Episode 162:

Often on this podcast, I share a wide-ranging conversation with my guest and we bounce around a little bit, even though we are focused on an overall theme. This episode is a little bit different. We going to deep-dive into just one subject: geofencing.

For some in our business who aren’t digital natives, reaching an audience through new technologies like geofencing may seem complicated. When I started the business while still in college, it was all about print, radio, and TV. Now, I can’t turn around without bumping into a new delivery channel or technology, like geofencing.

On episode #162 of the Build a Better Agency podcast, my guest is Justin Croxton. He is the director of sales at Propellant Media, where they serve clients with location-specific methods like geofencing. Their clients are mostly SMBs in both B2B and B2C categories. IN our conversation, Justin compares getting fluent with geofencing as similar to becoming proficient in AdWords.

Justin didn’t start his career in the agency business, but about three or four years ago, partnered with some colleagues to form Propellant, where the main product is inbound and technology-driven solutions for clients.

 

 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode:

  • The difference between beacon notification and geofencing notifications
  • How to build conversion zones using geofencing
  • Getting over the “minimum spend” hurdle in geofence ad buying
  • Why you should consider coupling geofencing with search retargeting
  • How to create the right digital marketing mix with geofencing as a key ingredient
  • How to target the right people within a geofence with your marketing message
  • Ways you can keep up the messaging (or not) once someone leaves a geofenced zone
  • The digital mechanics of how geofencing interacts with apps and sites on your phone
  • How geofencing works in the B2B space
  • Why it’s not complicated for agencies to enter the geofencing space

The Golden Nuggets:

“You may have data on conversions; you may have an understanding of the click conversions that happen online. But the other story to be told is of the folks that actually see your ads and then come back to your store.” – @JQCroxton Click To Tweet “Geofencing is a form of advertising that falls underneath the larger umbrella of programmatic display advertising.” – @JQCroxton Click To Tweet “We started our business because small and midsize companies did not have access to these high-end, high-level marketing platforms like geofencing and programmatic display.” – @JQCroxton Click To Tweet “Targeted messages with video perform better across geofencing programs. But we advise having a mix of static and video from both a cost and performance perspective.” – @JQCroxton Click To Tweet

 

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Ways to contact Justin Croxton:

Speaker 1:

It doesn’t matter what kind of agency you run. Traditional, digital, media buying, web dev, PR. Whatever your focus, you still need to run a profitable business. That’s why Agency management Institute stared the build A Better Agency podcast a few years ago. We help agencies just like yours grow and scale your business, attract and retain the best talent, make more money and keep more of what you make. Bringing his 25 plus years of experience as both an agency owner and agency consultant, please welcome your host, Drew McLellan.

Drew McLellan:

Hey, everybody. Drew McLellan here with another episode of Build A Better Agency. We are here every week trying to help you grow your agency and stay current on all of the things that are facing us today as agency owners and agency leaders. And today’s topic I feel like is one of those. So I think one of the challenges today is as many of you know, I’ve been in the agency business. I started while I was still in college doing some freelance work and I have always worked on the agency side. And when I think about the impact that technology has had in terms of the volume and the rate of change, it’s staggering. And one of the ways that certainly technology has benefited the business is that it brings us a lot of new solutions, a lot of ways that we didn’t use to be able to use or have to serve clients. And so I wanted today’s episode to focus on one of those that I find fascinating and I don’t see a lot of agencies really wrapping their arms around it.

So what I want to talk about is location based marketing or geotargeting and geofencing. So we are going to talk about geofencing and beacons and all things like that. So as you know, that’s basically I’m going to put a circle around a building, around a zip code, around a block and I am going to send messages to people who cross into that boundary or that threshold. So my guest today is an interesting guy. He did not grow up in the agency business but at some point in his relatively young career, decided that he wanted to start an agency and pretty tech savvy. And so it makes sense that he moved towards the inbound and the technology driven solutions for clients.

So he is the managing partner of an agency called Propellant Media out of Atlanta and they do a wide variety of marketing services for their clients. But specifically, I asked him to be on this show so that we could talk about this whole idea of location specific marketing. And so I want to just jump right in and start talking about some of the tools, some of the best practices, some of the case studies that he’s observed around geofencing, beacons and that sort of technology in conjunction with some other things that they’re doing mixing and matching technologies. So it’s going to be an interesting conversation. Hopefully, it will open your eyes. What I’m hoping at the end of the podcast is that you have some new ideas to at least explore or to take to clients. So without further ado, let’s jump into the conversation. So without any further ado, I just want to welcome Justin to the show. Justin, thanks for joining us.

Justin Croxton:

Absolutely, thanks to be on. Really appreciate it.

Drew McLellan:

So you were telling me before we hit the record button, that your agency has been around for three or four years. What drove you to exploring the digital side of the house and then specifically some of the technologies like geofencing which I know we’re going to do a deep dive into in a second. What made you go in that direction?

Justin Croxton:

Yeah. I guess for me, being a younger guy. Hopefully I’m young, I’m in my 30s.

Drew McLellan:

Okay. Just for the record, that is young.

Justin Croxton:

Okay. That makes me feel a little bit better, I’ll take that. But I think when people think about digital to a certain extent, not entirely but sometimes, they think about young guys that are in their pajamas or in just T-shirts and we’re [crosstalk 00:04:23] away on a computer.

