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The Sharpest Tool™

Top Marketing Tactics to Help You Win Online

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
Julia Cook, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Scorpion, has been heading up their innovative marketing team for eight years. She is passionate about helping business get the best service and the best results possible through innovative marketing strategies.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Everyone. My name is Joshua Smith and I will be your host today. And I have with me in studio, believe it or not. I have with me in studio, the executive vice president of marketing at scorpion. And I can't even tell you what an honor it is to be here in the booth with a star wars lamp, right in front of me, right across the table from you to talk about something as crucial as marking. So welcome, Julia.

Julia Cook (00:26):

Thank you very much, Josh. I'm excited to be here, so let's

Josh Smith (00:29):

Do it. Let's do it. Let's I just want to give the people a little bit of insight. I think it's so cool. I don't know. I just I'm fan girling here a little bit. I love it. I want to come in and give, give our listeners a little bit of insight. Like what do you do day in and day out as the executive vice president?

Julia Cook (00:45):

I mean, I can give you a little bit, a little bit of a behind the curtain as it were. Um, yeah, like, like you said, I'm the executive vice president of marketing here. Um, basic high level of what it is that we're trying to do here is, uh, you know, make sure that our clients get the best service, the best results. And you know, that's what I do every day is make sure that I work with my leaders who then work with their people in turn, who work with our clients. And I personally have a very high standard. So that's, uh, something that I enjoy doing is making sure that we all meet that very high standard. And you know, that's, that's, that's it in a nutshell.

Josh Smith (01:18):

Awesome. Your reputation proceeds you. I mean, so it's really cool to hear that, you know, in the booth that's, that's just awesome. And today I wanted to really provide a lot of value to something that people just business owners don't always have a full understanding of why you would do this. And that is the topic of marketing, um, you know, businesses live and breathe and they, in, in so many different capacities, there's so many different hats business owners where especially for a small, medium sized businesses. And the big question always comes up of marketing. Do you do it? Why not? Why do you do it? Or why do you not do it? I am. What is your perspective as, as the executive vice president of a marketing company? Why do you think businesses should invest in?

Julia Cook (02:03):

Yeah, I mean the short answer is yes, do marketing. Uh, but the longer answer is, you know, when you, when you're dealing with a lot of businesses, but like I do on a day-to-day basis over the, you know, the decade I've been here at scorpion, the thing that you're looking at here is how do you make a business grow? And you're not going to grow without marketing. It's as simple as that, of course, you know, you have, you have word of mouth and that's great. And of course every business should have enough of a base that they, you know, and they're making their clients happy so that people are referring other people. That's fantastic. However, you have so many people that you could reach for your services, that you are the best you are the best answer for that question that they're asking. And if you're not putting yourself out there, no one's ever going to know who you are.

Julia Cook (02:45):

If they don't drive past your store or happen to talk to somebody who's worked with you in the past, they have no idea that you're the right answer for the question that they're asking right at that crucial moment. So that's what marketing does for you. It's going to drive your sales. It's going to also, you can market to your existing client base. That's huge. Make sure that people know that you're still there. You're still available to provide that service to them that they're looking for. So, you know, I mean, obviously this is what I live and breathe all day, every day, weekends nights, you name it. It's what I've been thinking about for, um, you know, I can't even imagine not thinking about marketing businesses, but I can't stress enough how crucial it is that, you know, even if you don't have a huge marketing budget, you need to invest at least something and getting yourself out there. There's no, there's no reason to not do it. You're going to get a return from it. And at least, at least in exposure at the bare minimum, which is also extremely important as a business.

Josh Smith (03:44):

And I, I wanna, I wanna throw a little bit of a curve ball your way here with this. I know I like curve balls sports. Um, so what I wanted to kind of bring this down to a bit more of an elementary level. I know this concept of marketing is often confused with sales. It can be a bit cumbersome when you're talking to marketing companies and marketing professionals and other business owners, and they're throwing out a bunch of acronyms that you've never heard in your life. Um, so how would you describe marketing on a very basic foundational level and how does that differ from sales and the sales aspect, business owner?

