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Radical Podcast - EP 11 - Marketing at the speed of now, Dr. Rich Constantine, and growing Radical

November 13, 2018

Radical Podcast - EP 11 - Marketing at the speed of now, Dr. Rich Constantine, and growing Radical
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It's been a few months but we are back and excited to bring some of the latest and greatest insights from running Radical as an everyday digital agency. New teammates Alex Finley and Ashley Davis join me to discuss our latest work, working with Dr. Rich Constantine, and a lot of behind the scenes of running a modern agency,


It's been a few months but we are back and excited to bring some of the latest and greatest insights from running Radical as an everyday digital agency. New teammates Alex Finley and Ashley Davis join me to discuss our latest work, working with Dr. Rich Constantine, and a lot of behind the scenes of running a modern agency,

Transcript

Host: Ryan Alford

Co-hosts: Alex & Ashley 

Ryan Alford [00:00:14] Hey, guys, this is Ryan Alford, the host of the Radical podcast. I'm joined by my lovely co-hosts today, Alex and Ashley. Our team is growing. We're really excited about where the business has gone. We thought we'd at least open up the podcast back. Talking a little bit about where Radical has gone these last few months. Some of the clients that we have, some of the experiences that we're getting with new clients with our capabilities, and what radical has turned into. You have a plan in mind. I've been in the business, as I've talked about on a previous podcast, for about 18 years. It's amazing how the business has changed. I think that is coming to life through what we're doing for clients. We want to talk a little bit about that and get into it a little bit. Alex and Ashley joined the team last few months. Both have different backgrounds and different things. Alex, would you like to share a little bit about yourself first? 

Alex [00:02:09] I started out at the Fine Arts Center here in Greenville. That's where I really decided that photography was interesting to me and more the fine art side of things. So I did photography, freelance, all of it during my high school and college days. While at it I found out that I really love doing styling for magazines. When I worked at a magazine in Columbia, South Carolina. Recently graduated and knew I wanted to go into marketing and more. So, here I am.

Ryan Alford [00:02:38] Alex and I have a mutual friend. I was needing help and he goes, "I've got just the person." Alex has been great. So, Ashley, what about you?

Ashley [00:02:53] I came from Georgia where I worked in plastic surgery for a couple of years doing marketing. I recently Googled small cities to start your life over in, and then I stumbled upon an agency here in Greenville called the Kabo Agency. I was with them for a couple of months before landing a marketing job back in plastic surgery. Then Ryan and I recently met through a mutual patient, somebody that we knew along the lines. I reached out to him after a meeting that we had. Saying thank you for the opportunity and meeting him and hoping that I could get us the line with a client that I was with. Low and behold, he said, "I'm actually hiring. Would you like to sign up for a meeting? Let's talk some more." I'm always interested in where life takes you. So I went and had a meeting with Ryan, and it's been a pill ever since.

Ryan Alford [00:03:50] Though not speaking on here, but filming some of this for our content. This one is in the room. It might be the most to get from a silent partner. It's really interesting with Radical. I think our last podcast was in June, and you don't know where things are going to take you. I knew I wanted to focus on content development and social media and the pillars of marketing in 2018. But it's been interesting where the client has specifically taking us because not long, and part of the reason for the delay is actually to show you never know what's going to happen. One of Radical's first clients would happen to be Doctor Constantine.  Google Doctor Constantine and you'll quickly learn who that is 150 million views. Some of the content we've developed for him in the social media field went viral, continues to go viral and you can't plan for that. But it's amazing how not only as a company, it changed the dynamics of what we do with the opportunities it opens with new clients, but it's also guided a little bit of where we've gone with the services we provide for clients. Rich and I have known each other for a few years. We've been friends. I've helped him with a number of things and counseled him to use his image to get out there more. It's been a complete whirlwind. I feel it's almost like the encapsulation of Radical and my life, at least on the business side and everything that's happened with him. No matter how big or small you are as an agency, when you have a client where that sort of thing happens it becomes all engrossing. I think the video went viral during late July and it's been like getting your arms around every opportunity you never feel like. That's what's been so hard. Even now, we're slowly catching our breath a little bit. It's like you get this moment in time in marketing and in awareness and in pop culture where something like happens, what has happened and you don't feel fulfilled. Even though you're doing everything that you can, bringing in resources and hiring people. We're doing things you never forget, and it's like, "Are we taking advantage of every opportunity?" “Are we really doing it?” I think you have to slow down. I've had to tell myself that we are missing out on what we could. I mean, we got him on Good Morning America, Inside Edition, became a PR machine of all of the things at the moment when the first viral video hit. Then it's like, how do we double up? How do we do more? What's the next thing? Alex, I know you came right in as that was all happening. What's been your perspective on all that? 