Drew McLellan:

Mountain Dew in the backroom.

Justin Croxton:

Mountain Dew in the background, just plugging away. And for me, I got into this space. I was a commercial real estate broker for many years and started doing some digital marketing for some of the buildings that I represented. I loved the fact that you can pretty much be anywhere doing digital marketing for clients and I felt like it was one of those industries where you can actually be your own boss, if you will. And that’s what had me before Propellant Media, there was Que Commerce, my own consulting practice. And then to answer your second question, the transition was that it got to a point where everybody and their moms was doing AdWords, SEO.

Drew McLellan:

Right, right.

Justin Croxton:

It’s very challenging to get into those industries or to pull away a relationship. And so for me, I thought what are some other things that I can bring to the table? And so my wife and I, we moved back to Atlanta, Georgia and I met with a group of other guys that ended up being our partners in this new agency called Propellant Media. And one of the things for us is we noticed that a lot of these organizations didn’t have access… The small companies rather, small businesses and midsized companies did not have access to these high end, high level marketing platforms such as geofencing and programmatic display. And for us, we felt like if we can-

Drew McLellan:

And the reason why they didn’t have access is because they couldn’t meet the minimums.

Justin Croxton:

Exactly. That’s exactly the reason why.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, yeah okay.

Justin Croxton:

They couldn’t meet the minimums.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Justin Croxton:

So we felt like if we can get into that space and being able to offer it based on us being able to meet those minimums but offer it to many of our smaller clients, then that would be palatable. And so we said let’s do that, let’s offer these enterprise level solutions to these smaller, midsized and emerging brands and have that be part of the marketing mix for any of these smaller, midsized companies, whatever they may be doing from an advertising standpoint. So that’s where the overall transition that we made into geofencing and just the overall digital agency are at the crux of how we founded.

Drew McLellan:

Got it, got it. So one of the things that you do that I find particularly fascinating and I know a lot of agencies need to understand it and I think a lot more agencies could take advantage of it for their clients than do today because I think there are a lot of misperceptions around it is geofencing. So give us first, your dictionary version of a definition of geofencing and then I want to dig into some of the misperceptions and really some of the best practices and I want to really pick your brain around that particular tool set.

Justin Croxton:

Sure. So the way I personally define geofencing and a lot of folks have different definitions of it. Some people liken it to beacon technology, right? Where you walk past a beacon and it’s a physical beacon that’s placed somewhere and once someone walks by it, they receive push notifications. For me, I personally don’t look at it as beacon technology. I feel like a geofence is a virtual barrier that you place around a very small, defined area. And when someone walks inside of that geofence, you can then be served ads on your mobile device essentially.

Some people will give geofencing the definition as someone that walks inside of a radius type location that goes as small as 0.1 miles but for me, even I still don’t consider that to be the true, true geofencing because true geofencing is really when you get all the way down to the contours of a building. Whereas in my mind, if you can get down to 0.1 miles, I think that is good but at the same time, you’re still experiencing some inefficiencies in your ad spend because you have a lot of people that you don’t intend to target.

You take a car dealership for example, car dealers want to target other folks that are in the market. How do you know that someone is in the market looking for a car? Because they happen to be at another car dealership. And so if I build a fence around that car dealership, it doesn’t really do me much good. It maybe does some good but it doesn’t do me a whole lot of good if I’m also targeting that dealership and then a 0.1 miles around that dealership, that’s a lot of space that you’re covering. So for me, geofencing is when you’re able-

Drew McLellan:

And I’m paying for it based on the number of ads that get served up, right?

Justin Croxton:

Exactly, it’s based on the number of ads you serve up.

Drew McLellan:

So again, I want to restrict the geography so that the lion share of people inside my fence, if you will, inside my radius are potential prospects.

Justin Croxton:

That’s correct, that’s correct.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, yeah.

Justin Croxton:

That’s correct.

Drew McLellan:

So let’s stick with your car dealership. So I own a Ford dealership and you own a Honda dealership. So what you’re saying is if I want to steal your customers or your shoppers, I can geofence your dealership and when people are in looking at your Hondas, if they’re also looking at your phone, I can serve them up ads that say Ford rocks and Honda sucks, right?

Justin Croxton:

Yes.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Justin Croxton:

Essentially, yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. And I think one of the misperceptions about geofencing is that it’s app based but it really is not, correct?

Justin Croxton:

So it depends. The platform that we use most of it is app based. I’d say it’s about 98% app based. The other 2% does happen to be on direct websites. And then there are a few other platforms where you can do both app and websites but that’s when you’re really doing more wifi targeting. For example, we have a more advanced tier of geofencing where you can target folks via wifi. And so the individuals that go to that location, their mobile device gets pinged off of the network and then you can then serve them ads when they happen to be on wifi and you can serve them ads when they’re on both a website and an app. With the traditional geofencing that we do, it’s a little bit but I’d say most of it does happen via mobile apps though. Just for clarification purposes.

Drew McLellan:

So for example, in my Ford, Honda, what kind of an app would a prospect have to have on their phone for me to serve them up an ad while they’re inside your dealership?

Justin Croxton:

There’s a lot of different apps, you can think about over 600,000 apps. So Angry Birds, Words With Friends, The Weather Channel, the PGA Tour app, your local news app. Many, many different apps like productivity apps are out there. There’s a lot of different apps that folks have access to and I think this is the point I want to get to folks.

