Episode 1: Charm Timing, Roach Motels, and Is The 2022 Recession Real?

01:20:00 | July 1st, 2022

Episode Transcript

Garrett Mehrguth: All right. Welcome to the very first episode of The Original Marketing Podcast with my co- host Brady Cramm.

Brady Cramm: Good to be here.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. Excited to do this with you, Brady. Brady and I have been working together for, I think it’s been around seven years.

Brady Cramm: Almost seven, coming up.

Garrett Mehrguth: Very first ever advertising employee. He ironically saw me educating a group of people.

Brady Cramm: It was on SEO. I was doing paid media in house and didn’t know much SEO and I was on your email list.

Garrett Mehrguth: So we got Brady in the educational scene. I followed it up with a nice old bagel date, recruiting him to join us.

Brady Cramm: Oh yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: And seven years later, here we are on a podcast together.

Brady Cramm: It’s been a ride. It’s been a ride. Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Brady’s done everything from paid media to sales to marketing to now really heading up our strategic engagements.

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: So one of the reasons I thought he’d be a great kind of fit on the show is I think Brady has a very unique outlook on marketing and is inspired by it, similar to myself, passionate about it. And I thought together, we might be able to bring some new perspectives into the marketing world, a new type of show, new type of content that we can all get excited about.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Marketing’s everywhere so I think it’s going to be fun to connect with the listeners, even if they’re not in the craft.

Garrett Mehrguth: 1000%.

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Now, the way we wanted to do the show is we got four segments. We may have guests, we may not have guests. I think it really just depends on the quality. Just know if we have a guest, ace is guest, okay. We’re not getting any kind of guest just to have a guest on this show. I think both of us, what, I did over 100 interviews last year, I want to talk to people that inspire me. And I want you to only listen hopefully to interviews that inspire you, that are the best and the brightest in this craft, in this industry and have a true, I think, viewpoint that challenges you or makes you hopefully see the world a little differently.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I’m looking forward to the insights too, because I know we’ve done a lot at Directive, right? We’ve done services, we’ve done B2C, we’ve done obviously a lot of SaaS, but there’s just these industries out there that I think you and I both have questions. Like magazine ads we’ve talked about, TV ads, even radio, attribution-

Garrett Mehrguth: I want to get the CMO of Red Bull, like I was talking about earlier.

Brady Cramm: Exactly, sponsoring events. What does that do to the business? I don’t have much experience in it, so I’d love to ask questions.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well yeah, Red Bull to me is such a fascinating organization because I’m always having to constantly figure out how do we innovate our service? How does our service stay relevant? Okay, this is what’s going on in Google Analytics, with GA4, or this is what’s going on with tracking and picks. I mean there’s a trillion things. Red Bull has been, if you think about it, their product is the same. It’s the same drink and then they just market it but they do it so creatively. Imagine if we did a show on Netflix called Agency Life, or I think there’s so many things you can get inspired, like what F1 did for, or Netflix did for F1 as much as F1 did for Netflix, frankly, lately, if we’re being honest. Both parties, I thought, won from that partnership. How can we use traditional media more, right? How can we use streaming? I think there’s just so much innovation that comes from talking to other industries. So I just want to meet those types of leaders and hear from them.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, same. I’m excited, yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: But it’s not that easy to always get a CMO of Red Bull on the show, so bear with us, okay.

Brady Cramm: If you’re listening, we’re here.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. Holler at your boy. We’ll try. We’d love to chat with you now. Now what we’re going to do is four segments though. So we talked about this, we don’t always have a guest, but we will have the four segments and the four segments go like this. We got advertising jealousy. So Brady, maybe advertising jealousy, what does that mean to you?

Brady Cramm: Yeah, so I think we’re going to come to the table every week and obviously advertisement is everywhere. So I think you and I maybe even more in our personal lives, what we’re connecting with, definitely with our professional lives, things that it might match one industry, but we don’t see a fit for another and we’re kind of jealous about that. What I have today is just pure entertainment, makes my wife laugh, so I’m pretty jealous of that, but it’s going to be fun.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, no. And I think the cool part about being where we’re at today, helping tech companies grow, is there’s so much inspiration we can get from other industries and I think in advertising jealousy, we’re not going to just focus on one category or one industry. We want to just highlight the marketing that inspires us. And then next segment, psychology and marketing. There’s so much going on right now with data and tech and I feel like great marketing lost its soul. Marketing is still to humans. It is human to human and we stopped studying humans. We stopped obsessing over humans. We stopped analyzing and psychoanalyzing and trying to figure out what makes humans go from apathy to action, and what’s the science behind that? And I think we’re going to break that down for everybody and that’ll be exciting listening from my perspective. I’m really excited for that segment.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, me too. I mean, that’s what gets me fascinated about marketing is we’re behind these screens and we’re altering people’s decisions and it is all psychology in my opinion, in the end of the day.

Garrett Mehrguth: 1000%. And then we got tactically delicious. We want you to walk away from take aways, right, some new information, some things that might change your perspective, change your mind, but also give you something you could practically do. What could you do at the end of this episode that you could execute, right? So we’re going to give you jealousy, we’re going to give you theory. But what about just straight up tactics that get your demos up or your revenue up or your ops up or your e- commerce sales. Let’s get you that at the end of each show so you walk away with something powerful.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. In any industry too. We’re going to be coming to the table, I think, with ideas and tactics that might not just be what Directive is all about, which is SaaS technologies, but brick and mortar, e- commerce.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, no, 1000%. And then lastly, marketing and culture, right. How is what’s going on today around us affecting the performance of our campaigns? Because I think we like to think, like you know when they do what made your numbers go up or down? I remember when COVID hit Optmyzr, one of the softwares we use, I can’t spell it. It’s like Optmyzr without any of the proper vowels, but you can-

Brady Cramm: M- Y- Z- E- R or R, I don’t know.

Garrett Mehrguth: But they did this cool thing where they were showing inflection changes across their data point and layering over macro events. And to me, I think as marketers, we sometimes get stuck in this micro environment that we think we are somehow in our little bubble. We’re in our D2C bubble, we’re in our e- commerce bubble, we’re in our B2B bubble, we’re in our SaaS bubble. And there’s a real world around us that is definitely affecting the performance of our campaigns, and also what’s to say the perception of our campaigns. Are we being culturally tone deaf? Are we relevant? Are we hitting those kind of psychological triggers that are necessary with today’s consumer? And we’re going to unpack marketing culture and how it affects and I’m excited for it.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, me too.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. It’s going to be a fun one. I think all four segments are going to be terrific. If you all hate the segments-

Brady Cramm: Let us know.

Garrett Mehrguth: Let us know in the comments.

Brady Cramm: We’re here for you, so…

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, literally we wanted to talk about stuff we find interesting. If we just keep it 100 with y’all… I’ve been doing content where it’s either like a SaaS Marketing Makeover and it’s always live or I’m doing Sour Candy, but I haven’t got to do a longer format with a friend and just hopefully fall in love with marketing again and really bring the craft to the forefront and honor the craft in a way that I think, I don’t know, it’s all become analytics, it’s all become optimizations, and I feel like we lost our soul a bit and hopefully this podcast will let us get our soul back as well as hopefully reinvigorate the whole marketplace.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I think for me, just even prepping, obviously going through the segments, I’m not just going to come up with random things when you ask me. We prep for these, but it was a reminder on it’s always there. I’m always thinking it, but I kind of just took it for granted a little bit, focused too much on my day to day. My clients, things like that.

Garrett Mehrguth: We get stuck and I think this is the time for you and I to sharpen the tools in our toolbox as well as we hopefully can bring some new insights to our listeners.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. So many more questions I could be asking.

Garrett Mehrguth: 100% and I can’t wait. Let’s talk advertising jealousy. You ready to do it?

Brady Cramm: Let’s do it, yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: What ads make you jealous right now, Brady? What’s got you most, like when you see it, you wish you had come up with it or you want to apply it to your own campaigns or maybe you’re just in awe, but what is it?

Brady Cramm: Yeah. So this one’s actually kind of tough for me because I’m kind of a cynic when it comes to marketing, but in a good way for being a marketer, because when I’m doing marketing, I always try to make something that would sell me.

Garrett Mehrguth: Okay.

Brady Cramm: Because I’m not influenced too much.

Garrett Mehrguth: You’re a pretty weird dude, though. I mean in a good way.

Brady Cramm: I’m kind of weird. I’m kind of weird. Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: In a good way, so you want ads that speak to you personally.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I mean, I’m always thinking marketing and so I don’t just try to look at ads that, oh yeah, that sold me, because even my example today is Progressive. It’s the Dr. Rick don’t become your parents commercials.

Garrett Mehrguth: Absolutely love that.

Brady Cramm: And so I’m jealous for this for a few reasons. I think one of the main ones is just the insurance space and where it’s been for the last, I mean probably decade, if not more, when it comes to TV.

Garrett Mehrguth: And you’re intimately connected to the insurance space a little bit, right? What’s your, I mean…

Brady Cramm: Insurance space?

Garrett Mehrguth: We have Allstate.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, we have Allstate as a client, so we, yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: I mean, but not for-

Brady Cramm: We’re not doing their TV ads, but we’re showing them up for car insurance, national SEO ranking, number one.

Garrett Mehrguth: It’s not bad.

Brady Cramm: Not bad, not bad.

Garrett Mehrguth: But you’ve been with them for about, what, five years now?

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: So I meant we do have, I think, skin in the insurance game. So we’re a little bit more inspired by it or at least, I’m at least more aware of what insurance is doing due to the Allstate account.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, I was a little weary. I’m like, what insurance am I using right now? I do have termites so I might have to look into my home.

Garrett Mehrguth: I don’t think there’s termite insurance.

Brady Cramm: It’s not covered.

Garrett Mehrguth: I don’t think so.

Brady Cramm: No. My guarantee expired a year and a half ago or a year ago.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh no.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Not good. Anyway.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah.

