Today we’re sitting down with Trey Sheneman, CEO of The Ask Method Company.  On Taking Your Bank’s Marketing to the Next Level with Trey Sheneman  we discuss the difference between brand marketing and direct marketing, and also how lending teams and marketing teams need to be aligned toward the same goals.

Click here to access our Loan Pricing & Relationship Profitability Series


The views, information, or opinions expressed during this show are solely those of the participants involved and do not necessarily represent those of SouthState Bank and its employees. 

SouthState Bank, N.A. – Member FDIC

Intro: Helping community bankers grow themselves, their team, and their profits. This is The Community Bank Podcast.

Erik Bagwell: Welcome to The Community Bank Podcast, I’m Eric Bagwell, director of sales and marketing for the correspondent division at SouthState Bank, and joining me is Caleb Stevens. Caleb’s a business development officer here at the bank and also puts the podcast together. Caleb, what’s going on?

Caleb Stevens: It’s good to be back on the show. Good to talk some marketing today with our friend Trey Sheneman. I enjoyed this discussion. We talked about brand marketing, direct marketing. What are the differences between the two and how bankers need to be thinking about their overall marketing here in 2022?

Erik Bagwell: Trey’s with the ask method company and, we kind of had to pivot and we’ve talked about this on an earlier podcast. We had to pivot the kind of how we market in the world of COVID and some really good ideas on this interview that you did with Trey and so a lot of good stuff on this one, but talk first before we get to that interview about the loan pricing series that we’ve got out.

Caleb Stevens: Yeah, we’ve said it every week for a while now, but we just want to make sure folks can access it and benefit from it. We’ve got five free videos to help you and your lending team price more profitable loans this year. So if you’re looking at the Fed, the economy, inflation, and you’re curious, how are we going to price our loans, based on loan demand, what borrowers are expecting, but also what’s profitable for our bank. These videos are for you, so click the link in these show notes to get them all you got to do is click the link in the show notes of this podcast episode or you can go to pricing, pricing. You’re not going to want to miss it. Five free videos. They’re about five, six minutes each, so not too much time, but some really helpful tips and we hope you will check them out. and with that, here’s my discussion with Trey Sheneman. Well, Trey thanks for hopping on The Community Bank Podcast today. It’s great to be talking with you. I followed you on LinkedIn for probably a year or so from a distance and have really benefited from your content. So it’s great to be speaking with you in person.

Trey Sheneman: Hey Caleb, I’m really happy to be here. Thank you for having me and in our little pre-interview time there, I was really interested to hear about all the ways you guys are providing value to your network using both digital marketing and podcasting, as well as the actual services that you guys provide to local banks. So excited to just help maybe provide little nuggets of guidance here along the way today, for those that are your listeners. As we talk about some of these topics.

Caleb Stevens: Well, you’ve worked with some really great, amazing companies, people like John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, with Ramsey solutions. How have some of those experiences in your career shaped the way that you think about leadership, business marketing, and what you’re doing today with the ASK Method Company?

Trey Sheneman: Yeah, you bet. I think the greatest lesson that I took from the time that I spent with just incredible men, to be honest with you and Dave and John and not just them. You know, when you think about the other senior leaders that are at both of those organizations, the overwhelming maxim that I think I walked away with from all of those is number one to be who you are off on stage off stage, right? To like being the same person, doesn’t matter what the platform is, be the real person. Number two, to make sure that you keep a service mindset, no matter the scope and scale at which your business grows to keep that service mindset, and number three, to be generous.

Those are two of the most generous human beings that I’ve ever met and I don’t just mean financially generous with their time and generous with their talent. They both very well could have built very introspectively me, me, me, me, me brands, and both of them, as they as they’ve grown up in their businesses and they’ve looked to the future, the number of people that they’ve brought with them along the way is something to be really admired and sought after because I’m one of those people. I’m one of those people that was able to, I’m going to use the phrase, take advantage of their generosity, but I mean that in the purest sense of the way, like because of the platform and the opportunity they created, it enables like me to really step into and find our calling in a more emphatic marketplace kind of way because they existed. So be who you are on stage and off stage. I would say keep a service mindset at all times and just be generous with the things that you have in front of you.

