You are listening to the Taps and Tees Show, weekly conversations for people passionate about marketing, golf and craft beer. Marty is the cofounder of Bad Rhino, an award-winning digital marketing agency helping golf and craft beer brands get real results in social media marketing. Here is your host, Marty McDonald. [00:21.7]
Marty: Welcome back to another episode of Taps and Tees and as we keep plugging along, you know the patched year, sometimes I feel like a broken record where I'm still interviewing some marketing buddies of mine, still interviewing some new people in terms of the golf world and the beer world. But Hey, we just be pressing on here and it's been a lot of fun connecting with these people from all around the country. And today I've got an awesome guest. I'm pretty excited. We're members of mastermind. I'd only bring people on here that I know. I only, bring people out of here that I knew do good work in the marketing world because you know, everybody is searching for that agency that helped, especially in 2021, where they're trying to figure some things out in ever-changing world. But today I’ve got Duncan and I'm really excited about that because Duncan runs Fire Belly. You know, so what he does in the agency world is not much different than, you know, what we do at Bad Rhino, but at the same time, it's always interesting to hear different perspectives. And Dunkin always has a good idea, a good concept, you know, for his clients, but also in the mastermind groups always brings great ideas. And one of the things that he's always talking about for social media and just digital marketing in general is always make sure that you're you're strategic, right, in what you're doing, but you want to build things around everything that you're doing for your brand to be responsive on social and make sure things are moving the right way. He's a high-level strategist within his organization. He brings up the fire to the belly, I guess, for lack of care. And at that point, I think he's a good, good spot. Duncan introduce yourself, Duncan you there? I can hear you laugh. [01:57.9]
Duncan: Hmm…Marty. I'm so happy to be here Taps and Tees my man. Thank you for having me. I am many things and I'm happy to be friends with Marty. And Marty, I always enjoy your perspective. You know, you and I have both been doing this for a long, long time. And some of the things that we have in common is that we're very focused on doing big picture work and putting our client's needs ahead of ahead of our own sometimes. And just trying to balance that out, but also like not buying into hype and, and be a, we're pretty low-key rational people. So, I'm really, I'm really excited to be here and, and and talk more.
Marty: Absolutely! Try to be low key as much as possible in this world, especially in marketing, because there's so many opinions. Tell us a little bit more about a Firebelly and how it started. [02:47.1]
Duncan: I originally, I know you like to know about the origin. So, my story begins in India and I grew up in India and then came to America to be a cowboy. And that did not work out as they say, but might've been good if I could have ridden a horse to begin with, right. So anyway, I did three internships with three different types of agencies and then went to work at a B2B agency in a manufacturing space. And I was an early adopter into websites and email. I remember the phrase was let the new guy do it cause all this nonsense won't last anyway. And then started doing my own thing with Firebelly in 2001. And that was kind of a solo operator. And then in 2007 started hiring employees. And actually, my first employee, Chad Richard, is still with Firebelly and he's the VP. And so, yeah, along the way, in 2007, we started doing social and then in 2014, decided to go all in only on social, abandoned everything else and just focus on being the best in social. [03:54.0]
Duncan: And so that's all we do is focused on that niche in social. And even with that, I mean, we have a patch and drawer of all different kinds of clients, but even within social, we love working with wine and beverages, including beer, so.
Marty: Yeah, I think there's like a really bad Cowboys and Indian joke in there when you say Crazy visual, but we won't go there, so.
Duncan: It’s interesting, let me, let me, let me close that loop for you. There is, I have kind of a distant cousin, his name, his is his stage name is Bobby Cash. After Johnny Cash and he is an Indian cowboy like country and Western singer. And I'll have to send you the link because he sings like the old school country, like Johnny Cash and like Marty Robbins and.
Duncan: Jordan Jones. And it's just hilarious because he's the Indian dude, you know, and his tagline, okay. You ready? One in a billion.
Duncan: Anyway, back to business.
