Advanced Digital Marketing Tactics, Technologies & Stories for Local Businesses, Franchises and Location-based Brands.
The Location Station Podcast is all about helping small businesses and location-based brand marketers stay ahead of the curve with their marketing.
In this first episode, I give you the quick what, how, who and the WHY behind the podcast:
- What the Location Station is about
- How the episodes will be presented i.e. the format
- Who I’ll be interviewing, and
- WHY I feel like the topic of location-based marketing tactics and technologies is so important for almost ANY kind of business in 2017 and beyond.
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The Location Station Podcast: The What, How, Who & WHY!???
First…A Little About Me
If you’re going to have me plugged into your ear buds a couple of times a week, then I figured you’d better get to know me a bit first. After all, I’d hate for you to waste your time listening to 4 or 5 of these episodes before you realise that I’m not your style!
I grew up in a little mining town called Cobar, in outback NSW, Australia. At a pretty early age I remember deciding that I never wanted to grow up or take life too seriously. My highest values as a human are freedom, creativity, friends, family, fun, and who’d have guessed it – business & marketing.
I live on my own in an apartment just a few minutes from beautiful Newcastle beach, which is 2 hours north of Sydney on the east coast of Australia. I’m into Dad jokes, I love playing my guitar “Thelma” and singing poorly and I have been getting into some songwriting and story writing lately which is a bit of fun. Oh, and I’m a bit of a partier sometimes too 😛
At some point, I became fascinated with marketing. Call it a weird obsession, but I love the concept of influencing people’s behaviour you’ve never met by simply “pulling strings” eg. Tweaking some copy, optimising a website so Google ranks it better, etc. or using a certain colour to evoke a certain reaction from a prospective buyer. I love that the internet allows us to do all this stuff and grow our businesses with often nothing but a laptop and a smartphone.
Since graduating with a degree in business marketing & psychology back in 2008, I’ve worked with over 500 businesses helping them grow with print advertising (back in the day!), to SEO and Google Adwords, social media, email, video and content marketing. During this time, I’ve worked with lots of small to medium sized businesses who are fighting to keep up with all the new marketing technologies and innovation. I’ve also worked with plenty of larger, multi-location organisations who have the unique challenge of scaling their marketing across lots of stores or clinics or service areas.
Fast forward to January 2017 and I now do 3 main things:
1. Co-founding CMO and early shareholder at peer-to-peer startup Camplify, Australia’s largest caravan hire and RV sharing community. An official partner of the National Roads & Motorists Association, we’re the Airbnb for caravans & RVs. Our mission is to connect the world’s RV owners with holidaymakers so that more people can experience the joys of camping! Camplify launched in 2015 and has since grown to 12,000+ members and over 1000 RV listings milestone as I type this.
2. I own and oversee a digital marketing firm in Newcastle called Vicinity Marketing that mainly specialises in online lead generation for a range of different location-based business clients – from dentists, to airports and plumbers to big shopping centres. We’re mainly good at SEO, content marketing and Facebook ads. There’s three of us here in the Australian office and another 7 people in our global team located in the US, France, The Philippines, India and Romania. In fact, even my two colleagues here in Newcastle aren’t Aussies – Jill is Canadian and Celine is a Kiwi! Here’s a little video summarising what we do at Vicinity:
3. And of course, I now host this podcast where I interview business owners and marketers about all the latest location-based marketing strategies and technologies.
The tone of the Location Station podcast is a bit irreverent, cheeky and fun, but above all – informative and useful (I hope!). Sometimes we get a bit nerdy and dive into some technical marketing speak, but I try to keep the topics easy to understand so you can actually go and implement the stuff we learn from our guests.
We’re kicking off with about 20 pre-recorded episodes across late January / February. Here are some of the fantastic guests we have interviewed so far:
- Microsoft’s search marketing expert Purna Virji
- Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute founder Paul Roetzer
- Leading Facebook marketing experts Jon Loomer and Andrew Foxwell
- Adam Franklin, social media speaker and author of Web Marketing That Works
- ex-Facebook and Twitter employee / brand storyteller and author Nick Bowditch,
- David Jenyns, author of Authority Content
- W20 Group CMO and author of Location-based Marketing for Dummies Aaron Strout
- Mike Rosenbaum, Deals Direct founder and sharing economy innovator Spacer
- Guy Marion, the CMO of marketing automation platform Autopilot
Why start a local marketing podcast and what do I actually mean by “location-based marketing”?
FIRSTLY – This is not a podcast documenting every little update that Google makes to their local search algorithms, or each new ad format that Facebook brings out. Of course, we’ll touch on some of this important stuff but I feel like that stuff is being done well by other blogs and podcasts.
My mission here is to help more business owners and marketers do better marketing and keep up with digital technology so they can figure out what works, take action on the effective stuff and get more than their fair share of their local markets.
If I asked you what “local marketing” means, how would you respond? You might say: “Oh, local marketing is for small brick and mortar stores. Businesses who just need a basic website and an active Facebook page.” Well, yes it is for those businesses. But we believe local marketing is so much more. Mobile search and social apps, drones, virtual reality, chat bots, the internet of things – these are just some of the exciting new technologies influencing the buying behaviours or the local consumer.