Drew McLellan:

And do I have to be playing Angry Birds or it just has to be in my phone?

Justin Croxton:

So in order for you to see the ad, you must have the app on your phone. We’re not doing push notifications to folks, it’s not like you walk inside your dealership and then your phone gets pinged and then there’s a takeover on your home screen. No, you have to actually go onto the app itself and then be playing on it or then seeing it or you might be on the PGA Tour app looking at scores and you see an ad from an advertiser. That’s essentially those different ads. And so you think about the 350×250 ads or the or I believe it’s in the 320×50 ads.. Those are the ones that typically gets the most traction on different apps and websites, particularly mobile. Those would he the ones where you would see it. So I encourage everybody, just take out your phone right now, go to your local app, particularly the ones that are free because usually those are the ones that offer advertising and then you will see the different places in which your ads would show up or your client’s ads would show up.

Drew McLellan:

Okay. Before I forget, I want to go back to the wifi example. So are you saying for example if I’m in a hotel and I’m on their wifi. So you’re hopping on a specific wifi network or it’s just my phone is on wifi in general.

Justin Croxton:

Right. That is when they happen to go on the network.

Drew McLellan:

So if I’m in a hotel and I’m on the hotel wifi, then you the local pizza place could serve me up ads saying, “Hey, we deliver till 3:00 AM.”

Justin Croxton:

That is correct. And so for that more advanced tier of geofencing, you could do that. The thing about the more advanced part that I’m referring to is that you can serve the ads more frequently on mobile apps and on websites. In our experience, for us, it doesn’t matter whether it’s on websites. There’s a misconception that websites will always be better than mobile apps and the point that I was trying to make earlier is the beauty with geofencing is you can get all the way down to the exact audience you want to get your message in front of. And so whether that audience goes on an app and then goes on another website and then goes on another app again. As long as you are impressing your brand on that person, that is really what matters and I think there still could be an argument made around certain apps are not performing as well and that’s where you have a team that’s going out and putting those apps or those websites on blacklists so that you can get more efficiencies out of that ad spend.

But to answer your prior question around the wifi piece, yes. A person is at the hotel and they happen to be on the wifi network at that location and then they can potentially see the ads on both mobile apps and then also on websites if they happen to be there. So yes, that is correct.

Drew McLellan:

And then if I understand it right. So let’s say that I have stepped into one of your geofences and so you served up an ad to me. Whether it’s on the wifi network or somewhere else, then can you continue after I step out of the geofence?

Justin Croxton:

Yes.

Drew McLellan:

Can you continue to serve ads to me?

Justin Croxton:

Yes we can. So what will happen is someone walks outside of the geofence. We’ve captured their mobile device ID because they have their location services turned on and then we can serve them ads both while they’re inside of the geofence as well as for up to 30 days after they leave the geofence. So we pretty much have them for 30 days.

Drew McLellan:

So let me see if I understand. So I go to the Honda dealership and I’m enthralled with the Honda salesman. So I don’t pull my phone out by my location enablement is on. So I don’t see your ad while I’m actually inside the Honda dealership but I then go home and I pull up my phone. So even if you didn’t serve me an ad while I was inside the geofence, you can still target me for up to 30 days. Is that accurate?

Justin Croxton:

That is accurate. Yes.

Drew McLellan:

Ha, okay. So part of it is that someone has a propensity to be in a certain place and then you could serve ads up to them for 30 days.

Justin Croxton:

Yes, yes.

Drew McLellan:

So I totally see how this works for retail, makes perfect sense to me. I’m assuming that’s the dummy level of understanding that I have just acknowledged I have, right? So what about non-retail on the consumer side and what about the B2B side. What are some of the examples you’ve seen where agencies or brands have been really creative about using geofencing because what I want to do is I want to make sure the listeners who have a lot of B2B clients aren’t already tuning us out.

Justin Croxton:

Correct. I think it’s a good point because we had experiences where people would reach out to us saying, “Hey Justin, we want to target the employees at this location versus the patients or versus the customers. How can we do that?” And so we noticed that there was a missing. There were a few folks that really didn’t want to target the B2C side and I think for example, let’s say you’re a medical device salesperson and you want to target the hospital administrators. With the more advanced tier of geofencing that I was referencing, you can in fact do some segmenting. You can say, “Okay, well this person has been here a lot in the past five days. They’re most likely to be an employee, let’s add them to our pool and let’s serve them ads directly.” Versus you might get some spillage with some of the patients that log onto the wifi network. But that sort of the segmenting you can do from that perspective.

Also on the B2B side, you can also target folks like trade shows for example. We have a lot of clients that provide trade shows. So we have a few different types. We have our own package that we’ll do to make certain we’re getting the most exposure for that client. So we may do an event targeting campaign, an ongoing geofencing campaign. We may also do a site retargeting campaign and we might also try to get the IP address range so that we can hit those individuals that are on the IP address at the convention center and/or in that hotel essentially. So from that side from a B2B perspective, there’s still quite a bit of opportunity.

