The SocialMadeSimple Show- Taylor Sack Ep. 11
Taylor Sack, SocialMadeSimple’s Marketing Manager, sits down with Ryan Chiasson, Business Development Manager, to discuss all things marketing. 2021 marketing advice for businesses, a look into SocialMadeSimple’s success throughout 2020, a break down of why businesses need to post on social media to keep clients, and more!
“I think that’s always the case though with marketing… That’s why I like it so much – it’s always changing! In order to be successful, you have to always listen and learn.”
Ryan: Welcome back to the SocialMadeSimple Show – I’m your host, Ryan Chiasson! Today, we have SocialMadeSimple’s marketing manager, Taylor Sack. Taylor, thanks for joining us today!
Taylor: Thanks for having me, Ryan! I’m happy to be here!
Transition: The SocialMadeSimple Show
Ryan: Taylor is my go-to guy with pretty much everything that I do on the sales side of things. The only reason that I’m able to be as organized as I am and be able to make things happen in our CRM is because of Taylor. So from the beginning of me being in this position, Taylor has been such an intricate part of SocialMadeSimple, but I’ll let him speak more about it. When I came on, you weren’t the marketing manager at first so tell us a little bit about your background with SocialMadeSimple and how your current background came to be.
Taylor: I came to SMS almost two years ago at this point and started out as a content specialist, like yourself. I really wanted to get exposure to the marketing world and learn about it. From there, I moved into the account manager role and I was only an account manager for about four months up until March. Right around March of this year, right around the beginning of this global pandemic. It was very weird because moving into the account management position, the accounts were starting to slow down for the company. So management decided to pivot and focus on business development and bring in more business. So they came to me and I started working on the marketing side of things. This is kind of similar to what I was doing, except instead of marketing for our clients, I was focusing on marketing for our company.
Ryan: Yeah – absolutely! It was definitely a very quick change because when I first started you were a content specialist going to account manager then straight into marketing manager. It was very exciting, though! I think we all knew that if anyone was going to do this job, it would be you. With the set of skills that you have, it makes a lot of sense as to why you’re our marketing manager. In your day-to-day, I know you have your hand in a lot of different projects but what would you say are the typical responsibilities for you?
Taylor: It’s tough – there’s definitely a balance between side-off projects that occur on a day-to-day basis. I think I attribute some of that to our company culture, where everyone kind of has their hand in everyone else’s business which is great because you know what’s going on across all the different facets of our company.
At the same time, there are core marketing manager responsibilities that are not too different from other companies have. Really, my job is to help you and the rest of the sales team close sales and get new clients; at the end of the day, that’s really the goal. How we do that, we’re still learning and figuring out. Right now, it’s really just managing different campaigns so Facebook campaigns, Instagram campaigns, Google search, organic stuff, helping out with the blog, creating content for our company, creating sales resources, etc. So that takes up a lot of the day-to-day, just running those campaigns and managing those, but there are also just miscellaneous things that come with the job.
Ryan: Absolutely! I feel like every meeting we jump into there’s always something different that either one of us are doing and it really is a true testament to our company allowing us to be flexible.
Transition: A Look Into The Success of SMS Through 2020
Ryan: What would you consider our success on the marketing side for 2020? What do you think have been some of our milestones this year in terms of marketing?
Taylor: There are really two parts to it and I think the first part would be marketing for our clients. This is something that I don’t touch as much anymore but it’s a huge testament to our fulfillment team. They have been able to keep our clients happy and really keep our clients getting business which, at the end of the day, is the most important thing. So what we do as a marketing and sales team, that can only go so far. There are only so many businesses we can get to sign up but if they come on and cancel our services after a month, we’re not looking good as a business in the long run. So I think the first thing is the fulfillment team and the job they’ve been able to do for our clients. I can’t speak to the exact numbers but they’ve generated 150,000 leads this year; so they’ve done incredible work. And we have multiple partnerships and franchises that we work with that are continuing to see growth even throughout this pandemic.
So that’s the first side of it: keeping our current clients happy through the marketing that we’re doing for them. Then the second side of it is what we’re doing to get new clients. It’s a bit tough for me to say how that’s gone because I came on in March. There’s a hard benchmark to compare it to. With that being said, we’ve certainly brought on new clients every single month and we have learned a lot this year. I think this year has been a success, all things considered. The fact that we’re able to continue to grow throughout a time when most companies are either having to shut their doors or pull back on their spending.
Ryan: Yeah – definitely! I think that was one of the most interesting things about our team from the start. You entered a new role and I started to take on a little more responsibility going into March and April and from the very start we were all saying, “We’re in a pandemic. How do we measure our success this year and how do we compare it?!”. This is the first year that we’ve implemented a lot of new systems. It’s going to be very challenging, going into 2021 and trying to understand the success that we’ll be going into next year, compared to this year. I think a lot of that has to do with the constant adaptation.
On your end, on the marketing side, did you feel like you needed to be constantly adapting? Or was there any strategy that you guys constantly stuck to in terms of the campaigns or voicing, branding, etc.? Did you feel like you were kind of just constantly adapting the entire time?
Taylor: Yeah, I think that’s always the case though with marketing. That’s why I like it so much! It’s always changing! In order to be successful, you have to always learn and listen. Obviously, with the pandemic, things are kind of accelerated. So one of the things we had to change was just implementing listening more than anything. I just mean listening to our clients.
