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Marketing Mastery: Unpacking the 600% ROI Success

In Conversation with Tony Palmer

For this episode of E-Coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Tony Palmer, Chief Strategy Officer at KickAds, an Advertising Services Agency located in Bay Shore, New York.

Tony shares his intriguing journey from a strategy game enthusiast to a marketing guru, revealing how his early love for psychology and strategic thinking shaped his professional path. He dives into the narrative of how personal influences and seminal books like Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” significantly altered his worldview and career trajectory. Tony discusses the challenges and triumphs of driving a local hair salon to achieve a staggering 600% ROI through innovative digital marketing strategies that leveraged email marketing, social media, and targeted ads.

Watch the episode now!

I believe in giving value, and inevitably, people will come to you because you become the authority.

Tony Palmer
Chief Strategy Officer at KickAds

Hey, hi everyone. Welcome to your show, E-coffee with Experts. This is your host, Ranmay here. And today we have Tony Palmer, who is the Chief Strategy Officer of Kickads with us. Hey, Tony, how is it going?

It’s going great, Ranmay. Thank you for having me on here today.

Lovely. Tony, before you move any forward, let’s get to know the human behind the mic. Why did you talk us through your journey? How was Tony as a growing child and how did you get into digital marketing? And then now with KickAds, now, what you guys are doing, what are you guys doing what I could competency, and we take it from there.

Yeah, absolutely. My name is Tony Palmer with KickAds Brand Marketing. Growing up, I was weird. All my friends were playing video games like Call of Duty and things like that. I was the nerdy guy that played chess and tower defense games. I always love strategy games as opposed to the shooting games and all the common stuff. I love strategy games. Then growing up in high school, I dated a girl who was very into psychology. She was going to school to be a teacher. In the process, I fell in love with psychology. I learned more about Pavlov and Sigmund Freud, and I started really trying to understand how the human mind works, how we think, and how we make decisions, and all of those things. Then when I was in college, I ended up reading a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I’m going to be honest, that book changed my life. I never read before I was one of those people that are like, Readings for nerds. I’m never going to do that. I fell in love with the book. It taught me a lot about communication and how people function and how people think.

I grew up loving strategy. In high school, I got into psychology, and in college, I got into communication. Shortly after that, I ended up coming across a video from a guy named Ty Lopez. If you’re in marketing, you probably know what I’m talking about right now. I ended up taking this marketing course. I started I learned in agency shortly after that, and I applied everything that I’ve learned, the strategy games, the psychology that I’ve learned, the communication style, and everything that I learned in this course as well. I started marketing. I ended up working for a local hair salon. They had me working with them for about a year where they saw a 600% ROI. I’m not going to disclose what they were paying me, but what they did pay me, they saw six times that back in income. Had a great relationship. Unfortunately, COVID came along. So COVID came along, and originally, COVID was a little restricted, and they were like, Okay, everyone can’t really do these things. You have to do these things. And we were still doing a little bit of marketing, and unfortunately, about a month later, COVID just shut everything down.

And they were like, No one can get their hair cut, no one could go to salons. No one could do anything. So if a company can’t open, it doesn’t make sense to have marketing for them. So That’s where my agency ended there. As time went on, I ended up working for a few different companies, from Allstate to eventually enterprise Rent a Car, where I worked my way there up into management. I had a great experience, met some amazing people there. Then from there, I transitioned to kick-ins. That’s a whole separate story. I don’t know if you want to go into that later or now, or how would you like to go into that?

We’d love to hear more about behind the scenes. Look, can you into this specific strategies and psychological insights that led to the impressive 600% ROI achievement for your client, which you just mentioned.

Yeah, absolutely. The client that I’m referencing already had a strong marketing presence. They had an Instagram, they had a few thousand followers, they were already doing email marketing, they had a professional website done. So they were really established to begin with, and we just ignited their growth. We used a combination of of email marketing, blog creation, social media content creation and posting, and Facebook ads. And now they all serve their own purpose. And theemail marketing was really to rekindle their relationship with their existing clients and their previous clients to get them coming back. The hair salon had a unique situation where their clients come back often. Women get their hair cut every 3-6 months, and Even more frequently when you consider hair dying and styling and all these different things. We really utilize theemail marketing to bring people back, keep them engaged, and to promote the blogs, which the blogs, that’s a little separate psychology. When it came to the blogs, our biggest focus was giving value. We wrote blogs, anything that would give value. One of them would be, for example, four hot styles this summer for hair or four hot colors, four trending, what is it called?

Hair dies. I don’t cut hair, so I don’t know the terminology. I worked very close to the owner to convey that. We would write these different articles, four different styles, and we’d show these four different styles with real pictures that we took of their clients. At the end and throughout the blog, we would say things like, Click here to book your appointment now. The blogs and email were incredibly successful. We had really good open rates. We had great clicking ratio to open rates. Then as far as the social media, our game plan with that was really to keep people engaged, show the work that was being done, the cuts, styling, dies, and really the place itself. My client had a beautiful place where the inside was redone recently, had nice wood floors and nice lighting, and everything about it was very… It was a classy place. It really was. The social media was really to keep people We did things like Instagram stories, Facebook stories. We did quizzes, polls, things like that to keep things fun and entertaining. We gave tips on the social media. Our philosophy with the social media, and much of the marketing we do, is really to engage, entertain, and educate.