And then if you want to target still employees at actual office buildings, you can still do that with just a standard geofencing. You still have an opportunity from a B2B perspective. So overall, what matters is just trying through the strategy side of it and then figuring out how you deploy that strategy.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. I had an agency that was pitching a huge client and during the proposal, they responded to an RFP and then they got invited to give a pitch and all of that. So call it a month of time from the moment they got the RFP through the day that they got to stand in front of the selection committee and give their spiel. So say it was 30 days and that’s exactly what they did, was they geotargeted the building and started serving ads up and they knew they were going to get spillage of other employees who were not on the agency selection committee but nonetheless and the committee commented on it during their presentation, was really weird we’re seeing you all over the place. So in their pitch, they revealed what they had done and the whole point was they were saying, “Look, if we can get your attention, we can help get your customer’s attention too or your prospect’s attention too.”

Justin Croxton:

Yes, really powerful.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Justin Croxton:

Really powerful argument.

Drew McLellan:

So you mentioned beacons a couple of times. Help us understand the difference between the way beacons work versus geofencing.

Justin Croxton:

So the way beacons work is let’s say I take a physical beacon, I place it at the storefront and when I or as a customer, I walk by that beacon or within 25 to 50 meters of that beacon, I receive a push notification from the owner of that beacon, essentially.

Drew McLellan:

Regardless of what I do or don’t have on my phone.

Justin Croxton:

Regardless, yeah. Now I might be off on this a little bit but so I’ll just forewarn you but I believe beacon technology primarily works with Android phones, not iOS. And so you do lose out on-

Drew McLellan:

That’d be a problem.

Justin Croxton:

Yeah, you do lose out quite a bit of the market from that perspective. Personally, I’m sure I’ve walked by plenty of beacons that I never remembered. I don’t recall seeing push notifications on my phone and I think that’s the misnomer. A lot of folks think that with geofencing, that you’re serving push notifications. Also, you will not receive text messages. That too is not true, you have to have someone’s cellphone number to send them a text message. And then of course that can get a little creepy, you get a random text message from somebody. That’s not good marketing from that standpoint. So I think that’s really the big difference is that it’s more of a challenge for individuals to say okay, your business happens to be in California but you want to target people that are going to be at this trade show that’s going to be in Atlanta, Georgia. You’re not going to fly to Atlanta, Georgia just to put a beacon there.

Drew McLellan:

To set your beacons, right?

Justin Croxton:

Yeah, that doesn’t make sense. Instead with geofencing, you can just build a virtual barrier around that location or some of the other strategies I mentioned and really just try to get the most exposure for those individuals at that event. Ar if you’re a franchise and you have several locations and some of your franchisees want to do some marketing, at that stage, you may decide yourself, “Okay, it doesn’t make sense for me to put 10 beacons around each of my competitors locations, let me build these virtual barriers around my competitors and see if I can extract some eyeballs from those like customers that maybe interested in us.” And I think the other thing that’s really cool about geofencing, I’m not quite certain whether the other platforms can do it. I know there are several different platforms out there but it’s this conversation around measuring foot traffic.

So being able to measure foot traffic back to your physical location if you’re more of a B2C organization or even if you have an office. One of the things that we’re able to do is let’s say you want to measure conversions. You ultimately want to get a sense of what impact this is having, not just eyeballs but bringing people to my storefront. So part of what we’ll do is we’ll take like for example, we have a campaign we’re running right now for a restaurant in Canada and they’re a pub. So I think they have several different restaurants but they have this one flagship location and they asked us to target nearby hotels and target those hotels on specific days on which they have their specials.

So we built out this it’s not massive but it’s a pretty granular campaign and we built what’s called a conversion zone directly around their physical storefront. And so we ran the campaign and what we wanted to see is how many of those individuals not just saw or clicked on the ads but then also came back to their physical storefront. We were able to not only measure that but measure it all the way down to which actual hotels drove the most traffic to the client’s physical storefront.

Drew McLellan:

Oh, that’s interesting.

Justin Croxton:

So not only are you able to measure online attributions. So you may have view-through conversions, you may have click conversions that may happen online. But then there’s another story to be told on the folks that actually just see your ads and then come back to your storefront just like if you were doing TV advertising or billboard. There’s nothing to click but there’s still an impact that the campaign had, particularly if the offer is compelling and incentivizing enough to say, “Hey, let me go ahead and check these guys out.” I think the great thing about retail and restaurants is in most cases, I just need someone to guide me. I just need you to tell me where to go and I’ll go.

Drew McLellan:

That’s right. Especially if it’s in a place I’m not familiar with or whatever.

Justin Croxton:

Yeah, exactly.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, I want a little help. Yeah.

Justin Croxton:

Yeah. So I think that’s just a little perspective on both geofencing but also how you’re able to also measure offline foot traffic, not just online conversions.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, that’s interesting. I was thinking about what you were saying about beacons. So it seems to me the upside of beacons are A, they’re very immediate. I am going to get your attention because I’m popping a push message on your phone and if I understand it right, it’s less expensive than geofencing.

Justin Croxton:

Yes, it is less expensive and I even think for clients that have their own storefronts, have at it. Place one at your storefront, there’s nothing wrong with that, particularly people that walk by.

