The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Mallorie Jacoby
1. Always be learning – the digital world is always changing
2. Don’t be afraid to try something new
3. Constantly evaluate your ROI (return on investment) and what is/is not working for you
4. Find somebody you trust to help with your marketing strategy
5. Stay positive and consistent
Today on the Hive Five podcast, Keagan and Katherine sit down with Mallorie Jacoby. Mallorie is a Media Specialist and Digital Strategist at Townsquare Media in Lawton, Oklahoma. She graduated college with a degree in marketing and has had a passion for and worked in marketing ever since. Focusing on solutions and providing value for her clients is of the utmost importance to her. She loves connected brands with their desired audiences and solving problems for local businesses.
In the episode, Mallorie discusses all kinds of different areas of marketing. She talks about traditional marketing versus digital marketing and how to best integrate the two for optimal results in current conditions. Obviously, technology is constantly advancing and developing further. Mallorie discusses how businesses can stay on top of the ever-changing world of technology and continue to innovate their business and their marketing. Taking a look at common marketing strategies that businesses have been using for years and years, Mallorie examines which ones are still working and which ones should be kicked to the curb, but haven’t been. One really great thing she talks about is small business marketing. Many times, small businesses don’t have the resources or finances available to do the types of marketing that would benefit them most, but Mallorie discusses how small businesses can take advantage of what they do have, and use it efficiently to grow and benefit their business.
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Everyone has a story and everyone has been there for business owners, to parents to young adults. The hive five aims to tell stories about overcoming the struggles and adult team while celebrating the little victories of life in each podcast. Our guests will give insight to five key takeaways from someone who’s been there and done that, leaving you better than when you started.
Thank you so much for listening today. My name is Kagan Henson with bright B, and we also have Katherine Parker, marketing director for Bright B as well on the call today. We have a fantastic person on the call that we dearly love and her name is Mallory Jacoby and she is the digital strategist for townsquare media. How are you? Mallory? I’m great. How are you? I am doing great. Thank you so much for having me on. Oh, absolutely. We are so happy to have you. Um, so mallory, tell us a little bit about you and where you’re located right now and also just a high level view of what you do.
Sure. I’m originally from Colorado but I’ve moved around quite a bit for my job, but now I am in the southwest corner of Oklahoma in a town called Lawton and I just help local businesses on a local level here in Lawton. Um, but I also have some other regional and national accounts and I helped them grow through digital solutions, a little bit of radio live events, stuff like that.
So it sounds a little strange that you’re in a smaller town and you’re with this large company doing digital media. What brought you to a lot and, and why? Why lawton? Why would townsquare media want to do anything in Lawton?
Well, townsquare media is actually a little bit unique as far as um, you know, they really set themselves apart from other media companies that really are only located in larger cities. Towns where wanted to start out on a mission to really focus on small to medium sized markets with businesses that were small to medium size. Because they felt like other large media companies weren’t really giving these businesses the advantage they deserved and the marketing and the advertising space. So townsquare went out and bought 66 local market radio station clusters, some as a whole, as a company we own about 315 radio stations and small to medium sized markets like Lawton, Oklahoma, Wichita Falls, Texas, Fort Collins, Colorado. Just to give you kind of a, a, a good outlook on, on just the sizes that we focus on. We rolled out digital on a national level a few years ago and that’s something that we have scaled to small to medium size businesses so that they can so that they can market digitally as well.
But we also focus on some larger companies digitally. So what brought me to a lot and actually was. I was in radio and I was with a small cluster in northern Illinois, will one of their competitors was a town square. Um, it was a town square market and I did not want to go across the street in that town when I sent out my resume. And um, I was looking, I wanted to be able to work because I really did love the mission and the vision of the company and I knew that the current company I was with, I couldn’t really do that outside of the state I was in. So I applied and put my resume out, my resume out and uh, my boss, Joanne Taylor gave me a call and she changed my life. She brought me a lot in Oklahoma.
That’s awesome. And kind of kind of speaking to that small market, I found the town square when I was working in abilene and was really, really impressed with everything that they had to offer. I think that Y’alls digital package is, is awesome. And I want you to tell a little bit more about what downs square does. And it’s funny that y’all do traditional and digital and like you said, the digital is a little bit newer. Speak to what all you do because, you know, when you say digital, that is a very vast term that could mean almost anything. So, uh, what are some of the things that is kind of scary? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Because I don’t know exactly what digital means. Yeah. And then I get scared about traditional too because I don’t know if I’m supposed to be doing traditional.
