The Sharpest Tool™

Reach Your Customers Before Your Competitors With Omnichannel Marketing

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
As Chief Operating Officer, Dan Bedell spends his day working closely with his marketing teams to make sure that all of their clients have excellent plans that are helping them grow. Dan emphasizes that an important part of their success is their omnichannel marketing strategy. Omnichannel refers to the multiple ways for businesses to get in front of their ideal customers. In the past, it was a race to see who could gain the highest organic SEO reach to be found first when searched. But now that everyone is doing this, it's important to have a more well-rounded approach to marketing.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello and welcome to the sharpest tool. My name is Josh Smith. I'll be your host today, and this is the place where we take the sting out of marketing with everything that we bring to the table. And I'm excited because we have our chief operating officer here in the booth with us. Dan, Bedel welcome to the sharpest

Dan Bedell (00:19):

Tool. Hello, and thank you. I appreciate you having me here.

Josh Smith (00:21):

Awesome. Well, we're, we're going to talk about something that's really kind of an interesting thing, an interesting topic. I think a lot of people might be a little confused when we throw this word out of Omni channel marketing. Yep. So we're gonna talk about that in a minute, but why don't you give our listeners just a short insight into what you do day in and day out for scorpion?

Dan Bedell (00:37):

So as the chief operating officer, I spend the majority of my time working with our marketing managers and our enterprise marketing team to help our clients have quality marketing plans that we execute for them. So they can grow at the

Josh Smith (00:50):

End of the day, grow, hit all their goals, do all the good things that they want to do in

Dan Bedell (00:53):

Life, right. And go 100%.

Josh Smith (00:55):

Awesome. And so we're, we're talking about something that I think is really paramount and tantamount to a really successful marketing strategy and overall a campaign. And that's this idea of omni-channel marketing. We've seen a lot of shifts happen in the marketing space over the past couple of years, even in the past six months. And so why don't you describe what Omni channel marketing is? So our listeners get a good understanding of what that looks like.

Dan Bedell (01:17):

I might go the long way, but we're going to answer this in a thorough way. So omni-channel to start the question directly simply refers to the multiple different ways that already get in front of the ideal client for our clients. Our client's ideal client. If we take a look at the things that have worked in digital marketing over the last say 10 years, if we want to go back a little bit, SEO was the thing. So if you want it to be found online in Google and say you're a plumber or an attorney and prospective clients are looking for attorney a client, a plumber, you know, they're looking for the terms, it's these, these keywords. Um, you can rank your way into getting all the business that you want to do by simply being organically. Number one, what started happening as Google figured out, it didn't take him terribly long.

Dan Bedell (01:54):

They don't get paid. Uh, when, when people find an organic result, when they're looking to make a purchase. So if someone wants to know how deep the Mariana trench is or something like that, then yeah. Then that's a, that's a fine organic result in the eyes of Google. But if they're looking to hire a plumber, if they're looking to hire an attorney, it is much better from their perspective that someone is paying to be found there. Not just because they're greedy, but because the logic which I happen to agree with is that someone that's willing to pay to get into that position is probably a good search results. Sure. So what we've been seeing is that the organic results over time in Google, which I know you're well aware of Josh and then sliding further and further down the page and the paid results are taking it more real estate at the top.

Dan Bedell (02:26):

So when we talk about omni-channel marketing, I'm not simply talking about running a PPC campaign in conjunction with a display campaign, which of course we want to do. I'm talking about taking into account the organic component, the map component, the pay, the PPC component, the display component, the video component, content marketing and all the social aspects required to get our brands in front of the people who are actively looking for them. Ideally before they're ready to make a purchasing decision. Because the mantra that we want to live by around here is we do not want our brands discovered via a PPC.

Josh Smith (02:55):

Oh, that's really interesting that I want to dive into a little bit more. You mentioned a lot of different aspects that you would recommend that businesses run. What is so vitally important about running marketing channels that are hitting people at these different stages of their journey.

Dan Bedell (03:11):

That is exactly the question. So again, it used to be that people spent the majority of their time online looking for things. These days, people actually spend a little bit less time searching than they did in the past. And it's my personal opinion. We look at the data that suggests that around 15 minutes per day, it looks like right now, people spend searching for things that's down from the past. And I think one of the reasons why it's, because people tend to discover things before they're looking for things. And if we think about our own search behavior, our own online behavior, what we see is that as we're scrolling through Facebook, as you're looking at Twitter or whatever, we're discovering brands either directly cause they're advertising to us or in many cases, because our friends are enjoying these brands in some way, they're checking into a new restaurant, oh, I didn't know that existed.

