Bullhorns & Bullseyes Podcast

The Power of Integrated Marketing

Guest: Nikki Little
May 07, 2024
Play Video about Bb Epis23 Nikki Little

Episode 23

Building off last week’s mention of “The PESO Model,” Tom and Curtis discuss the power and benefit of integrated communications with Nikki Little, Senior Vice President at Franco, who shares her insights on integrated communications and the PESO model. The conversation covers topics such as the evolution of the communications industry, the keys to keeping communications integrated, the role that specialists and generalists play now and will going forward.


  • Integrated communications involves the integration of paid, earned, shared, and owned media to build trust, authenticity, authority, and brand awareness.
  • Strong internal communication and cross-departmental collaboration are key to keeping communications integrated.
  • Specialists and generalists both play important roles in integrated communications, with specialists focusing on specific areas and generalists providing a well-rounded perspective.
  • A strategy-first approach is crucial in integrating a non-integrated marketing toolkit.
  • Collecting and analyzing data is essential for making informed decisions and measuring the success of integrated communications efforts.


Franco’s website and podcast, frankly: ⁠https://franco.com⁠

Connect with Nikki on LinkedIn: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikkilittle/⁠

Tom Nixon (00:02.155)
Hey, Curtis, welcome back to Out of the Mane. I was listening to an old episode, and I really forgot. When Terry Beam was on, we kicked you out of the podcast. So what are you doing here?

Curtis Hays (00:13.012)
I snuck back in, but I think you guys were gonna replace me with my daughter, Brooke. She’s not around today, but after that Terry Bean episode, I do think we need to have Terry back on and let Brooke host that episode. It’d be a very intriguing conversation.

Tom Nixon (00:14.923)

Tom Nixon (00:18.731)
Yeah, is she around? Could you get her?

Tom Nixon (00:31.403)
I’d love it if only for the day off, but I would love it because man, you’re off air after the fact. Your daughter reveals herself to be this like shining rock star that is just brilliant. You got your hands full there, my friend.

Curtis Hays (00:43.444)
Yeah, I got to have her take the assessment and figure out what, uh, what element she is. Um, but she gets very like in the weeds on technical things. And so she knows all of those letter combinations that we talked about the, the NBTIs and TJs and, you know, all those things. And she memorized it all. So I think she could, she could definitely talk shop with, with Terry all day long.

Tom Nixon (01:09.995)
Sure. Well, speaking of brilliant and speaking of my friends, I wanted to introduce to you, Curtis, a longtime friend of mine and one -time colleague and ongoing compatriot in marketing, all things communications. And that is none other than Nicky Little. Nicky, welcome to the podcast.

Nikki (01:29.045)
Thank you so much. I appreciate being invited to join you both here today.

Tom Nixon (01:33.835)
Absolutely. So your current title at Franco, you come to us on loan from Franco, which is a firm here in Detroit. And your current title is?

Nikki (01:43.957)
Senior Vice President.

Tom Nixon (01:45.835)
Vice President, you are now part owner of an all -woman -owned PR firm, correct?

Nikki (01:51.413)
Yes, yes, yes. I invested in the company in 2022 and then we just recently had an ownership transition. So our CEO, Tina Kozak is now a majority shareholder and owner. And then along with our COO and president, Tina Sullivan, we are kind of the three owners of the company. And like you said, we are as of recently women owned.

Tom Nixon (02:13.867)
Congratulations, and I think you recently are celebrating a milestone, correct?

Nikki (02:18.901)
60 years in business too. So it’s been a very exciting first start to the year for Franco.

Tom Nixon (02:25.355)
Yeah, good. Well, thank you for taking time out of all of that busyness to join us today. I wanted to set the timeline, Nicky. So the year is 2010. And you’re actually at Franco. And I’m at another agency. And I somehow managed to steal you away from Franco, at least temporarily. And we are working, we are colleagues at a PR firm, in the year 2010, when things are about to get really crazy and real complex. So.

