- Startups v. Corporations [02:23]
- Explosion in number of marketing channels [05:51]
- How to build a marketing team [10:49]
- Cross-functional communication [12:53]
- Importance of the website element in a marketing funnel [14:55]
- Importance of diversifying your ad-spend platform [32:06]
- Utilizing freelance experts [35:53]
- Dangers of a false negative in paid search [38:56]
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Bentzi: [00:00:00] If you're listening to this right now, and you're a product owner you should ask yourself: when was the last time I sat down with a marketing lead or marketing analytics lead and had them take me through how they look at the data because they have the most holistic view of how performance is going on the site and off the site.
They're going to know every single ad that's sending traffic to the website, they'll know the acquisition tab on Google analytics, better than anyone. And they'll also know. All of the landing pages and landing page performance and product performance from those landing pages. If you're a product owner and you don't know all those things, you don't know how all the traffic is getting to your site.
You should probably sit down for an hour with your marketing lead or your marketing analytics lead because those marketers are going to know the analytics as well as, if not better, than you.
Max: [00:00:42] What's up, everybody. Welcome to the Growth Collective Podcast. I'm your host Max Ade today on the show we have veteran e-com marketer and former paratrooper Bentzi Ruben.
We talk about why he chose to jump into the startup world and we go deep on what it takes to build a cutting edge marketing team. If you're a startup or an e-commerce company, you're not going to want to miss this one. Let's get into it.
Bentzi, welcome to the show.
Bentzi: [00:01:13] Thank you for having me. Max is I'm looking at Max he's in this closet and there seems to be like a barber jacket and some shoes misplaced behind him. It's definitely, this is welcome sight and COVID times
Max: [00:01:29] Bentzi, I wanted to just jump into your background, which I think is super interesting.
We met almost a decade ago. And I think that was right when you were coming out of the Israeli military as a paratrooper, is that right?
Bentzi: [00:01:45] That's right. Yeah. I mean, we met, we met in the summer of 2012 at the heart eye lab. Max, I think you had just finished college or maybe a year out of college and you were hawking some like water startup that you had built.
I think something like that.
Max: [00:02:01] Magii bottles, baby. Yep. Water bottles.
Bentzi: [00:02:05] Oh, those are really cool.
Max: [00:02:07] Thanks.
It was a good time. Yeah. So we were doing this, kind of like startup bootcamp called Startup Institute. What made you go, what made you go from being a paratrooper to kind of dive in into this startup bootcamp?
Bentzi: [00:02:23] Well, I think what's really cool is that. In the paratroopers, like, yes, you jumped out of planes, but you don't actually do that in combat. No, one's jumped out of a plane for combat in very many years, unless it's on like some covert mission or something like that, but you are trained to jump and you are trained to like go first.
And I think in like startups and especially in the marketing world, like, you're definitely rewarded if you raise your hand and offer a suggestion. And that's something that everyone who knows anything about marketing knows, like, if you have a an opportunity to do some sort of AB tests or some new kind of idea that that's always welcome.
And especially in like the best cultures of workplaces that I've worked in before, that's always welcome. And in startup land, I, I, I immediately saw that that was possible. So for me, it was like very natural fit to go from like a combat unit to jump into startup land. I think that that, that kind of volunteerism is celebrated in that culture.
Max: [00:03:19] It definitely feels like the business equivalent of being a paratrooper, right? Like you're like you're constantly taking risks. You're on the front lines. Yeah.
Bentzi: [00:03:33] I think, I think that, I think what's really cool about, about, about startups is that you. You get, you get firsthand experience of, of failure. Like because failure happens on a daily basis at startups and it's, it's celebrated.
Whereas in, I think in the corporate world, this is really something that's stifled, but that can easily be changed and that culture can be implemented from this thing. And I think that you can, what you can do is like you can borrow from like allowing anyone in the room to offer a suggestion. And, and jump up and say like, Oh, I have an idea for a test against what we're doing right now.
And like any marketing team can do that.
Max: [00:04:14] It's so true. Do you think about some of the most successful sort of marketing driven companies in the amount of tests that they run, whether it's Amazon or booking.com. It's it's essentially like, we'll try anything, throw it out there. Let's get some data.
Bentzi: [00:04:33] What's it like, what's it like at Google? Is anyone allowed to like offer a suggestion? Like talking to a client.
Max: [00:04:39] It's definitely, yeah, it's definitely more of a bottoms up culture at Google, than, than, than in some other places, at least from what I can tell, you know, for a large corporation, But we, we were, we were always kind of throwing suggestions up the chain and, and with clients, it was, it was pretty incredible because we were a bunch of, you know, early 20 somethings.
Advising, some of these large brands or like well-funded startups on, on what they should be doing with millions of dollars in ad spend. Right? So like definitely that accountability,
Bentzi: [00:05:14] You're given so much responsibility, but that's just because you're prepared, like you're prepared, you know, the platform, you know, the value that Google can offer.
And you know that if, if these executives who are deciding on spending this amount of money, take your recommendations, they will succeed. Like you wouldn't, you wouldn't do it blindly. You're like, I'm making this recommendation because I know this is gonna help you make money. And that's kind of the role of the marketer from like a technical marketing perspective.
Anyways. It's like, if you take recommendations and you fit them into what your company is trying to achieve, like you're going to make money based on this, which is a cool thing.
Max: [00:05:51] Yeah. And I think what's been interesting to watch is we've we have this explosion in the number of marketing channels and the market and the number of marketing tools.
And when I think back to my time at Google, you know, I was an expert in one tool. Well in one channel, in one tool, which was Google ads, right. and that expertise, we were able to help. A lot of companies do just some incredible things. but the problem today is like you've got hundreds of different tools and you've got a ton of long list of growing channels.
