Automation of Marketing

Aaron Konzelman: Hey everybody. Welcome to American Small Business Institute. I am Aaron Konzelman, and we are here today with Gary Bernier.

Gary Bernier: Welcome.

Aaron Konzelman: How are you?

Gary Bernier: I’m awesome.

Aaron Konzelman: Awesome, okay.

Gary Bernier: I love being down here.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah, it’s fun. It’s kind of warm, it’s good temperature.

Gary Bernier: Yeah.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: Beautiful day.

Aaron Konzelman: What do we got? What are we talking about today?

Gary Bernier: We’re talking about the automation of marketing today.

Aaron Konzelman: Okay.

Gary Bernier: Right? This is really a little bit of a case study of what we did for one of our clients this year. It’s a little bit of a case study and a little bit of how the business owners out in ASBI land can take these concepts and apply it to their business.

Aaron Konzelman: Awesome.

Gary Bernier: As Roy said, after my presentation upstairs to the partners, really figure out how to apply the 80/20 rule to what they’re doing.

Aaron Konzelman: Okay.

Gary Bernier: Right? What you’d see on your screen is in 2018, this particular customer does home renovations. They do it as a two step sales presentation. They go and they measure the basement, see how big it is, so they get some numbers. Then, they have the customer come in, and then they do the whole sales presentation to them.

Aaron Konzelman: Oh okay.

Gary Bernier: In 2018, their show up rate for the in-homes was 71%, and the sales appointment was 67%. We implemented this automation at the end of 2018. In 2019, we’ve seen that jump to 86% and 76% and everybody wants to know, “What does that do to their sales?” It’s unfair, their sales have jumped 87% in the same period, but that’s not just because of the automation.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah, sure.

Gary Bernier: Right? They had kind of a rough start to last year, but they’ve bumped their numbers. It has definitely contributed. They’ve definitely noticed that the show rate is up, makes the conversation easier. What do we do? When you automate or why should you automate, it forces you to get really tight on what your customer journey experience is. You need to sit down, you need to document each one of those steps.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: Sometimes, you end up thinking about things that you didn’t think about previously. Now, you get consistency, which means you get to deliver that brand experience the way that you wanted to deliver the brand experience because you control the messaging. You get repeatability, which allows you to tighten up your ship. All right? Everything starts to happen more systematically. Again, you have control over the message, which means you can control the persuasion where when you leave it to other people, who knows what’s going out there? The fourth one is you remove the lazy factor.

Aaron Konzelman: Oh yeah, that’s a big one.

Gary Bernier: The employees, right?

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah, oh yeah.

Gary Bernier: “Did you send that email?” “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll get around to it.” Whatever. When you automate, it takes all of that out of the system. Right?

Aaron Konzelman: Mm.

Gary Bernier: Here, we wanted to increase the book to close rate. What to automate? Anything that’s going to increase response time in terms of communication. A lot of times, people have forms on their web, fill out the form and we’ll get back to you. With my team building business, as soon as somebody fills out a form, they get a nice automated email, looks like it’s coming from me. It’s coming from the system, says, “Hey, when’s a great time to talk?” I know the next step in the process is they want to talk to somebody.

Aaron Konzelman: Exactly.

Gary Bernier: I smile and giggle every time I get the response that says, “Oh thank you for the really quick response.” I’m like, “Automation.”

Aaron Konzelman: You’re welcome.

Gary Bernier: You’re welcome. Thanks for telling me when it’s good to call you.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: It makes it much easier to do that. The second one is reminders. Specifically, this client, any time you need show rate, you need somebody to be there, they’re busy. If you’re not reminding them and telling them what’s going on with the process, they’re going to miss that. The third one is communication, steps around the process, what’s coming next, what’s the next phase of the journey that they’re going through. If you have a multi-step long process, setting those expectations, communicating that kind of stuff is really important to having the person involved in the process and understanding where they are at each step of that journey.

Aaron Konzelman: It’s like an automated shepherd that’s guiding them through the whole process.

Gary Bernier: Absolutely.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: You know that that communication should be happening anyway.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah, yeah.

Gary Bernier: Probably today, people are doing it manually. When you document that and put that out there, then you can systematize it and it takes it away from the employee. As you change employees or people move around inside your… The communication still happens consistently over and over again. How to pick what to automate? Something, as we were just talking about, happens with high frequency.

Aaron Konzelman: Right.

Gary Bernier: Every time somebody books online, they should get a communication. It’s an important communication step. It’s time sensitive. Our term is it’s currently a pain in the assets or it has a PITA factor wrapped around it, right? It’s being done some of the time or very little of the time, because it’s a pain in the ass. Yeah, if the PITA factor is high, definitely automate that. Typically, you can strap an ROI around that when you look at it from that perspective.

Aaron Konzelman: Okay.

Gary Bernier: Right?

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: Now, many people say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it only takes a little bit of time.” If you look at this time value equation, 10 minutes a day times five days a week is 50 minutes a week. Right? That actually works out to a full week a year.

Aaron Konzelman: Wow.

Gary Bernier: Of time.

Aaron Konzelman: Oh yeah.

Gary Bernier: How do you get more productivity out of your people? You take this donkey work that they don’t like doing, that they’re not good at, that you can’t control the message, you take it away from them. You put it into the system, you control all that. Now, here’s the spot that everybody messes up. If there is one thing that people need to grab out of this presentation, it’s right here. You need to start with an iterative development model. This means you pick something small, like, “Okay, you filled out the web form, you should get a response. Or this is our first meeting, I should make sure they get reminders over the first meeting.” You implement that. You test it. You get it working. You get results on that. Then, you add on.

Aaron Konzelman: Right, yeah. That makes sense.