Caleb Stevens: I’ve only met Dave a couple of times and it was very brief, never met John, but from of the folks that I’ve talked to who do know them pretty well, they would echo the same thing, the who they are on the stage, on the radio, speaking on stage and who they are in private and one-on-one discussions is consistent, which is a great lesson for leaders because we’re in the spotlight, we’ve got a lot of pressure on us to perform, to inspire people. And so thinking through making sure our platform doesn’t outgrow our character, I think is a really important lesson.

Trey Sheneman: That’s really good. I think the whole character is who you are when no one’s watching, but there’s a lot to be said for who you are with people who are watching too. And the good news is in my experience with both of those gentlemen, as well as the teams around them and you could just lean on that they’re going to put other people before themselves, 99% of the time. So something to shoot for sure.

Caleb Stevens: Well, you’re really passionate about all things marketing and I’d love to hear a little bit about why that is. You put out some awesome content on LinkedIn and I’ve learned a lot just from those brief posts, but tell us a little bit about what you’re doing with The ASK Method Company and why are you so passionate about marketing?

Trey Sheneman: Yeah, so I currently serve as chief marketing officer for The ASK Method Company. We have a sister company called that I oversee the marketing for. Marketing for me, so my background is kind of an interesting mix of education and ministry. So out of grad school, I went to UGA for a few years undergrad then ended up finishing out my time at Liberty University undergrad, and got a master’s degree from the seminary at Liberty and I was in education and ministry for about five years kind of coming out grad school. Then I got into digital marketing in 2010 and have been in that ever since. And I think the reason why I’m so passionate about marketing is that, to me, marketing is a bridge-building technique. It takes people from where they are to where they want to go. It helps them understand that in their moment of need that there is an answer.
And honestly, that’s really what education and ministry is too. So for me, marketing kind of aligns to both my, what I would say my spiritual makeup just as I am a person of faith, that’s a critical part of my life. So my spiritual makeup, my desire to see people find the thing that they want, that satisfaction, that peace, that contentment as well as just genuinely wanting to help people and see them improve their lives. And I really believe marketing is the pathway that connects great products to people in their moment of need and facilitates that conversation in a helpful way. So I see it as really being able to create helpful conversations at scale, when you do marketing really, really well. And that’s what ultimately, and all the brands that I’ve worked at, whatever the products have been both in my agency days, as well as on the client-side, the last five years, I’ve really tried to view it as who is it that’s in the centre of who we’re trying to help the most right now. And how can we become helpful humans using marketing to be that? So yeah, that’s why I’m passionate about it.

Caleb Stevens: I heard somebody ask Seth Goden one time, what’s the difference between marketing and manipulation because if you really think about it, I mean you can do some wild stuff getting in people’s heads, really. You know, if you think through copywriting and digital advertising and all the tricks and bells and whistles that are out there, what’s the difference he said to me, the difference is after they’ve purchased something, are they glad they did because it genuinely solved their need. And I think that’s kind of what you’re hinting at. You genuinely have a desire to care for people and to your point, help them in the moment of need with whatever problem you solve.

Trey Sheneman: Yeah. I think really great marketing actually creates advocacy over time. People who are excited to talk about the experience that they have, the best marketers in the world are the ones who have figured out when your customers are doing the marketing for you, you’ve kind of your job. And the only way to really have that happen is to actually over-deliver on the thing that they expected to get and not manipulate people into some regret, remorse situation, kind of wolf of Wall Street style, that sort of NLP, very manipulative technique, and very driven salesy market kind of thing. That’s not who we’re trying to be, we’re only the team I lead. We genuinely want to serve people and that also means sometimes you got to tell people no, like no, that’s actually not the right. This is not the right service for you. You need to look elsewhere. So I completely agree with Seth’s response to that question.

Caleb Stevens: So The ASK Method Company, tell us about what you guys do and how you help companies.

Trey Sheneman: So our primary business is to teach both brick and mortar businesses that have pretty large scale all the way down to sort of the SellerPreneur, who’s trying to start up how to create what we would coin in today’s world, a zero party data strategy. So what I mean by that is for the last five to seven years, most of us that have been in the marketing or advertising game online have really depended on the big players, the Googles and the Facebooks of the world, and their data collection to power the targeting and the advertising that we want to be run. And we’ve just seen to make your shift in the last couple of years away from that, as people have started to value their privacy over convenience. And so you have even seen recent updates like to the iOS world where now you can actually opt-out, you’re going to start to see a lot of opt-out opportunities on websites.

