Flip the Switch Episode 27: Funnel Marketing

John Saunders
By John Saunders

SOPHIA: Today on Flip the Switch. The guys had the pleasure of interviewing chief marketing technologist Nicole Pereira. A funnel marketing expert. 
 
We took a deep dive into the middle of the funnel or lead-nurturing section of the sale cycle. And dropped some important information about optimizing the buyer’s journey. Let’s get into it. 
 
00:49 ASTIN: Welcome to Flip the Switch presented by Power Digital Marketing. This is our nine times three–episode number 27. 
 
00:56 PAT: Number 27. Our Vladimir Guerrero episode. I’m reaching with that one, aren’t I?
 
00:59 AUSTIN: OH no. Great, great Angels baseball player. Vladimir Guerrero. You’re right on cue with that.
 
01:03 PAT: Okay. I liked it more when he was on the Spos, but… neither here nor there. WE have a fantastic episode for you guys today. We had Nicole Pereira on the show today. 
 
01:11 AUSTIN: Funnel marketing expert. 
 
01:12 PAT: right. Nicole Pereira. She’s the co-founder and chief marketing technologist of Campaign Creators. And our topic that we kind of wanted to talk through with you guys today is buyer behavior and nurturing leads. We thought it was going to be super-important to talk about this just because funnel marketing is a term that gets thrown around all the time…
 
01:29 AUISTIN: It’s very important for a business to be specializing in… to have a specialist I should say. Someone in funnel marketing. I’d say for our agency and what we do it’s a huge part of what makes our clients successful.
 
01:38 PAT: Right. And who better to speak to it than an expert. So Nicole’s the co-founder of Campaign Creators and the chief marketing technologist which we talked about. She’s also a HubSpot top 10 owner user, as well as the co-leader of the largest HubSpot user group in the world. She’s taught herself PHP, run a mommy blogger business at one point in time, but eventually founded her business at Campaign Creators.
 
She’s a middle of the funnel obsessed entrepreneur who loves marketing tech stacks, lead generation, lead nurturing and marketing automation. 
 
So with that, let’s get right into the interview. 
 
Cool, so obviously with us today is Nicole Periera. I know that we just went through a little bit of your bio, but I think that it’d be really helpful for the listeners if you gave us a little background on who you are and how you found yourself at this point. At Campaign Creators.
 
02:34 NICOLE: Yeah, you know… it’s interesting. I spent many, many years being both IT girl and the digital marketing girl before people realized you could actually live in both. And have both talents. So I would be dropping cables and launching offices and getting VOIP set up. 
 
And then at the same time, getting a website set up and sending out an email. And so I always held two titles. And it wasn’t until about 2013 where I got my first job where they said, “No. Just do marketing.” And I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I had to go through IT to get an email setup and it was just like my mind was blown that somebody else would take that responsibility off of me. And I think I really blossomed.
 
But I also came across a website called “Chief Marketing Technologist,” and I found my identity. All of a sudden this lost person who didn’t know who she was… who did SEO and knew a little PHP and was launching a website. But then was also doing social media and email. 
 
I didn’t have an identity. And so when I found that blog, I found my identity. I’m a Marketing Technologist. I can know a little bit about everything, but I can deploy it all on all these platforms.
 
03:42 AUSTIN: I’m interested just to break those two categories apart. What is a typical task for you on the IT side? And then what’s a typical task on the marketing side?
 
03:51 NICOLE: For a marketing technologist?
 
03:52 AUSTIN: Correct
 
03:53 NICOLE: So you have your marketing technologists who are setting up your domain for the launch of your website. You have a marketing technologist who’s connecting the pixel for your social media ad campaigns. Your technologist is making sure your form fields on a landing page are firing so that an analyst can go look at it. Your technologist is making sure that all your form fills are going into your database, and then that your database is being handled well. And then that your emailing through your database. So a technologist can kind of have a specialty in that world just like social media has your specialists and your generalists. 
 
04:27 AUSTIN: This sound like a bit of a combination between John and myself. I’m thinking about right now. He’s more on the development side, I’m more on the SEO side. But of course, there’s that crossover of saying, “Hey, I need to implement this pixel. Can you do it?” Or, “Hey, I’m seeing this sort of redirect issue…”
 
04:40 PAT: “Hey, John I need an email alias made right this second.”
 
