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Benjamin: Welcome back to the MarTech podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics sets the standard for innovation in the content and search engine optimization industry. They support businesses who care about understanding both how to use content as a marketing channel and how to improve your organic rankings. In Google, if you're an enterprise level marketer, the Searchmetrics suite of software and services will help you optimize your existing content, help you understand what topics you need to write about next, and how to ensure that your writers produce effective posts. There are billions of google searches happening every day and Searchmetrics gets your stories to the top. 

Benjamin: Today, we're going to talk about the growing complexity of managing a multichannel ecommerce brand. With us today is Ben Hebert, who is the founder of Natural Stacks, which is a nutritional products brand that yields optimal performance by using open source formulas so their consumers know exactly how much of each ingredient they're putting into their bodies. The Natural Stacks brand is available in various ecommerce channels including Amazon, Ebay. They use a Shopify store and they sell some products on facebook. In this episode, Ben is going to talk us through how he thinks about and prioritizes is Omni channel approach to ecommerce. Here's the first part of our interview with Ben Hebert from Natural Stacks. Ben, it's great to have you here on the MarTech podcast. 

Ben: Thank you for having me on. I'm ready to share some of the knowledge that we've learned over the last, I guess five years now since we started this small company. 

Benjamin: Running a business for five years is a big milestone, so congratulations. And why don't we start off by talking a little bit about how you got into the Natural Stacks brand and in the supplement space. 

Ben: Well, it's interesting. My business partner and Co founder Roy had been working on a supplement ecommerce project before this and he hired me to get the business ready for sale and we never met. We communicated primarily over skype and we found that we worked really well together, which is kind of like one of those magic things because  a lot of times people say they're going to do something or they're going to be able to accomplish some sort of task. A week later you're like, what's going on? And with Roy and I, that never really happened. So immediately from the beginning we started working well and eventually he was on the longevity forum, which is a big forum online for a if you want to live forever and people were talking about what is our flagship product now called Ciltep.

Benjamin: tell me a little bit was Ciltep do for the people who aren't familiar. 

Ben: So it's a natural supplement designed to induce what's called Longterm potentiation in the brain, which is like the underlying mechanism behind memory learning to study this further. We've actually funded to clinical trials which are underway now. We should be able to release the data for that towards the end of the year, which is really, really exciting for us. 

Benjamin: Great. So what were you doing prior to meeting your co founder? What was your background? Sort of going way back. 

Ben: If we go all the way back, this is dating myself a little bit, 2009 ish. I started working for a company called Gift Card Rescue Dot Com. That company is no longer in business, but basically it was an ecommerce arbitrage play around the unused gift card market, which is worth billions of dollars per year. We buy a gift card off few for $80 to Walmart and then we resell it for $90 or something like that. Obviously that business has a lot of challenges because you're fighting on the supply side because you need to get people to sell you the cards and then on the buyer side you need to convince people, Hey, you can buy essentially what is a huge gift card and either re gift it or use it in the store to purchase something. 

Benjamin: Interesting. So you had an ecommerce background prior to getting into the supplement space. You meet your co founder, you guys hit it off and the next thing you know you're selling products meant to help your brain function for a longer period of time. I'm sure you have a variety of other products that have different purposes. 

Ben: Absolutely. We're targeting natural cognitive health and that. Just a little bit about the brand, kind of Natural Stacks has everything we do, all of our products contain only the best natural ingredients and stacks is kind of like you can only stack something so high. So our formulas, they're open source, you know exactly what's in there, how much and it's only going to be a couple of ingredients. So essentially it is a stack which is really cool. Coming up with the name, I kind of based it off of underarmour. Being from Maryland. It's like another brand that says like kind of exactly what they are. Eventually came up with Natural Stacks and praise the Lord. The domain was available which almost never seems to happen and the rest is history. Holy Crap. It's five years coming up this September. 

Benjamin: So when you started, how were you selling your products? What platforms we're using? 

Ben: Well, when we started the business we launched with two skews are Ciltep and then our smart caffeine, which is a very simple energy product with caffeine from coffee and then [inaudible], which is the calming amino acid in green tea. And it was purely on Shopify. I had no experience with Fba, I had no experience with retail. I had no idea what Omni channel even meant at that time. I did have an ecommerce background, so we built out on Shopify and within our first 100 days we did over six figures in revenue. 

