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The Sharpest Tool™

Creating a Customer Experience That Matters

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
As the Senior Marketing Manager at Scorpion, Travis Hobbs oversees campaigns and partners with businesses to help manage their workflow and refine internal processes. His background as a business consultant for small businesses and Director of Marketing at Fleet Feet Sports gave him a deep understanding of the importance of great customer experience. When he joined Scorpion and embraced the opportunity to break into the home services space, he was ready to take the customer experience to new heights.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Everyone welcome back to the sharpest tool. We're really excited to be here. We're gonna bring you all of that marketing goodness, energy tips, tricks, and everything for your business to really take it to the next level. From a marketing perspective, I'm really excited today. We got Travis hobs, senior internet marketing manager here at scorpion, and he's got a lot of value to offer, and I'm really excited to have him in the booth because he's done some amazing things with some amazing clients. So welcome.

Travis Hobbs (00:30):

Awesome. I'm so excited to be here. Thanks for having me. So I hear, I hear

Josh Smith (00:33):

I've just heard through the grapevine that your nicknames uncle T is that how's that go? Yeah.

Travis Hobbs (00:39):

So that's where I, my name is uncle T here at scorpion and cross the board with everybody that I know. Yeah. That guy kind of pulled out of always being the person that people could depend on. And for some reason I always get put on as the emergency contact for everybody's kids. So I'm not uncle that always comes through.

Josh Smith (00:54):

Hi, is this a T or the emergency contact for Georgia? Is that

Travis Hobbs (00:59):

It's happened to me recently, even with people here at scorpion. Oh, how fun? Just sticks. Okay.

Josh Smith (01:03):

So why, why don't you give our listeners a little bit of an overview? What's your day-to-day look like? What do you, what do you do here at scorpion at a marketing agency?

Travis Hobbs (01:10):

My role here is a senior net marketing managers. I manage the campaigns, but managing the campaigns is a really elementary level to look at it. I really partner with businesses and I'm part of I'm part of the teams that I work with on a daily basis. So I dive in there and I help manage the workflow I help bring in work. I also help refine the internal processes along the way that helps convert. Whatever's brought to the table as actual actual book jobs. Cause that goes to, and so figuring out how I'm partnering with business owners to be, you know, more of a team member and consultant on a daily basis is what I, what I strive for here. And that's to grow and win how

Josh Smith (01:49):

We get in involved with that. Have you always done that? Is it something, what, what drove you to do that to want to do?

Travis Hobbs (01:54):

Yeah, so I started out for the last 13 years. I've been a business consultant for small businesses, and then I got pulled in to an opportunity that was kind of beyond my wildest dreams. And I was the director of marketing for a large franchise here in the United States called fleet feet sports. And what it was is I was working with franchisees on a daily basis and really diving into process and flow of operation and their outreach and what that looks like. And that was everything from digital to gorilla marketing on the street and just building, building a customer experience on a daily basis that made people want to advocate for them day in and day out and, and just shout there, their experience with those guys on the, on the rooftop. So that was, and then when I came over to scorpion and I had the opportunity to continue to move into the home services space in particular, my goal there was the same is to create an environment and an experience for potential customers that would always leave them coming back on every need basis. And again, shouting on the rooftops,

Josh Smith (02:54):

Let's just dive into it because I think we got a lot to cover here today. We wanted to talk a bit about this idea of the marketing funnel and the consumer journey and word on the street is it's a pretty important piece of a marketing pie to look at these things. So, uh, once you give us a broad overview, what is a marketing funnel or what is multi funnel marketing? Definitely.

Travis Hobbs (03:14):

If we're looking at a marketing funnel or I like to, I like to corner as the consumer journey or the customer journey. So we're looking at it from their first interactions with you, that's building your brand, making sure that they're aware and then moving them from that end of the spectrum over to, like I mentioned, a few minutes ago, lifetime advocate for, for your business, but there's a whole lot that happens in between there and making sure that all your ducks are in a row is incredibly important with making sure that they move to the next aspect of the funnel. So it's general awareness and then moving over to lifetime advocacy is what you want to really strive for.

