Digital Marketing's Top 1-2 Punches: 4+ Marketing Pairings That Boost ROI

Aug 26, 2021 12:00 PM1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Are you looking for expert strategies that will optimize your digital brand’s reach? Do you want budget-friendly tools and advice to propel your products forward?

Targeting your audience through the appropriate social channels can be a problematic stream to navigate. Many brands fall flat and are too generic. These days, organic and paid channels are rapidly growing, but how do you refresh your brand? Thankfully, Coalition Technologies has over a decade of service in the digital marketing industry. They’re changing the day-to-day process of reaching target audiences by reinventing hybrid strategies and coordinating the content and theme of your brand.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant sits down with Jordan Brannon, President of Coalition Technologies, to detail the inner workings of marketing pairing to boost ROI. Jordan discusses improving relevance and retargeting your audience, the advantage of pairing SMS and email to negate an abandoned cart, and algorithm manipulation for successful marketing strategies. Plus, Jordan shares insight on current marketing trends.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:


  • Jordan Brannon discusses the rapid and continual growth in the eCommerce world
  • How evaluating different digital marketing platforms can reach a bigger audience
  • The difference of appeal from an organic versus paid social channel
  • Can you reuse your UGC strategy to generate better results?
  • How to integrate text messaging into your email marketing strategy
  • The power of text messages combined with email for a higher volume of communication
  • What’s the trend in eCommerce advertising?
  • Why every marketer needs to think about algorithm manipulation
  • Is direct mail a thing of the past?
  • How to leverage marketing campaigns for desirable behaviors
  • Should you be leveraging outside channels to drive better sales?
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Event Partners

Coalition Technologies

Coalition Technologies is a leading SEO, PPC & web design agency in the United States that does a variety of work across leading eCom platforms including: Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, Vtex, and others.

Connect with Coalition Technologies

Guest Speaker

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jordan Brannon

Jordan Brannon LinkedIn

President at Coalition Technologies

Jordan Brannon is the President of Coalition Technologies, a company that provides SEO services in digital marketing, design, web development, and PPC advertising. Jordan’s expertise in digital strategies has shaped his career for more than a decade, where he focused on developing solutions that allow for more qualified leads, better traffic conversion, and SEO optimization.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jordan Brannon

Jordan Brannon LinkedIn

President at Coalition Technologies

Jordan Brannon is the President of Coalition Technologies, a company that provides SEO services in digital marketing, design, web development, and PPC advertising. Jordan’s expertise in digital strategies has shaped his career for more than a decade, where he focused on developing solutions that allow for more qualified leads, better traffic conversion, and SEO optimization.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Thursday everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director of BWG Connect networking knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands. And that's exactly what we do with network and knowledge share to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies,

pain points, whatever it is that shaping digital. You know, we're starting to get back to in person events now. So I just you know, now that we were at IRC not not that is retail x now in Chicago, we did a couple of dinners to look for in person events that were the right, you know, city as a whole, we're kind of being a little trepidatious. About we're redo them. But you know, if you check out our website, a lot of times we put it on there if you'd like to meet in person. Other than that, you know, we're doing close to 300 virtual events this year. So if you have any other people in the network that are you know, that your network do you think would would get benefit from joining never hesitate to kick them our way always like to grow the network as a whole. couple of housekeeping items. As we get started here today. At any point in time, if you have a question, hit star five, we can you don't have to go up on the screen here. We can unmute you, we will bring you into the conversation, you can ask whatever question you want. And you know, just if you have background noise, or it's easier, you can always just email me questions to Aaron that includes during the call after call weeks and now whenever we'll try to get you a question, you know, in under a day. The last thing is we're starting three to four minutes after the hour, and we're going to wrap up with three to four minutes ago. We want to make sure you have plenty of time to get to your next meeting without being late. So with that, you know, as he noted, talking to 30 or 40 brands every week, if anybody's ever liked to talk, you know, I'll shoot you a note or you shoot me a note and time aside. But, you know, what are people looking for, you know, what's going on, over and over again. And so we got some great friends and partners, the network over coalition technologies, they've been great supporters are gears now helping a ton of brands out in the network. It's how we got connected with them. And so just you know, all around digital experts, and so, Jordan's gonna line today, Jordan, and I can kind of kick it over to you for a brief intro on yourself in Coalition Technologies. Awesome. And then we can kind of, you know, jump into the conversation today. Yeah,

Jordan Brannon  2:26

sure. The name is Jordan Brannon, I'm president ceo, co-founder of Coalition Technologies, we are a SMB focused eCommerce agency, although we we've had the opportunity and continued the opportunity to work with a lot of larger brands, and so covered a good good range in terms of who we can and will support. We have over 200 global team members, and covering quite a bit of specializations and skills. And so we are are blessed with the opportunity to know a bit about everything and kind of, in my role, I get to know a little bit about everything, and then rely on the experts to know a lot more to help me out. And so these calls are usually sort of a summary of some of what the teams are learning and in finding as part of our work with our clients. And we've been at it for about 11 years, and work with Shopify, big commerce, Magento, and some other big names in the eCommerce space. And it's been a lot of time trying to help our clients understand which platform to use and how to use it best in terms of marketing and ROI. And so we really love those conversations.

Aaron Conant  3:41

Awesome. Love it. If anybody Do you need any help any those areas 100% worth a file conversation, we can connect you with Jordan after the call. They're great friends and partners. So you know, Jordan, we go back.

