The secrets and successes of how digital marketing can be maximised in pest control is revealed in this week’s interview with Kevin Smith, Chief Marketing Officer for Rollins Inc.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA Kevin seems to even surprise himself by revealing he has been with Rollins for 18 years. These 18 years, he explains, have been exciting years as it has been a period of constant change – from the previous era of marketing using Yellow Pages, the radio and TV to the new digital era which needs to appeal to Generation Z (those born between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s). A period where there has been something new to learn regarding communication all the time.

Maybe at first a reluctant scholar, his curiosity as to why people did what they did as new platforms came around made for a series of fascinating experiments as to what appeals to customers. This transformation started with the early days in the late 1980s of dialling up on the internet to now accessing on your phone – today Kevin estimates 70% of the company’s inbound residential traffic comes via the phone.

TV consisted of three channels only to advertise on. Interestingly Daniel, our host, checks with Kevin that there is a history of broadcasting within the Rollins family. Correct – there was a broadcast business prior to buying Orkin in 1964. Today Rollins has a studio in Atlanta used for training its teams to levels of excellence which are viewed as critical for success.

Kevin identifies the technician as the key to selling the concept – the absence of pests – to their customers. “Marketing accesses demand. However, the service technicians communicates with the customer. They are solving their problem. We are only as good as the experience that consumer has with the technician.”

Kevin continues by explaining he feels there are three types of marketers – surfers, snorkelers and scuba divers. Tune in to see which you might be!

As to the future, the world is moving from traditional terrestrial TV to digital. So to locate your customers, who are increasingly the millennials, is a challenge. How do we get in front of them? Kevin explains how data is used to assess the success of different channels – how to find a customer, what’s the cost of their acquisition and then how long do you keep them as customers – using the jargon the CLV – the customer lifetime value.

Google is identified as the provider of most customers, but Kevin stresses how important it is to optimise your value with Google – the question is ‘How do I make my brand more valuable in Google’s eyes’ Building content and relevancy is critical.

Getting customers off the search type platforms onto your own content is maybe the challenge of this decade. How to optimise search engine optimisation. Kevin uses the example of creating a series of videos, often amusing ones, which end in the result that this problem looks a little harder than a customer thinks, so maybe it’s time to call a professional.