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4 Ways to Transform Your Digital Presence with Shamir Duverseau, Smart Panda Labs: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Apr 25, 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 your digital presence with Shamir Duverseau, Smart Panda Labs. 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!

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Marketing Smarts: 4 Ways to Transform Your Digital Presence with Shamir Duverseau, Smart Panda Labs

Content is king. The digital ecosystem is the castle. How do you transform your digital presence to reinvigorate your livelihood and drive results for your business? It comes down to getting clear on what’s working and optimizing on it, making sure you’re geared to convert, diversifying your content, and prioritizing the experience. We wanted you to learn from an incredible resource in the digital space, so we welcomed on Shamir Duverseau. He’s the Co-Founder, Managing Director, and Chief Strategist of Smart Panda Labs, a digital experience agency that helps you drive greater revenue and create a better post-click digital experience. And yes, this episode might set the record for Game of Thrones and grocery store analogies. This episode covers everything from social media to SEO. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How do you transform your digital presence?
  • When should you adjust your strategy?
  • How do you convert on digital?
  • What type of content should you create?
  • How do you improve the customer experience?
  • What brands have mastered the digital experience?
  • Should you run ads on social media?
  • How do you know if your digital presence is working?

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 Marketing Smarts! I am Anne Candido. And I am April Martini. And today we’re going to talk about how to transform your digital presence. So if content is king, then the digital ecosystem is the castle. But trying to figure out how to win and digital can feel like living in Castle Black from Game of Thrones like very dark, ominous, and daunting. So with that, we spend this episode talk about what you should be thinking about right now to transform your digital presence, making it feel more like the water gardens more prosperous, inviting and transformative.

Shamir Duverseau 1:04
And Anne knows I’m going to make fun of her Game of Thrones reference here – she’s the Queen of Analogies and I roll my eyes every single time. But in all seriousness, we’ve talked many times about just the overwhelming choices that are out there when it comes to digital, and how this can lead to tunnel vision execution and then things like set it and forget it mentality. If this is you, it’s totally okay. This episode is going to be a good one for you to re energize your digital presence and hopefully do it a little bit more thoughtfully. Yeah. So

Anne Candido 1:34
today, we have a special guest to join us in discussing this topic. And that is Shamir Duverseau. So he’s a co-founder and MD of Smart Panda Labs. And so Shamir would like to introduce yourself, and more importantly, are you a Game of Thrones fan?

Shamir Duverseau 1:48
I’ve probably seen just enough to be dangerous.

Anne Candido 1:52
Enough, that’s gonna Yeah.

Shamir Duverseau 1:55
But thanks to thanks to both of you for having me on, I’ve really been looking forward to this. So again, I’m gonna do for So managing director for smart panda labs. So agency that I started, oh, probably over a little over 10 years ago now with a couple of partners, really focused on helping enterprise companies to drive that activity that takes place, right between AD and action, so that that space that happens post, click where people really make their decisions and, and decide to become customers and to stay on as customers. So again, thank you for having me and excited to talk about this, I’ve spent many years in corporate trying to deal with these issues that we’ll be talking about today. And it’s out of that frustration, that smart panel house was born. So always happy to be talking about

Anne Candido 2:38
it. Yeah, and that’s, that’s the black box of digital, right. So this is gonna be a really fantastic conversation, I think very enlightening to everybody, because I’m sure a lot of our listeners are struggling with just that. So with that, let’s get into how to transform your digital presence. First, you need to get clear on what’s working, what’s not and optimize accordingly. And in order to do this, you need to have the right data in the right data is based on analytics, that means something for your business KPIs. So the biggest mistake that businesses make is that they fall in love with whatever they’re being sold, the KPIs are being sold, but they don’t really take a second to think about, hmm, how are these KPIs translating into what I need for my business in order for my business to grow and thrive? Now, I will say it’s okay to test and learn. But testimony is only effective if you know what you are measuring. And the desired impact is going to have on your business. So a couple of examples of where we’ve seen this kind of go, all right. One is in social, where everybody feels like they have to have a social presence, right. And I know this is only like a little bit of part of the digital and not probably the focus much of today. But just for context. We see a lot of people who put together their their social plans and their content calendars, and they put stuff up there and they’re like, we got this much engagement, and me and April look at them are like, Wait, what’s that doing for your business? And then we get the blank stare back, like, but we got this much engagement, you know, so it feels like it’s a achievement all in itself. But without tying back to something that’s moving the business, you know, what’s the point? And it’s the same thing with adspend, where we see a lot of businesses spending a bunch of money to generate leads, because leads are very, very sexy, they’re usually tend to be bigger numbers, but they don’t understand. Okay, what do I do with the leads? Once I get them? How do I nurture them? How do I convert them? How do I get them down that funnel that the exact place where you in panda labs really focuses on so this is gonna be really insightful, I think, to hear what you have to say about this. And so I’d love just to kind of understand from you like, show me your what do you guys do in order to help people diagnose what’s working, what’s not working, and kind of what have you seen? businesses start to kind of glom on to that you’re like, oh, no, we’re not so quick there.