We tried to keep that principle in everything that we did, in the blogs, in the email marketing, in the social media, in everything. Then the Facebook ads, we used to do a couple of things. At the time, the strategy worked really well. What we did was we had one brand awareness campaign on Facebook that got their name out there. They have a great following for the local community that they’re in, but their specific type of salon was a niche salon. There’s not many of them in where I live. We were able to reach people from far distances, and those people actually ended up coming to the salon because of how niche the salon really was. They focused on curly hair, and not many salons do that. Many salons say that we do everything. So because they were so niche, we had people that would take the train from New York City, 30 miles away. We had people that drove 2 hours away to get their hair cut. So we did a brand awareness campaign to really get their name out there and get people familiar with the company. We also did an engagement campaign. So we did an engagement campaign to get people basically interacting with the social media with the intention of creating more followers, getting more engagement, getting the buzz going.

Then the beautiful thing is we were able to retarget those engagers with traffic ads. We ran traffic ads to the people who engaged with our posts with the people that followed the account, with the people that were already on the website. We would run, in essence, these retargeting ads to retouch these people who are already familiar with the salon and say we would give them a certain offer. I call it an irresistible offer. We’d give them an offer, and the people that saw these ads would click on it and book an appointment. It was a very holistic approach where we were able to take all the concerns of the business owner, address them with each piece of this marketing, and create a cohesive message that really resonated with their clients and proved to be very effective.

Lovely. A very good strategy, I must say. Tony, with so much of marketing noise, how help your brands cut through the clutter and create campaigns that resonates with their target audience on a deeper level.

Absolutely. That’s something that I see is very common with businesses today. They take what I call the shotgun approach, and they try a little bit of everything with no real planning or conciseness to their message. So they might be doing newspaper ads, they might be doing magazine ads, they might be doing signs all over the place, email marketing, Facebook, Instagram, website, blogs. They might be doing all of these things with no real concise message. And that’s something that I see very often. People have different brand colors in different places, different messaging, different benefit. It’s something that I see it’s very common, as well as one of the things that I notice in a lot of advertisements is, and I don’t blame business owners for this because it makes sense at first glance, but they’ll have an ad this big, let’s say this is a magazine ad, and they’ll want They’ll want more information here, and they’ll want more information here, and they’ll want more information here, and they’ll have a picture here, and a picture here, and a picture. At the end of the day, it’s this collage of information and images. As the viewer of this advertisement, I see this and I’m like, I don’t know where to look.

I don’t know how it’s important. I can’t follow it. What happens is with me, and I’m sure a lot of other people is, it’s information overload. I see all those things in one place, and I’m like, I don’t even want to see it. Get it out of my face. I’m We’re done looking at it. When it comes to cutting through that, we do it in a couple of ways. One of them is to have a clear, concise message that’s the same everywhere. If we’re going to talk about certain benefits of your product on Facebook ads, we’re going to do the same in email marketing. We’re going to do the same in print, and so on and so forth. Now, the beautiful thing is I’m partnered with two extremely talented people. One of them is my aunt, Laurie, who owned a roofing company for 40 years. She was extremely successful, ended up selling it to her son, who now runs the company. She’s the business brain. She makes sure that we stay in operation. She makes sure that we’re doing all the right things. My uncle, who’s an extremely talented brand artist, he’s been in graphic design for over 30 years, worked with major companies like Publishers, Clearinghouse, Walmart, Capital One, and he’s extremely talented at what he does.

One of his favorite things to say is that he wants to break through the noise. All that noise that I was talking about where you have an ad and it’s got all these things and all the companies are doing that because they have this much real estate. They want to take up everything and they want to use every part for information and pictures and all these different things. Whereas if you look at the nicest brands, the most luxury brands, even Apple, for example. Not that Apple’s super luxury, but if you look at Apple’s marketing, it’s clear, concise. They have one beautiful image. They have maybe a few words, call to action. That’s really what we focus on. We craft a precise call to action. We We craft a precise message. My uncle makes it incredibly beautiful, and we send that out. Instead of doing a shotgun approach where we shoot everywhere and hope it hits something, we use the psychology. We do an in-depth discovery meeting with our clients, where we find out exactly who their clientele is, and we create a laser focus message specifically for that clientele.

That is lovely. There is always a constant pressure, Tony, as an agency, you would relate to this. To create valuable content for your clients. How do you strike a balance between providing genuine value and certainly, on a very certain manner, weaving a brand messaging that resonates with your target audience, with the client’s target audience?