And what's cool about what we're talking about here is the people who are best prepared to help a brand win on a new channel. Let's say TikTok is not the person that has 20 years of experience as a VP of marketing. Right. It's probably. It's probably a new grad, that's gen Z and really understands how that works.
Bentzi: [00:06:48] And yeah, and it used to, I mean, it used to be, I would say like when we were first starting in our careers, like 10 years ago, like you're saying it used to be that self-service tools got self-service results.
And it used to be like, if you're the kind of company that just use, self-service like out of the box things. That you got those self-service results. I think that has changed dramatically. Like I think you could, let's say you're using Shopify. You don't, you don't need to use Shopify plus you don't need to have some sort of Shopify expert.
You can run, you could run privy on, on Shopify and get the same email revenue as a company paying millions of dollars a year for BounceX. and you could, and you can use the same tactics, but the. What you need to do is be prepared. You need to understand what types of tactics to use. You need to understand how that's going to benefit your business, and then you need to test accordingly.
But, I think the self-service tools available to you right now are really incredible. Like you could, you could probably set up a Looker instance for yourself from like a data perspective and then layer on top of that. Like your Facebook ad platform, your Google ad platform and whatever email tool you're using and get.
Really great self-service results for that.
Max: [00:08:01] Yeah. And I would even say that self-service does not necessarily mean, automated or easy to use. And, you know, I think that what we've seen is these tools getting more complex as they get more powerful and whether or not they cause costs you, You know, a million dollars a year or something like an enterprise tool, even the ones that cost $10 a month require, some expertise to, to get the most out of them.
And the things you just rattled off are some great examples. I've tried to set up Looker before, and it was a huge pain. Our CTO couldn't figure it out. Right. And so, you know, that's kind of what we're trying to do here at Growth Collective. We're trying to find people that know each of these tactics or channels or tools really well and help people assemble teams with those folks because.
It's just impossible at this point for your in-house team. or even your agency to have an expert in every single one of these things.
Bentzi: [00:09:02] And, and you don't need to, like, what's really cool right now is like, yes, there are tons of resources out there, but I think that. What's really cool is like, okay, if you, if you're, if you run a marketing team at your company, you're not technically savvy, like it's, then it's not your job to become technically savvy in every single one of these platforms, what what's your job is to, okay.
You need to understand. The value props. And when I like you really need to know what's unique selling point of what, what it is that you're marketing and that's it. And then you can take that and you can take a deep knowledge of what it is you're selling. What it is your customer cares about, and then transfer that over to someone like me to build out like an email automation program or an on-site conversion rate optimization program and the, or you can send, give it to someone like Max and I'm sure Max, you could set up a AdWords account for anyone to use if you had that information.
and what's really cool is. Like that's the new job of the marketer to understand the brand, understand who you're talking to and then the technical aspect of it. It can get you those results, but you don't need to be an expert on that specific platform because there's so many great people out there who've been running these platforms for years that can, that can implement it for you.
So it's really, what's, what's really cool about in-house marketing teams is just like. It's their job to do deep learning and deep focus on who their customer is and what the unique selling points of their products are. and
I think, and then
you hand it off to someone like me and I can see say, okay, here's a really good format for building a welcome series.
Here's a really good format for building a cart abandonment series. Here's a really good format for how to run abandoned cart recovery on your website or how to. Test your shopping cart flow, but that's not, what's important. What's important is like why the customer is buying and what's driving them to buy.
And that like, that is what marketing teams should be thinking about from the, from the first point anyways.
Max: [00:10:49] I completely agree. And I think that this is a new way of approaching hiring. It's a new way of, it's a new way of thinking about how to build a marketing team. and it's, it's a, it's one where you probably have less people in house.
But the people that you have in house, their job, like you said, is to understand the brand and understand the vision. They're probably really heavily involved in the copywriting and the analytics and driving the overall strategy and channel mix. But it's impossible at this point, in my opinion, to execute well on every single channel and tool without leveraging freelancers.
And, unless you have the, the, the money to, to build, you know, a team of 30 people or something like that, or, or more,
Bentzi: [00:11:37] I think, yeah, it comes down to, like you said something like, Oh, okay. They're probably doing the copyrighting. They're probably doing that analytics. I think it comes down to like, Like okay.
If someone's going to buy something on a website and like, if. Like let's take Quip, for example, like the toothbrush company. Right. So if we take Quip, for example, like someone's gonna buy something on the website, it comes down to really two things. It comes down to imagery and it comes down to social proof.
So like, what does the picture of the toothbrush look like? What does the animation of the toothbrush look like? And then what do customers who have bought that before? Say about it. So like those two things are so crucial. And if you can spend all of your time working on those two things on a product page, then you're going to win.
And then handing that off to a technical marketer for the Facebook platform for email, for, for Google is a lot easier if you know those things.
Max: [00:12:27] Yeah. I completely agree. And I think it can be. It can be your competitive edge, to have top-notch and top-notch execution on the email side or on the Facebook outside and the bandwidth to be improving the website in a, in like a huge way, because you have that, because you're not trying to do it all yourself and you're not trying to spend time figuring out how to do these things.
Bentzi: [00:12:53] You should. I mean, what you need to focus on is like cross-functional communication. Like, how are you talking to the product team? How are you talking to the marketing team? How are you talking to those freelancers? How are you bringing them all in celebrating the wins and losses?
Max: [00:13:06] Yeah. I, you know, when I think back to the companies that have, have really crushed it, with their marketing and really have to competitive edge.
And again, I have an, I have a background obviously in Google ads, so I'm, my examples come from there, but they were companies that used developers. To do things on the marketing side. And that, that to me
Bentzi: [00:13:32] is for instance of that, like how did they use them?
Max: [00:13:35] You know, for example, like, you look at, what's the company that, that does, the competitor to, to handy their, their marketplace.
