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Benjamin: Welcome back to the MarTech podcast. This podcast is sponsored by searchmetrics searchmetrics sets the standard for innovation and 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 search metrics 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 writer is produced effective posts. There are billions of google searches happening every day and search metrics gets your stories to the top.
Benjamin: Today we're going to hear from an ecommerce and products search expert. Nii Ahene is the co-founder and coo of CPC strategy, knee and CPC strategy help companies such as reef sandals, invicta watches and seventh generation cleaning supplies. Optimize their performance marketing efforts on Amazon, Google and facebook in this episode, and he's going to walk us through the career experience that lead him towards starting his agency and give us an overview of the trends in the product search industry. Here is the first of two parts of our conversation with Nii Ahene from CPC strategy. Nii, welcome to the podcast.
Nii: Glad to be here. Ben.
Benjamin: It's great to have you back. Uh, I want to say that this is the second time we've talked and unfortunately our first recording didn't make through the rigors of the Internet. So thank you for being patient and being actually our first repeat guest on the MarTech podcast.
Nii: No doubt. We're trying to capture that past magic.
Benjamin: The good news is the podcast has grown pretty significantly since we originally recorded our conversations. So, uh, hopefully a couple more people will hear this podcast, but that said, let's talk a little bit about you. Tell me about your company and what's your role.
Nii: So I am the chief operating officer of CPC strategy call founder as well. We've been around for about 11 years and we're a retail focus performance
Speaker 1: marketing agency. And really what that means at the end of the day is that we help brands, CPG and ecommerce brands put their products in front of consumers at the places where consumers are spending time online, namely Amazon, Google, and facebook.
Benjamin: So you work with companies that are primarily selling physical products, or are you exclusively working with companies that sell physical products?
Speaker 1: We have slightly over 500 clients, believe it or not, and I would like to say we're exclusively physical products, but we probably have four or five clients that do more services, but yeah, for the most part $498 physical product competence.
Benjamin: So the vast majority of people that you're working with are actually packaging up and shipping off a physical product and you're helping them get in front of their customers and drive sales in product search categories.
Speaker 1: That's absolutely correct. Yep.
Benjamin: So when we first met you had just graduated from college and we both worked at Ebay and I understand you have an ecommerce background. Tell me a little bit about some of the steps you had along the way and what's your career look like and how did you end up becoming one of the founders of a relatively large agency?
Speaker 1: Yeah, so we met at bay, but before I had my tenure at Ebay, I got into ad words around 2004, 2005. So really, really, really early in the adwords game and I was working with local businesses and the San Francisco Bay area. I went to UC Berkeley and helping them get their initial campaigns up and running on that word. So one of the companies that I assisted on their campaigns was driver's Ed.com, so that's kind of how I got my experience with PPC, but really helping companies create campaigns to drive traffic to the websites and again, way back then it was extremely inexpensive. We're talking about suicides. Three cent clicks. You won't see that anywhere across the globe anymore, but back then there was a lot easier than it is today. With that experience. I applied to Ebay. Unfortunately I was able to land a job in their seo department or what Ebay called natural search.
Speaker 1: I had a great time there and really learned to how enterprise seo works. Ea was so big, they have a domain authority, so it's less so around, hey, let's figure out what keywords we want to rank for. It was more so how do we leverage all of these individuals that are coming to our website to create content, so it was a product manager for a number of different products at Ebay, revenue from reusing guides where Ryan spoon to Ebay Wiki, best of Ebay, even some contributions to my world, if you remember that richer. Nobody remembers that except the people who worked on it.
Benjamin: My world was Ebay is version of my space which was trying to turn ecommerce into a social network for those of you who obviously it did not work at Ebay,
Speaker 1: only people who know about my world, but six months into my tenure at bay I had an opportunity to sync up with a good friend of mine from Ucla and we met my sophomore year, his senior year@Uclaandattimehewasworkingforawebsitecalledpricegrabber.com and that was one of the early vertical comparison shopping websites and from his experience at price grabber. In my experience at Ebay, we saw the opportunity to provide managed services for retail organizations. Given kind of the golf and knowledge between, Hey, your top one percent are retailers and most of the retailers out there, and that's really how CPC strategy came into being.
