that specializes in web design, SEO, and e-commerce services. The two discuss Mike’s experience in digital marketing, as well as what he believes to be the best practices in e-commerce and B2B marketing strategies.
Hollywood Branded Refresher Episodes
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- EP144: Drop Everything and Dropship: Mastering eCommerce With Anton Kraly | Drop Ship Lifestyle & eCommerce Lifestyle
- EP225: Developing Brand Positioning and Personal Branding with Lysa Miller | Ladybugz.com
- EP174: Becoming An Effective Leader Of A Successful Business with Jen McFarland | Women Conquer Business
Hollywood Branded Content Marketing Case Studies
The following content marketing case studies below provide even more insights.
- E-Commerce Strategy For Your Business
- How NBA Brand Uniform Sponsorships Were Established
- The Largest Chinese Investment In Hollywood – Ever
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We GUARANTEE that this class series will provide you with the foundation to make campaigns successful for your brand.
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes & How to Avoid them. I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of influencer marketing and branded content agency Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for top experts to share their insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today. While it is impossible to be well versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy or money, whether you’re doing a DIY approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.Speaker 2 (00:31):
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them. Here’s your host Stacy Jones.Stacy Jones (00:36):
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones and I’m so happy to be here with you all today, and want to give a very warm welcome to Mike Mayer. Mike is the owner and CEO of Main Event Digital, a digital marketing agency that specializes in web design, SEO and e-commerce services. With over 20 years of experience leading digital transformations for billion dollars businesses, Mike is an expert in all things e-commerce and digital. He is a regular guest speaker at industry conferences, has published numerous articles on digital marketing and has also helped launch three startups in the digital consulting, consignment and online retial fields. Today, Mike will be sharing B2B marketing strategies, along with e-commerce and mobile launch best practices. We’ll learn what works from Mike’s perspective, what should be avoided and how some businesses just miss the mark. Mike, welcome. So happy to have you here today.Mike Mayer (01:25):
Thank you so much Stacy. Happy to be here.Stacy Jones (01:27):
Awesome. What I’d love to do is have our listeners learn a little bit more about what got you to here today. You recently … When I say recently, it wasn’t yesterday, but you recently started your own agency and you have a story history of working at some very large companies and doing very large partnerships. What made you decide to trek out on your own.
Mike Mayer (01:50):
Great question. For the last, as you mentioned, over 20 years, I’ve been in technology, specifically e-commerce and digital marketing, I would consider myself a pioneer in the field. I started actually pre-world wide web creation invention, back in ’89, ’90 running bulletin board system, which probably most of your listeners have never heard of. But Google it and you’ll find out. Then just got hooked in trying to be a developer. Started as a web developer. Went to work and quickly moved into management. Most specifically over the past 14 years have been focused on working at three wholesalers, starting and running e-commerce and digital marketing. Throughout that period thought, “This is great. I’m seeing a lot of success, why not try this same approach for many companies that look the same as the companies I was working for?”
Mike Mayer (03:01):
So started my own … This is just since April of 2020, right after COVID hit. Started this out of my home office. Targeting manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors. Although, even though that’s who I’m targeting, it’s really more of a B2B focus. I’d say like 40% or 50% of my customers don’t fit the mold of a wholesaler or a manufacturer, but are service based businesses selling to other businesses. That’s kind of the back story. But we’re a full service digital marketing agency offering a whole variety of services. I consider us an e-commerce system integrator light. We’re not doing any major dev projects that run for a year or two. Doing more smaller builds of e-commerce sites and apps, mainly on Shopify, WooCommerce, on WordPress, Magento, Wix, Webflow.
