#14 Why Does Marketing Matter for Leaders?

Show Notes

We can all agree that marketing and social media matter to some extent…but what do they have to do with leadership? In this episode we discuss the significance of marketing in leadership, tips to improve your marketing, how leaders can acquire more customers and more! We’re joined by our Director of Creative Services, Josh Williams!  

For more resources, visit https://www.reallifeleaders.com/podcast

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Chantel Ray:                 So today we are doing something a little bit different that we haven't done before, but today's guest is actually someone from inside our organization. We wanted to cover the topic of marketing and leadership and honestly I couldn't think of a better guest to ask to come on the show than our director of creative services, Josh Williams, so welcome.

Josh Williams:               Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Chantel Ray:                 And as always, we've got the fabulous Heather Roemmich.

Heather:                       Hello everyone.

Josh Williams:               Heather.

Chantel Ray:                 And this is really different for us because Josh and his team are usually on the other side of the microphone producing and recording this podcast but not only is Josh super talented on the creative side of things, but he's an excellent leader, and so we're excited to have him on the show today. And some people might think well, what does marketing have to do with leadership? I thought that this was a leadership podcast, so let's first talk about that. What do you guys think? How does marketing really tie into leadership?

Josh Williams:               As a leader, things are constantly changing around you, right? And as a leader, if you're a business owner, or if you're a pastor, you want to stay relevant and you want to continue to spread your message to ultimately bring in more people into your company, right? So I think as marketing relates to leadership, you have to know how to communicate as a company or as a church, or as any organization, you have to know what your customers want and how you should interact with them and I think marketing is a huge factor of that.

Chantel Ray:                 Well yeah, I think even first than that, if you don't do any marketing and you don't have the business, there's no need for leadership.

Josh Williams:               Exactly.

Heather:                       There's no one to lead.

Josh Williams:               Exactly.

Heather:                       You have nothing to lead.

Chantel Ray:                 You don't have the business coming in, it's like, okay well, why do you need any leaders?

Josh Williams:               Exactly.

Heather:                       Yeah. And I actually saw an article that says, "To be a great marketer, you have to be a great leader first," and I think that's really important because they really are kind of the same thing. One of the things that we do to be really great leaders is we are just constantly learning and changing and seeing what's new and what can we do to improve and that's the same thing in marketing, like you can't just keep running print ads. The people who are running print ads, well guess what? They're not in business anymore.

Josh Williams:               Right.

Heather:                       So you have to continually be changing and evolving in how your marketing and I think that's something Josh is really, really great at.

Josh Williams:               Well, thank you.

Chantel Ray:                 Well, the other thing is, it's funny I don't know why this just came to mind but a friend of mine had posted a picture and she has a company and my husband had saw her picture and he said, "Did you see that picture that so and so posted?" He said, "I don't think that reflects well on her company." It was a little bit scandalous of a picture, she was kind of in a bikini and it was kind of a look at me da, da, da, da and he was like, "I don't think she's presenting a professional image for this new company that she's doing." And so also we need to really talk about that as well that we go, "Hey, you need to market yourself, how are you dressing? How are you appearing in social media as well."

Josh Williams:               And also if you're not building, I know we're talking about branding a little bit but if you're not building that brand and people don't know what you are, your customers will go online and start talking about you. And if you're not part of the conversation and really presenting the image of what you actually are, that's just going to look bad on you as a leader or as a company.

Chantel Ray:                 And especially if you have more of a luxury brand and you're going to try to target a luxury consumer, well you have to be living a luxury lifestyle yourself and a professional one at that.

Heather:                       Plus as a leader, you are your brand. So what they're presenting, that's them. And so, people perceive what they're seeing and whether or not it's true, I mean we all know on social media people live lives that many aren't necessarily what is true but it's what everyone's seeing and that is the perception that you're putting out there. So if you are presenting yourself as a leader whether it's in your company, community, church, whatever it might be, what you are presenting yourself on these platforms is what everyone's perceiving your leadership style to be.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, and perception is reality, right?

Heather:                       Yeah, 100%.

Josh Williams:               Basically, especially with marketing.

