Oct 28, 2020

Adapting to Change, with Jordon Meyer

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Jordon Meyer is the founder and CEO of Granular, a digital marketing agency and a Google Premier Partner. He’s been an expert PPC practitioner for over 15 years and has run digital marketing at multiple agencies, managed over $1M in PPC spend per week at a Fortune 100 company, and built some amazing SEM teams over the years. Today, he’s in the business of growing other businesses through expert PPC management at Granular.

From working with and getting pitched by dozens of agencies around the US while Jordon was in-house, he found that PPC services are no good if the people behind it aren’t passionate experts in the field. He founded Granular in 2014 to bring a laser-focused expert PPC solution to the market.

Jordon is in the business of growing businesses. He and his team at Granular have clients coast-to-coast that find their value too good to pass up. But they planted their flag in Milwaukee, and their Midwest work ethic shows in everything they do.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Jordon started in digital marketing and search engine optimization early in the life of the field, 15+ years ago. And how his career led to founding his agency, Granular
  • What impact the outbreak of the global pandemic has had on the world of digital marketing, and why companies are shifting budgets toward digital media
  • How the Granular team approaches high-value and B2B marketing, and why Jordon believes there are more similarities between B2B and B2C prospects and customers than there are differences
  • Why Jordon feels many businesses fall short by not spending enough time developing their paid media strategy and as a result, fail to accurately measure and decide what's working
  • Why being ready and willing to adapt to the ever-shifting digital landscape, algorithm updates and other changes is crucial
  • Some new advertising platforms worth trialing, and what programmatic advertising is best used for (and when not to use it)
  • Why advertising on Bing shouldn't be overlooked for B2B marketing, and why Google is the right starting point for advertising but shouldn't be the end of the road
  • How Jordon leans into his introverted personality as a leader, and how he uses “radical prioritization” to get things done

Additional resources:  

Show Transcription:

Intro: Welcome to A Brave New Podcast. The podcast all about how brave entrepreneurial companies are unlocking their business potential using inbound marketing. Here is your marketing expert and host, Polly Yakovich.

Polly Yakovich: Welcome back to A Brave New Podcast. I'm excited to introduce you to my guest today. Jordan Meyer is the CEO of Granular agency. They are focused on PPC and digital media, digital marketing support. We have a really good conversation about where organizations should be focusing their digital media, their paid media dollars, and what platforms they should be covering, and some hot tips on new platforms you might not have considered and some oldies, but goodies that you might've checked off your list. So let's get to our conversation. Jordan, so excited to have you on the podcast. Thanks for coming up.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me, Polly.

Polly Yakovich: Share your bio and talk a little bit about your career journey in Granular.

Jordon Meyer: Sure. Yeah, I went to school for a new program at the college. It was one of Wisconsin's State schools called Web and Digital Media Development.

Polly Yakovich: Brand new.

Jordon Meyer: It was the longest title ever. I was the first cohort. It was interesting to have a bunch of classes where they were like, "Well, I hope you get a job afterwards."

Polly Yakovich: How hilarious?

Jordon Meyer: But basically what it prepared me to do was to work online in the internet field. So I learned everything from web design to development of photography, to video editing, all that stuff, which really led me to a few paths. I started doing some web development right out of college for a travel company, quickly realized that was not going to be the best at that, which bothered me. I could get by but what I was really drawn to was more of the marketing side.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah, I had a business admin, degree as well. That gave me some more realistic goals of tried and true best business practices and understanding how marketing works and how that whole ecosystem drives the economy. That got me into SEO and paid digital at the time. So that was about 16 years ago now.

Polly Yakovich: That's crazy.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. So I started out early, really got lucky with some job hops works in-house at a early eCommerce company. So I really got to see how everything worked there from the advertising side, but also on the fulfillment side. The other ways that companies fulfill orders and margin and really understanding the business side of it, which led me into the agency space. I did a pretty good job there because I could talk with the business owners. They would appreciate that I appreciate what they're going through.

Jordon Meyer: It's not just end of the day, you're not just making what that final sales ticket is, there's a lot of costs involved and marketing is a big one. So, you got to be really efficient. Went to a couple other agencies and then lucky enough to get recruited up to Best Buy corporate, in Minneapolis and managed some of their biggest accounts. When you think of paid search, you think of an account, but when it's a big company, there's a bunch of accounts.

