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4 Tips for Using Digital Marketing with Ben Lund, Rise Marketing Group: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Feb 13, 2023

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

In this episode, we’re talking digital marketing with guest Ben Lund, Founder of Rise Marketing Group. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

  • Episode Summary & Player
  • Show Notes
  • Marketing Smarts Summary
  • Transcript

Marketing Smarts: 4 Tips for Using Digital Marketing with Ben Lund, Rise Marketing Group

So often, people shy away from digital marketing efforts. They’re scared they may do it wrong, or don’t understand it at all. But digital marketing can be used to your advantage! This comes down to embracing machine learning and automation, using automation to make the digital space more manageable, keeping brand at the forefront of digital marketing, and testing and learning frequently. We wanted you to learn from another expert who truly knows digital marketing inside and out, so we welcomed on Ben Lund. He’s the Founder of Rise Marketing Group, a performance advertising agency who tailors curated programs to drive growth. This episode covers everything from marketing automation to marketing your brand. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How do you use digital marketing to your advantage?
  • Are machine learning and automation worth trying?
  • How do you see success on online advertising platforms?
  • Why will automation give you a leg up in the digital space?
  • What do brands have to do with digital marketing?
  • How often should you be testing and learning?
  • What should your KPIs look like?
  • Is AI here to stay?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you missed anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it. Welcome to

April Martini 0:30
Marketing Smarts!

Anne Candido 0:31
I am Anne Candido.

April Martini 0:32
And I am April Martini. And today we’re going to take a deep dive into the world of digital marketing. And this is an order to break down what can often be described as an intimidating black box. And we know for a lot of our listeners, that’s definitely the case. And so always our goal on the show is to give you the tools to one understand things better, but also take action and do things well. And this is one space where we think it’s just so hugely important. So we just have too many clients and folks that we see either completely shy away from a lot of these things, or barely dip their toe enough into things and then not really make an impact. And really we know that comes from a fear of doing it wrong or not understanding or not feeling like they have guidance. So our belief really is no matter where you are on the journey, you can be using digital marketing to your advantage. And the goal of this episode is to do just that help you understand what’s out there, and what that means for you and your business.

Anne Candido 1:25
Yeah, I say the other side of the coin to that one, too, is that sometimes businesses fall in love with certain tactics like and they over index on those tactics, like Google Ads are always going to be a popular one that people feel like I just like the easy one to execute, then they just pound away pound away that tactic, really trying to really use that one that just that one in order to break through, and a looking at their metrics. And they’re hoping for that cost per click that it’s really, really important based on their benchmark, but they really just just stop and say, Hey, is this even working is efficiently getting to my consumer customer target the way I want them to? Do I need to approach it from a different standpoint, like all those questions that help you get to the actual strategy of it all. Exactly. And so for this topic, we’re bringing in a special guest, Ben Lund, Founder of Rise Marketing Group. And Ben brings vast experience in this space. So the likes of companies like Google, Yahoo, Monster, so this is one where and and I can speak it to a certain point, but we really need the expertise and the assistance here. So Ben, thanks for joining us.

April Martini 2:31
And please introduce yourself.

Ben Lund 2:33
Yeah, thanks so much for having me. Really happy to be here. So yes, my name is Ben Lund. I’m the founder of Rise Marketing Group. And it’s crazy to say, but I’ve been doing advertising since 2005, which is kind of a long time ago now. And the funny thing is, I’m sure somewhere that you guys is still in the industry, because I love it. It’s always changing. It’s never boring. And it has true impact on business growth. But, as you mentioned, been at a variety of companies. A couple notable ones Yahoo back in the mid 2000s, When Yahoo was the Google when people went to Yahoo to find out so crazy, that fun little portal that still exists still kick in then an ad agency RKG since acquired by Merkle, and then I was at Google here in Cambridge, or in the Boston area, and then just kind of took the leap into entrepreneurship four and a half years ago, almost five. And yeah, so that’s a little background.