So I won't go back 12 years because he said he kicked off 11 or 11 years ago, but if we go back 10 years, right, so I think I'm watching it right, the consumer side digital marketing, super simplistic, right. You know, Google AdWords, seeing even it even when I was doing on Amazon at the time was very simplistic. So a lot of companies built, you know, empires on the back of a single strategy, and even those that were aiming for a more well rounded digital marketing, you know, offering as a whole candidate really invested in only one or two channels as a whole. But you fast forward. And especially, I think there is a you know, you fast forward to 2021. Actually, I'll say you, you hit fast forward to 2020. And then you hit double, triple fast forward between 2020. And right now in 2021. Digital Marketing is is gotten a whole lot more complex around it as a whole. The complexity is only increasing. I just think like the number of calls that we've done. Not just you know, Google and Facebook and Instagram but it's also affiliate marketing. It is you know, all You know what else direct mail is popped off? There's all these different areas leads to a lot more confusion around a strategy. What are investments, if you look at budget, and the not just the size of the budget that's grown, but the focus of ROI at an executive level where they used to be like, yeah, you know, here's your money, play with it, you know, but now it's ecommerce 30 to 40%. And they're like, Hey, we need to be a lot more. So anyways, I know you as an agency, your experiences, you know, more than most, because you don't just have one brand, you have a ton, and they're all looking to use and what are some of those big drivers of complexity that that that we're seeing today? Do you see is settling down at all in the coming months? Or over the next few years? Would we kind of kick it off there? That'd

be great. And a quick reminder, others you have questions, hit star five, we can bring you in or email me here in over you on complexity.

Jordan Brannon  5:54

Yeah, there's a lot to unpack there. And I think, you know, you're right, we we sort of, I think, have this bird's eye view, in our opportunities to work with different brands with a lot of different backstories. And, you know, some of them are coming to us with one very successful channel even internally managed, we worked a lot of digitally native brands where their founder LED and the founder has been pretty pivotal, and, you know, certain marketing success. And, you know, so we encounter that story. We also work with a brown brands that are sort of managed by more experienced marketers, and marketing teams, and are looking at, again, trying to achieve some maturity or some equity across their different channels. And so we get a lot of different perspectives. And we get to see that and I think, kind of, to your point, I think a lot of the complexity that we're seeing is really driven by continual growth. It's one of those those challenges of, I kind of remember, you know, seeing my brothers, and they sort of, I'm the shortest of my sibling. So they're, they're all over six foot five, and sort of watching them hit that sort of growth phase, and then trip a lot. I think that sort of happens in digital marketing, I think we see this sort of rapid pace of growth, and all of these different ways, you know, eCommerce, and what's happening there, and COVID, it really does tend to shake things up. And I think we see that that creates this complexity. And on top of that, you know, sort of with, you know, all the money that's flowing into eCommerce and digital marketing, we see increased competition, we see increased regulation, we see increasing opportunities for investment. And so I think that tends to be a big function of digital marketing today and getting at present, I think a lot of the complexity we're seeing is external, I think there's a lot of regulation that's happening, you know, both to sort of the marketplaces where we do business, then some of the marketing platforms and ad networks, we do, as well. It's just the more restrictions to the sort of the end businesses. And I think, as we see government sort of look for tax opportunities and be the size of, you know, their, their constituencies that are involved in eCommerce and engaging in some form of digital marketing, you know, through through consumption, I do think we'll see continued complexity happening, it's I don't think that that's going to change. And then I think on top of that, there's also just some hybrid issues. You know, I think about the probably the one that's been on most people's mind lately is Apple's, you know, purported privacy oriented update, you know, which sort of boxes out advertising networks like Facebook and kind of paints them in a negative light, but it also may obscure some of Apple's own desire to increase its advertising opportunities and opportunities to monetize the data that they do have. You know, it's I think that's that probably, you know, leading into one of the other big drivers of complexity. You know, I think, given market size, both for the network's from the publishers and the companies that want to advertise, we're seeing more new products for advertising, more new ad types, more opportunities, just for advertising in general, we're seeing some old ones, again, you mentioned direct mail. And I think that is also going to be a big driver in the complexity of the next few years, until we kind of see some, maybe some settling and some winnowing of the market. And so I think past that, you know, really, the new content mediums and technology that we have, are also going to drive more complexity, you know, for a moment, you know, we continue to see the capabilities of our devices accelerate, you know, as we see, you know, faster internet connections throughout the US globally, I think the type of content we consume could change. And so we may see different platforms, different social networks, you know, sort of really kind of adding to the tangled web of digital marketing before it gets simpler.

Aaron Conant  9:42

No, no, I love it. But I like the kind of analogy of like growing really fast and then you know, tripping and there's nothing else you can do, right as you try to get used to the the new way. But I mean, what you're talking about really lies at kind of the heart of the call today, right? what's shown many opportunities

To try and take on in so many different advertising channels, you know, it can be really difficult to figure out, you know, where it is worth investing time, energy effort, I mean, obviously money. So we're talking about four or more marketing combinations that you feel confident will yield a high ROI when paired together. But, you know, maybe before we jump into those, you know, for any, like, general rules, caveats, recommendations, you'd have,

