Saturday, October 28, 2023

Weekend Favs October 28: Fueling Small Business Growth and Marketing Innovation

Weekend Favs October 28: Fueling Small Business Growth and Marketing Innovation written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week. This weekend’s selection of tools can significantly aid in your marketing strategy, paving the way for small business growth.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but I encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one I took on the road.

  • Resume Worded – If you are looking for a new job or just want to keep your profile updated you now can work with Resume Worded which has been designed by top recruiters. Their AI-powered platform instantly gives you tailored feedback on your resume and LinkedIn profile, helping you land 5x more interviews, opportunities and job offers.
  • Getitout – Marketing works better with personas. But creating them for every project and client? Not fun, at least until now. This website extract personas from competitors. Generate professional texts. Then paste them into all your websites, emails, and marketing tools.
  • Clay – If personal relationships are not your forte, Clay has come to save the day. Clay uses AI to power its tools for cultivating amazing personal and professional relationships.

These are my weekend favs; I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

from Duct Tape Marketing

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Future of Ad Tracking: Navigating the Google Analytics Landscape

The Future of Ad Tracking: Navigating the Google Analytics Landscape written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with Julian Juenemann

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Julian Juenemann, the founder of JJAnalytics, a company that helps businesses adopt the data-driven way of Digital Marketing.

In 2015, he launched the MeasureSchool YouTube channel to reach out and teach this new way of marketing to others. With over 150,000 subscribers, MeasureSchool has become the leading video source for many marketers to learn these data-driven methods.

Key Takeaway:

During this episode, we discuss the transition from Google Analytics to Google Analytics G4 and its significant differences from the previous version. We also learned how privacy concerns and changing data retention practices have driven the need for this transition. Additionally, we talk about how businesses need to adapt and leverage data visualization tools for better insights since AI is playing an increasing role in data analysis. However, trust in the output of such tools remains a critical issue.

Questions I ask Julian

  • [00:54] What are the differences between Google Analytics and the new Google’s platform?
  • [04:41] About this new platform, what does it do differently, and what does it do better?
  • [07:08] How does the data visualization work in this new platform?
  • [09:11] What’s the relationship between Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager?
  • [14:12] Does this new tool has any enhancements for ad tracking?
  • [16:30] Besides Google, what are some other analytics tools that you’d recommend?
  • [18:46] What’s the role of AI in analyzing Google Analytics data?

More About Julian Juenemann

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Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn

John (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Julian Juenmann. He's the founder of JJ Analytics, a company that helps businesses adopt the data-driven way of digital marketing. In 2015, he launched the Measure School YouTube channel to reach out and teach this new way of marketing to others. And with over 150,000 subscribers today, measure School has become the leading video source for many marketers to learn these new data-driven methods. So Julian, welcome to the show.

Julian (00:44): Thank you John for having me.

John (00:46): So when I was growing up, my friends all called me jj, so I think you must have that in common as well.

Julian (00:52): Yeah, absolutely.

John (00:54): So data is one of those topics that it's kind of like going to the dentist. Everybody knows they need to do it, but a lot of people other than you aren't really fond of it or it feels like math class did. So let's talk about the one that's probably the most on especially small mid-size business minds and that's the big switch to Google Analytics four. So let's just start with maybe, and I'm sure you've had to do this a lot and we won't go too deep into this, but what are the differences between analytics that we all knew for many years and the new platform from Google?

Julian (01:35): Yeah, sure. So Google had a platform for a long time called Google Analytics, and it was kind of built on the use case of somebody wanting to track whether somebody visits their website and the website was the use case that the platform was built upon. Obviously over the years since this was a tool that was acquired by Google in 2005 already, the use case kind of evolved because people come to your website not only via your browser but maybe also via mobile devices and maybe have different experiences than what a website actually meant in 2005. So you may be able to play a game or log in and do all kinds of operations on your website, and therefore the use case or the case that Google Analytics, the old Google Analytics was built upon was really a website focused and Google had a lot of struggles in order to incorporate any kind of other business cases on this tool.

(02:35): So along comes Google Analytics four, it's a revamped and really new tool to Google Analytics efforts to track users and give you information about how you users behave on your website and built from the ground up a new system that changes the data around. So the biggest difference is that it's not all about page views anymore. It's not all about how people go from page to page, but rather it's all about events because events can be tracked on a mobile app, but they can also be tracked on a game or on a normal website. So they call everything events. Now the model of the data has changed and then they change around the interface completely as well. So there's a lot of new things to get used to when you first log in and switch over to GA four, but these are the biggest differences.

John (03:24): Yeah, I think that's probably caused the most headaches for people is it's like I can't find anything anymore. And that's true of really any user interface change. How much of this, in your opinion, was privacy driven with a lot of the new laws going on the books about privacy, the way that the old system tracked really was kind of coming afoul to those laws, wasn't it?

Julian (03:46): Yeah, absolutely, and Google knew that as well. And obviously the big tech companies are under pressure from Europe here, the European Union, but also on many other privacy fronts and they kind of needed to redesign how they're tracking data and how they hold onto the data. As you might know, Google Analytics, the old Google analytics, universal analytics allowed you to track data basically forever and held onto that data forever. Now data will be, and the raw data will be deleted after a certain data retention period and they're built in some new mechanisms in order to make sure that you are actually able to delete certain data points from if the user requests it from your analytics data set as well. And that all drove that point home that they needed to really overhaul the system rather than just trying to make the old system work kind of within new privacy laws.

John (04:41): So I hear differing, again, there are people that complain about it not liking what it does. Now, there definitely are people that I think have gotten very deep into it to say, no, this is different, but it's better too. How would you talk about what it does differently but also what it does better?

Julian (04:58): Yeah, luckily we kind of passed the point by now that everybody is comparing Universal

John (05:05): Analytics to

Julian (05:05): The new GA four because there was a big switch over in July of this year. So your universal analytics will not be tracking any data anymore. You can still log in, but it will not track any data anymore for you and you need to use Google Analytics for if you want to do so. And this new tool has opened up new possibilities for us. It made certain things easier to set up for somebody who might have worked with Universal Analytics. There was a lot of things that you were able to change around in the system and make it really customized to your business. And now that is kind of by design already, much of that is already built in. So for beginners, it tracks more data and makes more sense that data in the system. I would say. At the same time, it doesn't forget that this is really a power tool.

(05:58): And so if you want to go beyond just checking how many people are coming to your website and where they're coming from, you might want to go deeper and Google Analytics by design is not trying to be everything at once. They have also a tool of other suites around Google Analytics that let you take your own data and analyze that data and then also visualize that data. So for example, Google luas Studio is really a cool tool to be using in combination with GA four because it does all the visualizations. If you want to build a report for your clients or a dashboard for your boss, you would be able to do that through Looker Studio, not generally in GA four. So in general, I think there's a lot of things getting used to when you first log into the system, it is a step in the right direction with everything that I see in the underlying data that we have right now, not all the bugs are out yet unfortunately, but it's heavily under development. So Google is putting a lot of resources into it and I'm hopeful that we'll get to a place where the fan base will be appeased again and people are not switching away from GA four.

John (07:08): So give me an example. You talked about visualizing data in Looker Studio. What would be a typical example of what you would want to visualize?