Brady Cramm: So Progressive, TV commercials, Dr. Rick, don’t become your parents. I’m jealous because, like I said, the TV insurance space has become entertainment. And I think why is that happening? Those are things we can talk about. In my opinion, it’s just such a when you need it, you get it type of buy to where I think they’ve taken their TV awareness as how are they going to remember Progressive? How are they going to remember Allstate? How are they going to remember Geico? And they’re just leveraging entertaining commercials so that they’re top of mind when that person needs insurance, whether it’s home, auto, switching off their parents, buying their first home, getting their first car. So I’m jealous of that because I don’t think a lot of people can just be funny.

Garrett Mehrguth: No, 1000% good at what they do. Well, and I think funny can be innovative. Now in that industry, could we make the argument that funny’s played out? Now I like their funny. There funny is funny.

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: But I feel like you almost have to be funny in insurance these days.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. And is it like a battle of the agencies they’re hiring? Is it more that than it is connecting with the market and measuring results and growth? Those are the things I don’t know.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, let’s pause for a second and let’s play the clip for the audience.

Speaker 3: Okay. Snacks and popcorn are going to be expensive. Let’s just accept that. Going to the movies can be a lot for young homeowners turning into their parents.

Speaker 4: Bathrooms- even if you don’t have to go, you should try.

Speaker 3: We all know where the bathroom is and how to use it. Okay?

Speaker 5: You know, the Stevensons told me they save money bundling their boat insurance with Progressive.

Speaker 3: No one knows who those people are. It can be painful.

Speaker 5: Hand me your coats, there’s an extra seat over here.

Speaker 3: No, no, no, no, no. We don’t need a coat Wrangler.

Speaker 6: Progressive can’t save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home, auto and more with us.

Speaker 3: No one who made the movie is here.

Garrett Mehrguth: And what I think stands out to me the most, yes the humor’s there, I talked to you about this, I think offline when we were kind of prepping for this, is I think there’s a big psychological connection with the insurance companies and your parents. Right, so Brady, simple question. Do you have the same insurance that you had as a minor on your parents’ plan?

Brady Cramm: Oh yeah. We’re bundled.

Garrett Mehrguth: Okay. And you even have the same agent, correct? You just-

Brady Cramm: Yeah. We have all independent billing, our entire family, but if you looked at our portal, we got seven cars, three homes.

Garrett Mehrguth: So you have a full cram policy that’s bundled, yet independent billing.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. But our discount is for the bundle. So when I actually did go shopping, right, because we got our first home almost two years ago and we wanted to do our due diligence, and nothing. If we went independent, we’d be paying way more money.

Garrett Mehrguth: Okay. And this is what I find interesting, right? So the premise, the promise of the campaign is don’t become your parents, yet we all get our insurance from our parents. To me, that is a very interesting conundrum of them that I don’t think they deliver on. So for me, if I were to run that Progressive commercial, by the way, I love the humor, I think it’s hilarious. I love the commercial, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve asked myself, am I more likely to hire Progressive or even check out their website afterwards? And the truth is no, it’s almost so entertaining that I box them into my entertainment category as a consumer, not even into my Discovery Insurance provider category. They’re so entertaining that I love their commercials, but it’s almost like the commercial is so entertaining that I almost am less likely to go to their website, and they don’t draw that connection. So if it was like, don’t become your parents, see how much you could switch from a Legacy Plan or how much could you save leaving the Family Plan, and they had that last connection, I would say goaded campaign, elite.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. But that’s where I don’t know what are the demographics? Because that’s my situation. My wife, on the other hand, once she got financially independent, her parents booted her off everything.

Garrett Mehrguth: Sounds like my parents.

Brady Cramm: Not even caring about the discounts or-

Garrett Mehrguth: Love you, mom and dad.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Independent billing, even if she was covering it, she got the boot. So that’s my situation. But this is where I think this podcast is so interesting because there’re so many questions.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, no, but the campaign? Do you believe humor is enough? I want to stay on, I get what you’re saying on the insurance and all stuff but at the campaign level, do you believe being humorous makes an ad good? In other words, is an ad good because you laugh?

Brady Cramm: Yeah. It’s kind of like, is it better than the jingle which might connect the brand a bit more to the jingle. Like are people-

Garrett Mehrguth: By the way, speaking of jingles that don’t work. Chanel No. 5 jingle.

Brady Cramm: Oh, let’s not. Let’s get into Chanel No. 5 Christmas commercial 20-

Garrett Mehrguth: You have to honestly check it out if you feel like watching that inaudible.

Brady Cramm: I don’t know what year it was. It was like 2019 maybe, Chanel No. 5 auto tune commercial. It was the cringiest thing I’ve ever listened to.

Garrett Mehrguth: It’s the worst ad I’ve ever seen. So check it out just if you want to laugh a little. It’s always-

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Chanel No. 5. Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Sorry, Chanel. It’s true, but it’s bad. Okay. So do you think humor is enough?

Brady Cramm: I don’t know. I just don’t know because I haven’t been in that market. When I got my house, I looked into our family plan, I didn’t really shop around. And I think even prepping for this, I knew the commercial. I had to fact check that it was Progressive. So I think that answers your question. I knew the jokes.

Garrett Mehrguth: You knew that you would call that inaudible hilarious but you didn’t even know who did it.

Brady Cramm: Oh yeah, the blue hair scene in the hardware store.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, then you definitely didn’t inaudible. You didn’t know it was Dr. Rick. Let’s not kid ourselves.

Brady Cramm: No. When I looked it up, I knew it was Dr. Rick. I found a whole YouTube segment. It had decent views where he’s just one on one YouTube answering questions. They have a whole campaign for it on YouTube. But yeah, I had to fact check it.

Garrett Mehrguth: You’re like, was that Geico? And I think that’s the problem.

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Because there’s nothing progressive about it in that regard.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Maybe Flo was more connected to the brand, even though she wasn’t as funny. Is Flo Progressive?

Garrett Mehrguth: I don’t think Flo’s Progressive.

Brady Cramm: I thought Flo was Progressive.

Garrett Mehrguth: No. Is Flo… dude.

Brady Cramm: I’m looking it up.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. I think we got to look that up right now.

Brady Cramm: No, I think she was.

Garrett Mehrguth: Wait. Well, because she just did a commercial with Jon Hamm where she pretends like she’s unimpressed by him. Let me see. Flo. No, Flo’s Progressive. You’re right. Yeah. See, they’ve been doing-

Brady Cramm: Her net worth is six mill. Not bad.

Garrett Mehrguth: Geez. I need more Flo in my life. But Flo, in that whole thing, I understood, I think, the commercial a little bit more. I just wish there was a hook at the end, like I was saying. I think playing on don’t become your parents is accidentally brilliant because we almost all get insurance from our parents and you could very easily tie a psychological trigger into at the end of it, are you still on your parents’ plan? There could be better rates. Now if you planted that in my mind? You see what I’m saying? It has the humor. It has the engagement. I’m missing that punch I want that gets me from apathy to action. I don’t need to be like click here, Google this, but I want to feel like I have a takeaway as a consumer at the end. And I don’t know if I get that. Now mine is maybe I’m nostalgic, but I love print. I just love print.

Brady Cramm: Okay.

Garrett Mehrguth: I love the creativity, the story you can tell, and it’s codependent on copy. And to me, I don’t know what happened to B2B, I don’t know what the hell happened to advertising, but copywriters do not exist. There’s freelancers you can hire. I don’t think I have one full- time copywriter at Directive and we’re at, what, almost 150 people?

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I think in B2B, especially in SaaS, it’s a lot of product marketing is the copywriting, which makes it just all feature based.

Garrett Mehrguth: They all need words though. We used to pay people to write words.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. But I’m saying the product marketing teams writes the copy on the site.

Garrett Mehrguth: No, you could tell-

Brady Cramm: Which isn’t a good thing.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, yeah. I could tell the product marketing team writes the copy. What happened to writers? You understand, our whole industry was copywriters and then we all forgot how to write because they introduced analytics.

Brady Cramm: Do you think it’s the attention span though? Because I follow on Reddit, there’s vintage ads, so it’s like a sub- Reddit.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, I love those.

Brady Cramm: And it’s fascinating. It’s really cool, but it’s so much copy. And because I’m on Reddit and I’m trying to entertain myself, I’m committed to it, I’m going to read the whole ad.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, people read. I’m so tired of that crap. I’m so tired of that crap. These marketers tell me that people don’t read. No, they don’t read your garbage.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I guess that’s what the hook is for.

Garrett Mehrguth: Let’s be real for a second. 99.9% of marketers would not even read their own marketing. I always like to ask people, if you ranked and people read your content, would they be more likely or less likely to hire you? And I have that same problem. I’m not saying I’m not guilty of this, I want to be crystal clear. Big hypocrite over here, okay? Big hypocrite. I don’t have one copywriter and I’m complaining about copywriting and I employ over 100 plus people.

Brady Cramm: We hired one though for the rebrand.

Garrett Mehrguth: We did use a freelancer. And by the way, what a massive impact.

Brady Cramm: Oh yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Price per cost, the amount of money they’ve made us, millions of dollars, yet our clients literally, we have over 150 accounts and these are not small accounts, so the dream accounts I always dreamed of having, we finally got, we get to serve them. Nobody’s asked for a copywriter. No one was ever like, well, do you have a copywriter on my account? They’re like, no, just some ads dude, he’s great. His name’s Rick, he’s from Massachusetts. inaudible.

Brady Cramm: Well, they ask. They do ask. They’re like, who’s going to do the copy and then it could be like, oh, creative team, paid team like with the paid research.

Garrett Mehrguth: But they don’t expect us to answer what the word copyright.

Brady Cramm: No, no, they love it. They’re just like, oh, there will be words on pages. That’s all I want.

Garrett Mehrguth: No, no, no. More importantly, I don’t have to write it.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Right. Yeah, yeah, that’s probably it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Someone else is writing it, right. That’s usually the joy you get on their face is like, I don’t have to write this? Hell yeah. I’m in for that.

