When it comes to multi-location or franchise marketing, the key is balancing centralized brand control with hyper-local marketing.
This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Wild Coffee Marketing co-founder Amy Anderson explains how her team approaches managing the marketing strategies for some of the countries biggest franchise brands.
From working with Franchise Advisory Councils (FACs) to leveraging technology to deploy consistent marketing messages across geographically distant franchise locations, Amy shares insider tips and insights on how her team helps franchises achieve their growth goals.
Check out the full episode to get the details. (Transcript has been edited for clarity.)
Kathleen (00:00): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. I am your host, Kathleen Booth. And this week, my guest is Amy Anderson, who is the co-founder of Wild Coffee Marketing. Welcome to the podcast, Amy.
Amy (00:24): Thank you so much for having me, Kathleen. I'm super excited to be here.
Kathleen (00:27): This is going to be a ton of fun because we're going to talk about something we have not talked about yet on this podcast, which now that we're almost 200 episodes in is — it's pretty rare. So I always get really excited about these episodes. But before we jump into our discussion topic, tell my audience a little bit about yourself, what Wild Coffee Marketing is, and kind of how you ended up doing what you're doing.
Amy (00:50): Well, I can't believe it's been almost 30 years of a marketing career that went by very, very quickly. And I actually started in the media business in New York right after college, I moved there and I worked at 17 Magazine and I loved the pace of it. What 21-year-old woman does not want to work at 17 for a bit? But I had a really hard struggle with the accountability, and the performance of print bothered me back then. And so I ended up in broadcast actually at Calvin Klein cosmetics, where I was managing $70 million of co-op funds for radio and television. And I love that we at least had Nielsen data, right? So at least we understood audience. And then pure play internet media came on. Right? So in the mid-90s I worked at TheNew York Times digital, I was part of the original group that had launched with mytimes.com and that was gated content, right?
Amy (01:41): So you had to register, you still do, and now it's paid, right? So that was my first foray into sort of personalized content, registration, data, user data. And I've sort of been obsessed with it ever since. And running marketing departments then and B2B and tech and financial services. So I stayed home for a few years raising my young sons. And when I went back into the market, I would have had to have a really sort of senior job at that point cause it had been 20-plus years and I wanted the flexibility to be able to raise my young kids and started consulting. And I joined forces with my former boss who is now my business partner, Solomon Wancier. And we founded Wild Coffee Marketing, knowing that there is a place in this market for sort of this hybrid model, part consulting firm and part agency. So we're very heavy on strategy and advisory services, but we also implement what we recommend, or we can. And it's been a really great three and a half years so far.
Kathleen (02:41): I have a bunch of questions, the first one, and I'm sure you've gotten this many times in the past: How did you come up with the name Wild Coffee?
Amy (02:50): Well, I was living in Miami for 17 years in an area called Coconut Grove, where you'd have to knock back all the weeds and foliage with — I mean, it is jungley and there's a native plant called Wild Coffee that grew all over my property and it was a hardy and beautiful and sort of energetic plant that was hard to keep back and it attracts birds and butterflies and bees. And I was sitting in my office one day and I said, you know, if I ever form a company it's going to be called Wild Coffee. And it's been a lot of fun for us because it has a lot of fun brand extensions that we are able to work with.
Kathleen (03:25): Yeah, that's neat. I had to sort of chuckle when you talked about Nielsen ratings being the thing that got you into being a data-driven marketer, because — wasn't it? — I feel like in the last two months, Nielsen has come under fire for mismeasuring just recently. And it's just, it just points to how far this stuff has come in that time period. In a short amount of time, the way we measure has gotten so much more sophisticated and we're able to have such a higher degree of accuracy. It's pretty fascinating to me to track. Are you still doing a lot in broadcast now, or no?
Amy (04:03): They're doing some OTT actually — the over the top — for one of our actual multi-location franchise clients, and that, you know, I always preface it when I'm at a cocktail party or at a meeting or speaking to a group, and you have to sort of say, “I know the creepy factor is there that we're kind of continuing your journey from the internet into broadcast in your home, but there's also no sort of margin for error anymore with tracking their last attribution” that you can't be wrong. So when Nielsen comes under their fire for things like that, it's just unacceptable at this point. We're expected to be accurate all the time.
