Award Winning Cross-Channel Marketing with PEMCO

Fine Point Grey Nate Luce, PEMCO Insurance Sarah Dahlin, VP Client Services

Award Winning Cross-Channel Marketing with PEMCO

(22-minute podcast)

How do you find customers in a saturated, over-priced digital advertising market? Combining digital media in a coordinated cross-channel strategy could be the solution. Nate Luce, Marketing Manager from PEMCO & Sarah Dahlin, VP of Client Services for Point It Digital Marketing walk through the digital strategy that PEMCO & Point It implemented in 2016. Joined by our host Maureen Jann, Director of Marketing they share their experiences winning “Best Integrated Marketing Campaign- B2C” at the PSAMA Pulse Awards and chat about the latest news, including hashtags as the modern day watercooler, and Facebook’s new Job Listings feature.

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Featured Experts:

Nate Luce, Marketing Program Manager, PEMCO Insurance

Sarah Dahlin, VP Client Services Point It Digital Marketing

Guests and Experts

Nate Luce, Marketing Program Manager, PEMCO Insurance

Bio: Nate has been a critical component of PEMCO’s marketing for 20+ years, developing key marketing programs including regional partnerships, promotional, direct, and digital marketing campaigns. Two of those campaigns have won PSAMA Pulse Awards. He graduated from the University of Washington, and has his MBA from Seattle Pacific University.

Sarah Dahlin, VP Client Services Point It Digital Marketing

Bio: Sarah has been building and optimizing paid search and display campaigns since 2007. She combines a strong analytical perspective and love for problem solving with an exceptional customer service focus.  In addition to heading up the paid search team at Point It, Sarah crafts cross-channel media campaigns, optimizes creative opportunities, and implements paid search campaigns.  Prior to her days in the online marketing world, Sarah worked for a full-service market research company, specializing in qualitative research project management.  Sarah is a graduate of the University of Washington with degrees in Drama and Communications.


Maureen Jann, Director of Marketing, Point It Digital Marketing

Bio: Maureen Jann is a veteran B2B marketer whose career in Digital Media has grown up with the Internet. A self-described jill-of-all-trades, Maureen has elevated creative problem solving to an art form and enjoys the daily challenges of driving business results in unexpected ways. Her skills as an entrepreneur, content marketer, creative director and passionate people manager set her apart from the pack. Maureen has worked in every corner of marketing making her a skilled tactical resource as well as a strategic partner.  Recently, she was the captain of the marketing ship for an award-winning professional services firm and is currently creating a content marketing strategy for Point It, a digital marketing agency.


Maureen: Hi everybody and welcome to Fine Point, a weekly digest of digital marketing updates. Each week we feature industry experts and guests to talk through what’s happening in digital marketing. I’m Maureen Jan, the Director of Marketing at Point It Digital Marketing in Seattle, Washington and I’ll be your host. I’ve been compared to a cruise director today, so I feel like the day has already gotten better but we’re running through headlines to start, so let’s dive right into that.


Today we’ll be running through the headlines I’ve seen in the news and I’ll be introducing Sarah Dahlin, RVP of Client Relations here at Point It and Nate Luce, Marketing Program Manager from PEMCO Insurance. Welcome you guys. We’re really excited to have you.


Sarah: Thank you.


Nate: Thanks.


Maureen: Sarah, Nate and I will be talking about the recent award win for the PSAMA Pulse Awards and for the Cross Channel marketing strategy, so that will be good times in just a few minutes. Let’s start with the headlines. My network is talking about hashtags and Facebook job listing. I’m really excited to talk about politics, free topics today, it’s a good day. The first thing I read was meet the hashtag through modern day water cooler and I thought that was a really interesting way to describe a hashtag because it’s true, like gathering place for folks to talk about timely topics online. It’s the perfect meeting ground for people who are in disparate locations with disparate opinions. It’s an interesting space. Do you have a lot of, I mean, I’m an avid Twitter tweeter. I think that’s right. I’m on Twitter, right? I’m on Twitter so I do that but I don’t know. On Facebook do you guys ever use the hashtags?


