Search Interviews:

Jeremy Weisz 4:39

Yeah, I want to walk through a scenario so people kind of dig their teeth into what we’re talking about. So we’ll talk about a bead A B example and a b2c example. And there was a wood manufacturing place of all types of businesses, and how does that work with with them?

Justin Croxton 4:58

Yeah, great examples. So You know, we have a number of clients in the b2b space, this one was employed manufacturer they are, I mean, they are international organization, not a huge budget, but something that’s relatively respectable. They’re the machines, they do like CNC routers, that kind of thing. And so normally, you know, they’re going to be making not, these aren’t just the CNC router that you sell at Home Depot, I mean, these are the big industrial slides, industrial size ones, where they’re going to go for 50, grand upwards of $500,000 per sale, who are their type of who are their customers? Yeah, exactly. Their customers are sort of the how you say this, the, the leadership, and in, in, in not project management, but those individuals that oversee plant cabinet making, you know, companies, so it may be that company, it also might be the production line manager, that person that makes those decisions. And so part of the goal for us is to, you know, get it get our message in front of those individuals. And so we had, you know, as I was mentioning, taking in more of an omni channel approach to this, you know, we decided to do a few things. The first was to geofence a list of individual companies in those manufacturing plants, that does a lot of the wood making, you know, like cabinets and things of that nature. So that was the first order of business trying to get our message in front of those folks, there was an allocated spend just to that, and we would go into our tools, and

Jeremy Weisz 6:31

those people would buy the wood from this company. So someone, a company would have a huge server or something like that, and they need to build a cabinet or some huge structure around that server.

Justin Croxton 6:44

Yeah, it would, if you if you look at it from the perspective of, I have to build 100 cabinets, and I’m building 100 cabinets on a weekly basis. My existing you know, CNC router is, is kind of old, maybe it’s 10 years old, it’s not as advanced doesn’t, you know, it’s not as operationally efficient as the one that you know, the brand that we represent, is trying to sell into. And so that’s where you’re like, alright, you know, you want to book a demo with our team, you know, we want to get our message directly in front of those folks, who are those production managers who’s making those decisions. And we have a list of manufacturing plants that focuses on wood or machinery, if not machinery, but metal and things of that nature, we have other things that they sell, but they are selling the actual machine that helps make and manufacture cabinets or other wood, wood type products. Got it. And so part of what we would do is we would build virtual fences around the individual manufacturing plants serve ads, the employee base, and try to get our message directly in front of those folks more from an account based selling perspective. Now that again, that can’t just be the only thing or the penicillin, as I mentioned, that’s going to solve all your marketing problems. So when we say omni channel, you have to include other aspects of digital, so maybe it is geofencing, it has a line item for media spend. LinkedIn, obviously a really important one, Google ads, people who are in market doing a search for CNC routers. And you know, for CNC routers, in particular, the tough part is you have people that are looking for that the cheap, you know, less than 2000 $5,000 one and you got folks are looking for the, you know, 2550 $100,000 one, and so you have that challenge, but that’s part of why you need to have an omni channel presence, rather than Oh, this one thing is going to save my organization or, you know, it’s you got to look at it from that perspective. And in the reason why we say omni channel is we look at not just how we differentiate our organization with geo fencing, but how it fits within the overall marketing scheme. For any brand that we have that relationship with,

Jeremy Weisz 8:55

I could see this very powerful from the leadership of that company that would buy this, what are they seeing on their end? So you’re on your end, you’re like, Okay, we’re geofencing, these people were on the channel, what are they seeing on there? And when they browse the web when they’re on their LinkedIn, or Facebook, or what did they say?