Caleb Stevens: Every website I visit now it’s like, can you accept the cookies? And it’s nonstop.

Trey Sheneman: Yeah, that’s right. So what we have done, is we use a really unique way of doing assessment surveys and quizzes to teach people how to actually get their prospective customers, to volunteer reams and reams and reams of information in a very healthy way so that you can then analyse, use our software to then analyse that information and actually now go back to your target audience, your ideal customer online in a way using kind of their own words back to them. And so we call it building quiz funnels, you could take the word quiz out and put surveys or assessments or diagnostics really depending on your market. So we teach people how to do that approach to their internet marketing and we have programs on the back end of that, where people can get trained in it and do it themselves, or they can join us and we’ll do it for them. So that’s the business that we’re in.

Caleb Stevens: I think that’s a good segue into something I wanted to talk to you about today is the difference between brand marketing and direct marketing. And I think this is important because a lot of bankers don’t make the distinction as they should, when they think of marketing, we tend to think of billboards, radio ads, maybe sponsoring the local parade in our hometown and we fail to see the difference between brand marketing and direct marketing. So can you kind of just define those two terms for us and maybe we can go to unpack them a little bit.

Trey Sheneman: So brand to me is about connection and direct response to me is about conversion. And I think that’s the big adjustment that people have. So at the highest stage, brand marketing should really be focusing on the outcome of awareness and starting the conversation with somebody creating that emotion and will appeal that they can lean into to where they start to develop what we would call on the space recall. So the next time that they think about that service or product or thing that it is that you do, they’ll have some recall as to that emotion that they felt the last time they saw one of your piece of advertising, whether it be a billboard or really all ads are online as digital billboards to start with and so the concept is the same.

So a brand tends to be a little higher in the funnel, it should be about creating a feeling in the customer, creating an emotional response, something that they can anchor back to, whereas direct response should rarely be focused on truly cold audiences, people who have no affinity or awareness or understanding of who you are at all you can do that it just tends to be expensive is what I would say and you’ve got to be really good, you have really great copywriting, really great creative to go direct response all the way up in the final and get somebody to take that conversion action. So, what we tend to try and do is use brand marketing, to warm people up and direct response marketing to now moving people into that actual conversion tactic and the other secondary point I would make on direct response is that conversion doesn’t necessarily mean a sale like the actual purchase event.

I think there’s a bunch of micro versions that need to happen from that purchase event to actually build the affinity and to properly serve that customer along the way so that they don’t feel manipulated to your earlier points. So they feel like they’re actually the one in the driver’s seat, making a buying decision instead of being sold something and so a lot of times when you go direct response, copy to how in the funnel where really selling something right now, instead of enabling somebody to buy something. So I think when you marry the two together in an orchestrated way, you can put out really great experiential content where people just kind of take those natural next steps on their journey and you can start to build a strong projection and perform over time about what your expected rate of returns are going to be on the two different kinds of marketing that you’re running in context with each other.

Caleb Stevens: How do you think about measuring? Because it seems to me that if you try to scrutinize brand marketing, you may end up a little frustrated. What’s my ROI on a billboard, what’s my ROI on a radio spot? Whereas with direct marketing, if I’m doing a direct mail campaign to a thousand accounts that I’ve targeted, or a hundred accounts, I can see how many people responded and how many people did I get a meaningful call with? How many people did we book a demo with or whatever we’re selling? How do you sort of think about the appropriate ways to measure and scrutinize, or maybe not scrutinize and just say, Hey, for brand marketing, these are things we’re going to do because we leave in them, but we’re not going to put them under a microscope. How do you and your team sort of think about those things?

Trey Sheneman: Very carefully is what I would say, number one. I think there are some really good signals that you can see in your marketing measurement: your metrics around if brand marketing is hitting, where it needs to hit or not. And some of the signals I would encourage anybody who’s going to take this approach to do are a couple of different things you kind of got to think about them like higher in the funnel and on down. So things like if you’re on social media, is your presence increasing on social media? Are you picking up more page engagement, more post engagement, your followership, is it growing again? It’s a means to an end metric. It’s not the end goal, but it’s a directional goal to let you know, some of your brand stuff is resonating. The biggest one that I think people should look for is, do you see if you’re looking at Google analytics, or if you have Omniture or any kind of web analytics on your website, are you seeing the number of inbound direct channel?

