“The average company spends 25% of their operating budget on technology, they spend 24% of their budget on advertising.”
Dan McGaw is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, and the CEO of McGaw.io, an analytics and marketing technology consultancy and SaaS platform, UTM.io. In addition, Dan also finds time to be a 500 Startups Mentor, and has previously started the first business accelerator in Orlando, FL.
He’s also a thought leader in the MarTech world and a CXL instructor on the topic. Having spoken at leading marketing conferences and online events, his expertise lies in helping businesses extract and interpret the right data to grow their revenue exponentially.
Questions and topics we covered:
- Dan’s story about his first marketing job promoting a band!
- How does Dan qualify leads for both of his businesses?
- How does Dan leverage automation to scale his service-based business?
- Why is building a MarTech stack so difficult?
- What are some ways that marketers can cut costs when building a MarTech stack? (Hint: don’t use HubSpot)
- How can a business get a full inventory of the tools in their stack?
- What are the categories of MarTech tools?
- What are UTMs and why are they vital to a marketer’s success?
- Is Google Data Studio a tool that all businesses should add to their stack?
- If Dan could mold the ideal marketer, what skills would he want them to have?
Full Episode Transcript:
Kenny Soto 0:03
Hello, everyone. What’s up? It’s Kenny Soto and we are doing digital marketing. Today’s guest is Dan McGaw. Hi, Dan, how are you?
Dan McGaw 0:31
I’m doing well. How are you today?
Kenny Soto 0:32
I’m doing very, very well. I’m going to start this episode off as I do with every other episode by asking you a very straightforward question so that the listeners can learn more about you as a marketer. And that question is, how did you get into digital marketing?
Dan McGaw 0:48
Yeah, fascinating question. You know, I accidentally fell into marketing when I was really young. So I had no idea what was going on, you know, I think I was like nine years old. And I received a promo pack in the mail from some boy band.
And if I recall there, like the black book, or Black Label, or I can’t remember what it was, but either way, this white boy band from I can’t remember where like Florida or something. And I live in the ghetto, the ghetto in Pittsburgh. And they needed street crews and promoters to promote this boy band. And I was like, sweet, I’ll do it. Like, it’s cool.
I’ll get free stuff. And you know, that was my first experience actually doing marketing, which, you know, when you’re promoting a white boy band, in a very, very gangster ghetto, it doesn’t work very well. It wasn’t very well received. So I also learned about failure very quickly through marketing through that experience as well. But that’s honestly how I got into marketing. It was my first introduction to it.
Kenny Soto 1:42
Are there any connections to that first experience that you can see in what you do today?
Dan McGaw 1:50
Absolutely, I mean, the biggest, the big thing that I would just say is that I’m not afraid to try something new. And I’m not afraid to fail at something. So I think there’s a big connection between the fact that I actually had to, like go outside, put posters on buildings, and like, figure out how to promote these guys and like, get people to their concert, which was going to happen in Pittsburgh.
You know, I learned really, really quickly that it’s okay to fail, right? And it’s okay to like, actually go outside to do marketing. Because I think one of the things that everybody thinks about today, everybody’s like, scared to talk to customers who are scared to actually do marketing, where there are people around, they always want to hide behind PPC or hide behind social media, they never actually see marketing, face to face.
So I think there were a lot of things that I took away from that experience, being willing to fail, but also having to like, go do marketing in real life. I still do marketing in real life now. So I definitely think there were some correlations between what we did then and some of the learnings that I have now,
Kenny Soto 2:50
Couldn’t someone argue that what you were really doing was sales? How would you tackle that claim?
Dan McGaw 2:59
Well, I mean, when your sales are when I’m communicating with another person, typically one on one and building a relationship and building rapport with them. In this case, I was not talking to individual people, right, I was putting posters and gluing them to the side of buildings, or telephone poles, or anything like that.
So I wasn’t actually talking to people in doing sales necessarily, right? My job was to distribute flyers and distribute posters, and basically do guerilla marketing, right? Not necessarily the best marketing. But when you have to glue a poster to a telephone pole or staple a poster to a telephone pole, and there are people standing there watching you do this, you know, that’s a certain amount of fear or anxiety you have to overcome.
And that’s what I mean by getting over real-world stuff. Because when you build a PPC ad, right, nobody’s watching you, nobody’s judging you. But when you’re hanging a poster, or duct taping a poster to a telephone pole, at the bus stop, where there are 30 people waiting for the bus and they’re staring at you.
That’s a totally different feeling. And no, that’s not sales at all. Now, if I was going to each one of those people standing at that bus stop and then trying to convince them to buy our product or to buy a ticket, that’d be different. I was just handing them flyers and then walking away. That’s, that’s totally different.