04:44 JOHN: There’s a lot of that, yes. I have a lot of experience…
 
04:46 NICOLE: So your marketing Technologist would do that. They would know enough about SEO, and enough about the website. And they would be the bridge between the two. 
 
And then you can have an SEO purist over there doing the research. But you can be the implementer. So you understand what they need…
 
So a Technologist is an implementer who uses technology. 
 
05:05 PAT: Okay, so you find yourself in that role. You find chief Technologist Officer.com. And then moving forward… fast-forward a few years. Campaign Creators is founded what year?
 
05:17 NICOLE: So business on market street… actually we were known as freelance VPS back then. But that lasted about 6 months when we realized the word “freelance” and “Enterprise services” didn’t match. 
 
05:30 AUSTIN: Opposite ends of the spectrum a little bit. 
 
05:32 NICOLE: Yeah, it kind of had a bad connotation. We wanted to be as executive level individuals who could come parachute in and help you with your company consulting wise. But that just… the brand name was bad. 
 
So we learned that early on. But one of my co-founders–I have 2–has a lot of strengths in design. So that became one of the talents brought in that we sold. And so we became an award winning design and website development firm before we did marketing. 
 
I was just our marketer. So I was doing our marketing. 
 
And it wasn’t until, like, 5 years after we really launched the company that we realized we were actually really good at marketing. 
 
But I think that’s cause that’s the talent and skills I brought to the table. But I also have some other talents of mentorship and guiding and being able to hire talent based on the raw pieces that they have and then mentoring them up into their roles and their positions. Cause these technologists don’t fall out of the sky. They’re just not there in abundance. So I have to create them.
 
06:31 AUSTIN: It’s funny. I think about this and typically with agencies, we’re good at marketing other companies. That’s what we do. And then eventually we get to marketing ourselves.
 
You did the opposite…
 
06:40 NICOLE: We were reverse. So we got really good at marketing ourselves. We were blogging for ourselves every day before we were offering that service to our clients. And then we sort of found the inbound marketing world, and for us we said, “Oh my gosh. That sounds like the marketing we want to do.”
 
We didn’t really want to do the paid. We didn’t really want to do the other things. I think they have their place but it was just not something that called to me. I was an SEO practitioner before anything else. I was diving deep and really technical when literally–1996–you put a keyword in the keyword Meta description area and all of a sudden you were page 1. 
 
07:19 AUSTIN: Oh how times have changed…
 
07:20 PAT: Simpler times, simpler times. I’m sure Austin would love to go back to then.
 
07:23 NICOLE: It was wonderful.
 
07:24 PAT: Yeah, I’m sure. 
 
07:25 AUSTIN: Now you have to quality content. I don’t know what that’s all about.
 
07:27 NICOLE: Imagine. 
 
07:29 PAT: Okay, so we talk about that a little bit. And then you touch on that inbound piece. I know we want to get into a discussion around funnel marketing because that is definitely your bread and butter, and something that you understand at a level that a lot of people just don’t. And that’s why we’re so excited to pick your brain about it.
 
I’m curious, though. What initially prompted that decision to do inbound as opposed to seeking out the paid channels? Was it an acquisition cost thing? Or was it just efficiency? Or was it more the identity of the brand that you were trying to put out there?
 
07:59 NICOLE: When inbound marketing called to us, we became a HubSpot partner. And they have really great mentorship and education and guidance. And they had a formula, and we kind of followed the formula. 
 
But early on we realized it wasn’t actually the 4 blogs, 2 landing pages, 3 emails, 12 social posts formula that called to us. It was the tech that HubSpot gave to us and it’s capabilities that called to us. 
 
And so at some point we looked at our services as a business owner and said, every time we brought in a new client, we’d have to bring in a new employee to service that client.
 
08:35 PAT: Right. Just to maintain the workload.
 
08:36 NICOLE: Right. So the margins weren’t good enough to even support a business. So it’s like, “Why are we paying people to be direct servicers of this client when we can’t make profit off of it?” No business can do that. 
 
So we really honed down, and we said, “Who are we?”
 
