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Ways to Differentiate Your Ecommerce Business With Robert Murray of Intrigue

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Robert Murray

Robert Murray is an experienced entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to helping other entrepreneurs thrive through revenue growth and digital marketing strategy. He started his business, Intrigue, over 15 years ago with the mission of empowering homeowner and professional services companies. In addition to his role as CEO at Intrigue, Robert is the Learning Chair for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization in Ontario. He also volunteers as a Member of the Fergus/Elora Chapter of the Rotary Club.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Robert Murray talks about differentiating your ecommerce business from the competition
  • The importance of identifying your core customer
  • Strategy versus planning and why the difference matters
  • Reassessing your business’ ecommerce strategy in a post-pandemic landscape
  • How to leverage ecommerce for any type of company
  • The key to finding and attracting great talent for your team
  • What does the future hold for email outreach?
  • Building great teams by embracing egos

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In this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast

How do you make your ecommerce business stand out? For many leaders, it’s a difficult process. The market is overflowing with online stores and solutions for every problem. What’s more, there are typically many businesses occupying the same spaces — even niche areas. To truly differentiate yourself, you need to find ways to not only improve your offering, but make it memorable for consumers.

 

Robert Murray has been empowering companies for over 15 years with this mindset. He helps them refine their strategy, find their core customers, and thrive despite the competition. With his tried-and-true methods, Robert has been able to make his mark and generate results for his clients time and time again. Now he talks about those same principles with you.

 

In this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast, Guillaume Le Tual interviews Robert Murray, the Founder and CEO of Intrigue, to discuss how companies can rise above the rest through differentiation and strategy. They go over the differences between marketing tactics and strategy and talk about leveraging the ecommerce space for your business. They also touch on finding the right talent for your team and how to motivate them to apply. Check out this episode for all this and more!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by MageMontreal.

 

MageMontreal is a Magento-certified ecommerce agency based in Montreal, Canada. MageMontreal specializes in and works exclusively with the Adobe Magento ecommerce platform, and is among only a handful of certified Adobe Magento companies in Canada.

 

Why Magento? Mage Montreal wholeheartedly believes that Magento is the best open source ecommerce platform on the market–whether you are looking to tweak your current website or build an entirely new website from scratch.

 

MageMontreal offers a wide range of services, including Magento website design and development, Magento maintenance and support, integration of Magento with third-party software, and so much more! They have been creating and maintaining top-notch ecommerce stores for over a decade — so you know you can trust their robust expertise, involved support, and efficient methodology.

 

So, if your business wants to create a powerful ecommerce store that will boost sales, move dormant inventory to free up cash reserves, or automate business processes to gain efficiency and reduce human processing errors, MageMontreal is here to help!

 

What are you waiting for? Contact MageMontreal today! Visit magemontreal.com or call 450.628.0690 to chat with the MageMontreal team about creating your dream ecommerce store and transforming your business.

Episode Transcript

Guillaume: Hello everyone, Guillaume Le Tual here, host of the E-commerce Wizards Podcast where I feature leaders in business and e-commerce. Today’s guest is Robert Murray, CEO of Intrigue Media, a fellow agency, owner and founder like myself. Today, we’ll be talking about strategy, positioning and differentiation, especially from the point of view of an e-commerce merchant. But these topics are useful for any business at any time. We’ll also cover another topic, that if e-commerce is not part of your strategy, you may want to revisit that assumption.

So before we get started, I have two points. First, a shout out to Shawn Johal of ElevationLeaders.com, who introduced us so thank you Shawn. Otherwise, this episode will not have happened today. And secondly, we have our sponsorship message. This episode is brought to you by Mage Montreal, if a business wants a powerful e-commerce online store to increase their sales or to move piled up dormant inventory to free up cash reserves, or to automate business processes to gain efficiency and reduce human processing errors, our company Mage Montreal can do that. We’ve been helping e-commerce stores for over a decade. Here’s the catch. We’re specialized and only work on the Adobe Magento e-commerce platform. We do everything Magento, if you know someone who needs design development, maintenance, training, support with your website, we got their back. Email our team, [email protected], or go to magemontreal.com. Alright, so Robert, thank you for being here today.

