AI In Marketing And Advertising With Sadie Dominique
Year by year, we are seeing the rise of new technologies that are transforming so much of our business processes, and marketing is one aspect that should not get left behind. Priding themselves on staying up-to-date with everything new is Wolf Riot, a marketing agency that helps organizations by integrating AI in advertising and marketing motion. In this episode, Chad Burmeister sits down with one of the people behind the company, Sadie Dominique. They talk about the growing role of AI in marketing and advertising and how they utilize it, why you should use a marketing agency to test AI, and how you can motivate your sales team to leverage new technologies. Join in on this conversation and move along with the trends to get the best results for your business.
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AI In Marketing And Advertising With Sadie Dominique
I've got an expert with me. Sadie Dominique is with a company called Wolf Riot. This is a marketing agency that helps organizations in massive ways. We're going to dig into that. They're using AI in the advertising and marketing motion much like ScaleX uses AI in the sales motion. I'm excited to drill into what that means with Sadie. Sadie is the Head of Accounts and at a small business, as we’ll fry it, that means you wear a lot of hats, so sales and business development. She manages a team of 4 or 5 people. We're happy to have her on the show. Sadie, thanks for being here.
Thank you for inviting me.
West Hollywood, I shared with you my experience there with FedEx. I was going door-to-door knocking on business doors. I remember driving through that area and the traffic was bad when I was there. That was many years ago. I can only imagine what it's like now.
Hence, the remote working for me.
The remote workforces that welcomed change probably for everyone who lives in the Hollywood area. Take us a little bit back. I like to understand for our readers, how did you get into this role? You're in a sales and marketing role. If you think back to your early days in college and before college, what did you do that got you to this point in time?
It is an interesting journey. One of the things that I found I liked to do as a child is I was creative, so I loved the fine arts. I got a scholarship to the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. I went there early pre-college. I found later on what I liked to do is not only do I like to create but I love talking to people. I'm a natural salesperson even though I didn't know it. One of my first jobs in college was working with a photographer and a floral designer of a wedding company. I did all this PR for them, connected them with the mayor, going to different events, doing the graphic design because I had a degree in Graphic Design and then promoting that as well. The company grew a lot. That was in 2008 right after the recession. It was a tough market but I'm glad I got into it because I learned a lot.
That’s when you discovered that you were in your element at that point. It's fun when you're like, “There's value to this kind of work that I'm doing.”
It came naturally to me. I'm grateful for having a degree in Design because it helps with marketing and with working with clients like giving them specific recommendations. Several years ago, I got into door-knocking sales and cold calling. I'm a master at cold calling. I've trained many teams on doing so and then also various technologies. The good thing about sales as you know with AI is the lead generation part. That getting leads, getting the right clientele, being in front of the right clientele has been a huge asset in the past several years that we've gained.
It seems like every year that goes by, there's a new technology or maybe 50 new technologies and keeping up to pace with everything that's going on. We've got an Alexa at home and you've got your Siri on your phone. I remember going to Winter Park, Colorado and I call this place to book a massage. I get a text in. I'm used to talking to the person to book it. Now I get a text and it takes me to a website and it says, “Here are the twenty people that we have that work here.” Now it's like, “This person's prenatal.”
It became more valuable by self-booking and lower-cost than it would have been me talking to Gertrude at the front desk. If you think of that kind of process, it's better for me the customer and it's better for them the business. It’s a win-win all the way around. That's what I'm seeing go on in lead generation. Why hire an entry-level college graduate to pull a list of leads, send email blasts, do it wrong, and then you have to slap their hand all the time? It's better to have a smart marketing ops person, sales ops person, or both to manage the process. Leverage people to do what people are supposed to do, which is to talk to people on the telephone, connect and build relationships.
The good thing about sales, as you know with AI, is the lead generation part.
With Wolf Riot, one of the things that I am most proud of is that we're cutting edge. We stay on top of everything new trends. Anybody who's been in marketing, even people who are college grads of marketing, a lot of their information is old. We pride ourselves on staying up-to-date and then integrating that into the company. We use a lot of AI for marketing and then also for the lead gen for sales.
