Episode 116

7 Ways to Market in Times of Uncertainty

Chris Brewer - OMG Commerce
April 22, 2020
SUBSCRIBE: iTunesStitcher

Currently, over 77% of our eCommerce clients are either still UP in sales even during this time of extreme uncertainty or are the same (plus or minus 1-2%).  Yes, some are hurting - but for most eCommerce businesses you CAN do something about sluggish sales right now.  We’ve learned a lot in recent weeks on what messages resonate with prospects  and what falls flat.  In this episode (taken from a recent highly-popular webinar) Chris Brewer, Co-Founder of OMG Commerce and I dive into these important topics:

  • Understanding the different physiological segments of shoppers right now and how to appeal to them
  • People still want to buy even when stuck at home - how to provide retail therapy to your customers
  • How to handle paid search on both Amazon and Google right now (search trends are shifting)
  • Why this could be the perfect time to consider YouTube ads…viewership is up 100%+ on the platform and ad costs are down 20% or more
  • How you can gain market share and get ahead of the competition right now

Brett Curry - CEO of OMG Commerce

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via Instagram

Via YouTube


Chris Brewer - Digital & eCommerce Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of OMG Commerce

Via Email

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via Instagram


OMG Commerce

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via Instagram

Via YouTube


OMG Commerce Guides


Mentioned in this episode:

The Ultimate Guide to Google Shopping - OMG Commerce

eCommerce Evolution Podcast with Liz Germain

How to Market in a Downturn - Harvard Business Review

Huckberry

Big Blanket Co.

BOOM by Cindy Joseph

Amazon DSP

YouTube TrueView


Episode Transcript

Brett:

Well hello and welcome to another edition of the eCommerce Evolution Podcast. I'm your host, Brett Curry. CEO of OMG Commerce. Today's episode is a little bit different. This is actually the recording from a recent webinar that my business partner Chris Brewer and I hosted. And this webinar is all about seven ways to market in times of uncertainty. So with lockdowns in effect, and some of those will be expiring before too long at the time of this recording, but with all of the shift in consumer behavior and potential shift in consumer confidence, how should we be approaching our marketing right now? I think you'll find this content helpful because we look at this from both the strategic side, understanding kind of the psychology of shoppers right now and some new psychological segments to consider in the marketplace, but then we also get very tactical and talk about Google ads and YouTube ads and Amazon ads and even shifting your message during this time. So I hope you find this timely and helpful. Let's dive into Seven Ways to Market in a Crisis.

Brett:

I want to welcome everybody to the webinar. Really excited you could take the time, you decided to take the time to join us. We're digging into a super important topic. This is something that we're all thinking about, we're all facing right now. How do we grow our business? How do we maintain our business? How do we market? How do we advertise? Do we advertise? What do we do right now during a crisis? And so, Chris and I, we want to get very tactical, very practical with you today. We're also going to talk strategic as well and hopefully this will be inspiring and informational and you'll leave here charged up and ready to do the absolute best that you can right now. And so, primarily on the tactical side, we're going to dig into Google Ads, YouTube Ads, and Amazon Ads. But again, we're going to get strategic, so even if you're not on those platforms or you're on other platforms, this will still be useful.

Brett:

And so why are we doing this? Why are we hosting this webinar talking about seven ways to market in a crisis? And the ultimate reason is, we want to help. I love what a crisis can do in terms of bringing out the best in humanity. We've seen this with our team. Our team is rallying around our clients, coming up with creative ideas and how do we grow sales, how do we save sales, how do we make things work? And so that's really the spirit of this event today is, how do we give you actionable ideas, some good strategies, some good mindset tips, maybe even some examples of how you can succeed right now. So really this is all about giving back. We do have some specific ways we can help and a couple of offers. We even put together our own stimulus package Chris. And so we'll talk about our own stimulus package at the end. But this will be educational and hopefully extremely helpful.

