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Aditya Varanasi


Aditya Varanasi

Gabriel Flores  1:43  

Hello, everyone and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I have a entrepreneur calling in from just north of Dallas. Aditya, how are we doing? 

Aditya Varanasi  3:51  

Doing great. How are you? Good.

Gabriel Flores  3:53  

I just want to correct Did I pronounce it correctly? Correct.

Aditya Varanasi  3:55  

You're doing great.

Gabriel Flores  3:56  

Nailed it. Nailed it. So first, before we get into your company aware of it. I want to let's give the audience who is Aditya give them a little background family history. Where are you coming in from?

Aditya Varanasi  4:08  

Yeah. So you know my family immigrated to the US from India when I was when I was one year growing up. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. I just wanted to earn a decent living and get something kind of stable. So I thought I'd pursue medicine. And as I got into college, I decided hey, I'm not sure I want to be in school for another another four years, another eight years. commend the folks that do it and do a great service in life but just I wanted to go get into the world and start doing something so I switched to chemical engineering. I only switched to it because I heard it was hard. I didn't really know a lot about it but enjoyed it enjoyed learning the problem solving and and kind of the analytics behind it. took up a job at Frito Lay in r&d and research and development. So helping develop new products so worked on the Les stacks packaging, worked on Tostitos scoops, got to work on some really cool stuff. While I was in Frito Lay r&d and learned a lot but candidly, I was I was a novice when it came to the business world. I didn't even know what I didn't know walking in there on day one and so it was a great place to learn about business had some really sharp people that I have the pleasure of working with but it was during that time. I got exposed to marketing so as you can imagine, we're developing a new product. We're working with the marketing team, we're seeing what customers think and focus groups were running consumer research studies and learning about how they're intersecting cost customer needs, you know, competitive response retailer needs and trying to triangulate a lot of different things to a solution that provides value to every every stakeholder involved. And you know, I find myself getting fascinated with that. thought it's kind of like golf, you know, where you're just never good enough. There's always an opportunity

Gabriel Flores  5:57  

to improve and never good enough.

