Search Interviews:

Jeremy Weisz 12:06 

It’s great for morale to because you’re sharing all the wins.

Josh Becerra 12:11 

Yeah, yeah, we actually this year, because of the success of baseball, we stood up a whole page on our website that’s just called wins, where anybody who’s presenting an ad bat, we take the gist of that. And it’s now published on our website. And it’s linked to their name. And so like now, even every person’s profile on our website has like the wins that they’ve presented. So, we’re embracing it. And I think the team loves it.

Jeremy Weisz 12:39 

Josh, I love that. What else do you do under the fun category for team buildings? You obviously have the Slack channel, you have baseball. What else do you incorporate?

Josh Becerra 12:51 

So I mentioned the kudos on Monday morning meetings. And just Monday morning meetings in general, I think, just because we are so hybrid, it’s just a way for people to like connect to one another and hear about stuff that you’re doing on the weekend that’s not work, right. So that’s fun. The kudos session on our Mondays meetings are just great. It’s where people say I have kudos to give and they get an opportunity to say who their kudos is for and why. And normally, like, we probably have 20 to 30 different kudos. And everybody just kind of leaves that meeting feeling great and getting ready to start the week. So love the kudos session. And then other things that we do is we’re big on volunteerism, so at least quarterly, we’re doing some sort of a volunteer activity. Let’s see q4 of last year we went to Target as a team, and we bought a ton of gifts, brought them back here, wrapped them and then delivered them to a place that will then distribute them to families who would love to have some extra gifts under their trees. So that was a thing that we did this last month, I think late January, we went to Second Harvest Heartland which is like a food, it’s helps with food insecurity. And we packed some like potatoes and stuff as a team. So those types of like team-building things are super fun. Of course, we’ll do an occasional happy hour together and things like that, we’ll or ordering lunch on occasion and people actually come to the office and eat versus just being hybrid or remote. And then we also just do fun events. Just yesterday, we went to an indoor, mini golf, mini golf place and arcade as a team and we just took a couple hours out of our day and did some mini golfing and played some video games together. So those are some of the things we do.

Jeremy Weisz 14:59 

What did life look like pre-COVID versus post-COVID for the agency?

Josh Becerra 15:06 

Yeah, that’s a good question. I would say like, pre-COVID, 80% of the people, 90% of the people were in office four days a week, even though we had some, like, it wasn’t against the rules by any means to work from home. But there was just like, I don’t know, inertia or like, kind of the momentum in the office was, hey, like, everybody’s in the office. And that has been probably the biggest shift. And I’ll be honest, as like a kind of a guy with a little bit of gray in his beard. I’m like, hey, I love seeing people I love like the water cooler talk that comes with being in the office. But I’m more and more convinced that like the value proposition of people being able to kind of not have to commute for 30 minutes each way. And like being able to eat lunch or like, take their dog out. Yeah, it’s so much more valuable to people. So I’m letting go of that rope. And I think the team likes it better. So that’s probably like, the biggest shift, I would say, and like clients start like, rarely do we have an in-person client meeting ever, or in-person sales meeting, like all the selling is done through zoom or Google meats or whatever. It’s just incredible to me.

Jeremy Weisz 16:39 

What was it like before. Because you had a lot of local Minnesota businesses.

Josh Becerra 16:45 

Yeah. And we’re still, I would say, like, 80% of our business is local. So yeah, it would be like, hey, come over to our offices, we can kind of like the wine and dine, like let’s meet in person and use a whiteboard. And, man, it’s just we’ve gotten very far away from that. And I don’t miss it. Like, necessarily.

Jeremy Weisz 17:09 

Exactly. One thing is, you talked about the niches, the services and you don’t do certain things. I love to talk about the niches you serve. When I research B2B, you have higher education, you have manufacturing, you have real estate tech. Are there any industries, they like, this is really not our sweet spot?