Because everyone else was doing inbound marketing. Everybody else was doing the formula. There was no differentiator. When we were ahead of the pack, we were differentiated. Now everybody’s doing it. 
 
It’s all commoditized. You can get a blog so cheap now. And written just good enough. And then somebody internal can go and optimize it for the vernacular of that industry or whatever. So we just walked away even from all awareness marketing, and it’s entirety. Even organic. Even anything that’s usually considered in the role of inbound marketing. And we looked at it saying, “What do we really do well? When we look at our value to the world, what is it?” And it was always building funnels. It was always, once that awareness issue was solved–which is a long road–it’s when you get that name in that database what do you do with it?
 
09:32 PAT: Right. So taking a step backwards to just get a little bit more general with it. IN your terms, what is funnel marketing? Cause you know, if you’re outside the marketing world, you hear that term thrown around all the time. You see the charts. There’s real nice graphics about you have your awareness, consideration, purchase. 
 
What does that all mean, though? What is it actually?
 
09:54 NICOLE: Yeah, it’s curating a pathway for someone. Based on what you know the most common group or persona is looking for.
 
You’re actually not trying to trick anybody. You’re literally trying to give them exactly what they tell you they want. And you’re continuing to optimize that and make sure you’re continuing to give them exactly what they want.
 
10:13 AUSTIN: Yeah. And then to draw the comparisons and the parallels right now with what may be a typical SEO job would be and what you do is I wanna get traffic based on keywords that are relevant, but it’s more of a visibility play. So I wanna come up with new ways and new keywords and maybe new ideas so that I can attract a new audience coming to the website on a pretty consistent basis.
 
What you do–and it’s a very skilled… very special–is you take customers and give them exactly what they want that are already there. So you make them… you get a higher quality conversion, you get a higher quality customer. You basically create that based on your skillset and marketing technology.
 
10:51 NICOLE: Yeah. And so when my paid counterpart and my SEO organic counterpart and my social counterpart all do their job really well, hopefully they’re attracting the right personas and then I hope I’m delivering to them the right message on the website. Giving them the right hooks and the right baits to give me their email address. Or to continue the conversation with us. Because we’re all aligned and I’m taking 80% of that. Because we’re giving them exactly what they need. There’s always the anomalies, but we’re seeking for the majority of the people, and the majority conversation we want to have with a particular persona. 
 
11:26 PAT: Okay. And I think that this is a question a lot of people have too is can you create a funnel for any business type? B to B, B to C… are there differences between the 2? Nuances that people need to be aware of?
 
11:41 NICOLE: There are, but different industries have different types of funnels. Your B to C, e-commerce, low price-point funnel is usually short and squat. But then you’re remarketing a lot, so it’s short and squat over and over and over again. 
 
11:55 PAT: Right. Getting those repeat purchases. And insuring a little bit more of that lifetime value. 
 
11:59 NICOLE: Yup. But when you have a $100,000 B to B tech product, you know…
 
12:05 PAT: Right. Like a SASS company or something…
 
12:06 NICOLE: It could take a year of nurturing and education. And in tandem with possible outreach, so then it’s just different. And it could have 4 different funnels feeding into each other. And somebody jettisons out of one part, into another. And when something changes, or a parameter changes you have free trial funnels, that then lead into a proof of concept funnel that then leads into a sales funnel. And then even in marketing, you can have a whole funnel that is just the top of the buyers’ journey. 
 
12:35 PAT: Right. Just to even get that cold traffic
 
12:39 NICOLE: Yes. And so the more complex the product the more complex the conversation. Honestly, they’re sales funnels, they’re not marketing funnels. We’re trying to take a person further along in the conversation. And the salesperson at that point, should only be customer service. 
 
They’re like, “May I take your order?” So they’re just trying to answer those questions that linger, validate and then just finish the process. 
 
13:03 AUSTIN: And nurture is the word that I picked out of that whole conversation right there. That you are really focusing is really nurturing a lead. What specifically do you do to nurture a lead? What really helps you to have a lead go from that middle to closer to the bottom of the funnel?
 
13:19 NICOLE: So, email is usually the crux of it. But honestly, a really great nurture strategy brings in your paid, your organic, your social counter-parts to remarket to people who get lost. So a good funnel–as you’re going down the funnel–is someone is at the top. For example, they download something they either got a coupon in the B to C world, 0r they downloaded an informational guide in the B to B world. Or they watched a video that had a turnstile on it. 
 