Dan Bedell (03:49):

Essentially. I'm gonna have to check them out later, as opposed to simply going to Google and looking for restaurant near me. I personally find myself doing that less often these days, because I find that I'm discovering brands via my social activity without having to do a search for the kind of thing that I'm looking for. I'm not necessarily searching for brand new Nike's on Amazon. I've discovered that there's a new Nike because I saw something somewhere, somewhere else. And I'm winding up looking directly for the thing I want to purchase. So our brands are getting discovered prior to the point of search, which is where omni-channel starts to play in here. We cannot simply assume like we used to be able to, that people are going to be looking in the moment for what they want and then making a purchasing decision based exclusively. Then that purchasing decision starts further back up the funnel, which is what we have to be incredibly.

Josh Smith (04:29):

What's so fascinating too, about the marketing technology that is out there right now too, is the technology itself is making it easier than ever to have brands get in earlier stages of the buying journey. If you think about, uh, if you've ever have ads, I'm sure you've had this experience, then you have ads that randomly start showing up on your Facebook or Instagram. And you're like, I literally have never, ever performed a search for that. How do they know? But you remembered that you had this conversation with the buddy of yours, that you were talking about this very thing. And all of a sudden that business in that industry is relaying that I had this information with a company called Turo. It's like the Airbnb of exotic cars. And my buddy just randomly told me about it. And within 30 minutes to an hour, I had Turo ads sitting on my Instagram feed and I'd never run a search for it before. And so it's interesting to see how that plays into it. Just the technology aspect, um, from a marketing funnel standpoint, what is it, what does that journey look like? Give our viewers some insight into what the journey looks like for a specific consumer.

Dan Bedell (05:26):

That's the question, I'm glad you asked that. So then the example that you gave with Turo is a, is a great example. Cause I personally had the exact same situation happened to me and they were showing up on my feed too, which is interesting. And a lot of people find that to be a bit creepy, oh, a Siri or someone listening to my conversations is Amazon listening all the time. I think that one of the things that we tend to forget about is that the distribution channels for the media that we consume, you know, Google and Amazon and Facebook, I've gotten very, very complex and amalgams and very sophisticated and the way that they're able to monitor our behavior and monitor what we do online and start being predictive in the kind of things that we're looking for. So we can talk about audience and like audiences and that's what these big marketing conglomerates have been able to figure out very successfully.

Dan Bedell (06:06):

That Josh is very likely to be a consumer of Turo based on the other behavior that he's performed online. Just like I might be a very good consumer. Cause I see that my social feeds are filled with things like craft beer all the time. I'm performing behaviors that suggest not only do I like that, but I like the other things that people who like craft beer, like, and its predictive advertising, they're starting to show me the kinds of brands that are likely to appeal to me before I'm ready to make a purchasing decision. Yeah. And this is the thing that people tend to find a little creepy on some occasions, but it's a thing that if, if it's done effectively is actually seen as effective, the kind of advertising that we consume effectively in ourselves is not the kind that we find to be annoying.

Dan Bedell (06:41):

Um, when, when advertisers get in front of us at the right time with the right product, we're actually pretty happy about that. Yeah. If you're thinking about planning a vacation and your Facebook feed has information about, you know, you think about going to Billy's and you see that on your Facebook feed, you are more likely to consume it than if it shows up on a middle of a, um, you know, a YouTube and all of a sudden you're being interrupted in what you're trying to consume. Sure. Yeah. That's a little bit more, um, that's a little more annoying. So the predictive advertising that, that tends to be effective, that we're working with the advertising channels to put in front of people. That's the beginning of the omni-channel component that we have historically called more upper funnel, but that's, I think has become a bit of a misnomer and we'll get into this.

Dan Bedell (07:13):

I think Josh, but there's a, there's the idea of in the old world of branding, uh, which is great. We want to do branding. And if it's a very effective method for any mature brand to do some degree of branding, but there's also the concept that's emerging in my mind, a pre conversion, which we can talk about soon, but getting in front of the, uh, the right consumer at the right time is becoming a trickier and trickier thing because we had the capability to get in front of them sooner than we did in the past. So that's, what's fascinating about this Omni channel approach

Josh Smith (07:38):

We're seeing too is we look at it and we, we get we've everybody freaks out about privacy, right? That's the big thing, the big, hot topic in everybody's mind, that's all the legal stuff that's going on with Facebook right now about privacy. And, but at the end of the day, when you look at the actual intention behind it, it makes a lot of sense. They're trying to save us time and they're trying to bring us what we need before we even are fully sure exactly what we need. And so that's where these prediction models come into play. And a lot of cases are really beneficial, actually. You know, I think some areas, and as that goes and fine tunes, the algorithms fine tune themselves. It'll get a lot better at that. But I think at the end of the day, the intention is, is really a powerful and positive thing.

