You Should Talk To

Jeff Perkins, CMO at Greenlight Guru on 'not sucking at marketing'

July 09, 2023 YouShouldTalkTo Season 1 Episode 31
You Should Talk To
Jeff Perkins, CMO at Greenlight Guru on 'not sucking at marketing'
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, Daniel Weiner sits down with Jeff Perkins, the CMO of Greenlight Guru. Jeff shares his unique insights on the role of specialized agencies in marketing. He advocates for their use in specific tasks but also sees potential in their ability to tackle diverse projects.

Jeff, however, cautions against the idea of a truly full-service agency. He argues that the complexity of marketing makes this an unrealistic expectation. It's a candid take that challenges conventional thinking in the industry.

The conversation takes a sharp turn as Jeff expresses a bold view on marketing automation software tools. He asserts that these tools are ineffective without the right team to operate them. It's a reminder that technology is only as good as the people behind it. This episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking a fresh perspective on the dynamics of marketing.


Guest-at-a-Glance:
💡 Name: Jeff Perkins, CMO at Greenlight Guru

💡Noteworthy: Jeff is a published author -- check out his book here

💡 Where to find more from Jeff: LinkedIn


Key Insights:

Specialized Agencies: A Double-Edged Sword

Jeff Perkins, CMO of Greenlight Guru, discusses the role of specialized agencies in marketing. He suggests that while these agencies are excellent at specific tasks, they can also be given a chance to work on diverse projects. However, Perkins cautions against the idea of a truly full-service agency. He argues that the complexity of marketing makes this an unrealistic expectation. It's a candid take that challenges conventional thinking in the industry.


Marketing Automation Tools: Misunderstood Assets

Jeff expresses a bold view on marketing automation software tools. He asserts that these tools are ineffective without the right team to operate them. It's a reminder that technology is only as good as the people behind it. This insight is particularly valuable for businesses that heavily rely on automation tools, urging them to invest in their teams as much as they do in their technology.


AI: The Future of Marketing

Jeff shares his excitement about the potential impact of AI on marketing. He believes that AI can turbocharge marketing efforts and doesn't see it as a threat to jobs. Instead, he views AI as a tool that can enhance the work of marketers, from brainstorming to defining target audiences to drafting blog posts. This perspective offers a positive outlook on the integration of AI in the marketing industry.


Jeff Perkins: [00:00:00] Find the shops that are really good at certain things and, and engage them and make sure they're focused and maybe you give 'em a shot at something.

So if you have an agency that's focused on your, your paid search and they have a social component, maybe maybe give them a social project. But you just have to be very wary 'cause I haven't found that, agencies can really be truly full service today cause marketing's just too complex. There are too many components to it.

Daniel Weiner: [00:01:00] Hello, and welcome to another episode of the You Should Talk to podcast. I am your host and your sponsor, Daniel Wiener. You should talk to pairs, brands and marketers for free, with vetted agencies and or freelancers because finding great agencies is a pain in the ass. I am super excited to be joined today by a little bit of an Atlanta celebrity and in my world, Jeff Perkins, who is currently CMO of Greenlight Guru.

Jeff, thank you so much for joining.

Jeff Perkins: Daniel, celebrity is a little bit generous, I appreciate that.

Daniel Weiner: I've seen you speak in public several times, whether or not that's in Atlanta, so, uh, yeah, a little bit of a celebrity moment here for us.

Jeff Perkins: Well, I'll take it, I guess.

Daniel Weiner: I appreciate it. let's dive right in. I like to ask everybody this first, question. Jump in with a little, hopefully some controversy, but, what's an unpopular or spicy opinion of sorts that you have? Marketing world in general or as it pertains to agencies?

Jeff Perkins: So probably a spicy opinion that I have is that, I think [00:02:00] generally, the term marketing automation or the, all these software tools out there are, you know, they're fairly dumb, from a, they're not, you know, 'cause people, I think the term marketing automation is really a, a terrible term because all these cool software tools are really, are useless unless you have the right team, the right people to actually do something with them and to make them work.

Even when you think about some of these new AI tools out there, if you don't have the right people writing the right prompts, you're not gonna get a lot of great results out of them. And so, you know, I always try to tell people that, hey, yeah, it's great that you have all this tech, and marketers. We love tech, right?

We, we. We buy tons of SaaS, but you gotta have the right people in place. You gotta have the right team to manage the investments you have in all of this tech and to really make it work well [00:03:00] for the business.

Daniel Weiner: That is a spicy tick. I won't have any, fans at HubSpot if I, ever ask them to sponsor the podcast. But no, I think it's a totally fair point. It's also, I haven't really thought of it like that. It's interesting now, like anything, automation is kind of seen as like frowned upon and we're in the, I think we've been there a while, but everybody wants personalization and stuff like that, so, maybe marketing automation should rename, they could use some marketing help to, rename themselves.

Jeff Perkins: Right. Well, if you think about it, you know, the craft of marketing or the function of marketing it has evolved a lot over the years, but a lot of the fundamentals I think, are still the same. You have to understand who your target audience is. You have to understand what the most compelling message is.

To get that audience to take some kind of action. And if you just boil it down to that, it's a lot simpler than we make it today. We, we really make marketing very, very complex when it really doesn't have to be. 'cause if you have a great product, if [00:04:00] you understand who the product is built for, who gets the most value out of it, and then you understand how to message the product to that audience and what channels to go through, you, you're all set.

 so I oftentimes think about all this tech out there. I was like, do we need all this? Right? You could probably do what you're doing in this tech and you could, if you did it manually, you probably wouldn't be missing that much. So, so sometimes we, you know, a lot of marketers, and myself included, were, I think we're a little a d d, you know, we, we like shiny objects and so, oh cool.

New MarTech tool over there. Let me go play with it. Oh, I'm gonna put my credit card down and buy it. Uh, but you really don't need all the tech. What you need is just a kind of strong foundational program, really understanding your buyer and understanding where to reach them, and then the compelling messages, and you'll be just fine.

Daniel Weiner: You were not alone in that. I had, Natalie Cunningham was the former CMO of Terminus on the podcast, several episodes ago, and hers was similar, that we, marketers in [00:05:00] general overcomplicate the shit outta stuff and, kind of muddy the waters around what they're looking for and what they're doing. I think unintentionally that's one of.

The things I do well with pairing brands and agencies, because I haven't worked at a massive agency and I haven't worked at a massive brand. oftentimes I'm given all of this like, complex stuff and just the way my mind works, I'll like spit it back out and like one, like, is that what we're doing? And a lot of times like, yeah, I'm like, let's, let's use that as the, the kickoff to what this project is versus like, you know, pages and pages of RFPs or outlines and stuff like that.

So I think it's a fair point.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah, it's so just to give you a little bit about my background, especially with agencies, cause I know that's your world that you live in. I've worked in some very big agencies, so I worked at Saatchi and Saatchi as where I started my career. I worked at, Havas. at the time it was called, Euro Rs c g, but then they rebranded, to the parent company name and I worked at ddb.

And so I've worked at these like big global agencies [00:06:00] that are super expensive. And so I have a, a good view. And now as a, as a marketing leader, I generally don't use those agencies, because I, you I kind of like to find smaller niche best in breed agencies that can deliver what I need at maybe a, fraction of the price of the big shops.