Marty: No that’s great though, I love little stories like that. So, tell us a little bit, you know, just the evolution of Firebelly and we've already touched upon it a little bit, you know, when you have 20 years in here and it was the same way I do. And it always feels like so many things are changing, you know, nonstop and they always were, but you know, fast forward 20 years in, it feels like things are changing faster than you can possibly keep up. So how do you guys keep up? How do you keep sharp and all that? [05:21.6]
Duncan: So that's a good question. I mean, everything is changing and I think the difference between now and 20 years ago, even 10 years ago, as the change is faster and it's very transparent, you know, in terms of when you make a mistake, everyone sees your mistakes. So, I think, you know, building on expertise and that's why I think like niche firms that are deeply deeply niched can survive. It’s because they're supporting, clients are supporting other agencies that deep niche expertise is what you need sometimes. So, I think, you know, the difference in the social media marketing agency space is, well, I'll say, first of all, there's a lot of people with, you know, planes and Ferrari's in their ads, right. And they're coming at you hard and fast and it, how, how poor their approach to marketing shows because I'm not even a good client for those people because I own an agency, but they're hitting me up too. So, and I think the reason why they show those planes and, and fast cars and, you know, women in short dresses or, you know, that kind of thing is I think they're appealing that, that Grant Cardone crowd, you know, where it's like, you don't have to put the work in, you can get there very quickly. [06:40.3]
And that's what they're trying to show, you know. So, I think the difference is that like you and me know from doing this for a long time is that there are no quick wins and there's a lot of losses along the way to becoming good at something and lots of losses on the way to become great at something. So, I think that what has not changed is that it takes time to learn your craft and to build a team. And for us at Firebelly, you know, I'm not involved in the day-to-day, which, you know, I'm proud of that. I've been involved with the day-to-day for years and we’ve built up a team, so the delivery team handles all that stuff. I come in to help with things, but I'm more focused on innovation and growing the firm. And I think that's what you need. You need an agency that has done it before that can show you what they've done. They're not focused on awards; they're focused on the work they've done. [07:28.8]
Duncan: And I think that's the key, you know. So, it's like, when you say to them, Hey, you know what happens if this happens. If they don't know they're going to tell you, they don't know, but the likelihood is they probably do know.
Marty: So true.
Duncan: You’ve seen that he's wearing a white jacket and he's got a black t-shirt and white pants on, he's standing next to a red Ferrari.
Marty: Yeah. Yeah, every once in a while. And this is just sort of a little take two seconds, like the sign here for everybody that's listening, this kind of like agency talk, you know, Bad Rhino has been around in that form for 11 years, which feels like a hundred years, some days it feels like And the big thing that like Duncan was just mentioning is there's a lot of people that pop up and say, oh, we can do that. And then they don't, they can do pieces of it, but they advertise in a way like, like Duncan just said was, Hey, this is how we're going to do it, you don't have to put in the work. The interesting part about being there is you want people that have seen a lot of things. I'm not saying that some of the newer people on the scene, so to speak for lack of a better term, don't know what they're doing. That's not the case. I'm not belittling them or trying to, you know, make it in the marketing world or anything like that. That's not what I'm doing here. But sometimes you have to just work within what you think is going to work and partnering with an agency that you think can do it. [08:56.6]
And that takes a little bit of time, know how nuance, whatever you want to say. And sometimes these ads and I I've had three conversations in the past probably 60 days or so that I have talked about this. One of the guys we were working with, and now we are working with on retainer, he was like, when are you going to fix the marketing industry, it has a hole? And I'm like, I don't have that kind of stuff. And what, what he was talking about was, and you show me these ads and people that they talked to and were all mentioning names, but they're just going after quick fix in the industry that they're in. And it was, he’s like, it just turns me off. And then he's like, it then turns me off like when we start talking to somebody and then they start looking at something and then they start going down this path, it's like, just don't know who to trust and I totally get it. You should always bet your agency; you should always talk to multiple people. But once you get in, you know, commit because there's a lot of time that goes into that. And you kind of eliminate some of those issues, where like Duncan was just sayings is important. It was like the quick fix isn't necessarily there. Things are going to constantly change, but having a historic view around it is cool. And I don't want to sound, I don't want to sound like the old guys in the room, but there is something to that, especially in this digital age as we're going through a ton of transformation out there. So, I think that I just wanted to like have that little aside there, so we'll get back into this. Other than just, you know, getting a job, like how'd you get started in marketing, did you just fall into it and you were the new guy and he just gave you that stuff, like you said. [10:29.7]