Nikki (02:38.389)

Tom Nixon (02:55.307)
There was one sort of evolution in our industry where the internet became, you know, a thing probably predates you, but like 90s websites and emails became, you know, opened up these new channels for people to communicate with audiences. And then around 2010 is when social media started to mature. And that then splintered people’s attention more. It created both opportunity and a challenge for us as communicators, especially at a peer firm.

And I remember us having internal conversations about this is the future. The future is no longer sort of the siloed communications efforts, but there’s, we need to embrace or invent something called integrated marketing, integrated communications. And today you are still one of the preeminent champions of that methodology and that sort of model. And so we wanted to talk to you today about integrated communications. And I’ll have you explain what that means now in the year 2020.

Nikki (03:36.149)

Nikki (03:52.661)
Yes, that’s a really great intro. And it doesn’t seem that long ago, Tom, but I can very vividly remember sitting in that boardroom at the agency and talking with you and one of the other partners and like being so excited and so nervous for the opportunity and just knowing.

how important it was for the agency, because at the time you were just building that social media team. And it was almost like you had to sell it internally first because there was a lot of opposition and pushback of people who were like, wait, you’re going to tell me we have to tell our clients they have to pay.

$2 ,000 more a month for this social media thing. We don’t understand it. We don’t know what the value of it is. Like, how are we going to sell this? So it was, it was challenging, but I learned so much during those years. Like you said, like just bringing the value and education to the team of why would we make social media part of our clients’ programs? How is this the future of public relations? What does that mean? What does an integrated program look like? So, so yes, that was really kind of the beginning of my, my journey there. So,

So I know we want to talk about the PESO model, which giving credit to Ginny Dietrich and the SpendSucks team who created that. So you really can’t talk about integrated communications without talking about that model because that fundamentally is what integrated communications is. So it’s a mix of paid, earned, shared, and owned media coming all together to do a variety of things. So that is building trust, authenticity, authority.

brand awareness, and really today where we’re sitting with marketing is you really should be investing in all four of those components for a successful program. Now, might you invest in like one or two of those buckets a little more heavily than others depending on the campaign, depending on your goals? Yes, but ideally to have a really successful marketing program today, you’re doing all four of those initiatives.

Tom Nixon (05:49.227)
And Franco serves in the full service capacity to do and integrate all of those channels, correct?

Nikki (05:55.989)
Yes, absolutely. And part of what I first did when I came back to Franco, so like you said, I was at Franco before I started working with you in March of 2010 and I

Coming back to Franco in September of 2019, they were really on the cusp of redefining themselves as not a traditional PR agency and more of that integrated comms agency. And Tina Kozak at the time was like, I know that this is your bread and butter. So come in and help us do that because we’re all on board, but we need to start marketing ourselves as an integrated comms agency, thinking of ourselves as one, talking to our clients about that. So that was a really great opportunity for me to kind of step into.

Again, they were like at the one yard line and just helping us to kind of shift that mindset of, yes, traditional PR media relations. That’s always going to be kind of the bread and butter and roots of what we’ve done and how we’ve built Franco to be a successful agency over 60 years. But we can’t we can’t only be a media relations agency anymore.

Tom Nixon (06:58.635)
Yeah, true. What’s interesting, Curtis, is our model, we call it the TeamLance model. So we are sort of the, I don’t want to say anti -agency, because I don’t want to make it sound like there’s this adversarial position. But whereas Nikki’s team can offer all of this under one roof, you and I have created this model where we’re all independent specialists. I don’t know if there’s more than one employee at any one of the companies that is part of the Kaleidoscope TeamLance model. But together, we can.

serve in a peso or integrated comms capacity. But you and I have talked where as we will touch on a lot of elements, we don’t always touch on all of them at once. So you hear Nikki explain the peso model, where do you think you personally fit in to this peso model and integrated comms? And then secondary question, how do we keep it integrated?

