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Building Marketing Loyalty Through Community 

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Talk-Commerce ryan alford

Commerce running, talking geek

The brands winning today are building a community that drives repeat purchases. Loyalty is gained in drips and lost in buckets because there are so many layers of competition. We interview Ryan Alford with The Radcast agency in South Carolina He has been radical about marketing advertising for 22 years.

Transcript

Brent: Welcome to this episode of talk commerce today. I have Ryan Alford, as opposed to all Chevy. Which we’ve made the joke in the back room. Ryan is a entrepreneur and a super popular podcast host for Radcast Ryan. Go ahead. Introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about what you do on a day to day role and maybe one of your passions in life.

Ryan: Sure. Brent, it’s great to be here with you. Yeah, I mean I own, my main course of business is radical. You’ll notice the rad theme throughout a lot of things. And I’ll go ahead and give you the insider baseball secret. Ryan offered digital is where that started, but I just like the word radical better.

Ryan: Radcast the agency that I own in South Carolina, it’s a digital ad agency called radical and that’s the day to day and been in marketing advertising for 22 years. Working on some of the largest brands in the world before I started radical. And even with radical now working on large brands and I’m a father of four boys.

Ryan: So my passion seems to align with my children and my wife, Nicole God rest her soul. Who is she? Or bless her souls. She’d say not rest. She’s very much alive, but she’s a assistant principal in a middle school doing one of the hardest jobs in America. In today’s age. My passions revolve around family and when they’re happy, I’m happy.

Brent: that’s awesome. Yeah. We are also a family business here and my kids all worked in the company that my wife and I started. Everybody’s moving on, including myself and my wife, but yeah, I totally get it. Kids are at the cornerstone and I think one of the things we talked about in the green room is how are kids influencing what’s gonna happen into the future?

Brent: Maybe you could talk a little bit about that. 

Ryan: My boys are. 1111 and 12. We’re a blended family. I don’t have twins but we’ve been together since our boys were two and four. So we’ve grown up together as the modern Brady bunch, but I will say this I’ve watched them daily. They’ve grown up in what I call digitally native.

Ryan: I’ve grew up and yourself, probably in what I call analog native. Even though I’ve worn both hats because I’ve grown up in the technology and agency industries, which are very tech heavy and owning a digital agency. I like to say I’m split down the middle, but our kids have grown up in a digitally native first world.

Ryan: What I mean by that is. Both video games, social media, smartphones the medium with which they are both consuming content and being marketed to has all been digital. It’s a world they know, and they place value on digital things that you and I and others probably in the gen X or boomers or whatever place value in physical things.

Ryan: My 12 year old son could really care less what he walks outta the house on, but if his avatar on Roblox doesn’t have the perfect pair of shorts, the perfect Nike digital shoes, and a spiky haircut. He’s not had a good day. And that blows my mind that he cares that much about it, but he’s grown up in that world where they place value very much in digital things.

Ryan: And being digital natives. So our children we’re watching them. We’re watching that value transition from physical to digital doesn’t ma mean that they have no value in physical things. We do experiences as families. We go on trips, but they don’t necessarily care about stuff in the physical world, the way that they do digital things.

Ryan: Especially in video games and social media and other things like tokens and different things. And you see this. And it’s really transitioning into that metaverse slash digital world where you’re gonna start to see a lot of marketing transpire and where marketing’s gonna need to take place.

Ryan: Because again, when things are happening digitally is we’ve moved digitally, the place with which to get eyeballs, to get reach, to get frequency. In the future and already now is in these digital worlds. And so marketing is being very much headed down that path pretty quickly. I’m not saying it’s here and now, and certainly for smaller businesses, they don’t need to be spending thousands and thousands of dollars on speculation.

Ryan: But again, you can see this happening in front of our eyes, in front of our children, with where they’re putting value. And so that’s how I summarize that Yeah. 

Brent: So I think that kind of ties into NFTs and how popular they’ve become or are becoming, how do you see that in relations to how your younger children and kids are growing up and moving into marketing and being marketed too?

