Steven Burkhart: Today I have Caroline on the podcast today the Death to Vanilla podcast. And so she is going to talk to us a little bit about some of the work that she’s doing her views on marketing. And she’s like, like she said, what she didn’t actually say I was just reading through her stuff that, you know, she’s been, she’s newer to the game, but she’s got a long history of marketing and her family. So I love for you to kind of kick it out with just a little introduction about yourself. And just like a little bit of backstory to how your family started out marketing and how that’s shaped where you are now. 

Steven: Absolutely. So my mom owns her own greeting card line, and she’s had it since before I was born. So she draws her own original characters writes funny copy, they’re all humor cards. So growing up, she’d always be like, what’s a good joke for Valentine’s Day and stuff. So I was unknowingly helping her write copy when I was like eight years old, but I had fun with it. I always had a little art, my blood because of that. And her father, Robert Moke, was an original madman, he worked on Madison Avenue, and he was a freelance artist. He was, yeah, he was one of the original artists for the doublemint twins concept, which is awesome to me. Very inspiring. And then my father also worked in advertising coincidentally. So he also worked on Madison Avenue for quite a few years doing like account management stuff.

Caroline Murray: And yeah, I mean, growing up hearing their stories always sounded so fun, and it got me really into it. I kind of came into my own and found out I was good at art. And you know, I ended up going to college and choosing to study advertising because of all that cool.

Steven: Okay, so you so what was like your first job getting into marketing, see graduate school, what happened next?

Caroline: My first I had like a part time job. While I was in college, I worked at American Heart Association. And I did their organic social just made content for them part time, and that was, you know, I wasn’t looking for social media specifically, I was just like, you know, this sounds fine. I’ll give it a try. And I ended up loving it. And that’s what got me into wanting to do more social jobs. So after a couple more internships, when I graduated, I found a opportunity via social media director at this local home improvement company called Sweetwater Home Services, it was a great experience, they kind of just let me do everything by myself and be my own boss. And I got to have a lot of fun and creativity with making the content. So it was really, really fun experience. But I ended up getting a little bored because I wanted to work with clients and working in house a little bit slow paced, and I’m kind of a, I like to be busy, I like to, you know, have more stuff to do. So I transitioned to dealer online marketing group, okay, dealer OMG, which is where I am now. And we are automotive advertisers. And it’s so much fun, another great industry. And I’ve been here for about a year now.

Steven: That’s exciting. So what what is it about what you do that you love so much?

Caroline: Being able to be creative, making art designing, writing, you know, I growing up, I used to draw all the time and I used to like, write my own little books and stuff like I’ve always just loved writing and art all that stuff.

Steven: So like a day to day What does that look like for you there?

Caroline: A lot of times I making promotions, you know, car dealerships do a lot of crazy sales events, there’s always something going on, like right now. You know, New Year deals, tax seasons coming up. And a lot of people try to do like use your down payment on a new cars, I’ve been making a ton of creative for that. And a lot of it’s video editing or, you know, just practicing writing some fun copy. Right. And aside from that, you know, just going through all my accounts, I managed 20 accounts through Facebook and Instagram. 

Steven: It’s better to keep you busy.

Caroline: It does. It does. But it’s you know, it’s not always as crazy as it seems, you know, most of my clients, I don’t talk to them every day, I’ll talk to one or two like every other day and they’ll ask me to do stuff so balances out I’ve got a good workflow.

Steven: That’s interesting. So like you are super heavy on the like, because like when I look at content, I kind of look at it as like evergreen and then kind of like timely right and so it kind of seems like you are like super heavy on the timely stuff. Maybe not so much on the Evergreen just because it’s like event based where it’s like oh, like we’re doing the sale for Labor Day now we’re doing it for Easter now we’re doing for Christmas now we’re doing it for New Year’s like it feels like you’re probably always like thinking six months ahead.