Justin Croxton 9:15

That’s a great question. So I’ll take an stylized example for everyone that’s listening. So imagine that we built a virtual fence around this location, right? And you’re, you know, you’re having a conversation with your buddy or your friend or whomever. And you say, oh, man, what’s the weather, you know? And you’re already in the virtual fence, right? So we’ve captured your mobile device ID, once you entered the geo fence location, and the moment that you open up your mobile device, say, oh, what’s the weather you scroll down, and then you see the Weather app, you click on that app. And then that’s when you’re able to see the ads for the company advertising to the individuals at that location. So if you think about many different types of apps that we have within our inventory, Angry Birds wears Friends, the Weather Channel, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Fox News, CNN, etc, etc. We have well over common apps, yeah, apps. So it’s not like you have to designate a specific app in order to see the ads. Think of it like site retargeting. Wherever you go, we have the ability to serve to you. The it’s really it was matters more is that we captured the audience, the audience is where you were, you were physically, and we’re saving that audience online to serve ads to you in real time for a period of time essentially,

Jeremy Weisz 10:33

are more people not doing this because they’re not aware of it or because it may require a little bit bigger budget that people want to spend what I think

Justin Croxton 10:42

it’s a mixture of both, I still believe that it’s it’s completely untapped marketplace of individuals who could effectively be advertising or leveraging geofencing, geofencing, marketing or programmatic display, just so you know, programmatic is sort of like the umbrella that’s the buying and selling of ads in real time. And geofencing fits within that bucket of programmatic display advertising, for those that are out there wondering what that term terminology is. But it’s really a mixture of both. But I know for sure, there’s a lot of people who just simply don’t know about geofencing. And you know, they they hear about it, they see that they hear like a car dealership, say Oh, my buddy, this other gyms was doing geofencing has been effective, why not do a Google search, you know, that kind of thing. There’s a lot of people that aren’t aware of it. But there’s a misnomer that you have to be spending, you know, 10,000 $20,000, which are great budget, depending on the type of company you are. But a lot of folks will also, you know, think they Oh, I can only spend $100 a month and that kind of thing on geofencing. And that’s sort of ill advised. Counsel, it’s kind of like Google ads, you’re not really going to spend $100 on Google ads, you’re not really going to get the effect or the benefit of that. And so that’s the that’s the council in the the conversations that we have with brands all the time,

Jeremy Weisz 12:03

would it work in the scenario of financial adviser? It could either be clients,

Justin Croxton 12:09

or yeah, we’ve had cases where we’ve had brands that are going to a conference, and here’s here’s the key, it still comes back to marketing one on one, you have to think about the customer journey, right. And there are certain channels that are a little bit more lower funnel, middle of funnel than others. And so for a financial advisor, they may say themselves that, okay, I want to get in front of folks who are interested in my services, right? Something more along those lines. Maybe those are people who have been to a conference, maybe those are folks that are considering, you know, you know, other financial advisors, that kind of thing. You know, other than that, though, you know, I may, I may not recommend, you know, geofencing for a financial advisor, per se.

Jeremy Weisz 12:58

No, I mean that I love what you just said, actually, because would it be possible? Because I can see how this can apply to a lot of industries, right, so I did interviews at the sweetened snack show in Chicago, right big conference at McCormick Place. I’m wondering if people want to get in front of all of these CPG companies? Could they? I don’t know if that makes sense. But let’s say there’s like three or four of these types of conferences a year. Does it make sense to do the geofencing for those particular whatever every quarter? Or is it have to be done? Because I could see, okay, cool. I could geofences conference, everyone who, from my limited understanding knowledge we’ve explained, but I could see either be powerful, just let’s say there’s a CEO conference, and this financial advisor wants to help more CEOs. That would be an example where they could use geofencing.

Justin Croxton 13:53

That’s a perfect example. And those are cases where I mean, we have a lot of our business are, in fact, event based campaigns where folks have been to a conference, we’ve done a few of them, actually, in the past week, where folks went to a conference, they want to get their message in front of all the attendees or a good chunk of the, the attendees. And we’re capturing and saving that audience for serving ads both while they’re at the conference, and then saving that audience for future retargeting purposes as well. So we can retarget them for 30 days, whatever time when we go for it. And so that’s definitely par for the course, will be examples, that particular stylized example of he then based geofencing advertising,

Jeremy Weisz 14:36

and then you could use that data to retarget later so it’s not like all is lost, like you don’t capture him. It’s like great. I can now use this data on Facebook or Google or any other the networks to retarget that,