Drew McLellan:

It’s funny, there’s a famous popcorn place in Chicago which my mind has now blanked on what it is but anyway, there are several kiosks of it in O’Hare Airport and I’m telling you, this popcorn is like crack cocaine, it’s so good. And so once you have it, you see it. But anyway, I was talking to a client and she was saying it was the weirdest thing, that she had been dieting, she was really trying to be good. She was avoiding even looking in the direction of the popcorn thing then all of a sudden, these messages started popping up on her phone from the popcorn place and she was like, “I have no idea how they knew I was thinking about the popcorn place.” And of course she took it as a sign that she needed to go over and buy a big old tin of popcorn. But it was very effective because it required an immediate response. Once you’re out of the airport, you cannot go to the kiosk and buy it. So the 30 day thing is irrelevant to that application, right?

Justin Croxton:

Right, right. It is. Yeah, and I think that reminds me of just this example is that the other cool thing with geofencing is that you don’t have to reach those people for the full 30 days. You can make it so that audience drops off after seven days or after 14 days, for example. Or if you just want to hit those people for just one day or just an hour, you have that flexibility. And I think that’s true for industries like personal injury lawyers, for example, who their lifecycle of the customer is maybe a week to two weeks max. No reason to keep hitting it because once you get into an accident, you need somebody immediately in most cases. So that’s where you try to have a little bit more granular flexibility and ensure that you’re able to utilize your impressions on folks that are really in the market, not folks that have already made that decision.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. I want to ask you about the ad space on the apps and the website but first, let’s take a quick break and then we’ll come back and we’ll talk about once you decide you want to do geofencing, what is the media buy part of that look like. So we’ll come right back and talk about that.

Thanks for checking out this week’s episode of Build A Better Agency. I want to interrupt very quickly and just remind you that one of the services that AMI offers is our coaching packages and it comes in a couple different options. So you can do our remote coaching package where we would communicate with you over the phone or over a Zoom call. Or we also do onsite consulting where we would actually come to your agency and work with you for a day or a period of days to solve a specific problem typically that you’ve pre-identified and we’ve talked about on the phone. So if you’re interested in either of those, you might go over to the AMI website and under the consulting tab, you will find more information about both our remote coaching and our onsite consulting. Let’s get back to the episode.

Okay. We are back and we’re talking about geofencing and beacons and all things in that realm and right before the break, we were wrapping up the differences between geofencing and beacons and some pros and cons to both. But one of the things that is true again as I understand it about geofencing is basically, geofencing if I have stepped inside your geofence targeted area, then you are able to serve ads up to me either on my phone’s website or on one of the bazillion apps that I have on my phone. So a couple of questions. One, how targeted can you be? So are you choosing exactly what apps that you want to run the ads on, are you doing a traditional media buy or it’s based on a set of criteria and then you’re going to get a family of apps. How does that work?

Justin Croxton:

So the way it works is it’s any of the apps that the person has on their mobile device, right? So it’s really just about any app that’s out there.

Drew McLellan:

So I don’t have to say I want my ad to show up on Angry Birds and Weather.com. I just have to say, if they have one of these 600,000 apps and then open it, my ad will show up.

Justin Croxton:

Exactly. And just to take a step back for everyone, just at a high level. Geofencing is a concept and a form of advertising that falls underneath a bigger form of advertising called programmatic display advertising. My ads are programmatically being served on different apps whenever I have been able to bid or win the bid for that ad space, essentially. Back in the day… I’m not going to say back in the day, some of it still happens today where with traditional media buying, you are going directly to the organization that has the ad space and you’re negotiating with them and you’re saying, “Hey okay. We’re here to negotiate a price point.” All right, great. I have my impression costs.

Drew McLellan:

Hey Miami Herald, I want an ad in your newspaper.

Justin Croxton:

Exactly.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, right.

Justin Croxton:

Exactly. Whereas now instead, the Miami Heralds of the world, all these other newspaper publications, websites and apps have ad space and they’re connected to all of these different ad exchanges and through all of that, they’re all deciding on through trillions and trillions of data points figuring out, okay, when is the right time to serve this advertiser’s ad on through that ad space and the same thing happens through what we do from an advertising perspective.

Drew McLellan:

Okay. So give us a sense of some of the cost implications of all of this. So if I wanted to do this, I have the cost of the actual ads, right? And then I’m paying some sort of a setup fee, I’m assuming, to actually create the geofence, yes?

Justin Croxton:

Well it depends on the agencies that you’ve engaged. Usually in my experience, the only thing that you’re really paying for is the actual ad buy itself, at least for us. For us, our stuff is baked into that. There are some agencies that do charge a setup fee but those are between the media spend and the setup fee, those should be the only things that you would have to pay for. Some folks will also require a percentage of the media buy, for us, we don’t do it based on that unless it’s a really sizeable client. For some of our smaller clients, we usually do it based on CPM usually.

Drew McLellan:

Okay. So given that everybody listening either owns an agency or is on the leadership team on the agency, might be an account person inside an agency. If an agency isn’t offering this today and they want to offer it today, is it’s going to take me three years to learn how to do it kind of thing or is it a if I’m already doing some digital media buying and some programmatic media buying, I’m only a step away. How complicated is it from the agency’s perspective to execute on this.

Justin Croxton:

It’s really not. I won’t say that it’s complicated, it does require a certain level of nuance and understanding the best ways to optimize the campaigns. I would say that it’s certainly not more difficult than AdWords for sure. But I think probably the biggest inhibitor or the biggest thing that makes it challenging for agencies are those minimum spends with these DSP providers. Other than that, many agencies can in fact leverage geofencing for their clients. It’s just getting over the minimum spend hump for most folks.