Caroline: We are it’s fun though. I love being able to make all these promotions that this industry is special for that like the power of the crazy promotions that they do you know, one of our local dealers who is my favorite that I tell everyone about it Scott elder is like local. He’s a local celebrity. Like he does these really obnoxious commercials like dresses in a pickle suit and he names at the nickel pickle sale where he’s like, I’m in a pickle, I gotta get rid of all these cars. And he Yeah, he charges a nickel for a down payment or something like that, which is crazy sounding right? That works but you know, stuff like that it’s just like ridiculousness, and it’s so fun.

Steven: Yeah, so that is like a perfect segue. And just this idea, like, for us, you know, we’re all about promoting and kind of like pushing that bold marketing. We’re not necessarily that it’s like I’m noxious or that is, like risky, but just that idea that it’s something that stands out, right. And like, for me, I would be very bold of me to wear a Piccolo cowboy outfit. Like I’m just not goofy like, I mean, I mean, I guess I’m a little bit of goofy person, but not not at that level. Right? So like, do you find like, is he like, really odd man out when it comes to like doing things wild and crazy? Or like, do you feel like you have like a little bit of like, push pull when it comes to doing something that like really stands out?

Caroline: It depends on who we’re working with Scott. He comes he works with other people and comes up with those ideas himself and just sends us the creative for posting and stuff. But with other dealers, we get to collaborate a lot like one of my stores. Fred has to the world in Houston. It’s like the number one volume toward a dealer in the nation, huge store. And they do all kinds of crazy promotions like my favorite one, when when Coronavirus hit the Houston rodeo got canceled, which is huge here. You know, it’s an Of course everyone’s disappointed. My my client was like, What if we did something with this? I was like, Okay, I’m listening. You suggested you inviting people to use their rodeo tickets as a downpayment? Because they’re pretty expensive. I mean, they’re like 500 to $1,000

Steven: Oh my gosh,

Caroline: It’s Yeah, I mean, they have super extra.

Steven: So I’m gonna get like a back massage with the rodeo.

Caroline: Yeah, but so we ended up doing this promotion called rodeo tickets for rides and I wrote this headline that said like stable horse ride a Toyota with this like, funny graphic. I was super proud. It was Yeah, it was a really fun experience. So stuff like that. I love that client, we get to brainstorm together a lot.

Steven: What do you think is like what what’s the reason that you feel like they’re more willing to do crazy stuff like that? Like is there something about the personality is that their view on marketing? Like what gets them to the point where they’re willing to do that?

Caroline: It’s a good question. the automotive industry is just the curiously kind of cheesy I think like when you there’s there’s a lot of other dealers like like Scott elder who just do silly commercials. And they have weird mascots like this one. dealership, Kyle Chapman Motors has a Campbell mascot, which is really random, and they do videos with that they’re kind of funny. So I guess they just, you know, they’re hungry to sell. And they’ll like literally do anything to get people in the door. So I think that’s probably what it stems from.

Steven: What’s that? Good.

Caroline: Every one of my clients is just like, I don’t think I’ve ever heard them be satisfied with a month of sales. You know, they’re always like pushing to be the best so

Steven: Right? It’s, it takes me back. Back in the day when I was a kid when they had the at least it was an Arizona thing. So you probably haven’t heard of it, but they that one of the dealership said they’re like ending phrases. And that’s no bowl. And they had like this, like steer in the background and stuff like that. And it was like a thing. And it was like super, like stand out super wild. And like, it’s so like, I remember to this day, and I probably haven’t seen a commercial from them in like 15 years. So it’s one of those things where like, once you land on something like really unique it really sticks and stands out.

Caroline: Yeah, I have heard of that. Actually. That’s funny.

Steven: Oh, really? Okay.

Caroline: Yeah, yeah, they all a lot of them. They all have this trademark thing. You know, Don what automotive ago who would Don wood or like Mike Miller Ford. Totally affordable cars like super cheesy, but yeah, it works. It’s funny.

Steven: Oh, yeah, that makes it Yeah, the other one here is I want to see it and akia love that.

