Marketing a business, especially new business, is tricky. How do you find your target audience? How do you stand out above the noise? On this episode of B2U, we spoke with Daniel Boyce of Digimatiq Marketing to help us market successfully.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews Hey, there you are listening to the B2U Podcast and I am your host. Vanessa Vaughn Mathews, the founder and chief resilience officer of Asafalis Advisors. The B2U Podcast is brought to you by CBRbiz.com, a site connecting you with the resources you need to start and run a business in the Charlotte region. We’re bringing business resources directly to you. We discuss a wide range of topics like starting and growing a business, navigating government contracts and how to set your business apart in and around Charlotte. We’re talking with small business experts to get exclusive advice on how to start and run a successful business.
Marketing a business, especially new business, is tricky. How do you find your target audience? How do you stand out above the noise? Today, I am so thrilled to welcome Daniel Boyce of Digimatiq Marketing. Daniel works with Digimatiq and is also a lecturer at Central Piedmont Small Business Center. So, Daniel, welcome to the podcast.
Daniel Boyce Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews So before we get started, why don’t you tell our listeners more about yourself and their Digimatiq?
Daniel Boyce Yeah, sure. So Digimatiq actually started after my business partner and I worked at a large digital marketing agency for a large number of years servicing about 30000 small businesses. We realized that there are a lot of challenges small businesses have that unfortunately big organizations just can’t really dig into when you have 30,000 clients. So we decided to start up a small business to help mentor or coach as well as help actually execute digital marketing solutions for the small businesses.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews Awesome. So give you a little bit more. What’s your background in…why marketing? Why?
Daniel Boyce That’s a great question. So it’s funny.
I went to U.N.C Wilmington for my undergrad and got my masters at Phifer just because when I was traveling with my former agency, a company called Yodel, I was traveling nonstop and was always busy. When I got done with college, I decided I was going to go into sales with Oracle and then realized I still had my niche for marketing, which was what I got my undergrad in.
And luckily enough, Yodel was actually an opportunity that came to my door back in 2005-2004ish time frame. At that point, we were a very small agency and I think we had maybe a hundred employees and after that we grew to about 3000 employees and 30000 clients and roughly seven to eight years. So grew rather quickly, had a large number of different offices in different areas. And that’s when I realized that I not only had a passion for marketing, but with so many small businesses that I was well acquainted with, my mother has a small business, I have a small business for a while…I realized that I had a passion for helping small businesses be able to learn more about this ominous cloud of marketing. So that’s kind of how I got into it.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews Love it. So, what are you doing with CPPCC?
Daniel Boyce That’s a great question. I randomly ran into one of the leaders, Renee. She heads the Small Business Center and CPCC and she was just picking my brain and we had a conversation about what I wanted to do when I retired and I talked about being a professor and she said, I’d love to pick your brain at some point. So, I started with one class and now I teach a number of different classes at CPCC Small Business Center. One of the courses is actually going to be launching in January. Facebook just announced one partner for all of North Carolina and CPCC was selected to be that partner where you get a certification and all things digital, SEO, PPC, so on, and so forth. Myself and one other person were we and the instructors for that course for the next 10 years. And it’s a pretty cool program where students get to learn all those different things in that timeframe and actually get an official certificate from Facebook.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews So let’s say #CharlottesGotAlot. That’s incredible, congratulations. And I’m excited to see how that can continue to help the small business owners here. So we talked a little bit about your role as V.P. of marketing and services.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews But what do you actually do on a day to day basis at your Digimatiq?
Daniel Boyce Sure. It’s a great question. So at Digimatiq our main goal is to take small businesses somewhere between 500000 to 20 million revenue at all, depending upon the type of business they are…
Daniel Boyce Learn what they need to do to be able to execute in a very succinct manner their marketing strategy. More often than not unfortunately, in marketing, it’s difficult because there’s so many different sources and so many different things you can do in marketing, especially now. Used to be Yellow Pages. That’s all you needed to do. Now there’s so many different platforms and portals and things you should consider. I try to make it simple for businesses by educating them first, allowing them to learn on their own. That way they can make informed decisions on the type of marketing strategies they want to deploy and then we help them do it.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews I love it because I’m a business owner and marketing is a challenge, especially if that’s not your natural skill set so I’m excited to get into this conversation. So, as a small business, what is the purpose of marketing and why should anyone consider spending time or money on it?