Well, anyways, this company does local services, right? And what they, what they did was they, they used an engineering team to build and the, and the ad-words API to basically build really sophisticated search campaigns that were highly efficient. They were locally targeted. and they were kind of like constantly optimized.
there's another company I worked with Wish they were a, you know, a large e-com app. Yeah. And what they would do is they, they had all this internal business data on which products were performing the best in which geos. And they would actually pro with an engineering team stitch together, automatically the best products into ads and upload them to their Google ads account in that specific geo.
And they were doing this at scale, you know, Because it was code. So it was thousands and thousands of, of, of different geos and, and T you know, tens of thousands of ads. But these, this is, this is just an example on the paid side, but it shows the value of breaking down that barrier between marketing and your engineering team.
Bentzi: [00:14:55] Yeah.
Max: [00:14:55] And I know we were talking before this about, a little bit about how brands sort of constantly overlook the website element of, of their marketing funnel. do you want to talk a little bit about that? Cause I, that was an interesting conversation. We were just having.
Bentzi: [00:15:10] So like a typical marketing team. If you take a marketing team at like let's, let's say like Nike, right? Like Nike is going to have brand marketers are gonna technical marketers are gonna have massive like data teams. but they're also gonna have an e-commerce team. They're going to have an e-commerce product team.
And then that, that team is gonna, they're probably have some online retail team that's connected to the retail team. So the thing, the thing that's really important is that the conversations that happen usually on the brand side, the marketing side of it. Of things they need to transfer over to every single element of the website.
I think that like you can be, you can never be too prepared for what could happen on our website. So let's say for instance, you're launching a new product. that new product could be like, I mean, you, like, let's say Kevin Duran is going to launch a new pair of shoes on the Nike website, that all the ads are going to be targeted towards that.
So. The billboard ads, the retargeting ads, the remarketing ads. And then it's going to be like, first of all, brand awareness of like Kevin Duran, probably like looking really cool playing in the shoes, but then like the remarketing ads are gonna be focused on the sneaker itself and so on and so forth. But, so what happens is like the brand marketing teams and the, like the, the technical marketing teams will all get together and build out all of the assets.
For what that new new launch is going to look like. And then there's probably going to be like one landing page on the website that does that. And so like, and maybe even like a bunch of different like pages pages that will be built to compliment that, that landing page, it'll probably be some variation, the exact same thing, but what happens is, is like, and you know, what happens is like, okay, you saw that ad watching the NBA playoff game, you clicked on that ad.
and then you get retargeted for it and then you're clicking on the sneaker. And after you make it past that first landing page, there's absolutely no reminder of what, of what the reason was that you came to the website. So it's like, okay, you're you can down a rabbit hole of like, of looking at that Katie's sneaker all throughout the internet, because now that's following you.
And every single Critio ad you get, and every Facebook ad you get, and, and you're still getting bombarded on Hulu. with that, with that Nike ad, but what happens is to
Max: [00:17:19] Disconnected experience, right?
Bentzi: [00:17:21] A disconnected experience. The second you move more than one or two pages deep in the funnel. So like, let's say you you've clicked on the landing page and then you click to the product page and then you left that product page.
Like where else in the website is going to remind you to get back to that product page and why you came there in the first place? because then you're just like on this wormhole on nike.com and you don't need that extra pair of leggings, but you did want to take a look at the sneakers cause. That was why he came there in the first place.
And I think it's like the marketers, the marketing team's job to like, say, okay. We're putting all this effort into the front side of things like what's happening on the website itself. What can we do to remind the customer of why they were there, whereas the imagery and social proof of why they came to the site in the first place.
And if they're not interested, like give them that option to say, I'm not interested in that product anymore, but more cases than not. It's just like, they're not reminded of why they were there in the first place. and that, that needs to follow them throughout that journey. I think it's the job of like, Marketing teams to work with the product team, to work with the e-commerce product team, the online retail team, to make sure that there's that reminder living there.
Max: [00:18:22] Yeah. It's super interesting that you bring up even post landing page funnel, optimization based on that, that search query. you know, I don't even think most folks are doing a great job with the landing page experience, being consistent with the ads and I, and I see that. as kind of consistently the number one issue with a paid campaign, not performing.
and so, and I couldn't agree with you more. I think that there's even potential to go all the way down the funnel with that, that sort of relevance. I was having a talk with the. Our Techstars batch this week. And what I said to them was you should, you should start with the assumption that you need a different landing page experience for every single channel that you're running on.
And this, this to people seems like. Overkill. And in some cases it might be overkill, but more cases than not, it's probably the right move. Your SEO optimized a category page, let's say on an e-comm site should be different than your SCM page. In many cases, you're, you're that same page from, for paid social for a lot of brands might be totally different.
You know, I saw some brand the other day that had sort of like an online quiz that they were getting people to take from paid social. That's not going to work for SCM in many cases. So
Bentzi: [00:19:51] Why not?
Max: [00:19:52] Well, because. If you're targeting a passive audience on paid social, you know, there could be like your messaging on paid social is like, Hey, this cool thing over here. Let me, let me explain what it is and you get them in and maybe you do a quiz and you. Provide some immediate value upfront. Whereas search is very transactional. Like people are looking for something specific. And so you're more about matching their query, not like showing them a quiz.
That's more, more, more generic. So, To your point. I just think that this is so, so critical and we spend all this money and all this time on paid channels, but most folks don't invest even close to as much time, or money and investing their actual landing page expenses.
Bentzi: [00:20:38] Well, and I think that's, I think that's because most marketers are more well-versed in the paid ad platform.
So like, Like the Google ad platform or the Facebook ad platform than they are with like onsite tooling. And I think like, like for me, like having worked at BounceX for five years, like I had access to an onsite software. That was, I mean, the tool is almost entirely similar to Google and Facebook, but it's for onsite marketing.
