Daniel Tejada - Long Term Growth And Boosting Amazon Conversion

Daniel Tejada - Long Term Growth And Boosting Amazon Conversion
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Daniel Tejada is an Amazon Strategy expert. He spent almost $15 Million on Amazon ads and helped his clients do over $500 million in sales on Amazon. Daniel has been featured by various advertising publications such as Digiday and Amazon.

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Daniel Tejada: [00:00:00] Now here's the other side of things, is it doesn't matter if I drive traffic, if the listing doesn't convert well, right? So not only do you have to find the relevant customers, but you also have to have a product listing that has a high chance of conversion. So focusing on building that out and really talking about the why, I see a lot of brands make mistakes because they try to stuff a lot of keywords into their product listing and think that's going to help them with SEO, what their care about is that when people come to the product listing themselves that they purchase.

Joseph: [00:00:34] You're listening to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast. Your  resource for one of the kind of insights into the world of e-commerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews, with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research. Your time is valuable. So let's go.

What's meaningful about my guest today, Daniel Tejada, of straight up growth, is that when I viewed some of his content elsewhere, he had a tuned to the structure of that show to best serve that audience and did so again with us today. Daniel gives us much needed insight into how important it is to be flexible and adaptive to each of your client's needs. How to handle high level pressure and optimize the return on investment when doing business on Amazon. 

Daniel Tejada, welcome to Ecomonics. It is good to have you here. How are you doing today? How are you feeling? 

Daniel Tejada: [00:01:29] Doing well in sunny San Diego. So can't complain. It's been a solid winter so far for us. 

Joseph: [00:01:35] Yeah, I, uh, you're not the first person, uh, on the show to pitch me on San Diego.

It's two between that and Chiang Mai in Thailand and, uh, San Diego a little bit closer. Uh, for listeners who, uh, who don't, uh, remember or know where I am. Uh, I'm in occasionally sunny, Toronto, Canada. It's so windy out right now that our, our panels outside are going. San Diego is appealing almost by default.

It's great to have here. I was great. I was glad to look into a lot of what you're doing. Uh, this is going to be an Amazon focus episode. Um, so for those of you who I want to get a little bit of like some primer on Amazon, uh, one thing I've said prior is I do my best, not until they retread familiar territory, um, which is quite legitimately going to get a little bit harder as time goes on because, you know, he gets it like episode 300.

I'm pretty sure I've asked the same question twice by that point. But check out the Steven Pope episode. It is one, it's a lot of what I'm going to talk about today is based on some of what I came to understand from that episode. And with that, I open up with our traditional economics question, Daniel, which is who you are and what do you do?

Daniel Tejada: [00:02:42] Awesome. So my name's Daniel, I'm one of the founders here of straight up growth. Uh, we're an Amazon agency that helps brands to scale and grow their businesses on Amazon. A little bit about my background, I've been fortunate enough to spend a little bit over $25 million in Amazon ads in the past couple of years.

And we've sold a little over half a billion dollar product on the Amazon channel. 

Joseph: [00:03:04] Okay. I thought I had the metrics, right. Uh, cause I had written down here 15 million Amazon and yielded 500 million sales. Uh, but that was out of date. So you have. I, you have worked with quite a sum of money there and there's, there's two things that we can, we can go, we can go like the technical route.

And as we didn't want to talk about, you know, how that money was, uh, disseminated across the platform and then you know, this such high return and we'll get to that. But mindset is a big deal in economics because one things that we tend to talk about is if, this within ourselves, we don't have, uh, we don't have all together.

It doesn't matter if we succeed or not because of the largest collapse anyways. So how have you responded to the pressure of working with that? Uh, quantity of money? 

Daniel Tejada: [00:03:54] Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, I think big piece of that piece just comes down to understanding the, the, why I'm doing what I'm doing. Uh, you know, cause the how ultimately optimizing campaigns, your research campaign structure, those are all things that can be taught, but really to get to the point where you're really comfortable spending large sums of money, um, or even making decisions that might seem a little bit riskier, uh, just because you're not as familiar with it, you know, it can be hard.

It's really going and doing it. Uh, is key, but understanding the why you're taking the actions you take really in my experience has been, uh, a fundamental sort of piece of, uh, our success on the Amazon channels. You know, we believe in the strategies that we're implementing cause we've seen success across, you know, hundreds of different clients, um, utilizing the same strategies.

And so it allows me to tell a client, you know, um, that's a good idea from a strategy, but maybe we should think about this, you know, because I just have that experience of actually doing it. Um, and I think that's a big piece is sometimes people, you know, might know the, know the how, but they've never really understand the why, and it makes it a lot harder to make the right decisions as a result.

Joseph: [00:05:07] Definitely. And, um, you know, we, we, we would want, I think to, uh, go through somewhat of a wrapping up process rather than jumping in immediately and wanting to start. Having to start spending millions of dollars. It's, you know, we w learning, um, how to, how to handle that with smaller quantities first, then he gets to those points and then once you're there, you know, I definitely want our listeners to be inspired and to always think, you know, you can't get to this point as well.

But what I did earlier before we, uh, uh, met up is I just wanted to, in my mind, calibrate. What is the current state of advertising on Amazon. And I just went into it a very, very simple, I didn't dig too deep into this because I tried to kind of like put myself in the mind of the customer for a second here.

So I hop on Amazon and I go to like the gifts for everyone page and I scroll through and I probably scroll through, I don't know, maybe like 60 or so images before I had to go to the next page. I didn't see an ad anywhere. So I, I I'm in this position and I'm, and I expect that some of my listeners also have been in this position to where we don't actually fully understand the relationship between advertising.

Uh, on, uh, on Amazon, in its current state, I'm trying to remain remember some of what I shared with Steven, but when I talked to him, I dunno, I guess I want to review it more in depth, but anyways, so with advertising on Amazon, where is it primarily, is it advertising going on within the platform? Is it using, uh, is advertising externally say on to Google or Facebook to drive traffic to Amazon?

Is it a mixture where, where are the ads right now? 