Ryan: Yeah. It’s interesting right now it’s a lot of hype and a lot of PR you’ve got digital artwork and things, and so I’m not as. I don’t high on the, the apes that are digital art that are, value that may go up or down. Mine is more in where the basis of the NFT, which is the smart contract that’s happening on the blockchain.

Ryan: And also the data transition for first party data that you’re gonna see happen on the blockchain. And all these things are interrelated. The NFT is the start of it because it’s that digital. A contract that I have a piece of art and I own it, and it’s creating that ledger. And what you’re gonna see is when we move into the future, again, a lot of this advertising and marketing is happening on the web and what’s happening is people are getting more concerned and closing in on that privacy.

Ryan: It’s gotten a lot harder to market on Facebook and other channels, because privacy concerns are there and what you’re gonna see with these smart contracts and your ID, you’re gonna have a wallet. ID on the blockchain, that’s gonna be more you giving permission for data usage. And so it’s gonna play really heavily in targeting in the future in marketing.

Ryan: And so the NFTs are scratching the surface of the technology used. And what you’re gonna see is that transition. And I do think we’re gonna move into a world the next 10 years. Think about. How ridiculously hard it is to get title work done on a house sale, if that was done on the blockchain and that digital ledger was there, you could immediately find that information there and it’s recorded there.

Ryan: And instead of now we’re fumbling around and back offices and paperwork from, 50 years ago on certain transactions, I think you’re gonna see all of this, all these things live within the same data and technology, and they’re all gonna be related to both marketing and just commerce in the future.

Brent: That’s that’s a really good point especially for title work for, so going back to kids what are some indicators that you see that kids are shaping the way marketing is 

changing? 

Ryan: Yeah. The biggest thing is if you start with the fastest growing social media platform in the world today is TikTok.

Ryan: and that started as the teenager platform, 13 to 23. And so they’ve advanced this platform, but now, and I just did a talk about this so they’ve set the standard and set the popularity and set the interest level for this channel of social media and content and really entertainment.

Ryan: And where our source of entertainment, our source of news, our source of knowledge. Our children are setting the standard for things that are taking off. But then I say that 50% of the growth on TikTok today is happening in 30 plus. They’re age 30 plus and 30 and 50% of that engagement is happening.

Ryan: So what started as the 13 to 21 year old platform TikTok 2, 3, 4 years ago is now becoming the mainstream. So you’re seeing the youth set the standard and the knowledge base for some of these platforms. And then it transitions. And it’s not that actually different from like Facebook, Facebook started as a younger platform, 15 years.

Ryan: Even 10 years ago. And now it’s the fastest growing platform for 45 to 65 year olds. Everybody thinks Facebook’s dead. Facebook’s not dead. It’s just older. It’s just graying. . Yeah, 

Brent: definitely. Facebook seems like it’s the place for older people. Let’s just say. I think that I think you’re right.

Brent: Especially on the TikTok front I started using TikTok. I’ve been trying to use it more for business things, but I’ll be honest. My Jack Russell posts on TikTok are definitely the largest viewed items that I could possibly have. How do you think that compares to something like Snapchat? I see my kids still using Snapchat every day.

Brent: But the advertising angle for Snapchat, I think is much lower than it is for TikTok, but Snapchat remains super popular. 

Ryan: Yeah. It’s super popular from a messaging platform specifically. I’m not that high on them as far as they’re long term proposition right now. They’ve gotten passed by as a mainstream content platform by TikTok, Instagram, with reels and different things.

Ryan: It’s certainly a player and it’s certainly used, but it’s primarily messaging from that younger audience. And I don’t wanna discount that value, but I just don’t think they’ve done as good a job. I feel like they’ve gotten on to very trendy like things like AR and certain things that are interesting, but the mainstream appeal of the platform has never really taken off.

Ryan: Where TikTok has grown is growing in a more mainstream fashion with content and engagement and the style of video that it progresses. I feel like Snapchat is faded behind by just remaining that messaging vehicle and not necessarily content

Ryan: consumption and video, I say, content is king, video rules and that’s the problem. Video is everything now. And I think that’s where Snapchat’s gotten left behind. 