Jordan Brannon  10:29

yeah, for sure. I mean, I think in digital marketing right now, I think there is so much happening, that there probably are some baseline calling truth that I think brands would do well to remember and sort of keep keep Central, first play to your strengths, don't neglect them, you know, certain marketing channels there are more favorable to certain businesses and even teams, certain marketing channels are more complementary to one another. If you already have strengths in one channel, and you've seen growth, and you continue to see growth there, you know, don't neglect it, as you sort of look to diversify. Play to those strengths. You know, if you can look for opportunities that maybe are more similar or, you know, operate in parallel to, to what you're doing today, and you're doing well, and leverage those, again, sort of play to your strengths. That's sort of the low hanging fruit opportunity. Secondly, I'd probably suggest getting good at video. Like, I've kind of touched on a few things already, but kind of related to this conversation. But I think short form, video content really isn't going anywhere, is going to continue to pop up as an important feature for I think, nearly every marketing channel, especially we talk about eCommerce, and you're gonna have a hard time succeeding without any video competency in your marketing organization, whether that's internal or external, I think it'll be a big barrier for you. And then maybe Finally, if I was going to maybe throw in one more, I'd say, work on more coordinated campaigns. You know, it was sort of the increasingly challenging environment we have for tracking at a granular level, I think a lot of organizations are finding themselves unable to carry, you know, the technical debt of and tracking in the way that we used to. And so coordinating more campaigns automatically, for audiences can provide maybe a different way of evaluating digital marketing performance. And you can still require, or excuse me, still not required, but acquire a lot of data around your customers and your audience and how those campaigns are performing.

Aaron Conant  12:28

Yeah, I want to dig into that last one a little bit, just from the standpoint of, you know, with the 14.5 update, right, there's a lot of things that went sideways for people. And so we talked about zero party data, we talked about first party data, declared data, you know, all those different things that that mean, I hear a lot about, but you're talking about, like coordinating, you know, campaigns as a whole. Is there a way around that? If you could clarify that last little bit? A little bit? We'd love to hear more.

Jordan Brannon  12:59

Yeah, I mean, I think so this is, like you said, there's just there's there's a lot of hurdles, there's gonna be more hurdles. Right. It's not that it's going to get, you know, lesser, I think, again, there's sort of this consolidation of walled gardens, you know, under these sort of auspices of privacy, you know, but I think that'll continue to happen. And that'll continue to create problems that we look at trying to market across different technology platforms, and networks and things like that. And so kind of the idea there is sort of going back to maybe an older advertising, you know, approach, most of our established small business clients, and even up to our small enterprise, digital marketing teams tend to run advertising in silos. There's a set of creative here, there's a scene here, there's a, you know, an audience here, and then there's another one over here, and they don't tend to really merge those things really well, there's not a lot of intentionality about that, you know, if we go back, you know, to sort of the, you know, maybe a more bygone era of advertising, you know, the television creative match the magazine and newspaper print, and those campaigns ran for a year. And we still see some bigger brands sort of taking that tact. But I think for smaller brands and midsize brands, especially in sort of digitally native teams, we've gotten really comfortable with sort of the silos and evaluating everything and operating everything in sort of its own independent space.

And I think kind of looking for ways to bring a central message or bring a central audience or central goal, sort of back to your campaigns can really help you I think we're gonna we had endless tracking capabilities with low barriers, running all of those different campaigns and ad groups and everything else with several different teams or individuals was pretty feasible. And that's just harder and harder to do. So. I think coordinating campaigns across channels to focus on a single audience that single narrative, our single product and a landing page single goal can really help improve your ability to track and evolve. Are you Wait, what's happening in advertising? In light of some of today's tracking barriers?

Aaron Conant  15:05

Awesome. Yeah. Love it. Yeah. And Thanks for clarifying. You know, but so if we jump back to kind of the title right, the top one, two punches. You know, you say that, hey, we'll pay off for those that are attending today. Love the year, as we kind of get back to that, like, what's up first? Like, first one?

Jordan Brannon  15:25

Yeah, sure. So maybe I think maybe kind of updating my order a little bit, just, you know, kind of the last question and answer, I think one of the things that we're finding extremely effective for clients right now is coordinating our paid social advertising, with what's working on organic social channels, or what's working on earned social channels. And so which seems sort of obvious. But then in a recent poll, we'd found that most of the brands, we talked to both clients and prospective clients, most of them are really working off of pretty limited overlap between those two. And some of the reasons behind that aren't, aren't too surprising. And some of them getting the attendees in the call are probably in a similar situation, you know, somebody just comes down to having different people or teams managing each channel, there's an agency that runs paid, and organic, sort of earned content is managed internally, or vice versa. It's just two different people in house. And so some, I think some brands sort of feel that, you know, paid and organic sort of appeal to different audiences that require different techniques. And so many other feedback we got was, you know, saying that, sort of the nature of the content and the ads that they're running, they kind of feel like what's successful and paid is a different type of content than what they're posting through their channels or working with influencers on and so it's a different thing. But But really, it's a pretty big opportunity, I think, for a lot of brands to level up their paid advertising and organic advertising across social platforms and coordinating the more.

Aaron Conant  16:51

So I mean, do you mind what it is, I just want to dig a little deeper? Do you mind walking us through a few, like negative examples, what you're seeing, like, as we all do things, you know, all day, every day, we're buried into it. And every now and again, we pop our head up and kind of take an evaluation.

I mean, you kind of like you're saying, Have that bird's eye view of things, you're seeing brands do that they they should do less stuff, right? Maybe they're spending time effort money, other than they walk us through some positives, you know, how would you update advertising efforts to align with what we're talking about here? This, you know, quote, unquote, one two punch?

