Whether you’re head of marketing for a national brand or a small business owner in Santa Clarita, you need to employ the next generation of marketing tools to succeed in your industry. AI-powered data is the latest strategy to enable businesses of all sizes and stripes to expand their reach, and most companies need an expert to put it in place. Jason Renno, owner of Definitive Edge Marketing, talked with Amanda Benson-Tilch, host of The Ask Amanda Show, to share the success of his data-driven research, particularly in the addiction recovery space.
Taking a hard look at your marketing strategy is as important for a startup founder as it is for an established L.A. business owner who wants to scale their company. The same is true for your marketplace – every industry needs to get in front of potential customers.
“Whether you’re selling insurance or whether you’re a roofing contractor, at the end of the day, you have to have some sort of marketing and sales tactics that you should be able to pick up and transplant into another profession if you want to,” Jason said.
Working in the digital marketplace enables a business expert in Santa Clarita to have a worldwide reach and work from anywhere, which increases their freedom and flexibility.
Refining/Distilling Your Niche
As a new marketing professional, you may think you can succeed with any client – a small retail business in Los Angeles or a B2B powerhouse in New York City. Experts find that you often hit your stride after homing in on a smaller target. When you launch a company as a new entrepreneur, it typically looks different in year one than it does a few years down the line.
In the case of Jason Renno, who left the mortgage business to launch a marketing company, he started as a social media planning agency serving a wide range of clientele. Six years later, his company is now more targeted and Definitive Edge Marketing works primarily with addiction recovery centers.
“I thought, ‘I can be a little bit different, and I can serve local businesses and national businesses – I can serve everybody,’” Jason said. “We did that for about five years, and we did okay, but there is always this ceiling that we kept smashing our heads into. Finally, about a year ago, when we were able to license and get access to all of these AI-powered data tools and market data and everything else, we landed our first addiction treatment client.”
The addiction treatment space has become a successful niche for Jason’s company.
“Good for you for not giving up and pressing forward, but also, as you hit the ceiling you realized you needed to try something else,” Amanda said. “That is a block for a lot of people, when you hit the ceiling and ask, ‘What am I going to do?’ You know, you can’t just live here forever.”
Finding that niche was a game-changer for Definitive Edge Marketing. “Once we found success in that, and then we started niching down in that, over the last six months our business has doubled, and clients are lining up. It’s just been such an amazing experience,” Jason said. “We focused on one thing and got really good at that one thing.”
AI-Powered Data Tools
Definitive Edge Marketing serves clients by leveraging AI-powered data tools and omnichannel trust-building campaigns through platforms from Facebook and Instagram to Google and TikTok. Two main aspects of their services include:
- In-Market Data
For a small business looking for new clients, it’s easy to overspend on Google clicks or any of the well-known online advertising platforms. The Definitive Edge strategy uses in-market data to maximize the success of their clients’ campaigns. The process involves sifting out the online masses to center in on people who have already searched for the client’s business, their products, or services. They apply the data to boost the client’s Facebook, Google, and YouTube campaigns.
How they acquire it:
“We go and we bid on anywhere from 12 to 15 ad platforms – Google, Yahoo, Bing, all of the major ones – and we bid on anonymous data,” Jason explained. “We’re buying a hash form of an email address that doesn’t look like anything to anybody else and we purchase it for pennies, fractions of a penny, on the dollar. We’ve purchased millions upon millions of these. Over the last 12 years, this data and this software has compiled public data where we can match the hash forms and provide what we call in-market data.”
What they do with it:
The in-market data can be used to:
- Warm up Facebook campaigns
- Provide a warmer audience at the top end of your sales funnel on YouTube, Google, and email campaigns
- Add traffic to your landing page
- Facebook Pixel
A piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimize, and build audiences for your ad campaigns, a Facebook pixel is an analytics tool to measure the effectiveness of your advertising.