Benjamin: So let me get this straight. You're an enterprise in college kid. You're learning ad words, you're learning about performance marketing as a side project. You start working at Ebay and learn a little bit about content on organic search. You link up with a buddy who worked at a shopping comparison sites and did you just start managing clients from there? What were the early days at CPC strategy like?
Speaker 1: Honestly, it sounds insane. Looking back on it because again, I was 22 when we got started, but yeah, we created a domain name. We hired somebody off of craigslist and create a website for us. I think it costs maybe 600, $800 and then I drove up to Sacramento to physically register the LLC in Sacramento at the capital in February. Actually have a picture up on facebook, a grainy picture I took with my flip phone back then at the capital, got the website up by the end of March and April first is our first day open. I was still working full time at Ebay in that period of time and my business partner by then, rick, he had quit price, whatever and was dedicated 100 percent to trying to get this business off the ground and the very first person he called was a online jewelry store, find diamonds.com.
Speaker 1: And he said, Hey, my name is rick bacchus. I used to work at price grabber. I understand that you're advertising on websites like price forever and we just opened up an agency to help you better manage your data feeds and your campaigns on this specific website. And believe it or not, that guy said, yeah, I'm spending a lot of money on price grabber and comparison shopping websites. I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I would be more than happy to work with you guys. So the very first person, my business partner called, we closed and that's Kinda how the agency got started. $800 website, a trip up to Sacramento and the first cold call, that's how we started managing campaigns.
Benjamin: Know this episode of our podcast is about you, but I'm going to share a similar story about the starting days of my consulting business. I had just left the last startup that I worked for. I was the VP of marketing and I wasn't really sure what I was going to do next. I was planning on taking a little break and I took two days off without actually working and on the third day I decided that I was going to rebuild my personal website. I put up one facebook post saying, Hey, I'm going to take on short term projects. I got an inbound request from a close friend of mine who also worked at Ebay saying, can you be in my office on Monday? The post was sent out on Friday and I've been working with that client for the last two and a half years. So for those of you who are entrepreneurial and thinking about starting a business, it feels like to me your best luck is going to be that first email you send. So don't delay a me and I can vouch for you.
Speaker 1: No doubt.
Benjamin: So you've been doing this for how long now?
Speaker 1: Eleven years. So the company came into inception in 2007. First client April 2017.
Benjamin: And you're up to 500 clients and the office is obviously more than just the two of you. How big is the company now?
Speaker 1: We are a 135 or so employees. One hundred and 30. Four of them are based here in San Diego, California, downtown. And then we have one remote employee net caught her. I'm pretty sure you're listening in Boston.
Benjamin: How did mick ended up being the only remote employee? He must be a very special employee. Or are you retired of them and you couldn't get rid of them?
Speaker 1: I moved out to San Diego three years ago from the east coast, went to school out east and he's one of the rare individuals that decided San Diego was a cool place to settle, so we moved back to Boston and so we give them a hard time about it, but he's a great guy. If you've been to any UC strategies, webinars, he's typically the man behind the machine.
Benjamin: Not to change subjects, but I want to get into the details of what used to be called product comparison to now. What is basically just product search. You've been in the game for 11 years. Tell us how it's changed.
Speaker 1: So when we first got started, the major shopping comparison websites or product comparison websites where price grabber.com, next egg.com. Shopping.com, which is actually owned by Ebay and Shopzilla. There was a number of other websites like [inaudible] dot com become.com, but it was a very, very fractured market. Meaning that if you had products to sell one, you had to figure out a way to get your inventory into the servers of these various different websites. And then you had to distribute that data feed to seven to 10 different websites and bid separately for each of them. And that was the fractured environment where CPC strategy kind of got its start, maybe the first four years of the company we saw consolidation in the market as well as emergence of Google as a major player in driving shopping consideration at the bottom of the funnel when they turn their free shopping program, formally known as frugal into Google product search or Google shopping as it's known today.
Speaker 1: And that had a dramatic impact on the entire landscape because Google, at least at that point in time, was where most consumers did their searches when they were looking for a physical product. So the business model of the next tags and the shopping, not coms and shop, zillow's dot com was to buy ppc traffic off of Google to send it to a comparison website. The moment google entered the market with their own product search engine, it Kinda disintermediated those specific websites. And so that was a dramatic change that we saw in our industry, unfortunately for us, because all of those different channels were powered by a data feed and we built a tech stack to allow us to export data feeds from client websites and distribute them out to various different websites. We were one of the first agencies to really ride that wave of Google entering with Gusto into the product search space.