Jordan Brannon  17:28

Yeah, I mean, I mean, it's maybe kind of just pulling from from, you know, a recent anecdote, we did a social media audit for a larger eCommerce native brand, I think they're doing upwards of $20 million a year in revenue. Through eCommerce only, I think Facebook and Instagram are sort of big channels for them, you know, both from a new customer acquisition and customer retention standpoint. And I think some of the interesting findings we did just in terms of the audits are kind of representative of the negative here. And they're they're kind of who I had in mind when I was thinking about this point, particularly. First, the most popular products that they're running, and they're paid ads, were some of the least featured in their organic and internally published content posting, you know, you kind of run through the list of products that are garnering the highest engagement and the highest ROI return on adspend. It gave us when we kind of did this, we sort of got a list of five or so products that are driving the majority of what's happening for them and in terms of their their ROI on their paid campaigns. But then we sort of inventory that against what's happening and feed posts and reels and stories and some of the outreach efforts, those particular students really occupied negligible space, they weren't a part of that central theme. I think, in a second to that, we saw that the biggest overlap that they had between organic content placements, and paid ads was sales. So sales, advertising sales themes, despite really trying to position the brand as more of a premium company with rare discounting. So that sort of one message that they were communicating across channels was it's on sale. And that really didn't, you know, kind of coordinate to what they were trying to do, you know, as overall brand image. And I think Finally, maybe the kind of what I would raise here was that retargeting ads, really, we're operating on more of an audience driven spray and pray approach, rather than really trying to dial in audiences that are engaging around particular content themes. And I think part of the challenge there was this kind of lack of focus on those content themes as part of their posting strategy. So there was really sort of whatever they could get, you know, in front of someone as a retargeting ad was going to do what they're going to do. And I think the positive recommendations for them really centered around kind of coordinating those two efforts more and we saw a good good payoff for that. On the first issue. The big thing we tried to change and encouraged improvement on the sort of communication across paid and what they're posting and publishing. You know, once we had that sort of list of products are getting the highest paid engagements and then also inverse, we kind of did the reverse examination was working the best in terms of their their own content posting, we were able to increase spend on those, those particular products and also post more frequently organically. And we saw a big improvement in terms of actual ability to drive sales and visits to their site through both organic and, and through paid. So it was really just kind of easy one. Once he started addressing that first one, it's kind of helped take care of the second issue, in part, again, I'd kind of mentioned there's a lack of overlap in advertising and organic content publication that we're sort of, you know, operating differently. And so once we started to align some of the product focus, we also started to put a bigger emphasis in their paid ads and some of the successful organic content. And that could be anything for user generated content, and, you know, unboxings, and product demos, to new product announcements and more.

You know, and that for them was another really big win, I think there's sort of has been an assumption that paid advertising content has to be really focused much lower in the funnel, and much closer to checkout. So it really be able to generate an ROI. And that's not always the case. And we really saw that here. And, again, I'll kind of highlight real quickly, if you're not thinking about ways that you can reuse and promote UGC or user generated content as part of your paid advertising strategy. Take that away as a big note. I think there's just the the huge win when people see you know, people like them and not even an influencer, recommending a product that can work very well. And then I think the final issue, I think there's probably some degrees of what you can achieve based on your budget as a brand and bandwidth. But just I think due to success in retargeting, we often see brands sort of endlessly using retargeting campaigns that narrowing down the audience at all, limiting the scope of the campaigns based on the content themes that are currently being emphasized through a brand's channels. And so refining and revitalizing. and improving relevance of retargeting campaigns as they are, you know, more specific and pointed in time really is going to be a good way to sort of refresh the value that they provide. A lot of times, brands will sort of watch high performance retargeting campaigns sort of diminishing value over time, and it sort of scratch their heads about why and think it's a technical issue or a settings issue or a change in platform advertising rules. And really, it's just as it has more to do with the fact that the content there is generic, and it's not timely. And so again, really, I think, for us just kind of making sure we're staying on top of what's going out as part of the the brand's content calendar, and then closely matching retargeting ads, you know, to those posts, and be really responsive to those posts can really help in terms of driving more success with the retargeting sites. And maybe a final freebie on this topic, and I'm talking a little too long on it. But note, sort of the value of having whoever is managing your sort of internal social content, posting calendars, also being attentive to their interactions and responses you're getting on your paid ads, a great paid advertising and bad paid advertising tend to be engaging in one way or another. And so making sure that someone is managing and responding to comments, questions, interactions there can be really helpful in improving performance, and then also just getting some valuable feedback about what's working or what's not working.

Aaron Conant  23:20

Yeah. Me too. Awesome. I just say like that, it's just like, highlight, you ask, like a, you know, is it a question that I think I didn't know, it's gonna be that complex, which is, it's just awesome. But I think this gets back to kind of like you're talking about the opening is like, everything is so complex now. And it's not just,

I think about how I used to look at SEO in in, you know, paid search or social, you're right, if only I did it was all in the silos, and it was, and they were additive, right, they could both be additive, but I was getting one and one and equal to the reality is, you know, and kind of what I've listed is kind of my key takeaway is if you do it, right, and you have more of a holistic approach, one plus one equals, you know, maybe it's 2.5, maybe it's three, right? But the reality here is that it's not just one plus one now, it's one plus one plus one plus one plus one. Now, does that equal six, or does that equal Ted, and I think the people who get it figured out, they get a 10, and a half of those six different things.