Kathleen (04:39): And I also feel like, yes, there are a lot of people out there who complained vocally about being tracked and all that. But I've had a lot of conversations recently, especially since Apple started doing away with cookies and things like that, where people are saying, “I kind of want to be tracked because I want the ads I see to be relevant.” I was joking with somebody who said, “you know, my advice to all the men out there was get your Mother's Day presents before Apple deprecates the cookie, because all you have to do is go look in their feed and see everything they like, and that's not going to be there anymore. And so it is interesting that I think there are people who it's … we're very divided as a society in terms of what we want.
Amy (05:23): I agree. And you want things to be personalized and relevant, but there's a price that comes with that. You know, some of the geo-fencing that we're doing. I mean, I'll tell when we have multi-location, highly localized marketing that I know if you've been in Orange Theory or Publix in a shopping center and it's highly effective for us in some ways, but I understand sort of the creepy factor of it, but at least I'm going to serve you something that makes sense to you.
Kathleen (05:49): So let's actually get into that a little bit, because the topic that we're talking about that we haven't talked about before is multi-location or franchise marketing, and we've talked about probably every aspect of marketing in some way or the other for single businesses or single locations. But it's very interesting to me when you start talking about franchises, because not only are we talking about multi-location, but with franchises specifically, we're really talking about multi-owner as well. How do you craft marketing programs that are manageable with such a broad constituency for them, but then also protect the integrity of the core brand. I'm fascinated by that, because this is the kind of thing that, if it's not managed correctly, could really do a lot of damage.
Amy (06:39): We talk about the rogue franchisee, right? So that's a thing. It's interesting for us. It's fascinating because it almost is a marketing program that has tension in it, right? So you have the corporate roles, which [are] brand, getting new franchisors on board, multi-unit location investors. So you have this sort of corporate aspect, and then you have this theory sort of hyper localized, and they have different goals, right? So one is brand value, equity, consistency of message, growth, and then at the local level, it's like, okay, that's all really nice and well in science, baby, give me the leads. Yeah, exactly.
Amy (07:27): Meets the road for sure. Absolutely. And it's two totally different strategies. So how do you bridge that? And I think you have to have two disparate programs. I mean, there has to be a corporate marketing team of corporate marketing focus and plan that may be PR, right? So we have — one of our clients has a hundred-plus locations. They recently hired a celebrity, sort of endorser, but he bought 20 locations. So what do you do with that and him and PR at a corporate level, but then how do you make that translate into local markets? And one is that we use pretty sophisticated technology and platforms to push whatever we want at a corporate level to the local level. So we'll say, “Hey, you can pick from all this social content in this platform that we use, but we're also going to push some things and you have to be okay with that because there are certain messages that have to trickle down, but otherwise we're going to give you evergreen and promotional content that you can pull.”
Kathleen (08:19): And I assume that's all baked into the franchise agreements so that the framework is there from the start.
Amy (08:27): Yes. And we actually have another client that has a hundred corporate-owned locations, right? So that's a little easier because they're corporate owned, you have more flexibility. Franchises usually will even have a council, right? They call it the FAC and those people are representing interests of the individual franchises. So you've got this local strategy, delivering leads, putting together that sort of program. And then they come to you as a group with, “okay, this is what we need to have you do to improve this.” So it's just a lot of moving parts, a lot of dynamics, and you have to be super flexible and focused on performance, and focused on overall growth at the same time as the actual brand.
Kathleen (09:06): And it's interesting, because prior to my life in marketing, I actually worked in what I would call stakeholder consensus building for large public sector reform projects. And it was about building up grassroots support at the ground level so that these projects could go through their life cycle without getting derailed, essentially by opposition. And I feel like what you just described is exactly also that, because if you, from what I'm hearing, if you go into this and you haven't got the, not just the buy-in of corporate, who I'm assuming is your customer, but then you don't take the time to really socialize what you're going to do with the franchisees, or at least this CA this council of representatives, then that's going to cause a lot of problems down the road. Is that accurate?
Amy (09:52): That's absolutely accurate. Yeah. And it's representing lots of different interests showing performance results, you know? Yes. The corporate, the corporate group and the C-suite is our client, but we also care very deeply about these people who in many cases have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars. They're small business owners, right? So maybe 41 of our clients, all the locations are owned by 48 people out of 110. So some have multiple, but we really care about what happens. And I think you've probably seen this over the years in B2B marketing and in marketing, if you don't love and care about your salespeople and their experience and their needs, you will never be successful. And that's sort of the case here that I see that they have they're with customers in store, they have their own set of challenges, especially in COVID. Right. So I just think that sort of empathetic approach to those people and delivering their needs is a foundation for a lot of our strategy.