Robert: It’s a pleasure. Thanks for having me, Guillaume.

Guillaume: Before we dive into the main topic, can you tell us a little bit about yourself about your entrepreneurship journey?

Robert: Yeah, sure. Rob Murray, co-founder of Intrigue Media, we just turned 15 years old, September, 2021. We started off as a digital out of home company. So we had flat screens like LCDs in high traffic consumer environments. In 2008, and 2009, our clientele started asking us about how they could get to the top of Google, if we could help them build their websites because a cousin had moved away, or they’re now no longer a student, and they’re an awful person with a job and they don’t know their password, and what’s the deal with Facebook. So we got really kind of dragged into online marketing, digital marketing. So it was 2010, when it really started to kick off, and the last 11 years has been one of our big growth periods. We have been listed as one of Canada’s fastest growing companies for four years in a row. We’re a certified organization with a couple of niches and a team of about 30, full time, and a couple of subcontractors. And there’s myself as a co-founder.

Guillaume: Well, congrats on those listings as one of the fastest growing companies. That’s pretty cool.

Robert: Thanks for that.

Guillaume: So, strategy, positioning, differentiation for an e-commerce merchant is a broad topic. What’s top of mind for you?

Robert: It’s a really interesting conversation. Maybe I can give a specific example of a client use case that we had just gone through. It was an account that I had taken over, I wasn’t part of it. Then maybe someday we’ll get to the recruiting aspect of it because we are in an era of the great resignation. So a couple of account managers left our organization and I was responsible for making sure that the relationship was standing. So essentially take over for a couple months until we find other account managers to take over, and then we’re good to go. But there was one client who sold refurbished laptops. I was doing a little bit of investigation to try to figure out what this client was all about, doing some past history check by looking at the site just to orient myself per session. And so as we got into the first session, I found that they were not very happy there. They actually didn’t even understand what customer acquisition costs were, and weren’t necessarily managing their account properly. We figured out it was quite high, they were actually losing money on every purchase. So we couldn’t have even created more sales. If we did it at the same customer acquisition costs you actually cost the business by eating those margins every single time we did it. And the frequency of purchase saw their core customers only buying once from them. The revenue model was all messed up.

That was the second thing that we needed to figure out, strategy. So I asked them at one point, why would I buy a refurbished laptop from you? I said, I have a $50,000 budget to help get you sales and I’m up against Jeff Bezos. This is a difficult proposition here, I have no competitive advantage. How am I going to do this? And so we had a conversation over time, and we realized that they’re actually really good at simplifying the purchase process. Because if you know what you want, you can go to any e-commerce platform or store and buy it. But if you don’t know what you want, you just know that you need a computer, it can be a really difficult decision, especially if you’re say somebody over the age of 60. And for people that are over the age of 60, there’s a lot more than just buying laptops or tablets these days.

So we made a decision to differentiate by making the niche, making it easy for seniors to buy refurbished laptops for much less money. That proved to be really good for them because they could sell Canada in the US. So the marketplace actually became massive, they became a lot more relevant to a smaller population. And because they had addressed their core customer, they were able to essentially speak to the problems that those folks had and provide very specific solutions for them. So instead of saying, here are all the brands and specs, it was like, what do you want it for? Are you looking for an internet browsing computer? Are you looking for your grandkids computer? Are you looking for a Netflix computer? So change the whole environment of purchase for the right customer and then they will start to see sales pickup and construction costs go down. So that’s an idea of differentiation,

Guillaume: It’s a nice success story. It makes a lot of sense, because otherwise, you’d just be one more listing with zero differentiation, if it’s just a commodity then you’re just competing on price, and on specs, like, this one has eight gigs of RAM, this one has 16, this one has 32, etc. So it’s a great example. Have you come across additional cases like this?