Shamir Duverseau 4:48
You know, a big challenge that we see overall, is that businesses focus so much on the advertising and on the driving the traffic that they they lose a sense of really where people spend their time. Right, so you spent all this money often, you know, several 100, that hundreds of 1000s of dollars, millions of dollars in advertising, driving and traffic. People spend what a few seconds, maybe, you know, reading an ad, the overwhelming majority, the time is spent after they make that click. But then no one wants to spend time, energy, effort money actually make improving what happens after they make that click, which then turns all that ad money into into wasted money, you’re not getting the customer in the first place, the customers maybe you did get, it’s harder for them to return and become a customer again, it just causes all kinds of downstream problems that can be avoided if we kind of focus on that main part. And you know, to your question, it’s really about kind of saying, alright, what is that we want people to do? As they come to the site? What’s the relevant information that we want them to absorb? What’s what’s a value to them, identifying those things? And then to your point, measuring those key metrics and saying, Okay, well, how are we doing that? Are we making this easy? Are we putting that relevant information in front of them? Are we highlighting the valuable information that they can use to make a decision, and that’s really about getting those right metrics in place, reports, reports, reports, people love reports, the emailing them, they love making dashboards, they’re pretty and they’re colorful, and, you know, decks and it’s all it’s all sexy. And then they send those things out, no one ever opens them, no one ever reads them. And they just kind of sit there. And it’s like, Well, what was the point of all that? has opposed to saying, what are the metrics that tie back to what executive leadership cares about? So what’s the metric that I can speak to that says to executive leadership, this is how this is affecting the company’s stock price. This is how this is affecting the valuation of the company. This is how this is affecting overall profitability, right? The things that people really care about, because that’s what C suite their bonuses are based on, right? Those are the things they care about, how are we measuring those metrics? And then how are we generating activities that ultimately influence those metrics? And then to your point, how we’re experimenting on that? How are we then doing things that are optimizing and iterating on those things that we’re constantly growing and moving in the right direction?

Yeah, I think it’s so important. And what I was thinking, as you guys were kind of going through is following the customer journey, and really understanding that versus just doing the things that are shiny, right, or new or exciting, or we want to try that because everybody else is there. And I think there’s just so much distraction, and it’s complicated enough to try to navigate this and make those decisions. But show me your I mean, you’re really speaking our language, we talk all the time about making decisions around your brand based on what business results you’re going for. And that’s exactly the same way that when you were talking about approaching the work, it’s like, you don’t just do these things to do these things for the sake of being there, making sure that they’re smart, and they’re intentional. And then again, considering what your consumer wants. I mean, as a consumer myself, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scrolling through my phone like everybody does, right? And I go to click on something that I may want to buy. And it’s such a fragmented experience after that point of the ad, like you just said, and I’m like, this is way too much work. And I am like, you know, throw in the towel, never go back to that one again, right. And all of those missed opportunities that happen when you focus too much on the vehicle of the advertisement itself. Not okay. And then when the consumer goes from there, and we get that click, we have to be able to capture them as a lead in our funnel beyond that, how do we go about doing that? And I think what you said is so important, all the way through that journey to what metrics are really gonna matter.

Yeah, for sure. And I think as marketers, what happens is we get caught in this trap, where advertising is easy. It’s easy to increase spend and just said, it’s been more, relatively speaking, it’s easy to say, hey, let’s put a new ad up. Let’s get some more creative. That’s for another campaign on LinkedIn on Google on meta, whatever the case is. And certainly, Google and LinkedIn and Meta their jobs is to make it very easy for us to spend more money and put an ad on there. So it becomes the solution to every problem. But then when you think about what happens after that, click, that gets a lot more complicated, because now it’s like, okay, well, there’s technical stuff involved, and I’ve got to get it involved and I get the product team involved and it just becomes a lot murkier and messier and a little bit scary. So it’s, it’s like this, just stay away from the scary stuff. That’s, that’s a lot harder to do than just the easy stuff that’s just throw more money at it. And I think we get caught in that cycle in that trap. And it just, you know, it becomes addictive and it’s just easier to do.

Anne Candido 9:38
Yeah, but I beg to differ. I anybody’s been in the meta back in I don’t think can attest to anything being I mean, that is a nightmare, a nightmare. But that all aside, I think what you guys are saying is really, really informative. And I think if people are stuck, I would say start with the end in mind, right and back it up from there. So a lot of times they start Like what you guys said, like, the sexy channel that you know you want to go play on. But if you start in the end of mindset, okay, we want clients, customers consumers to do this. So therefore, we need to do this. And so how are we going to get them there? Well, we need something like this and not like get yourself more down into details or the how at that point in time, but just kind of map out as you were saying to consumer journey. But sometimes it’s easier to start with the end in mind and work it back. And then you kind of see where the gaps are. And then it becomes very obvious. It’s like, oh, well, we wanted them to go to this web page. And now the web page doesn’t have a connection to anything for them to go by, or an easy translation, anything to go by. So it starts to kind of see it in a different way, which I think leads really nicely to the next point, which is, make sure you’re geared to convert. So all of that, that I just said, is very, very important to consider in the way that you are setting up your digital presence. Because this is the second biggest mistake people make is they prime the funnel. But then the funnel isn’t optimized to convert, like we just said. So we see this, again, when we when people are really enamored with Google Ads, and they get these Google Ads, but then they find that this call to action they have goes to a suboptimal website, like I just said, and so they people just sit there and then that doesn’t close them. And we used to talk about that all the time at P&G, which is a stop, hold and close. So a lot of people will get the lead, which is the stopping the whole inventory, they get to the website, but then they can’t close them. So then they know that something’s wrong with the system don’t know what to go do about it. And if I was going to bring my Game of Thrones analogy here, I would say this is like when you’re gonna go storm the castle. And you get you know the drawbridge down, but you can’t get through the poor cliffs like it’s just sitting there. And this is big, heavy iron thing and you can’t move it. Right.