Daniel Boyce Yeah, it’s a great question. And one of the reasons why I get this question all the time from small businesses. They think they intertwine marketing and sales. They think their business card is marketing and they think their website is marketing. And while those two things are somewhat true, they’re really operational costs. You need a business card just to say that you’re a business and same with the website. The website is a mirror to your business. The reason people spend in marketing is so that way they can actually determine who their audience is and then build awareness around that one specific audience. If you don’t do that, more often than not, you’re fighting and scrapping as hard as you can to just try to get any people to come in the door where if you know specifically this is the service that they offer, a product I offer, I do it really well, find the best way to attract that audience and in a very low cost fashion to be able to help your business grow. It’s that simple. There’s so many people that want the service or product that different people offer but the hard thing they also have is there’s so much noise out there. How do they find it? So just trying to make sure you isolate the true solution for your business instead of wasting time and money on things that aren’t necessarily needed.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews So I’m going to piggyback on that. You talked about finding your right market and those who you really want to serve but then what’s the avenue to reach them? So how do you begin determining how to market your business? And I know all businesses are different. It’s probably going to be a really interesting answer.
Daniel Boyce It’s a great question, though. And when I look at how businesses really need to define their specific need, to your point, every business is going to be different. And that’s why for us, we tried to find solutions that are custom fit to specific audiences. What’s most important is, first, to really think through who is my audience, who buys for me.
Daniel Boyce This person is the reason that you’re gonna do marketing. If you’re just spending money and you’re not going to be talking to this person or this audience, you’re wasting money, period. One of the biggest problems that most people have in marketing is not doing that.
Daniel Boyce Determining who they need to speak to. What’s the demographic of people that buy my service or my product? Once you define that and you have a really good understanding of who that is, then the next question that you need to ask yourself is, “well, how does this person actually find us? Is my service or product an actual service or product that people are already aware of? Or is it a service or product that they need to know about?” A shark tank would be a concept that maybe people don’t know about versus something where people already know this product exists or a service that exists so they’re already actively searching for it. This makes you then know O.K. “If I now know my audience and I now know whether or not they’re already searching or I need to teach them.” Branding is how you build awareness around a new concept or just in general about your business. Where lead generation or conversion focused marketing is actually how if someone’s already searching, you’re able to drive them in. So you first need to determine who my audience is, then determine the type of way they’re going to find you. And then you need to do a little research on the way the platform that they would actually determine whether or not they would need your service. So older people are probably leaning more towards some of the traditional types of marketing where younger generations and demographics may be leaning more towards digital. That’s not necessarily the case in all things. So, you really need to think through all those different specific nuances. Then once you know those things, the most important thing after all of that is done is how are you positioning your brand or your company? One of the questions I always ask this guy, Gerry O’Brion, really smart individual who led a lot of large organizations in marketing. He asked this question, people buy from us because… answer. And if you can’t answer that succinctly and help people understand very quickly what the differentiator is between you and somebody else, chances are they can get lost in it. So, after you determine who your audience is, you then define OK. Am I doing branding or am I doing this lead generation conversion concept, which we can talk about later and then I know this. Now, I also know which channels those people are most likely going to find me. Television, radio, billboards, whatever. Then I need to make sure I have a very clear, concise message that speaks directly to that audience.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte empowers women by offering tools and support to the established businesses, generate sustainable pocket, strategize to improve growth and contribute to economic development in the Women’s Business Center of Charlotte to help women throughout every phase of their entrepreneur journey. If you want to learn more about the women business center of Charlotte head over to CBRbiz.com.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews You were generous to give us the definition of branding vs. lead generation or lead-gen right? So, what are the differences of those two now and how much of my marketing budget should I allocate towards each?
Daniel Boyce I love it. So, when you think about each Nike and Adidas, all of these larger corporations spend mostly on branding. Why? Because everyone knows who Nike is, right? And they don’t need the quote-unquote “lead generation” as much but they’re really trying to focus on why me? Why me? Why me? My brand.
Daniel Boyce So when you look at branding versus lead generation, the question that you first need to think through is what we were just talking about. “How is a person going to find my business? Is this a service or product people already know about?” If they already know about the product and they already service, like a good example would be an attorney. If I get a speeding ticket, the one of the first things I’m going to do is do what? Call an attorney. So, I know that an attorney that does speeding tickets should focus on ranking on Google to make sure that when someone’s actively searching traffic attorney or speeding ticket attorney or whatever type of attorney they want to look for, that you show up. That is an active search. You show up. You rank people now know that they’re looking for that. And that’s how you get a lead. That is a conversion focus. A branding focus would be something that a product or service that you may not know anything about, that you’re trying to help build awareness around. In fact yesterday, I was at CPCC teaching a course and there is this company, Roses and Azalea, they create custom unique organic products for makeup, beauty, that sort of thing.