Justin Croxton 14:49

yeah, that that is the case and to your point, and that’s again, this gets back to the omni channel piece. Like if you’re running a geofencing campaign, why wouldn’t you Have a site retargeting campaign already deployed. You know, you have your Facebook pixel, your Google Display your Google Ads pixel, your Instagram, Twitter pixel, your LinkedIn pixel, all these other areas of site retargeting so that when someone clicks on your ad, then goes to your website, you are retargeting them and ultimately getting them to convert at some point or main making sure that you’re getting your brand in front of those folks assuming that your average customer value is high enough and your ROI is there. It’s really a support, and sort of in a blanket an umbrella effect. And that’s why we tell folks all the time, don’t just focus on this one thing, you got to do a couple of things to really get everything churning the way that you would like, yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 15:47

and Justin, there’s a lot, there’s so many moving pieces to this, now that you’ve done all of that they hit your website, and you just mentioned something. conversion. So what have you seen work? As far as a b2b business for conversion purposes, you know, I know people have a demo or whatever, what have you seen that people can test out for that

Justin Croxton 16:11

what I think is the is really the best route to go. And I even think about it for our brands for Propellant Media because everything that we recommend for our clients, we actually do for ourselves. And the first thing is just always trying to find ways to bring value to people, essentially similar to your mantra and what you guys do over Rise25. And so when someone lands on your website, you know, have an e book, have a video have something that brings value, educational value, you know, monetary value, whatever it is, but true value to the person, but they have to, you know, leave some sort of contact details, in order, because you can’t think from a b2b standpoint that someone’s going to buy from you right then and there, they got to kind of get to know you, you know, they got to, like it need to go on a couple dates, they need to understand a little bit more about your organization. Same thing with geofencing, if you think about it, geofencing is really a b2b play, in many cases, like we’re working with brands and folks and so, you know, someone that has expressed an interest in geofencing, we, unless they are ready, right now, we still need to nurture that relationship. And so things like pop up forms, ebooks, you know, papers, you know, things that actually brings value to individuals, like a lot of times when we’re working with not financial advisors, but one that really just came to mind is like trusts and, and tax consultants, you know, but in the financial advisor advising space, if you will, like one thing that I always say to folks is like, why don’t you, you know, create a video series of like, you know, how you can, you know, save all this money for your for, for your loved ones, or, you know, you know, that you can put into a trust, like, turn that into an e book. Yeah, so many folks that just don’t do the simple blocking and tackling, you know, with that, and a lot of times when you do those types of things, it makes folks more likely to subscribe to your YouTube channel, or to you know, download your ebook. So you get their contact information, you retarget them through your email automation, and follow up. So from a b2b standpoint, I mean, you know, we that’s, that’s par for the goals. And there’s a lot of great software out there. We use HubSpot as sort of our tool of choice from a sales and marketing automation standpoint, but you have some cheaper ones, you got Salesforce, she got a ton out there that you can use Active Campaign, etc, etc.

Jeremy Weisz 18:40

Yeah, I love what you said. I mean, it’s really about bringing value. And in case in point, like if you go to Propellant.Media, and you scroll down, they have download the geofencing guide, right. And so it’s gives people information, there’s a video there as well. So it’s about bringing value because it also shows your authority in the space when they’re learning, but it also displays your authority, and you know what you’re talking about? Absolutely, um, you know, we talked about education, before we hit record, and that’s a huge monitoring your company for yourself, um, and you, like you said, eat your own dog food here. And when we are talking about agency partners and educating partner, so talk about some of the ways you educate your partners. Yeah,