13:44 PAT: Some kind of lead magnet.
 
13:46 NICOLE: Lead magnet. Yup. And so then they get lost. They were progressively led to another landing page, which uses the talents of our friendly web developers and designers. And so they’re on their next landing page and they get lost.
 
They got the email from us, but they didn’t really read it and they forgot about it. 
 
Now you have your paid guys going in there who are re-marketing off that list going, “Hey, by the way, don’t forget this item. You were here in this space.”
 
It’s like when you go look for some shoes. You’re on Nike and a week later there’s the show and magically there’s a coupon with the shoe I was just looking at. But I’m like looking at toilets, and the shoe is on the toilet website. It’s just magic. 
 
But, you know, so it’s bringing in paid counterparts to mirror the journey so their actually no longer awareness only. They’re actually a part of progressing somebody back into the funnel.
 
SEO helps people get back into the funnel too. When you go… we know that this particular set of people when they actually come to our website or become aware of our brand–they actually already done this portion of their journey. So we’re going to bring them in here. And then do social right, trying to do paid social, trying to get people back on track, or particular groups of individuals–putting them into the funnel at their right stage that they need to be in. 
 
So a very well thought out funnel strategy actually incorporates all of us back together again. But as a specialist, we have our place. And so you always need a unifying strategist that goes, here’s the master strategy…
 
15:14 PAT: Right. Here’s the vision for what the end goal of all this is…
 
15:17 NICOLE: And here’s how we all come together. And so sometimes I tend to play that role, just because we do have other agencies who play really nice with who come in and fill our gaps and we co-work with them. But those people are few and far between, and I think… I would love to see more people invest in looking at the whole picture, and unifying us all again. 
 
Because we’ve gone so far down a path where we’re all specialists, which is great. And that’s why I’m on this podcast, is because I am a specialist on one area. But that being said, we’re actually a whole lot stronger when we bring it all together.
 
15:51 PAT: And you touched on something really early on that I wanted to go back to. You talked about how you’re a HubSpot Premium Partner is that correct?
 
15:56 NICOLE: Yes. We’re a Platinum Partner. 
 
15:58 PAT: Platinum Partner. So what role does the CRM play into this whole thing. Because I’m hearing a lot of the different channels playing together. Potentially an ESP coming into play–your email provider. But how important is leveraging that CRM data and what’s a good way for a business owner to go about doing that?
 
16:16 NICOLE: What’s really nice about HubSpot–not just because I’m a Partner, because I’m actually their fiercest critic. I have advised people away from HubSpot time and time again because I’ve heard the needs and I say, “You don’t need that.”
 
For example, e-commerce and HubSpot–though they’re trying to bring that world together, they don’t play nice. B to B marketers think, talk, speak–use different words. B to C marketers think, talk, use different words. B to C marketers are dealing with huge databases that are worth very little per name in the database. So low value, high volume.
 
But your B to B marketer is low volume, high value. And so a system like HubSpot is for low volume, high value based on how they price the system. 
 
Plus just naturally out of the box don’t have the reporting and the tools you need to attribute revenue to an email. That systems like Metrillo–I don’t know if you’ve heard of that.–Clavio. Those systems will give you an attribution to the emails worth. When this email was sent, what did it play in the total revenue?
 
17:22 PAT: Right. And in a low volume, high value account or strategy–where you’re trying to drive a high price point purchase for that business–you need that attribution. You need to be able to understand to the dollar and cent what channels are helping the best in order to be able to optimize off of that more effectively.
 
And it’s definitely something that we see here all the time. Every channel wants to take as much credit as possible. Does HubSpot in your opinion, help people make those educated decisions on how to better optimize the channels that are in the funnel? Or is it more give that final picture of, “All right. This ended up happening after these touch-points.” And attributing it that way?
 
18:04 NICOLE: It should. If you have a unifier. It’s hard because everyone wants to do their own thing and by uninhibited by someone else’s opinion who’s not a practitioner in their field. But if you can bring all those people together, a system like HubSpot actually can do that for you. They can attribute did somebody come from a Facebook ad? What ad did they click on and how much did it cost to acquire that lead when you finally take it through to a sale. 
 