April Martini 3:33
Awesome. Yeah. So with that, we’ll get into four tips for using digital marketing to your advantage. And I’m gonna set each of these points up, but I’m gonna rely on Ben to give all the great examples contextualization, beyond what I can do. And so you’ll hear a lot from him and a good amount from us during this episode. So the first one is that machine learning and automation are the way of the future, so you better get on board. And we talk a lot on the show about consumer savvy and how that has gone up tremendously. Expectations are a lot bigger, they’re able to snuff things out a lot quicker. And Ben, I know when you and I talked, we talked about the fact that machine savvy has had the same sort of growth. So no longer are we just putting something out there that we’ve built and hoping it will be seen now things have gotten really sophisticated and really crowded. And so that opportunity is long gone, and you got to be a lot better for it. And you got to use these tools from a technical standpoint that are out there. And we also know there’s tons of companies creating their own messaging, and they’re creative, and then just kind of plugging it into the system, which is also a missed opportunity. There are lots of ways to leverage those machines better. And the thing really to master now is how to put the pieces in and then train the algorithms to create the message for you. And that’s kind of where my technical expertise a lot of which I’ve learned from then starts and stops. But I think the point of this point, right is consumer savvy has ratcheted up, the technical world has ratcheted up COVID Help that any big way. And so with that, I’ll turn it over to you, Ben to just kind of talk about this point, and really how to use automation and all the learnings we have effectively for your business.

Ben Lund 5:11
You know, automation and machine learning is not going away, it’s only accelerating. And just to give a couple data points on that. So when I was at Google, I was a account manager for some key accounts. And in addition to be an account manager on key accounts, I was also the automation and audience specialist for our vertical and this is dated from 2014 to 2018. So even then, Google in market was doing a lot with automation. Now at the automation and Google, let’s call it 2016 is much different than automation today, in machine learning back then it was all about automated bidding. So before when you had any type of search, campaign or display, you say, Okay, I’m willing to bid this CPC, this cost per click, it’s going to be $1.25 for this keyword 325 for this, because it’s has a better conversion rate. It’s very, as you mentioned, very manicured, a lot of thought and effort went into it. But then Google is like, well, tell us what your conversion event is, whether it’s a transaction or a lead, what at what cost? Do you want these conversions that maybe it’s $25.75, whatever. And then Google’s like, I’m going to focus on that, because that’s your ultimate goal, and you’re going to spend more money for hitting those goals. So back in the mid teens, 20 teens. Google is really rolling out a bunch of machine learning practices for a tactic, which is bidding and that was very manual. Now fast forward a few more years, Google’s taking automation machine learning a whole step further, as with other platforms. So for example, in early 2022, Google rolled out a campaign type called performance Max, and what performance Max is 100% machine learning machine learning drive campaign, you tell Google what conversion event you want to optimize towards, you upload a bunch of creative assets, display video, or display banner ads, display, search, headlines and descriptions, and then Google just serve your ads across all their platforms. So Search, Display, video, YouTube, Gmail, and discovery. And then Google, just find it with their algorithm. So now, what’s happening is as marketers, you are just training these algorithms, you’re taking these very sophisticated systems, and learning how to manage it to your benefit, it’s almost like, it’s almost like someone gives you a key to a brand new Porsche, or maybe it’s an EV Porsche or something like that. It’s like, okay, how to drive it. But if you if you’re in marketing circuit, 10, 20 years ago, you’re like driving an old Volvo stick shift, whatever, is a certain type of expertise. And there’s pros and cons to it for the control freaks, that’s going to be hard to understand, because you don’t have that full control. But for those who really dive in, and understand this is where we are, where it’s going, they can be quite successful.

Anne Candido 8:12
So if I was sitting in a company, and I was a marketer, what what I need to be thinking about what kind of inputs go into something like this in order to be successful, because what you said, I get a bit sounds very sophisticated, I’m just kind of thinking about, like all the people that are struggling, I don’t even know like, where to start on that, or even how to prepare for something like that.

