Rethink Top of Funnel Marketing with Angela Voss

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Benji Block talks to Angela Voss, Chief Client Officer at Marketing Architects.

We discuss the keys to building brand awareness and how to seize opportunities using mediums others are overlooking. We're asking questions like: What's the power that TV ads can have on your business? And how does clout play a vital role in your industry?

Hello and welcome into Bob Growth. I'm your host, Benjie Block, and excited about today's episode because I'm going to have a conversation with Angela Voss. She's the chief client officer at marketing architects. Angela, welcome into be tob growth. Thanks, Benjie. Excited to be here. Absolutely so. You've spent nearly fifteen years with your company, Marketing Architects, and that's incredible. I love that. So tell me something about yourself the fifteen years you've spent with the company that you really learned in in your time there. Oh my gosh, the journey has been so fun. Yeah, yeah, I mean I spent four years and digital marketing prior to joining marketing architects, and clearly you're aging me here, by the way, by outing me that I've been with Ma for fifteen years. But I started on the media side of the business, and this was one marketing architects was working in both radio and TV and was working with radio stations trying to get them to clear our media and stuff, and when we launched our television platform, was asked to come over to the TV side, but still on the media side, and so I would say. I mean the value of being, you know, fifteen years into a company is obviously at that point you really deeply understand kind of all aspects and I think can more createdly think through how to address challenges or potentially, you know, we're privately held and so we don't have a lot of red tape that we need to work through. If there's a business case for us to spend up a new function, capability technology to help a client, you might not be able to do that if you haven't been around for a while. Just to kind of understand what the capabilities are. And our team is awesome to they're they're always innovating on their own as well, but I would just say being able to kind of put your head down and work and come up with new ideas and treat the business as your own and have that deep understanding of all aspects of what we do is just invaluable. Yeah, I love that you've had so held so many different positions within the company and I think that does it speaks for itself and I'm sure it is so helpful day and day out to be able to have conversations with people all throughout the organization. Absolutely, Yep, rates for healthy, healthy media debates sometimes, and I mean see I I'm sure it does. Having that deep understanding is is just powerful, I think, on a lot of levels and I love it. Yeah, your voice would be much trusted. Sure, so fully. Well, here's here's what we want to do on today's episode. I want to have a conversation about sort of a problem that I see in the marketing landscape. I think I've gone on this rant a couple times, but there's just like this assumption that certain types of marketing are outdated or they might be ineffective or some would say dead. Have you seen that when you comes to marketing, like in the current landscape? Have you felt that kind of conversation? Oh, definitely. You know, I think with the growth of digital we've all grown a bet addicted to short termism and you know, it's funny when you think about marketing teams and in us too, as you know, obviously we're a company that needs to market as well to prospects and you know, if I was kind of felt like if there's consumption of media by your target consumer, there's probably a place for it and your marketing plan, but it's all about getting the mix right. We subscribe to a lot of the marketing science research that's out there and our big believers and investing in mass reach top of funnel effects. But it's all about understanding your consumer right. MMM, they're buying journey their media consumption habits. If you don't have that right, then building a diverse marketing mix is going to be difficult. You know, anyone can get a couple of marketing channels to work and your competitors,...

...for sure, we're going to get those channels to work. So the value of finding that right agency and strategy to help you kind of crack the code on a channel that maybe you haven't seen success in. Those are really big ones and offering we find that's TV. You know, marketers might be a lot of them are digital natives, right, so they're starting half of the digital ecosystem. They kind of build some success there, they're acquiring new customers, they're starting to understand lifetime value and then they reach this point where they're like okay, now what you know, any time I add any additional investment into any of the channels that I'm working in, the performance starts to fall apart, and so that's where we see marketers try to look at television then or just offline channels in general become of greater interest to them. But yeah, it's the you know, there's been a wave, I would say, of where as digital came of age, it was very intriguing, one to one targeting, all this data, the ability to track performance, and now I think that space has gotten more challenging, costs have risen and there's kind of a swing happening back to top of funal marketing. Again, it feels like, yeah, everyone had this new toy, right. Yeah, so everybody's playing with that new toy and they're like, look at all the capability here, and they forget all about the old toys or the older toys. Right. But then there's something about that. I wouldn't even just say it's in nostalgia, but there's a reason why those other ones worked. And I love that because I you can come up with marketing studies that show all sorts of different things. When people get really hyper focused on, Hey, we have a mission on why we're going to use this certain channel. Man, a litany of things become effective, right, and everyone has their like the thing that becomes their baby, and they get become passionate about it and they're kind of proving out the fact that, well, in fact, that channel is not dead in a sense. Does that make sense? Absolutely, you know, and I think there's there's this fight between top and bottom of funnel, which to me is kind of crazy, right, because you're like, of course, as you think about your own behavior as a consumer, of course top of funnel marketing makes sense. Of course bottom of funnel marketing makes sense. It's just trying to understand with your product or service, how considered is of a purchase. Is this? How much mental space do you need to take in your consumer's mind so that when they come into market they think of you without having to, you know, go into Google shopping ads or whatever to make a buying decision? And so there's a balance that. I think that that's the biggest challenge that we see to is market is trying to determine what is the right mix between top and bottom of funnel. So what would you tell a marketing team that's trying to figure that out and that, when there is that kind of internal fight between top of bottom as well? Yeah, well, like I said, a lot of the businesses that we work with they come in with very little top of funnel marketing going on, if any, and so you know, we always are prudent with our clients dollars and always will believe in and recommend that any top of funnel marketing channel or any channel in general, really should be kind of treated as a proof of concept before you're going to go all out. But I think, you know, the greatest successes in terms of clients that are gaining market share and establishing category leadership are in that I would say, thirty to sixty percent range of their budget going towards TV. Hmm, I wonder what does it look like with TV to test, because that obviously I mean, you hear that stat and it could sound like that's a pretty significant part of my budget right. So, like, what does that look like and how do you test in TV? Yeah, being a hundred million dollar business or a ten billion dollar business. Like I said, we we always operate as if it was our own money and given our business model, which is a little different...

