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How a Clever Digital Strategy Led to 4X In-Store Sales Goals

Rex Biberston
Apr 6, 2021 7:11:18 AM

Growth Marketing Camp, Ep. 11

How a Clever Digital Strategy Led to 4X In-Store Sales Goals

John Timmerman runs Good Monster, a digital creative agency for incredible brands all over the world. He’s constantly iterating and has a muscle for building campaigns that rivals Ogilvy. To help a customer hit big sales figures in-store at Target, John’s team turned to nano influencers and knocked it out of the park with four times the sales they needed for Target to reorder and improve in-store positioning. Whether you’re B2C or B2B, this is a campaign you’ve got to see.

powered by Sounder


Here's what you can expect on today's episode:

  • 2:35 - The power of video and content consistency
  • 9:17 - Campaign overview that generated 4x sales
  • 19:06 - The best resource for marketing
  • 33:32 - How to use ad platforms to find your audience

Read the full transcript:

Okay, welcome to another episode of Growth Marketing Camp with me here is John Timmerman, CEO, and founder at Good Monster and the founder of NoBullCON John you've had an incredible track record in creative digital marketing agency, world, which is going to apply to basically all of our listeners in a different way.

It's really exciting to learn from you. Just curious, how'd you get into this? Why agency life, man, this is tough. You got to represent a bunch of different companies. How did you get started on this thing? Yeah. I started out my career as a personal trainer, a sports performance coach training athletes, met a gentlemen named Frank Easterly, a really successful business guy in the offline world and just.

Really got hungry to learn about entrepreneurship. So I started an online, personal training company at the time. It was about 2009. I had to learn SEO. I learned not how to build a website, but what went into building a website? I had a firm do it for me, experimented with that company. I was young and immature as an entrepreneur, so that company ended up.

Sort of fledgling and just fizzling out from the online perspective, a few things happened and I got into marketing for a law firm and it was boring as hell. I mean, just press releases all day long every day, it was mind numbing, not the type of creative marketing and, you know, business stuff that I was really attracted to.

So a friend of mine and I started a YouTube show to get some of that creativity out there. Nice. It was a very simple YouTube show. Thank diners drive-ins and dives. We just did that in upstate New York sort of, geography. And that show led the businesses that we're going into to, ask us to do their marketing videos, websites.

It just expanded from there to where we are today, man. That's really organic. That's really cool. I love how you got into that now. You started out with YouTube. This makes a ton of sense. Cause I see video content from you in different formats and types and styles of video content, like every day on LinkedIn.

So talk to me a little bit about why video and like how you're focused on video. Now, this is so important for people. And it's funny, this is one of the reasons why we created NoBullCON. So most people including myself, Look at people like a Gary Vaynerchuk or like, Neil Patel or somebody who's at the top of their game.

They're a celebrity business person. And the content that they put out earns a lot of views and engagement and they have huge follower counts. But what people don't realize is that putting content out, even though the followers and all of those numbers and those metrics, they mean something. People let that cripple them, that they're not going to get those likes and followers from their content that cripples them to not put out content.

I am not one of those people. I mean, you've seen my videos. I mean, they get a hundred to maybe a thousand views depending on when it goes out and what it does, but Good Monster has gotten real paying. Relatively large clients from those videos. So you have to realize that, you know, if you're an influencer in the consumer goods space, yeah.

You need a big audience. You need that. Right. But from a B2B standpoint, or, you know, if you're not the influencer who's selling the products, you know, one by one or something like that, putting out content is your way to build trust. And all it takes is one. All it takes is one video.

You know, I can't even remember the actual video that it was, but in the video I remember the client of ours now saying I saw that video and you basically called me out. And you said that, you know, I was dropping the ball and I was missing huge opportunities. If I just didn't hit the record button and start putting things out there if I felt the need.

And so the CEO of that company called and she's like, Hey, I want. My company to do all of these things, help me out. And that was one video that maybe got 50 views. I dunno. So content, if it hits you, right, and you feel the need to talk about something, just put it out because you never know.

And nobody really gives a s@#t if it's not great and you know, they do give a s@#t if it's awesome. Right. So there's not a lot of downside to it. Yeah. There's not a ton of risk. If you have limited exposure, what's the worst that could happen. Your limited exposure, right? Yeah. And the platforms, they throttle that anyway.