Sarah: Yeah, on Instagram too. I think, I had never thought of it this way before but seeing it put that way, as a modern day water cooler, to me absolutely makes sense. When I heard that I was like, “Oh, that is what people are doing.” I think it’s just such a great opportunity to listen, that’s how I tend to use hashtags and do my research and listen to the conversations going on online, so to me it makes a ton of sense.


Nate: Yeah and see what the tone of the speak is and what people are really saying and how they’re feeling. That’s a really good analogy.


Maureen: Well, and what was cool about this article is it talks a little bit about how brands use hashtags and it talked about etiquette, which I thought was oh so important because I know, as someone who tweets on those tweet chats a lot, there’s nothing worse then a brand coming and hijacking your hashtag because their marketers, and I’m a marketer, I saw with love, their marketers think it’s a great idea to come on and talk to that group of people. I think you just have to be really genuine about it.


Sarah: You have to actually offer something. Offer some content.


Nate: And value.


Sarah: Yeah, absolutely.


Maureen: I know what we have done PBC chat from the company hashtag here and it’s like Tuesdays at 10:00 or something, 9:00 and so we actually have one of our experts sit in on that Twit, on our handle and talk through and answer questions and actually become part of the conversation in a meaningful way, which I think makes a lot of sense, so anyway, it was just a really interesting article. It’s nice, especially if you did want to refer to politics, it’s an election night, the hashtag and blah, blah, blah, anyway moving on.


The other thing I thought was interesting today was like Facebook introduces job listings, which is particularly interesting after they released Work Place, so it was Facebook Work Place, it was like their answer to Slack and I thought that was fascinating. Now, they’re talking about job listing and they’re really diving in hard against LinkedIn. They did, Facebook did some research on who is more beneficial in finding a job, whether that’s a family member or friend, and which jobs run in the families, and so they’re using this information to actually fuel this joblessness thing, which I thought was pretty fascinating. They have the data, as we well know from an advertising perspective, I mean, social is, the key to social is having that data so you can really fine tune your demographic. That’s been very interesting.


Sarah: Yeah, I thought that was really interesting, the part about which jobs run in families, and I, of course, just started thinking about it from a research perspective. Which kinds of fields does that most often happen in and where could that have impact, so I found that really interesting. My brand sort of starting going in like, what are they applications to friend groups and other social groups and things like that, and what are the similarities, so I thought that was fascinating.


Maureen: One of the graphics on that particular article talked about architecture and construction being things that are passed on from that generation to generation, and I was like, “You know, that makes a ton of sense. I didn’t really think about that but father, son, grandson, sure, absolutely.”


Sarah: As, I think, the only marketer in my immediate family I was like, “Ah, I’m just the odd one out.”


Maureen: Yeah, I’m a first generation, one and a half generation, white collar worker so most of our family is a lot, does the hands on work and I know that’s been passed on a lot. What about you, does that run in your family?


Nate: You know, like Sarah, I’m a first generation marketer but my son is taking the marketing class at high school, Deca, so now he’s kind of digging marketing and he’s asking me some questions, and so we’re kind of connecting and he’s working on his Deca marketing plan. He’s having me proof read it and we’re kind of going back and forth. In fact, the night I came home from the Pulse Awards, we were talking, “Hey Dad, where have you been?” I said, “I was at the Pulse Awards and we won,” and he said, “Hey, what was the award, what did you submit?” It’s like 11:00 at night and he and I are behind the computer at home and we’re going through page by page and he’s asking me, “What does this mean? How about that,” and he’s applying what he’s seen on the screen and what you guys created to his classroom experience so it was just kind of brought tears to my eyes.


Maureen: That’s amazing. You’re a cool dad too.


Nate: Well, once. I’m typically a lot of uncool dad. It was kind of fun.


Maureen: That’s fantastic.


Nate: It was kind of fun.


Maureen: That’s so cool. I have a four year old so I’m hoping that maybe she’ll pick it up and be interesting but what I think she’s actually going to do is be a drama major and prance around my house in a tutu but you know, no judgment. You got to do what you’ve got to do.


Sarah: That’s funny. My three year old currently want so be a doctor, so we’ll see.


Maureen: Oh, you have a doctor…


Sarah: We’ll see where that goes.


