Dave's Digital Marketing

Marketing As A Connective Tissue: Tying The Organization Together

Listen to ""Marketing As A Connective Tissue: Tying The Organization Together" with Dave Savoy". I've recently connected with WhiteboardGeeks on their latest Digital Marketing Podcast. Great conversation on the role of Marketing within an organization and the importance of brand building and growing value with your audience.


Welcome to the Digital Marketing Master Podcast, where we dig deep into the stories from the trenches of real life at digital marketing. I'm Sarah Morse from Whiteboard Geeks, and I'm here today with Dave Savoy. He is the Head of Marketing at Internet Brands. So, hi Dave. Thanks so much for joining us. How are

Dave Savoy (00:26):

You? Hi, Sarah. I'm doing well, thanks. Thanks for having me.


Absolutely. We're, we're excited to hear you know, what you have to say today. So if you want to, uh, just take a few moments, I'm gonna pass the floor over to you and, and, you know, introduce yourself for us and give some history and what internet brands is and does and kinda what your role means.

Dave Savoy (00:44):

Absolutely. So, uh, Dave Savoy, I lead marketing for the legal vertical at internet brands. Uh, a little bit of background on what internet brands is and what we do. We own several properties, businesses, services in a variety of, uh, industries, verticals. My area of focus is our legal industry vertical, and specifically with regard to the, the business to business aspects of, of the services we offer there. So that's where we're offering legal marketing services to attorneys so that they can grow the business of their practice. One of the biggest challenges attorneys, uh, small and mid-size firms have is that, uh, they're not business people by education. They're, they're lawyers, which is a tremendously challenging, uh, area of study. So what we do is we come in and we say, look, we can help you to focus on, uh, what you do best, which is, uh, serving clients, serving customers who have legal needs.

Dave Savoy (01:42):

Um, while we'll provide with you for you the, uh, the digital marketing services, the website services, reputation management, case management, discoverability kind of services, just, uh, across the board from end to end in terms of like the customer journey when they're su searching for an attorney who can help them with their need, we can do that for you. Uh, and so my job is to bring together all the services that we have in kind of a, a consultative marketing way, so that, uh, we're connecting with, uh, attorneys of various sizes, of various areas of practice in various geographies and so on, with a consultation, connecting them with a legal marketing expert that can then have that, uh, back and forth, figure out what their challenges are, what their plans are, what their aspirations are, uh, and then we can, uh, present to them the services they need that's gonna help them get to that next level of business growth.


That's awesome. And then, so I know you've mentioned kind of your audience being attorneys. Is that your primary target audience or are you guys trying to reach anyone else?

Dave Savoy (02:43):

So that's my primary audience. Um, internet brands also has a number of properties and other, uh, verticals. Health is, uh, our, our largest vertical where we're in that area, marketing to, uh, medical practitioners, uh, doctors and their, their practices. WebMD is the largest property that, uh, internet brand zones. So yeah, that's, that's on that side. Uh, but again, my focus is on legal, which is a huge area of, uh, of need for consumers and a huge area of opportunity for attorneys and for our business.


Absolutely. And so what is the biggest topic that if you could really help, you know, your audience understand that you feel would have a positive impact, um, on what you guys are doing at internet brands, or maybe what's most confusing for them to

Dave Savoy (03:26):

For the attorneys and for the firms that we're, uh, connecting with it, it's really like the how-tos, the best practices of managing a business and, and specifically, uh, growing your business. So as I, as I mentioned before, it's, uh, you know, they're, they're very focused, very, very much experts in like, uh, the law and the intricacies of case management and so on. Uh, and not so much on the business side of things. So a lot of what we're trying to do is education, marketing. We're so under the legal vertical. Martindale Avvo is the, the one stop shop, the, the, the amalgamation, the, the compilation, all of the, the best that we have across all of the properties and services that we own as internet brands that we're providing to attorneys. So we're working hard to set up Martindale Avvo as this, uh, purveyor of, of best practices, of the how-tos of growing your practice, of doing marketing, of converting leads into cases and providing that as, as like a, setting ourselves up as thought leaders in the space, providing that at no cost with, with really no strings attached to attorneys to help them learn and, and hopefully, you know, reach out to us for some deeper support.