Mike Mayer (04:13):
Most of our time is spent on the design, development and then more into the digital marketing areas. So we start with customers that have a presence or don’t have a presence. We’ve built startups since April, which I’m happy to talk about some of those companies. But we’ll sit down, we’ll do the branding, logo design, web design, doing the markup, building out the site, building out product content, because typically the wholesalers have no product content, or have just pulled together some very basic product numbers and basic manufacturer content. So we have folks that will flesh out that content, rewrite it so it’s unique for SEO. We build that into the site. We run a full SEO strategy on the site, where we’re managing the technical SEO, making sure that site’s fast, responsive, has all the correct tags. Then we go offsite and run a backlink strategy, especially with press release blasts to get our clients information, and backlinks into media throughout the country. With that, we run paid search campaigns. We run paid social campaigns. We run social for these clients, and I’ll keep going if I’m not boring you.
Stacy Jones (05:50):
No. No, you’re not boring. All of those are great.
Mike Mayer (05:53):
We set up marketing automation. We build out lead gen campaigns. We’re selling for our clients on marketplaces, Amazon, Walmart. We load huge catalogs up to those sites and automate competitive pricing, especially on products that our clients are not the only sellers of that product, we automate that. On social, we’re running campaigns and running social for our clients on Facebook, Insta, LinkedIn, Twitter. Doing a ton of content creation beyond just hat product content build out. We’re writing long form content as I mentioned for press release blasts. Also, for web content for blogs, for social.
Mike Mayer (06:43):
Structuring affiliate programs to bring in larger sales forces for our clients, that they would just then pay on a rev share. And structuring loyalty programs, which are really moving the needle for return customers and increasing average order value by rewarding our clients customers with store credit or swag. We’re doing a lot of one-off email marketing and we have some folks that are doing video too. So we produce television commercials. Doing videos for social. Testimonial videos. You name it. We’ve actually done billboards like, outside of digital, and direct mail. We’re your outsourced e-commerce digital marketing department and we’ll figure out what you need and get it done.
Stacy Jones (07:41):
Well one of the reasons I wanted you, I kept letting you, I wasn’t going to interrupt you, as you were naming all the different services that you do, is those are all, if you’re launching an e-commerce brand, literally everything you said, is going to be component that you as an owner of a company or your team needs to actually consider.
Mike Mayer (08:01):
Stacy Jones (08:01):
Because most people I think in and they’re like, “I’m going to sell on Shopify. And I’m going to set it up and the world is going to come and I’m going to be a million and this is going be awesome.” Then nothing happens after you’ve done that.
Mike Mayer (08:15):
I think you nailed it, and that just hits on the whole topic of your podcast with mistakes that people make. They assume when they build it, people will come and that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’re millions of websites. So you need of that marketing to get people to your site, and there’s definitely ways to do it inexpensively and to sustain long-term traffic through the SEO and through buying up mailing lists and doing email marketing. But it’s critical and it’s critical to have that attack of your potential customer base from all different angles. Maybe even, I didn’t mention, we’re doing SMS marketing too, through text. You want to hit your customers when they’re hanging out on social, through their email. If you can get them while they’re on the highway reading a billboard. When you’re retargeting them or targeting them through display ads when they’re on any website. I mean, there’s just ample opportunity. It all goes back to that drip strategy where you need to hit them seven times before they even recognize your brand. Then you actually have an opportunity to start selling to them.
Mike Mayer (09:34):
But it has to happen and I see this more in B2B, than in B2C, where B2B spend all their time, effort, money on building and then they just sit there and wonder why aren’t people using it? Even if you have an existing business with a large customer base, this is very common, where you have a sales team. You have an inside, an outside sales, you have stores, and you think, “Once I add this website to the mix, my customers will use this also.” But that’s not the case and what I find is typically not only do the customers not know about it and know about the benefits, but your sales team and your employees don’t know about it and can’t support it, and often, their incentives aren’t even aligned to tell customers about it. So I’ve been in businesses where the employees deter and direct people away from using the websites, because they lose money. So you need to make sure the motivation and the incentive plans are established day one, or you’re going to be swimming against the stream.
Stacy Jones (10:52):
When a company comes to you, what’s the first thing you do? How do you figure out what their strategy should be versus telling them that laundry list that you just gave and having them literally flee out the door, because they’re so overwhelmed and they know that they don’t have the budgets necessarily to tackle all of that at once?