Ben Lund 8:36
Yeah, definitely. So any ad platform that you’re on Google, for example, make sure that you have solid measurement. So Solid measurement means if you’re using Google ads, or any platform, meta, Facebook, Instagram, you have these conversion events set up. So anytime that someone fills out a lead form or transaction with you, that’s set up. And that is funneling back into the Add plan form because that is what Google and meta and all the other platforms are going off of. So if you give a bad information, the best algorithm in the world isn’t going to succeed because you’re feeding it just bad data, and it’s just gonna get confused. So one, just make sure you have the Google Pixel setup set up to spec if you’re unsure this is something you should absolutely outsource because you want it to be done correctly. So that’s one and then number two is create some really good assets and then this goes back to like marketing 101 of creating some good branded assets. So that could be display or video focused or even copywriting for any headlines and descriptions. And if you have good copy, and then really good measurement in between, that’s where Google and the platforms are gonna do other mat magic of like, okay, let’s identify different audience segments, what works, what doesn’t, but I would say just focus on those To areas and then you should be in a good spot.

April Martini 10:03
That makes a ton of sense. Which brings us nicely to our next point here. And that is that automation will give you a leg up and make the digital space more manageable. So these first two points do definitely go hand in hand. But I think it’s important to talk about them through different lenses and different language, which is what you’re here to do, Ben is to help kind of pull back that curtain for us and then contextualize. So really, I think the point here is that automation in and of itself is a tricky topic. So because so often it’s not done well. And then when this happens, so many frustrations come out and you get a message out there, that doesn’t apply to your consumer or you spend a bunch of time on a chatbot that then doesn’t actually pay out for people or it becomes too much of a frustration, or it’s addressing things that it shouldn’t. And so as consumers, it’s frustrating for the experience for the businesses, it’s frustrating because it becomes really cumbersome and inauthentic to the experience you want to put out there. And honestly, I’ll say from my standpoint, this has become a real frustration of mine is someone trying to reach out cold calling and and and I talk about this all the time. And it’s definitely automated. And it’s like now I’m getting these ones where someone solicits me. And before I can even delete that message, their quote unquote, boss, manager, etc, has reached out to me, I was really compelled. I know you already heard from Lauren. But now I’m gonna reach out. And oh, by the way, the message they’re putting out there has nothing to do with anything that would even apply for a business like recently, we got one I got one about engineers, hiring engineers, like, how did I get served this automation, we don’t do anything related to engineering, right. And so when you think about all this stuff, you can see how tricky it gets and how hard it can be to use it to your advantage which to the point in the beginning, we said a lot of people shy away from tools that can actually be very powerful for them. Because they’ve experienced it badly. They don’t know how to internalize it, and then they don’t know how to set it up for success. So then I know you have a lot to say on this point, we talked about this a good amount when we first chatted of of how to do this well, and just what the pitfalls are, when you don’t do it? Well,

Ben Lund 12:09
it’s good to understand, like one of the benefits of automation. So it is super valuable to do it as long as it’s done well. And automation can span many different platforms. So we talked about like chatbots. So you can interact with customers or potential customers when you’re sleeping, and you’re tied up with something else. And that will just happen automatically. You can have automated email sequences go out, if someone signs up for this, and you boom, day one, they get Hey, thanks for signing up day three, you get this day five, and then just so forth, and so on. So there’s a lot of great value in that because it kind of works when you’re not working Yes, after frontload. But you have to be very thoughtful when building this out. And it almost comes back to we have young kids. The golden rule is like treat others the way you want to be treated. And I assume you don’t want to be just like spammed and harassed for with information that you don’t even care about. So then, then don’t do that to people that visit your site. Because that you wouldn’t want that to yourself. So the key is, is when you do any type of automation, whether it’s chatbot, whether it’s SMS, whether that’s email, always just make sure that it’s going to be a good experience. And it’s going to add true value to the experience and with like a chatbot for example, maybe that can just be like a helpful dialogue to help users navigate throughout the site. But always give an option to like, Hey, you want to tap out, I’m not gonna force you down this automated path, tap out contact to a real person. And just keep it try to keep it as real and as human as possible. Because you will stick out because everyone’s are not everyone. But a lot of people are leaning into automation and will do it more and more. And even content is being automated by bots now. But over time, like that can be can be a shortcut. But if you if you do it really well, you’re gonna stick out because you’re going to be very genuine in an uncanny one world. So I would say leave it to the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated, be thoughtful. There’s a time and a place for automation. There’s also a time and a place where it doesn’t make sense. So, you know, if you’re stranded at an airport, I don’t want to chat with a chat bot. I want to talk to a real person, a very real