If you look at your channels, you got organic and paid and direct, direct means somebody put your brand URL indirectly and they came right to your website. Are you seeing that naturally go up over time? Because what should happen with brand marketing is you’re creating that awareness in their mindset that when they have the need for the thing that you sell, you’re who they come to look for, which would mean that would be a direct search. And so if you say you started investing in brand marketing in January, I would probably have the reasonable expectation that by March, I would want to start to see my direct channel starting to slowly rise because I invested 60 days ago and now people are coming into a buying cycle and now they have some intent. So brand kind of creates interest and then you want to see that intent kind of come down funnel over time.

So the two kinds of biggest things signal directionally to see if brand marketing is working, are my in-channel metrics like if I’m on Facebook or LinkedIn or in Google, like are my in-channel metrics improving because of the brand investment I’m making there. And then over time, or I’m am I seeing the lagging indicator that my direct channel is now starting to go up because of what I’ve done. And people need to hear like doing brand marketing the right way. It’s not a one-quarter play, you’re doing it for the next 90 days and then we built a brand. Building a brand, if a brand is what people say about you when you’re not around, it’s largely your reputation you’re in that game all the time. So it is not just the ads that you run, but it’s, it’s the language that your team members use when they talk about you when they’re out and about in the town is how your customers talk about you.
Some of the other signals I would look at from my brand marketing is my NPS score strong? Is it going up? What has my second purchase percentage been within my business? Am I focusing on transactions with customers or relationships with customers? Have they bought a second time? Do we have a referral program and are people actually referring us? So again, these are all kinds of circumspect signals around a brand campaign that start to say, we put a message out on the market high in the funnel and we’ve delivered on it so well that all of the downstream metrics from it are really starting to go up.

Caleb Stevens: That that’s a great, helpful perspective, I like the distinction you make there to say, look at your inbound direct to your website because that, in theory, should go up if more people in the community are thinking of you, remembering you or calling you, and the second they have a problem and they need to open an account or their son just turned 18 and now it’s time for him to have his own bank account or whatever the case is, your top of mind

Trey Sheneman: And, your close rate on those should be the highest of the close rates that you have. Because if they’re coming to you inbound in that way, it should be a much higher hit rate than you manifested or manufactured all of this, probably would kind of like lightweight intent. It’s more interesting than it is intended and you close a very small percentage. Whatever your blended conversion rate is on your whole funnel, it should probably be 30 or 40 or 50% higher on just the direct channel when you isolate it because people are coming to you instead of you going to them.

Caleb Stevens: And if they got a quiz funnel set up there on their website, then they know that they can get kind of directed right to the place, I guess where they really need to go to help.

Trey Sheneman: That’s the beauty of having a quiz on the front end of your website. Again, I had somebody the other day say it’s like, it seems kind of catchy, I’m like, well this, because you’re thinking about Disney princesses or something like that, it’s not that that’s not what we’re saying. It’s a very sophisticated way of questions and answers to guide people into the product of service that they need. So you create a series of questions, you build a bridge and then you create a prescription at the end, based on the feedback you just gave me, it’s your own words, this is what you said, here’s the thing you need. So I could see a ton of use cases of using a branded play, where you’re just inviting people in the banking space to take a free quiz. Now they come in and take the quiz and the quiz in a lot of ways is like meeting with somebody at the bank in person and saying, well, I’ve got these six questions. And then being able to recommend and say, oh, well, what you need is a CD, or what you need is this over here and the quiz can basically warm them up and say, this is what you need. So now when they come with the intent of I’m specifically looking for this thing, now you can understand why your close rates should go up because they’ve been primed.

Caleb Stevens: Well, for most community banks, their number one revenue driver is going to be commercial banking, not in every case, but by and large it’s probably not consumer, although consumers are very important, you shouldn’t ignore consumers, but com commercial banking, by and large, is going to be a number one revenue driver. And for most banks, what they have is an army or a team of commercial relationship managers, salespeople and all they’re doing every day is thinking through what’s the small business owner that I need to connect with, how can I get to know them, understand their business, help them solve their problems? Marketing, oftentimes in a community bank is off doing more of the community-focused things, doing the sponsorships for the local parade, doing the billboard.

Trey Sheneman: Chambers of commerce, that kind of stuff.

