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April 21, 2023

Maximizing Your Online Business's ROI through Intentional Focus with V Krishna Lakkineni

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Podcast episode 144 of the Make Each Click Count Podcast features guest V Krishna Lakkineni, the Chief Marketing Technologist at ROI Media Works. They create campaigns that are context-driven, scalable, and focused on achieving results.

Krishna emphasizes the importance of understanding which platforms are most effective for a particular business, and allocating the advertising budget across multiple channels accordingly. He shares the significance of tracking conversions and measuring the effectiveness of each platform, in order to determine the best return on investment.

In this episode, Krishna discusses their YouTube strategy and challenges. He shares the services they offer their clients to help increase sales.

Episode Action Items:

To find more information about Krishna, go to:

ROI Media Works




Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and


 Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. We are happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss today's topic, which is maximizing your online business ROI through intentional focus. Today's guest leads a great team of talented technologists, designers, and strategists at ROI Media Works.


He has over 15 years of experience working in an ever-changing digital marketing world. A big welcome to be V. Krishna Lakkineni. Hi Krishna.


Thank you, Andy. Thanks for the introduction and thanks for having me on this podcast.


Excited to have you. This podcast episode we're talking about ROI and you have ROI right in your company name.


And I, I love that because you know, when it, when it comes down to it, ROI is really all that matters. Tell me, was it strategic that you put ROI in, in your company name, I assume.


You know, I was a programmer when I started this company and, you know, implementing marketing technologies at the programming level.


And I thought like the best way to tell people about regional investment in advertising industry is having the right ROI right into it. And if you see our logo, it's actually the closing and opening brackets of like the H T M L opening and closes. So, Fit perfectly into what we do. And you know, it's kind of telling more story of non-investment on advertising campaigns and marketing campaigns that we run for our clients.




It. You know, and I did visit your website and when I saw it, I was really impressed. You had a. Quite a few case studies showing increases in conversion, and that's, that's also been a big topic of the podcast, especially this year. So let's start there. What have you done or, or what do you do for your clients that has had the biggest impact on conversion and, and thus the ROI.


I think it all comes down to understanding the, their audience, right? Like we work with a lot of small and medium businesses and those case studies are, you know, very few of the clients that we work with. We go to the drawing board and say, okay, who are your target audience? Who you are trying to educate, and who are the rept potato customers?


No matter what business it is, it's kind of standard. And once you go there, we overlap that. What platforms they're on. Like everybody just thinks like Google is the best way to get advertising or social media, but is that really right for your business? And then once we have that, then we allocate, we have X amount of budgets, so let's spread this onto these multiple platforms and we.


Very much focused on omnichannel for almost six 70 years. So there's no one channel best works for everything. It's just no overlap of understanding what multiple platforms and how you measuring it effectively. So you're tracking these conversions and you know there is a best original investment. And that's kind of like our holy grail of what we do at roi.


And you know, top with the best customer service we can provide our clients while we're educating them with how the industry is changing and. So


you brought up a, a couple of real interesting points there. Marketing channels. How do you decide? Do you start it pretty even in your testing everybody and see how they perform?


Or do you kind of, kind of know that this vertical for your other clients has done better on Google or has done better in social media and you start with most of their budget there and then just let the results results take, take where?


Yeah, like one of the biggest things learned on that, like everybody looks at what big brands are doing and try to replicate it, but we work with a lot of small and medium businesses like we're a boutique agency.


The same tactics doesn't apply for a population of 300,000 or 500,000. So how do you understand your demographics and audience and really know, and we actually talked to our client's customers because most of these are b2c. What prompted you. Hire this person. Did you look up on Google? What channels did you research?


What channels do you spend most of your time? And then what really differentiated compared to competition? Like what is that U S B for our client, and how do you highlight that throughout their website and marketing campaigns? And then get some feedback from after the service. Okay. You know, leave us a Google review or Facebook review and then, Repeating that process and when we first start, we don't have any of this data, so we had to relay on what is ly available, like the benchmarking reports from Google or Facebook or search engine land.