Brett:

Just a couple of really quick things about our agency for those that don't know us. We're a team of 38 and growing. We're all remote now. We're usually ... The majority of us are in our offices in Springfield, Missouri or New Jersey. We're all spread out now, all remote. We are one of the top spending agencies on YouTube ads and so we'll talk a little bit about YouTube ads. Right now we're seeing some things on YouTube that we've never seen before because of this crisis that actually opens up a lot of opportunities for you. Chris mentioned the ultimate guide to Google shopping, we'll show you how to get that later if you want to take Google shopping to the next level. And then yeah, we speak at industry events where you'll find us online and in person. And so there's a quick look at our team. And the reason I point this out is because our team is day in and day out in the trenches, coming up with the marketing ideas, testing things. We're getting real time data now on what performance looks like in eCommerce during this crisis and during this time, these times of uncertainty. And so even yesterday and last night, I was polling the team and saying, "Hey, how is this working? How is that working?," so that we could report that on this webinar.

Brett:

We did recently ... This was actually one of the last, I think, big live events before things started getting shut down. This was in February. Got invited to speak at the YouTube LA offices. We did about a half day workshop there with about 140 different attendees. 100 eCommerce brands. Talking all about how to utilize YouTube ads for performance growth. So YouTube ads to directly drive sales. We'll be sharing some insights from that. We've also got some other resources that'll be free that we talked about at that event. We're going to talk about Amazon ads too, so if we've got some Amazon sellers here as well. But that's a picture on the left there of myself and our director of eCommerce, Chris Tyler. We are one of the fasted growing Amazon ad agencies and so it's about a year and a half ago ... I'm terrible with dates. I don't know. We got invited out to the Amazon HQ because of our rapid growth to meet with the Amazon ad teams and talk about new developments with Amazon advertising. And so we're going to also show you what's going on with Amazon right now. How have our clients been impacted by what's going on and what's working specifically from an Amazon ad prospective.

Brett:

And so, what do we do? What do we do right now, right? That is the question. What in the world do we do right now? Do we go quiet? There's feedback on Facebook and other places, people saying, "How dare you advertise right now?" So is that the approach we take? Or do we potentially step things up because there are tons of opportunities right now? And so a couple of things that are interesting. Right now internet usage, up 35%. So this is all online traffic. Up 35% right now. We're all at home. We're all stuck in front of our computers. We're all online. And this includes YouTube, Google, Amazon, everything. Internet usage period is up 35% right now. We have a lot of good friends that have organic YouTube channels. One's in the fitness space. I just did a podcast with her recently, Liz Germain. I highly recommend you go listen to that episode, eCommerce Revolution Podcast. But she's seeing ... And then she has some friends in the financial space, their organic view on YouTube are up 130 to 200% right now, so huge. And then a lot of big advertisers have pulled off the platform.

Brett:

And so you've got the scenario where ad costs are going down because there's so much inventory and people are paying attention. People are available. And people are still shopping. People still like to buy. There's that retail therapy that people can't get in store but they can buy online. And so what's interesting ... So talking about some of the things that have really shifted now, looking at online grocery and how in 2018 only 36% of customers bought groceries online. That shifted to 55% in the month of March. And then if you look at Google trends for online grocery and how they've exploded ... Just recently, so this is just a few days ago. Looking at how that trend has blown up. And then this was some data from Sellix. So this is specific to Amazon. So what Amazon categories have grown. And this was growth from the beginning of March to the kind of mid, end of March. So grocery, up 26%, appliances, up 14%, household items, up 13%, toys and games, up 10%. So that's even growth inside of the month of March, which is just absolutely crazy.

Brett:

We're seeing this with our sellers as well. We have clients selling crafts and toys at home. We have clients selling things like supplements. And some of those categories are just way way up on Amazon. So what we're seeing ... And these are recent numbers, so even in the midst of this crisis ... So we got some dashboards we built tracking day over day, week over week, month over month, and year over year, sales for our clients. And even in the midst of this, we're all eCommerce. 67% of our our clients are still up at least year over year, 16% are relatively flat, and then the rest are down. And really the only areas of eCom that are down are things like apparel and fashion taking a bit of hit. Luxury goods. So some high end, handmade goods are down just a little bit. But for the most part eCommerce is up and/or in a really strong position. One thing we've talked a lot about Chris, is as people shift some of their behavior to buying online ... They're doing it now out of necessity. But as they see how easy that is and as they have good experiences with retailers, some of that buying behavior is going to continue long after we've recovered from this crisis. So huge opportunities for eCom.

