This interview with with Susan Tormollen and Shane Vaughan is part of the Convirza Webinar Series. The following is the Q&A portion of the interview.
McKay Allen: Thank you, Shane, Susan. That was great information. We really appreciate it. We do have a couple of questions, and I want to get right into that. Again, for those of you attending, please provide some more questions too. We love to make this a discussion here. So, here’s a couple of questions for you guys, Shane and Susan. First, how do you incorporate, or use branded local websites, if your dealers and channel partners already have their own sites previously, how do you handle that?
Susan Tormollen: That’s one of those things; it’s not quite hard, quite frankly. They may, at first, push back and say, “Oh, we already have a website.” But, the point is they have a website that’s either selling multiple brands, or selling a lot of different types of solutions. And so, what you can do is they compliment each other. You build the local websites. You link them to their main brand. You give them the ability to customize it enough that they feel comfortable, and then, ultimately, when you show them that you’re driving their leads to their website that they may never have gotten, and you’re capturing the leads, and you contract the leads, they become very, very happy with this.
And, there’s not to say that, for Kohler for instance, many of their plumbing supply people have a whole big website that offer all kinds of things. But then, they can have their Kohler page and then, there’s nothing to say they couldn’t have multiple other co-branded websites as well that would help the customer and also help them. It usually works hand-in-hand but there is a little discussion that has to go into play when you launch them.
Shane Vaughan: Yeah. I think that’s a good point. Ultimately, real estate on the web is unlimited, and our goal is to provide the content that is most specific to what the individual searcher is looking for. If they are looking for Kohler products in Tulsa, I want an experience that provides Kohler products in Tulsa for that user because that is going to be the most likely option to convert them.
McKay Allen: Very good. One more question that we’d love your thoughts on. Do you have any special recommendations around local marketing for, specifically, highly regulated industries, like insurance or financial services. I have a follow-up on that, but I’ll let you guys address that first.
Shane Vaughan: Yeah, you bet. We certainly have some experience here, Aflac and Geico are our customers, and insurance and financial services are some of the most highly regulated industries. We also have customers in healthcare as well, which are very highly regulated. And, I would say that implementing a local marketing automation system is actually more critical for our customers in the highly regulated industries, right?
Because what we see in these industries is they’re afraid to give local marketing access or control, whatsoever, at the local level. As a result, consumers are moving. They’re looking for that information. They’re looking for those products and those providers at the local level, and because of that fear, those brands that aren’t willing to do that are putting themselves at a disadvantage relative to their competitors.
But, if you approach this from a data and a technology perspective, it’s not a regulatory issue. It’s a data issue. And so, by implementing an effective technology solution, you have the ability to automatically control that. To know that if I’m talking about dialysis treatment and I have to talk about it in a certain way if it’s a California communication, and a different way if it’s a New York communication, I can build that into the business rules associated with what I’m providing to my local affiliates, so that it happens automatically.
And, you’re no longer relying on individual people. You’re no longer having to run every single piece of marketing activity through the legal team to confirm compliance. Instead, you are addressing it through technology, and it really takes the fear out of the system, and it opens up the possibilities to be much more active and much more effective, from a local marketing standpoint in regulated industries, by using technology to address it as a data problem.
McKay Allen: That’s a great point. I have one more little comment to interject and then, I want to ask you a question on it, and we’ll conclude. Our data, it’s interesting, your last couple of slides there, Susan, on calls, because our data shows very similar things — that conversion rates from call to customer are significantly higher in many cases than web prospect forms to customer. And then, the value of those customers is typically, as our data shows, higher, in terms of the dollar amount they’re willing to spend. Why do you think some industries are so reticent to take phone data seriously? Is there a hold up there, or is it that we’ve been so used to the web for so long?
Susan Tormollen: That’s a good question. With our customers, we haven’t seen that. I haven’t. Shane, have you? The reticent part?
Shane Vaughan: Yeah. I think that what we tend to see, McKay, it’s not that there’s a reticence there, it’s almost that there’s an unawareness there, right? We tend to deal with, you know, we deal with the national brands, and when we work with national brands, I would say the majority of their conversions end up coming in digitally, right? And, that kind of makes sense.
If I’m a local consumer and I’m going to convert to a United Airlines offer, the last thing I want to do is get on the phone with United Airlines, because it’s going to be painful for me. If the conversion instead is to a local business, I’m actually, honestly, on the other side of that where I don’t want to convert digitally because I’m not sure the local business is going to take my digital conversion very well. I’m not confident they’re going to engage with me, and frankly, I’m choosing to convert locally because I want that relationship. I’m looking for something else out of it.
And, I think a lot of times national brands get caught looking at a marketing system from a national perspective, and don’t necessarily think about the experience of a local consumer converting to a local business. And so, I think what we found, once we opened their eyes to that, they realize, both from the data that they see, as well as their own personal experience, that, “I do want to convert via phone and I better measure that so I can report it back to my management, as well as back to my resellers.”
McKay Allen: Great. That’s fantastic information guys. Well, we do appreciate your time today, everybody. We do appreciate you guys joining us, Shane and Susan. Thank you so much. Just a quick word, as well, about Balihoo. We’re located in Utah. They’re in Boise, Idaho, is where they’re headquartered. We’ve heard good things about Balihoo, but talking with them as we prepared for this webinar, and we’ve had other engagements with them, first-class operation. They do a great job. They’ll be able to help in any way. Definitely, feel free and comfortable reaching out to them. They do a great job. With that, Shane and Susan, any last words? And, thank you, from our end.
Shane Vaughan: Thanks for your time, McKay.
Susan Tormollen: No. Thanks for having us.
McKay Allen: Great. Well, thank you everybody for attending. We appreciate it.