Brady Cramm: No, it wasn’t the background of the person writing, it wasn’t are they dedicated to copywriting? Are they going to perform?

Garrett Mehrguth: Now that I’m done complaining about the English language, which I never will stop doing.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, back to print.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, back to print. I got this ad from Bumble and if we could put it up right now, but it’s two individuals operating on the platform, within the platform, texting back and forth. So the first one goes, Hey, so it’s my job to pick the date venue even though I’m terrified of misjudging it, right? The next person goes or the person they’re texting goes, I’ll go wherever you pick so you don’t think I’m bossy or hard work. The other person goes, I’ll get there 20 minutes early to feel in control and let my sweat patches dry. The other person goes, I’ll be 20 minutes late just to make it seem like this date is one unimportant part of a busy evening. Right, and they’re going back and forth humorously. Now what’s so cool about this ad and there’s multiple parts, first and foremost, I don’t have a dang clue who’s the man and who’s the woman or if it’s a man and a woman, or if it’s two transgender people, if it’s non- binary people, I can’t tell. I’ve reread it-

Brady Cramm: Yeah, just people meeting.

Garrett Mehrguth: …like 100 times to try to figure out if I could tell what the very gender roles are in it. I can’t tell. To me, that’s so on the nail on the head for an ad campaign, because if you over stereotype male and female stereotypes on the ad, I don’t think it plays, I don’t think it’s humorous and I don’t think it’s creative. But if you make it culturally relevant and you make it not about gender roles, which has been played out 1000 times in my opinion, but instead make it about two humans seeking connection but doing it in a flirty kind of flirtatious clever way and then translating that into an ad, and then here’s the tagline. And so that’s on one page, okay. So you can see that there. On the other page, it says the rules of dating are so weird. Let’s break them. And then the hashtag is# makeromanceequal, which I love. It plays perfectly into the socioeconomic time we’re living in, it plays perfectly into what people want out of an organization. I just thought it was brilliant. But yeah. What’s your take, Brady, on print? Let’s just use that medium as a discussion point. Because we’re in B2B, right, we manage over$100,000, 000 in spend. No print. No one’s even asked me about it ever. You’re on all the proposals. Have you ever heard anyone talk about print?

Brady Cramm: No, it’s never a thing. I think that ads interesting just because of the visual aspect, right, it draws you in. It’s two page, it has a chat, people are suspicious, right. They want to almost snoop on what someone’s messaging thread would be.

Garrett Mehrguth: Correct, yeah.

Brady Cramm: So I think even not to bleed into marketing psychology, but I think just that layout in general is so enticing and then all the points you just made, but it really shows how casual it can be. So yeah, I think there’s thousands of angles we could take looking at that ad and they’re all brilliant. Even for myself, I’d never went on a dating app when I was single and they were hot back in the day. I was single when it was Coffee Meets Bagel versus Bumble versus Tinder.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well you’re 6′, tall, dark and handsome.

Brady Cramm: Stop, stop, stop.

Garrett Mehrguth: You see what I mean? So you didn’t have to worry about it. Some of us-

Brady Cramm: No, I mean-

Garrett Mehrguth: …we have to swipe like crazy just to get someone to be interested.

Brady Cramm: But looking back on it, I probably had all my reasons not to, but maybe it was fearful, maybe it was the social awkwardness-

Garrett Mehrguth: The stigmatism, there’s a stigma too.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Stigmatism. Am I supposed to represent myself differently online versus in real life to even get a date in the first place? And I think they just normalized it too.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. I think we also all want to think we’re witty, humorous lovers. So I think they kind of, you know what I mean, everyone likes to think they’re so funny when they text, right, or that they’re so clever. And I think they actually showed you how clever you could be and I think it’s kind of inspiring. People are like, Ooh, I kind of want something fun and flirtatious and kind of witty in my life, which I think does drive app downloads. I think it does drive engagement. I think the broader question though is how do you apply that to digital? Can you do ads that tell a story? I know we do that with video here at Directive and we do, I think, a good job of kind of demonstrating a pain point and then articulating value. But design wise, most of our display ads are just ignored, statistically. And then no one does print. I remember vividly being in a dentist office, looking down at Forbes and on the back they had a full page Slack ad and I thought, oh, that was pretty clever. But you don’t really see a lot of print advertising in the tech space anymore, do you?

Brady Cramm: No, not B2B. I think there’s B2C tech, like Betterment might even be on a bus.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. So you could do-

Brady Cramm: Things like that, out of home.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. More out of home. We see it at the airports a lot in B2B though. Right? So all the cyber security guys fly into SF or something, they’ll have Silence and because Silence does it, CrowdStrike does it and because CrowdStrike does it, SentinelOne does it. And then we’ve worked with a lot of them so we end up, I feel like, just noticing it. But to me, print is kind of gone just because the reach isn’t there like it used to be as a channel. So I personally haven’t managed much in print and we have so many clients and none of them want print, at least from us. They might want it in general. But I think the learnings from print can go a long way, which words you make bold in your ads, which ones you make larger, can you integrate the product to it? So if you notice like an old Porsche ad, it’s always a Porsche. The Bumble ad has the Bumble texting feed. So it does make you feel like you’re a part of it, and I think all of those things are things we can do a better job with digitally to evoke emotion, which I think print does so well. It allows your imagination to run a little bit, and I think that’s important.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. One of our first designers had a print background and this is back when I was designing pages as well, and her feedback from her print background on what you’re just talking about, like what do you bold, font size, all of that, it carried over so well into digital and it kind of broke the rules a little bit, but I mean, we were even able to achieve performance that we could track out of those changes.

Garrett Mehrguth: I completely agree. So if you were to take, let’s do this little fun segment, okay. So wrapping up advertising jealousy. You have one chance to redo the progressive Dr. Rick commercials. What would you do different?

Brady Cramm: Yeah, it’s a good point. For me, I’m within their demographic, I feel like, but I don’t know how narrow that is for them, but I’m sure the parents find it entertaining, but why’d you print the internet is one of the punch lines because someone just has a file cabinet and I’m dealing with the same thing. I have a file cabinet at home and all my bills are online, but for some reason it just seems important enough to keep the mortgage payment, the water bill and put it in the file, but I don’t know why I’m doing it. But I think you were spot on, even with your feedback in terms of what to change and I think it’s making it more actionable and still having the entertainment. I don’t think you have to ditch the entertainment.

Garrett Mehrguth: No, I don’t think you have to tone down the entertainment. I think-

Brady Cramm: Having to call to action, connecting it-

Garrett Mehrguth: You need a bridge, right, from the entertainment to the value.

Brady Cramm: Closer to purchasing, I think there is a gap there.

Garrett Mehrguth: 1000. Yeah. I’m on the same page as you and I think for me, Bumble, maybe a QR code, if you look at the ad, unless I’m missing something, I’ll pull it back up again real quick. Yeah, there’s no QR code.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, that would be good.

Garrett Mehrguth: Because technically you’re consuming the content and you have your phone in your hand. So I’m not actually a fan of QR codes because I think sometimes people want to change human nature with QR codes. This to me does not change anything. You just QR code it and it does an automatic download from the app store.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, you just put a little context above it with an arrow so that you know what you’re doing.

Garrett Mehrguth: And I can track how many downloads with came from the print ads because maybe print is an amazing channel and we just don’t have any. So to me, a little QR code, I don’t want to change anything on the ad really, and you have a whole right page available. So add a QR code, drive a bridge between the humor of the progressive ad to the fact that we’re all on our parents’ plans, and most of us as humans just accept that, and what if there was a psychological trigger from an insurance company that says, should you just be on your current insurance because your parents were? Which is almost what the ad is saying.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Or-

Garrett Mehrguth: It’s so close dude, it is so close.

Brady Cramm: Or get your parents to switch with you. That could be the call to action because it’s like, don’t become your parents. They’re kind of making them old school so this is your last chance to do something innovative.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, they just left it there though.

Brady Cramm: And maybe that is switching to Progressive with your parents, bringing them over, keep the bundle, keep the savings.

Garrett Mehrguth: I don’t mind any of it. I just wish there was a bridge. So, awesome stuff. Let’s talk psychology and marketing.

Brady Cramm: Let’s do it.

Garrett Mehrguth: All right. Let’s chat psychology of marketing, Brady.

Brady Cramm: I think this might be my favorite one.

Garrett Mehrguth: It’s my favorite. It’s the most work because you got to really go out there and find psychological principles, an that is the hardest word for me, but psychological principles that we know about but don’t always think about and then how we can integrate them, and so today what I want to talk about is charm pricing or even charm timing. And so charm pricing is the theory, it’s like a pricing theory that says you can manipulate a consumer with 19. 99 instead of 20 bucks. Now I think most of us are aware of that. We’ve maybe experienced in our life how people price things and we see a lot of$ 19 SaaS products and$ 29 SaaS products and$ 49 SaaS products, right? We’ve kind of all seen that. Now there are some parts of pricing though, I saw some studies done around that I thought we don’t always do that was interesting. So one of them comes from Keith Coulter, Associate Professor of Marketing at Clark University, and he says that this kind of pricing effect may be enhanced when the cents are printed smaller. So if you did 19.99, but you made the 99 cents smaller than the 19 cents.

Brady Cramm: So it just looks like 19 kind of thing?

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. Pretty much looks like 19, it’s got 99 up above. It’s not even in the same level playing field. So it’s kind of like when you go to Walmart and they have the cents are small and they’re offset. So offsetting the cents and making them smaller can trick a consumer, which I thought to be wildly interesting of just a theory. And then they also say consumers ignore, and this is also from Keith Coulter, consumers ignore the least significant digits rather than do the proper rounding. So even though the cents are seen and not totally ignored, they may be subconsciously or partially ignored. So it’s like, we all know we’re being tricked, but we’d rather be tricked than have to do deal with it.