Benjamin: So you mentioned the Fba. For the people who are relatively new in ecommerce, tell me what that means. 

Ben: That needs fulfillment by Amazon. Basically you send products to Amazon's warehouse. It allows you to be in the prime program so that anyone basically in the US can order it and get two day delivery for free as long as they're a prime member. 

Benjamin: So that's basically selling your products through Amazon and Amazon is shipping the end consumer a box that basically makes it look like it's coming from Amazon and it's included in prime. We had a conversation with a mutual friend of ards, Adam Weiler, who is the founder of sunken stone, which is an Amazon optimization agency when he goes into a little bit more detail about the Fba process, so anybody interested in that might be a good episode for you to check out. So that said, tell me a little bit about, you were starting, you had your own shop, you're using Shopify as the platform and since then you have expanded to have placements through Fba, through Amazon and I see that your product is also on Ebay and it looks like you have a facebook profile that's ecommerce related. Tell me about how you look at Omni Channel ecommerce and tell me about the rationale behind having multiple different platforms. 

Ben: So on Omni channel is very, very, very hard. It's a massive challenge for new brands out there and you kind of have to understand this by going back a little bit. When we first launched in 2013, we launched it on podcasts and things like that really developed our core audience immediately and then started to get a ton of wholesale increase. So now when you look at the brand and if you put Natural Stacks at the top, priority wise, it's our own Shopify store, then it will be our own third party channels, which an example of that, it's like clickbank after that will be Amazon us and somewhere in between is going to be our us domestic retail and those are going to be your bricks and mortar stores. From there you're looking at international retail and the rest of them, which I'll call like our retailers, so these are going to be ecommerce shops that are located all over the world. We have a great partnership in Australia, Sweden, Netherlands, UK, you Kinda name it. We're all over the world now, which represents a ton of challenges to manage for a brand owner. 

Benjamin: Yeah. It's interesting. The idea of you originally started, it sounds like selling products directly to the consumer and based on the mix that you're talking about in terms of having other retail relationships, you've moved into selling wholesale. It sounds like a reasonable part of your business. I imagine there's different technology and platform on the backend that you're using. Tell me a little bit about how you keep those multiple channels organized when you're selling one bottle of supplements to one person and Des Moines, Iowa and a Palette to somebody in Australia. 

Ben: So what are the early things we did with channel management as soon as we started selling, and this is when we're operating our own Amazon fba account, we started running into a lot of issues because we were using a three pl at the time. So we're using Shopify plus a three pl, which I will not. What's a three Po that's going to be a third party logistics provider. So essentially yeah, that's a warehouse now. There are some that are corporate owned and we'll use some of the latest software and we'll hook up with any type of Erp. We were way too young to be ready for anything like that. 

Benjamin: And what's an Erp? 

Ben: It's an enterprise resource planner, so there are tons of different ones out there for ecommerce. I think I was talking to Peter Keller fringesport.com and we both basically said, you know, once you get into that multimillion dollar range and you're trying to scale from seven slash eight years, you're never going to find one that works and I don't want to bad mouth any of them, but we went through a bunch testing them, trying to implement them for a business and we never really found the right solution. So if you're looking at it today, primarily our inventory is managed via shipstation. That also handles all of our order processing. We operate our own warehouse here in Seattle, which gives us better control over the fulfillment process and delivery times. And then for our larger wholesale or retail clients, we're primarily using quickbooks for invoicing, billing and then have that link to shipstation. 

Benjamin: So there's a couple of different components for people that are relatively new into to understanding Omni channel ECOMMERCE. First off, there's the notion of who's doing the fulfillment, the logistics of actually physically identifying the product, getting them packaged, getting them shipped, and there's companies like quiet logistics and a bunch of other sort of enterprise scale logistics companies and it sounds like you've made the decision, you're at the level of scale where you want to handle that yourself because you can move your products faster than somebody who's managing multiple different 

Ben: brands. Absolutely. Plus, it gives us a lot more control over the experience. Our cutoff time is 3:00 PM west coast time, so if you order same day, we're able to get it out the door. Then by using a low cost usbs first class mail, now we're able to hit the west coast in a day or two where the majority of our customers going to be. Even East Coast New York City, you're looking at three or four business days tops, so it gives you a ton more control. It's a huge headache in the beginning, but obviously I think it's better for your business. 