Benjamin: So let me make sure I understand. There was essentially consolidation in the market. There was various product comparison sites. Google became an entrant into the market with frugal, which was renamed Google shop
Speaker 1: then. Yeah. And they've changed the name so many times. It was frugal then it was google base and it was go a product search. Then it was google pla and it was Google shopping and they're probably gonna call it something else, so I probably shouldn't say that, but they've renamed that product a lot.
Benjamin: Let's just go with Google shopping for now and them becoming an entrant in the market. Basically with the growth of Google as the dominant search engine, forced consolidation and are essentially the only relevant player in search. And you mentioned something about a data feed. Can you go to a little bit more detail about what a data feed is?
Speaker 1: Absolutely. So any website that we go to, whether you're talking about Amazon, that calm or macys.com or footlocker.com. Of course we see product detail pages where we can look at a product, see the Spec, see images and things like that and add to cart and buy the product. But when you're looking to advertise those specific products, there needs to be some sort of mechanism to transfer that information in bulk. So the various places where your advertising, be it Google shopping, be it facebook, be it critique or any of these products, specific advertising channels. So the way that happens is that there is an export that comes out of the back ends of your shopify Magentos or whatever your shopping cart is that can be exported on a routine basis off of a website and then modified and syndicated out to the various places where we want to advertise. Essentially it's an excel spreadsheet or a CSV that comes out of wherever you have your inventory hosted that an agency like CPC strategy or the various different search agencies are out there, can take syndicate and then start to bid on each specific product, the right amount of dollars to be able to send traffic back to your website after they send that to the destinations.
Benjamin: So data feeds are essentially structured data right there. They're very formatted. Tell me about some of the pieces of data. What can you share in a data feed? It's not like you can decide what information you're sharing with these networks. So what are the things that you need to know about a specific product to be able to share it in a data feed.
Speaker 1: So all advertising destinations, you're going to have some sort of feed format, they're going to request data and there's going to be minimum requirements as well as additional attributes that you can add. Typically the minimum requirements are going to be things like product name, product price, a link obviously to send to the product image, other attributes that you might find in a data feed or things like the description, things like size, color variations, weight size, shipping costs, any information or any attributes that can be used to describe a product. You can find that information and the data feed,
Benjamin: so essentially it's a list of attributes where you have to include the product name, title, image, and you're using a standard format to share all the information about your various products with the different sources that are going to list that product. And we've talked a little bit about Google already. Who are some of the other major players in product search these days?
Speaker 1: Yeah. The interesting thing has happened over the last, I would say six years is that whereas Google is absolutely the go to place when we're looking for information. Amazon has emerged as the destination. Most US consumers go to when they know they want to buy a product. So we've seen a dramatic shift in the amount of queries that start and end on Amazon as opposed to starting on Google and ending up on a retailer's website. So when we think about the retail landscape, we have econ, which is mostly powered by google. We have facebook, upper funnel spend and retargeting and then we have what Amazon has done, which is a completely integrated marketplace where people can start and end their searches on Amazon and hats off to Amazon for being able to get this place. Google as a place where consumers go. So when they know they want a physical product shipped to them. So that's a dramatic change that we've seen over the last six years. And as an agency we've been fortunate enough to ride that wave as well by deploying services around maximizing sales on Amazon.
Benjamin: So essentially what I'm hearing is that the vast majority of, at least to us, consumers are going directly to Amazon when they know what they're looking to purchase. People are still using Google for research. How does the shopify guys of the world and other carts, how does that play into the overall shopping landscape?
Speaker 1: So when Google shopping emerge as a paid channel, Google was a very, very aggressive about increasing the amount of shopping as you saw for retail searches. What that date is, it completely transform the retail landscape because previously the websites that we're winning were websites that had a lot of data around the right keywords to buy. So if I had started a website in 2000, let's say for the sake of conversation, great shoes.com, I had 10 to 15 years worth of keyword data that told me what keywords were profitable and what keywords were not. When Google created Google shopping, it took keywords completely away. So when you're a retailer like footlocker, who may have been late to online when they were competing with jess keywords, it took a lot of data and data science to figure out what keywords and what keywords didn't. I saw that as an unfair advantage or an advantage to retail destinations, which may not be the best consumer experience and eliminated the need for keywords.
