CMO Insights: Aden Andrus, Director of Marketing, Disruptive Advertising

August 29, 2017

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Aden Andrus, Director of Marketing for Disruptive Advertising.

In this video, Aden shares how

  • Critical a value-driven message is for your audience and the importance of moving away from product only messaging
  • Developing a customer centric marketing approach is not only key, but requires a set of specific questions to ask
  • Data is the secret sauce that drives decisions and ideation.

Learn more about Aden from his LinkedIn profile and follow Disruptive Advertising on Twitter.

For more great CMO interviews like this one, please check out our CMO Insights Playlist on our YouTube channel.

Full Transcript

Jeff Pedowitz:

Hi, welcome to Revenue Marketing Television. I am your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today. We have Aden Andrus, who is Director of Marketing for Disruptive Advertising. Aden, welcome to the show.

Aden Andrus:

Thanks Jeff. Glad to be here. Go ahead.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So have you, so one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to you is I love the term disruptive advertising. So tell us a little bit about what that is and what you guys do

Aden Andrus:

Well, as I say, you’re probably aware a lot of the time marketing gets a little bit of dry. It gets a little bit predictable. We’ve all seen the exact same telephone commercials on TV and everything. There’s a lot about marketing that gets kinda kind of a little stale and with disruptive advertising, we really want to be a little bit different. We’re kind of believers that the best businesses kind of disrupt their industry. They create new value, they create new opportunities. And so we thought that that was a good fit for what we wanted to do and really kinda breakthrough and be a little bit different, disrupt a little bit the marketing industry and find some new and interesting ways to actually get people’s businesses out there and actually get them noticed instead of kind of trying kind of falling into all of the, you know, how hot marketing VC all the time that kind of is utterly forgettable

Jeff Pedowitz:

Now w with all the channels and choices that are available to marketers today, I think it’s probably even harder to find a message that differentiates let alone is effective on each of those channels. So what are some of the things that you guys are doing to accomplish that?

Aden Andrus:

Well, I’ve always been a really, really big believer that the key to success in any industry, whether it’s marketing or medical profession or what you have, you successful businesses create value. And I think that a lot of the time as marketers, we get focused on selling ourselves, selling like a specific product and less focused on actually what creates value for our customers, what creates value for our clients, what is unique about our product or service or offering that really sets us apart. And so disruptive, we really try to focus on, okay, what are the specific needs and what is the core value that we can actually provide? And once you identify that message, it actually becomes something that you can be really effective with across a variety of channels. You know, if you’re, you know, you identify that you’re your core audience that you’re trying to get to is millennials who bought really primarily entertainment.

Well then maybe it’s creating some YouTube videos that are primarily entertaining, and then all of a sudden you get associated with something that they value. And now it’s really easy to kind of transition them to going, Oh, well my product or my service or whatever it is that I’m trying to sell. As, you know, these guys always make me laugh, so they must have something good, you know, whatever it is that the value is there. If you’re providing that value, it’s very easy to make that transition. And then if you incorporate that across multiple areas and multiple channels, and you kind of create an audience and an experiences associated with your business, that ultimately is going to go a lot farther and deeper with your target market than simply try and ad hoc your wares.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Sure. No, that makes a lot of sense. So what, what are some of the things that you do to ensure that there is a good experience, especially from the customer’s perspective?

Aden Andrus:

I’m sure. So probably the first step in key for us in that is to really kind of drill down and identify who are these people and what is it that it’s a core value. Sometimes it gets a little bit more involved than just your basic buyer persona research, you know? Yeah. Maybe they’re a third year old, white male, you know, like me and they’ve got their you know, they’ve got their, their kids in school and stuff like that, but what really drives them? What motivates them? Well, you know, maybe they’re a, a business leader who is trying to grow their business and they’ve got all these interests and they’re really kind of a go getter. Well, what are some of the behaviors? And and things that manifest around that, Oh, maybe they they’re interested in gambling. So maybe we should create some content pieces that make parallels between, you know, the risk taking of gambling and the risk-taking of actually building a business.