Share an idea of something that's latest and greatest. It hasn't made it to the textbooks yet but it's being used in practice by Wolf Riot. What's an example of a technology that's like that?
I don't know if it hasn’t made it to textbooks or not but maybe not college textbooks. One of the things is the lead generation part. That's the first point. Getting the right leads and then we scrub our leads. We make sure that we're talking to the right people. We don't market to everybody as an agency because then it slows everything down and it slows the quality down for everybody that's there. We want to get the right people or the right match. It's like dating or finding the right partner.
That's what we do, gathering all the data, looking on their website, Facebook page, Instagram, getting all the information and getting their phone number off LinkedIn and email address. That is something that we put into place. The good thing about that is it works faster than any human can do. Anybody you pay $30,000 or whatever a year to do lead generation and start making those lists, it's now done by AI and you can create a program for it. We have people who do that for a large amount of money but then it pays for itself year after year.
I call it gas in the tank. It's like driving a car with bad gas in the tank. If you have bad data, then you're never going to be able to get optimal output and the car will break down. If you can use AI to source, not just the right person but even with things like Bombora where you can do intent data nowadays and see that something surging. Why wouldn't you? I agree it starts with the data. Have you heard of a tool called Hyperise? You should check this out. For an agency, it's a couple of hundred dollars a month and you can reuse it any number of times that you want for your customers. It's one of those kinds of leverageable tools. If someone comes to your site and there's an IP address lookup, you can program it to say, “Chad, welcome back to the site.” It'll even pull up the customer's website and put it on a webpage inside of the pictures that are on the page. It can do the same thing in YouTube videos and emails. It's this little $200 a month app that's hugely powerful that most people wouldn't have the integration chops to be able to enable something like that. That's where companies like Wolf Riot are always at the leading edge and can help customers usher those things in.
That's cool. I’ll definitely check that out.
That's a good one. There's my gift for the day. Tell us a little bit about from a marketing perspective and advertising. We talked about the data component. What else? Where do you see AI being used? On the advertising side, it would be interesting to start with first.
One of the biggest things about using this AI for advertising is predicting human behavior, so predicting how people are going to interact. Tracking their user experience and seeing where their eyes go on a website and then optimizing that for the customer. Making sure that they're getting the right information at the right time. We see that if somebody goes to your website, you have two seconds to get their attention. After that, they're gone. That's it in the marketing world. The same thing with advertising on Facebook, it’s two seconds. If you don't have it nailed down at that point, they're gone. It's lost.
It's mainly focused on the user and using Facebook algorithms but their behavior as well and tracking that behavior. That would be within a company's target audience, whomever it may be. Usually, when we create target audiences, we stereotype their ideal client. With Facebook ads, we can narrow it down to somebody who likes yoga, lives in LA, is an actress, is involved in bodybuilding or whatever it may be. Those types of things. Not only running the advertisements because we do the split tests to see which one performs better.
Once we have the data of the split tests and we have the data of what ads have been working and it takes a short amount of time to collect that. We then know how to maximize that by putting off the data that we collected. Now we're going into the person’s psychology and making sure that they see the company in the right setting at the right time and they see what they want to see. There are always natural things that people like to see about free or something or whatever it may be. We want to make sure that what we use is data intensive.
It’s lining up the customer journey with what's being presented to them.
Giving them what they want. That's exactly what we do. Using a lot of technology, data and AI, that is giving the customer exactly what they want when they want it.
I think of the times I've been a buyer, and I'm a buyer frequently as the CEO of my company. There are many times where people get it wrong. In the self-service economy that we live in, like the massage example I gave, I'd rather it be a seamless process than somebody coming on the phone and not able to understand the business conversation. You're like, “What are you talking about? I don't have time for this.” By serving up and lining up those assets with the buyer at the right place at the right time and then, by the way, plugging in a chat channel or an email bot that can correspond with the person. Within the next couple of years, almost every business person will have a virtual assistant. We all have emails. Why don't we have a smart email that knows how to send and reply to emails?
That is something that we've been working on as well. This is not necessarily for Wolf Riot. We're testing it with another company first, doing the booking phone calls. We're testing out to see how the bot is doing cold calls.