Brady Cramm: Well, I wonder if that trick was done because of the evolution of the consumer. So maybe 19. 99 all the same font used to work because the idea there is, well it’s under$ 20, but I wonder if consumers started to almost catch onto that and evolve to the point where then they started thinking, that’s pretty much 20 bucks.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, that’s what they talk about here. So they say the premium vendors now are doing the opposite. So because everyone else, it’s almost like using fractions or decimals in your pricing means you’re cheap. So I like this on the other side of it. Now on the other other side of it, real estate has realized that when you do this, you want to anchor it to the lowest price band of the top end of a consumer. So they might know that some consumers don’t have more than 5 million to spend on a home. So they price it at 40,999.

Brady Cramm: Just some. Most do, you know, five mil. It’s only five million.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. But whatever that band is, right, so let’s say the band’s a million, you don’t price your house at 1.1, you price it at 999, allow for a bunch of offers, and then you screw over the buyer like everyone else is doing in this stupid housing market.

Brady Cramm: Then someone comes in with cash for 1. 5.

Garrett Mehrguth: And then you still sold it. But my point being is people use price, whether it’s to anchor it to filters, like me, I’ll anchor ourselves to 10k because I’d rather be someone who wants 10k and up than 9, 500, because it’s a different type of buyer, let’s say, right. Or it can signify that you’re classy because you don’t round up or it can signify that you’re cheap because you’re rounding. I just never thought all the little pieces of how people do it, especially a technology company. It’s so interesting.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Do you think the infomercial five easy payments of 999 is within this category, even splitting up the payments in themselves?

Garrett Mehrguth: Yes. Well yeah, because that’s payment plan crafting, which we haven’t talked about, but it kind of goes to my point of view in bringing this up. We found massive gains in our own advertising when we asked for a 29 minute meeting instead of a 30. So what got clever to me was I would agree with what the researchers state here that charm pricing is a bit played out. My wife sees 19, she knows it’s 20, right? I would argue that that’s not what got her there. Usually now it’s probably the brand, maybe their social strategy, something that she kind of felt connected with as a consumer. I would argue the charming of the pricing and doing the tricks to it is not as impactful to some consumers as others, especially upmarket consumers. I wouldn’t say they’re less motivated by price in the first place, so changing the pricing to be charm pricing probably won’t have the biggest impact. I think the bigger impact comes taking the same principle of what you can do to price and doing it to other things. For example, most of our, if you’re in software, if you’re in tech, you request a demo. Is that a one hour call or is that a 59 minute call?

Brady Cramm: Yeah, I get what you’re saying.

Garrett Mehrguth: To me, applying it to time is such a more creative thing. Imagine if you filled out a form and it said someone from our sales team will reach out in 23 hours.

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: It would start to stick with you.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. It stands out. It’s like 23. You almost do the math. Once you see that number, you’re like, when is 23 hours? Oh it’s 10: 00 AM. Okay, 9: 00 AM.

Garrett Mehrguth: So that’s a principle we have in our marketing where everything we do should be shockingly memorable and I’ll have a, here you can see the stats actually, we’ll pull it up for you, from the impact charm timing had on our business.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, we’ve done a ton of tests there.

Garrett Mehrguth: We have. And I mean, you can see, obviously it works. I think the bigger question now is do you see any other applications of that? Because I’m doing it for intro calls being 29 minutes instead of 30, 14 minutes instead of 15, 23 hours instead of 24, 6 days instead of 7. You see what I’m saying?

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I think, yeah, free trial length, right, 21 days instead of 14 days or the seven days, I feel like those are the most common. Sometimes it’s 30 days, so maybe it’s 35 days. But maybe that’s fearful, right. If you have to put a credit card in and it’s an odd number like that, maybe the consumer then thinks I’m going to forget, that’s such a weird number to remember. What if I don’t cancel it and I get charged? So with a different user experience, I think that could go the wrong way, but warranties too. Why one year guarantee? One year and three months. Just, there’s so many places.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. I think the key as a marketer is where do you have a piece of information that is creating no leverage for you? In other words, when someone fills out your form and you say someone will reach out to you in 24 hours, using the word 24 hours, in my opinion, gives you zero leverage, zero wow, zero click, zero psychological connection to whatever’s next. And if I could change that by writing something that was shockingly memorable, I would. I think that’s just a psychological principle we should look at. It’s like, what are the parts of our business that are unremarkable? And is there a way that we can make the unremarkable shockingly memorable?

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I wonder if it goes even the other way of you don’t remember it and this is where I’m thinking of Spotify and subscription prices. I don’t know if you’ve ever done the math, but I’ve had Spotify for probably a decade now.

Garrett Mehrguth: You’re an OG.

Brady Cramm: And I’m paying monthly. And I even got it for my mom and sister for Christmas maybe four years ago.

Garrett Mehrguth: You’re trying to bankrupt your entire family with these monthly plans?

Brady Cramm: I’m bankrupting myself. No, I upgraded it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, are you still footing the bill for them?

Brady Cramm: Yeah, it was their Christmas gift four years ago.

Garrett Mehrguth: A monthly Christmas gift?

Brady Cramm: But I added it up.

Garrett Mehrguth: That’s the gift that keeps, oh, you added it up?

Brady Cramm: I’ve given Spotify almost four grand.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, I thought you did it to count how good of a brother and son you are.

Brady Cramm: No, no, no. I just, with this topic, right, could you do pricing that you just don’t think of? I couldn’t even tell you how much I pay a month.

Garrett Mehrguth: Probably seven bucks, per?

Brady Cramm: I think the family plan might be more, but maybe it’s just like 4. 59. Is that a number that, oh, that’s nothing, I’m not even going to remember that. In a company like Spotify, that’s great for them because people are on the platform for a decade probably not even thinking they’ve spent close to$4, 000.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well with all our clients, we still haven’t done this test and we got to do this because almost all of our clients have a pricing pitch. We could just test what happens and work with their FP& A function or their finance function and actually build out a model of what would happen. How many, if we decreased price by a dollar, but what would we have to increase conversion rate by for it to be profitable, and build a simple kind of conditional logic. And it would be interesting to see if we could get the conversion rate needed for the financial model with all of its assumptions to flow through and get a lift for their business.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I’m sure even changing up the products and what features are included and-

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, or we could raise the price by 3% and as long as we didn’t decrease conversion rate by more than X, we’d still, that’s the fun economic trade off, so supply and demand and figuring out price, and I don’t know, it’s psychologically very interesting to me.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I think they go through the exercise once, but that’s probably pretty set it and forget it area.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. I think pricing could definitely be iterative, especially when you have such transactional buyers or you buy once, you renew 12 months later, you can change price within certain bands. I’m sure it’s fairly inelastic within certain, 15%, 5%, something like that. What have you got for your theory?

Brady Cramm: Yeah, so mine, I think is going to connect with probably almost anyone listening and it’s going to sound technical at first because the category is called dark patterns.

Garrett Mehrguth: There you go, B.

Brady Cramm: Which is a UI and a UX thing, and-

Garrett Mehrguth: Sounds like Spirit Airlines.

Brady Cramm: …what that means is user interface and user experience, and so my example is actually Netflix. And it’s, once again, sounds technical. It’s called a roach-

Garrett Mehrguth: Do most of us have Netflix?

Brady Cramm: Most of us have Netflix and I’ll really bring it home here, but it’s called a roach motel.

Garrett Mehrguth: Is this a show on Netflix?

Brady Cramm: No. A roach motel is a type of user interface, user experience that is looked at as, I don’t want to say unethical, but more black hat versus white hat.

Garrett Mehrguth: So this is like when software companies make you email them to cancel your account and you can’t do it?

Brady Cramm: That’s exactly it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, okay. inaudible.

Brady Cramm: So it’s an easy way in and a hard way out. And Netflix, it was funny, I was watching TV with my wife, I think yesterday, Sunday, that was the basketball game, right? Warriors won?

Garrett Mehrguth: Yes they did.

Brady Cramm: So we were watching New Girl. Warriors game is on, that’s on YouTube TV. So I go to leave Netflix, which I’ve done a ton, and I really noticed they keep changing where the exit button is.

Garrett Mehrguth: What do you mean?

Brady Cramm: So to leave Netflix, you have to hit back.

Garrett Mehrguth: I like this. This is conspiracy theorist Brady.

Brady Cramm: No, this is real. This is a roach motel.

Garrett Mehrguth: I’m just kidding. Okay. Kidding. Break down roach motel.

Brady Cramm: And I think everyone can start realizing like, oh shoot, I had this frustration myself.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, yeah.

Brady Cramm: So I hit back and some apps you just hit back or exit and it leaves the app.

Garrett Mehrguth: Correct.

Brady Cramm: On my Vizio Smart TV.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, I know which one.

Brady Cramm: Netflix doesn’t. It gets you to the menu. Okay. I made it to the menu on the left hand. I used to scroll down to that menu, which was already annoying.

Garrett Mehrguth: Do you have to exit twice?

Brady Cramm: And the exit button-

Garrett Mehrguth: You don’t double tap? Okay.

Brady Cramm: No. So the exit button, it just pops up this menu and to exit the app, it used to be on that left menu all the way at the bottom, so already annoying. It wasn’t there.

Garrett Mehrguth: Who exits their apps? Sorry. I’m just thinking about this. You don’t just go to your new Hulu app? I just go… You fully exit them.

Brady Cramm: My remote doesn’t have the YouTube button.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, so you… But can’t you just back to home? It doesn’t let you go to-

Brady Cramm: No, it just gets you to the Netflix.

Garrett Mehrguth: Geez. This is a little cheeky. Is this on your Roku or what’s this on?

Brady Cramm: It’s on a Vizio.

Garrett Mehrguth: Okay.

Brady Cramm: But what I noticed is they moved the exit button to the far right corner, bottom of the screen.

