Victor Arredondo: Time-relevant Marketing Strategies to Adopt for Business Growth
Victor Arredondo: Time-relevant Marketing Strategies to Adopt for Business Growth
The pandemic outbreak and its effects have been received differently by different organizations. While some have gained significantly from the situation, several organizations have lost.
However common, the outbreak brought about many changes, and organizations are adapting themselves to improve their positioning and render significant gains.
Pinchforth is concerned about helping businesses grow, a responsibility that has increased with the outbreak of the pandemic. This concern has led to the launch of an interview series titled Rediscover Marketing, where successful marketing and growth leaders are brought on board to share insights and strategies on how organizations can navigate such trying times.
In today's post, we interviewed a Growth marketing leader in the financial industry who shared vital marketing strategies and steps to employ them in your respective industries.
Who is Our Guest?
Victor Arredondo (Vic) is the current Marketing Director at Pacific Debt Inc.,(PDI) a semi-national debt relief company operating out of San Diego, California. As the Marketing Director, Vic oversees Growth Marketing, product models, demand generation, affiliate relationships, , and monetization of consumer data.
Notably, struggling with debt can be a significant challenge, one that has gone worse for most people during the pandemic―earnings have reduced, and expenditure seither maintained or have driven higher. Pacific Debt's services have scaled in demand to market conditions brought on by COVID. Its services have helped people looking for debt relief in a time where debt collectors, credit companies, and banks have buckled down on their consumer base. As such, people with debt are turning to more companies like PDI to bring down their debt loads and still provide for their families.
Challenges Faced As a Marketing Leader
Despite the gains with the pandemic, the organization also had its first share of challenges following the release of Google's core update in march. Unfortunately, the company was one of those who lost from the update and has put up strategies to restore lost online visibility and position better for December's update.
Victor shared with us how he was able to work with his team, focusing on remarketing and building tight marketing strategies to increase sales even when the company lost a degree of its rankings online.
Vic attributes his success to his team's effort to deliver within a short time.
“We updated our site to a mobile first version, we developed contingency plans, specifically rules for site migration, SEO audits, and speed/security tests. Once that was done, we focused on where we lost any of our positions and compiled legal strategies to safeguard our brand,” he said.
PDI’s Marketing Director mentioned how effective communication within his team in infotech, sales, legal, and operations significantly contributed to the success recorded throughout the year.
“One of the main things, Kevin and Sierra (PDI’s stakeholders) set out for me, was to look for easier wins and opportunities, and easier wins for me out the gate was cutting ineffective affiliates and developing affiliates who desired better outcomes for PDI,” Victor said.
Essentially this left Vic with constantly developing strategy around market data from both acquisition funnel and his client funnel.
Victor’s Successful Marketing Strategies Examples for Growth Leaders to Follow.
During the interview, when asked about what recommendation he had for marketing and growth leaders, Victor shared some tips on how to go about marketing henceforth.
- SEO marketing
It was clear that Victor is a great believer in search engine optimization, and he believes that every organization mindful of demand generation and retention should embrace this strategy to improve its visibility and convert customers.
Some of his quick recommendations include:
- Mobile first design that makes sign-ups easier for conversions.
- A growing social media presence that passes on brand awareness and leads―ensure you’re using a multichannel report and include assisted conversions to prove the value of ROI from social channels if you’re utilizing an organic strategy.
- Referral traffic from trusted web sources (think Google, Yelp, Reddit, etc.), review sites are all about structured data, they’re easier to find, you’re not unless you’re established.
- Using Webmaster tools to make decisions (the data is ripe for the picking) and can be found with all search engine providers. You’ll be able to help your engineers see where there’s too much java, as well as your SEO specialist on what terms are losing or gaining, and what words are driving clicks to your site.
- Use tools such as Google Analytics, Hotjar, or Statcounter to measure performance―optimize them and ensure you’re goal tracking.
- Getting a trademark for the brand and protecting from SEM tactics that competitors use against you. Utilize Legal counsel to take away competitors who utilize your copyright content to gain your position one.
- Technical SEO audits―site titles, open-graph images, alternative text, etc. Make sure that all of these are diverse and should use keywords which your traffic is in the hunt for.
- Local SEO should be the go-to strategy for small firms. Don’t waste time on big initiatives, instead focus on local presence by leveraging other local companies.
- Have someone write quality blogs. Yes it’s old school, but it still works. According to Vic, Mike Nittoli has been his content developer, and he calls him “Money Mike”. Find yourself your own Money Mike.
- Offsite SEO is only as good as your investment into it. Radio, TV, and Mail will always play a part to your web traffic and phone calls. Be ready to monitor, measure, and get the data going for your team.
- Digital Strategy
With the new realities of the pandemic, most people now spend more time at home. Victor believes the best marketing strategies will be those targeted at reaching people even with their current status. He recommended that organizations focus more on digital marketing and utilize core products while finding other products that make sense for the consumer they serve.
You’re going to want to have digital marketing (which is a broad term) down to a science and think about Native and Programmatic and how to leverage them for growth. Be specific and think quality with your ads. Start with native digital ads using email as it grants a ton of impressions and has a commendable click through rate. Some platforms grant you access to your perfect audience off the back. Hence, not only does your spend become effective, but you also hit your target market with a blindfold on. If you’re unknown or need a degree of market share for regional expansion, it's a great place to start.