Robert: Well, I mean, it applies to every single kind of company. So one of the things that we do with all of our clients, whether they’re in an e-commerce environment, or whether they’re in a service business, or a retail environment, is to interrogate, who’s the core customer? This has to be very specific. People talk about buyer personas and whatever, but who is that specific human being? Let’s make everything about him. There’s one thing that people often forget, there’s a principle that we see. It’s called, ‘Look At Me’ marketing’ which is essentially what 99% of companies do. This is what we do, this is how we do it, this is why it has great features and benefits. It’s a default because we don’t know who we’re trying to go after. If you don’t know who you’re trying to go after you don’t know the core problems with those people. And there’s this thing that we often recognize that no one cares about us.

They only care about two things, solving their problems and accomplishing their goals. That’s it.

When it comes to consumer purchase they care about two things, solving their problems and accomplishing their goals. They don’t care about how long you’ve been in business, they don’t care how tenured your staff is, they don’t care about any of that stuff. Now, those things might help build trust, there’s a spot for them. But at the beginning of the whole experience, people need to know that you can help them solve their problems and accomplish their goal. So you need to identify core customers. Like you, you’re going after Magento companies, medium sized, they’ve got a budget and they understand that they need help because they’re not able to do it themselves. And so you’ve horizontally positioned yourself. You’re a Magento solution, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in. We can do horizontal Magento, we can help, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in. So you’re niching.

The problem for the Magento users is that they want to make changes when they can. They had somebody in the house and they left and now they’re hooked. They’ve got a whole bunch of new products, and now their database is out of date. So what you’ve done with your agency with a horizontal position is really useful. Because now it’s easy for us to address the core customer and then make all the content around the problems that they experience and the solution state that your clients get to experience as they operate. The thing is, when someone reads about their own problems they think they get me, and when someone thinks they get me you build trust, and people buy from people they like to trust. And so whether someone is horizontally positioning, or the opposite, which is vertically positioning, we need to figure out what the position is and who the target audience is, and then start to figure out what their problems are and speak to their problems.

Guillaume: I agree with that.

Robert: And the thing is, I said this a lot, I’m not ambivalent. This isn’t out of the goodness of my heart that I’m trying to get people to figure this stuff out. I’m selfishly oriented to my clients’ success. So I need them to understand the value of strategy so that I can go do a good job, so I’ll keep them and they keep giving me money for a really long time, and I can get my kids using whatever they need in their future. Like, this is not about the goodness of doing business, this is about selfish orientation. So I think it’s some fun now, our company has done this for 15 years. As a listener, you don’t have to do this, but if you work with us we’re going to help you figure stuff out because we want to keep you forever. So it’s just a need relationship. The only reason we’re trying to get people to go this direction is to make our job easy. Make it so we can help them make more money and stuff. It just works.

Guillaume:Yeah. Otherwise, I’ll cut the advertising contract which you have that doesn’t bring in customers in a profitable way.

Robert: Exactly. And it’s so much easier to hire an agency with its staff members. Like, there’s no loyalty, it’s all about making the results happen.

Guillaume: And now with digital advertising you can have up to full traceability, we’ll see how that changes with the cookieless world that we’re diving into now, to further user privacy and tracking. But before that, in the classic paper media advertising, we have payments quotes from the billionaire saying, ‘I know 50% of my advertising work, but I don’t know which 50%.’ So, now we don’t have that problem anymore. You have full database tracking of everything, you can prove with your good agency if that’s profitable or not. And yes, then the need for you at all. Okay. And is there more that comes to mind about strategy, positioning and differentiation?

Robert: Yes, so there’s a whole bunch of folks on this, Verne Harnish speaks quite a lot about in Scaling Up.

Guillaume: Yeah, I’m a big fan. I’ve read that book twice.

Robert: It’s all good. I’ve talked before about barriers, growth, execution, cash, people and strategy. When he interviews entrepreneurs in group settings, everybody picks strategy last. The thing is people haven’t thought about strategy enough. A lot of people think that strategic planning is strategy. So things like setting a vision, setting core values, setting a purpose, like that’s strategy but it’s not. That’s strategic planning. Strategy is about how you’re going to position your firm to be in a marketplace. How are you going to maintain margin or increase price? How can you make it so that you’re the only choice as opposed to a choice. The thing that I want to share with entrepreneurs of any kind is to spend at least an hour a week with the owners and senior leadership, discussing, researching and learning about strategy, because most strategies identified, sales is easier, execution is easier because you start to understand how to do the same thing better and better instead of trying to do something new every single day. Cash is easier to manage because you’re making more of it. It’s easier to recruit people because the staff are having fun.