Jordon Meyer: It was me and four other people on the team. I was part of the global marketing team, which is about 50 people on the digital side. I got to experience some huge budgets, some huge sales thrown into the deep end. In 2012, things were not great with the economy, but lots of sales were going online. And I got to experience Black Friday, Cyber Monday and really blow it out of the water there.

Jordon Meyer: It was certainly a kind of a sinking ship at the time Best Buy is doing great now but when I was inside the belly of the beast, I was like, "Yeah, kind of going to look for other places to go." I was at a local event for paid search or actually just that all SEM. It was the first meeting of Minnesota search organization and met a guy there said they were looking for paid search help. So that got me into paid search for higher ad.

Jordon Meyer: I worked at a few colleges and universities up in the Twin Cities. While I was at my kind of second stint at a large for-profit up there, my email kept blowing up with people looking for more advice and more job opportunities. Finally, after hopping jobs about every year, I said, "Maybe I should stop doing this to my employers. I've got enough people knocking on the door maybe I should hang my own shingle and really start building Granular more." Because I already developed the brand. I had the website-

Polly Yakovich: Wow.

Jordon Meyer: ... that's how I was getting a lot of attention outside of my day job. Yeah, I guess a very long story short. 2014, I talked to my CMO and kind of told him my plans and he said, "Well, we'll take you as long as you can get, as long as we can have you-

Polly Yakovich: That's amazing.

Jordon Meyer: ... I'll sell sales and you move back to Milwaukee then we can call it quits." So I had a nice runway ramping up from a personal brand standpoint and a nice runway from my corporate job into doing this solo. So I think looking back hindsight, there's probably some crazy decisions I made. But it really all worked out along the way. There were no nights of wondering what I'm going to eat or anything like that. It was a really comfortable transition.

Polly Yakovich: That's great.

Jordon Meyer: So I feel really lucky. Yeah.

Polly Yakovich: Six years and 20 employees, is that what you're saying?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. Yeah. We're growing pretty fast, but it's definitely at a comfortable rate. Yeah, I mean, my passion my whole career has been paid search. That's another thing I got to see on the inside of working for bigger brands was evaluate a bunch of other agencies and something that always fell short it was just a passion and a focus on paid search. That's really one of the biggest things I care about and that's more of a lifestyle than a job for me.

Polly Yakovich: Why do you think that is that people don't spend as much time and expertise on paid search?

Jordon Meyer: I don't know. I think it comes down to the owner's background and the management background. People need full serviced agencies. It's certainly a thing that's needed. I think as a business person, if you own or operate an agency, it's really hard to just focus on one thing. It's one source of revenue. But with me, I care less about all those other things. I just put all my eggs in one basket and that's all we do at Granulars, paid digital marketing, and then we partnered with other agencies to fulfill the rest of our client's needs.

Polly Yakovich: I mean, we're crazily in eight months of pandemic world. Talk to me about what you've seen in the world of digital media over the last eight months. What are some of the shifts and what do you think is going to stay?

Jordon Meyer: Yes, I'd say within the first month or two, we got some really crazy requests, some RFPs that seemed really out of place for any RFP we've been invited to before. I think companies were really scrambling just to replace trade shows, replace other-

Polly Yakovich: Events. Yeah.

Jordon Meyer: ... out of home things. Yeah. So we were getting called up for a lot of that. They weren't all good fits. We didn't win a lot of them at that time, which is great because we didn't belong there. So that's what I saw initially. I think as time has gone on, companies definitely seem to lean more heavily on their agency partners though, especially the ones that already have the relationships.

Jordon Meyer: So we've gotten a lot more business from our current and past clients which has been great and they've gotten more appetite to experiment in different channels, try out connect to TV and over the top video trying to really reach people at home. So it's definitely been different that way.

Polly Yakovich: Have you seen people shifting budgets away from other things into more digital media?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. One of our biggest clients took most of their TV budget out of play for another agency that they were using to buy that and gave us a slice of it for a connected TV which they were really happy with because you get different metrics and you get really segmented targeting. We saw that we saw... Unfortunately some clients did have layoffs and then fortunate for us, which is a weird feeling they leaned on us more heavily to kind of augment their team more than they normally would. So that's another kind of interesting thing we've lived through recently.

