John & Etienne Turner, a father/son team that are both Managing Partners for Digital J2, join us for a National Advisor Showcase segment about inbound marketing and how this can change the outcomes for businesses of all types.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. Texasbusinessradio.com is the web site. You know we have a lot of very smart guys coming to Texas to talk to groups of CEOs. And we like to bring them in a regular segment we call “National Advisers Showcase” and that’s what we got going on right now. I’m your host Matt Register. Jay Curry had to step out. We actually had to take a seat. We had so many people in here right now but he’s going to join us here in a few minutes. In the meantime, get your calls in to our 24 hour call in line, 844-814-8144. We’re going to jump right into it. Out, inbound marketing is the new way that you have to, if you don’t know what it is, you need to learn it. Because this is the way that, your customers have changed the way they operate and you need to change the way you operate, in kind. We have Etienne Turner and John Turner in here from Digital J2 out of Florida and North Carolina. Welcome to the show guys.
John Turner: Thank you, it’s great to be here.
Matt Register: So John, tell me a little bit about, because you guys are talking to CEOs about doing some of the same things that we have started doing. Right? So I understand what you do. But when was it that you came to the conclusion that this was what was happening to the world?
John Turner: Well, when we, when we started the company or prior to starting the company, Etienne had just graduated from UCF as, with a degree in entrepreneurship.
Matt Register: OK. That’s the University of Central Florida for west Texans.
John Turner: And a… Correct. And I was at the time, I was running a deep ocean exploration company. We were doing a lot of work in the, in the South Pacific and actually did a lot of work with some local companies here in Houston. Worked with a great company Oceaneering.
Matt Register: Sure.
John Turner: And right around that process, Etienne was applying for graduate school and was going through that whole process. And we decided to go rock climbing one day and he informed me that he wasn’t going to go to graduate school. And he goes on to tell me that if he went to graduate school he’d have all these bills to pay and he didn’t want a job, he wanted a business. So I said “Let’s start a business.” and that’s how we started Digital J2. But when we first started our company, we were starting to develop our long term vision. And what we’ve quickly recognize is that, we are in a process of, we are in the process of living through the biggest shift in how we communicate since Gutenberg invented the printing press.
Matt Register: I couldn’t agree more.
John Turner: And what we’re seeing is that there’s still a really significant disconnect with a lot of companies that, their living it every day as individuals or their businesses. But in terms of applying and shifting their sales and marketing platforms over to this and taking advantage of the shift. That’s not taking place and for us that was a huge opportunity.
Matt Register: Well, it’s something that’s hard to grasp but once you grasp it, it ends up changing the way you operate within your business. Right?
John Turner: Right. Right.
Matt Register: It ends up, it ends up changing everything. And the old way of outbound marketing, where you are pushing a message out to people is not being received well anymore.
John Turner: Right. Right.
Matt Register: So, how in the world are you able to convince some of these companies to make that seismic shift. Are you having to wait until they make the decision themselves?
John Turner: Well it is, it is, I think the philosophy side of it is very significant. Obviously there’s tactics and skills that are involved but the philosophy’s is definitely something that’s got to take place. In terms of what we do with our clients, there are two fundamental things that we help our customers with. Number one is we help them find the arbitrage in customer acquisition. And what I mean by that, if, you know, it costs so much to get a customer. But if you’re not generating enough revenue to support that, it doesn’t make any sense anymore. And what we find is that there are a lot of companies that are still romantic with old channels. Were some of those audiences, one, may no longer be there or two, it’s too expensive to connect with them anymore and you need to go find new ones.
Matt Register: Well, you can’t be losing money on every person and expect to make it up in volume. Right?
John Turner: Correct. Correct.
Matt Register: That’s, that’s not going to work.
John Turner: So, so the second thing we help customers do very well is we, as organizations we’ve learned how to do solution selling in the physical world very well. And doing Inbound Marketing while online is not at all different then how we do solution, solution selling in the physical world. But it is mimicking that in the digital world. And that’s something else that we help our customers with.
Matt Register: Well the customer has, you know, information is a commodity. They have every ability to go do their own research. And long before their ever willing to talk to a human to be able to, for them to be able to do some solution selling with them. You better move some of that process online where your customers are or you’re going to miss out on the opportunity. Your competitor will. Right?
