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The Best Marketing ROI Is…

by | Smart AF Podcast

best marketing roi

The Best Marketing ROI Is…

There is never a shortage of salesmen ready to sell you the greatest advertising – sure to drive more people to your business. But which ones are the best? What marketing has the best ROI?

In this episode, Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean talk about the different advertising channels and which have yielded the best and worst results. If your thinking of paying for ads for your business this episode is for you.

Watch for best marketing strategies for small businesses for digital marketing, online marketing, internet marketing, local marketing and advertising, social media marketing, and more.

 

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –

(transcription is auto-generated)

SAF 90

Torie: [00:00:00] Sean has always said. By far, number one for your marketing. ROI has been what?

Hey guys, what’s up? It’s Torie Mathis your host and I’m here with the one and only Sean Mathis, founder of Miles Through Time Automotive Museum. 

Sean : [00:00:25] Hey, how’s it going? 

Torie: [00:00:26] And I don’t know if you’re like me, but these days I don’t answer my phone. Why? Because everybody that wants to call me is just trying to sell me stuff that I don’t want.

It’s the same reason that I hate going into LinkedIn. It’s the worst. Every single person that direct messages me in LinkedIn, I don’t even think they look at my job title or what I do. They just try to message me to sell me whatever crap it is that they’re offering. And usually it’s the same crap I already offer.

Sean : [00:00:58] Yeah. Just about everybody on LinkedIn. That’s all it is. Yeah. Trying to sell themselves really. And that’s what LinkedIn was built for. It just does that where we want to be. 

Torie: [00:01:08] Yeah. I don’t know. So many of these sales things, it just feels dirty. Like they don’t, I don’t know. I think there’s definitely a way for you to sell.

But some of the ways that these people are doing it and some of the phone calls that I get, I just, I don’t even answer the phone. So unfortunately though, for Sean, like his business line and having a brick and mortar business and people that actually need answers on the phone, Sean has to answer 

Sean : [00:01:32] The phone every time the phone calls, there’s no hiding from it. If it’s a museum phone call, I’ve got to answer it. And then I get to find out who’s on the other end of the line, as opposed to like my personal phone where I get, probably there’s probably. Sometimes as many as six or seven phone calls a day and it’s all garbage. But luckily the area code gives it away with how they do everything on their system to try to send these, Quote, unquote, local phone calls out to you that it’s a dead giveaway for us on our phones.

Cause we didn’t update our area codes. So that’s helpful on a personal level, but on a business line, like I gotta answer the phone. When those sales people call, I wind up talking to him for at least a little bit or at least until they take a breath so I can tell him no thank you. Or something like that.

Cause it’s still, it’s awkward for me to hang up on somebody. Even though I’ve had to do it a few times, just because of the circumstances of what it was that was coming out of their mouth or sometimes it’s not even a real person, in which case it makes it really easy for me to just click and be done with it.

But when the museum was at its original location and I was there on a daily basis it opened up a whole nother level of people trying to sell to me. And that was people walking in the door and the layout of the museum was a struggle from the very beginning on separating the entrance from the museum itself and then managing being a curator in the museum.

And then if phone calls happen or new people come in and running around and doing all that kind of stuff. So when I finally was able to separate the museum from the entrance and do all that, I was then able to like, hang out at the Entry where people would actually come into the museum and I would get people that would just come in there and just talk to me.

And they would talk to me for 15, 20, sometimes over an hour. And then once it was done and it was like I’m not buying what they’re selling or they’re not getting in for free. They would just leave. It wasted so much of my time. But the salespeople would come in all the time because they’re, they’re running some sort of route, obviously.

And then the business, if you’re just like, oh, there’s a car museum. That’s a great place to try to sell my advertising. And in some cases that would be ideal for the museum to be able to advertise in all these different maps and publications and all that. Just the bottom line is the museum did not have the budget to be able to do that.

Torie: [00:04:02] Even if a business does have a budget, there is no shortage of people trying to get you to advertise on whatever it is that they have. And you could literally probably no matter what your budget is, go broke. Just trying to advertise your business. And we’re definitely in a unique position because we have a marketing agency because we’ve been doing this for the last, 15 years, we have an in on what’s going on.