That being said, we’re not talking about a whole team of people. Our friendly salesman, that marketing gets along with so well. 
 
18:34 PAT: Yeah. (laughing)
 
18:35 NICOLE: So they’re at the end of the attribution chain. So we need to see it through all the way. HubSpot is a system that can bring us all into one place. And then give us that full picture at the end of it. But it just requires us all to be on the same page with that strategy. But you can attribute all those pieces, all along the way. They have all that in there. 
 
18:59 AUSTIN: It sounds like a very complex piece of technology for a lot of people. And of course, there’s all these different channels interacting. What’s a big mistake you see people make with HubSpot or what’s a typically something that you glean from this technology that maybe someone would miss?
 
19:15 NICOLE: Buying the platform and not having someone being able to run it. 
 
19:19 PAT: Really?
 
19:20 AUSTIN: As simple as that.
 
19:21 NICOLE: Yeah. So we… go ahead…
 
19:24 PAT: All I was going to say was so how… I just want you to speak a little bit to how important is the practitioner in that scenario?
 
19:30 NICOLE: Yeah, so I’ve been in the SEO world. I think it’s a wonderful specialty. But there is a baseline of SEO that anyone can do, because it’s such an old craft that there’s so much documentation. If you just follow the baselines, you’re doing something productive in SEO. 
 
Is it the best? Maybe not, but something good could come of it. Same could be said for paid and social. 
 
That being said… I think marketing technology like HubSpot, there’s no easy entry in knowing how to take all this information, analyze it and send out the best email. Just merely sending an email is not utilizing a system like that. You might as well get a Mail Chimp or something at that point. 
 
20:12 AUSTIN: At What point did you really notice a big difference in your understanding of the technology? Was this a learning curve, a bit? Years, months?
 
20:21 NICOLE: Fro me I actually was using HubSpot before. We were using it in our agency. When we first started our agency I was still working full-time to fund my ability to not take a paycheck. So it was one of those entrepreneurs. 
 
And so I did that for at least 3 years before I was full-time. So my nights and weekends were my second job, which was my business. 
 
20:40 AUSTIN: That was your HubSpot time.
 
20:42 NICOLE: But in my day job, I had HubSpot. And so I think I found it and I was like, “Oh my God. This is everything I want and need.” Because I was given a little budget and tasked to go find something to manage social media, something to get our website on, something to do all these things. At the time I had to go through IT to post something to our website. Which was like–in my mind, a website is a marketer’s tool. The marketer owns the website. 
 
But in some worlds that doesn’t exist. There’s still an IT person doing things on websites, so I think that’s just ridiculous. 
 
But it was 3 months, I think, I worked like, 100 hours a week. And I was just all day, all night, just going, “This setting to here, and this to here.” And learning all about it. And then since then I’m on every Beta launch, I’m a Beta tester. I’m the one who calls and harasses their tech support going, “I’m trying to do this.” And they say, “You can’t do it.” And I’m like, “Yeah, but I just it this way and I think it could be done better.” And they go, “IU didn’t know I could do that.”
 
So we’re constantly trying to hack at the system because it’s always never good enough. Like, there’s always somebody doing something more creative out here in this world. And we can’t help them because the system doesn’t work for what they need. S
 
So we’re constantly finding creative ways to integrate it. We’re constantly trying to find solutions to keep things seamless. We’re constantly trying to push the envelope. We’re constantly bringing in a developer to layer something on. 
 
There’s no one answer out there. I don’t care how much money you pay, it just doesn’t exist. Everyone just does something a little bit differently.
 
22:09 PAT: That’s interesting. So jumping back into the funnel aspect a little bit too. You mentioned that Campaign Creators specifically takes companies that have a little bit of that digital footprint already and really takes their ability to speak to their target audience to the next level through various tactics depending on whatever the industry is and whatever the business objectives, price-point, margins, things like that are.
 
In that effort, I’m sure that especially lately a lot of companies come to you with what they think is already a fairly sound marketing funnel. What–if you had to pick one thing–would you say is the biggest flaw that you see in the marketing plans that companies that come to you for help have?
 