Shamir Duverseau 11:45
Sure. Okay.

Anne Candido 11:49
What, which is why if on I always approached it from a brand standpoint, I mean, I know we sound like a broken record a lot. But it is the basis and the foundation for how you develop everything. So you need to really make sure that your brand is speaking the language of your consumer, your customer, your client, so that you can streamline that effort until you can get into that castle, because it does take a lot of effort to get past the noise that is out there in order to get through that castle. So like we said, you need to take a look at that journey. Are you satisfying your questions concern, skepticism, with the right content at the right time with the right storytellers in the right places, this sounds like a lot. But if we need to start breaking it down and just thinking about how people consume content, it starts to make a lot more sense. And you can start orchestrating these things together in order for them to work cohesively, and effectively in order to get these people where you want them to go. And if you can’t like ask for direct feedback. So a lot of times we’ll do consumer research, and that’ll help us really get those clues. You can look at the clues through your digital presence. Where are people falling off, if you’re getting 1000s of leads in, but you’re only converting like 2% of them, then that should tell you something’s like wrong in that spot. So what I would ask us to marry is what do you have to what do you have to say about this? Like, how do you help people really optimize their conversion funnel,

Shamir Duverseau 13:08
similar to what you the way you guys look at it, we think about it a lot in terms of the customer journey. So if you think about just the beginning of that journey, right? So kind of the traditional awareness, consideration decision, and then we kind of think, okay, for your product, and for your customer, like what do you reasonably expect people to do? If they’re in their awareness stage? It’s likely not going to be purchase. Okay, so what do you expect them to do? Is it is it to subscribe? Is it to look at a product page like what what is the action that you reasonably expect them to take at that stage? And then the same thing consideration what’s what’s the reasonable action, and then ultimately, of course, decision is purchase. And then that way, you kind of break it into digestible pieces, right? And now, when you’re looking at like awareness campaigns, it’s like, okay, what are you trying to drive them to do? Well, if I can at least get them to subscribe, then I’ve accomplished something great, then that’s optimized for that. Okay, now someone has subscribed now, how do we move them to that consideration? Phase? Okay, well, we’re going to nurture them. Okay, well, how do we want them to interact with these emails? You know, where do you want them clicking through to what action? Do we want them to take? Well, if I can, you know, at least get them to wishlist something or add something to their cart, then that’s a win. Great. Okay. That’s, that’s optimized to that. And then to get to the next piece decision, okay, now we’ve gotten people which listing adding things to their cart, what are the activities that we’re engaging in to get them to go all the way through and actually hit that purchase button, right? So let’s break this into phases into smaller action, because that’s what people do. Right? Right. We have our impulse buys, right there things that we go to Amazon, because we need at the moment, and, you know, we immediately add to the cart, and we buy and we check out and you know, those things are great, but a lot of things that we buy, you know, we need some time to make the decision, we get distracted, you know, the we decide to come back and look at this later. And then we don’t come back and look at this later because life gets in the way. You know, there’s all kinds of things that happen that’s like, well, if we can get the small wins, but we can put them in the right order and get those wins to add up. That will ultimately lead to the big win. So we try to get our clients to kind of look at it that way and say hey, Let’s break this into pieces. We can’t hit a home run every time someone clicks on any single ad, but we can do is to get them to a reasonable action a reasonable step based on where they seem to indicate they are in that customer journey. You know, what kind of AdWords is this? Okay, this is more of an awareness based ad word. Let’s consider this an awareness campaign. What’s that appropriate action versus maybe this ad or this ad word maybe retargeting ad or something. Okay, another deeper in the customer journey further along, let’s try to get, you know, a deeper action that gets them closer to actual conversion.

Well, and all I’m thinking is you’re going through that is patience, which is so hard, I think we face the same thing with our clients. It’s like, there’s no magic bullet, there’s no silver bullet. And it’s actually even harder these days. Because the choices are so all over the place. And so I think the more that we can be educating, and reinforcing that message of this is where they are, it’s going to take time to get them here, we have to keep working on them. And then, you know, all sounds like a broken record now. But the whole idea of thinking about it through the lens of being a customer, I think also helps clients get over the hump, because we get so tied into the data, right, and what the numbers say, or the shiny things, or whatever. And we forget that there’s people at the end of this, and people don’t work linearly. And if they’re anything like me, they don’t like to be told what to do, right. So you have to be patient and kind of cultivate and curate. And then also just the long game of you want the advocates, you want the relationship, you know, we’re talking a lot here about getting them to go and do what we want them to do or buy, what we want them to buy those types of things. But the big thing, or the big win is when they’re going to keep coming back, right. And the only way to get to that is when you cultivate that relationship through each of these steps. You are considerate in the way you’re doing it and you’re thinking about it the way that they want to hear things from you see things from you what touch points, they want, all of those types of things.