And if it’s one thing that we really know about advertising is that you have to have an ROI. You have to have a return on investment. And the thing you know, that Sean has always said about all of these different people, trying to come in and sell them things is that there’s no way to track. What it is that they’re selling.

I think even if you have these tracking numbers and stuff like that, it’s been set up for if you had a billboard, you only put the, the tracking number on there. I still don’t think you would get a really great idea of what kind of business that specific marketing thing would be bringing in.

However, Sean has always said by far, number one for your marketing ROI has been what 

Sean : [00:05:11] Facebook. Definitely hands down Facebook, as far as paid marketing goes as far as nonpaint, like free would be to get the local big news channel to come out there. And then obviously it doesn’t apply to a lot of businesses to, to. Be appealing enough to have that happen to you, but, in this particular industry and circumstances, it made sense to have them come out there. And besides Facebook, like that was the most. Profitable thing for the museum was to get put on the local news and that was like while the Paul Millican was the guy for the local Fox Atlanta news, he was still there.

And I was getting phone calls in the museum of people going. We’re watching you on TV right now, are you open and how far away and how much does it cost and all this kind of thing that has never happened before I spent $500 on a billboard and got two people to come in that, that equated to $10.

And those two people came in at the same time. That is beyond. Facebook that billboard was the next most expensive thing I’d ever paid for to advertise even we’ve been in a couple of magazines, a couple of magazines, I wanted to help locally and be in there. So we tried a few things, so it’s not like I’ve just everybody.

I’m like no. Especially with the magazines though, because they want to sell you how great they are. So they’re telling you, we have all these magazines get printed and they’re at all these distribution places and all these big numbers and here’s how much it costs.

And so I tell Torie I’m like this is what they told me. And she’s looking at it and we’re like That’s not really that many, and even then they’re made up numbers. 

Torie: [00:06:52] What I always ask with the magazine is what’s the demographic who was picking up this magazine and what we notice a lot of times with the demographic is it’s the wrong one.

So you gotta make sure with all of these types of things that you not just figure out the numbers, but then who are those numbers? And that’s the one great thing about Facebook is that you can target your ads and target things to be seen to very specific people by age, by how much money they make by how close they are to there’s all these different things in there that you can that you can target your ads for.

So I think that. That and the fact that there’s such great analytics on seeing what’s actually going to work, that it really helps to decide what you’re going to do, because I think one of those last ones I’m like, oh, that’d be really cool. And then once we started looking through who would actually was, and I was like, oh it’s only people very local.

And it wasn’t people that were traveling, or I thought it was going to be more of a touristy type magazine because that would be more of the market that Sean would be looking for. But it turned out that it was people that were there locally. And I was very surprised by that. 

Sean : [00:07:56] And surprisingly enough, local people don’t visit their local attractions. And even over the course of the last four years now talking with various tourism departments and people in tourism, chambers it’s across the board it just, it, they don’t do it, no matter what the businesses, no matter what the city town like that is not the market people coming in to go do those.

That’s who’s coming in there. Once we learned that, then everything became a lot easier. Now, if we’re going to have extra money to display, I, we got it. Well, it’s an awareness campaign. It’s oh, now the people know we’re there. But at the same time, there’s not that expectation of we put X amount of dollars into this local ad.

I’m hoping we get this many local people to come in here to even pay for it. Really. You can’t, I can’t even measure it like that. It is just a well. Yeah, they know we’re here and we’re putting money in the local community, really, because it’s not going to be profitable as far as advertising goes.

Torie: [00:08:58] And that’s what, whenever anybody wants to advertise and sponsor like their local baseball team, don’t do that because you want to get all kinds of, business or referrals or whatever from that’s just gotta be, I think that you want to support the community, right? I don’t think that’s a way that you would ever be able to tell if you were going to get a return on the money that you spent, I would never expect a return off anything like that.

I think that’s you’re doing it from the goodness of your heart and maybe you have goodness of your heart budget set up, and maybe that’s a really good idea for your business, but I wouldn’t bet your money on that. That’s where you’re going to get new business from. 

Sean : [00:09:30] We’ve done that with lake shark media a few times we’ve done baseball teams and all kinds of various sports teams and yeah, there’s been nothing that’s ever come back from it, but that’s not expect no. 