And I think that it's just not those tools aren't widely available and the ones that are, are a little bit less than at least they had been previously. I think now. Like with a tool, like, like privy being available on the Shopify store. It's a lot, it's a lot better now, but, and like Klaviyo being much more reasonably priced than something like that.
Bronto or, like sail through where in the past, like you can get the same out of like email automation and on-site conversion rate optimization. whereas like in the past you would have to like hack something together with like Unbounce and MailChimp, which is not gonna gain the same results, but now that's not, that's not the same anymore.
And I think like, I think also like marketing teams don't invest as much in on-site marketing or on-site conversion rate optimization because they. Like the product teams, like they're, they're just like they view, they view their job as a little bit different. And I think -
Max: [00:21:59] That's those silos right?
Bentzi: [00:22:01] And it just, it's just about creating communication lanes, I would say.
Max: [00:22:05] Yeah. And so that's the thing, right? If you're, if you, if you were at a product driven company, Or even a company that has a separate pro like a, like a, a nice wall between the product and the marketing team. Your options for landing page are the ones that maybe make sense for your organic users. And so it's just not tailored to the context that people are coming in.
Bentzi: [00:22:30] But if you look at the job, like the job of the product owner is to deliver business value of the product they're working on. So like in e-commerce I think what happens is like the product on our e-commerce site often is like, Oh, this page is the order taking mechanism. Like, that's why I have this product page.
But in reality, it's like, Oh no, this page needs to be continuous from the Facebook experience. Like we all know how we shop now. we. You too. We need to, like, it needs to be seamless from like one click point to the next. And it never really is like, there's nothing that the most seamless now is like, probably like the shop app on Shopify or like the face.
I haven't bought anything on the, on the Instagram app yet, but I like that probably the most seamless experience now. And that's like five to 10 click points or views deep into like what product you're considering. so like, Having that having that experience be continuous is the most important thing I would say.
Max: [00:23:20] Yeah. I agree with that. You know, it's I just had this thought while we were talking about this, you know, Paul Graham, a famous quote, something about do things that don't scale. Right. And so we're familiar with this from a. finding product market fit context, startups trying things like I'll just deliver food myself and figure out if there's demand that kind of stuff.
I think the same is true for marketing experiments. I think that, you know, you have to sort of like think, like, what is the ideal experience for this landing page, from this exact context, even if I have to make a custom page for it, even if I have to do a bunch of manual stuff, to try something out, because if it works, it's worth putting in the development resources to scale it.
Bentzi: [00:24:12] Well, and if it works, like, I mean, we were talking about this before. I was like, okay, if it, if you build a perfect landing page and you're featured in some Wall Street Journal article, then you're prepared for some massive windfall event. Whereas if you're not, like I saw this other day, I clicked through on like a New York Times.
it was a New York Times deal book article about like a tele-health company and the landing page was completely broken. And I was like, actually interested in how, how that worked. And I probably would have bought whatever vitamins it was that they were selling, but it was just completely broken. So if you're prepared and you have that landing page set up and you get the press that you're looking like that your marketing team is spending a lot of effort and resources trying to get from their PR team, like then, then you have to be prepared on the website itself as well.
Max: [00:25:00] Yeah. And by the way, I mean, I think this is a reason to shift the marketing website to your marketing team in a way from your product team. it's exciting seeing what's possible with web flow and some of these newer CMS is, Where you no longer have to choose between, you know, a jenky WordPress site or, or something that looks really nice, but is custom coded.
I know on our team, we're able to, to fully own that stuff without working with a developer and it makes it a lot easier. Shopify too, is making these kinds of things easier. Just having an underlying CMS that your marketing team can work with.
Bentzi: [00:25:40] And then the other thing that I would, I mean, and I wouldn't say that any marketing team would try to rip anything out of a product team's hands, but I would say that if you're a product owner, you should ask yourself, like, if you're listening to this right now, and you're a product owner should ask yourself.
When was the last time I sat down with like a marketing lead or marketing analytics lead and had them take me through how they look at the data, because they have the most holistic view of how performance has going on the site and off the site. So like from the first part of things, they're going to know every single ad.
That's being, that's sending traffic to the website. So like, they'll know the acquisition tab on Google Analytics better than anyone. And they'll also know all of the landing pages and landing page performance and product performance from those landing pages. So like, if you're a product owner and you don't know all those things, you don't know how all the traffic is getting to your site.
You should probably sit down for an hour with like your marketing lead or your marketing analytics lead, or look through like, whatever. Like Slack handout has been sent through your company weekly, because that's going to, that's going to clue you in, on how to improve performance and that's that like, you should sit with that, the marketer and have them explain to you like, okay, we're, we're paying for this traffic from, from YouTube, but it actually is coming from this influencer.
Who's posting organically through YouTube first. And like, you should know how that path works so that you can understand how to write that on your website and how to build that into your website so that you can. Best talk to social proof and imagery, because those marketers are going to know the analytics, as well as if not better than you are.
Max: [00:27:07] Yeah. And if you're, if you're a product owner and, and, or an entrepreneur and, and, and have more of a product background, and you're listening to this and you're thinking, you know, how, like how much should I prioritize this? here's one thing to consider. Yes. You're trying to create a 10 X better product.
That's probably your first priority. but you're going to succeed in the market. Ultimately, if you have a competitive edge and some differentiation somewhere, and what I think people don't fully grasp is that your competitive edge or your differentiation can be your go to market strategy. I have seen companies that have.
The same exact product as all of their competitors, but a 10 X better go to market strategy and they win. And -
Bentzi: [00:28:02] okay. Like if you look at like Casper, like Casper, Owned the linking strategy and SEO and SEM, linking strategy for all the reviews on the entire internet. And they got a little bit of trouble for it.
You could read like the famous wired article about how all these content sites for like being farmed out and sold like all the reviews for all the mattress sites. But like, if you have a winning go to market strategy, which is like, I'm going to own every single content review site that ever talks about.