April Martini 14:42
recent situation for the world. Yeah,

Ben Lund 14:44
I know. I know. So yeah, just understand time and a place when it makes sense. And just put yourself in the users perspective.

Anne Candido 14:56
Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. And we just had a really fabulous episode too. with Alicia Conlin-Hurd where we talked about automation in the context of funnels and how to effectively basically strategize in manufacture your funnel in a way that is going to be very value added. So you can pull people down the funnel, and I think this plays right into that conversation, can I double clicking it down? See what I did there, double click. But it’s a very point well taken as if you can start then to really map out your automation according to your funnel, you’ve added a little bit of strategy to the where the how the why, how do you make sure that it feels and continues to feel authentic, like you said, so you actually stand out and in this in a world that we’re in, a lot of people are not doing this? Well, whatsoever. I bashed drip email campaigns, I won’t bash them at this episode, I already did that. I have a yeah, just significant anxiety and just like a politician, or how people are using drip email campaigns for cold lead generation, that all being said, I think an element of diligence is to think about your automation in terms of that your consumer experience your consumers purchase cycle, and making sure that your automation is matching up with that in a way that’s going to effectively pull people down the funnel.

Ben Lund 16:17
Yep, I agree. 100%. You just have to be thoughtful just because yeah, a cool widget to do a ton of things, doesn’t mean you should do it. And when you should do it, like be very careful. Because you can you can have a pretty negative impact on your brand if you don’t do it, right.

April Martini 16:36
Yeah, I always equate this one to when, you know, we used to try to get on the phone with someone and you get served up. They’re like, well, please select this. Well, please answer this first, which still happened. But like my version of that right now, like you’re screaming into the phone, speak to a representative. It’s like 0000,

Ben Lund 16:57
and then they just disconnect you. And then you just

April Martini 16:59
exactly those of you that are less familiar with chatbots. Keep that in your head when you explore down this path or any of the automation for that? Sure. All right, so this is one that Ben and I definitely aligned on. And I was happy that you brought this one up, then but brand needs to be at the forefront of digital marketing now more than ever, which this ties to what we were just saying about the consumer experience. And yes, the funnel, and you’re golden rule and putting it to the perspective of how do you want it to be served to you, but brand automatically puts you in that place. And so a lot of what we’ve seen is it’s the shiny new thing, everyone’s using it. So I should use it, oh, hey, I don’t really have to do the hard work to strategize against my marketing, I’m just gonna go ahead and, you know, look in AI or whatever the you know, those things are people. And I think that this is one of the places that you really can stand out and not appear tone deaf. And the interesting thing is the brands that are actually really strong and know who they are, we’ll be able to both create an experience that works, but also opt out of the places from a digital perspective that don’t make sense for them as a company or a brand. We’ve talked about the fact that the digital space is so crowded, then you and I kind of riff on this whole idea of you used to be able to just put something out there and it would be seen right storefronts were a big example of this, if you were able to just get a storefront up in the digital space, then you would sell because it was a new place. And it was a new experience. It was kind of cool. And early adopters wanted to be there. And now it’s just not the reality anymore. And so from a brand perspective, you have to really think through and know what do you uniquely own? And what does that mean to your consumer? What pain points are you solving, and then build an actual relationship with your consumer now more than ever, in this digital space, this is a huge opportunity so that they know what to expect from you. They keep coming back for more because you’re doing all the things that we said not to do from the previous point, you’re doing it very well. So you’re delighting them. And then they’re advocating on your behalf because we know that one of the ways that consumers are finding their way through the digital world is through word of mouth. That’s why influencers are so important. It’s things like reviews. And you know, I mean, even on Facebook, the group, the different groups that are popping up where you can ask for the group’s expertise on local whatever are the best trip they’ve been on, et cetera. This is where capitalizing on your brand will allow you to meet your consumer where they are, but also know them so well. That you know not only what experience they want from you, but what messages they want from you and what they’re ultimately going to say okay, that’s somebody I go back to over and over again, and your digital can help you in that way. So I’ll stop talking and let you kind of give your perspective here as well.

