Tom Armitage from Site Seeker Joins Matt Masur on The Growth Mode Conversations Podcast for our first ever LIVE episode.
They talk about marketing automation, email automation, trends in digital marketing in 2021, ways Utica and Syracuse local businesses can market themselves for ultimate growth.
hello and welcome my friends to the growth mode conversations podcast. We are so excited to bring you this new show. I’m Matt Masur founder and chief growth officer of growth mode technologies. Your local it department. We’re a different type of tech company. And while technology is our business, our purpose is growing businesses and helping our community.
And that’s what we’re doing right here with the growth mode conversations
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And of course, if you need technology services to grow your business, not just support it, but make it better. That’s what we do. Again, growth mode. tech.com is the place to be, but enough with the plugs and all that , let’s get into the show.
Good morning. Welcome. To the growth mode conversations podcast. This is our first ever live attempt. And we’re recording this episode. I put it out on Tuesdays. I’m like, why don’t we just do a live in cause honestly, that’ll save me a lot of editing.
I’ve got a whole process. It distributes these things for us in a million places. So I’m pretty excited about that. I feel special that I’m the first live guest. You should, you should no pressure to not mess up. We’ll be lucky. I think I’m recording in like eight different places. So when nobody watches this live and I try to post it as a podcast, that’ll work.
That’s a good plan to be joining us on the podcast this week in studio, right here in downtown Syracuse, he made it all the way from downtown Utica through. Go ahead and introduce yourself, Tom Armitage. I am a team lead at site seeker and we’re a digital marketing agency. We’re based out of upstate New York, but we have some remote workers all over the country at this point.
And we were doing that even before COVID and before this became a new trendy thing where you had to. So Melinda’s out in Las Vegas. We have a couple of folks down in the DC area. Carl, who is a Utica guy, he’s now down in Atlanta. So we’re spread out. And we we’re, we’re having a really great year, really strong year and we’re really diversifying our digital marketing offering.
So it’s been nice. Diversify. What does that mean? So I’ve been talking to a lot of new people and over the past couple of weeks, and when I give them the spiel about site secret, I love starting with the history and how we began as an SEO company. And I like always bragging that we were doing SEO before people even knew what.
That’s awesome. So we’ve been doing it for 20 years and that was really the origins of site seeker and website development. And SEO kind of went hand in hand building websites, optimizing it, and you popups number one on Google and people would pat us on the back. And we were, we were the good guys. But as SEO began to be much more difficult as Google got a lot more smarter, a lot more smarter we really had to build out our offering in.
Really build it in a way where it was full suite. Digital is now what we say we’re okay. It includes anything that would, that the average everyday business owner would associate with digital marketing from social media management and social media ads to Google ads. Types of digital ad platforms to a bit more sophisticated piece of technology like local SEO and citations management email automation, as well as lead intelligence and lead generation.
So literally, I mean, there’s all these digital pieces everywhere we are. We’re on social media. We’re an email, we’re doing all these different things and, and your approaches to. Try to, I don’t want to say necessarily tackle them all, but hit as many of those channels as possible for, for your customers. I think the best way to make it seem like it’s all working together is that it all traces back to reporting and analytics and that’s really site secrets claim to fame.
A lot of agencies. Great wonderful agencies that exist out there are really visual first design, first branding, first creative first, where we’ve really gone into a different direction, really from the beginning days of the, of our, of our shift period where everything that we do needs to be measured and needs to be tracked back to the ROI of, of those invested dollars.
And, and that’s why I think we’ve had such great relationships in such great conversation. Business owners that are a bit more focused. Sure. ROI, rather than let’s say the marketing director that is a bit more data driven approach, you might say exactly. That’s awesome. That’s the best way to describe it.
I really liked that approach because honestly let’s, at the end of the day, you know, a lot of people in marketing are very much about the, the, the fields, you know, which that’s a huge part of it obviously, and especially getting your message across. But at the end of the day, you got to have that analytical part to say is.
Creative working is this message. And that data is critical. And I think too many people skip right over. I mean, we see that in data with all kinds of different things, but at what’s interesting is that every tool that exists out there these days has some form of reporting or tracking or analytics.
And it kind of went where there wasn’t enough data, 20 years ago to a point where there’s far too much data. Now I think the word data management or big data. I forget what the query actually was. I think it was the number one search cool word a few years back. Wow. And it really just goes to show you like how many people are trying to lean into this, but are just drowning in information, drowning in data drowning and spreadsheets and the inability to make something of it, to interpret it, to connect it, to reports and charts and things that you can easily see, read, understand that.
And actually like do something with that data. I think that’s where the challenge still lies for a lot of organizations that may value data, but just has too much of it. Sure. Doesn’t know what to do with that data. I’m seeing a lot of that. I, you know, I watch these various mailing lists and things like that.