It’s, yeah, it’s You’re right. It is kind of goofy. Like now that I think about it. Because you kind of think of that as being like a serious Well, one would think it’d be a serious industry because of the fact that people were making like really big decisions. Like you’re like putting yourself in debt for like the next 10 years for a car, which is fine. Like, like having a nice car is really nice. But you know, it’s but it’s also so silly, which is kind of funny that there’s like, like that paradox. There was like a kind of a serious decision. But like also, they’re saying I want to see an Ikea which is kind of silly, you know?

Caroline: Yeah, it is interesting. And I have some other luxury brands to where creativity kind of takes like a different turn there. Because, you know, I have a Porsche store and Bentley Rolls Royce, like buyers like that don’t want to buy from clowns, you know, so we can As you know, I get a little more serious and fancy when it comes to that stuff.

Steven: Sure, of course. So for them What does like marketing boldly and standing out look like for them? Because I’m sure they’re they’re fighting for differentiating themselves as well. And obviously, like you said, they can’t go down the goofy route. So what route do they tend to gravitate towards?

Caroline: A lot of people who are in the market and wanting something like an Aston Martin or something, another store I do, they’re looking for something that’ll make them like stand out in the street and look super cool turn heads, it’s either that or they’re wanting a good investment looking for something super nice. Most of the time, though, I try to go with this angle of like, you know, stand out in the street uniqueness, like, boldness like I made this Aston Martin video with, like a wolf fighting and running through the forest. And it’s like, a rare breed a statement of independence on the road, like something like that, you know, that’s kind of cool. Yeah, I like that video a lot. It’s fun, little edgy, but that that type of stuff tends to work pretty well, just making them feel special.

Steven: Yeah. So I’m like, just because I’m curious. So because we, one of the reasons I’m super happy to connect with you is because car stuff is one of the things that we’re like car videos is something that we’re hoping to like journey down and do at some point. So we did a little bit of our own that we put together. But so the dealerships aren’t using the the actual, like car brand videos, they’re like actually making some of their own cars I’m doing here. Okay.

Caroline: Some do. It depends. Some people you know, they hire us because they don’t have anybody else. Some people have us and an in house social person who can be on the lot and make tic tocs and stuff. Sure, just beneficial. You know, I love being able to share content like that and stuff when we can, but typically, you know, what I’ll do is just I have access to all the manufacturer videos and stuff that I can read and kind of make my own. I’ll just splice it up and zoom it in. And we get a way to do like the full screen video that like pick up the whole phone whenever you’re scrolling. So like vertically for eyecatching. Yeah, like bro, videos all crop it in and make it you know, stuff like that.

Caroline: Now it’s really cool. So you said you did like, mostly like Facebook for them? And when I look at Instagram, just really only Facebook and Instagram. Yes. Very specific. But it’s what we are good at.

Steven: That’s awesome. So in your app, what would you define? Like if you had to put a definition of bold marketing? What would it be?

Caroline: I would say it just means to be original. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. You know, some of the greatest creative and advertising is stem from just going for it and ignoring like all the scared Sally’s you try to dumb things down. Because they’re worried you know what people think? So I just say be original. Take risks.

Steven: Well, yeah, no, totally. I absolutely feel that I I believe that’s a great definition. How do you work through something? Have you had a situation where you felt really strongly about something, and you had to really talk someone over the ledge to actually do that?

Caroline: A couple times, that happens sometimes. But you know, a part of our job is being consultants. And we do have like, a gift and a special way of talking to our dealers, we’re usually like, we have a good relationship and trust. So I can usually get them to hear me out. Yeah, if I want to try something new. Like I said, a lot of them are open to try and fun stuff already. So that’s beneficial. 

Steven: That certainly helps. You know, I’ve talked to a couple people who do agency work as well. And they’re always talking about how like, sometimes they get to a company and they’re in a little bit of a rut because they’ve only done traditional media, or only a certain kind of promotion. And it’s really hard to get them moving into something new because the you know, just had a familiarity, they don’t know it well enough to jump into it, or maybe just fear based in the sense that like it’s something new and so it’s for them untested, even if, like the market itself is tested it. And so I think that’s kind of interesting how people like process that.

