Performance marketing that actually performs


Episode 08

In this episode of the Press Play Podcast, Derek Gerber sits down with Garrett Mehrguth, the CEO of Directive. The pair talks about how Directive is succeeding by utilizing first-party data, prioritizing activation rate, being patient with ad campaigns, and much more. You don’t want to miss out on this episode because it is packed full of helpful marketing tips!

Most businesses aren’t so good at getting the customers they want that they have to settle for any customer.


In the world of digital marketing, customer conversion is the name of the game, but so often, we prioritize lead generation and lowering our acquisition cost. While these are important factors, they become irrelevant if we have a poor activation rate. Why are we focusing on getting more leads rather than making sure we can convert our potential customers?

Garrett Mehrguth, the CEO of Directive, joined Derek Gerber on a recent episode of the Press Play Podcast to discuss how his performance marketing agency is standing out from the crowd. The pair talk about how Directive is succeeding by teaching its clients to prioritize activation rates and define and target their niche.

Prioritizing Activation Rate

For many brands, the prevailing thought within their digital marketing and advertising strategy is lowering their cost per acquisition. They want to find the best leads for the least amount of money. Unfortunately for them, advertising is an auction-based environment, and they don’t have much control over their cost per acquisition.

Instead of focusing on how cheap you can get a lead, I want to figure out how cheap I can get someone from a marketing action to a sales action.” (9:37)

Rather than prioritizing their acquisition costs, businesses are better off finding a path to maximizing their activation rate. For example, Directive tested a strategy where it allocated a portion of its budget to its prospect instead of designating all of it for lead generation. The business gave $100 gift cards to prospects that took a sales meeting. It found that this strategy was exponentially cheaper because of the leverage it gained from increasing its activation rate versus attempting to decrease its acquisition costs.

When you start to think through it like that, all of the sudden your campaigns start to work and you just have to really maximize, like, who am I talking to? Why do they choose us? And what’s a good enough offer that I can get them from apathy to action? But when you put that all together, then your campaigns work.” (12:53)

Define Your Niche

The primary reason that marketing campaigns fail is a lack of effective targeting. Many brands cannot decline clients that don’t fit their model because they aren’t good enough at finding clients that do.

Most businesses aren’t so good at getting the customers they want that they have to settle for any customer.” (18:46)

If your brand wants to work with SaaS companies, you need to know how to find and convert qualifying leads in your niche. You must map out and define your ideal clients.

I think the start of good marketing is saying exactly who you’re for as much as who you’re not for, and being confident in that.” (19:16)

When brands try to market to multiple industries and markets, they are destined to fail. Because of its personal nature, targeting only works well when the ideal customer is clearly defined.

I can’t make my messaging resonate with everyone. In other words, if my messaging could be for anyone, it’s for no one. And so once I have my messaging drilled down to my exact persona in my exact industry, and I know their exact pains, all of the sudden my advertising works.” (20:31)

Once you’ve defined your exact market, you must tailor all of your ad creative to your ideal customer. If you target VP’s, don’t target them with ads that say, “The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing.” Instead, change the asset to read “A VP’s Guide to Digital Marketing.” Personifying your ads is critical to the success of your campaign.

Next thing you know, my conversion rate goes from like maybe 4, 5, 6% to like 40, 50% because my messaging, my creative, my copy, and my asset are all personified to exactly what I’m targeting.” (23:01)


(0:41) Introducing Garrett Mehrguth and Directive
(3:29) Utilizing first-party data
(7:05) Prioritizing activation rate over acquisition cost
(13:22) Rethinking ‘Request a Demo’
(17:27) Defining your niche
(20:59) Single-persona campaigns
(23:18) Being a patient with your ad campaigns
(30:01) What’s next for Directive?


Derek Gerber
Garrett Mehrguth
Directive Consulting


Graphic: Listen on Apple Podcasts Graphic: Listen on Spotify



Start Building Your Explainer Video Strategy

Let us answer your questions, learn what you want to achieve, and create a gameplan for success in 30 minutes or less so you know whether we’re the right team for you, alongside an approximate timeline and budget that matches your needs.

back to top button