Darren Doane, Owner, Doane Creative Agency

December 9, 2022
ASOTU was on the ground with Darren Doane during the 2022 Modern Retailing Conference.
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Darren Doane is the Owner of the Doane Creative Agency.

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Kyle Mountsier: 0:00This is In The Dirt with ASOTU

Paul Daly: 0:04

hanging out at Modern Retail Conference with the one and only Darren Doane it's been so much fun to watch it you get to speak at length with automotive creators and not just the creators, also some marketing managers, general managers. Yeah,

Darren Doane: 0:17

there is some heavy hitters in like every session. Yeah, it was crazy. I was, for some reason, I don't think I was expecting that. And that first day, and you were like, What are your job titles? What are you doing? It was like, I mean, if titles mean something. And they do. I mean, there was a lot of responsibility, the people in the room. So I was like, wow, this is this is really impressive.

Paul Daly: 0:39

So what's the one of the things that surprised you? I mean, that's obviously one that there were higher level leaders in in the creative content. Track. What is one thing that you've heard with a lot of q&a? What's one of the themes that you're like, I didn't see that coming? Or maybe you didn't see it coming? But one of the highlights?

Darren Doane: 0:56

Yeah, I mean, I think it's, there's, there's been a couple of themes, but one of them has been that this department of creating content and is one that a lot of people in any industry, you know, those group of people somehow aren't seen as essential.

Paul Daly: 1:15

And how are they seen? Oh, those

Darren Doane: 1:18

are the fun video people. And I call it the arts and crafts, cornice scrapbookers, they probably like scrapbooking probably gets more

Kyle Mountsier: 1:27

but crushing on Pinterest. Yeah,

Darren Doane: 1:29

exactly. Right. But they're so you know, I think the reason is, even as a culture, film, and video does not have defined terms, right? Well, I still talk to people and they talk about getting a video guy. You know, any, that's like saying I'm, I'm gonna go get a hammer guy to work on my property. Like, we don't even really know what it's so I'm always listening for that a film guy, you're never gonna value a film guy, a video guy. We're gonna get some video people. So inherently, the film industry understands the value of a cinematographer, right? A director of photography, a director, those sorts of things is an industry that understands it when you bring it over into any other industry. That's not where it's naturally from. It just gets lost as far as the value proposition because

Paul Daly: 2:26

people use the term, right. But you know, one of one of your courses today You said if you actually want to do film, right, what do you actually need?

Darren Doane: 2:34

Right? And so I used to think, yeah, so if you actually want to do film, meet a lot of people, it takes a lot to do film, right? And like, how many people like 30? Right? I mean, to actually take a RED camera, a 12k, red, whatever the 12 is, yeah, but there's cinema version. All filmmaking for it to get quote unquote, professional, like, if we were going to really have the conversation, what is professional content look like? Professional content is lit. It has, it's been set designed. There's there's wardrobe there's that there's, there's a you know, style, there's hair, there's makeup, you know, if we were really going to define what professional looks like it, it takes all those people then of course, you have a script and you have a script supervisor, and you have system director and you have not just a director of photography, but a gaffer and key grip and a Best Boy and all these different things you need to get like professional like, you're gonna go make a movie. Anything less than that is low budget. There's no I don't care how good you think you are. Yeah, how you're pulling it off. It's either professional, or

Paul Daly: 3:41

none of the film. None of the film, people are looking at you and thinking that you're doing what they're doing.

Darren Doane: 3:46

No. Right. And so which I think is actually kind of cool, because now that opens up. And once I don't like video guy, but you know what, okay. Yeah, it's like coder. Okay? Well, turns out we needed a lot of coders programmers, right? And the video guy, but content creators out there now as well, that's getting defined. And it's getting more and more defined because people are looking for content creators in their in their knowing now just in the last couple of years, my skill

Paul Daly: 4:16

set that me editing design. Yeah,

Darren Doane: 4:19

I mean, like, it's all right. It's all it's all in there now. So that is it's coming into the culture now. But I think that's been the number one thing is one or two things that that have stood out is that as when I when I pressed that issue, it turns out like yeah, no one really thinks that we're doing anything that I mean, there's there's this tension, there's a tension within the the arts and crafts kids and the grownups. What's weird, though, is that grownups technically are never threatened by the kids doing arts and crafts. So when you have grownups commenting, that actually means there is a threat

Kyle Mountsier: 4:59

when he mean commenting? Well, when they when they start to have an opinion or?