Therefore, strategy unlocks the other barriers. I just got hit over the head with that maybe two years ago. COVID really helped get us into a couple of programs that really made it a lot more pronounced. So I think that’s a huge thing. And then there’s a couple of resources in scaling up, of course there’s a book called Insight Advantage, which I highly recommend, it talks about ‘core customer’ in the first four steps to crazy growth. And then there’s Kaihan Krippendorff’s Perfect Competition. Yeah, he’s next level when it comes to facilitating a group and brainstorming on how to ideate strategy.

Guillaume: Yeah. Which is great, because you can be working super hard, but are you working on the right thing? That’s basically the question with the strategy.

Robert: A million dollar question.

Guillaume: So if you change the strategy you can totally change the way this thing is going. It’s a big topic. Sometimes there’s confusion on basic terminology, like strategy versus tactics. Strategy being the overarching principle of how you’ll achieve victory and tactics being hands, the technical details, you hold it this way you do it that way, you click here. And that’s going to give you a better result to achieve the strategy. And to achieve the objective that strategy wants to reach. Anything else you’d like to cover about strategy?

Robert: I think the kicker is if you’re not able to read the problems about your core customer it’s because you don’t know who your customer is, and then there’s a difference between who you go after and who you work with. So for example, what I mean by that is like Intrigue is the issue around home improvement in the construction industry, we go after business types like landscapers. We were in Louisville, Kentucky last week at the National Association Landscape for Professionals conference. I was speaking there. Those are the types of plans we’re going after. But then I had an inquiry from a senior e-commerce accessible manufacturer, somebody I know asking for help. Yes, we’re going to help them, we understand how to apply the same principles that we do to our clients to their business. So sometimes people get tripped up when they’re trying to niche that they’re going to get too narrow and miss out on all these dollars. You’ve got to stop working with everybody. It’s focusing marketing, focusing your team and starting to execute on something you want to do really well, that’s who you work with isn’t just restricted to who you work with after.

Guillaume: Eventually you might want to restrict depending on volume and difference of the customer’s journey when they buy from you, is it the same journey that’s applicable or because it’s coming from a new source with different needs, and so on, then it’s going to create this whole additional channel that you have to optimize a customer’s journey and plan step by step and ultimately automate some steps of the customers journey.

Robert: Sure, and that could be tough. It could be a lot of work.

Guillaume: Yeah. So I totally agree with you. You do your marketing for a specific niche target, then if you say yes or no to some additional contract that you did not advertise for that particular niche, that’s a different question. And generally speaking, you’ll say yes to those until you can really have enough volume which is the core because then you have a perfectly defined customer experience, step by step, what happens at every step of the way. And then when you’re ready, you add a second customer journey for a second niche or sub niche. This way, you can have a super streamlined business which you won’t have when you say yes to everybody who comes your way, even if you did not advertise. So that’s just like the next level after.

Robert: You said it very well.

Guillaume: Yeah. So the other part here was saying, if e-commerce is not part of your strategy you might want to revisit that assumption, especially since COVID hit. What do you think about that?

Robert: Honestly, I just believe that there’s room for every business to incorporate e-commerce. Even if it’s paying an invoice using an online payment portal, it’s just making it easier to collect cash. So again, referring to scaling up with a huge shout out to Shawn Johal for introducing us to his skilled approach, the cash conversion cycles CCC, how long it takes you to get money from when someone has opened an opportunity or closed an opportunity to when their invoice gets paid. E-commerce is great as long as those people are going to pay up front before you have to do anything and deliver off shore or whatever. Maybe if you’re working with large accounts they’re going to do it on terms. So it’s like giving them an opportunity to pay you faster. Name one business that isn’t an opportunity for e-commerce, you look behind there’s a custom cabinet, seemingly not a traditional e-commerce model.