Daniel Tejada: [00:06:41] Yeah, that's a great question. And the thing is it's shifted right now. Amazon ads are everywhere. Most people don't realize they're working with Amazon ads. Uh, for context, when I started doing Amazon advertising in 2016. Advertisements on Amazon were pretty obvious.

It it's like a sidebar. Um, and I don't know if you used to shop on Amazon back then, they were a lot smaller. Uh, but you could really tell that you were clicking on an ad when they had those ads. Now they have all sorts of different ad units, you know, even when you do any search on mobile or on desktop, you're actually everything you're seeing above the fold is going to be an advertisement.

So if I was, let's say shopping for pre-workout and I'm going to work out and I search the term pre-workout, I'll see a banner ad across the top, and then I'll see four sponsored product ads. Then there's video ads and you can even be targeted through Amazon's DSP. Uh, DSP platform, which is their display based, uh, audience targeting that can happen both on and off of Amazon.

So Amazon has expanded beyond simply, um, advertisements on the Amazon channel itself. And now they're actually off Amazon as well. Um, and you can see that reflected in their ad business itself. Like in 2016, Amazon did I think 550 million in ad revenue in 2019, they did $11.4 billion. So advertising got very competitive, very, very quickly.

Um, you know, I was fortunate to be in there, you know, early on. Um, but it's crazy, you know, we've got people now, like got this girl on the team and is Katie she's fresh out of school and she's managing, you know, very, very, very significant ad budgets already, you know, after all we doing this for about four months or so.

So it's still possible to get in. It's still something that is growing and it hasn't peaked at all. Amazon's add business all the time grows 50% every year. Uh, cause they keep adding more units. They keep adding different, um, uh, overlays. You can put on top of your existing ad campaigns. It's pretty fun.

You're constantly evolving right now. 

Joseph: [00:08:43] And I was, I was hoping to hear a little bit more about, um, uh, early on, like exactly like when you started getting involved in Amazon and from your perspective, what were like some of the major shifts that you had seen to the point where you can eat? You can see if Amazon as a business, as a whole is adjusting their strategy.

Um, and just, I want to add a little bit of spice to this because I think it's helpful to characterize what I'm looking for. I remember when I sent him for Facebook in, when I was in high school was like 15 years ago now. And at that time, Facebook was really just basically like a means to store memories and like comment on, you know, the semiformal dance or stuff like that.

And then it's evolved well past that. Now it's a whole ecosystem. There's a marketplace for it. There's advertising for it. There's messages, there's chats. There's video calls. It's. I mean, it's everything, it's a whole like town square. Uh, so in that sense, th th that's the kind of transformation I'm wondering if you've seen from your perspective.

Daniel Tejada: [00:09:36] Yeah, so I would definitely, I consider Amazon like, Google or Facebook, you know, like 10 years ago, a lot of times, especially, uh, I first started in 2016. I worked for this company called quiver. Quiver was a really, really large kind of three piece seller on Amazon, which means they purchase products or brands.

And then they, uh, they go ahead and they sell it directly on Amazon's platform. Um, but it used to be a lot different right back then it was a much smaller pie. Uh, even when we would reach out to brands and we would see, uh, there's, uh, something called retail arbitrage, where essentially folks would source products.

Like let's say they would find, you know, towels from, uh, from Clorox, uh, or paper towels, and then they would go, they would purchase them in store. They would sell them for a higher price point on the Amazon. Um, that was possible. Cause most of the brands didn't care about Amazon. It was too small of a, of a pie for them.

Um, and so that made Amazon a lot easier. Right. So back then, you know, we used to sell the number one risk on Amazon's platform. Um, you literally just listed products. Um, you could do something called private labeling where you would source products in China, and then you would essentially create a brand.

Um, but advertising was really minimal, right? It didn't really make a, make up a big deal, you know, um, with a three or $4,000 ad spend a month and you can grow a brand a hundred percent back then it was free. It was really, really cheap cost per clicks and below a dollar. Um, but even the platform itself, super antiquated, you can get a ton of reporting.

Um, you had to hack together a lot of different things cause Amazon, like, even for how you gauge performance on Amazon, they made up their own metric. Right. Instead of showing ROAS, which is your return on ad spend, uh, Amazon decided to create a metric called a costs, which is literally just the inverse of, of ROAS.

Right? And so a cost is your average cost of sale. They're literally the inverse of each other. About a year ago, Amazon decided to finally add ROAS to the reporting. It was a simple math thing to do. So it's not a big deal, uh, but it just kind of shows like how Amazon has progressed over time. And to just adding more features that traditional marketers are looking for.

Um, you know, they've added more and more ad units over time. Video advertisements, for example, did not exist for the first two years I advertise on Amazon. Um, it just rolled out probably about beginning of last year to all accounts, um, before it was like beta. Um, so we've seen that kind of evolve. Uh, recently they even added things like fire stick TV, where you can actually run ads to streaming devices, um, to, to, you know, uh, to reach new customers as well. So that's something that I think will be big for 2021. Um, and it's something that I've seen just, Amazon's constantly evolving because it is so early. Um, and so even on the ads piece, you know, we are very successful because we tried a lot of different things, right.

Until we figured out, you know, what we're winners, what we're losers, but we could definitely see Amazon follows a lot of other ad platforms like a Facebook or like Google in the sense of, you want to try things, you want to experiment. Some of those things are going to fail, but you should learn from those failures.

Eventually you'll, you'll come to those winners if you put in the time. 

Joseph: [00:12:51] Now this is me pontificating, but, um, what you're speaking to, there's a parallel between, um, some of the early returns you can get on Amazon as a platform with the same early returns that people can get on Facebook. So, what would happen is people could, uh, spend this a small money, money to advertise, drop shipping products on Facebook and they would get good returns.

And then Facebook over time started to understand, you know, what are the limitations of this particular fulfillment method? And the rules have gotten so strict. So much so that people are just breaking the rules by osmosis. Like I, my account is currently restricted just because I was in the vicinity of somebody else who have made a mistake on his advertising.