Ben Lund 19:54
Building a brand is tough, it’s not easy work. But it’s so incredibly important. I feel like a lot of marketers out there, they just gloss over the brand new piece. But like, I know we kind of do this and that, but let’s just get to some exciting things like get an ads and get people to our site. But if you don’t take the time to really understand you your brand and who your audience is, and your differentiators and your true value that you bring to the table and, and even what you stand for, you’re just leaving money on the table, it’s so and you’re gonna reap a lot of rewards from it. And as you mentioned, you know, 1015 years ago, if you let’s say, are on market for a certain vitamin or gift or insert, whatever, any type of product, generally speaking, you would go online, you’d find it in any commerce story, like Okay, cool they have and a bye for now, times have changed. Now people are like, well, do I want to transact with that store? Do I trust it or even more, so what’s happening is people are waiting to spend their dollars in in order to work with or transact with brands that align with them. And even sometimes moral fabrics have what they believe in, you know, several four examples is Patagonia has done a great job at that great job, where they built a brand, they rarely ever discount, and they stand by their products, and they do a whole bunch of great good around the world. And for me, personally, that resonates with me, I’m willing to pay a premium for it, because I know it’s gonna be great product, they do have great mission statement. And if I ever have an issue with them, I can return it and they’re gonna fix it. And they’re gonna take a greater share of my apparel spending just for what they stand for. I personally am not going to go on Amazon and just find like, whatever cheap pair of jeans, which will be fine for six months until they’re not. But yeah, building a brand is so incredibly important. And then even on an advertising perspective, when we’re talking about all these automated campaigns, like Performance Max, creative is one of the things that the marketers control. And it’s very important to put together quality creative, because that will yield significantly higher results. So my takeaway here is brain is tough. And you should hire the experts to help you out with it, because it will reap a ton of benefits and just don’t gloss over it. And a lot of people just don’t even know their brand. And that should really be thought through.

Anne Candido 22:41
Yeah, so I was gonna stand on my soapbox for a little bit about brand in the digital world, I think, you know, what we’re saying is, there’s a lot out there, right, and it’s a lot to choose from. And in order to differentiate, the only way that you can differentiate is through brand. And that brand creates an expectation, it creates an experience, it creates a promise, and we talked about the brand, promise a lot. And it creates a relationship. And you have to have those things identified about how you want to create that brand experience, in order to be able to orchestrate your ecosystem in the digital world in a way that’s going to drive efficiency. And it’s going to drive scale, if you’re going to piecemeal it here and there and everywhere. And you don’t use the power of your brand, in order to unite everything in order to drive that ecosystem, you’re not going to have that fuel you need in order to rise above the noise, because there’s only a very few companies out there that have enough money and have enough time. But they can just last things at like a high frequency and at a high volume and break three of that noise without having like you said, they’re really great creative, they’re really good strategic thoughtfulness with regards to where are you going to play? And how are you going to play. And that is all about the ecosystem and creating that ecosystem. And I’ll use that analogy, because I’m using the analogy yet. And it’s episode. But like, if you’re like you’re in a house, right, and that’s should be very much relatable to a lot of people. But think about the whole world outside as being the digital marketing realm of the universe. If you were a brand and you’re trying to go to that person’s house, you want them to let them you in. If there’s only 10 people knocking at that front door, and you’re trying to go there and you’re trying to knock on that front door to the chances of you getting in are very, very low. Now if you could figure out a way to get to the back door, which is a very much more familiar way because not everybody can go to the back door, right? Because that’s kind of super creepy. If you just kind of decide to go to the back door, you have to kind of be invited into the back door. That takes a relationship that takes a brand that takes an experience that people appreciate. You might be able to do that. Now if you’re even going to do even better. You’ll think like well, how do I even get out of this door thing? Maybe I can, you know, transform my brand into like a bird that can go to the window and that window opens up and we are gone with this analogy. I get a little bit off the cliff here. But I think the point is, is that there’s more than one way in than the bang on the front door. And if you’re strategic, and you’re thoughtful about how you want to create your ecosystem, you can figure out how you want to make your brand work harder for you so that you can get these other entry points to your consumer, or your customer, your target, whoever that happens to be, and a much more efficient way where you can leverage that scale in order to really drive better efficiency for your spend, and better results overall. So I can get done up by type box now.