Speaker 1: And so what Google shopping, you don't need keywords at all. All you need is your inventory and Google figures out which search queries are related to your products. What that means or what that meant was that footlocker, who typically is going to have a lower price because they have scale, can outcompete compete your typical ecommerce resale that might've just mark up the price. So that's the transformation we saw between 2012, 2014. The emergence of shopify websites, at least from our standpoint as an agency, is really around the rise of digitally native vertical brands. These are companies like Bonobos and warby parkers that aren't necessarily buying traffic off of Google, but they're driving traffic through higher consideration through social channels. So they have a brand and the brand promise and the premium offer, which is very attractive and they can demonstrate that on social media places like instagram and facebook to drive traffic awareness and consideration.
Speaker 1: So that was a little bit different because you're less so about trying to get that consumer at the time of comparison. You're more so trying to inspire that consumer to come to your website based on your marketing or your value proposition or how you're really talking to your target consumer. And so the rides of shopify sites, at least the ones that are successful from our standpoint, really are about driving consideration earlier up in the funnel and then sending that traffic to your website to kind of create a true brand connection as opposed to a commodity shopper that might not really care about the brand and it's just looking for the lower price.
Benjamin: So if I had to summarize, essentially what I'm hearing is when people are looking to buy and they already have made their decision on what they're going to purchase, they're likely to go directly to Amazon. People that are in the research phase looking for what the best product to buy are likely to go to google and go through the Google shopping platform, which is now no longer based on what key words, but really what data you're feeding to google through your data feed and then the third vertical in product search right now is the shopify or the website driven carts which are primarily focused on a brand and the way that those are successful are by reaching people before they are actually in the product search phase and they're trying to inspire them essentially an impulse buy scenario where they're reaching them on social networks and trying to drive them to a website to purchase a very specific product. Well, I think that's a good overview of what the landscape of product search looks like and that wraps up this episode of the MarTech podcast. Thanks to nea honey for joining us and in part two of our interview with nea, which we'll publish tomorrow, knee is going to share some best practices and the product search industry and explained how his company evaluates their campaigns. If you can't wait until our next, you'd like to learn
Speaker 2: more about CPC strategy, go to CPC strategy.com. A 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 of this podcast, we've published it on our website, MarTechh pod.com. If you're a subscriber to the MarTech podcast, let me just stop and say thank you. 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 can reach me directly by going to our website, MarTechh pod.com, or you can reach us on twitter or linkedin. Our handle is Benjshap LLC. If you're feeling super generous, we'd love for you to leave a review for us in the apple itunes store, and if you haven't subscribed to the MarTech podcast and you want a weekly feed of marketing and technology knowledge and your podcast feed, in addition to part two of our episode with nea honey from CPC strategy, we've got some other great episodes lined up, so click that subscribe button on your podcast feed and we'll be back with you tomorrow.
Benjamin: Okay, that's it for today, but until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy.
Benjamin: In our last episode, Nii walked us through an overview of the trends of the ecommerce industry and how he ended up running an ecommerce service business. If you missed that episode, it's very insightful if you're looking to learn about the overall ecommerce space, so I recommend that you go back and give it a listen. That said in today's episode, Nii's gonna walk us through some best practices and the product search industry and explain how his company evaluates their campaigns. Here is the second part of our interview with nea honey from CPC strategy. [inaudible]. Welcome back to the MarTech podcast.
Nii: Glad to be back.
Benjamin: Always good to talk to you. Great to have you here. In our last episode, we went over the general landscape and ecommerce breaking down sort of the dominance of Amazon for people that know what they're looking for. Google shopping is for people that are doing their research on specific products and then there is the rise of the shopify type carts of the world which are reaching people on social network in vertically specific ways. I want to dive today into a little bit about how you onboard your and what it's like for a company who is looking to start optimizing their online product search. So talk to me a little bit about the onboarding process and what you look for when you're first working with a client.