Torie: [00:09:43] I think like with the kids type of school type things or the kids sports type things, I think I’ve gotten a lot of return on just speaking with other parents and, or speaking with the owners of like their karate studio or the TaeKwonDo studio, we got business from them or another mom was a, had a dental office, like just.

Being there around them has always brought in business, but actually like putting forth money and sponsoring things has never been, I think my email, I always try to use my professional email for any type of school things that I’ve ever done. So it always has all of my links and things like that on the bottom of all of my emails.

And I’ve gotten tons of business from that. Just because I’m always, that’s always constantly putting that out there to every teacher, to every, organization to everybody that I always email, because then it opens up that. But they know now what we do that 

Sean : [00:10:34] One of our highest grossing clients, I guess at this point has been from somebody that, that track Torie’s email down that was in the group email from our kid in preschool.

That’s been years now that we initially made, became, they became a client of ours and they’ve, they’re still a client of ours to this day on a monthly recurring basis. At this point, Yeah, that was extremely profitable for that. And that was just, and having that professional email address.

That’s huge. If you have one, use it. 

Torie: [00:11:03] Whatever you do, you always have to know where your customers are coming in. And it’s been amazing that we’ve been able to track that kind of stuff and know that that’s where our biggest. Best longest lasting customers have come in as opposed to doing any type of outside advertising.

And obviously for, Miles Through Time where it’s more of a. You need more people coming in at more times. That’s going to be a different strategy that goes out there, but even for that you always have to be looking and figuring out where are these people coming in and where are they hearing from you so that you know where to double down or where to, stop putting your money in.

Sean : [00:11:38] See, and I think a lot of that too, is knowing the difference between an actual advertisement that you’re doing, that you are actually, you need to know what your ROI is in it versus something that is. Really just a charity thing that it’s an advertising, but you’re not worried about the ROI.

And I think if you realize that, then it feels good. There’s no expectation that you’re gonna get anything out of it or do anything like that. You’re just you’re whether it’s a part of your kids’ stuff, your community in general, something that you believe in what, like when we did the Tesla world record, we got all kinds of different companies that.

That became sponsors for that. And I don’t know if they ever got anything financially out of it, but they were a part of it. And I think they realized that because I talked to them quite a bit throughout the entire process. And so from a, Miles Through Time standpoint, we just, we don’t have.

The budget to be able to do a whole lot of that kind of, charity type advertising. Until we do my main focus is on the ROI. And so I have to know what that is. And so Facebook enables me to actually measure that kind of stuff where I can say, okay, we’re spending $5 a day and we’re getting this many engagements and people interacting.

And then I know when they come into the museum and I’m not there every day, but when I’m there on Saturday or something, I’ll find, Hey, how’d you hear about popped up on the best phrase? Is it popped up on my Facebook. That is how they phrase it. So it’s not like a. I saw a Facebook ad or my friend told me it popped up on their Facebook page feed, which I mean, it’s pretty awesome.

And so I can measure that. So beyond just the, looking at the analytics and the numbers on the back end and everything. I get the firsthand experience of people telling me it popped up on their Facebook. I mean that, to me that’s a complete win and I can see it day after day. 

Torie: [00:13:27] I think those saying that there is a thing about. Doing things, whether you’re paying for marketing on Facebook or, any type of social media or you’re just posting on there, you have to realize though that not every single post is going to have a direct ROI, because I have some of these people that are very number, crunchy type people, which I, I like numbers too, but.

Social media you have to realize that every single thing you do isn’t to get a direct response back. And I know that’s really hard for some people. Like it’s a waste of my time. If there is no direct response, if there is no direct lead or direct money in my pocket from this specific post, because like Sean said, some of these things are just for awareness.

Just to get your name out there a little bit. And on top of that, some things are just and especially like for Facebook, if I go to a business’s Facebook page and I have seen that they have not posted in the last year, my assumption is they’re not in business anymore. So some of these things like posting on Facebook or posting on your Google business page, there’s other reasons to do them, not just for getting a direct client.