Polly Yakovich: I'm curious too, if you've seen this at all, but for people who were sort of behind with their digital media and leaning more heavily on other kinds of activities, whether they go back to them or not, have you seen people sort of scrambling to get up to date?

Jordon Meyer: Oh yeah. Yeah. Lots of people just try to launch without having a full strategy in place or having measurements in place. It's been pretty hectic for some folks that are really trying to... lots of those trade show guys, just trying to replace their audience, trying to get in front of that audience that they know they reach on a consistent basis every other year.

Jordon Meyer: Now they're just trying to jump into digital first. I don't know, I feel good when they come to me because we're not going to sugar coat anything. We're going to be very transparent with them. So I feel like they're trying their best and we're trying our best to help them.

Polly Yakovich: How would you say that your approach has evolved over the course of the last few months? What are you guys doing differently or seeing?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. We're all working from home, so that's certainly different. Just the culture things are definitely changing. We're sending out a lot more things to the team and making sure that we have other meetings just to chat versus for business updates. As far as business development things like that, it hasn't changed a ton for us.

Jordon Meyer: We've been a really kind of digital remote company the whole time, even though we have almost 20 people in the office at times we'd still close deals without ever meeting some clients. We always leaned heavily on Zoom and phone calls and emails to win business the whole way through from introduction to shaking a digital hand. Luckily for us, it hasn't changed too much, really.

Polly Yakovich: What have you seen in the platforms? Have you seen things become harder, more competitive?

Jordon Meyer: I think the interesting thing is, and it's an election year-

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. That's always a challenge.

Jordon Meyer: ... yeah, that typically spikes cost per click in CPM, but I think magically because so many people are at home, there's actually more inventory. So more people are doing searches, more people are watching more video, consuming more content and as consumption goes up, inventory for ads goes up. So we haven't seen a huge increase really.

Polly Yakovich: So it's balanced out in that way?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah, it's kind of balanced out. It's really interesting. Yeah.

Polly Yakovich: Most of the audience for us in this podcast is really dealing with B2B marketing, particularly of sort of large scale kind of sales, high value sales. Can you give us sort of a primer on how you think about a strategy and how you approach the differences between a direct to customer digital marketing play versus a B2B? What kind of things do you think about?

Jordon Meyer: Sure. I'll probably start out-

Polly Yakovich: Question for the ages.

Jordon Meyer: ... I know. I'll probably start out by ticking your audience off.

Polly Yakovich: Tell us every secret.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. So my big thing that I always preach is that there are more similarities than there are differences [crosstalk 00:13:21] between B2B and D2C or B2C. At the end of the day, whether they're buying a bag of popcorn or a $2 million piece of machinery, you're still having that same person, and so their payment info and close that deal. I always like to think of the person at the very end.

Jordon Meyer: They're fulfilling a need somehow and we need to get in front of them to educate them on the product or the service in a similar fashion. I mean, they're on Facebook, they're on LinkedIn, they're on Quora and Reddit doing research for personal and business reasons. I think it's totally valid to get in front of them on those same platforms, even if it doesn't seem very businesslike are very B2B heavy.

Jordon Meyer: We've seen a lot of good success with our B2B clients where we'll hit ads to the corners of the internet. I mentioned Quora and Reddit. There's some serious information out there and these people are doing research on products and services in those locations and you can get really cheap ad inventory and make sure you're hitting them in the right spot.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah, I would say that we treat them very similarly. I think the biggest difference comes down to measurement. Direct to consumers, a lot easier. Fewer touch points-

Polly Yakovich: So nice to work on that stuff.

Jordon Meyer: It's beautiful. Yeah.

Polly Yakovich: So rewarding to see the impact of your efforts are right away.

Jordon Meyer: It really is. Yeah. They add something to the cart and it's a done deal. Yeah, with B2B or even in the higher ad space, which we do a lot of work in, those are long sales cycles. Could be under a year if you're lucky, but there's certainly a lot of complex sales that lasts over a year in the pipeline. So, it's all about measurement.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. How do you see your clients? I think one of the markers of those high value sales is like, "That is a really long sales cycle." But also sometimes it's like a lot of online help and information and relationship building and then the sale moves offline. Right?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah.

Polly Yakovich: What are you some of your recommendations for how digital media can support those kinds of sales?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. That's a big place where other agencies come into play like your own, where you can create really compelling content, educational content, that include little nudges and little CTAs that push that person to the next sales stage. And I think that's really beautiful marketing. What we do to help that scenario is we certainly don't take that lead and run with it, but we try to actively stay in front of them with different messaging.

