Looking to discover how to improve your Marketing ROI? How about building deeper, more meaningful connections with your audience that will lead to an increase in sales & an even bigger love for your brand?
This episode is made for you. If you don’t finish this episode with a brain full of creative ideas & (what feels like) a rocket up your ass motivating you to execute them, we’ll eat our (metaphorical) hat. This episode has some really interesting examples in it.
00:00 – 01:08 Intro
01:09 – 05:52 What is unscalable Marketing?
05:53– 06:22 What is the thank You Economy (Gary Vee Book) about?
06:23 – 09:32 Is Marketing Automation effective?
09:33 – 28:06 Unscalable Marketing examples & the results they’ve achieved
28:07– 28:20 Outro
Hi, I'm Pat, the podcast editor here. What can you do to make your marketing stand out in a world where everyone is competing for your customer's attention, today, Dan & Lloyd, discuss their unique approach to unscalable marketing, and show you how to form deeper connections with your ideal customers?
If you are strengthening relationships by going above and beyond and doing something nice for people, those things over time, build and make it more likely that you're going to do business with people.
We also compare long and short term mindsets. And give me examples of how over time these strategies can pay off.
One of the people we sent the weird wig packages to work for another company, moved companies and then got in touch with us and said, You sent me a weird wig six months ago, and now I work for a new company. I'm in a position to work with you. And we were just starting that project now.
Right, let's get stuck in. This is episode 90 of the business anchors podcast.
What is unscalable marketing? And why are we talking about it, Dan?
Unscalable marketing is...
No, not quite. Okay. It's all about doing the things that don't necessarily seem efficient, or scalable when it comes to marketing. But they're incredibly important because of the impact they have. Okay, now I know that's maybe not that easy to understand without examples. So, I've got loads of examples. I can give you one from recently.
Go straight in with an example.
Okay, well, would you want to we can go in slower if you want.
No, no, I'm, I feel comfortable. Thought you might just wine a dine me a bit before.
I want to share an example. So one example is from our accountants recently, we love talking about accountants on this podcast for some reason. Yeah. You know, we recently did that episode about tax savings.
I do. Yes. That went down very well.
It went down very well. We got like 30,000 views on a TikTok’s. About that, which is quite good. So we did an episode about how you can save tax sorry, not save tax about tax planning, based on the advice we'd got from our accountants. And we did that. And without us knowing in the post the other day, we received this big package. And we're like, Oh, what's this? opened it? And it was like a thank you goodies box thing.
A what? A thank you goodies box.
A box with loads of good stuff in, yeah.
Or if you were a child, you'd describe it as a thank you goodies box.
So that was nice of them. They without knowing sort of send a thank you gift. And that's just one of the small things that they've done for us that, I think means that they're probably going to be our accountants forever.
On top of them being good accountants, yeah, those small things that aren't scalable, like they couldn't send out 1000 of those things, because it wouldn't probably be scalable, or efficient, but it's something that they've done that builds a deeper relationship with us as customers. And that's one example I've got loads.
Just to be clear for the context guys. They sent it and sent a note kind of saying, Oh, thank you for mentioning us on the podcast. So they were grateful because when we spoke about the advice and we just said oh Telford's accountants are brilliant, get in touch with them if you need an accountant.
And so they were saying thank you really, but it's that I think it's the going like above and beyond what's expected that makes you appreciate it and think what a lovely thing to do and have that positive impact on a relationship, I guess.
Yeah, and like, another thing that happened recently that it feels weird. There have been loads of these things happening recently. So I recently did a masterclass with the two Laura's who have like a membership community, two nice ladies who we met in San Diego. I did a free masterclass thing with them.
And they sent through a bar of chocolate which had a message on it and stuff and a handwritten note it just got me thinking recently, quite a few things have happened. And there are the small things that people have been doing that make that has had a genuine, positive impact on my perception of them. And it got me thinking like we do certain things.
We do similar things. But I think not enough businesses, companies, and marketers think about doing these unscalable activities because there's so much pressure on you, you've only got this amount of budget to spend. You've only got this amount of resources, but I think we should be thinking about this more and I'm hoping this episode inspires marketers and anchors to start doing more of this kind of thing.