Josh Smith (03:44):

Do you get the sense that in today's marketplace, just based on how consumers behave, that they're not as loyal anymore, necessarily the way they were maybe 50 years ago to particular brands? I think that

Travis Hobbs (03:57):

It's a double-edged sword because you do have, you do have people who are, who are fiercely loyal to brains regardless of what industry it's in. Sure. But then you also have people who want convenience and quick service. So I think that the pivotal piece there is figuring out how do I take that? How do I take that experience of incredibly smooth, fast, efficient, great experience service, and then replicate that on a daily basis. So you want to move that person who's yeah, I, uh, I had a clogged drain. My sink was overflowing. My toilet was overflowing. I was in a panic. I, you were the first one that showed up on my Google search and you're here and I had a good experience and I'm gonna leave you a review and come back. So I think it, you have to be able to show up and you have to know where you need to show up in the first place in order to bring those people in. And then it's our job as a team to really develop that relationship moving forward. So

Josh Smith (04:46):

Let's talk a little bit about this for me. How vital is it that a business is at every stage of that funnel from the lifetime advocacy all the way back to, you know, consumer awareness, brand awareness,

Travis Hobbs (04:59):

It's incredibly important. And if you don't have all your ducks in a row there, you're, you're going to be out of the race because of the advancement in digital, in particular and phones and computers and tablets and the accessible information that folks have these days. It's not like we had to pick up a phone book or you went to a magnet that was on your fridge anymore, while those are relevant avenues, it's, it's incredibly important to, to hit them in every aspect. So having a strategic partner to help you with that and have the knowledge and the ongoing development of that is going to be it's incredibly important.

Josh Smith (05:28):

Yeah, it, do you find that that a brand identity is really important to that as well as it's just a matter of slapping up your logo and ads in as many places as possible. How important is that business side to that?

Travis Hobbs (05:41):

The actual business side of it is, is the most important because you can have a, a great shiny shell of a car or a business. And then once you get inside, you have ripped seats and you have a steering wheel that's halfway falling off and that's not going to create the best driving experience for that person. So if you're, if you're a flash and you're front loaded with all of the advertising, all kind of stuff, you know, how many follow through you're going to have one-time customers, and you're going to have a whole lot of those, and you don't want to have a ton of a ton of turnaround in turn with that. You want to have people that are staying around that are, that are lobbying for you on a consistent basis. So if you've got, if you're, you're an inch deep, you're an inch deep, but you want to be as deep as the ocean as much as you possibly can.

Josh Smith (06:18):

So what are the different stages I know of the customer journey we've talked about, you know, the far end of lifetime advocate at the beginning of the brand, what are all the in-betweens what's that look like if you were to break it down? Yeah.

Travis Hobbs (06:29):

I mean, you start off with the general awareness and then they, and then they may have seen your brand. Let's just use an example of yeah. Of like Facebook or a display ad that you see. Everybody's been on a news, a news website, or they've been on a sports website and they've seen the banner ads that pop through, you see a logo, you hear a jingle on the radio, you have the brand awareness there. Okay, great. So now they may not need my service now, but okay. Now they're, maybe they're considering getting a new AC installed and they're doing some, some research and then they recognize your brand there. So they've moved on to the next stage of, of having a little bit more intention. So now they have information that we've lined up. We've already, they've already heard our jingle. They've seen our video. They've seen our, our brand across the board on their news outlets or whatever it might be. And they're moving into that next stage of a little bit more of intention. And as we, as we get there, they see our brand. Again, it's a reinforcement, they check out our reviews and then now they're moving into actually giving us a call from there. And then we have the opportunity there as the business to actually develop the relationship and providing them with the absolute best service, which in turn builds us the lifetime. Now

Josh Smith (07:30):

You're touching on a great word. I love that word, intention, intention, like a customer's intention that might, might seem a little vague to some people. What do you mean by that?

Travis Hobbs (07:39):

Yeah, definitely. Intention is I, I need this, this particular service. I'm going to do the research. I'm going to inform myself the best way that I can, but I intentionally get up and have a cup of coffee in the morning because it gives me a benefit later on. I feel great. I have a little bit more energy. It's lining up what you're doing with why you're doing it, and then partnering with who's necessary in between to make sure that it happens.

Josh Smith (08:03):

Yeah. Yeah. I love that. That's such a great way to look at the consumer journey. And I know a lot of our business owners, they're just people in, in business in general, that they look at marketing as kind of a tit for tat you know, a dollar in lead out, you know, that kind of mentality. Um, how does the marketing funnel shed light on that kind of perspective? When looking at marketing,

Travis Hobbs (08:24):

That's where it comes down to the offline work as well. So making sure that you're the authoritative voice in the community with that or in your area. So that's where stuff like SEO and content development come into play a lot, because if they're doing research and they're continuing to refine the intention of who they're going to end up working with, they're going to look at it from the perspective of, I was the most informed. And I was the most comfortable with you because you gave me the best feeling. You gave me the confidence and the assurance that I was going to be in. Good hands.

Josh Smith (08:51):

Yeah. A lot of people are looking at what I assume based on your explanation is the bottom of the funnel, right? That, well, that's the point when the consumer is deciding when they're placing phone calls and we want those phone calls, that's what we want. Why do we bother with the top of the funnel stuff? What's the, what would you say is the purpose behind that? Or what would you tell, what do you tell your clients that you're partnered with in that recent?