Alex [00:07:38] It's been exciting. Honestly, Rich has been so much fun to work with. He's a great person in general. To see their viral video, he deserved it more. He wouldn't expect that it was him. So working with him ever since, like doing every dance video, he's a total goofball. It made it fun for sure. But, it's always what's next for him. You can't do dance videos forever,

Ashley [00:07:38] That's why we got the house for.

Ryan Alford [00:08:11] I do think it's been fun because when I was thinking of what to call the agency and came up with Radical, has there ever been more of an embodiment of Radical than a dance that's going viral, doing viral content and breaking the Internet? We'll have Rich on them. We're going to do an episode with Dr. C. We're planning a lot of new content for him. We'll pull him into the Radical podcast world. But what's actually coming in and some of our connection was through Dr. C, but then now you're knee-deep in it with us. What're your thoughts on everything that's happened with it? 

Ashley [00:09:07] I mean it's exciting. There's no other way that I can even think of as a word to describe it. He progresses, we progress as a whole, as Radical as well. We've gotten so many great new contacts, friends, associates, networking for him alone and the clients that you've handed over to me. It's been awesome to see the different avenues that both of you guys have taken and then taken on for myself and do that same thing for my clients. Everybody's hoping for that success. Differently, because I've got the different clients I'm working with. I don't necessarily know that we're going to go viral, but at the same time, take the same avenues that you all took with Dr. C and get them there. You get them up here that they need. 

Alex [00:09:54] There's no textbook that shows you what to do with the viral dancing down to Dr. C. You really have to reach out to a ton of different sponsors. People that want to interview him and why and stuff like that. It's cool that no one day is the same. 

Ryan Alford [00:10:10] Well, it's been a true brand, exercise coming to life in the modern world. Having worked on large brands before and the planning that's involved. Rich had started dentistry, I did a really cool video for him last year, the beginning of my years running together. But it's interesting because you've got Constantine Dental and it's a practice. They're serving patients. And then this happens. And Dr. C is an entity. It's a brand. It took every skill set that I've learned in 18 years. Who knows if you did everything right? It became PR, it became designing a logo, it became press and media management. It became social media, website design and like. That's been great. It was the embodiment of what I wanted to do. It was a spark. You don't plan for it to go viral. You can't plan for something to go viral. You can't, there's not an agency. It's like making hay when it happens. But that's been fun. Quite the dynamic with guiding where we've gone.

If you go to our website, you see some of the ways we talk about what we do, like real-time content and marketing at the speed of now. That's been such a whirlwind in a vacuum. That's probably even 100 times. But in general, not only is our attention spans much, everyone expects things now, but I think there's such an opportunity if you can capitalize on these social mediums to bring life to ideas and things and not get too caught up in being too fancy or too overthought. A lot of the people that I follow talk about speed and talk about getting it out there and then you can learn and read and react.  I think the social media aspect of the marketing that we're doing demands that we turn things quickly while also having this eye on popular culture. I feel there's a melding of culture and marketing and all of these things that relate to the things that we're doing. Whether that's the content we're developing or the memes we're using. What do you guys think about this melding of pop culture and marketing and video and all the things we're working on?

Alex [00:13:21] It's interesting to see what people are into. You don't notice some of the smaller things until you look at the analytics of a video you posted or you're like, "why do people go crazy over a selfie video of this person saying that, versus the stylized one that we worked for a week on might not have performed as well." So it's interesting to know why people are into certain things. What do you think Ashley? 

Ashley [00:13:51] I think marketing as a whole has evolved since 2018 and what worked three years ago and what works now are two totally different things. I would have seen Instagram as a platform to post photos of my dog or my piece of pizza that I had the night before and share a recipe. And here it is, making people not only Insta-famous but famous everywhere. It's like a new way to advertise for individuals. It's nice because it's a free way to advertise for them and also get viewers out there as well. Looking at more of their content on a daily basis. 

Ryan Alford [00:14:29] I'm buying whatever Instagram is selling. I've probably bought other than standard Amazon purchases, but one-off true not planned purchases. The last three things I have personally bought have come from my Instagram feed. Pair of shoes, hat and T-shirt. I think I also bought some camera accessories. 

Alex [00:14:58] It is instant gratification. You have to have it now.

Ashley [00:15:02] You want to start linked-up. It takes no time. I would like this, "Oh great" and your car happens to be here. So yes, I get my car gears. 

