Welcome the inaugural episode of the Norton Norris podcast! We’ll be sharing tips, tricks, best practices, we’ll be inviting guests, some of our clients, our colleagues as well as some thought leaders in the; marketing, admissions, training, and assessment space, so we hope you stay tuned! In today’s episode Trent sits down with Vince Norton to discuss How to Integrate Traditional & Digital Marketing.

If you want to watch this episode in video format, we’ll be available on YouTube, IGTV, Facebook Watch.


Trent: Welcome to the Norton Norris podcast! I am one of your hosts Trent Anderson and I am joined by the “little N,” Mr. Vince Norton

Vince: hey Trent thanks for putting this together today excited to launch this inaugural podcast and share some good stuff with people.

Trent: Absolutely so to that point, this is the inaugural episode of the NortonNorris podcast and what we’re going to be doing is sharing tips, tricks, best practices, we’ll be inviting guests, some of our clients, our colleagues as well as some thought leaders in the; marketing, admissions, training, and mystery shopping space, so we hope you stay tuned!

We’ll be available on YouTube for video, we’ll be available on Facebook for video and text and will be available on Instagram for the same thing and we will also be available on your favorite podcast destinations so if you’re an Apple podcast user, Spotify, podcast one… whatever it is, we will be there for you.

So without further ado, it’s only fitting that our first guest here is Vince and we thought it’d be a good idea to start out with maybe what’s old is new again and that’s not a dig at the fine-looking gentleman across from me right now! It is a question because in working in marketing as you have Vince for, what I don’t want to age you but what’s it been three decades?

Vince: Well could be, could be four decades..

Trent: could be four decades! Obviously a lot has changed. Social media didn’t exist, and before that the internet wasn’t around. So we had what we call now “traditional media,” TV, radio, print Direct Mail, that sort of thing. Vince can you share with our audience what is the state of traditional media?

Vince: well it’s alive and well to be honest and right to the point because you’ve still got to drive traffic to your digital properties and without some traditional advertising methodologies and some traditional channels to create awareness, I mean how are people going to go and learn about you? Outdoor’s as strong as it’s ever been.

Trent: oh really that’s interesting

Vince: absolutely I mean it’s so geo-targeted. 40 years ago when I bought my first board, I don’t know if we even knew what geo-targeting was. It still exists today and TV, although the space is fragmented, and you’re gonna want to be on you know regular TV and connected TV both there’s a lot more options but still people count on TV for their news you know you can you can target with it you know you still have Nielsen ratings for your age for your male/female so it’s still a very viable viable approach to creating awareness and driving some direct response people people don’t pay enough attention to creative but you know some things never change.

So I mean constantly have to have to fight that battle and say, “you know it’s not it’s not enough to be on the air but you got to be on the air with solid spots and really really think about your message. I’ve been talking a lot about message lately out on the out of the conference trail and you know it’s just consistently overlooked.

Trent: sure sure so what I’m hearing you say is media; traditional or digital or new-age or emerging, it’s really all about context. And it’s really all about content. When you talk about message it doesn’t matter what what the platform is or what the channel is, if you have a suboptimal message it doesn’t matter what where you’re placing that media is that right?

Vince: Sure thing yes I mean the message has to people need to take a step back and think what’s the message I want to get across you know what what are my unique selling propositions you know what are my points of difference in you know in our space I don’t see people taking a step back to think about that.

I was working with a group of admissions people just last Friday and I did a little exercise and we said okay everybody come up to the board and write a USP up on the board and they really struggle with that kind of thing now. They can identify features, but to really really surface what what makes us unique and then stay on point with that message is relatively hard and maybe I’m getting off track here because they don’t know that media but it’s important for our viewers and listeners to understand that being thoughtful about our message and then once you’re thoughtful being consistent trying continuing that same message across multiple channels is key to success.