Julian (07:18): If you have ever looked into a Google Analytics for you might find it confusing, and that is something that a lot of people have that experience with. So if you really want to look up data really quickly inside of the system and have a question and know how to navigate the system a bit, then it's probably the right bet to log into Google Analytics and try to learn that tool. But would you give that data to your client? Would you give them access to Google Analytics for or to your boss and say, oh, let's just look at these reports way too complicated. You want to dumb it down and make it as simple as possible for them to get the insight from the data. And that's what usually visualizations do. So with luas Studio, you can directly connect it to GA four and then pull the right data points in, for example, how many people came from certain data sources, from certain traffic sources to your website or how many users we had last week, all the questions that a marketing professional wants to ask or somebody who is a stakeholder wants to know about.

(08:19): And then really simplifying this so it drives action in the end and they will be able to make a decision on that data. That's how you usually get an R O I on your data. You really need to make a decision upon that data and not just have it laying around as something nice to look at. And yeah, Lucas Studio is really is something cool to play around with and actually make then available to the stakeholders in a company. And the clue is

John (08:45): That

Julian (08:45): You don't really need to give access to Google Analytics to that person because once you have the report built, anybody could have access to that report. That doesn't actually mean that they have access to Google Analytics. So you can keep certain parts of the data away from certain parts of the business, but for example, if the marketing team needs certain reports, you could build them out for them and just share the report without any Google Analytics access.

John (09:11): So let's throw another tool in here. What's the relationship between Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager then?

Julian (09:19): Yeah, Google Tag Manager is a really interesting tool because previously we have these JavaScript codes that we would need to install on our website in order to have the functionality of Google Analytics and know when the users are coming through the website. Now over the years, obviously there's not only one player but multiple players in the market that want you to install this little bit of JavaScript code that will give you more tracking or marketing functionality such as

John (09:49): CRMs.

Julian (09:50): CRMs, absolutely. And so there are more and more of these tools Now, at some point these need to be managed, and Google came out with a tool in 2011 already called Google Tag Manager, which they basically take these JavaScript tags as they're also called and put them into one tool so you can manage them correctly. Now, the big advantage of this tool is obviously that you can deploy only one code on your website and then everything is managed through one central interface, which is also visually more appealing. And at the same time, it allows you to really customize your installation, and that's the whole crux of Google Analytics and many other tools. If you can measure really data that is important to you as a business owner and for the outcomes that you want to drive, then you have your analytics set up really customized and can drive better results with that data because that data is then customized to your business.

John (10:49): Talk a little bit about, and I know this is a big topic, but hopefully you can simplify it for somebody who maybe doesn't know much about it, talk about the element of events because that's really become kind of the key element that Google Analytics four has been built around, but maybe if you were talking to somebody who knew very little about Google Analytics, how would you explain the role of what they're calling events?

Julian (11:16): Yeah, and it's the most powerful thing I think in the data model, the change data model that they have in GA four, previously you were describing the interactions that a user could take on your website as such as a page view that somebody did a click on, a button, a conversion or a transaction that they could trigger. Now these are all very specific to a business model. Transaction can be usually done by a e-commerce website, but it's totally irrelevant for a blog, for example, that doesn't sell any products. So you had a kind of data structure that was good for some businesses and bad for other businesses kind of because Google needs to have such data in order to interpret it correctly and know, okay, I'm going to build this report out for the user, the end user that looks at the data with the event, they were able to make it way more flexible because all there is now is the data type of event that you can send into the system and the event name describes the event that you're sending in.

(12:23): So the event name could be a transaction, could be a page due, and it could be a scroll or a button click, and you can describe this data further with parameters. For example, a transaction has a price attached to it or a card value and so on, or an order value that the user has triggered. This can all be then built out. Google Analytics gave us the possibility now with events to describe any kind of descriptor of that event in a larger format, and we can push that all into a system and make it really, really customized to our business needs again, so there's no discrepancy or you can use Google Analytics to check a blog as well as a game which maybe has a completely different set of events that you might want to track.

John (13:10): Yeah, and I think that the beautiful thing about that too is as you said, you can start, we work with a lot of clients that they want to know what's my return on investment for my marketing? And I mean, a smart marketer will set analytics up in a way that says, look, we drove this much, this happened that turned into this kind of conversion. We know that's worth $12 or whatever the amount is, and you literally at the end of the month can say, for that $4,000 you paid us this month, we can attribute $40,000 worth of new business to it. And I think it's really a powerful tool for a consultant or a marketer to prove their worth, isn't it?

Julian (13:51): Yeah, absolutely. And I think that really what we have in the internet world is that we are able to know all of this stuff because it's way harder in a brick and mortar business to track if somebody comes into the store and looks at products and then checks out. So you have all of that data and you should use it.

John (14:12): Yeah, absolutely. So is there anything we need to know that was an enhancement in terms of say ad tracking?

Julian (14:21): Ad tracking is getting notoriously harder and harder as everybody knows. I mean, there's privacy concerns on many sides, not only from a legislation point of view here in Europe definitely, but also from private companies. Now Apple is really clamping down on a lot of the data that the advertisers can have. Now, Google Analytics itself is first and foremost a tool for user behavior tracking, but it connects obviously to certain other tools. And if you are not able to track your conversions, for example, so you're not able to get that data, it can also be detrimental to your marketing campaigns in the end. So Google Analytics is trying to fill the gaps, so to say. So what they are trying to take into consideration is when a user has denied ad tracking or there's no signal that is coming over, how statistically speaking, can we maybe fill that gap with synthetic data?

(15:25): Now it's a little bit black box on how they do this. Obviously there's a lot of machine learning in the background. Google has been investing into that space for a long, long time. So this makes their way into Google Analytics, obviously quite rapidly, and I'm kind of torn on both sides because yes, we might get more and better data, but we don't know how good that data is in the end because it goes through a black box and Google kind of controls the algorithm behind it. So it's something that I'm looking at with a little bit of a skeptical eye. I think at the same time, it is the right direction because we are not able to get all of complete data nowadays, and Google Analytics is not a hundred percent complete in that.

John (16:15): So what are some other tools? We've been talking primarily about Google Analytics for, but what are some other tools? If I'm a typical small to midsize business, I know that's a big range and I want to have a better idea of what's going on on my website or even attribution or is a page performing I want it to perform. What are some other tools that you like? Yeah,

Julian (16:39): I think Google Analytics is a great tool to have running. Just imagine that this is actually an enterprise tool that is made possible by Google for free because they want you to spend more money on Google Ads obviously. But at the same time, there are other tools out there that do a similar good job on that side. We actually only recommend certain tools when it comes to certain questions that you might want to have. If you really want to know how is my landing page performing because I get a lot of people onto this landing page, it's not performing in the way that I want it to perform. Then you can look at, for example, session recordings, hot Jaws a really cool tool that lets you know what the users are doing and ask them questions as well while they're on your website so you can get insights about how to improve a certain page.

(17:27): And that can be a very valuable tool. I'm still a really big fan of the Good Excel or Google Sheets for data analysis as well, so you don't have to do everything in Google Analytics. You can also take that data and pull it all together because to be frank, Google Analytics doesn't have all the data. You also have sales data in your C R M or in your shop system. And the power behind it is really if you combine that data and maybe you can take all the data together and combine it in a way. Now Google Sheets or Excel is like the layman's tool to do all of these things. Obviously you can then go further into really data statistical, data analysis tools, and a lot of people are then looking into how can I build my own data warehouse in order to do certain things? But yeah, I think it's a little bit of an overkill at this point when you don't yet spend so much money on ads and it's really a vital part of your business. So I would stick to the good all three free tools that Google provides, which is Google Tag Manager to manage your tags and your JavaScript codes, Google Analytics to track actually the data and save the data in a system. And then visualization is very important. So Google Looker Studio does this quite well as well.