Yeah, I don’t think people you know, to your point, April, kind of take a step back and kind of think like, what do I do in those situations? Like, how do I get treated, and even if you if you make the analogy to endpoints and loves illustrations, you know, like, you go to a store to buy something, and that experience can go 1000 different ways. You know, you go there, you grab what you want, real quick, you find it immediately, and you gotta go check out and the lines are just, you know, enormous, they’re long, you know, they’re not staffed enough, and only like, two lanes are open. And you know, all the machines and self checkout are down, and you’d like, you know what, I don’t have time for this, and you put it down, and you leave, because it’s like, I’ll come back and get this later. And then you don’t come back, and you lost the sale, not because you didn’t have the product, but because the experience of actually checking out and buying it was just it wasn’t worth the effort, right? Or maybe you do decide, you’re gonna stand in line and you wait the time and you’re like, Okay, I’ve already invested 30 minutes into this, and I can’t get back, I’m gonna buy this thing. But by the time you do it, the experience was so miserable, you tell yourself like, I’m not coming back to the store again, like I know better than to go there the first place like I’m not going back there again. Now take that. And that exact same thing happens online, how many purchases are being missed, because the experience was poor? How many people maybe who even do purchase because the experience was so poor and frustrating, or like, I’m not going back there? That was more work and effort than I want to spend in time and doing that I’m going somewhere else, because there are so many choices, and just kind of grounding it and saying, Well, what do I do as a consumer? What do I do when I’m shopping, either in person or online. That’s what everyone else is doing to other people just like you there are 1000s 10s of 1000s of people who have that same experience you do. And if you just take the time to kind of look at things through their lens, by looking at through your personal lens, you’ll recognize, hey, this is what’s happening on your website. And you may think it’s great and perfect and wonderful. Because you know what so well, and you’re looking at it day in and day out, you know exactly where everything is, and you know all the little tricks and, you know, holes and patches that you need to do to navigate and get through things. But other people don’t know that. And you know that frustration, cost people cost companies a lot and a lot of money.

Anne Candido 19:07
Yeah, and I think you guys made a really good point that humans aren’t algorithms, right? You might be using algorithms to try to reach people, but they themselves are not algorithms. And I think the biggest mistake we see people make is they do try to rush the process, because they’re trying to get that sale in the very first connection because they want the efficiency, they want the numbers they want to continue to move on. They have all these objectives that they’re trying to make, you know, we all get that except for the fact that it it sorts circuits the opportunity to build a relationship that then pays dividends going forward to because you’re not just trying to make usually that one purchase, you’re trying to make repeated purchases, you want these people to keep coming back and that is a matter of gaining efficiencies but in so that’s what actually brings your your your cost of acquisition down and all those other numbers that make a lot of sense for growing businesses are critical for growing businesses. So they’re all very intertwined. And so if you don’t think about it holistically The ecosystem, then a lot of times these important interactions get missed. And again, the other big mistake we see people make or talking a lot about mistakes here is that they don’t add enough value in those interactions, right. And so the value becomes like a core piece of being able to pull people down the funnel. But if it’s always about you, what you can offer what you’re gonna doing, and you know how people don’t want to miss this, because of how great you are, you’re failing to understand the human on the other side of that connection. And as I say, until the world one by robots, or dragons or whatever, there’s always gonna be a person on the other side of the sale. So you have to really consider that in your connections. Oh,

Shamir Duverseau 20:38
this is where it turned into a drinking game. How many references to Game of Thrones a week?

Anne Candido 20:42
Is that a challenge April? Because I could really load it in, I’m trying to be really like edit myself. But I can I can do that. Which reads really nicely, again, into the third point, which

Shamir Duverseau 20:56
is about say breeds no breathing fire. That’s what it sounded like. And

Anne Candido 21:00
you know, I said leads, but it breeds, okay, breeds fire into the next

Shamir Duverseau 21:04
point, I heard breeds to other breeds too. But

Anne Candido 21:08
I’m already in this zone. And I don’t even

Shamir Duverseau 21:09
know it. Scary.

Anne Candido 21:12
But the next point is diversifying your content. And this is, as we’ve talked about, keeping in mind that they’ll be like, like our targets to be linear, like April said, they just aren’t that way. And so a lot of times, you have to have multiple pieces of content in order to satisfy where they are in the process and the questions that they would have, especially if it’s an easy to answer question, or maybe it’s a longer form answer. And if you think about all the ways you have to travel through the Seven Kingdoms, Game of Thrones, like, I still don’t understand how people didn’t get lost back then me watch them. And it just like traveling down a path or this open field. And I mean, but it’s kind of how your your digital can feel like sometimes, because you don’t necessarily know where everybody’s gonna go.

Shamir Duverseau 21:56
This is also why I fell off from that show, because I couldn’t follow what was going on. And I’m like, Man, forget it.