That’s actually like the most common, like the questions that I get is first of all, what is digital? Do you mean like facebook or like what are you, what do you mean the Internet? So I mean it’s something and it and it is as broad as that, which is actually the scary part. Like when you actually dumb it down for, um, even like when I’m talking to my family about it, trying to tell them like what I do, I feel like I kind of get into that geek talk mode. I really have to simplify things. It is a very complex industry. I love talk. I can talk geek talk with you anytime you want to. Mallory, I love it. I, yeah, even a couple of conversations that we have had so far and kind of Geek talkie and I really, really liked it. You understand what I’m saying?
And I just act like I know everything and so I do pretty well. We’re actually going to turn Kagan into a digital nerd with us.
We’re gonna start talking very, very soon. But yeah, so digital for us has actually not been something new. It’s just been new on the client side, so our CEO and give you a little bit of a storytelling background here. One of our, he’s actually our co CEO, Bill Wilson. He was with aol over a decade and when he came over to town square he brought over 11 employees with him from aol and it was kind of like it was, it was a shaker and mover and a shaker in the industry at the time because you have this guy who’s spearheading the digital efforts of at the time it was like the company. I mean aol was like the place to be as far as like the Internet and digital and everything innovative that was going on at the time. And, and he left and he came and he started all at the digital initiatives.
What town square. And the digital division of our company, so to say has been our best kept secret for years now we kind of just focused on radio stations and traditional media with all of our clients because that was the, what we wanted to focus on was the small to medium sized markets. But, um, yeah, we were Beta testing United Airlines for five years with our company before we even let anybody know that we were doing digital because we wanted to make sure that we could deliver on everything that we’re promising clients. So that was something that, um, that I love to tell about our story because not a lot of people have the bill wilsons of the world spearheading their digital or digital initiatives. So
I want to talk back to what Kagan said. Is that going to go when he said that digital scared him and you know, you just mentioned United Airlines and that is a huge brand. So I think one of the misconceptions with digital is that these small companies like insurance agents in Oklahoma or startups like ourselves, um, I think that the misconception is that it’s too expensive to go out and do digital advertising when in reality that’s not the case at all. It’s actually way more targeted and probably, you know, most of the time more cost effective. So do you all see that a lot, mallory? Like do you see people who think that digital is not a fit for them when it really?
Yes, that is actually locally, that is probably the biggest obstacle that I’ve had to overcome was the education to tell business owners that it is not what it seems. It’s not as complex and it’s not as expensive. And you hit the nail on the head when you said it’s probably more effective because when you are using traditional media, you can place it very strategically so that way it is more than just a branding schedule. Um, and you can achieve that, um, that reach and that frequency and you can really accomplish your goals. But digital, you can literally tell me who you want to hit and where they are and we will target them. But yeah, I think that in the past it might have been too expensive to do because I think nobody really knew how to scale it all. They knew how to do is it from a larger, um, from a larger perspective.
So now that we have been able to scale it down to where business owners can actually use it and kind of customize it to like, um, before I think the options were a little limited with digital and now there’s so much that you can do. There’s so many solutions and tactics and ways that you can hit these people. And I think that that’s made it a lot more cost effective. It’s kind of all our car, if you, if you will. Like there’s the, another thing that I’ve had to overcome as a lot of people say, well, what kind of packages do you have? And we don’t build any packages and then go out and cookie cutter try to sell them to businesses. Every business has different goals that they’re trying to achieve. They have a different journey, they have different budget and each media plan should be specific to that.
When I was in small business, there were a lot of times I had someone come and try to sell me this package deal and honestly it seemed a little scammy. Uh, there was a lot of promise, but unfortunately they usually disappeared after, after we got them signed up and we signed that contract and then I really did not understand the analytics behind it that they were giving to me, you know, all it was, is, yeah, yeah, this is really working for you. And I’m like, well, my phone’s not ringing anymore than what, than what it did. What would you say, I know that you said a challenge for you is reaching these small businesses and helping them understand, but what would you say is very different about you and you personally and how you help your small businesses grow and stuff?