I've heard of this and I haven't dabbled in that yet. That's awesome. I went to the Amazon VOICE Conference in New York. It was the first one they did. I sat in some of the breakout sessions that would have been boring to most people but to me, I’m like, “What?” If you can program a bot and you can program an email to do the bot work, one of the main speakers said, “Amazon VOICE sits on top of that.” It's the same concept. You're just converting those words into speech. That's going to come hot and heavy. In 2021, you'll start to see that more prevalently.
They learn as they go along from the different objections so we'll have a test audience and then they say this and they say that. The lead generation booking phone calls would probably be as far as the sales though. We've discussed that and it's like, “I don't know,” especially a high-ticket item.
I'm sure your customer is a long tail of high transaction volume and low-cost per deal because certainly, the higher you go up the pyramid of $1 million deal, you wouldn't want a bot selling that deal. If you're selling a $19 a month RingCentral phone or Zoom video phone then it’s like, “They've already outsourced 1,000 people to the Philippines.” Maybe you can now have somebody that can have that conversation with a bot instead of somebody that's in the Philippines.
Something that's a smaller ticket item, we're going to be seeing that happening a lot more often.
It's been quite an interesting year with politics going on because there's been a lot of AI used in which ads get shown to whom. Sometimes, you feel duped regardless of where your head's at in terms of which party you're for. When you look at it, you go, “There's so much going on out there these days when it comes to information.” There's the advertising side we talked about. I'm going to blank on the customer. We have a customer that this marketing technology plugs into Eloqua and it can look at every email that's gone out, the opens, replies, time of day that it's sent, and subject line. Instead of having a team of 6 or 8 analysts, the AI can tell you, “We need to move this one around. This is the order. This is the better reply rate. This is the better meeting book rate.” Have you seen any customers deploy that level of AI for marketing automation?
Not yet but in the next couple of years, we’re probably doing that, implementing that, and using it with customers because that's the most important. An email marketing campaign is great and it's specific. There's going to be a title that's going to be open more. There's going to be a time of day. Before, it was just people looking at a bunch of data and then figuring it out. Now, being able to get the information, the feedback in a shorter amount of time with more accuracy is our main focus as well. It's maximizing our time and leveraging AI for that.
We have so much information that makes advertising so much better.
What's neat is it's not about the cost savings. That's a side benefit. It's about a better solution, faster decisions and better decisions, which constantly makes me think. I remember hearing Bill Clinton speak at a Dreamforce event one time and he said, “When I was the President, I helped the GDP grow. Productivity went up 5%,” let’s say. “We became 5% more productive in eight years,” or whatever. He said, “That caused so much growth.”
With the advent of AI, you see the curve of dollars per head is going like this, and the headcount required to produce it is going not at the same pace. I have to believe 5% is small compared to what's about to be unleashed. Maybe that's why we're at a point where we can say, “There's enough food to feed everyone in the world.” I get a feeling that AI could unleash this new level of helping more people than ever before.
The government runs extremely slow, so 5% is huge. Being a digital agency and a marketing company, we want that in a shorter amount of time. We want to increase productivity and getting feedback faster.
You can be a little more of a speedboat than a cruise ship like I've always seen in big companies.
That's going to be one thing that big companies are either going to have to adapt or will struggle in that area. That's where we'll see a divide between the ones that stay on top of the technology and other ones that are slow to adapt. There are a lot of companies out there that are still hesitant to change things and adopt new ways.
Someone told me that they had read that 52% of the Fortune 1000 have been gone since 2000 and I'm like, “What? 1 in 2?” You can look around with the pandemic and it's accelerated the pace of that. You're right. Pivot or die is where it's at. It sounds like you are at the leading edge of that. Talk to us a little bit about an agency versus in-house because our company does the sales side of outsource. Your company does the marketing side. I know the benefits from a sales perspective. What are the benefits from a marketing perspective for somebody to outsource versus bringing it in-house?