Duncan: I mean, I think that that was the initial way, I was under the misnomer. I mean, it took me what another 20 years to figure that out. I guess I was under the misnomer that I was un hire able or I didn't want to be hired. It's probably more the second. And I think it was because I had had that all round in the eight years, I've worked in the agency world, nine years prior to starting my own. I'd been, you know, data analyst, account manager, creative director of business development. So, I've pretty much worked in every other than media buying and worked in every part of the agency world. And so, I was like, well, I think I can do this. So, I started doing it and I was, you know, in the early days of outsourcing, I was outsourcing to India. The problem is, is that high margins come at a high price. And I wasn't staffed up to pay that high price. You know, so running a global ops team in those days, without them willing to work on the, on U.S. time, which is now how global ops teams’ work. [11:28.8]
Duncan: I just wasn't, I wasn't. And so, I think because now it's swinging back, it's like I went full in, on an American team and I still have a fully American team, but it's interesting because that is a compelling option to have, you know, assistance or backup resources designed as whatever, you know, in other parts of the world. So, yeah. And then he just decided to specialize in social because couldn't keep candidly, you know, couldn't keep up with SEO in the late 2000’s and early 2010s. Couldn't keep up with SEO, couldn't keep up with websites. And so, we were like, we're going to go all in on one thing. That's kind of where it all came from. And then that's what we built up our team around us that like, you know.
Duncan: A team of specialists who, you know, know how to get people, to recognize something, know how to get them familiar with something, you know, how to get them engaged and try something and then move them down the funnel, whether it's through a website or, you know, to a store, to
Duncan: And then, now we're focusing right now on like how to build advocacy. So that's a whole new realm for us. [12:31.9]
Marty: Yeah. It's always interesting, especially around the labor side, you know, it was, we get asked quite often, like where's your staff? And I think there's pluses and minuses to it. I think we have an all-American staff for lack of a better term, they're all based pretty close to us. And we have a couple of people down in South Carolina and North Carolina, a couple of people out in the Midwest, a couple of people out west, and then the rest of them are sprinkled throughout the country. And that helps a lot, when you have a team that can bring in different ideas, different concepts, but we do get asked that, but I see it shifting because we have a couple of overseas clients now and they're asking us like, how can we get coverage during their time? You know and that's pretty fascinating. But for the most part, they're still operating on the U.S. you know, time, that's where their market is.
Marty: But as you see things shift in the labor force here in the U.S. and people working from home, they only want to work from home. There's a lot of neat, little new challenges. And I think ultimately, it's really good things that are going to come out from all of that. And we'll set to see where it goes. But yeah, those are some interesting things how almost came full circle. And it's about 20 years, right. [13:47.4]
Marty: I remember at the end of the day, in the end of the nineties, everybody was outsourcing things to India among other places.
Marty: And it was both good and bad because I think it was new, you know, more so than anything. It was new that you can do that because the you know the networks were able to handle that and some other things, and you had like some infrastructure in place, but overall, it was both good and bad. And then you kind of keep going in there, but it's interesting it's coming full circle. I think that's a very, very good outcome.
Duncan: The other thing that's interesting too, is you have a proliferation of technology tools to assist, you know, these global ops team. And the other piece is that, you know, even as a small agency, you can more or less match like what American Express or some large, you know, LA agency is paying someone and we can match it, you know. And so back in the day, you know, you oh, hindered by tech and you were hindered by, you were getting the B team or the C team. You weren't getting the A team. But the same, the same thing that's happened here has happened there. It's a creative class, that's arisen. They don't to work for those highly structured and highly demanding employers anymore. They want to be in more creative environments. [14:59.0]
Marty: Yeah, it's very true. What's been the best /more so your favorite project that you've ever worked on with Firebelly or otherwise, I mean, is there one that stands out doesn't have to be the most profitable or the best that just has to be the one that you were like, this is awesome.