Josh Becerra 17:32 

Not really. So like, that’s another thing that I kind of, am really grateful for is that we decided not to, like totally niche out and just provide services like, I know, somebody who’s their agency was all around like trade shows. And man did their business dry up over COVID. Right. And so I’ve felt like the decision to not like niche down to like, only, we’re only doing B2B, or we’re only doing e-commerce or whatever, is a good one for us anyway. What it also allows is like when I’m talking about teams sharing wins and ideas and experiences with campaigns and things with clients, is it gives an opportunity for like someone to be talking about, like this very effective strategy for from an e-commerce perspective. But then the person listening to them who’s managing kind of more of a B2C services, maybe it is higher end, where we’re not, nobody’s putting an MBA in a shopping cart and buying it. But yes, it is a B2C transactions just longer sales cycle is different. But you can actually learn stuff from having this diversity of clientele. And so, we like software as a service. We really like, we like it, because many times those companies are high growth. They get what we’re doing. They’re very tech-enabled, they understand kind of the digital marketing side of things. So there’s a huge learning curve. A lot of times they’ve got bigger budgets, and they’re ready to go. And the attribution is very, very simple. It’s like, did somebody sign up for the demo or the free trial, right? It’s all online. And it’s really easy to do. But we also love B2B manufacturing, long sales cycles, high dollar, like lifetime value, where you sell one deal and it’s worth like $10 million. Like those are fun things to work on as well.

Jeremy Weisz 19:42 

I want to talk about, I really like how you have this framework for content marketing. And so I’m actually going to pull it up here so we can take a look at it while we talk about it. But I’d love to have you walk through Augurian framework.

Josh Becerra 19:59 

Sure, so I’ve always thought that our content marketing is somewhat of like a kissing cousin SEO. Right. So basically, what I mean by that is, it’s still very much powered by the same principles that you would think about for SEO. So we talk about our customer journey and kind of these six different phases that you see here, right unaware of problem where solution ware, solution compare purchase, and then success or loyalty, which is post-purchase. Let’s just talk about those the first five, but really, what we’re trying to do with our customer journey, is help our clients understand what are the topics and questions related to our customers business, that consumers or people are out there searching on at volume, right, so that more than one person per month is searching on this topic or question, there’s hundreds of people 1000s of people that might be searching on this topic that might be related to, how do I start a effective podcast, right? In your case, maybe? So what we do is we try to say, okay, what are all the topics and questions? Let’s put those topics and questions into, like, what stage of the customer journey do they belong in? And then we look and say, all right, do we have content that actually addresses these topics and questions? And how well is our content performing? Like, of the volume of searches, how many of those eyeballs are we actually capturing? And then we look and see, like, what about the competition? Like, who’s actually winning on these topics and questions? How many eyeballs are they capturing? And then we prioritize, basically, we look and say, all right, well, we’ve got a bunch of content that’s kind of high funnel, unaware problem aware, that’s performing pretty good, but we really don’t have any content in like the solution compare stage. And so then our team will basically take all this information, the competitor information, our own kind of audit information, the topics and questions and prioritize and say, okay, this is the topic that we should write about first, and here’s why. And then we just, we generate a prioritized list of topics, and then we just start writing on it. So that’s the process in a nutshell.

Jeremy Weisz 22:25 

What are some I mean, I’m sure you see a lot of companies that come to you, and they’re in all different stages of having some of this, all of it or none of it? What are some of the big mistakes that you see companies making when they first meet with you in their content marketing in this customer journey?

Josh Becerra 22:49 

I think a lot of times, when people think about digital marketing, they are really like focused on number five, like, the bottom of the funnel, like somebody is actually typing in, I need a digital marketing agency in Minneapolis near me or in Minneapolis. Like that is like very much. I already am aware that digital marketing exists. I’m aware that there’s agencies that deliver those services, I’m probably even aware of the competitors set. And now I’m just looking for someone near me, right. So I think that like the biggest mistake is like this propensity to, like, focus so much on the bottom of the funnel, where, yes, that’s where you extract the value at the end of the day. But my belief is that the companies that move up funnel, and are seen as the companies that are doing like the education of that prospect, all throughout the customer journey, like, the sooner that we can get into the consideration set of some button as they move through this customer journey, the better in my opinion, so that when they do get to a solution compare, you’re already in the consideration set so that when you do get to purchase, you’re already in that set. So anyway, I would say that, like, the biggest mistake is not given enough credit to some of those, like earlier stage, higher funnel stages.

Jeremy Weisz 24:22 

I imagine it’s probably because it’s just easier, right? I mean, the purchase piece to create content and information for the unaware person is just much harder, because then you have to fill in all the other stages. Right?