22:51 NICOLE: Yeah, so they think because they have some landing pages and a confirmation email, and a salesperson that reaches out, they’ve got a funnel, right? But that’s a top-to-bottom strategy. So they’re missing all the middle. They’re missing actual nurturing. Funnel marketing is taking somebody down a path. It’s not coming in from the top and then popping out the bottom. There’s a whole life-cycle that goes in the middle that’s missing. 
 
But no one knows how to conceptualize it because you have to know personas. You have to know where they came from. You have to know where they live. You have to be able to be a data analyst. You have to know all the other specialties in a way… or at least, understand it enough…
 
23:30 PAT: How they work together, maybe…
 
23:32 NICOLE: And how that person got there. And then how are you going to move them along. And then at the end of the day, what email do they get?
 
Now you have suppressions and lead-scoring and moving people out of this list to that list. And jettisoning them off to a different middle of the funnel item. Based on the thing they clicked on the website. 
 
23:50 PAT: Right. A bunch of “if/then” type scenarios…
 
23:53 NICOLE: And it gets very complex. But people don’t know how to conceptualize that. Those are like, engineers. Engineers sit there and do “if/then.” Scientists sit there and do that…
 
24:02 PAT: Right. So why should a marketer be doing it?
 
24:04 NICOLE: Marketers don’t do it normally. And so they should.
 
24:07 PAT: Right. They just do billboard ads.
 
24:08 AUSTIN: Not anymore, Patrick. The internet is alive and well.
 
24:11 PAT: Well, some of the ads around look like billboard ads. 
 
I have another question for you around this a little bit. So obviously, kind of like we touched on, a lot of agencies have this as an offering of theirs now. It’s a hot topic, people like to talk about how they do funnel marketing. And how they’re funnel specialists.
 
And I think there are definitely some especially in the San Diego area that are doing it right, but what do you think is the biggest flaw that you see agencies specifically have in their funnel strategy?
 
24:40 NICOLE: I think it’s the same thing agencies have had when they go, “Well, we do paid.” But they don’t invest in paid. “We do SEO,” or “We do social,” or “We do television commercials.” The specialists really do win out when you’re trying to make a real impact in that particular area. And so I think the strength comes in when either: number 1- when an agency gets large enough to say, “We have a whole department specialized in this.” Or a collective of agencies get together and they bring their specialization to the table. This is like a seven year investment, right? So it’s like, who would you want to work with? Somebody who spent a year talking about it and working on a few clients? Or somebody who spent 7 years and 50 different people in and out of their agency and 200 clients later. And 20 case studies, right? To say, “This piece. This one piece. I’m not going to pretend I know everything about everything else. But this piece. I can tell you I know this piece.”
 
And so I think for a long time that agencies who did everything but didn’t invest in groups that specialized are long gone. That being said, it can be totally housed in one place, but those pods–those units–have to exist in a full immersion of that world. And you can’t have these people who are going here and going there and doing mediocre work.
 
26:01 AUSTIN: And the communication of the channels is really important is what we’re getting from this situation. And something that we’re lucky enough to have at this agency… a bunch of people in this room even that do different channels and are allowed to communicate pretty frequently on client accounts and then a part of our marketing funnel. So a great example would be if… I’m in SEO and I have a blog post idea. And then we pump that blog up. And it’s getting traffic. 
 
And then luckily we have Patrick to create a great lead magnet. So we place that lead magnet which leads to a White Paper or a downloadable of something else that maybe Joe created. So all these different aspects of communicating of what are we seeing in our individual worlds.
 
Is this working? What type of traffic are we getting? What is the bounce rate? Time on site? Pages per session? After we leave that blog post to go to the White Paper downloadable. 
 
So all these things are so important to factor in when you’re deciding on an agency as well. Because how much do the people in the company communicate? How much are the channels integrated and that is a major factor in the success of an efficient funnel. 
 
27:01 NICOLE: Yeah. When I was building my agency, I actually… my day job, I hired an agency to do paid and social and some other things because it just wasn’t something I had the capacity to do. 
 
But it was so interesting because here I was building a 3 person agency–I don’t think we really thought it was an agency. A consultancy at the time. 
 
But this agency I worked with–I would have 1 call with my social media person. And then I’d have another call with my paid person. And then I’d have another call with my blog person.
 