Curtis Hays (07:49.748)
Right. Yeah. So you’re right. We tend to augment existing teams. So where an existing organization or oftentimes even an agency doesn’t have a specialist who can come in and assist in an area, that’s usually where we like to come in and we can work really well with an existing agency or existing team members to solve analytics problems, paid media problems, website development problems. So I think…

We play a part maybe in all four to some degree. There are certain areas like, like paid media where that is a strong suit of ours, where we’re Google ad certified. We definitely do Google ad campaigns for clients. We, we do a lot of social media, uh, campaigns, LinkedIn, Facebook. We’ve, we’ve had guests on and we’ve talked about the types of services that we’re offering. We offer there, um, adding you, you know, to the, to the team on the sort of the communication side. And we can do.

Uh, copywriting, you know, some S C additional SEO services prior, we were all technical SEO. There was no real copywriting. We left that to our clients or a PR agency who was writing content that was either on the site or was being published externally. So, um, yeah, I like to think that we, we augment, you know, somewhere in all four. And I think our specialty might be in helping organizations measure the campaigns or.

measure the channels and how that’s all integrated. Um, especially when it comes to the CRM as well. So, you know, all of that activity that’s happening, uh, out on the internet or, uh, anywhere else on any other marketing channel that comes in ends up hopefully in a CRM that we can collect and measure that data to determine things like where should we spend our budget? What.

campaigns are working well, what campaigns aren’t that we need to tweak. So an integrated approach, definitely something we advocate for.

Tom Nixon (09:51.403)

Tom Nixon (09:54.955)
I was just going to say, we are huge advocates of the integrated approach. You mentioned SEO, and you mentioned now CRM. So now we’re sort of crossing a gray line into sales at times, right? And so, Nikki, like, this is how our careers have evolved, right? There was once a day where the only reason someone would hire a PR firm was to get placement in media for their stories, their experts, and their…

value props, but then, like I said, that owned media came into our space, right? So now we have websites and we can do email newsletters and things like that. Then shared started to seep in. And while Curtis and I, like we said, we’d like to touch in all of these areas and we believe in the integrated approach, I would confess that I have over the years discovered my passion and my weakness. My passion is in storytelling. My weakness is I’m no longer wanting to be the chairman of the…

you know, maybe the captain of the boat where I’m steering everything in control of everything because this is a difficult job, right? And so how does, what are some of the keys to success for, to keep it all integrated? Cause there’s one, it’s multi -channel is one thing, but multi -channel isn’t necessarily integrated. Peso is a model, but it doesn’t necessarily, it’s not going to integrate by itself. What are some of the keys to keeping things integrated? And so all the teams are working together.

Nikki (10:55.445)

Nikki (11:17.077)
The keys are really, really strong internal communication and cross departmental collaboration. So that’s going to look different across different companies, right? Because you might have one person that does all marketing communications. That’s wild to me. I don’t know how one person can do it, but we know smaller companies, nonprofits, startups, right? You don’t have the budget or the resources yet for a separate marketing team, separate communications team, right? So, but for the teams, the companies that do have different people owning the

those different aspects of integrated communications, that collaboration and good internal communication is so crucial because the integrated comms model does not work if teams are operating in silos. It is completely non -functional if you’re.

team that is charged with pitching something to the media is not aware of then what the marketing team is doing. So say it’s a new product release, right? If the marketing team is going and doing their own type of campaign in a silo and not sharing the type of messaging that they’re putting out externally with the comms team that needs to be pitching it, right? Then you’re saying two different things. The messaging is totally unaligned. Things are going out at different times. So.

I think that’s the biggest thing that we preach that in order for it to be effective, going back to what I said earlier, it’s not only kind of dividing and investing in those four different media types or buckets, but it’s ensuring that anybody and everybody who touches anything related to marketing and communications is collaborating with each other. And that extends to sales too, as well, right? It’s so, so important. I mean, I’m sure the two of you have talked about this too, or anybody in marketing knows like if your sales and marketing teams are not aligned.

are not working well together, are not informing each other, then there’s some issues there.

Tom Nixon (13:07.435)
I don’t know, Curtis, have we touched on that yet this year?