Chantel Ray:                 So let me ask you, what platform should leaders start with when they want to get their biggest bang for their buck? What would you say the platform is that often gets overlooked or underestimated and which is going to get them the best bang for the buck?

Josh Williams:               I think first, bang for the buck, I would definitely say Facebook. There are over two billion people on Facebook that are active every day. That's a huge audience, more people log into Facebook at night than watch the Superbowl, so that's a huge audience you can reach. And an easy way to do that is through Facebook lead forms. Basically you create an ad and you add a form that has their name, phone number and email, and if you're looking for a way to build an audience or get people on your email list, that is the easiest way to do it.

Chantel Ray:                 So, one of the things that we did wrong, it was actually just last year, we had a couple months were we were spending like $40000 a month on Facebook, it was out of control.

Josh Williams:               That's ridiculous.

Chantel Ray:                 And we weren't doing the lead captures. We were looking at the ROI and we'd say, "How'd you hear about us?" And they would say, "Radio, or TV, or blah, blah, blah." They would give credit to something else and then when we went and looked on our return on investment for Facebook, it was like, oh my God, this is terrible. And so, we could have just been like, "Oh let's just throw the baby out with the bath water, this isn't working." In my opinion, if you want to really be able to get an ROI, you've got to do that lead capture form because otherwise people will always give the credit, I feel like, to other places besides Facebook.

Heather:                       Where they've heard your branding.

Josh Williams:               Exactly, and I think for Facebook what's cool is, we're selling real estate, right? So it's a huge purchase but if you have someone, you're trying to get people to come to your store or if you have a book you're trying to sell, you can easily do an offer on Facebook with a lead form and be like, "Hey, get 10% at your next visit, fill out this information," and now you have people that you can follow up with for your business, for your store or, like I said, adding people to your email list.

Heather:                       And when you're talking about biggest bang for your buck Josh, talk a little bit about engagement and how that helps you with your performance and how you're paying for different things.

Josh Williams:               Right, so one thing about Facebook is if you just post on your business page and you just post there, it's not going to get a lot of likes. Even when you have an engaged audience, Facebook really wants you put money into the platform, but they reward content that is engaging. So, if you are not posting questions, ill get into this later, but if you're not posting questions or invoking some sort of response from people, they're not going to engage, which means your ad is going to perform worse, right? And Facebook is not going to spread it out because people are not interested in what you have to say. So really understanding your customer, what they want, what their needs are, that way you can spread your message more and that will help the ad to get out there more from engagement.

Chantel Ray:                 Let's talk for a second about leveraging people who say, "Look, I'm not huge on social media, should I leverage this out and hire a social media company to do this or should I hire someone full-time in-house?" What is your opinion on that?

Josh Williams:               Well we do both, right? So we have an ad agency that we work with for different things and then we also have an in-house department, which I'm a part of, so I think it depends on what your budget is. If you can afford to work with an ad agency that has a proven street credit and you're cool with just handing it off to someone else that can handle it, then awesome. Do that. But if you have a lot of needs and you have a lot of stuff that you want to be specialized to for your company, then maybe you should hire someone in person. And it doesn't have to be a lot, it could be ten to 15 dollars an hour or even start off with an intern just to kind of see how it goes. My suggestion, start off with an intern, see how that goes and then move them up.

Chantel Ray:                 Well the thing is, is if you think about it, if you hired someone at $15 dollars an hour, let's just you're paying them about $3000 dollars a month, let's say your whole Facebook budget is only $4000 dollars a month, then it would be better for you to outsource it and use that $4000 dollars to actually put in ads. Like I know someone who literally had someone but they were just posting it on their Facebook page and you could see they got one like, two likes, I'm like, "You are literally wasting time right now. You're posting on this business page, you're getting three people to look at it and you're paying someone $4000 dollars a month to run the ads and make all these crazy pretty things that nobody's looking at."

Josh Williams:               Oh, back to your question though about what often gets overlooked, I think definitely YouTube is one of those things, because it's basically almost the second largest search engine in the world in way because it's connected to Google and when people search for stuff they're looking YouTube as well, I know I do. When I'm searching how to do something I'm on YouTube, if I'm trying to learn something, I'm YouTube. I feel like a lot of companies are missing out from not utilizing YouTube as much.