Julia Cook (04:17):

Well, marketing feeds sales. They can't really, I mean, you have sales of course, and that's outreach to people to say, Hey, buy my thing that I have for you. That marketing is a little bit different because you're putting yourself out there in the, to, and especially when we're talking about digital marketing, internet marketing, which, you know, obviously differs from traditional marketing in very fundamental ways. But what you're doing is you're saying like, Hey, in your time of need you person, hi, I'm right here. Oh, I okay. You know, I, I, I have this thing that I really want to, you know, I need a plumber right now because my toilet just exploded. This is not good. Obviously they're gonna, they're gonna choose a business. Now, your marketing is where you're showing up. When that person is like, help me dire need toilet, just exploded. I need a plumber.

Julia Cook (05:05):

That's, uh, that's where you're going to be right in front of someone. Now the sales aspect comes a little bit later. That's when that person calls in and they're like, Hey, can you help me? And then you have your person on the phone. Who's like, yes, I can. And here's what we're going to do. So on and so forth. So that marketing where you put yourself in front of that person who needs, you feeds your sales. So yes, there is, there can be confusion, especially if you're just kind of dipping your toe into it, or you're not sure. You've never really tried it as a business before, but marketing, isn't a dirty word in any way, shape or form instead, what you should think of it as, uh, as the lifeblood of your business, especially if you're trying to grow, especially if you're trying to grow.

Julia Cook (05:42):

And let's talk about that for a second. What, what business isn't trying to grow? Cause here's the deal you're, you're either gonna, you know, there's no such thing as a static in life. You're not going to just keep going for the rest of time on this particular level. Either things are going to take a downturn or you're going to be, you know, be able to push things up or, you know, you have clients who fall off and then you can get new ones. This is all part of a living, breathing, healthy business. And if, if in my professional opinion, you need to make sure that you're driving those sales by using whatever marketing techniques are right for your business.

Josh Smith (06:17):

Yeah, absolutely. You know, one of my favorite things that I've ever heard somebody say when it comes to this topic of marketing is they say, you mentioned that you alluded to it in that businesses want to grow, and this is a key to helping them grow. It seems. And so one of the favorite things I've I've heard is you can't save yourself into growth in the sense that you can't, it's like you can save yourself into growth in that you, you, can't not invest in getting your business in front of your ideal customer and expect your business to grow. Somehow. Magically is if there's some magic formula, right? Whatever the marketing channel is that you decide, it seems that at the end of the day, it's connecting you business, offering your service with customer who needs a service that you offer. Bingo, we have a marriage and that's what marketing is. It's positioning you in front of that customer.

Julia Cook (07:07):

That's a great way to look at it. It's um, it's that moment, that moment of truth, when you have, when you're filling a need and that person can see that connection, that you're the right one for them, the right. I choose you.

Josh Smith (07:20):

[inaudible]. So, w you know, you mentioned something too, and I think this is a very interesting distinction. We're in a digital age. It seems to me, I mean, it's, we're going to go with it. Yes, we are. Maybe I, yeah. There's, there's something that's I felt the simple, this one. I was like, I feel like we're in a digital age, we're in a digital age. So things that things have been changing rapidly, you know? And, uh, so you made the comment about traditional digital marketing.

Julia Cook (07:49):

That's something that we, we talk about a lot

Josh Smith (07:51):

Here. Yeah. What would you say are the, some of the differences between the two,

Julia Cook (07:54):

You know, there's a, there, this is a very long conversation that we could go into, but so when you think about traditional marketing, you think about, you know, print ads or billboards or TV, which, you know, obviously we, those are very widely used. No one can turn on a TV without seeing a commercial. You can't try it on the street without seeing a billboard, but digital marketing, what we're seeing, um, just across the boards. And anyone can just look around you, go to a restaurant and look around what are people doing? They're looking on their phones, you know, go in your house. What are people doing? They're scrolling through their newsfeed. They're looking at this. They're looking at that. People are, um, inundated with what they're looking at on their phones, on their iPads, on their computers. And that is the new advertising space. That's where you want to be as a business is right there, where people are looking all the time.

Julia Cook (08:38):

Yes. You're driving in your car, down your street, and you're seeing a billboard. That's all fine and good. But guess what? When I need something I'm hopping right on that search engine and I'm Googling whatever the case, you know, I need, this are closest thing to me near me. What do I, these are the search terms that people are actually using. And it's not a case of this is going to be, this is, this is where advertising is operating at. The most efficient level is on the digital level. And what I mean by that is, okay. You have a phone book. When was the last time you picked up and looked at a phone book? Josh?