Curtis Hays (13:09.268)
Yeah. Well, Amy Schuster was the first person we had on to talk about it. We’ve talked about it many other episodes since. So yes, I mean, that’s primary reason for having this podcast was probably the most common thread that we see across organizations is aligned. There is an alignment between sales and marketing. And oftentimes, like you said, the activities that we do are so closely aligned to sales many times.

Nikki (13:14.741)

Curtis Hays (13:38.548)
If you don’t have alignment, I mean, things can go off the rail pretty quickly. Lead gen is likely a sales activity more than a marketing activity where the communications, you know, the, the, uh, the PR type activities, the branding activities, those are more your traditional marketing activities, but we call activities we do today marketing that might really be sales activities like.

Nikki (13:43.669)

Nikki (14:05.173)

Curtis Hays (14:05.812)
A paid search campaign where you’re sending somebody to a form to fill out some information and get into the pipeline, the sales pipeline. That’s more a sales activity than a marketing activity, but it’s a, it’s a role and a, and a sort of an activity that marketing is tasked with most of the time.

Nikki (14:26.229)
Right. And there’s so much overlap too. And Tom, you said, you know, like, it’s difficult, right? Like, how are you successful with that? So like using our agency as an example, we have a digital team. So I have somebody who I manage directly, she leads our digital team because kind of like what you said, right? Like I used to do all social and digital. And then I got to the point in my career where I was like, I don’t want to go all in on digital anymore. I want…

be smart. I want to understand how it works as part of a broader program. I can speak about it at a high level. I read a ton. I’m a voracious reader, so I always understand what’s happening, but I’m not the one in the weeds anymore. And that’s okay, because I have people who are smarter than me that are really, really super passionate and knowledgeable about digital who are doing that. But we have a digital team and we have dedicated specialists who do all things digital, but they are super integrated with the rest of our agency. And

It’s very uncommon now for us to have any clients that are just doing one service with us. We do still have some It’s just not as common anymore and sometimes they’ll come in and they’ll be like I just need some help with this event, right? Like we need to do some PR media relations around this event and then we start to build a successful relationship and that client program grows it becomes more integrated that often is the case but something again that I’ve been very passionate about and leading since I came back to Franco was just making sure that I

Everybody is speaking, thinking from an integrated approach. One thing that really helped with that is there’s a PESO model certification that Ginny Dietrich and her team created. It’s awesome. And I did it in the summer of 2020. It’s been updated since then. More recently, a good majority of our team has gone through that and we got really, really good feedback. So it’s, it’s a bit intense. It’s not just one of those watch a video and take a quiz. There’s actual homework you have to do. You have to submit it. You do have to pass a quiz.

but it really helps and especially some of our team members who don’t do digital, it helped them to understand how does it all work together. And again, the goal is if there’s a client program and a client does ask them about something digital related or, you know, wants to know how does this fit in, they at least have the foundational knowledge to be able to speak about it. But they can then say, you know what, let me pull in one of my digital team members if we want to go deeper here.

Tom Nixon (16:45.835)
Nikki, one of the things that I’ve observed you and I have discussed over the years and I’ve experienced it myself is this ebb and flow, I think, in our profession amongst professionals, which is where you stand on the spectrum between generalist and specialist. So as back in 2010, the writing on the wall became, all right, if I’m a specialist in just this one thing and I ignore digital and I ignore social, I’m becoming a dinosaur. So I.

thought that we should be moving toward a model where comms professionals are more generalist. Then as those platforms matured, became more complex, became more precise, became more scientific, I saw the pendulum starting to swing back the other way, which is like, there’s no way you can be good at all of these things. Or you could be good at them all. You can’t be expert at them all. And I would submit that your brain is probably wired to either be someone like Curtis or someone like me, but probably not both.

Nikki (17:31.093)



Tom Nixon (17:43.563)
So I’m curious where you stand. Do you have an opinion on this integrated model? What the mix is and should be relative to generalists? Do you want a team of well -rounded generalists or do you want a team of highly skilled specialists that are all working in a coordinated way or is it a mix?