Josh Becerra 24:38 

I think that’s true. And I also think there’s like a data layer that people, so, you talked about how I’m interested in learning as just as important as metrics right. And I think that in our industry, there’s been like It’s such a focus on like driving results and metrics that where it’s easy to, like, collect that in a data layer and have like the appropriate attribution where you can say, like, we took this action and drove this result. And this is the ROI of that, like, that’s pretty easy to do low funnel, it’s harder to be able to, like, tell the story about how, like this piece of content that’s somewhat related to like, what we do is actually driving the like qualified traffic, that that qualified traffic is a returning visitor on a number of things. They may have subscribed to our blog or our podcast. And then, a year later, six months later, they’ve actually converted on our site and are now are marketing qualified lead or a sales qualified lead, like that data layer that’s necessary to be able to tell that story is hard. It’s hard to do we help our clients do that. But I think that’s why people are just like, so much more like, it’s just easier to focus on the bottom funnel.

Jeremy Weisz 26:13 

Yeah, I mean, when I look at this, and if you’re listening in the audio only, there is a video piece where we kind of see their page and the customer journey. When I look at this, and then the first part of what you do is you do an audit, right? And this seems like it’d be really, like not so easy, because you have to kind of collect everything, and then kind of put it into these different stages, and then see which one is lacking. Right? So it doesn’t seem easy.

Josh Becerra 26:46 

The same thing for your competitors. Right. So that’s that competitive analysis, which is like, okay, now we did that for us, now we got to do that for our competitors. And when I mean competitors, I don’t necessarily always mean like, the people that our client thinks that are their direct competitors, and the name of that person. It’s also like, who’s just winning on that search? Like, what is showing up number one in that search? Like, it could be Wikipedia. And that’s your competitor on that search. Right? So anyway…

Jeremy Weisz 27:04 

It’s not someone’s gonna win the business, but it’s someone who’s winning the eyeballs.

Josh Becerra 27:22 

Right. So then we need to like think sometimes when we see that it’s Wikipedia, we deprioritize that as a topic, because that’s a big, that’s an uphill battle. Not that it can’t be won. But I’m sure that in the grand scheme of things, there’s probably other topics that we can prioritize that we can get traction on quicker. And we always like to get quick wins, if we can. An example of this, like I got a case study. I know you were gonna ask me about this. So there’s a college that’s very specialized on the East Coast, that client of ours, and like, we were doing content, for them, the content was working all right, and we kind of landed on this idea, we started to understand through this audit like that, what we needed moving up the funnel, and like providing a blog that talked about like, the earning potential of someone and the types of careers that someone would have if they went to this kind of like, exclusive, not exclusive, but it was kind of a niche college, right? It’s like environmental education. So it’s like, what are the different jobs that you can get with an environmental education degree? What can you expect to get paid working in those jobs? Right? So this was like, very much high funnel and it wasn’t like, hey, come study here, like, get a degree with us.

Jeremy Weisz 28:57 

It makes people think, hmm, maybe I should consider this occupation. So totally unaware.

Josh Becerra 29:02 

Yeah. Are people who are like at least considering like, should I go into a career in environmental education? Like, what’s the first question you’re gonna ask is like, well, what jobs do you get? Right? Anyway, we built this, like, amazing piece of evergreen content was just long-form blog. And it’s to this day, the highest performing like, from a traffic standpoint, blog content. And then because of the data layer, we were able to like show like, kids who show up at this page, they were turned and they returned to other pages and those turn into applications and those applicants, some of them turn into registered registrations, and so like that is powerful stuff, if you can make it work.

Jeremy Weisz 29:52 

You have a like I mentioned before a really extensive base of types of clients. One of them was a custom fireplace manufacturer. So what did you do with them?

Josh Becerra 30:06 

Yeah, so it’s still a client today, there is pretty amazing. Like they build the coolest fireplaces. Like, think of like what Google’s has in their like office in Colorado, like some $75,000 custom fireplace like that’s what these. And I’ve had the privilege of like touring their manufacturing facility. And it’s just like blacksmiths back in the back, like hammering on metal, like making stuff, like, it’s amazing. And they like, showed me how they do a patina using acid. I mean, it’s really cool stuff. So they have a great product. And they’re kind of two different customers that they’re going after are like very high end net worth individuals who can afford like, really nice custom fireplace, or like designers and architects and people like that, right? So when we started with them, they had a sales team, it was a lot of like, outbound sales. They were doing some digital marketing, the contact over there, we had a conversation, I tried to win their business lost their business a year later, I called her and she’s like, yeah, I think I made a mistake. Let’s go with you.