Maureen: Wow, that’s fascinating. She is … mine has give zero thought to what’s next for her. She’s like, “I like alligators.” You go girl. You like alligators. It’s so funny. Okay, well let’s talk awards. Like I said, we had Sarah, we have Sarah Dahlin, Point In’s VP of Client Services and our special guest, Nate Luce from our client, PEMCO, and we’re joining to talk about our award last week. Last week we accepted an award with the Puget Sound American Marketing Association. They were, they had a Pulse Award ceremony, where we submitted for best integrated B to C category. That basically means that it’s multiple channels and high performing campaigns that support the Evergreen PEMCO efforts, right?


Nate: Mm-hmm (affirmative)


Maureen: Awesome. Well, thank you guys both for joining me. Can you give me a few words about what you do there, Nate?


Nate: Sure. I’m marketing program manager and one of the things I do is I’m responsible for all of our digital lead generation activity, which is why I’m managing this project and these efforts for PEMCO. PEMCO, for those of you who don’t know, is a northwest company that sells auto and home insurance and we’ve been doing it for almost, since 1949, so what is that, almost seventy years, right? It’s a long time. A little fun fact about me, I’m a Seattle native. Lot of transplants around here but it’s true. I’m a native.


Sarah: I’m not. Washington native but not a Seattle native.


Maureen: Yeah, well I don’t know how many of our readers or listeners, readers like I’m a writer so I guess that’s where that went, but I don’t know how many of our listeners know much about PEMCO but their marketing campaigns are outstanding. They’re very funny. They connect with the north-westerner in a very true and special way. I think personally, my favorite northwest profile is the goat renter-outer.


Nate: Yes.


Maureen: Yeah, that is fantastic. Where the goats are, you rent out your goats to eat up your blackberry fields. I mean, classic northwest action right there. Yeah, absolutely, so a big fan of your marketing campaigns.


Nate: Thank you.


Maureen: Yeah, absolutely. Sarah, can you tell us a little bit what you do here at Point It?


Sarah: Sure, so at Point It I am the VP of Client Services and I wear a lot of hats.


Maureen: I can attest to that.


Sarah: It’s true. I basically provide a lot of operational support across all of our different teams and our different services. One of the big parts of my job is helping to figure out how we service all of our clients in terms of staffing and resourcing, and also coming up with the best strategies that we can deploy across those different services for individual clients. For PEMCO, I’m really Nate’s mirror on this side. Nate and I work closely together on deploying strategies, coming up with initiatives that we can use across all of our different channels, including SEO, paid social and paid search for PEMCO.


Maureen: Fantastic and I know we’re deploying display at some point, I believe, if I heard correctly.


Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative), that will likely be a 2017 initiative. 2016 Q4 is pretty busy right now with the other channels and there are a lot of moving pieces.


Maureen: Excellent. That’s really exciting. I was looking through the pictures from the other night because I wasn’t able to be there but you all look fantastic.


Sarah: Thank you.


Nate: Thank you.


Maureen: It’s really, really good. That event place was really interesting wasn’t it.


Sarah: It looked really good and it was a nice space. I’ve been to that space before and I was really surprised by how, pleasantly surprised, by how nicely it worked for that type of event, a sit down event, with a presentation. I thought it worked really well.


Maureen: Yeah, so it was called, Sodo, Tim knows.


Tim: Sodo Park.


Maureen: Sodo Park, so Sodo Park in south Seattle, which is a very, it has a very gritty, awesome, urban feel down there. It was like going to visit there. Let’s talk about the award, the actual work we did to win the award, so tell me a little from each of your perspectives, like what did we do and how did we get here? Who am I?


Nate: You guys did a lot of great work, I mean, enough said, right?


Maureen: You can’t do without a good partner, though.


Nate: Thank you, yeah. It definitely is a partnership and I guess, to talk about the work that you did, let’s start on how we became together. Basically, in late 2015, PEMCO made an internal commitment to go digital. Up to that point we had dabbled and played around in it a little bit. We knew digital was here to stay and it was going to become a bigger channel for our business and we made the decision to learn more about that and grow that. Then, what we did, is we started finding someone who could help us. We knew we didn’t have that skill and expertise in house, so we went out and sort of interviewing some partners to help us. We really gravitated towards Point It for a couple of things that were really important to us.