Josh Smith (09:10):

I don't think the last time I saw it, I don't remember them getting to. I remember I used to, when I was younger, I used to, my mom would take us out and we deliver phone books. And then we got money for ice cream. I haven't seen a phone book on my doorstep in a long time.

Julia Cook (09:26):

I haven't either. I'm trying, I'm actually trying to think. When was the last time I saw a phone book, people aren't using that anymore and not, you know, it go back 15 years. Phone books were, that was the thing. That was what people did now, what you're able to do with digital marketing that you're not able to do as much at all with traditional marketing is pinpoint the exact audience you want to speak to through your advertising. We can get so, so particular about who you want to get in front of. And that's something that, to me, as someone who's in the field of marketing and advertising is incredibly exciting, because I can say to you business owner, who do you want? And then I can go out there and I can get that exact person for you time after time, after time, after time, repeatable success, very specific.

Julia Cook (10:11):

So as a broad overview, digital marketing is putting your ads where people are actually looking when they're in their time of need. Traditional marketing is more, as you may see it and might remember, and, uh, you know, a TV ad, you don't know who's watching that TV. You don't know if the TV is just on. So the dog isn't lonely. You know, you have no idea, but I mean, you really don't. You don't know if anybody driving down the street cares about whatever your business is or, you know, they might remember you and that's all fine and good. But if you want to spend your dollars as wisely as possible, especially if you're a smaller business, you really need to focus on getting in front of that exact ideal client, which can be done for you. It's it's actually quite simple.

Josh Smith (10:52):

It brings to mind this, this idea of noisiness in the marketplace, this idea of, well, there we are inundated with so many advertisements nowadays. I think I remember reading a statistic. Oh, at one point where there was the 30 years ago that you were, the average person was exposed to about 50 ads a day.

Julia Cook (11:10):

Oh, I want

Josh Smith (11:11):

To know how much it is, how much it, how much do you think the quote was 4,000 advertisements every single day? Is that what people are on average? So w w we've almost like begun to tune it out. I mean, even sitting in the studio, there are probably seven to 15 different brands sitting right in front of us. And I haven't even paid attention to them because we just tune it out. We don't, we don't care as much,

Julia Cook (11:36):

An excellent point. You know, you're not, you're, you're, you know, you're, you're watching TV. How many people are actively watching these commercials and being like, oh yeah, you know, I want that. Sure. It could happen. But like you said, we're, we're, we're, we're used to tuning this stuff out. Now, this

Josh Smith (11:51):

Topic of digital marketing, you know, I mentioned acronyms before. It's something people come to me and they, they, they ask about, it's a very interesting thing. The things like SEO and PPC, um, is one more better than the other, or what's the, what's the primary difference between the two?

Julia Cook (12:08):

Yeah. So SEO search engine optimization and PPC pay per click. So what you're talking about here is two completely different things, but two things that work together to achieve a particular goal. So search engine optimization is basically what you're doing is you're on a website and you're making it the way that it should be so that it will show up when somebody searches a specific term. That's like the basic of what that is, all you're doing is you're doing specific actions to make sure that a search engine will show your site. When somebody makes a particular search, when somebody says whatever they need, you know, I shoes for toddlers. You know, you want, obviously you would want your shoe store to come up as you know, or the department store or whatever, whatever it is. And that's optimizing for that particular search. Now pay-per-click PPC. Now there's a whole different segment. There's pay-per-click, which would just be through a search engine or, you know, paid advertising in general, which we can also talk about. You can totally stop me if I'm just going,

Josh Smith (13:05):

[inaudible] valuable.

Julia Cook (13:10):

So what you're doing in that case is you're paying for advertising space at the top of the search engine result page. That's what you're paying for. You're paying for specific key words, phrases, whatever the case may be so that your website can show up. You're not, so you're not necessarily showing up organically for search engine optimization, which means your site shows up and you're not paying anything for it. Right. So there's that. And then you can just pay and show up for the exact same search term. Now, obviously a search engine optimization is what I'd say is the long game. Yeah. It's definitely a marathon, not a sprint. You're not going to say to throw up a website that's never existed for your business and suddenly rank. That's just not going to happen. It's almost impossible. Especially in today's day and age, where everyone has a website as well, they should. So that's, that's the long game and, uh, very effective when you get onto the first page, obviously that's where everyone wants to live. Can't deny it PPC when you need leads. Now that's your go to when you need the phone to rang today, that's when you turn on your pay-per-click campaign.