For affiliate traffic, you can convert it, and the rest is all about remarketing and monetization. Yet affiliate traffic can be hit or miss, so your goal is to break even or as much north as possible, with a short term plan of upsells to maximize your profit. The best affiliates are hard to find and sometimes their programs are costly―be mindful of your spend. Using a CRM with automation is critical here. It can easily make the consumer journey easier and make lite work of something complex. Vic credits his co-worker, Anthony Zoblescin, in this regard.
Paid Social Media Remarketing keeps the funnel full. Everyone has traffic that just doesn’t convert initially but still works with a few pieces of follow-ups, You have to be precise on what pages, videos, or content the data tells you has a high session rate but low conversion score. Understand that TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, are all places where consumers are at and use for fun. Thus, your paid creative here should be videos and should have enough direct CTAs that your audience find irresistible. Social proof is key here as well. Be ready to have your reviews already highlighted on your website and also have review sites rank you.
Utilize Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for low hanging fruit terms and maximize their clicks rather than shooting for a cost per lead as it can consume your budget fast, especially if you’re new at this. For established accounts in SEM Vic recommends lead goals while maintaining efficiency on bench marks using cost per conversion as a goal. Ultimately use tactics that your competitors cannot use against your brand such as Enhanced Cost Per Click, understanding that competitors will have to pay over their fair share of lead cost to compete with you. For brands who don’t have a perfect quality score, he recommends taking a look at your site and following the SEO tips.
However, with the influx of Google’s updates and compliance/antitrust laws, the best way to go about scaling during this period is what works for your type of customer. For instance, if a 44 year old likes being served Youtube ads with a side of mailers, go for it. Chances are your competition is already on it. If your review sites are not being rated and you find yourself needing an ample amount, dig into your CRM, find your brand lovers/ambassadors, and get the reviews.
Embrace the unorthodox, but be consistent with your strategy. Adopting to the consumer’s household and following them on the phone when they’re on their breaks, their emails when they are paying bills, and their news feed when they are just connecting, helps to amplify your brand and establish trust with the consumer. Victor recommends to think more outside of the box in terms of video series, sponsored podcasts, magazines, emails, and what goal your business aims to achieve from each type of media.
“I like podcasts because they’re educational, but I have yet to use the play because PDI consumers need solutions now, if COVID wasn’t around I’d realign what that media means to me,” he said.
Email is always and will always be the best. Although we do not support spamming your audience. Think about what makes consumers stress at different ages, what makes them feel great about themselves, and find the creative that works for your play. Most importantly, have the right product. CRM is critical here and, as such, Victor noted that this is where he spends half of his day looking at reports and configuring other items. Some solutions can even grant data warehousing to a point you can have predictive analytics.
- Product Marketing, Territory Expansion, Data Science
Master your core product, and know your TAM, SAM, and SOM if possible. Have a goal with what you’re trying to reach, what you’re trying to conceive for market share, and what costs look like by using KPI’s suchs as CAC, CPA, LTV, CPV etc. Creative evolves and so too must your content and brand. Hence, AB test is vital as well.
Be real about what makes sense for your brand and your budget. Sometimes it’s unclear, that’s why Vic usually recommends starting with knowing how large/small your market is and finding someone who understands cost in your space.
Vic mentioned that Marketing Leaders also need to know what’s going to impact customers for the rest of their business relationship and how they can help these customers in their next journey. According to him, the head of the sales team at PDI (Chris Lozano) does a great job at keeping a record of what each lead has an interest in. This will go a long way to project the voice of the consumer to other co-workers in the company and help them create a big picture of their responsibilities for each client.
In essence, the data dictates what direction to evolve, how to adjust in the market, and also helps to provide additional revenue.
- Embracing criticism
Marketing leaders must be ready to accept criticism and see them as an element of growth. Having people challenge your ideas is part of the process required in developing the best marketing strategies. This is where change in leadership comes into effect.
A strong waterfall model and a strong fishbone chart backed by data refined with a tone of excel sheet data can create your stance. Victor has had his fair share of criticism in the past, but said he “intuitively understood it needed to happen for him to reach his own personal goal”. Marketers can lead companies and command just as much as operations can, but they have to be quantitative and need to back their positions with data whenever they’ve got the opportunity for it.
They also need to understand when to spend and when to cut losses. This has a lot to do with dashboards and trends in data as well as being able to inform leadership when the time calls for it.
According to Victor:
“There are going to be naysayers. Your job for our craft is to win them over through data, your job is to ensure empirical assumptions are challenged. If you cannot do that, you have to be able to find your devil’s advocate and place them in for you. Delegation is key sometimes, especially if you don’t blend in well. In the meantime, work on that skillset of championing the data your customers provide your dashboard (especially if you’re a junior).”
As we ended this interview, Victor passed a message on diversity and inclusion. While he already spoke of the importance of naysayers in organizations, he also emphasized the need for innovators to believe in their ideas and stay loyal.
“When you are driving diversity and inclusion, it is expected for you to meet resistance, but you have to keep up with the course and not give up. As someone in Marketing I can drive my passion for diversity and inclusion through my creativity. To me diversity comes from different ideas, different experiences, and different cultures. Inclusion means getting your business to speak to those elements. This is how innovation leaps in a company in my eyes and experience,” he noted.
That was quite an insightful session with Victor, and we hope you gained from it. Let us know what you think in the comment section.