Someone says they want to do a custom type cool. Here’s $100, hold your spot to pay for your design, payment online. It makes them more committed and you’ve got money before you start. Okay, if your cabinets are done, they’ll be delivered in six months or maybe 12 months because the supply chain is all messed up. Maybe the deposit or pay online right now is $1,000 for yourself. There’s so many ways for us to consider how to leverage e-commerce to make something and maybe at the very least, pay ourselves.

Guillaume: Well, that’s just to streamline the customer’s journey again. Streamline their experience from start to finish as we were talking before, you can use an e-commerce website within just the payment portal. And that’s part of the steps and automate some steps in between with an email so that you don’t rewrite the same email over and over again in the business, especially the service business. And then the next step is just triggered and triggered and triggered. This is a bit different from the ‘add to the cart’ kind of business model where you have a traditional cart like Magento, Shopify, or others but with an Amazon experience. You can also still do that for the cabinets. You could have a few pre-made models and then you click the options on the ‘add to the cart’ and then it’s going to change the picture with the correct option that the customer has selected and you give it a deposit.

Even if you have a technical hurdle along the way, sometimes we see this as a big item shipment. They need freight shipment or LTL or FTL shipment when less than truckload or full truckload shipment. It’s complicated. And then they have to call shipping companies and get a quote within 24 hours. This prevents a live checkout in many cases, so something like that you could still have just a simple workaround and tell your customer especially in the early stages to say shipping fees is not included, we’ll contact you for shipping. If you disagree with the shipping quote you can just cancel the order, no penalty, but you tell them to complete the checkout process even though they don’t have the freight quote yet. So then you can still have the order placed with some down payment, possibly for it. So that’s one example. Then when you get to a further level, eventually you automate your shipping quote even for freight of small parcels through UPS or FedEx, but that is more complicated.

Robert: Yeah, that’s cool. And the cool thing is, when one says something like, oh, no one would ever do that. But you’ll never know unless you try. So you set it up and then, oh, my God, look at that someone has done it! I had a client of ours who said that no one will ever buy a $6,000 couch online. Well, if we don’t put it online they won’t. But when we gave it a shot, then Oh, my God! Someone bought it for $6000.

Guillaume: Yeah, this is a mind blocker. You hear it a lot, it’s just a mindset change that’s needed here. It’s a mental block, the same thing was said for shoes, who was going to buy shoes online? I mean, you’ve got to try them on? Then you have that billion dollar Apple company, though I’m not one of their customers but I do want to go to the store. Even though I’m an e-commerce specialist, I do want to go to a store to buy my shoes that’s for me specifically, but there’s still plenty of people who buy shoes online. People will buy a couch online without trying it, without touching it, or whatever. So you can sell almost anything online, or you can generate the first step of the call with a conversation with the specialist showcasing the products online. And then maybe you can have a consultation with a specialist to close the sale over the phone.

Robert: I love that. Yeah, you never know until you try it. That’s just the way it is.

Guillaume: We can move to the next topic unless you had something more about e-commerce being part of the strategy.

Robert: Anybody listening, if you were to just sit anywhere four or eight people down in a zoom setting, or in a whiteboard session, whatever and just ask everybody in the individual session list five new ways of leveraging e-commerce to your business, you’ll get anywhere between 20 and 40 ideas. And then there’s a different couple of ways you can go through evaluating those ideas. But it’s easy to brainstorm. You just have to make sure that people stop saying that will never work, because progress doesn’t happen without effort to it.

Guillaume: That’s the wrong mindset I’m sure. Getting online is the first step if the business is there, and then there’s all the level of sophistication in the pyramids so to speak. First, just get an online store, get your product listed with pictures, descriptions, and prices, that’s the foundation. And then you get more and more sophisticated and do SMS marketing with the abandoned cart, the email reminders, you can get even further away if you have a very large catalog with the artificial intelligence for product recommendations just like Amazon does available for small and medium businesses. Magento Commerce does it, maybe some other platforms do as well. So then you can get super sophisticated if you want to. But just getting online is interesting. The price of advertising just keeps going up, so it’s a bit like the housing market, especially in North America.