Ryan Alford [00:15:09] Our clients like Indoor Beauty, the beauty brand that we're working with, doing a ton of content for her video development, animations, and promos. It's really interesting because coming from this world where we used to spend six months doing a 30-second television spot. We planned it. We have the actors' plans. We have to scout the location. We get hair and makeup. You craft services. We had to get lunch, fill the clients and all these things. Now for indoor beauty, we'll have an idea. We'll be talking and we'll go. Wouldn't that be cool? We'll go to the studio we have in our office. We'll shoot something. We'll give it to one of our animators the next day where we have it on Instagram as a commercial. And that next day, the website, the e-commerce site is dinging on our phones, telling us products have sold. So that true direct to consumer/direct to market, whatever you want to call it, is really fascinating. It wracks my nerves a little bit because when I see Dr. C, it feels like, "Oh, we could do that." You feel like you're always in this laboratory of things that you could do. But, to see that come to life is fun.

Ashley [00:16:47] Absolutely. I mean, the editing video that you sent me this morning for one of my clients that I'm managing, I sent the clip over to him and I said, "hey, we're running hardhats only." It's a little clip of an introduction to the videos that we're putting on. And, it's incredible. It looks like something that would be on HDTV, and it happened over the course of a few days. We put it together and it goes live. People are watching what we're doing around Greenville in these small segments that we're doing. But, it looks so now! It doesn't look like a normal photo. It's going to get more audiences involved and liking what they're seeing and wanting to see when you watch the hard hat videos so they can see the progression of the different things going on around town. 

Alex [00:17:33] I think you get more of the brand personality too when you're not so cut and dry. Have one shot to do and a 30-second commercial, and that's all we're working on. We get new content every single day. That's what's happening, like a great brand, all the way across. It looks like indoor beauty, looks like Dr. C, and everything fits. But, you get a little spice every day of different content. So it's refreshing. 

Ryan Alford [00:18:00] Is Instagram replacing Snapchat? I'll be the first to admit. I consider myself even at my age, which we all age myself here, but I'm at the forefront. I feel like I've technologies and different things. Not because I wanted to or because I thought, “I'm too old or not interested in this.” I've never been able to grasp things like Snapchat and but now I don't feel like I'm missing out. I mean, what's happening with Instagram versus Snapchat? 

Alex [00:18:40] I think it's like a different app altogether. Some people think it's like, "oh, you can post stories and you get the same thing." I think Instagram is more of a place for curated, pretty images, and Snapchat is Lowkey, you go there, you post funny behind the scenes videos that you don't really care about.

Ashley [00:19:04] The whole dynamic behind Snapchat is you're only sending this to that individual that you want to see and then it goes away. So that your character is not judged by this. If you're trying to send a funny joke or car that is going by without a license plate. 

Ryan Alford [00:19:16] Instagram has that feature set now, but there are people.

Alex [00:19:20] Not the place but I don't think as much. It is funny to see now you can watch the stories and stuff in magazines. We'll have that story on there. There is a place for advertising there now, but I still don't think it's the place where it happens. It's usually Instagram.

Ryan Alford [00:19:36] It’s not really the feed for Instagram. It was on Facebook that drove it for me. I'm going to the feed and I know that Snapchat does that, but it's not the same digestion of content. 

Alex [00:19:55]I think they've tried to do it by opening up celebrity accounts and stuff on Snapchat more so you can follow Kylie Jenner and what she is doing with her brand. It's cool to see that because it's different every day. If you didn't think to follow Kylie Jenner on Instagram, but you watched her story on Snapchat, which is cool. 

Ashley [00:20:13] It's definitely a different look. I feel like they are trying to do with that whole vibe of Instagram stories and Snapchat. Then there's a different look for the celebrities and what they're putting out there. I think even when we go to post our stories, I'm aware if I'm on Snapchat and when I'm sending out and putting out to the world and on Instagram, it's a different mindset for each one. 

Ryan Alford [00:20:37] It seems like a little bit of a change of the angle here, social media as a marketing tool. I even remember saying this, and I know it wasn't true then, but three, four years ago I was doing a startup then, so it wasn't as knee-deep in the agency stuff as I was even seven or eight years ago or even now, certainly being an agency. I used to think it because I would dabble in it, and then people that I knew, social media and marketing don’t work. People would say that. I've done some Facebook ads. This is three or four years. You don't have a Facebook ad and didn't do anything. At that time, I wasn't as needy as we've been in now with everything we're doing as Radical. But, I think for people listening, it's a good grounding point for something they've heard of. But we posted a shot of Dr. C in a shirt and we're not commercials. We've got some stuff on YouTube. There's nowhere else on the planet they're seeing this content. All his stuff since you got it on the Shopify commerce site. It's like the orders start rolling in. I don't think most people listen. I don't know that there has to be as much convincing as there used to be. But even I was a little bit of a doubter of the power of social to truly drive sales. I used to think, "oh, some branding." I know people are watching it, but it didn't drive sales. But, it's crazy. The impact that it has is amazing. Do you think that that's a common thing? Did you hear that before? Have you heard Facebook ads don't work?