Aditya Varanasi  6:01  

And so, you know, I think intellectually I was just really stimulated by it. I was like, I want to do more of this and ultimately went to Northwestern and got my MBA, came back to FRITO lay in the brand marketing group and worked on brands like Cheetos and Cracker Jack and lays into studios and learned a lot about about marketing. And it was it was during that time and you know, my goal at the time was hey, let's just see how far I could advance in the company. I was an ambitious, ambitious guy I wanted to take on bigger and bigger challenges. But I think as I really saw what corporate America needed I started to realize the way I'm wired just isn't the right fit. And I wasn't sure what I what I wanted to do. I wasn't sure where I wanted to go. I was like I'm not just gonna go to another company and make a little bit more money or get a slightly higher title. So it's gonna be the same and Frito Lay PepsiCo are great. It's a great company to learn that I just said, Hey, you don't want to lie. No. I'm going to put my head down. I want to a make sure I'm treating the people around me. Well, I want to help them get to where they want to get to whether that's people reporting to me or people around me. I said be I want to learn. I just want to figure out how I can learn and then see I said, Hey, I want to contribute to the company. That's it. I'm gonna stop worrying about getting promoted. I'm going to stop worrying about advancing and stop worrying about what's next and see what what life kind of holds for me. I said worst case I do this and if I can add value to the company, earn a decent living. That's that's, you know, that's not a bad life. And it was it was around that time after kind of just embracing that mentality of realizing, Hey, maybe I don't necessarily want to become the CEO here that I got a call from a private equity firm and they were looking for somebody with my background to run a startup and they were well funded. They raised a lot of money and had some pretty ambitious goals. And that attracted me You know, I always love ambitious goals that always excites me. And so I left Frito Lay went there and worked for a guy who was a well known investor, reported directly to him. And he's the guy who's been mentored by Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, all those all those folks has a direct line of communication with them. I get emails from those guys forwarded to me from time to time, which was pretty cool. And but I learned a lot about starting a business and how to think about the value of a business. And you know, he had very much of a private equity type background. So he was he coached me on Don't worry about multiples, don't worry about all that kind of nonsense, inflated values, worry about the Generating Positive Cash Flow. And he talked about some of his successes and some of his challenges through his career as an entrepreneur where when he was cash rich, he said the business actually failed, versus when he was cash poor, the business did better. And he said, it's because the discipline and the decisions he made were much sharper when he had limited resources versus when he didn't, and that really stuck with me. And during that time period, I learned a lot about entrepreneurship, a lot of things that were just abstract concepts, how do you register a business? How do you set up the infrastructure, what's required legally, what's required from an accounting standard? Just all the administrative stuff coupled with how do you get things off the ground? I learned from him and it's a great experience, but after about six months, there were some dramatic changes on the on that in that within that private equity group and we mutually parted ways, and I started interviewing for jobs and here I am, you know, we've got a mortgage to kids. I've got a little bit of money put away and so I was kind of looking for the right fit. But I couldn't get excited about any of the jobs I was interviewing for. And these were with great companies, you know, big name companies with big name positions, and I just couldn't get excited about it. And ultimately, I was interviewing I was actually up in your neck of the woods up in Seattle and everything with a big name company, and talking to an old friend of mine, and he kind of jokingly said, Well, you know what, we should start a business and I'll tell him about the challenge. And so we should start a business. I was like, yes, it was like, literally like in the movies like the cartoons. This light bulb went off is like, yes, we need to do that. And, you know, came back register the business. We were starting with a focus on health care, consulting, and he had a healthcare consulting background, I have the marketing background, and we're gonna focus on helping healthcare systems bring consumer or patient centric approach to how they use CRM, how to use marketing tools, how they engage, what's the follow up afterwards? Things that traditional businesses have done that generally weren't done in healthcare. And we didn't really get much traction, had a lot of great conversations and didn't get a lot of traction. And he you know, he went back to his job he never left he was kind of doing this nights and weekends he stuck with his job, but it was around that time that a couple other things kind of bubbled to the surface. One was at my time at Frito Lay so I was on the Cheetos brand. One of the things we learned was when do you have TV advertising running? Other down funnel marketing strategies actually worked better. So take it take a for example. You know, Cheetos, everybody knows what a Cheeto is. But in the world of snacks, it's really unique. It's messy, it's orange. It makes you feel like a kid again. And when you see the commercials, the commercials all reinforced that and you're like, Oh yeah, Cheetos sounds like fun, because it's unique. It's not you know, in the world of snacking, where there's healthy snacks, salty snacks, sweet snacks, fruits, vegetable, everything. It's really unique. And so then you go to the store and if the products being merchandised you know, in a high traffic area, like oh, yeah, oh, Cheetos. I was just thinking about that. Then, oh, it's 50 cents off. I'm gonna pick up a bag. It's that combination of things that get people to make a purchase. It's not just one ad view, one ad click, think about anything you are I buy it's that combination of touch points along that journey. Even on something low involvement, like a bag of chips. It's still a journey to get there. So that was point one that stuck with me, hey, that top of funnel is really important in a world where people are just looking at how are we getting across the finish line. The second thing was when I work with that private equity company running that startup in the insurance space. I was trying to replicate that playbook and saying, Hey, how do we do that here because PepsiCo has obviously mastered marketing. And I found it was really hard to find solutions at the top of the funnel to build that broad reaching yet efficient and targeted awareness. They broke the bank I couldn't justify massive investments as we're getting going. I wanted to learn and make sure we're in the right territory because once you spend ad money, you don't get it back. And if it if you don't have the right message, you're not targeting the right people. You may not even learn from it. And so I found that was a really big challenge. For businesses. And then the third is, you know, I had some experience with what's called programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising is, you know, the ads you see on websites every day, the ads you see on streaming TV, those are all made available via ad exchanges and you can bid on them in real time. Well, you can't bid on them, but companies can bid on them in real time with specialized software and data tools. And I felt like this is really a unicorn of advertising because you can reach virtually anyone, but that it was expensive and efficient. It really wasn't accessible to small businesses. So kind of taking those three together. I started dabbling in programmatic advertising around the time we were going on that healthcare consulting, started to get some traction with it. And that eventually became aware of it and you know, we developed a lot of automation, a lot of automated optimization, so that we could take the same type of advertising big companies were doing, but scale it and make it affordable so that small businesses could do the same thing just on a local level. So instead of spending $10 million nationwide, you could spend a few 100 bucks in just a few zip codes, and it's basically the same level of media saturation. You're reaching the same people. It's just scaling it so that it works for small business, you're not breaking the bank. And so that's kind of where we are today. So I've been doing this we started scaling up the business since 2018. Along the way when I started the business, you know, money was obviously tight and mortgage two kids took up a job at Capital One and other phenomenal company had a great, great role there. But I learned a lot about data tools, automation, advanced modeling, things that came into play here, but after a year at Capital One, we had customers that were ready, they were happy. I could see a line of sight to scaling I felt like the model really had legs I left Capital One and went at this full time, basically in April of 2018.