Kenny Soto 4:11
Got it. Now, how would you describe your current job?
Dan McGaw 4:17
Yeah, I mean, as I’m the CEO of two separate companies, so I’m the CEO of a company called Magog data, EO. We’re a marketing technology marketing analytics agency, that works with a lot of cool brands to ultimately figure out their customer data, build your customer data, and infrastructure, learn their customer journey, and things like that.
I’m also the CMO or excuse me, CEO of another company called utm.io, which is a campaign link management platform. So if you’ve ever built campaign links with UTM, we are the platform that everybody uses to do that effectively and efficiently.
So my role now as the CEO, is that I’m heavily still involved with marketing for both companies. That being said, I do it more from an executive perspective where I don’t really do the work anymore. I’m delegating to a team Providing them coaching feedback and helping them grow in their career. So I would say my position now is more about helping other marketers be successful compared to actually doing the marketing.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a very, very opinionated point of view on marketing. So I’m still doing the marketing in some capacity, because I’m leading it, but I just don’t I’m more about training and coaching other than I was before.
Kenny Soto 5:21
Just for a little bit more context, can you describe the ideal client slash customer for each respective business?
Dan McGaw 5:32
Yeah, so from a god data do, we typically are targeting businesses between 20 million and $200 million in revenue, they’re spending more than $10,000 a month on their technology stack. So a combination of their marketing tools, sales, tools, and even customer success. That’s an easy one from god audio.
And we’re typically focused on selling to the CEO, the CIO, or CMO, and also the VP of marketing. And that’s really where we focus our effort. And then there are certain trigger points that we noticed when we want to sell somebody if somebody is new. So if they just hired a new CEO, CMO, CIO, or VP of Marketing, that’s a really good point for us to go in and contact them and then try to do a diagnostics.
That’s a good trigger point. And another good trigger point for when we want to talk with somebody is when they recently added new technology to their website, which is in our preferred tools offering. So that’s kind of our typical ICP, we have no preference towards b2b or b2c. We are definitely agnostic to that. When we think about our agency and our consulting company. I mean, we have about 20 clients right now.
And we typically, I mean, a client is typically paying us between 10 and $30,000 a month, over a six-month to 12-month period. So definitely, you’ve got to have a pretty big budget to be able to do that. So definitely that mid-market is a big focus for us. We don’t discriminate against enterprises. But you know, General Electric doesn’t like to pay their bills on time, they like to pay them for months late, if ever, so we tend and no picking on General Electric, I’m just saying big companies in general, they typically want to pay really, really late.
So we focus on those companies that will pay quickly. And then with UTM video, typically we are targeting directors of analytics, and marketing operations managers, at big companies. So UTM, that EO focuses we have a free product, anybody could use it, so any marketer could use our product.
But for our true sales, we are most focused on selling to the enterprise. So large multinational or multi-region, corporations, many of them are doing many more many billions of dollars in revenue. But our ideal customer is a multi-location business that has a large marketing team that may be in five different countries.
And they need to get their campaign links in order but heavily targeted after that director of analytics, director of marketing operations, revenue operations, anybody who cares about the campaign data coming to them, and being able to make sure those campaign data is correct? Is there an ICP?
Kenny Soto 8:02
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of lead qualification. How do you qualify your leads before even talking about a sale? Or even like scheduling a sales call with them?
Dan McGaw 8:17
Yeah, I mean, there are definitely certain criteria like if you, you know, for Maganda do when we definitely think about doing a sales call or anything like that, you’ve got to fit that ICP, you’ve got to be above that 20 million thresholds. In most cases, don’t get me wrong, we’ll talk to people below that threshold, but very quickly disqualify them, because they just don’t have the budget for it.
Even when you come to our website, you fill out our free consultation form. On the free consultation form, there’s a specific thing that says I can afford this amount of money per month as a retainer, and it starts at $5,000. And it goes up.
So it’s like five to 10,010 to 20,000. That simple button of them having to say I can afford this much disqualifies anybody who can’t afford $5,000 a month or more, because people just won’t fill out the form because they realize that’s our kind of entry point. But a lot of the disqualifications are first around, do they have enough money? So are they 20 million in revenue or higher? We’ll then move off of that.
The second criterion for disqualification for us is whether we are capable of doing the work which is typically a yes. And then the third criterion is whether they are going to be fun to work with. We are a service-based business where we are spending a considerable amount of time with our customers multiple hours a week doing different things.
So if they suck to work with we don’t want to work with them. So that’s a disqualifier for us. But at the end of the day, you know, we don’t have the same disqualification flow as I would have had when I worked at KISSmetrics.