Justin Croxton 19:28

I appreciate you saying that. It’s, um, it’s really been a fascinating situation for us because when we were founded, we were getting a number of direct brands reaching out to us car dealerships, higher education, restaurants, retail, you know, health care, etc, etc. But then we were also getting a lot of agencies marketing consulting firms, consultants that were in specific industries that heard about geofencing, but they didn’t have access to you know, to didn’t have the ability to on board that sort of a solution. Like they don’t know the nuance of it, like, you know how to the strategy behind it how to execute campaigns or even gain access to the technology by itself. And so for us, we said, well, we’re not going to turn that business away, we’re going to turn that into an entire partnership channel with our white label partners, our channel partners, who essentially have have an interest and not doing it all themselves, but having an organization that can essentially do it all for them. And so as we continue down that path, we realized that we had to bring, you know, you know, a little bit more of Education Academy, if you will, for those partners. And so we developed the Propellant Media Academy, that folks can, you know, you have to become a white label partner. But once you’re a partner, you gain access to the academy. The academy has an entire module that doesn’t necessarily train our agency partners on like how to build campaigns, because that’s what we’re here for, we’re here to, you know, take that heavy lift off of your off of their shoulders, but rather how to be an effective media planner, how to gain more confidence in selling it, how to educate, how to incorporate as part of your media mix for other campaigns that you’re running. And, you know, we have everything from the education side of it, how to sell it. And then we also have a number of, you know, things like ebooks that clients can white label. We have an OTT advertising over the top TV connected to advertising guy that you can white label and unbranded explainer video. Those are just ways that we’ve thought, how can we help an agency partner hit the ground running, right, with both content, as well as you know, material, so that when you want to sell it, or bring it as the solution to your clients, you can do it within quicker fashion, while still having a respectable margin for your organization as well?

Jeremy Weisz 21:54

How do you get consumption of that? You know, they’re, they’re busy, you’re busy? How do you get them to actually consume it? Because, you know, once they consume it, it’s valuable, and they can use it?

Justin Croxton 22:07

Yeah, you know, even one of the senior directors, with an organization always says, I mean, everyone says this, but you know, you can, you can, you know, drag the horse to the water, but you can’t force them, right. The way that we try to, you know, get them to drink is by, you know, with our not incessant, but our follow up with, you know, our white label partners, just making sure that we’re checking in with them, making sure that we’re bringing some significant value to their lives. And then making sure that the content that we’ve provided prior to them gain access to the academy, gives them enough incentive to say, Okay, I see the potential here, let me go ahead and ensure that my media planners, my account executives, even the agency owners, have, in fact consumed, you know, this content, and, you know, you know, it’s, you know, we we have on, we have a sub URL, and entire course, it’s not like this is like, in the cloud, you know, within like Google Drive is actually a full blown course, but also other material. And

Jeremy Weisz 23:14

it’s not easy for people to consume, it is a big thing, too. It’s another

Justin Croxton 23:18

course, form is similar to Udemy. But in this case, this is very specific to content that we control that’s within, that’s on our website at It’s actually So.

Jeremy Weisz 23:31

I’m white label, what are some ways, because it’s very valuable, you know, companies, like you said, marketing consultants agency, they’re always looking for different revenue streams, and their clients are demanding different things from them, and they want to stick to what they’re there to what’s tried and true for them what they know, and they want to have someone who’s an expert do the stuff that they don’t know. So, um, it’s not necessarily easy to set up like a white label, like you have, what are some mistakes? Or what are some things people should watch out for? If they’re setting up like, their own service separately as a white label for another agency or company?

Justin Croxton 24:12

Yeah, you know, the one mistake that I see people make is just kind of what I’ve seen, is really the first thing is the educational route, you have to have an educational foundation that makes it simple for people to understand soup to nuts, you know, you know, from the very point in which you know, they’ve engaged with a client all the way to the point of execution that there’s full clarity in that process. That is naturally going to be the question that you will get on every demo, every single time, effectively. And even understanding the sub steps is critical. But not just for the client, but also for your internal team as well. So The Academy that we’ve developed isn’t just for white label partners there it was, I said, you know, education is big here. It’s also for our internal team as well. So we have courses that are specific to just our internal team. We also have courses that are specific to our white label partners. I think that’s incredibly important. The second mistake that I see folks make is trying to get too greedy do from a margin perspective, you know, they have some folks out there that try to charge, you know, $15, CPM rates, that’s just too high, you have to think about it. You know, the higher your CPM, the less impressions that a client’s able to get out of their media spend. And you got to look at it that way as well for yourself, if you’re going to white label, even if you just create your own white label program for yourself, you

Jeremy Weisz 25:47

got to leave room for growth for the company is using it? Or what’s the point of them? Doing it?

