Of the many things a business can do wrong with their Marketing, Jeremy Mace shares two of the big ones he sees as problematic. Jeremy has a lot of experience with a wide variety of disciplines within the marketing and branding world. His two big mistakes he sees businesses make are not allocating enough budget and lack of attribution. Glad to have Jeremy on Bad Marketing Sucks!
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So, Jeremy, welcome to the band Marketing Sucks show. How you doing today? I’m doing great and I love the name. It’s awesome. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. We we enjoyed ourselves. Glad to have you today. Tell us a little bit about yourself. You’ve got a long history of branding and marketing in the area in Georgia.
Yeah. I mean, the Augusta, Georgia area in particular. Tell us a little bit about your background and who you are. Sure. I, I think by you’ve got a lot of history means you’re old. So I’ll I’ll take that. As you know. It’s all right, Chad. I think you are. You’re maybe least a little bit older than I am, possibly.
No, I’m not. You’re all I’m a little bit older. And Paul is older than all of us. really? Wow. Well, there you go. So look at that. You got him. The kids. I have the. Yes, I’m older than all of you, man. So you can see that I’ve got a bunch of comic books, posters and stuff in my office and I love all that.
And I wanted to be a comic book writer and a producer. And so that’s what really got me started in the whole gig. And I borrowed some money from my grandparents in the early nineties or mid-nineties and tried my hand at running a comic book company and promptly lost all the money because we had bad marketing. Right. So there’s a testimonial right there.
Probably ought to have some good marketing, probably ought to have some business experience beyond being 19 years old. So that was also kind of a downside. I also realize that comic book writers and artists, like 99% of them are struggling and it’s not an easy road to go and only a few of them break out. And I found out that even the guys that were making, you know, writing Spider-Man and the X-Men back in the nineties weren’t hardly making any money because they worked for Marvel.
So it was just unless you had a big screenplay take off or something, you were you were going to be stuck. But I did realize that I loved putting the books together. I liked the fonts, I liked the colors, I liked publishing, I liked being in front of people telling the story of why we had put made the comics together.
My dad had been in sales, so sales and marketing was kind of in my blood. And then the graphic design and the artistic side came into play and that that meant that I could make more money on the side doing graphic design and that type of stuff than I could ever trying to do comics. So comics became a hobby and I still love it.
It’s fun. I’ve worked as a graphic designer for the Apart Agusta Apartment Finders Guide. Way, Way Back is how I got my first gig. Really enjoyed doing that. Yeah. You’re dating yourself here? yeah, man. And well. And then there was this thing called the Internet. I’m not sure if, you know, Al Gore created it back in the mid-nineties and after and yeah, after Al Gore did that, we decided that we probably ought to learn how to use it.
So I taught myself basic HTML, CC and at that point, you guys remember flash websites, Macromedia Flash. Yeah. So I learned how to do flash, built some websites. I had an upside business go in that I quit the apartment Finder’s guide, started my own business with my brother, makes graphics that continue to grow. And when you’re when you’re doing freelance and back in the day, I guess I’m more of a generation X kind of guy.
If somebody asks you to be able to do something, the answer is yes, right? And I think nowadays there’s this whole kind of millennial and generation Y that’s saying, you know, you know, stay in your lane and only do one thing and maximize it. And I just don’t have that. I’d rather jump around. If somebody asks me to do something, I’m going to tell them, Yep.
And I’m going to figure out how to make that work. And so I would I would learn how to do advertising, I’d learn how to do banner ads, I’d learn how to build websites, I’d learn how to to put together a marketing plan. I’d learn how to put together a, you know, a branding strategy. And over over the years, I did pretty good, built up a business and then was bought out by Taxslayer.
So Taxslayer is a great local company in Augusta and Evans and worked there for a few years, then went back out on my own and worked as a book cover designer for Amazon.com, which was really fun and got to got a few other artists and paid them to do some of the work. So ended up outsourcing a little bit of that.
That was great. And then in 2008, I there was this great Web property called MySpace. I don’t know if you guys are familiar with that. Yeah, Yeah, he was a big MySpace. I honestly I think I think my MySpace is still Yeah I think it is it might exist Jackson is here we got like 7 million I think we got like 7 million notifications stuck in it.