Like when I was the head of marketing at KISSmetrics, one of the pioneers in marketing analytics. We had a much much more robust disqualification flow because at KISSmetrics we were doing four to 5000 leads a month, while at Maga Do I mean we’re doing 150 to 200 leads a month with maybe only five of those per month being like, hey, I want to buy your services. So we’re pretty good at targeting or attracting the right target buyer. So we don’t have a ton of disqualifications.
Kenny Soto 10:16
I have a bias. And I’m just being honest here against service-based businesses because they’re hard to scale. So my next question would be, are you using any automation to help with scaling your business?
Dan McGaw 10:32
Absolutely, I mean, our whole premise as a company is automation in general, right, like that’s what we’re most well known for building automated stacks. There’s a ton of automation in our business that helps us run things, we have a lot of integrations between Salesforce and Trello, and harvest and all that stuff, even Gmail on our calendars with Trello.
We also have a proprietary note-taking tool which we’ve we’ve customized and built ourselves, which integrates into Trello. So when we’re in our client meetings, we have a proprietary tool we take the notes with and that integrates to make things a little bit easier. So there’s definitely a lot of automation in there. But at the end of the day, I can speak to this because I come from SAS and I also own a SaaS business.
UTM is a SaaS company. You know the consulting business is definitely much much harder to scale. It’s much, much harder to build, it’s much more difficult. Unfortunately, because I am the Jackass that I am, I always choose the hardest path. And then I always focus on proving naysayers wrong.
And what we have built over the last seven years, I will be very clear is not if I was focused 100% of my time on UTM, that ao which is our SaaS product, we would definitely be doing a lot more revenue, right? And we’d be having a very, very different business. That being said, the goal of Magalia, which is a consulting company, our goal is to become the next Deloitte right, we are focused on going competing with Deloitte, PwC, Gartner, and all the big advisory and consulting firms.
But our strategy to get there has less to do with just the consulting, it has a lot to do with the software that we build. So UTM Dario is just one of the multiple products we have, we own another four Chrome extensions that are used by 1000s and 1000s of users. We have an online stack builder, which is a product we’re building, we have our proprietary note tool, which is about to be spun out and be another company.
So with consulting, the whole goal is to try to better understand the hardest problems companies are facing, and then we’ll build software to solve that problem. And then we allow that software to be where a good amount of our revenue will come from.
So it is definitely a two-sided company because we’re constantly building products at Macabeo. And then we’re rolling that product out for SAS. So while somebody may be focused on one SAS company, I’m focused on four of our internal SAS products. So we’re doing both, but I will always say that consulting is much, much, much harder than SAS. And you’re correct. It’s extremely difficult to scale.
And we understand that the Magalia video is a 20-year 30 year journey. This isn’t something that isn’t Uber, right? You don’t become a $100 billion company in 10 years. In our industry consulting, it takes you 3050 years to get there. But I’m very interested in building that.
Kenny Soto 13:21
It does seem like you’re also building an interesting moat over time. And you mentioned four Chrome extensions, I recently learned that a good tactic for getting easy lead generation is to either acquire a Chrome extension or to create one can you give more context on the four Chrome extensions they were talking about?
Dan McGaw 13:42
Yeah, the first Chrome extension we built was called our company used to be called fn. Amazing, right? So magotteaux rebranded in May of 2020. We used to be called fn. Amazing. And that was, you know, people love the name. But when you’re working with a multibillion-dollar corporation, they don’t like the name, right? So we changed the company name, but we used to have what was known as the effing amazing UTM. builder.
And that was just a simple Chrome extension that people could download and put in their browser that would allow them to build UTM codes, and that product is now utm.io. That UTM builder was free, people would give us an email address, and we would capture three to 500 leads every single month, we build a really, really successful flow around it. And you know, that really helped drive a lot of attention for our brand.
So when you think about building a moat as an agency, one of our modes and our real differentiator is the fact that we actually build these products. So the tools do become part of our moat because they enable us to defend ourselves and be different than other people. So if an amazing UTM builder was one of them, we have an AV testing calculator.
So when in a B testing, you have to make sure that you have statistical significance. So we have a Chrome extension, which enables you and this is an internal tool that we use, but it’s also offered for free if you’re just a Google AB testing calculator Chrome extension and look for the one that says effin amazing on it, that’s ours.
That probably drives maybe 30 leads a month, but they’re highly qualified leads. For us. It’s a lot of people, we actually look at that one for recruiting, a lot of people use a tool we’re trying to actually recruit to come work here, we have another Chrome extension, which is called overdue Trello cards first, that Chrome extension is all about in Trello.