Well, that’s a great question. So I have a of example here locally. Um, I have a window tinting and trailer shop. I know that it’s like two different business models under one roof, but um, but they, they were kind of Sung. They were sold a digital package by somebody in the past and it was a six month contract and they never saw the salesperson after it was sold. They didn’t really know what they were signing up for and they never saw results or analytics, which I know that you had mentioned that you’ve seen the analytics, but it’s hard to understand when your phone’s not ringing, but numbers apparently look good. So one thing when I got with him and we got him on his plan, first of all, I don’t do any contracts. I think that if you have to hold your clients hostage and there’s probably something wrong with the product that you’re offering, I will recommend longer term commitments.
Depending on the schedule. I will recommend, you know, this one’s probably going to need a little bit more traction. I would recommend at least doing it for three months before you see something. But I would never, you know, locked somebody in. And so that is one thing that makes me a little bit different in the marketplace here side for my competitors. And another thing is explaining the analytics. I go in about once a week, sometimes once every two weeks and him and I will sit down and we’ll actually look at where his traffic is coming from and how many clicks he’s getting, but how many conversions he’s getting to. And then we ask, we actually cross compare it to his, um, to his volume, so he keeps very close track of his sales and his busy times of the month. And so we’ve been able to kind of measure the success of the campaign that way. But it’s, it’s the wrong thing to do when I feel like some salespeople, especially with the analytics, they’ll just throw a report in front of their clients and they’ll say, all right, here you go. And without explaining what the calls mean or what the conversion mean, or you know, you have to, you have to translate that to a business owner.
And even to a marketer. I mean, I haven’t been presented those things before in previous positions. And, uh, you know, sometimes you just want to say, okay, give me the actual google analytics, not your analytics that you printed out for me because I want to make sure that this is actually what it says it is. So um, transparency is always so important in, in digital advertising and you know, honestly, it doesn’t get much more transparent than digital advertising because, you know, everything’s tracked digitally so it speaks for itself and many of to go, you know, you said you don’t do any contracts and we’re at being, we don’t do any contracts either. We kind of feel the same way about it as y’all do. But I think that something important to mention that the misconception about digital is that the minute you implement digital, you’re going to see you’re going to see instant results, which is not the case, which is, you know, you had said those longer term con not contracts as longer term runs because how long do you think it actually takes for digital to really a peak in its effectiveness? I think that’s another thing that people don’t really understand about digital.
Every single contract or I mean every single commitment is different. So I would say, you know, if you’re trying to push an event and it depends on the call to action to like if people are trying to push an event and they’re strategically targeting people and you have a really strong call to action, some people are going to see traction really quick. Like we’ll contract with event centers or tours and everything, um, for, to push live events all the time, all over the country. And obviously we’re selling tickets and we’re, it’s something a little bit time sensitive so that something like that is going to get a lot more traction quicker. But if you’re trying to achieve branding, you’re trying to achieve awareness and you’re really just trying to increase like a following and clicks to the website and maybe some action on the consumers. And so signing up for something, applying for something, I would say at least two to three months is your. I mean, you’re going to see something happen in that timeframe, but to really get it going enough where you really say, all right, I think we can kind of see patterns here. We can start to project, I would say like two to three minutes,
so that leads us into our other question I think, and talking a little bit more so about market strategy, market strategy. When you. When we say that word, when I say that word, I get tense because I think about business plans. I think about a strategy and then I think, oh my is this really gonna work for small businesses, especially everyone can have goals and everyone can have quotes, strategy, but mallory, it changes and it can change. It can change day to day and you have to continue to refine that, right?
Oh yeah. Absolutely. You have to be able to optimize your campaigns according to your goals and your strategies that will constantly change. I’d be worried if somebody is strategies didn’t change frequently and that’s. That’s another thing with not having contracts that I think we’re amazing at as we’re constantly looking at the performance and the projections and we’re constantly making suggestions to optimize the campaigns you need to find a digital company that’s going to evolve with you and grow with you because just like you said, those strategies, those are going to change the goals they’re going to change.