This mattress and review it against every single other mattress like you can win. And that was a big reason that Casper one is that they had a better go to market strategy. They looked at the data of what, what types of things drove people to buy mattresses. And they found out that it was reviews and they own the reviews of every single mattress on the internet against the Casper mattress.
And that's how they won.
So I think -
Max: [00:28:49] that's, they went out and they went out and, and, you know, partnered with Red Antler and invest in many brands. Yeah. And
Bentzi: [00:28:58] that's like, that's a really cool thing to do.
Max: [00:29:00] And I own a Casper mattress and I will tell you it's great, but it is not, it is not any better than all of the other box mattresses.
Bentzi: [00:29:10] Same foam factories in China, but that's neither here nor there.
Max: [00:29:15] It's true . it's been a crazy year. it's been an unpredictable year. Any advice for companies or marketers kind of trying to get through this time?
Bentzi: [00:29:28] First of all, I, the question that I get the most is like, I'm seeing a lot of volatility on the Facebook platform. What do you think I should do? I mean, I, I think that like most e-commerce and direct to consumer companies, In general.
And if you don't know this, then you should have is like, they're completely overleveraged on the Facebook platform. And, and that's just because of the nature of what Facebook is. Facebook is not a discovery platform. Facebook Facebook's doing is like taking the data of your lookalike audiences and saying like, I I'm going to buy this based on like my previous behavior.
So if you feel like you're over leveraged or you're getting a lot of volatility on the Facebook platform, I think that what you need to do is diversify your platform usage and diversify your, your paid spend and paid spend doesn't necessarily need to mean paid social all the time. It doesn't mean like, okay, I'm doing paid Facebook spend.
I should move to paid Pinterest spend and try to leverage that platform and try to get expect. Similar results. Like you're never going to get the same results and efficiency and scale that you do on Facebook because the Facebook platform has greater scale than other platforms. And it's more efficient because it's just cheaper and that's how Facebook beats their competition.
So like a Pinterest ad is never going to be as good. But what you need to do is like invest in what's driving your customer to buy. And I think a lot of times that's like organic, organic influence. So that can mean like organic influence. Like an influencer. Like if you're a beauty brand, you probably know this really well.
You're probably paying your influencers to talk about your products on the Facebook platform, but not paying through the Facebook platform. So you're paying, using like either your own PR agencies to go find those influencers are using sort of tech platform, like aspire IQ to like find those influencers, but you need to be investing in like what's driving.
Your customer to buy your product in the first place. And what's influencing them to go from like the interested stage to like, I'm, I'm gonna go to your website and thinking about purchasing, because then what you can do is like set up tactics, like email capture and landing page optimization to, to, to get them into like a remarketing and retargeting bundle.
But you need to get them interested from the interest in stage two, the consideration phase. And I think like what people get wrong is like, Trying to optimize Facebook, as opposed to trying to diversify their platforms and like diversify your platforms, you need to think deeply on like, okay, can I take over like this online magazine?
Could I, could I pay for ads on non-traditional sources instead of just. Spraying and pay and preying on like the Spotify ad platform. Cause I go to the podcast itself and try to like take over that podcast for like a three month time period. I think Max is accepting sponsors now on the Growth Collective but I don't know,
Max: [00:32:06] Not Yet,
Bentzi: [00:32:06] but I think like, yeah, I think you have to think deeply on like how you can do there, diversify your platform and, and not feel over leveraged on the Facebook platform.
Because I think volatility is here to stay like all throughout the elections, at least for the next three months. Like you can expect volatility on the Facebook platform. So what are you doing to prepare for that for election season? That's going to kill your, your efficiency, your CAC efficiency, whatever it is.
Max: [00:32:29] Yeah. Yeah. They, the auction pressure is going to be through the roof. Starting -
Bentzi: [00:32:34] just pull out of the Facebook platform for two months. And then go back to the holiday season.
Max: [00:32:39] And I think this is also why it's so important to combine your paid social strategy with a strong email strategy. because if you're not CA you know, capturing those sales that you're driving and trying to do repeats and keeping those people engaged with your brand in some way, then.
when you do have these periods of time, like during the holidays, when you are having a hard time being profitable on Facebook, you still have that email list and you still have some, some stuff going on there
Bentzi: [00:33:10] by the, by the way, that doesn't mean doing it separately. Like I saw this one brand is like they were knocking it out.
I think it was, I'm trying to th I, it was another mattress brand. I think it was Helix. They were like knocking it out of the park. Helix Sleep, they were knocking out of the park with their email strategy. And I saw some case study about that, but I was like, Oh, but it's not continuous to their like Facebook and Google strategies.
So it's like, this doesn't make any sense. Like don't, don't do that in a silo. Don't just do great on the email strategy, apply what you learned and put it into your Facebook and Google strategy
Max: [00:33:39] I totally agree. I totally agree with that. And in fact, we, I had this exact conversation with somebody this week.
we were talking about email and they were running some pretty, just weakly, generic campaigns to their subscribers. And, they weren't doing anything trigger-based or any personalized. And for me, I mean, it's easy to think about that in an e-comm context, you know, Hey, you looked at this site, maybe you need to reorder or that kind of stuff.
But even for non e-comm companies, right. You've got to find a way to make those emails a little bit more personalized and put more effort into those personalized trigger based emails, using something like Klaviyo, as opposed to, just sending out kind of newsletter style campaign emails.
Bentzi: [00:34:24] Here's a good thing I think all companies could do is like, okay, go read through. Your cart, abandonment, email series, and then read through the last three pieces of press that were written about your company. Oftentimes there will be absolutely no crossover. And that's a problem, right? Like the, the press articles which will get millions of hits.