Brett:

All right, so let's dive right in. So seven keys to marketing in a recession or marketing in a crisis. And so let's talk about ... This is kind of the foundational area. So we talk about hey, do we pause everything? Do we press full speed ahead? Do we pretend like everything is normal? Do we change everything? So what do we do? And what's really important is to understand, what's the mindset of the shopper? What's the mindset of your prospective customer and you're existing customers? What are they thinking and feeling right now? Do they want to still buy? Do they not want to buy? And so we're going to break down ... Actually look at this article. Highly recommend this article. We can share the link but you can also just kind of google it and check it out here. But how to market in a downturn. This is from the Harvard Business Review. This what written during the great recession. But it was a study looking at previous recessions and what shifted in terms of consumer behavior? How did different products fair? And it's really some great insights. And even though this was unprecedented, what we're experiencing now with this pandemic leading to a economic shut down basically. We haven't seen that exactly. It still has some characteristics of other recessions.

Brett:

And I think people's response to this is at least in some ways very similar to other recessions. And so our response can be similar in some ways as well. Let's talk about kind of these four mindsets. These four segments with consumers now. So, these are kind of the four ways people respond to crisis. One is the slam on the breaks crew. So this was the crowd that just says, "Wait, I'm not going to do anything. I'm going to basically stop all spending except for essential products. But I'm slamming on the breaks, I'm freaked out, I'm nervous, I'm worried about the future so I'm slamming on the breaks." Then there's the pained but patient crowd. So they're feeling some pain. Maybe even now they're laid off or there's fears of being laid off, but they're patient. They're still at least somewhat optimistic. In most recessions, this is actually the largest group of people. People that are pained, but patient. So probably in our environment we're facing right now, these are people that still have their job but maybe they've lost some hours or maybe they're just uncertain if is a layoff going to come for my category, for my company soon? So they're pained but they're patient.

Brett:

Then we've got the comfortably well off. So these are folks that financially, they're doing great. They're not worried about, are they going to be economically viable at the end of all this? They're confident in that. Now they also shift their behavior. We'll talk about how in just a minute. But they're comfortably well off. We found clients that are serving comfortably well off individuals. And depending on what you're selling, you are likely doing very well right now. And then there's the live for today crowd. So this is the crowd that they're going to live like everything's normal because it's kind of the carpe diem. I'm just going to enjoy life. Whatever. I'm not going to worry about it.

Chris B:

Were those all the spring breakers that were on the news a few weeks ago Brett?

Brett:

I think so, yeah. Those are the spring breakers. What the research found is this crowd, unless they lose their job, they almost change their spending zero. They just keep living life like normal. Okay, so we kind of got to understand these segments and how we approach them. Because, except the slam on the breaks people, all of these people still buy. And one thing that's interesting that I think we got to keep in mind is that, right now like the normal ways we may slice and dice an audience, so looking at age and other psychographics, it really more comes down to this. Because age doesn't really matter here. I heard a deal recently that totally makes sense that we act more our income than we act our age. And we're going to act more accordingly to what we're experiencing and feeling right now versus some other prepackaged demographic that may have had relevance in normal times. So thinking about, how these folks behave.

Brett:

But kind of to go with that ... And then we'll break these down because they go together. Thinking about the category of the product you sell. So what is your current category and how are people, why are people buying that right now or why are they not buying that right now? And so as we look at a couple of categories of price, we got essentials. Those are doing great. Toilet paper, groceries, hand sanitizer if you find it. That all is selling great. So essentials, doing fine. Treats. These are things that people view almost as a necessity, but it's more about the enjoyment of that product rather than supporting the life, like a true essential. Then you've got postponables. These are things that people want but when push comes to shove or they get in a pinch, they could postpone it. And then expendables are areas that people say hey, I don't have to do that. So postponable right now could be travel. And expendable could be some kind of big purchase around the house. A new car, maybe it's a new sports car or something like that, where it feel like, I just don't need to do that at all right now.