When you look at your card view, for some reason, overdue cards get pushed to the bottom, and we’re like overdue cards should be at the top. So that has a few 1000 users on that Chrome extension.
Again, it’s just an internal tool, but people use it, it runs in the background, and we have an analytics to butter tool, which is internal, you can’t find that one in the store that’s only internal right now. We just launched a Google Drive search Chrome extension, which enables you to go to your Omnibox in Google and type in the word drive, and then hit space, and then whatever your search queries, it will search your Google Drive, that is a proprietary tool that we have, we had to have that one because we can’t have.
There are other tools that do that, that are somewhat effective, but they’re insecure. Ours is very secure. So we have that one. We just launched a Trello search Chrome extension. And then we’re actually about to build, I think, three or four more Trello extensions, to enable our team to be able to do more stuff. So you know, Chrome extensions are really, really easy to build in many cases. So we build a lot of them.
So we have many Chrome extensions, and we’re going to keep building them. But we also have, I think, three other products that are currently not Chrome extensions, but they’re being baked into our website and stuff that we’re still building. So we’re always building something.
Kenny Soto 16:39
Why is building a Mar tech stack? So difficult? And taking also a step back a little Can you describe to the listeners, the concept of a tech stack in general?
Dan McGaw 16:52
Yeah, you know, I mean, then I think this is a term that’s kind of evolving over time, you know, people are familiar with mahr, tech and marketing technology. But excuse me, at the end of the day, sales tech is huge customer success tech, excuse me, customer success tech is huge.
There are a lot of different tools that we’re using out there. So when you start to integrate all these tools together, it builds your tech stack, right? So an easy one to talk about right is you got Google Analytics on your website, you’ve got WordPress, okay, those two put together, obviously, as the start of your stack, you then have, let’s say Marketo, and Marketo is integrated into with Salesforce, right.
And then Salesforce is integrated into insight squared. So all these tools combined together, build your tech stack, right? And there are many different layers of your tech stack, whether that be the marketing stack, the sales stack, or the DevOps stack, there are just a lot of tools, which are using your tech stack.
So when you think about building a tech stack, though, it’s all about integrating those tools together to make life effective. And to make it so that you can have good data infrastructure. At the end of the day, what we try to teach our clients and other companies is that your business is a platform, your business is software, whether you like it or not whether your business is in a software business or not.
Even if you’re a manufacturing company, your business is entirely run on software. So you have to start treating your business as if it’s a platform, and then it’s integrating into all these other constituent tools. And that’s how you build a stack at the end of the day. And if and if people are really interested in like, how do you build a stack, what is the most thing stack, I would recommend getting a copy of my book, I wrote a book a year ago called build cool shit.
It’s a blueprint for creating a marketing technology stack. It’s a really short read, it’s only about 120 pages and comes with color pictures, because I know executives don’t have time to figure things out. And they don’t want to see grainy pictures.
Anybody can get a free copy of my book. All they do, you know, actually, this would be fun for your listeners. If you pull out your cell phone and you go to your text messages, what you’re going to do is you’re going to text this number, and you’ll be able to get a free copy of my book, you’ll experience what a world-class tech stack is like. Because we have a text bot built into our system. The phone number is 415-915-9011.
I’ll say it again 415-915-9011. And then if you text the word martech Mar te ch take your time because if you’re on an iPhone or an Android, it’s going to spellcheck you and try to change the word to more and then tech, but you have to text martech Mar te ch O is one word.
And you know, we’ll walk you through a text bot to collect your address your information, and all that stuff to ship you a free copy of the book. So that will get you to experience what a world-class tech stack is. And once you get my book, you’ll know exactly how to build a stack for good.
Kenny Soto 19:30
Now, I’m a nerd when it comes to mar tech, and I love it. So my next follow-up question would be with this Tech Spot. Is it Twilio? Is it Yukari? Is it an alternative?
Dan McGaw 19:43
Good questions? Definitely Twilio? I’m a big stockholder in Twilio as well. So you know we use autopilot for our marketing automation. So you know they don’t actually offer the product anymore. It’s autopilot journeys. You can still find it if you know how to find it but they kind of are building a new automation product and autopilot journeys we built in with Twilio, they have a textbook in autopilot we integrated into with Twilio.
So you can text the word to a number, it notifies that and then kicks off a sequence it will then reply back, it has certain words it’s looking for that it will save into certain fields in our CRM. So autopilot saves all the data directly integrated with Salesforce directly integrated with ShipStation, which is our fulfillment provider. So it all works quite easily. But yeah, Twilio autopilot is how we do it.