Speaker 3: So why don't we first talk to a client before we actually decided it makes sense for us to work together. The very first thing we do is we want to have access to your ad words account to understand kind of what has gone on in the past, whether you have something set up, whether you're attracting correctly, which is very, very important. A lot of people, especially with shopify, is easy to set up that tracking pixel incorrectly, so it's very important that the first thing we do is we understand kind of what's going on and then we have a conversation with the business owner, the business team to that. What's your Roi Goals are for the specific channel. For instance, you're in apparel or unbranded apparel and you told me you need to be at a 20 to one Roi. I'm probably going to tell you that mobile shopping and PPC aren't going to be the best challenge for you just because we know generally speaking in clothing and apparel, the most you'll probably see in terms of Roi at scale is no more than a 500, one to a six slash one. Likewise, if you're in electronics and you know you need to be at a 10 or 15 to one that's realistic given kind of where bids are in the channel and so that's the first step is really one, assessing the state of the adwords campaign as it is today and then to understanding if your roi goals are achievable based on our experience working over the last 11 years, we over 500 clients,
Benjamin: so you're essentially looking at your customers and talking to them about what their Roi goals are and you're looking back. It gets their historical performance in other paid channels to understand what they've been doing. Talk to me a little bit about the bidding strategy. You mentioned that there's Roi multipliers that you're shooting for. Sounds like the key element into maximizing Roi is making sure that you have your bidding strategy dialed in.
Speaker 3: Bidding is something on the shopping side that can be challenging for marketers that are use to key word or portfolios type bidding. For us as an agency, we found it effective to treat. Each product gets its own business. Meaning that we want to evaluate whether that product is getting the traffic it needs to be able to convert and we have systems and processes in place to be able to programmatically either bit up when things are trending well and bid down when things aren't right, so that's an entire process that we've built. We have a ton of white papers that can cover the various different strategies that we leverage to be able to do that, but again, the most important thing and the thing that I want people to take home is that when advertising on Google shopping, you don't want to look at everything at the campaign level. You want to be able to drill down into each specific product and demote your little years and promote your winners. That's the biggest high level overview I can give that will help brand really win on the channel.
Benjamin: You mentioned that people that are advertising in Google ad words or looking at the portfolio level and essentially what you're saying is there's a collection products that they're bidding in aggregate, right? Let's use electronics. All of the products that are different types of chords that were selling and we're bidding them all the same way as opposed to the USB versus the USBC cord have two different bidding strategies.
Speaker 3: Exactly.
Benjamin: So you're essentially placing separate bids for each individual product and you're able to use some sort of machine learning or some sort of algorithm, proprietary technology that you've developed to optimize the bids in real time on a per product basis.
Speaker 3: Exactly. We're leveraging the past performance of that product over whenever we determined adequate kind of learning period is to predict the likelihood that maybe a fifty cent click will convert at x rate and that's how we're able to really work report for this. Our largest client has over 5 million products in their data and so that's how we're able to run product level analysis across thousands of not millions of products.
Benjamin: And how much do you look at competitor data when you're first starting? Are you trying to establish your initial bids based on similar products?
Speaker 3: Yeah, so that process, and this is something that has developed great tools that, but Google, once you add your data feed and you create your product sets, you're able to take a look at the competitive auction insights to understand where you are in kind of the demand generation curb. So based on kind of where we are, we can make a determination, hey, should we set a default bids at might be seventy five cents or fifty cents based on where we need to be in terms of a tropic level and an Roi level and then as that data comes in and we can start to allow our software to optimize either up or down based on what the actual performances. And so yes, we can absolutely get a sense of how much traffic we're going to get when we initially take over a campaign. But then it's the machine learning that we have or the business rules that we've set in place that then help to take those bids to where they need to go.
Benjamin: And how has that strategy different when you think about advertising your products on Amazon as opposed to Google?
Speaker 3: So Amazon is a keyword driven, channel four most advertising opportunity, so the biggest advertising opportunity on platform, so I'm not talking about amg or a p for the individuals that are very versed in Amazon.
Benjamin: What are those acronyms?
Speaker 3: So AAP is Amazon advertising program. It's Amazon's programmatic platform, allows you to buy display media off of Amazon. Okay. So that's a very powerful program. Are at the top of the funnel
Benjamin: essentially. Amazon's retargeting ads.
Speaker 3: Yep. Retargeting ads as well as leveraging Amazon's first party data. So maybe people who are in market or have browse the sports category in the last 30 days. You can also leverage Amazon's first party data to drive awareness to either your website or your product listing on Amazon. That's a separate display program and it's not what I was referring to when I was saying keyword driven, right.