Chantel Ray:                 And the thing is, they've made it so easy that you don't even need, we've got three video guys on staff, but you don't need three full-time people on staff.

Josh Williams:               No, you don't. You really just need one.

Chantel Ray:                 You really could have one and you can use your own iPhone to be doing so much of the videos.

Josh Williams:               Yeah.

Chantel Ray:                 Let's talk about marketing for just a second and let's talk about what are some tips, just in general, for marketing that you feel like we've utilized or that other companies have utilized to make their marketing stand out?

Josh Williams:               I know one thing we were talking about is a differentiator, what makes you different from other companies? And I know you have a list of those, so what would you say those are?

Chantel Ray:                 So one of the things that we did is we literally went around and asked each person, what do you like and what do you not like about real estate companies? And then we said, "Okay, we're going to just ask a bunch of people, what do you like? Or what do you not like?"

Heather:                       [crosstalk 00:10:40] better question. It's the easier one, yes. Yeah, what do you not like? It's like when you go to a restaurant, everyone is always going to complain when they have bad service, but when you have really exceptional service you rarely tell the manager, right? So when you ask people, if you're looking to create something that makes you different in your business compared to others that do not like you, then ask them those questions. What is it that you don't like? What is it that you wish that you had? And that's what we did, and so we were able to get our key differences and they were easy to implement, it was things that we all got behind and believed in and that's what we advertise. So we advertise what makes us different. People want that emotional connection to you.

Josh Williams:               Because those differentiators are targeting their pain points.

Heather:                       Yes.

Josh Williams:               So basically you identity the problem that people have, one of them is that a lot of times agents won't call them back, and so Chantel created that differentiator that we have, a live agent available from 8AM to 9PM every day because that addresses a pain point. So with your marketing, you just don't want to say, "Hey! I'm great! Hey, we're awesome," but you have to address the pain pints that your customers have and that will move them to action.

Chantel Ray:                 Well, there was a rumor going around that I have my degree, my Masters from Harvard in marketing.

Josh Williams:               That's a good rumor to have.

Chantel Ray:                 It's a great rumor but it's absolutely not true and I have my degree in mathematics and I've truthfully never taken a marketing course in my life but one of the things that people always say is, "Man, your company just has such great marketing." And really the ideas that I have, have truly come from other companies that are outside of my industry. So the fire me guarantee and the never stuck in a contract actually came out from a carpet company. So I was watching a TV show and I saw a flooring company that said, "If we lay down the flooring and you don't absolutely love it, we will rip it up and put new flooring down." And I was like, "Oh my God." As soon as I heard that I was like, "Wow, that's pretty impressive. They're putting their money where their mouth is."

Chantel Ray:                 And so when I started talking to other people and I said, "What do you not like about past real estate companies?" And they would say, "I feel like I'd be stuck in a long term contract with an agent for six months, they weren't doing anything but I couldn't do anything." And so if you can literally feel that, that's a terrible place to be. I wouldn't want to be stuck with someone who's doing absolutely nothing for six months and now I'm literally handcuffed. That's going to be our next ad. I need you to find an ad. We need to find somebody being handcuffed and that's how you feel. Do you want that feeling of being handcuffed? And you go, "No, that's why you need to use Chantel Ray." Right?

Josh Williams:               Exactly.

Heather:                       That's exactly right.

Josh Williams:               And that's a strong emotional response. Things I wrote down is that you have to make people feel emotion. Chantel you told me that people respond to dog posts and baby posts and I've seen it for myself and the reason is, is because it creates emotion. When you see a dog, you're like, "Oh the dog is so cute! Oh my gosh I want it. Oh, it's a baby, oh it's so cute!" That creates an emotional response with you. Think about it, your favorite movies, they evoke some type of response, like your favorite TV shows, they make you feel something, so when you're doing your marketing you have to make people feel. Those are usually our best performing things when either we a, make people laugh or we make people cry. Those are usually always our best performing posts, whether it's more of an ad or whether it's more of a just fun post, it always creates a better response.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, and Geico is kind of really known for their funny ads and that's kind of their thing, right? They go for funny, but their differentiator is that we're going to save you 15% or more on your car insurance and that's in every single ad and it's consistency over and over and over again.