I mean, the big shops are built for big brands. And if you think about a, a shop like Saatchi and Saatchi with a client roster like Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, I mean, they're, built to service those kind of clients. and, and I saw, I think during my time in the agency world when, when we tried to go and get, you know, cooler, smaller companies into the agency, Just the, the economics broke down because a smaller company doesn't have a hundred thousand, 200,000, 500,000 a month for a retainer to prop up a 20 person team of account managers and [00:07:00] media people and creatives.

 they just don't have the budget for that. And so as, as I've sort of pivoted in my career, I've gone from agency to big companies to startups. I've learned that at smaller companies, you could actually do a lot. just finding those best in breeds, smaller agency shops, people who just do great work and can be a real partner and, can do the work, but at a cost that is, appropriate for a startup or for a, a small growth company.

Daniel Weiner: Yeah. this is gonna sound like, I prompted you for this, that my, I posted on LinkedIn this morning that a lot of people think they need the, uh, the G wagon, which MSRP is at $176,000. But the Camry, which is the car that I learned to drive on and got me to high school back and forth just as well, does quote unquote the same thing.

And oftentimes, uh, better, more efficiently, stuff like that. So, yeah, I've seen a cataclysmic shift truthfully since Covid, especially of even bigger name brands moving towards hyper specialized agencies. I just think there was such a [00:08:00] disbursement of talent across the country and the world, from Covid that no longer is all the talent, at the top, so to speak.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah. I mean, most people that are working in agencies or some of 'em are just contractors. They all came out of larger shops at some point, Decided to go and start up their own thing. oftentimes those are the best agencies. You know what I like? When I'm working with an agency partner is that I'm working directly with maybe the, the head of the agency or, or someone who's very senior in the agency.

Because where oftentimes the larger agencies break down is you go through a, you know, the new business process to, to look at these agencies and they bring the heavy hitters in for the new business process. And, and I was one of those guys actually back in the agency day, I would do a lot of new business pitches and I would come in, impress everybody with how smart I am, how good the agency [00:09:00] is, and then they would hire us and then I go away cause I'm not gonna work on the business, right?

 and then we bring them the team that's gonna work day to day on the account and suddenly they're very underwhelmed. They're like, well, these aren't the guys that pitched the business. Who are these guys? They're, they're not as smart as creative, as innovative as the team that came in here. And, and that's a real problem for agencies.

Right. because you're, you're only as good as the people working on each account

The being able to retain a client, really depends on, on the quality of, you know, the output that you're creating. And so it's, it's a real challenge I think, in that business that, you get the, the best people oftentimes are pitching, but they're not actually working on the business day to day.

Daniel Weiner: Do you miss the, madness around new business and agency world? Are you more, more happy on the, the brand side?

Jeff Perkins: I miss the adrenaline you get from a new business pitch. I, I do miss that. Just the late nights, the [00:10:00] brainstorming, you know, always kind of waiting till the last minute to build the deck and get all the visuals and trying to also figure out what's something that we can bring. That's gonna kind of make it an impression on the client.

And that was always something I tried to do, you know, whether it was putting together, you know, a, a fun video of man on the street interviews about their brand or actually, in some cases building out advertising prototypes, that we thought would wow them. that was always, that was very fun. You get a lot of, a lot of adrenaline, when you're doing that kind of work, but then it's over and then you get to the, the grind of the day-to-day of working with the client, which is oftentimes not as fun.

And so I, I kind of pivoted my career. I was in the agency world for about 10 years, and one of the things that made me, switch to go client side was that I, I [00:11:00] realized that I can only make so much of an impact in the agency, on the business of my client.

Daniel Weiner: Sure.

Jeff Perkins: So if I'm an account director working on, on a Procter & Gamble account, and I have a great idea around some, uh, maybe in-store promotion or some event or even some, some new product idea that I think could really move the needle for my client, I, I can only get as high as like the brand manager usually.

Daniel Weiner: It also

Jeff Perkins: And then,

Daniel Weiner: to put something like that into, uh, 

Jeff Perkins: and the brand manager is just all, all the brand managers thinking about is, well, how do I get promoted and I'm not gonna listen to the agency guy tell me how to run my business. And so I was always very frustrated that, you know, I couldn't make as big an impact as I thought I could make.

 sitting on the agency side, you know, you can make an impact. You do good campaigns, you could really give good consultative ideas to your clients, but I felt like if I was on the client side, I could [00:12:00] make an even bigger impact on the business. And so that's what in my career drew me to go client side and, and really kind of chart a path from a marketing manager up to a, you know, CMO of a company.

Daniel Weiner: And what have you seen across that journey of being on the brand side as like the biggest shift in consumer behavior? You know, I think we were first introduced when you were at Park Mobile, which I'm super interested in. It's, not everybody gets to market a product that people use every single day.

Uh, oftentimes Talk me through that. Like what's the biggest shift you've seen in consumer behavior from, I don't know, the last five or six years?

Jeff Perkins: Yeah, I think consumer behavior shifts much more frequently than that. but I mean, the one thing I learned at Park Mobile, and it was a kind of a tough lesson in marketing. Cause when I went into that business, it was pretty small. It was about a, we had about 8 million users of the app across the country.

And over five years we grew that base of [00:13:00] users to almost 50 million. And really every city you go to now, you see Park Mobile. Everybody has the app. it's really become, you know, it's, it's the number one parking app by far. but one of the things that I thought coming in, 'cause it's a digital business, right?

It's an app. And the company had never really done a lot of marketing. they just kind of, they roll out in a city and they're kind of have a monopoly when they go into a city.

Daniel Weiner: Sure.

Jeff Perkins: So, you know, the thinking was they don't have to do that much marketing. and so I came in and said, no, we could really accelerate this if we really go hard into digital.

And you know, when you're launching a city, you need traditional advertising as well. So big outdoor and radio campaigns. So I had all of these big plans and I got budget actually to do a lot of advertising. as we were rolling out, we did national advertising and local advertising and really put a lot of money into digital and we redid our website.

And so we were, we were spending a lot of money on a lot of different things [00:14:00] and as we were tracking it, we noticed something important, which was all that advertising spend didn't really move the needle. Like the, the trajectory we were on was already kind of up into the right and my thought was the advertising was gonna kind of hockey stick it, and it didn't, it kind of, it just kept growing and growth is good, but now you're spending a lot more money and you're growing at the same rate and that's not a good thing.

And so what we, I realized is that in some categories, you know, just advertising might not work. It might not be the answer 'cause you know what the number one driver for, user adoption in any market was. Like the good old fashioned signs that are on the meter that say Park mobile, point of

Daniel Weiner: total sense.

Jeff Perkins: point of purchase.

So what we did is we cut back all this advertising spend, uh, we reduced a lot of expense in the business, and then we focused a lot on, all right, how do we optimize these signs? And we did a lot of testing there and, [00:15:00] and really looking at everything from just like the colors of the signs and making sure those were really popping off of, um, the, the parking meters where most of those signs are.

And then what we had on the signs. And as we, we kind of studied it, we saw that cities that had better design signs and more prominent signs, were performing at a much higher rate than cities that had, you know, suboptimal signs. And, and so it was, it was kind of an interesting, really interesting case for me in that, gosh, we just have to really go all in on the signage in the city and everything else.

You maybe we, we tested different things, but you didn't really need it. And as long as you had that. Really well designed, well optimized signage, you were gonna be okay.