So if you don't put out good content, not that many people are going to see it. Yep. So tell me, because you mentioned NoBullCON I'm interested to hear what is NoBullCON obviously that's a part of what you're doing now, especially as you're ramping up towards the event in April, which when this goes live, We could be pretty close to the actual event itself, but this idea of, well, I don't have a million followers, so I'm not going to get enough traction with this video.

So I'm not going to do it. It sounds like that was maybe the impetus for you guys creating this event. We wanted to create something tactical. We wanted to make sure that people had real tactical advice to grow their business and their industry. And yes, we have Gary Vaynerchuk as our keynote, but his keynote is going to be very interesting.

It's not going to be like a normal Gary Vaynerchuk keynote, but we wanted to bring in people that are very successful, but not the big celebrity business people to talk about. Real life business stuff like, okay, do this. Like what I just told you about a LinkedIn video or even a YouTube video for that matter that you might be looking you know, our audience might be looking at all of these celebrity business people and the incredible reach and success that they're having.

And just automatically saying, I can't do that. We wanted to bring in people to show, listen, you can do this. Here's exactly how you do it. In finance in operations in marketing in culture in leadership. And so we've been really lucky to bring together about 30, a really amazing diverse group of business builders.

I love that. Now, as someone who's followed your video content for awhile I'm curious. It seems like you're also diversifying a lot of the kinds of video format that you're doing. So there's one show that you were running for awhile, where you would like make amazing looking breakfast foods. And you would talk about marketing at the same time.

And I was always like, Oh, what's he going to make this time? Like, this is really interesting to me, but it seems like maybe you've done away with that one. And you've tried a new, like new spins on video. Is there something to that? Is there like a process that you're following for trying out new formating sort of.

So there's two things that go into that one. I got wicked add. So I get bored with content and if you're creating content and you're bored with it, it's going to come through. It's just not going to, you know, So there's that right? I'm not going to say that. That's a good thing to keep switching things.

However, the second part of this is, you know, change is. Okay. So going along with the whole, you don't have to have a hundred thousand followers and a hundred thousand views for content to work for your business. It just depends on what your goal is. My goal is not to become the next Gary Vaynerchuk or David Meltzer.

Anybody. My goal is to grow Good Monster. And to get more tickets sold for NoBullCON rinse and repeat. So as far as the different shows, I'll come up with an idea, I'll throw them by our team. I'll say, you know, how should we present this? You know, what kind of editing all that kind of stuff.

They'll figure most of that out and then we'll try it. And then if it doesn't catch on, in the way that it's intended to, or. I find something else that's more valuable. We'll change it. And you know, you don't sweat it because you didn't lose anything. The content is still out there. People can still watch it.

Think of it like a TV show that went on for three seasons and just stopped, you know, because maybe the director or the producer or whatever, got bored and wanted to move to another one. That being said, consistency, I think is key for marketing, especially brand. You know, anybody that knows anything about brand is all about consistent message, simple, consistent message.

Right? So the one consistency is me in this case, right? So I'm doing all of this, I'm doing a lot of different things, but I'm still me, John, the entrepreneur, interested in marketing business growth. And so all of those different things still stem back to me. And that's what a personal brand is all about.

Yeah. I think that was the thread that I wanted to pull on here too, is that I went from what's John going to make in terms of breakfast sandwich or whatever, you know, like, are you going to put a waffle with an egg, with a, you know, like a hash Brown and do something crazy to. What kind of video is John gonna produce next?

Like what's good monster going to have to say, and in what format, and like, it's going to inspire me creatively. Like I was looking for something different out of your content that I think is a good reminder. Hey, first of all, if it's not working, don't be married to it, right? That doesn't have to be the thing because one time in a content planning session with your team, you came up with this idea.

You got to stay married to that forever. But, you know, you have this consistency that John is in the video telling us something. So I really liked that. So a couple of good takeaways there. Let's jump into a campaign that you have done that you feel was just very successful or that you learned a ton.

I know you have one in mind that you want to break down. So talk to me, first of all, I'm always interested to hear this. Do you have like a naming convention for campaigns when you run them for customers or for yourself? Do you put some like, almost internal branding around the campaign that you do?