Jordan Brannon  24:21

And there's I mean, there's, there's sort of the advantage in some of these things, to just, you know, kind of a sideline, doing some of these things is actually less expensive from a brand you know, so you're creating less creative, and that saves time. You know, most of us have gone through the process of, you know, trying to come up with great creative for, you know, maybe your content and publish and calendar and then it just gets us there. And so, you know, in some ways, this is not only, like you said, it's not one plus one equals two plus 2.5. We're sort of changing the nature of it where it's, you know, point seven five plus point seven, five equals, you know, 2.5 because we are sorted of reducing some of the costs up front of, of, of generating from that creative and kind of trying to come up with these different themes and operating them separately. So there's definitely some some truth in that. Yeah. Awesome. Love it. And

Aaron Conant  25:11

for those who joined, you know, kind of halfway through here, just had an awesome conversation with Jordan, Brannon from Coalition Technologies, you know, top one, two punches for plus marketing pairings that boost ROI. It's been a great conversation so far, I think we've only got to one of the two punches, though. But if you have questions along the way, drop them in, you hit star five, we can bring it in the conversation or email me Aaron So just a quick, where are you? Do you then do an audit? Like you want you just went through is fairly complex, right? Do you do an audit that tells people what they're doing right and doing wrong? Or I should say?

Jordan Brannon  25:52

Yep, yeah. So we do a free audit, for people attending these calls. And then we also, you know, typically, that's sort of a little more outside looking in, you know, may not involve as much time getting to know the brand and some of the specifics there. But usually within sort of an evaluation of analytics and performance, and then some of what we can see, from the kind of recent campaign performance, we can provide some pretty actionable tips and suggestions. And then, you know, sometimes the follow up suggestion there is to do, you know, a paid audit or having some sort of ongoing campaign and can help whether you're, again, trying to manage the things entirely internally, or, you know, you are looking for for resourcing, that's sort of what we're here for. Awesome. Love it. Love it.

Aaron Conant  26:36

So, yeah, so jumping back, then, what's your second, like one two punch for advertisers say

Jordan Brannon  26:45

this one, again, trying to stay practical and maybe narrow the scope a little bit from from first one is just looking at ways to integrate text messaging into your email marketing flows. So that's probably number two. And I think it's a hopefully a pretty actionable item. For a lot of people here, not too complex. You know, most of us our email platform, or, you know, our, our text platforms now offer email, there's sort of a lot of integration that's happening there. But we're still just as an agency, we're still seeing a lot of incoming brands that we're talking to really sort of operating text and email separately, we're just not doing text at all, or not doing email enough. And so I think looking at ways to coordinate the content and the themes of of your, you know, paid social and organic social, that's working as an example, I think, sort of, similarly, we're saying, you know, get text and email to work together and complement one another. And you'll see a big payoff. You know, and I think it's, you know, I think it's, sometimes it's easier, you know, sort of linking the two together than trying to set up text as its own thing and trying to operate it as its own thing and test that as his own thing and treat the audiences as their own thing, I think, kind of blending them with email sort of makes sense in a lot of just practical ways to,

Aaron Conant  28:02

yeah, I want to do a stat that was out there that like an abandoned cart, email gets opened up in 72 hours, or not at all, like an abandoned cart. SMS gets opened in three minutes. And but you know, it's what a lot of people are concerned about is, number one, sending out too many, right and or over communicating. So can you like, walk us through an example where you tie in SMS to an email flow?

Yeah, I think mostly, we're gonna send out an email, right? And then how do you work in SMS and you don't become annoying, or anything else like that?

Jordan Brannon  28:35

Yeah, I'm sure it may be touching on the example use, the sort of, kind of ones ones we were looking at, with at this point in mind was abandoned cart flows. You know, for most brands, those are a strong ROI campaign. And ironically, still often under invested in, it's one of those areas where once you get one, you're kind of like, Oh, it's good enough. And that's going to just run. So maybe as a quick point of note, and a little bit of guilt, for those of you listening in, or not listening too closely, but checking your text messages from from good advertisers. Maybe check what you have going on from an abandoned cart flow, as a reminder, but I think again, sort of integrating texts, there is probably a really helpful place to begin and even kind of flex and see some of the value that's there, we have a lot of big fashion brands, designated fashion brands we've been working with. And they had a fairly typical abandoned cart sort of sequence that went out, you know, starting after the person session on the site ended, you know, it sort of has, you know, good, but, you know, relatively basic, you know, reminders to get back in and purchase and those sorts of things and have some discounting as things progressed. You know, so after that sort of first email, you know, historically what had happened for them was just there was another email that went out. And I think that the second email included a little bit of a discount inclusion, you know, if they came back and made that purchase within a set time period, And so when we added a text messaging into their campaigns, we actually subbed in the text message to customers, where we had the mobile phone number associated, approved to us

as sort of the second follow up, and so there was sort of delaying then that the follow up email after that. And so we found, like you said, Aaron, is that the text messages just had a much better open rates, engagement rate, click through the conversion rate, I think was triple of of the email that had gone out to previously. So we still had that sort of email intro. And then we had the text that followed. And we've been able to test some different messaging now attached to that sequence. And we're finding that basically, any of the text messages are an improvement over the initial email that we had going out instead. And I think, you know, unsurprisingly, the more personalized and playful, we were for this particular brand, you know, sort of the more friendly the tone, you know, what you would expect to get in a typical text message, the better it performed overall. And so, you know, right now, with that client, we're trialing text as the first touch point, post abandoned carts. And that's interesting, I just kind of ended up we've seen open, you know, open rates, engagement rates on those be better. conversion rates have been a little bit lower. But I think that's important, mainly due to sort of the technology limitation with their eCommerce platform, they're, they're having some trouble linking the current session through to the text messaging provider. And so that may be more of a technical issue. But again, I think just sort of that mix of, of adding in text where we were previously using emails that abandoned cart flow really had a big payoff for them.