Benjamin: Right. And then there's the second component that you mentioned outside of logistics, which is essentially your business management, I think you called it an Erp. Describe what Erp is in a little bit more detail. For us, 

Ben: it's an Erp is going to be your enterprise resource planner and basically all of your core business processes, whether that's going to be manufacturing, whether that's going to be purchasing your ingredients when it comes to crm there products out there like bright pearl that will do all of that and run your warehouse, et Cetera, et cetera. It's a lot of heavy lifting to get those installed and obviously the cost is very high, but we had a really tough time figuring out how to make that work and now that we've been running the warehouse or own processing fulfillment center for about a year now, that's something that we'll look at considering again here shortly. 

Benjamin: So essentially you've decided to not use a one size fits all software solution and you've built a customized process to make sure that you can manage your invoicing and your customer relationships. So you're piecing it together. 

Ben: Absolutely. And it's not always beautiful. At times, but it works. 

Benjamin: I think that's probably what's most important is that you're able to get the information that you want. So you've mentioned the prioritizations of your multiple different channels where your Shopify direct to consumer businesses, the primary priority and then you had Amazon, I'm not sure if you mentioned Ebay and then you sort of work your way down into international and channel partners that are other ecommerce partners and brick and mortar was in there as well. How do you tie all the data together there and what are the kpis you're looking to evaluate and prioritize your various channels? 

Ben: It's kind of interesting. Probably start with this. So when the business was first running and we started growing into all of these other channels, we're just thrilled that people wanted to buy our product, so basically anyone and everyone who kind of came by and said, hey, I want to purchase something. We sold it to them and what ended up happening was our direct to consumer sales. We're getting cannibalized because of these other channels. What I mean by that is some of it come to us. They would say having a store front somewhere in New York, that's where a lot of these things happen. Place a large purchase order for a thousand units or something like that. We would see 30, $40,000 come in immediately and what would happen is they would take this to Amazon or something like that and sell it at 25 percent off the map pricing in Fba or an Amazon terms. The brands don't necessarily own the listing. The buy box is what you see at the top. Right, and that's what you want to own because when you click buy you get the purchase [inaudible] and essentially what was happening when we first started was we were getting kicked off the buy box and these quote unquote wholesalers were coming in ordering from us and reselling for a lot cheaper. 

Benjamin: You essentially had unofficial channel partners that we're buying your inventory in bulk and then basically selling the margin. 

Ben: Exactly. No shady and it would be okay with a four or five percent margin, so it's crazy. Right. 

Benjamin: Interesting. Okay. So you basically decided that you wanted to own those channels because you were losing your direct business to them anyway. You would be more profitable by managing the listing yourself as opposed to selling wholesale to somebody else who was playing an arbitrage game. 

Ben: Yeah, absolutely. I mean at the end of the day, we want to own the customer data. We want to have a relationship with the customer, we want to send them our content, we want to interact in our facebook group and none of that is going to happen when these third party channels, including Amazon. So actually within the last year we talked about Adam Weiler and sunken stone earlier. We hired him to do all the channel management for Amazon. So when you look at the company now, it's almost like I'm running our growth team thinking that hey, we need to continue to compete against Amazon because obviously Amazon is huge and it's only gonna get bigger. But if we don't keep up number going to be an Amazon only business in the future. 

Benjamin: That's an interesting point of part of your channels. Obviously you own the entire relationship with somebody goes to your Shopify store when they're going direct to consumer and you continue to remarket to them when they go through Amazon, they're Amazon's customer and you're just a supplier. Would the other channels that you mentioned going to brick and mortar stores and others, Ebay, that's probably a little bit of a different relationship and then some of your wholesale partners. How do you think about the relationships there and whether you're building a direct connection to the customer or is it more like Amazon where you don't get to continue to remarket to the customer 

Ben: when you're looking at retail? Bricks and mortar for example? That's an experience and I think the retail partners that we have now, like Pharmaca for example, which is very high end supplement and natural beauty chain. We've done extensive training with the staff at the majority of the locations so that if a customer comes in and saying, Hey, I'm out of magnesium, I'd like to try a new product that the staff there can make a recommendation for one of ours. So I think it's incredibly important for brands to have the Omni channel approach because you need those multiple touchpoints with potential customers. If we've been targeting someone with an ad and they are a pharmaca shopper and they see our product there on the shelf, automatically, that's going to add more trust, more credibility for our brand if they're able to ask about it to the representative there, that's where the sales happen and you're going to see that kind of happened here in the US, but we also have the same approach with our international partners as well. 

