– [Narrator] Welcome to Sarah Squared, the podcast for all things marketing, business growth, branding, and social media. Sara Leisinger is the owner of Who’s Lance Digital Media, serving start-ups and solopreneurs. And Sarah Banowetz owns Banowetz Marketing, a full-service agency located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Together, they make up Sarah Squared, dedicated to the inspiration, motivation, and education of growing businesses. The podcast starts now.

Sara Leisinger: Welcome back to Sara Squared.

Sarah Banowetz: Welcome, welcome.

Sara Leisinger: I am Sara Leisinger …

Sarah Banowetz: And I am Sara Banowetz …

Sara Leisinger: And again, together we are Sara Squared.

Sarah Banowetz: Sara Squared. I have this feeling that people are gonna get super annoyed with us [crosstalk 00:00:39].

Sara Leisinger: I mean, I don’t really care.

Sarah Banowetz: It’s super corny. You guys, if you like corny stuff, you’re in the right spot.

Sara Leisinger: And plus, you’re in Iowa, so that should be a thing.

Sarah Banowetz: Nope. We’re right, corny. Corny, corny.

Sara Leisinger: Corny squared.

Sara Leisinger: All right, so today we are going to take a deep dive with Sarah Banowetz. Sarah, you have got such a cool, interesting story with Banowetz Marketing and how it came about. Can you just touch on that a little bit?

Sarah Banowetz: Okay, so I don’t know what aspect you’re talking about.

Sara Leisinger: So you worked for your dad at Warehouse Auto in Swisher, right? That’s kind of where your marketing brain started. So maybe go from there.

Sarah Banowetz: Okay, so yes, my dad started Warehouse Auto company when I was nine years old, from scratch, and it’s been a great company. I kind of cut my teeth on the marketing world and the business ownership world over Warehouse Auto. My dad likes to say my fingerprints are all over that, I started at the bottom there, detailing, worked my way up, car sales, and I really loved the marketing.

Sarah Banowetz: I had my own company, Side Hustle, a photography company, and the thing that I really loved about the photography was marketing myself. And then I went to my father and said, “Hey listen, there’s these new marketing techniques, new platforms, let’s do this, you need to rebrand.” Not rebrand the name, but the logo needs updated, website needs updated, just branding needs to be freshened up.

Sarah Banowetz: That was about seven, eight years ago, he brought me on then. And then a year ago, a little over a year ago, we started talking about me opening my own marketing company to help other family, home-grown companies, companies who’ve been in existence for a while but could use help with their marketing, new day and age, new social media, blending it all with the old marketing. Because I’m a traditional girl. So making sure that your marketing is cohesive along all platforms, whether online or offline.

Sara Leisinger: Very cool, yeah. Now, if you were to describe the typical client that you work with, how would you describe them?

Sarah Banowetz: The typical client that I work with is … That’s a great question. Really those companies who … I have a soft spot in my heart for family, homegrown companies, so I will say that I do really enjoy working with companies that have been in the family for a generation or more, especially that were started by someone in the family and are just trying to grow from there, trying to scale.

Sarah Banowetz: So really, companies that have about, I would say, 60-80 thousand dollars a year to spend on their marketing, in terms of staffing and advertising itself. Really a marketing director in this area, I think I found on, is really an 80-120 thousand dollar per year position. But then on top of that you also need your other marketing avenues, so your graphic design, your photography, print, your actual ad costs. All of that goes on top of the salary of a marketing director. So really-

Sara Leisinger: You’ve giving them a break, that’s awesome.

Sarah Banowetz: Yeah, so helping those companies get to that point where they can afford that in-house marketing director. I fill that in between gap, like a bad haircut. I hate to explain it like that, but that’s kind of what it is. You’ve grown big enough that you …

Sarah Banowetz: You have taken your homegrown decisions, your in-house staffing, has taken your company from a startup to a successful company, and now you need to scale to the point where you can afford that in-house marketing team. And you’re not there yet. And yet you need to do your marketing really well to get to that point, and that’s where my company comes into play.

Sarah Banowetz: We have in-house graphic arts, we have photography, videography, audio, and … Really, we are your in-house marketing team but on a contractor basis. We can provide it at a smaller cost, but the goal is to get it to the point where you can afford your own in-house marketing team.

Sara Leisinger: For sure, so you’re definitely focused on return on investment.