Gabriel Flores  14:47  

And you know, a lot. So I'm going to take a step back real quick. The healthcare space. You're spot on, you're probably a little bit early. I think what you're going to see now though, the healthcare space is truly starting to pivot to focus on the patient journey. And you were mentioning the sales funnel, right? When I in my role in my role as an outreach manager for health care. What I focus on is the referring provider funnel right? How do I get a referring provider aware of my services that we have available? How do I get them to become a referring provider of those services? Then a loyal referring provider, and then possibly with the next step, right, and we're kind of again, understanding which tactics to use at each phase is also important. So that that was phenomenal. Now I'm I want to take a step back real quick. Because I think this is probably a struggle for a lot of entrepreneurs out there. When did you know when you went from chemical engineering to marketing go to Mba, right when guy that's a completely 180? That's a that's a huge pivot, right? What was what was your thought process going through this that one made you determine, you know, what, I'm going down the right path go into this marketing versus chemical engineering. And then was there like an aha moment that you've kind of like, you know what I am, I have finally made the right decision.

Aditya Varanasi  16:14  

Yeah, that's a great question. My my philosophy on big decisions has been first you have to embrace the fact you don't know what's going to happen. We never know what the future really holds. You know, we try something sometimes things go the way we think they're gonna go. Sometimes they don't. And a lot of times the circumstances that determined that are out of our control, you know, if you started a business in February 2020, you didn't control what happened in March, but that had a massive impact on you. And so, if you embrace that philosophy that we can't always control the outcome, we control what we put into it. I always made decisions with the lens of what's what's the best thing that could happen with this choice. What's the worst thing that could happen with this choice? And what are the other options kind of in between and I are they attractive? And the second part of that is what options Am I closing off forever? Am I closing off options forever? And am I okay with that? And it's a really simplistic view, but you know, it's kind of like, you know, the analogy I've used for people is, imagine you're in the center of the US and you kind of have an idea where you want to go you want to go to the northeast, that could be Boston, New York, DC, main Pittsburgh, you could just start driving in that direction and figure it out along the way. But then if I backtrack and say no, actually, I want to be in California, whatever time I put goes away. And so when you think about that decision in that lens, my thought was, hey, it opens up options. I can go try it. Worst case and go back to being an engineer. If it doesn't work out, or I don't enjoy it. Best case, I'm going to become a better worst case I'll become a better engineer, more business minded engineer and best case, it can open some other options to becoming a general manager to running a division running a brand, a whole host of other options. Within corporate America. A lot of companies were hiring for that position too. So when I put it through that lens, it's like okay, it reframes the way you think about risk. It reframes what you're giving up and I said, Yeah, it's it's a time and money investment to do it. But at that time, it it seemed to have a lot more potential for upside than downside. And the worst case scenario is I thought was, hey, I don't get a job in marketing, which is one of the reasons why I want to try to go to a big name school, I don't get a job and I just become a better engineer. And I said, Okay, that's the case. That's that's the case. And so made that choice. And I think as I got into it, I started to find myself even more energized to come into work. That's not to say I didn't like the things I was doing as an engineer. I was more energized like that's a really cool thing. Wow, I get to do that I get to work on this. I get to be a part of this decision. I get to make recommendations on this strategy. I got to work on a TV commercial or, you know, some creative that reporting in the market. I was like, this is really cool. And that's when I knew I'd made the right choice when I found my personal energy level increasing and it was that same thing along the way, you know, even to becoming an entrepreneur like even during the toughest days as an entrepreneur and there's a lot of them. I still found myself very excited by what I'm doing and feeling very fortunate that I get to do this. That tells me it's the right it's the right choice. Because if we're energized and passionate about what we're doing, it's easier to bring our best self and we're bringing our best self we're generally going to be happier even if things don't go the way we want.