Mike Mayer (11:08):
That’s a great question. Typically, it starts with me asking a lot of questions and getting to know them, their business model, how they operate. I love to tap into any existing analytics they might have that they can share. And I like to do an analysis of what type of marketing they’re already doing. What their user experience is on their website. And based on that, I draft a strategy and build a roadmap, which has some or all of the things that I’ve just mentioned. I prioritize that, based on a potential return on investment, which I’ve attempted, everything I’ve just mentioned in so many different businesses, that I have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t, and I can even come to the client with potential returns on investment, so that we can make educated decisions on what we’re going to target, first, second and third.
Mike Mayer (12:09):
The way I run my business, I have to figure out a better way to communicate this, because I have packages on my website with different services, but in reality, every customer is unique and every customer needs a custom package. There’s definitely no one size fits all. Even if I’m working my third or fourth lighting wholesaler, it’s not the same approach. Everyone needs their own approach. I build the custom roadmap and we just start going down the list, running through the strategies, executing on them. Revenue attribution is the center, the base, the key to everything we do, to be able to track to be able to see if these activities are working. Then based on what we see after the first few activities, we might change course. It’s an ever living, breathing strategy and roadmap that needs to be tweaked based on the analytics and what’s working and what’s not.
Stacy Jones (13:13):
What do you think are your top three strategies that are you go to? That you’re just pretty much every time … I know that everything you said, is viable for pretty much every brand and company, but what are your top three that if someone doesn’t do, they’re missing the mark?
Mike Mayer (13:30):
Sure. The foundation of every single customer is their website, so it all starts with we QA. I have a full-time QA guy. So we test their website. We make sure that thing is working perfectly. We do an analysis of the user experience. We do some user experience improvements. We try to optimize that conversion rate and make sure that it’s fast and responsive. Once we have that, that’s usually number one. First thing we do with almost every client, because we’ve got to get our house in order. Once we have that website working perfectly, or close to perfect, then we go into more of the marketing strategies.
Mike Mayer (14:15):
We almost always start on SEO strategy, day one. Although, that is typically will not see an immediate response from SEO. It sometimes takes three months, six months. The fastest I’ve ever seen it, some responsiveness to SEO, has been a week. And that’s recently with a client, they build cannabis dispensaries and grow houses throughout the country. So we built a bunch of SEO optimized pages for them like, “Cannabis or dispensary builder in Montana.” And they’re Grow America Builders, they show up number one, number two. That we saw, that was the best SEO success I’ve ever seen.
Stacy Jones (15:02):
Well, there was a hole obviously. There was like the Google was hungry actually, because there wasn’t a lot of content there to fill that-
Mike Mayer (15:08):
Stacy Jones (15:08):
… and that’s why it got such pick up.
Mike Mayer (15:10):
That’s correct. And if it’s less of a unique business, that’s a pretty unique business, then we focus on the long-tail keywords that don’t have a ton of competition. We build out the lengthy pages on the website about those keywords.
Stacy Jones (15:27):
Mike Mayer (15:27):
Stacy Jones (15:29):
No, go ahead.
Mike Mayer (15:29):
Stacy Jones (15:29):
What I was going to say-
Mike Mayer (15:29):
You [crosstalk 00:15:31].
Stacy Jones (15:30):
What I was going to say is that, my own agency, my own business, I have to credit our sales success, when we get new clients, it’s because of SEO strategies that we put back in place back in 2012, when we started building our blog. And we had done optimization before on our website. What really, really did it though, was the content generation, starting with one blog post, then two blog posts, then three. Then five a week, until we consistently have over 30,000 readers on a monthly basis for a B2B business, which is awesome for smallish agency.