Brett:

Now what's interesting about these products or these categories rather, is these are all subjective. So this is all kind of in the eye of the beholder. It's whatever the prospect perceives. So this is not like there's some predefined rule around this. This is all subjective. And so as we look at this ... And again, this was from that Harvard Business Review article. How do people in those different segments ... How do they treat different products? So let's just take that comfortably well off crowd. So if it's an essential, they're going to continue to consume it at pre crisis levels. They're going to just keep buying like normal. If it's a treat, they're probably going to keep buying, but they may be more selective about some luxuries. And one of the things we've seen and then heard with this group, is that maybe they're less conspicuous. They're not going to do anything that's showy. So if they bought a new car, they maybe wouldn't talk about it because they feel maybe a little self conscious that they're buying expensive things when other people are hurting. So the conspicuous purchases maybe have reduced.

Brett:

And so then as we look at some these ... Like as we look at postponables and expendables, those are the areas that really the slam on the breaks and the pained but patients, they shift that quite a bit. A lot of the other categories either continue like normal or continue with slight changes. So what we see with a lot of these is that, what maybe was considered essential before, now someone considers it a treat. But they still want to buy it, but they may be looking for value or something slightly different. So one of these we see is that brand loyalty shifts and price sensitivity also shifts in a crisis. Which actually is a great opportunity for us. So maybe someone was really used to this other brand of deodorant or toothpaste or whatever, now in the midst of a crisis, I can't maybe go and get the toothpaste or deodorant like I could before, so now I'm open to new ways, I'm open to new offers, I'm open to new things. And so the way people approach these types of products, the way they shop has definitely shifted. Do you have a thought there Chris?

Chris B:

Yeah. I get the pleasure of talking with usually two to four eCommerce brands every single week and it's been really interesting to watch this progression and I've actually had a couple of potential clients come back that were sold in retail outlets. And they were really nervous about going direct to consumer because they didn't want to interrupt the relationships they had with their retailers. And I always thought they were over thinking that. And so now they've got people that love their products that can't get them because the retailers are closed and now they're scrambling to find channels to get those products out there, but the challenge for them is, their cashflow has dropped. So for native eCommerce brands, which I suspect are many of you on this call, you just have to aware of, what are the kinds of products that I may have had competitive pressures, that people could buy at retial, that now they can pickup direct from me? Because like Brett said, you've got a lot better opportunity for those cheaper awareness consideration kinds of buys now than ever before.

Brett:

Yeah, without a doubt. And we're seeing this quite a bit. So to tie that into what we're seeing, just comparing kind of Amazon with off Amazon retailers is, we have some clients that sell a lot on Amazon and on their own website. As Amazon was running into some delivery issues ... First they weren't accepting items into their fulfillment centers and then they were kind of slow to ship things. They still are kind of slow to ship some things. We've seen with some clients 20, 30, 40% of those purchases shifted to their dotcoms, so off Amazon, because people still wanted that product. So you are finding this scenario where people still want certain items, they just can't get them the way they did before and so we've got to be ready. We've got to be ready to step in and fill those needs. And so we're going to talk about in quite a bit of detail, what to do to capture now buyers on both Amazon and Google. So we're going to dig into to that here in just a few.

Brett:

So then key number three. Looking at opportunities for growth that your competitors miss. So we talked about this a little bit in the lead up. Hey, do we just pull back? And there are a lot of big advertisers that are pulling back. Anybody in the travel space or anything like that. And in some ways it makes sense to pull back a little bit. Although I think there's some strategic ways you could market if you were in travel right now because everybody wants to travel. My family, we love to travel. We're still dreaming and talking about travel. We're still researching travel. We just can't do it right now. So I think almost regardless of your industry, you could still be marketing right now. And I think also serving your customer. Because there's actually joy that we take in researching an upcoming trip. Or, we're still buying stuff for around the house. There's still some joy we take in shopping for that next home décor item. We're all at home. We're all looking around. We're thinking of things that we need to buy. And so, kind of two sides of this. Seeing both the opportunity because your competitors are pulling back, and then also seeing hey, your customers still want to buy. And you're actually potentially bringing them joy if you give them the opportunity to buy. Then it should show us some areas of opportunity.