Justin Croxton 25:52

Exactly, exactly. And then the last thing, and this one, it can be a little difficult, but it’s not to say that it’s difficult, it’s more so how do you do it in an organized fashion, and you set time aside, which is just check ins, it’s simple as it sounds, you know, that proactive I give a about your company needs to come off. And the way that you do that, quite frankly, is with your check ins, you see how their business is going, Hey, what’s going on, even if it’s just like a three minute loom video, just like, hey, man want to see what’s going on, see how you’re doing, you know, something that I noticed, you know, he was using this, I was thinking about you guys, or hey, I saw this was going on with this one client that I know that we’re working with, we made some optimizations just want to give you a heads up, blah, blah, blah, those little touch points goes a long way. Because, you know, one of my partners, he always says that, that can’t say the way that he says it. But you know, clients really only care when you are showing up. And when it comes to renewals, and you know, people you know, you know, renewals for any, any business is not really just about the results. Like that may be 50 60% of it. But the other 30 40% truly is like actually like this person, they actually show that they care. And then irrespective of the results, if you don’t care, then, you know, folks are more likely to go on to work with someone else. And so you got to solve that piece. And you solve that with the check ins the follow up with. And that’s as simple as it is, it doesn’t have to be hour long call with each person, it can just be 15 minutes, just want to say what’s up that guy?

Jeremy Weisz 27:37

Yeah, it’s a forming a real relationship with people and trying to, like you said, kind of going back to the same thing if a potential customer client hits a site is just bringing as much value as you can to them. The other thing I want to ask Justin is navigating partners. Right, so you it’s not easy. I mean, it’s like a marriage. And it sounds like you have several partners in the business. Talk about having partners, and then the different roles that you you play in the company?

Justin Croxton 28:04

Yeah, yeah, it’s not easy. You know, I think that whenever you even at least for us, I do believe that we’ve been lucky. And that, that there’s a certain level of integrity and culture that we’ve, you know, worked really hard to, to develop here, you know, with the firm, you know, part of that is, you know, having understand your operating agreements, you know, it’s little things like that. But, you know, when you’re trying to navigate that those relationships, it’s really everyone knows what the goal is, you know, in, in having just regular check ins with your partners on a regular basis, like, Hey, gang, this is what’s going on, this is what we’ve done, this is what p&l looks like a lot, that kind of thing. And then also trying to ensure that, you know, if your partners are also officers and managers within the company, they have, you know, clear roles and responsibilities now, that can be a little difficult sometimes when you’re just starting out because you’re just kind of trying to figure it all out, you know, but a lot of overlap a lot of overlap you know, you know, you know where we’ve ran into those situations where you know, when you were first founded you were both business development guy and the the the client delivery guy too. And so now that we’ve been established for a period of time we’ve already started making the transition to be in the business development guy solely or being more of the big picture structural in you know, crane structures fulfillment type of individuals or, you know, this person now, you know, has the time to focus on operational excellence, or this person has more time to focus on you know, growing specifically our white label partner program, you know, little things like that, that provides both some level of KPI performance, as well as you know, you know, support on how to reach those goals. But there’s clear delineation for everyone that’s growing the overall nut in the overall growth of the company. Those are tough, tough conversations. But you know, really, it’s understanding everyone’s strengths and in trying to maximize those strengths and reduce that more reduce the risk associated with each partner as well.

Jeremy Weisz 30:10

Yeah. And, you know, for your company, you’ve won some fast growing awards, you won some great places to work towards what he mentioned culture, what are things that you do to maintain that culture? For you in the team?