Just get in the game because it keeps going up. It’s better to start this year than next year. Say for advertising costs like in Canada, we can see people say, oh, it’s expensive for this keyword. There were some studies published that found that most of the time the Canadian price for Pay Per Click ads with Google was like three years behind the US prices. And you could see the trend and say well, in three years is more or less what it’s going to be, just look at the US market they’re three years ahead. So that’s when you think, I know it’s expensive but if you can make that work from the customer’s cost position then it’s a good time to go online. So with the pandemic right now, in quite a lot of places, and the media talks a lot about this, we’re finding good counts a bit of a problem right now. You have the supply chain problem with the ships stuck everywhere at the port with COVID. But you also have the pallet problem. There is a clear shortage of labor force here in Canada, they talk a lot about it, I guess it’s probably more or less the same in the States. What do you have in mind about finding good talent?

Robert: There’s a lot to it. So first of all, there’s a lot of good people out there. They’re just not willing to settle for garbage employers. We’re up the ‘Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’ now where if I don’t like my job I can quit and live in my parents house. You’ve got a 30 year old person who for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, can just say, I’m good I’m going to go chill with my parents till I find something that I like. So instead of having a physiological motivation, to have inner safety motivation, to have food in their bellies and shelter over their heads, they’re into social and esteem motivations. And social and esteem motivations come from great cultures, come from organizations with meaningful purpose, come from organizations that have core values, and they come from places that help individuals learn and grow.

So essentially, shitty leadership is being penalized for not having authentic purpose, vision and values identified. And then the other thing that we need to identify is, what is it that we’re trying to help people do? It’s the same thing, people care about accomplishing their goals in solving their problems. It’s not about the paycheck anymore. And so, we’re not fully staffed right now, but we’re probably doing better than the average player. What is it that we’re trying to help people do with their career? So if you’re going to take over this position and ladder up, there’s this idea that what are we going to do for people’s careers? How are we going to improve people’s lives? What stage of their life are they in that’d be a good fit for the type of career development that we have available?

One of the things that we’ve been doing recently is running into full tactic of doing cold email outreach, not cold LinkedIn outreach. And, the blurbs are very simple. It’s like, your LinkedIn profile caught my eye, I’d love to learn a bit more about what you want to accomplish with your career over the next three to five years. At entry our vision is to empower 500 entrepreneurs a year who put their houses on the line to grow their business and hire families and sponsor soccer teams in their communities. Our purpose is empowering leaders to strengthen communities. If you’d like to have a talk, let me know. You can book a 15 minute call here in my calendar. We’ll send an email out to 1500 people based on their role or title and we’ll end up booking 30 to 50 people. So the appetite is there. It’s just not necessarily about having a job that pays $55,000 a year with great benefits. You know, you need to have these skill sets and three to five years experience with the driver’s license.

Guillaume: [Inaudible-00:27:34] you’re finding that,

Robert: That doesn’t cut it anymore. You will need to think as leaders, we need to just step up and get a bit more authentic about what we’re trying to do in the world. And then people will want to do it with us.

Guillaume: And that tactic of mass mailing, is it legitimate under the Canadian anti-spam law?

Robert: Yeah, there’s two things that make it legit. One is, it needs to be a publicly accessible email. It needs to be somehow publicly accessible. And two, it has to be about their role in the business. By recruiting somebody who’s a Facebook ads specialist or PPC Ad specialist, I can find their email address on their company website and I can email them about their role. I mean, I’ve fallen asleep more than 10 times reading Castle legislation. It’s legit.

Guillaume: It’s hard to read, it’s such a gray zone. So unclear on so many levels, it’s unbelievable!

Robert: There’s room for interpretation, I’ll take a slap on the hand, someone says I can’t do that. I say, well show me where? Well, read the line. I say, well, there’s the interpretation there. But I don’t think that’s what they’re seeing. The thing is doing the outreach like we thought, people are stoked. They’re like, no thanks for thinking of me but I’m not interested right now. So no one’s all upset by it. We’re just trying to show them an opportunity.