Sarah Banowetz: Yes, I like ROI, strong ROI. If we’re not having a strong return on investment then we’re gonna keep moving on in terms of analyzing, we analyzed who your company is, who your target audience is, and what we can do for your company to make it grow.

Sara Leisinger: Very cool. One of the cool things that I really like about … You just heard my Instagram go off, don’t be alarmed …

Sarah Banowetz: Sara’s taking a little picture here.

Sara Leisinger: I’m doing the thing. One of the things that I really like about Banowetz is how inclusive it is. Because you don’t just limit yourself to digital, right?

Sarah Banowetz: No, no.

Sara Leisinger: What other areas do you cover?

Sarah Banowetz: If it falls under the umbrella of marketing, we have our hands on it. Now, that doesn’t mean we necessarily will do it in-house, but an in-house marketing director is keeping an eye on your company and the bigger picture of what can be done for your company.

Sara Leisinger: So very cool.

Sarah Banowetz: Yeah. We’ve got billboards up, we can do radio, TV, cable, print in terms of flyers, events, that type of thing. I will say that because I’m keeping an eye on everything there are some times when events will make sense to do an event, and other times when it will not. There are times when a billboard will make sense, and there are often times when a billboard will not make sense.

Sarah Banowetz: One thing that I love about social media is that you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for a billboard on first avenue, you can get that message, that specific message, across for a much, much, much cheaper cost.

Sara Leisinger: And hyper-targeted.

Sarah Banowetz: Yes, just to the person that needs to see it. So most of the time billboards do not make sense, but there are every once in a while a time when it does, and in those cases then we will work with the billboard companies to get a billboard put up. And because of my in-house graphic art people, we can do it in a much more creative way than just slapping a billboard up with your logo on it. So yeah.

Sarah Banowetz: And one thing that I am very passionate about is making sure that all of your marketing is cohesive, so that your branding looks the same in print as it does on digital, so your voice is the same in print as it is on digital.

Sara Leisinger: Definitely. The importance of … What I’m hearing is the importance of creating unity in the messaging. What does that do for a company when you create unity in their messaging?

Sarah Banowetz: It makes it less confusing for the customer. Because really, if confusion happens, they’re not gonna buy from you. You need to make it as easy as possible for the customer to purchase from you, whether that’s a service or a product, if you’re a restaurant, whatever it is you need to make it easy, and when it’s not cohesive, it’s not easy, it’s confusing.

Sara Leisinger: All right, well hey guys, thank you so much for tuning in today, you guys got a deep dive look at Sarah Banowetz. I would definitely recommend, if you are a company in the position of being able to maybe … You kinda need to hire that in-house marketing personnel, but you’re not quite to the point where you can make that leap. Hiring Sarah with Banowetz …

Sarah Banowetz: Banowetz Marketing.

Sara Leisinger: Yeah, Banowetz Marketing.

Sarah Banowetz: Yeah, hiring me with Banowetz Marketing, we can help you make that happen at a less painful cost.

Sara Leisinger: And if you’re solidly looking at marketing in terms of an investment instead of a cost, because you always wanna weigh that, Sarah I can say with certainty is very ROI focused. So really sticking with those key performance indicators, KPIs, is what she’s after. Where everybody and anybody usually can call themselves some sort of digital marketer, it’s not always the case. If they’re not looking for or at certain things, including is this adding to my client’s bottom line, they’re probably not a very good digital marketer. And I know for a fact Sarah is.

Sarah Banowetz: Aw, thanks.

Sara Leisinger: So Sarah, if they want to reach out to you, how would they do that?

Sarah Banowetz: My website is, B as in boy, A-N-O-W-E-T-Z I should say “our”, our website, because it takes a whole team of people to do what we do. And then shoot me an email, Sarah, S-A-R-A-H, Otherwise, you can find me on social media, our platform is kind of quiet right now, we haven’t really been doing much with it because we’ve been focused on our clients. But yeah, reach out to me, I’d love to talk.

Sara Leisinger: All right, well thanks for joining us today.

Sarah Banowetz: Thank you.

Sara Leisinger: You guys have a great day. Sara out!

Sarah Banowetz: Sarah out!

Sara Leisinger of Who’s Lance Digital Media can be found on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram

Sarah Banowetz of Banowetz Marketing can be found on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.