Darren Doane: 5:03

Yeah, you guys are doing, as soon as someone starts talking, is that a

Paul Daly: 5:09

threat? Or is it more like they feel like they're wasting money?

Darren Doane: 5:13

Either way, I think it's a threat, right? Because it could be pulling money from their budget, right? You're doing I could

Paul Daly: 5:19

be applying this elsewhere. So you better write better make this worth it. But people

Darren Doane: 5:23

making content, even the worst moment of it. People know you're having fun on some level.

Paul Daly: 5:33

At work, yeah, at

Darren Doane: 5:34

work. And so there's this, I think, again, because I've seen it, I've been lots of different places where did a lot, you know, and when you get there, and you're the media, and you're the back in my day was the entertainment division. When you were the entertainment division, it was like, all they do is film things. And they're,

Paul Daly: 5:54

you're so right, I watched this happen front row, I had a reconditioning company that was like air tools and paint guns, and grease and taking wheels on and off cars working out in the weather. And then all of a sudden, once the internal agency started to get a little bit bigger, and we had several people, I remember very distinctly one of the one of the road managers, the guy who's out all the time, in the weather come in, on a cold day, probably. And he walks through the building. And so he had a walk through the office space where the creatives are, and there's like a 20 year old creator laying on the couch, with his phone, like, you know, laying on the couch, look into this phone doesn't even move and the guy walks through and I see him walk Look at him. And I'm like, we're gonna have to address this. Yeah. Right, because he doesn't realize like, he's actually very valuable and doing very valuable work right now, that's gonna make that other guy's job way easier, but it just doesn't hit like that.

Darren Doane: 6:46

I think what I've also heard from people here is the need for more people. Right? This is a 2 3 4 5 person. Department content, it needs a few people,

Unknown: 7:04

you know, and and this is what's crazy, is it that you're saying like, this is not, oh, you have seven stores, this is a 2 3 4 5 person department per store. This is like a store. This is

Darren Doane: 7:18

this is a half million dollar investment per store. Yeah, that get in the game to try

Kyle Mountsier: 7:22

and do this with less than two people is absolutely insane to get in the game to like, tip the tip toe into it.

Paul Daly: 7:31

If even if you find the two people that are willing to work hard enough, and are talented enough to pull it off, that's going to last like eight months, before there's somewhere

Darren Doane: 7:40

Some somebody will take them. And even if you could else. keep them somehow, you still got three more stores four more stores, five more stores. And so the so the nature of having employees is you go how can we get them to work for every store, and then you start overload them out, right? And so, but being here, I'm looking at people who, hopefully in some of our talks are at least getting equipped. And they're understanding the lay of the land. And they were like, maybe I wasn't just being lazy by thinking I need one more person. Like they said, I need four more people, you know, because I think success in this industry is going to be not trying to turn whoever you have in this position into a Triple Threat ninja in regards to content more than anything if you can get someone to really understand what's at stake. And they can start building that team. Now. What they need to be as they need to be empowered. And that's where I think the word can sometimes actually really be used. You empower people by saying, hey, we need to get something done. I'm not expecting you to be the one that has all the skill sets. I'm going to give you a budget, I'm going to give you support. I'm going to empower you to now say okay, go put that team together. Because by the way, if you're the owner, if you're the owner, operator, if you're the CEO in your hearing this you may as well just say yes. Now, to them doing that just Greenlight half a million dollars. I'm going somewhere. Because guess what is not going to be spent tomorrow. Right, right. You're not going to find the person. But what you have to do is you have to empower the person, you have to enable the person in your company right now to start looking. And it might take a year, it might take two years, but you need to get you need to start. Yeah, you're nodding Yeah, exactly. So it's not like someone's go, Oh, my drop a million is not

Paul Daly: 9:33

an ad spend. That's the difference, right? You spent half a million on ads, you can just write the type of the number and