Kenny Soto 20:33
What are some ways that marketers can cut costs when building a modern tech stack?
Dan McGaw 20:41
Yeah, really, really good question. Don’t use HubSpot. That’d be the first thing I would say don’t use HubSpot. Sorry.
Kenny Soto 20:49
That’s a controversial statement because a lot of people love to use HubSpot.
Dan McGaw 20:53
Yeah, a lot of people don’t know what they’re doing either. I mean of Spa is ridiculously expensive. I think it’s overpriced. In many cases. It does do a good job. I will totally agree. But if you are trying to cut costs, I just would say don’t use HubSpot hotspots aggressively expensive. And it just isn’t that great of a product.
You know Salesforce has gotten cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. Their CRM is getting really really cost-effective. So I think Salesforce is definitely a good bet. Don’t get me wrong, HubSpot is easy to use. They are cheaper on the sales side. But the marketing automation for HubSpot can get extremely pricey for no good reason. There are other products out there once again, I talked about autopilot.
Active Campaign is another pretty good contender. You have President companies like customer data, yo, Clay vo things like that, which can save you a lot of money over what HubSpot does. But really, you know, that’s not going to be what saves you a ton of money, right HubSpot, it’s expensive, but that’s not gonna be what saves money.
Wine, if you really want to save money on your marketing technology, you need to know what you’re spending. And I see, you know, the average company spends 25% of their marketing budget on technology, they spent 24% of their budget on advertising.
So we spend more on technology than we do on advertising, which is quite shocking. But most companies don’t even know what tools they have installed and where their money is going all the time. Like don’t get me wrong, the CFO does, but the marketing leader usually does not. So if you were to go to my website, miguel.io. So McG aw.io, scroll halfway down the page, you’ll see this stack builder on there, all you have to do is go to that stack builder, you can type in your domain, it’s a completely free tool, type in the domain, and it will automatically pull in all the tools which are installed on your website, and enable you to actually diagram your tech stack on the page, you can build a diagram.
But it also then tells you how much money you’re probably spending on technology. And you can track your text man who’s responsible for it using that tool. And you don’t have to use us, right, build a spreadsheet, I don’t care. But you need to start analyzing what tools are we actually using. What tools are we paying for that we’re not using anymore, you need to be a lot more conscious about turning things on when you’re not turning things often you’re not using them and turning them on, we are using them as an example.
On our site, we only use a hot jar once every couple of months, right? We don’t use it all the time. We’re not running heat maps all day long. So we turn it on for the time that we’re using it, we turn it off when we’re not using it.
And that’s a really easy thing to do, in many cases to cut costs is to only pay for a tool when you’re using it. Because a lot of companies will pay for a subscription for a year when they use the tool maybe three times a year. And that’s just an ineffective way to do that. And then you also want to get rid of any kind of duplicate tools like you don’t need drift, and live chat, right? Like there’s a lot of overlap there.
You don’t need an intercom and drift in many cases, right? So there’s a lot of overlap there. So you can definitely reduce tools, you just don’t wanna have a lot of duplicates.
Kenny Soto 23:43
I can suspect that in the future, there will be a lot of b2b SaaS founders who are going to be angry at you because you’re finding a new way to cut costs. And it’s very simple. For the listeners specifically, I don’t want to overwhelm them. So I will ask one more question about Mar tech before we move forward, which is what are the categories of martech tools that marketers know about?
Dan McGaw 24:10
Oh, my God, there’s so I mean, that’s the problem right now is that there are so many categories, and everybody’s creating new categories. There’s the book called playmaker, which talks about category creation.
So categories, you know, everybody’s created one like drift is conversational marketing astir category, right? So, revenue intelligence is another company’s category, right? So product intelligence is another. That’s the hard part. When I think about what should you pay attention to right? One, you should probably ignore most of it. 99% of the shit you hear out there is complete garbage.
And it’s just a distraction, right? It’s like watching the news. 99% of it. You don’t need to know and you probably don’t want to know and if you get rid of it, you are probably going to live a healthier and happier life.
That’s how I feel about most categories and most things inside of marketing technologies that 99% of it doesn’t matter. That being said, what are the things which are going to become really, really popular that you do want to do? Data Governance is not a category in its own right. But it is. Data Governance is one of the fastest-growing categories in marketing right now. And analytics in general, because everybody tried to roll out artificial intelligence and machine learning over the last 510 years.
And they all realize, oh, man, my data sucks. So doesn’t matter what you put, if you have bad data, artificial intelligence, or machine learning can’t do anything, because the data is bad. So everybody now is focused on data governance, how do I make sure that my data is clean? How do I make sure that my data is accurate? And that’s one reason why our product UTM got to see so much success it’s a data governance product.