Benjamin: I'm assuming that the brick and mortar isn't as profitable, but you still invest in that channel because you're describing it as a lost leader, right? You're willing to have a less profitable transaction to start building the relationship and building the brand with your customers. Is that fair? 

Ben: Absolutely. Retail is never going to be as profitable as direct to consumer, but it is a very valuable channel for our business and our growth going forward. 

Benjamin: Okay. I think that's a good stopping point for today and that wraps up this episode of the MarTech podcast. Thanks to Ben for joining us in part two of our interview, which we'll publish tomorrow. Ben is going to walk us through the MarTechh stack he uses to both optimize his customer acquisition and retention efforts across his multichannel ecommerce strategies. If you can't wait until our next episode and you'd like to learn more about Ben and the Natural Stacks brand, go to Natural Stacks.com. Special thanks to search metrics for sponsoring our podcast. If you're looking to grow your online presence could have Searchmetrics.com to request a free tour of their platform. If you'd like to read the transcript of this podcast, we've published it on our website, MarTechh pod.com, and if you're a subscriber to the MarTech podcast, I just want to take a second to say thank you. 

Benjamin: We'd love for you to leave us a review in the apple itunes store and we want you to feel like a member of our community, so if you ever have questions or if you'd like to be a guest on the show, you could find a contact us form on our website, which is MarTechh pod.com. Or you can reach us on twitter or linkedin. Our handle is benjshap, llc. If you haven't subscribed yet and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge and your podcast feed in addition to part two of our episode with Ben Herbert from Natural Stacks, we've got some great episodes lined up, so hit that subscribe button in your podcast app and we'll be back in your feed tomorrow with the rest of our conversation with Ben from Natural Stacks. Okay, that's it for today, but until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy.

Benjamin: Welcome back to the MarTech podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics sets the standard for innovation in the content and search engine optimization industry. They support businesses who care about understanding both how to use content as a marketing channel and how to improve their organic rankings. In Google, if you're an enterprise level marketer, the Searchmetrics suite of software and services will help you optimize your existing content, help you understand what topics you need to cover next, and how to ensure that your writers produce effective posts. There are billions of google searches happening everyday and Searchmetrics helps you get that. Your stories to the top. 

Benjamin: Today, we're going to hear from a multichannel ecommerce expert. Ben Hebert is a cofounder of Natural Stacks, which is a nutritional products brand that yields optimal performance by using open source formulas so consumers know exactly how much of each ingredient that they're putting into their bodies. The Natural Stacks brand is available in various ecommerce channels including Amazon, Ebay, facebook, and shopify, and in our last episode, Ben Walked us through his rationale and prioritization for his Omni channel ecommerce strategy. In this episode, Ben is going to walk us through in more detail the MarTech stack he uses to drive customer acquisition and retention. Here's the rest of our interview with Ben Hiebert. Ben, welcome back to the MarTech podcast. 

Ben: Thank you for having me. 

Benjamin: It's great to have you back again. In our last conversation, we talked a little bit about the rationale for your Omni channel strategy. Your selling your own products using a shopify store. You're on Amazon, Ebay, you sell internationally, wholesale, brick and mortar. Your products are available through multiple different channels. Today I want to talk a little bit more about marketing. How are you acquiring your customers and how do you think about doing customer acquisition across your multiple channels? So let's just start off by talking about what are the priority channels you think about in terms of customer acquisition. 

Ben: If we were doing this podcast last year, I would've said facebook, but I'll probably be the first one you ever hear say this, but facebook is getting more expensive and we as a company made a shift. I think you're looking at like q four of last year made a shift to focus more on content. Realizing that there's so much search intent, whether it's ingredient based or benefit based or health concern based around the products that we have and the products that we're going to be in development, you know, long term there's more value in us investing in content, investing, Seo and growing our organic traffic. Then there's ever going to be focusing primarily on facebook ads. We brought in someone from one of the other top competitors in our niche. You scaled their facebook spending significantly to over a million dollars a month and we thought we were going to be able to repeat that pretty easily. Obviously we ran into a number of challenges along the way, so since then we've shifted our main source of acquisition or where we're kind of creating that first touch point with customers is always going to be for organic search. 