And then I’d realize they didn’t talk to each other. So I was like, “Where are you sending the paid traffic to if the blog… I don’t understand what’s going on.” It was crazy, and this was back in 2013. It was not like it was a different world in agency life. I was sitting there going, “This is one of the biggest agencies in San Diego. Where is the unifier?”
 
And it was silly, because they were like, “Oh, well, until you’re at 15, 20 thousand dollars, we don’t bring you in a unifying strategist.”
 
27:59 AUSTIN: What?
 
28:00 NICOLE: I’m never going to get there if you don’t give me that person. And so they got fired. But it’s funny because here we are like 5 years later and that agency has hired us to help them on things. Because they realized, “When we worked with you. And then the relationship…”Because I maintained a great relationship with them. And over the years they’re like, “Do this piece for us. Do this piece for our clients.” We’re like, “No problem. We can do that. And you go do the rest because we don’t do the rest, you know?”
 
And so it’s kind of been a beautiful thing to just see agency world change in San Diego, but I think the specialists rule. The specialists rule but you can’t forget that you’re not in a silo. 
 
28:39 PAT: Right. Exactly. And I think that’s something that can’t be, I guess, emphasized enough. Is that you need to have that core competency that you can really lean into and learn to perfect. But at the same time, you need to be broadening your understanding or how your channel can help leverage other channels and work together. Like Austin was saying before.
 
And when you get all those pieces pumping together, you know, it does turn into a little bit of that self-serving cycle. Getting people back into this funnel. Which leads me, actually, to another question I have about that. As a business owner, if I hear that… if I hear once you have these pieces moving, and then we have these re-marketing audiences set up with this kind of criteria, it will re-nurture people who maybe didn’t convert until they do. And people that have converted will be put back into the funnel for future purchases or cross-selling opportunities.
 
How often should you be editing and optimizing your funnel? Because from the sounds of that it should be almost set it and forget it, doesn’t it. 
 
29:32 NICOLE: Yeah. Which is the view of a lot of our crafts, right? But optimizing for that is where… for example, we had a client. And people kept bottoming out the funnel. And we had to analyze why are they bottoming out the funnel? 
 
And we found out that we were asking them for too aggressive of a bottom of the funnel offer too soon. So we had to put 4 more layers into their middle of the funnel to get somebody ready to have this conversation. This was for a home development company.
 
30:04 PAT: Right. A high price-point product.
 
30:08 NICOLE: People paying a half a million dollars for a home, they’re not going to close in 3 months. It just doesn’t work.
 
30:10 AUSTIN: That’s a long sale cycle.
 
30:11 NICOLE: People are looking and dreaming and researching their home lie, 3 years before they plan to buy that home. People who are showing up 3 months have already been nurtured in some other way somewhere else. 
 
30:23 AUSTIN: And those KPIs they change varying on who you’re working with. We talked about B to B and B to C. So that in itself takes a specialist as well to decide what your KPIs are. Typically when companies come to you, do they understand their KPIs as a brand and what they need to achieve? Or do you typically set that for them?
 
30:39 NICOLE: Companies with strong salesmanship, companies that are like. “Just get me the leads. I have the sales team.” They usually are.
 
Companies who don’t know the connection between a lead and sales, and their sales team is weak, they don’t. And that’s always the situation where a bunch of what we’ve determined are high quality leads have been handed off to a sales team who can’t close them. 
 
31:00 PAT: Interesting. And yeah, they always… It’s funny cause from the client side it’s always, like, “You guys aren’t sending us good leads.” But you don’t have the heart to tell them that it might be their saes team.
 
31:08 NICOLE: Oh, I have the heart.
 
31:10 PAT: Someone has to break the news. 
 
Okay, and obviously don’t want to take up too much of your time here, but one more thing that I kind of wanted to get into is a little bit of a wrap up. If I’m a business owner that’s listening to this episodes and I hear all the great work that funnels can do for my business and how well it can help me with my audience qualification to move them to that eventual purchase decision in a methodical way, what’s one thing that I can go try to do right now, or instruct my marketing team to do to move me in the right direction?
 
31:40 NICOLE: Gosh. We’re assuming perfect world. Everything is in place.
 
