Clint Parry, Focus HR discovers the benefit of an objective Custom Playbook

Clint Parry:
I’m Clint Parry, and I lead business development efforts here at Focus HR. Those of you not familiar with Focus HR, we are an HR outsourcing business. We’re locally based here in Tucson, Arizona. We’ve been doing HR outsourcing supporting Southern Arizona businesses for about 17 years now, and fundamentally we solve problems in the areas of human resources, employee benefits, workers’ compensation, risk, safety, and payroll. Our goal is pretty simple. We’re here to save, ultimately reduce labor costs for employers by reducing and sort of mitigating the transactional HR stuff that they are excited to liberate themselves from, and also reducing their employee related liability. So we love the business. It’s a great business, we and enjoy doing what we do a lot.

Lilly Darling:
Excellent. So give me a little bit of a sense of, from your vantage point, and as you look at the landscape of getting the word out about Focus HR and sharing with the community, and you’ve got opportunities to market or do different activities. What does it feel like from your perspective whenever you evaluate all those different options? How do you go about making a decision when it comes to marketing? What does that feel like to you?

Clint Parry:
Well, there are a bazillion different ways you can market your company and your business, and I’ve been in the sales and marketing related fields for many years and coached business owners on this. And so literally there’s endless different ways and different strategies, and ultimately there’s, I think there are the high touch sort of traditional strategies, where you’re cold calling, you’re telemarketing, get on the phone, networking. I would say more of the active strategies, or the things you are personally involved in doing and trying to develop business.

And then I think there are what I call more of the, and of course some of that active strategies include building strategic alliances, running workshops, just things that require you in person. And I think there are a lot of what I call more of the passive strategies, things that are sort of working behind the scenes, where maybe traditional advertising, whether that’s on the TV, radio, billboards, or electronic digital advertising. And certainly for me, what’s been intriguing and really still learning a lot about is sort of this whole concept of digital marketing and all that that entails.

And so we just live now in a different world, where a lot of the traditional forms of marketing and lead generation aren’t as effective, and so we’ve got to adapt and be able to market our businesses and develop leads and convert those leads into business in a different way, in a way that goes to where people are, but also in a way that can really customize the message and build a relationship, or maybe we can’t build that relationship in person, but we’ve got to somehow build that relationship digitally, and build trust and connection and interest and intrigue. And so I think that’s kind of, as I think about marketing and lead generation, and when I say marketing, I would say I’m looking at it from both generating leads and converting leads into business.


Lilly Darling:

Right, absolutely. That’s a really well-rounded approach, too. You have a history of looking at marketing, and you’re talking about, you know, there’s that high touch, in-person activity that’s really valuable and an asset, but things have shifted. And you’re talking about adapting to different ways of recreating that same trust and relationship. And not that you’re going to necessarily depart from one, but just realizing that there’s a blend and you can really be effective.


Clint Parry:

What’s interesting about that, Lilly, is that that’s changed even more, even in the last six, eight weeks. That change has probably been accelerated by many years because what we’ve just experienced is going to have some fairly significant disruptive impact on the way that we have traditionally marketed businesses or developed leads, converted leads. And so whether you like it or not, we’re going to get sort of shoved into, kicking and screaming maybe, into this idea of digital marketing and working virtually and being able to connect digitally.


Lilly Darling:

Right, absolutely. That’s true. Like it or not, and I am on the side of liking that, but I’ve come from a traditional world of advertising and design and that kind of thing, too. So I can understand that there can be a transition, then, when you’re learning a whole new set of language and a whole new set of tools and how those all fit together. That can be a place that maybe causes a little bit of confusion.

So I want to pivot a little bit here to just sharing, Anchor Wave has come up with what we call a customized playbook. And so you had the opportunity to walk through that process. As it’s an experience that you’ve had, what I would like to do is just kind of ask you about that experience and what it was like walking through that playbook that was put together for you.


Clint Parry:

You guys did a great webinar a few weeks back, Mike and Anthony, and it was really exceptional, I thought, and I’d recommend anybody, because I think you probably recorded it. So I’d recommend anybody, if you just want, first of all, just to get some education around digital marketing, and how things have changed and why it’s so important now, to watch that webinar. And then secondly, as part of an outcome of that was we’re offering a playbook, a complimentary playbook process to develop for your business. And we’ll review that with you.

So I took it as an opportunity to say, hey, look, we dabbled very little in digital marketing. I would say most of our lead generation efforts here at Focus have been more on the traditional, very high touch, in-person, and we’re very much a relationship business, but I just felt like that piece has been sort of lacking. And so I really wanted to get educated around that. What does our digital footprint look like? How are we doing? And so I signed up and said I would love to go through the process.