Garrett Mehrguth: Like hit him, you can’t even…

Brady Cramm: So my eye, it was crazy. My eyes didn’t go there for, I mean, a good 10 seconds, right. But in-

Garrett Mehrguth: That is a dark pattern though, to your point. That’s a very, it’s like when you use Spirit Airlines and it’s like, no, I don’t want to upgrade my bags and it’s not highlighted, it’s like the button fits the background and then I want to upgrade my bags is like yellow and bigger than an airplane kind of thing.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. So eventually, I mean, for myself, I found it because I’m watching.

Garrett Mehrguth: When you’re brilliant.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. No, I wouldn’t say that. But we’re watching the Warriors Celtics game and that’s what we’re doing-

Garrett Mehrguth: Not a great game by the way.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, it wasn’t great. So I finally, I found it, made it over there and exited, but that was my thought is how many people do they keep-

Garrett Mehrguth: Why do they-

Brady Cramm: Because of that user experience?

Garrett Mehrguth: I have a business question though. Okay, Netflix doesn’t sell ads. Why do they care? Honestly-

Brady Cramm: Just product usage.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, because it’s ironic though. Because if you think about Netflix, their innovation with the skip recap button changed the game for streaming. The skip intro, the skip recap, are you still watching auto plays? I know that’s normal in HBO Max now because I’ve been watching this new show The Staircase, it’s kind of crazy.

Brady Cramm: I heard about it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, did he push or did he inaudible?

Brady Cramm: Yeah, I heard about it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh my God, right? So I’m watching this and it’s great. And I love some curb from Larry David, whatever. HBO Max though feels like Netflix, and trust me, back in the day, HBO Max did not. And so my point being is they’re kind of known for their innovation on positive user experience, right. Their recommendation engine is insane.

Brady Cramm: Are we talking Netflix though?

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, we’re talking Netflix. Their recommendation engine was insane. Their ability to skip intros and recap was innovative. They did a lot of things like straight up. Netflix did a lot of things in my opinion to change the streaming game.

Brady Cramm: To keep you in the platform.

Garrett Mehrguth: So you would say, this is just a further of that vision.

Brady Cramm: This is just another move to keep you in the platform. I just thought it was fascinating, because-

Garrett Mehrguth: But all those things were to consume more content. This is not to directly consume more content. This is-

Brady Cramm: It’s so you don’t leave the app and you then go consume more content. And I think people are out there. The reason why they’re doing this is because people will try to leave, oh shoot, I spent five seconds on it, I can’t figure it out. Let me just keep watching New Girl. Let me find something else on Netflix. The fact that they’re doing that for a reason-

Garrett Mehrguth: How do they make their money though? Honest question. Because I think we have to understand that to get the… I don’t disagree with what you’re saying.

Brady Cramm: No, I’ll have to look it up. I don’t know if there is a free Netflix with ads.

Garrett Mehrguth: I mean, the way I understand the way Netflix makes their money is it’s just membership subscription. So anything they did to decrease your experience would hurt them. That’s why I’m curious about this. Because I do agree that that’s what they’re doing but my curiosity is, to me they’re like Costco. Why do you think Costco has such a good return policy?

Brady Cramm: Because people buy a ton from them every other week?

Garrett Mehrguth: No, I don’t think so. I think Costco has such a good return policy-

Brady Cramm: Just user experience?

Garrett Mehrguth: …because they make all their EBITDA, their cash flow on their membership. There’s no cost of goods sold on the membership.

Brady Cramm: True.

Garrett Mehrguth: It’s free cash. So how do you keep everyone happy? If you’re selling memberships, you do free returns. You do$1. 50 hotdogs. People can never wrap their brain around how Costco loses money in so many areas because they’re making straight EBITDA, in my opinion, I got to do a deep dive on this, from their membership. So my point being is if you take that membership business, that kind of the ecosystem from what it is, a gym membership at a Equinox or a 24 hour or a Power or whatever, Purple or whatever the heck it’s called. To me, if you’re selling memberships, your experience is paramount. And I think that’s what made Netflix so special wasn’t just the volume of content they had but also the experience as a user, no one else had. Hulu kept hitting you with the ads, the other streaming platforms are frankly behind. Everybody’s UI and UX kind of stunk.

Brady Cramm: Like YouTube scrolling on the menu and you can’t even type in the channel.

Garrett Mehrguth: Or on my phone when I have to keep rotating it to get the X to pop up from the landscape video.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Everybody was behind Netflix, and what you’re saying, I’m not saying it’s not true, it just seems like a deviation from their core strategy, right. Netflix was great because of user experience and it sounds like lately, especially with their top stock price and just-

Brady Cramm: Well that’s where I’m curious, if the stock price is correlated to this UI change.

Garrett Mehrguth: I mean, I would say they’re not one to one connected. There’s no CEO in the world who’d be like our stock price-

Brady Cramm: No, not like that one to one-

Garrett Mehrguth: Let’s not let them exit.

Brady Cramm: But the nature is for some reason, pressure got passed to the UI team to say, Hey, we need to decrease exit on the platform.

Garrett Mehrguth: No, I would completely agree that they’re trying to increase time on the platform.

Brady Cramm: And that was a result of it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Especially let’s say subscribers are down, they need a new story. So subscribers are down, what’s your story? Well, time on sites up. Right? Look, we aren’t getting as many subscribers, but the ones we have, they’re engaging with our content more than ever. Right? That’s a story I could go sell to a board, so I kind of can see it. I’m just curious, if I’m Netflix, and this goes for any business, dark patterns, roach coach, what did you call it?

Brady Cramm: It’s called a roach motel.

Garrett Mehrguth: A roach motel, please avoid at all costs. I would argue any money you make there, you lose with goodwill lost to your best consumers.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. But it’s just fascinating. It’s just one of those things where we just don’t think about that stuff, but it’s all formulated.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh yeah. We’re little mice and they got us stuck.

Brady Cramm: And it’s all to make more money.

Garrett Mehrguth: We’re little mice stuck in someone’s trap and hopefully on here we get to talk about the mice traps.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. It’s just good awareness. I mean, even as a marketer, I randomly, I mean, there’s so many things I experienced I don’t even catch onto. But this was one where it’s because I do it a lot, I just knew that button changed. And as a marketer-

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, come on Netflix.

Brady Cramm: …it just blew my mind just knowing why they’re doing these things.

Garrett Mehrguth: I love it. Tactically delicious.

Brady Cramm: I’m hungry.

Garrett Mehrguth: What kind of food you hungry for?

Brady Cramm: Tactics. Probably Taco Bell, if I’m being honest.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah?

Brady Cramm: Nah, I had it last night.

Garrett Mehrguth: Would you choose Taco Bell over Del Taco?

Brady Cramm: Oh yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Why? What was like that moment that got you?

Brady Cramm: It’s nostalgic.

Garrett Mehrguth: Which part though? I mean, to me Del Taco is equally nostalgic.

Brady Cramm: Well, just growing up, we were closer to a Taco Cell. I realized later in my life, my dad would use me as an excuse to get it probably for himself, so I’m already playing for that when I have kids.

Garrett Mehrguth: Dads are so cheeky like that.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. He’d be like, ah, you know, the little boy, he wants Taco Bell so we got to go drive through a little father/ son bonding. He just definitely wanted Taco Bell.

Garrett Mehrguth: What was his order?

Brady Cramm: I get it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Do you remember it?

Brady Cramm: I don’t know his.

Garrett Mehrguth: What was yours?

Brady Cramm: Mine’s pretty basic. I’m bean and cheese burrito and crunchy tacos.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, you’re such a cheap date.

Brady Cramm: If I played bad at golf, I would get a chalupa.

Garrett Mehrguth: Is that like your little pick me up?

Brady Cramm: That happened last night, yeah. Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: How’d you shoot? What’d you shoot?

Brady Cramm: Not too well.

Garrett Mehrguth: What’s the number?

Brady Cramm: A 97 with a 10 on a par four.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh.

Brady Cramm: Handicap adjusted to 92, but it’s not looking good.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, Brady. So Brady, for our listeners, Brady’s actually a really good golfer. 97 is flirting with good golfer.

Brady Cramm: It’s rough. It’s rough.

Garrett Mehrguth: Not really good golfer. What happened? What’s been the change of your game?

Brady Cramm: Well, I’m trying to bow the wrist in the back swing and it’s tough to let go of that in the forward swing, and so I’m kind of choosing one direction and it’s out of bounds.

Garrett Mehrguth: All right. Well let’s get our strategies inbounds.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Let’s talk about some tactics I know.

Garrett Mehrguth: I know. Oh my gosh. All right. So what I want to talk about today and it’s quite interesting and hopefully the listeners, you’ll see my tactics are more like viewpoints, but that’s what makes me all the money is viewpoints, not tactics. So companies when they come to us, I’m very involved in the project phase in helping our clients get that go- to- market strategy right. And when they come to us, they have a tendency to very much misunderstand their audiences for multiple reasons. Now, the big reason that they usually get it wrong is they have this idea that their decision maker is who they want to market to. And what I’ve always said is the champion, your point of contact after you close the deal, is more important than the decision maker. In other words, the C- suite doesn’t actually get demos and buy products. They sign new products, but they don’t buy products. The champion does. The director, the VP, the person who actually has to use it, the person who’s got to be the point of contact, right. So I always have marketed to that person and we’ve done very well for ourselves and for our clients. But then there was a new thing that happened. So at Directive, we were like our clients in many regards, right? We’re a platform, but we have five products. We offer strategy, we offer video, we offer design, we offer SEO, we offer paid media, we offer revenue operations. That’s six.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, I think it was more than five, but-

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, I think it’s six, my bad, guys.

