I had the pleasure of interviewing Jean Ginzburg, CEO of Ginball Digital Marketing, #1 best-selling author, recognized as 'women to watch' by Colorado Business Magazine, award winning thought leader, and contributor to Forbes magazine and Huffington Post.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got your start in digital marketing?
I am a #1 best-selling author, award-winning entrepreneur and digital marketing expert with more than 12 years of industry expertise helping companies scale revenue, optimize sales and marketing processes and improve productivity. I am the CEO and Founder of JeanGinzburg.com, a digital marketing education company and Ginball Digital Marketing, a digital marketing agency. I’ve been featured in Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Forbes.com and the Huffington Post.
I got into digital marketing 12 years ago because I thought this would be a booming industry. For 6 years, I worked for a few companies and learned the ins and outs of digital marketing. And in 2013, I decided to start my own business and go down the entrepreneurial road.
2. How do you think the customer journey has changed in the last 5-10 years because of the growing trend of digital and how do you think this has affected the shift brands are making to their marketing budget?
The main way that the customer journey has changed has been more research on the part of the customer. Nowadays, customers want to be more educated when they make a decision. This is where brands need to come in with valuable content for their prospective customers. It’s critical in this decision-making stage to get in front of your prospect and give value. So a brand must set up a solid, consistent content strategy.
3. What’s your best advice on how to best attract, connect and convert more new customers using digital marketing today? Do you think there is too much focus on attracting new customers, and not enough on connecting with them?
The best advice is to learn as much as you can about your customer. When working with clients, they are all raring to get the digital marketing part but so often brands don’t know WHO they are looking for. It’s crucial to do your research as a brand, talk to your current customers to better understand their pain points and challenges. That’s the best way to get started to attract new customers.
From my experience, if brands don’t connect with their customers, then they won’t be customers for long. Customer retention is a big piece of keeping customers happy and connecting with them.
4. You talk about target marketing and really narrowing down on who businesses should be targeting. I read one quote from your content talking about how “if you are marketing to everyone, you are marketing to no one”. What does that say about traditional advertising like radio, bus benches etc. that local businesses still use today? Do you think it’s where they should be spending their money, on top of the funnel or ‘awareness marketing’?
Bigger brands with deeper pockets can use the more broad methods of marketing – say, radio or bus benches. But that’s not very narrow. For brands with smaller budgets or startups that are just getting started, it’s best to use digital marketing to get as granular as possible so that you aren’t wasting your budget on eyeballs who have not interest in your brand.
Brands, big or small, should be spending part of their budget on the top of the funnel to attract new prospective customers. But brands should also be spending on engaging with prospects in the middle and the bottom of the funnel.
5. What do you think are the most important digital marketing channels for local businesses?
From my experience, Instagram is one of the more important digital channels for local businesses. It’s a growing channel with a lot of engagement and local businesses can still benefit from Instagram not being as crowded.
6.What are some of the common challenges you see small businesses facing with local competitors?
The common challenge is that businesses seem in a similar space seem to all be doing the same thing. The way to go beyond that is to stand out, be different from your competition. Customers are more likely to be attracted to new and innovative business practices.
7. What do you think are the growing trends in digital marketing for 2019, that will continue on into 2020 and the next 4-5 years?
The growing trend in digital marketing is direct messaging and chat bots. Customers and prospects want to engage with brands, but using new methods. Since most Millennials and Gen Z are on social media, then it’s a seamless experience to interact with brands on social media, vs switching over to email or going to the brand’s website. Chat bots already allow for interaction with customers and prospects with some automation. I think that chat bots are only going to get bigger.
8. After 12 years in the digital marketing space, what is the biggest thing that still shocks you when working with business owners?
The biggest thing that still shocks me is that brands don’t know who they are marketing to. Almost every time I engage with a brand, they just want to get on social media and start talking to customers, but their targeting and messaging is way off, because the brand hasn’t done the research to better understand their customer.
9. You are a #1 Best selling author, featured in some of the biggest publications in the world including Inc., Forbes, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, & you're an Award Winning Digital Thought Leader. Whats next for you and how will you continue to help businesses around the world?
For the past 5 years, my agency has been working 1:1 with private clients and helping them with their digital marketing. It’s been a wonderful experience but it only allows us to work with a dozen or so clients. The next step is to scale that and help thousands of businesses with their digital marketing. Our mission is to double the revenue of 2000 businesses in the next 5 years. We want to transform in how brands talk and interact with their prospects and customers using digital marketing. There is so much untapped opportunity and so many businesses are just scratching the surface. We want to change that and help businesses utilize these amazing opportunities!