Duncan: Well, it's interesting because we've worked on so many cool projects, but by far the one that stands out to me personally, not even as the owner of Firebelly, but more as like just Duncan is working with a group called the international anti-poaching foundation.
Duncan: And it's they're the, the whole effort isn't in, in a, in a specific area of Zimbabwe and then the founder, who's a a former mercenary is in Kenya and the marketing teams in New Zealand and in New York. And then we're in, you know, everywhere else, but it's basically, I love it because of the impact. So, it's basically, they started with building a force of women that were trained in military style tactics to manage against poachers. And the reason I've loved the project so much as the guy that heads up marketing, his name is T and Thivanka De Silva. And he, he's a very progressive guy. And we worked together with him to basically change the organization from being blood and guts and fighting against poachers to being look at this amazing conservation effort and look at the community development around these women who in a country like Zimbabwe have no prospects, but have been able to like build up their confidence, build up their ability to support their family independent of a man. And, you know, so it's, it's, and it's interesting because when we went to, went into it, the thought was that it was a white male, the Scandinavian countries, or the U.S. that was over 55, that was the primary audience. And what we found along the way is that it's women all over the world that have the primary audience, you know, 25 to 45. I mean, there’s a lot of men in there too, but. So, seeing a transformation of the image and then supporting fundraising and, you know, going through stratified messaging, testing, and that's been phenomenal. And you feel like, I feel like I'm doing something good for the world too. [17:13.7]
Marty: No, it's cool. Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of this stuff, when we look back on it, you know, a lot of the nonprofit stuff that we've done, some of the little things that we've done, even it does make sure, you know, it makes you feel and when I say, make sure it makes you feel like you're on the right path where you can help out, you know, it's great when you're getting 12 X ROA’s on a e-com thing and all that fun stuff, but there's also some other things that I think from a marketing standpoint, you can help out. And some of our best clients have been nonprofit and driven for different social causes, whether that be breast cancer, getting the word out for a variety of domestic issues. Like we've worked with quite a few and it always makes you kind of stop and think. I think a little bit more, rather than just focusing in on that one thing where you're just like, okay, we've got to drive results, drive, drive, drive results. So, it does mean it makes it, more robust, I guess, that’s what I'm going after. That's awesome though. [18:15.2]
Duncan: I know one of the things that you and I talked about when we were in Durango at our mastermind retreat, was the fact that you've got to have certain values and principles in your work, you know, and I think being human and putting people first is key, you know, but not being afraid to base your approach and values, being helpful and kind, you know, and giving your secrets away. I mean, you're always giving your secrets away, you know, because just because someone knows your secret doesn't mean they can go do it.
Duncan: But I think it it's operating in a, you know, you and Chris Dreyer comes to mind and Justin Christianson and Jason Swank and our crew, you know, it's like, you give secrets away, you know.