Talk about the new startups and all these, these cool things popping up and. So many of these companies, these entire businesses are built around just analyzing other people’s data. It’s become, like you said, it’s, it’s so overwhelming. There’s a whole nother business model in just I guess you would say reporting, but it’s so much more than reporting, but yeah, some are doing it as data visualization just because it’s just big, giant spreadsheets, unless you can actually make into something that’s pretty well graphs and things, but it’s pretty.
Yeah, you don’t get paid attention more or can interpret something out of it. There’s a few tools out there that are, are getting better at bringing multiple data sources into one central location. Google data studio is the first one that comes to mind. This is one that we use most often it site seeker because it’s actually going to be able to bring in other Google platforms like Google ads and Google analytics.
But if you’re. Smart and intelligent and good with code and good with development. You can build integrations that, that port, that information over into data studio Microsoft has one Microsoft power BI business intelligence. That’s a really big one big enterprise companies use that. And there’s another one that we’ve been demoing, which is called a Domo D O M O.
It’s a little bit pricey, but I heard of that. It’s real popular, very large market share. And they’re. Their differentiator is that it really integrates with virtually anything that has an open API. They have pre-built ones for selling software out there because they’re so large. And then they give you the keys to be able to build your own integrations and dump that data.
And, and it being able to really build reports across the. Software. So if I’m bringing in Facebook ad state of pampering and YouTube ads data, if I’m bringing in Google analytics, state of I’m bringing in a SCM rush data for SEO measurement, I can mince and mesh in her and that data together now that it’s all in one place.
And you know, it’s, it’s far beyond my knowledge of how they actually spin and, and, and make that magic work. But it’s cool as the marketer to be able to make those things happen. With ease inside of the tool and you get, you get the information from all these different points that you know were previously disconnected.
Now you get the total picture. Now you can actually make a real decision. I feel like we’re getting a little into the weeds. So I want to back up for just a second. I want to, I want to ask him, you know, you are a local marketing company, do all these wide variety of things that we’re talking about.
We’re talking about collecting the data, but you got to have something to collect data on. Right? So walk me through, in, in the most basic sense, I’m a local business owner. I call up site seeker. I say, I need to grow my business. What do you do? Where do you start? The first place we would probably start as is an audit.
And I think you hate that word. If I remember, right. It’s such a, it’s such a fitting word for so many things, but it’s so hot. People hate hearing that dive a deep dive. We’ll look at the website. It’s always the first place to start, especially because we deal a lot with B2B companies where their website is their lifeblood flag.
That transaction, that, that sales conversation is not taking place unless they’re. Nine times out of 10 going through the website. And of course you can improve the amount of conversions through live chat and, and tracking phone calls and SMS and all the different things that your business is into. But, but it still is going through the website nine times out of 10.
So starting with a website audit, looking at. Their advertising program, looking at their SEO and how well their website is optimized, looking at their social media presence, just kind of running the gamut across their entire digital profile to see. W how much of it is, is working. What’s not working how rich it is, how much opportunity there is also looking at a competitive landscape of where they should be compared to other competitors in that space.
And then from there, we can make decisions and determinations as to if they need a new website. If they need to spend more money in advertising, what type of keywords they should be bidding on. It’s a pretty sequential process, but it all begins with looking at the website and diving in deep. Is there something that you find most people on their own or, or somehow before they’ve come to you?
Is there something that they seem to do really well? Is there something people are really are on the right page marketing wise or do we, as business owners all need a lot of handholding, I think, I think personal relationships and referrals. Especially small business owners. Sure. They’ve done a good job with that.
And they continue to do a good job with that, but they haven’t really taken that to the next level as to how I can build a stronger social media presence because of these personal one-to-one relationships. How can I do a better job with email marketing because of these personal one-to-one relationship?
So it’s like, they’ve, they’ve done a great job with networking and brand building in the traditional sense. In many cases have an elevated that, or allow that to transcend into the digital landscape. If that makes sense. Hey, I see that so much. Especially in my industry, there’s so many local it shops of all sizes.
I mean the biggest and, and multimillion dollar firms. You go to their websites and third, like 10 years old and they have no information whatsoever. But these businesses are booming and it’s because like you said, they’ve made all these relationships kind of, I would say in the traditional sense, which is ironic in, in the tech industry, but.
There’s so much left on the table in the digital world. And so many of these folks don’t even come up or they have a, an outdated Google local listing that even though they’re in business, none of the information is correct in it. It kind of blows my mind, but at the same time, It just speaks to me to the opportunity that that exists.