Brent: I know that you had you, you talk about some ageless truths in marketing and you started off with your son, I think, and his avatars.

Brent: I think one of those ageless truths, though, especially as kids get into their teens, are they going to point at you as the father and say, you cannot wear that today. Dad, you look so whatever 2010s or something, there, there are some ageless truths truths around marketing and the way our kids are

Brent: influencing us as parents. So maybe speak to some of those ageless truths and the diversity between that digital life and that real life. Yeah, 

Ryan: I’ll go through, I have seven. What I call undeniable and ageless truths are creativity, reach, consistency, distinctiveness, attention, emotion, and motivation.

Ryan: Those are the seven. What I call undeniable truths. They’re all necessary even today, whether it’s digital, whether it’s promoting to children, promoting to adults, whatever it is. And I’ll say this no matter what you do, reach and attention are important. So back to the TikTok analogy right now, that’s where attention is growing there in an Instagram and other channels.

Ryan: YouTube. This is where the eyeballs are, linear TV is certainly not dead, but it’s faded for the number of attention and how much, how many eyeballs are there. And at the end of the day, reach is really a measure of media, which is the number of people that see your message. And no matter what, you’re, whether you’re selling t-shirts on e-commerce supplements, whatever it is, you have to have a baseline volume of reach the number of people that see your message.

Ryan: That’s an undeniable truth in anything that you do, unless you’re in accounts based marketing, and you only need to make four sales a year. You need extensive reach in order to meet your sales goals. Cause me media is divided by reach plus frequency. That’s where it gets into consistency. And the biggest thing I see and the biggest challenges I see today are people that veer off their core messages too quickly.

Ryan: And so people, there’s a, it’s interesting to me on social media, everybody thinks I’ve already posted that. How many times do you see the same commercial over and over again? Because that consistency is what drives. Awareness and consideration and intent, and I’m gonna getting into the purchase funnel here, but ultimately what drives a sale is that consistency of message.

Ryan: And the frequency that it happens. So I don’t know that I’m answering your question exactly, but I think there’s just certain things that even as the medians change, even whether it’s children, whether it’s adult, whether who you’re marketing to, there’s just some age old truths. And one of my other favorite ones is emotion.

Ryan: Even in today, people think with their head and they buy with their hearts. And so emotion can be humor. Emotion can be sadness, a lot of different things, but emotion drives purchase behavior. 

Brent: So when we’re going to some of those ageless truths, I think you had mentioned there’s seven of them.

Brent: You had mentioned reach consistency, emotion. What are some of those other ones 

Ryan: on that distinctiveness? That’s the differentiation. So Again, ageless here. If you want to sell more, you have to stand out. So distinctiveness, consistency, emotion, motivation. So again, this is if you go from the top of the funnel to the bottom, motivation are things like sales periods.

Ryan: What triggers your action that you want the consumer to have and take today. And so even you can have a brand promise and you can have a solution that you provide to someone’s problem, or just a great outfit that someone wants to buy. But what’s the motivational trigger that, that drives them to action today.

Ryan: Lastly, creativity, I don’t know if I mentioned that that will never die in marketing, at least on my watch. 

Brent: So creativity, I think is, that’s always the big one out there that people look for. So the name of your firm is radical. What are you bringing to the table that’s radical that follows along with that creativity?

Ryan: Yeah, the biggest thing is we preach what I call B to H business to human. Whether we work with probably equal parts, B2B and B2C. But what we do is we create it. We drive creativity through the human lens because on the other side of the, whatever, the platform, whatever the medium is, a human that’s buying, whatever you’re selling.

Ryan: And so we use that as a premise for a lot of our creative thinking and what we’re trying to do again, back to those triggers. At the end of the day, what happens when you create an agency called radical. Is your people hold themselves to a different standard. Not only do we hire people that I consider creative, but we also challenge our clients to think out of the box and to know that we’re gonna bring solutions that may not always be obvious.