And so kind of trying to find, okay, what is it that makes these people unique? What is it that makes them an interesting specific person and then how do we connect those various facets of their life and really create something that’s very compelling for them? So what I love using analogies, I love kind of depicting things in a different way that kind of stands out and it’s like, Oh, you know what? I never thought of that before, but marketing’s a lot like fishing or about like romance or any of those sorts of things that kind of take people out of, Oh, here’s the regular speak that people are always sending to me. And here’s actually connection to my real life that goes beyond just, you know, simple value propositions and other things like that, and really makes it real for people.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So you know, you’ve been doing this for all the while. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen happen in marketing over the last few years?

Aden Andrus:

So I think we’ve seen several transitions especially in digital marketing, digital marketing is changing so fast. If you’re not constantly evolving with digital marketing, you are getting left behind. I think it’s really easy to look at the history of, for example search engine optimization, like early in the day, you could find loopholes in and Google’s algorithms and make a million dollar business out of it. All you have to do is figure out how to kind of load all your keywords and everything that’s gone the way of all the earth these days. It’s, you know, it’s much more difficult to get ranked on Google, et cetera. You see similar things with paid search was really big for a long time, because that was the primary way that people really interacted with the internet. And so you get lots and lots of search.

If you could get ranked, how’s sends becoming a lot more competitive and people have a lot higher expectations for what they’re going to get from their search results. People are getting a lot more aware of advertising. They’ve been beat to pieces with advertising their whole lives. And so there’s a lot more sensitive to it. And so it now is becoming almost a more of a multifaceted approach. You can’t really be the one trick pony or it’s like, Oh, paid search Pacers, Patriots, SEO, SEO, SEO, Oh, I have a blog. Oh, I have whatever your specific thing is that you built your business on. That’s kind of changing now. It’s like, okay, we have to integrate email and maybe paid search and remarketing and all of these different tiers so that you create an overall experience. Kind of like we were talking about a little bit ago that kind of helps move them from the, I mean, it’s basic marketing in a nutshell, but now it become a much more integrated experience across the internet as a whole. So it’s like, you always had your awareness and your different cycles in your funnel that you’re going through, but now you see people entering and leaving at different phases and you constantly have to be adjusting your strategy to kind of loop people back in and really create a much, much more integrated funnel than you really ever have before.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. Sure. No, that makes a lot of sense now, how are skills changing as well? And you know, as you assemble your team, what are you looking for today in a hire that maybe you wouldn’t have needed a few years ago?

Aden Andrus:

So honestly I look for creativity above all else and an ability to communicate with people because I feel like these days, it’s a lot more important to be adaptable at, with this ever-changing, you know, in, in three years, maybe we don’t even, you know, it’s all voice search and we don’t even write, you know, long form content. So if you’re a great long form content writer, that’s nice now, but like, what do you expect to see, you know, two or three years that could be completely different? And so that adaptability and that ability to modify messaging and thinking to whatever is the current medium of expression and what people are connecting with right now. I think we’re seeing a big transition. You know, I think we started with a lot of those ones, like SEO and paid search. We’ve now to a lot of social media and I see the movement heading very strongly towards video.

Well, what comes after that? I don’t know what’s going to be the next big thing and, you know, two or three years, but I expect that there’ll be even a transition through and away from that. And in 10, 15 years, it can all be VR. I don’t know. But for that reason, that’s why I look for kind of that creativity and that ability to communicate because that’s adaptable to a variety of mediums. I, I started in my, my biggest strength has always been audience building and writing, but now I find myself working in things like video, social media, things like that. And what makes me adaptable to those is that ability to understand the audiences who I’m talking to and how to best communicate with them and figure out how to use the new technology to really make the connection and get people excited.

Jeff Pedowitz:

No, that makes a lot of sense. So what’s your take on MarTech and all this? I mean, there’s so much technology. What do you think is essential? What is nice to have? What do you think is gosh, crazy.

