Tim Whitley and his Team SI team have been preaching about TraDigital: The Art of Blending Traditional and Digital® before any other marketing firm had the slightest clue that digital was not going to go away, traditional media was not going away and that it is all about a balance of the two.
Since 2012, TraDigital has been at the core of our DNA and a part of every marketing plan we do. It is incredible to see a client’s face that is expecting a digital plan but instead receives a mixture of traditional and digital in their plan. It is fun to educate our clients that the large megaphone of television is not going away. And, in rural areas, radio and print are not going away.
When Tim is on the speaking circuit educating marketers on TraDigital, one of their basic questions is one that evaporates the entire mindset of TraDigital. The number one question Whitley receives is “okay, I understand I need a mixture, but what percentage of my advertising dollars needs to go toward digital versus traditional?”.
It is not that simple of a question to answer.
Every client at Team SI is different.
Data determines how to allocate dollars in your marketplace. Team SI invests a lot of money in research. Most of the research that comes out of Team SI is all real-time. This means it does not include telephone surveys, direct mail, etc. We believe that this type of research does not give a holistic picture of a particular market, even when creating a strategic marketing plan for a market that is broken down by a county-by-county strategy.
Team SI needs real-time research to determine how we are influencing the market (no matter how large or small it is). Are the tactics working? If not, why? If so, why? Find the answers and then adapt the strategy.
Tim gets asked a lot “how often is this done?”. This happens each and every week. Team SI’s job is to drive leads. After our weekly meetings, we take another step towards perfection.
Do we ever hit perfection? No! In a world with so many screens, places to research products, new websites, new apps, etc, we have never walked out of one of these weekly internal meetings and have celebrated perfection. That person or team would no longer work at Team SI. That is not who we are.
The data changes from week to week. Consumer behaviors change every single day. There is no time for a “cruise control campaign” at Team SI.
Let’s take the industry of agriculture and equipment for example when developing a TraDigital strategic plan.
Team SI has taken this industry by storm. We have been the disruptor in a field that has been craving the attention for years. We have made dealers that “get it” successful and dealers that do not “get it” left behind in the dust.
We are proud to say that Team SI represents over 400 Equipment dealership locations in the United States and Canada.
Here is why…
When a new dealer wants to work with us, we do not sign an agency of record agreement until we know it is the right fit. Team SI will take six weeks to do a full data audit on the following aspects of the dealer’s assets:
• Is the website mobile first?
• Is the equipment integrated into the site or are they bouncing people to another website?
• Is the dealer treating the website as an additional location versus just a brochure?
• What is under the hood as it relates to first-party data with Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics and/or server analytics?
• Does the dealer have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that keeps up with leads, sales, parts, service, etc.?
• What is the dealer’s market share by county in each series monthly and annually?
Doppio by Team SI®
• This is Team SI’s proprietary system that is in place for our marketers, data analysts, media planners, etc, to have an area to dive in the market to see the opportunity based on the market share analysis.
• Example: if the data outlines that small compact utility is taking a beating due to the competition, Team SI can gain insight into what their competitor is doing and how to guide a strategy around them and not to just outspend them.
• Doppio by Team SI will be able to zero in county by county to determine acreage, market intent, credit scores, affinity scores to brand loyalty, etc.
• This data is held close as it will determine the ultimate strategy after the information below has time to influence the overall potential of the market.
• Team SI will utilize our in-house research tools, Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, etc, to determine third-party data to see how our potential dealer’s brand awareness stacks up with his or her competitors.
• We will also use third-party data to determine how the national brand is influencing the market, what is driving people to search for certain keywords and to follow their purchase behavior.
Trends in Data
• Even in the new world of marketing, where it seems that everything changes every quarter due to the speed of innovation, one thing has stayed the same – trend lines. Team SI watches for trend lines in the market to help determine strategy and market health. These trends do change much more rapidly than they did just six years ago, but they are there and should influence your entire strategy.
• There are a few things that are consistent from market to market – we are a nation of video consumers. In researching products, we will watch videos to see how one product stacks up to the other product.
• We are also a nation of video consumers because it relays emotion and dedication when looking for a new business partner (farmer to dealer). Farmers are utilizing the video search functionality as much as they are using Google Search.
• We will conduct an audit of the dealer’s video assets and then work it in the overall strategy.
• Here is another thing that is a consistent factor across all markets in the United States. We are driven by smartphones. Smartphones will inform the consumers of reviews of the dealership. They will also give the ability for instant gratification, with information on calling the dealership, driving directions, store hours, days/hours when you are the busiest and website clicks.
• Team SI will audit the dealer’s store locations via ALL business directories that are online. This will be worked within the overall strategy on how to deal with incorrect numbers, incorrect addresses, etc. It will also outline how to deal with positive, negative and neutral reviews.
• When you are watching TV and you see an ad for a product that you want RIGHT NOW or that you want to research more about, you immediately go to your smartphone. If you search more than three times to try to find the product, you will not make a fourth search. You are done. The same is true if the product or service you are searching for is on the second page of Google, you are never going to see it.
• In the detailed strategy, Team SI will also cover the organic strength of the website.
Handling of Leads
• Why is everything mentioned above so important? Did some of you roll your eyes with some of the line items? If so, apparently you do not want to ensure that every marketing dollar is spent to send the user down the path to purchase with ease and comfort. Remember, we live in a world of so much clutter. We must provide a sensible, logical and easy way for the consumer to research the product that he or she is interested in.
• Team SI is responsible for leads. That is why we record every single one of them. We provide quality assurance of leads by listening to calls and providing feedback to the dealer on how to handle leads and how to help influence our ongoing strategy.
After six weeks of all of that, what is next? It is time to present the strategic plan to the dealer. We just hope the dealer did not forget the 600+ hours of time that it took to draw up this data-driven marketing plan.
The plan is outlined by Video, Audio, Search, and Visual. It is not your typical marketing plan that outlines traditional and digital. It is highlighted the way that TraDigital should be highlighted.