...than a traditional agency, and that we we up front a lot of the cost with our own capital to help clients get into television. A lot of times that is a prohibitor right as they're just like well, yeah, I mean, of course I would love to be in television, but you know from what I understand that that that's no less than a million dollar venture and that's just not the case. And so that helps clients get in. But then once you're looking at what an actual pilot could look like, you've got decisions to make about should we be testing naturally, should we be testing locally? Contrary to what might seem to make sense a very large corporation working with potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing budget, my actually have to test locally and use control and hold out markets and baselines and incrementality in order to see TV's effect at a pilot state. Whenever we possibly can do to the efficiencies of national we will recommend doing a national pilot that lasts anywhere between one month and six months. At the end of the day, we need to be able to prove. We look at it in three buckets on a micro level, on a macro level and on a business level. We want to be able to prove to that client that TV is driving incremental lift to their business and you know expects that. Just as we are produnent with our dollars that they should be as well in terms of ensuring that there's something there before they're signing up for, you know, a yearlong commitment or more so. There is some like, I would assume, unexpected results from top of funnal marketing, from focusing on something like TV, maybe a more like nostalgic or whatever you call that, traditional stream like that. So tell me what are some of those maybe unexpected results that you guys have seen or you can kind of prove out from clients? Yeah, totally. I mean I think I would even start with you know that the obvious Kpis the clients come to us with are very similar to what they've gotten in digital right. So they're visits, conversions, COC return on ad spend, lifetime value, all of that is like table stakes for us. We set that aside and, of course our extremely focused on ensuring that a lot of businesses these days are needing to prove to the executive team that they're driving the leads they need to drive, their getting the sales they need to get, and so that is kind of a prerequisite for TV to continue. Beyond that. What's fun about television is what we call business impacts. Things like, you know, we had a clothing clients that got a call from Disney wanting a partnership. M said that they had loved what they were doing in the space, saw them on television and wanted to discuss a partnership for the upcoming holiday year. And so how do you put a value on that? Some of the others that I can think of would be we see that our retail based businesses are in brick and mortar. Those negotiations with the targets and the Walmarts and the wall Greens of the world become easier when they've got kind of that cloud of television. We've had products show up on US and L that's pretty cool. Yeah, and it's like does that happen, you know, with a display ad? Maybe not, I don't know. But distributors calling the CEO and thanking them for elevating the entire category. Like there's just some really cool things I think that happened with television that might not happen with other channels. Marketing architect introduces TV advertising blueprints, a podcast where we draw on our experience and gather insights from other marketing experts. To lay out winning plans for success. There's still a ton of power and TV advertising even in the digital age. Don't believe me, here it for yourself. Medi impact our business is really I mean it's really been tremendous. It's really hard to overstate the impact is have in the business. TV's the biggest megaphone out there and to be able to not only...