Daniel Weiner: All the designers out there are fist pumping right now. Uh, listen, 

Jeff Perkins: Right. 

Daniel Weiner: once they listen to this, uh, I think that's a good segue into what I wanted to ask you next. Like, you know, you just said, you know, advertising isn't always the answer and maybe, a well-designed sign is, all you need with economy in flux

if you had to talk to your, your fellow CMOs and marketing leaders out there, what's your [00:16:00] advice to them on how to get through, you know, I know the, the catchphrase is doing more with less, but you know, just with the world as it is right now, what's your biggest, point of advice to them?

Jeff Perkins: it's interesting because every business that I've worked on, and I've worked in lots of different categories and B2B and B2C and consumer and, consumer apps and automotive or, you know, SaaS software, and. One thing I've found that no matter what business you go to, it's all the advertising or the marketing model to drive results in that business is always different.

It's always different. So if you're a marketer and you have your playbook and like, this is how you do marketing, you do digital and you do, you know, traditional and you do PR and you just check the box on all these different tactics, you're probably not gonna be that successful. The key in each business is really figuring out what are the [00:17:00] key tactics that are gonna be the needle movers and then pushing, putting all your chips on those as opposed to having some generic playbook that you have to do all these different things and that's what works.

And so, and I think it's especially important now where budgets are tightening. it's a tougher economy. Marketers gonna be really accountable for what they're investing in. And if you're just throwing money into every tactic, because that's what you've always done and you think it'll work, you have to rethink that. And you really have to say, all right, what are the key drivers of the business? And it might not be Google ads, it might not be social ads, it might not be traditional ads. It might be something totally different. Maybe you need to do more events, right? Maybe you need to do some, just something else. And so, that I think is the big thing that marketers have to figure out.

Like what are the highest impact tactics and going all in [00:18:00] there and maybe getting comfortable with reducing investments in some things that you've just always done. Like I, I do think right now marketers really need to look at things like, you know, Google search ads. And, you know, and, and we've taken a close look at this, at my current company and, and I think conventional wisdom in Google search is that, well, you have to be always on, it's a demand capture tactic.

You don't wanna not show up if people are searching for your brand or certain, you know, your, your category. And, and there's something to be said for that, right? But if it's not converting, it's hard for me to go to my executive team and my board and say, well, we need to continue investing six figures, seven figures in Google search when it's only generating a very small amount of leads and, and very few close one deals, right?

And so I think this is a time when [00:19:00] marketers are really gonna start rethinking everything they're doing. putting money only into the really proven tactic, the tactics that we know are gonna work and taking money probably out of some things that, maybe you've just been on autopilot for, for a while.

Like Google search is something, a lot of marketers, it's on autopilot. You're spending a ton of money and if it drives results, that's great. But, you know, just showing up like, you know, one of the conventional things that a lot of marketers do is like, well, I always buy my brand name. I always buy my brand name.

And, and that's, that's good. I guess if it's working, that's good. But you realize you're paying for a click for someone to click on your brand name when you're showing up first in the natural results. And there are reasons why you would do it. Maybe you have competitors that are buying your name

Daniel Weiner: I think that's why. I that's why everybody does it,

Jeff Perkins: Yeah.

And, but, but maybe you test that assumption, right? Like, do you, like if someone's looking for your brand and your co compeors pop up, they're probably not gonna click on your competitor brands. And I've done a lot [00:20:00] of competitor campaigns. I like to buy competitor names. And, but when, when you really look at the results, like in some categories I've seen at work, other categories, it it doesn't work at all.

So,

Daniel Weiner: think, do you think attribution then becomes significantly more important and less, not to say no creativity, but like you're less willing to take bigger creative risks, I guess in a time like now?

Jeff Perkins: I think you could still take creative risks. They just have to be very measured and you have to know going in how you're gonna measure the results of them and, and what your hypothesis are on, you know, if they're gonna work, how they're gonna work and, and what kind of results you can expect.

No, I think marketers always have to keep some portion of the budget to experiment because you just don't know what's gonna be your next big tactic that could really move the needle. So you always have to try new things, new campaigns, but you also have to get rid of some of the fat in the system.

Right. that's, that's really important right now. And [00:21:00] so like everything you do as a marketer, you can probably look at and figure out a way to reduce it by 15%. Like if you're going to trade shows and maybe you, you don't buy the, the premium sponsorship, buy the mid-tier sponsorship, right? If you're doing, certain campaigns, maybe you, you limit, your, what you're willing to spend on those campaigns a bit.

I mean, there's so much, so many ways to reduce costs as a marketing team. and when times are great, usually you're not ever thinking about that.

Daniel Weiner: Right.

Jeff Perkins: But this is the time when you have to think about that and think about, okay, here are all the things I'm doing, if I'm prioritizing the impact, here's the lowest impact tactics.

Here's the highest impact tactics. And then you just lop off the lowest impact tactics. You say, all right, we're just not gonna do that. And maybe we'll reallocate those dollars into the highest impact tactics, or maybe we'll give that money just back to the cfo. So we have, you know, we're getting, we're, we're improving our profitability, we're [00:22:00] increasing the value of the company in a tough economic environment.

 those are the kind of calls that marketing leaders have to make today.

Daniel Weiner: I can't remember who, answered it this way, but the, the. Feedback for other marketers was, make really good friends with your cfo, especially in times of, economic downturn and stuff like that. was their advice to other CMOs out there? I'm curious, you know, it sounds like you're very pro agency and, you know, enjoy working with them.

You come from agency world, which I find generally most people who start their career in agency have a, a soft spot for the plight of the agency. How do they fit into the ecosystem at Greenlight Guru and how do you think of, you know, agency versus, something you're gonna hire internally for versus maybe even like a freelancer consultant?

Jeff Perkins: Yeah, it just, it really depends, on the size of the business, the resources you have in place and, and kind of the flexibility that you want as a company. So when I, I was at a company, Atlanta-based company called QA Symphony. that was where I was before Park Mobile, and I joined right after the [00:23:00] Series A.

 so they had raised a million dollars or $3 million in a series A. They were about a a million dollar run rate at that point. And so they were, but growing very fast and they had, kind of figured out that they had the product market fit and now it was time to scale. And so one of the things that when I came in, I was a marketing department one, so I hired a couple people.

 but then I also leaned really hard on the agencies, because, you know, I could have hired a designer, I could have hired someone to kind of manage our digital spend, but I wanted the flexibility that if programs weren't working out or I didn't necessarily need all the resources that I had, I didn't have to like lay someone off from my team.

 and it sounds harsh, but that's, that is the value of agency that you can scale up your resources really fast. With usually high, high quality, high caliber talent. but you don't have to have it on your books, right? You don't have, they're not, you know, it's not part [00:24:00] of your payroll, it's part of your variable expense.

And because it's part of your variable expense, you are able to kind of scale up and scale down as you move forward and try new things and see what works and see what doesn't. Or, you know, like when you're a smaller company too, you have, there's a lot of foundational things you need. You might need a website, you might need, a lot of work on the brand, those kind of things.

But those are oftentimes projects that have a beginning and an end.

Daniel Weiner: Sure.

Jeff Perkins: So when those projects end, you can reduce the cost of the agency at that point, right? So sometimes there's some maintenance, sometimes you may not need them at all, or sometimes there's another project you want them to jump in on. So I really like the flexibility that working with agencies gives you, but because that's something I look for as in flexibility that.