Kathleen (10:53): So now, in terms of how you work with these companies, you said often corporate is your client, is that right? Yes. And are you doing the corporate marketing and, and some of the PR as well as the actual local marketing, or are they bringing you in to take on the local piece?
Amy (11:10): That is a really good question. It depends, in some cases we will actually manage the localized digital agency. That's doing lead generation for a fee per location. So they'll be doing sort of local paid digital. And then we handle it, the corporate level SEO overall all of the PR and then social media usually, although, you know, that's sort of the agreement that you have is okay, please, because really sort of genuine engagement at the local level is super important. So go ahead and create your own social, but we are going to provide you a library to supplement that. And then we're also going to push things to your page sometimes, cause that's really important too. So it's sort of creating this hybrid model of that and we love managing the localized agencies cause they're typically very good at what they do. Franchises usually get a choice of three to four to work with.
Kathleen (12:06): Interesting. So when you come into a new client, walk me through how you break it down because this feels like, like eating an elephant. I hate that analogy, but I'm going to use it anyway. Like you've got to do it one bite at a time. And so there, cause there is a lot that could be done here. So, so how do you, do you have like a mental model for how you tackle this?
Amy (12:28): Absolutely. I mean, any engagement that we start with always has a positioning, right? So we all use April Dunford and work with her. You know, we love all, I love her too. So we all sort of have that foundational work that we do with the brand, right? So you have to identify who all your personas are, what matters to them. And once you mobilize all of that in the positioning, we usually start with corporate, understand the growth targets, understand what's worked, what hasn't, where they're trying to go. We have a client now that's trying to go from one 20 to 240 locations. They are a stretching gym and they have had zero problems after COVID, which is incredible. I think people are ready to be out and wellness is very important to all of us. So really sort of working at the corporate level and then going in and looking at their funnel, right? So what's the awareness phase, what's consideration and conversion, and then starting to deploy local strategies on top of that, for example, we know 97% of consumers engage in local search when working, looking for a local business, right? So what do those Google My Business pages look like? What is happening with all their directories? And imagine all the directories times a hundred locations, the scalability is tremendous. So you have to have a centralized sort of command center to start doing that.
Kathleen (13:49): And are there any particular tools that you find really helpful? I mean, I know I've used like some rushes, local SEO bolt-on there's Yext there's there used to be Moz local. I don't even know if it's still exists anymore. Like, are there certain platforms that you've found to be really scalable for that?
Amy (14:06): Absolutely. We use Yext for some of our bigger sort of enterprise clients for that we're actually using a platform called Soci. So I don't know if you've heard of them. They're meant for multi location marketing, they offer the localized local pages, directory pages, social. So when I talk about creating those folders, pushing social app chat, we use them for, and really what's been super helpful recently is reviews. So right. So up to maybe 30 to 40 locations of a business, you can do a lot of things manually. You get to 50 plus, and that's where the scalability sort of shifts at a hundred. Plus you, you have to, so to look at reviews across a hundred locations has been super interesting. You get an sort of scale of sentiment, right? So you can see how's my, how, how am I? How's the health of all my locations?
Amy (14:58): That visibility is really important. And then what we've seen, we actually have a formal ware client with a hundred locations rolling up in a single brand and that starting to happen. I'm in the middle quarter of the U.S. And you know, there's a lot with prom emerging. We're coming out of COVID massive mandates lifted. All of a sudden problems are happening. My son has a mock prom this weekend. It's sort of a fake one, but they're all going. And we're starting to see individual sort of tuxedo, formal wear specialists who are like rock stars in the market. So even helps you see visibility down to who likes whom and what stores and how can we surface that into social media content with like Tufts tips with Terry and things like that. That really give you three content ideas when you're actually looking at reviews and things on those pages.
Kathleen (15:48): So tell me, you said Soci. Tell me how that's spelled.
Amy (15:51): S-O-C-I.
Kathleen (15:53): OK. Interesting.
Amy (15:54): Soci.com to look that up, but we work with them on, on several different deployments and it's just been really effective in helping us scale.
Kathleen (16:03): It makes sense because it does sound like you would need a specialized program, rather platform for this. You talk about pushing updates out to different accounts and you know, I owned an agency for 11 years and, and boy, I remember the, when you first start working with brands, how, how terrified they are to give you you know, control over social, especially. And so what does that look like? Is it, is it complete control where you're able to come up with the creative and send it out? And as I imagine, then there's a process to get there with the trust or is it you're coming up with the creative, sending it to corporate, having it vetted and then pushing it into the system? Like what, how do you, how do you handle that?