Ryan: and for example, today in social media, you need to educate or entertain. And so we challenge and we literally have a comedy troop that works for our agency that we’ll do comedic funny, irreverent skits for common sales pair. We had a flooring company that, we did a spoof off of Ron Burgendy.

Ryan: We did the Floor-a-thon, and, it was just irreverent and had a guy up there who was drinking while he was on set and selling flooring. And so again, we when people go left, we go, we just challenge ourselves to think differently and then push the envelope.

Ryan: And again, part of the, I don’t know, the craziness of calling yourself radical is it’s funny what it empowers both your clients and your people to push a little harder. 

Brent: Yeah, that’s good stuff. Do you find it difficult to get B2B customers to think outside of what their norm is and I’m thinking there’s a lot of

Brent: boomers. I’m not a boomer. I’m not quite that old, but there’s a lot of boomers out there that, that were around before computers or before before the internet, let’s just say there was probably computers, but they, it’s harder for them to embrace some of these things in B2B cuz their thing is working.

Brent: How do you push them outside of their comfort zone and get them to do some of those things? 

Ryan: The first thing is back to, when you hire an agency called radical, you’re gonna get what you paid for. So we set the table early, and at the same time, it is difficult. So Brent, so you’ve totally nailed what can be the challenge, but at the same time we do get that license to press them just when they hire us.

Ryan: We’re pretty upfront in the process. We’re gonna push you to consider things. And I also think what’s happened though, is you’ve had this convergence of B2B and B2C channels coming together a little bit, especially with the pandemic and stuff like that. A lot of people are at home on social channels, doing different things, embracing content through different ways.

Ryan: So you’ve had a little bit of a lightning and, or easing of, I call it maybe the executive level content, like everybody’s left their hair down a little bit. And realize that, Hey, I don’t have to wear a suit and tie every day and do stodgy boring content to be effective. So I think that the realities of today have helped lessen that expectation.

Ryan: And, again, B2B companies are seeing, and finally realizing that the age old stodgy Content and overly produced stuff doesn’t work. You’ve had a D social media, whether it’s TikTok, and I’m not saying that’s where B2B brands necessarily belong, but it does have influence. And LinkedIn has even grown as a content platform.

Ryan: People have gotten more comfortable and there’s been a decentralization of content being overly produced. and I think B2B is caught on in the companies that wanna work with us, that we push certainly have caught on. And again, preaching through that B to H business, to human language.

Ryan: They understand that. And that doesn’t mean that, your website can have any fewer legal standards or things like that. But I do think there’s an understanding and a place in this convergence of marketing and media that’s coming together. 

Brent: Just sticking with B2B.

Brent: Do you help some of these companies who’ve come to you and they’ve maybe they have a baseline or they’ve tried something and it hasn’t worked, it’s gonna work cause you’ve seen it work for their companies. Do you create a baseline and then really help them understand how, whatever that audience is?

Brent: Let’s just say it’s YouTube as a simple one for B2B. To explain, Hey, let’s do this and let’s at least try it and then measure it and see how we’re doing. And then they have to also continue on with it for a certain amount of time to see some success. 

Ryan: Yeah. That you’ve nailed it right there.

Ryan: That last part we just won’t, we choose not to work with people that wanna see definitive results in 30 days on anything marketing and the channels and the complexity are too great. It’s not because we won’t hold our soul to expectations. It’s because you have to trial and error, so many different things, and you have to be able to test a lot of different variables so that you see what works.

Ryan: So we like to run two or three tests at a time with different content and different mediums and then compare and cross over those things. And that’s the challenge, but that’s also the opportunity. And I think the brands that kind of buy into that see the success. 

Brent: In our green room, we talked a little bit about that you spoke at a FedEx event.

Brent: I would like to talk about social selling and live social selling. Let’s dive into that. I’m interested in that and I think you’re right. That’s where it’s going right now, or at least a trend. Why don’t you explain what that is to our audience and help us to understand better how people can get into 

Ryan: it.

Ryan: yeah, there’s two parts to it. Overall social selling is just exactly what it says. Leveraging Facebook, Instagram, TikTok Twitter, whatever the platform may be. These all have integrations into the eCommerce platforms. So social selling we press a lot of clients either towards Shopify or Magento when we’re working with clients on e-commerce.