Kind of points me to a certain kind of agency, and it's usually not a big agency, or even a midsize agency cuz big and midsize agencies. What do they want? They want the retainer. They wanna hire a team to support you. They're gonna throw a bunch of [00:25:00] mid-level junior level account people on your, on your business usually.

And, and I'm not willing to do a 12 month retainer. Oftentimes I'd rather work with someone on a, on a project or for a specific amount of time, maybe a three month engagement. I, ideally I could work month to month, but a lot of agencies don't want to do that. But that as a executive and a leader and someone who not just, not just focused on building a good marketing function, but also the overall results of the company.

That's what I look for. So I'm, I'm generally looking for smaller agency partners that can be more flexible that, so I help me scale up and scale down as I'm doing various activities for the business.

Daniel Weiner: No, that's totally fair. Before I ask more about the agencies, I'll ask my favorite question of every podcast episode. virtually every single person that I have interviewed for this podcast is CMO or vp, and they get hit up roughly every six seconds, by agencies, vendors, salespeople, across the board, to the point where some have said they legitimately [00:26:00] cannot use LinkedIn, like they cannot sign in.

It is just constant pinging and stuff like that. Is that the case for you

Jeff Perkins: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

Daniel Weiner: to a negative, just ridiculous degree.

Jeff Perkins: it's fairly ridiculous how many

Daniel Weiner: It means you've reached the mountain top. Everybody just assumes you have, billions of dollars to spend.

Jeff Perkins: I mean, I think if I really wanted to, I can just, I could probably generate, you know, thousands of dollars a month in Amazon gift cards, and. I could, I could stock my whole house with Yeti mugs and, and, I don't need to buy anything anymore. I could just fund everything through, through all these incentives I get to take meetings.

But, you know, the reality is, I don't blame companies for trying to target. I mean, I work in a business where we, we sell software and we outbound into, you know, companies that we think need our software. and so I don't blame people for doing it. it is a little bit disruptive. My LinkedIn inbox is a bit of a disaster [00:27:00] zone just 'cause I have so many InMails from, people trying to sell me various

Daniel Weiner: Quick question. Quick question. Jeff. I you got a lot of.

Jeff Perkins: improve your roi. You know, like every day you get those. But I, I don't respond to them because when I generally, when I have a need, I will go and, you know, figure out what product or what platform or what agency would, would help me meet that need. Or if I have a problem, you know, reach out to the vendors that would help fix that problem.

So, you know, vendors kind of reaching out to me and, and proactively really isn't gonna work for me. And maybe it works for, for others, but you know, it, it

Daniel Weiner: don't think it works for The, the general consensus is unless you are like they hit you with literally the exact moment that you have decided you need to look for something and they solve that exact thing, there is virtually nothing. Somebody can say cold. The, jith the amount, the [00:28:00] volume, like everybody said earlier in their career.

Yeah. I wanna learn and stuff like that. The, the overwhelming thing is like, if it sounds remotely interesting and it catches their eye, they'll send it to their VP or their director to explore, take a look at or something like that.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah. Where I think sometimes, The companies have some, basically have a chance is if they have some really good case studies that maybe my competitive, like what my competitors are doing, and then I could learn from it. that sometimes does get me, get my attention, like, Hey, this company is doing this to improve roi, so maybe I wanna learn more about that.

So, you know, there are some places, some areas, but just the generic pain points around roi, around driving better results or, you know, like it's just, so usually I, I would say almost like 99% of the solicitations I get are just wildly generic in what they say. So the, the [00:29:00] outbound reps have done absolutely zero research on who I am, what my problems could be as a marketing leader.

And how their solutions could, you know, kind of address my problem. So there, that's, and that's kind of an automatic, throw it into the trash, but sometimes, you know, some reps that lead with more, they've done their homework, they lead with, value how, what their solution can provide.

Every now and then, those notes will get my attention. But the funniest one, 'cause now there's so many vendors out there and because we're on a podcast, you could appreciate this. There's so many podcast vendors out there right now and so on, on a weekly basis, I get a couple of solicitations, Hey Jeff, have you thought about doing a podcast your company?

For your company? Okay. So if they had taken 60 seconds to look at our company, they would learn that we have not only a podcast, we actually have the number one podcast in the industry we serve and we [00:30:00] do 50 episodes a year. And so, so I always laugh when I get those, those emails 'cause like, dude, do just a tiny bit of research and you would know that we already have a podcast and you would've,

Daniel Weiner: those marketing automation platforms that they're sending all these

Jeff Perkins: right?

Daniel Weiner: of without doing research. there's a company in, based in Atlanta, Will Allreds the founder, lavender, their email intelligence, he just put out, I think I'll get this stat right, so apologies to Will if I butcher this.

 96% of emails are automated and the 4% that are not get 1200% more engagement and people like still just cannot like wrap their heads around like actually taking two seconds. It's funny for me, a, with the podcast stuff, I get a ton of outreach from podcast agencies who shit all over my podcast.

They're like, Hey, we saw this episode, got like 27 views. And I'm like, geez. Like, thanks for reminding me guys, like, you know, even though I don't aspire to be like super high volume, but I get lumped [00:31:00] into as an agency. So like people clearly of course do not reach out and they're like, Hey, we help agencies like yours get more leads.

And I'm like, if you looked, you would see that I do that in a non-automated way, like get outta my inbox. So, I feel your pain, I imagine as the cmo. We had, Kaylin Durham, a CMO of Aaron's, told a funny story about like, just ridiculous outreach. And somebody sent her an iPad with their face on it.

When she opened the iPad. It was like a, hey, like, saw you went to Georgia, go Dogs, or like, something like that, which was like scarier than anything. But, yeah, I'm, I'm guessing you some stories like that too,

Jeff Perkins: that must have been a very like, high value prospect to send an iPad.

Daniel Weiner: I guess. I don't know if, if you start getting iPads, you'll know, you'll know you've made it Jeff, you know,

Jeff Perkins: Know. I know. Well, I get, a lot of Yetis offered to me. I get AirPods offered to me a lot of cards.

Daniel Weiner: good. That could be your side hustle. Just resell all these, or start a nonprofit where you gift swag to, other people.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah. I'm sure everyone wants, a Yeti with some random company logo on it. Right?[00:32:00] 

Daniel Weiner: That's, yeah, I've been always cognizant of that. Whenever I send any, I use a platform called Thanks more to send like wine and stuff like that. But anytime I've ever done any swag, I have never put my company name on it 'cause I'm like, why would somebody else want my company name on the stuff that they use?

Which I think is interesting.

Jeff Perkins: Well, I don't have an issue because like if you sent me something after this and it had your company name on it, that would, that would be fine,

Daniel Weiner: I'm gonna send you a Peloton. I know you're a big Peloton guy. I'm gonna upgrade your Peloton.

Jeff Perkins: that would be some good swag.

Daniel Weiner: That's what I'm saying. Uh, let's say that you are in evaluating mode. You've decided, hey, I want an agency or a vendor for X, Y, and z, specific to an agency. How can they stand out? Like say you've, you know, reached out to some of yours, but a couple people recommended, you know, a couple agencies. How can a vendor stand out when you are in buying mode?

Jeff Perkins: Yeah. So the way I go about sourcing agencies and a lot of it now is, you know, because, I, I know so many people at agencies, it's very easy. And because I've worked with so many agencies in the [00:33:00] past, if I had, if I need a website bill, if I need help on paid search, if I need help with branding, I know where to go.