Anne Candido 22:02
But what this means then is that you have to think about your content needs, and the job that the content needs to do. And we have a really good episode on this about the poor attributes of ROI driving content. So if you want more on what I’m about to say, go ahead and listen to that episode. But as we mentioned, in that episode, content generally does one of four things. And sometimes it can do multiple things, if you’re really smart about how you create your content. It’s either educate and inform, inspire, entertain, and promote. So all are critical to selling. But you have to be strategic about when you’re going to play those cards when you’re going to play that content based on the thought process of your consumer, your customer or your client. Now, what happened many times is that people rely on the promote content, which is the big sales push, right? That’s still where we’re trying to, we were just talking about, like trying to circumvent the whole courting process in order just to get to the big sell, and try to get people to buy in right away. And that is not conducive for most people unless they’re already very, very warm unless they already know what they’re looking for. So you need to really think about how you’re going to break down barriers in order to pave the way for the sale. So if you’re wondering what other kinds of content you may need, you might want to ask yourself the following question. So do people really know why they need me? This is a really big one, a lot of people, Barron’s, and like I said, and businesses just put that stuff out there about this is what I do. But have you really fostered that connection, and that awareness that you were talking about your marriage, like, this is why I exist. And this is why you and I should have this relationship, this Buy-Sell relationship, because this is what we can really do for you. And if this is the case, you might need to educate or inform me about your business. You might ask yourself, do people want me for my function or for my experience, if it’s purely for function, you really need to consider that inspirational or entertainment based level to really drive up the emotional integrity of what you’re selling. Because really, as we’ve talked about, a lot, people are buying the emotional impact of what you’re selling, and not just buying the thing. So remember, like all these relationships are made on an emotional level about what you can do in order to prove my life. Or you might ask yourself, do people get stuck at a particular place on the journey? We’ve just talked a lot about this. So maybe you need an education piece, it addresses it FAQ. Or maybe you need an inspirational piece telling your stories is really big for founders and startup businesses, or entertainment pizza dramatize a benefit. You need to really figure out why they’re stuck, says to me, or what’s your POV here? What do you think about this?

Shamir Duverseau 24:35
No, I think 100% I mean, we I think about it kind of in three ways, right? So I think about the fact that when people make a decision to say I am going to visit your website, however they get there, right? They’re making a decision because on some level, they’re trying to say I’m making this choice. And what I need for you to do is I need you to give me enough information to make the decision to purchase to buy Right. And some of that’s just like, you know, get in my way, like, make it just make it easy to do. Yeah. Because great because it’s just like, I know, I want this thing. And I just, I just need to make it as smooth as possible. Again, it’s just like, I don’t need two lines that are each 20 people deep, I just need to be able to go out there, hit self checkout, whatever, and lock up the store and be done with it. Because I know what I want. I’m just, you know, to be in and out with it. But of course, on top of ease of use, which I think is just like the the fundamental kind of hierarchy of needs, it’s like the most basic thing just just make this easy to use as possible, then we layer on top of that, well, okay, what’s relevant? So what what information do I need that’s relevant to the product or service that I’m engaging in? And then layer on top of that, then what’s valuable? Because information can be relevant, but it’s not necessarily valuable, like, Okay, this is the right kind of information, it’s about this thing I’m looking at. But you have an answer to the exact questions I have, right. To your point about what are those questions that people are asking? In? Are we surfacing those answers and the time and place they need them in order to make those decisions? So you know, ease of use that relevance of that value? And then to kind of make it just all the more complicated is that? Well, it also depends on the audience that people you’re speaking to, right? So you have these different, you know, whatever word you want to use personas, audiences, segments of people, that you’re interacting with your visitors visiting your site, and what is valuable to them, what is easy to them, even what is relevant to them is going to is different, it’s going to change based on their own perspectives. And you know, the ideal scenario, we want to get one to one and you know, probably will in the future, if you watch any, you know, any sci fi movies or shows, there’s always that, you know, they’re calling you out by name and saying what you what you want. And we’re getting pretty close to that now. But you want to at least kind of boil it down and say, Well, what are the big groups? What are the big buckets of people that are coming? And how can I create those three, four or five experiences that are relevant and valuable and easy for each of those at least groups, right? So at least you have that foundation in place. And then of course, you can begin to break those down in smaller groups and optimize and improve on that through experimentation. But at least having that foundation in place, answering those questions, and understanding who your answer those questions for is going to be a great place for companies to be able to kind of start to build that foundation. And then that framework to be able to iterate on that foundation and say, How can we constantly improve on that?

Yeah, I mean, I think it’s point well taken this point could really be diversify your content, according to your target audiences, right? And so, and I’m sure people are listening are like, Oh, geez, I can’t even get one of them down. What am I supposed to do? You know, which is why we’re all here. So I’m here to help as needed. But I do think it’s really important. And I think your grocery analogy, and sorry, and one with the grocery one

Anne Candido 27:47
is super freezing Game of Thrones

Shamir Duverseau 27:51
is super telepathic, because I think it does exemplify the point we’re trying to make here and where people are different places on their journeys, right. So if I’m a Kroger shopper, and I am and I know where everything is, and I want to buzzin and pick up the one thing that I’m out of, that’s where I am on the journey, if I’m someone that’s doing my entire trip for the week, I don’t want to self checkout, because I have 80 items. And so I’m gonna stand in that line. But I also don’t want to stand in the line with 15. Other people, I want those people that have eight items to go do themselves, right. So you’re kind of trying to choreograph the entire thing across the different needs based on the consumer. And so again, that point about taking it from that perspective, versus what you want to push out there and identifying why people are coming to you. And also knowing that the reasons they’re coming, depending on which audience they fall in, are going to be different. And you talked about the personas, and we do a ton of work in that space as well. It’s one of those strategic components of your brand that I think sometimes companies again, think they know, or they’ve heard an anecdote, or they like this one story. And so then they go and chase that and it’s disproportionate to the audience’s that actually are loyal to them, or do keep coming back or they’re missing somebody entirely. So making sure that yes, you’re diversifying the content, but you’re also doing it according to what each of the individual audiences are looking for.