You described it as unscalable marketing, but those two things so they were people sort of going the extra mile and sending things to say thank you. So would you count that as marketing, then?
Yes, I think anything, where you're doing something to get in front of or build a relationship with your audience, is marketing.
Yeah, I think it's just, it's straight. When I first thought of it, I thought, yeah, it's that, you know, sending a gift to someone, because that's what, what a couple of those examples were, is that marketing, but the reality is, if you are strengthening relationship by going above and beyond and doing something nice for people.
Things over time, build, and, and make it more likely that you're going to do business with people? Or if you're not, not in a business context, make it more likely that you'll have a longer stronger relationship with them. Yeah.
Have you read The Thank You Economy?
Gary V's book? Yes, years ago. But yes.
If anyone's listening and or watching and wants to learn more about this, that's like when I was preparing for this episode, that was a book that reminded me of the importance of going the extra mile for customers that book, Gary Vee talks about a whole range of examples when he works at Wine Library, forgoing the extra mile with customers and how that builds a brand like that people care about because there are all these things with technology coming in, there are so many things that you can do to scale up through automation.
Like there are loads of tools out there where you can automatically reply to people, automatically comment and send messages. Whereas that's not building depth in terms of relationships. Whereas when you do this kind of thing and go the extra mile, it does help strengthen those relationships. And it's an important part of your marketing strategy.
It's interesting because we've always steered away from in our business from automation that other businesses have sort of value in being able to do more with their marketing and their communication. And it seems to have been a theme that it's just always I don't know why we've been so, so different with our approach and kind of doing these things that take more time and effort and don't necessarily look like they make sense in the short term.
I think I know why. Okay, personally, for me, yeah, I think this whole thing we've spoken up before, of like, lazy selling, and lazy marketing, where people like, the perfect description of this is like cold calling, where someone makes zero effort, a bad cold call, let's call it a bad cold call. So I'll make zero effort to understand who you are what you do, they just call you up and say, Hey, can I speak to you for three minutes about this thing? I think, experiencing a lot of that over the last few years, it's made me want to be the opposite of that.
Like do the things that actually where you're making an effort to take time to genuinely build relationships, there are so many people out there marketers and influencers and people that are selling courses that are like, yeah, just do all this good stuff, and like automate this stuff. But, from our experience of growing this business, the things that and I want to share some specific examples for our business to show you how we've done this, the things that we've done, when we have gone the extra mile are the things that have generated the greatest return on investment for our business.
It's also long term versus short term thinking. So a lot of those automated things, you can do the scalable stuff, oh, I can just put this into this tool, and then it will send this email to 1000 people in the short term that genuinely I think, could be more beneficial than some of the things that we've done that have taken a much more personal, have a more personal touch, and I've taken much more of our resources.
But in the long term, I think it always pays off, I guess, short term sacrifice, in everything in life usually pays off in the long term. So it takes more effort in the short term to have this kind of unscalable things that you're doing. And in the short term, it's like, oh, that's annoying. It's taking more resources, it's cost more whatever. But in the long term, it always seems to pay off. It's just like, in the short term, it's rubbish to go to the gym every day, and it takes a long time. You're like, oh, I've got abs, obviously not me. But yeah, maybe mainly.
To try and provide some value for the listeners and to try and inspire them for things they can do. Can I share some specific examples of things we've done? And the results are achieved?
Yeah, cuz I think this will be interesting for listeners, rather than us being like, Yeah, you should do this is so much nicer doing these unscalable things that you put the effort in, actually hearing things and hearing the benefits that we get in the long term.
These are measurable things real.
Real example coming your way.
So one thing, building a solid relationship with Andrew and Pete, for those who don't know, Andrew and Pete are two marketers from Newcastle that we met years ago. I think they wrote an article for Social Media Examiner and I shared it and tagged them and said, this is a great article years ago.
You could have automated that.
I could have automated that but that's not part of this explanation. But anyway, so we, we met them, we went to one of their events we got on well, yeah, over the last few years, we've been supporting them by attending, oh, and helping them promote their events, going up and meeting them and hanging out together. And we've, you know, spent quite a lot of time together over the years. Yeah. Now we didn't, we didn't just do that with this strategy in mind that, oh, that's going to be beneficial to us.