John (18:46): Alright, just because we have to talk about AI on pretty much every podcast episode now, what's the role of AI in analyzing just basic Google Analytics data even? Are you seeing some tools or even just prompts that people are writing to analyze data for better conversions or better tracking?

Julian (19:07): Yeah, I'm just waiting for Google to really implement this. I thought this product, and I mean in Google ads, we already see it. As long as we look at data and need to click around to answer our questions, that could actually be taken over by a machine. Now we need to be careful here because especially when under the light of privacy, we are working with data that maybe doesn't belong to us and putting it into another system that analyzes it and we don't know how it analyzes, it might be a risk in itself. So I'm not the first one that puts the data into a chat G P T and just lets it figure it out.

John (19:48): But

Julian (19:48): Yeah, these tools are out there already and there have been already advances made with the plugins that we see in Chat G P T that you can connect it to Google Analytics and to other tools and just answer basic questions to it. It'll make our job definitely easier. And for the layman, it'll be definitely

(20:08): A really cool advancement because you don't have to click through actual reports anymore. The machine will be able to tell you the results itself. Again, the only thing that we need to caution ourselves in, and that will be the big war that will be going on, I think in the next years, is not that who can do this operation or that operation, but rather who do we actually trust in the end? Because there will be a lot through algorithms, a lot through black boxes going our data, sucking it in, and then giving us an output. How much do we trust this actually? And yeah, the trust was on, there's Google, there are other companies out there that actually work with a lot of data and we don't know where we'll end up. From my opinion, it is never too late if you are already a little bit more advanced to think about actually getting a hold of your raw data and saving it yourself. So you will be able to send it to many different other tools if you don't trust the output of Google anymore or the output of any other tool. So if you have control of your data, you'll be able to do so. Otherwise it's all on Google and you kind of need to go with that machine.

John (21:20): All right, Julie and I want to thank you for stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast for a bit. Do you want to invite people where they might connect with you and learn about particularly your YouTube channel? I suspect that's where you send a lot of people.

Julian (21:32): Yeah, absolutely. So you can go over to measure That's where we have most of our teachings. For professional marketers who want to learn these tools, we have a YouTube channel you can just look us up on at Measure School. And actually one thing is a event that we are running called Measure Summit, where we have the format experts on the whole measurement scene and interview them. So if you want to check that out, it's all for free. Go over to measure

John (21:59): Awesome. And we'll have those links in the show notes as well. So Julian, again, appreciate you stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast and maybe we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Julian (22:09): Thank you, John.


This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the DeskTeam360

Desk team 360 is the #1, flat-rate, digital marketing integration team, that helps small businesses and marketing agencies with graphic, web design, and on-page marketing services.


from Duct Tape Marketing

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Digital Tools Every Business Owner Needs & The Exact Ones I Use

The Digital Tools Every Business Owner Needs & The Exact Ones I Use written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I decided to go solo and talk about a topic that’s been on my mind for a while: the importance of selecting the right tools for your business. In the constantly evolving landscape of marketing, strategies and tools are in a state of perpetual flux. Staying ahead of the game and making strategic tool choices is the key to achieving remarkable success.

Listen in as I uncover the significance of choosing the right tools for your business. Discover how focusing on a select set of tools, rather than constantly chasing new technologies, can lead to enhanced efficiency, productivity, and marketing excellence. Learn how proficiency with your existing tools can set you on the path to success as we dive into the world of tool selection and its impact on your business.

Key Takeaway:

During this episode, we talked about the importance of your tool’s usage for your business. In today’s world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of constantly seeking new tools and technologies. We believe in the importance of establishing and mastering a core set of tools, and become proficient in their use, so you can achieve greater efficiency, productivity, and marketing success. Avoid tool leapfrog and the distraction it brings; instead, invest your time and energy into establishing your primary set of tools.

Topics I cover

  • [01:08] The trap of constantly seeking new tools
  • [01:54] The distraction of new technology
  • [02:38] The Mantra: “Do with less, but do it brilliantly”
  • [03:35] Duct Tape Marketing core tool set
  • [04:22] Newsletter tool
  • [05:06] Project management tool
  • [06:37] Google workspace and its advantages
  • [09:46] How to be more disciplined with your tools

More about Me:

More About The Agency Certification Intensive Training:

Get Your Free AI Prompts To Build A Marketing Strategy:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!


Speaker 1 (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and no guest. Today. I'm going to do a solo show. It's been way too long. It's kind of more of a public service announcement, if you will, and I'm going to title this public service announcement. Stop Playing Tool Leapfrog. You know what? Entrepreneurs love tools, new tech, shiny stuff. I work with a lot of marketing agencies. They really love new tools and they often justify that there's efficiencies gained. I mean, the competitive advantages or even the first mover shtick that you hear people talk about in reality, however, oftentimes a new tool or switching to a new version for a new feature here and there is mostly a reason for distraction. So they don't have to get down to the real tasks of doing the hard work. Ever fallen into that category, you delude yourself into believing that all you need is this next new tool that's going to solve all the problems.

(01:08): I know I'm sounding a little harsh today, but I mean, because fallen prey to it many times. I remember back in college when I'd have a big test coming up, all of a sudden I just had to clean my room for the first time in months. And I think it's a little like that. We put off what we know we need to do because maybe it's the hard work of running our business because we think this new thing is going to be more attractive or it's going solve whatever it is we're trying to solve at that moment. So here's what I tell people all the time. Lock down on a core set of tools that you must use, get good at using them, and then just go to work and stop looking around for the next new thing. Now, I'm not saying that you can't keep your head up looking for ways to improve the tool stack.

(01:54): I mean, look at how much comes along, how many tools that we use today that we didn't use five years ago. But what I'm saying is don't flip around because someone adds a new feature. Every single tool, like let's say you're looking at a C R M tool and you're saying, oh, but these guys now have AI baked in or something like that. Every single one of those tools that is out there is going to have AI baked in, I mean, or whatever the next feature is or the torian is going to be. I often tell people when they say, well, what's the best tool to do this with the one you know how to use? Because I think that that's what makes one tool better than another is that you get good at using it, you understand some of the more advanced features, and so consequently, you get a lot more of the efficiencies that are promised.

(02:38): I mean, most of us are probably only using 10% of most of the tools. I mean, we use for project management, and I know that it does so much more we use, but if I'm leapfrogging around jumping to other tools, I'll never get good enough at using that tool to really realize the promise that the great sales page showed us. And I think switching tools frankly has a real and measurable cost that probably outweighs any gain. I mean, you think about even just a little thing when a tool updates their user interface and it's like, oh, where is everything? I have to relearn it again. I mean, that's a real cost, I think involved in switching tools. Here's my mantra on tools, do with less, but do it brilliantly. I already talked about, I work with multiple marketing agencies and I can't tell you how many of 'em have three or four tools that do the exact same thing.

(03:35): This one was going to be better, and then they look at their credit card statement and they're spending thousands of dollars a month on tools that they're not even using. But one day sounded like a good idea. Okay, enough of the preaching. Now I'm just going to go straight into what I think. Well, it's my core tool set in case you're interested, but I think they're also the core tools that most businesses need to run their business effectively. Alright, the first one is A C R M tool, customer Relationship Management. In case you didn't know that, that's what C R M stood for. We use Active Campaign. Now, the purpose of a tool like this is obviously to keep track of your customers, have some history of your communication with them, even having purchase history baked in, knowing what pipeline you've got, who needs to be contacted, nest.