Daniel Boyce This is a much more niche type product. The difference is if you have different types of sicknesses that you get, like the CEO of this company did, where if you put a certain have a problem on your face, you break out and you have a bad reaction. This is a very specific type of product that helps solves for that need. Well, guess what? Most people aren’t searching for that. And you need to help educate people first. And that is where branding comes into play. Branding will help you when it comes to how much budget you spend to each. You should honestly probably do a little bit of both. No matter what. But if you were leaning more towards do I need to first make people aware of either my brand because I’m a brand new company that never existed or it’s a service that people don’t know about. You should probably dedicate a little bit more toward branding as you get started than lead conversion. Once you get more established or people are already searching for your product then you want to make sure you show up when people are searching. So that’s the lead conversion versus branding.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews So the one thing that I heard that you didn’t necessarily say was you really have to know what pain your customer is experiencing for them to even think, ah, marketing, right?
Daniel Boyce Yeah. And I actually meant to talk a little bit about that when I was talking about defining your audience. But you need to be thinking to yourself, what are the problems my individual customers or clients may have? What are the different challenges that they express and how does my product or service solve for that thing? And that helps to define also your message that I was talking about earlier that needs to be succinct and to the point because it really helps resonate to the exact audience you’re trying to reach.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews OK, so let’s say that I am a business owner. I’ve been here for two years. What are some effective ways to begin branding? If I’ve never done it before now, or if I also maybe have been here for five, 10 years and I just haven’t seen any success.
Daniel Boyce Now I love it.
Daniel Boyce So there’s a number of different ways. One branding play that is also lead gen but is still very important and I think it’s most important in both efforts is organic search. So, organic search is basically if someone is searching for a product or service like yours, that you show up in some organic fashion, whether it’s in Facebook, whether it’s in Google, Google makes up over 95 percent of most search volumes for every search that people are doing. So, I would recommend if you’re online and you’re focusing on and some online efforts, Google would be your number one stop. So, it would be making sure that you have some type of branding play in organic, whether it is social or whether it is Google. What’s nice about social media is there’s no cost to it. Same thing with organic Google. There’s no cost to it except for your sweat equity unless you don’t know how to do it and which at that point you’d want to hire someone to help you. But with Facebook or something like that, it’s a really easy way just to get your brand established, to get your brand known. Facebook and Instagram are probably two bigger ones. There’s more engagement with Instagram because it’s mainly just photos and videos. But the challenge is most people don’t call off of those. They just like it really quick and then keep going. So, it’s a great way to keep top of mind and it’s low cost. Another is networking.
Daniel Boyce That is one that a lot of people don’t think about, but it is a huge branding play. If you’re part of a specific type of group like you sell beauty products as an example, like this other company. Are there beauty organizations here in the Charlotte area or in your area that you can actually connect with to actually network? And maybe you’re then getting other people to help refer your brand to their clients and vise-versa. And you guys help each other grow. So, the networking is a big one. Paid Social media is an easy, low cost way to get branding blasted out there. Same with paid Google remarketing efforts. And that would be it. Like you sold cars and your brand-new car dealership. If someone goes to one car dealership and you guys have seen these ads, then you go to another page anywhere on your website, you start seeing these car ads pop up on the right-hand side of your screen. Those are remarketing ads. Those are easy.
Daniel Boyce But another way would be paid social media ads where if someone’s on Facebook and you’re just trying to build awareness of your brand, you can have those ads, populate television, radio and paid Google remarketing magic, just talking about or other ways that you can do well. One thing that’s really interesting, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Spectra Reach or with Comcast, but Spectrum Reach in this area just launched a way to be on television for as little as two hundred and fifty dollars for small businesses in the past had to pay upwards of three to four thousand dollars a month or really do any type of effective television. You go to Spectrum Reach ad portal, just Google Spectrum Reach ad portal. You can actually build your campaign yourself. You just define your audience. You determine what you want to do. They’ll even create a commercial for you and it’ll take 24 to 48 hours. And it’s really cool is once that’s completed, you launch your campaign and you get all your data. So, this is just a really low cost easy way to do something like television, which may not have been an affordable solution in the past.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews That’s why you’re at CPCC. That is why. Thank you. These are things that you do not hear about. Oh, my gosh. This is fascinating. OK, so same question, different topic, right? If I’ve been a business for two years or less or 5, 10 years and I’m not seeing results there, some effective ways that you lead generation marketing.
Daniel Boyce Great. So one would be Google like I talked about before. Organic Google is probably the most effective way to do any type of conversion lead generation. If someone is actively searching for you, I mean, if you think about if you’re looking for a service or product. Where do you go? Google.