Benjamin: So that's really interesting. And we've had a couple of podcasts on the show where we've talked about facebook advertising and how that can be a profitable channel and a lot of it is depending on your targeting and how you're able to remarket to customers who have a high purchase intent. We've also talked about driving organic reach and how that can be a highly profitable channel because you don't have to pay for the research collation of your content, but actually producing the content and getting it out into the world and making it visible is a big challenge. How have you made the shift from paid advertising using facebook to content and what are the ways that you're distributing your content? 

Ben: So first making the shift. One thing I recommend everyone reading Andrew Chen, if you follow him on twitter, but a huge tweet storm, I think it's a blog post on his site now about ecommerce startups getting addicted to paid marketing well fooling themselves on your CAC, which is your customer acquisition costs and basically what he says summed up into, I don't know how many paragraphs it is now, but as you scale, it only gets more expensive and harder to track almost forever. So that's kind of the mindset that we went into it for facebook. Obviously we're still doing retargeting. Obviously we're still spending money on facebook ads, but it is a fraction of what we used to do last year and then when we shift over to the content side, I think content always comes down to keyword research and matching the intent. A lot of people are using just standard templates that they find wherever hiring someone on upwork and kind of posting 10 or 12 different things out there and one will stick and then they'll redirect everything to that main pillar posts or something like that. 

Ben: We've shifted away from that totally and gone into a unique strategy where we're targeting only the best things that are related directly to our products, health concerns, et Cetera, ingredients, and then doing a better job. I think effectively matching the content with the query and answering those questions that people have and the last part that I think is kind of exciting. I was talking to a really, really great seo maybe a month or two ago and he's seeing across all of this portfolio of sites that link building is becoming a less important factor and brand is going up. Which is interesting because today as we're recording this show, google just completely rebranded their entire ad words platform. It's now Google ads, so it's kind of this big shift in search engine marketing when it comes to google. It's happening right now I guess in response to facebook since they dominate social with obviously that platform and instagram, so it's really exciting to be on the front of it and to always try and work one step ahead. 

Benjamin: Although that's probably not the case when you're talking about your content strategy. You're doing your keyword research, finding what people are looking at in terms of questions they have about health concerns, which is obviously related to your product as a natural supplement. This is primarily focused on creating written content. Talk to me a little bit about the things that you've done that are not just the traditional blog posts. I think you mentioned earlier that you've done a podcast or they're multimedia posts that you're creating, or is it primarily just a strategy where you're producing a lot of written content, 

Ben: so written content is going to be on the front end of acquisition. That is probably one of our highest priority for touchpoints, but then once we kind of look at the entire Natural Stacks ecosystem as a brand, we have a podcast where we release a new episode each week that's going to be with different health and fitness and wellness experts, so we're providing value there or you have a private library of online courses that are on teachable, which is really, really great platform. It's super easy to use. You know, the way I look at it and that way I kind of framed it with the team is that a lot of the things happen behind the wall, so if we're able to bring someone in through content and create that first conversion via lead magnet, whether that's an online course, acquis a free ebook or pdf or something like that. 

Ben: We have all of these super unique special things happening kind of behind closed doors that you wouldn't see advertised on the front end. Because if we're able to break through the noise with that first conversion, we really want to make this individual. I feel special. That's always been our focus always will be our focus when you're looking at tools that we're using. For that quizzes we use interact, I believe it's just called interact quizzes and then for our popups and things like that, we're using just uno works really well with shopify and then like our ECOM crm slash email provider is going to be clavio or Klayvio depending on how you want to say it. Okay. 

Benjamin: Yeah. Distributing your content organically. You're using some engagement tools in terms of email marketing and popups to stay and then there's quizzes which are other formats of content outside of just traditional blog posts? 

Ben: Yeah. If you come in for a blog posts targeting like magnesium deficiency for example, the lead magnets that we have on that page are going to be absolutely relevant to that, so we'll move you from step one, step two, and then three. Eventually we'll introduce a product, a magnesium product for you. 

Benjamin: Talk to me about how you think about customer retention, so someone comes into your store, whether it used to be from your facebook ads. Now it looks like it's more from content and now they're in your ecosystem. You've pixeled them. How do you make sure that they convert and then how do you make sure that they continue to become a buyer? 