We believe that every business and brand needs to adopt a truly localised, personalised marketing strategy if they want to compete in 2017 and beyond. Look at the raging success of Pokemon Go’s mobile augmented reality app experience. You think some local businesses benefited off the back of Pokemon Go’s success? You bet they did. This is just one example of how location technology is influencing our experiences with brands.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room…
Aren’t many local businesses being disrupted and replaced by big tech companies and the internet!?? In many industries, YES they are. So, while this podcast IS about keeping you up to date with all the best marketing tactics and technologies for your business, maybe it’s also about helping some of you traditional companies out there survive and thrive in this high-tech climate. Maybe for you it’s finding ways to expand your service-based business into an online content business? Maybe it’s about helping you find ways to niche your product offering so that people will travel from across the country to do business with YOU. Or maybe, you’re a big brand marketer who needs to figure out how to use mobile location technology to reach your geographically diverse audiences.
Yes, the internet has enabled us to sell to a global audience. Which I think is AWESOME.
However, I think 5 or 10 years ago we all thought “Oh shit, EVERYTHING will be bought online in the future”. Well, I don’t think we have really seen that have we? Yes, Ecommerce growth is still biting into traditional brick and mortar stores’ market shares. However, the past 2 or 3 years have seen an increasing trend in big Ecommerce / purely online businesses going back to realising the value of offline and local channels. Companies like Amazon are opening brick and mortar stores. I think I read somewhere the other day that they are hiring 25,000 people in the US over the next 18 months. [Note: I think I quoted 200,000 people in the audio version of the podcast – whoops! Still, 25,000 is a lot right?]
As easy as it is to connect online, isn’t it interesting that there is still nothing more powerful than meeting somebody in person and forming a relationship, wouldn’t you agree? We are still humans and great marketing is about connection and relationships. Maybe in-person contact is more powerful than ever because online connection has been commodities by the social media and our perceived connections… maybe this perceived connectivity is only going to get crazier with Virtual Reality and artificial intelligence? Maybe local, in contact relationships (especially business relationships) will keep becoming more and more valuable to us. I don’t know – what do you think?
Here’s an interesting quote from David Savenije, editor of Retail Dive:
“The biggest drivers of retail’s transformation are the emergence of the internet and mobile technology, the rise in millennial spending power, the impact of globalization and the empowerment of the consumer. Because of these factors, building a bridge between the digital and physical worlds is one of the biggest challenges brick and mortar retailers face. Engaging with consumers requires making positive and personalized impressions, which means brands need to look for new disruptive and innovative ways to grab the attention of consumers.” (Full article here)
So to me, this means that there are huge challenges for location-based businesses but also huge opportunities for those who can adapt and take a truly omnichannel approach to their marketing.
Some of the location-based marketing tactics, strategies and stories we’ll be covering in the podcast include:
– Location-based marketing technology
– Facebook Ads for Localised Engagement
– Local SEO and link building
– Digital analytics, call tracking and reporting
– Google Adwords Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing
– Database marketing and automation
– Business Websites and User Experience Design
– Beacon technology for local marketing
– Artificial Intelligence for Local Marketing
– Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality for marketing
– Joint Ventures and Business Partnerships
– Blogging and podcasting for local business
– Online reputation management and reviews
– Local marketing strategy
– Business storytelling, branding and design
– Content marketing and storytelling
– Peer-to-Peer / Sharing Economy Marketplace Marketing
– Drone technology for marketers
– Local business online video marketing
– Digital Marketing for Local Retailers
– Customer service “hacks”
– Local franchise marketing
– Social media advertising and contests
– Direct mail lead generation
– Local display advertising and retargeting
– Mobile marketing, advertising and SEO
– Local business growth hacking and guerrilla marketing
– Marketing tools and apps
– Offshoring your marketing team
– Reviews and reputation management
– Local online marketing for franchises and corporate brands
– Lead aggregators, directories and classifieds marketing
– Instagram marketing for local businesses
– Pinterest marketing for local businesses
– Snapchat marketing for local businesses
– Loyalty programs
– And many more…
Just to reiterate:
I don’t want our show to be just another small business marketing podcast. We’re not aiming to give you entry-level, vanilla information that helps you build a “solid presence” online. We’re not interested in helping you simply “exist” in your market or markets. We’re hoping to provide a practical resource that helps you innovate and create systems within your business to produce outstanding marketing. We really want our small business and corporate marketer listeners to be on the cutting edge of location-based marketing technology. We encourage our podcast guests to bring their A grade stuff – not just cliché tips and basic ideas.
Our goal for each episode of The Location Station Podcast is to create a WIN-WIN-WIN scenario:
- Our listeners WIN by learning how to market their business or brand better
- Our guests WIN by gaining exposure in podcast directories, social and in search engines
- We WIN because we get to make new friends, learn from others’ experiences and have awesome content to share with our audience.
THANK YOU for your time and attention in reading this and I hope you enjoy our stuff 🙂
P.S. If you ever have any feedback on the interview quality, the topics, or anything at all – please email me directly here. ANY USEFUL FEEDBACK is welcome! From the production quality, to the episode topics, to my interviewing skills, to how the show is promoted – If you feel we can run our podcast better, please don’t hesitate to tell us your suggestions. Grill me if you think it is warranted! I might cry a little inside, but the rest of the Vicinity team won’t be offended! We’re committed to making the show as relevant and useful as possible, which means learning from our mistakes!
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