(04:22): If you've got a newsletter, it's a great tool to send out to your list or to people who bought a certain product. It's a great way to promote that new product or the next product to them. I love to campaign. I'll just give it a shout out because, and we recommend it to all our clients. It's very affordable option, frankly. I mean, some of these tools can get up to being thousands of dollars a month, easy to use, powerful. It can do lots of things. My favorite is something called automations where you can make stuff happen automatically. So that's it for C R M, internal communications, one of the things that we do from as a practice in my business is we don't email each other, meaning team members in the business because email just, well, first off, it's a sinkhole for a lot of people.

(05:06): It's very hard to keep track of or organize things that have gone on or maybe are going on for weeks that you're talking about next to. It's like, what was that threat or who was on that threat? So we use Slack. I mean, I know many, many people do, but it's kind of our internal communication tool, and I think anybody has any correspondence with, I mean, there are lots of other good uses for it as well, but anybody who does any kind of communication internally I think needs to have a tool like that. I mentioned Project Management Tool Monday. This is one of those categories that really has lots of, they all do the same thing almost. It's really more of how they do it or what it looks like or what you get used to using. But I think having project management is absolutely both for internal and external.

(05:49): I mean, we put our clients on project management. We have any project that we're doing internally, say for marketing, we'll be in a project management tool. So it's a great way to keep it all in one place, keep all the resources in one place, keep all the communication in one place. Certainly timelines and project deadlines, tasks, things like that. Research and strategy chat. G P T is a great tool for that. I know there's lots of people out there promoting it for lots of other things like baking bread or whatever it can do. We use it for research primarily pretty much every day. In fact, I would say that AI is increasingly not going to be seen as a tool. It's really a layer. It's going to be a layer that's baked into every tool and Zoom for our meetings, which is the next tool that having some sort of a meeting, online meeting tool with AI baked into it, and Zoom just offered that.

(06:37): So there again, I know lots of people were going to note takers like Otter and I don't know, they show up on my Zoom meetings all the time. So it was only a matter of time before Zoom actually baked that in as well. Collaboration and file management, I think it's hard to go wrong with Google Workspace. I know a lot of people use a lot of other tools, but for us, I mean that's our email, that's our calendar. That's certainly something we're in every day using Sheets and using docs, and even using slides now because it's such a great tool to collaborate, especially when you have remote teams like most of us do today. It's a great way to be able to collaborate and file, manage. I mean, we have our entire file structure so that theoretically we can find things very easily rather than having them all of our files on various people's laptops or whatever.

(07:27): They keep those things on. Web hosting obviously is another part of the tool stack. I love pressable. We do use the agency plan, so we have maybe 20 client websites that are hosted on those at any given time as well. I tell you, in the world of web hosting and domain registration, I mean, there are lots of cheap options out there, but don't expect any service from those. One of the things I really love about Pressable is their service is awesome. There's lots going on in the world of hacking websites these days, and so having somebody that you can call up and say, oops, this happened, help us fix it, is pretty darn awesome. We use Calendly today. I think a meeting scheduler is certainly a tool that everybody's gotten used to. There's going to be lots of feature creep in this category of tools, doing this or that, but having an easy way for somebody to just pick a time and schedule certainly for sales is awesome.

(08:21): But really I do it for my podcast. I schedule my podcast that way. People say, yeah, I want to be on the show. I send 'em a link. They find a time that I have kind of predetermined for when I do my recordings and works out beautifully without a whole bunch of back and forth. You do need some sort of accounting software. Obviously. I was going to give a shout out to QuickBooks online, but it's really just, I've been on it forever and 20 years of financial data is buried in there somewhere, and there are lots of other options. I hear great things about Xero. FreshBooks is another one that I know a lot of people use for various aspects of that as well. That's kind of the core stack now for our clients. And I have a network of fractional CMOs. We recommend a lot of other tools, obviously for doing fulfillment of the work.

(09:07): Tools like Agency Analytics, SEMrush, we have great relationship with Desk Team 360 that does all of our web design work. So I could go on and on and on, but then we'd be getting into tool overwhelm again. And so my main point here was lock down a core stack stop switching, stop leapfrogging because you're just going to burn up a lot of time and energy and probably end up at the same place. I actually was discussing this with somebody on LinkedIn and they had an interesting approach to this because he said, yeah, I was really falling prey to this as well. And you know how a lot of plans, software plans will offer, you can pay monthly or you can pay

Speaker 2 (09:45): Annually.

Speaker 1 (09:46): So he was saying, if I commit to a plan or to a tool, I always take the annual payment because then it just kind of locks me in. Like, I can't leave after three months because I've already paid for the whole year. So that might be one way to give yourself some disciplines. It's kind of like signing up for months in advance and it kind of forces you to do to the work to get ready for. So that's it today. Hopefully this public service type message was useful. If you've got any questions, I'm always available, John at Duct Tape Marketing. Gosh darn. We love those reviews over there on Apple or wherever it is that you review your favorite podcasts and spread the word. If I say something useful here, share it with five friends. That's my request today. Share this show with five friends who have a little bit of a problem with buying too many tools. That's my request for today. Take care, and hopefully we'll run into you

Speaker 2 (10:37): One of these days out there on the road.



from Duct Tape Marketing

Monday, October 23, 2023

Leveraging a Fractional Marketing Officer for Growth

Leveraging a Fractional Marketing Officer for Growth written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Ever felt like you’re racing against the clock, juggling multiple marketing tasks without a moment’s respite? Imagine if there was an extra set of hands on deck, someone with experience and strategic vision who could step in just when you need them. This isn’t wishful thinking – it’s the reality of having a fractional marketing officer.

This experienced pro is not your everyday marketer. They bring to the table seasoned expertise typically reserved for full-fledged CMOs at large corporations, but available part-time and tailored to fit your specific needs.

Interested? Let’s dive in! We’re about to explore how fractional CMOs or fractional marketing officer can be a game-changer. They’re cost-effective, flexible and have a huge impact on your marketing team by filling gaps effectively. As we delve more into this evolving role that’s shaking up businesses across different sectors, you’ll see why many are proclaiming: “Fractional is the future.”

Table Of Contents:

Understanding the Role of a Fractional Marketing Officer

If you’re curious to learn about the duties and obligations of a fractional CMO, we can provide some insight. A fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), as opposed to their full-time counterpart, has more flexibility in defining their workload.

Average earnings for CMOs can exceed $170k annually, with certain industries shelling out up to $300k. But these figures typically apply to those working traditional hours in an office setting. On the other hand, our versatile friend—the fractional marketing officer—can choose how many hours they want to work and when.

Distinguishing Between Full-Time and Fractional Chief Marketing Officers

Both roles are pivotal in formulating marketing strategies but differ greatly concerning commitments. Full-time CMOs usually dedicate themselves exclusively to one organization, leading all its marketing initiatives from inception through execution.

In contrast, fractional CMOs bring an element of adaptability into play—they offer similar expertise without being tied down by regular office schedules or conventional employment contracts.

The main draw for companies towards hiring a fractional chief marketing officer lies within this inherent flexibility—a godsend especially for startups or smaller firms that might not have ample resources yet require top-notch talent steering their go-to-market strategy.

Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

If you’re on the fence about hiring a fractional chief marketing officer, let’s delve into some advantages that might sway your decision. For starters, they offer a cost-effective solution to companies in need of senior-level marketing leadership.

A full-time CMO can command an annual salary north of $170k with top earners making as much as $300k. That’s not even considering additional costs like benefits and bonuses. On the other hand, fractional CMO services usually start at just a few thousand dollars per month.

By taking advantage of fractional CMO services, you can access experienced marketing leaders at a fraction of the cost associated with hiring them full-time – much like flying first-class without having to buy the entire plane. It’s akin to flying first-class without having to buy the entire plane.

The Flexibility Advantage

Besides being more pocket-friendly, fractional CMOs also provide flexible work arrangements. This flexibility allows businesses – especially small ones or startups – to scale up or down based on needs and budget constraints.

This is particularly beneficial when compared against employing someone full-time who may not always have enough strategic work within smaller organizations leading possibly towards inefficiency due to downtime.

Gaining Expertise Without Breaking The Bank

Another benefit? Accessing expert skills without breaking the bank. An experienced fractional chief often comes equipped with years under his belt across multiple industries and business types which means he brings valuable insights into your team sans hefty price tag associated with such expertise typically.

Tailored Services To Fit Your Needs

  • An effective marketer knows the ins and outs of your business, aligning marketing strategies with overall company goals.
  • A Fractional CMO can provide tailored services to fit specific needs, be it content marketing or social media strategy.
  • They bring in fresh perspectives which could potentially propel a brand towards new growth trajectories previously unimagined.

Basically, when you hire a fractional CMO, it’s like you’re snagging an all-in-one package. It brings together marketing expertise and leadership in one neat bundle.

Key Takeaway: 


Consider the benefits of a fractional CMO. They’re cost-effective, giving you access to top marketing expertise without the full-time salary burden. Their flexible work arrangements let businesses scale up or down as needed. Plus, they offer tailored services that align with your company goals and bring fresh perspectives for potential growth.

How to Become a Fractional Marketing Officer

If you are an in-house marketer or a marketing consultant searching for greater flexibility, then transforming into a fractional CMO could be the next step of your career. How can one make the transition to becoming a fractional CMO?

Necessary Skills and Qualifications for a Fractional CMO

To become successful as a fractional chief marketing officer, certain skills are essential. Unlike full-time CMOs who work solely with one company, fractionals offer their services to multiple companies at once.

Firstly, deep knowledge of all aspects of the marketing field is key. You need expertise in areas like content creation, social media strategy, branding initiatives and data analysis – essentially wearing many hats within the realm of digital marketing leadership.

Besides these hard skills, soft skills such as communication abilities can’t be underestimated either because they help foster team synergy among various teams across different organizations.

  • A background in senior-level strategic planning positions will provide insights into corporate dynamics.
  • You’ll also need experience working with diverse industries since each business has unique needs depending on its marketplace competition level.
  • Last but not least: negotiation acumen helps ensure profitable contracts while maintaining fair terms between both parties involved.

Remember this: A typical full-time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) usually works 40 hours per week minimum; however, a fractional role offers more flexibility when it comes to dedicated time. It’s important to consider this shift if transitioning from an hourly rate position or even other high-stakes roles such as CEO or COO.

In addition to these qualifications, consider your location. For example, San Diego has a booming startup scene and could offer unique opportunities for fractional CMOs.

Finally, becoming a successful Fractional Chief Marketing Officer involves continually honing one’s marketing skills through ongoing training and professional development. This ensures that you stay abreast of the changing landscape in the perpetually shifting digital marketing realm.

Key Takeaway: 


Being a fractional CMO is more than just being an expert in marketing. It’s about strong communication, strategic planning, and diverse industry experience. You’ll need to be a skilled negotiator for landing profitable contracts. And remember – while this role gives you flexibility that full-time roles might not offer, it also means you have to keep updating your skills regularly.

Fractional CMOs in Different Industries

From tech startups to established manufacturing companies, businesses across a range of sectors are finding value in fractional chief marketing officers (CMOs). Unlike their full-time counterparts, fractional CMOs provide expert leadership and direction without the need for a hefty salary.

In industries where marketing trends shift rapidly, such as e-commerce or digital services, having an experienced marketer at the helm can make all the difference. They bring fresh perspectives and strategies tailored to specific market dynamics. Fractional CMOs offer these benefits while saving costs – they’re well-paid but often charge on a retainer basis instead of demanding high annual salaries.

Diverse Industry Experience with Fractional Chief Marketing Officers

The versatility of fractional CMOs allows them to work seamlessly within different industries. For instance, consider healthcare – an industry that requires deep knowledge about complex regulations and customer behaviors. A seasoned marketing leader who has already navigated similar challenges will be able to lead marketing efforts more effectively than someone new to this field.

Another example is the nonprofit sector which often struggles with tight budgets and unique fundraising objectives. Here too, a skilled marketer can make substantial improvements by implementing cost-effective campaigns targeting donors’ sentiments strategically.

Sector-Specific Insights from Fractional Chief Marketing Officers

A significant benefit provided by fractional chief marketing officers lies in their ability to transfer best practices between different sectors—a rare quality not typically found among traditional full-time executives bound within one particular industry sphere throughout their careers.

This flexibility allows businesses from diverse backgrounds—be it small businesses operating locally or startup companies making global strides—to gain insights beyond their own markets through engaging these multifaceted professionals on either dedicated time blocks or a retainer basis.

For instance, a fractional CMO experienced in the hospitality industry can bring valuable customer experience insights to an e-commerce startup. The knowledge of building memorable experiences and maintaining high standards of service can be translated into strategies that set the online store apart from its competitors.

Fractional Chief Marketing Officers Fill Gaps

To remain competitive, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve. Adaptability and innovation are key.

Key Takeaway: 


With their expert leadership, versatility across industries, and cost-saving structure, fractional CMOs are transforming businesses from tech startups to manufacturing giants. Their ability to bring fresh perspectives tailored for specific market dynamics makes them invaluable assets. Plus, they fill gaps in knowledge with sector-specific insights – driving adaptability and innovation without breaking the bank.

Fractional Marketing Officer Services and Responsibilities

So, you’re curious about the world of fractional marketing officers. What exactly do they offer? Let’s peel back the layers on this unique role.

How Fractional Marketing Officers Support Small Businesses

A fractional CMO brings an arsenal of services to small businesses that are often overlooked or simply out of reach due to budget constraints. This includes developing and implementing strategic marketing plans, leading a team with expert guidance, managing social media channels effectively, crafting content strategies for your audience and more.

By hiring a fractional CMO, companies can tap into top-notch marketing expertise without bearing the full cost. In fact, companies leverage the skills and insights of these executive marketers at just a fraction (pun intended) of what it would cost them to hire a full-time chief marketing officer.

In addition to this financial benefit is their flexibility – from working on an hourly rate basis or being paid as per project requirements – which allows smaller businesses room for adjustment based on their specific needs. Talk about getting value.

The Many Hats Worn by Fractional Chief Marketing Officers

A common misconception might be thinking that because they’re ‘fractional,’ these professionals only perform partial roles compared to their full-time counterparts. But nothing could be further from reality. The duties performed by fractional CMOs typically mirror those executed by in-house ones; they simply operate within flexible structures tailored around individual business needs.