Ben: We're running multiple offers. If you're looking at a direct to consumer on shopify plus and primarily what's happening is no matter what you order a single bottle subscription, multiple bottle, et Cetera, you're going to be hit with a cart hook, which is an awesome, awesome app that lets you do upsells and down sells within shopify, so come in, you're going to go through our email sequence and then eventually if we can't get you to buy or even try natural socks, we will send you to a highly discounted offer. Now of course it's going to have upsells and down sells, and then the last part is going to be kind of the last ditch effort. We'll offer you a free trial and due to the nature and complexity of free trials, we run all of that through clickbank.com. They recently started taking physical products. They're probably like the biggest affiliate marketplace out there. Absolute pros at everything they do that let's us mitigate our risk while still growing that channel. So even if you're looking at the brand altogether, we're Omni channel and even for our direct to consumer, we're not just shopify. We have offers running through click funnels. We have offers running through clickbank. They have click everything all over the place. 

Benjamin: Interesting. So talk to me about conversion rates. When you're an ecommerce store, obviously your product is going to dictate what you're likely conversion rates are, but for people that are new into ecommerce, when they're driving traffic to their web property and they have some sort of a quiz mechanism to gauge someone's interest in target them, and then you have your hooks to up sell and down sell. What's a good rate where you can start to think about whether you're successfully managing your ecommerce efforts. 

Ben: I think that's all going to vary depending on the niche that you're in. Know obviously with supplements there's going to be a lot of skepticism early on because they don't know if they could trust the brand or the product, but if you're anywhere from two to three percent, no matter what niche you're in for the front end offer, that's really, really good for cold traffic, that's good, absolutely incredible, but what you'll see a lot of now is, let's say it's a t shirt or something like that. It'll either be a free plus shipping where you're paying for 95 to ship it and then you're put through a maze of upsells and down sells and those are typically going to be significantly higher than that front end two or three percent, but like I said, if it's something like sunglasses where you're just scrolling through your instagram feed and you see something that looks cool, that's going to be a lot easier, but a lot more expensive to convert than a supplement product. 

Benjamin: Okay, so tell me a little bit more about your customer retention strategy. When you pay all this money to produce content or you're advertising on facebook got multiple different channels, how do you focus on keeping your customers 

Ben: so as a CPG company? Consumer package good. We're only after lifetime value. That's one of the main kpis or metrics that obviously we're going to live or die by as a company long term and primarily the strategy for us has been building enterprises, kind of making it human so we'll have all kinds of filters and tags set up depending on consumer action, so maybe they recently increased the frequency or their HIV has gone way up or they placed a massive order and that will trigger automatic emails they're going to becoming, instead of from your generic info or hello at Natural Stacks outcome, that's going to be coming from someone personally at our company because we want to build that relationship with that individual. With that customer. I always, whenever I give a speech or a talk or something like that, I use it as like a reference to a restaurant. 

Ben: If you go to the same restaurant every day or every week or every month, you're probably going to know the owner of the staff and you know, every once in a while they're going to sell you a free appetizer or maybe they got some great wine in and they're going to open up the bottle for you. We try and do that same thing just because we're selling with line and this relationship is totally based on the Internet, doesn't mean that we can't be human and add that element in. Now you know, we're doing that through a tags and marketing automation, but it's still leading to that real interaction and because of that, our LTV with some of our top customers is in the tens of thousands of dollars. And when you're selling a product where the most expensive one, it's like 40 to 95. That's just incredible. 

Benjamin: That's a lot of caffeine. 

Ben: That is a lot of caffeine, more than I've even had this morning. 

Benjamin: So tell me about the technology behind that. You mentioned that you're tagging people and you're trying to build in these humanizing events. How do you think about doing that and what's the services or technologies you use 

Ben: that's all going to be done with our email platform Klayvio, they have a flow builder there where you can create a customer has purchased three times in the last month and in different situations like that and like I said, normally companies will have a generic email, send this, hey, congratulations thing out. We want to do that from an actual person. Eventually when we have like a rockstar head of support, customer development, it will probably move that onto them, but even now, five years into this, I get incredibly, incredibly excited talking with someone who's been with the brand for a year or something like that and recently got their mba or can finally read again and sit down and focus for hours at a time. I love that. It's why we do this and keeping that human element within the business is I think what are the main drivers behind our growth and increasing revenue over time or actually retaining customers. 