Travis Hobbs (09:13):

Yeah. If you're, if you're not out there, you're not out there now. And so if you're sitting at that top of that general awareness and first exposure, if you're hoping that, you know, the 10,000 magazines that you send out in 1970 are still relevant. That's not the case, Fred. Exactly. And that's not the same consumer that's necessarily out there. So if you're looking at taking those steps to create general brand awareness, it's incredibly important that you're looking at it from a holistic approach. So you're, you are still doing some of that stuff, but you're, you're not going to ever move somebody into an intention stage with your brand. If you don't in, you don't first introduce them to your brand in a way that doesn't overwhelm them. Yeah. So if you're able to get that, like I said earlier, surface level stuff, and you're able to move them gradually down the, down the road, and they're comfortable with you.

Travis Hobbs (10:01):

That's, you know, you're going to have two types of folks that are going to give you a car. You're going to have people that are, oh my gosh, my house is flooding right now. I need somebody here right now. I'm going to go with whoever or you have somebody who's like, I know that let's take my nickname. For example, I'm uncle T people know that I'm going to come through people. I've built a reputation of constantly coming through. So people know that they know they're going to call on me because I have this consistent flow of picking up people's kids when needed or coming and jumping their car. It's the same approach to that topic. Exposure. Do you have a reputation? People are going to look at their reviews. First, they're going to, they're going to find the introduction to your brand. And if you've got 50 bad reviews, you're probably not going to win somebody over into I'm going to intentionally call them because they had so many great reviews. People are, are giving them glowing, everything. And then you're going to see, you have to focus on that whole front end of things. Are you following up with people? Are you providing the service necessary? But then also are you, are you open to the type of mix in your marketing? That's going to expose you in all of the right areas. And so it's going to come down to working and partnering with somebody strategically. Who's going to, who's going to give you a well-rounded plan.

Josh Smith (11:12):

The word trust comes to mind with that. It seems to me that all of these channels are ultimately building trust or attempting to develop a relationship or a rapport with the client. Is that what you typically see in terms of when people are involved at every stage of the game, the leads that come in typically have more of an implicit trust built up?

Travis Hobbs (11:31):

Yeah, no, definitely. If they're, if they're constantly working at developing that trust and that brand trust in general, it, it creates that quality call that you want at the end of the day. Yeah.

Josh Smith (11:41):

Yeah. You mentioned marketing mix. Um, and I think that has a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people. What would you say a marketing mix is?

Travis Hobbs (11:50):

I think if we're looking at it from, let's just say an overall marketing approach, if we're, you can just run paid advertising, but that's only going to get you paid advertising leads. And that's only going to lead to one avenue of like, we were talking about trust. So we're looking at a marketing mix. Let's just say, if I'm looking at a campaign that I'm running and I know that we've got postcards going out to former customers, we've got display ads going, but we're also looking at all the other avenues that are gonna contribute to moving, moving somebody down the marketing funnel. We have to be hitting areas like constant content development that builds up trust with search engines, which allows us to show up at a lower cost down the road. Yeah. Um, it builds trust, um, when we're going out and we're getting reviews and we're constantly working our way through, um, just that trust.

Travis Hobbs (12:32):

Like it's like building a relationship with anybody, except this person is only looking at your footprint, your digital footprint. They're not looking, they're not physically standing in front of you come into your office every day and saying, Hey, I just, uh, I want to get to know you guys before I allow you to come and do a camera inspection. Yeah. It doesn't work that way these days. So when we're looking at a marketing mix, you need to be able to approach all those relationship development aspects and build trust with somebody and build your brand reputation through a digital footprint. Do you think that there's like a one size fits all when it comes to market mix? Like every business should be involved in everything everywhere at all times, or is there more of a strategic way to go about that conversation? You have to look at it from where you're, where you're investing money effectively.

Travis Hobbs (13:15):

If you've got an avenue that's not producing any sort of results in you're wasting money, you have to be honest with yourself. And as, uh, you know, coming from a marketing manager perspective, I have those conversations day in and day out where I say this avenue is not working currently. We're not getting a return, but we are seeing a return here. I use the term pivot constantly. You have to understand. Okay, great. So we're thinking on our feet, we're thinking strategically, we're thinking together with where we need the business to go. Um, right now I'm not effectively spending money in one area, but we have an opportunity to over here where we've seen consistent data. Um, we need to be able to move over there. So I don't think that there's ever going to be a cookie cutter. One size fits all mix of marketing because people are changing constantly because the Internet's changing constantly.