Duncan: Because that's what it takes. And that's the difference also between us and the fast car plane guys, it's like, Hey, you know, it's like, learn my secret, you got to pay so much to them. And so, I'll give you my secret, man. Let us implement it for you because Bad Rhino will help you to implement the secret, you know. [19:14.3]
Marty: It's so funny. It's so funny cause I, you probably do too, like, you have a prospect that comes through and you starting the process and you know, you know, at some point you realize that they don't hear the budget or they're just not quite ready to work with us. And they're like, well, what would you do? And then, you know, basically say, yeah, this is here. I'll give you exactly what I would do in your situation. And it’s, I do that all the time and I had somebody ask like four or five years ago, so why do you do that? And I'm like, well, one, there are no secrets, right? [19:48.7]
Hey, if you're enjoying what you're hearing on the show and want more, head on over to TapsAndTees.info and get our free report with game-changing tips and strategies straight to your inbox. Just enter your info and stop being stuck with no marketing plan. [20:03.5]
Marty: People think it's the patience and then I would say patience is number one. Like I have so many clients over the years, rattled them off where they get to like month or day 91. And they're like, okay, okay, okay. We've seen some things, but when are we going to really like hit a home run? And I'm like, you know, like, what do you expect? Like there's a process. Then we have other clients that are really patient and then they start to see it. Like they see little things in month one, they see little things in month two, little things in month three. And then they're like, okay, I can see where this is going. And there is no secrets is just following a pattern and adjusting, and then taking that pattern or process that you have and making work for them. But I was talking to somebody the other day and I spend probably probably a little bit too much time, but I would say seeing the path he was going down, I just felt like I was like, Hey, let me just save you some time. And I mapped them out everything. And I'm like, I don't think you can afford for us to do it, but I'm like, you might be able to figure out ways to get that started. And I've done that. And like I said, a couple of years ago, four or five years ago, somebody asked me why? A lot of those people wind up coming back and they say, Hey, I really appreciate the time, this is where we're at. And we also have been doing okay with it, but we're ready for you now. And I think that is a big thing with agencies and marketing and everything. Almost anything you do is just, you know, there's no secrets, there's a little bit of hard work and a little bit of patience and a lot of testing. [21:31.5]
Duncan: I mean, you know, it's interesting because some of the DNA that we share is that, you know, social is the only door open to some brands. Like a lot of the brands can do email. They can do micro-sites and they can do, you know, location-based advertising and all kinds of cool stuff like that. But some brands can't right. It's like, it doesn't matter. You know, even, even, even massive brands like Calloway or like Brooklyn beer, like they have big budgets, but everyone has constraints with their budgets. So, you know, you're going to do something on a tight budget regardless of who you work for.
Duncan: So, it's interesting, you know, I've got a cheeky comment to make Marty, right. It's like when we have these conversations with people, right. And it's like size means nothing. You know, it's like, let's say we don't care about the size of your audience. I just had to throw that in there. I know that you're, you're you know, pull no punches, just kind of guy too. And I love telling people that on the phone, it's like, you know, we want to grow your audience. Why do you want to grow your audience? Why?
Marty: Right. [22:33.2]
Duncan: You're not doing anything with your current audience.
Marty: Yeah. Yeah, it's, it's really interesting sometimes when you dive into those conversations, but you're right in some brands can only do you know, what they have access to. And social is, you know, that access point that a lot of brands can do it. And it's really the growth, you know, cause they, they want something from it. And it's like, okay, there's a lot of pieces and it's a crowded marketplace because everybody can jump in there. So, we have to work on creating ways for you to you know, be able to get in there and do certain things. So, it's always interesting conversations, but you got to lead with just the truth and like we said, there's no secrets. So, I'm moving in there like I always ask this question on everybody's like, first one is I should say a couple of questions, but the first one is like, what's the coolest vacation you ever went on? [23:26.5]
Duncan: I remember being in Chianti in Italy, the Chianti region with my, my wife 10 years ago. And I loved it because there's not a lot to do. You wake up and you know, you go to, you know, you go for a walk, you, you know, Italians have amazing food at every meal. So, you have a cappuccino and you eat something and then you go for another walk or you, you know, go check out a winery and you come back and you have like a meal that starts at one and you're still eating at three. And then you go do something and you’re eating, eating again. And so, I, I like I like low key. I like low key vacations with lots of food and, and naps and booze. So same, same thing in Mexico. I went to La Isla Holbox, which is like in the Mexican Caribbean. And you know, you go to the pool, you go to the beach, you eat, you sleep, you drink, you do it again. [24:25.7]
Duncan: So, I don't need to be rushing around anywhere doing any of that. It's like I'm happy with a drink in my hand.
Marty: Yeah. There's I always find there's like a spot for those types of vacations where you rush around and see a bunch of stuff and then you do whatever. But I always find like those, I need a vacation from that “vacation” more along the lines of a vacation like you just described. That means a good time, we'd get up whenever in the morning, have like a big meal, take a nap, maybe then get up, have a couple of drinks, take another nap and then kind of rinse repeat for like five, seven days. I get bored. I get bored of that though. I mean, but at the same time, you know, that's kind of like definitely better relaxation than running around like crazy and trying to see everything.