Uh, that's nothing. What I said is exactly exaggeration. That's exactly what happened. And the thing that I pontificating about is if there's going to be opportunities for that early adoption position, because I don't think that I think the window has passed an Amazon. It may be something specific within Amazon, but not the platform as a whole. And the reason why I wonder that is just because you have these institutions now, like big tech media, um, social media, like Amazon. So while they've covered so much ground, I, I struggled to understand what would be like the next thing to try to get in on early, um, that could also grow and become the size of something like Amazon.

Daniel Tejada: [00:14:06] Yeah. So, I mean, now we see a lot of other marketplaces that people have jumped into like the targets or the Kroger's or Walmart, at least I see a lot of that. Um, and there's definitely some opportunity even. So people get scrappy even using like somebody like eBay to sell products. Ultimately I think where I've really followed and why I dove into Amazon so deeply, is Amazon really took over product search. Right? So for context, last year, there was a study that came out 70% of all online products are just started on Amazon. Um, for context Google's market share product search decreased from 23% last year to 17% of all prom online product searches. So what Amazon's really become is the largest product search engine, at least in the U S um, and ultimately kind of following that trend.

So it's still possible to do it in the US it's just, uh, you know, some more aggressive strategies than you used to. Uh, but even looking at Amazon marketplaces that are abroad, for example, they're not nearly as competitive as the US is yet. Right. But we know that Amazon is pretty relentless in what they're willing to do to become.

Uh, or to be able to take over that much market share. Um, and so there are ways to still kind of follow what some people are doing in the us, kind of their strategies and techniques, and then bring them to other marketplaces where it's not necessarily as competitive. Um, I do think, you know, it'll be a little while before we see our next version of Amazon.

Um, I know there's new social apps. Do you ever use the clubhouse? Uh, but that, one's been pretty interesting, um, where you've been able, I've been able to see like the ability to do you want to gain followers. You can do that one pretty easily cause you just get on and you can just produce content at any given time.

You just join a room and start talking until you figure it out, that one out. So, um, things like tick talk, you know, has a lot of organic reach. Like Dan has a lot of organic reach, so there's still ways you can. Um, you can make an impact. Uh, it's just sometimes some certain channels you have to push a little harder than, than others.

Like Facebook is tough to be, to be an expert now. 

Joseph: [00:16:16] Yeah. I, I, uh, I'm amused when he said, uh, clubhouse, because it's the first time I was made aware of, it was a previous guest Aaron Pearson. He said that I would love clubhouse being you know, with the voice, right. Being, being a, being someone who, uh, I use my voice to survive, I would be a natural fit for it at the moment I have not been able to get on.

Um, I think some of that has to do with the limitations of what, uh, of iOS that you can use. Um, I think it's just for iPhone users. I don't think Samsung users or Android users have been able to get on it yet. I do recommend it though. I'd love. I'd love to do it. I really would. Uh, there's something I, there, there are numerous levels of irony about the whole like exclusivity thing.

It'd being called a clubhouse and Oh, you know, we can't, we can't let you in, you can't live it, you into our clubhouse and it's just, it just, I just go off and off on that. Uh, yeah. I, I think you make a good point.

Daniel Tejada: [00:17:06] They've grown very quickly. I think with that exclusive launch model. Right. Cause I think it kind of made people want to get on and then everyone tries to get on as a result.

Facebook did the same thing back in the day. I don't know if you remember that, but I was in New York and the East coast, like around the college towns. So we got it before the West coast did, but you had to get an invite when Facebook first launched back in the day.

Joseph: [00:17:27] Right. Yeah. Okay. The, I just realized I've been marked the whole, a lineup.

Okay. All right. Well, Well played, clubhouse. Well played.

Uh, earlier on we talked about the, uh, I, I'm still struggling to really quantify it, but you know, your, the output versus your returns, um, and the, uh, how you managed to have such a, uh, such great returns on that output. And I had asked you about the mindset, but I didn't ask you about more of the application of it.

Now. I, you know, I don't know if, uh, how much of like you're willing to reveal. Obviously I imagine some of what you do, you would want to keep to your kids, your clients, but I'm just going to ask it anyways, just so we can find out what we can find out. So what are some of the pillars or fundamentals of how you do what you do and how are you, are you're able to get this amazing return on your ad space?

Daniel Tejada: [00:18:24] Yeah. Great question. So I think the biggest, um, biggest advantage or kind of a differentiator with our strategy, uh, kind of speaks to your first question almost with mindset. A big piece of that is we think of Amazon very much as a search engine. Right. And I think that's a really big distinction, um, in the sense of amazon's got tremendous, tremendous volumes, um, both on your brain terms, but also on non brain. And really we focus a large portion of our spend on trying to acquire new to brand customers. Um, and ultimately we do work with a lot of consumable, uh, type of items as well. Uh, and so that bodes extremely well because what we want to do is move the brands that we work with away from just branded traffic and so customers that already know them through some other channel. Right. So if you already had a social following or you were doing a TV commercial, or you already had like influencers pushing traffic, and even if that was to your own website, there's 140 million prime subscribers in the US alone.

Um, that even if you don't say the word Amazon, they will still look for your products on Amazon. Right. It's just ingrained with their shopping behaviors. And so that those sales are fine, but those are customers that already right. We see a lot of successes looking at the value of the search terms that we're going after and what those customers actually offer.

So there are new to brand customer, let's say I'm selling a protein bar and I can go after my brand, you know, for someone who's looking for protein bar, or I can go after a term like protein bar that has. 400,000 searches a month on Amazon, right? That's 400,000 potential neutral brand buyers that I can access to my average.

The other thing that's changed over the past few years for Amazon is that they have shifted to be paid apply. So that means everything you search above the fold on both desktop, as well as mobile is going to be a paid advertisement. So essentially what you're doing is you're just giving yourself the opportunity to showcase your product.

Uh, you know, uh, to customers that don't already know you, right? So I literally say I help people find what they're looking for is essentially what my, my role is, you know, for the clients that I, that I do engage with. And so I think that's the first kind of best advices. Uh, visibility on the platform since it is a search engine is key, right over 80% of sales on Amazon happen on page one of any search term.