Travis Hobbs (14:00):

And the way that people take in information, it's going to be identifying trends ahead of time and being able to set up whatever technology is necessary, whatever planning and strategy is necessary to capture that new trend and to be ahead of everybody else. And I've never experienced a company that can pivot and be ahead of trends better than where we are here at scorpion. I've never, once I I've worked for many companies that develop everything from technology to specific fabrics for, for athletes, like it's not, you know, it's understanding what trends happening and being so thought led. So know, strategy led that you, you see those before they even become a factor. Yeah. And how important is technology into that and what, what role does that play in the marketing mix? Well, I mean, if we're looking at how people digest tech digest information, these days, it always involves technology. Even most newspapers are moving over to almost a complete digital front. Yeah. So understanding what data is out there from massive, massive areas like Google or YouTube, understanding the rates that people are watching videos, how often they're staying on. And then implementing that into our marketing mix is incredibly important of technology and understanding how to report back on that and then how to produce the actual product to fit those platforms is something that's incredibly vital to the overall success of a marketing plan. Yeah.

Josh Smith (15:23):

Uh, technology is so interesting to me because not only does it shape consumer behavior, but there's so much data based on consumer behavior that we can gather and make informed decisions on when it comes to business decisions. And from that, what you've seen in dealing with the technology, the tools that Google has, the ones you have you deal with at scorpion, let's say, um, based on that technology, what should businesses consider when they're developing their marketing mix?

Travis Hobbs (15:47):

I think that they should not put all their eggs in one basket. I think it's, it's exactly what you said. Having a marketing mix. Are you, are you doing the things that are necessary to have video because that's where a lot of consumer interactions are headed in the next 15 years, 10 years, are you taking into consideration? Sure. You may not understand social media because you may not have a Facebook or an Instagram, but are you, are you understanding that that's an important aspect of it and of your marketing mix overall? And are you understanding that technology is in fact where the future is? It's not the phonebook landing on my driveway anymore with my coupon on the back of the cover. That's not, you have to understand that technology is there and it should be, it needs to be used. Yeah.

Josh Smith (16:31):

Yeah. So is it, do they, do you consider the goals of the business when it comes to what they should be involved with? Um, and how do you go about assessing that with a business owner who might not be aware of where they want to go or what they want to do?

Travis Hobbs (16:45):

I think you have to look at what was successful in the past and what trends you're seeing across the board right now in the industry. That's the great thing is we've run thousands of campaigns in home services specifically over the years here at scorpion. So we have a lot of data we can pull from, but if we're looking at understanding, it's finding a connecting point, well, it may be a 80 year old business owner. He may not use a computer. He may still hand-write everything, but is the business going to be passed down? Is there somebody in the, in the company that it can be an advocate? Is there somebody who understands the importance of the technology? You have to find a relating point there and, and communicate it and then have an understanding of where the business wants to go, where it is currently and where, where, you know, what, what did, what are the limitations currently with the technology?

Travis Hobbs (17:28):

I think there's a ton of technology. That's helped out a lot of businesses. Let's look at ServiceTitan for example, as far as tracking and revenue, following booking, scheduling, all that kind of stuff, that those, that type of technology has changed the home services industry, because it's allowed people to finally, for the first time in one collective spot, see what the numbers are in a live presence, or see what the book calls, where we can report on that and not embracing that technology is eventually your, your business is going to, you're going to fall so far behind that. It becomes to the point of almost irrelevant.

Josh Smith (18:00):

So for a company who has never really considered the customer journey before never really considered a full marketing mix before when they're looking at the marketing for their organization, what would you say is the thing that they should first pay attention to? What's the one big piece of advice that you would give them? I mean,

Travis Hobbs (18:17):

Obviously do an internal assessment of where you are currently, but yeah, if you things off the top of my head, if we're talking in reference to just looking at it from the ground level of marketing in general, is do we have listings in place? Do we have, you know, what is our, what does our website content look like overall? Are we only dependent on the postcard going out every three months? And is that the most effective way to spend your dollars? How many of those are getting thrown away now? You know, are you utilizing anything like email marketing? Are you sending out a newsletter that way, or you running digital advertising? I think there's, there's a lot of factors that go into it. But the first thing I would look at is how are you currently showing up? Do you have a digital footprint at all? And you know, what tools do you already have in place or what have you started that we can continue to capitalize on now?

Josh Smith (19:03):

Well, this has been awesome, Travis. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day. And I got a lot of clients that count on you and love you for it. So thank you so much for taking the time to chat today. Appreciate

Travis Hobbs (19:13):

It. Yeah. Thank you so much

Josh Smith (19:14):

For having me. You bet. Um, so if, if anybody, uh, enjoyed the content here, definitely punch the subscribe button wherever you might be at. Uh, and we're going to continue to deliver all that marketing goodness for you from all of us here. I'm Joshua Smith. We'll catch you next time.

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