RubyApps Insights: Stack Optimization
RubyApps Insights provides a special edition of the show, with voiceover talent playing the role of Jaron Rubenstein, Creator of RubyApps and Founder and President of RubensteinTech, and a recent speaker at Gro Pro 20/20.
Listen to the episode on your preferred platform, download a copy of the marketing technology stack blueprint (http://bit.ly/gropro2019), and/or view the webinar of this episode (http://bit.ly/rubyapps-hulkamania).
Hulk Hogan: And what you going to do when Hulkamania and the largest arms in the world run wild on you?
Alexander Kotler: What does Hulkamania have to do with marketing technology? Only everything, brother. Today's special edition of RubyApps Insights provides the audio version with guest voiceover, that's me, playing the role of Jaron Rubenstein in his recent presentation at GroPro 2020. Listen here and download your marketing text at firstname.lastname@example.org/gropro2019. If you'd like to view this episode as a webinar, visit bit.ly/rubyapps-hulkamania. Trust me. It'll all make sense. Okay. Here it is, and it's coming for you off the top turn buckle.
Alexander Kotler: Any pro wrestling fans listening? Either way, here's a story of how I, Jaron Rubenstein, got to meet Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. Everyone remembers who Hulk Hogan is. Yep, he's the guy with the 24-inch pythons and Ric Flair, he's the guy who always goes, "Whoo!" I'm a product of the eighties when wrestling was real, at least to me, and this is the story of how I met these two legends of the ring. So, while we're at it, any Atlantic City fans listening? Crickets. Okay. Well, I'm not actually a huge pro wrestling fan, but I am a huge Atlantic City fan and, a few months ago, I found myself down in AC for a computer security conference. Any computer security fans listening? Still crickets.
Alexander Kotler: Anyway, our clients at Ruby Apps obviously care a lot about security and, every now and then, I try to attend some of these type of security-related conferences. So I was going down to Atlantic City for this conference, and I decided to check out the Hard Rock. It's one of the newer hotels down in Atlantic City. I have actually stayed there before. By the way, this isn't my Lamborghini. I went to the Hard Rock website, checked out some room rates, but, ultimately, decided not to stay there. I checked into my hotel, a different hotel, and, within a few minutes, I got that email and the email was an invite to an invitation only event from the Hard Rock, and it was being called Legends of the Ring: An Intimate Fireside Chat with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair.
Alexander Kotler: I'll mention again, I wasn't a huge wrestling fan, I'm still not, but anyone who's achieved that level of success is exciting to me and interesting and so I thought it'd be a good opportunity to try something new and attend the event, plus it was free. The only thing was that the event was starting in two hours and I'd have to get to the Hard Rock, which was right around the corner, and then forego staying in my hotel room to work. So I got this email. I downloaded my tickets and, two hours later, I was in the third row listening to Hulk and Ric, we're on a first-name basis now, and they were telling their life stories and revealing how wrestling was fake, shock, and, of course, sharing what about it was actually real, and it was a great experience. It was memorable and I'll remember it.
Alexander Kotler: Thanks to Photoshop, that's not actually me with them, but, afterwards, I went downstairs, I went to the casino floor, and I made my donation of several hundred dollars to the Hard Rock and the Atlantic City general casino fund. Feel free to laugh. So at the end of the day, they got their money and I loved being a brand ambassador for the Hard Rock, and the next time I go, most likely, I'll actually stay there. So let's bring this body slam of information back around to marketing technology. What does this have to do with data and technology and what our topic is for today, stack optimization?
Alexander Kotler: A few months ago, our team at RubyApps and RubensteinTech created a marketing technology blueprint. For any of our listeners, you can download your copy at bit.ly/gropro2019. That's B-I-T dot L-Y slash G-R-O-P-R-O-2-0-1-9. What it essentially is, is a blueprint for all the different systems that make up a typical firm's marketing technology, or a stack as the tech jargon inclined folks like to call it. It's broken up into a bunch of different categories, things like advertising and promotion, content experience, social networking sales, and that sort of thing, and if you download it, you'll be able to see the categories. My experience with the Hard Rock and getting to see Hulk and Ric keyed in on five systems within the marketing technology stack. These consisted of the CMS, email marketing, marketing automation, CRM, and events and webinars, the five that I interacted with during this customer experience with the Hard Rock.