Polly Yakovich: Just supporting the brand message and making sure that they're still aware.

Jordon Meyer: Exactly.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. That's great.

Jordon Meyer: Yup, yup. Keep the brand in front of them. We can change the messaging based on time since they've been to the site or treat them differently. If they're on different landing pages, consuming different content we can serve them different types of ads. That's how we support the offer but there's certainly a lot of work that goes into creating that content and really nurturing that sale.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. This is very Granular. Oh, Hey, I didn't even mean to support your company name.

Jordon Meyer: We made it a few minutes without saying Granular.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. I'm curious about this a lot. This is always very sensitive depending on what your brand is, but you see a lot of the D2C ads are just more interesting and creative and personal, they're more engaging. And then I think brands, especially with the B2B sale and high value products get kind of stuck being very stoic. Have you seen any creative approaches that you think are more reasonable when we talk about the end consumer being the same person across both kinds of sales? How do you push the envelope on that?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah, that's a great question. Man, I have not seen an amazing B2B ad set up before that's as engaging as a D2C. I will say that I think services are certainly keeping it interesting. I've seen a lot of great creative in the professional services space, which I would say is B2B. So that's where I've seen creative really shine even for things like accountants and lawyers, you can keep it interesting. But yeah, I'm trying to think of any machinery things that we've dealt with while we do get work.

Polly Yakovich: Do you think there's opportunity there or do you think it's just more about consistency for those B2B?

Jordon Meyer: I think it's consistency. I think it's staying in front of people and really building that brand presence. We have a client that makes bearings for machinery. They're huge, they're huge. They're global company and I'm just trying to think of anything exciting that we've recently done for them.

Jordon Meyer: It's all about the audience. It's what they find exciting and if you're solving their problem, that's going to be exciting to them. And if it's this huge piece of machinery or really boring B2B service, but you get the ad in front of them, they're going to love it.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Especially if that's what they need right. In that moment.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah.

Polly Yakovich: Where do you see businesses not spending enough of their time and energy in digital marketing? How is the balance and what should it be for what people are prioritizing? I know it's a broad question, but I'm sure you see it a lot.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. It's funny enough because I think the biggest gap is actually at the front and at the back. I don't think there's enough strategy and planning that goes into place before people try to place ads and run with it. And then I don't think there's enough measurement on the backend. So I think it's interesting that that's really where I see people fail the most is to set up a proper strategy and game plan and think of all the scenarios that could come into play and all the content that they're going to need and-

Polly Yakovich: In their buy or journey.

Jordon Meyer: ... Yeah, exactly, the personas, all that good stuff. People really just skim over that. And then if someone happens to execute the front half, and now they're wondering if it worked, we see so many companies big and small, just fail at measuring what the success was supposed to be. And then what to do afterwards. The journey doesn't stop. It's not A to B, it's A to B to C back to A. So many people I feel like just kind of forget about that.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Yeah. And then they say, "I'm spending all this money on media and it doesn't do anything for me." Yeah.

Jordon Meyer: Exactly.

Polly Yakovich: I'm sure. Never heard that before.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. A few times.

Polly Yakovich: So, as you're talking to people who are maybe in-house or at an agency, what skills do you think people really need to focus on to be successful in digital media today? Is it that strategy piece?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. I think strategy is certainly a subset of what the biggest, most important skill is communication. I think as cringe-worthy as that sounds to people that love to sit behind a spreadsheet all day and not talk to people. I think communication is so hugely important and that's certainly a strategy documents and explaining to people why you're doing what you're doing. But it's also kind of communication through other mediums.

Jordon Meyer: It's not just talking, it's showing it through data visualization and analytics and reporting and things that help people that don't have your expertise understand why you're doing what you're doing. That's the biggest gap that I see even new or seasoned marketing vets have. I would say in-house and agency side. They might be super good at what they're doing, but they can't communicate why they're doing it and they can't communicate the results on the backend without proper data visualization skills.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Yeah. How do you all keep up with constant changes to algorithms and platforms and new developments? Do you have a system for that? Do you fear it? Is it just part of life?