So it's a little bit probably harder for new agencies to get my attention because I kind of have my, my people that I trust and that I've worked with.

Daniel Weiner: that's good feedback to agencies as well, though the long term value of doing the right thing and doing right by people, as much as possible.

Jeff Perkins: yeah. Building relationships, building trust, doing great work. that really does pay off for agencies in the long term, both. In, just the ability to kind of continually get more opportunities. 'Cause I've changed jobs every, at Park mobile. Five years.

I was at QA Symphony three years before that I was at PGI for three years. So I've brought agencies with me to the different companies. So that just creates more and more opportunity for these agencies to get new business. As, as I move, I bring them along.

Daniel Weiner: I think that's a, I think that's a really important point too. Like I think that's why the outreach from agencies is mostly horrific. Because if you're a, [00:34:00] it still shouldn't be this way, but if you're a SaaS or you're a technology or a product like, It's somewhat easier to build a short term case for using your product.

Our product saves you X, Y, and Z, right? Or saves you this amount of money or time, you know, like you, an agency, relationship is just more intimate by nature. It, it's less binary, it's more creative, all that sort of stuff. And you just cannot force like a short term relationship. You know, like when you've worked with an agency for years, like you become friends, you go to dinner where you don't talk about the work and stuff like that, and you just cannot force that in a short amount of time.

And agencies that build out sales teams that I see, which I think is overall like not the best decision, they try to force, Hey Jeff, let's grab dinner. I know I'm a stranger, but like, let's go to dinner. You know, like, you don't wanna go to dinner. Most people don't wanna go to dinner with strangers, right?

Like stuff like that. It's just really hard to do that when you are an agency. I find.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah, if I think if I were at an agency or if I had my own agency, my business development strategy would probably [00:35:00] be to get out to places in front of marketing leaders as much as I can and show case studies of how we've done work at my agency that has driven results for our clients. I mean, I think nothing is better than that, right?

So if you can get in front of a group of marketers and show some really innovative programs that you've done that have moved the needle, that that would be interesting to me to see. So if I see an agency that has really figured out how to, you know, acquire more customers at a lower cost, has done some really innovative stuff using ai, has really cracked the code on, you know, email marketing programs, whatever it is, and they could show a case study of what they've done for another brand.

That's really interesting. 'Cause you know, marketers, marketing leaders, we all talk to each other and we all share like, oh, who are you using for this? Who are you using for that? But that's, that's really a great way, I mean, most of the agencies that have been successful over the years, [00:36:00] they, they've all kind of done something very kind of buzzy.

Usually like, oh, did you see the campaign for this brand? Or did you see the campaign for that brand? And suddenly everyone wants to talk to those agencies. and then those agencies get flooded with business. They have to hire a bunch of new people and then the agency ends up being terrible because they What was making them

Daniel Weiner: of life.

Jeff Perkins: What made them special, was they were, they had a few good people who did great work. Now they have a lot of people. It dilutes the quality of the work across the board. It's the hardest thing about an agency 'cause agencies don't scale because most agencies are built on the brilliance of a couple people who

Daniel Weiner: rea You would've really loved that dinner. I know you couldn't make it to the dinner that I threw, but I didn't say anything about any agencies. And luckily my agencies didn't come up, at dinner. But that would, the, the circle of life that you just described was like several people being like, wait, you work with them too?

Do they suck now too? And I'm like, Yeah, they suck. Like what happened? I don't know. I'm like, I kept my mouth shut. I just listened. It was very, interesting to hear [00:37:00] that. So you're not in that.

Jeff Perkins: it's so sad in a way because you look at some of the, even some of the greatest agencies ever, like, why didn't Kennedy anand, uh, Goodby Silverstein andike these, like iconic agencies from back in the day, what made them iconic was they had these like amazing founders who were just like these creative visionaries.

 like Lee Klau who did all the work for Apple and, you know, and they're just, they had the right people, but that those people can't do work. On every client that a business has. So then you have to, you have to be confident that they can hire the best people at lower levels. And the thing I, I've, I've seen in agencies is that the leaders of agencies are horrible at hiring the lower levels. They're horrible. They're, they're great at working on the business, I haven't seen many agencies where they are great leaders and managers, and they're able to kind of scale with great talent at lower levels. Most agencies have no training programs. Most [00:38:00] agencies have no real way to kind of, mentor.

You know, it's all just, you jump on a business, you work on it. Hopefully you do a good job, you know, you had some experience at your last job, I'll bring you in. But it's, it's just the hardest thing, in that business, which is why whenever I talk to people who run agencies, I, I always advise 'em like, stay small.

You know, like, like you, if you stay small, you can do very well, you can make a lot of money. But once you start to get to the point where you're just hiring bodies to throw at accounts, you're dead because the quality is gonna diminish. You are not gonna be able to add value across all these accounts like you've been because there's just too many of them.

And you're just gonna be, you're, you're gonna get into this death spiral where you start losing clients, then you start letting people go, and then you get, you'll eventually get back to that small place, and then, it'll all happen again. Then you start, you'll get more, you'll do better work, you'll get more clients.

You'll [00:39:00] dilute, you get less clients. It's a, it's a really, really tough business. which is probably why I left it years ago.

Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think slow. The, the agencies that I work with over the course of my business currently in the last three years, that have like, whether through my help or not have, like somewhat, you know, scaled aggressively. there have been few who have done it too fast. They'll win a really big account, and then have to go crazy and double the agency size and hire really fast.

And the current clients and roster suffer probably, the ones that I've seen do it. I think the right way is, it's slow, it's methodical. They'll double over the course of a year or two years or three years, stuff like that, rather than like, oh, we want two big accounts, let's go hire 50 people to like work on these things.

It's also just a scary proposition in that regard to have one client that's 40% of your business. I hate hearing those stories. I think that's the biggest part that gives me a stomachache, but also just unfair to like the employees. You win a big account and then they lose the account and they lay off 30% of the agency and stuff like that.

It's [00:40:00] like just a gross stomach ache feeling, I imagine for those people.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah, that business, right? You, you win a business, you win an account, you're, you're rich, you lose an account, you're poor. And, and that's the tough thing. the other thing that I would point out with agencies is that I really like agencies that I can look at and say, okay, they, these guys are like really deep on,  a specific thing.

Like, I'm very wary of agencies that could promise you that they can do everything for you. 'Cause it never works. Like, like, hey, we can do your social and your paid media and your website and your branding and you know, like, like it never 

Daniel Weiner: of the, the myth of the full service agency, as I say.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah, you know, marketing is too complex. There are too many components to it today to have a one stop shop for all your agency services. I, I believe I'd much rather go to best of breed for the different things. And in some ways that might make my job a [00:41:00] little more complicated 'cause I'm managing multiple agencies.

But you're gonna get such better quality across the board when you go to people who are really, truly specialists than people who say they're specialists, but in reality they're usually specialists and maybe like one thing and then they do 10 other things at a very kind of mediocre level. That, that's what kind of the full service agency model, I think gives you, so you have to be very wary as a business who you do, who you kind of engage on these things.