Because just showing that you are active and showing that you’re doing things, showing that you’re still in business and then doing some of those other things, like building authority and getting your message out there, building relationships with people that, might be clients getting people to know and trust you.

That’s a really big part of it too. So I wouldn’t use paid Facebook money. To do all of those things necessarily, I think there needs to be more of a tangible result in that, but all of those organic things that you do online, I think you have to realize that there may not be a direct correlation in your ROI.

Does that make sense? Do you agree, Sean? 

Sean : [00:15:02] Absolutely. Okay. Now, the same thing, if,   I haven’t done it for Miles Through Time, but I totally could. Pay for Google ads. And I can see all the same stuff to Google my business and, really try to dive in and focus on that kind of stuff.

I just, I feel like because the budget is so small, I feel like Facebook is better for Miles Through Time. In this case, if the budget was larger, I would totally be down to try Google ads. The thing is people would then have to be searching for a car museum or an automotive museum or things to do.

In Clarksville, Georgia, 

Torie: [00:15:43] What you’re going to come up already. There’s no reason to put money in there 

Sean : [00:15:45] Organically I’ve already, I’m already at the top. If not, 70% of the listing results are already Miles Through Time for all of those things. 

Torie: [00:15:54] Even if you did TripAdvisor and you’re already so high up there.

So I think you got to look at your own market. And no, if you do have a lot of competition, then you’re going to have to pay to play. Whereas Sean is in a smaller town. There’s not as many museums or not as many of those types of attractions there that if you’re already up at the top, like you don’t need to pay to be at the top.

Sean : [00:16:15] Yeah. Whatever your business is, you like search it. Search, not your business name specifically, but your industry. So search it on Facebook, like literally in Facebook search, whatever it is your industry is and see what pops up, see if there’s other businesses, what are they doing?

Are they posting constantly? Are they paying for ads? And do the same thing in Google or any other search engine, Yahoo. Whatever you want to use and see what pops up, because if there’s not a lot, then you can kinda, you can master that for free without having to pay for it. If you see there is a whole lot of competition in there, you’re going to have to get in the right mindset and realize you’re going to have to pay.

Sometimes quite a bit to get seen. There’s just, there’s at this point, there’s really no way around it quickly, at least. And that, really, that’s just educating yourself on that level and really the easiest place to start is social media. 

Torie: [00:17:07] And if you’re not sure what other businesses are doing or what to do, you could always just go to one of your competitor’s Facebook pages.

And there is a way that you can see any type of advertisement that they are running at the current time. And I will put a link in the show notes and a link to that so that you can see how to do that. I have a little tutorial that walks you through exactly how to go. And it’s really easy to do.

And it is just super informational because otherwise there’s no way of knowing what other people are doing and Facebook and some of their transparency things like you couldn’t go see every Google ad that a business is doing, but you can see every Facebook ad that they’re doing. And it’s a good idea.

Even like to go outside of your area and maybe see what other pizza places are doing or what, the best the. The most popular place, the most popular museum or the most popular dog groomer, whatever it is. And you can get an idea of what they’re doing that way, where maybe it would be a good thing to do.

Sean : [00:18:02] Plus it’s a shortcut to try to figure out how to differentiate yourself. What are they doing and versus what you do, if they’re promoting, pepperoni, pizzas, Maybe promote something, something different completely. And that’ll, I think that will help. 

Torie: [00:18:16] But for paid advertising, Sean has tried quite a few things. He said, you know the billboard again, you can’t tell what you’re going to do. You did a couple of magazine ads. Can’t tell, what’s happening with those ones either. What else as a brick and mortar business, would you suggest anybody, would you suggest that they tried anything else? 

Sean : [00:18:32] We’ve also been in one of the golf courses, books that they give when you go to the golf course.

Torie: [00:18:38] Did you see anything back from that? 

Sean : [00:18:41] No, I haven’t printed yet. I would believe so, but I haven’t even seen him. I probably should’ve done it, but it was one of those things where 

Torie: [00:18:50] I think it could end up being a decent one, just because of a, more of a high end, like a golfer type person, looking at who the people are that they could be. They could have family in. From you visiting and want to take them golfing. It’s also an area that people do come and visit. So I thought that if the higher end male person, they would possibly have the money to have collector cars. And so I think it, I think that it could work. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out.