Alexander Kotler: So the first step was when I visited the website. When I did a search, I punched in a date, so they knew I was going to be there that day or I was considering going to Atlantic City around that period of time. They may have used geolocation technology so it's likely they knew that I was already in town. This information also could've come through my credit card transaction. But, regardless, I interacted with the CMS, the content management system in the CRM, the customer relationship management database, so they knew who I was.
Alexander Kotler: The second is that the Hard Rock referenced the CRM. Organizations like the Hard Rock are caught between being hospitality and gaming organizations. They're in particular sectors that are unique to their profiles. I don't think anyone outside of the healthcare industry has more data than this particular sector, and so they know more about me than I think I know about myself. They know when I like to come to Atlantic City. They know how much I like to spend. They know my birth date, so they know my age. They know I'm a product of the eighties and that I'm really interested in wrestling or whatever might have happened in the eighties and, you know, whatever might have happened that we do or we don't like to talk about, whatever we might know, whatever we might not know. In any case, they know me pretty well.
Alexander Kotler: And so the fact that data was integrated in the back end through the systems they were using allowed all of these key moments across my journey to flow. And so, as mentioned, they referenced me in the CRM, then they connected me with their events system, so somewhere they had logic in place that said, "Hey, Jaron, what's up, man? We've got free tickets. They're open. Come and join us." And so I want you to know that I'm not a particularly high roller, so they didn't advertise to me specifically because they thought it was going to be a payday, even though, in the end, it did wind up being that way. There were open tickets for a show that was starting in two hours. They offered me one. There was no person sitting there, an event manager or someone triggering these events. It was all automated.
Alexander Kotler: So there's a marketing automation system set up where they tie these various pieces of logic together and then it resulted in a personalized email that came out to me, "Hey, Jaron. Come check out Legends of the Ring. You like wrestling. You're a big Hulk Hogan fan. You've got 24-inch pythons," and so it worked. Everything connected. Then, afterwards, they've continued to target me. And if any of you listening have done any kind of advertising, you know that, if you're on a social network, you may be re-targeted, and so I've been seeing Hard Rock advertisements on Facebook, throughout my web browser, and they continue to target me and, in the process of doing so, they know more about me. They're surfacing information and advertisements that appeal to me, so they're doing a better job of retaining me, keeping me interested, apprised of future free and paid events.
Alexander Kotler: So taking it out of the casino and gambling or gaming environment and taking it out of the wrestling ring, how can this apply to your organization and, effectively, how can Hulkamania help you to retain your clients? Yes, this does come back to RubyApps and data integration. Nothing anymore can live on an island. Everything needs to be integrated somehow and this is something that RubyApps does really, really well. It needs to be able to pull data into your solution, pull it out, push it, manipulate it, access it, share it, and help you to generate the level of insight that you need to know your customers or your clients, whatever you prefer to call them, better.
Alexander Kotler: This is a very simplified version of a customer or client journey map or a life cycle. What you want to do is think about how these technology systems, featured in the stack, can integrate with one another. Or even if you are generating these insights manually, how can you think about your processes so that you can extract the information that will enable you to personalize and be more personable as a brand to your clients and your prospects.
Alexander Kotler: So we'll start with awareness. Generally, and again, this may be different depending on the organization, but the awareness stage is typically a time when the content management system is going to be pushing content through your channels implementing your content marketing strategy. Of course, you know marketing is the key to that, pushing that content out and making sure that you're staying in front of new clients or prospects. You're going to want to make sure that you're building awareness, driving greater awareness to your clients of what's happening via all of these various channels all of the time or, of course, more precisely, at specific moments in time when it's going to resonate with them with relevant offerings, but that's how you create your brand halo.
Alexander Kotler: The next stage is consideration. And so, again, the systems may vary to your specific case, but in this case, you might have a content management system that's, again, pushing out that content to the web or sending it by email marketing. An automated process, marketing automation, you might have something like that in your marketing campaign or driving your marketing campaign, which means that, over time, when your clients or prospects interact with your site, they're going to come back. You're going to know that they've been there and you know what content they're looking at and you're building a personalized profile on what interests them.