To get down brass tacks: From overseeing complete marketing efforts right through steering brand direction towards success in today’s competitive marketplace; shaping innovative campaigns across different platforms such as SEO or PPC while monitoring KPIs closely – all fall under the purview of a fractional CMO.

Don’t be misled by the term ‘fractional’ – they may not physically occupy your workspace daily, but their influence is certainly felt. They might not be in your office every day, but their impact is definitely felt.

The Value of a Fractional Marketing Officer

Fractional marketing officers can bring invaluable experience to startups and small businesses that need top-level marketing leadership without breaking the bank.

Key Takeaway: 


A Fractional Marketing Officer (CMO) gives small businesses access to top-tier marketing expertise without the hefty price tag of a full-time hire. They offer flexibility, handling everything from strategic planning to social media management and more, all tailored around specific business needs. So don’t let ‘fractional’ fool you – their impact is anything but partial.

The Future of Fractional Marketing Officers

As more businesses pivot towards flexible models, the future for fractional marketing officers looks bright. The increasing demand in the business world for this role signifies a paradigm shift from traditional full-time CMOs to their more adaptable counterparts.

The Growing Demand for Fractional Marketing Officers

In today’s competitive marketplace, having a seasoned chief marketing officer can make all the difference. A full-time CMO, with an average salary of over $170k per year, is not a viable option for every organization due to resource constraints.

This is where fractional CMOs step in. These experienced professionals provide strategic leadership and dedicated time without being on payroll around-the-clock. It’s like hiring an elite player only when you need them most during game time.

Fractionally-based roles are becoming increasingly popular across various industries – from startups that want high-level guidance but cannot afford it on retainer basis to larger organizations needing specialized help on specific projects or during peak seasons.

A notable benefit here lies within cost-efficiency: while compensation for full-time CMOs ranges between $150k to $570k, fractional ones usually collect fee or retainers based upon block of committed hours making them an economical choice even among startup companies who are tight-budgeted yet require strong marketing leadership.

How Does This Impact Businesses?

Fractional chief marketing officers bring decades worth of expertise into play – whether it’s about forming robust marketing strategies, leading teams effectively, optimizing social media presence, content creation, or improving the overall marketing efforts.

Moreover, with a fractional CMO onboard, companies can enjoy all the benefits of having a seasoned marketer without shouldering hefty costs. This not only aids in better financial management but also ensures that your marketing department stays on top of trends and continues to deliver results.

The Way Forward

As we navigate through the sea of change brought about by technology and business evolution, it’s important to embrace these shifts. They’re not just trends – they’re shaping our future.

Key Takeaway: 


The rise of fractional marketing officers marks a bright future in the business world. Their value lies not just in cost-efficiency but also their adaptability and expertise, bringing robust strategies to companies without the full-time commitment. It’s about hiring top talent when it matters most, allowing businesses to stay ahead in today’s fast-paced market.

FAQs in Relation to Fractional Marketing Officer

How much should you pay a fractional CMO?

Pricing for a fractional CMO usually starts at a few grand per month, and can exceed ten thousand depending on your needs.

What is the difference between a CMO and a fractional CMO?

A full-time CMO works solely for one company. A fractional CMO, however, splits their time among several businesses.

What is the role of a fractional chief marketing officer?

A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer leads strategic marketing initiatives while providing flexibility and cost-effectiveness to companies.


So, you’ve learned that a fractional marketing officer can be the key to unlocking growth in your business. This seasoned pro brings strategic vision and experience without breaking the bank.

You now know they offer flexibility, stepping in just when needed. Their part-time nature doesn’t diminish their full-scale impact on your team or marketing strategy.

We’ve explored how they serve different industries, offering tailored solutions while filling gaps effectively. Small businesses particularly stand to gain from this cost-effective approach.

The future looks bright for fractional CMOs as more companies realize their potential. Remember – with such an asset at hand, you’re not just keeping pace but getting ahead of the curve!

Need a Part-time CMO? Want to become a Fractional CMO?

from Duct Tape Marketing

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Weekend Fav – October 21

Weekend Fav – October 21 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but I encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one I took on the road.

  • Omnisearch – Omnisearch makes it easy to ingest and search your files regardless of their type. From PDFs and Word docs to audio, video, images, presentations, and more, Omnisearch supports them all, making it the most complete and versatile search software today.
  • RegieAI – Is a website created to take your sales teams to the next level. This webiste was built for the sales teams and to improve the sales workflow. ​​You can use your inside your favorite sales engagement platform, email service provider, or on social to leverage the power of Generative AI where you work.
  • Minicourse generator – You can now complete your mini-course ideas without getting overwhelmed thanks to the AI course creator. This website will help you create interactive mini-courses to  use them as educational lead magnets, workshop enrichment assets, micro-learning materials to educate community or onboard new-comers.

These are my weekend favs; I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

If you want to check out more Weekend Favs you can find them here.

from Duct Tape Marketing

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Secret to Building Customer Loyalty Forever

The Secret to Building Customer Loyalty Forever written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Micah Solomon, an expert on customer service, hospitality, and the customer experience. He delves into the unique concept of anticipatory customer service and its powerful potential to enhance brand loyalty and drive business growth. He’s a bestselling author with a fresh perspective on how businesses can transform their customer service strategies to foster enduring loyalty.

In his latest book, “Can Your Customer Service Do This?: Create an Anticipatory Customer Experience that Builds Loyalty Forever,” Micah delves deep into the intricacies of customer service, making it an indispensable read for entrepreneurs eager to elevate their customer relations and propel business success.

Key Takeaway:

Anticipatory customer service is not just about reacting to a customer’s needs; it’s about predicting them. By serving even the unexpressed wishes of customers, businesses can create an unparalleled customer experience that fosters brand loyalty and catalyzes growth. In an era where customers crave personalization and a touch of anticipation, this approach proves to be a game-changer in the marketing and customer service sectors.

Questions I ask Micah Solomon:

  • [00:50] Define anticipatory customer experience.
  • [01:44] Some suggest that no matter how great your services, loyalty is dead. Can you comment on that?
  • [02:33] Is providing a great customer experience a type of referral tactic?
  • [02:48] What is the secret shopper role?
  • [04:38] How did you decide to specialize in this particular aspect of customer experience?
  • [08:35] How do you recommend handling both unhappy and unreasonable customers?
  • [12:11] How do you view customer service as a competitive advantage or even a profit center?
  • [14:13] How important is community feedback in enhancing the customer experience?
  • [17:22] What impact do you see AI having on customer service and experience?
  • [18:52] How can people reach out to you or get a copy of your book?

More About Micah Solomon:

Get Your Free AI Prompts To Build A Marketing Strategy:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn


This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the DeskTeam360

Desk team 360 is the #1, flat-rate, digital marketing integration team, that helps small businesses and marketing agencies with graphic, web design, and on-page marketing services.

John Jantsch (00:09): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Micah Solomon. He's an expert on customer service, hospitality, and the customer experience. He's a bestselling author, consultant trainer, e-learning trainer, producer, training producer. It's a lot of training and a keynote speaker, and we're going to talk today about one of his newest books called Can Your Customer Service Do This?: Create an Anticipatory Customer Experience that Builds Loyalty Forever. So Micah, welcome back to the show.

Micah Solomon (00:46): It was so great to be with you last time and this is a pleasure to return.

John Jantsch (00:51): So let's get right down to it. Define anticipatory customer experience.