Caroline: Yes, applies especially to dealers, you know, because a lot of them have been pouring most of their money into TV and radio for most of the last few years. And now a lot of them are kind of moving their budget to social I have a lot of dealers who are asking to spend more and taking away from TV and radio now because they started to see you know, the new forefront all of the new things we can do with it.

Steven: Well, and you’re able to provide like some serious metrics and ROI on like, how many people actually saw this, you know, like you can kind of guess with TV, and I know they got metrics for those kinds of things. But like you can literally say exactly who did what and be able to track them through the progress process which I think is awesome for like retargeting stuff, you know? Yeah, it’s

Caroline: Great for us for building proof and trust and getting new clients, we have so much to show for it. Facebook has so many great features too. We can do like offline conversion reports where I have my dealers send me their sales list and last month, and I can upload it to Facebook, and it’ll scan the customer information and match it to the profiles who engaged with my ads that month. And then we can get like an idea of how many purchases were influenced. And those are great for me for, you know, showing that what I’m doing is working, right. Yeah.

Steven: So I’m kind of curious. So you know, you have all these different brands that you’re working with? How do they just kind of tell you how they want things done? Or do you have like a process that you go through to try to find like, a unique voice for them? Right? Because obviously, like, the name escapes me that but the the guy that you said, Where’s the piccolo outfit? He clearly Yeah, Scott. So he’s clearly got like a unique voice to what he’s doing. How do you find that with people? Do you feel like they know it already? Or do you have to kind of dig to get it out of them?

Caroline: It depends on the store. But most of my dealers have their own personalities and brands already established. And when we do our onboarding call, I’ll talk with them and take notes about you know, their, their tagline, and what makes them unique and stuff. There’s a couple dealers who are like, Oh, I don’t really know. I mean, so I’ll come up with something if I have to. Yeah, a lot of them are already pretty well established, though.

Steven: For the ones that aren’t like, how do you think through that? How do you how do you discover their uniqueness?

Caroline: A lot of different things, I do a lot of market research, you know, looking at other brands for inspiration helps a lot. Facebook ad library is a resource, you can literally log in and see it. anyone’s ads that are running everywhere. They made it public. So sometimes I’ll do that and see like, what other different Toyota stores are doing or what you know, whatever they are. And that can help me get a little idea.

Steven: I just had like a cup a couple more questions for you. But is there like something that I don’t know about your industry that you think is like really important for other people to know? Hmm, I know. It’s very open ended?

Caroline: Yeah. important to know. I mean, I’m not sure if you know, automotive is. A lot of people tend to have distrust with dealerships sometimes. Like, it can be. Depending on your store. Sometimes. It can be difficult advertising on Facebook, because people will like leave annoying comments. And you know, it’s kind of hard to sift through that.

Steven: Right. trolling and stuff.

Caroline: Yeah. Yeah.

Steven: So is that something that you have to do you actually have to like manage their like community presence online?

Caroline: I don’t have to do that at this job. We only do their paid social but I did have to do that. My my first job as a social media director, which was really hard. You know, it was a home improvement company and when your house I don’t know, when you’re not happy with the way your house turns out, people could be pretty rude. And, you know, it was, you know, a lot to do especially on Yelp, Yelp, Yelp reviewers for some reason just seem to be like the worst people ever, in my opinion. I don’t know why that particular platform is just crazy. Glad I don’t have to do that anymore.

Steven: Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a good time. People are a bit more vocal than they probably should. Have you been playing around on like, I cuz you know, you and I met on Twitter. So obviously, you’re not just on the platforms that you do work for. So what kind of other like platforms you’ve been, you’ve been checking out that kind of piqued your interest. Maybe they’re emerging or maybe they’re just new to you like Twitter was, in a way new to me and I really discovered it and really enjoyed it. But have you been like experimenting with new things? I know clubhouse is something that kind of has been talked about a little bit so yeah, I well. I’m addicted to tik tok. 