Chad, you know you had a MySpace. Yeah, I think it’s right next to my Hotmail account. Yeah, exactly. His his his profile picture is Michael Jackson Thriller. But anyway, go ahead. Well, I was using I was using, you know, MySpace on Netscape Navigator and back in the day. But back in 2008, Facebook had just come along and Twitter was in its infancy.
The social media was really getting started and there were no real digital agencies in Augusta. And so I had a guy come and say, Hey, would you like to create a I think you’d be great to run it. Will you will you want to partner together? And let’s create a digital advertising agency? And we did. And the most awesome thing was we were working for the traditional agencies at the time.
We there were lots of them in Augusta and we were doing their digital work. So we would do social media strategy, we would run Google ads, we would do all of that. And over the next ten years, between 28, 2018, all of the work that we had done, we would do a good job. We would end up getting more ad spend.
And all of those larger agency said, Why are we paying these guys to do it? We need to hire our own. So it was over time we became a we in the integrated traditional agency in consulting, and then they all integrated digital and now everything’s digital. And yeah, that’s one of the things I was going to talk about, like, what’s the difference in nowadays, you know, marketing now versus marketing then Like what?
What are the changes I’ve experienced? Yeah, that’s probably the big one is traditional needing digital and digital needing traditional. They’re merging together. But where I see the separation happening is between marketing and advertising. Those things are pulling further apart. Whereas the, the branding in the marketing is congealing into one thing and advertising’s almost its own baby. And the people that are really good at advertising aren’t necessarily really good at branding and marketing.
And you need you need both on your team. Obviously you got to have people that do both and there are agencies in town and organizations that have both. But it’s rare that you’ve got a one man show that can really kind of do it all. Yeah, so that was it then. I sold that company in 2018 to a local development company, was more focused on software development and they wanted advertising and marketing to be a part of their team, worked there for several years and then more recently have focused on a really cool ministry project where we’re building a discipleship app and we’ve got some different opportunities for it.
And so my world has really changed. I’ve done everything from being a creative director to graphic designer to a sales guy to leading teams of creatives and, you know, all those things. So how’s that, that do it? Yeah, well, I love that. I love that leads me right into my next question. Based on your your your experience here, in your opinion, where do you feel like most businesses go wrong with their branding marketing?
Okay, I’ve got it’s two things. First off, is budget, second is second is attribution. So budget and attribution of budget a little bit. What are your what are your thoughts on that? Nobody spends enough. Nobody spends enough. Not the they do eventually. You mean initially? Well, yeah, they have to. Yeah, initially. So that’s a that’s a great point Paul.
They the the thought is is we’re going to create this great product or you know, we’ve got a restaurant, it’s going to be so good. Everybody’s just going to come and show up or we’ve built this app and people are going to use it once and it’ll just spread like wildfire or we’ve, you know, we’ve got this business and they’re going to find out about us and word of mouth is going to do it.
And even with word of mouth marketing in today’s world involves marketing automation. So email marketing is falling underneath that, communicating to your clients. You’ve got to have a website, you need to have a content strategy. There’s just a ton of that and that all takes time and money and nobody wants to put that in. And so they, they undercut it and then they find themselves in a hole that they’ve got to reinvest to dig themselves out of.
And if they would go into it with the right mix, you know, look at that 20% of your operators going into marketing, that’s a big number for a lot of people. I can’t imagine that it would take that. But the successful businesses time after time are the ones that are are investing in that budget. So that’s that’s my think thoughts on budget.
What do you think, Chad? Do you think that’s right. And the next one with strategy, is that what you know, next one’s attribution. Everybody’s got a strategy. They may have a bad strategy, but they’ve got a strategy. Right? Right, right. But attribution is attribution is almost completely lacking right there. And what I mean by attribution is you’re running an ad campaign.
