Ruby partner feature: Targeting & tools—small business marketing with DSG

How can you ensure every marketing dollar you spend delivers real value for your business? It’s possible with the right tools and partners.

Just ask Mike Gaydos, VP of Sales at DSG. As a family-owned firm specializing in online business information management, DSG brings over 30 years’ experience and expertise in digital marketing, brand building, and hyperlocal strategies.

In this video, we talk to Mike about his digital marketing tips, hot topics, and revenue-generating tactics any small business can use to grow its reach.

Read the interview.

Steffney Jones: Hi, folks. My name is Steffney Jones, and I am a Partner Development Manager here at Ruby. Welcome to our small business series. I have the honor of introducing you to our guest today, Mike Gaydos, the Vice President of Sales with DSG. Today, we’re focusing on digital marketing tips, hot topics, and revenue generating tactics. But before we hop into the discussion, Mike, please tell us a bit about your background and your company.

Mike Gaydos:
Sure. And Steffney, like you said, I’m the VP of Sales at DSG. My background is in creative marketing, advertising. I’ve been working in this space since 2006 in many different capacities. But at DSG, we’re a full service marketing consultancy specializing in online listings and other elements of online presence, so reviews, any kind of additional deep dive into the listings part of marketing, Google My Business. We also have a large network of partners that we connect clients to in a consulting fashion.

Steffney Jones:
You’re clearly the perfect person to speak on this topic, so thank you so much for your time today.

Mike Gaydos:
Of course, of course.

Steffney Jones:
And to our listeners, this video will help guide you in the effort to convert every marketing dollar you spend into measurable value. You all have unique needs and budgets and goals. So we’ve called on the expert. Mike, let’s dive right in. As an agency who consults with many SMBs, part of your work is focused on helping to match businesses with the right tools for their needs and growth. What is one thing you’ve noticed that businesses overlook when thinking about the tools that will help them succeed?

Steffney Jones:
Sure. And Steffney, that’s a great question. What we’re finding recently, and I’ll give some specific examples, but the threshold for entry to some of the marketing products and marketing disciplines, specifically reporting, has been lowered to where someone who works as an SMB, has a ton of different responsibilities can really get involved in a cost-effective way where in the past, somebody that got a omni-channel reporting platform may have been a little cost prohibitive, right? Somebody didn’t have time to use it, didn’t have the ways or means to get it and didn’t have that knowledge base. But that’s really, really changed. Digital marketing is full of different dashboards and programs. And it’s really important that they’re all kind of kept in context together. And we’re at a position now where an omni-channel platform on a daily basis can give you reporting of how your marketing’s doing, things like Google ads, which is a common program that everybody’s really using out there. Yelp, a lot of small businesses use Yelp. You can pull these together, really look at them against each other. Not to mention organic channels like your website.

So you get that total picture of really what’s out there, what’s happening for your brand, what’s happening for your business. So I’ll say there are a number of these platforms out there that are really helpful. One that we use is a great partner of ours is called TapClicks. They’re very user-friendly, very easy to connect these channels, and you can look at things down to a very granular level. If it’s your online listings like we were talking about before, our specialty, or maybe something that we’re both concerned with. What, phone calls, call tracking, who’s coming in? Can you listen to the recordings? That stuff that you can pull in and give some context to what you’re doing in your marketing.

Steffney Jones:
Yeah, I think that’s a great point. I think that a lot of times, folks might feel a little bit frozen by the amount of data and information that can be collected. But I think with efficient tools, it creates equity no matter the size of the business.

Mike Gaydos:

Absolutely.

Steffney Jones:
And in that same vein, there’s that old adage that the answer was right under our nose the whole time. What are the most overlooked and easy wins for a business’s online presence?

Mike Gaydos:
Sure. I think one of the things that a business has to keep in mind is whether they know it or not, they have an active online presence through things like listings and reviews. If they have customers, their customers are finding them there, their customers are engaging with them there. And I’m talking specifically about profiles like Google My Business, where you see it in the map. Somebody’s Google let’s say a plumber. I need a plumber near me. They’ve Googled it. They found your listing on the map. This listing is likely out there. It’s claimable. So an easy win for business is just very simply to go and claim that, get control of it, be able to sign in, and then fill these profiles out as many as you can to say, “Okay, I do this. This is my specialty.” There’s a lot of great ways to do that through the native functions of these platforms, FAQ’s. Really tell your story. Get out there and do that.

There are programs if you want to take it to the next level. We’re in a great partnership with a company called Yext. They’re a wonderful provider of listings technology where you can actually push large amounts of information. So if you want to step beyond that initial claim and take responsibility for it, they can give you a platform that updates it. That’s something we help clients with all the time. So that’s really, those two things, easy win. Claim, clean it up, and then take it to the next level.

Steffney Jones:
And I think with your answers, it’s also becoming very clear how imperative it is that our listeners customize their digital marketing approach. So with targeting audiences, that can sometimes be something businesses rely on anecdotal information for. What’s the best way to know your target audience and begin to mindfully address them?