Benjamin: Yeah, it's funny. The podcast is the MarTech podcast and a lot of what we focus on is the technology behind reaching consumers so you can get your message across, but at the end of the day, marketing is an art and a science and understanding the sort of humanities and focusing on the person that you're trying to reach and using technology to get the right message to them is really the goal and the focus of this podcast, so what you're saying resonates with me and is also very much in line with my approach to marketing, which is understand who your core consumer is, what their pain points are. This gets into a lot of the brand building, customer segmentation, sort of the brand development side of your business is what's the purpose of what you're doing. Try to help someone with a longterm health problem and hopefully building a lasting relationship with them. 

Ben: Absolutely, and so for the same opportunities where we'll create a custom coupon code and say, Hey, if you have any friends or family you think might be interested, just send them this code. It's personally for you and it can be used this amount of times. I cannot say how much that has added value for our business as far as retention goes and then additionally something we just added on are going to be starting in like a week or so is we're going to have a naturopathic doctor come into our private facebook group every week and run a live stream and when I was talking with them, he was like, oh, well what do you want me to talk about? Or do you want me to sell your products? Blah, blah blah, and I'm just like, no ma'am. We just want you to come in and share what you're learning or what you've been researching and just providing that extra level of value because you know, I'm thinking the same way as if we had a physical storefront or something like that somewhere. We want to run these types of events and interact with our local community. Well, let's just do that online. And it's like you said, the marketing technology is supposed to facilitate all these things easier and that's the way all the entrepreneurs out there need to think about their business and approach marketing. 

Benjamin: So it's a great transition. And I asked this question to everyone in the podcast. You've been a successful entrepreneur, you've been running this company for five years. You've built an impressive Omni channel marketing technology, a MarTechh stack. What advice do you have for people that are just getting started in ecommerce and just getting started in a marketing career that can help them along the way? 

Ben: Well, one, I think acquisition is probably the best career path to go down right now. If you're looking at email capture, if you were amazing at that and you can jump with any brand and you can match the offers to the content, no matter whether it's youtube or instagram or anything like that, you have a career and you're going to get paid a lot of money for the rest of your life. But when it comes to building your stack out, beware of shiny objects. Be Ware of jumping around. Focus on one channel at a time and kind of do everything you think is the right thing to do before giving up and we spent a lot of time very early on saying, oh, we need to be on facebook. Oh, we need to be on youtube, or we need to be on instagram because this is what these giant companies that we admire doing, but you can't do that and you'll never grow that way one at a time and hit it until you can not do anything else or think of any new ideas again. 

Benjamin: Well, I think that's great advice. I think that learning a skill that you can master early on in your career and sort of hinder development on makes a lot of sense to me. Before we let you go, are there any things that you'd like to highlight? Can you give us a little blurb about Natural Stacks? What should people know or how can they get in touch with you? Here's your chance to promote whatever you'd like on the show. 

Ben: Well, you can use coupon code MarTechh, Ben, to save 25 percent. This is crazy coupon, we never give them out that high, but I had fun recording this, so a MarTechh ben to save 25 percent at the store. If you have any questions about marketing career development, kind of just how to make it as an entrepreneur or you're struggling and you feel the whole world collapsing, which happens to all of us all of the time, feel free to reach out to me. D E N B e n h e b e r t.com. 

Benjamin: Ben at Ben [inaudible] dot com band. It's been great having you on the podcast. I really appreciate it and thanks for sharing. 

Ben: Thank you. 

Benjamin: Okay, that wraps up this episode of the MarTech podcast. Thanks to Ben for joining us. If you're interested in learning more about Ben and Natural Stacks, go to Natural Stacks.com. Special thanks to search metrics for sponsoring this podcast. If you're looking to grow your online presence, go to Searchmetrics.com to request your free tour of their platform. If you'd like to read the transcript for this podcast, we've published it on our website, MarTechh pod.com. If you're already a subscriber, thank you very much. We want this to feel like a community, so if you ever have questions or if you'd like to be a guest on our show, you can find a contact form on our website or you can reach out to us on Linkedin or twitter. Our handles are Benjshap, Llc b e nj  o s h, a p Llc. If you haven't subscribed yet and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge and your podcast feed, we've got some great episodes lined up in the next few weeks, so hit that subscribe button and we'll be back in your podcast feed in no time. Okay, that's it for today, but until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy.

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