We do genuinely like them.
We do genuinely like it needs to be authentic. I think that's another key thing. But from that relationship, so one example of something really valuable to us. They have, they used to do a lot of public speaking. And when they, because they got lots of opportunities to speak more than we ever did, whenever they had the opportunity, they couldn't do because they had another speaking event, they would recommend that I would go and speak at those and that that I think we went to Lithuania and you came with me? Supernova, that event that was one of them.
Like they put they also helped us get a speaking slot in Social Media Marketing out in San Diego. Another thing, they also put us in touch with a training company in Dubai, to go and deliver strategic training with some of the biggest brands in the world like FIFA, Nestle, Citibank, and Boston Consulting Group. So all these things have happened from us, nurturing and building that relationship and going up to Newcastle and seeing them. And that's just one example of many.
It's been, it's interesting with that relationship with Andrew and Pete who run atomic, they so both ways, we've helped each other, both ways over the years, and gone the extra mile to support each other with various things. And I feel like it's paid off for both sides, if we were just thinking short term, you know, Andrew, and Pete with those speaking things, they could have thought, well, we could try and get a commission and hands this off to someone and see if we can make some money that they were just being genuine and supportive with that kind of those kinds of actions.
And I think, yeah, really paid off for both sides, putting the extra effort in for several years which, if you looked at it, just of how productive is my time, us going up to new cars, so a few times and supporting their events whenever we could, you could look at that and go, that's a huge amount of time to put in all that travel and stuff when you could be doing really good stuff to sell stuff in your business in the short term.
Yeah, definitely. I'd think don't undervalue those trips, and the time you spent building those relationships.
And bonus, doing stuff like that. It's fun. We've got a lovely relationship and friendship with them and did a lot of fun stuff. So.
So I guess that would that could come under the theme of building partnerships or relationships with other people in your industry?
Is that kind of a good description? Yeah. And taking the time to build relationships, not just be that superficial kind of fake? Oh, yeah, God, I love what you do. And I'll support you.
Another example is something that happened recently. So for those loyal listeners, you might have noticed this so recently, we stopped sharing the whole video episodes on YouTube. What we used to do is a film we still film this whole episode, but we used to share the whole video episode on YouTube.
And we stopped doing that recently because it took a lot of time to edit and there weren't that many people watching the whole video most people were listening to the full podcast or watching the shorter clips. So we wanted to use that extra resource that we saved to create more kinds of tiktok promo videos and the things that are working well moving forward. Now, one of the things that with the YouTube videos is it had an auto-captioning feature. So, anyone who needed to read the captions if they were hard of hearing or impaired in some way, could watch the YouTube video and the auto-captions for the whole episode would come up. When we stopped doing that.
We got a message from a lovely business anchor Jeremy. Hi Jeremy, I know you're reading this who said oh, now that we've stopped doing that he can't consume the podcast because he can't hear the audio. So we wanted to make this accessible to everyone. So we now write up all of these podcast episodes and create a blog on our website where it's written up with notes. And it takes loads of time. And initially, it doesn't seem an efficient way of using our time. But it means it's accessible to people who need to read the podcast rather than listen to it. And Jeremy, we did that, didn't think anything of it.
And Jeremy did a lovely post saying how it made him happy because he could still be a loyal business anchor and thanking our team, our team during that whole process, and it did make Yasmin from our team cry, good tears. But it just made like getting that message just made it worthwhile. And I think knowing that we're making this accessible to everyone is a bigger positive than knowing that, oh, we could save time and not do that.
I think, again, though, some of those decisions that, in the short term, a purely business financial driven decisions, it doesn't make any sense to do that. This is why I think a lot of businesses don't do this sort of stuff. It doesn't make logical sense in the short term financially, we're using our team's time for something that doesn't bring the business money in.
But I'm so confident from all of these examples, in our previous experience that doing the right thing, in the making, the extra effort in the long term always pays off somehow.
Yeah, I've got more examples. But do you have anything that you've any kind of examples of things that you think are unscalable marketing?