So I do not already organically show up on that search term. It doesn't matter if I have the best product with the lowest price point, you know, the best reviews that people can't find you, they ultimately can't purchase. Uh, the other really big. Piece, um, for us in the way we do ad strategy is the relationship your advertisements have with your actual organic rankings.

And if you're unfamiliar, organic ranking is where you rank in a nod paid placement, right? So where you're not, you're paying to have this ability. And so your ads actually have the ability on Amazon to directly positively impact that. Um, by actually, uh, if you're showing ads to relevant search terms, your conversion rates are high.

Amazon will reward you with better and better organic placements, um, as time goes on there. So that's sort of the second piece of the secret sauce where not only can we allow you to drive more new to brand buyers, but we can also help you increase your organic sales through your advertising. That's like something very unique to Amazon.

That's something that a lot of like, you know, Google ad words, for example, I can spend a million dollars on protein bar, but any better for the term. Protein bar. It means I can drive a single sale there, but Amazon does not have that. Right. It was on the edge. Do have direct impact on where you rank organically on that product, because that's the visibility piece right. Now here's the other side of things, is it doesn't matter if I drive traffic, if the listing doesn't convert well. Right. So not only do you have to find the relevant customers, but you also have to have a product listing that has a high chance of conversion. So focusing on building that out and really talking about the why I see a lot of brands make mistakes because they try to stuff a lot of keywords into their product listing and think that's going to help them with SEO. Ultimately that doesn't really help Amazon indexes you for seeing a term one time. They don't need to see it a million times in your listing. What they're care about is that when people come to the product listing themselves, that they purchase. So talking about the why this product is superior or has a better brand story or has unique designs, that's really, what's going to be advantageous.

Um, and even taking it down to like your products that are level, right? A lot of people I see do all this great work on writing out a nice title, strong bullet points, but then their product photos are just like, If I was selling a water bottle, right. It would just be pictures of back in time in the bottom of water bottle, then no one really cares what that looks like.

Right. What you should do is add text to your photos, right? And actually talk about why this product is superior directly through your photos. Um, and the real reason that's super important is a lot of people shop on mobile, right on Amazon. And on mobile, your bullet points are pushed way below the fold.

Your product photos are actually the most prominent thing for that listing. And so using that text will help improve your conversion rate. Um, you know, really simple, easy trick, but the better and better you can make your listing itself, the higher rate, your ads will convert and ultimately the faster your grow.

Um, if you're, you know, your conversion rate is high and your advertising efforts are. Uh, on-point. 

Joseph: [00:24:00] So what you reminded me of is, um, somewhat of a subversive tactic, depending on the platform. So I'll use Twitter as an example, Twitter has a character limit. Uh, I used to be able to remember it back then.

It was like, I don't know, 128. Uh, and now I dunno, it's like 200 or something like that, whatever the point is is that there's a way to subvert that, which is to just post an image. And then within the image, it's actually just a huge wall of text. And so all of a sudden somebody is now like over engaging on what is are supposed to be very digestible messages and it works.

And I've been on Twitter for a number of years and I'm basically staying on until they kick me out for my views. And. Basically people have their,  there's doing this constantly. And it seems he would, it would think that like a platform like Twitter or in Amazon's case, they would, they would actually have some rulings against that just because, you know, there is, yes.

Okay. You're getting results out of it. And then, you know, they, you know, we all want the sales, we want the engagement, but it's also not really the point. Um, and so you ended up in this meta-game where now everyone is just going to use the images to then, or just to start putting the texts on the images.

And actually it becomes a standard now where now, if. If you're not putting texts in the images that actually now causes a decay rate where now they're just not keeping up with the other competition. So, uh, I, I'm being a little bit critical there. I do think it's a, it's a, it's a great idea. And so the question that I want to ask you is, you know, what limits do you put on the text and then to relate to my point about that is actually, have you seen any feedback, uh, even from Amazon directly or saying.

Okay. You know, uh, is it gone to the point now where there's more texts than image on this? So, you know, uh, back it up a bit there. 

Daniel Tejada: [00:25:35] Yeah. Great question. So I would agree. This is something you see on Amazon a lot is someone comes up with an idea and then everyone else in their category sources to do it because it's essentially successful.

And then essentially Amazon sort of polices it, but I think they do kind of wait for the data to kick in, to really make a decision on. If they make the change or if they crack down on it or not. Um, and so in this case, like with text to photos, um, And like, so you could think of it visually. Imagine it's still a very rich image, but what you're doing is you're adding like little, like blocks of tax, almost like an infographic, if that makes sense, essentially two photos.

Um, and so it's still provides a good customer experience and really Amazon is very customer focused. So the end of the day, it's the same reason your ads have impact on organic rankings. They find customers that are converting at a high rate to specific search terms or specific items are, um, and they're seeing happy customers and sales volume is high.

Amazon just wants to provide the most relevant search result for each customer, the ones that have the highest likelihood of sales. And so adding something like this product boat out with some texts starts to increase that Amazon will report that they won't necessarily fight that piece. Um, I think there are certain instances like, and I'm thinking just google SEO, old days. Um, you know, one of the hacks people would do is, uh, Google would literally count the number of times would have a search term, right on your website or on a web page for ranking. And so people could figure it out that they can add texts, you know, to their, uh, to their webpage. And then they would just make the text and the background color exactly the same.

So it looked like a black screen, but an actuality, the say pizza is near me and pizza near me. Right. And so now you rank really well, but it doesn't necessarily deliver their customer experience. And so that's where Google would say, actually this content and we're going to negatively impact these, um, these, these sort of, uh, this sort of behavior.

So I think Amazon does that a lot. Uh, we've seen that, do that, them do that with things like reviews. So back in the day, Uh, there were these like flash sale sites you could use to generate a lot of reviews or you would basically put your items on there for 90% off discount. People would buy it. Cause they're paying almost nothing for the item.