Drew McLellan:

And again, if they’re already buying digital media, they probably are over that part of it. They just may not have thought about this nuance in terms of a media plan for a client.

Justin Croxton:

Right, right. Right, right, right. Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

And I’m assuming you can run both static and video ads, right?

Justin Croxton:

Absolutely. So you can do both static, video, HTML5, animated gif, PNG, JPEG, all of those file formats work. And then also on the video side, you have MOV, MP4, MPEG, AVI. Those are the ones that typically work for us. The video CPMs are typically higher but that’s natural.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Justin Croxton:

So yeah.

Drew McLellan:

And in your experience and this maybe too broad a question. In your experience because I know you’re looking at a lot of analytics, are video ads performing better than static, does it not matter, is it really more good creative is good creative and it doesn’t matter how it’s done.

Justin Croxton:

I think it’s more good creative is good creative. I have seen that video does perform better usually but then you pay more for that. So is the ROI still there? I personally like to have a mix. I like to have a mix of both static and video so that folks are getting a full different experience of the brand itself. So it really depends, it depends on the industry, it depends on if your landing page sucks or if your website [crosstalk 00:35:03].

Drew McLellan:

Right, right. Absolutely.

Justin Croxton:

And all that. But if clients have the capacity and they have the resources, then we tell them “Hey, might as well give it a try.” And we’ll put let’s say 20%, 30% of the budget towards video. The other 70%, it goes towards static and then we’ll build a surround sound campaign that way.

Drew McLellan:

So earlier in one of the examples, you hinted at or started talking about the idea that you can layer tactics. So there are other tactics that you can marry with geofencing. I think retargeting was one of the ones you mentioned. So can you talk about some of the things. Typically when you’re working with a client because again, I’m thinking about it from the agency owner’s perspective meaning how can I build. I know you’re only in your 30s but back in the day when a media mix meant radio, TV and print back when I was a kid in the business and we would always talk about how important media mix is and it seems to me, there’s a media mix to be made here as well.

Justin Croxton:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Drew McLellan:

And if I’m thinking about it from the agency owner’s point of view of how can I build a media mix for the client, that A, delivers a better results but B, gives me more revenue streams. What typically are you marrying when you’re building out a campaign for a client, what typically things like retargeting are you marrying with geofencing?

Justin Croxton:

Sure. So normally, there’s at least three campaigns that we’ll build for a client. We’ll put 70% of the budget towards geofencing, 65% to 70% towards geofencing marketing. We’ll put 5% towards site retargeting. Within our programmatic display advertising, we can do that as well. So you have 5% towards that. And then we’ll put the other 25%, 20%, 30% toward a tactic of what we call search retargeting. Search retargeting is where we’re able to target people based on their search history and we have access to data that comes directly from Bing, Yahoo! and a few other platforms that are effectively out there. When I say platforms, I mean websites that have search bars. We don’t have access to Google’s data because they’re just a big company and they have no reason to provide that data.

Drew McLellan:

Right. They don’t want to play so they don’t.

Justin Croxton:

Exactly, exactly. They didn’t want to play. They don’t want to play with anyone other than just keep the data themselves. So effectively part of what we’ll do is for those individuals that did a search, we can target those individuals via different keywords that they search for. So a lot of the times, we’ll go to our client and we’ll say, “Hey, are you currently running AdWords?” They’ll say yes. We’ll say, “Go into your search terms report or pull the data from your keywords and we’ll put that into a search retargeting campaign.” And the beauty of that is typically in our experience, not only are the clicks less expensive. I know we do charge based on CPM but if you have a decent click-through rate, the CPMs are going to be less expensive and you’re still most importantly, getting your message in front of folks that have raised their hand indicating they’re in the market looking for a product or a service or something along those lines. So now you have more of a comprehensive campaign rather than just putting all of your eggs in the geofencing basket.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Well and again, you’re also elongating the effectiveness of your campaign because if you’ve got them in a geofencing and you’re serving them ads up for 30 days and then they go and they visit your site or your landing page or whatever it is and now you’re retargeting. You also can extend out that 30 days, right?

Justin Croxton:

Exactly. And that’s the beauty. That’s why we tell and thank you for saying that because it’s like some folks will and I’ll be honest with everybody on the call listening in. Geofencing doesn’t work for everybody.

Drew McLellan:

Of course not, right.

Justin Croxton:

It just doesn’t. We have failures, we have times when somebody’s campaigns don’t work out as well but the ones that we see do well are the ones that have a more of a surround sound marketing mix going on. They’re doing a little bit of a Facebook, they’re doing some AdWords and then they’re also doing some geofencing but then they want to tailor that also to some search retargeting and site retargeting. And I’d say the folks that do the best in my experience without anything has been many of our retail clients. We’ve had a few attorneys that have done well with it. Certainly the medical healthcare space kills it and then also the car dealership space because the average customer values are so incredibly high.