Benjamin: It's their google display network. GDN competitive product.
Speaker 3: Exactly.
Benjamin: Got It. For those of you who aren't familiar, Google has ad words, which is where you buy keywords to advertise in Google search engine. They also have gdn, Google display network, which is where you can buy display advertising. So banner ads that are shown on websites across the Internet, so most of Amazon is primarily keyword driven, with some exceptions, and how has the bidding strategy different between Google and Amazon.
Speaker 3: When we talk about Google shopping, that's a product driven so you don't slip her actual keywords that Google finds those keywords for you. What Amazon's products for the most part. Now there are some ad products that Amazon has that we don't have to select your own key words, but for sponsored products you're selecting different targets. Whether you're selecting keywords or you're selecting or Amazon skews a bit against. Those are the products you typically have and those are the adoptions you typically have on Amazon, so it's a different products and bidding on specific keywords.
Benjamin: The irony here is that Google's primary revenue stream is Google ad words, which is keyword based, but when you're talking about product search, Google has taken the key word portion out of it and is just looking at your data and deciding what to show and allows you to bid to boost your placement. And Amazon is the one where you have to buy individual key words for a specific product.
Speaker 3: Exactly. For headline search for sponsored products. And those typically for our clients are anywhere from roughly 60 to 80 percent of the media that we're spending for that most keyword driven products on sponsored products and headline search.
Benjamin: Okay. And you mentioned before looking at the Roi for specific channels and I think you said the average for retail is five or six to one and electronics can be 15 to 20. Are there any rules of thumb for what type of products perform better on google or what types of products perform better on Amazon?
Speaker 3: That's a tough one. What I would think about is just the competition on the various different channels. So electronics, part of the reason why you require such a High Roi is the margins in that space of very, very thin because there are maybe two or three dozen major electronics brand manufacturer, Samsung, apple, lg. Whereas other categories there a ton of different brand manufacturers or contract manufacturers like say supplemental. The ability to drive down that cost and eroding margins exists. So that's typically where you're going to see the difference in kind of what performs where or what the Roi requirements are when it comes to what performs better on each channel. That's challenging. Generally speaking, product convert better on Amazon, but not every consumer searches for every single product. On Amazon for instance, we know for a fact that when it comes to automobiles or motorsports, Ebay is a dominant player, more dominant than Google, more dominant than Amazon. Things like electronics. Amazon has completely out the existence of any non major national or regional players. So besides best buy and some regional players, you're not going to find Joe's electronic store.com. So when you're thinking about the different kind of verticals or sub verticals within retail, it's important to understand one word, consumers making those searches to how competitive the market is in three, where do you have the ability to actually generate margin to be able to continue to grow your business?
Benjamin: Okay, so we've spent a lot of time comparing Amazon and Google and talking about the bidding strategy and the difference in the advertising platforms there. Talk to me about what facebook's role is in ecommerce.
Speaker 3: Facebook has three different roles, so the first role is really in that consideration phase or driving consideration. Facebook for all intent and purpose is for younger generations, and I just want to caveat that when I say facebook, I also mean instagram and there are other platforms as well, so stories, ebony application, facebook owns conception of WHATSAPP, but at the end of the day you're buying ads to the same interface, so whether it's the younger generation with instagram or the older generations for facebook for all intents and purpose, it's a pace where people passively consume content, so interruption marketing, putting your brand in front of consumers in a targeted fashion. That stuff first kind of place where facebook really, really shy.
Benjamin: It's basically the pace where people are bored, aren't actively trying to learn or do anything. They're passively consuming content as you said, so they're open to being interrupted,
Speaker 3: absolutely mean interrupted and being entertained, which is important. So when we work with clients on the retail side, the creative strategies truly about how can we kind of play that mix between being entertaining, engaging and interrupt somebody. And so your creative strategy on facebook, especially when you're trying to drive people to your brand for the very first time. Absolutely. It's a payment to those three factors.
Benjamin: There's a great example of what I think is a case study for how facebook is used today. My wife, when she worked at Banana Republic, I think one of the people that she sat next to, it might even have been her boss, started a shorts company called chubbies and they are short shorts with very sort of Funky fratty type prints and they made a lot of content that was about the kind of bro Culture, did a ton of facebook advertising, very targeted towards guys in their mid twenties and the brand has exploded. And to me that is one of the best examples I can think of. Picking out a specific vertical, catching people with engaging content to highlight the utility of a product. And then they were able to reengage people with email marketing. And some other channels, but basically they had guys chugging beers and jumping off cliffs into pools, wearing their shorts and the frat boys eight and up, and now they have a huge brand.