Amy (16:48): It's sort of a hybrid model. I think with that, you know, the local stores or local locations or studios, you know, whatever you're working with, really, they should be doing their own social media. We don't want know, say a restaurant chain came to us and wanted to do social. I mean, imagine us trying to take, you know, it just doesn't work as well. That'd be boring, it'd be stale. It feels corporate, right? So there's a lot of, a lot of, sort of in-store in boutique things that have to happen. We did launch associated with one of our clients and we did have an approval place process in place because there were some rogue Zs as we call them. And there were a lot of sort of off-brand graphics being used, maybe language and copy that wasn't quite on brand. And so we had it going through an approval process.
Amy (17:37): We were, we were looking at posts, approving or giving feedback or suggestions. And then once that trust started to build, and once we started to push content out, then sort of that trust loop was closed. We stopped approving. That's great. Okay. You guys can fly on your own. And then we give them good content with good folders promotions, and it's all organized. And so she said they can pull down and then super important sort of corporate wide announcements, then they're like, okay. Yeah, that's interesting. You can go ahead and push it. So it's really trusting each other. And then everybody gets more comfortable.
Kathleen (18:11): It's so important because I mean, having done this for several years and worked with different types of clients, like the, to me, the biggest problem with, with really succeeding on social very often is speed. Like you have to be able to capitalize on something's happening in the world and you, you comment on it or a trend pops up, you know, like I think back to the Bernie Sanders meme with him in the chair and the mittens and like the worst thing was when people were posting that a month later as though it was news and it's like, no,
Amy (18:40): Three days, even three days later it was sort of done. Right? I feel like it peaked with the one of him on Melania's dress. There were so many good ones. Oh my gosh. But yeah.
Kathleen (18:52): I mean, if you, because I worked with a lot of financial services firms and everything had to go through compliance and there came a point where it was like, why bother? You know, like if you can't move fast, it's not worth doing right.
Amy (19:04): Well Matthew McConaughey was on Jimmy Kimmel talking about Al's former lawyer and we had a post in 45 minutes. So, I mean, that's how timely, I mean, even big days it makes you irrelevant sometimes. And you're absolutely right. That the speed is important. We are on it like that. And something came up recently about one of our clients was like, well, should I have one social media person in-house, you know, and named a very low salary level. And I said, that's so interesting that CEOs think that interns do social when it is your most visible right. Potentially vulnerable and most on-brand things you have to do. So, you know, we do have an in-house director of brand strategy who does social, she's a brilliant writer, PR crisis management background. You can't just throw that at, at a, you know, an entry-level person on your team and expect that it's going to really fly.
Kathleen (20:03): Absolutely. And I think a lot of people confuse young with inexperienced. Cause there are, there are definitely a lot of young people who like, naturally get social really well. But there's a difference between young and understand social, but has no good judgment and young and understand social and how to use it for business, like, and the young and understand social and how to use it for business as the one who like gets paid the big bucks.
Amy (20:29): And they're hard to find. They're a little Unicorny and this market we're always on the lookout for them. Because it's hard to scale that part of the business. Being in the agency world, you know this.
Kathleen (20:41): And throw in sense of humor. And they're like the unicorn of unicorns.
Amy (20:44): Well now we have short form video content, but if you get wrong, get really, really wrong, you know, and it's an area that we're ramping up more than more. I mean, I'm, I'm advanced in my career. You say Tik Tok to me and I start to sweat, you know, I look at my teenagers and I'm like, don't worry. Mom's not going back.
Kathleen (21:01): I know I'm like, I've given it up on TikTok. And honestly I have to be on a Snapchat too. Like I just can't, I don't have the, I don't have the energy, but I also don't have to because I market B2B software. So luckily it doesn't hurt my career. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, so let's talk a little bit about the hyper-local marketing because this thing it gets really interesting. And what I find fascinating about this is I think that franchise companies do do this really well because they're like able to do it at a micro level, but at scale. And so they have that experience to bring to bear, but everything they do is so applicable to other hyperlocal businesses that maybe just don't have the same experience and resources. And so I, I love this topic because I feel like if you own a local business and you really want to kill it, you can, if you're willing to put some effort into this area. And so I'm hoping that like, we're going to cover this and yes, there might be some, some things that like are out of reach for somebody who's local, but I also think there's going to be a lot of really good takeaways.