Not really, not me personally, sometimes our team does they'll come up with a tagline for the campaign. Yeah. And that's mostly our creative director or something. It just allows them to sort of, you know, put a stamp on it. I got to put a label on it in a way that kind of guides the campaign. We do that internally.

For initiatives for Good Monster, interestingly enough. So we put sort of tag lines on our own internal initiatives, cause we have a global team, right? So we have a studio and a team in Brazil. We have a development team in India. We have our account managers and team here in America.

And then we're growing in all those sectors. We're hiring people in all those different areas. So if we're doing like a culture building. Thing whether it be like a global party or something like that, like we'll assign taglines and titles to those things. Interestingly enough. Yeah.

Okay. So talk to me about this campaign, though. That's on your mind, what was the goal of this particular campaign? So at the time we had just taken on a global baby products company, really design focused high-end baby products and targets and by, by babies and all of those across the globe, we were working on the U S.

Division of it. Yeah. And they had come on and they were struggling with e-commerce. Which is funny because that's exactly the type of customer client that Good Monster works with today are product manufacturers that have excellent distribution. Usually a long history of success in retail, brick and mortar, but they haven't quite figured out e-commerce yet.

Nice. So this was that exact scenario. They came to us and they said, listen, you know, we got sales trickling in through our website. We launched Amazon a few years ago. We haven't really put a lot of effort into it. Website's, you know, it's there, but it's not doing much. We need to help.

We did all of that stuff and help them in that area. But the specific campaign that popped into my mind when you said that was our first I would call it nano influencer. Campaign. So nano influencer being like the everyday person with like a thousand to 5,000 followers, you know, it's not their full-time gig.

They just like posting stuff on social media and in the parenting world, especially in sort of the mommy blogger, that's sort of the category it's called, but like the mom who just loves putting out content about parenting and sharing advice and things like that. There's a ton.

There's literally millions of that type of a person out there posting content. So what we did is we tried to figure out they had just launched in target. So they had just struck a deal with target a distribution deal, and they wanted to figure out how to sell. How to get the sales up, to reach the numbers that target had, the goals that target had for sales.

Because once that happens, then target advances you and, you know, we'll buy more products and get more distribution and all this kind of stuff. Right. So they wanted to make sure that they did that. And so here we are thinking, in addition to all the other things that we're doing for them, the Amazon, the website, the social media, how do we drive sales in store?

And then we went through and we're like, okay, well, we could do some geo-targeted advertising. We could do you know, in store coupon, like all that kind of stuff. Right. But I'm not sure that's really going to hit that's going to take a long time. It's not going to be done in the timeframe that we need.

Yeah. So our team came up with a really interesting campaign, which was basically this was the campaign to. Nano influencers, basically anybody could do this, right? It wasn't even limited to like 1000 to 5,000, but we ran a contest where you could go into target take a selfie with the product on the shelf, and we encourage that.

You bring your kids, your family, you know, and you take a selfie with the product on the shelf. You don't even have to buy it. You just go into a target and you take a selfie with the product, and then you put a nice little caption. I honestly can't remember what we asked them to caption, but it was something cute and funny.

Yeah. And then you would be entered into a weekly giveaway for a hundred dollar target gift card. Nice. So no cost to entry. We opened it up to anybody to post on their own social media. Yeah. So they would post that selfie on their own social media and then hashtag it, and they would be entered into the contest.

We got I thinks like high hundreds of people. that entered the contest in a couple of weeks, like a week and a half or something like that. But you know, and then the span of their own reach or their own following varied from a couple of hundred, all the way up to. Tens of thousands, or we had a few that had a hundred hundreds of thousands of followers doing it.

And so it got millions of impressions and all this stuff that I just told you, it didn't matter. The point is though that they beat their target in store goal by four times, I think, or something like that in the course of the first month. So when target looks at that, they're like, Holy s@#t, like. Your product crushed it in these stores.

Okay. We're going to roll you out to more. So it was incredibly successful because it costs really no money. You know, obviously like the agency is doing the work and like, you know, putting that together, but it costs no money and paid advertising. It got incredible reach. And it had a very specific goal, which was to show people that the product was in a target store.