Josh Williams:               And that comes back to my other point or my next point about some tips is that you need to have a call to action in every post. Every Geico ad always has that 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance and always gives you what they do, their differentiator and then always usually has their website linked to go, geico.com.

Chantel Ray:                 I think it's important to stay consistent but i also think it's important to change things up in the sense of, I'll give you a perfect example, there's a company here locally that Hilltop Pawn or Green Bryer Pawn, I mean they have TV commercials running all the time. And so, they started changing things up and at first they were doing everything about come in and pawn this and pawn that, and then they started just showing you different ways because I've never been to a pawn shop and I've never bought anything from a pawn shop.

Josh Williams:               Speak for yourself.

Chantel Ray:                 But anyway, then they started just showing other things.

Heather:                       Pretty pieces of jewelry.

Chantel Ray:                 They showed Rolex watches and they were showing, you could buy this Rolex watch for $30000 or you could spend this amount, just different ways to look at it. And so sometimes you need to have a consistent message but you need to start looking at different ways that you can advertise your business that might not have gone to that core specialty, it might be something else.

Josh Williams:               If you're using the same way you communicated in 1995, that's going to be relevant today. You can still have the same message but how you present that message definitely has to change with the times.

Chantel Ray:                 But I also think that you have to say, "Why should I use this company versus the other company," because with Geico they're telling you the reason why you should use us is because we're going to save you 15% or more. That's it.

Josh Williams:               That's ingrained in my head.

Chantel Ray:                 But I think they've started talking a little bit about some of their other differences. I know I saw a commercial that talked about just how fast you could get somebody.

Josh Williams:               Right, but they've reached a point where they can do that because there's enough awareness of the Geico brand that they can start branching out a little more, but you still know their core message is 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. If your just starting out, you need to be consistent, right? Like Chantel, with your message it was if it has to sell, call Chantel. That's kind of been the core of what we do in a way, focusing on that message. And so now we can kind of branch out because there's kind of awareness in this area of that.

Chantel Ray:                 And I think one of the things that we've done wrong in the sense of I feel like we have so many differentiators that ...

Heather:                       It can get lost in the sauce.

Josh Williams:               Just a little bit.

Chantel Ray:                 Even like our staff, if I said to you Heather, "Okay, name all of our differentiators, go."

Heather:                       Right, I would say we have a fire me guarantee, we have a live agent on duty from 8AM to 9PM every day of the week. We have a love it or leave it guarantee, where if you don't like the house you love in the first month, we'll sell it for free. We have a 90 day or a 33 day listing guarantee. The list goes on.

Chantel Ray:                 $1000 dollars to the charity of your choice. So it's almost better if you have less and so if it's too many you can just lost in the sauce.

Heather:                       Try to stay around three.

Chantel Ray:                 Three or less.

Heather:                       Three is best. We have acronyms to try to remember them, that's when you get a little many.

Chantel Ray:                 Just got too many. Keep it simple.

Josh Williams:               Or if you're trying to do an ad, like if you're marketing something and you have like, three or four call to actions, people are really not going to remember any of them.

Heather:                       Sometimes we're like, click below or email or text, or call.

Josh Williams:               Keep it simple. One call to action.

Heather:                       And I think one great thing you should do is based on what's going on, so like at Superbowl time we always have a football theme.

Josh Williams:               You mean the big game?

Heather:                       The big game yes. We run ads and different things geared towards that. Different things like that, so that's something that you should do. Create your content around what's going on in today's world.

Josh Williams:               Exactly.

Chantel Ray:                 Well, let's talk about some other lessons we've learned like maybe the hard way that we've done in our marketing where we were like, "This was a bust. This did not work out." We either had negative comments, or what would you say some thing's that we've done that just didn't go well?

Heather:                       Well some go well, you still get negative comments. So we have our sing out jingle, we did a sing our jingle contest, which we got really great singers, you get some that ...