Kyle Mountsier: 9:39

this is I think, I think you said this just a second ago. It's it's not just the empowerment of the leadership to like, push that down. But it's also this embodiment, right of the content creator or the marketing director. That's not the content creator that that's been asking. It's like, no, okay, so I've been listening. I've been looking around I've been looking at other people doing this and no boss. This is the way we're headed. Right? Right. And I think that that embodiment sometimes can can, like, sometimes all a leader needs is someone to walk into the room with some level of, of command and authority. Right? Yeah. And I think that there's gonna be some people that go back to their stores from this from these conversations and hopefully people that are listening to this, that are that person or are a leader and go up. There's some level of authority that that conversation that that ask has the and I

Darren Doane: 10:31

that's a really important point, because someone think could just go back and kind of go, Well, I'm not gonna, my amount is not going to give me X amount of money to do any of this. And that person might be like, and we're doing good. And I've got a good job. Yeah. And okay. And guess what, for that person, that dealership, you're fine for now. But I mean, but you're fine. I think when you talk about stuff like this, you're you're hoping because I think you guys really represent that in the industry. You don't expect everyone to be listening to what you're saying. Right? Any sort of missional work, you know, in a subculture is going to, or at least it should have the hope should be we're just trying to find a couple of people. Right, like, because if, if you can get a couple people to get on board, it makes the case it grows from there. Yeah. You know, I'm looking at these people. I'm saying, like, I guess you want to go, you want to rock the boat, you don't want to go, I mean, you gotta gotta pay the mortgage, you got to pick, you know, there's lots of things going on. But there may be someone who goes, you know, man, but I really do want to get after it. And you know, I've got the kind of boss that likes to get after it. This can be a perfect, you know, this could be a Mohawk situation, this this could be where it's like, you know, what, we've got people who want to do this, there are, maybe I can start that. So I think what I didn't say on stage, but it probably should, which is like, Look, don't go back and rock the boat, just because I throw you how to, I taught you how to throw a right

Paul Daly: 12:01

hook. Right? Okay, don't just go throwing it, right.

Darren Doane: 12:05

But if you think you've got the kind of environment, you know, hey, get after it, like start having those conversations, you know, you guys have been making yourself available for that stuff. You know, this industry talks they communicate, it's really great to see how many people will have conversations, and they do share stuff. And I know if there was someone in one of those sessions that was like, hey, well, could we you know, can I talk to all three of you? Can we just jump on a zoom call? Could you talk to the owner? Yeah, about kind of what we were talking about? Of course, we would do it done? Yeah. But it's, it's open hand, right. And so, but the right person, with the right owner, and I think that's what makes what you guys are doing fun. It's like, Hey, we're just looking to see who who gets it. You know, and by getting doesn't mean, we think we know everything or we're smarter, but but we're noticing certain trends, we've both we've both built things that are what we're talking about principles of doing all this stuff. So we we understand content, we understand. I think something we we all connect on is there's nothing I've ever asked one of my clients to do that I have not done. I haven't even asked my clients to do an ad spend that I've never done on my own. There you go, right. Like I don't, well, I've spent 50 bucks on a but you should spend 50 grand. We all have that experience. And I think being able to communicate that be here. And just to see how open people were with wanting to talk about this. I was like, I'm still processing that. This is there's some heaviness right now, if you're an owner operator, and you've got somebody in this position, there is some heaviness whether you know it or not on that person right now. And you may be expecting something that's not defined. And I think it needs to be defined. I think we've been having those conversations here. So to me, that's that's made it really special.

Paul Daly: 13:54

Well, thank you so much for being open handed with this industry with us today. And let's help people get out there and and make something and move the needle a little bit.

Unknown: 14:02

Well, I think they know the resource to reach out to excel.

Kyle Mountsier: 14:06

Thank you for listening to In The Dirt with ASOTU. We love the automotive industry and the people who make it run day in and day out. We would love to connect with you more through our daily dose of fun, a free email that you can sign up for at asotu.com That's a s o t u.com. We put our heart and soul into it every day. Thanks again for listening. Join us next time for more Conversations In The Dirt with ASOTU

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