Duncan: Yeah. I'll pass on the, see everything.
Marty: Cool. I know you more of a wine guy than a beer guy, but do you have a favorite beer?
Duncan: You know, we've done work for breweries in the past. And so, and my wife is a beer drinker at heart. And so, you know, it's probably a combination of her and my own taste. I just really like sours. I like Belgian ales, any kind of a Belgian ale. Although I have gotten sucked into this whole seltzer thing lately.
Marty: Oh yeah.
Duncan: Unlike seltzers, former client of ours, Upland brewery has got a whole line of seltzers that they brought out that are super cool. It's like the kind of beer-ish they're refreshing, you know, and it definitely keeps the hops, but, but I'll tell you the one drink, I can prepare it this way. The one drink that just knocks it out of the park for me is a company called Hop Water. And it sparked that it's a former Fiji guy, its sparkling water with a taste of hops. And then they got a bunch of new tropics and adopted to that. So, you can get, you know, catch a little natural buzz, but you can drink it anyhow today, right. And so it's like, it's, it's like what I can drink a refreshing beer for breakfast and there's no alcohol, no gluten and no sugar. [26:23.9]
Duncan: So, but I love classic cocktails too, any, any kind of a classic cocktail. I don't like sugary cocktails. It's just like, give me the booze.
Marty: Yeah. Yeah, I'm there with you. Especially as I get older and more into this, give me the booze. Like yeah, the seltzer part is interesting and the ones where they're infusing hops in there is pretty interesting. And it's funny, it's like how much people enjoy drinking the hops, right. And it’s a different spin on it, you know and it's just something that's a little bit, I don't even know how to describe it. It’s something that I never saw, let's put it that way. I've never thought I would see like, oh, you're using hops, it creates some sort of water. And then you are, like you said, I know of hop water. I haven't had any and you know, having new tropics in there and everything else, it's pretty interesting. You know, I mean, I think that's kind of a fascinating spin on it and taking the alcohol part of it out is really interesting. And there's so much room in a way of, in the beverage industry that we talk to is like everybody's got a seltzer, it just came out of nowhere. Because bigger companies started pushing seltzers. And I was in the room when they were talking about it. I'm like and I chuckled about it. And then next thing you know, Sam Adams has all this stuff out there and White claw and truly, and all this other stuff. And it was really a trend that, you know, I wish I'd paid attention to when people were first talking about it before they went. And then everybody started wanting it, right. And I find it different, you know, with, if I'm going to have a sparkling beverage, instead of getting like a seltzer, can Seltzer, I'd still rather just have, you know, vodka club with some line when some lemons in there, you know, to me that's like just as refreshing and it feels better and it's not as bubbly, you know. And sometimes the Seltzers not all of them, but some of them are just as bad than beer, ton of sugar in them. You know, so it's interesting the way it's shifted over the past couple of years, I kind of like it. Duncan, do you play golf or no? [28:33.9]
Duncan: I, I'm a failed golfer. I used to play golf. I haven't, I haven't played for this big golf for a minute either.
Marty: That's right, I remember you talking about that failed golfer. That's a great line. Should probably put that on a t-shirt and see if it would sell. What are you? I’m a failed golfer.
Duncan: Bit of confidence to that one, right. Because most people are, so most people are so sort of like courageous about their shitty golf, right? It's like, oh, well I'm doing this and I'm doing that. It's like, no, you're not good. It's okay.