'cause the tendency, I mean, it's. Gosh, it's much easier for me as a, a leader, an executive leader to hire one firm to do a bunch of stuff. But I think the outcome of that is gonna be suboptimal for you and your organization. So I always think, go best of breed. Find the shops that are really good at certain things and, and engage them and  make sure they're focused and maybe you give 'em a shot at something.

So if you have an agency that's focused on your, your paid search and they have a social component, maybe [00:42:00] maybe give them a social project. But you just have to be very wary cause I haven't found that, agencies can really be truly full service today cause marketing's just too complex. There are too many components to it.

Daniel Weiner: I think because of that, I actually feel for the, I'll give a couple examples. Like, agencies should know exactly what they're best at. I find even at my old agency, like we were pressured by clients to give us more money for different things. We did one thing really well. They'd say, can you do that? And we'd be like, eh, not really.

They'd be like, come on, like, take our money, essentially. Which as a business owner, which I was not at that time, like I feel for it there. But I also think to your point, just like the opposite side of it with how complex the internet is and marketing in general. Like there are services that. Intermingle and meander into each other.

You know, like when I talk to a lot of people about like performance marketing, you know, I'll lump in like ads and seo, which then can possibly meander into your website, you know, and by the time you end a 20 minute call, you've talked about 20 different services, right? That, that agency [00:43:00] may have started talking about two.

I think like the combination of services, to your point, like I get asked about quote unquote full service agencies all the time, and when I talk I'm like, you really need, these two things are like the highest priority and like 98% of the business. Right. And like, these other things are less important, you know, and most of the times it's, yeah, they're, you know, there's a hierarchy of what they need.

I feel for agencies, I think the best agencies I work with, Are stringent on where they draw the line of, hey, like if we do this, these three things we are great at, we are wonderful, these other two things we can do. But like, that's not our bread and butter and being super honest about it. But I find oftentimes, I'm not saying marketers are lazy, to your point, yeah.

They know that this agency is great at these three things, but like it saves them some time and energy by not going and finding somebody else or having to deal with two people and they'll suffer through it or hope for the best and hope it goes well and stuff like that rather than, uh, you know, going and finding other solutions oftentimes.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah, I, [00:44:00] I've liked, I've had agency partners in the past that instead of taking on something where they could make some money on it, but they know it's not in their core, they'll go help me find the right partner that they like. And that works really well. 'Cause when the agency is bringing in an another partner, oftentimes you'll have really good collaboration between those two agencies as opposed to, I go find a partner on my own.

They and enforcing that kind of, that match, which sometimes doesn't work. So I, I think that's something I've had success with in the past is where I've, I've had the agency help me figure out who we should work with on something that the agency, it wasn't their core competency. and when you have the agency involved in that process, sometimes you get a lot better cross-agency collaboration, which is always a challenge.

you'll get that good collaboration, which can help the overall consistency of your campaigns and, and it really makes all of your efforts a lot more efficient.

Daniel Weiner: Also less competitive 'cause you don't have to theoretically worry about them trying to [00:45:00] steal each other's business since they are, partners. let's talk some shit. Now you wanna start with the positive or the negative, agency experience.

Jeff Perkins: let's start with, let's start with the positive agency experience.

Daniel Weiner: Good. Well, we will end on a, bad note here. What's a positive agency experience you've had in the past and in your opinion, what made it, what made it so positive?

Jeff Perkins: Yeah, so probably the best agency experience I've had, you know, in the last, you know, eight to 10 years has been with a, a local shop in Atlanta where I had, I'd worked with one, one of the founders at a, a different agency, and she came in and, and I was trying, I was at QA Symphony, I was trying to get our marketing program going.

 and she really was a great partner for me, and she helped us with our branding, with our website, with our overall digital program. and it was a kind of a monthly, hourly, like we paid them by the hour. And so if I needed to scale up [00:46:00] or scale down, I could. Um, and, and it was, it was. Excellent for me.

And so I, I worked with her agency at QA Symphony, and then I went to Park Mobile and I brought her over to Park Mobile. She did the same thing, helped me get that business

Daniel Weiner: is work? The work or more the process or both?

Jeff Perkins: The work, the work. So when I, at QA Symphony, we had really no brand, no website. So it was a lot of foundational pieces. She helped me there. Park Mobile actually was the same thing when I joined. The brand was a mess, was a disaster. and we had to really go and make some big changes there. and she helped me.

And the great thing about her and her agency is that, it was the kind of thing that could have cost a company like a half a million dollars. A million dollars of work. And by working with her, because her team was very lean and efficient, it was like under a hundred thousand dollars to do kind of.

Branding and, the website and all these kind of core pieces of the foundation for the, the marketing [00:47:00] program. And so the, the cost was very low, and then the time to get this stuff done was very fast, so low cost, very fast and high quality, which you're not supposed to get in, you know, in the agency world, they always say you can have it fast, you can have it cheap, or you can have it good.

You can have two of the three, but you can't have all three. And she would deliver three of three, like cheap, fast, and great. And so, that was my, and, and you know, I've helped her through the years. I, I've been a great case study for her. I refer a ton of business to her. She's got now, a very large agency or a larger agency than she had when I started working with her.

 but it was just a great partnership. I think that's back to the original point I took her with me to different companies. we just had a great, great partnership. And so I'm happy to recommend her cause I know she'll do great work for my peers, and I'm happy to continue to work with her, as I go to different businesses.

so just a great, great overall, experience with that agency.

Daniel Weiner: It's interesting, that you mentioned the [00:48:00] work. one of my, like, just in asking everybody on this podcast as well, rarely, when talking about the positives, does anybody reference the actual work? It's like individual people at those agencies and the process and that they made their lives easier or like some crazy thing happened and they helped them through it.

Or we talk about like, oh, like in an e-com, you know, there's no quote unquote marketing emergencies, but like, say you're in e-commerce and like a website goes down over the weekend, somebody who takes your call to say like, we know we're on it, we're working on it like we have your back. Stuff like that.

It's rare that I get, talking about the actual quality of work, even though that is of course, uh, why people do this and the importance of it.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the people are critical, like. Yeah, you wanna, as an agency or as a marketing leader, you wanna hire people that aren't just, that you see as competent and able to do the job, but people that you like, people that you want to work with, right? People that you feel like you can build that, that strong relationship of trust [00:49:00] with.

I mean, it's a critical part of the business. I mean, the agency business, it's, I mean, your product as an agency, it's your people, right? It's not really the output of the, the creative process. It's your people. 

Daniel Weiner: 

Jeff Perkins: so you have to have the right people who can build those relationships and build that trust with the client.

And if you can do that effectively, you'll probably be very successful as an agency.

Daniel Weiner: fill me in on a not so great, agency experience and what made it so negative.

Jeff Perkins: Well, the funny thing is it the same woman who, I did work with her that I said was the greatest, so she was at the bigger agency that I worked with, at a previous company. And they did a website project for us. I was at a company called pgi, Atlanta-based tech company, that unfortunately is no longer.

 but I, I was at this company pgi, and PGI was like in the audio web conferencing space. it's a, you know, it was a public company at the time. And so we engaged this agency on a, a project to, to rebuild our website. Our website was really bad. We needed to get it, you know, up to more [00:50:00] modern, modern, digital standards.

And so we engaged this agency. The project cost about 1.5 million

Daniel Weiner: Woo.

Jeff Perkins: to build a website.

Daniel Weiner: this will. Hope this was the best website in the history of the world.