Ben Lund 25:31
That’s awesome. Yeah, totally. And then. And then you’re going to build up these great relationships with people. And then not only are they going to transact with you and be loyalist, but then they’re also going to refer out to their friends and their family. So but it all comes back to building a real brand.

April Martini 25:49
Yeah, I think that’s great. And I do appreciate the analogy, although they can I deal with them on an hourly basis, it’s my goal to make an analogy

Anne Candido 25:57
for every episode.

Ben Lund 25:58
Love it, mission accomplished. Alright, so

April Martini 26:02
the number four point here on tips for using digital marketing to your advantage is test and learn on an ongoing basis to ensure you’re optimizing appropriately. And we talked about testing and learning all the time on this show. So that should be no surprise to anyone along with the analogies in the tie box. But but really the reason we talk about this, and I think one of the ways that people can get over their anxiety around the digital space, and really how to use digital marketing appropriately for their business is you don’t have to invest hundreds of 1000s of dollars and hours and hours and hours of time, you can actually do small tests to kind of grow into a bigger strategy. And you also can change course really quickly to optimize. And so this is one of the places where we feel like you can use your consumers to your advantage if you do know your brand, by speaking to them through the digital space. And that’s everything from sending out surveys via your Facebook to you know, putting up a B testing for different advertisements to testing offers and seeing what sells and what moves versus what doesn’t. I mean, there’s a million different ways to do this. And this is why I personally get so sad when I see people close the door on digital, because they’re fearful or they don’t know how to do it, or it is a black box or whatever. Because the reality is they could be learning so much so fast, and also getting credit with their audience for their brand by engaging and interacting and asking people. And so and then I also think, you know, we’ve talked in this episode about how fast things changed, and how sophisticated the digital space has become over such a short period of time. If you get really good at observing the space, really internalizing feedback, using digital to do this learning, then you can move your brand, regardless of how much money you have, how sophisticated you are in digital, I mean, you can kind of customize the experience for what’s comfortable, and what is going to work the hardest for you. And you know, I’m always the one famous for saying Gone are the days of spending $300,000 or more on a TV ad for the Super Bowl and whatever and saying, This is our one thing for the year. And so it has to be perfect. It’s much more about learning enough to feel confident or hiring someone who can help you with it, and then moving and then optimizing and then moving again. And it can be a lot less stressful actually think then what marketing and advertising used to be.