Josh Smith (08:15):

So a lot of us focus on PPC though, right? And we look at that. A lot of, I know my business owners that are out there are businesses that we work with PPC is the thing. That's the thing. You pour all your money into PPC. Why? Because the generates calls, that's exactly what we need. It's conversions. And that's what matters at the end of the day is conversions. Um, give us a little insight about PPC, just kind of a top level, what PPC is and why the shift might be going away a little bit from PPC.

Dan Bedell (08:43):

You're hitting the nail on the head. Um, yeah, PPC being the pay-per-click component of the advertising space, where any advertiser can buy there, the ability to show their product or their service or their company to a consumer, who's looking for the appropriate set of keywords. So this has been around for a long time. It's an incredibly effective conversion tool that sits, uh, PPC as a, as an ad unit that really sits at the very bottom of the purchasing funnel. So it's most effective when someone knows the kind of thing they want to buy and are trying to decide from whom they're going to buy it. That's what we refer to as the very bottom of the funnel, the conversion piece and PPC, like I said, is an incredibly effective conversion tool. Now, as we talk about the conversion funnel, this is where it gets really interesting because as you just alluded to the advertising channels like Facebook and even Google and the rest of the Google network and YouTube are more and more effective at getting brands and products in front of people prior to the exact moment they're ready to buy.

Dan Bedell (09:32):

So what Google refers to is the zero moment of truth is the time that we're logging on and saying, darn it, the sink is broken. I need a plumber right now, but there's a, there's a point prior to that with a lot of purchases that are not necessarily occurring instantly in the moment. So we talk about if there's a, we're sitting here in the Santa Clarita valley and at this moment, there's a finite number of people who are actively in the market for buying plumbing services. But there are people right now who are doing that search and they, and our advertisers. We want them in front of those people. That's where PPC is incredibly effective. But what about all the other people in the Santa Clarita valley right now who are not in need of plumbing services, right this second, but who might be next week or in two weeks or in a month?

Dan Bedell (10:11):

What about the guy who actually is in need of plumbing services, but it's not emergency. He knows that his bathtub upstairs is all jacked up and Sunday has taken care of it. Well, that's what I refer to as preconversion, because if we're really smart with the way that we advertise, we can be targeting someone who's showing online behavior that suggests that he or she is going to be in the buying funnel in the near future. If someone's been searching around Lowe's for plungers and has been, uh, looking at Facebook videos or YouTube videos about how to unclog a drain. Now they're not, they haven't searched for a plumber near me yet, but they've put themselves somewhere in the conversion funnel. And if we're smart with the way that we advertise, we're getting in front of them with our brands before they're ready to make that PPC search. And like I said before, we do not want our brands discovered via a PPC.

Josh Smith (10:52):

I love that. I love that. And you know, there's something I had this interesting thought the other day about the conversion funnel. We often look at it and we're like, we need to tackle the bottom of the funnel. We need to tackle the problem on the phone as if everybody else doesn't exist as if like there's nobody else in the funnel, et cetera. But the thing that we have to recognize too, is people are always in the funnel. They never leave. It just depends on what stage they're in. And when he would talk about when we get into like things like seasonality, where search trends, it's not that they're they're gone or they don't need, they're just in a different part of the funnel. And so you have to provide the value at a different part. So let's talk about the correlation between value and this preconversion advertising. I love that word by the way, preconversion advertising. What is the, how do you run an effective preconversion advertising?

Dan Bedell (11:34):

That's that you thank you. That's that is the question. So what we want to be able to do for our advertisers is all of them need to be running a sufficient amount of budget to capture the people who are actively looking right now, meaning those who are in the zero moment of truth, the actual conversion, there's a very small population of them at any given time, but they're out there. So we want our advertisers to run a sufficient budget. So they're maximizing group, don't leave the low-hanging fruit sitting in the tree capture those. That's what PPC is really good at right now. The preconversion component. Think of it like this. All of us are going to be buying presents at the holiday time. And all of us have loved ones who we're considering not yet, but we will be considering what we're going to be buying for them.

