Digital Shoptalk

Episode 4: Meet Location3 Founder & Chairman, Andrew Beckman

December 13, 2021 Location3 Season 1 Episode 4
Digital Shoptalk
Episode 4: Meet Location3 Founder & Chairman, Andrew Beckman
Show Notes Transcript

Get the lowdown on Location3 from the founder himself, Andrew Beckman. In this month's episode of Digital Shoptalk, Andrew walks us through what's on his mind in digital marketing, from industry trends to insightful analysis of challenges faced by franchises in the digital space. You'll hear more about:

  • The need for quality education around digital marketing for franchise systems.
  • The imperative for brands to own their assets.
  • First party data.
  • An omni-channel approach that goes beyond Paid Search.
  • TikTok v. Snapchat for franchise marketing.

Josh Allen  0:26  
Welcome back to digital shop talk the podcast. This is episode four. I am one of your hosts at location three Josh Allen. And today I have the privilege of being joined by none other than location three founder, current chairman, Mr. Andrew Beckman. Andrew good to see you I don't have studio studios in person. We haven't done virtually Welcome.

Andrew Beckman  0:54  
Nice to be here. It's nice to see you and some of the team face to face.

Josh Allen  0:59  
I know it's weird being back in the office is a little weird. We're all kind of getting used to it, right. Yeah. It's,

Andrew Beckman  1:04  
it's such great collaborating, you know, and so it's been a great couple of days with meetings. And so, you know, we're just really energized about what 2022 looks like. Yeah, before we

Josh Allen  1:17  
get to 2022. For those that may not be familiar with location three or yourself, tell us a little bit about how you got your start in marketing many years ago and kind of give us the 62nd founding story of location three

Andrew Beckman  1:30  
short, actually, the initially, I was at double click, and I used to sell ads on the Alta Vista search engine. So that's where search engine marketing kind of started Yahoo, excite Infoseek, etc. So

this is late 90s. This is the mid 90s late 90s.

This location was started in October 1989. After two years with double click, they sent me to Amsterdam to Dublin and to then started in New York City and we've been doing strategic marketing ever since. Right?

Josh Allen  2:08  
Right. And obviously a specialization in local businesses evolved in many ways, but franchising is obviously a focus these days. As we've talked about in previous shoptalk episodes, we're here in December 2021 kind of wrapping up the year what are your takeaways? What do you think about how the marketing landscape has evolved in 2021?

Andrew Beckman  2:29  
Sure. Well, I mean, there's definitely a lot of focus on privacy and the need to have first party data organized right. So, you know, utilizing the updates on on Apple and what you're gonna see happen in Chrome, in Google's Chrome that's coming down the pipeline that got delayed a couple of years. You need to be able to not rely on third party audiences. You know, for you for your growth for your driving business. So that was definitely a huge change in 2021. And I think companies are still racing to adapt. I think how they collect the data segment the data reuse, it is a challenge for them and the opportunity ahead,

Josh Allen  3:19  
right. Obviously not just in franchising, but you know, you've got a lot of connections throughout digital in the industry, obviously, over many years. Do you to that point, do you feel company's brand side are still behind the curve in a lot of ways in terms of addressing this issue of first party data and the removal ultimately, of third party cookies and third party training? Yeah, you

Andrew Beckman  3:39  
know, I think we've, we've gotten a lot of companies have gotten so accustomed to utilizing third party datasets. And you know, these big corporations have that and selling that at large scale and that becoming less reliable by the day. Consumers opting out is just going to have a situation you got to be more sophisticated at your marketing. So the challenge for brands and agencies is going to be how sophisticated can you be with a marketing mix? Right. And the attribution of the consumers back the purchase, right? I mean, that's the Holy Grail, right?

Josh Allen  4:24  
So that into when we think about first party data, so much is tied to your own assets and how you're able to gather that data and and one thing that we talked about over time that we still see, I think, in a lot of ways is at least on the content management system side of things, a lot of brands using very customized solutions, and I know this is something that you've talked about recently on social, we've had conversations about for the folks listening, you know, there are benefits certainly to a custom CMS, you can have something built specifically for your brand or your business model. But there are also kind of pitfalls, where you see as being the challenge for a lot of these businesses that are not using more kind of open source content management systems, you know, as we go forward.

Andrew Beckman  5:08  
Sure. You know, I think it comes back to your comment earlier about the lack of education, understanding digital marketing, owning your own assets. There are a lot of franchise systems that are using location pages that are basically owned by a third party SaaS platform. We work with companies where their whole site is on another platform so they don't really own the assets. In fact, they're paying a reoccurring yearly subscription. And they're basically at the mercy of the provider to put tracking changes made changes to those landing pages, right. And, you know, I'm sure that they are able to have access to the data and the passenger because those are it's their content management system. We are seeing companies realizing that this is a problem long term, right? It's easy for some company and for they make the do me sound make it easy for cmo to make that switch in our platform, but it's not in the best interest of the brand long term. So but I think the education is happening, and we see more companies moving out and building something in an open source environment. Right,

Josh Allen  6:25  
that makes sense back to that point of data. Right? You know, ultimately, if it's that third party solution, how much access or control long term do you have on the data and what does that look like? Especially as we get away from from third party driving? One other thing in franchise marketing that I know we've touched on is we often see at the local level, a lot of investment in direct response media, but as we know, and you kind of alluded to understanding that customer journey, and the amount of touch points in that customer journey is double digits now in many cases, on average before people make an actual purchase, complete elite and whatever it may be. And there doesn't seem to be enough kind of mid to upper funnel media being placed on the local level, on a per location basis. Where do you see? Do you see that evolving in 2022? Do you still think, you know, businesses are going to lag behind in this front? And for those that want to kind of start to expand beyond let's say lower funnel search and things of that nature? Where do you think makes the most sense for them to expand? Yeah,