And then you'd get a ton of reviews overnight and they'd all be five star. The problem is those kinds of items would be really successful and you'd get a lot of returns because they weren't always good products. Um, and so Amazon cut that out, you know, like 2017. Um, so they do, I was, would say like, Um, they definitely do analyze, um, they're sort of back and forth.

And then I think based on how people respond is ultimately how they make decisions on if they need to crack down or not. 

Joseph: [00:28:17] Uh, I, I find that pretty funny too, the 90% off and all these five star reviews. If you can, if you can recall, maybe like some of the products in specific, I'm just curious about that.

Otherwise I'll, uh, I'll shift gears.

Daniel Tejada: [00:28:28] That, that, that we're using the 90% off?

Joseph: [00:28:30] I'm just wondering like what products.

Daniel Tejada: [00:28:32] I mean, this was years ago, but like you literally, uh, I think it was called a jump shout or jumps out and I can't remember one of 'em, but they were all a rebate key. I think that's another one, but essentially it was like, they would just create these huge email lists.

And so you would list your product, you give them a certain number of units you can make available, and then they would just shoot a blast off like email blast in the morning. And you can put a hundred items up there for review, and they'd all be sold out, you know, a couple of hours, but usually like a couple hours, then you get all your ease on there.

And, but Amazon did crack down on those.

Joseph: [00:29:10] So one of the things that we were touching on is the relationship between a seller externally versus internally. So if somebody has a prior profile, they're known even on radio, which something else I want to ask you about, but we'll, we'll get to that. Um, and one of the conference, one of the things that really stuck out to me when I talked to my Amazon  Steve Pope, is that he had pointed to me that, of all the things that are bought from Amazon that are in my room right now. I don't remember the brands for them at all. I've had about six months to figure out what brand my mattress is and I still don't know, or frankly don't care. Uh, and also to be honest, I'm actually not really happy with it.

My quality of sleep has been deteriorating, so I gotta get up. But all of that, all that said, well, you know, it's just that we moved in the apartment and you just something, something to avoid sleeping on the floor. So with all of that said, I would like to hear from your perspective, the re the relationship between these two and how much have you seen in any of your clients being able to pull this off, or have you been able to instruct them on how to raise brand awareness within Amazon?

Daniel Tejada: [00:30:14] Great question. So on Amazon, you will see, and you'll hear this a lot. Like, Oh, Amazon is a race to the bottom, um, and it can be in certain cases, if you're not building a brand and you're really selling a product. So to me, it's almost more of a commodity at that point. Um, then you really are competing for that single sale.

Um, and then also just because Amazon's gotten a lot more competitive, makes things a little bit more, um, tricky for growth right in the longterm. It makes it a lot harder. Uh, since you don't have a good AOV. Um, where I find a lot of success is with the types of brands that we work with is they are really more focused on being a brand.

Um, and we do for the brand building and we have a suite of products that tends to be related to the category. So whether it's beauty and I'm a skincare brand, and I've got multiple skincare products or pet, and I've got multiple toys that I'm running. Um, but part of it comes down to those thing itself.

Right. You can usually tell when someone's selling more of a quality item, because it's really just talks about a couple short bullet points on what the product is. That's it, you're making a decision on if you need this ruler. Let's just say I was telling you before. Right. So I got, it's got 12 inches, whatever it is.

But you're not sitting there looking at the brand next time he need a protractor. Right. Unless they really did a really good job of speaking through, like, this is Dan's ruler company, right. Like we, um, are building, uh, you know, we're doing, uh, we're donating to, uh, help build schools in Africa right? And our tools go towards, you know, not just our pockets.

Right. But they're going towards the greater good. Right. That's just small off the cuff example. Right. But that's how you're building more of a brand. If you've got photos that are just pictures of your product, or you have photos that are pretty sure your product, but also tell a brand story, right. And maybe even cross promote to other items you sell.

Um, then there's things as simple as, um, like product inserts, you can try and get that customer to come back and chat with you again. Um, or, you know, something as like I've got a client in the keto space, um, where we grow really, really quickly and our lowest price point item is almost a loss leader to get them to get to our higher price plan items.

And one of the things we do is we've got, you know, QR code on our packaging product insert as soon as they go in and get them to essentially download this, um, really, really helpful content and guide it over around Quito and, uh, uh, a couple of different facets there and we've collected 4,000 email addresses over the past three months, um, which we can then use to remark it, um, towards higher price point items.

And when we launched new products, we now have a faucet to launch new products with and things like that.

Joseph: [00:32:54] I looked into some of the case studies that you had put out publicly on your website, straight up growth.com. And I hesitated for a second there because I realized there's actually a lot of websites now that are like.io.

And I forgot if you're a.com or not, but straight up growth. That part I got. And, uh, I, and I pointed out too, it was two out of the three, but I, what I saw and what I really appreciated is that. You and you're doing it right now, by the way, because I've listened to some of the other interviews and as tries as hard as I can to fully understand some of the stuff does go over my head and you shifted gears for this conversation, knowing what, uh, what we're going for with this kind of content.

And so, um, one of the, one of the three was a pro support and. You know, your team were highly involved in guiding the company. Walk, you walk them through the basics of advertising, staying in constant communication. And this is something that's really important. And I've hammered this point numerous times throughout the show one way or another, where, you know, if he gets somebody who say, like tries to do something manually.

I think they understand the value of it. Then they get somebody to automate it for them. But if they don't do it manually, but they recognize the importance. The next best thing is what you're doing, which is to show them step-by-step, they'll walk them through some of the basics. So I was wondering if you'd be willing to expand on maybe some of the examples specifically of some of what you had to walk that company through or how you were able to kind of like climatize them or acclimate them to on Amazon.

Daniel Tejada: [00:34:21] Okay. Great question. So with this client, you know, they had, um, had to make some changes to just some internal things. And so they had a new person base to come on board to manage Amazon at the same time. I was basically going to be helping, not just with the actual growth side, but almost educating them on how, what, what metrics they should pay attention to.