Mike Mayer (16:06):
Stacy Jones (16:07):
It’s how actually establish our expertise, but back in 2012, the pulling teeth and the pain of actually getting this started, if someone had said, “Well this is the end goal.” I probably would have been like, “Oh, by then I want to have 100,000, 500,000.” Because we always want more. But it caused me to change my strategies and suggestions for clients, because I know that paying for advertising, traditional advertising that does so much to move the needle quickly with that SEO optimization, it’s built in. And as long as Google still’s loving you, that is going to keep serving up for you forever. It’s not too early ever in your business’s life stage, in my opinion, to start that.
Mike Mayer (16:50):
A lot of businesses will put that off, because they want to see immediate action. But it pays dividends. There’s only a one time investment for the most part. It pays dividends in definitely. But for the customers that want to see immediate action, you lean on paid search and depending on the client, paid social. We’ve been most successful with our wholesalers pushing into Google and Bing shopping, where it’s super long-tail. Customers are coming right to a product detail page and their intent is, they’re ready to purchase or they’re checking pricing. But that’s as close to we’re getting these people through the sales funnel for the new business or for an existing business through paid. It’s through shopping.
Mike Mayer (17:43):
The other thing that we’ve found is low-hanging fruit is marketplaces, and most of our customers had no presence on Amazon or Walmart, and there’s nothing more immediate. We launch their listings and the next day we’re seeing activity and sales. For some, those that don’t have map policies to abide by, and that are selling the same products as everyone else, the automation of pricing is ever so critical, because it’s a race to the bottom and whoever has the lowest price, as you know on the marketplaces, wins. But we sat that up where there is a margin floor that we don’t exceed, so that even if we hit that lowest possible price, that the wholesaler is willing to go down to, they’re still making enough margin to make that sale worthwhile. Getting the house in order with the web design, SEO, paid search and marketplaces, those are my go-to with all clients. Then we kind of build out from there.
Stacy Jones (19:00):
And you mentioned press. You said you do press release for SEO optimization, and you’re doing that for link building, right? You’re sending it out, you’re posting the site and you’re actually building authority on Google so that it’s recognizing the company and giving it more authority.
Mike Mayer (19:16):
Absolutely. It’s amazing how quickly that works for SEO. I don’t know, we put it out on the wire. It usually shows up on four to 450 different media outlets, like a USA Today, or Chicago Trib. So we’re getting good positioning. Whether or not people are actually reading that, but Google loves it, so they’re following the backlinks from those very reputable sources and that boosts my clients on SEO really quickly in organic search.
Stacy Jones (19:53):
We do a lot of PR for clients and work with clients with establishing how to get campaigns known about, that they’ve built. So many times we’re like, “Oh, if you do a press release, I’m going to get so much exposure in all these publications.” That’s just not how it works anymore, but it’s so awesome as far as just putting those links out there. It doesn’t matter that no human eye may ever see them, because it’s going to impact all of your searches. It’s going to impact where you show up on other pages, because all of a sudden Google’s like, “Oh now you’re legit. You’re cool. Great.’
Mike Mayer (20:28):
Exactly. And then we go beyond the press releases to focus on the PR aspect of our business. We’ll reach out to folks that run podcasts like you, or trade mags, or the media directly, and we’ll send them our briefs and try to get into their publications through either a guest blog or we’ll send them product. But we’ve had a lot of success getting on the local news and getting into a ton of, especially with the B2B side, getting into trade association newsletters, their blogs and their websites. That’s typically pretty easy to do. It just takes a lot of heavy lifting, because there’s a lot of them out there. There’s a one-on-one negotiation and presentation of content and tweaking, but it’s worthwhile, because in the B2B side, that’s where a lot of your customer base is getting their industry news, is from the trade and association publications. So that’s worked well.
Stacy Jones (21:42):
So first ground level for you is making sure that website is optimized, built well. The second you had mentioned was putting together, basically an SEO strategy. The third level that you were talking about is getting everything so that you have paid social or paid advertising.
Mike Mayer (22:03):
Stacy Jones (22:04):
Paid advertise, whatever it is on social platforms, Google Ad Words, anything that is digitally driven, paid.
Mike Mayer (22:10):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s correct. Then we expand out from there.