...play in that, in that space and in that media, but also to be able to measure it to optimize it has really been game changing. It's definitely, you know, obviously accelerated our growth and helped us really connect with and reach consumers we just we can't reach effectively, know, through purely online media. So, like I say, very, very difficult overstate the impact that it's had on our our ability to grow and reach those consumers. For more subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts. While there's some really cool things, I would assume there's also probably more pushback in certain aspects. So what do you feel as some of those, like the pushback that you receive that you would maybe even say it can easily be overcome, but it's some of those recurring things that do like. Well, I don't know about this. When it comes to TV, TV is an emotional channel in a couple of ways. Number one, it can can drive emotion, but I think when you're going to put your brand on television there's a heightened level of this is my baby, and so what is that message? It was one thing that I was actually going to bring up at some point, if it made sense, during this conversation. But I feel like be tob marketer specifically have a harder go than a DTC marketer. I think that ninety five percent of a bed best target audience is out of market for your product at any given time. So you're trying to build kind of mental availability with those potential businesses that are hopefully future customers for you, but they are not yet ready to be purchasing your product or service, and so you're trying to speak to the five percent and also build awareness with that ninety five percent. In in order to do that, you know a very practical cell that talks about your this is what my business can do for you. It's features and benefits based feels like a smart thing, and yet is it going to be memorable? That's why you see a lot of businesses that will leverage the use of character and they're just really mindful about like these distinctive brand assets that can kind of imprint within a consumer's mind so that they can be remembered from four years to come. But that can be kind of out there right. So if you think about, yeah, the the CML or in sometimes even the executive team needing to kind of sign off on final execution of a television add it's like wow, is that what we're is that where we're going to go do? But like I think of the the commercials that we sit around and talk about. From a D Toc Sam Point, I would like progressives. You know, they're their whole campaign around we can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and audio, Otto, not audio. Yeah, I'm literally I can like I can see the commercial in my head right now. Totally, totally. Yeah, and I think from a Bob standpoint, someone that I think is doing a great job would be adobe marketing cloud. I don't know if he's seen this or not, but you know, I find myself drawn to is kind of the story of what might have happened. How do you not had the product or service? So it is storytelling, but I think it drives the point home. But often they're kind of funny and memorable to so this the spot starts with like the big WIG and this corporate office and one of the employees runs in and prompts them to check the sales report and his eyes get really big and he makes a call down to production and as like war back baby, and I think they're making like books or encyclopedias or something like that. And so the production runs out of paper and they call the paper manufacture and they're cutting down trees and the wood pulp stock sky rockets and stuff, and what they find out at the end of the spot is that there's like this baby that's like repeatedly clicking a display out over and over and over, and of course it's make. And so the whole idea as like do you really know how your marketing is performing?...

But yeah, it's a it's a, it's a I know, I know, but it's it's a fun little challenge. You see, sales force created their new character, the little cartoon guy. Yep, I think it's Astros is name. Sales forces all over adds, TV, ADDS. Right now slack is getting into TV minding, which I think is an interesting play. I think there's so many bb marketers that have maybe had a little bit of an Aha these last couple of years, because I know we've heard that too, in terms of like can can television really work for BETB? I mean just feels like I really need to hyper target. And of course we under we all understand why that why that might be. But you've got this idea to of does reach play well in the B Tob Space? I know you've talked about this on a couple of your other podcast to that there's an average of twelve influencers for a BEDB decision. So yeah, reach makes sense. So yeah, it's fun to try to, you know, uncover what that right story is and ensure that the ad makes sense enough to that consumer that might actually be in market that you're like, I you want to, you want to tip them over into your bucket if they're already there. But then also how can it be memorable enough so that when they get there they think of you? And you see a lot of like re targeting those like TV ads, because I would think like before youtube videos, there some ways to use that same kind of commercial, that same add in the digital space as well. So how do you see that being used in creative ways to kind of leverage it in multiple channels? Yeah, absolutely, I mean at all. I think comes back to what we were talking about before in terms of just understanding your consumers journey and there may be a consumption. We are big proponents, as good marketers would be, of, you know, Cross Channel Integration and making sure that you've got one like synergistic story. If someone's come out to your website and poked around, there is a big opportunity there. So there's a lot of there's a lot of retargeting opportunity. There are a lot of ways for you to grab, you know, them on a first party basis to if you can capture their email address and starts, you know, a drip campaign to them. That makes sense. But even beyond that through streaming, there's ways to use retargeting, obviously display. So those are definite, like kind of no brainer things that should be happening. HMM. So you say business impact the cloud of TV. What are maybe some questions that we would be asking, or should be asking when we're considering if TV is is right for us? Beyond obviously you got to be in the budget for it. That's something you mentioned earlier. Any other questions, you would say we should be asking ourselves? Well, I think that definitely understanding where you're at in terms of your industry and your competition. So if you can be first to market and TV in your category, amazing right, but you do need to be ready for it. It's not not not everyone can just go all right, I'm in, let's do this. You need for sure need to make sure that your business is is ready for it because, if done right, it's going to kind of, quote unquote, give you good problems to solve. We've had companies come to us that have been in business for almost a hundred years, ninety years, and turn television on and saw two hundred and fifty percent growth in their new customer acquisition. So wow, like after being in business. That is one thing to do that with a company that's like four years old because they just haven't gotten started yet, but to do that with companies that are that established in their marketing practices and have already built a really wide base of customers, you're going to have to be ready to support that and so thinking through all the good problems to solve is really important and of course, you know, we would help guide kind of what scale could look like how quickly that would need to happen. But good...