Right. Yeah. So it was just really something I'm proud of that our team came up with an executed flawlessly. That's beautiful. So, man, as you're telling the story, I can think of a hundred different threads. I want to pull on here, but it's fascinating that you use the digital experience to drive in store sales.

Love that concept obviously played really well. Because people still buy in store, right? Like target is still one of the top producing retail establishments. So of course you want to, you can do this. They're still interested and it's not like people just want to do e-commerce. They just want to buy online.

So I love that idea. Where was the original posting of the content coming from? You said we're not doing paid ads. So was it just their corporate social profile from the actual product manufacturer itself? Do you mean where were the selfies original. When you said, Hey, this is a thing we're doing now, go take a selfie.

Like, did you just post that on the company, social profile the one time or a few times? And just like, bring that back up again. Yeah. So we sent an email out to their email list. We asked them to share it with all of the parents that they knew we did post it on social. And then I'm pretty sure from a tactical standpoint, I'm pretty sure we boosted that so that the entire audience would see it.

I don't think we actually ran a separate ad. I think we boosted that so that it would grow basically by word of mouth. And then we just encourage them to share, because it was free. I mean, the entire community shopped at target, right? Like that whole community, along with the rest of us go to target and get, you know, a lot of their home goods and whatnot at target.

So we just felt we didn't need to run ads to do it. We just needed to kind of add a little fuel to the fire that was already happening. And I think it's one of those instances where it was just the right sauce. On the right meal at the right time, because it was something that they're already doing, going to target.

It was so low cost, low barrier to entry. You already carry your phone. You're walking down the aisle, you see it, you take a picture, like you post it on your social. It's all the stuff you're already doing. And I think that's why it worked so well. Yeah. I love that. The amount of friction.

For a contest. I mean, it's gotta be as easy as possible for someone to be willing to do it, first of all, and then to want to share it right, to put this on their own profile and associate themselves with it. That totally makes sense. Well, then I understand the channels you used. If you could do it over again, though, if you could say, Hey, we're going to run the same play, but start fresh.

The audience has never heard of this, but we know it's going to work. What levers would you pull differently or what would you do differently about that campaign? Quite frankly, we probably just would have gotten a few larger influencers to make the announcement. That's probably the only thing that we would have done differently is instead of the company, the brand channels announcing it, we probably would have put it in the hands of one or two or more influencers.

And if I were to be able to do it again, I mean, there were factors at play that kept us from doing this over and over and over again,  and just, you know, kept it going. But if I were to do it over again, I probably would have had a significant influencer announcing it and then running that for the month and then having another influencer the next month, doing it again and run it and then having it compound.

Yeah. So the first influencer. If it was working, they keep doing it, you know, and they do a monthly one and we tweak it a little bit and we make it fun and engaging and change it a little bit, but would have used some larger influencer activations. If we weren't able to do it ourselves, I love that.

Has it taught you anything or influenced in any way other campaigns you've done for yourselves or for other customers? Man I don't know, like, so that was our first nano. So I guess it showed us the value of nano influencer marketing or just everyday. I don't even like the term. I don't like the label, the nano micro.

I mean, it is what it is and everybody sort of understands it, but sure. Everyday people and word of mouth still is the best source of marketing or the best resource for marketing. And so if you can get just your customers. Your employees even and you know, their friends as well as sort of everyday people that are interested, if you don't have anything else, if you don't have a budget, if you need some like really quick results, just go to your communities wherever they exist and try to get them to sort of kickstart that campaign and then measure from there and to see if it's worth a larger investment, I would say this was our first dive into nano. So that sort of taught us the value of everyday people loving your stuff. Yeah, that makes sense too. Now I'm curious. Did you find that despite the rules, not stating, Hey, you need to buy this product.

Did you find that there were people then tweeting or, posting on various social platforms? Hey, I bought it and I love it. Or was there more conversation about the product organically, other than for the contest? Did you see or track any of that? It's tough to segment it because we were still running ads for e-com.

We were still promoting heavily on Amazon and doing Amazon PPC and you know, we still had a regular email marketing going on. So it was tough to, cause that was all growing at the same time. Also. I mean, we hit really hard with this brand. I mean, in the first four months we.

Went from $8,000 a month in website revenue. I think it was just website wasn't including Amazon to 35,000 and then like, that was the growth sort of, you know, the first month was 8,000 when we came on and that was just sort of by itself. And then the second month was. I don't know.