So you really need to focus on your data governance, because of bad data in means bad data out. If you ever want to use artificial intelligence, machine learning won’t be able to because you have bad data. So I think data governance is a really, really important one.
And then if you can get your data clean, hell yeah, do some AI, do some machine learning, do some data science, I think those are the next really big things that are going to kind of pop up. But a lot of companies are held back from doing that just because they have such bad data. So data governance, I think is a big one.
Kenny Soto 26:05
When you’re thinking about resources and people to follow, who are those experts and resources in regard to data governance that you use?
Dan McGaw 26:16
Hmm, really good question. You know, I don’t want I would say ourselves. So Magalia, we talk a lot about clean data and building the right taxonomy. I think segment, which is a large customer data platform company, and CDB company, they have amazing content over there that talks a lot about clean data. I wouldn’t say there’s like a figurehead or anything like that for data governance, per se.
There are definitely like a lot of people in marketing operations who talk about it. The one guy I think his name is Darrell, he’s from Amazon. I see him on LinkedIn all the time. He’s like the global marketing operations lead there. Does some good stuff.
Daniel Murray, who is with service Titan, he’s as well as on LinkedIn. He runs the marketing Millennials podcast. But you know, there’s no real figurehead for data governance. I can’t think of anybody that I would say is like a big advocate there. I mean, I, of course, am most analytics people. But there’s not like, somebody I can point my finger at and say he’s the influencer.
Kenny Soto 27:11
Got it. Five more questions. The next question in terms of UTM can you describe what they are to our listeners? And why are they so important and vital to a marketer’s success?
Dan McGaw 27:23
Yeah, I mean, UTM is the oldest and most innovative way to track how somebody gets to your website, they’ve been around since early 2000. UTM stands for urgent tracking module, and Google Analytics was actually purchased by Google, it used to be called urgent, just like an urgent you have this little prickly sticking out everywhere, but urgent had come up with these parameters that you would add to the end of the URL.
So let’s just say that your website is apple.com. Well, when you Apple, put a post out on Facebook, and somebody clicks on that, you know, we can see that the person came from Facebook because of the referrer. However, we don’t know what campaign that was, we don’t know whether it was a Facebook post or a Facebook ad.
So you add these UTM parameters to the end of the URL. So that way you campaign stores. So Facebook, you have a medium, which could be PVC, or it could be organic, or social, and then you also have a campaign name. So it could be like an iPhone 13 is released, right? So these UTM parameters are what you add to the end of the URL, so that way, you have context as to where the person came from.
And you commonly see these used in email or social media, PPC, and anytime you run paid advertising, you always see UTM codes being used. But the whole goal is to make it so that in Google Analytics or whatever analytics platform you have, you know why or how somebody converted, you know, what campaign was causing you to generate revenue and how all that worked.
And the one thing that’s really, really important to know about UTM is that the only tracking method which is universally known by everybody, so your marketing automation tool, your CRM, your analytics, every product out there respects you ATMs, so everybody uses them, even Apple.
So as an example, in Apple’s App Store, when you send somebody to your Apple Store, listing, and you have UTM is on an Apple tracks that install that in your developer account. So UTM is the only thing that is used by everybody. So really, really popular tool. I mean, if you don’t know what a UTM is, and you’re in digital marketing, you can’t work with most companies, right? Because you’re not really in digital marketing. We’ll put it that way.
Kenny Soto 29:29
That’s right, there is definitely going to be a clip. Next question. Is Google Data Studio a tool to add to your stack? And is it necessary for all businesses?
Dan McGaw 29:41
Yeah, Google Data Studio is a really, really cool product. You know, I don’t think it’s necessary for all businesses, but I definitely think it’s a really, really nice hat. Nice to have and a great benefit. You know, Google Analytics is an amazing product, but it’s not very moldable. Right. Like it’s extremely, extremely cool and does a lot of things but it doesn’t provide some visualizations so Google Data Studio enables you to do that.
But another important part about Data Studio is that, you know, it’s kind of in our perspective, it’s the poor man’s business intelligence tool. You can build dashboards, you can build reports, and you can pull in data from Google Analytics. But it can also pull in data from many, many other sources. Not to mention if you have data in BigQuery.
Or if you have data in a data warehouse or data in a spreadsheet, Google Data Studio can give you visualizations of that data. You know, we use Google Data Studio, we have an internally with all of our projects, you know, we’re using time tracking to track our budgets and our projects. All that data is pulled out of the harvest using stitch, we throw it into BigQuery. We then have Google Data Studio sitting on top of that big worry warehouse.