Guillaume: Yeah, it’s actually true. It’s a job offer so it’s interesting. And do you also do the same for potential clients, do you still send out emails and direct contact that’s in link with their job because they’re the Chief Marketing Officer and you offer ad services or?

Robert: Oh, yeah. It’s one of the core ways we’re scaling from the biggest benefits that we’re using for [Inaudible-00:29:35].

Guillaume: And that’s legit also with Castle because you’re sending to their specific job title, the Chief Marketing Officers?

Robert: Yeah, we are helping entrepreneurs find their emails online, that’s okay. Everybody thinks that Castle was never designed to squash cops. Castle was designed to stop spammers. So as long as you’re not spamming, it’s like sending deals to buy refurbished laptops.

Guillaume: Right.

Robert: You have a list of 50,000 and then you send them a list to buy laptops, overall trying to spam them. ‘You’re fired.’

Guillaume: Alright, anything else that comes to mind about finding good

talent?

Robert: So have you ever heard of Jay Abraham?

Guillaume: I think so.

Robert: He’s got this thing called the Parthenon approach. Now he talks about it with regards to sales and marketing. What we’ve done is we’ve essentially taken the fundamental principles for digital marketing, sales and marketing, conversion funnels and we’ve brought it over to, we call the SMART method. So called strategic marketing approach to recruiting talent, SMART method. So we essentially take the two funnels and do the exact same thing. So when people go to recruit, for the most part it’s all bottom of the funnel conversion, apply now. Very few people have middle of the funnel, top of the funnel, recruitment strategies or tactics.

So for example, what we do, and you can go to our site and register today if you want to check it out, we have a career information session, you can sign up for free for a zoom session, it’s a new thing. It’s on the third Thursday of the month, you can see on our careers page all the different opportunities that we have available. You can register for a career information session and learn what it’s like to be a day in the life of an entry. And I host it or Paul hosts it, and we just answer questions and provide some clarity around our professions values inside our virtual four walls these days, or hybrid walls these days. That’s a middle of the funnel content. They’re thinking about looking at it, but they don’t want to apply. And even if they don’t show up to the event, they’ve registered without their email address. We also send out a career newsletter. So we have a list of 5000 past applicants over the last 10,12 years.We send out a career information newsletter saying this is the job that we have currently available. Here’s a core value of the month. Here’s where Gary the Purple Cow went to last week. Here’s a bunch of you’ve got awesome citations over B Corps, you just got awarded the best employer in the world. You actually did just get awarded best in the world in B Corps.

Guillaume: In B Corps, and who gives that amazing award?

Robert: The B Corps.

Guillaume: The B Corps, really? That sounds amazing. I’m not very familiar with B Corps.

Robert: So it’s like people planet profit. It’s a legal corporate identity, it makes it so that you’re no longer legally obligated to open produce profits to shareholders.

Guillaume: Which sounds very interesting.

Robert: Yeah, it’s cool. It’s hard to ship that again.

Guillaume: Yeah. That’s a US filing, right?

Robert: So the B Corp is a US legal filing, a B Corp enterprise organization is not globalization.

Guillaume: Okay. Well, that’s pretty good coverage is some interesting techniques here that you have for recruitment applications on your website, the past newsletters, and so on.

Robert: Yeah. So my point though with Jay Abraham is that you need the Parthenon approach instead of the diving board approach. A lot of people like LinkedIn and online job funnels or whatever online job posting. Like, how can we build email lists? How can we send email newsletters? What’s the referral fee that you’re willing to give a current team member if somebody comes on board stays 90 days, six months, 12 months, have you paid three grants in the last 12 months to some of the first team members? There’s job fairs, internship programs, Coop programs, speaking at universities, and so how can we identify 12 different ways to find talent and then run engines constantly? And so there’s this view of this philosophy of 24/7 recruitment. And so we always have room for a player, always hiring for every position as we build the funnel.