Nikki (18:02.358)
advocate for the latter where you have kind of like what you said people who are are specialized in certain areas they may cross over a little bit right like and it depends on the client needs too so we may have a team member who primarily does more of the like earned media.

media relations, thought leadership type stuff, but they’re a great writer. So if we, if they have capacity and we have a need and we’re like, Hey, you want to come in and help with social copywriting or email marketing? And they’re like, yeah, that’s awesome. Cause that challenges me in a little bit of a different way and gets me different experience, but they know that they don’t want to.

you know, go that total digital route. So, so it definitely depends. I mean, if it’s a smaller agency, right, and you have three people and you’re offering a variety of services to clients, then you might need to be more of that generalist model. But they said, we’ve seen it work really well where we kind of work with each of our team members to.

kind of develop them into the type of person and have the type of career and role that they want to have and learn what they’re really passionate about. But it’s ensuring that again, their approach, their mindset, their understanding is from an integrated perspective. And even if we’re not the ones say doing the digital, we’re always trying to dig in and have connection with either the internal team members at a client. We often work with other agencies and work really collaboratively with them, right? But like we very much preach the important

importance of just because we’re not doing your social or digital doesn’t mean that we don’t want to be informed on that so that we can help you have that well -rounded program.

Tom Nixon (19:34.411)
Yeah, my pendulum, Curtis, as you know, swung all the way to the other side where I wanted to really be highly specialized in a given aspect of what we do. And that’s sort of now a plug for this, either the agency model or the TeamLance model is if you have any kind of budget and you’re not doing it on a shoestring, you have to go all in on the team of specialists. Don’t you agree? I mean, you need data scientists and you need creative copywriters and you need all sorts of this mix to.

to create a collaborative environment that it all works really well as opposed to everything’s kind of okay. And so you’ve built this team over the course of how many years now where you’ve got this team especially.

Curtis Hays (20:14.036)
Yeah, I think 10 years, I think there’s a place for a generalist on the team who maybe is your project manager, who understands enough across all the different channels that they can interact with everybody. They can maybe pick up the slack if somebody’s on vacation or unavailable, um, fill in and a lot of different areas. And there are people who are well suited for that just naturally, right? They pick things up easily. They, they can learn it. They’re self learners. They can learn on their own or they go read documentation and pick it up.

Tom Nixon (20:38.091)

Curtis Hays (20:44.692)
Um, but there’s this need today as you’ve said that the technology has gotten more and more complex and the platforms change at such a rapid rate. You know, Facebook is updating their algorithm today and Google updates out their algorithm tomorrow. And this whole challenge of like nothing is static anymore. You don’t get to just learn, uh, one of these platforms or learn a trade today and think that you’re done. And now you can work in that without.

Nikki (20:54.933)
Daily. Right.

Curtis Hays (21:14.196)
continuing to learn. So and then I think that with these AI and language learning models that we have today, they’re the generalist. So if you do have a question, you could reach out to ChatGPT or something like that. But to have the domain knowledge in a specific area and that experience.

And working in that platform, learning what works, what does it work? Those types of things that’s going to make you very valuable employee or valuable to an organization that’s, that’s hiring you on a consulting basis because no, I’ve. I’ve succeeded and failed dozens of times over, over the last seven years in a platform or, uh, or, uh, a type of marketing.

And so I have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t work. And so we can test your marketing and measure and see what works and what doesn’t work for you.

Tom Nixon (22:18.603)
Nikki, do you think that the strategist should be something of a generalist? Because they need to understand like yourself. You said you understand at a high level all of it. And I will speak for you, you understand all of it well. That’s not to suggest that you want to be or are a specialist in any one thing. But don’t you think the strategist needs to know enough about all of it to at least integrate the team, integrate the campaign, and guide the client? You know, Curtis just mentioned consulting with the client. You’re really…

Nikki (22:28.661)

Tom Nixon (22:48.459)
starting with strategy first, are you?