What's important? How long is it going to take? Um, and it's a beast, you know, there's Amazon stuff. We got it's, uh, it's bugs that you have to work through. Um, but one of the bigger pieces I think, um, is that a lot of times with, especially with advertising, certainly Amazon as a whole makes sense. But then you get into the ads and especially if you've never done it before, um, it can be confusing, right?

When you're you hear some of these terms or like the terminology, like a cost or CPC or CPM that might sound like jibberish and it's that's okay. It's something that can be learned. Um, and so I think one of the big things for this client is. Um, you know, she worked really hard at, on the learning side of things, but we were educating, but constantly educating, right?

It's not something that you're going to remember, uh, overnight, right? It's not something you can just like study for, for a test. There's certain fundamental things that you just have to drill down and, you know, you'll ask questions about today. You might ask them a series of questions a week from now or three weeks from now, but that's okay.

Eventually there was a point where it just makes sense. And I think another part of it is seeing it happen. So if you have a partner. Um, or you hire someone internally that at least has some of that, uh, education or experience behind it, they can help walk you through and just help continue to make you feel confident that you are going down the right path.

Uh, cause ultimately sometimes it can be scary, especially if you're launching like a competitive category. Uh, you know, in, uh, in Amazon, the new U S you're brand new, you know, it's going to take a while to grow, to grow. Um, but as long as you have a strong game plan, you've set targets for yourself. You're meeting those targets or you're finding out why you're not meeting those targets and working to get there.

You know, you should be able to see success on the platform and, you know, for a client like that.

Like over a hundred percent year over year, last year. Um, you know, this is someone who knew absolutely nothing about Amazon and we're on track to grow another a hundred percent year over year. Pretty cool. 

Joseph: [00:36:41] Awesome. I, I did, by the way, I did hear the, uh, the sound's going on in the background. I'm only pointed that out because at first I thought you have a neighbor who has a theremin.

Because like at first I don't, I don't understand what it is and I just see like, whoa, wait, what? Why? Well, I haven't heard a thing and I still haven't. Okay. Uh, yeah. And this ties into other things I don't want to tie into this little section here. I, the other thing that I wanted to ask you as well is.

When I'm looking at the contact form and it says, you know, when you're ready to grow your brand on Amazon to reach out and what I wanted to ask, and you kind of answered it, but I'll say it anyways, just in case we can add any more color to it, which is, you know, what would you characterize as an ideal state of readiness?

Because you do have people who really don't know the fundamentals. They don't know the first step. So, you know, if there's anything you'd like to see in the, uh, in potential clients and how you audit them also audit is that's a different question altogether, but we'll get to that. 

Daniel Tejada: [00:37:34] Yeah. So, uh, you know, we do these audits for clients, um, before we engage with them, for clients that would qualify for us to do like a free audit, essentially we're working for clients that, um, either already are doing some sales on Amazon itself.

Um, it doesn't have to be huge. We do take clients that. Uh, can be smaller as long as there's kind of a path to growth, uh, that we see, um, there, uh, other types of clients, we usually don't take like net new, unless you have some sort of like off Amazon channel. So if you had a social channel or you had some sales already, a.com uh, you know, retail channel, and you really need to understand how to get through to you and get started on Amazon, we can definitely help facilitate that.

And we can do sort of this category analysis where we can help point you in the right direction on that front, and then really understanding your goals. So if you're doing more retail arbitrage, and you're purchasing products and reselling them. Um, Our service is probably not as worth it for you. Cause there's, there's probably solutions out there that are a little bit cheaper or that would make sense if you're doing retail arbitrage.

Uh, but if you have your own brand, your own product, um, and you're doing some sales, you know, we're happy to have the conversation. Uh, our agency is pretty transparent in the sense of, you know, if we can't engage with you right now, we'll get you the, this is what I would work towards the next 30, 60 days.

And then, you know, we want to pick up the conversation later on. So that way we work together, when we, now we can actually make an impact on your, uh, your account.

Joseph: [00:39:00] I guess it's it's client specific, but what would be some of the advice that you give to people before they can come back? 

Daniel Tejada: [00:39:05] Yeah. So I would say, you know, one. Uh, understand your goals, um, you know, are you selling a single product or you're trying to build a brand out, um, you know, are you looking to grow slowly? Are you looking to be the number one, uh, you know, in your space quickly? Cause those are two different goals and you're going to have two completely different strategies from that.

Um, and part of it is it doesn't hurt to talk to folks or brands or agencies as well. Um, even if you're not engaging with them right away, just to get some input, you know, cause they do have a lot of experience. And uh, you know, I spoke with this, uh, we work with this beauty brand now and when I had spoken to them, you know, they'd spoken to like five other agencies that were like, no, you're not ready for Amazon yet.

Um, or to really advertise, we can only spend like $4,000 a month. Uh, you know, they were only doing like 10 K a month. Like this past month, they did $60,000 in revenue. We've been working with them for, for six months. Um, cause we did see a path to market there. So you don't have to be afraid of Amazon. Uh, you know, I will say certain categories are.

Super competitive. Um, and so definitely talking to some experts, I would say is something that is, uh, worth doing, especially, uh, you know, even if you have a decent business, and, uh, it's going well and you feel like you've plateaued. Um, I'd be surprised if you actually plateaued on the Amazon cause like you should be able to grow month over month for a long, long time in that platform.

Um, at least in my, in my personal experience. 

Joseph: [00:40:29] Yeah. I mean, th that, that checks, so Amazon is a rather large, uh, component of the marketplace. So. Yeah, I, I, I definitely see the logic there. The other case study that I wanted to touch in on. Um, and then this is specifically about sales targets. So for it was the, uh, the bully bowling company, the number one dog to join Walmart, but they were having some challenging sales targets.

And I had done sales for a number of years. So I've always been the recipient of sales targets. Like, you know, how much I have to sell on the day or how much we're looking to sell on the month. And I can kind of get a grasp on the importance of these, you know, for expansion. Or keeping the lights on. So how have you seen companies set up practical, actionable sales targets?