Gabriel Flores  19:29  

You know that's very true. In fact, you mentioned you know, risk, right. And I think as entrepreneurs you also mentioned you know, sometimes days are difficult. Entrepreneurs are constantly I think individuals always are kind of battling against that self doubt, right, overcoming self doubt. How do you address risk and overcome self doubt? Have you ever had a moment of self doubt during this transition during this pivot between engineering and marketing?

Aditya Varanasi  19:54  

Many, many, you know, we're, I'm human. It's, it's gonna happen, I think, to the entrepreneur side, you know, I think I had to learn to embrace the fact is, look, I grew up corporate I my career was all corporate I was used to that bi weekly direct deposit into my bank account. And the second you become an entrepreneur that that's off and that's that's a tough pill for a lot of people to swallow, including including myself was a tough thing to wrap my head around and so but when you perceive risks, you have to embrace the fact and I read this somewhere. A true entrepreneur isn't afraid to lose at all, because they're believed they're going to figure it out. Even if they do, and you look at the stories of people that have persisted and a lot of times in the media or what we read and what we gravitate to, or the success or the perception of success, but what we don't see is these entrepreneur stories have a lot of dark days and a lot of really tough times where people have to do do soul searching and everyone goes through it, and what makes what makes you what ultimately helps you get over the hump is is just productive persistence, and by that it's staying after it, believing you'll get there. But then you also have to be productive with you can't just keep doing the same thing. You have to figure out how you're going to learn and how you're going to be better and you know, Warren Buffett has this concept of compounding that was a whole thing on his investment strategy. Hey, if I can earn 24% a year I can double my money every few years by double my money every few years, become the wealthiest guy in the world, which he did. And he's kind of wants to see how far he can take it. But that applies to us as individuals. If if I can be 10% Better this month and last month, meaning I've learned from things last month, and I'm making some more informed choices based on that experience this month, or we heard some feedback from a customer and we're adapting that incorporating that this month in a different way and we're going to do more than next month. If you just persistently try to be a little better today than you were yesterday. Overtime that compounding effect 1% A day growth doubles you very quickly, time and time and time again. So that's the productive part of that persistent productivity. And I think as you I think the hard part on feeling that confidence is ultimately people won't buy from you unless you're confident. But on the flip side, it's hard to feel confident to see the business working. How do you reconcile it? It was some advice I got early in my career from the president of Quaker Oats, which is a division of PepsiCo, when I was telling him I want to be a general manager, I want to be able to run a division, you know, I want to I want to have broad reaching cross functional responsibility. That's what really excites me. He said, You need a hip pocket skill. And it makes a lot of sense, and I don't know if I fully understood it in the moment, but it makes a lot of sense today in that when you've got a skill set were something that you know about for me, it became marketing, where you've got experiences you've learned from people you've been, you know, been fortunate to learn from some of the best in the industry, and have a lot of reps at it. Then that becomes my anchor to fall back on. And when you've got that anchor to fall back on, that's the source of confidence to know hey, I put in my time I put in the energy. I've taken the time to really learn the most I can learn about this field that becomes a source of confidence that then spreads into other areas. So when there's a finance question, it's okay to show Hey, I'm not sure about this question. This is my area but it gives you a framework to think about when you learn it's like kind of like in college and college I believe. You really just learn to learn is really what college is, and taking that to developing a corporate hip pocket. Skill. You just learn to master an era discipline in business and it helps expand your to other areas and that that to me became the source of confidence. So to be completely honest with you, like I wouldn't have this I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing. I wouldn't be able to do it 10 years ago, I just didn't have the experiences to do it.