Brady Cramm: It’s a good thing.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. Whatever. We’ll keep track, okay. So we have those six. Now, we’re now like our SaaS companies where we run most of our ads for the platform, right. We kind of talk about all the different service lines, how we can help you, what we’re going to do for you. But we also have these separate profit and loss statements for each of our products, each of our business units, right. So how’s SEO doing this month compared to paid? How’s rev ops doing compared to design? How’s strategy compared to video? Right, we can see how each business unit is performing, their cost of goods sold, their margins, all these things. Now, because of that, we want to grow each product line. I’m sure very many of our customers don’t just want to grow overall revenue, but they might have just acquired a product and they want to grow that product line’s revenue, or they want to grow this business unit or vertical or whatever it is, right. There’s a-

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Especially if there’s better margins in it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Correct, right. There’s a specific product, service, location, region, persona, industry, whatever you want to grow. I finally figured out the hypothesis around what I think will drive growth because it’s very, very different than I initially thought. So when you target a persona, not only do you want the champion over the decision maker, but what you also want is you want to supply the technical codependency they have to their jobs to be done. In other words, if I want to grow my SEO line of business, I should not market my SEO professional services to SEO professionals. But instead, content and marketing professionals, whose job to be done is to increase the traffic to the website, but they don’t have the technical competency of SEO so their job to be done is to grow traffic, but they’re missing one tool in their toolbox that I happen to be great at. And now I have a non- replacement story from which they can buy from me, compared to if I sold to an SEO, they would literally be saying, I need, and this works by the way, we do have large SEO departments at big companies, so this works on enterprise, but mid- market, doesn’t usually replace themselves with the services they buy. In other words, SEO lady isn’t like, you know what I want to do? Get my job compared to the performance of this agency to see if they cut me.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. That job security kicks in.

Garrett Mehrguth: Correct. And so what I’m saying is when we market these product lines, sometimes I think we tactically devalue the replacement cost a consumer does in their brain of if they are literally replacing themselves by buying you. A lot of tech promises to cut down manual hours by 45% and then sells it to the person whose hours they are cutting by 45%, and then they wonder why that person isn’t buying it. It’s like, well fam, they’re not trying to lose their job.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. It’s like trying to sell HubSpot to the person who runs the Marketo, and they’re like, no one else knows how to run this. Why would I change?

Garrett Mehrguth: You want to get a democratized platform that anyone could run and now I’m not the very special kind of person? Yeah. So I mean, what do you think about that? What do you think about the fact that when we… Usually, right, we have an SEO product, we sell it to SEOs. And when we have a finance product, we sell it to finance. What’s your take on instead, if you are a professional service, I guess in our case, tactically, instead of selling to your end, your direct professional, you sell to a complimentary professional who doesn’t maybe have that technical skill set?

Brady Cramm: Well, I think the roads meet at outcomes. So in terms of trying to map that out and you talked about with content marketing is they’re writing a ton of content, but what’s their outcome? It’s increased traffic revenue.

Garrett Mehrguth: Organic revenue. Yeah. Traffic first and then ops.

Brady Cramm: Right. And so it’s less where the day to day overlaps, but it’s where the outcome of the day to day meets and I think that’s where you can find those personas. Because yeah, to your point, the content writer has been working the same template for years now. That template could be technically off in terms of the technical SEO.

Garrett Mehrguth: No, 100%.

Brady Cramm: Right, and so as an SEO agency, we can go in and we can speak towards that with a content writer and we can talk about the same outcome, but not say, Hey, yeah, hire us so we can write all the content for the company you work for. That’s not going to rub them the right way.

Garrett Mehrguth: No, of course. I mean, if you’re an outsourced content creation firm and you target content marketers, yeah some people are going to love it because they just want to manage a team of writers, so that could work for you. But if you did the writing yourself, you’re not like, yo, let me find a cheaper, better option for the company so I don’t get my paycheck. And I think we just discount a lot of how people, how self- centered we all are as humans, which is not a bad thing. It’s an important thing, I guess, to harness and understand as a marketer is what jobs to be done are you helping your audience with? What outcomes are you helping them accomplish? And can you sell them an outcome that they might not have the technical skill set for, if you’re a professional service firm, and kind of connect those dots. For you?

Brady Cramm: Yeah, so for my tactic, my tactically delicious today, kind of left field. Pretty random, I found myself Memorial weekend talking to my cousin in Vegas who owns a coffee shop, so shout out Dark Moon Coffee.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, Dark Moon.

Brady Cramm: Henderson, Nevada.

Garrett Mehrguth: Any discounts?

Brady Cramm: He’s paying me with coffee, so I’ve got that going for me.

Garrett Mehrguth: There you go.

Brady Cramm: No, we were on the phone for a couple of hours because I was out there for his birthday and he obviously knows what I do and he’s actually opening up an e- commerce shop. And so he’s wanting to sell £ 5 bags of coffee online. He doesn’t want to just depend on the store traffic.

Garrett Mehrguth: Have you checked out Onyx Coffee Roasters?

Brady Cramm: I have not.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh my God. Sexiest brand I’ve seen.

Brady Cramm: I’ll send it to them for inspiration.

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh yeah dude, because they do recurring too. So they have a full recurring model so you can reorder the bags. So Onyx Coffee Roasting, check it out.

Brady Cramm: Onyx. We’ll check that out. But I was doing some research. I’m like, dude, it’s competitive, right. If you’re just trying to do Google ads, even no intent on Facebook, Instagram, even PLA ads, shopping, it’s just so competitive that it’s tough to think of okay, if no one’s heard of my shop, are they going to buy it? Because he’s premium too, pricing was pretty good. But as I was talking to him more, he’s telling me everything he’s got going on and so he’s telling me about his wifi system and how it used to be a login and to log in you capture email. I’m like oh, that’s interesting. And these are things I personally just don’t know too much about, like POS systems, the point of sale.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, you know what you got to do too? I had this wifi idea. Even if he doesn’t collect emails, have them put the tracking pixel on the thank you page. So you can retarget everyone on your wifi to build local likes and stuff, but keep going.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. You can cookie base it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Correct. Yeah.

Brady Cramm: And then he had a point system, I forget the name of it, but it was using phone numbers. So he is like, yeah, I have 5, 000 phone numbers. It’s like, oh shit, you can upload all that into Meta platforms, so Facebook and Instagram. And so we’re just kind of going back and forth with what I know and what he knows, and so the strategy we kind of came up with on the phone is he’s taking all those emails he had-

Garrett Mehrguth: From his POS.

Brady Cramm: So the emails were from the wifi. I think he gets them from his POS as well.

Garrett Mehrguth: Okay. So he’s got wifi as well as POS.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. He has emails and phone numbers of people who actually went to his shop and experienced his coffee.

Garrett Mehrguth: Do phone numbers help with Meta platforms? I’m not aware, I’m just curious.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. It’s one of the matching-

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, that’ll definitely help with increase your match rate because it’s-

Brady Cramm: Yeah, you can upload emails and it’s all personal emails, which is good for him, and then a bunch of phone numbers and matching it to profiles. And so he’s going to try selling his coffee online to people who he knows went to his shop. And what’s cool is he’s in Vegas and so he gets a ton of national and international traffic. So he’s going to get people who were on vacation.

Garrett Mehrguth: So he’ll be a global coffee roaster with rolling out this strategy.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. He’ll be able to sell across the world, ideally. But it was just one of those things where it’s like, I know about custom audiences obviously in Meta platforms. I’ve done it a lot for B2B. But just to hear the data he had as a brick and mortar coffee shop, I think there’s a lot of people out there who are sitting on that data and maybe they have it going to an email drip campaign.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, I love the pixel idea on the wifi.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. The pixel too. So pixels, emails, phone numbers-

Garrett Mehrguth: Because you don’t even need email on that one. You can just pixel base it and just crush that audience. Now I think the cool part to me, Brady, is the principles of what you’re discussing translate to any business. Like a big spot I see where email’s really underused and gets lost in translation and I think poorly leveraged from an ad standpoint is events. In other words, people who do events, they do a lot of co- sponsoring of parties and stuff and they share lead lists and they do all this and they use the lead list for email or sales CRM. It goes everywhere except into their LinkedIn and their Facebook and their Instagram.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. It goes through an offshore outbound sales team.

Garrett Mehrguth: Or their programmatic. Yeah, so just so everybody has context, like at Directive we use a partner called StackAdapt so we can run a connected TV to all those emails from your event. We use clear BidX or even metadata in some cases to upload into the Meta product, so it’s Facebook and Instagram, and then LinkedIn lets us do direct account uploads. So literally any email you have in a perfect world, our biggest principle here on how we think about advertising is we only advertise to named accounts. We only advertise when there’s not a black box because ads have value. Right, an ad is valuable, an ad is your opportunity to make someone fall in love with your brand or evoke an emotion or remember you or think about you. Like, advertising works. I think the problem is the way the platforms allow us to advertise is they keep all the data of who we advertised to and what they felt private. And we can change that game. We don’t have to just use LinkedIn’s data anymore. We can bring our own data to the party and that’s really the biggest principle. The first principle of customer generation and our entire methodology is you have to bring your own data to the party if you really want to be creative and original. And so I love this concept, Brady, and I think every business in the world can do a better job using their named accounts or their emails to advertise and target their audiences.

Brady Cramm: Yeah, 100%. There’s just so much, it just opened my eyes to the opportunity out there with an industry that I never thought I’d have much to say about it with what I know just because the lack of experience in coffee shops. But as he shared what he had, it just showed me there’s a gold mine out there for everyone. But I don’t think a lot of people know what we know in terms of leveraging those emails and first party data and the power of it. So I’m excited to see what he does.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, I ran Google ads and SEO for a coffee shop that was local to Irvine when we first started Directive. Shout out to them, they’re out of business. Not my fault, but sorry. Just realized that I was like, oh man, they went out of business, not the best case study, but still. We ran Google ads for them and then we did the Meta, the Facebook, Instagram ads on a geofence. So cheap. Running geofenced ads is so affordable and local businesses are not doing it the right way. Almost all the ads just end up being Yelp ads and I think Yelp, I think most people have a good understanding now of their reputation. It’s kind of more of a need to do it than a want to do it.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. You have to pay to not have your competitor’s ads on your Yelp page.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. They kind of made advertising on Yelp more of a need to do if you’re successful than anything, but you don’t have to. Obviously most restaurants still don’t. I think the cooler part though is getting that geofence and then you could layer in, right. So let’s say your strategy. I could have two audiences, one where I’m pushing, because there’s two actions I want. If you think about a coffee shop, you make most of your money still on retail sales.