Daniel Boyce So the thing that’s really interesting about Google is it does take time to rank, as you probably know. But if you focus your time on just doing education and information to your clients, meaning educating, inform your clients every way that you can online, Google will start to see you as a thought leader. So, one thing you can do free no cost, tip from me, start doing blogging on your website or somewhere else, and start really thinking about how you’re boosting your brand awareness and your thought leadership by writing articles and that sort of thing on an asset you own. Not necessarily on LinkedIn and Facebook. Write it first on something you own, then put it on LinkedIn and Facebook. So then when people click on it, they go to your site not just LinkedIn. Other ways would be proper website development. And this is a known strategy but this ties into SEO. SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization and that’s how you get ranked on Google. But it’s also very important for the map section, that little maps area. That’s right. Now three different listings. By doing proper web development, if you have a responsive website, meaning that your website can respond no matter the type of specific device you’re on, a mobile device, a tablet or PC, it will automatically help to boost your rank along with a large number of other things.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews When you say respond does that mean like those little bots that can communicate in real-time?
Daniel Boyce Great question. And to be very clear, when you’re on a PC, if you kept the exact same website on a PC to a mobile device, you’d have to put your fingers in and have to zoom in and zoom around and it’s annoying as all get out to be able to find what you’re looking for. By responsive, it means that the website automatically changes based on the size of the screen and it makes it easier for you to navigate. Google wants ease and quick area for people to find what they’re looking for. If your website doesn’t do that, Google’s going to rank you low.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews Thank you for educating me.
Daniel Boyce Yeah that’s great. I’m glad you asked that question because I didn’t say it clearly enough. Other things would be your site, speed and photos and a bunch of other things on your website. And then lastly, paid advertising is a great way. So paid ads show up at the top of Google. It’s a great way to show before you have the ability to really get the natural rank, you can pay money to show up in the top.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews Charlotte Works is an organization that gets you, the entrepreneur, the best workforce for your new business by engaging with you to understand your needs they’ll tell the resources to create a steady supply of local skilled ready to work candidates to meet your demand. If you want to learn more about Charlotte Works, head over to CBRbiz.com.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews All right, so how much should I spend on marketing to meet my goals as a business?
Daniel Boyce Yeah, it’s a great question. I’ll try to be succinct as possible with this one because I don’t want to overwhelm people. Some individuals think that you just spend 10 percent of your overall revenue goals for the year. So, if you want to make one hundred thousand dollars in that year, you spend ten thousand. I’m not that believer. I believe you need to be much more specific. So, I always do one exercise with all of my clients. And that is, what are your revenue goals for the course of the year? Let’s say it’s a hundred thousand dollars. Then how much do you make per client or per service based on that revenue goal? So, let’s say it’s one hundred dollars per client. You take the total revenue, you divide it by that overall cost. That’s so one hundred thousand divided by one hundred. You’d now have 1000. That number equals the number of contacts or leads you need to generate over the course of that year. So, this is a very simple way. Now, if you know how much it’s going to cost you to be able to get one of those leads. You take that number and you multiply it times, whatever the cost is. So let’s say it’s a thousand leads and you multiply it times an average of $50 price per lead, then that would then be fifty thousand dollars you need to spend over the course of the year in marketing. So you can do that specific breakdown based on your company needs. One thing that’s also really unique is that price per lead volume will go down dramatically if you as a small business owner start to do a lot of the stuff on your own and don’t pay somebody else to do it. There’s a lot of things you can learn to do that we’ll talk about at the very end as well.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews OK. And so business owners are all about results. ROI ROI ROI. How do I track my marketing results?
Daniel Boyce Yeah. So, this is a little bit more challenging with certain different types of marketing platforms. But let’s go back to branding versus conversion. Branding you’re going to have specific tools in that resource. So, as an example, we just talked about Spectrum Reach. You go into Spectrum Reach platform. They’re going to have all sorts of different awareness types of data and analytics in that platform. So when you doing branding, typically you have to rely on whatever platform you’re doing radio, television, billboards they have digital billboards. Now instead of spending $3000 to $5000 dollars on a billboard. You can spend as little as five dollars per view on a billboard, actually a couple of cents per view on a billboard. So now you’re only spending like twenty five to one hundred dollars a month versus $3000 a month just to test out billboard strategies. But you have to go into their platform where with conversion focused, you can use Facebook. You can use Google ads. Google ads has its own dashboard, same with Google Analytics and everything is all digital based on that platform. But you can track all the way to the click and the conversion. So unfortunately, with more of the branding plays, you don’t have as much data. All you have is how many people saw my ad. But likely someone saw your ad and then went where? Google. And then they Googled you and then you got a conversion from Google. So, you can track all the conversion things in Google and is a lot more data. There specific data where in branding you unfortunately kind of have to rely on whatever’s there in that platform that you’re using.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews Got it. So last question, I promise. What are some tools or resources that you would recommend to someone who is beginning marketing with little to no funds.