So let’s talk about some of the things that you all do. Just high level overview. We’re not going to geek out on you guys, but things like Google ad words, those, those listings that show up in the top of Google that say ad next to him on facebook, youtube, video, pre roll, Geo fencing, which for those of you who don’t know it, basically, that’s like drawing a digital fence around a location and serving your ad to people in that location. So, and it gets so much more advanced from there. Um, that being said, there are a lot of fun, really nerdy things you can do with marketing. So Valerie, what is your favorite part of being in marketing and helping businesses with their marketing and being creative? And all that,
I think my favorite part is the strategy behind it, like actually sitting down with a notepad and listening to my client’s goals and for them to say this is where I want to be in this amount of time and um, this is who I think we need to hit to accomplish that, you know, how can we do that? And that brainstorming session, um, I think that’s my favorite part and finding the solutions are gonna work best for the campaign because just like you named off just a few, there’s a long list even after that, if solutions in different ways to target people. And Yeah, without getting too geeky into it, there’s about 30 plus different ways that you can, that you can target people and whether it be with video or display or on desktop or mobile. And I think my favorite part is just sitting down and figuring out what solutions are gonna work best.
And I love looking at case studies to um, my company is amazing at putting together case studies, being that we are all over the country, we have a lot of mes and waste and great influencers in this arena that have really pulled off some great campaigns with their clients in other markets that are very similar size. So I like it. Um, for example, my rv dealership here locally, we actually sat down and we strategize their plan based on the success of another campaign in another market. And we tweaked a couple of different things, but I thought it was so cool how we could kind of mimic what’s working in a place that was very similar as Lawton and their campaign has been beautiful. I mean that’s one that actually we are creating a case study on now so that other people can learn from us. So it’s really cool. That’s my favorite part.
I think that is a great point. And in looking at case studies and considering that also knowing for small businesses, and I think this is why one reason why people don’t really go into the digital space is first off, they don’t know and they’re confused and also it’s, it’s a daunting task, right? To be able to look at people who have done it honestly. Those case studies are just like a mentor to you.
Oh yeah, absolutely. And people that are scared to go into digital because they’ve only ever done radio or tv or even right now, like they just do facebook or something. I think that the case studies really helping give them peace of mind because it’s a real business that went through it. It’s a real business that implemented these tactics locally in a market just like ours. And they were able to relate. It’s telling a story and they were able to see the results. And um, I, I think that’s really cool, that kind of like a light bulb that goes on when I’m talking to business owners and they can get excited because of somebody else’s success that it could be them, you know, I think some people are afraid of, they’re afraid of what could, what could be in our. So like the sky is the limit, especially in markets like this,
right? Well, and, and somebody for a company that doesn’t have money, they would love to see somebody who does have the money to spend and maybe wait a little bit, make sure it’s working before they spend dollars that they may not have as much of. So I think that that’s another reason case studies give people peace of mind.
Well, and I think to what you said there about not having as much money and seeing people that do and seeing the results, I really like helping businesses kind of dive deep into, I guess the intimate details of their current marketing plan and figuring out what’s working, what’s working and what’s not. Because you’d be surprised how many people still spend thousands of dollars per month in the yellow pages, in the phone book. It’s, it’s crazy and there’s so many outlets that still do work great for some businesses, but there are some that they, you know, they just love their salesperson or they’ve just done it for so long that they just kind of have it on auto and and they don’t want to really change it because they think it’s always worked and that’s something that I’ve had to do here locally to reeducate what exactly is working in today’s marketing space because what you did 15 years ago and spent that much money on, you probably don’t need to a dude at all or be spending as much money on it.
Well, I love that you brought up the yellow pages because there are a lot of common strategies that people are doing that probably shouldn’t be done and don’t work. Deal. Is there some in particular that y’all see more often than others that maybe people are in the habit of spending with and they’re not getting any or journalism?
I would say the book is probably
the biggest one, um, but another one too, and this actually translates, translates directly into the digital, um, success. So websites are huge. You need a great landing place for people to go, especially if you’re going to do a digital campaign and people are clicking through to something and that is your online storefront. I mean, you have to treat it as a brick and mortar. You don’t want your lawn to grow out, you don’t want, um, you know, there to be spray paint on the side of your building, so you want to make sure that your website is actually just as beautiful and that you were treated as such. So one of the common things that I have had to really educate onto is the, um, the importance of a good website that’s responsive and it’s clear, it’s concise. And a lot of business owners, their brother’s cousin, his wife or somebody made it for them and they don’t want to change it or they don’t want to spend the money on it.