Aaron Conant  31:43

So just digging into a little bit of like, specific advantages of pairing, SMS and email together in your mind, we'd love to pick your brain, if you're trying to figure out I mean, the cool thing is in the digital space, you can, you know, you didn't just use in print, you know, a million different flyers, and you send it out to try to find it, you can test real time. Right? So we'd love to hear specific advantages of pairing SMS and email together kind of in your mind.

Jordan Brannon  32:09

Yeah. So, you know, I think, you know, when you have when you can get access to mobile numbers that, you know, that most of us are sort of, I think, conceptually aware that, you know, text has some some advantages over email. And, you know, I think those sort of play out, you know, so you have, you know, generally people are more responsive to text messages, at least in terms of looking at them than they are to email. I think part of that is just sort of ingrained user experience on mobile devices, they tend to emphasize text over email, you know, most of us have an app that manages our email inbox. And it's maybe not as sort of obvious in terms of notifications and notification experiences and display as text messages. Think about the way that most people set up sort of their their mobile device homescreens experiences, sort of emphasizes text messages, usually, I think there's also sort of a learned behavior that favors text messaging. And I think we sort of have all become a little more addicted to text than email, I think mainly, because email tends to sort of have a higher volume, and not all of it is as relevant. And then kind of on that same point to email itself tends to be more heavily filtered, sorted segments have been text. And so a good portion of emails may essentially have a successful delivery to the inbox that may have limited visibility to the end consumer and just sort of getting, getting to them as seems like a nice win, but it's really not actually getting any visibility with them. And so I think when you pair the two together, you do have sort of an opportunity to address the consumer and maybe a more diverse setting at a different time in a diverse time than you would otherwise. You know, and when that content that text content is more personalized, you can also slip between messaging types effectively, and I think customers will engage accordingly, you can have sort of the sale announcement, and then something a little more friendly, and more personalized, a little more on brand. And you can kind of maintain that balance of of a higher volume of communication that's, you know, not exhausting your customers, when you can do both.

Aaron Conant  34:09

Love it, love it. Any other example campaigns or flows where, you know, SMS and email are working really well together.

Jordan Brannon  34:18

Yeah. So just I think just practically running the two together, where we're seeing, you know, like campaigns that are like door busters. No, I think everybody's sort of thinking ahead now towards you know, what's going to happen with I don't know, you know, black months, I don't know what we call November and December now, instead of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Monday, I don't know something along those lines. But you know, we're talking about doorbusters and, you know, loss, leading product sales and things like that, but I think using SMS text and email together for those sorts of things, you know, big buzz, limited inventory. limited access type campaigns can work really well with a mix of text and email. You know, we've we've been trialing leading with email is sort of the more informational campaign, hey, this discount is coming, hey, this thing is going to be announced. And then at the time of the event or the release, pairing that with text, we really think text message, when we use sort of the fear of missing out or FOMO is sort of the theme of the campaign really seems to be effective at getting engagement with the campaign. And then also, I think just sort of leveraging the two together for VIP type campaigns, if you're doing any sort of rewards group or sort of unique offers, you're trying to make things feel a little more private and exclusive. Think about breaking out some of that messaging into text or starting with text, it often does feel, you know, more private, more personal than an email will, even if your email is sort of well crafted. And so I think he can really communicate that exclusivity and sort of the you're special to us sort of messaging, you know, in text messaging, and that can be really effective.

Aaron Conant  36:02

So I mean, the question then is, like, is SMS effective is going to, you know, wane over time, you know, it's becomes more and more popular. I mean, list track has an offering and clay vo has an offering attendance has an offering, like everybody has an offering here. Now they're tying it all in and, but that just means, you know, over time, it's like anything else. Originally, I gave my email to one, one company, and then two, and then five. And now

I mean, undated with emails, you see it losing effectiveness or fading the effectiveness stadium at all?

Jordan Brannon  36:34

Yeah, I mean, I bet I you know, I think with everything there is sort of, you know, that that, you know, expansion of, of availability, the accessibility of text messaging, I think the awareness around it tends to also mean that there's an expansion of advertisers who are maybe operating, you know, irresponsibly in the space. So I think there was some some erosion that can happen with some of that, you know, that seems to happen, if you know, across whatever ad type or technology, I think sort of Tick Tock is sort of a good example, like is sort of, there's a lot of buzz right now about the commerce and advertising opportunities, and it's very effective. And it seems like the hot new thing, you know, but at some point in time, there probably be some erosion of benefit of that, as the space gets too crowded, because there's just no people who are advertising unnecessarily there. So we think, you know, with text, I don't think we've quite kind of, you know, abused it to that point or saturated the market there. I think part of the advantage to tax though, is just the way that it's been regulated, if you kind of compare that to a lot of emerging, you know, marketing techniques and technologies and channels, you know, text messaging, it's fairly regulated. You know, you know, and that's perhaps and why it hasn't rolled out as extensively, you know, texts, in some ways have been sort of more closely aligned and treated as being covered by, you know, telephone communication and marketing laws and spam laws. And those have been around for, you know, 7080 years or so. And so I think texts, sort of tended to have maybe a little bit more of a legal restriction and penalty in place than other forms of digital marketing. And so I think that's in some ways is, you know, maintain the a bit better behavior. And then I think, finally, is, I think, you know, generally most of us are a bit more careful about releasing our phone numbers to advertisers and companies, then we our email addresses, you know, we'll throw an email out just for a chance to spin that colorful wheel and get 15% off on a website. But we may not do that with our phone number. And so I think when you get the chance, you get a permission to use someone's phone number, that audience is probably already more engaged with your brand.