Nikki (22:50.101)
Yes, 100%. And a lot of our programs when we first start, especially with a new client, we always start with strategy. Sometimes they come to us and it’s great already, right? They’ve already had a strategy built, they’re implementing, they just need more boots on the ground or more external resources because they can’t do everything internally. But there are more times than not that even if they do think they have a strategy, they’ll come to us and we’ll be like,

No, like let us help you like redefine, reimagine, rebuild that strategy and I don’t think everybody is interested or wanting to be a strict

strategist, right? Like I do definitely think there needs to be some element of solid strategic thinking to be a good communicator, a good marketer to manage, to lead, to guide in this space. Absolutely. But it’s not everyone’s forte and that’s okay. So it’s been important to us to identify those people on our team who are really good with strategy and like it and have a passion for it. And then we bring them in when we know like we need some really good, solid strategy to start a program off. And then we

have other people who can come in and carry it forward when we’re ready.

Tom Nixon (24:00.971)
Yeah, that’s a good point. So the strategist has to have a generalist’s acumen with all of the various integrated components, but needs to be a specialist themselves in strategy in some ways.

Nikki (24:10.549)
Yes. Yeah.

Curtis Hays (24:11.796)
Yeah. Okay. Can I add to that Tom? And Amy talked to us. So this is where like a chief marketing officer or the director of marketing, like when they come to a company like us, we’re most of the time expecting a strategy is in place. And if you’re going to go work with a specialist and say, Hey, we want to do Google ads. Amy said this and I’ve repeated it many times. It’s not that one thing that’s going to solve whatever your sales and marketing problems are.

Tom Nixon (24:14.379)
Nope, we’re moving on.

Curtis Hays (24:40.244)
We just talked about it needs to be integrated and likely involves a peso type model with multiple channels that you’re operating in. So, you know, again, don’t expect that you go out, you reach to an agency that just specializes in say paid ads, and they’re going to solve your marketing and sales problems. Um, and especially don’t do it if you don’t already have a strategy. So go to a company or develop a strategy first that is integrated.

understand your market, understand your ICPs, understand what moves them to purchase and those types of things, and then build out a strategy from there of how you should move forward, and it’s more likely to be successful.

Nikki (25:22.869)
It’s like the brass tacks of building a communications or marketing plan, right? I feel like it’s been drilled in our heads, those of us who, if you went to school for marketing or PR, like that’s what you do first. You identify the goals and objectives. Then you can set the strategy. Only then after you have those things identified, can you determine your tactics, right? So like you said, if someone’s coming to you and saying, okay, here’s, I just want you to implement, right? Like, don’t worry about the strategy. We’ve got that all figured out. Like just go and implement. But what if the strategy’s wrong?

Tom Nixon (25:23.339)

Curtis Hays (25:41.364)
Mm -hmm.

Nikki (25:51.829)
Right? Like what if they’re investing in the wrong channels? What if the messaging is not resonating? What if what they’re trying to do is not at all aligned with what the sales team wants to do? Right? Then it doesn’t matter. You can throw all the money in the world at the Google Ads program and it’s not going to be effective because the strategy is off.

Tom Nixon (26:10.699)
Yeah, don’t let the tactics become the strategy. So in your example, Curtis, someone might come to a niche agency and say, tell us how Google Ads is going to help us grow our business. The question shouldn’t be that. It should be more like, where does Google Ads fit into an integrated program? Does it fit in? And then you examine it that way. So I got for years back in 2010, I kept, no, more like 2012, kept using the term tactic agnostic.

Curtis Hays (26:13.076)

Nikki (26:13.173)
That too.

Tom Nixon (26:40.363)
which is like, I don’t care what the solution is. I care about finding the solution. And that’s sort of how I evolved out of the PR world, because it became increasingly clear to me that media relations alone was not going to be enough to solve a client’s comms problem. All right, so I got to shift gears here quickly. We’ll come back to this. Because the topic near and dear to my heart is Curtis. Yuck. No.

Curtis Hays (27:02.932)
Y ‘all rock?