Me, you know, if you’ve got that traditional piece in order, and now you can line up that digital piece. I feel like you’re unstoppable at that point. A lot of businesses has business owners and businesses have done a good job of creating. A really great product or a really great service, but if no one can find you, if you want to see it, if no one can learn about it, if no one can can appreciate it, then it doesn’t matter if it’s a tree falling in the forest.
Sure. It sound right. It is much as that as important. And that is very, very, very, very important. That is where you need to start because great marketing can’t save a bad product. So you do have to start the day. You got to have something to sell. You need, you do need a fantastic product or service or else your business will fail.
But you still need that second part, which is distribution and getting people to, to see it, learn about it, read about it and be aware of it and fall in love with it and make a decision around it or else your business is going to fail also in that. Right. Right. It’s the, it’s it’s wild when you see the different things and you see the things that are possible.
So talking about the things that are possible, you’ve been in this business, you’ve been with sights secret for a while. Now what’s one of your favorite projects. I really like marketing automation. And I’ve been talking about it a lot lately because a lot of business owners. Understand email, because it’s been around for a while.
It’s now kind of considered a traditional tactic. At this point, people are talking about it’s on the way out, you know, we can get in touch on and on the apple update too. But, but automation kind of takes email into a whole different level. It incorporates. Form fills and database management and text message marketing and live chat, and being able to automate responses and push messages based on interaction that they have on your website.
It really is emails, just one small piece of that pie now, but a lot of people use those as synonyms and that’s somewhat bothering as a, as somebody that’s in the industry because it’s so much more than that. So it’s not. You can’t really compare them apples to apples at all, because an automation tool does email, but about 500 all their shares.
So if you’re, if you at, or are at a level where you’ve grown and you’ve matured beyond email marketing, then you certainly need to give some of these automated tools a chance and consideration because they can do so much more for your business. You know, I’ve looked into a bunch of these and, and I honestly sat through a demo in your office of, of one of your solutions and knew who you really got in depth.
And what you’re saying is it’s, it’s truly, to me, it’s almost like a, another person, you know, it’s, it’s not just automation you’re you literally have you know, it’s not artificial intelligence, you’ve programmed it, right. It’s a whole conditional of everything that happens in emails, you, and if, you know, if I take action on this email, it’s going to send me a different type of email.
And if I don’t, it’s going to harass me and go, Hey, did you see my email? And it all looks like a natural, organic thing that a person is chasing you down. And meanwhile, you’re really going through the system without burning the time of a sales guy who gets paid by the hour. It’s really a great way to look at it because you could carry these, these actions out manually.
If shirts. We just don’t have the time, right? No business has the time to pay somebody in salaries as to what it would cost in, in software fees and the labor that was taken into that setup work. So it’s a great tool. Well, that’s what it is to me is it’s like, you know, you get your sales process and your sales best practices, but we know in reality with human beings, you know, if there’s something going on or we’re busy, steps get skipped and things like that, it’s just natural.
But if you have this system. That drives everybody through your exact process. And it’s, it’s not bothering a person. It doesn’t care that today’s busy. You know what I mean? To me, that’s, that’s the type of, of automations, not just in marketing, but in general that I really am trying to talk to clients about just in business, because there’s so many of these tools that span.
Communications sales, customer service you know, user support tech support that are automated. And, you know, people are having struggling, struggling to find employees and the people that they have. They’re very overworked. We always said, automation is going to replace everybody. It’s not, it’s not at all, but it’s going to make the people that you have.
It’s going to make their job a little easier, a little less stressful. And that’s the things that I’m trying to stress. And like I said, not, not to mention the fact that it’s just in many cases there’s so many advantages in place automatically, so nothing’s ever going to get missed as long as it’s programmed properly.
I just finished up putting a presentation together. I’m speaking in Utica in a couple of weeks to an association of researchers and non-profits. The focus of the presentation is I’m hitting on this very heavily because there’s so much talk these days about customer service and making sure that you’re providing excellent customer service and it’s taking place across the digital channels that your audience is most likely to feel comfortable using.
And I’m such an advocate of that because you have some folks that, that want to pick up the phone call. You have some people that want to use live chat. You have some people that want to use social DM. Some people that are going to email you and that’s okay. They might wait there too for the response, but all of that needs to be.
Contained inside of a single Porter, so you can easily manage it. And you have your customer servicing that can easily and effectively respond to it. Then of course it needs to be tracked too, because you want to see what the most effective channels are into fostering those relationships or on the flip side, generating those real fellowships and those.
It’s it’s funny. You, you seem to be very closely describing the product that we have called beyond telephone, which is not, which is not planned. I know it’s funny. I’m like, Hey man, I, I tool that does all of these in one platform and connects to Salesforce. Yeah, we got that. But, but you’re absolutely right.
That’s the thing. It’s one of the reasons that we started pushing that particular solution. I honestly wasn’t planning on talking about it. But because it takes all those pieces and puts them in one house and we’ve got so many awesome tools out there. And like I said before, I get the email list every day.