Amy (22:04): Let's absolutely, I mean, the areas that we look at right first Google My Business. What does your local listing look like? I mean, that is your, the cornerstone of your digital footprint in search.
Kathleen (22:15): Are you keeping it updated because especially during COVID, this became really obvious to me that there were people who maybe had taken the time to set up really good listings, but then didn't update them with their new COVID hours or protocols or what have you. And that there's nothing more annoying than going someplace to patronize whether that's a restaurant or another type of a business and showing up and they're closed.
Amy (22:39): Absolutely. And in images in your Google My Business listing people sort of overlook that it's good to change them. Right. And we recently did a big, a hundred locations push of directory listing content. And we did not override the photos on the local level because again, it needs to have, even if the storefront is not the most beautiful glossy sort of aligned with corporate brand that you would want, it's still the base of the store and that's what people are looking for and it's theirs. So that's that balance. We talk about Mary with that. What we also I think is really important is what is your review program of a local business? Are you asking for them, are you responding to them? And that's another aspect that Soci gives us. We can look across a hundred locations, how long it's taking someone to respond to a review.
Kathleen (23:28): So I'd love for you to talk a little bit about what you've seen work well, as far as asking for them, because I think that that is where a lot of businesses stumble is they either they're not asking or the way they're asking is sort of doomed to failure. So, so what's successful in this area?
Amy (23:45): I definitely think a follow up email if you have that customer data, right? Texts will work also if you have a platform installed. But I think asking in a subtle way that really leaves it up to them. You know, if you liked what you got from us in this location, we'd love for you to let us know. And then there are platforms grade us we've used grade.us where it enables you to ask for them, you have your own sort of landing page for them. But I, I think multiple asks is probably not the way you want to go. Right. Ask ones, leave it up to them. And then, and then go from there.
Kathleen (24:22): Is there a point in time or place when it's most impactful? And what I would equate this to is, you know, like you're in the grocery store, you're going to check out and if they, whatever food they seem to put in the checkout aisle is what flies off the shelves because you're stuck standing there and it's like, you're about to hand over your cash. Right. It wouldn't hurt to just take that pack of gum. So is, are there points in time or place with local businesses, whether that is, I mean, you mentioned email and I'm assuming that's immediate post-purchase, but if it's more of a physical interaction, is it like slipping something in their bag if it's retail or, you know, putting it on the receipt? I know, I know lots of places do that. Like what, what works well now?
Amy (25:03): I think in store, it's definitely having that conversation there. I think that's okay to say it was really nice to meet you. And I'm so glad you were here putting a personal note on a receipt. Absolutely. Sometimes. I was on an a flight recently and I flew to Seattle and actually the flight attendant gave me a card with his name on it and said, and you can review him too as well. And that's the first time I've had something like that where I've had a flight attendant. Yeah. Solicit that. So I think it's more immediate and it's conversational when, when they're in store for sure. Email wise. Yeah. I like the 24 hours sort of the same as the abandoned cart cadence that we love, which is 24, 48 72 that we put typically will email with an abandoned cart.
Kathleen (25:48): So, and then you mentioned responding, which I hope everybody, I think everybody out there listening, because I do tend to have a fairly sophisticated audience, knows that like you gotta respond. You gotta are you
Amy (26:00): Surprised? Well, cause they're also in store, right? In many cases right now there's a lot happening, right. We're transitioning out of this period in time of business and they're busy and they're making sales, but this is a really important part. So that's almost like a corporate process and culture and educating them on the importance of it. We're doing a lot of just sort of screen-sharing videos for them because they're using associates, well, training them, communicating the importance and the impact of their business, how it helps them in a positive way. And maybe there's a little bit of that. Oh wow. Now I hate to say corporate right. Or home office or, but the reality is, that's what it is. They can actually see what we're doing a little bit more easily. Right. So I wonder if that creates a little bit more of a sense of urgency and I don't think that's a bad thing. It's not an over monitoring. It's Hey, we're here to support you and help you create a better customer experience.
Kathleen (26:54): Well, and it's all about also taking the high road when you respond. Because I mean, I've had restaurant clients in the past and I've seen firsthand just how heinous people can be in reviews. And sometimes it's because they had a bad experience and sometimes it's because like their friend used to wait tables there and didn't like getting fired for stealing something. You know, it can be anything, but I, you know, I think you have to, there's an art to responding to these things and not like going on the attack back at somebody.