I don't remember what it was, but let's say it was 20 something thousand and then 35. And then like, it just kept going from there. So we were literally trying to take every opportunity and funnel it in all at the same time. So I can't say that that campaign specifically helped out the other things, but it was so focused on increasing target revenue that, you know, that was really its sole purpose.

That's huge. Well, obviously stands out in your mind as a huge win, lots of unique combinations of strategies in there that I love. So thank you for sharing it. Thinking about maybe zooming out from this particular campaign, thinking about growth marketing, thinking about the folks who are worried about how do we grow our business.

There's things that we're doing that maybe we should stop doing. There's things that we aren't doing that we should start doing. Now. One of the things you've already mentioned. Start producing content. If you have something to say, say it, publish it, don't be afraid. Anything else you want to add to that?

Or maybe that we should stop doing that we are doing already. So stop doing I don't know, one thing on the top of my head that is something we're talking about it internally is there's a lot of different paid media platforms, right? So Facebook and Tik-Tok and Snapchat and Google One thing from a paid media standpoint is I think, I know we should probably stop trying to fine tune our audiences.

So incredibly deep, just because we can, Because the platforms are so F'in smart. They're going to do a lot of the work for us. And I think maybe where that comes from I'm assuming is because 10 years ago, or, you know, around that time we were able to target.

Target based on every little single thing that they could possibly get their hands on, right then privacy became an issue. And, you know, some of those things went away a little bit, but the platforms themselves Facebook's ad platform, Google's ad platform. And Google's obviously made a big change with theirs for anybody to watches the headlines from a tracking perspective.

But they're so smart that I think that marketers should stop trying to tell. The platforms who to advertise to. You know, from a micromanagement standpoint, instead, give it some guidelines, let it test the creative, you know, put a bunch of creative out there that your team has already done homework on.

And then let it tell you who your audience is on that particular platform. You're much better off. You're going to spend so much less time trying to. Strategize and figure it out before you then set it up and then run the ads and then realize that this one's not right. You're gonna save so much time and probably so much money in the long run by letting the ad platforms do what they're intended to do. They want to make you money because then you keep using, you keep spending money. So, yeah. So yeah that's the top of mind something we're discussing internally about W w I think we should stop doing no that's so that's a really good one.

I can speak to that. Knowing that at our company, we turned on the row as a return on ad spend automated bidding and Google, and saw our costs go down by 50%. I mean, all we had to do was tell it what happens after you give us a lead. Well, look, these are good leads. These are bad leads. That's all we needed to tell Google and Google figured out a ton of.

So we had a bunch of creative already tested at a bunch of data from us. It's great to see how much more efficient those engines can be when it's run by an algorithm. Certainly you need to check on it from time to time, but it has been a huge one for us. So I love that. And it's, you know, I often say the phrase, people do what they're incentivized to do well, so do algorithms.

I mean, the people who wrote the algorithm are incentivized to make more money for your business. Then of course, you know, they're going to be optimizing it for that purpose. And there are a heck of a lot smarter than I am the average market. I mean, we don't know enough about data science to do what they can do on their end.

Yeah. And no human can like foresee it as much as you know about your company. You don't know what Sally in Idaho, who just got off a hard day at work and feels like she wants to sit down and relax like you don't know when somebody is in the mood, not in the mood and the algorithms start to take all of this stuff into account and no one to show them what and where.

And we just got to let them do their thing. No. I love that. Well, now thinking about your own team, obviously you're unique in that you're an agency, so you're running marketing for a bunch of other companies and for yourselves, as far as it goes for yourselves internally, do you have shared resources with those who work on customer accounts or do you have a specific internal marketing team?

Do you mean for our own brands ? Yeah. So we do, we have shared accounts. So we'll just use NoBullCON for instance. So Good Monster, who does the marketing for NoBullCON. And that's been crazy because of the pandemic, everything has shifted and changed.

So it has made marketing, NoBullCON incredibly hard because it was an in-person event. Yeah. And when it couldn't be an in-person event anymore than the date had to change, the format had to change. Everything, literally everything about it changed. We added more speakers because we added a day, like it just threw a wrench in everything.