So if it's on like Business Insider or Tech Crunch or, Wall Street Journal, or like your Times deal book, like they're going to highlight the unique selling points so that someone who's interested in investing in that company will understand what that company does to generate revenue and then go read through like your cart abandonment series.
And they very rarely talk about like the value props of the company. They'll talk about like how much you're saving, because that was. Like the template that you used from Klayvio or send greater sales or whatever email platform you're using. Like go no, go read through like, what are journalists writing so that the average person who doesn't know that much about the product can understand it.
What are they writing about your product? That's the thing that you should have in your email strategy.
Max: [00:35:26] And what I love about the things that your brain up here is these are the questions. In my opinion that your in-house marketer should be thinking about. Right.
Bentzi: [00:35:37] I mean all their time, thinking about
Max: [00:35:39] All of their time.
Yeah. Right. They should not be spending their time. Trying to learn a new paid platform to learn how to do a channel. They've never done like SEO or figure out a tool
Bentzi: [00:35:53] like, okay, like the 10,000 hour rule. Like if you, if you, if you had, if you have access to somebody, but you can pay. $200 an hour. Who's worked on the Facebook platform for 10,000 hours.
Like you should do that. You should not like try to train your in-house staff to do that. You should go pay that person to set up your campaigns for like one or two months and then have them optimize it once a month in a consulting session. Like that's what you should do. and you should then spend all of your time after you hired that person.
What thinking about like what the, the go-to-market strategy is for your new products and what the marketing strategy for your existing products are.
Max: [00:36:28] Yeah. I couldn't agree more there. The there's a, there's something that I, I talk about, With clients often on this subject, which is, when you're testing a new marketing channel, the worst thing that can happen for you is that you get a false negative.
And by that, I mean, you test it and it didn't work, but it could have worked. It's so rare for a business to find a channel that is scalable and profitable.
Bentzi: [00:36:59] You'll always hear that team say. No, we tried that. You always hear that.
Max: [00:37:02] Yeah, you'll try that. And, and, and in my, in my experience, there's usually one or two channels that are going to work really well for a particular business model.
And so if you have to run 10 tests to find those, and you accidentally miss one of them because you didn't execute well, that's a problem. I think-
Bentzi: [00:37:23] that was probably the first one. That was probably the first one. And you probably gave up.
Max: [00:37:27] Right. Right, right. And so, you know, I often find people doing the math kind of like this.
Well, we don't have a lot of budget to throw at, let's say a Facebook ads campaign to test it. And we don't want to pay someone a few. We don't want to pay someone the same amount that we're paying on ads to manage it. And so there, it kind of seems like. Like, it seems like the solution here, right. Should be like, Oh, do it yourself.
Or hire someone really cheap. But the problem with that is that if you don't execute it well, you won't know if it could have worked.
Bentzi: [00:38:03] Yeah. and I'm, I just wrote something down that I thought it was really interesting. That is like, I think that you need to, you need to take the time to like have self, did I put all everything?
Could into what I just, what I just execute on because a lot of times it's quick and dirty for that first test. Right. And like, that's, that's a good culture to have. So it gets thing up quick and dirty, but then you have to, you have to refine that that's like just basic editing.
Max: [00:38:27] There's a point there in at least in paid ads, there's a point and this may be true for other marketing channels.
There's a point where it just won't work. If it's not executed well enough. Like, I can't tell you the number of campaigns that I've seen, where somebody spent $10,000 and all the traffic went outside of the U S or like, to the wrong, to the wrong channel. Like it didn't go to search. It went to display or something like that.
Bentzi: [00:38:56] that's an that's. I like that. Those are like really quick wins for marketers, like location based targeting, like go look at Google analytics. And look at your five to 10 top States and then go look at your Facebook and Google ads and make sure that those line up and then probably exclude like 30 or 40 of the States.
Like those are really easy things that you could do in the next 15 minutes. After listening to this, that is actionable and will save your company money and probably make you a star on your team.
Max: [00:39:23] Right and that, but it's, and it's so easy to waste money and, and any of those paid channels and, and end up with that false negative because, you think you ran the test one way.
I'll never forget when I, I was, my first job was at a startup. I was the only employee that was doing marketing for them.
Bentzi: [00:39:42] Which startup was that?
Max: [00:39:43] Pro Bueno. Do you remember Pro Bueno it was a platform for donating your skills in exchange for donations to charity?
yeah, it was a cool idea. It didn't work out, but one of the things that we did at one point was we set up a Google ads campaign and, I didn't really know how to do Google ad words.
I was trying to figure it out myself, watching YouTube videos and stuff. And, so we ran the tasks. We spent a few thousand dollars. It didn't work. And, six months later, I'm out in mountain view, starting a job at Google because it startup went under and I'm going through ad-words Academy. And I found my old account and I was looking at it and all of the traffic we had spent money on was completely wasted.
All of it. And I was someone who was. Full time focused on this, you know, and it a tech savvy person. And I just could not, it was, it was, it was that complex to run it. And so I think that that, that is probably the case. I know it's the case. Cause I've seen the accounts with so many people and that's why I encourage them to use smart people to execute on some of these channels.
Bentzi: [00:40:53] I think it's good. Like what, what has happened? What is happening that this is like, this is the way marketing teams are structured. Why do you think that's the case? This is just happening again, like it happens on so many teams.
Max: [00:41:06] Why is it the case that we're moving in this direction? you know, I think it's because if you, if you rewind like 10 years, there were, there were much fewer channels.
There were much fewer tools. So if you were a marketer, you could like realistically be a full stack marketer. And so, or an agency, you could be like a full service agency. You could have people that do everything. I don't think it is. I mean, you tell me, can you really have an agency today where someone knows Tableau Looker, HubSpot Marketo, Google ads, Facebook ads.TikTok ads, Snapchat ads, like all of the channels, all of the tools, Klaviyo, MailChimp, you name it, amplitude all the analytics tools. I find it really hard to believe.