Daniel Tejada: [00:41:09] Let's keep in mind. One, is he already launching new products, expanding the product selection, things like that. That's one way you can grow your revenue. Um, and the other one is in relations to your ad spend. So once, especially once you really have a strong handle on what your marketing spend can help accomplish your goals are, uh, you know, this brand was running at probably a third of that sort of hundred K target on what they were looking for. The 100 K was more like a moonshot for them. Um, but since we had actually a decent amount of data for their advertising efforts, we had a decent amount of data on what their sales growth, uh, trends had looked like using that info.

We could actually build out what we potentially thought the volume of, like and what the path was 200 K. And so it meant, you know, increasing ad spend, um, pretty decently, you know, compared to what they were looking at before. Uh, but they've been really, really happy because we were able to hit. At target, um, and have continued to see growth, uh, ever since, um, without necessarily robbing the bank or, uh, you know, to, to afford it.

Right. It was actually more achievable than that expected. Um, but it's just something that they didn't. Uh, really even potentially consider from a forecasting perspective. So everyone does forecast in their own way. Um, but it is important to them set them. And even if you don't hit them, what have you learned from that?

Right. So there's plenty you can learn for not hitting your sales targets too. Um, it almost makes you sometimes stretch to like, Oh, shoot. We're below our sales target. What do we need to do? Maybe we'll add some promotions. Maybe we'll add a little bit extra spend in order to revamp our ad campaigns. So there's going to be a lot of different options there, but I do think having those, um, those sales targets almost becomes, uh, a, uh, almost forces you to.

Joseph: [00:42:56] Okay, so this is going to be a fun one. And this is the one that I had to prime you on before we started recording. So, uh, so for listeners, usually what I do is I'll put some time in just to check out some of the, the content that our guests have been on. The more I can be ready for them, the better. And I found out that our guest Daniel is a big, huge fan of the office.

Um, I, myself. I love the series. I watched every episode. Um, but I don't routinely go back on and watch reruns. Although there was a week where the YouTube algorithm was just like feeding me off as clips. I clip, clip. Uh, so there, so it does happen. This is a hypothetical, let's say Dunder Mifflin. Reaches out to you and they want to modernize their business because Lord knows they can use the help.

The last guy that got to do it. Uh, wasn't so hot. Uh, how would you onboard them? And so they can start selling their paper products on Amazon. 

Daniel Tejada: [00:43:45] Great question. Um, and it's actually one that we do quite often. So for me, if you're dealing with Michael Scott, someone who probably knows nothing about Amazon, right?

Which started common with the types of clients that we'll work with, but they know their products. No another market. So a few things is one is setting expectations, right? To understand that, yes, you may be the biggest supplier in retail, but that doesn't mean that, that is going to be replicated instantly on the Amazon itself.

This is sort of a path to market. And so we'll do category analysis. They understand what the, the size of the prize looks like, but also what it's going to take to get them to be a major contender in that platform. Then we work with them to understand, you know, how they're going to sell on Amazon, whether it's vendor central or seller central.

Um, understand the profitability on margin on Amazon, because that is also a mistake people make is they're going to have to sell the products, but they're not actually making money when they're selling it on Amazon. So that's something that I pushed for clients. Um, and then the biggest piece I'll do very frequently is either kind of following an 80 20 rule.

Right? So, uh, 80% of your revenue is going to come from 20% of your catalog. So if you've got a massive, massive catalog, Uh, you know, you need to probably resign that to figure out what the Amazon kind of repertoire of products should be. Um, and then from there you'll, you'll nail down your marketing budget.

Um, if everything checks out and train the client, that's what we're working on. And we can watch you and to get things moving, uh, on the platform there. Uh, but then yeah, obviously dealing with Michael Scott would be its own beast, but I dealt with many variations of him before ourselves. It's all good.

Joseph: [00:45:23] Fair enough. I, I it's been a while since I've seen it, but I was just trying to remember it like it does Mike, Michael Scott knows how to use the internet at least. Right. Like, I'm pretty sure he got that far, but I'm not.

Daniel Tejada: [00:45:32] He couldn't do folders on his computer, so right. Which wouldn't be the first client I've seen that before.

Joseph: [00:45:39] I just have to say that that's just something that I, that I really respected about your business when I was just, you know, uh, doing, uh, doing my thing. Uh, it's just because when you're looking for people to work with the quote is, you know, we help good people grow online businesses we believe in, and you know, you, you, we, we've definitely talked about, you know, these people who wants to succeed, you know, in the right.

And they believe in their product and they want to make the way into the Amazon market. So, um, I just wanted to, to know that I really appreciated that gem there because it helps to, um, remind everybody that regardless of the scale that they're working at currently is that no, you still have to be good people.

Um, because you want to be someone that you can actually like, tolerant and, and, and be happy to work with day after day, as well as you know, for your own company's reputation too. And, you know, the, the more positive people you work with, the more they're going to reflect in their own, in their feedback and their testimonials for it.

That's why I found the, the, um, uh, the case studies that I did and continuously it was a positive cycle. It reflected, you know, what you guys are about. 

Daniel Tejada: [00:46:40] Yeah no, I think, uh, the end of the day, if you can't have a positive relationship, Uh, you know, it's just not, it's not worth it. It's not worth the client's time.

It's not worth, it's worth our time. And like you said, you work a lot better when you mesh well. So I think even when you're choosing your partner, that's something to consider. And even in how you guys treat your partners sometimes too, you know? Cause I'm not going to say we ha we've definitely turned down business that just wasn't the right. 

Joseph: [00:47:07] Yeah. So I know I don't have you for too much time. Uh, more so I did a couple of other things I wanted to, I was just curious about, uh, so I'll run through these and then I'll get you on outta here. I was looking at your, your different services and you have them split into three groups.

Um, the second of the three groups is like additional services and, uh, there was advertising and broadcast TV and trust your radio. You mentioned earlier about being able to say like promote yourselves on Amazon prime because they have a, uh, NSL buys over a hundred million subscribers. So I was just wondering about in, in the way of where you take something very classical, like a Dunder Mifflin, and we apply it to something contemporary, like Amazon is how, how much of what you do is the opposite where you're taking something contemporary and you're finding classical routes to promote them through broadcast TV and terrestrial radio. 