And then you have a grasp of you can spend X amount of, you know, cost per thousand impression ccpm or cost per c p a. And then I go back to the client, this is what the industry average is. So if you're looking at getting, you know, Y amount of conversions, you had to spend X amount of money, and that's realistic.


And sometimes they don't have the money. We just look at where you take and really maximize. Their exposure. And I think working with a number of small businesses I know that everybody runs after the tactic, but not the strategy. So I ask everybody to take a step back and look at the overall strategy that fits your business and pick with one channel that really giving you the 80% of the sales and then roll it into others, and then you keep repeating the process.


And I think. Sorry. Sorry. Just one last thing. And I think along the process, a lot of, doesn't know like how to track a call or how to track each click on the website and the landing pages on the sales funnel, else on the sequence of the floor. Right. And that just makes a whole lot of difference.




Yeah. I like that. What did you say? Focus on the tech and not the strategy? A lot of 'em do


most of that. Most of that comes for us to the strategy and the. Got it.


Now, what marketing channels are you implementing for, for clients? You had mentioned Google, you had mentioned Facebook.


Yeah, like, most of them use those, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and some on Pinterest.


Some on Snapchat, some on TikTok. Like we cover all the platforms, but knowing where they're getting best, c p m or best. Cost per click. For example, Snapchat has the lowest CPM across all platforms, but they only have 200 million users. Right. And if that product is really geared like a Lego bricks, right?


Like create a strategy just around Snapchat and get the kids engaged on that. And if it is something like if we have clients in the cosmetic and medical supply industry, Usually in the 45 plus demographics, even though there weren't a lot of that demographics on Facebook and Instagram five years ago, but now that's one of the fastest growing segments.


So we use a lot of money to educate, communicate, and connect with their audience just on social media. And then when, when they're ready, of course they go to Google and say, who else is there? How much does this cost? Is it a repeatable service that I can hire somebody?


Got it. Now, if somebody was thinking of starting an online business here in in 2023, what are some tips that you would give them?


Just getting started?


I think the first thing for an entrepreneur I encourage everybody to look at the business canvas model. You had to look at the overall business, just not the marketing aspect of it, because you had to have a product or service to sell. That you get paid for it. And then you have different you know, you can say stakeholders involved in that ecosystem, like vendors to suppliers and whatnot.


And how did that all integrates into your business? And once they figure that part out, then you jump into marketing and say, Look at five other businesses that are in the same niche that are your competitors and there are reverse engineering tools that clearly tells you what keywords they're using and what they're paying.


Then you can look at what they're doing on Google and then so as if you look at the Facebook ad library and whatnot, you can see all their ads and you can even see best conversing converting ads based on the engagement for each of these ads. Then you have an idea of like, you know, that you can use to create a blueprint.


So you know, I'm spend. X, y, z distal channels. And then let's not forget the good old school of word of mouth and the networking. And that's important too, especially in the smaller markets. Yeah. So, yeah.


So you had so somebody has started, let's go a little bit further. So they've, they've already are, they're running products that maybe they're running some ads you know, let's, let's say they're doing it in-house.


What would be some advice. You


would give them always having the benchmarks, right? Like how do you, like, okay, you're getting, you're spending, let's say $10,000 a month on Google Ad Bank. What is your cost per acquisition? Is it like $200, $500? And it changes from industry to industry? And once you know that, how do you bring that down?


How do you optimize it? And most of the businesses, from what I have seen, they go for that top 5% ready to buy. You know, these are the low hanging cherries, like everybody wants that and nobody look at the 45% of the people that are ready to buy in the next six to nine months. And that time period can be different from industry to industry, but educating them and engaging them, it doesn't happen on Google.


They're not going to Google and say, How to do my roof or how to fix my flooring. You know, they're going onto YouTube, so how do you start engaging with them? So they come to you and buy that roofing materials from you, or they come and buy that flooring material from you. So it's just changing that tactics in terms of where you are using the budgets and then still keep optimizing it.


And while you're doing that, what happens is you're building that nice funnel. So you are creating the awareness, you're reaching the the bottom line. Basically. People that are ready to. Buy from you. And then also you're having that two middle line like creating that engagement and connection with these people.