Dan Bedell (12:09):

That means that all of us are in the conversion funnel somewhere for holiday gifts. And the question is, I haven't decided what I'm gonna get anybody yet, but I might see things online in my social feeds, or as I'm searching on Amazon for something else, they give me ideas about what I might want to buy later. I probably am not going to be buying now. Now, if I happen to see something that really catches my eye, that's a perfect thing for my wife. I might buy that now, even though I'm not thinking about it, therefore I'm not in the zero moment of truth, but if the perfect product shows up for me right now in somewhere in my social environment, I might actually convert on that. Or I might simply go a little bit further down the funnel thinking that is kind of a nice robe.

Dan Bedell (12:43):

I wonder if she needs a robe this year for Christmas. I'll just put that in the back of my mind. So I'm now preconversion on that robe. But later on when it's time, when it reminds me, because it's December 23rd, I haven't shopped yet. Now I need to go on Amazon and find that robe. So hopefully that's now I'm really zero moment of truth. But if an effective advertiser has captured the fact that I'm behaving, like I might buy a robe in a couple of weeks, they can start advertising to me and capture me prior to me doing the PPC search. So this is the thing that you said that I want to make sure our advertisers understand is that they need to run PPC, but more of the savvy advertisers are getting in front of their prospective customer. Prior to that PPC search. So far advertisers are not smart. And if we don't advise them, well, what's going to happen. They're going to start losing market share to people who are advertising in front of them in the funnel. So if someone's capturing their audience prior to them, high up the funnel, that's the preconversion tool I'm talking about. Get me to buy the robe prior to me doing the PPC search. And you'll have you as a customer.

Josh Smith (13:37):

You mentioned something, uh, early on, uh, in this, in the show, uh, just about SEO, how has he has changed? It used to be king. That was the thing. Everybody was like, oh, I want to get free leads. And there's a lot of misnomers when it comes to SEO. Cause it's not really free. Right? So when it comes to organic buying traffic to a website versus this idea of earning organic traffic, what's the primary difference.

Dan Bedell (14:00):

Yeah. So, you know, an organic lead or as you said, it's, it's earned versus paid maybe is one way to look at it. And a lot of advertisers think of SEO as a free way to buy leads. And what they mean by that typically is I'm not paying a fixed amount of money specifically. There's not a cost per click associated with SEO, and there's a direct, measurable cost per click associate with any PPC ad. So a lot of advertisers view that as free advertising. Well, the simple truth of the matter is that SEO is not free. In fact, in most cases it's more expensive to generate a ranking increase than it is to simply purchase a PPC ad. So we view that SEO is a very technical specialty. We've got a floor of people here who are SEO experts, and they spend a lot of time with complicated strategies of back linking and technical SEO on the website to make sure that our clients are optimized, but it is not cheap.

Dan Bedell (14:46):

These are expensive people that have a very specific skill set that takes a lot of time to stay current with. And there's no cheap way to do SEO. So we always want our clients to rank organically because as you, a lot of people told you, I never look at the ads. I don't click it, the ads or anything like that. I go all the way down to the organic. That's great. We want to make sure that we're putting clients as far up the organic chain as we can, when their services are being looked for. However, it's not, it's not cheap, it's not free. And like I said before, if you're selling a product, Google has continued to push the organic further and further down the page and more and more people are consuming the results prior to the organic saw a stat just last week that something like 90% of people never get to page two of Google. That means, you know, if you look at your phone, there's no organic on page one, quote, unquote, there's a map. Yeah. And that's an organic results. I don't mean to be mincing words here, but the traditional organic result of that, you know, the first line, that's an organic result. That's far down the page these days and using that old tactic was, which was very effective in say 2008, 2010. If that's your tactics still, you're not going to get anywhere near as much traffic as a used.