Mike Gaydos:
Sure. And Steffney, this is an area that can be a little daunting to somebody that’s running a small business, trying to understand who’s out there looking for them. But what we always suggest is really rely on the or lay into the native tools that your business has. You likely have a website if you’re a small to medium-sized business. The first thing you should absolutely do is go and install something like Google Analytics, something that can tell you what’s going on, who’s interacting with your site. And in a very basic level and in a short amount of time, you can understand who’s looking at what, who’s landing on your site, and some very basic demographic information: age, gender, where they are. So then you can start to put a customer profile together. It’s very basic, but it’s a way to start and build, right? You start at that really core. Here’s who’s looking at me now. Well, obviously that’s who’s engaging with me and that’s who’s finding with me. So maybe I should find more of those folks, right?

After that, I think what you can do, there’s a ton of great targeting options out there and really building that customer profile. Test. Small budgets, understand what the technology is doing. Get out there and do small tests over a short period of time and understand what you’re getting in return.

Steffney Jones:
Yeah. And I think when you get to that point where you have identified your target audience, you already touched on it, you need to look at where you’re leading them to, your website. And websites can often fall victim to kind of set it and forget it mindset for some businesses.

Mike Gaydos:
Absolutely.

Steffney Jones:
Yeah. What do you think is the biggest downfall with that sort of an attitude? And if a business owner realizes that they’re caught in that mindset, what’s the best way to switch it?

Mike Gaydos:
Sure. And this is an area that a ton of businesses fall into this trap. Your website is a really great kind of a base of knowledge for you. As I just mentioned, you can understand who’s looking for you, who’s engaging with what content. You can dig a little deeper and understand, “Okay, certain users are engaging with this section of my website that says, let’s say I’m a plumber, it says my specialties, right?” So much of digital marketing relies on technology so much so that it kind of leads the end user, which is the small to medium-sized business in this case, to say, “Okay, I’m going to rely on the technology,” where you can really rely on basic communication and important elements of the core of marketing, which is tell your story to your customer and tell them why they should hire you, right?

So if you set and forget your website, you’ll never get to really maximize what is being gained by interactions on your website. So for instance, if somebody is looking at your specialties and you’re a plumber, and you have content about French drains or some pumps or something like that, maybe you want to put more specifics about the type of pumps you use, the types of French drains you use, some of the dangers of clogged French drains, understanding maintenance on these things. These are all basic communication elements that are going to give the customer more confidence in the end and maybe make that decision to contact you. So if you’re not constantly engaging with the website and updating them on what you’re doing, you will fall victim to just staying where you are. It’s not going to be as dynamic an experience for the customer.

Steffney Jones:
Precisely. I definitely encourage folks to think of their website as a physical storefront. And as seasons change, that storefront changes. Your customers are going to your website and it should be adjusting, like you said, with where you see those trends following. And in addition to the website, are there any other channels and data that you would suggest businesses look into to learn more about their target customer?

Mike Gaydos:
Sure. There are always the online listings as we say. There’s data you can get from Google My Business, from companies like Yelp that can help you really dig in and understand not only your share of voice, right, what’s going on, but also what’s going on with your competitors, how your competitors are fairing. A very good partner of ours is Yelp. They provide a lot of that great information. So if you’re a local business owner, you want to understand what’s there for you and what kind of impact you can make. They can give you a very straightforward equation to understand that and what you’ll get in return for your ad spend.

Another one is just very basically engaging with keywords that you’re ranking for. That can be back to Google Analytics. Mentioned it a couple of times, but you can really run a report for who’s finding you and what they’re searching for. And that’s a great channel to really dive into and understand, “Okay, I’m ranking for these things. Maybe I want to be ranking for others.” So leading it back to your question before, Steffney, about a dynamic website and somebody that really keeps up with it, that’s how you then adjust that. You make more content specific to what those keywords you want to rank for.

Steffney Jones:
All of this information is amazing. And I feel it could definitely transform the life of a business owner. It can sound daunting as we’ve touched on. And targeted and data-driven marketing can feel like an expensive and even time-consuming undertaking for some businesses. What’s the easiest way they can begin doing the work without breaking the bank?

Mike Gaydos:
Sure. And we talked about testing a little bit. There are ways to really dive in, understanding you’ve gained this kind of foothold with your data. Dive in and pick a very limited target and start to market to those people. Whichever channel you choose, there are positives and negatives to all of them, but don’t dive in with everything you have. Understand what that target is first. Go to whatever channel you’re looking for, whether that’s display advertising, which can be a little bit more on the awareness side if you’re trying to get your brand out there and show what you can do. If you want to get into an embedded environment, there’s Google AdWords or Yelp where you can actually bid on key terms. But really understanding that core of who’s looking for you and who you can really target, that’s going to go a longer way and help you spend small dollars. But back to that testing, it gives you that opportunity to understand and build, right, not just jump in and start spending a ton of money in a kind of random way.

Steffney Jones:
No, I love it. And I’ve learned so much today, Mike. It is clear why we are partners with DSG. You all know what you’re talking about. And to our listeners, I have a challenge for you. I want you to comment your favorite hot tip, hot take, or revenue generating tactic that you plan on implementing below in the comment section. To see more content like this with experts like Mike, please subscribe and give this video a like. And Mike, thank you so much for your time and your wonderful notes.

Mike Gaydos:
Of course. Thank you, Steffney. It’s been been wonderful. And appreciate the ongoing partnership and anything we can do to help customers out there, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Steffney Jones:
Absolutely. Thank you again.

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