One, you guys have a track record of success and you have the ability to accomplish our goals and our needs, which was first and foremost. You also had the broad thinking that we wanted to create an integrated digital marketing campaign, kind of like what Sarah said. There are a lot of companies out there that can do them in silos, great search marketing companies or they’re great social marketing companies but we wanted someone who could help us with all of that and more, like Display that’s coming up in 2017.


Maureen: Sure.


Nate: Most importantly, we wanted a company that shared the same values and principles that we did because you need to have a fit. We found that with Point It. The results speak for themselves.


Maureen: Yeah, I like to wave my little northwest roots flag because I just love, there’s a lot of overlap and we have outstanding people on both sides and it makes it really exciting to watch the work happen from my perspective because I got to help actually build the submission, so that was really, it was, I got a ton of insight so it was great.


Sarah: One of the things I enjoy about working with PEMCO so much is I do think that similar background does lead to really fantastic communication. We have been involved in a lot of different conversations with PEMCO and have been given visibility into a lot of the conversations that PEMCO was having, not just in regards to digital marketing or marketing in general, but their business and their business. That allows us to be a much impactful partner if we are involved in those conversations and have an idea of what might be happening in 2017 and 2018 in regards to the company as a whole because we can really jump in midstream and say, “Hey, that thing you guys were talking about doing, here are our thoughts and here’s how we can help you and here’s how we can partner together,” so that’s really exciting to me.


Maureen: Yeah, there’s nothing like when you’re a marketer knowing the business initiatives as far out as possible because it really does give you the ability to be a partner, not only with your agency and your client, but actually with the business as a whole, which is exciting. I always love that. Point It does a great job of that here. As the Director of Marketing, I always get a lot of insight, so it makes things easier that’s for sure.


We talk about, I know we both learned a lot from this partnership, so I’d love to hear everybody’s perspectives on the things we’ve gained from working together.


Nate: Some of the things that we’ve gained is selfishly for PEMCO, we’ve learned how to develop and implement an integrated marketing campaign. We hadn’t had much experience with that, and so we took a lot of the knowledge you guys had and helped us learn how to do that and how to operate in that environment, which was fantastic. We de-siloed some of the digital marketing efforts. We have people who work solely on social and some people who did search, and some people did display and now we’re able to bring them in, the collaborative team. We’re all working together, which was another great piece of learning. We had some great results at a great price in terms of the cost per lead, which everybody loves, the sales team was totally happy with the results, and our digital services team are loving the results and the traffic to our web property, and so it’s a winner all the way around.


Sarah: Absolutely. I was talking to some of the team at the Pulse Awards, actually. They were talking about the machine that they have built, the website, and …


Maureen: It’s a huge credit to you guys.


Sarah: It absolutely is and I was telling him, “We’re going to do our best to break that machine.” He says they’re ready though, unlikely to happen but we’ll try our best.


Maureen: That’s awesome and one of the stats that I love is that, in the case study, and in the submission, we talked a little bit about how the collective experience is helping to gain executive trust.


Nate: Yes.


Maureen: That’s such a big deal. That’s a hard nut to crack and if you’re able to do it, like mad cudos, that’s amazing. Good job to your executive team to being open to it and good job to you guys for displaying value and thanks for hiring an awesome team.


Nate: Thanks for doing great work.


Maureen: You bet.


Sarah: Yeah, I think that’s one of the things that I come back to over and over again because we wouldn’t be able to do all of this work we are doing without such a fantastic partner who is so open to learning and embracing new things. We’ve continually brought up new ideas and new strategies and there’s never any hesitation to embrace a new idea. Of course we want to provide evidence as to why that might work or might be a great idea but there’s never resistance trying something new just because it’s the unknown.


Maureen: That’s huge, right?


Nate: Yeah. The support within the organization to learn, try something new and on the off chance something doesn’t work, then let’s learn that quick, take that knowledge, you know fail fast, and move on.


Maureen: Absolutely. Being recognized in this industry is tough, right? You know how the marketing industry is a little, we’re callous and I mean that in the best sense of the word. We just, it takes a lot to impress us and so winning an award like this is a big deal. What would you say it means to PEMCO to be recognized for this kind of collective effort?