Aaron Conant  38:40

Great. So quick question comes in, we see mobile conversion rates a lot lower than desktop, should we expect SMS conversion rates to be quite low if we launched that functionality? So, you know, if you already low conversion on mobile, obviously, the mobile message goes up on mobile. So if it's higher on desktop, or, or now?

Jordan Brannon  39:04

Yeah, the answer is maybe, you know, I think in general, I would probably say that, you know, considers a mobile device that would expect some more behavioral mirroring, between, you know, sort of that General Mobile audience and a text message user, I think, you know, when you compare channels or advertising channels, generally text performs pretty well. You know, you're dealing with typically a customer who is maybe more mid funnel low in the funnel, or has already purchased and again, is more likely to purchase once they've done that. So overall, I you know, we see conversion rates for text performing more strongly than a lot of channels, most channels. And I think maybe the question then would be sort of what's driving that sort of poor mobile experience that's driving that conversion rate down, there may be sort of a another issue that we could address in terms of, you know, he cleaned that up, it may benefit all channels, but I think generally, we would expect texts To perform better than most channels that we see with most of our customers. Awesome, and

Aaron Conant  40:04

a couple more, but I want to make sure that we get to the fourth marketing. One Two punch that advertisers should be trialing right now. And then just have a couple more questions around like direct mail and benchmark companies that have come in. So but you know, what's your force marketing? One Two punch?

Jordan Brannon  40:23

Yeah, I think, you know, this one is maybe a little more mysterious, and in some ways can be a little bit harder to sustain and kind of find a real workable strategy, but it's one I think that advertisers need to be thinking about. And that's, you know, aiming some marketing campaigns around algorithm manipulation, I think it can be a great strategy that can work across a lot of different marketing channels. And so that's sort of my next one, two punch.

Aaron Conant  40:53

Awesome. But it's really good. I'm gonna jump over, I want to get back to that. But a couple other people reply that direct mail, how do you think about direct mail? So I want to, I want to get back to that one, but then just have had enough people, how do you think about direct mail as part of digital marketing, because there's some new people that have popped up that plug it in, and it's not blasting everybody, it's like part of the campaign to give them an email, give them a text, and then you print on demand a flyer that shows up? No, just seen any anything in that space?

Jordan Brannon  41:26

Yeah, so we work with like a couple of technology companies that you know, can match or, you know, attempt to match a customer profile digitally to a physical address, and then you can correspond, and digital marketing. And then, you know, certainly a lot of times as part of purchase, you are getting access to a mailing address for your customer. And so, there are a lot of different opportunities to use direct mail campaigns, in conjunction with, with digital advertising. So we've had some customers, we're sending out physical lookbooks with some really strong success to some of their, their higher purchasing customers, you know, kind of integrating that content into a social campaign. You know, many of you are familiar with sort of what Nordstrom does with sort of its release for anniversary sales and how it releases sort of early access and some preview content and catalogs, to to influencers, you know, again, sort of looking at the direct mail as an opportunity to mimic that, especially around the holiday season, sort of looking at content that specifically kind of geared towards the old, you know, catalog days of, you know, gifts for these people, you know, that sematic type of direct mail content has been, you know, more effective for some. And then again, I think sort of maybe even kind of playing into this last one too punchy, sort of looking at ways where direct mail can be leveraged to help promote a new initiative on social content, new social channel, or maybe new selling channel, new partnership, new collaboration, there can be some some different ways that you can use direct mail to lead directly influencing a sort of a sale, but also to just help achieve other brand objectives. So I think there's just a lot of different ways where you can use it as a byproduct or a downstream, you know, portion of your digital marketing campaign. Or, inversely, if you have some really strong channels, you know, we've seen some success with customers who have used direct mail as a way of filling the top of funnel, you know, when they're able to sort of get that mail out at scale to an appropriate list. You know, it can be a great way to sort of create some, you know, higher higher engagement through a website or through another marketing channel, and, in turn, sort of convert that.

Aaron Conant  43:36

Awesome love it. So, I want to jump back to algorithm manipulation. You know, whenever I hear the word manipulation, it like, makes me think, you know, Black Hat tactics as a whole? Right. You know, if you take a look at it, what can we dig into that just a little bit? Which, which we're talking about there?

Jordan Brannon  44:01

Yeah, I mean, it certainly I think, you know, when I, when I say algorithm manipulation, I think you know, that there certainly is a lot of, you know, kind of true blackhat techniques, which are really sort of aimed at manipulating an algorithm, you know, regardless of what advertising channel we're talking about. And the main goal, and sort of the way we make the distinction between black hat on our side, and sort of white hat or grey hat type of things is really, if you're intensive of your advertising efforts or technique is to bypass the audience, to get to the computer, the sort of the heart of the advertising channel, you're kind of, you're in that blackhat category. And typically, you're just, you're also sort of in a situation where you're probably missing out on a great opportunity to do good advertising and kind of achieve the same goal. And so, we're talking more about taking advantage of some of the intentional functions and structures and optimizations within an algorithm that brands can control or influence organically. And then when sort of doing so across class. forms can achieve a better outcome as a consequence of that,

Aaron Conant  45:05

maybe just a couple examples, like, Can you walk us through a few ways? You know, white hat manner? is right that pays off or, like when I get that Aaron's confused voice? So But yeah, I think, you know, maybe examples.