Brady Cramm: Yep.

Garrett Mehrguth: That’s where your biggest inaudible is.

Brady Cramm: And that fuels the other strategy.

Garrett Mehrguth: Correct. But there’s two strategies. So if you’re in my list and within five miles, I’m going to encourage you to come to the shop. If you’re in my list and outside five miles, I’m going to try to sign you up on a subscription product where you can buy my beans once and get them delivered monthly, and I can turn my AOV from$ 15 a bag to$ 300 a bag. Now that is a strategy. We take a tactic, turn it into a strategy, starts getting me excited.

Brady Cramm: Oh, there was a lot of, we even talked about, because when you drive from Arizona, you actually go through Henderson. So geofencing dead zones on the highway where no one even lives there, so you won’t be just hitting people up in a random town. The only thing is you don’t know the direction they’re moving.

Garrett Mehrguth: You could do the Waze ads though. You could hit it with a-

Brady Cramm: He tried, he said he tried that back in the day.

Garrett Mehrguth: Really?

Brady Cramm: But he was too new at it to really know the impact.

Garrett Mehrguth: You could sponsor the freeway. Have you seen that?

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: So those freeway sponsorships, those signs, those blue signs you see are actually really inaudible.

Brady Cramm: You can see with logos too now. I’ve noticed that.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah.

Brady Cramm: It’s not just in text. It’ll actually have your logo on the highway sign.

Garrett Mehrguth: This guy’s about to get a full new strategy.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. No, I was just geeking out with him for, it was like two and a half hours. I checked my phone after and we were just-

Garrett Mehrguth: Isn’t that the best?

Brady Cramm: …going back and forth about what he could do with this data that he’s like, oh yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: And he has to run it all. It’s great, right? We get to provide all the advice, you got to execute it.

Brady Cramm: No, he’s good. He was already in Facebook. He’s like, oh, I uploaded the audience. I checked and I’m like, yeah, you did. It’s all in there.

Garrett Mehrguth: Dude, that’s awesome.

Brady Cramm: So I’m excited to see what he does.

Garrett Mehrguth: I love it. Marketing and culture, Brady.

Brady Cramm: Let’s talk about it.

Garrett Mehrguth: We live in this crazy macro environment where the world is saying we’re going into a recession.

Brady Cramm: I’ve heard.

Garrett Mehrguth: I don’t buy it. I think it’s all politics. Not like political politics, I think it’s corporate politics. Easiest way to do layoffs is blame it on a recession. Every company did the same thing with COVID except COVID was a global pandemic that the world hadn’t seen in recent memory, so I don’t really draw the connections. In fact, I’d argue we’re past most of that global pandemic. And it’s a very weird thing. I think what happened is 2021 was hot. Everybody thought that the growth would never stop, stocks only go up, right. And also there’s a great resignation. So people are churning like crazy. Everyone’s quitting their job, people you’ve had for years are leaving, people you’ve had for a minute are leaving. So in our forecast with our HR departments, we overhire because we think we’re going to have a ton of churn in 2022. Next thing you know, no one’s quitting in 2022. We’re past the great resignation. Unemployment’s down. Things are going well, except for gas prices, but overall, economy’s coming back. People are socializing. Then all of a sudden, everybody talks about a recession so they could do layoffs. Now that’s my take on it. So what I want to ask you Brady is like, how do you believe, in this kind of marketing plus culture, right, with the macro economy, the analysts are saying is heading to a recession, how do you think that affects marketers and marketing budgets? Are you seeing marketing budgets get shrunk right now?

Brady Cramm: No, I’m not seeing them get shrunk, but I’m seeing a brighter spotlight on how it’s spent. And I think this is just from us. Fortunately, I think this is the right thing to do as a marketer, but being positioned as a performance- based agency.

Garrett Mehrguth: Driving revenue, driving outputs.

Brady Cramm: Driving revenue. I mean, before all this recession talk was happening, this is what we’re selling, this is what we’re doing is we hold ourselves accountable to revenue. We hold ourselves accountable from the start of the pipeline to the end of the pipeline. And unfortunately for the rest of the world, that’s usually our value prop, right. That’s a UVP for us to be speaking that language and I think what I’ve noticed at least even in the recent month is I’m talking to more chief revenue officers on sales calls.

Garrett Mehrguth: There’s more scrutiny. So what you’re saying essentially is like because, and Brady and I are on a lot of sales here at Directive, so I mean, we have a… I don’t mean this in a bad way, we have a massive pipeline. We genuinely have a very large pipeline. We have a pretty good size sales org. I think how many sales people are in there, eight?

Brady Cramm: Yeah. More.

Garrett Mehrguth: More than eight people in the sales org. And that’s like nine, I think, with Brady, right? So it’s not like a small team. We’re global. Our pipeline is roaring. May was the third best sales month in the history of the company. So… And I sell ad services, right. Or I sell marketing services. Let’s be real for a second. There was a recession. Trust me, when COVID hit, I knew about it. Our head of ops isn’t getting a ton of churn and our pipeline has never been stronger. So that is true. But two things can be true. I think the other part of the story, which you’re hinting at, is then the investors got a little carried away, right. I just saw, what did they say about Bolt? Bolt has-

Brady Cramm: I don’t know.

Garrett Mehrguth: They did 28 million in revenue on 600 million in burn or something like that.

Brady Cramm: Oh my God. Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Like, holy crap, that just doesn’t make sense. All these Twitter famous thread kings and queens and people and individuals, whatever the heck people wanted to call themselves is 1000% fine by me, but they’re all over Twitter saying how brilliant they are. And then the financials come out and they don’t look so brilliant. So to me, this quote unquote recession is just a reset of common sense and what you’re saying is-

Brady Cramm: Yeah, that’s the way it should be.

Garrett Mehrguth: Marketing has gotten way too much freedom in the last 24 months to a certain extent, and now big brother, finance or sales, is kind of looking over their shoulder and going, yo, do you need 36 SDRs, when, if I do an LTV/ CAC formula, only three of them are profitable? Do you need eight AEs doing only one demo every three days? Do you need 12 inaudible marketers when each one has their own agency and none of them produce in house? I think these are the real questions that are going on and people are actually looking at their finances.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. And if it’s forced by fear, then that’s what it is. But why shouldn’t that be the case when things are thriving when it comes to perception of the economy? Why would it not be that way? And I think to me, it’s a good wake up call. At least the conversations I’m having. I think I’m passionate about it because why I get fired up in sales and I love this part of the process on speaking to potential new clients is I get access to accounts. And so I get to log in to-

Garrett Mehrguth: You see the truth.

Brady Cramm: …Google ads, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and it’s wild what you see.

Garrett Mehrguth: What part’s wild? What do you think is the most consistent thing that shocks you from a management standpoint of-

Brady Cramm: So on a high level, what blows my mind is how much money these companies are giving to Microsoft, Meta and Google with zero benefit to their own business. And this goes down to search terms as an example.

Garrett Mehrguth: By the way, this is our biggest revenue stream, Brady, so careful.

Brady Cramm: No, this is great for us because we take it over and we actually show them what’s going on and we make it right. And I’m actually seeing the need and the want for it to be right more and more and more throughout this month. Because you log in and it is just crazy, and I think a lot of this is the platform, and especially if it’s an in- house person managing it, Google makes it tough to know you’re not making impact to pipeline. They’re very good at now at creating false positives in accounts, based on form fill tracking.

Garrett Mehrguth: And you would say this is not an accident.

Brady Cramm: No, this is kind of like the Netflix exit button that we talked about. This is all people optimizing the user interface. It’s the algorithms achieving form fills in a much easier way.

Garrett Mehrguth: Kind of like what we advocate for which is offline conversion tracking, innovative sales force.

Brady Cramm: Importing your pipeline, having the algorithms.

Garrett Mehrguth: Having automated bids go off of life cycle stage actions, physical actions occurring in your sales pipeline, not just form fills, which makes marketing clap themselves on the back, but when the CRO or CFO does show up, and trust us, they do, and they look, they’re like, well, form fills are up 300%, revenue’s up five points, most of form fills are a waste, and then you can’t tell them which ones are so your budget doesn’t get slashed. Now your budget got cut by 35%, goals are the same, and we all know, despite all that waste, there was a positive impact and you’re kind of screwed as a head of marketing.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. And not a lot of people know why.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, that’s true.

Brady Cramm: I don’t think it’s malicious, right. They know they’re burning a bunch of money yet they’re doing it, but it could be as simple as lifting the hood on a broad key word. And it’s just fascinating showing prospects the actual search terms that they’ve been bidding on for years and how irrelevant they are to their business.

Garrett Mehrguth: Now it slides back to the macro economy though. Do you think people are going to change the way they manage their Google accounts due to this kind of quote unquote perceived recession? Do you see social becoming more… Where do you see the budgets… So you’re saying the budget stay the same, but the oversight is increased. So you’re saying total budget might actually stay relatively the same. Where do you think the money’s going to get diverted to? What do you think is-

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah.

Brady Cramm: I get what you’re saying there. I do think Google, from my perspective within our industry, I think Google spends will probably go down. And this is just from average findings with people having stretched targeting far beyond intent for their solutions.

Garrett Mehrguth: Plus Apple, I mean, just wiping out Facebook with their iOS update inaudible.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Yeah. Because-

Garrett Mehrguth: So you think-

Brady Cramm: They have app platforms.

Garrett Mehrguth: So let’s say I would agree that spend is shrinking on Facebook from a capital allocation standpoint due to that. Now we’re a little different because we use our own data provider to upload accounts to Facebook, so we’ve been okay. Same with Instagram. But I would agree with that. Facebook’s going down. I think TikTok’s going up. I can’t stop. I mean, everybody in B2B wants to be an influencer on TikTok. Half of them are employed by me. They’re good though, I’m not going to lie. They’re pretty funny.