Gabriel Flores  23:56  

You know, a great example of this for the folks that are listening is probably this podcast. You know, when I started this podcast, I didn't know anything about podcasting. Now I'm learning about SEO. Now. I'm learning about how to build a website now I'm learning about and so you'll probably see him in the descriptions of the podcast recently. You actually see them a little bit more detailed. You have them links back to their sites, you actually have individual web pages, so go and check them out on the shades of But yeah, to your point, I'm trying to just grow a little bit more every day and I'm starting to see the end results too with the amount of listeners we're getting right and hopefully the quality is also coming out as well. I feel the value. I mean just this conversation right now has provided a lot of value to the listeners in itself. Right. And so it's interesting to say that because it's true. It's just those little micro steps every day that are going to help us because it's true. This podcast was intended to really highlight the entrepreneurial struggles because I think it is a misconception that success happens overnight because we have these perfectly curated social media sites that tell us so and but at the end of the day, we don't realize that those perfectly curated social media sites actually have a lot of marketing dollars behind them. Right and they're they're they're you know, like you mentioned, when I go and get my, my chips at the store, those Cheetos, they're perfect product placement. They just had a commercial about it and they're 50% or 50 cents off on buying. Right and so it's it's that it's that, that that funnel as you mentioned, it's very now let's get into awareness. You know, we've been talking so much, I will want to get some tell us about a werritty It truly is kind of an advertisement firm. It really kind of helps you if as I'm kind of reading it correctly, but I would love to hear from you. What is it we really kind of heard about how it started but what does it do? What is your typical client liking what do you give support to your clients? Yeah,

Aditya Varanasi  25:49  

you know, going back to the science question behind it. What we focus on is how do we build awareness for localized businesses. So how do you take a small business that maybe can't afford a billboard or can't afford to get on cable TV or broadcast TV, but give them exposure that matches the same at a fraction of the price? And so we do that with targeted banner ads that are run down to the zip code level, we could targets particular content. So if you're an HVAC company, somebody's reading about HVAC repair, how do you replace a capacitor or, you know, HVAC is leaking like, that's where we could try to place your ad in the zip codes that they're servicing. We can also run TV commercials much the same way. So you and your neighbor may be watching the same streaming TV programs, but you're both gonna get different commercials based on your household. And so by being hyper targeted, it allows us to make it more affordable because you need to serve fewer impressions. You're trying to reach the right people. And then with that we also our whole focus was to make it affordable to the small business. So campaigns all in start at $299 a month I get to can get you over 100,000 ad impressions on banner ads that are hyper targeted. We include creative as part of our one time startup, but the goal is to make this simple and easy for businesses of any size to build ongoing awareness for their business. Knowing that that customer journey is long and winding you know from when they hear about you to when they buy and as an entrepreneur I think just embracing the fact that customers are gonna buy on their timeline they're never gonna buy in ours. Seeding that awareness is like planting planting a seed, and your other forms of marketing start to water it and as you cultivate that you start to build a wider funnel at the top and the wider that funnel is at the top, the more chances you have to get somebody to the bottom where you want them to be. It's very true.

Gabriel Flores  27:39  

And if we go back to that point, like understanding which tactics to use at each stage in each stage of that funnel is also so so important right. Now one of the things you mentioned was programmatic advertisement, one for the for the folks at home. What is that? And why is it important for an entrepreneur know about it?

Aditya Varanasi  27:57  

Yeah, so programmatic advertising is you take any website, Take for example. When you're reading an article there, you'll see these little ads show up on the top and on the sides. Those ads are placed what's called programmatically ESPN has made that inventory available to various ad exchanges. And then media buyers like aware it can buy that space in real time based on the profile of the device viewing it so we can target the ad based on the content on the page. We want to target sports fans or basketball fans if there's an article about basketball we could try to place an ad there. If we're trying to reach HVAC repair in somebody's reading a blog. We could target that if somebody's reading about you know, porcelain veneers we could place a dental ad there are cosmetic dentists out there. The options are limitless and it can be very content based but down to the zip code. This ecosystems been around a long time, but it's generally been it's very manual. So it's been reserved for large advertisers. And all we've done is develop automation and make it easy for small businesses to get value out of it by not breaking the bank

Gabriel Flores  29:05  

now how what are some mistakes that What are some common mistakes that you've seen folks make in the advertisement world because I think there's probably some common ones, but what are some mistakes that you've seen that are most common? You know, I think