They say good artist copy and great artist steal. This is something that I stole from Gary Vaterchuk, from Gary Vee Media. He has a book called Jab, Right Hook. I’m sure you’re familiar with it. I’m sure a lot of the audience is with it. I do boxing, so I can relate very much. Basically, what he says is, when it comes to a jab, that’s giving value. Before you throw that right hook, which is a power punch, which is asking for the sale, you want to jab. So if you’re in boxing, jab, and then you throw the right hook. And that’s really the philosophy that I take with marketing. I believe in giving value. And then after I’ve given value three times, five times, 100 times, you ask for the sale. And that’s really my philosophy with everything. It’s what I did with the hair salon. When we wrote the blogs, we would focus on giving value first. We didn’t even think about making the sale. We said, Okay, if I had curly hair and I went to this hair salon, and what would get me to go to the website, and what would I want to learn and what would I want to see?

That’s where I thought, maybe different hairstyles that are popular, maybe different dies that are new that weren’t able to be done before. If I was their client, I would want to go there and I’d want to see these different hairstyles and all these things and be entertained. Then, as I’m reading this, I’m probably thinking to myself, these people know what they’re doing. I would want them to do my hair. That’s where we put these different links in where they can actually click and book their appointment. That’s really our philosophy, give value. And inevitably, people will come to you because you become the authority. When you’re the one giving all the information away for free and everyone else says, Oh, that’s my You can’t know that. People look to you like, Oh, you got the answers. You taught me everything. It’s how I feel about Gary Vaneerchuk. It’s how I feel about Ty Lopes, Neil Patel, all of my favorite marketing mentors. They give value. They give so much value away for free, and look at how it works. Like I said, this company is very new. We started in October. But I could tell you from my experience in the last few months, that giving value has done tremendous things for my company.

It really has.

Lovely. You still are in the initial days, Tony. I’ll not be wrong if I say that. It’s quite critical as an agency to sail to those initial challenging days. How is it going in terms of going through these days? What are the challenges initially which you faced? How you’re overcoming those and how do you feel that we can take a kick out now forward? Give us more information in terms of how you’re strategizing your way forward, what are the challenges and all.

Yeah, absolutely. I As a new company, we have a lot of challenges. The biggest one is that no one knows who we are. No one’s ever heard of KickAds. As far as building awareness, just like every marketing plan, we test. We did a little bit of Facebook ads, we did a little bit of magazine, we did a little bit of direct mail. Right now, what I’m finding works really well for my specific industry as a marketing agency, is just meeting people face to face. There’s a lot of agencies that will do cold calls and emails emails, email blasting, email lists, and I believe everyone has their own way of doing it, and I’m sure that works for certain people. But what I found is when I could sit in front of a business owner and I could listen to what they’re going through and give them real feedback in real-time, face-to face, it creates a relationship and a bond. From what I’m being told, they can feel how I care about them. I feel like for me, that’s invaluable, building these relationships because as an agency, I don’t want to work with someone for one month.

I don’t want to do one project for someone. I want to build a relationship and help them grow, and we grow together. As far as for my specific business, networking has been incredible. Meeting other business owners. I went to a few meetings this morning, and you made great people. The better you can connect those people, the better they connect you and it’s givers’ game.

Absolutely. I love you, Tony. It has been a brilliant conversation But before I let you go, let’s play a quick rapid fire. I hope you’re game for it.

Let’s do it. I’m open.

All right. Your last Google search.

My last Google search. I don’t remember. Can I check my phone? Is that allowed?

Absolutely. It opened the book. Don’t worry.

Okay, let’s see. What is my last Google search? Define business round Robin. I was just at a business A chamber of commerce meeting, and they said they were going to do Round Robbins, and I’m like, I don’t know what that is. So I googled it.

All right. Your celebrity crush.

My celebrity crush. That’s good. What’s her name? This is terrible. You’d think I would know my celebrity crush’s name. Yeah, absolutely. It used to be Rihanna. It used to be Rihanna, and now it’s the Crazy Girl from… I think it’s Parks and Rec. If you want to go to the next part, I’ll try to find her, and I’ll show you on the screen.

All right, sure. I will take Rihanna for now. No. To Tony, let’s say, if I were to ask you, how would your school teacher define Tony?

That would depend on when.

Let’s say when you were. Huh? Just got in your teens.

In my teens?

Yeah.

Troublemaker. Definitely. In high school, I got into a lot of trouble. I will go with you.

I’ll leave it in A lot of us marketers did, so don’t worry. All right. What did you do with your first paycheck, Tony? First paycheck of your life.

What did I do with my first paycheck? That’s a great question. I wish you would have sent me these so I could think about them. My first paycheck, I probably spent it on- You don’t plan these? I probably spent it on food, if I had to guess.

Okay. No worries, Tony. I will not give you any part that You have been a spot. Thank you so much for doing this with us. For our audiences, how do they reach out to you if they want to?

They can go to kickadsnow. Com, send us a message, or it’s probably easier. Just find me on LinkedIn. Type in Tony Palmer, T-O-N-Y, space P-A-L-M-E-R. If you can’t find me that way, just type in kickads, and that should come up.

All right, lovely. You did, Roni. Thank you so much for taking out time. This has been a good episode. Cheers, man.

Ron, thank you so much. I appreciate you. You invited me on this show.

Thank you, mate.

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