Bentzi: [00:41:59] Yeah. I mean, when you said that, I was just like, thinking about like, okay, who are the VPs of marketing and CMOs of today? Like, those are the people who were those full stack marketers 10 years ago.
Right? so maybe that's, maybe that's a little bit of what you're saying.
Maybe there's something to that.
Max: [00:42:17] I, I think, I think you're right. And I think that's probably why a lot of these folks are still trying to build teams the way that they did 10 years ago. But the reality is, if you know, execution matters, then that's great that you understand from a high level that you need to, to set up a, an effective drip campaign on Klayvio.
But that doesn't mean your team has expertise to do it.
Bentzi: [00:42:40] Yeah. And I, I mean, I think, I think what's going to be really cool is that in, in 10 years from now CMOs and VPs of marketing will be incredibly technical. And that is something that I think has been like, I think there's like this giant fight between like, okay, are you a brand marketer or are you a technical marketer?
Like, did you start out by like, Building ads like through an agency or. On the creative side, or did you like just learn through Google or Facebook or email platform, right. Like, no, like there's nothing less than about like having come up as a technical marker. There's nothing less than about your brand marketing skills.
you just actually have used data from the start. That's the only difference in your career. and I think that's going to be really interesting to see how companies hire for those like really elite VP of marketing CMO positions. Like that should be run. From someone who learned how to do marketing or how to be a marketer through a technical platform where they looked at data from the start.
Max: [00:43:39] I completely agree with that. And I would also add that, I think with the rise of no-code tools. We're going to see, marketers be able to own things that are traditionally had been too technical for them to own. whether it is owning the entire marketing website and letting your developers focus on the actual programming, of the, of the product, or, Or even communicating and sending data back and forth between your business and the ad networks or your business, and some of these other marketing channels, which I think traditionally needed that hand from your development team.
You still may, in many cases, as we talked about earlier, I think over time, we're going to see a marketers being able to take more of that on even without writing code.
Bentzi: [00:44:28] And that's cool. , I was like talking to, I forget who it was, but they were like taking R and Python, as like a freshman in college for marketing.
And it's like, that's amazing skill set to have if you have that behind, like, okay. If you, even, if you never code anything in R or Python, ever again, like just to have the background of how those systems work and how you can access data will serve you really well.
Max: [00:44:51] Absolutely. And I think it's a competitive edge because like we said earlier, most marketing teams don't have access to a developer.
Like they just don't.
Max: [00:45:04] a lot, a lot. and, and that's where, and that's where it goes back to. And this, this has kind of taken us full circle. Do you care about creating a competitive advantage on a marketing channel?
If you do, you can't just. Do it the same way everyone else is doing it. And you can't, half-ass the execution. You need to create an, an edge. And the, the biggest edge right now, in my opinion, is using developers on your marketing because no one's doing it. They don't want to invest the resources.
Bentzi: [00:45:37] Yeah. And I see like the basic get, like for the basics, get messed up all the time.
If you look at like, Right. GA is a really good example. Like if you look at the link building, like who's, who's okay. If you look at like the event tags, are those all lining up? Like, are your event tags that are being, that are firing when someone takes an action on it? E-commerce, what's it like add to cart, remove from cart, click on a product.
It's like all those simple things that you do are those matching up and lining up with UTM sources and the marketing spend. Like that's something that you could do today with your developer to make sure all the events are firing properly and all the UTM sources. They're being captured for the events that are being fired,
That will give you a competitive edge.
Max: [00:46:15] Yeah, I agree with that.
Bentzi: [00:46:17] You'll spend more efficiently.
Max: [00:46:20] I I'll tell you. I mean, I've managed millions of dollars, a month in ad spend and still screwed that up. I mean it and not screwed it up. Right. It's just like things that you push changes to your site, you screw up a pixel here, there something happens and the data's not coming through and it's hard to catch.
It's hard to QA. So you're absolutely right.
Bentzi: [00:46:42] What, what was the last thing you bought on the internet?
Max: [00:46:46] Ooh, the last thing I bought on the internet,
Bentzi: [00:46:48] we should have started with this.
Max: [00:46:49] I bought a book. I bought a book called Red Mars. I'm into the SciFi
Bentzi: [00:46:56] What's what's red Mars about
Max: [00:46:58] it's about like colonizing Mars.
Bentzi: [00:47:01] You buy it on Amazon.
Max: [00:47:02] That doesn't I did, but I did, buy it on Amazon
I bought a pretty dope, what do you call those things like, like face mask kind of thing, you know, are you like, if you want to sleep, when it's really bright out called manta and they had a really incredible DTC experience, this was like a classic.
I saw a Facebook ad and clicked through and, they got me.
Bentzi: [00:47:27] What was it that got you here for this one?
Max: [00:47:29] we had a lot of light coming into our room, so it was a perfect fit for what we, the need was.
Bentzi: [00:47:36] You have a window that shines onto your face, this when you're sleeping and you meet this product, they just know that
Max: [00:47:41] I'm sure.
I'm sure like Facebook had the mic on or who knows, you know,
Bentzi: [00:47:46] like eye mask sales will go up because face mask sales. That's interesting.
Max: [00:47:51] Yes, exactly. What about you? What's the most recent thing you bought from, from the D to C site?
Bentzi: [00:47:58] I want to say I bought, I bought this online course. like I bought an online course through EdEx
it was like a financial accounting. The course was really boring, but the. Buying the course was really interesting. Like it was all about like, do I want to buy this certificate option or not? Right. So like on these online courses, you have to decide whether or not you're going to buy the certificate option.
And for me, like, okay, could I still put a badge on my LinkedIn page that says that I took that financial accounting class? Yeah, probably, but what I feel as good about it if I couldn't have like some sort of certificate. So it was like, They just like played into this idea that if I finished it by just the auditing, the class, which is essentially, I'm still gonna, I still want, I want to learn the material.