Trent: yeah that makes perfect sense! So tell me a little bit about how you can integrate as a business across multiple channels? Obviously we’re talking traditional plus digital. How we marry the two of them how do you keep your message consistent and how do you keep your creative consistent

Vince: you keep your message consistent by crystallizing your message points yet not trying to be everything to everybody, really distilling it down, and keeping it simple and driving that message across. You almost have to think public relations right, you know before you prep for any speaking engagement know you’ve got your hot seat questions, you’ve got your key talking points so that if the conversation goes one way you can keep coming back say.

Trent: Vince that’s a good point

Vince: and like I said earlier we want to see how that ties back into by the media so staying staying on point with your with your key message points is key and then realizing that when you’re going to measure your success attribution is more challenging today than it ever has been because people can get the message from so many different channels and you know ultimately that inquiry, that call-to-action it’s probably going to show up on your website and you knowing the different mechanisms and analytics to look at within your website and knowing that there’s a difference between direct traffic and referral traffic and how your traditional media, how your offline media plays a role in that I think we sort of have to shift change the channel just a little bit, pun intended.

And then there’s attribution. Although it’s harder and harder with traditional media, measurement is key. I can share one way we look at that here in a minute.

Trent: Yeah please do. Help us unpack that. Help us unpack the traditional media attribution challenge that everyone has.

Vince: One of the things I’m always intrigued by is time of day and day part analysis as to win the traffic comes to your website and really kind of parsing it out and looking at it and when you buy TV, so back to the old dinosaur era TV. When you buy TV either by spot programming and you say, “I want my spot to run and like one of your favorite shows I know you like the Golden Girls yeah, one of your favorites. So you can buy your rotator and you buy your spots a little bit less expensively, a little cheaper and your spots run say 9a to 4p during your classic daytime coverage or you can zero in and say no you know we really think that we want to get those influencers we want to go on the noon news.

It’s actually strategy we use sometimes. I know probably our students that we’re trying to reach aren’t on the noon news but chances are somebody in their life that’s gonna give them some advice or counsel could be. We might pick that noon news for example and the day part analysis just involves a simple downloading of your inquiries that come in into your CRM. Download those inquiries they typically will have a timestamp on them and look at your inquiries Monday through Friday, primarily look at the time stamp on those inquiries and then maybe graph it out maybe chart it out sort it however you like to slice and dice your data but you can start to see most the time when you do this you can start to see some peaks and some valleys when people are submitting a new inquiry on your website. Now we’ll see sometimes it follows normal day time patterns of get up you get a shower, you go to work, or instead of working you know your other website so much but you know we’ve seen some interesting things we’ve seen some we’ve seen either that tells us that we have shift workers coming home from third shift and consuming some television and then going on and submitting an inquiry job we’ve seen some you know we’ll see a big fall off if we’re working with schools that serve a lot of moms and a lot of non-traditional students well off it you know at three or four o’clock well you say what why did our inquiries drop at three or four o’clock and it’s like well think about the kids came home from school and you’re gonna experience this in just a couple of years Trent, but it’s like all of a sudden the world’s gonna stop right you know you’re gonna have those classic conversations they’re over cookies and a little afternoon snack of what happened at school today and you’re not gonna be submitting the inquiries and working on your information so you see peaks and valleys.

Ironically when we’ve sorted this by market I’ve noticed tentative spikes. It’s interesting because you’re like wait a minute there’s a spike in West Michigan at 11 o’clock in the morning and then I look over and I look at you know southern Kentucky and there’s a there’s a DMA down there and there’s a spike there at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and you start to do a little more digging and you say is there program running at different times during the day because your programming does vary.

We’ve actually been able to discover that specific programming will often out pull broad rotators and I don’t think I’m gonna reveal in this in this podcast what the programming is right watching but if you can really search and discover that there’s a program that my prospects that, my target audience relates better to then then you scrap that broad rotator right and you say let’s do some spot buys and just focus in on some specific programming 12:15 and that’s I mean in some ways that’s the beauty of traditional media right. There’s a day of the week that you like or hate, load up on that day and you could vary by market and that’s that’s when you get to know your audience when you get to know your prospects and their lifestyle habits those are some things that you can be doing and should be doing which I don’t know if it’s you can use your digital media and target quite the same way.