And so based on that, those are the ones that do well without anything else but even those folks typically have some other form of advertising or marketing going on. So the conversation that we always have with organizations is take care of your home first, take care of your website, make sure you’ve got the great content, something that’s compelling. And then focus on the ad copy for the ads themselves, make sure it’s incentivizing and it isn’t just an ad that says, “Hey, I exist. Will you check me out?” And then finally, it’s deploying that to the various tactics. And so maybe a it’s competitive conquesting or geofencing your competitors. Maybe there’s some really key areas where you know demographically, you want to get in front of those individuals and then you’re placing your conversions all around your location or you’re measuring the phone calls or the lead form submissions that might be coming in and then you’re also doing some site retargeting, some search retargeting possibly.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. And you make a good point and it was a perfect setup. This technology is cool but it doesn’t mean your ads can stink, it doesn’t mean your landing page can be horrible, it doesn’t mean your website can’t convert because at the end of the day, while you may catch their attention for a moment because of the technology, A, if you’re not targeting the right people and B, if you’re not telling a story that’s compelling to those people, this is just one more technology that doesn’t actually convert. It seems to me that all of the basics of good marketing still have to be in play for this channel to work, right?

Justin Croxton:

Yes, yes. That is correct. All of it does have to be in play and you can’t just put up some ads and then just hope for the best. It’s really, really important that you really think it through thoughtfully and it’s not like it has to be analysis paralysis but it has to make sense. I’ll give you just one other quick example. We’ve done some stuff for some banks and sometimes you have to think about what’s going to compel somebody to take action and it’s not good enough for you to just say, “Hey, check me out. My fees are lower.” Because if you think about it, what’s going to convince you or I to switch to another bank? Is it a $200 offer, is it a 10% on that credit card versus a 15%? I don’t know but unless there is an offer, I’m definitely not going to switch because it takes time.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Hey, do you feel like changing banks today?

Justin Croxton:

Yeah, right. Of course not. No, I don’t.

Drew McLellan:

Right, right.

Justin Croxton:

Thank you very much. And that’s the psychology that people really need to go through. I know we’re not just talking about geofencing now but I think that’s incredibly important for organizations to really think through particularly if they are going to do geofencing or any digital advertising.

Drew McLellan:

Its so easy to be rightfully so, enthralled with the technology that we have access to today and the different ways that we can help clients get the message out but at the end of the day. You go back to the very first ads that were run and they don’t work if they’re not compelling, if they don’t have a good point of view, if they don’t have an offer that is worthwhile. So even today with all the technology, what we’ve all grown up knowing as we cut our teeth in the business regardless of how long you’ve been in the business is it still boils down to brand, it still boils down to story telling, it still boils down to offer, it still boils down to catching my attention and helping me understand that there is some alignment that you are my people and I’m going to feel comfortable and confident in your ability to meet my need, whatever that is and that has nothing to do with technology.

Justin Croxton:

Right, exactly.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, yeah.

Justin Croxton:

It’s all about conversion rate. Conversion rate, conversion rate and how you give people a compelling enough reason to act, essentially.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. So we need to wrap up but the last question I want to ask you is you’ve been doing this for a while now, the whole geofencing and beacon technology and all of that. What has surprised you as you have rolled out these campaigns for clients. What’s been the biggest surprise for you?

Justin Croxton:

That’s a good question. What’s been the biggest surprise for me? Even that was a surprise. Biggest surprise for me has been the industries that you thought weren’t going to do well but did do well versus the ones that it has gone well in or it hasn’t gone well but you thought was going to go well. And so I’ll just give you going back to the restaurant example. I wasn’t quite sure it would work out for a number of our franchise clients and those who have restaurants. I wasn’t sure not because we just couldn’t measure the foot traffic, that’s always been our mainstay but sometimes you think that people experience advertising differently. If I want to grab a meal, I’m going to go onto Yelp or one of these other websites and see what’s out there? Okay, this is near by. Okay, boom. I’m going to go.

As a restaurant, I don’t think about advertising on AdWords. Those clicks can probably get to be I won’t say super expensive but maybe cost prohibitive to where it doesn’t make sense or I’m not really able to measure the success. But when we start doing some of the geofencing for some of the restaurant clients, I think we had hope and we started to think through the psychology of it and we said, “It does make a little sense. Sometimes a lot of folks just need a reminder.”

Drew McLellan:

Need a nudge, right?

Justin Croxton:

Need a nudge and if it’s a dollar off or $5 off, then okay yeah, I’ll do that. And then it’s incumbent upon the restaurant to get them into their overall marketing mix. So they leave their email address, they’re part of a rewards program, and then maybe we’ll geofence the actual client’s location too in order to help with the loyalty piece of it. And so I’ve been really, really surprised at how well the restaurant space has responded or that clientele of ours has responded to the geofencing campaigns and I think I would probably just implore folks to just think about those industries where folks just need that nudge. Just need a reminder and then I’m willing to give you another shot or give you a shot for the first time.

Drew McLellan:

Right. So what was the industry that you thought it was going to go gangbusters in and then it wasn’t the right fit?

Justin Croxton:

I would say that it was the… And we’ve had some success with banks. So I won’t say that it hasn’t been successful but I would’ve hoped that for banks, it would’ve been more successful.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Let me see if I can guess. My guess is my agency has done a lot of work with financial institutions and they’re not the boldest of industries.

Justin Croxton:

Exactly.

Drew McLellan:

So the idea of making a bold offer probably is not top on their to do list or their willingness to do. So my guess is that you had a hard time getting them to do something that was compelling enough to get someone to take action on anything.