You spend $1,000 a month on that ad campaign. Are do you know what that thousand dollars brought you? How can you attribute the dollars to performance? Have you thought about the value of just showing somebody your ad versus them clicking on your ad? How do you attribute Billboard ads? Right? How do you attribute podcasts like this? Like there’s extreme value in content marketing, but if you don’t have an understanding of what it’s bringing you, how your website’s converting, looking at that full marketing funnel, going all the way down to the bottom and being able to attribute at each stage, you are going to be guessing on your budget, which is already a problem.
You’ve already told you you’re not going to spend enough. Now you’re only guessing on what’s working, and then you’re also not going to value your partners or your employees. So if you’re working with an agency and you don’t attribute any value to them, you’re going to be ticked off and you’re going to jump to another agency in a year, Right?
And that’s what happens. We see companies burn through your agency surface happens all the time. And so because attribution is not set up. So I feel like your as a as a marketer, as somebody that’s talking to people about branding and marketing, it’s our job to talk about how important attribution is because they can’t really judge your performance unless they’ve got attribution in place.
And if you’re working with somebody that doesn’t have attribution in place, you better have it in place for them so that you can prove it out. That makes sense. Yes, it does. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, and what does that go back to the saying that we’ve all heard a million times at this point, 50% of my advertising is working.
I just don’t know which 50%. Exactly right. So it’s crazy. Yeah, that’s a that’s well I’ve heard that from from business owners and there it’s either resigned to it or they just like that’s just part of it. It’s what it is. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. That’s crazy. Yeah, that’s right. Let me let me let me tell you a little bit about attribution.
Let me give you guys a quick story. So there’s a university nearby that may or may not have changed names 17 times. Okay. We might know. We might know who that is. Okay. Now, they had a rebrand and their advertising budget was significantly traditional at the beginning of that, like 90 traditional 10% digital. We were working on that 10% of the digital and we had attribution set up from start to finish.
And so every month we would we would meet and show, Hey, look, look what we’re doing in this. Great. We’re getting all these leads. We’re sending people for applications, we’re doing all this is great. And the traditional they were they had some traditional methods of attribution, but it’s difficult to tell what’s going on. And it’s easier with digital stuff, obviously.
So the budgets shifted over the next six months to instead of 10% digital, 90% traditional, but 90% digital 10% digital, it was a six month swing, it flip flopped and it was because of attribution. And the only way you can go after that additional budget is if you’re if you’re able to prove that and show it. Sure. Yeah, sure.
Absolutely. Yes. That’s interesting. And have it. Well, yeah, it’s something that I’ve run into so many times and I’ve scratch my head about. It’s like attribution and knowing the right question to ask and getting and not overlooking the answer to the question that you’re asking, like somebody says, Hey, so on a basic level, it’s just a verbal attribution, you know.
Jeremy, where did you hear about us? Well, I got your number off your website. That’s actually not answering the question. That was know. That’s just saying I got your number off your website. And so if you if you have to ask if people are not setting up that attribution correctly, then someone’s going to go dump $50,000 into their website and like, you know, yeah, that really wasn’t right.
That needed it. Exactly. The other thing that can happen is if I’m if I’m the marketer, I can look at the client and go, So how much is getting a new client worth to you? Right. And if they don’t have an answer to that, you’ve got to help them figure it out. Because with without that answer, there’s no attribution and a lot of people don’t know.
They’re just like, well, you know, where we’re growing, our revenues growing and those kind of things. I’m like, Yeah, but if I brought you a new client, would you give me $5,000 cash? yeah, that’d be great. That’s a cool. Then we’ll spend about $5,000 per new client to bring in, which means I need $100,000 monthly budget and they just go right?
No exact. So. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So let me ask you, Jeremy, based on your your, your experience and maybe projects you’ve worked on or maybe just campaigns that you’ve seen, give me some examples of some of the best marketing that you’ve either been a part of or are seeing yourself. Yeah, these are what, when when I thought about this question, I, I, I thought of things that worked on me as being effective marketing.
So and I didn’t put any White Hart or Jeremy Maze campaigns here so. Right there’s no we’re just talking about outside. So for video, one of the most effective is dollar Shave Club. I know you guys have seen this video. my God. It’s a lot. Yeah. it’s it’s fantastic. And that was the majority of their budget went into producing that video when they got started.