...things are going to happen with with new reach and with typically, what we see to with TV is that TV consumers convert better, number one, but then they're also longer and higher lifetime value for those customers too. So the the those or those are the good surprises that clients find when they're looking for new customers through television. So I imagine there's people listening that are not going to be in the market right to jump into TV right now, but we mentioned top of funnel marketing. It's something that I think we need at least be considering in some way, at least getting our message out into the world. More people knowing about your product, even if they're not quite ready to buy, is not a bad thing. They need to know about you before they actually buy from you. So talk a little bit about what do you see the lessons you guys are learning and TV that maybe we could take away outside of just TV, anything that you'd have for us there to be considering? Well, I think one one thing that comes to mind would be that we acquire TV media a lot differently through our AI platform and that brings extreme efficiencies, especially in the linear side of things, and that, whether you can do TV or not, like set that aside. You need to be building awareness with your future customers. So if it's not television, then what top of funnel tactics can you work into your strategy so that you were playing the long game even without television? And when you're thinking about those channels, interrogate everything. Don't assume necessarily that. I would say going going rate costs need to be absorbed. You should be able to find efficiency is test and retest. Don't assume that if you've tested something and it didn't work, that it's quote unquote and Dad. Like we talked about before, there are ways to kind of crack the code and and have some contrarian thinking to marketing. That, I think, a lot of times holds holds marketers back. You know they're they're going about any channel the traditional way and if you really dig deep, explore, wander around, you know looking for inspiration from other marketers, whether they be in your own category, you're get outside, you can find new avenues to explore and I think bring contrarian thinking to the strategy. It's interesting. I well, first off, obviously I totally agree with what you're saying there. I an email and direct mail. The resurgence in those spaces is so fun to watch, honestly, because there was clearly a dead period where email was like out and now I look at the emails. I was thinking about it today, like I'm subscribed to several email things that are clearly marketing at me, but they're also adding immense value to my life every day, whether it's with a list or they're putting a bunch of information in there that I don't have the time or energy to go find myself. And then with direct mail, it needs to be done right, because I do throw away a lot of mail, but I will say it is a way of getting in front of people that a lot have forgotten about and when you do it correctly, can be done and to see amazing value and you find amazing value there. So there is a it's all about strategy right and intent and if you know it and you have a good strategy and you execute on it, really any medium can work. Absolutely it's all about tests and refine and test and refine, and I mean to me, the channels that are most intrigued in are those that aren't being used heavily by other marketers. Right that, in theory, if there's media consumption there there's an opportunity. If you've got a if you got audience and impressions happening, and yet you don't see your your competitors in that space, that's just a ripe opportunity for you to set yourself apart, you know from what they're doing and and to find yourself away to get in front of them. That's just goes solely against the...

...distraction issues that we have as consumers today. There's just so much put in front of us, so another display out is just not as exciting as like, to your point, direct mail and all, we've had a lot of success with direct mail to as a business, so I definitely act all that well. Well, I'm taking away several things from from this conversation. I love the idea and and stand behind it fully, that no channel, no marketing channel, is dead. It just it's literally about understanding why you're doing what you're doing and not throwing money at something because other people are doing it. You got to build awareness. So you got to be thinking a top of funnel at all times like that's something is marketers that we are responsible for top of funnel matters and test and refine. I love that you said that. I think that brings it to a head. We have to constantly test and refine, and so thanks for spending some time here with us, Angela. For those that want to connect with you further and what you guys are doing, how can people reach out? Oh absolutely, I mean my email address is on o our website. Happy to connect via Linkedin. Those are two great ways to get ahold me perfect. I will make sure we put your linkedin in our episode description as well, so you guys can connect with her over there. You can connect with me on Linkedin as well. Just Search Benjie Block and we're always having these types of insightful conversations here on BB growth. Were excited about what's happening here in the New Year and thanks for taking time to listen to this episode. Today. We will be back with another episode of B Tob Growth. Thanks for listening. One of the things we've learned about podcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, really well actually, so if you love this show, would be awesome if you texted a friend to tell them about it, and if you send me a text with a screenshot of the text you sent to your friend, Meta, I know I'll send you a copy of my book, content based networking, how to instantly connect with anyone you want to know myself phone numbers four hundred seven, four nine, hundred three, D and thirty two eight. Happy texting.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (1704)