“Facebook tracks people hitting your website, captures 20-30% of them, and if you feed more money into Facebook, it allows you to retarget them,” Jason explained. “We have our own pixel, so we take that data, and we capture 50-60% of those bounce visitors.”
By creating the same omnichannel retargeting approach, a Facebook lead can be retargeted not just on Facebook, but on YouTube, Google Display, Google Discovery, etc. “We create not just an omnichannel top-of-funnel approach, but an omnichannel retargeting approach,” Jason said.
Data collected by Definitive Edge Marketing isn’t just handed over to a business owner looking for marketing help. The marketing content created for various platforms needs to be customized, because whether it’s YouTube or TikTok, they each have their own set of requirements for posting.
Also, targeting requires oversight to be sure it’s successful and to make changes over time. “Part of the consulting is we’ll get access to the client’s ads manager, so either myself or my partner, Alvin, will poke in a couple times a week and make sure, to see if the ads that we set up using our data are performing,” Jason said.
Facebook, YouTube, Google Display, and Google Discovery ads are all tracked in real time. “It’s real-time results and the client never thinks we’re hiding; we’re trying to be as transparent as possible,” Jason said. “So, every week, every day the end-market data is constantly being updated and the numbers fluctuate. Assuming they’re constantly running traffic and driving people to their website, every day that’s more people they could be putting into their database and capturing their name, email address, and phone number and sending out retargeting campaigns.”
Some of Jason’s favorite tools and platforms for his work with addiction and treatment center clients are:
- A 60-question survey for new clients
- Google Docs – Different folders for each client, where video footage can be stored
- Loom – A screen recording software: “I use Loom almost every single day. I don’t even try to type emails to my team anymore. I just record a Loom video and say, ‘Hey, do this.’”
- Slack – A game-changing platform, because you can pin things to channels and you can link it to Loom and Google Drive for the whole team
- HighLevel (GoHighLevel.com) – The main software used by Definitive Edge Marketing because it allows them to do anything such as building landing pages and websites: “It’s a full CRM (customer relationship management platform) with email text capability. There’s a full back-end workflow process to build out multiple landing pages, link them together, set up workflows from landing pages, and you can track ads through it.”
Definitive Edge Marketing is beta testing a new software that’s a dashboard. Every client gets a URL where they can see:
- How much money was spent
- If leads came in
- Cost per lead
If you’re an L.A. entrepreneur looking for help launching a new company or a business owner wanting to build a better following, it’s helpful to learn from the experiences of others. Jason shared some advice from his journey from startup to finding a niche in the addiction and treatment center marketplace.
Developing a more personal, targeted marketing campaign doesn’t have to be unethical or infringe on your audience’s rights to privacy. You maintain the integrity of your brand that way.
Honor “Do Not Call” lists and registries, and when an emailer unsubscribes, drop them from your system. “You can get in trouble calling people who don’t want to be called,” Jason said.
Use an email drip campaign – Send a limited number of emails to your audience based on actions they take or changes in their status. For instance, if you have an eCommerce business, you can reach out to people who abandon a virtual cart on your website.
Scrub all email lists before sending anything out – Remove unengaged subscribers from your email list so you’re only marketing to people who want to receive your emails. “It goes back to tracking,” Jason explained. “You hear, ‘I sent out 10,000 emails.’ How many got delivered? How many clicks? Did you get any spam complaints? “Sending out 10,000 emails is great, but if I could send out 10 and get 5 deals from it, that’s better than your 10,000 that got no deals.”
Spending money on streamlining your campaign can be compared to buying insurance. “It’s not an extra cost, it’s preventative,” Jason said. “You don’t want to have to deal with attorneys. You don’t want to deal with a domain that doesn’t work. You don’t want to start emailing your clients that everything’s going into spam.”
Streamlining Operations by Documenting Procedures
“Everything my team is doing is being documented and we’re creating what we call SOP – service operating procedures – so, as my teams are doing daily tasks they’re recording videos,” Jason said. “That way when we start hiring, I have trainings and procedures. Every single thing is documented and we’re ready to go.”