Here’s another 20 new startups and SAS offerings that are awesome, but you’re overwhelmed and you’ve got. Get things in an organized place, just like we’ve been talking about with everything, single single platforms, tools that talk to each other. That’s where it’s at. It’s also interesting is that it’s not generational.
And there was a poll that was on LinkedIn and I grabbed screenshots from it to put into this presentation I’m working on and it wasn’t even. An age thing as to, I feel more comfortable on the phone. I, I feel comfortable sending through social media. It was environmental in, in, in timing. I’m okay. Waiting three days and their response I’m okay.
Filling out a form. I need an, a spot response right now. Urgent. I’m going to go through phone or live chat, so yeah. It needs to those channels need to be present. Cause it’s not like you can say my target audiences, you know, 55 year old females that live in the urban community. Right. Not going to do this channel because it’s totally based on, on time and need and not based on profile or buyer personas.
Yeah. And to me, in all honesty, the more places that somebody could reach you. They make that easily as possible. The ability for someone to get in touch with you and do a visit, Hey, I keep talking about text messaging, you know, and, and businesses are behind the curve on being able to send and receive text messages on the phone number that you hand out on your business card.
You know, and you’ve got salespeople that are giving out their personal cell phone number, just so they can have that interaction that the customer wants. They’re doing it anyways, the hungry, active, and passive salespeople. That, and that’s the thing. But the other thing that I tell people is great. That sales guy he’s made all these contacts.
He’s got all these customers, they call them on Saturday night and he just got a new job in your competitor. Just got all those customers to, you know where we have a system. That’s part of the business, you know, they leave, it’s just like their extension on their desk. Now. They don’t take those contexts with them, but they still get the interaction, the ease that the customers want.
But that’s another pitch.
We are, we are almost out of time, but I want to first for our first live interaction, shout out to the folks on Twitch because I haven’t streamed on Twitch in a while, but you guys are Johnny on the spot when we go live. So thank you for that. We’ll see if this is happening on LinkedIn. I was excited about doing the LinkedIn streaming to see what I’ve put in for it twice now.
And I CA I, I, they won’t approve me. I it’s a weird thing. And by the way, you’re not supposed to talk about LinkedIn live on LinkedIn life. That’s literally a rule they sent me, so we might get kicked off. Cause I even mentioned it. Oh, it’s so weird. They’re like give useful advice, but don’t talk about how to stream.
Wow. That doesn’t make any sense. It’s LinkedIn is the most bizarre platform ever, but that’s a whole nother story, how they can submit and be accepted for it. So it’s fairly good. And I just do that through our regular text. I think we’re technically live on LinkedIn. I don’t know if anybody else we’re going to find out.
Oh, this is great. So growth mode, tech.com is the website for this show. Tom, where can people find you? How should they get ahold of you? We’re talking about all these different ways. What’s the preferred way to get ahold of you if they need you. So our, our company’s website is site-seeker.com. You can sign in there, check us out.
You can find my profile as well as my colleagues profiles and get in touch with us through there. If you want to find me personally, I’m super active on LinkedIn. As Matt knows towns, my feed Thomas J Armitage. You’ll find me on LinkedIn and I’ll always have. Your friend request. I should, I should put it on the screen right now.
My LinkedIn feed is literally nothing but posts from Tom and then post from strangers. Cause Tom posted the cons found out that that was the case a couple of days ago. It’s incredible. But you know, I’ve jumped in some of these conversations and in they’re saying, you know, that the comments is where a lot of the business takes place.
So absolutely. I can’t totally knock that. Another shameless plug too. We’re doing a weekly webinars. I was going to ask you about that. Yep. So each Wednesday throughout October, our company is carrying out a webinar it’s in Utica. So if you are local, you can sign up and be there. In-person we just have to limit it because of the space to 10, 10 folks in person, but anyone can sign on to the webinar and each week we’ll be talking about a different piece of technology.
Marketing automation will be one of them. SMS and text message. Customer service. A tool will be another one. We have a lead intelligence tool and a yaks, local SEO and local citations. That’s that’s incredible. The information that you can pick up from there. And I understand you got a new office downtown, right?
Really, really pumped about it though. I haven’t seen it yet. So that sounds exciting if you’re in the Utica area, go check that out and learn some stuff. Absolutely. Because that’s a valuable thing to do. Thank you everybody for watching, listening. However, you’re consuming this incredible podcast.
Please share it with your friends. And if you want to be a guest, we’re talking to local business people, you’ve got something to offer. If you’re not a local business person, if you’re some guy on the street who has great advice for the central New York area, I would love to have you on growth mode conversations.
So with that we’ll close out and we will see you next time. Thanks Matt.