And Data Studio is the dashboard that my team uses to know how well we are doing profitability-wise on every one of our projects. So while I don’t think it is a requirement, I definitely think it is really, really helpful. And it’s free compared to other dashboarding products like row.com, clip folio, or many of the other ones.
So I think it is definitely something companies should leverage. If you can’t figure it out, hire somebody on Upwork, right? If you want to do badass stuff with it, call me right. But you can find an Upwork freelancer to build anything you want in a Data Studio for a few 100 bucks. And if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. So start being a manager,
Kenny Soto 31:21
If you could mold the ideal marketer, what skills would you want them to have? And what experiences would you give them to set a nice foundation?
Dan McGaw 31:37
Great question. So a really, really good one. So I’ll tell you, my, my, where I think we get the best types of marketers. So we do, I mean, we process about 5000 applications per month. And then we hire about one person per month, right? So as you might understand, we see a ton of marketers, but we’re super, super picky.
I mean, we’re hiring way above the top 1%. We’re hiring the point 00 1% of people, you know, the best marketers that we really have an opportunity to experience in one when they were in high school, they were working in a restaurant or in retail, retail, and hospitality industry, restaurants, hotels, things like that enable you to better understand people, you really learn a lot about psychology, when you’re working in those environments, and you learn how to adapt with people.
And at the end of the day marketing is, of course, people, it’s the psychology of people, but it’s also the sales of people. I don’t think enough marketers know how important it is to have some sales background.
And if you’ve worked in a restaurant as a server or a bartender, or if you’ve worked in retail, as a sales associate, you’re selling at the end of the day, you’re one on one with a customer. And I think that’s an extremely, extremely good foundation for anybody to really understand people in that type of environment.
Because that’s what marketers do, right? You’re constantly trying to get net new. And that’s what you do as servers, you got a new customer, you got to sell them, you got to be able to do this. So I think that’s a really, really good foundation. However, the next part is, is that, we always are looking for people who skew toward technology.
Have they worked at a finance company, a venture capitalist, or Bank of America, I don’t care. Have they been a financial analyst in any capacity? If you have the ability to understand revenue and numbers, which most marketers don’t, I will tell you this 95% of marketers barely know how to use Excel, right? They know a couple of formulas. But if you have somebody who came from the finance industry, and is now in marketing, they kill it, because they understand the math on how to make money.
So somebody who’s done finance in their life is also somebody really, really good. So, you know, maybe they have an MBA, maybe they’ve worked at Charles Schwab, you know, there’s a lot of different ways to get into that financial analyst or come from that, but you’ve got to really be good with numbers. That’s a really, really big part of it.
And then the last thing that I’ll say that we really pay attention to, if somebody has worked at an agency and done consulting for more than two years, they are way more valuable in many cases at a company than somebody who has only worked SAS and the reason why is because agencies are so effing hard compared to working at a SaaS business and a SaaS business.
There’s a standard operating procedure, everything is pretty linear. So the reason why I love my SAS company is that it’s so much easier to hire for BUT IT consulting, it’s so much harder because your job is to turn gray into either black or white. And you’ve got to juggle a lot of things. So if you have that agency experience, you’re able to handle the chaos and the shit that comes along with it.
So those are some of the things that we look for when we’re trying to hire people. Just because we have found that to be a really, really good mold for us. But you know, every company is unique snowflakes. So what I am looking for while they may work at my company, or many of my clients, companies, you don’t have to find that stuff. If you’re hiring somebody for a marketer of a local coffee shop, right? Every profile is going to be different.
Kenny Soto 35:19
The listeners can’t see that I’m smiling right now. But I’m just going to recap everything you said by just checking off a list of myself, which is one, my mom was an accountant. So she taught me excel.
And I currently work at a fintech startup. So that’s pretty convenient, too. I used to work at Macy’s selling watches. So I fit that retail checklist. And then I also started my own website for this podcast. And I worked at VaynerMedia. So I think it’s just a really funny coincidence that those four things were on your list.
Dan McGaw 35:52
Sounds like you’re coming to apply for a position here. Oh, my God.
Kenny Soto 35:55
Yeah, sounds like it. My next question is. In the same vein of skills, I want to talk to you about your own skills, right? What are some hard and soft skills that you’ve leveraged throughout your career?
Dan McGaw 36:11
Yeah, you know, I think the soft skills I mean, naturally, my soft skills are some of the things that have pushed me through, you know, I grew up really, really poor, but also went to the most expensive prep school in our city.