Nate: Being recognized is great. It makes you feel good. It validates what you’ve done but truly you guys, the biggest reward is in the results. I mean, winning an award or not, that’s one thing but delivering on the results that we’ve committed to and getting everybody’s appreciation and acknowledgement that, “Hey, we’re heading in the right direction,” that’s what it’s really all about. It’s the results. Results speak louder than words.


Maureen: We like the word results here.


Sarah: We do.


Maureen: We really, really do. Just for the sake of illustrating the results, we were looking at the statistics and it’s 248% year over year increase of leads, so that’s not insignificant. That’s exciting.


Nate: That’s a huge amount.


Sarah: It’s really exciting. I mean it’s exciting for us and we’re just excited about what we can do next year. Seeing those types of numbers, we’re so excited to see what we can do in 2017 when we’re firing on all cylinders and we have that kind of momentum starting the year, it’s just so exciting for us.


Maureen: Yeah, absolutely. Being somebody who’s worked at Point It for quite a while now, what would you say that, I’m sure you’ve seen the company grow and we’ve started to actually gain some momentum in the recognitions part of the industry, I would love to hear your perspective of what it feels like as an executive in a company that grows, it’s growing like ours, does that, you know, what does that mean to Point It?


Sarah: Gosh, it means a lot. I think at the end of the day it’s really the partnerships that make those types of awards special. If we were just winning this award for Point It and I couldn’t say this was on behalf of Point it and PEMCO, it wouldn’t feel as special to me because it’s really that every day work, doing the work together, having a lot of open conversations and trials and tribulations that really make it special at the end of the day to say, “We did this together,” and it wasn’t perfect all along. Sometimes we had failures but then look at what we did. That’s really special to me. From an executive perspective at Point It, this is, I think it’s fantastic because this is something I can look at and say, “Look how we’ve grown as a company.” When I first joined Point It, there were maybe ten of us. We were a lot smaller. We never would have even thought to submit for awards, much less win them, so to me, that’s really special. I see new people joining the company, fresh out of college, junior level marketing folks and it’s really exciting to me that they’re starting their careers with the company that’s at the stage we’re at because the sky’s the limit for them.


That’s really exciting to me to just have all this new talent coming on board and they’re starting with Point It. It’s just a fantastic growth phase.


Maureen: To boot, they are starting to hear about our awards, which means that we get even more fantastic people on board and we can start, we can serve our clients even better, which is pretty great.


Sarah: Absolutely.


Maureen: That’s a pretty exciting thing, so P.S. we’re hiring. Right, we’re hiring for, what are we hiring for?


Sarah: We are hiring for several roles. On the paid search team in particular, we are hiring for entry level roles as well as mid to senior level paid search roles. Then, on our programmatic display team, we are hiring for both junior and senior level talent, so a lot of opportunity within the company to grow with us.


Maureen: Yep. Go to, click on about us, it’s in careers. Do you have any gratuitous plugs that you’d like to offer because this is a good time.


Nate: This is a good time?


Maureen: This is a good time. Would you like to thank anyone, your mom?


Nate: Well, thank my mom, always got to thank mom, my family, my colleagues, co-workers.


Maureen: That’s right.


Nate: Visit Get a quote on your auto and home insurance.


Maureen: Perfect.


Nate: Perfect.


Maureen: Yeah, absolutely. If not, just search for Seattle insurance. I’m sure you’ll find …


Nate: 1-800-GOPEMCO.


Maureen: Oh, I love it.


Nate: You like that?


Maureen: Fantastic. Well, let’s wrap this up. Thanks so much you guys for coming in. We’re really excited to have you and thank you for being our first guest star.


Nate: Any time. I hope I can be a second guest, a repeat guest.


Sarah: Hey, she’s … She’s going to hold you to that.


Maureen: I’m going to write that down.


Nate: Okay.


Maureen: Anyway, so here’s to many years of great results for us all, for sure. Thank you guys for joining us. My name is Maureen Jan. I’m with Point It, for Fine Point, a digital marketing update weekly digest. We’re here in the Point It studios in Seattle aka, the conference room and next week we hope to be chatting about the programmatic ad buying trends and spikes. It should be very exciting. We’re looking forward to having you join us then. For now, stay on point.


Additional Resources


PEMCO Cross-Channel Case Study

Pulse Award Announcement


LENGTH: 22 Minutes