Josh Smith (14:14):

Yeah. And you mentioned, uh, like a synergy between them or they work together. Can you dive into that?

Julia Cook (14:21):

Yeah. So what we'll see is, uh, when you have somebody who's ranking on the first page and they're running ads, you'll see both, you'll see both the organic side and the paid side perform better. You will see both, they feed into each other. And that's part of, you know, marketing as a whole and branding and people seeing and trusting. If you see that a business is showing up in multiple versions of your search, you're like, oh yeah. Okay. I see that. I saw them just, okay, good. You're going to see those numbers. You all, you almost can't get better than a combination of a good quality pay-per-click campaign and a good quality SEO campaign that has you showing up on the first page for your key terms that you're going for as your business. You almost can't get a better marriage than those two things.

Josh Smith (15:05):

It's almost this, this, this perception, it's the perception of these businesses that when you see them everywhere, there's somehow the best of the best or they're, they're good. You know, they're a good business.

Julia Cook (15:15):

It's true. It's a, you know, there's a psychological component as well that you can't ignore. If somebody sees your name over and over again. And that, you know, that ties back into some of the fundamentals of, you know, some, a business owner might ask like, well, why do I have to do branding? Why do I have to run an ad for my own company's name? Like, why should I do that? That sounds ridiculous. No, it's not ridiculous. In fact, it's key. And you know, you're not going to spend a ton of money doing that, but it's important because you're going to establish trust with people who find maybe they didn't choose you this time, but they might remember you and they might choose you next time they do that search.

Josh Smith (15:46):

There's so much to dive into that. I feel like we're only breaking the surface. I maybe that's just a hunch. I have something that a lot of people do ask when it comes to that stuff. You know, one's a long game. We'll just short game. Um, and this idea of an advertising budget, you know, we've talked about you can't save yourself, so you need to invest something. How does advertising budget really impact?

Julia Cook (16:08):

Well, I mean the simplest way you can look at it just from them. The most basic way is the more you spend, the more leads you're going to get. That's the simplest way you can look at it. Now, of course, there are so many intricacies of advertising and what you need as a business and you know, where you should spend your dollars to get the most valuable impact. But if you can spend more, you will get more. It's just, it's simple. It's simple mathematics when it comes to that question and we can dive into any one of those channels, but if you spend more, you're going to get more. And that's basically how it works.

Josh Smith (16:39):

No, it is. It is it, you think like a money in leads out kind of game, this marketing thing. Like you, you put money into a billboard and you get leads out, you put money into pay-per-click and you get leads out. And there's like a fixed expectation based on it's a one for one or a one for two type deal. Is there any, what can

Julia Cook (16:56):

No. So that's where the intricacies come into play. So, you know, you're not necessarily going to be looking at, okay, well, I should always get X back marketing in its very fundamental way. I mean, just from, you know, go back years and years and years when somebody would put up a, you know, a turnip sign and you know, medieval times say I sell turnips or, you know, whatever the case may be, this is not, um, marketing any, any marketing you do. There is no guarantee. And that's important to know as a business owner because it, but, but there, of course there's no guarantee, but you can, you can reasonably expect that you're going to get something back from it. You're going to get some sort of traffic back. But what that turns into for you as your business, that's where the, the, uh, the work in progress comes into play.

Julia Cook (17:41):

So you're not necessarily looking at a one for one trade, one for one exchange, and this is where it can, you know, it can get more complex, but fortunately, you know, then the world, there are people like you, people like me who understand this and have dedicated their careers and their professional careers to understanding how to get a business, to best utilize some of these channels that we have out there to make sure that we're maximizing what return they're getting. And that's, you know, that's, that's basically, you know, we, you asked me, what do I, what do you do here? You know, that's what we talk about every single day is how do we do that? And, you know, because we know it's not a one for one exchange. We know it's not as simple as I put in a dollar, I get a good lead.

Julia Cook (18:21):

You have, you know, somebody who doesn't understand, uh, what happened to them might search for, uh, you know, like in the case of employment law, they might not know or understand the laws. They might not know that, that wasn't exactly, you know, we wouldn't be able to hire an attorney for what happened to you, but they're gonna use the exact same search term as somebody who does have a good case. And that's what you run into. You run into humans on earth who are doing things. So it's a matter of making sure that you're doing everything you can to spend wisely and in the places where we know you're going to, or you we've seen in the past, that are the generate those returns that we're looking for. But you know, that's a very long answer to your question is at one for one. No, it isn't, but we do our best to make sure that it is when you're anyone who's worth their salt and advertising we'll do that.