Real, which is why I'm taking the class. not so that I can have some sort of badge, but like, okay. Then I started thinking about my own psychology of like, what if I need that class to prove it to somebody in the future? What if I want it? Like, I should have that certificate option? Like, what if I want to prove that I got this score on this stuff?
I dunno. Just, it brought out all this competitive. Side of me, like, yes, I'm going to pay for the certificate option. And I think it was like $49. So it was totally worth it if I ever need to use that for credit. But it was just like played on that idea of like social proof. And you wanting to have that social proof to your peers, even though the reason you learned something is for yourself, but at the end of the day, like it's still played on that idea that you want to have that certificate option.
Max: [00:49:17] Yeah. And this is again, like, I would say this thought experiment. On round your own company is the job of that in-house marketer we were talking about. And again, like, imagine if your in-house marketer had enough time to, to think through that level of detail on your experience. I have this issue. I don't have enough bandwidth with my own company.
I, I spent yesterday trying to, redesign our client intake form and, And I'm, I'm looking at what we had and I'm thinking this is horrible. man, I wish I, I wish I had just like focused on this for a really long time.
Bentzi: [00:49:59] Yeah. I think that's like the, I mean, I think that's a really good takeaway from this is like, First of all, if you are a marketer focused on doing one thing really well.
so if that's like, if that's your ability to ask good questions to get good customer reviews, then do that. Like just own, like everything about customer reviews, know everything about every technical platform, know everything about how to do user research on that persona, know everything about what it takes to get a good review, how to get someone to leave her a review.
What's. The difference between like Yappo and another platform, like you should know everything about customer reviews, and then you should be the marketer that knows how to do customer reviews, and like, or you should be the marketer that knows how to do the Facebook platform, but know how to do one of those things.
So, well then nobody who comes into contact with you won't know that you can do that better than anybody else. And I think that's like that it's okay to build a niche and then you can expand out from there. you don't need to pigeon hole yourself just because you're great at one platform, but grow your knowledge of marketing from that individual platform and then grow out from there.
Max: [00:51:00] Yeah. You know, companies don't grow from being okay on five channels. I it's so fun
Bentzi: [00:51:07] if your product is good enough, you can. But probably in spite of the fact that you're weak in those areas and you see that all the time, right? Like there's some, like when was the last time you bought something online that had like a less than site, but you really needed the product and you, so you've got it anyway, you know, I'm trying to like, like.
That, that happens a lot on like what shoe websites, because like, they're not as good, but if you go to like Birkenstocks website, the products are just okay. On the website and they're just okay. In the advertising. But if you like, Birkenstocks puts so much effort into the quality of their shoe and the quality of how they make and they've been, and they really take a stance against Amazon in a way that makes you want to believe in them.
But then you go to their website. It's like a catalog from the 1990s. So like in spite of the fact that their websites, not that great. And can improve you still, you still want to buy it like those, the kinds of companies that could really use, like, like they could improve exponentially and their conversion rates from the, across the platforms, if they had experts as opposed to meet you or people running those things, not to call it a Birkenstock run, like, but they have so much, they have so much room to improve for such to great.
Great experience because the customer experience is amazing. It's top notch.
Max: [00:52:16] Those are the best two, right? I would love, I mean, that's a marketer's dream as like this product is amazing. People love it. They haven't even tapped any of the potential of these channels. It's it's the opposite is the worst.
It's like, Hey, this product isn't just P is not resonating. It doesn't have product market fit, but I'm supposed to, as a marketer, try to figure out a way to sell it.
Bentzi: [00:52:40] And if you made it this far in the podcast, I will happily volunteer 15, 20 minutes of my time and go through all of your Google analytics to look through like all of your cart, abandonment and shopping cart flows.
And look through that with you to make sure that that matches what ad that person saw coming to the website. And you'll be astounded by what that disconnect looks like and how you can improve that. And you can, you'll probably come up with three to five things right there that will increase your conversion rate by like three to 5%.
You've made it an hour into max and I talking then,
Max: [00:53:10] yeah, speaking of which we should probably wrap this up. any final thoughts or resources that, that you want to share with everybody?
Bentzi: [00:53:19] Yeah, I think it's kind of what I was saying before. It's like, okay, we spend all this time on Facebook, on the Facebook platform.
When I say Facebook platform, probably Instagram on Instagram, mobile, like you're probably like, that's where you're spending the most. So just think about the fact that like there's a whole other world outside of Facebook, Google, and your website. So don't take such a narrow approach. Look at like, there are other platforms out there that have really highly dedicated, like users.
Because they just don't. And that doesn't mean like, okay. It could mean Twitter, but like what other, there's so many other places that people live on the internet outside of Facebook on Instagram and Google and your website, go spend some time there. That would be my advice. And if you need like, like listen to people like Scott Galloway on and his like no mercy, no malice, or like, Seth Goden and like, just look at what they're talking about.
Looking at the things that they're talking about outside of like Facebook and Apple, Amazon, and Google, like what else is happening in internet? There are a lot of other things happening, so go check them out.
Max: [00:54:22] That's great advice, Bentzi. Thanks so much for joining. This has been an awesome conversation and I think that a lot of folks are going to.
To have some, I have some great success after hearing what you said today.
Bentzi: [00:54:34] Thanks man.
Max: [00:54:39] Thanks everybody for taking the time to listen to today's episode, just to reminder that you can hire Bentzi right now to help with email paid social and other e-commerce marketing strategies. He's one of hundreds of incredible freelance marketers in the Growth Collective network. So head on over to growthcollective.com.
And we will hand match you with the marketers that are the best fit for your business. Today's episode was edited and produced by my brother-in-law David Reineke. And we would be super grateful. If you could give us a little like or review in your favorite podcast app, we'll see you next time.