Brett:

So, what I want to do before we get in the tactical practical stuff is let's talk about some companies that grew in a recession. What was a fascinating mental shift for me several years ago where I remember talking to some really smart business people and they would say, "You know, we need a good recession. Because that's when we're going to grow." Or you hear advice from guys like Warren Buffett who says, "Hey, when everyone else is greedy, I'm fearful. But when everyone else is fearful, that's when I get greedy." So looking for opportunities when people are fearful, when businesses are fearful. And so here's some examples. So, my kids ... Chris mentioned I've got a lot of kids. I actually served multiple bowls of Rice Krispies just this morning because our kids love Rice Krispies. But in the 1920s Post dominated the cereal market. They owned the cereal market. During the great depression, especially in the early days of the great depression, they pulled back. They went into conservation mode. They really slowed down spend big time. Kellogg's seeing an opportunity said, you know what, they're going to pull back, we're going to press ahead. They doubled their advertising spend and they released the Rice Krispies, Snap, Crackle, and Pop. And so they actually grew profits by 30% during the great depression.

Brett:

And they became the dominant cereal seller and Post has never caught up. Kellogg's still dominates in the cereal market even dozens of ... However many decades later. Yeah, not dozens, but yeah.

Chris B:

Yeah, and we got a great saying out of that time as well. Because that move by Kellogg's was known then as marketing in crunch time.

Brett:

One thing you may or may not know about Chris Brewer is he is a master of puns. He's always thinking about puns, he's always trying to sneak one in there for you whether you're ready for it or not. And so, it's crunch time. I like it.

Chris B:

All about audience engagement-

Brett:

I like it. Hey I like it. That was smooth. Crunch time. Toyota. I love the Toyota brand. I drive a 4Runner. I like it. During the 1974 recession ... Actually it was kind of like 1973 to 1975, before my time. But still, when gas prices went crazy and that fueled a recession, a lot of auto makers pulled back. Toyota who was not the primary import manufacturer ... That was actually Volkswagen at the time. Toyota saw an opportunity because they were a fuel efficient car for the most part. They pushed full speed ahead and started marketing way more aggressively than they did before and touting things like fuel economy and stuff because they were one of the most fuel efficient. And by 1976 they were the top import manufacturer of automobiles. They surpassed Volkswagen because they accelerated ... Hey, you like that Chris? Accelerated in the midst of a recession. And then here we go, this is back to-

Chris B:

It was quite a shift.

Brett:

It was quite a shift. So in the '90s, man, I remember Pizza Hut in the '90s. That was like a magical place for kids. I was a chunky little kid. I enjoyed Pizza Hut probably too much. But in the early '90s, so '90, '91, that recession, McDonald's pulled back in their advertising. They went conservative. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell seeing opportunity, pushed ahead to try to gain market share. And during that time Pizza Hut sales grew 61%. Their sales grew 61% in the recession. Taco Bell grew 40%. McDonald's declined 28. So the key here really is not to use a cleaver as you're looking to cut or refine or change what you're doing, but to use a scalpel. So look at okay, we can't just go full speed ahead like nothing has ever happened. We have to be strategic but there's so many opportunities right now and we need to capitalize on them. So that's a great place to transition into, what should we do with our message right now? So if we're going to market, we can't just be tone deaf and say the same thing that we've always said prior to this crisis. We have to potentially reposition our product slightly. We're going to give you several examples here. And we have to use relevant messaging.