Daniel Boye So no one before anything else. If you do not have a Google my business listing, you need one today. I mean today. So you don’t exist as a business if you don’t have a Google my business listing technically. Google is going to do research and if you’ve been doing interaction for a number of years, Google is going to see that interaction and say, “oh, maybe this business exists.” What could happen, though, is it could have the wrong phone number, the wrong hours, the wrong information like your wrong website. All sorts of stuff that you don’t want to have happen. So more importantly, when you claim your Google My Business listing and to do so, all you have to do is this. You go to Google and you Google, “Google My Business listing.” Then you go in. It will show you a button that says “Claim My Business” and you just claim your business to claim your business. You put in your business name, your address and your other information. And Google is going to send you a postcard to claim your business to say, yes, I am the owner of this business. And it proves that you are the owner of that business located here because they mailed you a postcard. At that point, you can literally optimize that. Google My Business Listing to help get you to rank on Google. So you need to start taking ownership of that Google listing and really hone your efforts there by adding posts. You can do all sorts of different things, which if you want to learn more about, I would Google “Google My Business Listing” and learn some of the different tactics to build there. CPCC, as an instructor there, I’ve found there is a wealth of different knowledge and resources they have no cost to you as a small business owner. Mind-blowing. There’s one called the Get Up and Grow program that helps small business owners be able to learn and understand finances, what I need to do for my billing, what I need to do for legal constraints, operations, marketing and they actually pay, Mecklenburg County pays for consultants to come in and help not only as the course is being taught, but help for you as a specific business owner to meet with for example, myself, and get specific questions answered for you at no cost to you on how you need to market your business. If you’re not using these resources that CPCC has that tons of different courses, lots of different knowledge centers use that small business resource as much as possible. Another is free, high quality networking events. If you aren’t getting into free high-quality networking events, you should right now as a small business owner.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews I like that description.
Daniel Boyce Yup. I don’t want you just to go out there and just start networking, find specific events that are low to no cost. And there are tons of them. I’m on the board of the American Marketing Association and we have lots of different events over the course of the year. And if you’re really interested in learning more about marketing, start attending those types of events. There are five to 10 different resources here in Charlotte, like large marketing organizations that can help you with that. But then more importantly, you now are in a room filled with other small business owners that may have a business need from your business. And more importantly, you build a connection. They then do exactly what I just did and say, “hey, have you heard about this company?” Whenever someone says I have a need for this, they can then answer it for you. So those are just some basic examples of free, low cost resources you can use. And the last one is social media. But using social media in a paid asset, you can do it in a manner where it’s very low cost, like $7 and you get 6-7 thousand different people.
Daniel Boyce The challenge is it’s not going be the highest quality, but what you will get is education from it. If you’re on Facebook and you do a post, that organic post will get liked by a certain number of people in your network. But if you boost that post a little button at the bottom, you pay $7. You can get one to three thousand people to see that same post. And what you do is you then learn, OK. Of these three thousand people that saw my post. How many of them flipped and what were their demographics? And now you learn a little bit more information about when going right back to the beginning of our conversation. Who your true audience is.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews Well, I’m sure that there more. So this has been super helpful. Good to know. Thank you so much. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap up today?
Daniel Boyce My biggest piece of advice is simply this. Educate yourself. I, as a marketer, know how many people that are marketers are out there that like to tell you things. I am never the person that tells you what to do. I like to tell you where to find certain pieces and give you guidance and thoughts on it but I strongly implore every single person I speak with to learn themselves. I will give them the resources to educate themselves at a high level. I know you’re busy or small business owner with multiple hats. But by learning yourself, you can ask the right questions to marketers. Know your audience, know how you should market your business and give more information to people like me, your marketer, who can then make you so much more successful as a small business.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews I love it. In case people want to follow up, where can they find you?
Daniel Boyce Sure. Digimatiq.com You can find our website there. For me personally, if you have any questions, you can reach out to Daniel@digimatiq.com. That’s my email address and I’d be happy to answer any questions people have.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews And for those of us who love social media, where can we find you there?
Daniel Boyce So comically enough, I tried to hide myself some from social media, mainly because as a marketer, I get put in the front center. But Daniel Boyce is my Facebook. So if you go to Facebook.com/DanBoyce, that would be me.
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews Awesome. Marketer who hides himself. Yeah.
Daniel Boyce I don’t know if my family, my kids, necessarily want to be on the internet yet and so I just try to shield them from them.
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