Daniel Tejada: [00:47:58] That's a great question. It's for us, really client by client basis. Um, not everyone needs it, but when you really understood the thing with youth that I think is most important to Amazon is that it's not in place of your other strategies, right? It works. It should work in conjunction and one channel should be able to grow, um, there. So I got to work with one, just one brand. Let's just, uh, you know, in the pet space that does subscription pet box is on their.com, right? Huge brands. They were doing like 50 million a year on their.com.

They're doing that $12,000 a month on the episode, but they decided they wanted to be the number one, you know, dog bed on Amazon. Um, they're selling a higher price point item, no distinguishing features, no reviews, um, in a space that's hyper, hyper competitive, and it was a very tough kind of pill to swallow initially.

Uh, but we actually leveraged some off Amazon traffic that they traditionally leveraged for.com. Repurposed it for the means of building Amazon's relevancy and audience. You know, within 12 months we're doing a million dollars a month, um, on Amazon from $12,000. It's just by taking the small. Piece of that other marketing channel that they normally wouldn't leverage, but it paid off in their benefit because their.com grew from 50 million to 250 million during that same timeframe.

Right. And it's just repurposing existing tool that already works. Not every client needs that. Um, but there are instances that they do it. So that's where just getting creative, you know, it doesn't always have to be all Amazon. Right. You can still leverage traditional advertising mediums for Amazon specifically, as long as you understand your goals and your intentions behind it. 

Joseph: [00:49:33] And I I've taken up with the position that while something like radio, it might die, it will just be reborn and take on a new shape.

And also, I think another thing too about, uh, these, uh, previous mediums is that we tend to look at them as the things that are you know, it's decaying or dying or on the decline. Whereas I tend to see as just the market expands and if they can continue to expand along with that market. Great. But often they don't.

And so they continue to hold onto whatever I share with the market that they have. So, you know, just a radio still has a significant, uh, share of the market because there are still people who depend on it.

Daniel Tejada: [00:50:08] Absolutely. And sometimes it's just like, the medium doesn't die. I think the transforms it's the people that really understand either transforming, like, look at newspaper, newspaper might be dead on.

That might not be, you might not be holding a newspaper right now, but there's an app on your phone called the news app. I guarantee, or Google news. You can use to read news like every day and they're still, uh, you know, writing for it. So it's the folks at the mediums that adapt for the adoption or adaptation of how consumers purchase. I really see the most success. 

Joseph: [00:50:39] Two more questions. Cause I know, uh, your, your, your time is a, is a ticket here. Um, so one of them is I listened to through your interview on a bio box experts and I, one of the topics you guys talked about was like some external software such as like helium 10 and jungle scout.

I, myself, I know I've talked to Steve about a helium 10 for a bit, but, um, would you be willing to run our listeners who maybe aren't familiar with these softwares? Like what are some ones that we can look into just to help support our Amazon.

Daniel Tejada: [00:51:07] Helium 10 times the more popular ones. Um, it's good for product research.

It's also good for tracking, uh, a lot of different metrics like once you're actually selling. So you can track things like organic rankings. You can get a lot of data on keyword volumes, how competitive those keywords are. Uh, you can track like buy boxes, changes in price points. Um, so think about it, this sort of a supplement for holding all this data or getting extra data from Amazon that you don't get right through. There are standard reports. Um, and then jungle scout is similar where I really liked, uh, jungle scout. Usually it's a jungle scout or helium 10. They kind of, it's usually one or the other. Some people use both. I use jungle scout a lot for like, Um, sales volumes and estimates, um, first grade being different categories and just understanding how many reviews I need and what my price points are looking like.

And things like that can be really powerful. Um, it's another tool, but I really recommend. Called KEEPA. K E E P A, um, really great tool for tracking, uh, sales ranks, uh, reviews, um, as well as like buy box and price points do it's pretty inexpensive. So I highly recommend that tool as well. 

Joseph: [00:52:19] All right. Um, so, well, technically the rasp question, I tend to not count that one as a question.

So I technically just have two more about one more figuratively speaking. Um, just one thing I I'm, I'm, I'm always curious about, which is like, if, what you were to say up to before the e-commerce space took over some people to get into e-commerce right away. Some people they tend to maybe have, like, they have a different field first.

Daniel Tejada: [00:52:41] Yeah. So I got into e-commerce almost right after school. Um, I did start an SEO first, um, which is more B2B SEO. So did like SEO for chiropractors and dentists. Uh, optometrists. Um, and then I ran some app work stuff on my own, like from there, and then Claiborne 2016. I mean, I graduated in 2015, so I really hit Amazon right after school.

Joseph: [00:53:07] Uh, that was everything I just said. Uh, that was the last one that I had. 

So, uh, Daniel. Thank you. This has been jam packed of info and it's been a lot of help. And I might want to use like office metaphor is more often because I think they really helped to kind of like, you know, characterize in our minds.

So, uh, the last thing I gotta get you to do is if you have any final parting words, just in case any last things you want to share with our audience, words of wisdom, stuff like that, feel free, and then let people know how they can get it. 

Daniel Tejada: [00:53:32] Awesome. So, uh, words of wisdom. Uh, anyone can teach themselves anything when it comes to digital.

Um, there, I taught myself how to do words, you know, taught myself how to do Amazon. I've hired lots of people at this point. Almost all of them had zero advertising background or even zero digital marketing background sometimes. Um, so don't feel like it is impossible to learn someone who firsthand, uh, knows that would be my biggest input.

You can't be a bit afraid to fail. It's like what you've learned from your failures. Give you the best results. And then to reach out to us, you can find us on straight up growth.com. You can also shoot me an email at dt@straightupgrowth.com or find me on LinkedIn,Daniel Tejada. 

Joseph: [00:54:21] Well, this has been a great hour again. Thank you for your time listeners. Thank all of you as well for being a part of this, uh, you all know to do from this point on, so take care and we will check in soon. 

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Podcast guest Debutify Admin

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