Tom Nixon (27:06.059)
It is, but podcasting, and I do have a Yacht Rock podcast. So, Frank? It’s one of the two, really. Nikki, were you a part of the team that started the Frank Lee podcast at Franko?

Nikki (27:09.333)
Yes you do.

Curtis Hays (27:10.42)
I was close, I was so close. Yeah.

Nikki (27:18.037)
I was not, I cannot take any credit for it. I supported it, fully supported it.

Tom Nixon (27:21.387)
Shame on you. OK. Tell us about that podcast, because I’m a podcasting nerd.

Nikki (27:28.117)
Yes, so we are actually in looking at my notes, make sure I get this right. Episode 42. So we launched in September of 2022 and our cohort co -hosts are Rachel Flageon and Dan Horn and they came to our leadership with the idea and they said, we’ve been thinking about this. We’ve been wanting to do this. It hasn’t been the right time. We feel like it’s the right time now. Like we are, you know, we were kind of coming out of that.

rebrand in a way to the integrated communications model. They felt like there was a need in the space. Certainly locally, there was nobody else doing a podcast about integrated communications and they even knew, yeah, well, okay, you count.

Tom Nixon (28:03.371)
Even me?

I probably was, but yes.

Nikki (28:09.589)
Yeah, they just pitched the idea and said we want to do this and they made a good case for it and I give them so much credit because they have been very dedicated to this. They have not missed an episode. They’ve done an amazing job of finding awesome guests. We’ve had some people internally. I’ve been on it a few times.

CEO and COO, they have two, but I mean, it’s truly an integrated comms podcast. If you go to our website, there’s a section for our podcast. You can see all the episodes there. We put out a blog post featuring the guest or topic every time we do a podcast episode. So it runs the gamut truly of what we talk about. So we’ve talked about everything from events like the upcoming NFL draft. We’ve talked about CES, the auto show.

presentation skills, digital marketing, like when the big focus of moving away from Universal Analytics to GA4, what’s it that mean? We brought our website developer partners on to talk to us about it. So yeah, so it’s been a lot of fun. And I know Rachel and Dan will say it has really helped them kind of broaden their networks and create new relationships with people that they probably would not have met had it not been for connecting via the podcast.

Tom Nixon (29:24.427)
Mm -hmm, that’s a good final wrap -up. That’s what we always preach. And I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Rachel. And I know firsthand she’s a rock star. And Rachel, if you’re listening, we miss you. But we will collaborate once again, I’m sure, in the future. All right, I’m going to give you both a chance to get the final word in. Best piece of advice for a company looking to integrate what is currently a non -integrated marketing toolkit. Nick, you go first.

Nikki (29:30.548)

Nikki (29:37.557)
I hope so.

Nikki (29:51.093)
You didn’t have that one on my preparation list. You just threw that at me. Okay, looking to integrate a non -integrated program.

Tom Nixon (29:54.923)
No, I, Curtis, aren’t I, you’re not the only one I try to stump.

Curtis Hays (29:58.58)

Tom Nixon (30:05.067)
Yeah, so let’s say a company comes to you and maybe after listening to this podcast, they self -diagnose that, you know, we got a lot going on in our marketing universe, but I wouldn’t call it integrated. And they come to you and say, Nikki, what’s the first step? How should we fix this?

Nikki (30:15.957)
Mm -hmm.

Nikki (30:20.469)
Our first step would be recommending to do an audit. So we would dig in and audit everything that they’re doing across the marketing and comm spectrum, talk to the people who are implementing, leading that work and identify what’s working well.

what’s not working and ideally get some business goals or kind of product service type goals, right? And understand from a bigger picture, what are you trying to accomplish? What do your initiatives look like today? Any current results and you know, what’s missing, right? So again, if we can identify that they’re spending a ton of money on social media advertising and maybe investing a ton in Facebook, we actually just went through this with a client who were doing their digital advertising.

we’re like, there was an extraordinary amount of money being spent on Facebook with nowhere near enough results. So we’re going to flip that and we’re going to invest more in LinkedIn because that’s where we know their audience is primarily spending their time. It’s not Facebook, right? So the first thing I would definitely recommend is that audit and digging in to understand where are the gaps with the cross departmental communication and information sharing.