Right now, you have to think long term instead of immediate sales. So a lot of our clients say, “We need sales now,” but if your potential customers are in a place where they can’t pay their rent or mortgage, they’re not in a place where they’re ready to be purchasing luxury goods. We had to change our strategy and go towards more of a branding, long-term approach. It’s tough because you have to go to the higher-ups in the company management and say, “Hey, we didn’t get as many sales as we wanted but we did a great job branding!”. But it is super important because when those customers are ready to make a purchase, you’re going to be the one that they think about.
It was interesting because I was at the store the other day, buying a kitchen faucet and I had no idea what I was looking at but I saw that Delta was there. I thought, “Oh I’ve heard of that brand, it must be good – I’m going to buy it”. I had no idea if I had heard anything good about them, I had never seen any commercials or met anyone who told me how good the product was, etc. I had just heard of the product so that’s the one I purchased. So branding is super important and I think we’ve seen with our clients, we’ve gone more towards more of a branding approach throughout this. Now we’re in December and, obviously, we’re still in a global pandemic and things are starting to normalize and people are starting to spend again. That is kind of always a major part of marketing is the branding side of things and listening to your customers, but right now it looks like things are picking up and people are starting to spend again.
Ryan: Yeah, it’s funny how just strictly brand awareness can help you with a split decision, like a kitchen faucet. Maybe the products that you don’t always deal with every day and just because you’ve heard of a name before, that’s the deciding factor. It’s always super interesting!
Transition: Marketing Advice to Businesses Going Into 2021
Ryan: What do you think that businesses can do going into 2021 to be or remain successful with their marketing efforts? Of course, with all the news coming out about the pandemic, there seems to be somewhat of a light at the end of the tunnel and offices could even open sooner than we think. From a digital marketing perspective, how can those businesses be successful going into 2021?
Taylor: Yeah, in a digital marketing perspective I would say just do it and get on social media and post regularly. I think that’s the biggest thing! So many people our age and the younger generations realize how important that is. When I go make a purchase of anything over really $20, I go and look online. Whether that’s a Google search, Facebook page, or Instagram page, I always try to do research because it’s available and it’s so easy! I think the older generation – and I don’t mean to sound ageist or anything like that- have a more traditional old-school way of running a business.
Social media – that’s for entertainment, that’s not going to affect my business, I’m not going to get on TikTok, that’s not going to help me with my financial business. But at the end of the day, the customers you’re selling to are people. People like entertainment and people are on social media whether you like it or not. So I think the biggest thing is just doing it, getting on social consistently, posting, listening to your customers, seeing what they want to see, and providing them with some sort of value.
Ryan: Yeah – definitely! I think it’s interesting what has happened in the social space. When they first started Facebook, it was all about content, and then they started rolling out advertising, and it’s all about advertising. Now it has all come to a point where it’s a combination of both that you need to be successful. I also think it’s interesting that with the businesses I talk to, they aren’t always privy to the importance the content still has when it comes to social media.
Transition: Why Businesses Need to Post on Social Media to Keep Clients
Taylor: Yeah, I mean it’s huge! As you mentioned, it started off as just content, and then shifted towards more of an ad-focused platform. Although, what people don’t realize is that if it entirely shifts to an ad-focused platform, no one’s going to use it. It’s going to be like magazines are today: very few people open up a magazine and thumb through the advertisements because they like looking at advertisements. So they definitely need a balance there! Your content is the value that you’re really providing. When someone goes to your page and sees that you haven’t posted in years, you don’t really look like a legitimate brand at that point in time.
Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a book that’s called, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook and that is really similar. It’s a great formula! Your content, those are the jabs you’re going to give your potential clients where you’re providing them value, things for free. It’s not like, “Hey, here are 10 free tips, fill out your email and I’ll send it to you”, that’s not really free. You want to provide them content that’s either educational or provides them entertainment in some way. Then where the ads come in, that’s your right hook, that’s your ask, that’s your moneymaker at the end of the day. You’re giving people all this free content that’s helpful or entertaining. Then you come in with this advertisement and say, “Hey, here’s how I can help you. Here’s my ask: go to my website, download my book, buy my product”. You really do need a combination of both.
If you’re running ads against a new audience, either they’re not going to know who you are and they’re not going to want to buy from you or you’re just not going to be able to learn enough about them. So you definitely need a combination for both brand presence and just for a successful advertising campaign.
Transition: Working From Home & A Look Into 2021
Ryan: Typically, I try to switch it up at the end of these interviews and ask a more random question that’s more tailored towards you. Tailored towards Taylor! What are your thoughts on working from home and what would you like to see going into 2021? Are you eager to get back into the office once we’re back into that “new normal” or have you enjoyed working from home completely?
Taylor: Yeah, I mean I love it to be completely honest with you! I wish I was the type of person who says I miss going into the office, waking up, and driving 45 minutes every day. I’m about an hour away right now from our office, so I’m happy to jump on Zoom calls all day long but I love being able to roll into the kitchen, make another cup of coffee, and just kind of kickback and relax by the fireplace, getting my work done at home. So personally, I would like to be remote permanently but I know people have their social needs and they like to mingle and hang out by the water fountain.
Ryan: We need to address my needs, Taylor! Yeah, I think going into 2021 it would be great to have some type of balance between working from home and going into the office. We always had that option, to begin with, but I don’t think anyone took as much of an advantage of it. And I think everyone, for the most part, enjoyed being in the office but now we’re home. It has been a new normal, so going into 2021, it’ll be interesting to see how our company pushes forward!
I think that’s all the time that we have for today. Taylor, thanks again for joining us! For everyone else watching, if you want to check out the rest of our videos, you can head over to our Youtube. If you have any questions about the programs or services we provide, you can always schedule a call with me on the SocialMadeSimple website but until then, we will see you folks next time!
Taylor: Thanks, Ryan!