I'm so glad you asked that question. This is one of the biggest things that I find. The difference is that if you outsource, first of all, you're going to be able to find a great deal. Also, when you outsource, you're just working with 1 or 2 people. You're working with the head of accounts like me for example and maybe the person who's in marketing. You're not dealing with an entire team of people. You're not paying them W-2. You don't have to have them show up. Another thing that's key from in-house versus outsourcing is we are on top of what we're doing and we are learning every single day.
Whatever it may be that's changing, we know this type of stuff. Plus, we can look at different websites and advertising with an objective view. What I'm saying about that is I'll give you an example of a company that I, for one, not only bought their item that they're selling but then I got on the phone with them and said, “There's so much stuff that you're missing with your marketing.” This company was one of the food delivery companies. I was looking for one that's organic and it’s the pre-cooked food instead of the meal prep.
I was of looking on Google for days and nothing came in my news feed for Facebook and Instagram. I'm thinking, “West Hollywood, the majority are renters where I live. Most people don't necessarily want to cook. We don't know what's going to happen with coming to winter monsoon. They're more likely going to be buying these meal services and they're missing an enormous target audience.” In LA, you want organic. I thought about that and I was thinking, “I can't believe that that happened. There was one company out of the ones that I researched that started running ads but that was way after I had already made my decision.”
I've referred them to other people and people just say, “I've never heard of that company before in my life.” I’m like, “Neither do I.” I went to their website because I did end up in an audit and figure out why that's happening. I realized there are so many small mistakes that add up to the big money that they are making. They have a thorough marketing team with a marketing manager and content creator. I saw and I spoke to one of the salespeople and I said, “Everybody on our marketing team is awesome, they're amazing and great.” I'm sure they are but also, they have blind spots that they're not seeing.
We take it as a holistic approach and we look and we see where the blind spots are and that's where we put it together. Most companies do this and this but there are gaps that they have and we fill in the gaps. Those gaps end up to millions of dollars in extra revenue and more customers and grow so even the small things. They're not tracking the customers, that's why they're not running the feeds. They did but it's broken. Their Instagram links on their website were broken. The navigation of the website is too difficult. It should be on the first page for the items instead of clicking-through.
There are these small things. Having a team, when you're hyper-focused on it, you have blind spots. One thing about hiring an agency is it’s not either/or. We can do both. We come in and we oversee and say, “This is what you guys are doing. This is what you need to do in order to increase your sales. This is how you're going to do it.” We do consultations as well and teach the marketing employees what to do and how to do it.
Once we're done and they're running smoothly then we're done. We back away or we come in, work with the customer, run their advertisements and make sure that they get a hefty ROI on everything that they do because that's the point. Another thing about outsourcing an agency is we have to work hard for you in order to keep your business. I found this a lot with other companies. They're an employee and they're not sitting back. They care about ROI but are they that hard-driven by ROI? Not necessarily. They're going to get paid no matter what. We're going to get you an ROI or we're going to leave because that's what we do.
That's how it works. When we start looking at companies and say, “Let's look at how many calls that your SDR or BDR makes per year. Let's look at how many emails they send and how many social touches they do.” They tell you one thing but then when you go in with a stopwatch and you look at it, companies are spending $10 to $12 per email that gets sent. They're spending $10 to $12 per phone call, and $12 to $18 to $25 per social connection. You're like, “Hold on. What if I could show you a way to reduce your cost per social touch from $18 down to $0.18 and get you not just the cost but therefore, get you 10 to 20 times more touches in the marketplace with the right buyers?” It floors me when you see these companies that are operating inefficiently. It's great to know there's a marketing team that sees the world in the same way we see it from a sales side.
If they're running inefficiently and they're not doing what you're supposed to do, what's the point of marketing? It's then the old-fashioned way of throwing things on the board and hoping something sticks kind of thing. You’re just saying, “Let's advertise women's home journals because women are the target audience.” It's the same thing. We have so much information that makes advertising so much better. Why aren’t we using it? Doing checkboxes is not the thing to do. Marketing is targeted. If you're not in front of the right people at the right time, you're missing out.
Another thing that I feel strongly about is that you are not servicing the people that need your services with companies. We work with a lot of health and wellness companies. It almost makes me sad because I know there are so many people suffering that need another alternative or healthcare and they're not reaching those people that are looking for a solution. It's like, “Your marketing is not only just impacting your ROI. It's impacting other people's lives because they don't know that you even exist.”