Alex [00:22:54] I feel like this generation and stuff is more on Instagram. So Facebook's one fizzling out a little bit. They still perform well for a select group of people. We've seen it with Indoor Beauty and stuff. Her main is ad on Facebook or Pinterest even. It's still really popular. I think on Instagram, the big thing is influencers. If you like somebody on Instagram, they're sharing a lot about themselves, they're very personable,  if they're wearing a shirt, I'd be like, "where did you get it?" Look it up if I like you as a person. So I think it has everything to do with who they are and what they're selling and why. I've got a story behind it, or if you like the person and their feed looks good. It all comes together like a formula, and you're like, "I want to buy it."

Ashley [00:23:49] You are selling your product. The second that somebody gets on Instagram and they're looking at your feed as a whole, I would say it takes less than ten seconds to say, "hey, this is something I'm interested in or I'm not interested in." You can grasp it before you even click on one of their photos.

Alex [00:24:07] The links too. You can go straight to the product. You can shop on Instagram now, which is a game-changer. 

Ryan Alford [00:24:14] Yeah. What's been your favorite part about working here at the agency or with the clients? What's been like your favorite part and what surprised you the most, if anything has?

Ashley [00:24:47]  What surprised me the most are the different clients that we have to deal with and the different personalities. I guess being in any agency you realize what makes teamwork is everybody having different personalities. It's great to see all of our personalities and the way each of those is wired, come together and make this happen for all of our clients. I guess it's not surprising. But it's nice to come to a team every single day that we all get along so well. Behind the scenes, we're laughing and getting feedback from one another and helping each other out throughout the day. It's really nice to come into an office and truly enjoy and love what you do every day.

Alex [00:25:37] I think the most exciting part is having something different to do every day. It's not cookie-cutter. You walk in the door and you're not going to be on the screen every single day, just typing away. One day you might be out doing a photoshoot and one day might be helping with graphics or sometimes scheduling posts that day. It keeps it interesting. So you're not in a rut. 

Ashley [00:26:02] Yeah, every day is different. You know what to expect, but it keeps things interesting. The weather will sway a photoshoot or something changes. 

Ryan Alford [00:26:16] This is the beauty of being small and one day we might not be small, but, we're always going to be small-ish. In most agencies I've worked at, you wear one specific hat. So I've purposely hired a diverse team that has multiple skill sets. We're all wearing different hats. I think it's also back to that marketing is big now. You got to be able to do multiple things. You have to be able to feel comfortable with the smartphone in your hand and shooting content. You've got to feel comfortable getting in some of these programs and throwing a social media post together. It used to be “these are the designers over here”, “Here's your copywriter” and “here's your account person”. There might come a world where we do have that specification or specialization, I should say. But, I think what's making us nimble for our clients is the ability to wear multiple hats. I think we're organically pulling the best out of each other like it's happening organically. At times, there is madness, but at the same time, I feel like there's a method to it. I think we're empowering each other to do different things while also leveraging different skill sets. We're getting more and our clients are getting more by not putting ourselves in boxes. I think that's for anyone listening to the podcast or who once worked at agencies. I know that the world has changed a little bit, but I still think predominantly it's there that these are the idea people and these are the strategy people. I think you lose some of the opportunity to groupthink and collaborate and get the best out of everyone. We most certainly have people that do animation and code. I think that sort of skill set is still very specialized, but I still think that good ideas come from everyone. Any thoughts on that? 

Alex [00:29:05] I feel since we get to be knee-deep in each of the aspects of handling our clients and all, I guess you're able to get to know them personally. I know a lot about Indoor and a lot about doctors. It goes on and on. We each know a lot about our own clients and stuff, and that makes sure that we really do want every opportunity for them. It's nice to be able to say, "hey, you're in a magazine," This is happening for you and stuff like that. It's fun because you actually get to see her, genuinely happy with what we're doing. 

Ashley [00:29:41] Radical when I started, It's telling everybody's story. The closer that I know you Alex, the more I would be able to tell your story. So it's in the marketing of Now the Closer I work with my clients, the more that I can do better for them. Being able to have the opportunity where we have meetings like we did this past week, or going to meet them out for happy hour and get to know their personality and what they're looking for which helps engage them. 

Alex [00:30:10] It's a good part about being a little smaller. It’s refreshing. 

Ryan Alford [00:30:15] Well, I think that's going to wrap up the podcast. It's been a few months. We're going to start back at least on a weekly basis. We're going to get some of our clients and do some interviews. We talked about a handful of them. We'll get others on the podcast. We're going to talk about some of the other things that we're working on, bringing in some local guests. We didn't even get into a lot of the other areas we're in, with GVL Hustle and some of the subsidiary things that radical's involved in. But, I'm really excited about this team and really appreciate everything they do. It's Ryan Alford for the Radical podcast. Talk Soon!