes on the work, with some interval, that becomes an important part of maintaining quality in your efforts.

Will: I agree and you mentioned earlier about the run of can opener pieces that you did.

Steve: Exactly.

Will: And that extra set of eyes, probably—they were losing money by the minute and that helped stop the bleeding, at least.

Steve: Exactly and so I—that was a long time ago, but I remember some of that stuff so clearly, but that was that question, how do we monitor quality? And then the last question; this might be one of the most important questions to answer and that is: how will we measure success?

Will: That’s a good one.

Steve: There are some things, if you think about this whole DAVE’S Matrix, some things are hard to measure in marketing; no question about it but, wherever you practically measure things, you’re better off measuring than not measuring, because you want to be able to make decisions about what works and what’s not working. You have a marketing budget there that’s not meant to make you feel good; it’s meant to help you accomplish goals.

Will: Right.

Steve: So you have to figure out well, how are these things helping us accomplish our goals? If you’re able to identify a component of your marketing efforts that is, tangibly, contributing to your profits well, guess what? You want to do more of that. If you have some of your marketing that is dedicated to stuff that you know, by measuring, that this isn’t doing anything at all then you maybe have to allocate marketing resources in another direction. There are some things— I was having conversation with a client recently about our email marketing; are we really getting any results from this? And he made a comment that I thought was very interesting. He said, “Well, some of the people that we are communicating with through our email marketing, some of, them are not necessarily yet coming in for business; they’re not ready to hit the buy button. However, they do know people and they are referring people, who are coming in and hitting the buy button?

Will: Okay.

Steve: So it’s not just about looking at numbers, it’s also about understanding nuances and the interplay between different aspects and wherever you can put your finger on the pulse of what’s happening and why people are coming to you; you’re in better shape when you measure things.

Will: Yeah, that’s a great point there that, even though they may not have hit the buy button, that they’re still sending other people that are still further along that cycle.

Steve: That’s right.

Will: And it goes back to the awareness thing that you were talking about earlier, because you were consistently in front of them, that they even thought of referring you in the first place.

Steve: That’s exactly right, and the person might not even be looking for referral. They might be saying I had this problem or this is something that is going on and they say oh, I just read something about that the other day, I got this email and they were talking about this and call these guys; I think they can help you.

Will: Yeah.

Steve: It may not even be as blatant as, “I’m looking for referral, who knows someone who can do, X?” It may happen in an entirely different way and that’s where things get fuzzy and hard to measure but, because you were covering that base of awareness

Will: Right.

Steve: There things happening that you didn’t necessarily intend to happen.

Will: Absolutely. Well, Steve, this has been a ton of great information; what is the best way for someone to get a hold of you to, maybe, just start talking about the DAVE’S process or just speak with you about it?

Steve: Two things: they can call me if they want, phone number is (636) 699-8772; that’s on my website which leads me to point number two, go to my website 2qsolutions.net. You can reach out to me by email: srsmart@2qsolutions.net or through my website of course and I’d be happy to have a conversation. The work that I typically do starts with a very, nonthreatening, conversation. I don’t like sales processes that are hard and in your face; I don’t like people doing that to me, so I don’t do it to other people

Will: That’s awesome.

Steve: Generally, the work that I do starts with a few very simple conversations.

Will: That’s terrific. It’s a lot easier to help people when they know you’re not threatening them.

Steve: Well and honestly, I don’t come to the table assuming that I can help them or that I am the guy to help them; I want to understand first. I want to understand what they want to accomplish with their business and really look at, can I help them and if I did what would that look like? It’s pretty nonthreatening.

Will: Well, Steve, I really appreciate you jumping on the broadcast today and you’ve really dropped down some great pieces of information for us.

Steve: Will, what a pleasure, as always, not just talk to you but to be part of your [48:55] is a great privilege.

Will: I really appreciate it. My name again is, Will Hanke, this is the Navigation the Rapids broadcast, thanks a lot for joining us today and we’ll see you next week.

About 

Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.

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