Josh Smith (15:43):

Absolutely. And you know, there was an article that came out recently about Facebook being one of the top three search engines. So we're there, they're increasing their market share in terms of the number of searches are being performed on it. How is Facebook changing the game here and being a go-to

Dan Bedell (15:59):

Search engine? Bingo. And the way they're changing that game is because people are discovering on Facebook before they're looking. So that particular article, which I also read was suggesting that people are doing searching. They're treating Facebook like a portal to the internet. You can consume news on Facebook. You can look for products on Facebook. You can find recommendations on Facebook. So people are consuming that as a primary portal into the rest of the internet, as opposed to starting on Google, which is very important because now at PPC is taken out of the picture. Facebook does do advertising, of course. Um, and we help a lot of our brands do Facebook advertising. But what it's doing is it's sort of siphoning off some component of the people that used to search for things they wanted to buy first. So like I said before, if you're discovering things on Facebook prior to yourself doing a, um, a PPC search or search that could result in the PPC result in the zero moment of truth, it simply move the zero moment of truth, further up the purchasing funnel. And it changes the dynamic of the way that traditional PPC has worked.

Josh Smith (16:51):

So Facebook is essential moving forward. I mean, right now you're not on social than, than you're not moving with the times here. Um, another thing that I want to touch on, you know, as we wrap up here is the local service ads. How do those fit into the buying cycle and your omni-channel marketing strategy? Um, how important are they and where do they fit?

Dan Bedell (17:11):

Yeah, that's, that's a good question too. So local service ads to this new-ish ad unit that has been rolled out by Google, and you may have seen them because they sit at the top of the page. If you do a search, they came out originally as home service ads, but Google expanded the scope of them to be called local service ads, which paves the way for more kinds of businesses to be featured in the local service ad. So unlike a cost per click model, the local service ad is a cost per lead model. So it changed the dynamic a little bit for the advertiser. You only pay for a lead, someone who calls you or fills out a form. Now the interesting thing about these is a, they sit at the top of the page above the PPC ad. So it's prime real estate on Google.

Dan Bedell (17:45):

On the second thing that's interesting about it is that if you're a local business, you can't necessarily decide how often you show up there. You can do the tactics that Google recommends that cause they have their own algorithm, which is, which is a secret algorithm. But we do know that it includes some such signals as the number of Google rankings that you've got. So these five-star rankings on Google are critically important for determining how often you show up for your local service ads and then in conjunction with how often you answer your phone and how quickly in conjunction with where you're physically located. So Google takes those kinds of signals into account, and then decides which local service ads are going to show. So, as we know, if you do a search in Valencia for plumber near me, you're going to be served some local service ads for plumbers who are in this physical area, who meet those other criteria. They have good Google reviews and they tend to answer their phone. And if there's a plumber who would love to be serving the Valencia area, but happens to be officed out of Burbank, uh, their chances of showing up here are far less. And if there's a local plumber in Valencia, who's got really bad reviews and, or doesn't answer his or her phone, not likely going to show up in the local service ads. So this is not an ad unit. You can simply buy your way into like BPC historically has been.

Josh Smith (18:48):

Wow. Dan, there's so many, so many good nuggets that we just have in your, I just want to wrap it up with a nice little bow here. What's the, what's the last piece or the one thing, the piece of advice that you would give our advertisers listening right now when it comes to omni-channel marketing and whether or not they should incorporate it into their marketing

Dan Bedell (19:05):

Mix. Okay. So the short answer is they absolutely have to

Josh Smith (19:08):

Do it. That's true.

Dan Bedell (19:09):

One thing, the one thing is do it, are you going to get beaten? Um, like I said, if they come away with two things out of this, it'd be one I do not want our brands discovered via a search that has results in a PPC ad. You can't do any branding really on a PPC ad. You've got, you know, 140 or so characters of text available to you. No pictures, no video. You can't control your brand via the PPC ad. You control a little bit of messaging, so we don't want them discover that way. Second, the purchasing decisions are being pushed further and further up the funnel by the way that technology is working. So that zero moment of truth, which is still absolutely critical is not the only purchasing decision anymore. There is too much opportunity to get in front of the ideal customer sooner in the buying cycle. So what we tell our advertisers as we need them to be doing an omni-channel approach, so they capture business. So that that business is not getting poached by their competitors prior to their PPC search. That's what I want them to remember more than anything else. Awesome.

Josh Smith (19:58):

It's been awesome. Dan, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be on the sharpest store. We really

Dan Bedell (20:02):

Appreciate it. Of course, Josh, I appreciate there's a good conversation. It definitely

Josh Smith (20:05):

Was. And for all of you listening, if you found a lot of value in this episode, definitely hit that subscribe button wherever you might be. Uh, we're pumping these guys out and give you all the latest and greatest marketing information. That way you can sharpen your tool set and your skillset when it comes to your marketing campaign, no matter where you're at in your business journey from all of us here at the sharp stone, my name's Josh we'll catch you next time. [inaudible].

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