Justin Croxton:

Yeah. And I think it goes back to the switching costs for the consumer. How compelling is it, right? Is your mobile app great, can I do all the same things that I do with my current provider? How long will it take me to move all of my assets and everything over? Are there [inaudible 00:48:27] locations. It can’t just be a cultural or a local.

Drew McLellan:

It’s not just I want a burger today right now.

Justin Croxton:

Yeah, I can’t be. And it’s not to say that the advertising for them isn’t important because you have to do something. You can’t just not do anything but I think for a lot of banks strategically, there needs to be some self-reflection on whether you’re doing some market research or consumer research to figure out what’s the thing that gets people to switch and particularly, what’s the thing that gets people to switch to these local banks because most of us aren’t going to have a Bank of America or a SunTrust or a Wachovia as a client but we may have that local bank that might be a [inaudible 00:49:14] or that credit union that might be here and they’re trying to figure out strategically, how do I raise my awareness and how do I get them to really think about it.

Drew McLellan:

I think about we did some work for a community bank for many years and one of the things that they did was they did a shred day where they’d rent those huge shredding trucks. Bring all of your receipts and credit card statements and you could just shred boxes and boxes of stuff for free. So they could also think differently like what do we do inside the community or what kind of activities are happening inside the bank that we could invite someone to and remind people, “Hey, Saturday is shred day. Bring anything that you want to run through the shredder and we’ll do it for free.” That’s probably a more compelling offer but the bank is probably like, “Well I don’t want to spend a lot of money.” They don’t get that’s a step in the relationship chain that then makes someone go, “These people are pretty awesome. Maybe I will find out about their CDs or their checking account or whatever.”

Justin Croxton:

Yeah. And I think to your point, that’s part of the outside the box thinking that one needs to do because your goal is like in the car example, you just want to get somebody in the showroom. Let the folks there sell, let them do what they do and however you do that, whether it’d be through a shred day or transfer all your fees or all your funds over to this other credit card and we’ll give you a steak dinner at Chops or whatever it is. That is what’s going to move the needle, not a hey, we exist type of campaign [crosstalk 00:50:53] really works that well.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Hey, this has been fascinating. Thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your experience and your wisdom. I’m grateful that you took the time to do it.

Justin Croxton:

Absolutely. Really appreciate it.

Drew McLellan:

So if folks want to… before I forget, the name of the popcorn place is Garrett’s.

Justin Croxton:

Garrett’s.

Drew McLellan:

So if anyone, you or anyone listening, if you are in Chicago, those are all over Chicago too and there’s probably in Midway, I’ve just never been in Midway. But if you are in O’Hare Airport, look for the Garrett’s but just know that once you have it once, you’re going to have it every time you go to the airport. So you have to [crosstalk 00:51:34] your willpower or strength. But anyway before I forget.

Justin Croxton:

That’s just wrong, that is absolutely wrong.

Drew McLellan:

It’s amazingly good. It’s caramel popcorn with nuts in it. It’s crazy good.

Justin Croxton:

Yeah, yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Anyway, but we digress. If folks want to track you down, if they want to learn more about your agency and the work you do because I know you work with agencies as well as clients direct. How can they find out more about you?

Justin Croxton:

They can just visit us at Propellant.media. That’s P-R-O-P-E-L-L-A-N-T.media. I will forewarn you if you do visit us, you will probably see us on different places but we have a lot of great content, a lot of good information. I think for us, we care about just educating people most importantly and I think that’s what matters the most. And so that’s where you can find us, Propellant.media.

Drew McLellan:

And then we’re going to put in the show notes. You were mentioning that you have an educational PDF and a webinar that teaches the basics of geofencing. So we’ll put in the show notes, a link directly to that as well, right?

Justin Croxton:

Yup, absolutely. It’s a 17 page ebook that really does help explain geofencing. And then we also have a webinar that we’ve done a few different times to help educate further, some of the nuances around geofencing marketing.

Drew McLellan:

Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

Justin Croxton:

I appreciate you, thanks so much. I appreciate you.

Drew McLellan:

You bet.

Justin Croxton:

Thanks everyone.

Drew McLellan:

Hey guys, this wraps up this episode of Build A Better Agency and whether or not you think your agency is a prime candidate to offer some of the things that we were talking about, this is a great episode to play for your accounts service team, for your creative team because it’s going to get everybody thinking a little differently about what’s possible for clients. And for many of you, if you’re already buying digital media and you haven’t gotten down this path, it seems like it’s a step or two away. So I would not dismiss it. And I also believe that you are creative enough to find plenty of B2B examples. You don’t have to have a bank or a restaurant to make this work. So I hope you put some of this into action and that you’re able to make some money and help your clients hit their goals a little faster.

I will be back next week with another guest who is going to help you think differently and stretch the horizons of what is possible for your agency. In the meantime, I would love it if you would go to iTunes or Stitcher or Google, wherever you find the podcast and leave us a ratings and/or a review. Super helpful for us if you would do that, make sure that more folks find out about us and I will see you next week. If you’re looking for me in the meantime, as always, I am [email protected] I’ll talk to you next week, thanks.

That’s a wrap for this week’s episode of Build A Better Agency. Visit agencymanagementinstitute.com to check out our workshops, coaching packages and all the other ways we serve agencies just like yours. Thanks for listening.