Josh Smith (19:06):

Uh, it seems like it it's part science, part art. It's

Julia Cook (19:10):

One, a perfect way

Josh Smith (19:11):

To say it, it, it it's, it's like, there's this aspect that is attributable that you can actually look at numbers and there's a, there's a formulaic method to it. But then there's the artistic aspects that not to get too philosophical here, but that really boils into the human psychology. Right? We respond differently. We respond differently to colors. For example, you know, we respond differently to Apple's logo versus Mike.

Julia Cook (19:36):

Yeah. I mean, these are all things that, I mean, you can read studies galore on things like this, and it's a, you know, it's a, it's a huge part of it. It's not simply I push a button and it spits out a thing. It's not, it's not as robotic as that though. If it were a sure it would be a lot simpler, but that's kind of where the fun of marketing and advertising comes into play. That's where it's fun to figure out that puzzle. What is that person thinking? And how can I get that person to think what I want them to think through the ads that I'm putting out?

Josh Smith (20:05):

Do you th do you find typically that the quality of the marketing or just the marketing in general impacts the quality of the leads that typically come through? And if, if, if so, how

Julia Cook (20:15):

Well, you know, that kind of goes back to what we were talking about a little bit earlier about people being inundated with advertising. So what you want to do when you're advertising to ensure that you're going to get the best quality is you, you know, you want to be different. And the better that you can do that in a way that makes sense to your target audience, the better return you're going to get as far as those leads go now. And again, this goes like a wide range. You can be very broad and collect a bunch of different types of leads, or you can be specific. And each of those two different ways of doing things can have their own, uh, repercussions within your marketing. But the simple answer to this is the better and more well thought out and more strategic. Your marketing is the better quality you're going to get.

Julia Cook (21:02):

And that is there. There's no question about it. If you saw a misspelled ad that didn't really speak to what you're asking for, would you ever click on it? Yeah, probably not. I mean, I wouldn't, you were talking about quality. There are so many different aspects to quality. There's making sure that it's set up correctly. It's making sure that you're utilizing all of the different, uh, avenues of advertising that are available to you in the right way to ensure that you're getting the right result. There, there are so many different ways to make sure that your marketing is as good as it possibly can be. And you absolutely should spend time doing that because your return, uh, will be better. It, I mean, I can't the better, you know, yourself as a business and the better you're able to put that out there, the better you're going to get back from your advertising.

Josh Smith (21:43):

So crucial in that, just the idea like, because people buy into you as the business and as the business owner, and if you don't have a clear direction,

Julia Cook (21:52):

You don't know who you are, it's it makes it a little bit more difficult. A little fuzzy. Yeah. And it's not to say that if you don't know your business's identity, that you can't or shouldn't advertise, but it's definitely something that, you know, when you, when you're looking at, how do I get the best out of what I'm putting into my marketing? You, you should know those things. You should ask yourself, like, who, why am I different? Why am I the best? Why should you choose me over anybody else? And, you know, I, I've obviously talked to many business owners and usually you can answer that question, but make sure your marketing is answering that question because you don't have the opportunity to personally speak to every person who might be looking for your business, but your advertising does. So make sure those two things are connected,

Josh Smith (22:33):

Clear message. I just thought of this. I don't know. Maybe I should get like a bumper sticker or something, but I clear message is like a sharpened knife. It just, it cuts through whatever it's going through. A foggy message is like a dull knife. You don't necessarily cut through everything you need to, and with all the noise out there, clear messages are what are really cutting through the business.

Julia Cook (22:51):

Yeah. Just generic, generic stuff. Isn't gonna get you what you need anymore. It's just not. So, you know, we have to be clever. We have to be interesting and make sure that we're speaking to the people who are looking awesome.

Josh Smith (23:04):

Well, Julia, this has been disciplined. Awesome. Like thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to hop into the booth with us. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. Thank you,

Julia Cook (23:14):

Josh. It's been a lot of fun. I really appreciate it.

Josh Smith (23:17):

So if you enjoyed this and you find a lot of value in it, definitely punch the subscribe button wherever you are at and on whatever platform we're going to be bringing these to you. So you get all that marketing goodness. But from all of us here at scorpion, we will catch you next time. Thanks.

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