Jeff Perkins: well, it should have been, but at the end of the project, essentially we were left with a, a broken website that really didn't work. It didn't deliver for the business. And, and that is now, I inherited this project.

This is a project that I came in and it was already, we were already kind of like halfway through, but man, nothing is worse than when your CFO comes to you and is like, we've spent 1.5 million with this company and we don't have a, a functioning website now. And so what we ended up doing, this. We ended up firing that website, firing that agency and, and then, you know, basically finding a small shop and rebuilding that website in about, in about six weeks, we rebuilt the website with a different shop, and then we had a [00:51:00] good website that was up and running.

Well, they just made a lot of mistakes. They decided to build it in on the Drupal platform, you know, which required all these resources to kind of manage and maintain. And we said we kind of, we literally threw 1.5 million in the dumpster and we just said, we're just not gonna do this website. Went out, built a website in WordPress with a small vendor in Atlanta.

Got it done in about six weeks, had a new website up and running. So this is a year and a half project, 1.5 million basically wasted. And then I spent 60,000 to rebuild the website on WordPress, new platform, global capabilities, and set up in a way that our team could actually manage it internally.

We didn't have to keep paying the agency fees. So it ended up, working. But that was my, worst experience, I think, with an agency, just because how that project got the scope of it just got so bloated, and so expensive. And so, you know, like if you're spending 1.5 million on a website, better be a damn good website.

And this was something that,

Daniel Weiner: with a car and a [00:52:00] peloton for you if you're 1.5 million on a website.

Jeff Perkins: yeah. And, it just didn't work. Like it just, the, the site just didn't work. And like I said, I didn't start the project, but I, it kind of fell into my lap when I joined the company. And, that was a really tough one, but sometimes those things get you into a better place and, you know, we ended up having a really good website that we built after we, we kind of ended up, writing off that 1.5 million.

Daniel Weiner: That's great. What's one thing you think agencies oftentimes get wrong, or like what do you think that more agencies, quote unquote, got about? About CMOs or Probably just marketing leaders in general?

Jeff Perkins: the thing that I've noticed with agencies and like from even my time at the agency, a lot of agencies, they, you know, the, it's a old story. If, when you have a hammer, everything's a nail, right? we used to go to clients when I was at Saatchi and Saatchi and basically, essentially our pitch was the solution is a 32nd television ad.

Now tell us what your problem is, right? so [00:53:00] agencies generally, I think, have a certain approach. To solving, business problems. And it's usually something that they're very familiar with. So if you're an agency that does traditional advertising or you build websites or you do social, what I often find is that you can't think beyond the scope of that, right?

 and you're not looking at the business from the point of view of your prospect, me, the, the marketing executive who has, lots of things on my mind. So I always really appreciate it when I'm talking to different, agencies and they're thinking more broadly about our business than just what their solution can do or what their expertise can bring to the business.

And I think that's something that I find the best agencies, often have a, a kind of a broader perspective on business or more sophisticated thinking about business. And that's when I really know that, okay, these guys get it. And this is someone I think I could partner with. They're [00:54:00] not just gonna shove their solution down my throat because that's what they do.

So, oh, we do social, so you need to do social this way. what's really important is that they, they understand the business at a, at a fairly deep level. I don't expect them to understand the business like I do. but they, they understand the kind of the key components of the business, and then they say, all right, and this is how we can help you solve your business problems.

 and so that's really important. I think as agencies kind of get a little bit deeper with the clients they work with, understand the bigger business issues that those clients are facing, and then figure out what are the right solutions to solve the problems that their clients are encountering.

Daniel Weiner: No, I totally agree. I, end up doing a layer of coaching with a lot of my agency partners, and I think to your point, like knowing your audience, the audience being you individually, your problems are different from CMO at other company, which is different from VP of marketing at other company that they work with and stuff like that.

And knowing your problems, as [00:55:00] intimately as human possible, generally leads to, successful partnerships, I find. 

Jeff Perkins: Yeah, totally agree.

Daniel Weiner: what are you most excited about in the marketing space at the moment?

Jeff Perkins: think I'm most excited about is how, AI is gonna really impact, marketing. and some marketers are scared of AI because they think, oh, this is gonna put me out of a job. I don't look at it that way. I think AI has the ability to really,turbocharge what you're doing as a marketing organization. And if you think about it, you can use tools like chat, G p T to, give you kind of a jumpstart on brainstorming. You can use it to help you define your icp. You can use it to, draft a blog post. You can use it if you like. We're on a podcast now, so you can take the transcript of the podcast, feed it into chat, g p t, and, and have chat

g p t give you, five takeaways from this interview discussion, right? So that's, you think about that as an activity. So, you know, [00:56:00] it would take someone who was a writer, probably a week to, to listen to the podcast, come up with the five key takeaways, draft the blog, get it approved, finalize the blog, you know, a week, two weeks to get that done.

Now, coming off of this podcast, you can get that done in about 30 minutes, right? And, you know, you think about that, just this idea that you can really supercharge. Or turbocharge your marketing program using these tools, but you gotta really dig in and learn them. there's a lot of, there's a lot of, ways you can write these, you know, the best prompts.

 if you don't have great prompts, you're probably not gonna get great content. So, but the AI thing I think is, is really super interesting. and so that's the thing I'm most excited about in marketing. And I would say, I don't think I've seen a technology this disruptive to marketing since, since Google search advertising really?

Or just Google just paid, you know, not even paid search, just search as a tool. there's just not been anything I've seen this [00:57:00] disrupting, you know, so it's, I think it's pretty exciting. I think, I understand some people are nervous about it and, think it threatens their job. And I think for people who aren't diving into it and learning it, it may threaten your job.

But, I just think it's, the tools are really powerful and they give us the ability to do, do a better job as marketers and everyone should be jumping in and learning them.

Daniel Weiner: I actually have a question. You're the first person I've asked this, I've seen a debate online lately. do you care or do you want to know if your agency is using AI to produce and create stuff, and do you think it should affect your fee?

It's a tough question. I, I go, I go many different ways.

I, I don't think I have a, a formulated answer yet.

Jeff Perkins: if, if I were an agency, I would definitely be using it, especially on

Daniel Weiner: need to disclose that to you as the client?

Jeff Perkins: I don't, I don't think they need to if that's part of their, their work, their process, and their workflow, how they create content. I don't have an issue that they're doing it. They have to [00:58:00] be very careful though, the things that, about what data they put into a tool like chat G P T I wouldn't want them putting our confidential proprietary data into chat G P T and saying, Hey, help me optimize these search campaigns.

 or look at this marketing budget and help me figure out where I could, you know, find some savings. I wouldn't want them doing that. Right? That, like, I'd be very careful about, even as a company, we're very careful about what we input into a tool like chat, G p T, but if they're using chat G p T to, you know, go faster to give themselves, you know, to help with certain things.

 I have no issue there. I mean, I've employed, What are affectionately known as, uh, content mills in the past and, you know, ChatGPT will probably do a better job than a lot of those content mills out there in creating a high volume of content, probably at a higher quality. so I don't have an issue.

And now it, if you had someone [00:59:00] who was, maybe you were paying a, you know, in your agency fee, you had people who were making a lot of money and now they're just, you know, everything's automated through ChatGPT. Yeah, I think, I think I would be curious about that as the person paying the agency and wanna, wanna understand what that person's doing.