Speaker 3: Absolutely digitally vertical brands that we point to our class like live. They've done it, they've figured it out. This is what we're trying to do for your niche. You don't necessarily have to Frat boys, but you have to understand your customer the same way as chubbies did.
Benjamin: You said digitally native, verticalized brand. Define that for me.
Speaker 3: So these are brands that do not necessarily have physical location. They don't necessarily rely on traditional retail distribution. That means distribution to the macy's and the targets and the various different retail outlets of the wall and they're building their entire brand on one driving consideration through social channels or through influencers into something that you highlighted in your champions example. Reengaging in that consumer over and over again, whether it's a quarterly basis or monthly basis to continue to drive up repeat purchases. And you see examples of these brands all over the place. Dollar Shave club, what their subscription model is. Probably the purest example with them with their exit to Unilever about 18 months ago, chubbies and other one, warby parkers and other one, but they really focused on kind of grabbing the attention of a specific niche of consumers and then ensuring that there's a reason for them to either spread the word they're great marketing or low cost proposition or value proposition and or repeat buy as frequently as possible.
Benjamin: Right. So digitally native, meaning they don't have a traditional brick and mortar commerce component. Everything is done online and they don't have a store front and verticalized brand is they're going after a very specific target market. So with chubbies they're going after the Frat boy dollar shave club was the price sensitive young man.
Speaker 3: Yup, exactly. I mean we've had underwear for a hundred years. It's not like the innovative new product, but they're going at it and they're reinventing it and that's the biggest part that these brands are doing so well.
Benjamin: Right. Okay. So you mentioned that there were three pillars of facebook in terms of ecommerce. One of them is supporting digitally native verticalized brands in sort of a browsing capacity. What are the other two?
Speaker 3: The second piece is really after you get that consumer to your website, being able to retire, get them in a place where you know they're spending time, so this is very similar to the first, but it's less so about introducing the product to that specific customer and more so about ensuring that you're staying top of mind because we as consumers are busy, right? The average ecommerce sites, 98 percent of consumers don't actually end up buying after a single session. That's why you have conversion rates of two percent. Add to cart rates are anywhere from eight to 12 percent depending on the website. So the question that all grants should be asking themselves as what are we doing to ensure that the individuals that looked at six different pages or maybe they actually added to cart, what are you doing to keep that product in similar products in front of the minds of your consumer so that whether they started that session on their phone and then got to the destination or they showed that that session at home in the night, they're seeing that product. And so facebook has an entire suite of products. The cornerstone really being there, DPA product that allows brands to remerchandise products to those consumers that they have seen and product that are related to those products. And then that's the DPA unit that is absolutely a cornerstone of any product strategy.
Benjamin: So essentially two pillars. One, you're finding verticalized user bases. That's kind of the digitally native verticalized advertising. And the second is the ability to retarget customers who have already taken some sort of an action on your web property. And that's the second pillar of facebook. What's the third?
Speaker 3: The third is really loyalty and engagement. So given the fact that consumers are spending vast amounts of time on facebook, on properties, instagram stories, facebook leveraging, not just single touch email to be able to stay on their radars when you have a new product launch or maybe it's the holidays and you went to encourage them to come back and buy again. So facebook allows you to upload your crm data, whether that's names and addresses or emails and phone numbers to then find consumers that have purchased from you in the past. And that again helps to drive up customer lifetime value because again, the easiest customer to win, it's a customer that has already bought from you. So facebook allows marketers to then market and reengage customers that have already purchased in the past. And again, that kind of rounds out that triangle when you're trying to drive consideration, get people to the website and convert and then get them to buy again. And so those are three kinds of phases that facebook does extremely well for retail parts.
Benjamin: Makes Sense. Essentially the third pillar is an extension of the second, which is retargeting, but instead of retargeting people that are potentially first time buyers, your retargeting to your existing customers to stay top of mind and to drive repeat purchases, and you can do that by adding sales are promoting similar products to the ones that they've already purchased.