Amy (27:24): Absolutely. We actually can put responses like that in the platform for them so they can see like five issues. We can have canned responses and groups of five, right. So we give them so much content to sort of help them along the way there too, which has been really helpful to them.
Kathleen (27:40): That's good. All right. So let's talk about geo-fencing because you mentioned that and I'm fascinated by it and that technology has changed so much. So how do you tell
Amy (27:50): We actually we'll use a couple of third-party platforms, which I am not as familiar with them as my team is. But I know when we first started about two years ago, the response rates with click-through and leads were really low and I'm seeing a big change in that. So recently we launched a campaign that had a 2% conversion rate on geo-fencing and we're actually fencing the area around the stretch gym locations. And it's super fun. 'Cause you can offer them an offer. You can give an offer. We usually tie a sense of urgency to it. It's in app with things that they're using. And so I think it's sort of come a long way with that in that way. And we're having a lot of success with it at the super local level. We've also done some trade shows too in the B2B world. I don't know if you've done any geo-fencing that way where you'll fence the convention center.
Kathleen (28:42): I have not. So talk to me more, what platforms are you using also? Cause this is super interesting.
Amy (28:51): I do not know which one they're using right now. And they're, I know there are two, so it's, I I'd have to ask them.
Kathleen (28:58): I'll tell you what, if you follow up with me afterwards, I will put it in the show notes.
Amy (29:03): Thank you. And they'll probably, they're all, they'll probably be listening like oh great. But she doesn't remember and it's put through.
Kathleen (29:09): Well, we can't be expected to know everything that the teams are doing.
Amy (29:11): So did you know that I had a conversation recently about how wide we're expected to go and how deep now is, you know, just the number of platforms alone we use are probably over 15, but we, yeah, we had a medical device client at a dental show and we were sending people to the booth by fencing the convention center. And then we're also doing it sort of at a hyper-local with competitive fitness centers, trying to get people interested in wellness to do a free stretch. So that's where we've seen some really good lead forms. And it just really, as, as marketers and we just talked about how data has to be accurate performance is critical for us as outsource marketing teams. And so you have to be bold to try different things and be really sort of creative, courageous about it. And I think that the geo-fencing is one area that we're going to start going down a lot more.
Kathleen (30:05): How does the cost per acquisition for geo-fencing compared to traditional pay-per-click? Is it more? Less?
Amy (30:11): It's around the same.
Kathleen (30:12): OK. Oh, that's great. Because I do feel like traditional pay-per-click is getting harder, you know, with cookie deprecation.
Amy (30:20): Well we just went through an election cycle. Right. So now we've gotten much more astute at really sort of looking at budgets around major life sort of events times of the year, managing expectations with that. And cost sometimes are going up five times at certain parts of the year.
Kathleen (30:37): Yeah. During the election cycle, during the holiday season, when it gets more competitive. Absolutely. Everyone's like, well it's like half the year now, like Amazon prime day, I feel like it's like four months before Christmas. I don't know what happened, but it starts in August or even sometimes July.
Amy (30:55): It's like 4th of July is going right into Halloween now.
Kathleen (31:00): So depressing, like don't start releasing things that are flavored like pumpkin until after the summer is over.
Amy (31:04): Although I do, I love my pumpkin spice memes that come around in the fall.
Kathleen (31:08): Yes. so I there's so many different aspects to this. Maybe you could just share, and I don't know if you can talk about specific clients or not. It doesn't really matter if you name names, but can you just give us a sense of like what kinds of results you've you've seen and, and what, what has driven those?
Amy (31:24): Sure, sure. What, what has been most remarkable is the increase in social traffic and that's something we didn't anticipate. Right. So before COVID to after COVID, so we have these two sort of worlds, we don't even look at things versus 19 versus 20 quarter over quarter with this client is sort of pre COVID post COVID, right.
Kathleen (31:43): BC and AC, right?
Amy (31:46): Right. We actually saw a 36% increase in social referral traffic. And what I think has happened is I know that these locations, as much as they want that autonomy of posting, they're also starving for content. So in many cases it was probably infrequent, not optimized. You can set when we're going to post right. And optimize in that way. But now we're just seeing engagement rates go up and actually referral traffic has really increased a lot, which has been great. And I mentioned before with our formal where client really surfacing content ideas and creating like mini rock stars of people out in the field has been super effective and just bringing to life the brand.