Ben Lund 28:35
Absolutely, yeah, there’s no such thing as a failed campaign. If you have a if you have appropriate measurement. And if you have appropriate measurement. Let’s say you spend 10% of your overall marketing budget on this test, new platform, new audience, new creative, whatever it is your landing page. And let’s say it just didn’t work. Now, you didn’t lose really as long as you have the measurement and you can understand why it did not work. And then any failure will bring you one step closer to success on the right path. Because even let’s say you lose that 10% of your marketing budget like oh, shoot, I didn’t really get too many sales. Yes, that is true. But you also learn like what not to do not go down that landing page. Absolutely. I’ve heard this audience think brings you one step closer, like oh, well maybe next round says going down door number one, let’s go down door number two, or the back door, and then or the window, or the window and, you know, so have proper measurement. But you always need to be testing you always need to be testing because if you don’t test, even if you’re successful today, in January 2023 If you’re not testing, you’re just gonna have a good campaign that’s going to keep going but it’s going to erode over time because you’re just maintaining status quo and your competitors are gonna get better and better and then you’re just going to you’re right At one point, you’re doing great and then just went downhill. So I recommend every marketer out there in every business, set aside a testing budget, whether that’s whatever you’re comfortable with, but there should be a budget that way. It’s like 10%, of overall marketing budget, or 5%, or 15%. With an understanding that, yes, you might lose customer, you’re not going to gain customers. But you will always gain learnings if you have proper measurement. And that’s what’s going to keep you I never want to say like future proof, but that’s really going to help gain towards a future proofing your business, because you’re new these testing, then you’re gonna find a couple of things that just hit and you’re like, Wow, I never expected that. That’s always out in my always on campaign program, and then I’m going to go to the next one. So it’s just if you want to be a viable business in the next 510 years, always have a testing budget. I mean, even at Rhys marketing group for our own marketing, we’re always testing stuff, I love testing stuff. Some of it doesn’t drive customers or leads. And that’s okay, because we learn from it and others do. And that’s great. And then we’re like, okay, we’re keeping this on.

Anne Candido 31:14
Yeah, I think there’s there’s two points, I really want to emphasize, I think one is the failure is as successful as actually getting the objective or meeting the objective of your, whatever the the digital marketing effort is, because it doesn’t start to create a this not that kind of mentality, which helps you to rule out other things. Because sometimes, the biggest issue for doing a digital marketing effort at all is like, there’s so much I can do, what should I go do and it becomes so overwhelming, it’s just an try something. And then if you can try that, and you can see whether or not that works or not, you can start to kind of figure out where you want to play and a much more strategic way than sitting around hypothesizing forever, which is what a lot of people tend to do is I talk and talk and talk and talk. And no actors ever take it because they can weigh the risk versus reward, which is what I like what you had to say, which is like 5% 10% 15%, do whatever you think you’re going to be able to do and feel comfortable losing it. And losing all that money. Because you might have that be the case, for some moments of time and everything is going to hit it’s not going to hit as you expected it to hit. But that is a learning and that learning helps you optimize. But I think one way to be able to have a better hit rate is to be very clear about what you need to do in order to move your business. Right. And there should be some aspect of that based on other marketing channels, that gives you some sort of indication about what what might work in digital. So for example, if you know traffic is going to help you be able to then convert, you know, through your funnel, for example. And you know, if I just get enough people through the door, the things that I have to close them or hold them and then close them are going to work on that back end, then start with getting a lot of traffic. If you know, like, Oh, I’m getting the traffic in, but like I’m not converting where I need to convert, then focus on whatever you need to do in order to get them someplace where you think they can convert. So be very, like strategically focused on the elements of what you believe or hide the hypothesis of what you believe are going to move your business, you can change those hypothesis is that what you’re going to learn, that’s how you’re going to test and learn and optimize. But you have to put a stake in the ground somewhere. And you have to make some a hypothesis in order to go test them. So don’t be afraid to make a hypothesis a lot of people are because they’re afraid of being wrong. They okay, that reflects on their credibility, their reputation, their ability to get more money, you can do all that if you kind of couch it in the fact that you’re testing and learning. That’s kind of your, your little your golden ticket out of it if it doesn’t actually end up working. So at least that’s my thoughts.

Ben Lund 33:53
100% be very intentional with what you’re trying to test, whether it’s boosting conversion rates on a landing page, or whatever that might be. And also just plan out what are they KPIs that you’re shooting for? Because so many times, they might be like, Okay, I want to test for a landing page that has better engagement, it’s something like that. And then at the end, the tests are like, Oh, but we didn’t get customers like, well, sorry, was that the KPI? Was it transactions? Or was it just, you know, site engagement or something like that? So yeah, be intentional with the test as well as you know, plan out some true like KPIs of what you’re hoping to achieve out of it. Proper measurement and then win or lose win or gay game customers, you’re still going to win as long as the data to move you forward.