So let's, let's talk


about YouTube. Let's go there because I think a lot of people, and I've had, you know, people on Google shopping, I do Google shopping for people, but YouTube and educating people, how much budget do you recommend? That you put into your YouTube videos, and are you running paid traffic to it?


Are you just organic? Let's, let's talk about your YouTube strategy.


I, I highly recommend Arnet and also paid it's almost like you want to be tactical, like, you know, creating a series of videos on how to do stew like making it entertainment and also education while you're running the ads. So on the average, the CPM is like $10 on YouTube.


So if you look at, okay, I'm trying to reach a million views on these specific channels that are already talking about my product. Then you just cherry pick those. And then usually I look at 20% to start with, and then up and down just based on what's needed there.


20% of paid traffic


turn up that paid advertising on Google.


So let's


say, oh, oh, 20% of your overall budget you put toward YouTube. Yeah. And are you targeting specific channels? Are you targeting topics? All of the above. How are you running those


ads? The specific channels and also keyword based. You know, there are six different types, right? Like the skippable, non skippable and whatnot.


Like the featured ones, they get a lot of use, but not enough clicks. And the skippable get some traction, but the six to 12 seconds nonskippable seems to be working really well. Wow. So six


to 12 seconds, that's not a lot of time. What? Not a lot of time. What type of videos are you recommending for your clients to, to squeeze into a six to 12 second.


So let's say let's take an example of auto dealer, right? Okay. You don't need to have much, you know, you have a Ford Mustang or Ford Mackey, like new electric car. You drive into the scene and that's where you end and you lead that customer. Okay? Learn the journey of Mark that is driving mace. And then Mark is basically driving mace from A to B and going to different locations in the city and enjoying the meals.


So basically we're. Showing a lifestyle of Mark, who's an Akio, likes to golf, and you know, or a hedge fund manager that's managing money for other people. So you're building a density, you're telling a story and you're just kind of leading the customers into see yourself in Mark's Place. And that's where it's basically targeted to people you know, that are making 150 K a year that can afford the a hundred k.


And so we're talking about planting seeds six to nine months out. How do you, how are you tracking the ROI on that?


So there are different levels. We track ROI just based on. The views to the landing page views to how many actually called, how many actually submitted a requested code versus contact us or downloaded a pdf .


So it's all inbound and each of them has, you know, a dollar to a hundred dollars ROI right? Like you got 10,000 views doesn't mean anything, but you spend money. So, you know, let's say. Thousand views costing $10. Like if the person is spending more than 45 seconds on that page, there is an ROI around that and we just use a rough number to make sense of things because the realistic measurement comes from how many.


Contacts and requests courts are, are happened, or if it is any e-commerce, how many sales are made, right? But at each step of the way, you have such an ROI to know what exactly is happening so you can get more traffic, but not many people going to the checkout or shopping cart that's, that's a red flag.


Like recently, we picked up a, a Shopify. Client, I mean, they, they use Shopify and when we looked at their numbers at the bottom line, basically they're having 80% dropouts at the car. That's huge. I mean, industry average is around 60 to 70%. So all we had to do is make some UI changes before we run any campaigns and do some maybe testing to be realistic, like, you know, if we can change that conversion rate point from 0.3% to 0.6%, that's doubling their revenues without making a lot of change.


So he is just knowing where to flip that switch.


So let's, let's talk about e-commerce. So everything has changed everything, but a lot of things have changed since Covid. Okay. We've saw just a, a big spike in the last couple years. Where do you see it going over the next 12 to 18 months?


You know, with with the way Amazon multiplies a lot of things, so as every other business I'm really curious about ai.


There are a lot of plugins coming out along with chat. G p a I mean Chat GPT, ai. And this programming is pretty straightforward in the playground and anybody can build a tool and say, you know, I want to order the same groceries every week. So you have a set and it's just automatically. You know, on the 30th day, and I think Samsung is even researching it, automat detects what's in the fridge and places the OT as well.


Wow. Yeah, so it's definitely heading in a new direction. I don't know if you heard of the company mirror. You know, they created this mirror. You can look at yourself in there and basically you swipe through different dresses and then. You're not even going out really to do any shopping. You're in your living room trying hundreds of weight of dresses and shoes and say, this is what I want.