But I, I think with the tools, you still need a lot of human interaction. It's back to my point before about, you know, nothing's automated about marketing. you have to look at the, if you're just taking a blog post outta a chat G p t and sending it to your client or posting it, uh, that's not good. You have to really look at it.

You have to read it, you have to edit it, you have to make sure it's correct 'cause it's not always gonna be correct. So I think there is a lot of human, there's a need for a lot of human, involvement in leveraging chat G P T. but I, I would expect agencies to use it and it would something that I think could, could make them more effective.

You know, when I looked at, there's a tool I learned about recently called Any Word, and it's, it's [01:00:00] basically using AI to help you optimize your ad copy. And you could look at, you know, well this, copy gets a four out of 10, this copy gets a seven out of 10, so I'm gonna use the one that gets a seven out of 10 in, in some of the programs that we're running.

And so, like you think about that, agencies probably should be using those tools, to make sure they're not they're getting it right and when they're spending money on paid advertising, they're not just optimizing it in, you know, in real time when you're spending the money, actually you're optimizing it before.

And then you put it into market and you hopefully you'll get more efficient with your advertising spend.

Daniel Weiner: No. Makes sense. I have one more question for you around actual work and then we'll wrap up with a couple fun ones. But, what keeps you up at night from a marketing or business standpoint?

Jeff Perkins: I mean, the thing that always keeps me up at night is around, you know, the results that the marketing department is driving. Like, are we doing all the right things that are driving the right results for the business? I mean that's like, if, if leads [01:01:00] are down, that makes me lose sleep. And then, 'cause I'm always thinking, all right, leads aren't what we thought they would be.

How do we catch up? what are some new programs we can try that'll increase our lead volume? That, that's probably the biggest thing because there's such a connection now between the activities that marketing does. And the business outcomes and the revenue generation, right? And so, that's the thing that I just am always thinking about.

Are we doing the right things? Are we allocating company resources in the most effective and efficient ways? And are the tactics we're doing driving the results we want for the business? And, you know, back in the agency days, we would, it was, it was very abstract. I mean, when I was doing television campaigns for Proctor and Gamble, we would do these quantitative testing.

So if an ad, if a 32nd ad tested a certain way, we felt like, okay, that will drive the business, that will drive market share. But it was still very abstract. We didn't really know. Um, now you [01:02:00] can see very clearly we did this program, it drove this amount of leads for the business that converted to deals at this rate.

And, and so you could see clearly the line between marketing and revenue. And so that's the thing that I, I'm always thinking about is how do we. How do we improve our programs? How do we optimize everything we're doing? So we're maximizing, the impact we're having on the company and, and enabling the business to grow as fast as we want to grow.

Daniel Weiner: Well, I hope you don't lose too much sleep. we'll finish with a couple fun ones. What was your very first job?

Jeff Perkins: my very first job was a paper route, so I was a, a kid growing up in, outside of Philadelphia. I, I decided I wanted to make a little extra money on the side and, you know, I delivered the Philadelphia Enquirer newspaper to my neighbors, every day, which was, which was fun at first, but then on those snowy days, not so much

Daniel Weiner: That's fair. what would your final meal be?

Jeff Perkins: my final meal. Oh, geez, that's a, [01:03:00] that's a good one. I would say my final meal,

Daniel Weiner: Philly cheese Steak. I don't

Jeff Perkins: a Philly cheese well, I'm going to my favorite, I'm thinking through my favorite restaurant experiences. so I had a unique opportunity a couple years ago to eat at the, the French Laundry Thomas Color's famous restaurant where you have to like, you know, give up your first born to get a reservation.

I would probably eat there again. I don't know, usually it's a price fixed menu, but whatever, whatever they serve at that, restaurant is like mind blowing. So I would probably go there for my final meal.

Daniel Weiner: I'm try, I'm going, to Napa for work, in September and a group of guys and we are trying to currently get into French laundry, or reach out to anybody we know to get in, sometime around like before the trip. So if I go, I will report back.

Jeff Perkins: the funny thing about the French laundry experience, I hope you can get in. Sometimes the concierge at your hotel can help you figure it out. but. I remember I got there and it's a ridiculously price. It's a price fix ridiculously expensive already. [01:04:00] And then you can do the wine pairing, and that's even more ridiculously expensive.

And then there's all these additions you can get. Like, I want the shaved truffles on my pasta.

Daniel Weiner: you're not gonna go to the French laundry and not get the shaved truffles.

Jeff Perkins: Well, I, I think I figured out that if you just opt, if you got everything, if you went all in, all right, I'm gonna do the, the pasta plus the, all the add-ons plus the wine tasting, it was gonna be like $2,500 a person.

Daniel Weiner: Worth it if you have the, if you have disposable income. It was worth it though.

Jeff Perkins: it was, it was definitely worth, it was an amazing dining experience. I highly recommend it, but it, you know, prepare to get sticker shock when you see how much everything costs.

Daniel Weiner: Sure. And then my final question, who is somebody who inspires you personally and professionally, or both?

Jeff Perkins: Yeah. I think the, the person that. I would say most, I think it inspires me professionally. It's probably my, former boss, John Ziegler was a guy who, I really, you know, had a lot of fun working with. So he was the CEO of Park Mobile [01:05:00] when I joined. I really liked how John operated and that he was a very people-centric leader.

 he really cared, but he drove really hard and he wanted, he just, he cared so much about the business and, and so I, you know, with, as, as a leader, it's always, you always want to kind of strike that balance of, you know, being someone who is, just a hard driver type a win at all costs.

But at the same time, seeing really the people side of the business. I think John, John did that really well, and he mentored me a lot. And then when he stepped out of Park Mobile, he had really groomed me to be the ceo, so I took on the CEO responsibility there, uh, after, after being CMO for, for several years.

So I, I really admire him and love how he operates. And he's an intense dude, but it's, he was someone who was just really fun to work with and, you know, maybe work with him again someday 'cause he was just, he really taught me a lot.

Daniel Weiner: I had coffee with John, actually, I don't even remember three, four months ago, something like that. And I don't know, going in, I like expected, I [01:06:00] guess, something different. And he was one of the more or most approachable, like just down to earth. Like, I don't know you, I, I guess in my mind I think CEOs are gonna be a certain way and, yeah, he was awesome.

Thoroughly enjoyed that conversation as well.

Jeff Perkins: Yeah. Yeah. Very cool guy. Very cool guy to know.

Daniel Weiner: Well, that's all I got for you Jeff. We went, we went a full hour, hour and 10 minutes actually. this was awesome. I would say if anybody wants to see more of you to go to your LinkedIn, I'll say go to your LinkedIn and don't send you an actual message 'cause too many of those there. greenlight.guru is the URL for Greenlight.

Is that accurate?

Jeff Perkins: Greenlight.guru is, my current company. And then, uh, I also have a book that's called, How Not To Suck At Marketing. And so, you know, your listeners should check that out at hownottosuckatmarketing.com.

Daniel Weiner: It's a hell of a url. I assume that was a 99 cent one. Nobody bought that. Right.

Jeff Perkins: No. Yeah. Nobody would ever buy that. but, but I did. So

Daniel Weiner: That's why you're good at marketing

Jeff Perkins: There you go.

Daniel Weiner: Thank you so much for joining though. This was awesome. And yeah, we will talk to you soon.

Jeff Perkins: All right, Daniel. Thanks buddy. 

​[01:07:00]