Ryan: And all of them have these integrations built in where your product catalog pushes the social media so that the sale happens within the social platform. So that again, social selling you’re pushing or promoting whether it’s stories, whether it’s posts, whether it’s whatever that content channel might be.

Ryan: You’re but the actual technology that takes place in the transaction happens within the social channel. The biggest trend though, and that’s certainly growing and what’s happened is you’ve had two worlds come together that have allowed that number one, the demand for consumers within the channel, and then the technology’s gotten a lot better.

Ryan: It used to be clunky as heck to try to integrate your product channels within like Facebook and Instagram, like two or three years ago, it’s gotten much easier. As well as the kind of transaction gateways is much easier. So you have demand and technology coming together around the same time. But then the biggest trend in all of this has been live social selling.

Ryan: So this is when you leverage the it’s really, when you think about it’s the QVC effect in 2022, but what we have now is the technology for anyone to broadcast you are your own media channel within these platforms. So whether you’re on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook, You can go live and start promoting your products.

Ryan: And so we’ve seen a lot of success for brands that literally built studios, whether they’re a, furniture store or a merchandise t-shirt store, no matter really, whatever you’re selling set up studios within their own facilities that are just small facilities, where they have someone come on, they go live and they’re promoting product.

Ryan: It brings in that human element. So that you’re you put a face with the brand while also just giving someone that kind of channel with which to ask questions. Cause you’ve got messaging that can happen between there. And this kind of started in Asia, two or three years ago started really growing.

Ryan: And I think we’re at the right at the mass kind of adoption here the next year or two certainly a lot of brands have already using it, but I think you’re gonna see more mass adoption and it’s an incredible way to create another channel with which you can market and grow sales. 

Brent: Yeah, I think Instagram certainly started some of that trends in Facebook, of course, in their in

Brent: buying directly from the app. But I think what you’re saying more is you go to the actual eCommerce store and they’re selling it to you live and maybe even doing a studio call where you can, where people are talking to you like on QVC, but you can also interact with those people directly through the channel

Brent: I think that makes it very exciting. And it makes for a broader audience via multiple social channels as well. Yeah, 

Ryan: that’s right. And it’s another way to build community. The brands that are winning today are building not just selling, unless you have a truly differentiated product.

Ryan: The brands winning today are building some type of community which drives, repeat purchases and some amount of loyalty and brand. Loyalty’s very difficult to I say they it’s it’s gained in, in, in drips and lost in buckets because you. There’s so many layers of competition now. So it creates another layer for building community and building again, that dual communication channel on your product services or no matter really matter what you do.

Ryan: And yeah, I think it’s it’s a really big opportunity. And I think the channels the companies that are doing it are seeing a lot of. 

Brent: I like that. You mentioned community and I was at ShopTalk a couple weeks ago and saw a great presentation. I can’t remember the brand right now, but it was a clothing brand and they’re, they built a lot of their brand around a brand building community and having, not just influencers, but the community of people purchasing that brand that are advocating for that brand consistently.

Brent: Do you think a lot of Let’s just say eCommerce only merchants are missing out on that opportunity to build community within that brand. Yeah. Within their own brand, I should say. Yeah. 

Ryan: I, every brand is unique, so it’s hard to pass judgment per se, but I do think it’s a level that with the social channels now with influencers with different opportunity path, It’s a lost opportunity if you aren’t and it’s so hard to stand out and create, repeat purchases, unless you’re doing it again, unless your product is just so differentiated.

Ryan: But if you’re selling cosmetics or t-shirts or any kind of apparel, You better be building community because that’s, what’s gonna hold you up through the test of time is that community channel that it’s glorified word of mouth in a way, but it’s also creating and bringing together like-minded and it’s back to targeting, bringing the right target together and so that you’re building

Ryan: both the awareness channel, but the loyalty factor, because then they’re loyal to you for more than just the product itself. 