And that's kind of automated too, because after a while with the data available, the AI knows this is what type of things are trending and this is what the person likes. So how do you overlap it? Boom. This is what you need.


Yeah, no, I there's gonna be a lot of changes for sure on ai, so it'll be interesting to.


See how that happens. Now let's, let's transfer conversation a bit and talk more about you and, and what you're doing. You have an agency that we've been


talking about. How, how long have you been doing that? Since 2008, for almost 14 years. So you launched it


14 years


ago? Yeah, 2010 is when I actually incorporated it and, Dive in full.




it. And when you've been scaling it, have there been any business books out there that you could attribute to your journey as an


entrepreneur? I love books and I love people. And, and at the end of the day, no matter what business is, it's the people and I look at the teams. You know, my favorite book is think and Grow Rich.


That's one of the best books. And I read a lot of horror business review documents just to understand what's happening. But to. Pursue not only a carrier and also having an agency in the in industry. Do you know Gak Sha Gak is the original founder of Yahoo in a way. So he started this ad publishing platform when he's 17 from his bedroom, and he sold that to Blue Lithium for like 300 million.


And then Yahoo acquired Blue Lithium later on. So there were different mergers and acquisitions happened over that time. And I just admired, I mean, one thing you know, he has his own story like being an Indian immigrant family and whatnot, but also created something innovatively. He just made a lot of money and I think, you know, when you look at you know, after going to college, I have my student loans to pay and I had a family future family to take care of.


You definitely want to look, look into. How can I pay that out faster and what kind of career that gives me that. And tho those books really help me. And I still read like, you know, 10, 20 books every year. Mm-hmm. And right now I'm very much focused on the neuro plasticity and then how the psychology of Advertising impacts people privacy and voice versa.


Because you know, the fact is nobody likes ads on the internet. Right?


Yeah, no. Very interesting. Now with ROI MediaWorks, what services are you offering for clients to help 'em increase


sales? Most of them. Our big basket is usually the, such an optimization with paid campaigns. Okay. Whether Google or Facebook, social media.


We used to do a lot of content marketing, but like about a year and a half ago, we switched more onto other things that humans can do, just mentally preparing for, you know, I can't have a content writer because, you know, there are tools. Really available or pays easily do that. And even with the graphic design, we've moved away from that.


So our specific focus is on paid advertising campaigns and setting up sales funnels and CRMs with such optimization.


And do you have a recent favorite success story you could share?


Especially in the tourism industry right after Covid, like, you know, we lost a lot of tourism clients. That's usually our 40 to 60% of our revenues every year.


So 20, 20 April basically we are dropped at what are we going to do? So there is. No clients. And then once the travel opened, and these clients are in San Francisco and Hawaii how do you encourage people to travel and how do you influence the additions to say Okay. In a book with our clients, and our clients basically run tours in Hawaii and San Francisco.


Mm-hmm. And the goal, You're basically back to zero. But how do you modify your packages to what kind of patients that you set up and what kind of you know, health information you provide or not? Because now we have two sides of the spectrum to the people. And then we changed all those lining pages just to encourage in terms of the UI and the colors, like enhance the mood because pretty much everybody depressed being two years at home.


So making it fun, right? Like, you know, rather than just book one tour. Combine different tours from different providers and say, you know, this is your full day ary and this is where you can Oh, interesting. Making it easier. And the point here is we're not really selling all of those tours, or we don't have any affiliations with the restaurants, but we are giving more information for them to convince and say, okay, you know, this guy told me what to do, so I'm gonna book with this company.


And then how do you interact with people? The Facebook groups or even on like LinkedIn groups. And even though these conversations are from people, Hey, I'm going back to Oahu, or I'm going back to San Francisco, San Diego what are the places that I can comfortably, safely you know, Stay for three days or rent a car or work my options to eat at the restaurant, what is the situation, isn't there?


And you know, actually some of my team basically engaged with these people, Hey, you know, this is the recent information with what's happening with the health in that and what are the regulations. So even though that's kind of like. Doesn't give us any immediate leads, but that builds a trust within the group.