Jordon Meyer: It's so, so much part of life now. Doing this for 15 or 16 years, everything has changed. And if you don't adapt to that, I don't think you can survive in the industry or probably any industry really. You have to adapt to the change and you have to have your arms open to it really, because that's going to make you accept it quicker. That's going to make you take advantage of it faster and really get the results that people need from you.

Jordon Meyer: So, how we keep up with it, I think it gets easier and easier actually, as we get more people on the team, because there's so many sources out there of breaking news and hunches and people spotting patterns and search results and seeing ads and alphas and betas that Google and Bing are trying out. We all kind of inform each other. So in the company, Slack, everyone just breaks the news as fast as possible.

Jordon Meyer: I would say out of our agency, we use Twitter quite a bit. PPC chat is a hashtag that we all follow. If anyone sees something out in the world, they definitely go there first and brag about it, that they saw something change in the ad space. We're definitely heavy on social media just to get that info as fast as possible, because it's important to be an early adopter on that.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Now I'm sure you and I are biased, but what to you is the benefit of having digital media in-house as opposed to using an agency?

Jordon Meyer: Sure. Another age old question, right?

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Well, and you spoke about it earlier in this conversation and we've sort of been seeing these trends as well. When the economy contracts a bit, in-house teams tend to sort of shrink down a little bit and people rely on agencies more, I'm curious.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. It's interesting to see that go back and forth too. As the economy changes so does the need and desire to outsource versus hiring an expensive in-house team. There's pros and cons to everything. Obviously the benefit of the agency is to have a culmination of a lot of talent that are working towards multiple problems for multiple clients.

Jordon Meyer: Like my B2B versus D2C comments, I think we see a lot of things that can be applied to other clients, and it's not necessarily copying and pasting, but it's this experience, this broad range of experience that agency people get by working on so many different brands and so many different problems and solving those that we can be really fast and nimble and smart about solving problems. I'd say the in-house side is, people can go really deep. They can work on the same problem for months or years and come to a conclusion on a solution that it wouldn't make sense to hire an agency to do.

Jordon Meyer: So, it's really interesting how they work together. I think there's plenty of space for both. And I love working with a really smart in-house team that leverages us at what we're best at, because it's going to be hard to hire and retain some of the people that love working for me, for example. Right?

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Yeah. I'm really curious about this for the digital space. Because I think I totally agree with you that there's good business reasons for both in-house teams and agencies. I do feel with some roles though, when you go in-house, you kind of start the clock on losing your right?

Jordon Meyer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Polly Yakovich: Because you are just doing one thing all the time. Maybe you're the only designer and you don't have other designers pushing you to do a better job, stuff like that.

Jordon Meyer: Right.

Polly Yakovich: Do you find that that's true with the digital roles as well?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah, 100%. Yeah. I mean, with the design, try getting creative with 100 year old brand standard guidelines. What are you supposed to do with that? On the digital side, yeah. Like what I just mentioned with how we stay ahead of content, and changes, to the algorithms and things like that, we're constantly pushing each other in the agency. We're super competitive with who's best at what.

Jordon Meyer: You certainly lose that or don't ever have it when you're the solo paid such person or even if there's two people on the team. It's really hard to get better unless you're just super self motivated. There's plenty of people that are. I've met just amazing in-house talent. But I've also seen some in-house talent that is definitely stale and that's on the digital side. I've seen across the board too of things I'm not a expert at like design or strategy. You can tell right?

Polly Yakovich: Yeah.

Jordon Meyer: People get stale.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Well, and you don't know what you don't know when you're working across things, you can see things happening in other places and bring it back exactly.

Jordon Meyer: Exactly.

Polly Yakovich: What are some common mistakes that you see your clients making perhaps when they come to you and they're making requests or you're shaking your head about what they want to do. Are there some things that you kind of see people doing repeatedly that you wonder for once and I'll be like, "Stop doing that. It does not work."

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. I think I've definitely seen in the last, let's say two... Start the clock, two years ago people really jumped at programmatic and they didn't really understand it.

Polly Yakovich: "God, I want that to work so much."

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. Yeah. And it's good. I mean, we do some, it's good if you put the time and energy and effort to it.

Polly Yakovich: So much traffic. No leave.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. Yeah. So that's the reputation it already has because you get these media companies out there, they're losing ad revenue from lower circulation. And now they're trying to bolt on programmatic and they were just selling that like gangbusters. And I think so many people got burned on it without even understanding. I think people felt stupid to ask. Like, "What exactly is this? How does it work?" They were just cutting blank checks. So that's a big pet peeve of mine. I think-

Polly Yakovich: Who do you see programmatic working for? What's its best highest purpose?