One of our biggest things is that our email lists are our biggest asset when it comes to recruitment. When I’m looking to fill a position, I want to be able to send directly to an inbox not go through Indeed, or whatever zip recruiter list goes on. Because those folks keep the applicant information inside their office. Only once they get further down the line, do you get access to their email address, because they understand the value of the email address. So what I want to do for myself and our clients is build a recruitment database just for us. And then think about it over a five to seven year timeframe. Because everybody overestimates what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in a decade. Like, what can we do in the next seven to 10 years in terms of how big your email is? If we start thinking that way we can have a healthy database.

Guillaume: Really interesting. Yeah, I have not heard of many companies like our size and your size that have this in place, it tends to be a technique that you’ll see at very large companies who have a marketing department and do marketing for recruitment and all that. Thanks for sharing those tips and those little nuggets there. Anything else that you have in mind about finding good talents?

Robert: You’ve got to be real. I think a lot of times, core values just got to be real.

Guillaume: Yeah. Too high a reward part of the item.

Robert: Yeah. Sometimes they’re altruistic, quality, integrity, and trust makes them meaningless. Having them be more authentic is easier to live by. And the other thing is like, a lot of people don’t necessarily have a very strong vision of what they want to accomplish or what they want to create. So it makes it difficult for someone to figure out what to help you with. Like when we talk about entrepreneurship and helping entrepreneurs, because they’re the ones that pass on line, hire families through economies locally, sponsor soccer teams. There’s a bunch of folks that hear that stuff and they go, I want to help entrepreneurs too. So the visioning helps attract people that believe in that idea.

Our purpose is empowering leaders to strengthen communities. There’s too many people waiting for someone else to do it. You know, who are they, they should do that. Like there’s some other person out there to fix our problems, the more leaders get more involved in our communities through giving back for getting involved. So we believe in a leadership community and helping and supporting our entrepreneurs. You layer that stuff together and people start to get excited if they believe in that stuff. And other people go, I don’t want anything to do with that, I just want to get paid and have my Cadillac for 30 years, who cares? They’re not going to be attracted to what we’re trying to do. And so I think the more we can get real with the detonators created, the more we can find some folks along.

Guillaume: Yeah, and then you have way better retention of staff, because their personal desires and values align with what you’re offering.

Robert: Yeah. That is a really cool note that you just layered on top of that. I really believe there is I in a team. Teams are made up of individuals. So I think we have to go the way of the dodo bird, like, you need to park your individual goals and desires so that we can be a team that goes accomplish this. We’ve got to embrace your individual desires and make sure they line up with what we’re trying to do. If they don’t it’s going to go sideways anyway. I don’t know if you have ever heard of Coach K. He was in the NCAA, one of the winningest coaches in history. He was tasked to coach the US Olympic basketball team. And they had like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, all the biggest names. And when they were getting there one of the coaches said, you have to park your egos in the door. Coach K was like, no, bring your egos. Bring them, we recruited you. Like bring it all in. Let’s figure out how to make it all work together if we all want to accomplish the same thing, which is the goal. So let’s just be realistic in who we are. And then make sure we line up the individual goals we’re trying to recruit.

Guillaume: Yeah, in his case he knows he’s working with big egos and is trying to leverage that. But then you have other sportsmen like Wayne Gretzky who don’t have a publicly-facing face, and a large ego but has a crazy dream. So he will be dreaming incredibly hard and achieving world class or the greatest thing ever, which to some degree, I guess, is ego driven as well. But then there’s no ego in the room. So to me, that is an even higher level of sportsmen.

Robert: Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, you’re Canadian. So yeah, go Gretzky.

Guillaume: Okay. Awesome. So we’re coming on top of the hour. Anything else you’d like to cover before we conclude?

Robert: Oh, yeah, I just think this was awesome. You’re doing this to help people out, serving the community. We’re trying to figure out e-commerce. Thanks for having me on the show.

Guillaume: Well, thank you, Robert. If people want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way?

Robert: You can hit me up on LinkedIn. You can look up Robert Murray. I should be at the top of the list or if you want to email me directly is, [email protected] You can google our website or Google our company Intrigue Media. Yeah, if you want to get in touch as far as that, it’s Instagram Robert Murray, you can find me there.

Guillaume: Awesome. Well, thank you for being here today, Robert.

Robert: Thanks a lot.

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