So Tom from your team, we set up a meeting appointment, and he did all the work preparing in the background and then set up a time just to take me through the playbook. And essentially, for me, what it was is a very objective look at sort of here’s where you are at, and he used a variety. Well, he kind of gave me a framework, first of all, for how you see digital marketing. So it’s really a pyramid, structurally foundational kind of  – very basic foundation. And you look at the way active buyers are out there and how are they buying. And then there are the passive buyers, and how are you going to influence them? And just really took me through each level and some of the tools and strategies that are out there to reach them.

And then, how do we measure up? And so that was pretty enlightening, honestly, to go through that process, because he really started foundationally. What’s your website? How’s it doing? Are there any areas of opportunity to improve the website, to make it more functional, to make it more effective in terms of allowing people to find you? It’s your virtual storefront. Can you be found and can they land on the right page and get the information they quickly need, and then call to action and get them into the pipeline and interest.

And then from there, we started looking at how are we showing up in terms of reviews. Where are we at there? Do we have enough reviews? Are they current reviews? And then moved into looking at our search engine optimization. Can we be found, when people do a search on payroll Tucson, whatever the search terms they’re using for, Focus HR can be found. And then from there, moved into talking about some other strategies around Google Ads and Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads and other more passive strategies that can be utilized. Cost per click and other Google AdWords is another thing that we talked about.


So in all of these situations, he basically said, here’s what is available and here’s where you’re at. And this is very objective. What I really felt about it, honestly, Lilly, it was a fairly objective view. It wasn’t just saying, I think you guys suck and you’re terrible. You really need to improve. It was like, here’s how we measure things and using that level playing field based on just doing some analysis, here’s kind of how you show up.


Lilly Darling:

Right. That is so excellent to hear back from you. It just makes me so happy, simply because, as I was sharing, one of my goals is just to make sure that folks feel like they can get this information. You’re an expert in what you do. You’ve got things that you’re focused on every single day and that you have learned and have expertise in, and skilled at, and knowledge and words that I would never recognize or fully understand unless you taught them potentially to me. And so I think that to come into a conversation with digital marketers and a business and to have it be objective and to not have it be, I don’t want to say manipulative or negative, but sometimes I think that can be the case, where if you’re coming in to share an idea with that person in a place of, oh, you’re not doing so great here, and so I’m going to make you feel really bad about that, or you really need to do this and putting that pressure, our intention really is about that education, creating that just awareness.

And you can just clearly see objectively, as you mentioned, where you stand, what’s available, and what the options are, and just have it be a choice now that you can take it as far as where you want to have action happen. So to hear that you felt that it was an objective conversation, it really kind of…

Clint Parry:
I thought so. And also, I think what also I liked was, I mean, to try to eat the whole elephant at once can be overwhelming and a fairly sizable investment. So I really liked how you took the playbook and sort of broke it down into some manageable bite sized chunks. Start here with some foundational things, some initial investment, and then you can sort of work your way and then make the next step, and the next step. That was sort of a building strategy that made it a little bit more palatable and a little bit more digestible and doable, I guess. And hey, I can do this, I can start with some baby steps and then work my way up. I don’t have to try to boil the ocean at once.

Lilly Darling:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It is a one step at a time, and it doesn’t need to be an overwhelming, I should be doing all of these, all at the same time. It’s not an all or nothing. You can start with one thing, grow that, accelerate it, and really see the results of it and move forward. So, awesome.

Lilly Darling:
Well, I was going to ask what your biggest takeaway was from the playbook experience, but you kind of did share a bit about that objective feedback and just understanding where you are and where your next steps are. If there’s anything you wanted to add to that or share with us about that playbook experience.

Clint Parry:
Yeah, I think just to top up on that, I think I would share, Lilly, that it’s sort of, I’d highly recommend just going through it, first of all. I mean, takeaway is, should’ve done this sooner rather than later, but obviously it’s something you just started offering, but there’s no hesitation. Shouldn’t be any hesitation, first of all, to just go through the process in itself. Number one, it’ll be an amazing education for you. It’ll be an eyeopening, awakening opportunity for you. So do it. It will give you a very clear objective view on where your business is from a digital marketing, digital footprint perspective.

Because sometimes in business, you’re just humming along, doing your thing and doing what you do best, and you don’t know what you don’t know. And that’s so important in business today, is really being educated and understanding what are some of the things that we just don’t even know, may not even realize that can be inhibiting the success of our business. When you have a professional, like Anchor Wave, that’s been doing this for a long time and they can provide you a very objective viewpoint on where you’re at digital marketing wise, invest an hour of your time for heaven’s sakes to really get some really powerful insight around your business that can help you, I think, set some things in place so that you can be much more adept and effective in how you compete. And implementing a digital marketing strategy I think is a very crucial pillar that you’ve got to have in place, in addition to some of the other traditional lead generation marketing kinds of activities.

Lilly Darling:

Excellent. Well, thank you so much. I certainly appreciate your time, Clint, and check out Focus HR, if you’re out there and you need those services. You’re obviously an expert in your field, and I just really appreciate that feedback, and thank you for your time.

Clint Parry:

Sure!

Anchor Wave