Caleb Stevens: Chambers of commerce, exactly. And I think sometimes community bankers look at their marketing team, doing those things and looking at their commercial relationship managers, doing more of the commercial banking thing and saying, well, you guys are sort of focused on different worlds. How do we kind of bring these two things together into alignment? How can marketing potentially help these commercial relationship managers uncover opportunities for small businesses kind of getting into sort of the account-based marketing world? Any thoughts for bankers as they think through that challenge? Because if you think about it, why would I be spending the majority of my marketing dollars on things that by and large don’t contribute to the largest revenue-generating side of my business?

Trey Sheneman: I think we’re seeing some of your very commercial will probably SAS kind of businesses have sort have led the way and what I’m about to say, but I think the precepts or the principles of what I’m about to say, kind of translate over to this situation. But I think that you have to really think about your sales team and your marketing coming together as a revenue operations team, more than marketing being over here in sales, being over there like they need to shoot for the same scoreboard. They need to have a common goal that they’re both contributing to and so if marketing is just off doing luncheons and lunch and learning and dropping business cards and sales is trying to build the relationships in a very outbound, pure business development kind of role, I say never is a very absolute word.

You’re going to struggle. You’re going to struggle in today’s world to have the growth that I think you want. So there’s a thing that I follow the Edelman barometer on trust, it’s just a longstanding survey that they do in the marketplace at all times about how trusting people are of other people online and in business and in life. And this last cycle is the first time in a long time that the state of trust is actually distrusted for most people and if you think through the last two year lens that we’ve all lived through, it actually doesn’t surprise you because nearly every major institution on the earth has had some sort of a question thrown at it by somebody in the last two years, whether it’s big tech or medicine or any of those things.

I’m not trying to get political, I’m just trying to say as business people that are also consumers ourselves, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of the people that it is we’re talking to. And who can I trust seems to be a very predominant leaning in today’s world, no matter where you are politically or geographic or spiritually, any of those things like there’s just a lot of doubt that’s been infused into the marketplace. So I think now more than ever, even in like the local community bank, we have to understand that that local, that we serve, people are not going to be as friendly to just hit me up and let me go to lunch with you and you know, come by and do a presentation. Our tactics are going to have to respond to the marketplace dynamics in real-time. And so what I would encourage these banks to do is to start to put salespeople and marketing people together and to start to create a real desire to do customer interviews.

How can the two of us get together and talk to these the last 10 people who came into our commercial lead funnel, these three closed these seven didn’t, let’s do 10 interviews with all of them, with both marketing and sales there together at the same time, for the seven that didn’t was it all the same answer? Was it seven different answers? Were there two answers that popped up for the three that did have them say back in their own words to you, why was that they did? And now you have a campaign that you can now build together marketing sales, where you can focus on these are the reasons why they did. Here’s the objections we’ve got to overcome better on the front end. Marketing can now create collateral or an advertising strategy or it’s nothing it’s pennies for you to do a blanketed paid social Facebook campaign on small geography to just blatantly say what those objections were and the ad copy and overcome them on the front end, so if you want to book a call with an agent who has somebody saying things like, yada yada, yada, yada, what the last three people said, they said, you follow what I’m saying. So I think bringing the two together and having them talk to customers, hear from customers, talk to close to lost, just as close to one. I think they can learn a lot about the mechanics of what it is we got to be doing in today’s world because I just don’t think about whether it’s commercial banking or consumer banking. I just don’t think there’s positivity in this space right now to just be like, yeah, I’ll just let any random guy or gal come by and talk to me in today’s world.

Caleb Stevens: Yeah, sure. And cold calling, by and large, I think in commercial banking is generally not effective. Now referrals are maybe I know a CPA really well and he’s got a guy who he does accounting for and this guy is looking for another relationship or another bank that often is very effective, the referral type of thing. Any thoughts on firmographics? I hear that term a lot these days, firmographics, what are sort of the attributes of a company that would be a great fit for the product or service that I provide, I think that’s a big key there. I mean that’s for us, we sell products to other banks, but there are 5,000 banks in the US, but not all 5,000 would fit the problems that we help solve. So we’ve got to kind of be strategic and narrow down, who are we trying to get to know?