Marty: Yeah, yeah. It's okay. I mean, I try and play as much as possible as you know, but I also understand where I'm at. I just started, I just signed up for a yearlong book of lessons and I'm actually going to a golf academy, it looks like in September, I think we're still waiting on some reservations there. And the interesting part is like, you know, during the initial intake, they're like, well, why? And it's like, why do I want to suck as bad as I suck right now. [29:33.9]
Marty: Right, so funny because, 30, I’ve been playing golf for 30, almost 34 years. And it doesn't look like that. But then sometimes it really looks like I’ve been playing for 34 years. And that's what I told my coach because I hit a ball in the simulator and he's like, you know, videoing my swing, critiquing things and stuff like that. And he goes, wow. He goes, that probably felt good. And I go, I know what it feels like I hit a good one. I just can't replicate it enough to feel good about my entire game. He's like, all right, let's work on that. And it's pretty interesting. So, as we wind this down and I'll go, what what do you see in the marketing world that you like right now? What do you see in there that you don't like? We already covered, like the bull shit stuff where people are like talking about, you know, their fancy planes or, you know, having the, the hot girls on there, whatever they might be doing and kind of show flag, but outside of that, and you know, what, what do you like that's going on and what don't you like that's going on? [30:32.0]
Duncan: I mean, I think that, well, let's continue on the, I don't like before we come back to like, I mean, I think that, you know, I'm in my list of like things that I always talk about. I'm gonna take one from you and I'll attribute to your patience is key. There's this a lot of impatient out there, you know, it's like, I couldn't solve this problem for Mr. Client here, I couldn't solve this problem for two years. I think it's a $20 million a year opportunity that I couldn't solve, but I want you to solve it in this one-hour meeting, you know, and I'm going to pay you $15,000 a month to solve that problem that is worth $20 million to me a year and more, but I want you to solve it. And if you can't solve it in 60 days, you're fired, right. So, I mean, I, I actually went up when I'm talking to people, I'll, pre-qualify them basically ask questions about patience because it's like, Hey, listen, I can't own it at all. I mean, I'm like, I'm a gun for hire. My team is a bunch of guns for hire. We can come in, but we can't solve everything. Especially we can solve a bad product, right. So those expectations, I don't like, what did I do like is I do see a tremendous reliance on keeping it real. I'm not going to say authenticity, I'll say keeping it real. Keeping it real and this seems to be, you know, there are a lot of good things that have come out of these, these, this last year in the middle of 2021, I think that is, there is a, a level of positivity. There is a level of aspiration and optimism in the market. And I like that. I like the fact that people, like we find like, you know, if, if we drum it into a client's head and they have the right mindset to begin with that conversion thinking and starting with conversion in mind is resonating more, you know. Are enough people thinking about conversion at first? No, they are not, right? [32:24.3]
Duncan: But I think you do see that there's fertile ground to talk about conversion, as opposed to just all attraction, like get me more traffic, get me more traffic. I'm like, what are you doing to the traffic you're getting? So.
Marty: Sorry, yeah, no, that's funny, it's like get me more traffic, get me more people. And then I'm like, all right, so we're still in the testing phase here. And they're like, well, what do you mean? Like, well, you're getting traffic, but you're not getting divergence. You're getting interest. But then the interest is in converting. So, this is part of the equation. And what we can do is figure out why do you need more people at the top of the funnel? You know, it looks like we're attracting the right people, but they're just not no pun intended clicking, right. And it's, it's so funny is like, what you just said there. It's just like, yeah. Okay, great. Yeah, you got the traffic, but what are you doing with it? And it's like a non-stop conversation. And once you get to that point where it's a nonstop conversation, it's like, well, we got to fix your website. Well, I like our website. Well, the website's not converting so you can love your website or you can start to change up some things. And it's always that constant, you know, it's not a battle. It's just, like you said, like, oh, I can see you're getting a ton of traffic. Let's talk about what you're doing with that traffic, you know, where it's going, how's everything. And then it's like, oh, we got a bunch of leads. Okay. Did you call them? No. Did you email them? No, but they didn't convert on the website and I'm like, okay, for what you sell, you might want to just pick up the phone and say, Hey, thank you, Duncan for opting in. Just wanted to ask you a couple of quick questions if you have the time. You never know, right? It's like your sales just don't magically happen. You have to actually put some work into it unless you're selling, unless you’re selling like t-shirts or something. [34:14.7]
Duncan: Yeah. Yeah. I mean ice cream on a hot day; they don't know where you're selling it, they're not going to buy it.