Micah Solomon (00:57): The basic, I guess, equation for customer service is you ask for something, I give it to you assuming you paid, but anticipatory customer service is another level. It's where I am serving even the unexpressed needs and wishes that you may have. And it's a great way to bind customers to you to make them feel like this is my place.

John Jantsch (01:23): Yeah, I mean, we've probably hopefully all been at a restaurant. That's an example I love to use, where the server brought something you didn't even ask for because they knew you were getting, I mean, simple as water, right? I mean, you didn't have to ask for it. They thought, well, you've drank your water, you're going to want more, and they bring it. I mean, that's a pretty simple example, right?

Micah Solomon (01:42): Absolutely.

John Jantsch (01:44): Go for it. I was going to pile on now using more words out of the subtitle itself. There would be some that would suggest that no matter how great your service is, loyalty is dead. I'll let you hit that one out of the park.

Micah Solomon (01:57): Well, if you believe that, then it is right. The thing to remember is in the olden days we would talk about customer lifetime value,

John Jantsch (02:08): And

Micah Solomon (02:08): I think it is hard to prove that figure now because John, as you pointed at it, is a lot easier to switch vendors. So I'll suggest you think about something called customer network value. So if you're delighting a customer, you number one, get their business and you number two, get all their recommendations. So it's a pretty big deal.

John Jantsch (02:35): It's almost like thinking of providing great customer experience, great customer service as a referral tactic almost. Right?

Micah Solomon (02:43): Absolutely. I like to say customer service is the new marketing.

John Jantsch (02:48): Yeah. And I remember from our last conversation, I know this is something you've done for years, but you start this book out with your secret shopper role. Talk little bit about how you've done that. I mean, maybe even just give a story about doing it like you do in the book. I'll be happy to. You need to put a disguise on though, right? First,

Micah Solomon (03:10): Do you want to show that picture? That'd be funny. I can grab it. Hang on. So this is one of the more extreme disguises I might or might not use. So I don't mystery shop anyone except my customers and they ask me to do it because they want to know an overall feeling I'm getting for the service. So I start out with this wonderful day that I'm having at a five star resort, one of the greatest places in America, and I wake up on the 33,000 thread count Egyptian pizzas, and I head down to the spa and all the while I'm making notes. Now the spa's a little tricky because to make notes on my iPhone or whatever it is while they're facially me is a little challenging, but it's nice work if you can get it. At the end of the day, I order room service and one of my tests is I ask them for cocoa not to hot, and only the best people will get that. Most hotels won't even notice the instructions. The ones who do either forget to do it or they give me this ridiculous, it seems like they cooled it down with ice. So the not too hot, I mean it's because it's my Goldilocks challenge. Then when I'm done, I send my confidential report to the c e o or whoever the boss of the division is and they can make use of it.

John Jantsch (04:38): So do you ever find, and again, I know you've done that for years, right? I mean that's something you've kind of made one of your sort of signature applications. How'd you get into this work? I mean, I think a lot of people you've sort of specialized in one aspect of it. I think a lot of people customer experience got some talk in marketing, but it's not seen as a whole area. How did you come to find this to be your life's calling?

Micah Solomon (05:05): So there are two stories, two explanations, and both of them are true. So the PR friendly one is, I created a manufacturing company. This is some years ago, and our widgets were no better than anyone. They were also no worse. So as time went on, I realized that what differentiated ourselves was the customer experience. So when I sold the manufacturing company, I thought, well, this is what I do. And I called a friend of mine, Leonardo, who did all of this stuff on the hospitality side, and I had done all of it on the business to business and so forth side, and I said, Hey, all this, I know all this. Let's write a book together. And he said, no, I think I'm going to write my own book sometime. So I was like, okay, good luck with that. So maybe a couple months later I call back and I say, Hey, Leonardo has that book coming.

(05:58): And he's like, oh, this is how optimistic, let's say he was. He says, I think I'm going to go off one day and write it all. So I was like, okay, good luck. One minute later he gets back on the phone and he sounds like he has his tail between his legs and he says, Micah Solange overheard my side of the conversation and she said, you absolutely have to write that book with Micah clearly not getting around to it yourself. So that was my first book, exceptional Service, exceptional Profit. It was co-authored by the two of us, and I kept learning more and more things, writing more and more books, working with more and more companies, and that's what I do. So that is the PR friendly official story. The other story is he was born, or at least from a very early age as an excessively particular person. So in the book, I have a reconstructed letter from my counselors at camp, which tells you a lot, and it's something like, dear Mr. And Mrs. Solomon, we have had the arduous pleasure of having your son Micah at summer camp. Usually the suggestions and complaints we get are along the lines of that old Hello Mata, hello father song where it's raining too much and there are alligators in the pot and everything.

John Jantsch (07:18): She silverstein, right?

Micah Solomon (07:20): Yeah. And so one of those guys, I think his one that's similar is I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor, which is a great one also. But Micas were much more specific in advance. They were like the two whistles at the waterfront aren't quite in tune with each other. The sloppy joes doesn't pair well with the orange juice and the mess hall and so forth. We have enjoyed having Micah for this summer, but we were also happy to return him to your care.

John Jantsch (07:48): So that's when you didn't realize it at the time, but that was your signal that you were meant for this. So I actually find that Google reviews are really helpful because not just as a consumer, certainly they're helpful for that. Somebody's got terrible reviews, you don't go there. But as a marketer, I really find them helpful because the words that people actually use voluntarily really say a lot about what's going on at that business. However, no matter how good a business is, you see everybody gets one and two star reviews for some reason, and maybe it's deserved every now and then it's deserved, but sometimes people are just odd. You're never going to make everybody happy. Nothing is truer than that. So what do you suggest people do? I guess I'm asking a two part question. Obviously with upset and unhappy customers, but then also just with unreasonable customers.

Micah Solomon (08:45): So I spend a lot of time in the book with the first category customers who are upset, unhappy, frustrated, and I have a service recovery framework which all great companies have, whether it's Nordstrom or whether it's Carleton or Zappos, mine, which I'm kind of famous for spells mama m a, and the reason it spells mama, actually going back to Leonardo, my co-author, he's Italian through and through. So we're talking about how companies tend to be too legalistic when they're trying to work with us. They're like just the facts and blah, blah, blah. And we said, well, why don't we make it sound like your mother or a quintessential Italian mother? And he said, well, my mom's really not the right model. She was kind of tough, but let's say this stereotype. And she's like, oh my bambino, you hurt, you're ouchie. Let me put a bandaid on it. Maybe here's a lollipop. Rather than just the facts ma approach where we're like, let me see, young man, were you wearing the crop

John Jantsch (09:46): Protective

Micah Solomon (09:46): Head gear before you had it out and so forth. So the first thing is to make time to listen. We are all such good troubleshooters that we kind of think we know the solution before our customer has even spoken. So let them vent and then it has some different aspects, but basically agree with your customer what you're going to do and by when, and then do it. Now I think if you look at the unreasonable Google reviews or TripAdvisor, a high percentage of them are from people who never or customers. That's

John Jantsch (10:18): So true.