My main example, I don't know, if you were gonna mention it, the main thing I was gonna talk about is when we sent wig parcels to people like we this was an amazing test and, and had a really good return, I guess, you can go into the details, but something unscalable we went through a phase where a lot of our content, we were wearing wigs and making funny videos, and we kind of got reputation of Oh, you do the videos on LinkedIn in the wigs.
And so the engaging people, we sent in the post, a wig, a parcel with a wig, and a note kind of saying like, Thank you for your support, if you ever want to talk to us about working with us and whatever, let us know. Now obviously the time and effort to firstly, sourcing good value wigs. Putting all the packages together, writing the note, getting everyone's addresses and stuff, all of sending them off all that stuff, hugely inefficient, rather than like sending a sales email to them or sending them a direct message DM saying, Hey, do you want to work with us?
But we just felt we wanted to have a test of if we go to the effort and do something different then it's gonna get noticed and take more time? Will it pay off? And I don't know Dan, you'll probably be in a better position to let us know, the return on that investment.
I am Lloyd. Yeah. Well, if listeners want to know an in-depth insight into that strategy and how it works, go and listen to episode 21, the weird marketing strategy that generated 10x ROI, which we produced, was that 60 Something episodes ago, so it was quite a while ago.
Since then, you know, I'm not gonna mention the product, we recently converted another project, who originally one of the people, we sent the weird wig packages to work for another company moved companies and then got in touch with us and said, You sent me a weird wig six months ago, and now work for a new company, I'm in a position to work with you. And we've we're just starting that project now. So it's more than 10X the time and resource we put into that the return in terms of the value the revenue value has been worthwhile.
That's just the perfect example of what we're saying. So even if we sent those parcels out, and we had no instant sales, which we did, we booked a strategy session. So 10x the time and resources so even if we got nothing immediately, most businesses would have thought, Oh, that was a failure.
Why didn't we go to the effort to do that? And then it takes someone, so someone was in a job where they thought actually in my current role, there's not gonna be an opportunity to work with you nothing happened, they get a new job and then six months down the line then you convert that sale I think that's exactly what I'm talking about are the long term effects how it always works out long term if you take the time and put the extra effort in the short term.
Another example is this podcast. Literally for the first year, like there's a lot of resources you know, there's the team that is shooting this there's a time to edit it. There's a time we prep. There's a lot of time that goes into this podcast um for a year. We didn't make any money or I think we made a very tiny amount of money that made a huge loss. And we had to wait a year of doing this consistently to finally, after a year, we booked in like a six-figure contract that made it all worthwhile.
And we've since, you know, at least 50 to 70% of our new business mentions that they listen to the podcast now. So it's one of those things, it's just a reminder for all marketers or business owners listening, you need to do things consistently over time to gauge if something is working or not, don't just do it once and be like, Oh, I didn't get an instant client.
I guess one question, Lloyd. How do you know when is the time to stop trying something that because you know, like we've waited a year to get the results from this? Yeah. What if something's terrible? And well.
I think was something like the podcast, we could monitor things that weren't income to show that it was worthwhile. We could see the engagement online of people speaking more and more positively about us and what we're saying and what we're doing. So there are things like that, that kind of those positive signs is the main thing. Oh, okay.
Things like sending the wig parcels. I have to admit, that's a harder one. Like, you just have to go, Well, maybe this will work in a bit. And if it doesn't, then that gives you confidence. I'd now be confident, say if we had some kind of weird theme on this podcast, oh, I always eat kiwis or something. I'd be confident if we sent out a load of Kiwis to our biggest listeners with a lovely, note, we would probably get a return on investment for that time because we've done it in the past.
Just sending kiwis. That's why I handle our marketing Lloyd.
I was trying to think of something I don't know, not kiwis, we won't send any kiwis. Because of the logistics of sending perishable food items.
So you've let me think of something else now. So the reason that's a terrible idea like we had a company that just sent us cheese in the post, do you remember that. Over weeks, and we're like someone keeps sending us cheese, and at the end they were like, We're a new IT telecoms company. Do you want to work with us? We've sent you cheese. And we're like, No, we don't think so.
That was strange.
But I do get the idea. We appreciate the creativity a bit. But it's sort of like...
When you don't need the services, and you've just got one cheese. It's not a good combination. But then they might have got a good return on that.