Stacy Jones (22:15):
And where would you expand from there? What’s then. I said, top three, but I’m like, “Now, what do you do then?”
Mike Mayer (22:20):
Keep going, yeah. We have a full-time guy that is running our social campaigns for all of our customers, so he’s putting out, not paid, but just posting into everyone’s feeds. Building followers. He moonlights as a comedian, so he’s very creative.
Stacy Jones (22:41):
Mike Mayer (22:42):
He’s funny, yeah, and engaging. He’s putting together a lot of great content for Facebook and Insta, and LinkedIn and Twitter. That helps brand building, helps keep your brand fresh in the minds of your followers. It’s also good to just have a good presence out there when someone’s actually coming to research you, that’s one of the places people go now. “Is this business legit?” “Well let me go check out their website. Let me look at their social. Let me look at their reviews and ratings on other sites.”
Mike Mayer (23:21):
That’s another area we focus on is reputation building for our customers. On Google My Business, on Bing Places, on Yelp. Whatever makes sense for their business, maybe it’s Angie’s List. And we do that through campaigns where we’re either sending out SMS messages or email asking folks to give us feedback. Typically, we want to put some sort of incentive behind that to get them to actually act upon it. Maybe it’s a contest or some sort of reward for doing that. That’s another area is that local reputation. The content creation never stops for SEO, for social, for the press releases, for blogs. I have two full-time content folks on the team, that that’s all they do, is turn out good content. I’ve seen a lot of success with our loyalty programs that we’ve built into our customer sites.
Stacy Jones (24:27):
Those are like perks and rewards and benefits, because everyone likes to get stuff for whatever their doing and giving out.
Mike Mayer (24:35):
And the secret in B2B, is that in B2C, the person that’s your consumer, if you give them a discount, they’re getting the benefit of that discount. But in B2B, it’s a different story, where the purchasing agent might be the one making the purchase and if you give them a discount, they don’t care. They’re not getting anything out of it. Rewarding through these programs with a YETI cooler, a YETI tumbler, a Bluetooth radio, something like that. Maybe a travel card, a travel rewards. Something that they can personally use and take home with them, I’ve tested, moves the needle much more than any type of discount or rebated that maybe their boss will reap the benefit.
Stacy Jones (25:30):
I was going to say I bet that owner likes the rebate.
Mike Mayer (25:32):
Stacy Jones (25:33):
The owner’s very happy with the rebate, but then their peeps underneath, they’re like, “What’s for me here?”
Mike Mayer (25:38):
Exactly. “What’s in it for me?” 100%. So loyalty programs are great. People will spend more to achieve that next level of reward, they could have bought it cheaper somewhere else, they’ll come to you and spend more, even if you have higher pricing, so that they can take something home and see benefit. They can take home a new North Face jacket. It’s a little sneaky, but it works. And yeah, the owners aren’t going to love that.
Stacy Jones (26:12):
But even with B2C and when you’re looking at different rewards and especially I think we you younger gen, like your Gen. Xennials, going up into Millenials, that reward system with the badges, its crazy to me. We have online classes and we do certifications, and one of my team members came to me and they’re like, “We really need to give a badge that people can put on their LinkedIn after they’ve finished the class.” I’m like, “My God, why do we have to do that?” “Oh, it’s super popular. Everyone wants badges.” They’re like, “Look at me, I got a badge.” It’s the whole thing of, “I played the game, I have my certificate.” And little tiny things like points. There’re apps out there and websites out there where really your points are valued at .0002 cents of nothingness. But you have 7,300 of those little stars and there’s a psychological hunger for people to do things with that.
Mike Mayer (27:15):
100%, yeah. So it works. The B2Bs don’t think about all this stuff and they have to attack it.
Stacy Jones (27:25):
They want the [crosstalk 00:27:25]. Yeah, they want the gift.