Kathleen (32:32): Do you see a trend across the content that you push out where anything that's user-generated seems to perform better?
Amy (32:40): Well, because we're in bridal.
Kathleen (32:42): I'm sure it depends too though. Like there's that user-generated content.
Amy (32:47): But do you know, just the time that it takes to review UGC is, is pretty significant, right? So our social team, I mean, I'm sure they time block UGC time. Right. And so it takes a lot of time, but it performs really well. It's authentic. Right. Which when we talk about sort of brand voice and trends in 2021 and what's happening, I think people, I don't, I don't want to say that they're cynical, but they're going to see through sort of glossy corporate materials. And I think to be genuine is really important and you could see sort of it connects with them better. They can identify with it a lot better.
Kathleen (33:24): You can see yourself in the advertising much more than you can with stock photos or really slickly produced things.
Amy (33:30): Yeah. Stock photos, right. The necessary evil that we all sort of try to run from and find different ways. And, and I was recently in a meeting with a commercial, actually they do residential, mostly mortgage lender. And I looked at the CEO, they just did a $10 million round and they're taking off and, and struggling with scalability because I said, you know, it was really, I empathized with them. It's really hard to be a financial services CEO and have to be a publisher. And just for them to be able to keep up with the volume and the engaging nature of it. So when you're in a market that has a lot of user generated content, you're really lucky. Bridal is fantastic.
Kathleen (34:14): Oh, I was going to say, I mean, it's, like I said, I'm in B2B software and I used to be in cybersecurity, which is the worst industry for UGC because nobody wants to even say like what solution they're using. So you can't even get testimonials and case studies there. So I'm very jealous.
Amy (34:33): Well, especially with brides, right. And all looking to be the most original, I mean, it's sort of the Instagram bride, right? It's not even in Pinterest anymore. These brides are all on Instagram and they're very generous in the industry with tagging each other. And they're so they're so much of it that it's as, as a formal wear supplier or a bridal designer, we have a bride designer client in New York. It's just, it's so helpful to us in social for sure.
Kathleen (34:57): Oh, I love that. Well, I feel like I could talk to you for hours about this. But we're going to switch gears because I want to make sure I squeeze in the two questions that I always ask my guests. So the first one is, is that this podcast of course is about inbound marketing. And so like naturally attracting the right buyers to you. Is there a particular company or individual out there that you think is really setting the standard for what it means to do that well right now?
Amy (35:19): Well one of our values is always learning and as marketers, we have to be all the time. So I really follow a lot of our software providers that we work with. Because even yesterday we were talking about AI and how we're deploying it, how we're using it to optimize of our digital campaigns. And I have to say, I love Unbounce. They have just a lot of sort of reminder content. I consider it that's a little bit more surface and then they get really in depth. And then if you're a landing page company, I want to see what your landing pages look like all the time. You know, they really do. And there are standard for us and I really love to see always what Uber and Lyft are doing. I think they have, hyper-personalized sort of content it's very specific to your location. How they've ate, been able to sort of do that at a hyper-local level. Has been really interesting example for me to follow and watch for sure.
Kathleen (36:16): I love that. Well, fun fact, Oli Gardner, who is the CEO of Unbounce or at least he was at the time I interviewed him was one of my first, probably 30 guests on the podcast. Great guy.
Amy (36:29): He's great. They're so smart.
Kathleen (36:32): Yeah. all right. Second question. And I really can't wait to hear this answer because you said you, one of your values is always learning. And the biggest pain point I hear from marketers is that it's so hard to keep up with the changing world of digital marketing. So what are your personal like go-to sources that you use to stay on top of what's happening?
Amy (36:52): Absolutely. So I find that LinkedIn is, has become my New York Times. Right. I love the New York Times. I have subscribed since the mid-90s, when I worked there, I did get a free paper every day when we worked on New York Times digital. So LinkedIn is sort of my news source. So my new my, where I go for all of my news, I love Reforge, I've got a lot of great stuff there and we actually for business management, we use a system called EOS. I don't know if you know, entrepreneurial operating system.
Kathleen (37:25): I ran my agency on EOS. Fun fact, hold on while we're sitting here. Yeah. I have a Gino Wickman book right behind me. Traction. Yeah, yeah, no, this was, this was my Bible. And in two years, it was towards the end of when I had my business. And then the two years I used it we only have joked that we got more done in two years than we did in the prior 10. And it's, it's really not, oh my God, amazingly, amazingly. And I still use a lot of aspects of it.