What are your thoughts on personal branding versus company branding? It seems to me there is a big push and trend to say, “Let's brand Sadie in addition to branding Wolf Riot.” Are you going down that path for yourself and your customers?
Not me but the owner is. Jeremy Sandell is doing the personal branding and you can go to JeremySandell.com. He's marketing as a personal brand and then there's the agency. I thought about this a few years ago. I don't want to have a personal brand. I just want to be able to utilize the companies like coaching companies or agencies to be able to push my skillset there and sell it from there. Personal brands are statistically known that they get more leads and more lead generation other than a company. Maybe it has something to do with personalization. People want to deal with people. They don't want to deal with a company that doesn't care about them. That's exactly what we have been doing and it works best.
You think of even someone like Elon Musk who has his own personal brand. He owns companies and does quite well with that. His tweet that came out said, “I was tested for COVID four times in one day. Two are positive and two are negative.” That was on his personal brand. He's making a political statement and it's not under his other brand. To me, it's intriguing. When you put it all out there, you put your heart on your sleeve and say, “This is who I am.” In mine, it says, “Become the greatest sales professional in the world.” I read that book when I was younger and I've always been striving for it. How can I help other sellers to become that? ScaleX is a tool to do that but then I have another company called SalesClass that does content so I'm the brand. Like Jeremy, I have a feeling that years from now, you'll say, “Now I have my own website too.”
That might happen.
Marketing is targeted. If you're not in front of the right people at the right time, you're missing out.
There are people in the world that are missing out on the company brand that you serve. It's the same thing when it comes to you as a person. There are people who need to experience Sadie Dominique and they don't know it yet. It’s like a company as a brand so do you.
You’re right. It probably will happen in the near future especially because of all the little projects that I'm getting into, real estate and coaching.
Because then, you can have the main header and they understand why you have your hand in that and then it's like, “That makes sense. I want to work with that person. I don't care what it is you're working on. I just want to work with you.” I've had a guy in the neighborhood that I've been lucky to work with who's helped me with video and high-end as well as low-end production stuff. It's authenticity in getting your story out that's the key to that. Where does it all go next? You're further ahead in your knowledge of AI in marketing and sales than most people in America. If you think of the next couple of years from now, what do you think is changed by then?
We're going through a recession. What happens in recessions is old outdated jobs are eliminated and then it creates a huge market for the new. I hope everybody in the next couple of years adapts accordingly. The good thing with COVID is people are forced to adapt, which I don't know if it was good or bad for them. I have been working remotely for years now. One of the reasons is I didn't like getting sick at the office anymore. I had no idea there was going to be a pandemic but it works.
We were ready for this. It didn't change much other than the fact, “Now we're going to have this target audience as far as customers are concerned.” The salespeople and the companies that don't adapt quickly to this trend of AI, the lead generation, cold calling and all of that, those jobs might be eliminated. I have a strong feeling about that. It's always good to know that being a sales professional, to know every single little part of the sales process. I strongly believe those jobs are going to be completely eliminated in the next couple of years.
I remember Dr. Howard Dover is with UT Dallas. He shared with me that they did a study on LinkedIn and they looked at the number of sales development and business development jobs over a period. Let's say a five-year period, it tripled then it doubled again over the next two-year period. Triple and then another double on top of the triple. He said, “We're at a peak because when you send out, you have 5X as many people in five years and then 2X in two years.” Now you're 10X of what it was a few years ago. That's just in people but then you add in technologies, email blasting and voicemail software. All of a sudden, you got 10X more people doing 10X more activities. That's way too much. What's needed is paring it down and getting the right message to the right person at the right time. That's the beauty of AI. This has been fabulous, Sadie. I appreciate you coming on. If people want to get a hold of you and learn about your organization, in the interim, how would they get ahold of you?
They can go to our website, WolfRiot.agency.
This has been fabulous. I appreciate you taking the time from West Hollywood. I'll catch you on the flip side. Thanks for joining. Sadie, thank you for joining.
Thank you for having me.