Marty: Exactly. So, like with all the options going out there and you know, how, how do you think all the changes in social are going and how's that kind of pull into your view of marketing and things?
Duncan: I mean, I think it's interesting. I think that, you know, we're kind of at the mercy in some ways of the big tech battle going on, right. Amazon, Google, apple, Facebook, and whoever else. And I think that, you know, there's a lot of, I think, you know, moaning and groaning about how we're losing, losing the ability to retarget people. Well, you know, we spend most of our careers and lives and generations without the ability to retarget anybody, you know? And so, we haven't lost all the ability to retarget, but some of it's gone and some platforms are more hardcore about it and some aren't. So, you know, what we're doing is we're just expanding our services and really saying, you know what, you can't. I mean, it's been about a year now where I've been on the, on the soap box, telling clients, even clients that have successful programs on Facebook and Instagram, and it's like, you cannot rely on, on Facebook and Instagram. [35:28.0]
Duncan: You cannot build a business around Facebook. And I worry about Facebook agencies, right. That's all they do is Facebook ads because essentially, they're technical experts. You know, they're not necessarily marketing people. And so, I mean, we are testing programs, it's on Reddit and we've got a massive amount of clients moving to Pinterest. Pinterest is being really aggressive about agency partnerships and ad programs. And I don't personally love Snapchat, but you know, we're doing some Snapchat stuff, you know, we’re in the early stages with TickTok, you know, we've just kind of resisted that we've done some consulting and some advising, but it's nice to have all those options. But at the end of the day, you and I both know we still got to work the funnel and you still got to produce results. You still got to produce, you know, actionable insights as much as we hate all the buzz words, but let's say we gotta be useful to our clients. So, what I do love is that people are seeing that it's not all in one place and that, you know, good marketing. I mean, frankly, you know, if social goes away, we'll do something else, right. Because we know, we know how to get people's radar and be interesting and move them down the funnel. [36:36.9]
Marty: Yeah. I think a lot of the times was pretty. I don't know, fascinating or not, but when you do it, you know, like we were talking earlier in 20 years, you see all these changes. I think right now, what you're seeing is the change in Facebook and changes in other areas where it's really is still content but they're still in a phase where they're replacing television. You know, it's like if you talk to people four years ago that still had cable and then you talk to them now, majority of people don't. And you know, we were involved with a couple of companies that advertise at the bottom of your TV screen when you're looking for the Netflix, the Showtime, the HBO or whatever, and there's little advertisements popping up on smart TVs. And that's just the shift, like how people consume that content and Facebook is making that shift to basically go toe to toe with apple. And that's why apple, you know, love that, love that over to them. Like, Hey, we're gonna put this on our I-phones now so that they can't track and then adjust everything. But the one thing that always kind of comes out from it is that, you know, markers will adjust and you'll get that in there, just like you said, you know how to like capture that information and move from there. But I also tell you that two things that you just mentioned, you know, Snapchat, haven't seen so much success on there unless you're a big brand, but Pinterest has been something that is a rapidly growing and some really interesting stuff going on there. So, two good points, man. [38:13.0]
Duncan: Thanks man.
Marty: Tell everybody where they can find you and if you're working on anything right now that they should check out.
Duncan: Something interesting to check out is we have a year ago launch photography and video services group, that's doing stuff just for social. Doesn't matter if you're a client, agency just needs some stuff done for social, that's super cool. But we're at firebellymarketing.com. I'm firebellyman on Instagram, firebelly on Twitter, although I'm pretty inactive on Twitter these days. And yeah, thanks for having me. This has just been really amazing to have this great kind of talk shop.
Marty: Yeah. Awesome. Well, I appreciate your time, Duncan. Everybody to go check out Firebelly with Dunkin's work now. He's got some great projects and some great past things he’s done, and if he can help you out, then please reach out to him. We'll go from there. And the next episode, we have a back to golf and beer again. No, it's not like I'm a broken record every time I say it because this past year has been a little bit different in a variety of ways. So, see you soon on the next episode of Taps and Tees have to teach. Thanks Duncan.
Duncan: Talk to you soon Marty. [39:15.5]
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