So, our team had to juggle all of those changes Alongside, you know, one or two other accounts that were running as Good Monster clients. And it's a struggle from an agency perspective. Like any agency owner out there, you know, it's a struggle because when one account is running smoothly, it's great.

You know, things are easy. There's a process, there's a system there's checks and balances, but then when chaos breaks out in another one you have to divert your attention to that one, keep everything running smoothly over here. But the problem is when you divert your attention to this one over here and try to fix whatever's going on over here, then maybe your eye comes off of something over here and then that thing breaks.

And then you have to go back. So when this started, this is just what we did and maybe a little advice out there for any other agency. What we did is when we saw the wheels starting to fall off NoBullCON a little bit because we were trying to figure out, are we going to go virtual? Are we going to still try April?

Are we going to be back in person by then New York? We're super stringent here. Yeah. When I saw all of this sort of happening I went to my executive team and strategy team and said, okay, listen, this is going to be a beast right over here to do so. We just have to sort of trust the process with the speakers that we have and the message that we have.

And if it's not perfect, it's okay. Because like, you know, we own this, right? Like I literally own this business with a few partners and then we're completely in charge of NoBullCON. So this one is okay, let's do the best we can with it. It's been chaos in 2020 already. So let's just make sure that our clients here that are doing really well already, let's make sure they continue to do well and thrive and do the best we can balancing the two.

You know, sometimes you can't always do that with your, if those three clients are all actual clients and one is, you know, the wheels are falling off, but if you're working on internal projects or. You know, Good Monster's own marketing. Some things have to ebb and flow and oftentimes that's why agencies don't do their own marketing very much.

Yeah. Boy, tell me about it. I ran a sales development agency and I can tell you, we didn't do outbound for ourselves for a long time. I can totally appreciate that. Yeah. Well, John, I appreciate you coming on the show. I'm sure our audience is going to love this and hearing your perspective as somebody who's done a lot of marketing and a lot of different ways who are some other marketers who maybe should be on our radar.

We'd love to have on the show, or maybe somebody, at least we should be following on social media or otherwise who are maybe inspiration. Yeah. A couple of them first is Greg Connolly, the founder of Trifecta Nutrition. If you're not familiar with. Greg, maybe you're familiar with Trifecta. I believe they're the largest.

They're not the largest meal delivery, but they're the largest like nutrition fitness meal delivery. They have deals with the UFC, the PGA. Wow. Couple of other sports. I can't remember exactly. Just go to their website, but Greg is a smart marketer. He grew that thing. I think they're doing $150 million in reoccurring revenue.

So these are all memberships, which is like a company's dream. And he did that through funnels and marketing strategies. You know, he's the CEO and the founder but he's a smart marketing dude. And I can intro you to him if you want, but he's an awesome dude for just to follow and follow trifectas, nutrition's success.

Because I'm pretty sure they're hunting in for an IPO right now. It sounds like there were about ripe for it. Yeah. Real successful. Another one would be a good friend of mine. And these all happened to be some of the tactical speakers at NoBullCON. Also another one is a good friend of mine.

Paul Daly. He runs an agency called Congruent. They're an amazing brand. I mean, they do a lot of different stuff, just like we do but he's a brand genius really great at branding. He also has. Experience. He started his own business before a marketing company refurbishing rims on cars for auto dealerships that would get a used car in and it's got dings and everything they'd go in and powder coat it and do it.

He grew that from like one just himself to 50 employees and then sold it and then started Congruent. Yeah. Now he's pretty deep in the auto industry really well connected. Yeah those two gentlemen would be great. I'm sure. We'd love to have him on the show and everyone who's listening should definitely go and follow them.

I mean, that sounds like there's plenty to learn from those folks. That's awesome. Yeah, John, thanks so much for being on the show. Anybody who wants to find you or find Good Monster, where should they go?  Good Monster. You can go to thegoodmonster.com. If you're interested in attending our event, if this comes out in time, it's nobullcon.Com if you want to chat with me, hit me up on Clubhouse.

Nice. Everyone now knows Clubhouse has come in. It's just John Timmerman, but everywhere else. It's Johnny Timbo. So Twitter, Instagram, Johnny, J O H N N Y T I M B O would love to chat. Perfect. Thanks so much John. Awesome.

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