Trent: right right well bring a couple things you brought up there that that I’d like to unpack too. So the first part of that is utilizing digital to drive better decision making and buying for traditional. Now would the inverse also be true? Can you use traditional and seeing the increase in spikes like you’re talking peaks/valleys to then further drive your digital? I.e. your PPC, Facebook ads, etc.

Vince: you know Google Analytics a lot better than I do because I’m a dinosaur and you’re not but if you’ve got the timestamp yeah you can see traffic to your site increases or decreases you can see really you can correlate that to your traditional. We have experimented in some of the big markets with increasing our ads increasing what we’re willing to pay for our PPC ads when certain programming is run so you know we can do some bracketing and “bracketing with my hands in the camera here” and increased bids during and immediately after when our TV spots are running for example ask advanced correlation. don’t even know if that answers your question

Trent: It absolutely answered it. It’s about connecting the dots and making everything work better together is you know mark money yeah yeah and it’s not just about advertising either it’s other are the marketing channel it’s like email text message SMS blasts even when you post on your Facebook page your Instagram page I think all of that data that you can collect on your consumers behavior is going to help you know make your your your targeting and your marketing all that much more refined which again the other thing that I heard you say is when you take that broad-based approach and you’re using a shotgun then you’re you’re hoping that something you’re gonna hit something with your buckshot whereas if you narrow that down with better data about our targeting so on and so forth you’re gonna get much better returns when you actually you know rule number one know thy customer right is that kind of what I’m hearing you say

Vince: well yeah absolutely rule one. Rule two target or fish where the fish are. there’s some examples where your traditional media isn’t the thing to use trying it has nothing to do with being traditional, but it has everything to do with your ability to target writing. In many cases the designated market area, the DMA, it’s too big. If you’re located you it’s 4:30 let’s say your DMA is a watch, it’s a clock and you know your business is living down at 4:30 but your signal is reaching 10, 11, and 12 and those are never going to drive across town right in so using a big traditional media channel like radio and getting the whole market or TV you probably want to rethink that.

There are other market areas, I mean I lived in York, PA. There’s Harrisburg Lancaster, and it’s horse and buggy land in southeastern Pennsylvania and that market is a triad all sharing the same TV signal. Well, the last I checked there is a Walmart in each of those towns and I didn’t learn this in any specific media buying seminar or anything but I happen to believe that if there’s a Wal-Mart in your town and you’re used to going there you’re probably not gonna go to the next town to go to Walmart. So if you’re in one of those Triad cities and you’re purchasing a traditional TV signal and you’re reaching not only your city but those two other ones you know people from your city will come to your shop restaurants tour school right now in your living center but the one the next town over I’m probably not going to happen in that specific case there’s a natural Geographic boundary culture on a river and you know when people were growing up when the horse and buggy there weren’t very many bridges so people didn’t cross natural geographic boundaries.

I look at that same phenomena that occurs down in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Airport is actually in Kentucky. So people from Northern Kentucky, even though they’re getting the Cinci signal, they’re not as likely to cross that big river. I can’t explain it, maybe someday I’ll be able to, but it just happens. targeting important in you know understand your customer understand your market in do some of those classic and we talked about traditional media but you know doing so that classic zip code targeting yeah look at look at where your customers come from and you know use that to inform you know what what channels your you’re going to purchase and that may tell you to stay you know you know away from the mass media or it might tell you to go ahead make sense

Trent: Great stuff, Vince. Only someone who’s been doing this for a couple years would would know the ins and outs of media buying to that extent so that’s that’s greatly appreciated. Now if folks are doing traditional media ie TV or radio, let’s talk about the million dollar question. How is that shifting more towards digital? What are some of those new distribution methods? I’m primarily talking about streaming radio and OTT. What’s your view on on those new kind of the new age of traditional media?