Jordon Meyer: ... It can work for everybody really. It's great and reach. If you want to share reach, you can do that, no problem. But it's also really good at slicing very defined segments of people on the internet. With programmatic, you can actually get a lot of audience segments that Google, Facebook and some of the other big guys are starting to get away from because of privacy concerns and lawsuits. You still have these data aggregators that are selling all that information and now you can buy it programmatically.

Jordon Meyer: So, you don't have to spend $100,000 a month on a crazy connected TV buy. You could spend a thousand dollars and target people who make $300,000 or more, live in a certain suburb, drive a certain brand of car, but you can get very targeted. And that's where it works. I think the initial buys were just that. They were buys of impressions which I was not a fan of. That's a huge common thing that has driven me crazy for a couple of years now.

Jordon Meyer: And then really just the lack of measurement of that with everything. We still see a lot of big companies not measuring things properly at all. They're not pulling it into their CRM. They're not pulling it into their sales cycle at all. They're just measuring traffic, which is crazy.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. So everyone I think in the B2B space just wants to be on LinkedIn all the time, because they can get really good access to a good target audience there but so expensive.

Jordon Meyer: It is. Yeah. It's expensive. That has not changed. I think it's gotten better because of their ad units. Video's grate, gets a lot of engagement but they have a lead ad form which automatically fills out the user's information, submits a form without ever leaving LinkedIn. That we've actually seen some great results for. It's still expensive, but you're finally getting results from LinkedIn which was pretty difficult to do if you were just using their old school, like text ads, that link to a landing page, for example.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Is Facebook just still working for everything? Have you seen any backlash from people not wanting to place on Facebook?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. It's still working across the board. B2B-

Polly Yakovich: It's so affordable.

Jordon Meyer: ... B2C. It's really affordable. All the ad units are, they come out with so many ad types that you can really be creative. You can really spend a lot of time honing that craft alone. The targeting is still really good.

Jordon Meyer: I mean, they're definitely making you bundle things a little more, age, gender, things like that where you can't or you shouldn't try to segment those as much as we used to be able to. But I think their algorithms are still tweaking the system on the backend. That is good for the advertiser.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah, Absolutely.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah.

Polly Yakovich: Interesting. What other hot tips do you have? I liked the Quora and Reddit. That's a good suggestion. Are you guys doing much on Bing?

Jordon Meyer: Oh, we love Bing. Yes.

Polly Yakovich: It's great. Everyone always laughs when you say it in a meeting.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. I love Bing. We try to get every client on Bing because not every-

Polly Yakovich: Highly educated audience.

Jordon Meyer: ... Yeah. Yeah. More affluence. Typically a little, slightly a bit-

Polly Yakovich: Your mom and dad who didn't know to change their search.

Jordon Meyer: ... Exactly. They're using internet Explorer or whatever it's called now. That's their search default. Look, we drive tons of business for our clients through that. That's another thing that always makes us drop our jaws is we take over a client and they're only on Google. [crosstalk 00:33:44]

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. So underutilized.

Jordon Meyer: And it's like, "You guys have been ignoring 20% of your audience potentially." And actually they have some really cool LinkedIn targeting through Bing.

Polly Yakovich: Interesting.

Jordon Meyer: I could choose, Microsoft would be a bad one because so many people work there.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Especially in Seattle.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. Yeah. I could pick a medium sized business that shows up within LinkedIn's targeting and only show ads to them when they search certain things on Bing. It's actually pretty cool. And we use that a lot for B2B as well.

Polly Yakovich: That's great. That was a great tip. Any more hot tips?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. I think Google, if people aren't perfecting that and starting there. They're definitely missing out, it's so crowded, but it's also crowded for a reason. Something like 80% of consumers and business users start there to answer a problem and that problem can be a product or service. Right?

Polly Yakovich: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jordon Meyer: I think you always have to start there. But then on the opposite, I love to just try to find the small spot that just opened up advertising like Quora. We were one of the first agencies to use that. Reddit, other kind of Q&A sites I think. You can really get creative and have tiny budgets.