So if you see on Facebook now, there's a top fan badge on the page. So once you earn those, people, pay attention to those things. So in a way the brand acting as a persona and building its own credibility by offering all this free information.


Nice. Now, were you offering that through YouTube ads mostly, or Facebook ads or, or how were you doing that?


These are, these are YouTube and social media and then some on search as well, because a lot of Hawaii traffic comes from Japan like the tour and Japan took a long time to really open up and they allowed that travel. Interesting.


So with YouTube especially, what, what are some of the challenges that you have had to.


Like on YouTube, short form content seems to be working really well and I think it's virtually impossible to have those 60 12 seconds videos, especially in the beginning because. How do you tell a story within that time? And then how do you present more like, you know, the 90 seconds and then three minutes and then even 12 minutes?


What we noticed is the, the more trust you build, people are watching longer, the videos, and how do you lead them back to hiring a service provider or buying, purchasing a product. And you know, during Super Bowl super Bowl, all those our jerseys and everything were just you. The E-commerce is literally integrated on YouTube, and that was the first time I actually noticed it.


You know, that's pretty cool. So how do you leverage that and have some of your products in your YouTube? And I think the, the amount of work that goes into each of these and mind mapping this, that's where a lot of stress is because you really need to know what video is connecting to, what product and services you are selling and how that's connecting to which landing page.


And do we have. Exactly the same video on the landing page, or we have an extended version of. Right. And it's, it's not easy because you have a videographer, you have a copywriter, you have a graphic designer, and you have a developer that needs to build these pages and work whatnot. So it's a whole ecosystem that has to work together.


Now are


you shooting the videos for your clients or are you using existing videos


that they have? We're not, I don't want to. Spread to 10 myself. So we're just focused on what we are good at, and then we just work with the local video service providers and say, this is the type of things that we're looking at, and these are the 10 shots and this is the storyline, and they're really good at doing their jobs.




So do you recommend you're having 'em professionally made these videos, or are people just shooting 'em with their iPhone and telling the story? I mean, what, what have you found, like what types of videos have you found to have the


biggest success? Anything, anything high quality, professionally done definitely has you know, low cost per click to higher engagement rates because it looks personal and people, you know, instantly build that trust on loyalty.


And there are Short form content, just the phones are fine. Or if somebody's really want to invest in, you know, a good 4k webcam and just do whatever they're doing just on their laptop. Got it. So


who is the perfect client for your agency? That if they're listening out there, they should absolutely look you up online and, and get in contact with.


Medical spouse, dentist real estate, anybody just looking to look, you know, look at their bottom line and say, you know, I can really improve this. And then two XO three x my revenues in the next year or two. They should really reach out to my team at roi MediaWorks. Great.


And is that the best way to reach you is through ROI Media Works and just find the phone number and contact form right on.


Yeah, we have CRM form there that just comes to the team and then, you know, it's just automated from there. And then if somebody wants to reach out to me directly personal LinkedIn is the best way. It's a vk like in any VK L A K K I N E N I. And they can drop a message or tag me one of their posts and happy to consult and look at what's happening there.


Oh, great. This has been a


lot of fun. Is there anything else you would like to add before we wrap it up today?


There were, there were a couple things I was thinking. You know, when you asked that question about what the future of advertising industry or where the e-commerce is going, I believe that you know, everybody you know, talk about crypto, but there are ways Hub, you can use blockchain in our advertising industry.


And I B M is really leading the way and I think that's where everything is going. Because of the fraud that's involved in the privacy rules and how do you manage all of this using AI and using blockchain. And I think that's the way to go. And that's where all these DSPs and every SSPs, everybody's moving forward, but it's still in its infancy.


So I'm really excited about that.


Cool. Well, those are some, some great closing words


for. Thank you,


Andy. Hey, thanks for joining us. For listeners, remember, if you'd like this episode, please go to Apple Podcast and leave us an honest review. And if you're looking for more information on R roi MediaWorks, we're connecting with vk, you'll find the links in the show notes below.


In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our all new podcast resource center. Available to podcast dot make each, click We have compiled all of our different past guests by show topic and included each of their contact information in case you would like any information on any of the previous episodes.


Well, that's it for today. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy, and happy marketing. Have a great day.