Trey Sheneman: I think firmographics, so just for those of your listeners who might not be familiar with that word, like firmographics is basic least psychographics on the business. That’s the way that I talk about it kind of breaks it down in my mind. So size a company number of employees, buying cycle that they’re in, current vendors that they use. There are lots of different things that can make up a firmographic profile and listen. There are a ton of vendors in space now, MarTech Wise, who have stepped up to become a firmographic provider. Not just a list of names and email addresses, but a much more robust kind of client profile on these prospective businesses. There’s a bunch of big guys out there, I’m not going to plug any of them, and you can go do your own research. What I would say about that is all of that boils down to having a very intentional understanding of what your ideal customer profile is, however you get that information.

The investment tier that you have to make to get the really good, strong firmographic MarTech platform is quite substantial most of the time. But I think the understanding of even if you use one of these more lightweight firmographic providers out there that can put a string of data or a string of code, excuse me, on your main website. And then they can come back to you and say, here’s the 40 IP addresses of people who were recently on your website. Here’s what we were able to capture about them, you should reach out to them. Things like that seem to be table stakes to me right now, especially if you’re more of a sales-driven ecosystem than you are a marketing-driven ecosystem, much of your digital product-led businesses in today’s world tend to be a little more marketing-driven, do a recorded demo or something like that and you get to do a free trial of a product and now you can buy it out by it.

But if it’s a, I got to talk to a human being in order to process this deal, then I do think having some, even if it’s a small platform that is capturing some firmographic data, again, even at a minimum, if it’s just the inbound data of people spending time on your own site so that you can understand where they, who they are and where they are. I think it’s a reasonable investment, but I don’t think that that necessarily means that the only campaign that you do once you have that information is an outbound sales campaign. Now, “Hey, very big brotherish.” Hey, so, and so I know you were on our website recently, you visited these seven pages, I think there’s some tactfulness that you got to have between sales and marketing once you get that feed of firmographic data coming in, because in a lot of ways, that’s first party data, right? That’s data that your analytics software, your tracking pixel is tracking, but you still need that zero party data, which is you get on the phone with them and you say, “Hey, I just got some questions, it seems to me that you might be in the market for X, Y, Z.” And in that way our quizzes are basically digital versions of that sale in conversation, you still need to have that conversation and get that volunteered information back from the prospect so that you can make sure that you’re actually serving what it is that they need.

Caleb Stevens: Any thoughts on direct mail? One kind of phrase that I’ve sort of coined in my mind over the past year is in a world of digital don’t neglect the physical because the physical can cut right through the digital, straight to your desk and without plugging any companies that we work with or any trades secrets. I think we’ve gotten pretty close to figuring out a way to do direct mail and a way that’s highly effective, builds great relationships as personal, as relevant to them, it takes a lot of firmographic kind of research on the front end, but once you figure that part out, it can be really effective. Any thoughts on how to work direct mail with some of your digital strategies?

Trey Sheneman: Sure. All my colleagues they’re about to just go like, well, I can’t believe Trey’s going to say something like this. I really think direct mail is going to be on the rise for the next three or four years. Again, if you think back to the stress barometer that I was talking about a minute ago, I think like the being able to, we’re on a podcast so people can’t see what I’m doing right now, but like the being able to actually tangibly hold something in your hand again, I think is going to actually take us back from a nostalgic sort of way in our brains, emotionally to hominess, trustworthiness that the digital world has just completely abandoned and done away with. I also do think you’re going to see a lot of brands who realize, especially if they’re like geo-focused businesses like I serve this very specific geographical region and that’s who I serve. The cost factor, the amount of money that the barrier of entry to be able to do a blanketed saturation campaign in that market is actually not that high in the grand scheme of things.

So I think you’re going to see people start to take what might have been a, let’s call it fifty thousand dollars digital advertising budget. I think you’re going to start to see people do we’ll spend 35 on digital and 15 on physical, and let’s just see how it goes. The biggest, the biggest kind of word of advice I would give to those of you who step into the physical print mailing, is whatever your CTA is on that piece of collateral, make sure that’s the only place it exists. So that when that phone number is called or that web URL is visited, whatever it is, you can isolate the specific performance of that campaign. It doesn’t just generally go to your homepage or your general phone number, because then it’s going to be hard for you to bifurcate it out and understand actually what the rate of return was. That’s the only thing I would say is to make sure you have a great tracking plan in place so that you can measure your ROI of that investment.