Andrew Beckman  7:23  
I think it's twofold. One is the brand understanding that Hey, someone searching for serves a product to click on and come to my site and take action. You know, can happen when it's only to a certain extent, they have to build that impression share. So there's that there's also the publishers and ad networks that have a targeting and allow for them to do awareness tactics in a geographical location. So there's a combo of the two. So but what we're looking at is how do I get the most out of my Google search and when my way up and then okay, my social strategies. What does my impression share look like on social as well? How my first party data being utilized there, and then going up, you know, maybe connected TV or other video assets, where God is what will help build the awareness in order to fashion and drive that consumer down to the to the actual sale or lead. So it's a marketing mix that needs to constantly be fine tune to get that to influence on that. Consumers pack the purchase. Yeah.

Josh Allen  8:52  
And I think on the local level, even YouTube specifically is getting more and more accessible in terms of the creative the calls to action. You know, spend levels that are required for an individual franchise or business location to actually not need a ridiculous amount of ad spend in order to actually see some lift and see someone's in awareness or even potentially impacting, you know, direct response and customer generation. One other things more broadly, right? We're This is the time of year where we kind of we look back, but we look forward as well. What do you see generally, or or even specific channels tactics that maybe marketing executives still kind of struggle with or get their arms around with I know we touched on privacy and the importance of first party data as we go forward. Do you see particular things that seem I guess maybe based on your experience in the business common sense, but still are missed in a lot of ways at the brand level?

Andrew Beckman  9:49  
Yeah, I would say that, you know, the messaging of their brand, and what they're saying needs to be more than just text based. Right? So you're seeing, obviously, more video being produced as use of social media has grown so exponentially. So how do I get those consumers that are on Tik Tok and Instagram, Snapchat, to engage my brains, and then bring them into the purchase funnel? And so that's the real technique that I feel like all brands and agencies need to master because it can't just rely on Google Search completely. It's really really difficult and even if you do, you need to assist it, you need to grow that impression channel on those non branded terms as well as your brand. And then so that the new opportunities that connected TV, the new opportunities that really allow us to drill down by location, really get our message across, given a call to action, but knowing that it might not directly hit a sale at that moment, but something could like later and build that brand and build that trust to one to one relationship with the consumer.

Josh Allen  11:09  
A couple of quick questions tick tock for franchises, is this a thing? It can be

Andrew Beckman  11:15  
a targeting it's better on a local level, which it's when it does, I think it can be what about

Josh Allen  11:21  
you know, I know one of your friends Matt is is a GM of Snapchat. What's his take on like, tick tock versus Snapchat these days? Have you had that conversation with him? Where does he see snap carving it out? We did a prediction video was a side note that we're gonna publish later this month. And one of our CEOs own kids and he's on Snapchat, right? So we're I mean, I'm curious Snapchat or tick tock, where do you stand?

Andrew Beckman  11:43  
Guess in demographics. I would probably put my money on Snapchat, because I feel like there's a more engagement from like a messaging. I don't know, just a message to message a one to one message to the consumer. Valuable snap each other that quick effort. So I think I think that would be stepped up

Josh Allen  12:09  
in the call. Okay, snap it is. In 2022 In general, what do you see, you know, what's common, the big thing that's on your mind as we go forward, just in marketing or in ad tech, or just the space in general? You know, we're sitting here, let's say even in June of next year, what do you think everyone is going to be talking about as we look back?

Andrew Beckman  12:31  
I would say that the have to go back to the first party data as the focus just because I feel like there's going to be a rush. Right, right. There's just a rush because it's not just about the cost per acquisition, like, Hey, I'm gonna hit my goal. But then is that valuable, right? And so I think that's where where the challenge is going to happen. With the attribution being that much harder right attribution contract that consumers path the purchase is only much more difficult with the walled gardens. With the privacy, blocking of the cookies. And so I just think that the, the get down to the summer of 2022 is going to be the data, how to get more of it and how to ever utilize it and as well as how we're starting to react to that and those, those text links Still. Still roll. So, you know, you're still seeing, you know, demand would surge and both paid and organic, so it's not a move anytime soon.

Josh Allen  13:43  
Right. And even local Google Local is continue to evolve and a lot of ways and I know on the privacy piece, I'm interested to see since Google push back kind of their initial timeline, they said first party data was going to be that was going to be the thing here even as early as next beginning of next year. Now it's been pushed a little bit 2023 I'm curious to know, just from my own thoughts, like how many folks are still procrastinating, moving in that direction, even though Google has kind of pushed the timeline back, but that's for another conversation. One last question. The Metaverse yes or no

Andrew Beckman  14:16  
100%. I think people are gamers, and they're living in virtual worlds. Around the world. And the more than that yours can expand and grow on all different electronic devices. I think. Think about Minority Report.

Josh Allen  14:36  
Man there it is. always bounce back to Tom.

Andrew Beckman  14:43  
I just think, I think as huge opportunity and you know, as you have a virtual presence on the Internet, you'll have to have you'll have the ability to have a virtual presence in the meta universe.

Josh Allen  14:56  
Okay. Last Last question. 2022 New York Jets Super Bowl yes or no?

Listen, I think we're out of time. I'm sure we will do this again in the not too distant future. But that's it for us today. Thanks for joining us Mr. Backman, as always, I think we're both looking forward to getting out on the conference circuit and seeing folks face to face much like we have our own colleagues this week in the office. This will probably be our last episode of Shop Talk for 2021 But we'll be back in January. Thanks for tuning in. See you next time.

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