Jason finds it easy to document using Loom video messaging software. “That’s how I assign all my tasks, and that’s how we record and document,” Jason said. “Next time I hire a campaign manager or my workflow expert, or God forbid, somebody gets sick or quits on me or something, they can spend their first two days watching all these videos, learning how we do things here.”
Jason recently hired a virtual assistant, which he calls a homerun. “I have an assistant who acts as myself online and organically outreaches to addiction treatment centers – CEO’s, decisionmakers,” he said. “We’ve gotten more out of her organic outreach in 45 days than the 50 grand I spent on ads last year.”
One tip that’s proving successful with clients is a guaranteed ROI. Jason offers to waive his company’s retainer if they don’t get marketing results for the client.
“That’s a great little incentive for both of you,” Amanda said. “You’re getting their buy-in and they’re getting your commitment.”
Meet the Experts
Jason Renno – Data-Driven Marketer
Jason is the owner of Definitive Edge Marketing, a company combining senior strategists, data engineers, and in-house tech with AI to create impactful campaigns for addiction treatment centers. They build and implement systems to help clients reach more individuals through AI-powered data marketing tools and omnichannel retargeting. Jason is passionate about supporting the important work of addiction treatment and committed to using data-driven insights and the latest technology to maximize their outreach.
An accomplished marketing entrepreneur with years of proven results in the industry, Jason and his partner built Definitive Edge Marketing into a six-figure monthly agency specializing in consulting across multiple nations with a particular focus on addiction treatment. Jason’s previous background in the mortgage and finance industry spanning more than 20 years has equipped him with a deep understanding of both the financial and marketing worlds. He’s a strategic thinker who excels in client communication enabling him to connect and deliver quality work on time and within budget.
Jason specializes in leveraging AI-powered data tools and Omnichannel trust-building campaigns through platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. If you would like to start a conversation or ask him questions about improving your marketing results, you can text him at 661-513-3112. You can also find him on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
Amanda Benson-Tilch – Small Business Consulting
While you may notice her first by her wit and second by her infectious sense of humor, the next thing you’ll learn about Amanda Benson-Tilch is: She’s a problem-solver. Owner and Growth Strategist of Ask Amanda Consulting, she offers the skills, tools, and network it takes to get the job done — no matter the task.
Working with each client differently, she helps identify blocks, present solutions, implement them, and execute. And if she can’t execute, she’ll connect you to someone who can. She’s helped past clients improve their branding, operations, customer service, marketing, company culture, and more. She’s organized a company-wide rebranding and restructuring after it was bought out. And she’s helped local small businesses increase their growth without increasing the headache. From consulting to full-scale project management, Amanda steps in to help your business level up with ease.
In addition to her work with Ask Amanda, she’s also the Director of Business Development for Thomas Realty Co., a property management company in Burbank, where she oversees the growth of select tenants. Currently, she’s serving as the Managing Director of both Burbank Fitness Club and Burbank Center Apartments. Over the last year, she helped completely rebrand, renovate, and rebuild the gym, and she recently started the same process with their luxury apartments.
About The Ask Amanda Show
On any given day, small business owners and entrepreneurs spend most of their time putting out fires, solving problems and asking themselves questions like: “How do I brand this? How do I reach more people online? Why can’t I break through my revenue ceiling and reach the next level of business?” They often feel like an island – holding it all together without the support, clarity, or feedback they need to finally achieve their vision. That’s exactly why Amanda Benson-Tilch created The Ask Amanda Show. As a small business consultant, not only does she have the answers to the questions you keep asking, but she’s also created a podcast community that reminds you: You’re not alone in this journey.
Tune in once a month to get access to small business experts, nuggets of inspiration and answers to those burning questions preventing you from growth. Enjoy powerful guest interviews as Santa Clarita small business experts share their stories and provide actionable steps to help you grow your business. Whether you’re a business owner, aspiring entrepreneur, or someone looking to get more involved in your community, this is your show!