Jeremy Weisz 31:31 

Why did she say that? Why did she say she thinks she made a mistake?

Josh Becerra 31:36 

Because she wasn’t getting what she thought she was going to get from the vendor that she chose for that year. Engagement. And so yeah, we’ve been with them now for like four or five years. And beyond like doing, so we’re doing paid media, we’re doing SEO, and we’re doing content marketing for them. So we’re doing a lot like most of our services with them, beyond just providing those services, we really pushed, and like supported her in her efforts to move the company into like a more data-centric approach. So we were able to help her get like HubSpot as a CRM across the finish line. So then helped with some implementation of that. So now we’ve got like a great tool that we can understand like, where are the people who are coming to the website coming from when they convert, they go into HubSpot. And then we can see like, do they actually turn into a paid customer or not. And with that, like data layer, we can take all of the people who have become customers. And we can import that back into like the platforms like Google ads, and say, hey, we want to find more people who look like these people, not just the people converted, not just people who ask for a bid, but the people who actually bought a $75,000 fireplace, who are more of those people. And that transformation has like, I mean, they’re growing their business tremendously. I went up there, and I spent like an hour with their sales team, helping the sales team understand how in fact, we can take this data out of the back end of their CRM and help improve the quality of the leads. And once a salesperson kind of understands, hey, like if I do my job in the CRM and actually track this appropriately, then the marketing people are going to send me higher quality leads that are going to be easier for me to close. Like they’re all in right. They’re like, I can help you make money. Like you want to make more money. You help me and HubSpot. So that was a big win for us. And yeah, that is one of my favorite.

Jeremy Weisz 34:10 

Josh, thank you for sharing that. That’s gold. Because first of all, the last thing a salesperson wants to do and probably anyone is entered detail things into a CRM, right? They just want to be on the phone with someone selling. But I love how you kind of connected the dots for them saying if you do this, then we can make the system smarter on the front end and give you more and better people on the back end which allows them to sell more.

Josh Becerra 34:38 

Yeah, and it’s proven to be true. And I’m pretty sure that they’re growing their sales team and things are humming along pretty good.

Jeremy Weisz 34:49 

What’s for the manufacturing? What will be an example of an unaware and then a problem-aware piece of content?

Josh Becerra 35:03 

For manufacturing?

Jeremy Weisz 35:05 

Yeah, for this one. For the fireplace manufacturer. What will be an example of okay. Totally unaware, and then moving into a problem aware just so people can kind of see the process a little bit?

Josh Becerra 35:20 

Yeah. So, there’s a piece of content that we’ve done. And we refresh it almost every year, because it’s like, so awesome, which is like, a trends piece. It’s like 2023 fireplace trends, right? And so that’s something that anybody who’s thinking about building a house who’s like, wants to put in a back yard or whatever, firepit situation, like that’s something that’d be like, oh, like a trend piece, I’ll take a look at that. And then all of a sudden, they’re like, man, I didn’t know that you could, like order a custom-built thing. Like, look at these, like, these are amazing, right? And for people with money, or like, they love amazing things, and they want their things to be amazing. So that’s probably example of like, some of that higher funnel content. I don’t know if it would necessarily fit into unaware or problem aware.

Jeremy Weisz 36:23 

Yeah, I would say, yeah, that’s pretty unaware. I mean, it must have been gangbusters during COVID.

Josh Becerra 36:29 

We definitely heard of like, a homeowner, taking this, like a picture out of this trends thing and showing it to their architect. And then the architect calling and being like, hey, my clients gave me this picture that was in your trends thing, and I need to talk to you about doing something like that.

Jeremy Weisz 36:57 

Yeah, I’m sure during COVID People are like, redoing all sorts of things around their house.

Josh Becerra 37:03 

There’s also like some supply chain. So like, there’s, well, yes, everybody was like, I’m going to invest money in a backyard, whatever. It’s like, yeah, I don’t have any steel. Yeah, that’s a different podcast all together.

Jeremy Weisz 37:21 

So what about problem aware in this situation? So, in this situation are they looking for, they know they want to change out or want a new fireplace in this situation?