They might have done yeah. I mean, it had no impact on me deciding that they were a good company to work with by just sending cheese in the post.
If anything, it made me think if you can't handle the logistics of keeping cheese cool. In the process of getting delivered, how are you going to keep cool when I have an IT emergency?
Wow, that is cringe. One more example for me. I know I'm being Mystery Example, this episode before we get into some practical, more practical stuff. So, agency nomics, we've done a business anchors podcast episode on agency nomics, which is a brilliant book, if you run an agency or you're in the marketing world, or you want to do business go and read agents, economics by Spencer, and Pete, two guys that used have an agency and they sold it, and now they help other agencies. We read their book and then did a podcast episode on it. And then we went to one of their events. And we've since kind of built and nurture that relationship over time. We've put quite a lot of time into producing content about them, going to meet them, and attending their events. And we had
Drinking champagne in their house.
Drinking champagne and one of the houses. Yeah, that was, that was tough. That is just a quick, quick backstory on that. That was a weird one because we're going to an event they're running. And then we were invited. It was one of their birthdays and were invited back to their house.
And we thought it might just be one of those things where it's like, oh, we better invite them because we didn't know them that well. Did we? Then we just ended up in their house. And it was really good in the end.
But anyway, so so that that's another unscalable thing we've done building the relationship with them. And we got mentioned in their recent book. That's one thing that's happened because of that.
In a good way?
In a good way. Yeah. They said how brilliant we were and how creative we were.
Now in the long term, people gonna read that, and someone's gonna go, oh, I want to speak to them about giving them loads of money to do something really good.
Exactly. Yeah. And we're actually, I don't know how much we can talk about this. We're gonna give too much away. But we're potentially going to be hosting some kind of event thing in the future. But we can't talk about that.
So we've given lots of examples of like positive things that we positive outcomes we've had, in the long term when we've done unscalable things that have taken more resources that seem to make sense in the short term. If people are listening, thinking, well what can I do? What steps should people take to take on this kind of strategy?
It feels weird, like giving steps for how to like build real-life relationships and stuff, because it Could sort of just happen but to make the structured one, I would write a list of all the people with who you want to build deeper relationships, or who have supported your business, or potential customers you want to work with and build relationships with writing a list of all those people, then prioritise them in terms of who are the most important people you want to build a relationship with.
And then literally set actions to do something unscalable for them. That could be, you know, booking a ticket for the event, they're running and going there and supporting them. It could be writing a handwritten thing as we did with weird wig packages.
I think anything that shows that you're putting time and effort into the relationship. Not annoying things like don't send them cheese every day and look at the effort. I'm making something that hopefully they will value like we were sending the wigs because we thought it would make people laugh like that.
They're like commenting on our videos. Oh, I love those wigs. And then we're sending them we thought they'll probably laugh at this. So that'll be. But yeah, anything that just shows you're making an effort and that relationship is valuable to you.
Go and do that stuff. Is there anything else that you think would be valuable to add to the conversation, Lloyd, anything around unscalable marketing, that will be useful to listeners?
I think just the summary that always thinks of the long term whenever you possibly can unless there's a bill you need to pay in like two hours. And so you have to just think of short term income over time.
Yeah, I said that weird then stop laughing at me. Our long term strategies have always paid off us. Are you still laughing because I said income funny? So I'd say any decision making try and do that, like make the extra effort in the short term. Like I said, almost anything in life seems to be this way. Put the extra effort in, in the short term, and it's going to pay off in the long term.
Yeah. So actually take action. What are you going to do after listening to this episode, to build a deeper relationship with someone who you want to build a deeper relationship with? Do that thing, send them that handwritten note with a chocolate bar and go and book a ticket to their event? Do it now and you genuinely will see it and it's just a nice thing to do. Like you're being a good person.
They probably like melted chocolate bars in the past. It's a good thing to do.
So yeah, cool. We've got a really interesting episode coming up next, which is all about how to generate Predictable Revenue, which I think is probably going to be the most valuable episode we've ever done.
Next week's episode, just it's like gave us a magical power to predict revenue in the future and know exactly how much money our business is going to bring in. Magical. Listen to that in a bit. Or if you've listened to this light, probably already live. So go there now.
See you next week.