John Turner: Right.
Matt Register: Now, that’s, that’s absolutely interesting. Now how long have, has this company been around? I mean it hasn’t been around that long.
John Turner: We’re, we’ve been in business now for three years and we just got into this niche about a year and a half ago.
Matt Register: OK. No. Interesting. So tell me a little bit Etienne about what you guys are, so, I mean, how, how are business owners messing this up? I mean what does, you know, when you guys, the people hire you and then they realize there’s a lot of work involved in it because this is a fundamental shift in the way their operating.
Etienne Turner: Definitely.
Matt Register: How do guys get this and end up messing it up?
Etienne Turner: As in executing and deciding they want to do this inbound marketing?
Matt Register: Correct.
Etienne Turner: A lot of times what people think with inbound marketing, they say this is, this is a really cool notion, this is a really cool strategy or tactic to utilize. Let’s just buy it and then let’s just forget about it. But it’s not like that. It’s very, more interactive. It’s a continual process that you have to keep building. It’s an asset that you need to continuously work on a monthly basis. So coming into the notion that I could throw some money towards it and then forget it. You’re going to fail, off the bat.
Matt Register: Sure.
Etienne Turner: And then a lot of times with this approach of what inbound marketing is and where people mess up. Is they start off with inbound and then go back to outbound. And so essentially, let me just define outbound. Outbound marketing’s kind of principles built off of disruption and interruption based. So just a quick example, we’re watching a movie and our goal and objective is to watch the story plot unfold in front of us and we’re then interrupted or disrupted from a commercial to complete that objective. So that’s kind of the basis of outbound marketing. So this, there’s been this shift towards inbound marketing. And so why is this shift occurring towards inbound? Well, on average, on a per daily basis were interrupted around 2000 times per day. Why? It’s because of technology. Technology has empowered us. But yet, it’s on the same regard it’s almost hurt us in the same respect.
Matt Register: Sure.
Etienne Turner: We’re empower too, we’re empowered to capture any type of data or information online in an instant. We have access to our family, friends, employees, whoever we want access to. We have access to work, whatever it may be, in an instant. But again, on the side of it hurting us, is they all have access to us. So we have 2,000 distractions happening on a per daily basis. To where now, we’re evolving as human beings to begin ignoring these outbound marketing messages. To then move over into why inbound is starting to become the solution. So where people could really mess up, back to your first question, is getting someone’s business card, let’s say, through an inbound process of providing value. And once you have their business card, you move to the approach of, let’s spam the hell out of them through e-mails. So we have your e-mail address and let’s go back to outbound marketing and just start hitting them with a ton of e-mails. And that’s where you could really start having some negative brand connotation with it and you can’t do that.
Matt Register: Well how important is content creation in this process? I mean it’s, you have to have things to be found. Right?
Etienne Turner: Yeah.
Matt Register: To be able to have these things come in.
Etienne Turner: Well, we have this whole notion of content is king but what’s happening now, is like you said, Constance commodity. And so it’s not good enough to just produce content for the sake of content, you’re going to fail. I would rather provide the advice of, its better to produce one blog post per month than produce 10 blog posts per month. Because everyone is producing content. And so what you need to really work towards is identifying; who’s my potential customer base, who is my persona and what are the problems and challenges that keep them up at night? And let me create content around solving those problems that really provide some type value.
Matt Register: More importantly, what does he search for to solve those problems. Right?
Etienne Turner: Correct
Matt Register: And to make sure that you have answers to those problems easily find-able when he does. Right?
Etienne Turner: Yeah, exactly.
Matt Register: So you guys are in town to talk to a couple of Vistage groups. We’re big fans of Vistage, these are groups of CEOs. So I appreciate your time. John Turner, Etienne Turner, Digital J2. What’s the easiest way to get in touch with you guys, should somebody want to?
John Turner: www.digitalJ2.com.
Matt Register: DigitalJ2.com. Guys thank you very much for joining us. Unfortunately, we got to go take a break. We got to pay a couple of bills ourselves. DigitalJ2.com. Guys, if you’re driving, don’t bother taking notes. We’re going to have links to everybody we’re talking to right there at Texasbusinessradio.com. Get your calls in. We’ll be back right after this with a whole lot more Texas Business Radio. Don’t go anywhere.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.