Aditya Varanasi  29:17  

I think the biggest one that I see is we're in this world where everybody wants to measure everything. And marketing is a subject that's complex, and it's a bit abstract. And there's no one right answer I'll be the first to say there's no one right answer on how you market a brand. There's different ways you can get to the same the same goal. And so when you when you embrace that fact people gravitate to simplicity, and as gravitated to simplicity. A lot of people focus on this cost per conversion. I need leads I need, I need sales. We all do. If it were easy to do that and it was a silver bullet somewhere to do that everybody's everybody's business would be growing. But the way to overcome that mistake that's an oversimplification. So put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Anytime you're trying to sell a product to someone, a new customer, you are asking them to change a behavior. You're asking them to do something different that they haven't normally been doing and think about yourself. I can think about myself that doesn't happen quickly or easily very often. And so embracing that and recognizing that the customer is gonna go through their process to ultimately get to you and put value on the entirety of that journey, not just the finish line. And that to me is the biggest mistake that I see is people want those quick wins. And it's great we all do. And sometimes there are opportunities with things like paid search where you can advertise the people that are actively searching for something at the moment. You mentioned SEO you can optimize your website for that. But in some industries that's really expensive in some industries, that's really challenging. And so thinking about that full journey of generating demand building awareness, think about your website, constantly be improving your website, you know, think about the messages that get people to just consider you and set different goals and KPIs. So one of the things we're looking at adding to our dashboard is an integration with Google Analytics so people can see this is how many new website visitors I had this month versus last month. This is how that correlates to the advertising I'm doing and you see a one to one correlation, the more advertising you're doing, the more new people come to your site. And so looking at that as a metric, looking at how people are engaging and responding to maybe your social media, to your website content to your blog content to your podcast, and then ultimately looking at Hey, when they get to point a purchase, how do you remove the friction? How do you answer their common questions? How do you highlight the unique way you solve their problems in life and show them that your your a solution that can help them that's built for their needs? Those are all things that play into that purchase. But that big mistake is just looking at the end. It's like you know, celebrate saying I can I ran through the ribbon at the 26 mile of a marathon. But discounting everything that happened it was the 26 miles that were the hard part running through the ribbon was the easy part.

Gabriel Flores  32:10  

That's a great point. You know, it's kind of funny. You mentioned Google Analytics, because they recently did Google Analytics update. So Google Analytics for right, I was actually gonna jump on a get a Google Analytics kind of educational video which folks I would highly recommend. Try to keep up to date with all these analytic things that are going on because it's changing constantly try to stay aware of the algorithms that they're using. I'm trying to stay aware and again, this is just a something I'm doing on the side, but just really kind of understanding the importance now now what why would you say it's important to understand these matrix for an entrepreneur because I, I think I it sounds like that's really important.

Aditya Varanasi  32:47  

Yeah. Look at at the end of the day, every entrepreneurs looking for customers. You ask them, they want sales, they want customers, they want to generate revenue and they want that to fuel, fuel growth and thinking and a strong focus on that customer path to purchase is critical, but that evolves over time. You know, early on, my wife has been involved with our business. She was a huge advocate for us to just get involved with local networking. Got to meet a lot of local small businesses. A lot of face to face. Meetings, not necessarily a scalable model for us. But we learned a lot from those conversations that we were then able to apply as we started to ramp up advertising. And so it's never a one size fits all or you just do one thing, set it and forget it as we've grown you know, we started with a heavy focus on that local networking meeting people hearing what their needs, were figuring out how we adapt the product, the messaging, the different things we're doing for them to meet specifically their need, not our guests on their need, but what they're stating as their need. Automating and investing in more automation as we as we kind of solidify that to now. Those insights have enabled us to where we get most of our new business leads from just our own advertising because we understand the customer a lot better just having gone through that experience. And so that customer insight, then and translate that to how you're going to drive sales through both, you know, face to face sales to phone sales to advertising sales becomes becomes critical.

Gabriel Flores  34:15  

And how does one kind of identify customer insight?

Aditya Varanasi  34:20  

You know, a lot of it's just listening and asking questions. You know, I'm guilty of this. We had a we had a call today and I just said, Hey, you know what? I had some questions that like I need to make sure I don't just jump into selling mode. I need to just ask questions and understand where they are and what they're thinking. And sometimes, you know, it takes you down a little bit of a rabbit hole. Sometimes it takes you away from where you want to be, but the insight you can garner just from asking open ended questions and listening. Even if it's not what you want, it tells you how your customers thinking about it. And if you know how your customers thinking about it, it helps you develop and position your product to meet that need.

Gabriel Flores  35:00  

What are some things you know the entrepreneur or small business owners can think about today maybe they have a small budget, but what are some things they can do with a with almost no budget that they can do right now to kind of improve their brand awareness?