Chantel Ray:                 Oh if you haven't seen that video, go to chantelray.com, scroll to the bottom and we'll make sure it's on there. It was one of the first ones, it's the sing the jingle contest or just Google, sing the jingle, Chantel Ray, it's hysterical. It's funny.

Heather:                       We had some really phenomenal people, it's kind of like America Idol. You had some really phenomenal people, some people who's mom's always told them they could sing but really they weren't telling them the truth, but people will troll your page and make nasty comments.

Chantel Ray:                 I thought that was a hit.

Heather:                       It was but we had really great people but then people got mad that we- ...

Chantel Ray:                 That they didn't win?

Heather:                       That they didn't win or that we changed our jingle. They didn't like us doing it in these different genres.

Chantel Ray:                 Oh, I remember we got a compliant call because when my kids were little, we used to use them in everything because when they're little they're just so cute and then as they've gotten older, we just don't use them as much and literally we've gotten hate mail like, were are the kids? Bring the kids back.

Josh Williams:               Oh wow.

Chantel Ray:                 Literally they were like, "Why did the kids come out of the commercial? They were way better when the kids were in the commercial."

Josh Williams:               That's funny.

Heather:                       Yeah, people don't like you changing it either. They do not like you changing your core stuff.

Josh Williams:               But even recently we did the jingle thing again and we didn't get a response. I was dumbfounded and I'm like, "We put all this money out there for people to participate and they just didn't come out." People commented but nobody actually participated, I was surprised.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, it wasn't as big of a hit this time. But I think maybe it was such a big hit and then it was kind of ...

Heather:                       Since we're kind of coming up on this season I think we should talk about sometimes the giveaways that we've done. Like we did this Easter basket giveaway. Giveaways are great. Giveaways are a way to get a lot of engagement on your page wouldn't you say so Josh?

Josh Williams:               Yes, I'd say so.

Heather:                       But I will tell you they are a nightmare.

Josh Williams:               Oh lord.

Heather:                       Especially as you get bigger. When we were smaller, when we were a smaller team, we gave away Easter baskets and I still can't even barely make an Easter basket for my kids without getting nightmares. People came in flocks for these Easter baskets.

Chantel Ray:                 So one of the things you want to do, we said, "Hey, we want to really appreciate our clients," and so we did pumpkin pie giveaways at thanksgiving, well we were giving a way thousands of pies. Thousands and thousands of Easter baskets, well we had our entire staff in a chain. You get the basket, you put ...

Heather:                       Money in, you get the chocolates.

Chantel Ray:                 You get the chocolates, you get this and it was a conveyor of baskets. I mean we spent ...

Josh Williams:               I'm sweating just thinking about it.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah we spent almost two weeks, I would go home and I was having that Easter grass in my clothes.

Josh Williams:               Oh wow.

Chantel Ray:                 We were frantic.

Josh Williams:               That's crazy.

Chantel Ray:                 They were like, "Oh hi, we're here for the Easter basket." I mean, it was out of control.

Heather:                       People love a giveaway, it's a great way to get people engaged however, have one thing. One thing. Don't give everybody an Easter basket.

Josh Williams:               I think another thing is that one time about a year ago, so we had an Instagram account but we weren't as active on it and so our inside sales team came to me and was like, "Hey, we're not really active on Instagram right now," and so we actually started posting more, we started putting it in our daily schedule and we actually discovered that people were actually reaching out to us on the platform, just sending us a message like, "Hey," because audiences are so scattered. Everybody likes their thing and so, if you're not on different platforms, your potentially missing out on customers, because I mean Facebook owns Instagram now and Instagram had already built a huge audience for themselves but there are people everywhere that you can reaching with your message.

Chantel Ray:                 So in leadership we have to be constantly learning, evolving and the same with marketing. Our marketing and Josh has to be constantly learning and studying and getting the new trends and figuring out what's creative and new, and so I think just constantly being able to be one step ahead and saying, "What else is out there," and staying ahead of the curve is the key.

Josh Williams:               Definitely.

Chantel Ray:                 Thanks guys for joining us, we'll see you next time.

Josh Williams:               All right, bye.

Heather:                       Bye.


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