Aden Andrus:

That’s a really good question. That’s probably a, a, a whole video in and of itself. So I think when it really, you get down to it I love data and I love numbers. And I think that marketers as marketers, we have to start falling in love with numbers. So things like CRMs absolutely vital, any sort of a tool, and there’s a whole bunch of them out there. So it’s kind of take your pick, but if you’ve got a tool like Zoho or Salesforce, or agile, or any of the other CRMs that are out there, and you can really tie what you’re doing all the way through to what the end results for your business are, that’s where you’re going to be the most effective. So that’s where I get most success I did about MarTech is the things like marketing, automations, all the things that allow you to visualize and direct your entire marketing funnel, especially in the digital aspect, because there’s all these moving pieces.

And if you aren’t using technology and analytics to stay on top of it, it’s just going to run away on you. And we’ve done actually a lot of our biggest biggest channel that we help clients with is paid search. And we’ve actually audited well over 2000 ad words, accounts. And it’s amazing to me because and I’ve actually been personally involved with the vast majority of this research. Cause like I said, I like numbers and analytics, but what’s amazing is that you see about 42% of ad-words marketer, ad-words advertisers who had words is so easy to set up tracking for about 42% of them have never even tracked a single conversion. So they don’t even know if their, their marketing is working and paid search is expensive. So it’s like they’re flushing money down the drain and they don’t even know what’s going on. 

And then of the 58% that actually are tracking only about half of them are actually tracking all of their important actions. And that’s just on the conversion level. Then you walk down towards how many are using CRMs and the numbers drop off precipitously. So you just look at that and it’s like, that is a huge opportunity for any marketer right now who wants to really get good with data. That’s where you can really kind of stand out and all of a sudden go, Oh, you know what? This particular tactic, this particular idea did not pan out. This one is driving a lot of value. We need to put more money into this and not that. And that’s the really powerful thing about online advertising versus a lot of your conventional marketing channels, because you do have all that trackability. How do I know if that direct mail piece really delivered all that value while I hope, hope, hope that maybe they call up and they say, well, I say your direct mail piece, but how often does that really happen? But with online marketing, you can see that. And that’s what allows you to ultimately be highly, highly effective in a very competitive online space,

Jeff Pedowitz:

Great input. So whether you’re being held responsible for what’s your boss measure you want, and then whether you measuring your team on

Aden Andrus:

Ultimately it, it really comes down to sales and predominantly ROI. So and we try to look at that as a lifetime value sort of analysis. So sometimes, you know, we, we have channels that aren’t profitable month one, our first, you know, our first clients say they don’t necessarily make us profitable, but we know that over the course of six to 12 months, we become profitable. And so we really try and look at, especially for ourselves and for our clients, we try and look at what’s the overall big picture. And then does this all add up longterm? And that’s kind of what we try to stay accountable to. Awesome. Cause ultimately things like clicks or conversions or a lot of those more surface metrics, phone calls let’s, don’t put money in the bank. And so if your marketing’s not putting money in the bank, it’s just like any other business expense. It’s not worth investing in if it doesn’t end up creating profit business

Jeff Pedowitz:

Well said. So in closing any words of advice for your fellow marketing executives out there?

Aden Andrus:

I would just say stay very focused on creating value. There’s a lot of competition in virtually every industry and niche. And if you can’t demonstrate how you create value, then you just fall into the rank and file. But when you do create value and you demonstrate that value to your target audience, then you all sudden start to stand out and it’s a lot easier to go. Oh, I remember those guys, those guys, they created something that needed, made an impact on me and that’s why I’m going to be more positively towards them or anybody else.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Awesome. Great advice. Aden, thank you so much for being on the show this afternoon.

Aden Andrus:

Thanks Jeff. I’m happy to have the chance to join you.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. Thank you, and we’ll talk again soon.

Aden Andrus:

Thanks.

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