Aditya Varanasi  35:13  

You know, there's a lot of local networking and you know, when we didn't have budget, we we spent a lot of time on local networking. It was hard. It took a toll on us. You know, we're out at events, sometimes two, three times a night. But we're meeting people and it provided a level of a level of insight. I think with limited budget, there's still a lot of tools you can you could start up a Google ads campaign only serve ads and a few zip codes that you service and put a small budget into it. Just start getting some learnings on that. That's not going to be a home run overnight. I think you know, even for us, if you look at our website, from when it started today, it's dramatically different. It's dramatically different messaging. And so I think starting there, starting small, but making sure you've got a path to learn. Learn from it. So you can run campaigns with us for as little as $209 a month. You could start in social media. You could spend a few bucks a day you could spend a few bucks a day in Google ads, and look at how people are engaging with your site use that Google Analytics for see what pages they're going to see how much time they're spending on different pages. That also gives you insight on what content is resonating for them and allows you to figure out how you're going to continue to optimize that website for their needs.

Gabriel Flores  36:28  

Yeah, where do you see it? Where do the next five years what's what's the ultimate goal?

Aditya Varanasi  36:33  

You know, we want to we want to make world class marketing accessible to everyone. We want to democratize advertising. So it's not just the big companies that have the resources and experience and so with that, we're investing in ways to help businesses measure the health of their customer journey. We're investing in ways we can automate fulfillment of other ad channels. Beyond the banner ads and connected TV. We're investing in ways to measure things like goop bring in Google Analytics data on show brand health show where the new users are coming from running advanced regressions. These are things only big companies have been doing. We want to make it accessible to everyone. And so and make it just a part a part of the platform. So what we see is we want if we want to make real class advertising accessible everyone, we want to continue to learn what the needs are. And we're hearing feedback that customers want us to take on other channels. We're going to try to figure out how to act on and that's what we're working on working on now. Not what I would love to say is in a few years. We're a one stop shop you've come any small business in Congress that can find solutions that fit their budget, they can see measurement of how those different choices are impacting their business beyond just sales. And and then they can continue to refine and enhance add and remove things as they see fit at the push of a button without spending a lot of time and let our data and our AI do the heavy lifting for him.

Gabriel Flores  37:51  

Now, you mentioned in getting contact, how do folks get in contact? What's the website social media channels, how do folks get a hold of you?

Aditya Varanasi  37:57  

You know, the best way visit us at a we have a LinkedIn page we post content we have a Facebook page, we post content we put the same stuff on Instagram, but you know visit us at a on the top right if you're interested there's a button that says free proposal, and we'll put together a proposal based on virtually any any budget as long as it hits our hits our minimum requirement, which is as little as $29 a month we'll put together a proposal for a Shall we hi how we'll target the ads and talk through ways you can measure if the campaign is working or not. You know, and for your listeners, we've got a little treat. If you visit us at a gift, we'll provide a free marketing assessment so you fill out a form we'll take a look at what you're doing. And we'll give you some feedback and some poor pointers and some actionable next steps that you can go go try to implement.

Gabriel Flores  38:47  

I love it. So again, that's a gift. That information will also be on the shades of entrepreneurship website or in the newsletter which is actually a nice plug to subscribe to the shades of E newsletter. We'll also have the word information on the website they'll have their own individual page This in fact interview will be transcribed. So those folks that would like to read it can go and do that. Now. Any last words or advice you have for the listeners?

Aditya Varanasi  39:15  

Yeah, you know, starting a businesses is challenging as you and your listeners know, can feel daunting. You know, my only advice is look at what makes you what makes you happy. Have a plan, be willing to adapt to the plan and just stay productive productively persistent. And that's easier said than done. We all have bills to pay. We all have things to take care of. Obviously, it goes without saying you have to have that foundation of other things in place to enable it. But if you stay productively persistent, everybody's got a shot to figure it out.

Gabriel Flores  39:48  

And that is that is great, great words to kind of closing thank you again, so much for the opportunity to interview today. I learned a lot I would actually love I'm going to if you wouldn't mind actually sticking on I would love to kind of pick your brain about the health care world. I think that's a space. That's where I'm in right now and you kind of got my my world spinning. So again that's aware of gift I'll have this information on the newsletter and you can follow me at the shades of E on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also subscribe to the newsletter at the shades of Thank you and have a great night. 

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