Amy (37:54): What did you love most about it?
Kathleen (37:55): I loved the IDS process. And when it's, which is identify, discuss, solve for those who are listening and when we would have our team, I also, I liked the very consistent meeting cadence. And when we would do our team meetings, we made everybody who worked for us, read the book and educate themselves on how it worked and what IDs was. And we would come up with these lists of challenges and just, we were able to so methodically work through it. And I remember the day when we had been doing it for like nine months and somebody on my team said, it kind of feels like the issues that we're working through now are really small. And I was like, isn't that awesome? Like, we've tackled all the big, awful, hairy ones that had been on our plate for years, like it's working, but it was just a funny, it was a funny inflection point. So how about you, what is your favorite part?
Amy (38:42): Well, have to say that we run a hyper accountability sort of culture, you know, and the fact that there's one task per person, right. One to do, and one accountability per person. So it's just very clear how we're hiring. Right. I already know the next four positions we're filling and it's not just scaling one role it's rains that are sort of outside the function of our company now. So we know what we want to add. And just always having that in mind is, is really incredible. And then I love the aspect of one person is doing one thing and it may sound really simple. But, but it really is sort of transformative. And then everything's, date-based, you know, and those issues that get you in a, in a small company like ours, we have 16 employees and, but we've always sort of run it like a big company because we're always anticipating growth and scalability and onboarding new clients and onboarding new employees, which you and I talked about how, you know, that is the sort of the challenge of our business to have a system that sort of helps you get through the things that are difficult to talk about that you wouldn't normally identify in a public setting.
Amy (39:48): It has just been really, really helpful to us and help us grow. So I do look at a lot of EOS content and because I'm always looking for ways other companies are implementing it and other ideas that they have, and then I can't, I can't quit AdAge. I love it. Every morning I get the wake-up call. I like to see what big brands I like to see agency movement. I like to see where people are going and why what campaigns are working. They tie in some timely political news, but that too, and sort of world news. And then I do use Twitter quite a bit. And that's more of my, sort of my news news. So we do take clarity breaks. So I don't know if you've ever scheduled time for learning.
Kathleen (40:33): Not as much as I should.
Amy (40:34): That's for sure. Yeah. So, we reinforce that idea of clarity breaks and it could just be, go take a walk. It could be a power nap if you need that. Right. We're all working from home. So it's not as though we have people lying in pods or on the floor, but you know, we have people working at home. We do think that that sort of, that break of just clearing your mind. And then if you want to listen to a podcast, you know, go and do that on your walk, but it's really important to sort of clear your mind and then also be always learning and Superman.
Kathleen (41:04): That's great. And it's funny enough, this is why you and I get along so well. So one of the five core values I had at my agency was also, we call it continuous learning, but same idea. And as learning and continuous teaching were like two that kind of went together.
Amy (41:22): I liked that. We have energy is everything, which is sort of not a typical one, but I find that things are moving so fast and you need to be able to pivot. You need to able to sort of be ahead one step ahead of our clients. I mean, we're in the C suite, so we're going to weekly executive meetings with our clients. We are highly embedded with them. And as consultants, you always have to be proving your value, right? So, you know, that sort of energy is really important. We do have laid-back people on our team, not everyone is, but they put the energy into their work. So it's not your disposition, but really kind of putting that. And, and it's, it's worked really well for us.
Kathleen (42:01): That's great. And it sounds like you're getting some fantastic results. Well, that brings us to the top of our hour. So before we go, if somebody is interested in connecting with you online or learning more about Wild Coffee Marketing, what is the best way for them to do that?
Amy (42:16): Well, the best way is just to go to Wildcoffeemarketing.com. And there, you can see some examples of our work and sort of the areas and capabilities that we work in and see a little bit about the team.
Kathleen (42:27): All right. I love it. So head there, if you want to learn more, I'll put that link in the show notes, and if you're listening and you enjoy this episode, or you learn something new, I would love it. If you would head to Apple Podcasts or the platform of your choice and leave the podcast a review. And if you know somebody else, who's doing amazing inbound marketing work, tweet me at @workmommywork. Yes, that is my Twitter handle. And leave me a review or leave, not leave me a review, send me a tweet and let me know who I should interview. This is what happens when you do interviews at four o'clock on a Friday, on a Friday. Well, thank you so much for joining me, Amy. This was a ton of fun.
Amy (43:04): Thank you so much for having me, Kathleen.
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