But it was such a strong premise. It was great. And then it went viral and they paid to get it out. They had a good combo of both things. And man, when when everybody is showing it to you and they’re like, What do you think, man? I was like, Yeah, I’ve seen it a hundred times. So good. And, and you can watch it with a client and you can tell me, okay?
And it’s and that that type of humor is not for every business, but it, it’s so effective. Right. You guys have got the the no B.S. on your website. It’s a similar thought process, right? It’s like, listen, we’re telling you like it is. There’s a little bit of humor involved here. If you don’t like it, you know, go someplace else.
And we probably should be doing business. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that one’s great. Another one that I really think is truly effective is HubSpot. HubSpot is the marketing and CRM platform and their combination version of their SEO, their blog, their email campaigns, their actual customer service and follow up. They, they know what I’m doing and interacting with the site.
There’s chat bot, I mean, all of it. It’s just a great mix. None of it feels overbearing. They’re giving me the attention. I need if I’m in that and that is all inbound marketing rather than being completely outbound. And so HubSpot is just the gold standard. That’s why I think you have to use they definitely the last one is a new one and is more social media based and digital ads and it’s mainly bands.
Dotcom email in l y bands dot com. Now you would love this, Chad. You got to go check this out. I love it because of course I’m a nerd. They’ve got Lord of the Rings themed bands, wedding bands for For Men. Okay. So you can get you can get ones that kind of look like, you know, maybe it’s it’s a very subtle they’re very, very good.
But these guys targeted me because of what I like on Facebook and what I was looking at. So I’m looking at nerd culture stuff and they knew this guy likes comics. And Lord of the Rings, I shown that I went to the website and it actually what appealed more to me were the ones that are World War Two based.
They’ve actually got a wedding band with parts of a Sherman tank in it right? They’ve got bands that have like cool like Whiskey Barrels integrated into the inner ring of it. They’re just gorgeous. But all of a sudden I start seeing those bands everywhere I’m go and man, they are following me everywhere. I’ve looked at the website like three or four times.
I told my wife about it and so this is an extremely effective product placement and strategy that they’ve approached. They know who I am. They targeted me. I saw it, I engaged. Now I’m stuck. I’m probably going to I mean, Kim’s got to make some more money since he might buy me one of these to say you might actually get your band here.
I got a cool one, but I would change it out for this. The Sherman tank is really cool. Do they have Aragon’s ring? They do that? Well, not. Not. my gosh. I love this nerd talk, man. Now they don’t have, like, the snake. The bar here is ring. It’s actually a one that’s based on his leather cloak and like his.
The Lord of the Rings. Yeah. Cool. Can we get Chad to watch this? Come on. I have. I’ve seen some of it. Yeah, I have. Yeah. My wife thinks I’m crazy because I literally. I’ll sit down and just get all the extended versions and just start. Start cranking them out. Yeah, me too, man. We love them, Kim. My wife.
My wife actually likes it quite a bit. She gets something out of it every time. I just think this story’s so classic. It’s awesome. But that combo for the for the for the rings. The Lord of the Rings Rings was just drew me right in. And it was their marketing and their branding that did it. It was had nothing to do with anybody telling me to go look at it or anything like that.
I just saw the image. They were only showing it to me because they knew the stuff that I liked and I thought that was genius. So. So they got the branding right from the outset. Yeah, they did end up targeting the target and the targeting was just message point, right? Yep. Perfect. Absolutely. Well, let me ask you before we go today, give us a few tips.
Give our and give our listeners a few tips on on how they can avoid the pitfalls of bad marketing and branding, for that matter. Yeah, that’s kind of all in the same book. And well, let me only talk about the branding one first. So you have to be able and this concept goes with both. And I know it’s going to sound aggressive.
You have to be willing to kill your babies. Yeah, yeah. Now what this means is that sounds a little bit harsh. It is a little bit harsh, but fall in love with it. Let’s let’s let’s talk about that company that that bought us years ago. Taxslayer. Great guys, huge Georgia fans. And I mean, they make you look like a fairweather God.