Dave Savoy (04:41):

But that's kind of it, it's, it's, uh, the how to, how to grow your practice and all of the materials under that, which is really the, the biggest area of need for them. And then through that, that's how we're making that connection.


Absolutely. And so, you know, are you guys experiencing any challenges at all for 2022? Or are you trying to move any big rocks?

Dave Savoy (04:59):

Uh, several actually. Yeah. , let me see, to, to pick the biggest rock. Um, so it's sort of a, a factor or, or I guess a, an outcome of the way that we've grown as a business. So internet brands acquires companies and then takes those companies and then merges them into collectives where the sum is greater than the value of the individual parts. And so we have a number of different properties in the legal vertical. And my job, a big piece of it, and one of the biggest rocks is how do you bring the services the best of each of these, I'm gonna call 'em sub-brands or business units, uh, have to offer, and then put it together in terms of like, you know, the, the overarching thing. So a lot of that has to do with sort of the back end of things on the front end.

Dave Savoy (05:45):

We're, we're going through a rebrand. Yep. We're setting up a new, uh, value proposition for Martindale Avvo as, like I said, this one stop shop. But really the, the bigger, heavier, more challenging rocks are gonna be, you know, how do you actually operationalize? How do you, how do you, you know, fulfill a lot of the promises that we're, we're, we're making, right? And so that's, that's kind of it. We can do it, it's just a lot of manual work today mm-hmm. . And so we're, uh, cleaning up our Salesforce instance. We're, uh, aligning sales teams. We're, we're breaking down some of these walls internally that, uh, uh, is gonna just unlock a lot of efficiencies on both sides, cost efficiencies, marketing efficiencies, sales efficiencies, and so on. And, and that's really kind of, uh, the biggest challenge ahead of us right now.


Okay. So we'll come back to that. You know, I do wanna touch back on that, but I wanted to make a quick sponsor break and shout out to our sponsor, whiteboard Geeks. Do your PowerPoints make your eyeballs bleed and does no one understand your complicated message? Hand drum whiteboard videos will boost your engagement by 235%. So I encourage all of our listeners to come and check us out. The website is whiteboard geeks.com to get a price for your project. Whiteboard Geeks. Weird works. So Dave, um, you know, kinda going back to the challenges, you know, the big rocks that you're, you're moving right now, um, for 22. Have you guys implemented any new strategies? I know you, you had mentioned, you know, cleaning up Salesforce and just kinda getting everything cleaned up and working together. So is there anything else you guys are doing, and how's it working for you?

Dave Savoy (07:17):

Oh, for sure. So we are working hard on a, a, a site redesign, uh, a brand relaunch. We have some of those elements, uh, starting to get out into the wild. Um, some more big things coming towards the end of this month, beginning part of next month, uh, and, and really taking the rest of, uh, 2022 here to, um, put all these pieces in place. So some of that, some of that is just a customer facing, like, uh, you know, we're, we're saying, you know, Hey, look, you, you know, us as Nolo and Ngage and Ice and Captorra and Avvo and Martindale, but what you really need to know is Martindale Avvo. And, and we're starting to get these, uh, content pieces queued up and, and the brand relaunch, the PR and all that stuff that goes out starting to, to get that out on the backend.

Dave Savoy (08:02):

There have been a number of initiatives that have been in place for the past year. So it's, it's, it remains a big rock, but, you know, it's, it, it's something that we have been chipping away at, and we're starting to make some serious inroads to it. So we're, we're cleaning up, you know, the, our contacts, our data, uh, within, uh, Salesforce. So that's been ongoing, so definite shouts out to our, uh, Salesforce administrative team and the, the sales teams were kind of pulling people together. So while we're not sort of one team, one dream yet, we're, we're multiple teams, but you know, we're, we're , we're, we're, you know, building those connections so that there's a lot more interaction between our sales teams trying to get a lot more smooth, warm transfers. So if we have one sales team that's on the call with, with a prospect that, uh, let's just say they focus on, on, uh, something, ads and directories and placements of that nature, but what that client really needs is, say, intake services. You know, we're building those, those inroads where it's like seamless for someone to, you know, be able to take advantage of all the services across our, our, our business, our vertical, in a really easy way. Uh, so while we're not kind of there yet, we're, we're, we're making it work in the meantime. So there's definitely a lot of things going on.