Alexander Kotler: So if you're, let's say, a law firm and you have an intellectual property practice and you see that you have this person in your CRM that keeps going back to a specific practice. They're not necessarily applying for a job, they're not reading about the firm, but you're building a profile about what that individual is interested in. You can then use that information to further personalize that content to deepen that engagement. And so it might be really, really specific to that intellectual property piece of information that has driven their initial interest that may further surface additional interest on their behalf.
Alexander Kotler: SEO is, of course, critical for any and every organization. Some of it's organic. Some of it's paid and you may be starting to build on events and webinars to tie that into a robust profile of this audience member. Most professional services engagements are based on relationships, and so we're striving for face to face interactions, like, "Hey, how you doing, Jaron?" That's the kind of thing that we want to be looking for. We want to be recognized. We want to be known by our first name. We want there to be an intuitive relationship, and technology can assist with that, but not certainly not without human input.
Alexander Kotler: Today, the matter of truth is critical for all people, professionals and marketers especially. Whether or not there can be multiple truths is debatable, but within the context of brand and content management, there's typically only one. That's where RubyApps comes in. RubyApps is a cutting edge collaboration platform that provides marketers and business developers with a single source of truth from which to manage, publish, and share mission-critical content in a more consistent and efficient fashion. To demo RubyApps today, visit RubyApps.com.
Alexander Kotler: When the decision phase comes, you might use different strategies, thinking about optimization and personalization. You might need to be sure, and you certainly do, it's not even a question of might, that you're simultaneously providing content to your entire potential audience, but also making it seem like you know each person on a one-to-one. You want to be able to go one-to-scale and one-to-one and then personalizing it to those individuals. Other systems like competitive intelligence and experience management are where you can really differentiate from the competition, having insights about who has visited and what they're actually looking for and then, of course, being able to showcase what it is that's most relevant to them each time they come at that specific moment.
Alexander Kotler: So what experience does a firm have to help it stick out from the competition? What's the competitive intelligence going to be around this, that organization? Are they going to be acquired? Are they struggling for solvency? Are they having internal issues or are they restructuring? Are they seeking some specific type of acquisition? Any of these options and well beyond are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself or that you should be seeking, when you put some of these systems to work.
Alexander Kotler: And then, finally, most importantly, retention, and I think everyone in the audience is in agreement that the chase is fine, we all love to chase, but once you have them, it's really the most important part. Depending upon the sector, a third to even a half of an organization's revenue can come from existing clients and so getting them, great; keeping them, better. And that's really where, again, personalization comes into play. Optimize your content. Really take the data from the analytics and from your CRM, from all the information that you have about your clients and how they're interacting with your organization, your marketing, your content, and then work to optimize that. And by optimize, we mean make the most of it. Put it to work for you and tie that back into fueling the site, that product, any of the potential places where your customers, your prospects, want to interact with your brand.
Alexander Kotler: And then, finally, events and webinars, just keep things updated. There are many systems here and there and you may use others. It is not about the specific ones that we're showcasing here on the stack. It's really about what is most important to you. For instance, public relations, which we haven't really mentioned, may be important to you at this particular stage within retention to be able to keep people attracted. You know that brand awareness and how you continue to showcase your brand is a very important thing and something that's going to resonate with your audience, so focus on the key aspects of the prospe-, the process rather, and ensuring that you have strong processes in place to make sure that your systems are supporting your efforts, but beyond that, there's a human component.
Alexander Kotler: To the marketing leaders in the audience and the marketing leaders in your organizations, you have to make intelligent decisions on your own about people. You have to think strategically about your customer journey. You should map it out, perhaps like we've done here in the blueprint, and think about what the right points are to employ specific types of technology and then, of course, what your resources are internally to be able to manage that technology, or those processes in the absence of technology, to ensure that you're carrying through prospects at the stage of being clients and then successfully retaining them.
Alexander Kotler: And so that's the end of this brief talk. I hope that all of you Hulkamaniacs run wild with your marketing technology. Whoo! Thanks for listening. We'll have new guests coming soon to RubyApps Insights.
Alexander Kotler: Thanks for listening to this episode of RubyApps Insights, which is recorded in Studio 55 and hosted by me, Alexander Kotler. You can subscribe to RubyApps Insights on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and Pandora. If you like this episode, please leave us a five star rating and a comment. Equally, if you didn't, or if you'd like to hear a guest or a topic on a future episode, send an email to Insights@RubyApps.com. Until next time, have an awesome every day.