Brent: Is there risks in e-commerce merchants or even any merchant embracing this I idea of community and then working on their social channels to promote their products?

Brent: What are, what risks do you see in this. 

Ryan: There’s risk in anything, but I think there’s the upside is much greater. The risk could be you certainly don’t want to alienate especially if you have a broad mass appeal product, so you might risk, bringing together.

Ryan: Certain audiences that are maybe not reflective of your brand, that’s certainly a risk, but I think if you do it right, and you organize around your beliefs and principles and bring the right people along the upshot is much greater than the risk. Certainly with social media, in the live forum and in other things, the risk would be just imperfection.

Ryan: But what’s interesting is consumers sort of embrace that realness and that rawness, I can’t speak towards every legal liability. So you again, need to empower your people with the knowledge and the safeguards that they need. But I think the biggest risk might be.

Ryan: I think it’s more, the fear brands are fearful of imperfect situations or content. When in reality, that’s actually. . 

Brent: Yeah. And I can speak to experience on some of the risks around the idea of trying to automate too much of your social media. I can remember. I’m a very ferocious tweeter when I’m at an event.

Brent: And I can remember setting up some bots that would auto tweet a hashtag if it was. Some combination of hashtags and somebody figured it out and was retweeting some inappropriate content based on the hashtags. And I quickly realized it was very early on, but I realized that was not a great idea to try to to try to promote some of those things

Brent: so I suppose some of the risks are around automating things and not monitoring that automation. And I think another risk too, that I see is is brands embracing social media, but never answering. Yeah, people sending you a message that says, Hey I want, this is, this has been a horrible experience.

Brent: What are you gonna do about it? I think Delta airlines has done a great job for me anyways, on responding to me on those type of things. But there’s other brands that I won’t mention that never get back to you. 

Ryan: yes. If you don’t have support to do this, you’re better off not doing it. So you can’t do things that spark conversation and not have

Ryan: the hands on the other end to then answer it. That’s a total no-no and I think what you’ve also said, you brought up the automation factor, again, these channels are so ripe for customer engagement building community. And so you’ve got to commit the resources to them appropriately to take advantage of that opportunity.

Ryan: But if you don’t embrace it completely and you try to automate too much, that can drive a whole nother set of issues, some of which you’ve just described, but also there’s just an authenticness that consumers now expect from brands. And again, if you can’ embrace that fully and it doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but it does mean you have to truly have engagement

Ryan: and someone assigned and ready to speak and act and be empowered on managing that.

Ryan: And the other challenge is on the automation side, lot of people get into that and I, there’s a big push in marketing to use more automated tools, but right now consumers really crave that authentic expression from brands and they don’t expect perfection.

Ryan: So if you weren’t set up to have the resources and human people. Responding to these things and empowered to do it. Automation just can’t complete the circle for what’s needed to use these channels appropriately and I’m and look, I love technology and software and automation. Like certainly it’s made a lot of our jobs easier and more manageable, but on social media, it’s social.

Ryan: That’s the name of the word? It’s not robots. It’s social. It’s, there’s a two way channel for engagement. You gotta be able to keep up with that. 

Brent: Yeah. And I think I’m gonna key in on what you said earlier, you said spark a conversation. And if you put that in real terms, like you’re walking into a room and you’re gonna start talking to somebody.

Brent: If you start talking to somebody and then you simply never respond or worse, walk away as they’re trying to respond. It’s the analogy for social media is exactly the same. You’re basically calling somebody and leaving the phone off the hook. And never answering anything they’ve just said , 

Ryan: that’s exactly right.

Ryan: It’s a great analogy. I love that. It’s true. You can’t, spark the conversation and then not be there to answer it. 

Brent: Yeah. And as, as bigger brands get, the more they should think about answering those things that are coming at them from social media. And if they’re not going to, they should explicitly say we don’t answer this channel.

Brent: Or I would just say don’t use that channel at all. If you’re not gonna 

Ryan: answer. That’s right. I would definitely say that or use it in a way that it’s clear that you are pushing out, but not expecting something back in. 