Tom Nixon (31:31.435)
Yeah. Okay. Great. That’s great advice. Curtis, you’ve had more time to think about it. So what are you going to do to top Nicky?

Curtis Hays (31:37.268)
Well, after this conversation today, I think I’m just going to refer them to Franco to do this audit. That’s probably the smart move.

Nikki (31:40.917)

Tom Nixon (31:44.779)
There you go. All right, well, I’ll accept that as an answer, as long as the, you know, that Nikki’s got to, you know, Franklin’s got to hire you to come in and do some ninja work on their analytics and ads. So anyways.

Curtis Hays (31:49.172)

Curtis Hays (31:55.86)
Well, I’ll just say, you know, the, we often start again, you know, looking at the data and I think if they don’t have the right data to make good decisions today, that’s something that they need to do. So very similar example to what Nikki said, like, are you collecting conversion data and are you collecting, especially in the lead gen space, what happens with those leads? So you might be getting good conversions from a channel, but, uh,

Nikki (32:20.469)
That’s the biggest thing, right?

Curtis Hays (32:25.396)
good conversions can be interpreted by different people in different ways. So are they qualified leads and is that lead turning to business? I think we really want to know that, the value of a customer and are these channels actually working to generate ROI? And if a customer can answer those questions, typically we’re starting a project to help them collect better data that allows them to make better decisions. But,

I would say have a strategy first, otherwise you don’t know what you’re collecting, why you’re collecting it. You know, the data doesn’t mean a whole lot until you probably have this strategy and these shared definitions.

Tom Nixon (33:06.955)
It’s a good point because, Nicky, back in 2010, while this was just starting to get going, we didn’t have access to the data we have now. I mean, so because it sounded like you were echoing what Curtis said in terms of like understanding that conversion data is so key.

Nikki (33:12.053)

Nikki (33:20.757)
Yes, understanding Q -Side and that all ties to data, right? What’s working, what’s not working? What are we investing too much in? What are we not investing enough in? That all needs to be answered and determined and adjusted before an integrated comms program can be implemented and can start showing results.

Tom Nixon (33:39.307)
Awesome. All right, well, there’s much more to the story. You can learn more about Nikki and her agency at, is it still francopr .com or did you have to update that? Franco .com, I figured as much. Okay, well, thanks. Come back again sometime and we can continue the conversation.

Nikki (33:46.165)
Just Franco, Franco .com.

Nikki (33:54.133)
Yes, I’d love to and let’s get you guys on the Frankly podcast. I know Rachel and Dan would have a great conversation with you, so I’m cordially inviting you to come on the Frankly podcast. Great. Yes.

Tom Nixon (34:04.747)
and we are cordially accepting. So we’ll just… Yes, the crossover event of next season. We already did the crossover event of this season. So, all right, cool. Well, until then, Nikki and listeners and everyone else, thank you for joining us on Bullhorns and Bullseyes.

Curtis Hays (34:05.876)
Sounds like another crossover event, Tom.

Curtis Hays (34:10.932)

Nikki (34:10.933)

Listen anywhere:

We’d love to hear from you! podcasts@collideascope.co

Additional episodes:

Episode 12

Episode 12: What is Marketing Attribution?

Tom & Curtis discuss the topic of marketing attribution, the methodology of attributing a purchase or lead to its source in a marketing campaign.

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Episode 5: Aligning Sales and Marketing

Fractional CMO, author and frequent podcast interviewee Aimee Schuster joins our pod to break down her view of what ails many sales and marketing departments in organizations today.

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Episode 4: Going Meta on Bullhorns and Bullseyes

In a very "meta" episode, Curtis and Tom discuss the meaning behind "Bullhorns and Bullseyes." What are some examples of "bullhorn" tactics, and what are some examples of "bullseye" methodologies?

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