I think the point you guys make about the importance of diversification of the content is great, because, you know, having a diversified content casts a pretty wide net. But the thing is, because of the abilities to measure, right, you can kind of see, okay, well, this group of people is really interacting with this content. And there seems to be a correlation here between them interacting with this content and then converting becoming a customer. Whereas this other subset of people, they seem to gravitate toward this content, and there seems to be a correlation there for them to interact and then convert right so now, now that all sudden you’re understanding that, hey, we put all this out here, but certain elements are resonating with certain groups of people. And now you can begin to kind of make sense of it right. So you Again, that’s just your starting point. But now you’re getting data and you’re using the data to say, okay, I can be smarter about this now, because I’m, I’m beginning to understand and see, okay, these people need this piece. But these people need this piece of content. And that’s, that’s the beauty of the diversification is that it allows you to begin to get the data that it’s meaningful, and you can use to make those kinds of decisions.

Anne Candido 30:19
Yeah, I love that. And I think that really helps to kind of formalize a structure because I think where a lot of people sometimes get stuck, because they tried to serve too many masters, right? You’re trying to reach everybody, and they just don’t know how to centralize the core of the offering the message, the place where everybody lands into something that feels comprehensive enough to be viable for the business, but focused and direct enough that people actually know who you are, and why they should want you and how you differentiate, which is a core part of the brand. So I think what the upfront does, like the Google AdWords, for example, and we talked about a lot about the advertising is allows you to give the different ways in that will appeal to the different groups, but they’re all coming to a centralized location. So a lot of times people get stuck on like, oh, I have to have different like landing pages for different people. I’m like, No, you don’t need to have a different landing page for different people or different websites for different people or whatever is the way that you engaging them that needs to be different, the way that they are coming into you or becoming aware of you or needing you may look different. I mean, I worked on the Tide brand, forever. And at the core Tide’s a laundry detergent, that works really, really well. But the reasons why people want it can be different. When you have little kids, you get a lot of stains, you want the stains to come out. As you get older, you might not have as many state but you want your clothes to look good and lasts longer. So that benefit that core benefit of them. The way to tie performs is the same, but the way the emotional way in, that people really gravitate towards and makes your product the one for them, or your service or however you’re formulating your offering is based on what they need in order for their lives to be better. Yes. So if you’re thinking about it like that, that might help to kind of streamline and not get your you guys and Mum, you guys, the listeners all kind of bent out of shape about where do you go with this? Right? So

Shamir Duverseau 32:17
CPG is a great super great example. Because they tend to do such a good job of, of hitting those cues to the point where I’m sure you guys because that’s your world. That’s your background. You can see I’m sure when you see a commercial for a brand like that you’re like okay, that commercials for acts like commercial that that was for moms like that was for you know, that’s for this. That’s you know, that’s for this, this demographic group, right, you can see it, because it’s like, they’re they’re trying to speak to everyone, but not with a singular message, right? They’re just, they’re going through different doors, because they know different people need to hear resonate things in different ways. And they’re trying to get each of us to see ourselves in that spot, right? I want to see myself as the person using this product. And you’re trying to basically mirror right and help me to pick myself my ideal self using this product. And they just do that such a great job. I think it’s a great analogy to use in terms of what we’ve tried to do and translate to digital.

Anne Candido 33:07
Right? It works for b2b too. So if you’re sitting there going, Well, I’m not a CPG company, it’s the same way with your b2b services. You orchestrate it the same way. Your messaging may be different, but you orchestrate the same way. Yeah, yep. So be kind of like, if you can’t get through the drawbridge, you might scale the wall. Or you might get one of those little catapults that they use, and they like, shoot you over the wall. Right? Okay.

Shamir Duverseau 33:30
All right, moving along, challenge for let’s get

Anne Candido 33:32
number four. All right. Number four, for how to transform your digital presence is to prioritize the experience. And we’ve talked a lot about this. But let’s put a much finer point on this. And that really, the part of this or the big part of this is really this is where your differentiator is in your industry, right? The experience that you create the emotional connection, you create, the way that you improve people’s lives. All those things that we were just saying is why your customers will continue to buy from you. And so creating that relationship has to be paramount, because like we said, we’re all humans. Like I said, it doesn’t matter if you’re b2b or b2c. If you can tap into that emotional value provide, you’re exponentially going to increase your chances of making a sale, especially in a digital world with tend to be a little bit cool like Castle Black, right? And this is a reason the reason why that this is true is because 90% of decisions are made emotionally. And a lot of times I’ll say that everybody’s like what, no way and I’m like next time you mean anything, just go to the grocery store, or use a grocery store. Look across like any product that you don’t normally buy, just like by rote, you were just like, Oh, I just buy this and I just put it in my in my cart. And think about where the first reaction come from. The first reaction always comes from somewhere in the heart center where you’re like, I really want that. Then the brain kicks in and says, Oh, no, you can’t have that that has too many calories. Oh, no, you can’t have that. That’s too expensive. Oh no. So your brain starts rationalizing that, but the decision for wanting it comes right there from your heart center. So think about that. Then The next time you run a store or anytime you’re buying something, and I think you’re gonna see that that is the case. But what you need to do though, as you’re kind of thinking about how you’re going to prioritize your experience, is you really need to understand why your consumer, your, your, your customer, your client, target wants to engage with you. And then you take that, and then you start to create that into your digital campaigns. So and this all starts in the very same place, whether you’re b2c or b2b with where their common point of angst is, right? So what are they feeling that’s a tension that’s kind of creating this anxiety that makes life not as good as it could be. So if it’s a product, it’s really about getting over that function, like I just talked about, from a tie standpoint, and think about what that function does that betters their life. So if it makes sure that your kid shows up, and he’s the clean kid, and you’re not, or you’re not replacing the clothes all the time, which costs a lot of money, think about what that emotional benefit is, and use that as the focus for a lot of your digital marketing. It’s a service is articulating what sometimes we call the the commonalities, which is, you know, just a table stakes up things are like, excellent service. Like we hear this all the time as people and b2b. As we’ll say, this is a differentiator. It’s not a differentiator, unless you can actually differentiate it. So what why do you have excellent customer service? What do you do that nobody else does. And then from a b2b standpoint, it’s really understanding your clients better, or your customers better in a way that you can really figure out what that point of angst is. And then your selling point becomes not though necessary the widget because a lot of times, that’s what we hear from b2b, it’s I just sell this widget or whatnot with how important is that going to be? Well, the importance is in how you make them feel as a result of selling that widget. And that becomes your your differentiating factor, any experience that they need, in the way that they stay with you. So what you need to do then is you need to craft your copy and visuals really exemplify this and leverage this throughout all your channels where your target is going to be looking so that you can really showcase how you’re the business for them. So Shamir, what do you think about this?