Brady Cramm: They’re hilarious.

Garrett Mehrguth: I mean, Tim’s video, shout out Tim Davidson, if you’re not following him on TikTok, I’m not because I don’t have an account yet. I think Scarlet set me up with one. So I’m on TikTok.

Brady Cramm: He crossposts it for LinkedIn for us.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. But I see him on LinkedIn, right? And he crushes that. So I see TikTok growing like crazy. Elon’s going to pull out of this Twitter deal. There’s no way it ever happens. Plus Twitter’s ad platform is dooky, right? Every time I try to layer on targeting, it expands the audience instead of shrinking it, making the platform literally useless. And then their B2B integrations are horrible with Salesforce or anything. Google still doesn’t have a good firmographic product. Programmatic still hyper creative- dependent and video co- dependent as well as strategy co- dependent so most people struggle with it and don’t have enough budget to do attribution. So they kind of run it programmatic for three months, say it doesn’t work and then give up, even though the sales cycle’s six months. So really what we have left is LinkedIn. Think LinkedIn’s a winner from all this with what’s going on in Facebook and everything else? Because where do the B2C companies go? They go to TikTok?

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: Snapchat’s missed their earnings report so they went down like crazy. I guess they go back to Google even though they don’t have firmographics, you kind of just spend more on Google.

Brady Cramm: Google’s an interesting one because it’s like the intent- based platform where someone’s actually in the moment on a search engine looking for information. And the reason why I think Google budgets are dropping is because with that wasted spend that we identify within accounts, there’s less of an opportunity to replace it in that platform.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, because it’s only, the problem with Google to your point is the smarter you go with Google, you’re satisfying existing demand. You’re not creating it. So, if-

Brady Cramm: So they might have all the right terms in the account and they’re collecting the right traffic. But then on top of that, it’s a ton of irrelevant traffic that they need to clean up.

Garrett Mehrguth: And if they scope it down to make it less irrelevant because the CRO and CFOs breathing down their neck, what they’re going to find is instead of having 100 keywords they advertise on, they end up with 17.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. There’s only so many people on Google each day, searching things relevant to their solution. There’s a ceiling there.

Garrett Mehrguth: With a true intent. And there’s no firmographic so you’ve got to lean into the intent because you can’t control who’s searching. You can only control what you show up for when they search and you can’t make more queries relevant through the channel itself. So then it does make, ironically, social to me is the future.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Social platforms. You can go after the TAM. The Total Addressable Market.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah. That’s what we do at Directive. It’s the future. But to our point earlier, if you have increased scrutiny from the CRO and the CFO and the CMO and some C- level big wig suit who ruins all of our lives, they are going to be just as scrutinous on the fact that Facebook performance dipped 30% period over period since iOS rolled out their updates, and you’re a consumer product, I guess you literally, to me, the winner of this all is TikTok.

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: TikTok’s the winner.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. And I think the influencer side of marketing is definitely getting in to not just the B2B space, but the B2B SaaS, B2B tech specifically.

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, it is. I see the famous podcast hosts are like, I’m on this new platform, sign up. I’ll do that too, I’m not hating, but still, I mean.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Referral traffic from YouTube videos of influencers, especially in the technical developer engineer space.

Garrett Mehrguth: We didn’t talk about YouTube. YouTube could get big. I think YouTube, to me, YouTube has so much potential. Maybe it’s because I’m turning into my parents. Right? I’m like the old dad on his iPad at night watching my videos and learning something. But I love YouTube.

Brady Cramm: Oh I’m the same.

Garrett Mehrguth: Do you think YouTube has for tech companies should play a bigger role in what they’re doing?

Brady Cramm: Yeah, I think so. I think the tough thing with YouTube in terms of the ad platform-

Garrett Mehrguth: Correct, yeah.

Brady Cramm: …is people love YouTube, right. They’re there for a reason, they’re there to watch content and the ad is placed right before the content they came there for, right. And so I think when it comes to social, you’re part of a newsfeed, that person is there to experience their newsfeed and your ad is one of those experiences. And with Google, they are there to really search for content and so they’re there to also engage with your ad technically, but YouTube is such an interesting placement where they are there to watch what is after your ad. And so I think it’s tough to engage people on the platform, but I think it’s great for awareness. I think you can find them in a mindset.

Garrett Mehrguth: So I like it different. Can I tell you how I like YouTube?

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Let’s hear it.

Garrett Mehrguth: Because I agree with what you’re saying. You’re right. I don’t think you can beat any of those things. I don’t know if traditional advertising on YouTube’s ad engine will work. Here’s what I want to do. Native ads from the creators. A lot of the top, like I like a lot of the car channels and they’ll plug Michelin tires and which tire they recommend for the car they’re driving.

Brady Cramm: And do you think that’s authentic or do you think it’s sponsored?

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh yeah. No. No. It’s not that it doesn’t matter. It’s coming from the people. It’s coming, remember I subscribe to a YouTube channel more than I consume a YouTube video. And so if it’s coming from the creators of the channel, I subscribe to, it carries weight because it’s like podcast ads. Podcast ads work best when you advertise on a podcast, in my opinion, that has repeat listeners so that when they recommend an ad, you could tell in their tone which ads they believe in.

Brady Cramm: Oh yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: And which ones they don’t. And my point being is if your product is a product that the creator believes in, to me, that’s a game changer, especially for people who are co- dependent on Facebook and Instagram, it’s a better version of influencers. Influencers, to me, come across really advertising and spammy. Like hen Kim K does her latest plug and she makes 3 million for an ad or whatever. Like good for her, power for her, no hate coming from me towards Kim K. It’s more, I think people are wise to that influencer ad compared to a creator. Like a creator that you have an affinity for, like an artist. Because I want to say Kim K’s an artist, if that makes sense. She’s an influencer. Artists. Artist can be a recording artist, they can be a video creator, they can be a podcaster. To me, someone who has a creative artistry to them, I think when they say something, we value it differently than if an influencer says something.

Brady Cramm: Yeah but I think that’s how you see Kim K. I think a lot of people see Kim K like you see creators. I’m just throwing that out there.

Garrett Mehrguth: I mean, Kim K’s an icon.

Brady Cramm: I’m just throwing that out there.

Garrett Mehrguth: But do you think when she does her obvious ad and it’s got all the caption stuff of 15% off and stuff, everyone is like, I want to body like Kim K that didn’t come from other things. It was definitely this fit tee.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know Kim K, but I do talk to friends about influencers and they are very influenced. And even if I tell them what’s happening and the fact that they get shipped these products and they’re getting paid to make this video, even when explaining it, they don’t really see it that way.

Garrett Mehrguth: Well, no, my wife has mommies, she just follows more of the mommy influencers. And she has some mommies that if they bought a product, 1000% she would at least explore buying that product. Because she would be like oh, I haven’t heard of that.

Brady Cramm: Yeah. Because that’s a creator category, right?

Garrett Mehrguth: That’s what I’m trying say. That’s more the creator category. You’re saying-

Brady Cramm: I don’t think it is. I think that’s-

Garrett Mehrguth: I guess that’s an influencer category, but it’s more niched. I guess that’s a niche influencer, which is different than a global influencer.

Brady Cramm: Yes, definitely.

Garrett Mehrguth: I think that’s where I think you-

Brady Cramm: Yeah, not 100% of Kim K’s followers see her that way. But I do think-

Garrett Mehrguth: Yeah, what, 60%’s got to be men that have no interest in her fit tee.

Brady Cramm: But even the small percentage that is influenced with her volume of following is probably bigger than any-

Garrett Mehrguth: Oh, I’m sure she’s worth every penny. Trust me.

Brady Cramm: …any creator.

Garrett Mehrguth: If I could sponsor Kim K to plug Directive, I bet you I could still make it work, right. So I’m like-

Brady Cramm: That’d be pretty funny.

Garrett Mehrguth: If you’re that big, right-

Brady Cramm: That’d be great attribution, see who comes from the Kim K ad.

Garrett Mehrguth: It would be all time. Well, marketing and culture, man. It’s fun to chat about. I don’t think we’re heading to a recession, but I do agree with what you’re saying. I think there’s going to be a lot more scrutiny on budgets and we got to be aware of it.

Brady Cramm: Which is good.

Garrett Mehrguth: It’s a good thing.

Brady Cramm: I think it’s healthy.

Garrett Mehrguth: All of us need to be more financially validated and do a better job aligning ourselves to the outcome of the business.

Brady Cramm: And it’s possible.

Garrett Mehrguth: Totally possible. What a first episode, Brady.

Brady Cramm: That was fun. Talking original marketing doesn’t get better.

Garrett Mehrguth: Doesn’t get better. This was actually, I had a great time. I want to keep doing this.

Brady Cramm: Yeah.

Garrett Mehrguth: We’re going to be doing the show every week. We’re recording on Monday. I’m not sure which day we’re going to post yet. We’ll get that out there though for all of you and we’ll make it clear. We’ll have a place where you can subscribe, be a part of it. So if you want to please subscribe on YouTube, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify.

Brady Cramm: Spotify.

Garrett Mehrguth: Whatever you use, your Spotify-

Brady Cramm: We’re paying a lot of money every month to Spotify over the last decade. So we might as well.

Garrett Mehrguth: Brady’s a big fan of whatever monthly plan you could give him.

Brady Cramm: No, you should check it out. It’s pretty crazy if you do the math on how much it’s added up over time.

Garrett Mehrguth: They got you.

Brady Cramm: They got me. They got all of us.

Garrett Mehrguth: They got everybody in that. And we love it, this has been a blast. So please leave a comment, subscribe, share the podcast, be a part of it. Let us know which guests we should interview if you got any guests in your network that ar CMOs of a big brand, let us know about them and thank you everybody for tuning in. That’s Original Marketing.

Brady Cramm: Thanks everyone.