So growing up in the dichotomy of like, when I went home, I was on food stamps. But when I went to school, like these kids parents drove Rolls Royce right, was definitely an interesting way to grow up. But the soft skill that I learned out of that is that I have to really work my ass off if I want to get anything, right? And I made a conscious decision as a child that I want to have. Not I have not so you know, my soft skill of not being afraid of failure, always willing to just go out there and do something. And always being able to be direct, has really, really helped me in my career.
And it’s also hindered me my direct personality, and my willingness to just be candid with anybody and be have candor and be like negative about it, too, has helped me but it also hindered me I have, I wouldn’t say I have enemies because of my ability to provide quality feedback. But I definitely have people that don’t want feedback from me.
And that’s okay. Right? If you don’t want to hear the truth, don’t ask questions. So, you know, I think my candid nature and my direct nature, my energy, my soft skills, and that has definitely paid off a lot over my career. You know, I think the next soft skill that I would say that has really paid off for me is I’ve, I’ve really worked at myself, you know, I’m constantly learning. I mean, I read over 40 books last year, and this year, I’ve already read 25 books.
So like, I’m a voracious reader. But a big soft skill that I really have focused on over the past five or 10 years is negotiations, how do you effectively communicate with somebody to get what you want, while making them feel like they got everything they wanted. So negotiations are really, really big.
And I think if you get better at negotiating early in life, you can get whatever you want. And I get whatever I want now because I’ve gotten so good at negotiating from a hard skills perspective. Very luckily, I grew up on a computer. So I was typing MS-DOS, by the time I was five because I wanted to play games on my mom’s IBM computer.
About 10 years ago, I became the head of growth at a company called code school.com. Code School was a pioneer in online education for developers, I became extremely technical. They’re like, I know how the Internet actually works. It’s not just something in the cloud. Like, I know how it’s all set up. That technical skill and those technical abilities, I think, are one of the reasons why I’ve been so successful in my career.
Coming from that, I had to learn how to sell background as a kid to now being very, very technical. I’m very luckily in a very unique spot in my career. So I think that those would be some of the main things that have kind of put me where I’m at.
Kenny Soto 39:08
The final question and this one is hypothetical because time machines don’t exist, but if they did.
Dan McGaw 39:14
They do when you have six tequilas, and. Coronas. You will time travel, trust me, I’ve done it a couple of times.
Kenny Soto 39:23
So let’s, let’s, let’s picture this right? You’ve had your tequila, you’ve had your Coronas. And you’re thinking about the past. If you can tell your past self, let’s say a decade ago, here are the things you need to do to get to where I am right now. Just faster. What would those things be?
Dan McGaw 39:44
The first thing I would tell myself is to shut the fuck up. That’d be the first thing hands down. And I say that all the time. You know, a failure that we make when we’re young, especially when we have exuberance and as well as ego.
Ego is the Enemy. It’s a great book by Ryan Holiday. If I would, I would tell myself 10 years ago to shut the fuck up. I did too much talking not enough listening or not enough listening. And I should have listened more I should have asked better questions, I should have been more prepared to be empathetic and respectful and listening.
But I think 10 years ago, even 15 years ago, I just talked too much and I steamroll everybody. I still steamroll a lot of people now. So I think the first advice I would give myself is to shut the fuck up. The second bit of advice I’d probably give myself is to save more money. I wish I would have saved more earlier.
Don’t get me wrong, I save at least 10% of everything I make and all of my companies and as well as personally now, but I probably could have been better about that 10 years ago, is saving. And I wish I probably would have. You know, I got into reading 10 years ago pretty hardcore. I would say 1520 years ago, I wish I would have done a lot more reading. But shut the fuck up the biggest advice I give myself.
Kenny Soto 40:56
And with that, I think that’s perfect. And to this podcast, Dan, if anyone wants to say hello, where can they find you online? Yeah, you know, the
Dan McGaw 41:05
The best place to find me online is LinkedIn. Just look up Dan Magon, on LinkedIn, you’ll see my pretty face there. I’m most active on that network, always looking to hang out. If you’re really looking to learn more about the market definitely get a free copy of my book through the texting I said earlier. But just go to magotteaux to our website or Google Magon you’ll find us we everything that I do for work is free on our website.
So if you went to our resources section, you can find everything that I do, and I’ll train you on how to do it for free. So check out the website.
Kenny Soto 41:34
Thank you, Dan, for your time today. And thank you to you the listener for listening to another episode of the people digital marketing with your host Kenny Soto. And as always, I hope you have a great week. If you’re looking for any of the resources mentioned today, I will have all of the show notes. Oh, excuse me all of the notes in the show notes for this episode. And with that,