Josh Becerra 37:35 

Yeah, that’s probably it, or like, they’re feeling like, they’ve got something that’s dated, or they’re doing a remodel or, or building from scratch or whatever. And it’s like, I know, I need to find the, like, my architect is telling me find a fireplace that you want to put in here. Right? And so all right, I got to go find a fireplace. And many people don’t know that you can, like get stuff completely custom-made still to this day, right? It’s not all just floating across the Pacific and landing on California and then getting shipped to people. So like, we still build stuff with our hands in the US of A. And so like, that’s, that’s something that people sometimes aren’t always aware of. So we got to make them more, keep them aware.

Jeremy Weisz 37:47 

From a B2B standpoint, so we talked about higher education. We talked about manufacturing. From B2B standpoint, you had Digi?

Josh Becerra 38:42 

Yeah. So there’s a client that’s in, it’s like, international, probably got a multi-billion dollar market cap. So it’s a big company, and they sell like Wi Fi, or like, cellular like widgets, like the things that some bus manufacturer is going to say, hey, we need to be competitive in the future. So all of our buses need to be Wi Fi enabled, or we need to be able to track our buses, as they circulate throughout the city, or we need every single street light, because I’m a lighting manufacturer to have like a little chip in it, that’s going to tell us when the light is out. So that we don’t have to drive by just tells us like, I want to build a smart light fixture for roadways. And I’m in charge of figuring out whose widget I’m going to put in there to give me that functionality. So they build those widgets. And so there’s a solution is like, it’s all over. Yeah, but the thing is, is that they’re competing with like, T-Mobile or at at&t on, like these terms around like, I don’t know, mesh network and like, very technical terms. Yeah. But like, yeah, they’re competing with these huge brands. And it’s super competitive. And that’s like very high funnel content. Whereas like, you know, their strategy up until when we did this piece with them was to focus on like, the long tail, like, let’s write content, that like only an engineer who knows what a mesh network is, and like, how it performs and all this stuff, like, that’s what we’re going to write, and there’s only going to be 10 people who search on that a month. But those 10 people, if we can get in front of them, those are good people, there’s not a bad strategy. We felt like they needed more stuff, kind of in the higher funnel. And so we helped them develop an educational blog, kind of like that evergreen piece that I talked about with the college and university. It was like, how can we help you win? And so yeah, like, the great thing is, if you can win on those terms, you’re gonna save a lot of money on like, the paid media side. So, what they were doing was they were paying the for the PPC clicks on those. And so what we calculated was, it was like, a $15,000 month or something and cost savings because we were able to get this piece that was a little bit higher funnel to outrank some of those very competitive like those big competitors, so that they didn’t have to pay for the clicks. So anyway, that’s like an example of that kind of work.

Jeremy Weisz 38:58 

I love it. That’s such a cool niche business, but big. First of all, Josh, I want to thank you. I have one last question. Before I ask it. I want to point people to your website, and they can go to And I know you mentioned Simon Sinek before, and I’d love for you to talk about what are the resources, whether it’s leadership or any other books or audiobooks that you recommend to yourself and your team?

Josh Becerra 42:19 

Yeah, sure. So, we are EOS Entrepreneurial Operating System shop, so we have embraced EOS. So if you haven’t heard of EOS, Gino Wickman, author of a book called Traction is where you’re going to find most of that information. I think it’s really great from like an operational side of things. There’s a guy by the name of Patrick Lencioni, who’s written a book called The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. So that’s more on like the relational side of things and like what you need from a team from a relational side to get results, whereas EOS is more like operational in nature. Those two are great. Start With Why the Simon Sinek book is a good one. I also liked his book called Leaders Eat Last. That is a great book. And that premise comes from interviews that he did with like Navy SEALs. And the ethos that they have is like the leader of the SEAL team always eats last. Anyway, good stuff. I’ve enjoyed those types of books. And the most recent book I read was called Leadership Self-Deception. And I don’t have the off author off the top of my head, actually, I think it’s like a think tank that authored the book. But that was really interesting. And it’s like told in a story form. It’s like a narrative. So it’s not like a typical leadership book. So that’s a good one too.

Jeremy Weisz 43:56 

First of all, Josh, I want to be the first one to thank you. Everyone check out more episodes of the podcast, check out and we’ll see you next time.

Josh Becerra 44:07 

Thanks, Jeremy.

Jeremy Weisz 44:07 

Thanks, Josh.