Gary Bernier: The mistake everybody makes when they fall in love with automation is that they then want to automate everything. You get and it becomes the never-ending project that never gets implemented.

Aaron Konzelman: Right.

Gary Bernier: Chunk it down. Do the first step, get something working, test it, that’s the key. There’s always next month.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: You can always, this type of system, you can always add onto. Tools, everybody wants to know what tools should I use? In the last five years, all of the tools have evolved. Five, six years ago, there was one primary tool. Everybody said if you were doing automation, use it. All of the software as a service, they’ve all evolved. Now, there are so many tools I can’t actually make the best recommendation to you, because there’s just too many out there. Here’s some guidelines. If you’re going to pick a tool, you should be able to do email, you should be able to do text, you should be able to do automated voicemail calls and you should be able to do some direct mail. In other words, instruct the front desk to send something out.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: Multi-component. It should tie into your CRM, so that you can see all the communication that went out to the client. Was it opened up? Did they pay attention to it? Those are the things you’re looking for in the tool that you choose. You want it to fit into your business environment. You don’t always want to add something in addition to what you’ve already got.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: Here’s the campaign details for this case study. Immediately after the phone call happened, so somebody hears a radio ad or goes through the Google Ad, visits the website, whatever it is, they end up calling into the business and saying, “Hey. I’m interested in a basement.” They go, “Okay,” and they ask them a couple of… They do the initial call script. That generates that measuring appointment. They put the data into the CRM, which immediately triggers this communication process you see on the screen. We send them an immediate confirmation. Now, what that does for the client is you heard me.

Aaron Konzelman: Right, yeah.

Gary Bernier: Yes, those are the things I agreed to.

Aaron Konzelman: Yes, yeah.

Gary Bernier: In there, you say, “If there are any changes, call me.” Next day, we say, “Hey. Here’s who is coming.” Day after that, you want to read a little bit more, get their picture, take a look, so some more biographical information. Day before, we send them a reminder. Day of, we send them a reminder.

Aaron Konzelman: Awesome.

Gary Bernier: That’s five steps when, before, you were lucky if one of those was happening.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: Right? That’s why that show rate’s gone up. The message that you produce, and I know Wizard of Ads, we’re all about the message, everybody knows how to do this because we all write email every day. It’s a personal communication. It’s like the prospect is the only one that ever received it, even though you’ve automated it. It needs to appear to be sent by a person, not a machine or not a group.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: Because you want them to take action, you have to have clear next steps. Now, here’s the key and this is the part that people mess up. When you send that type of message out there, people will respond just like I mentioned in the beginning.

Aaron Konzelman: Yeah.

Gary Bernier: You have to manage those responses.

Aaron Konzelman: Oh yeah, for sure.

Gary Bernier: The people that are doing text message marketing today that aren’t replying to the responses they’re getting, it’s just going in the garbage. Make sure that it’s monitored and responded to. Here’s an example message to you. What are underlined are the variables. It doesn’t matter which front desk person schedules this secondary appointment, doesn’t matter who the designer is, what we know is the key pieces of information they want to know is what’s the time? How long is it going to take? We tell the person you’re coming in for two hours.

Gary Bernier: Here’s the location, here’s the location details. We give them that pertinent information they need to interact with us. Again, if you have brandable chunks, we believe, and it fits the messaging strategy, this is a perfect place to incorporate some of those higher level messaging strategies. Now, the mistakes you see, and everybody’s seen these, is the glitz and graphics because let’s face it, we’re glitz and graphics mean it’s not a personalized communication. It’s got marketing speak.

Aaron Konzelman: Oh yeah, no.

Gary Bernier: Boring, not really interested in boring. About you, not about them, they don’t care. If it’s the sort of unbelievable marketing message, too good to be true, they’re just not interested in that stuff. That breaks your automation and means you don’t get the results you were looking for. Our next steps with this particular campaign, again, following the strategy that I outlined, is we’re changing the front desk script so they now ask, “Is it an email or a text that you want?” We’re giving the customer the opportunity to choose their preference. Then, we’ll be tying in the text messaging.

Gary Bernier: The text messaging won’t be that different from the email message, a little bit tighter, a little bit tighter, but the variables and saying, “Hey. Do you want to know who,” and whatever, it’ll all be there. Then, what we were able to create for them was a dashboard using the API into this system that showed them all their stats, so they could actually see what their close ratios were. We’re now monitoring this together with the client each month and comparing the results.

Gary Bernier: In summary, if you want to add automation to your business, pick something manageable to start with. Not too big. Roll it out quickly, test it, monitor it, improve it. Then, that means you’re getting some results, right? As quickly as possible, 30, 45 days down the road, you’re getting some results. You’re not waiting six months, and then not expand on that, build onto it. All of these systems allow you to bolt on and continue to grow this out. That’s my advice to the community.

Aaron Konzelman: That’s awesome. I love that you hit that point of it frees your people up to do other things.

Gary Bernier: Yeah.

Aaron Konzelman: It immediately makes more points of connection.

Gary Bernier: Yeah.

Aaron Konzelman: It’s great.

Gary Bernier: Yeah. You really cut the donkey work down for the employee.

Aaron Konzelman: I love that, cut the donkey work.

Gary Bernier: Free them up to be doing other, more personalized communication, which they need to do, or put their focus into the things that are important. All of your messaging is then sort of controlled and you know what’s working and what’s not working.

Aaron Konzelman: Awesome. It’s great, it’s great info.

Gary Bernier: Thank you.

Aaron Konzelman: Awesome, man. Thanks for being with us. Yeah.

Gary Bernier: Pleasure.

Aaron Konzelman: We’ll catch you next time. All right, we’ll see you guys next week.

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