Micah Solomon (10:20): If I get a one-star review for my book, which thank goodness I haven't yet, it can be like, I ordered this from Amazon and they said it was out of stock,

John Jantsch (10:30): Right? I've gotten some bad reviews. It's like the cover came in tattered. Well, you bought it from a third party, it was used. That's, it's really rough. So

Micah Solomon (10:40): If they're a semi reasonable person and if you are able to figure out how to reach them,

John Jantsch (10:45): Then

Micah Solomon (10:45): Work with them. And when it's all over, personally, I have no problem saying, Hey, do you think you could update that review? And some people will, and some people are just so lazy that they won't. Now, I will tell you, some of my clients, or even people just friends of mine operate, let's say a restaurant and they call me and they say, Hey Micah, I just, it's horrible review, and I'm sure it was my competitors down the street. So I'm like,

John Jantsch (11:07): Okay,

Micah Solomon (11:07): Lemme look at the review. But it's so specific. Clearly this is someone who's eaten at the restaurant. So I'm like, it's never the restaurant down the street, just like on the show a Sherlock, it's never twins. The solution is never that. There's two twins with the same

John Jantsch (11:23): Characters.

Micah Solomon (11:24): So by and large, it's not your competitor. Certainly there are famous examples where it is, there is this horrible thing. The Mark is a wonderful hotel in New York, and there was this kid who was very, very abusive to them and started this social media campaign against it. But those are really, except

John Jantsch (11:41): Yes, I actually over the years, had a business one star review and it was like, that's the competitor's wife. It was a construction company. It was very obvious that it was, and Google to their credit removed it. But yeah, it is goofy what people do. Oh my goodness. You talk a lot about, and I know a lot of people who talk about customer experience being a real competitive advantage, particularly in one of those where it's like, you sell this, they sell that you're about the same price. You're about to say price. I mean, talk a little bit about that idea of really viewing it as a profit center almost, or certainly as a true competitive advantage.

Micah Solomon (12:19): So it's getting very commoditized out there. So how do you distinguish yourself? Well, maybe you're lucky and you have an astonishing product nobody else has. Maybe you have, let's say suites that are literally over the water in Aura. So you can have a great location or the first frick location for gas station, but most of us don't have that.

John Jantsch (12:41): Most

Micah Solomon (12:41): Of us, the default is that we're pretty interchangeable with our competitors. So customers will leave because they found a better price because someone else has a better website or seriously for no discernible reason at all. So how do you get out of this? Well, you have to become memorable, and you could do that with amazing advertising and marketing. I don't want to dismiss that, but the thing is that great marketing only resonates if it's true, right? There have been campaigns that were really clever, but the reality of being that customer wasn't like that.

John Jantsch (13:19): So

Micah Solomon (13:19): You got to get the customer experience and then they will be become ideally loyal. A loyal customer is less price sensitive, and believe it or not, they're more forgiving of your minor foibles, believe it or not. And if something goes terribly wrong, they will give you the courtesy of reaching out to you. So they're also more open to any line extensions you have and they will become an ambassador for your brand. They'll do what I like to call word of thumb marketing on their phones. So loyalty is very valuable and the customer experience is one of the ways to get there.

John Jantsch (13:57): I know for a fact that you talked about less price sensitive. I mean, I know that in some cases I'm paying more, but I'm like, I don't care because the cost of the hassle or the cost of not having them know my name when I come into the store to me is high and I'm not alone. I've seen surveys as high as 90% of people surveyed saying they'll pay more for a better experience. What role does community feedback play? I mean, getting that feedback, just like you went in Secret Shop, you told the C e o, this and this, but what role to actively asking your customers, are they getting what? Could you do something better? Could you provide a better service? Do you advocate that?

Micah Solomon (14:41): Well, certainly you want to be surveying your customers, but you got to do it really quickly and you have to not hound them if they don't want to

John Jantsch (14:50): Reply. In

Micah Solomon (14:52): Fact, and this may not be true anymore, but a few years ago, Ritz Carlton was not only the highest on chip advisor in the luxury category, they were highest in any category. And so she told me, well, our secrets are two when we do a great job. Number two, I never hound customers to leave a review. I never solicit that. I don't have a thing on the counter saying, please leave a review. So the people that leave a reviews are really passionate about us.

(15:20): Now, if you are going to survey people, number one, 80% of surveys are written completely wrong. If you want to write a perfect survey, look in my book, it's there. If you are so impious or cheap that you don't want to buy my book, then I think the best thing to do, well, you probably don't own Apple products either, but if you own a couple products, look at their surveys, they're pretty good. So what makes a survey good? Well, number one, you want to ask the most important question first, how satisfied are you with that? Then you get to the itty bitty Diddy was a bathroom cleaner, so forth, because if you ask was the bathroom clean and oh my God, you have the most clean bathrooms ever, like McDonald's pride itself on, then that's going to tint the rest of the survey or especially the next question that you ask.

(16:09): Or if your toilets are horrible, that's going to have excessive weight. So first, ask their overall impression, then get into the smaller areas that you want them to talk about. When we have five, or I heard a clever argument for having four or six levels, the idea of using four or six is that there is no middle point. So you can't be lazy in your hands. Don't give them 10 and don't ask them on a scale of one to 100 because customers shouldn't have to do math for you. And so there are a few, but one thing I would say is if you are surveying your customers leave at least one blank space where they can vent or they can give very specific feedback. So that's tip number one. Tip number two is you've got to scan them right away because if you've got an really upset customer and they write all about that, you need to get back to them right away. You can't wait until the end of the month when you're batching these and reading them. And that's a mistake that a lot of companies make.

John Jantsch (17:10): Yeah, it's funny. I think most people can forgive a mistake taking care of what they can't forgive is doing a really bad job of taking care of it or ignoring it. It just makes it even worse. We've gotten, I can't believe, 19 minutes into the show and I haven't said ai. That's awesome. I haven't said AI yet. Let's talk a little bit about how you see AI impacting this kind of arm of the marketing world of experience and service.

Micah Solomon (17:37): Well, it's both early days and boy, things are changing quickly. I have a triangular model of AI in customer service. So at one Vertex, I'm going to use up my geometry training in a moment. One vertex is the customer or the prospect, and the next is the agent, and the third one is the ai. So a customer can come in using the ai. In fact, the best search engines on websites are AI powered. That may take care of them. If it doesn't, then they'll reach out to an agent. But when they get there, the mistake is to think no more AI should be involved. The customer's going to keep using ai. I mean, they're going to go on the thing that my mom calls the Google and look around. I know it's really funny if she's not your mom and they're going to keep looking at Google and the agent is going to keep using the ai. AI is great at turning a generalist agent into temporarily a specialist when they're answering a call.

John Jantsch (18:33): Yeah, yeah, I think, I mean I've even heard reports of people saying that they're able to really get less experienced agents, less trained agents necessarily who have the right sort of spirit, who now have all the answers at their disposal as though they've been there for years. So I think it's a win for everybody. I appreciate you coming to by and spending a few minutes with us. How can people contact you, find out about your work? Obviously get a copy of the book, Micah.

Micah Solomon (18:57): So to reach me, you can come to my website or just Google my name, but it is the challenging extremely biblical name. So it's Micah, m i c a h at Micah Solomon, m i c a h s o l o m o If you want to email me, there are no a's in Solomon or my website is a little easier, it's, but you can just use Google and misspell my name. They'll get you to me. I'll get you to just

John Jantsch (19:27): Customer service expert. There you go.

Micah Solomon (19:30): To buy my book. There'll be a link on my site, which will give you a free sample right away, but if you go to Voldemort's site, oh, I'm sorry, Amazon site. It's there, it's available. They are shipping it now, and you can read a pretty long and pretty fabulous sample there before you decide to buy it.

John Jantsch (19:46): Yeah, awesome. Well, Mike, it was great catching up with you, just having you spend a few minutes on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, and hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road soon.



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