Shamir Duverseau 37:04
I think it’s 100%. True. And I think, you know, the beauty of digital is that you can really begin to tell a story with that, right? So it may start with the ad and the campaign that you’re saying it’s, as you mentioned, based on this emotional trigger, based on this particular problem you’re solving or how you’re trying to make this person’s life a little bit better. And then you can carry that through to the website, how you’re personalizing the website, based on that, you know, the person came from this ad, so okay, you know, what kind of drove them what the creative was, what the messaging was, I can now kind of leverage that and personalize the site to mirror that throughout that experience. And then if I get the person to subscribe, I can now carry that through to the email messaging that’s going through as well, right, I can store that information in CRM, and based on when they opt in, and then I can carry that through to the email messaging. So I can, I can continue to reiterate that story, right, I can continue to kind of hit those same emotional triggers all through their customer journey. Again, knowing people don’t make a decision in a moment. But we’re still hitting on those same triggers all throughout, right, and that’s just helping them get over those humps, and be just that much more comfortable with that ultimately, emotional decision, because you’ve been hitting those emotional triggers, in several different ways at several different times, over the course of the days, the weeks, it takes them to make that decision. So I think that’s the beauty of it. I mean, again, going back to CPG, you know, Ty, they may have just the commercials to be able to kind of make that emotional impact. You know, I’m sure they try to do it in the design of the box. But there’s only so much you’re going to do with a box in a grocery store. With digital, you have so many more opportunities to be able to continue to kind of hit that and many different angles and different ways. Throughout that experience that it can really has, you mentioned really bring about retention in terms of saying I’m going to keep this person as a customer, and then ultimately, hopefully create advocacy right now. They’re now they’re really a fan of yours, right? They’re talking about you on social media, they’re talking about you to their friends, and they’re helping to generate more new customers.

Yeah, I think the experience allows you to be more top of mind on a regular basis and continue kind of the dialogue and the relationship. I mean, your point is well taken about the commercials, you know, we talk a lot on the show about the fact that that used to be all you had, you know, and then we had, you know, you layer in some other stuff like print and billboards. But the experience was fragmented, because it didn’t follow the natural path of our lives as consumers. And so now we have that opportunity. And I think it has opened so many doors, and it presents a way to very meaningfully have that relationship back and forth, quite frankly, all of the time. Right. And not to say, I mean, we know you’re not thinking about your Tide every minute of every day, Mike D was in the spirits industry. And you know, said I know people aren’t always waking up thinking about me. But I think that the point of this is that we have the opportunity to do it in a much more meaningful way than ever before. And so, doing that a lot allows you to stand out from the competition in a really big way. And the other thing you said about being a commodity, and I mean, we hear that back all the time, well, I only sell X, you know, and we’re like, Yeah, but at the end of the day, Nike sell shoes, right? Title detergent, they’re all commodities, if that’s the mindset that you take, and you don’t think about it through the lens of the brand, and the consumer experience, which, arguably, if you take that approach, especially in the digital world, you’re dead in the water from the start, because as we’ve said, already, on this episode, there are so many more options out there, and so many different ways to find them, that if you don’t compel the consumer, then they are gonna immediately opt out and not come back.

When I think about experiences, I always think of Chick-fil-A, you guys have Chick-fil-A Oh, yeah, of course. Yeah. And it’s like, you know, okay, you might like it better than, you know, a chicken sandwich or whatever, at another restaurant. And that’s all fine. But I would argue my emotional driver for going to Chick-fil-A, is I know, the experience is going to be significantly better than 99% of other fast food, places I could possibly go to, like, it’s a much higher likelihood, I can get my order, right, they’re going to be competent, like, they’re going to be nice, it’s going to be fast. Like, I don’t want to deal with the nonsense anywhere else. And I can see a line that is long or longer at Chick-fil-A, than it is at maybe another fast food place next door. But I still know I’m gonna get the Chick-fil-A line faster than I will next door because they have their stuff together. Right? It’s about the experience, right? It’s even to some degree less about the food as much as it is the experience that I’m getting there. And again, that can be translated, obviously to the online, the experience can be such a huge driver. And to both your points, such a huge point of differentiation, for so many brands out there. It’s a chicken sandwich that gets chicken like, complicated, it’s chicken. But the experience is differentiator, and all I have to do is say the name of an experience, that emotional reaction automatically comes out because they’ve done such a good job of delivering on that experience. Actually, I

Anne Candido 42:00
was gonna ask you, do you have any best in class examples for brands or businesses, I’ve totally mastered the digital presence that if any of our listeners wanted to kind of go back and engineer it and kind of see and maybe the some of the clients that you worked on to demonstrate any of your work.