Or they’ve been spending money with a certain vendor for so long, but they haven’t understood the importance of evolving to different platforms are being mobily optimized or the importance of search engine optimization. So that is the, um, the one thing I think a lot of people are spending too much time and money on to his old website foundations. There’s a lot of companies that are probably really curious about, okay, what they’re doing with their marketing that’s working and what’s not and, and maybe they need somebody to come in and kind of give them just a high level overview before they commit to spending money. So does townsquare do any kind of audit on people’s business or seo where you’ll do, you’ll go in and analyze and see where their weak spots are and what they could be doing better for free before they commit to an advertisement? Yeah, absolutely.
So here I actually do what’s called a customer needs or client needs analysis and in that analysis we will discuss more of the traditional marketing that they’ve been doing. Um, we will go into Nino, yellow pages, TV, radio, billboards, direct mail, anything like that. Um, we’ll talk about maybe what they’re doing digitally. I usually ask just see, um, any kind of dashboard or report that they’ve been sent. And I usually get kind of concerned when they don’t just give me a link because, um, I think a lot of companies do fabricate some of the results and put it into an excel spreadsheet, make it, uh, you know, make it pretty incented off. I really like to see Iab certified dashboards because that’s how, you know that nobody’s messing with the numbers. Um, I do look at their digital results to see what tactics they’re using and who they’re reaching.
But then I also, as far as the website goes, um, I do run a report with my team, our website team at townsquare interactive and I, it’s called a digital presence analysis. And I look at their seo rankings when you find out what they’re showing up for and on what pages. And uh, we also look at the design of their site. We make sure it’s mobily optimized. We kind of look through it with a fine tooth comb to look through a for the keyword rich content, so what kind of images are using. So yeah, we do a very in depth analysis from a digital standpoint, but then also on a local level from a traditional marketing standpoint to see where they’re at and what they can be doing to better position themselves in the market.
So we definitely want to put that in our show notes as well as some ways to get in touch with you and also maybe some case studies that you could share with us that people could read and understand how they could apply that to their own small business or a larger business. And what we would really like to know though is our five key takeaways. Five key takeaways on what you think is most important.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, number one, marketing strategy. I think partner was partner with somebody that you trust and somebody that has your best interest at heart. There are so many scams out there now and there’s so much. Um, there’s so much that’s constantly changing. So definitely partner with somebody who is good at what they do. They have great references. If, if they’re good at what they do, their clients probably love them and they probably have references. So partner with somebody you trust. I would definitely always be learning. Always be like my number one place that I go to find stuff is linkedin and I share articles all the time or I look at other people’s profiles that I really admire and kind of see what they’re sharing and where they’re learning from. So number two is always be learning. Number three, stay positive and consistent with your plan.
So if that person that you absolutely do trust, recommend something and you are constantly learning and you implement a plan, trust the process and that might mean optimizing it. That might mean your goals and your strategies are changing and the plan along with it, but stick with it. Stay positive and believe in it because it does work. I’m number four. I would definitely that goes hand in hand with that. Find somebody you trust. Find somebody who’s great and innovative and that knows what they’re doing is always constantly learning, leading by example, because if they’re constantly learning and they’re excited about what they’re doing and they’re helping people just like you, then you’re going to want to partner with them. So find somebody like that. And number five, just stay positive. I’m inconsistent because with any marketing plan, whether it be traditional or digital, things are going to change. Your goals and strategies are going to change and you’re going to have to optimize the campaigns to go along with those changes. But as much as it can be kind of scary sometimes always stay positive and stay consistent with, with the plan and trust the process.
Well, I am definitely encourage more about this and as we continue with bright, be um, you know, it’s an encouragement to know that you are part of this, uh, helping us accomplish this digital strategy as well. And so mallory, real quick though, if anyone wants to learn more about what townsquare media does or just want to hear from you and maybe help with that audit or to see a case study, how has the best way, uh, what, what is the best way that they can actually reach you?
Um, honestly, I just connect with me on Linkedin when you add me, just pedal a little note in there and say, you know, I heard you on the podcast or you know, write me and I spoke or something like that and just send me a message and I’m always down to connect with people and share some of my insight and I also like to hear a lot of their insight to. So, um, yeah, just connect with me on linkedin. It’s just Mallory Jacoby.
Awesome. That is so great. Well, everyone remember that if you are looking for insurance quotes that do not sting, always check out [inaudible] dot com and we’ll be more than happy to serve you. Hope everyone has a wonderful day. Thanks Mallory.
Connect with Mallorie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/malloriejacoby/
Find Townsquare Media Here: http://www.townsquaremedia.com/
Find BriteBee here: https://www.britebee.com/