Castlebar Radio Interviews CEO Lorcan Kinsella on Launch of Nova360 Marketing Dashboard
Lorcan: Good afternoon. How are you?
John: I’m good now, good. So, can you tell us all about the new digital marketing platform launched to help SEMs utilize key skills and improve online performance?
Lorcan: Yeah. Brand Nova Digital, we’ve been in operation for the last 10 years. I suppose I will take you back over 10 years ago lecturing in the Digital Marketing Institution and lecturing at different institutions like Griffith College and Dublin Business School. I saw a big gap or a big problem in the area where I was working at a lot of Excel spreadsheets trying to manage information around online whether it be logging into Facebook or Google Analytics. All of these different social media platforms where it was very, very difficult to understand information. What we looked at was putting together a platform of where you could access or have a visual of your particular company linked in to all of these things in one place with one user ID and password. It gave you a sense of a compass or a position of exactly where you’re positioned online. And, we went one step further in that. We thought it was important as well to benchmark you against your nearest competitors. People always wonder, why aren’t they doing better as they should online? Or, why are they not positioned in the top 5 or 10 keywords on Google or Bing? And why is their nearest competitor doing so well?
We do as we could and get the benchmark against their competitors so they can see exactly how they are doing against their competitors whether they’re on page 1 or if their competitors are on page 5 or vice versa. It gives them a compass of how they can improve their positioning online so that they can make improvements to build a better online presence. And obviously you can see gaps in the market like that. It gives better information. With better information, you can get better results. And the results I’m talking about is more around revenue. For me— it’s business, it’s not just digital. It is about business. And with business, I believe that it is very much discipline-based and requires hard work and consistency. I think having those anchors in place gives businesses a much better opportunity to compete and do much better business online.
John: Yeah. You know, I see it has risen by 17% in the past year, which is a small rise I know, but I suppose with COVID-19 maybe that figure wouldn’t be up to date.
Lorcan: No, that is correct. And funny enough, despite our being a leading tech hub, Digital Skills are 11% below the EU average. So, from highlighting deep factors and their website, their online presence certainly could have been there in the last 3 months. There has been a massive gain of where businesses who would have been traditionally bricks and mortar would have moved online. But just by building a website is maybe not good enough in terms of if they built a business now and they’re trading online. But they really want to see – “Well, how can I do better? How can I get traffic to one’s website?”
For us at Brand Nova, the two words, which are absolutely critical in this whole equation is traffic to the website and conversion. If you have traffic come in from different sources to a website and how you can actually implement whether it be 1%, 2% over maybe for 1 or 2 months. It is trying to provide users or businesses access where they can see how they are doing and then give them the skills to improve how they promote themselves online. For example, what we’ve done is we would have— and a lot of people might be familiar with Google Analytics or Google My Business or social media platforms like, for example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. What we have done is we have integrated all of those into one platform, so people or businesses can see exactly where they’re positioned. And when you provide that sort of clarity and transparency to any business, it’s extremely empowering. It gives them the next step of where to go and how to go about it. I think that’s the real game changer in this. It gives a level of transparency to businesses because they know exactly where they’re positioned online. And when you know where you’re positioned online, you can make or take action to improve that visibility to ultimately generate more revenue and sales online.
John: Yeah. I suppose to say an example of a shoe shop that’s online and selling stuff online, it will probably create more employment when things open up again properly.
Lorcan: Yes, absolutely. If you look at whether it be any village or town, and whether it be in Ireland or globally, there has been a paradigm shift in terms of businesses who moved from bricks and mortar to online. But that’s not to say that bricks and mortar is dead. There is a big, big transition. There are going to be an awful lot of bricks and mortar that will not survive the pandemic. That shift is happening now. Like, you know, as businesses begin to reopen – and we can’t even say post-COVID – but reopen through the stages or the phased opening. It will generate 3 lines of revenue where you have bricks and mortar, the footfall, and also through online as well. It is going to be with us in terms of moving businesses online. But it’s a great opportunity as well for businesses who haven’t been online to have moved. Also as well to give them a real insight of how they can do so much better and not only to maybe a local community whether it be , in Loch Garman or it’s in Mayo, or if it’s in County Wexford or Waterford, or whatever it may be, which are now trading nationally or even globally. And that’s, where it gets very, very exciting. It’s obviously providing a local presence, which is fantastic. But also as well where you can trade way beyond the borders of whether it be counties or even national borders.