Shamir Duverseau 42:18
It’s one of the newer brands that I think do a good job of that. And the ones I think that were born in the digital space, do a really good job of that. So like, I get my razors to Harry’s, you know, that’s a brand, like, you know, I think about like Native like a lot of those brands that were kind of born in the world of digital, I think they didn’t have the morass of kind of the legacy history of so many enterprise companies that they had to kind of dig through, are still digging through to kind of figure out how to make, you know, this system, or this person, talk to this other system in this other person to make things happen to create a good experience for the customers. So I think, because they had the advantage of being able to build things from the ground up, they can build a much cleaner, smoother experience that just ends up delivering much better for people. So I think about just just in general, like brands like that some of those kind of newer kind of digital born brands, I think, are always a good place to start, because they tend to have a much smoother experience, because it’s been more straightforward for them to be able to create that experience. And of course, it’s not to say enterprise companies or legacy companies can’t do that. It’s just a matter of saying, Okay, this is what we’re trying to accomplish. And I think I can’t remember one of you made that point at the very beginning of our conversation, like start with what it is you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to accomplish. And then it’s a matter of kind of carrying that roadmap of like, well, how do we get there? Well, in order to do that, we need to do this. Okay, great. What do we need to do before that? Well, then me do this, right, and you kind of work your way. And I use screen that roadmap, it gets you to that ultimate destination.

Anne Candido 43:47
Yeah. And that’s a built in business model to like their business model is really focused on the digital ecosystem. And, you know, even if you have a retail leg of whatever you’re selling, or it’s showing up in a different format than just a digital presence, designing first for digital does have a different mentality. And it does, it does show up differently. I have to totally agree with you on that. Then for these enterprise brands, who have traditionally been through different channels, and now trying to hop on that that train, because the mindsets different, the way that they approach how to sell is different. And so you almost have to kind of retrain the mind to think more than that digitally, conducive, ease of access all these things that the digital kind of mandates, you have to almost retrain your mind to think like that versus saying, Well, I’m just going to take my retail channel, I’m going to basically make it an eCommerce channel on digital right. So it’s a totally different mindset. So I think those are really great examples. But you can continue to use native but you have to switch from Harry’s that’s my only thing since

Shamir Duverseau 44:54
Anne’s from Procter & Gamble she can’t support Harry’s

Oh, what don’t I know?

Anne Candido 45:04
I’ve been out long enough, you can use whatever you’d like. Alright, so then our next segment is really to turn it over to our guest as a brand business, who’s really leveraging their Marketing Smarts. And she made this is your opportunity just to put a bow on what we’ve said, if there’s anything that we forgot, or that you want to specifically mention, of course, tell everybody where they can find you and how to best leverage you

Shamir Duverseau 45:29
know, I’ve been thanks again, for the conversation, it’s been great, just great to talk about how important it is to focus on that experience, not to not lose sight of that it may be challenging, it may be tough to kind of figure out how to make these things happen happen. But these are customer expectations. And people have so many choices today. And it’s so much easier to to make those choices than it was so much more than was 10 years ago, nevermind 20 or 30 years ago, where you were kind of stuck, you know, you kind of had maybe the one department store in town or the couple, and that’s where you had to go and the salesperson in that department store that so you had to trust for your information. And that was it. And that was that. And that’s not the world we live in today. So just being able to adapt and say this is the world we live in today. This is what we have to do. It’s much more complicated than just the advertising. It’s what happens after that, that really delivers both in the short term and the long term, acquiring and retaining customers and in reducing customer acquisition costs and driving lifetime value. And then if people really focus on that, if they invested in that the same way they invested in the advertising that drives people there, they would see their businesses transform. I mean, it would be it would be a transformative experience. And to me, to us at Smart Panda Labs, that’s really what digital transformation is about. It’s about empowering, those kinds of experiences that you that you want your digital customers to be able to have. So thank you for having me. Thank you for allowing me to talk a little bit about Smart Panda Labs and what we do and certainly people can visit us at or they can follow me on LinkedIn if they’d like to. I would probably argue they will not find another Shamir Duverseau on LinkedIn. So shouldn’t be an issue there. No, and thanks again.

Anne Candido 47:09
Awesome. Alright, so let’s just recap how to transform your digital presence. First, get clear on what’s working, what’s not and optimize accordingly. In order to do this, you need the right data and what success looks like for your business. Second, make sure you’re geared to convert, take a look at your digital consumer/customer/client’s journey. Are you satisfying their questions concerns skepticism is with the right content at the right time with the right stories in the right place, which is also to what should we were just saying about that net middle part. Are you really focusing on that middle part? Third is diversify your content, consider whether you need to educate, inform, inspire, entertain, promote in order to close your target. And finally prioritize the experience the biggest marketing industry differentiator is the experience people have when engaging with you. leverage this in your digital campaigns. And with that, we’ll say go and exercise your marketing smarts.

April Martini 48:01
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