Jordon Meyer: Ways for example, the navigation app. You can run ads on that for $50 a month. These are all super affordable and it might be all enough where your competitors or your client's competitors aren't even thinking about running ads there. So you can be the only one you can. You can kind of own it.

Polly Yakovich: That's great. From a leadership perspective, how do you keep informed? How do you bring information to your team? How do you collect that and distribute that amongst your agency? How do you guys stay fresh and in the know? I mean, you talked about Slack and other things like that, is it just a culture of constantly learning and sharing?

Jordon Meyer: It really is. I'd to think it starts with me, but it doesn't. I try to hire really smart, talented, informed people and I think it comes down to the competitive thing of, I don't know about you. I grew up with a bunch of siblings. I have six siblings and-

Polly Yakovich: Oh, my gosh. I don't have that many.

Jordon Meyer: ... everything's always a race, physical or knowledge-based. If you're the first to find something out, you win. And I think we have kind of a culture that at Granular. It's definitely not a bro culture of football style, high-fives but it's like, "Hey, I found this crazy thing that Google changed. Did you guys see that too?" So that keeps us really informed on the platforms and on the tools that we use as far as leadership and things like that.

Jordon Meyer: I mean, part of what I do is talk to people you. You're a smart business owner, another agency on the other side of the U.S. I try to talk to as many people like you as I can and just informed from other business leaders. Read the normal business publications, but that only goes so far. I think it's really good just to have Zoom chats and phone conversations and texts with other business owners, because they're all feeling and dealing with the same problems and coming up with smart solutions.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. So, you talk about this openly, being an introverted sort of more quiet approach. You enjoy meeting clients over digital means and not in person. How have you really either adapted your leadership style or learned into lead as CEO, as an introvert? I'm sure it brings you lots of benefits that us extroverts can't even imagine as well.

Jordon Meyer: I think it does. Because, look, this is the most I've talked all week.

Polly Yakovich: I love it.

Jordon Meyer: And that's how every interview goes. I think for some reason or another it's in my head that I have a limited number of words per week-

Polly Yakovich: Oh, great.

Jordon Meyer: ... and I use them sparingly.

Polly Yakovich: Everyone in my life is like, "Please. Please believe that you have a limited number of words."

Jordon Meyer: You know, I lean into it. I definitely push myself to meet with people and go to events when those things happen in the world and it's super uncomfortable, but I know it's necessary as a business leader. Getting up in front of my team and doing the same thing, they know I'm not super comfortable. They know I'm not a natural at speaking in front of them and leading.

Jordon Meyer: And, I think that alone is enough of a lesson and enough for an example to them to show them that... Look, most of us are built from kind of a similar cloth. Lots of people to hide behind their computer screens. I guess it just comes down to relating with my team a lot. I've lived this. I've been a paid search manager. I've been in those situations where I'd much rather send an email than pick up the phone.

Jordon Meyer: And, now on the other end of it, I see the value of picking up the phone and I can really preach that to my team. And they know that I don't love doing it either. But I can talk about that experience and relate to them where I know for a fact, because I've worked for other people at other agencies, other agencies the owners don't always get that. I mean, I was pushed very hard by some very extroverted, very [inaudible 00:39:56] big leadership personalities that was very uncomfortable for me.

Jordon Meyer: And I know firsthand or secondhand that some of my teammates went through the same thing. Because I know they're old agency owners. Right?

Polly Yakovich: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jordon Meyer: It's actually a huge benefit for me being in this field. I think if I'm in a full service agency space, there's probably a lot of departments, they're not going to respect me. They're not going to relate to me because there's a PR arm and there's a design arm. And there's other professions within that. But within my little agency of paid search people, I think the propensity that people are introverted, I think is high.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. I always talk with my team, we may have different styles and that's okay. So don't judge the style. The style is the expression of the personality, but the content and what you're accomplishing is really what matters the most. I'm not going to coach you on style because you have to do what works for you and what works for me isn't going to work for you, particularly if it's not authentic like you're talking about.

Jordon Meyer: 100%. Yeah. You can tell if someone's faking it to make it.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. And then also we do that too.

Jordon Meyer: Oh, yeah. You have to do that sometimes.

Polly Yakovich: What things could you not live without in your day? What things do you read or do or tools that you use? I'm always so interested in how people stay on track and efficient with so many things pulling at you attention.

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. Let's see, first is my coffee maker. But I'd say just my small support system of my wife and our dogs. As crazy as that is, but there's just a lot of joy and a lot of comfort and a lot of support that comes there. So I think that's really important as to nail down your personal side early and fast and be sure about that because that makes everything else a lot easier. It's a lot easier to run a business and deal with intense problems and things that are out of your control, like a pandemic when you've got a safety net personally behind you.

Jordon Meyer: I think those are the big things. As far as tools, I'm a big note person I used to have the Moleskine, write really small because they're expensive, but I've migrated towards digital finally. I'm a big fan of Google Keep, it's just an easy note taking spot that follows me around on whatever device I am on. That's my to do list and that's where I keep a lot of my important notes.

Polly Yakovich: Do you carve time out of your day to read or watch things or educate yourself. How do you make time for that?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. I mean, I'm probably 12 tote bags into NPR. I listened to a lot [crosstalk 00:43:08] of PR and read it. I'm a news junkie, even though it's a pretty depressing these days.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. This is really bad time [inaudible 00:43:18] shocking.

Jordon Meyer: It's hard. Yeah. There's much of industry publications that I like to read to all the big advertising magazines out there and websites. Some specific ones for paid search like Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah, that's great.

Jordon Meyer: Can read notes over a decade. I'm more of an information person than, stupid as it sounds, literature person. I'll much rather read instruction manual than a novel

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Opposite for me, but I wish I was like you.

Jordon Meyer: That's great. And I wish like you.

Polly Yakovich: It would be more beneficial. This has been so helpful. Thank you so much for chatting. I ask this last question of everyone. And I love it. I stole it have from a research friend of mine, but what would you say is your super power? What makes you uniquely gifted that other people don't have?

Jordon Meyer: I think my answer is possibly conflicting, as negative as the coverage is. I'm great at multitasking. I've tried the linear path and I am hands down more successful, multitasking. I always have a couple things going at once. Part of that probably stems from things not loading fast enough on the internet. So while I'm making some changes in AdWords, I'll make some edits and an email or whatever.

Jordon Meyer: So, I think I'm good at that, but I'm also really good at kind of radical prioritization and I've stolen that from a few startups. Facebook in particular has that's one of their number one mantras is radical prioritization. I can just really focus in on that. So, while I am multitasking on stuff, I'm usually multitasking, unlike two of the 20 things that I need to do. So, it's really keeping my eye on what needs to be done and what's most important to get done.

Polly Yakovich: What's the core principle of radical prioritization? How do you that?

Jordon Meyer: So the radical part is just saying no to other stuff.

Polly Yakovich: Okay.

Jordon Meyer: Because that's not what a lot of people do. So I think that's the hard part, is to say, "This thing can wait because I have to do this thing, which is more important." You have to have the reasoning behind why it's more important. So you have to understand how things fall in place in the day or in the week or in the month.

Polly Yakovich: Do you make a hot list or is it just in your mind?

Jordon Meyer: I'd say a little of both. I definitely lean on my to do list. And then I reorganize that. I would say that's probably more important than in my mind because when I get in my mind and I'm multitasking [crosstalk 00:46:16]

Polly Yakovich: There's a lot of scary stuff going in there.

Jordon Meyer: There's other stuff that can pop in so I always refer back to my initial to do list.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. That's great. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Any last words of wisdom?

Jordon Meyer: No.

Polly Yakovich: Where can people follow you, hear from you more?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah. If you spell my name right, I am everywhere.

Polly Yakovich: Which is hard.

Jordon Meyer: I know it's-

Polly Yakovich: We'll link in the show notes.

Jordon Meyer: ... Okay. So just go to the website, I guess, granularmarketing.com. I'm on Twitter and Instagram and everywhere, but definitely less active. Producing content on Twitter than I used to be. This is Jordan Meyer is my handle. But I'm definitely there to consume content more.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you so much.

Jordon Meyer: Well, thanks so much for having me. It's been great. I'm glad our Zoom stayed functioning the whole time.

Polly Yakovich: Stable?

Jordon Meyer: Yeah.

Polly Yakovich: Thanks Jordan.

Jordon Meyer: Cool. Thanks, Polly.

Outro: Thanks for listening to this episode of A Brave New Podcast. Go to abravenew.com for more resources and advice. If you enjoyed this episode, show us some love by subscribing, rating and reviewing A Brave New Podcast, wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Polly Yakovich

Polly Yakovich



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