Justin Croxton 30:27

Yeah, great example yesterday, literally, yesterday at 430. You know, because we’re, we work we have a little bit of a hybrid role. So we have two offices, our staff comes into the office about two, three times a week, other times they work from home, but we have two offices, one in Atlanta and other in Charlotte. And so we always want to try to, you know, make sure that the teams know each other, everyone’s gelling, everyone’s having communications with one another. And so we do, you know, sort of happy hours, you know, online happy hours, things of that nature. One with like, this, the escape room, is one that we did like a year ago, and it was an online actually, ah, during the silly, you know, the COVID, you know, mess that we’ve all been dealing with. And so, we did that a year ago. And then yesterday, we did a different version of that was like a game show. And so we, you know, everyone who got on, you’re broken out into two different teams, the teams each had a different host, and like, the team that got the highest, the highest number of points would win, you know, it doesn’t matter, the points that you got, is really just, you know, having that experience collectively. And that’s what we did, you know, and that was just a great time, you know, earlier in the year, or I guess, about two, three months ago, we did a summit where we brought our entire team to one location, you know, everybody went to the battery here in Atlanta, you know, great food went to the baseball game, just little things like that those investments really does add both the culture as well as to, as well as just, you know, building a happy team. But that those are some of the more nice things. There’s two other really critical things that I do want to mention from a cultural perspective that is vital to your team. The first is there being clear delineation of what someone’s role is, there are going to be times when someone has to go above and beyond their existing role, and that’s okay. But they still have to know what their daily executables are. Because if they don’t, then they don’t have clear line of sight into what their future growth is at the company like okay, well, if I’m mastering all these, and what’s the next thing, but if they don’t even know, what’s a master, then how can you expect for them to grow, the way that you expect, your expectations are off, their expectations are off, and nothing’s working. So that’s the first thing I’ll say. The second thing is they everyone there needs to feel supported. I’ve learned over this period of time that you can’t expect for everybody to be you, like, not everybody is you. And that’s not fair for you, to put you on everyone else. Everyone has their own talents and their own tears of value that they bring to the company. And so you need your job is to figure out what those strengths are. And then provide that blanket of support, whether it’s education, whether it’s daily check ins or weekly check ins, whether it’s, you know, having you know, office hours where folks and just ask questions, you constantly reminding people that you’re an open book, don’t feel like I’m going to fire you if, if you ask me a question that you feel embarrassed about, like having that sort of relationship gives you you know, the space for folks to feel like they are coming to you, you know, you know, as a family and less of as I’m just another number here and you’re not really supporting me, you haven’t given me clear line of sight into my roles and responsibilities. I just feel like I’m just doing stuff rather than something that’s really making a difference for the for not just the company but ultimately the clients.

Jeremy Weisz 34:05

Thank you for going into that highly valuable especially in this virtual world. Those are things people can take home. Just one last question and before I ask it I just want to point people online to check out Propellant.Media which is your website. It’s PR O P E L L A N T dot media there any other places online that we should point people towards? Or is that the best place?

Justin Croxton 34:27

I mean, if anyone wanted to check us out, just go to Propellant.Media

Jeremy Weisz 34:31

and then you’ll be geofence and retarget all over the internet is Yeah.

Justin Croxton 34:36

Definitely. Well, you may even one of our TV spots or more. But I love it all value that all value.

Jeremy Weisz 34:45

Yeah, of course. What’s bit last question is what’s been a high point I mean, you’ve been running this company for a long time. You have a great team clients what’s been a high point for you in the journey.

Justin Croxton 35:00

Um, you know, the high point, you know, we it’s we we, we are sort of a call it an eight figure agency, I guess. So that’s been a one high point, which has been pretty exciting. Because it’s not easy to get to that in just a five year timeframe. So that that’s been pretty cool. But, you know, more importantly, it’s really been the growth that I’ve seen, you know, you know, not so much just myself, but everyone within the company that just that wants to become that master of digital marketing, you know, having that foundation and just seeing the growth that everyone is experiencing, the impact that’s having on people’s lives. You know, you know, both financially, as well as culturally, you know, within the company. I mean, I know it sounds kind of bland, but you know, this, you know, I’m a simple guy. And for me, the simple things in life, around building wealth and building relationships and, you know, having time off that you can spend with your family and, you know, with your friends, those little things really does go a long way. And, you know, for me, that’s, that’s, that’s really the name of the game. So what we’re all trying to do here in the sea, that you know, myself, my partners, the senior leadership here at Propellant Media, that we’ve been able to build an organization a very short timeframe, that helps espouse those ideals has been pretty cool. So for me, that’s that’s really the highlight for us and seeing kind of what that looks like in the next three to five years. I

Jeremy Weisz 36:33

Justin I want to be the first one to thank you. Thank you everyone. Check out Propellant.Media, check out more episodes of and Rise25 Thanks, Justin.