Brent: Yeah. But Ryan, we had a couple minutes left here. I wanna just, if you want to close out on a, something you said earlier about customers need to stick with a marketing initiative that you’re trying.

Brent: Even if it seems like it’s failing after a month or even two months if there’s a plan in place, is there a recommended amount of time that somebody should stick with it or is it pliable by the marketing campaign you’re doing? Yeah. 

Ryan: That’s a hard, one. Marketing is so complex and so specific to individual companies.

Ryan: That’s a hard one to answer like universally, but I’m gonna give it my go here. Again, I believe in setting 12 month plans, but making them very mialable, like bendable moldable as needed, cuz you need to be able to read and react to the market. But what I do think you have to stick with is number one, you need to focus on a target and that target can’t change every 30 days.

Ryan: So you need to spend, because a lot of I do some master classes and things like that. And the first thing you have to do is nail your. Because otherwise even a good friend of mine, Andy Murphy says this analogy that even if you’re five millimeters off, if you plot that out over a hundred miles, think about how off course you actually end up

Ryan: And again, getting that target nailed in getting the message to that target dialed in and sticking with it long enough that you have true actionable data. Because 30 days really isn’t enough. So I like to see 90 day campaigns that are testing across one or two different variables that might be the media.

Ryan: It might be the message, but again, there’s a consistent target and there’s a consistent kind of brand promise and theme across all of that. And so I think campaigns in 90 days, I think years in planning, like as far as a year or 12 month plan. And I just think you have to nail that target and you have to at least nail the overarching solution or brand promise that you can provide.

Brent: I would add one more thing that maybe a lot of companies don’t listen to as well is that there has to be enough traffic to make that data actionable. If it’s a, let’s just say it’s B2B and they have very low traffic. It’s gonna take a little longer to prove whatever hypothesis that you’ve put out there.

Brent: I think it’s a mixture of traffic and time that all merchants have to embrace or at least trust that they have to be able to see it through. 

Ryan: Yes. I think you nailed it. And the reality is we’ve done all this talk about social media. Organic social media, except on TikTok and a little bit on LinkedIn is pretty dead.

Ryan: you gotta pay to play to get the reach and the frequency that you need. To drive the traffic that you were just describing. So paid ads are a necessity unless you really have patience and know that organic traffic and growth is gonna take time, cuz SEO efforts on your website, take time. Organic posts get your about 7% of your followers.

Ryan: See them Facebook and Instagram. Twitter and others have figured this out. They’re just not gonna let you grow a business or a brand without paid approaches again, unless you’re leveraging influencers or other things, but those are paid as well. So again, if you want the volume that you need back to reach one of the undeniable truths and marketing it’s pay to play.

Brent: Yeah. And I think too that it’s not as easy for pay to play as it was 10 years ago, you really have to work on your campaigns and even look at more of those long tail searches in when you’re doing pay to play. It’s not just open up the spigot, but you’re gonna get a bunch of garbage nowadays, I think as well.

Brent: So as a merchant, you should pay attention to making sure that you’re looking at whatever’s happening and changing, like you said, the course to make sure you’re on target to hit that. Exactly. Ryan, this has been such a good conversation. I appreciate you being here. As we close out, I give every guest the opportunity to do a shameless plug about anything you’d like to plug.

Brent: What would you like to plug today? 

Ryan: Yeah, obviously, hopefully this has been enlightening. My hat here, the Radcast. Love for anyone to go. Listen, if you look up the Radcast, we do own most of the SEO. You’ll find our show on all the channels. We’re a top 25 marketing and business show on Spotify, top 100 on apple.

Ryan: And then I am launching a master classes, a different in different things and a mastermind under the radical formula, the radical formula.com. So I’d love for you. If you’re an individual or small business, that’s a great place to work with me. And learn from, 22 plus years in the business.

Ryan: And then if you’re a larger brand radical company, radical.company online, Brent really appreciate it. This has been really enjoyable. And you’re a great host. 

Brent: Yeah, I’ll make sure I’ll get all those show notes onto the onto the podcast. And again, thank you so much for being here.

Ryan: Thanks so much.

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