Sean : [00:19:19] The only reason I did it was because when they, the company that sold it to me said that the demographic is not local. 

Torie: [00:19:28] No, the demographic is local. Yes. Yes, the demographic. And I thought it could, because it’s a golf course yet. The demographic is local on that one. Oh yeah. And so we talked about that they would possibly be bringing family in or have visitors or the guys get together and go golfing or things like that.

And the fact that they would have more money. 

Sean : [00:19:48] And that is an awareness campaign. That is, I am not expecting a whole lot back from that, but hopefully some of those people will at least know that Miles Through Times is there. 

Torie: [00:19:58] Now the thing is though. And you have to realize this with your business is that there is a difference between just getting one customer and getting an amazing opportunity.

And I think that things like, doing the golfing one, just one of those coming into being a good opportunity for the museum might be a win. And we talked about that. That’s like us doing the Tesla world record. That was not a moneymaker for us. That cost us money. That was not something that we were going out there thinking that we were going to get a huge return from it.

However, we met a lot of people, we made a lot of new connections. We got in front of a lot of people, awareness wise, we learned a shit ton of stuff of just w doing events and coordinating different things. So though there’s not going to be a direct ROI on that thing. Exactly. I think that the opportunities that, that could bring us. Could be something that would make it worth it. Yeah. 

Sean : [00:20:54] Yeah. The Tesla record the one thing that comes top of mine that I can think of right now, That we did. We met a ton of people that is fantastic. Cause especially since we’re not from this area, it’s really hard to really get to meet people unless you wind up doing stuff like this.

And one of the people that we met was commissioner Tim Nichols. And Tim has already done a bunch of things, since then to now. And one of the most recent things is getting me connected with Georgia power. So that we can get the EV chargers installed at the museum, which has been a whole fiasco for over a year now where I’ve had Tesla chargers needing to get installed at the museum, and then having no way to actually get them installed.

And I, there, like I had, I was at a standstill really with short of just. Again, coming completely out of pocket and paying for all this stuff. And really what it is the chargers are to marketing, right? Anybody with electric cars can come to the museum and the antique mall and it’s a benefit for them.

Not going to get all my money back from it anytime soon. So I can’t think of it that way. So to  to get it paid for would be massive. A commissioner, Tim Echols made that happen, connecting me with Georgia power and then tying everything. Because also because we did the Tessa record the company that installs the electric chargers, which is the same company that installed the EV chargers in the original location in the museum.

But that program was through Tesla and it’s no longer available. So they couldn’t do that. But because we did the Tessa record, the, we had to get, we had to have four electric chargers installed to have Georgia power, Georgia power pay for everything. I only had two, which means I’d have to get two more and I’d have to buy two more and even then get everything installed for free.

But because we did the tesla record, the company donated to more EV charges for us. Now we’re getting four EV chargers all for free, all installed for free by Georgia power. And that was all because of the  meeting commissioner, Tim Echols, through doing the Tesla world record event. Never would I have guessed that any of that could have happened or would have happened, but it’s happened. That was, that’s huge to just be able to get out there and make those kinds of connections. And it’s like the ROI on that is it’s massive. 

Torie: [00:23:22] And we really sat down during and then after, and what worked and what didn’t. So I think if you’re going to try to do something like this and something that’s big Figure out like where connections are, where opportunities can, even, if you were just going to do a baseball sponsorship and then, you went to the game after the season, you could be like, okay, so what did we do?

Good? Did we, meet anybody from that? What happened? What didn’t happen? What could we do better if we wanted to do it again next year? Or, and so doing the Tesla record, I think we were really aware of I don’t want to say what can we get from it, but how well that worked as a whole project for us, and then what we could do better.

Cause there was a lot of things that we could have done better and we really learned a lot about doing it. And Tim Echols has invited us to help out on another project that he’s working on now, with the Evie to the future, which is another electric vehicle events. That, we’re going to be helping him out with again, that’s not, that’s not a moneymaker for us, but it is another opportunity thing that we get to talk with more people and meet new people and who knows what will come out of that thing.