Caleb Stevens: Well Trey, this has been a really helpful discussion. I’d love to just sort of end with the question of how do you come up with all these ideas? Where do you look, who do you look to, or where do you look for inspiration? How do you and your team sort of filter through here? The things we’re going to do versus the things we’re not going to do because I would think as a creative kind of person, you can have ideas out the Wazoo, but a lot of it comes into the discipline of discerning what is actually worth following through on.

Trey Sheneman: Yeah, I mean I’m holding up for you. I think I’ve got six full doodle pages just from this one week. I have a little bit of a unique process for this. I doodle a lot, I use voice memos. I use notes on my phone. I use scrap sheets of paper. So I kind of, whenever the creative comes to me and I get inspiration from a lot of places, I love to read at age, I like to have a handful of brands online, Chick-fil-A one of, apple being one of them that I kind of have a bucketed of like the real artsy kind of brands and where they’re going from a look standpoint, the human connection kind of brands like Chick-fil-A with their white couch interviews and everything they’re doing in that space.

I was trying to look up the name of the company before, so you would think that means they would’ve done a better job on me, but I remember the campaign that they run. It’s one of the investment companies, but they ran a campaign last year that was worth over wealth, but it was an investment company. It was really well done. They had like seven different commercials that felt like the next chapter in one story. So anyway, I get inspiration from a lot of places. I tend to doodle it down every week. Our team has a content marketing brainstorming meeting for an hour, hour and a half where we just say, hey, what’s the next round of ideas that we need to be thinking about for where we’re going. We keep what’s called a groomed backlog. So essentially we keep a running list of all the ideas we’ve talked about and ones that we think are relevant and we’re constantly reframing and reprioritizing that list based on the newest idea that we think is going to make the most sense.

And just because it’s in the backlog, doesn’t mean we’re going to do all of them. It’s just a categorization system that we use to say understanding customers and where they are today. These are the ones that we think are going to drive the best impact for us. And I’m also a firm believer that you can get great ideas from anywhere in the organization. They don’t just have to come from the marketers. Sometimes the best ideas come from when you share your idea and somebody else adds a 15 or 20% tweak to that idea. This is like my kind of closing point is I tend even in my brain where something’s a hundred percent-baked, I try and have the posture of, Hey, I’ve got this idea I’ve been working on. And to me, it’s about 75% there. I’d love to see what you think about it, poke holes in it, make it better, challenge it and so on and so forth.

And I think like that open-handed approach you could bring to the table whenever you are brainstorming around ideas, we just invite more conversation to the table, which will ultimately make the idea better. Or prove that it’s not one that you should do at all. And you’re actually wrong. So cooperation, collaboration, let whenever you make sure you have some kind of system that works for your genius about capturing the ideas when they come, my mind’s a little frenetic because I tend to be a little frenetic is how the good Lord made me, that’s just me. But also just involving your team in a scheduled way to have the conversations about what you think you could do and then having a system in place for how you’re going to track and keep up with all those ideas so you don’t lose them so that they might come up two, three months from now you have something that you can go on.

Caleb Stevens: Well, if the bankers are listening or hearing you talk and they’re thinking, man, maybe we need a quiz funnel on our website. How can they reach out to you and connect with what you guys are doing?

Trey Sheneman: So I would just say, go to Right there on the homepage we actually have a quiz about which kind of quiz funnel will be right for you. So just take that free quiz, that’s a great way to get on our list. You’ll start to get our newsletters, our blogs, all the things that we’re doing about educating people on how to better serve their customers online. And only a handful of times a year, we offer boot camps or a masterclass, which is a controlled environment where you can actually get your quiz built in just a few days. So once you get on the list, if any of those opportunities or something you want to take advantage of, you’ll hear about them, and then you’ll be able to come in our next, one’s coming up in April and then we got one in July after that. So it’s only a handful because we go all in as a whole company, whenever we help we put on these virtual events, we don’t just have like a, you can just sign up whenever you want. There’s only a handful of times a year that we offer the service that way we can over-deliver. As I said earlier, make sure you’re satisfied and your quiz is working, but, take the quiz, hop on the list and then we’ll be in touch.

Caleb Stevens: Well, Trey, this has been a really helpful discussion. I feel like we could go for another 30 minutes or an hour, but thank you for your time. And this has been really helpful.

Trey Sheneman: Thank you, buddy. Have a great day. I look forward to talking again sometime soon.


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