Mike Mayer (27:28):
So beyond that, we’re doing a bunch of video production, which is a lot of fun, and we’re doing testimonial videos. We’re doing about us, like who we are videos. We’re doing a lot of whiteboard or explainers. But its, especially short, brief, 15 second chunks of content. Great for social. On the B2B side, not very common. There’s not a lot of video production going on, so we’re helping make it easy to explain what our clients do and what the products do with these short videos. And even producing video television commercials. Animated actually, is the last one we just put together. These are a lot of fun. And I never really thought I would be in this business. I’ve been on the other side of the fence for 23 years and working with folks like me. Just found an opportunity and had no agency experience, but have been enjoying it.
Mike Mayer (28:44):
One of the things that I bring to the table, because I know the pain points that I had as a running a business and working with agencies, is that often an agency will take ownership of accounts and that transition, they make leaving the agency really tough. So that’s one thing that I’m like, day one when I’m writing out my business plan, I said, “I don’t want to hamstring my customers. I want to make it easy to leave me.” I think that is me putting my money where my mouth is. So I structured the business with we use their accounts and typically we’ll ask our customers for maybe it’s their information or the help account, and if we need to go set up accounts, we’ll use that. So they have full access to it.
Mike Mayer (29:37):
Additionally, I don’t have anyone in any kind of contracts. We’re month to month. I send out an agreement to protect everyone with privacy and confidentiality and noncompetes and all that. But I make it easy for my clients to leave. Maybe it’s a psychological thing, but my clients, they’re not leaving. So that’s a good thing. And that structure, has encouraged me and my team to hustle, that we’re not resting on our laurels and sitting on six month contract, where we know that if we’re not showing a return on investment every single week, we’re out. We send out status reports every Monday to every single one of our clients with metrics saying, “Here’s how we did. Here’s the progress.” And just make it easy for them to move on. But, it’s working.
Stacy Jones (30:36):
That was the dog sneezing. So, those listening and can’t see the video, I have a cocker spaniel sitting next to me who has had a sneezing fit. So with everything you did, you certainly starting in business in the beginning of COVID, you did solve one thing that most entrepreneurs and agency owners have to figure out pretty early on, is where your business is going to be and having to actually get office space and so forth, and it’s perfect, because you can be in your house with the rest of us and learning how to be virtual from the very get go.
Mike Mayer (31:11):
You’re right. No, actually I was looking for office space. I started on March 10th, looking for office space, because I knew I needed to be out of here. There’s a lot of commotion. Now there’s even more commotion, because they’re home most of the time doing remote learning. I also have a dog, and luckily, my timing couldn’t have been better. I had two contracts in hand for space and then COVID hit. Saved. So, I thank God I didn’t sign anything.
Mike Mayer (31:43):
But I have been remote. I have a team now of 20. They’re all over the country. The majority, I’d say 10 of them are in the Chicagoland area and that’s where I am. Eventually when we are all vaccinated and we can go back to living our normal lives, I would like to get out and see other humans and I kind of miss that, but for now, this is working. And the business is growing. I’ve yet to really do any marketing for my own business, which is kind of ironic, because that’s what I do, I’m a marketing company. I’ve grown through word of mouth. Have just a whole slew of different types of customers that are depending on us for all their marketing needs and it’s a fun business to be in. I love, it’s all day is solving problems for my customers, and trying to scale and grow their businesses.
Stacy Jones (32:44):
I’m sure what you also like is after 23 years of working for businesses, every day is different when you’re an agency owner. There’s something different, you can’t plan on it, and you get to learn all the time and keep growing yourself as you’re helping other people grow. It’s really rewarding.
Mike Mayer (32:58):
It is very rewarding. I’m getting new challenges thrown at me every day. I’m finding one of the other things that I’m loving about this is finding synergies between my clients. Where I can introduce my clients and then they can start working together. I have a client that is a foot operated hand sanitizer and I have another client that is a janitorial sanitation product wholesaler. I put those guys together, marriage made in heaven, and now the manufacturer is selling through the wholesaler. That’s a lot of fun when you can grow just by making introductions and everyone wins.