John: I suppose the worldwide web opened up a completely different door for people.
Lorcan: It has. We are a digital marketing agency traditionally in terms of we build e-Commerce websites. Going back sort of 7, 8, 10 years ago where businesses which would have built websites were questioned. They would sell their particular product online. Say for example furniture stores or you know, arts and crafts. These are now, 10 years later, success stories where they’re not only supplying locally to a county level, but to a national and way beyond – as far as Hong Kong to the U.S., like the Middle East. Great success stories.
Nova 360 is really designed for anybody who really wants to see exactly how they are positioned online and how they can benchmark them against their competitors to do or see the gaps in their marketing or what they’re missing. What they’re not connected to and see if they need to be committed to that. Nova360 gives them that edge.
John: So like when they can look at some other ones that say “yeah, he’s doing very well and I’m doing the same business and I’m not doing well” and you look and see “well, what am I doing wrong” and that kind of thing— You know, it’s kind of an advice thing as well as everything else.
Lorcan: It is. People ask and wonder, “Why am I not doing better online than my competitor?” If you put a Brown Thomas up in Dublin Mountains, you could find out that there’s no people coming. There’s no traffic there. But if you position your site in front of people and you can find out the reasons why they’re not there.
So for example, we have a shoe shop. You and I have a shoe shop. And we call it Jones Shoe. And we can see that it’s , on the 3rd or 4th page of Google and then we’re asking ourselves, “Well, why are we not getting business?”
The reasons are what Nova 360 presents. The reason why this is not happening for you is because you’re on page 10. Now, if we change that – and this is where it gets extremely exciting – when you can change that to be positioned at #1 whether it be locally or even nationally, that’s what Nova 360 is. It gives you that insight to find out exactly where you are positioned online. You make that change. That’s where then the traffic increases because there’s more people searching online for shoes and they’re finding your business. They’re finding the right pair of shoes that they want. They’re clicking purchase and going through the payment gateway system. And then, obviously, 2 days later, you receive your shoes. That’s the whole penny dropping off. Having money going through one of the accounts off the back of being found and that’s trying to provide a solution to one’s problem. And in this case, a pair of shoes is powerful just to put that as an example.
My own mother bought a pair of shoes in Sligo online last week. She was based in New Ross, County Wexford, but she went online and she found this shoe shop online in Sligo. The customer service was fantastic and the name she came through the site. And within 3 days, she received a pair of shoes from Sligo which was fantastic. And she’d go back. So, it was a great opportunity for across the board— through retail manufacturers across the board, every sort of small and medium-sized enterprise.
John: Well, of course, when you type something into a search engine and the first one or two is the only ones you’re going to bother looking at anyway, Lorcan, that’s the way I do it.
Lorcan: Yeah. It is like that. The number of ads at the very, very top and all the search engine results page. And then directly underneath those, those organic structures, that’s the result. People understand if we look at the percentages of what people will click on a paid ad as opposed to an organic content is 80%. So, it’s real prime real estate to have your business positioned there. Presently, Nova 360 will tell you exactly what your position is. It will tell you how you’re doing in Facebook compared to your competitor, and why they’re posting or what they’re posting. And when businesses, again, see that information of i.e. we’re at #3 and they’re at page 3, that is the equivalent of whether it be hundreds or thousands or even hundreds of thousands of Euros for clients. This is just an example of what we’re dealing with that makes such a difference for business because there are people out there who are asking for those services – product or services online.
It is about being sound. Not only sound but also knowing how you’re doing against the next person. I think if anybody in business can wake up in the morning, go online, go to Facebook, do a post, do a story and whatnot — there’s an awful lot of time and energy that goes into all of this, okay. And if we could look at time which is a precious commodity, we can use it more effectively. But to know exactly where and what we should be doing and if we can have that sort of transparency, the what is going online with our business, not with everybody else, but with our business, that’s where, again, the game can change for businesses.
John: Okay, Lorcan, we’ll leave it at that. That’s Lorcan Kinsella. He’s the CEO of Brand Nova Digital. Thanks for coming on the Mid-Morning Miscellany Show and pleasure to talk to you. Bye-bye.
Lorcan: Yes. Thank you. Thank you.