I know that they they are they are all in. And I did a logo for one of their pro products and I used blue and black and my God, they were not okay with that. Yeah. Yeah. How that. And then, then we were working on another project and I used orange in one of the concepts. no, you’re better off with blue and black.
I mean, I know I’m just in that sense. Right. So what’s interesting is I had proof in the research that this product changed, like they needed to have some differentiation in their product lines. If everything is silver, black and red, then everything silver, black and red and it all blends together. You got to find some way to differentiate.
And so we we pitched that and it was like pulling teeth. And in fact, we weren’t able to do it for almost a year and a half. And then finally they decided to go for it. So I think that that I think that the colors like being able being willing to do that. Another example of that is Savannah River Brewing Company.
I’ve helped them do some labels and some stuff and man, the owner, Mike is such a fan of all this superhero comic book stuff. He and I style is going to be much more illustrative and real nerd culture stuff, but that’s not who goes to Savannah River Brewing Company. It’s primarily the some of the younger military guys. It’s outdoor.
So we’ve got to kill our own desires to do what we like and go for what’s actually going to work in the market. So that’s my advice, is be willing to to to kind of kill your own, your own flesh, to give it a spiritual term or kill your baby or whatever. You got to get it. Be willing to get rid of that so you can make a good decision for your business.
Yeah, I’ve always, you know, described that in terms and heard that in terms of you just don’t fall in love with it. Fall in love with like the foundation, the principles, the things that that must be there, that work, like you said, that work in the marketplace, work in your industry. But don’t be so this is a place don’t let your ego get too far.
I think that’s the key there, right? Yeah, right. I agree. And there there also, I’ll give you here’s a freebie card. This a freebie for you guys? Awesome. It’s a freebie. If there are too many cooks in the kitchen. You have a cafeteria? Yep. Right. And a cafeteria is going to produce one type of food and it’s not going to be as quality as if you can slim it down and have a head chef.
So when you’re working with a client, find out who that decision maker is. And if you are a client, predetermine that. Yes. Yes. I’m willing to take other ideas and other other input. And maybe I’m not a decisive person, but yet I’m in charge of the company. I got to pick the logo. I don’t want to let five or six other people demand what’s going to work for our brand because chances are their ego is in the way.
Yeah, so you got to have a leader that’s willing to do it and create a hierarchy and have one chef you can work with. Yeah. Now I will say that was profound. I agree. That was very, very profound. We could actually write a small book on that. you know, like a, like a toilet book that you sit and look at.
Toilet book, right? Sure. I think it’s going to get off the rails at this point. But yeah, of course, we told you that. Wow. I mean, you know what I mean? How to make a craft. It’s a short read. How to make a crap sandwich, right? I mean, it’s too many chefs just giving somebody some insight. Sure. But I agree.
How you get too many. This is true decision makers. And is that kind of the antithesis of a decision maker? It is. You have that many, right? Or what I like is when you’ve been working with a client for three months, you’ve got a great logo brand, everything is working, they’re happy, everybody’s happy. And then they show it to their spouse and their spouse doesn’t like it.
And you’re like, Holy crap, Why was it your spouse at the first meeting? It’s like, this is not okay. So that’s that’s nice. That happened too many times. And then I’m like, Listen, I’m coming over to your house and I’m sitting down and I’m talking to this person. I have a book because this is the right thing to do.
Yeah, exactly. That’s right. I love it. Good stuff. Well, Jeremy, we certainly appreciate you having you on today. This is something we’ve been trying to do for a while, and I think schedules just never really were able to align. So this is good and maybe we’ll get back together in the future to discuss more because we could talk about this for days.
But yeah, I think we need to schedule some Lord of the Rings viewing. man. wow. That’s what we need. Yeah. In fact, we go. In fact, this can just change to the Lord of the Rings podcast. I’m in and I’m in, Chad’s out, Chad’s out. And we’ll just have a job, I guess. Well, okay, I guess that wraps it up there.
We have learned all that we need to learn about branding and marketing and we have our next mission. God, we’re just scheduling that podcast. You’re going to have to change that background though, man. And no doubt, I mean, this is Ad Day material here. We’re all over the place. All right, man. All right, Jamie, thanks so much. Thank you.
I appreciate it.