Stacy Jones (33:43):
One thing I wanted to touch on, just because it was in your LinkedIn resume, and I talked to you about it before as well, is apps, because we have so many clients who want an app. Everyone wants an app. It used to be what everyone wanted a website back in the day. But apps are very different than websites and they’re a different beast entirely. What are some of the tricks and tools that use to make sure an app is actually relevant for a brand?
Mike Mayer (34:11):
Most of the apps that I built, they accompany the mobile website or the e-commerce site for my customer. They’re a full functional, and they actually have more functionality than the e-commerce sites themselves. The whole reason, I mean, they weren’t 100% necessary, but they do help to drive business, because on a mobile phone, especially on a mobile device, it takes more effort to go into your Safari or you Chrome, type in a URL or go to your favorites, that takes time. Having an icon on your home screen that with one finger you tap, and you’re shopping, makes life a lot easier.
Mike Mayer (34:57):
You can also add some additional features, using the native functionality of the phone to make shopping easier. One thing that we’ve used with a lot of success if using the camera and using that for scanning products, especially scanning bar codes. That can bring the product pages directly up. Someone in the B2B world, a lot of our client’s customers have stock rooms of some sort and what we do in those stockrooms, or what we advise them to do is, or provide them, are barcode labels that they can put on little bins throughout their stockroom. So when they’re getting low, they can pick up their phone and just scan that label. If they still have the product in stock, in their stockroom, they can just pick the product and scan that too. That helps with the inventory management and keeping their inventory up to date.
Mike Mayer (35:57):
Besides, that, I think having the voice recognition on a phone saves our customers a lot of time, where they can just click to talk and talk their search right into the search box. Those are the native tools we typically … The camera, we also use to, if you have a part that you need replaced and you can’t identify it. We build out capability to take a photo of that part and then submit it to our tech support in whichever client, to identify what part that is. You’ll find in the B2B world, there are millions of parts and it’s sometimes pretty tough to identify something that was potentially manufactured 80 years ago, has been in production and broke and now you need to replace it. There’s not markings on the product, but most of my customers have tech support that can help identify what those products are.
Mike Mayer (37:04):
Beyond that, with the apps, we try to make the e-commerce site and the apps easy to shop. So we do things like custom catalogs, so that when a user returns to the app, well first, we automatically sign them in. Because having to resign in every time is a nightmare. Then they can shop their custom catalog of a mix of things they’ve already purchased from us, either offline or online. Or, products they’ve added to a requisition list. We try to add these features that make shopping easier and especially when you’re on a mobile app.
Stacy Jones (37:45):
One question, because it’s come up with one of our clients recently, and I had a very fiercely staunch view point on this, and I’d love to hear your opinion. They’ve created an app, and you can go on the app, but it doesn’t collect your … If you download it from the IO store, the app store … Not the IO store, the app store for IOs. But when you go on, you can instantly get access, but it doesn’t collect your email address or allow you to do any sort of marketing back to it. What is your thought? Is it more important to give people a seamless download, where they’re able to jump on and they’re able to starting surfing and swiping and poking away? Or, is it better to actually capture their information? So what you just said, is that whenever they come back, you’re there, it’s there, it’s logged in and you know who you’re talking to and you’re able to remarket.
Mike Mayer (38:44):
I think the user experience is at the core of every decision that I make. That’s the foundation. So making it easy to use, not requiring login, or using facial recognition or thumb, your finger print to get in, if you can do something like that, but it has to be easy. Everything we build has a B2C side and a B2B side. The B2C side is, you’re there like a consumer, you’re probably looking at list price and not your discounted custom pricing. You’re able to search the catalog, you’re able to build a cart. You could check out as a guest, you’re not getting your discounted price, but at least you can do your research and pull down specification sheets and watch videos on the products. Maybe that’s all you needed to do, so why do I need to put a barrier in front of you to login. That’s how a lot of B2B e-commerce sites are built. They require a login to do anything.