Jordan Brannon  45:23

That sounds like you're sideways really quick is how to go sideways really quick. Okay, somebody brings out the tequila, right, then it all goes sideways, that beer keg that's gonna turn into a company. Yes. All right, yes, I think maybe some examples, they're always good to help and kind of maybe paint the picture better. I think the idea, your core idea is that, you know, most algorithm today respond to certain behaviors, by consumers, most often sort of what we're talking about, and based on what that algorithm is seeing, evaluating responding to, it'll tend to favor certain profiles, certain fees, certain brands, certain websites, certain entities within that advertising channel. And so kind of the core idea, as you pull the right lever in one channel, you can see response in not only in that channel, but also in others. And so you can sign it, leverage your marketing campaigns, to drive those sort of desirable behaviors, across channels, and that in turn, can can start to pay off in one area or another. So, you know, I think kind of key here is to really evaluate what does drive cross channel responsiveness for these different advertising platforms and algorithms, and seeing what you can invest in, that's going to generate a positive return on that investment. So a few that we've kind of seen as successful examples of maybe the last 12 months, we know that Amazon's organic algorithm will favor buying trends buying behaviors. And so in search results in category listings, there's, you know, sort of an emphasis on paid, you can kind of buy your way to the top. But there is also a responsiveness to a buying trend. And any sort of shifting buying behavior can can in the near term shift positioning. And so driving up a particular product purchases at a key point in time can help expose that product to a broader audience, when the organic audience is actually higher. So kind of an example, this would be prime days or the course of the holiday stretch, over investing on advertising and organic content publication around a particular product, or just your own branded promotional activities, like through text, like through email, leading up to sort of these key buying events can really help drive better positioning and search and category pages, which in turn can really help to generate outsized, organic sales performance during those seasons. And so you sort of you put the emphasis in maybe a little bit early, and as those things are starting to roll out, if you're scaling that properly, you have a chance to kind of catch the tide, and then allow that trend, you don't have to do your rounds. You know what we're doing. By doing that it's not necessarily blackhat. It's just really pulling our advertising resources and capabilities to create sort of this this emphasis that the algorithm responds to, and by and large automatically, too. And so, you know, maybe another example would be, we know that Google will change short term, near term organic rankings, based on public trends, either in news cycles, or in certain social media platforms with public content. And so if you can create the appearance of newsworthiness or you know, sort of time relevant, topical importance for search users, and then tie those back to, you know, some of your branded search queries and to your particular website or your profiles, you can have really good success, you know, kind of levering leveraging outside channels to help promote SEO rankings, for instance. And so, you know, a good example would be, we've done some some advertising campaigns with clients on Tick tock, kind of geared towards promoting the client's brand name plus a generic product term, using some sponsored content there. And we've been able to see client ranking in Google improve over a near term period of time for that generic term. And so there's sort of a responsiveness that we're seeing happening. Obviously, sort of increasing some of that, you know, is obviously sort of the increase in commerce capabilities and advertising capabilities. And TikTok plays a little bit of a role into how that will work in the long term. But you have this opportunity to sort of take one platform and advertising efforts and if it's structured properly to drive essentially an SEO outcome, though, maybe for smaller brands or smaller advertising team, you know, coordinating this type of behavior across more of your marketing channels, can, you know can can be a little bit harder to try and do at a base scale. So you know, maybe focusing on on kind of more of a niche or something specific and kind of really tried to be more pointed with it, and you usually can kind of yield the same result.

Aaron Conant  50:08

Awesome, I love it. And we kind of got through all four and had a side one with direct mail. But I know that we're really right at time here any kind of like key takeaways, and again, thanks everybody who dialed sending it out and was able to send in questions. You know, obviously, if you need any help in this space whatsoever, 100% worth of follow up conversation with Jordan, the team at Coalition, great friends, partners supporters, not only the network, but a ton of brands in the network as well. So we can we can make connections after the call for sure. But yeah, Jordan, like key takeaways here.

Jordan Brannon  50:42

You know, can you simplify the complexity? And you know, now 30 seconds or less? Yeah, I mean, I think big thing is just coordinate coordinate coordinate, you know, think about what you're doing content creation wise, strategy wise across these channels. These campaigns again, it simplifies sort of planning and supplies, you know, reduces budget and a lot of times you're also going to increase effectiveness so maybe that's sort of the the easiest big picture takeaway from from all of that. Awesome. Well, thanks again for your time today, Jordan, always fun.

Aaron Conant  51:13

love it when you get my confused voice out. But anyways, you know, thanks again for your time. And yeah, being such a great friend and partner supporter the network and thanks everybody who dialed in for a follow up email from us. You know, I'd love to have a conversation with you as well. And more than happy to connect anybody with Jordan the team. With that, we're going to wrap it up. hope everybody has a fantastic Thursday, a great rest of the week, Everybody stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event already. Thanks again, everybody. We'll be ready for life.

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