Sean : [00:24:22] That’s again, it was an awareness campaign really. There’s no direct. No, we’re going to get all this money out of doing these things. And like Tori said, they cost us money. It was extremely stressful. It was a lot of work. But people know who Miles Through Time is now. And those are people that I probably wouldn’t have been able to get in front of for a long time if ever simply because the demographic is so much different than what I’m focusing on the Facebook ads. To try to keep my costs down. 

Torie: [00:24:52] So when you’re thinking of, paid advertising to do definitely think of what your ROI is, but realize that your ROI might not come back to you by direct dollars in your pocket, but it might be opportunities, but you still need to review and figure out what those are.

And it’s always a really good idea when opportunities do come in, map back where those did come from, because if you’re just like, oh cool. I got this new opportunity. But you don’t think about where it came from? Like we always think about we connect where did that client ended up being great.

Where did that client come from? Where did that client come from and going back and figuring out so that we know are really big clients, the ones that have been just amazing with us, like we knew where they came from. And so we’re willing to do opportunities like that, that, that might bring more clients just like that.

But knowing where your ROI is and what kind of ROI you’re going to get. So Facebook definitely has worked with Sean because, you do a direct ROI. You can definitely see lots of analytics for that. The little things like magazines and billboards and things like that, not so great. Getting on the local news just because it can be totally free to get on there and you are in front of so many people locally, if you can do that for your business, that would be, I think anybody’s business. If you can handle an influx of clients and just like a lot more people knowing about you, because Sean has always said one of the hardest things about Miles Through Time and the hardest things about marketing is just having more people now.

And so if you have a business like that, that you want more people to just know about your business, like getting on the local news is definitely fantastic. How do people go about that? 

Sean : [00:26:19] You go to the local news channel and go find their contact us and contact them and let them know about your business and why And the thing is again, if say you’re the pizza place, right? The news doesn’t care that you’re a business place that’s open. So do an event, do something like the Tessa world record that we did and do something you’re raising funds for some sort of charity and go at it that way so that you can then get the publicity from it.

Same with bloggers and different websites and stuff like that. That may not cost you anything. And it’s just get people to talk about your business. That’s the goal really is, are they talking about you because if they’re talking about you, then they know about you. 

Torie: [00:26:59] Yeah. And so Sean has been with master time on the news twice. And so both times, it’s been amazed like right when they got there, like the phones started ringing, it was pretty amazing. You still see people out and about that are like, I saw you on, I saw you on the news. I saw you. We had people contact us that we actually knew that were like, oh, we saw you guys.

So it definitely works. So that is another option. If you want a really great ROI and just to get in front of a lot of people, if you can get on your local news channel. And so the one that we did actually was like a morning show guy that goes to location. So that would be a good one because Sean did contact quite a few news stations and did not hear anything back.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t hear back. But keep trying and 

Sean : [00:27:42] Yeah. I’ve reached out to every single news station multiple times over the years. And I’ve only gotten the wound guy to come out twice. 

Torie: [00:27:51] But yeah, I keep trying, cause you never know what’s gonna work. Definitely, hopefully these gives you some ideas of things that you can do marketing that maybe isn’t as traditional as you may have thought.

And some different ways that you can get your name out there even more. If you liked this episode, we would appreciate it. If you would leave us a review and share this with other business owners that maybe could use it, we always appreciate that. And we’ll see you on the next one. We have new shows on every Tuesday and Thursday.

See you there.

You want to get smart tools to build your business. Go to getsmartaf.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs get from where they are to where they want to be by working smarter.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your mentor to creating the business+ life you love. She has cracked the code for creating a lucrative, independent business + an amazing lifestyle. She can help you with your marketing and business growth, your clarity and purpose and help you reach your vision of success. 🙂

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Hi! I'm Torie!

From living in Europe to attending a prestigious Art School for free to traveling the world with my family and the freedom of entrepreneurship - I have a knack for getting what I want from life. I can help you get from where you are to where you want to be in business and in life.

Through courses, books, speaking, workshops, articles and done-for-you services I can help YOU can get to where you want to go.

You can create a business
and life you love.

Smart AF Magazine

I'm so dedicated to YOUR success that I publish a magazine about it. Subscribe for FREE today and learn how you can be SMART AF when growing your business.