Mike Mayer (39:50):
That’s a big no-no. Let’s give them everything they possibly can do without logging in, and then if they want to get to a point where they want to get their special pricing, view their previous orders, use their net 30 terms, use their tax exemption status, then yeah, you’re going to have to require a login at that point. But the other huge hurdle I see a lot of my, well, previous competitors, a lot of wholesalers putting into place is requiring an account manager to set up an account for a customer. It’s silly.
Stacy Jones (40:31):
It’s a DIY world now. I mean, that’s what we all live in. Everyone want to DIY and they want to do it at 3:00 in the morning on their own time.
Mike Mayer (40:38):
100%, yeah. So you ask the customer for some identifying information that you need to authenticate them and give them full access at 3:00 AM so they can place an order. Why would you want to add any hurdles? It’s all about removing the hurdles. Depending on the company, I’d say a lot have changed and are changing to make that process easier, that self-activation, but there’s still a lot out there that it’s still too difficult to even get started with their tool.
Stacy Jones (41:14):
So I know we’re running out of time. What I’d love to do is have you share how people can find you. Where do the find Mike?
Mike Mayer (41:23):
They can find me at maineventdigital.com and from there, there’re links to a bunch of our social media and on the website there is information about the types of customers and our packages and our pricing and everything you’d need to know. Also, I make it real easy to get ahold of me. On the website is my cell phone number, so feel free to send me a text or call me. I’m available and willing and open to having at no cost a strategy discussion with you and a free consultation to see if there is a good match between us and your business. I think at this point, I’d like to offer some sort of incentive, because I’ve been talking a lot about incentive during this podcast.
Stacy Jones (42:15):
You need a reward.
Mike Mayer (42:17):
You’re going to get a reward. So if you activate, if you start an account with me and start doing business with me, let’s go with $2,000 off your first month. So get ahold to me. Tell me that you heard me Stacy Jones Hollywood Branded podcast.
Stacy Jones (42:38):
Marketing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them, or Stacy Jones and Hollywood Branded, any of those things are fine.
Mike Mayer (42:43):
Stacy Jones (42:43):
All work. Will work.
Mike Mayer (42:44):
Thank you. And I’m happy to give you a discount on your first month.
Stacy Jones (42:50):
That’s awesome. That’s very awesome. Any last words of parting advice?
Mike Mayer (42:57):
I think I’m going to go back to something I said at the beginning. If you build it, don’t expect people to come. You need to hit people from every … Your potential customers and your current customers, you need to educate them from every possible angle, and that’s what we do. And it’s tough to do that on your own, so find an expert, find a specialist that can run your paid campaigns, run your SEO, get you in the marketplaces, affiliate programs, loyalty programs, content creation, social, so on and so forth. There’s a lot to do there and we’ve been replicating our model. We have 22 customers right now and growing. This month we’ll be adding five new customers, we have signed agreements from. You definitely need someone that knows what they’re doing and has learned from making the mistakes, which I have, and has the experience. You’re going to spend more trying to go at it on your own.
Stacy Jones (44:02):
Yeah, it’s super beneficial. We tell people all the time, like “Why would you hire an agency?” Well you want to hire an agency, because the reason why they know what to do is because they’ve screwed up lots of times and learned and they know how not to do that. And you’re going to screw up lots on your own if you try to do it yourself.
Mike Mayer (44:19):
Exactly. Right, why don’t you benefit from someone else’s mistakes.
Stacy Jones (44:24):
Which creates expertise.
Mike Mayer (44:26):
Exactly, it’s good to make mistakes. You learn.
Stacy Jones (44:30):
Mike, thank you so much for joining us today. You provided a lot of valuable insights for our listeners.
Mike Mayer (44:36):
My pleasure, Stacy. Thanks so much for having me.
Stacy Jones (44:38):
Mike Mayer (44:40):
It’s been a great afternoon, thank you.
Stacy Jones (44:41):
Good. And to all of our listeners, thank you for tuning into Marketing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them. I look forward to chatting with you this next week. Til then, have a great day. Bye.
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