April Martini 34:43
So yeah, so it’s not like putting money in a slot machine where you’re, you know, you’re like I might throw it away and get nothing out of it. I think your point about you know, when you’re reinforced point about putting a percentage of the budget and then aligning that you’re going to learn something regardless, it’s not about and I think You are exactly right when it comes to what is the KPI versus what did we deliver because so many times people, quote unquote forget KPI was. So make record of that, or have you brief or whatever, you know, making sure that there is the understanding that we’re not no longer if you’re in the digital space, are you really ever throwing money away? Because are continuing to learn and you are continuing to optimize? And even if you say, well, we want to get X amount of sales, and that doesn’t happen, well, then you can diagnose the problem and say, you know, well, this did well, this didn’t do so well, you know, you have a lot more data at your, at your fingertips versus before when it was like, like my Superbowl ad, it’s like, there’s no real way to know, well, one, what kind of conversion unless there’s like a specific call to action. But also, if it doesn’t hit the way you want, it’s like, well shoot now we lost all of that we spent all of that and we have nothing to show for it. And that’s just not the case anymore. But I do think you have to get that alignment ahead of time. And just acknowledging that the test and learn budget is for just that testing and learning, which is going to lead to learning not necessarily hard metrics of sale, conversion, etcetera, etcetera. Yeah, absolutely. All right. So our final segment is typically where we highlight a company or brand that’s using their marketing smarts. Oh my gosh, marketing smarts are not

new accent they’re, we’re not. Um, but obviously we bring a guest on we assume they are using their marketing smart. So I would just say, Ben, make any final points, bring the conversation home, and also let people know where to find you. So if they want to continue the conversation, they can do that.

Ben Lund 36:42
Yeah, sounds good. Thanks so much. Yeah, final points is, you know, just to recap a couple things, make sure you you’re you are building out your brand, it’s a lot of work, but take time to formulate what that brand is bringing experts where it when and where needed. And then once you have that out, you know go to market with your your brand and do some advertising and lean in on to some of the really cool things that are coming out into the marketplace like machine learning and algorithmically run campaigns. But make sure that you have proper measurements. So the the algorithms are actually going to learn on the fly, of which audiences are working in which are not in which creative are working, what aren’t. And in terms of automation, also lean into that. But be very mindful and thoughtful that you’re not gonna piss off your potential customers. Be nice use the golden rule. But yeah, Rise, which is the agency that I lead here at Rise Marketing Group, we can be found at, or just Google Rise Marketing Group. We’re based in the Boston area, but we serve clients all over the US and including in Europe. But we are a performance, advertising and marketing firm. So if anyone needs support with go to market execution across all ad platforms, Google, Meta, LinkedIn, email marketing, social media management, or SEO, we can help if it comes to building out a brand, I would defer that to other experts here. Like us, guys, and and if you do have a great brand new like, hey, but we need a new execution partner love to have a conversation. Usually the approach there is contact us you’d actually contact me, and then would formulate what a strategy would be or look at past and determine what’s working and what’s not, and then put together strategy for you. So that’s all I have. But I really do appreciate the time on today’s show.

April Martini 38:41
Awesome. Thank you, Ben. So just to recap four tips for using digital marketing to your advantage. Number one, machine learning and automation are the way of the future. So get on board, it is not going anywhere. You heard Ben say that. And the level of sophistication is always going up. But there are opportunities for you to play wherever you are in your journey. Number two automation will give you a leg up and make the digital space more manageable. Creating a customer experience that feels authentic is key to doing this right it can work for you like Ben said, when you’re not working. Number three brands need to be at the forefront of digital marketing. Now more than ever, this is your key differentiator and it’s no different in the digital space than anywhere else. And number four test and learn on an ongoing basis to ensure you’re optimizing appropriately. This will allow you to get over the hump of digital marketing, but also helps you to stay in the know on what is new and upcoming and what’s working for you and what’s not. And with that we will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts! Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts? Contact us through our website: We can help you become a savvier marketer through coaching or training you and your team or doing the work on your behalf. Please also help us grow the podcast by rating and reviewing on your player of choice and sharing with at least one person. Now go show off your Marketing Smarts!