Speaker 3: Exactly. Product launches are especially powerful. If you take a look at the 80 20 rule is for all businesses we've done studies of our clients were the top 10 percent of customers are responsible for 50 to 60 percent of clients Webinar, so the most important thing for them is to make sure they know product they're launching, so giving them sneak peeks, letting them be the first to buy a particular product. If you know they bought it from you in the past, they're that much more likely to buy whatever you have to offer them. So yeah, it's absolutely a strategy that we leveraged
Benjamin: to the top 10 percent of people who listened to the MarTech podcast. Let me just reiterate, I love you all
Speaker 3: and thank you for sticking with the show.
Benjamin: Joking aside, tell me a little bit more about the type of customers that CPC strategy serves. Are you going after the early stage startups? Are you going after the big enterprises? Where do you fit into the general landscape and ecommerce?
Speaker 3: So with 500 clients we work with everybody from fortune 100 brands to shopify websites, what we look for our clients or clients that have established product market fit and are looking for scale. So if you don't have a repeatable sales process, yes we can have conversation and punch you in the right direction, but the kind of brand that really succeeds with CPC strategy is a brand that already understands what their costs of goods are, understands what their marketing margins need to be, and then just need somebody to be able to scale out that process and identify new opportunities for Apple. So if that fits you, we absolutely want to talk to you
Benjamin: then. Talk to me a little bit about your model. Are you looking at a percentage of ad spend or a cost per conversion? How do you structure your relationships with your clients?
Speaker 3: It definitely varies per channel. So for ecommerce channels, meaning google or facebook, where we're driving traffic to an ecommerce website, looking at a percentage of spend model, and then for Amazon we're actually looking for a percentage of revenue model, what we're participating in the upside and we're mandating towards a specific Roi goal.
Benjamin: Last question for you before I let you go. For the people that are early on in their careers, and the ironic part of me asking you this question is you were like right out of college when we first met and now you're the CEO of a 130 person company, but what advice would you have for the knee 10 years ago that's early on in their career to be successful in learning and growing their careers in product search?
Speaker 3: I would say, and this is for anybody doing anything in digital or online in any way, shape or fashion learn sequel. At the end of the day, if you can query whatever database you're working on. I mean there are a lot of different databases out there, but most are relational databases. If you understand how sequel works and understand how to put different datasets together to be able to drive insights, you're going to be able to be that much more effective as a marketer that much more valuable to an organization and it helps you really drive insights to really understand where their value, so when I'm interviewing people on my marketing team, when I'm interviewing people to become media buyers, even if they dabbled in some people, that's a skillset. That's a hard talent you have and that's an asset that's going to differentiate you from any other markets and I'm going to talk to.
Benjamin: I think it's great advice. A huge part of marketing and technology is being able to access the right data so you can analyze it and sql is obviously a key component to doing that. With that said, anything that we can help you promote, anybody that you're trying to reach, what can we pub for you?
Speaker 3: So we're doing our second annual ad Diego, that is a user summit or a marketing summit here in San Diego, California. It's on September 13th. We'll have speakers from CPC strategy, some outside speakers. Maybe one of the big three, I'm not going to hit which one it is speaking on a day long session about marketing strategies on Amazon, so we're more than excited to kind of put that out there and if anybody would be interested in coming down, please reach out to me and we can see what we can do to hook it up this gun as well.
Benjamin: Okay. Add Diego, San Diego, beautiful city, great time of year, September. Get some sun. Talk a little bit about digital advertising. Meet Nii Ahene from CPC strategy. Anybody that's interested, it's coming up in September, so that said, now that wraps up this episode of the MarTech podcast. Thanks to nea honey for joining us. If you're interested in learning more about nea honey, CPC strategy or add diego, go to CPC strategy.com. Our special thanks to search metrics for sponsoring the 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 of this podcast, we've published it on MarTechh pod.com, and if you're a subscriber to the MarTech podcast, mostly if you're our top 10 percent, I love you. Thank you. We want you to feel like a member of our community, so if you have questions, comments you'd like to be a guest on the show, there's a contact us form on our website. Again, it's MarTechh pod.com, or you can reach out to us on Linkedin or twitter Benjshap LLC. That's 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 great episodes lined up in the next couple of weeks. So I hit the subscribe button in your podcast App. Okay, that's it for today. Thanks again for joining us and until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy.