Interview with Scott Harward – Ads, Automation, & The End of 3rd Party Cookies – Episode #10

“It doesn’t matter how much you know—it matters whether you know more and whether you’re willing to help.”

Scott is a data-driven marketer that focuses on profit rather than impressions. He specializes in digital marketing, analytics, and automation. With over ten years of experience in the digital marketing industry, Scott has worked heavily in Google Ads and Facebook Ads, along with several other platforms. He cares deeply about helping people learn and grow to become successful.

Full Episode Transcript:

Kenny Soto  0:01 

Hello everyone and welcome to Kenny Soto’s Digital Marketing podcast. We have a special guest today. We are now on episode 10 of the podcast. I’m very excited that we have growing listeners. We now have people from India and the UK. And we also have two new listeners from Italy. So I’m really excited about that. Today’s guest is Scott Howard. Scott is a data-driven marketer that focuses on profit rather than impressions. He specializes in digital marketing, analytics, and automation. With over 10 years of experience in the digital marketing industry. Scott has worked heavily in Google ads and Facebook advertising, along with several other platforms. He cares deeply about helping people learn and grow to become successful. Welcome to the podcast, Scott.

 

Scott Howard  0:55 

Thanks for having me.

 

Kenny Soto  0:56 

All right, Scott. So just for background information, we have created this podcast, Kenny Soto is a digital marketing podcast to help small business owners, general entrepreneurs, and the amateur Digital Marketer get more information on digital marketing, the industry updates on 2020, etc. And my first question for you just to give the audience more background information is how did you become a digital marketer?

 

Scott Howard  1:30 

Well, I first started in SEO. So when I was in high school, I was applying for an internship program at an SEO company called orange soda. They’re a local company based here in Utah in the United States. And I was really excited to at least get my foot in the door. Well, I had a mentor of mine helped me with my resume. 

And I didn’t know fully what he did at that time. And he helped me for like an hour to put together my resume. And he asked me, So what company are you applying for? And I told him orange soda. Well, to my surprise, he was actually quite upset at that answer. He He paused and had a surprise look on his face. And he turned to me and said, Scott, did you know that they’re my competitor? And so I was quite surprised that the answer, I didn’t know that they were his competitor. 

And I turned in that resume for the internship there. Several days later, my mentor came back to me said, Scott, I have a crazy idea. Why don’t you come work for me? And so I went and started working for him. And I actually got a really cool position at this SEO company, where I was working with large client. And I was the main person coming up with the strategy behind the SEO processes of the company. And then from there, I worked my way into PPC using Google ads and doing affiliate programs. And I just kept on expanding until I worked my way up to marketing director.

 

Kenny Soto  3:08 

Nice. That’s great. And for those who aren’t aware, what is SEO?

 

Scott Howard  3:16 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s its marketing for search engines. So you try to rank organically in Google, or Yandex, or whatever the local search engine is around you.

 

Kenny Soto  3:30 

And if someone wanted to get a general direction or recommendation on how to get started, what would you say is the best way to start learning SEO get your your toes wet, so to speak.

 

Scott Howard  3:46 

Nowadays, SEO is a little bit more complicated than it was when I first started. The first place I would start is just going to moz.com. They tend to be the leaders in providing content and learning SEO and what’s going on with the industry. It’s kind of one of those things where you just have to just learn it layer by layer, just grab onto what pieces you can until you fully understand the overall strategies.

 

Kenny Soto  4:15 

Got it. And just for more context, besides SEO and PPC, what other skills slash a domains of digital marketing Have you worked in in the past?

 

Scott Howard  4:30 

So I’ve specialized in analytics and marketing automation.

 

Kenny Soto  4:37 

And what does that mean?

 

Scott Howard  4:40 

So analytics marketing analytics is the process of understanding the numbers behind all of your marketing strategies. A lot of people are familiar with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information that you can use to understand what’s going on on your website. And, and what’s going on with your marketing campaigns. But you have to take time to understand what all that information means. 

It’s you can you can dive into a lot of data, or you can keep it just simple. In terms of marketing analytics, I’ve went beyond that. And I’ve specialized in understanding, what is the impact of the marketing for every type of marketing campaign? What is the impression the click-through rates and how that impacts the bottom line of revenue and profit?

 

Kenny Soto  5:33 

And when it comes to your experience, and analytics, is Google Analytics, the only tool that you interact with? Are there any other platforms that are important for your reporting for helping your clients?

 

Scott Howard  5:46 

Google Analytics is probably the best starting point. It’s the primary one that I use until you’re ready to go for more enterprise tools. There are other tools that aren’t Google Analytics. The primary one that is out there is Adobe’s analytics program. But that costs a lot of money. So the best free analytics is by far Google.

 

Kenny Soto  6:11 

 In what situation? Would you Sorry to interrupt, but in what situation would you find a need for using Adobe?

 

Scott Howard  6:21 

Adobe can provide additional integrations that Google Analytics can’t. Where if you if you have a team of developers, you could really start to build in some cool business intelligence tools that integrate with your company’s procedures and spread. And then you can use your own custom platforms.

 

Kenny Soto  6:45 

Got it. And I did a little research before our podcast interview. And I saw that you have some experience specifically with E-commerce advertising as well, is that correct?

 

Scott Howard  6:58 

Correct.

 

Kenny Soto  6:59 

What can you provide us in terms of key skills, things that we need to know things that are one to two year of experience, amateur and digital marketing should know when it comes to diving into E-commerce, because that has definitely become a buzzword now that tools like Shopify and other e-commerce platforms have been growing since COVID, 19, and 2020 in general. So what would you say is the general overview of skills that someone would need if they’re interested in E-commerce and wants to take it seriously.

 

Scott Howard  7:38 

The thing they love about e-commerce is the instant feedback and the concrete goals. With e-commerce, you have a product where you have a specified price. That gives you a very good goal as a marketer to understand where your limits are. 

So let’s say you have a product that’s worth $100, that you can sell on your website, you then have a concrete goal based on the margin, let’s say the margin your target margin is 40%. So then your goal as a marketer is to sell that product for 40, or for $60. So you don’t want to spend more than $60 each time that you sell that product. One of the key skills to understand of how to market those products, is first, make sure that you know how to work with conversion. 

Conversion pixels, you don’t need to know the details, but you need to know that the conversion pixel is set up properly on your website. The second key skill, I would say is PPC advertising or paid per pay per click advertising. 

So that’s Google ads, that’s Facebook, anything where it’s primarily paid focused as where you can start, it’s a very quick way to get things going. And because you have that direct goal, you know what your target is, it makes it a lot easier to get spending in Google ads and Facebook ads, because you know what your target is, and you can adjust your bids accordingly.

 

Kenny Soto  9:16 

Now, with that being said, and I would it this is a two-fold, two-part question. So the first part is, let’s say, I, I’m all on board, I want to start my first PPC campaign, either on Facebook or Google. I’ve heard this question a lot myself, and I definitely want to know your response to it. The question is, what would be the best budget a minimum spend for one month of testing? And then the second part is, if you think if you think there’s a better way of phrasing that question or clarifying it, please add to that as well.

 

Scott Howard  10:01 

So this is something that separates me personally from a lot of other marketers. I don’t work with budgets.

 

Kenny Soto  10:08 

What’s that mean?

 

Scott Howard  10:09 

Generally, I take on clients where budget isn’t important to them, what is important to them is profit and revenue. So, as long as my campaigns are driving profit, they’ll tell me to just keep on spending. As long as they’re profitable, I just keep ongoing. 

Well, rather than worrying about spending a specific amount, however, good rule of thumb that I like to use is, when you’re exploring and getting started, you’ll want to plan for at least 10 times the amount that you want to sell. So, for example, if you’re wanting to sell five pairs of shoes that are $100 each, you’ll want to plan at least $5,000 of budget to get started.

 

Kenny Soto  11:05 

And where does that rule of thumb come from  Scott?

 

Scott Howard  11:10 

Because at first, when you’re starting to advertise, you’re going to make some mistakes, you’re going to try to figure out what are the best audiences? What’s the correct bid, and you need some, you need some leeway room while you’re figuring it out.

 

Kenny Soto  11:29 

All right, and let’s let’s get more in-depth, let’s talk specifically Facebook, because I know there’s a lot of listeners who have either dabbled in Facebook campaigns or want to start creating Facebook campaigns for their own businesses or for their clients.

 I hear a lot that sometimes it’s best just to go with Direct Website Traffic objective for campaigns. And there aren’t many people out there that are dabbling with brand awareness, objective, post engagement, objective, lead forms, etc. What is your general starting point your your general approach for planning and executing on Facebook advertising specifically?

 

Scott Howard  12:18 

So with Facebook, the algorithms for the bidding can be a little fickle. So it depends on how much traffic your site currently has. If your site has a good amount of traffic, such as 10,000 visits a month, then you have enough data to work off of as long as you’ve set up the conversion pixel. If you have enough of that data, you can pretty much choose whichever whichever model you want to go with. 

Because I focus on E-commerce and I I’m much more results-oriented, I tend to use the lowest cost with a bid cap or the target CPA bidding. But you have to have enough data to actually have those be effective. Other than that, I use traffic to the website. The the main use cases of pay per engagement or pay for the the impressions is when you’re trying to build an audience and you’re trying to reach a specific set of people

 

Kenny Soto  13:27 

You’re starting from scratch basically.

 

Scott Howard  13:30 

I wouldn’t say when you’re starting from scratch when you started from scratch, it would be better to send them directly to your website.

 

Kenny Soto  13:36 

Got it.

 

Scott Howard  13:36 

But if you’re trying to go after a new type of customer, you can use it’s YOU the bid by engagement can be used as an investment. So for example, you create a post that is specifically oriented to get engagement from homeowners. 

So then you can pay for it per engagement on that post. And you can get likes from homeowners. And then you can turn those engagements into an audience and then you have a custom audience filled with homeowners. Does that make sense?

 

Kenny Soto  14:14 

Yeah, and that custom audience would then be used for further retargeting, correct?

 

Scott Howard  14:20 

Correct. But it’s not going to drive immediate results for you.

 

Kenny Soto  14:25 

Got it. And I think that’s very important to highlight the fact that it doesn’t drive immediate results. To segue, I would like to talk about your experiences specifically with digital marketing automation and automation tools that you’ve used in the past. Do you have any that come to mind?

 

Scott Howard  14:46 

Yeah, so this is one of the part that I love about digital marketing is the fact that you can automate things in where I got started in a with the digital automation is in Google ads. They have automated rules, those can be really powerful in helping you manage the account. 

I’ve built some really big Google Ads accounts that had over 50,000 keywords, that’s a lot of keywords to keep track of. That’s a lot of ads to keep track of. And I was the only one managing them, I didn’t have anybody else helping me. So I use automated rules to help me start managing the bids. 

From there, I actually learned a more advanced technique of automation within Google ads. So in Google ads, they actually have an area called scripts, where you can use JavaScript to help you manage your campaigns. And you can write custom custom instructions, that you can do a lot more cool things than you can with the, with the automatic rules. So you can have that pause ad, change, ads, change bids, automatically make bid adjustments. 

So I learned just a little bit of JavaScript. And I learned how to work with Google Ad scripts. And that allowed me to not only manage the campaigns and the bids all by myself, but it also allowed me to expand the account, I actually had it automatically creating new ads for me. Wow. And it was a really powerful, and all I had to do was learn a little bit of JavaScript. But most marketers who work in AD in Google ads, they actually don’t even know that the scripts section exists.

 

Kenny Soto  16:32 

So I think right now, it’s definitely a moment where we want to just highlight the fact that there is something out there that isn’t commonly known, which is the scripts within Google Analytics. Now, I personally don’t know, a line of code, aside from HTML and CSS. So if I wanted to learn JavaScript, specifically for the purpose of using the scripts function in Google, AdWords and Google ads, how would what resource How would I start in order to start learning this?

 

Scott Howard  17:11 

So the first thing I did was I looked up, I just Googled online, beginning or beginners tips for JavaScript, okay, or I don’t remember the exact phrase I looked by looks, I started learning JavaScript, just by searching in Google, saying JavaScript for beginners, actually, I think that’s probably why I started was searching JavaScript for beginners and Google, okay. 

And then I just started reading. And at first, it fried my brain, it was a little difficult to learn. But then as I started to understand a little bit more of the concepts. I didn’t go, I didn’t go too in-depth, I do not consider myself a JavaScript developer by any means. 

But from there, I then looked up some example. Google Ads scripts, there are actually several websites where they publish, they create Google ads, scripts, and they publish it. And all you have to do is copy and paste things into Google ads. And you can use the scripts.

 

Kenny Soto  18:13 

So I want to jump over there. I want to jump in right there, Scott. So what you’re saying is that in the event that I don’t have the time, or I just don’t want to dive too deep into it, I can find resources online where there are, quote, unquote, templates, if you will, of scripts that I can use within my Google Ads account, is that correct?

 

Scott Howard  18:34 

That is correct. And then from there, you can start picking them apart and kind of go through those those scripts, those templates, and start to understand why they work the way they do. And then you start modifying them according to what you’d want for your account. And then, and that’s how I learned JavaScript and how I learned how to do it within Google ads.

 

Kenny Soto  18:57 

Is there a similar tool or function for Facebook advertising?

 

Scott Howard  19:05 

With Facebook, there isn’t. However, if you just learn a little bit of you can, you can also use you can use JavaScript to do some offline work. You’d have to use a developer tool to put your code in there and then work with the Facebook API. The Facebook API is actually generally easy to work with. But it does require some more understanding of how APIs work and how a little bit more understanding about code.

 

Kenny Soto  19:38 

Got it. Now, I have a question that isn’t necessarily trying to what we just discussed. It’s more overarching. And this is a question I like to ask my guests who have a ton of experience in digital marketing. And the question is, how would you get started now in 2020, with No network, no on paper experience, no resume, etc. Just your knowledge and skills that you have right now, how would you get started and build your career in 2020?

 

Scott Howard  20:12 

If I were wanting to get started, I would first start with Google ads. And I would go through the Google Ads certification course. From there, I would seek out a local business that is around me, and just ask if, if I could help out with their Google Ads account. Now, there are a lot of small businesses where they really don’t know what they’re doing. 

They don’t know, Google ads. So my philosophy has always been, it doesn’t matter how much you know, it matters whether you know more, and whether you’re willing to help. So if you know just a little bit more than that, that local business owner, then you can help them you can help them market their business, you can be open and transparent.

 And you can let them know what’s going on all along the way. And you don’t have to oversell yourself. But all you have to do is know more, and then you’ll have the ability to start helping.

 

Kenny Soto  21:16 

Now, just for this general approach, I think the best way to approach it would be to say that you’re offering your services for free, correct?

 

Scott Howard  21:31 

You could do that. I’ve always taken on side projects of my regular jobs. So that’s that’s how I learned affiliate marketing. That’s how I learned PPC actually was I had my main job. And I was doing mostly work managing affiliate networks. 

And then I took on a side project for a small business, where I said I could help out, add in charge a lot. But I did charge an hourly rate to help them manage but but it was a cheaper rate. That way I was still getting paid for for the work I did. But it allowed me to gain that experience.

 

Kenny Soto  22:08 

And if if I’m the dubious, doubtful, small business owner that says Why do I need Google ads? How would you respond to that?

 

Scott Howard  22:21 

Well, my initial response is a little bit of a snarky one of like, everyone knows that Google ads is essential nowadays to internet marketing. But I wouldn’t say that I would just explain what Google ads is and the benefits that they could receive from it, they can scale their business start getting more of an online presence. And while just say you’re gonna get more revenue, I don’t know what business owner doesn’t want more revenue.

 

Kenny Soto  22:51 

Got it. And my final question is, what do you suspect or believe to be a major, a major news event or something that anyone in digital marketing or anyone concerned about their business should be aware of? For the remainder of 2020? What is the main thing that you think business owners and digital marketers should be thinking about today?

 

Scott Howard  23:22 

Well, I will give a little bit of a tidbit. It’s not more focused on the business owners, but as more so for the marketers, okay, over the next year and a half. And so through 2020, things are going to start changing. But over the next two years, there’s going to be a major shift in the advertising world.

 

Kenny Soto  23:47 

What is that shed?

 

Scott Howard  23:49 

So it’s going to be the the end of third-party cookies. So cookies are how the internet world attracts users across the web. third party cookies are when our cookies that are placed by an outside website or advertiser that allows them to keep track of users across multiple websites. Those third-party cookies are going away. 

Apple and and Firefox have both started heavily limiting third-party cookies. And the whole industry, in general, is going to take away third party cookies.

 

Kenny Soto  24:31 

How does this? How does this affect us?

 

Scott Howard  24:35 

Yeah, so how this affects us is the fact that a lot of audience targeting is going to go away. So rather than being able to target and follow a user across the web, it’s going to be much more privacy-focused where you’re not able to target a specific user going across the web. 

Instead, marketing is going to be more so focused on contextual targeting, which means it’s going Based on the demographics of the users that visit the website, or, and it’s going to be based on probabilistic measures. So the website is going to make the bet their best guess about that user and then give the information to you. 

But you’re not going to be able to say, alright, so this person who visited my website two days ago, let’s serve an ad to them. That type of functionality is going to start disappearing.

 

Kenny Soto  25:29 

Well, that’s big news. If, if a listener wanted to get more information about this, in particular, outside of the podcast, where would you point them to? Where would you direct them? To learn more.

 

Scott Howard  25:45 

This one actually is a difficult one to learn about, because not a lot of the advertising networks have started writing about it is mostly the big. 

The head, the heads of these advertising companies are very aware of this. But it’s not very made available to the rest of the world, or the marketers. Things have been talked about in verge and some of the some of the different marketing blogs, but it hasn’t been talked about too much, because people are still trying to analyze what impact it’s going to have on us. 

And how that that advertising networks are going to cope and adapt to it.

 

Kenny Soto  26:26 

Now, correct me if I’m saying this wrong, but would this be what is this happening in response to GDPR?

 

Scott Howard  26:36 

As part of it, it’s right now there’s a worldwide movement towards privacy Online

 

Kenny Soto  26:41  

Yeah.

 

Scott Howard  26:42 

The advertising world overstepped a little bit. And it’s made it so governments are starting to respond. And GDPR is just part of it. 

However, now the browsers such as Safari, and Firefox, Google Chrome, they’re starting to react ahead of time, rather than be punished by the governments of the world. 

They’re starting to make their stuff more privacy-focused. So then they never end up in a situation where they’re getting sued by a government.

 

Kenny Soto  27:16 

It makes sense. makes absolute sense. I think that this is the best perfect spot to end the podcast. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much for this. The best way to describe it as a heavy nugget of wisdom just unpacked later after listening to this. Where can our listeners find you so we can add it in the show notes, show notes, where can they connect with you?

 

Scott Howard  27:43 

The best place to connect with me right now is on LinkedIn. I’m launching a revenue attribution tool here within the next two months. And soon that will be the best way but at the moment, LinkedIn is the best place to reach me.

 

Kenny Soto  27:58 

All right, and we’ll put your profile link in the show notes for this episode. Again, Scott, thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. And thank you to the listener. Thanks for listening to this podcast. This has been episode 10 of Kenny Soto’s Digital Marketing podcast and we are signing off.

 

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