Awesome. And so, you know, I love asking this question, uh, but, you know, and you have some incredible experience throughout your career. So what would you say your biggest aha moment is that you've experienced so far?

Dave Savoy (09:27):

Biggest aha. Moment. That's a, that's a tricky one. . Um, I, when I started my career, I, I started actually in, uh, market forecasting. I started as sort of a, a, a numbers geek. So, uh, and then evolved from there into some of the more, I don't know, uh, I guess usual suspects in terms of marketing, the brand, marketing, demand generation and, and so on. Um, so the biggest aha is just how, how fundamental, how important, having like a, a, a strong, I don't wanna quite say finance experience, but, uh, comfortability with, uh, metrics and, and, uh, um, how, how important that really is to, you know, future success. So I, I feel really fortunate that I was able to, to have that as, as some of my first and, uh, sort of foundational experiences. Mm-hmm. , because what it all comes back to is, you know, the, the results and, and it's not, uh, just, you know, sort of a feel good, uh, role, but really I, I see marketing as kind of like this connective tissue that ties together, um, all, all aspects of an organization and unifies that, codifies that and communicates that out into the market funnels, that communication back from the market into the business for, uh, iteration and improvement.

Dave Savoy (10:43):

And it's really the, the, the, the results, the tangible metrics, like how do you evaluate performance and how do you sort of look at the, uh, which numbers are you looking at? What are your, your core, uh, metrics or KPIs, uh, that's gonna tell you are you making a positive impact in various areas or not. So, um, so numbers being foundational, just integral learn, you know, learn your math, learn your statistics, uh, and then like seeing how, how integral that is to marketing and how integral marketing overall is to an organization. Um, yeah, holistically, I would say is my biggest Aha.


Okay. And then, so we do also have, you know, a number of new digital marketers that listen to the podcast as well as, you know, executives. But if you could offer your one best piece of advice to someone kind of coming fresh into this role or into this market, what advice would you want to give them?

Dave Savoy (11:34):

I'd say, uh, and this is sort of my own kind of mantra I have to remind myself to come back to, which is, don't overthink it, . I think it's, it's really easy for us to, to do that and to try to, to spin up really complicated like customer journeys and whatnot. And while the tools are out there to, to get that, get those things done, like in a, in automated kind of a way, the fundamentals of marketing really haven't changed since marketing became a thing, which is, you know, trying to identify, you know, value. Where is their value to be created on, you know, on all sides, you know, what can we as a business do for a consumer? Where do they have a need? Uh, and how do we provide them, you know, value? And how do we extract value from the same kind of equation?

Dave Savoy (12:20):

So, and then it's just about trying to figure out how do we introduce them to the, to that need, to the value proposition, to the business, to the sales. Uh, and then, you know, we, the, the, the don't overthink it part comes into like, don't over bake that, uh, that journey. Because really like being able to take a big step back and say, at the end of the day, you know, if there's value to be created, we just need to be able to be transmitting that message in a clean, clear, straightforward way, uh, and kind of get out of our own way in a lot of times. Like, uh, not, uh, putting a whole bunch of verbiage into a message if indeed it's kind of a, a straightforward thing mm-hmm. . But, um, just, just be there, be present, show the value, and, uh, yeah. Not trip over yourself trying to, you know, over break the communication. Absolutely.


I think that is great advice as well. And you know, with that said, you know, this will be the end of this podcast, which is episode six. So thank you to our listeners for, you know, being here today and, and hanging out with us. And then to you, Dave, thank you for coming on and joining us and kinda just sharing, you know, what you've learned.

Dave Savoy (13:29):

Yeah. Well, thank you, Sarah. It's been a pleasure.