Steven: That’s not really new. But that was my quarantine habit that I picked up. I downloaded TikTok. And it’s like my favorite app. Now. I did get into clubhouse as well. I haven’t dabbled in it much yet. It’s kind of hard being audio only when I’m like out doing stuff. It’s not like, easy to use, but it looks like it has, you know, a lot of interesting stuff in it. I think there’s a lot of potential there. It seems to be pretty popular right now. I do wonder though, how it works because it’s invite only and what happens after everyone’s been invited. You know? I don’t know. Well, that’s how Facebook was Facebook was invite only I wasn’t really I actually didn’t know that. Yeah, well, I think at first, you had to have an edu email because it was only for colleges. And I think I think if I remember right, second was invite and then so I remember like seeing people on Facebook. 

Steven: I’d venture to say that it’s probably something that isn’t going to be invite only forever. But I guess they could if they wanted to. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, maybe it will be interesting to see how it, how it continues to progress as it’s blowing up. You know, I see more people tweeting every day, like just got into clubhouse. So right, we’ll see. That’s the other app I have my eye on right now. So do you have you like seen? I’m sure you kind of keep your eye on the automotive end a little bit. But have you seen any brands that are really like, nailing their technique on TikTok, or in any of the other platforms that you’ve been on that like, has been really impressive that people could pull from for inspiration?

Caroline: Oh, that’s a good question. I can’t, you know, to be honest, I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I, I have seen some really cool car tech talks, honestly, for our industry, some of my dealers have gotten really creative with like, you know, doing some fancy lineups of their trucks are like, you know, getting all the salespeople to, like, drive them around and flash the lights and play some, like rap music with it. It’s it’s really fun. I mean, I see so much potential, with our dealerships being able to use TikTok and, you know, get fun like that. But it is hard, because we can’t really do it for them. Because it’s, you know, you have to be there recording it. Right, make it look kind of natural, or else, you know, would just look like an ad, which wouldn’t want that. But yeah,

Steven: True. Now, if you could, I would love if you would send me the usernames for a couple of those, because then we can add that into the, like description on YouTube, so people can check them out. Because I’m definitely curious, I’d love to see them. And then that’d be awesome to be able to share with other people on what people are doing that is a little bit different and unique and fun.

Caroline: So hopefully, I can send some stuff over afterwards.

Steven: That’d be awesome. Thank you. Yeah, the one. There is like one that I super enjoy. And I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s the guy that walks up to people who drive supercars, and then ask them what they do for a living. He’s like, people like in that, like those circles, like are starting to get to know him a little bit. It’s kind of wild. Like he runs into people every once in a while. He’s like, hey, you’re that guy that does the videos. And he’s like, Yeah,

Caroline: I love that guy. And it’s interesting for me too, because I do I work on a lot of luxury cars, a lot of those brands that he did, like, he asked people about, I watched him because it’s kind of like market research for me, like hearing what they do for a living is good information, you know, because I can read that targeting, and whatnot. So I love that account.

Steven: That’s actually super smart and be able to do that for the targeting. Although I’m like, I’m consistently like, shocked and like the variety of people like real estate comes up a lot. Finance comes up a lot. But yeah, it’s just such a variety of people. It’s just wild,

Caroline: Occasional housewife who does nothing.

Steven: Like oh, I’m married and do it.

Caroline: That one lady who drives like a Maserati Levante, she’s like work What?

Steven: A dream, right? I guess she picked right. Something. Yeah, there was one today I watched with the guys like, Oh, I got a ritual wife. That Well, there you go. Sweet. Okay, cool. Well, I want to respect the time that we talked about before about keeping it in half an hour. So I just want to say thank you so much for being on the show and sharing a little bit about what you do. And the process you go through creatively for that. Is there. Could you share with us some of the ways that we can people can get ahold of you if they want to? online? Yeah, I’m pretty active on mostly just Twitter. It’s @carolinemurs on Twitter and urs my half of my last name. Love for you to follow me on Twitter. I’ll follow you back marketing Twitter community, growing every day how I met you, of course. Right. Follow me on Twitter. Sweet. Well, thank you so much for jumping on. I appreciate it. And yeah, we’ll get this up for people to enjoy as soon as possible. Cool. Thank you. Thank you. All right. I’ll talk to you later.