31:46 PAT: Everything is totally in perfect.
 
31:47 NICOLE: Except for the middle.
 
 31:48 PAT: The whole world has the same weather as San Diego…
 
31:51 AUSTIN: You got the sales team, you got the SEO… Paid ads are amazing.
 
31:56 NICOLE: Gosh, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess it’s always the tech because either somebody buys a really amazing piece of tech but they’re not ready for it because they’ve not invested in the rest. 
 
Or somebody has this really amazing potential but then they have like lack-lustre tech. They’re trying to really make it happen with Mail Chimp and they’re not being efficient. At that point it’s an operational efficiency thing. 
 
So it’s interesting, cause when we look to qualify clients we go, “Do you have good quality traffic but you’re not able to get leads from them? Are you getting leads, but they’re not good quality leads? Or are you operating inefficiently in your marketing operations?”
 
32:35 PAT: And so that’s the first question they should be assessing…
 
32:36 NICOLE: All three ways will make money for your client. The operational efficiency I call more of a political KPI, right? Like if I could actually save you from spending 20 grand this month, our value has been brought to the table. 
 
But we have clients where that’s our only value. It’s just better to have us send the email than them. But they’re fully capable of strategizing around the email. They’ll give us copy. They’ll give us the design. They’ll develop it. We’re just going in there making sure it’s sent on the right time, sent to the right list, and then analyzing the results.
 
Just cause it just costs them more to do it in-house. 
 
33:09 PAT: Right. So I guess the big takeaway there is I’m a business owner I assess to see where any inefficiencies might lie, whether or not my tech is correct and assess my goals. And then see how my sales team and my nurturing sequence stands is bottlenecking that. 
 
33:24 NICOLE: Yup. Bottlenecks are a good word. 
 
33:26 PAT: All right. Thank you so much for coming in Nicole. We had a great conversation with you today. Thanks for making the time.
 
33:32 NICOLE: Yeah. Thanks for having me guys.
 
33:34 AUSTIN: We hope you all really enjoyed that interview with Nicole. I thought I had a lot of great takeaways from that. Pat, what did you think of the whole funnel marketing theme for her, and middle of the funnel tactics she uses?
 
33:45 PAT: I was really impressed with the level of expertise that she brought to the table. As an agency, we specialize in funnel marketing, and I’m always scrutinizing other people’s knowledge of it. And to see somebody that has a comparable level of knowledge as the people that work here was awesome for me.
 
34:01 AUSTIN: For me she really pulled out the fact that you need to have all the channels integrating together. Whether that’s paid, SEO, or the stuff that’s John working over for development. Tying all those channels together to make sure you’re nurturing the lead correctly…
 
34:15 PAT: It’s not a narrative that you hear a lot with other agencies. You hear a lot about service line agencies that will do your SEO. And they will do your paid media. And they will sell you a package…
 
34:24 AUSTIN: Tiered out packages…
 
34:25 PAT: Yeah, but that’s not effective anymore. And if you’re a business owner your biggest takeaway from this interview should be that you need to start employing a better nurturing sequence on the digital side. Just like a sales cycle. You teach your salesmen…initially when you’re going through the whole process of on-boarding and training and everything, there are scripts that they follow depending on peoples’ point in the buyer journey. 
 
And that’s essentially what this is. It’s mirroring that exact sales cycle online and making it inbound. So you’re not having to do as much cold calling, as much prospecting. And it’s going to save you money at the end of the day.
 
34:56AUSTIN: Absolutely. Well we hope to have Nicole on again soon. She had a lot of great information for us. And we hope you all enjoyed this wonderful episode. 
 
35:03 PAT: Absolutely. So that wraps everything up for episode 27 of Flip the Switch presented by Power Digital Marketing. Thank you guys for joining us today. Special thanks to Nicole Pereira for taking time out of her day to come on and talk with us. 
 
We will be back again next week with some more great content for you guys. But until that time, this has been Pat Kreidler, Austin Mahaffy, Joe Hollerup, John Saunders. Featuring Nicole Pereira. Signing off.

John is the Director of Web Development at Power Digital and thrives on the balance between creative and strategy. Using his experience in CRO, John approaches website builds with the user in mind, combining psychological and technical aspects of design.