Vince: Well you know it all depends who you talk to, right? I’m talking to my account exec from my local Fox affiliate they may recognize those new avenues exist but they still may be encouraging the major part of the buy and the tried and true. I’m gonna skip the OTT question for for just a minute and focus just on Pandora and the streaming radio. The wonderful thing that Pandora and Spotify allow you to do is to target by zip code and that’s also happening with your OTT products but targeting by a zip code it is very beneficial and when we’re we’re trying to spread the word in some of those market areas like I just explained, “my business is down at 4:30 and I don’t want that signal reaching you know the whole face of the clock yeah shifting and using Pandora and targeting by a zip code, targeting by age, and targeting by gender is very very attractive to me. I’m a huge fan of streaming radio from that regard. I will say that from an attribution point of view, and I’ve been using Pandora probably for five years now, it’s really it’s rare that you see or you get a report and have that report indicate that Pandora work. So sorry friends from Pandora love you much, but it doesn’t show up.

Now I don’t know whether people consider audio is radio but it doesn’t show up on inquiry attribution models that we use. When we query customers, however, I can tell you that just using drawing a line in the sand and having pre-campaign, during campaign, and post-campaign that I can see spikes. I can see results in if that’s the independent variable, that’s the only thing you changed in the campaign then you better go ding ding ding ding ding this works yeah and give credit to that campaign job. So I do really like the isolating and targeting that you can do and I do think we’re gonna see more of that because our advertising methodologies are only going to get better and better and we’re targeted probably until they’re not and then we’ll just cycle back and say this is so much work.

Trent: This is great. So for schools or businesses that have never advertised on radio, either traditional radio or streaming radio, how do those providers/publishers give feedback to advertisers and agencies like us? Then how do we give that information back to our clients and say this worked well and this did not? What are some of those key performance indicators?

Vince: Traditional radio is anybody’s guess all you have is if this if the station subscribes to you know a reading service. Smaller markets are not going to subscribe so you’re either gonna get feel-good, “okay I was in the dentist’s chair and I heard your commercials or you’re gonna get something anecdotal and you really aren’t gonna have much much in a way of measurement at all. I think the majority of websites now are shying away from don’t add another form field on your website and ask them how they heard about us. People are completing your form because you’re making them complete the form but they are just ticking the first thing that’s on the list. So traditional radio gets real hard to measure. On the other hand your streaming will verify and give you an affidavit that your signal did reach X number of people. Normally they’ll over deliver so, they tell me somebody tapped the screen but I don’t believe that. I think that’s somebody that that’s an error, they were trying to answer a call or were doing something else on their phone.

No, I don’t believe the screen taps (clicks) because when you try to correlate the, “hey this many people tap the screen and went to your website” (and by the way, set up a separate landing page so you can really track its analytically) and it’s not gonna correlate. You’re gonna have this number of people that said they tap the screen and you’re gonna have this number way way way down here people that actually did so, I don’t put any stock in that. Again sorry Pandora! And I also I don’t buy desktop Pandora. I’m really only interested in the mobile traffic. And again the attribution models get harder and harder I would really strongly suggest that people try one thing at a time. It’s like your little boy’s plate when he starts eating food out of it when you got the baby jar, you’re putting in those divider dishes, and so on. Do the same thing with your media, don’t mix it all together. Anytime we’re gonna start a new initiative whether it’s outdoor or it’s TV whether, or it’s radio we’re gonna start a new initiative right.

We’re going to let it run a while and give it to mature or to sharpen and then we’ll take a look at pre-campaign, during campaign, post-campaign, and there should be some nice residual from that campaign. When you’re looking at results you get a look at total results, even your word of mouth kind of things because you know the proper mix and media, you know people are going to be getting those messages from all different sources and they’re going to be little separate. I can’t remember it all if I you know where where I heard it where I saw it but you know you know I should if it’s working as the sum of everything I don’t you know visit visit that place of business

Trent: That’s great! So in addition to some of these streaming services, one of the channels that I’m super bullish on for clients is podcasts. We saw Spotify make a huge play in buying Anchor as well as a couple other podcast creation studios. Spotify recognizes that radio is one thing, and that’s basically all streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. But the long form or sometimes short form podcasts have become wildly popular, so there’s a huge amount of demand. Whether you’re riding the train on your way into the city or wherever you work or you’re riding in your car on your way to work, Americans today want to be entertained and they want to be informed. If you have a blend of the two (infotainment) you create a hundred million dollar podcast experience like Joe Roganhas for example.

Now if you want to advertise on Joe Rogan I think you’re gonna be paying you know upwards of 6 figures per spot but what I think is really important to understand as an advertiser or publisher is that you can get very detailed about who you are viewership is, and I think even more so than what traditional radio can provide. Vince you’ve already done a great job of explaining how there are holes in the boat so to speak in terms of attribution. But the podcasts, the digital platforms they’re built on, have the same sort of metrics that Google and Facebook have. So keep in mind you’re going to develop a really clear picture about who your audience is. Then because it’s still kind of the Wild Wild West of advertising practices on podcasts, prices are a lot lower than they would be on a CBS or ESPN morning TV show, but with the same viewership. So I highly recommend at least taking a look at podcasts specifically in your target market or target demographic.

Vince: Do you see trends in users and subscribers age-wise? My son apparently these days when he’s driving to see me in Michigan he’d rather listen to a podcast or his favorite rapper which, I’m like ” u-turn no chance to the rapper.” He’s 29 so does it (subscribership) tail off at some point and as you approach dinosaur status, not adapting that technology? Or what ‘s the sweet spot for podcast listener demos?

Trent: It’s gonna depend on the actual podcast and what kind of content they churn out. So let’s just use Joe Rogan as an example. His demo is 18 to 34 about 99% male. Then there’s the Serial podcast, I’m sure most of you’ve heard of it. That’s basically kind of like a murder mystery in the palm of your hand or in your ear pods. That show ends up skewing more towards you to 55 because again it’s almost like listening to a book on tape but it’s fresh content produced almost on a regular basis. Serial had 100 million downloads. I think you’ve seen this too with more of the traditional media players like sports radio. They’re taking their on-air segments and then they package them up they tie them up with a bow and then they shoot that out as a podcast as well because they recognize that, yes, podcasts are trending to the younger side but there is that on-demand quality that we understand from TV. And that’s so important because the ability for users to do things on their own time is huge. And it’s no it’s no secret employees are overworked and overstressed so they’ll hit download on their way out on the company Wi-Fi and guess what they’re firing that podcast up on their way home. Obviously it’s going to depend on the content and the podcast itself but it’s it’s representative across the board. So again I think there’s application for podcast advertising for almost any business or school or senior living community.

Trent: Great. What are 3 key takeaways that people should walk away from today? The first thing is nailing your message, that’s probably first and foremost. What would be the second it’s going to be targeting

Vince: yeah and targeting geographically, targeting age, targeting income and more. I guess another little nugget, when you target you also can’t be fooled by the numbers. There’s programming that we don’t buy that skews very well if you just bought by some of the rating points alone and you were looking at daytime TV you may end up buying programming that you know produces a lot of people in your age range but socioeconomically is not a match. So when you target, look at all the information; look at geography, look at age, look at socioeconomic, but really really pay attention to targeting. One of my favorite targeting stories is when I was in a retail store in New Buffalo, Michigan (which is technically in the Chicagoland DMA) and I heard an ad for a community college, in fact the community college that I pay my taxes to, that was 50 miles away. So this community college was buying ads not on local cable TV and just giving their zone or not on the tiny little radio station with with the very weak signal they were buying radio ads on one of the most popular Chicago radio stations that was reaching all of Chicago land and it was reaching from Waukegan to Naperville and Aurora all the way it down and around a New Buffalo. I thought wow those are my tax dollars at work

Trent: what’s a third takeaway?

Vince: consistency consistency yeah if you if you can’t be unique be consistent.

Trent: awesome well Vince thank you so much for your time today! This will be the first of many conversations. We’ll get the next one cued up for a really fun OTT discussion and we thank you guys for tuning in! If you guys have any questions please reach out to Vince on LinkedIn or via email. We’ll see a lot of content posted over the long haul here, so thanks for taking this ride with us and we hope to see you again!