Brett:

So messaging that speaks to us. We're all working from home. We're all at home. We can barely leave the house. So certain messages will resonate with us right now. Certain messages will potentially offend or at least not motivate us. So how do we shift our part a little bit? How do we reposition it? How do we use relevant messaging? So Huckberry. I recommend you get on the email list for Huckberry. They're primarily a fashion brand. Kind of a hip fashion brand for men. That's kind of where they focus. But they put together this work from home sale. So the WFH sale. They also talked about the WFH mullet. So here's a quick little bit of copy that suggest ... They talked about what the WFH mullet is. The work from home mullet is business up top, party down below. So where you're maybe rocking the shorts but wearing this merino sweatshirt up top, or sweater up top. And so, they talk about how amazing this product is. It's actually on sale. And then as you scroll through the email, they've got some unexpected ways to brew coffee with a couple of little items you can buy. Antimicrobial towels, because that's something we're definitely thinking about.

Brett:

What's your work from home setup? Show us on Instagram. So getting some social engagement. So the whole message is tied into the work from home shift. So this is what we're all doing, so make the message on point. It's also fun. It's not this normal hey, here's how we're handling COVID-19, just to reassure you. We all got like five million of those emails. We hated every one of them. This at least addresses there's been a shift, here's how you can get the most out of it. We understand what you're going through. You're rocking the WFH mullet probably right now. I'm actually wearing jeans. I don't know about you Chris, but I went ahead and rocked the full setup. Are you going to show us here? I didn't know you were-

Chris B:

No, I was not ... I do have pants on, I was not going to stand. What I was going to mention, I was just curious from those that are watching the webinar ... And just put a yes into the chat if you have found yourself watching commercials. Whether it's a YouTube ad or it's a television ad. I've noticed this on local news especially. That it just strikes you that this is an ad that was pre virus.

Brett:

Yep.

Chris B:

And if it's striking you, if you're recognizing that, then you're consumers are recognizing that as well. So I've personally been very impressed. And it just shows you ... Brett'll talk about this later. But we get so many people that come to us excited because they've heard what we have done for other brands on YouTube. And they just don't have the content ready and they're making it really hard on themselves to actually create content when it doesn't have to be that difficult. I've just been very impressed with some major brands that you can tell they just took existing content, edited it slightly to change the messaging for work from home, and those were hitting the airways very quickly. So this is very doable.

Brett:

It's doable. It works. If you don't make the shift, people are going to be at worst offended and at best, probably not respond. So I love this. We actually saw this from a ... We know the guy that runs this company, but the idea that your cellphone carries a ton of germs. I've even heard people say that there are more germs on your phone than on your toilet. And so they ran a buy one, get one sale. They call it the wash one, wear one. So ideally you're going to wash a phone case one day and then wear it the next. So you want to wash them every day. So they did a hey, wash one wear one. It was timely. We're all thinking about what do I need to be sanitizing and what do I need to be cleaning right now. And so your phone case is definitely one of them. And hey, we'll give you a free case. So buy one get one, so there's a discount wrapped up here and there's a compelling reason to buy this case. So this was a brilliant move and worked very, very well. So look for something like this.

Brett:

This is also a time to strategically discount. So don't just discount for the sake of discounting, but discount in a way where you're saying, we just want to help. We want to help and so this is our way to help you be more sanitary. So wear one, wash one. Super powerful idea. This is actually a client of ours and we actually helped them come up with this idea. These are ginormous blankets. 10 by 10. They're 100 square feet. Covers like a king bed and it's still draping off the ends. Well, one of the things we're seeing ... We've got some clients that sell arts and crafts and other things for at home. The at home market for kids. And they're just exploding. And so we're thinking, hey again, you're working from home, you got kids, how are you going to entertain them? We don't want our kids just to be watching screens constantly. So we had this idea, what if we talk about building epic blanket forts. So maybe just using this as an idea for remarketing. So someone that's been thinking about a big blanket, they have not purchased yet. Let's use the epic blanket fort as a reminder of hey, you know you've been thinking about the blanket ...

Brett:

This is an idea of, people buy for emotional reasons but they back it up with logic. And so going back to those is something an essential, is it a treat, is it a postponable, is it an expendable? You can help shift your product in the mind of the customer by doing things like this. So maybe ... This was our reasoning. Maybe someone was looking at a big blanket ... Because they're not super cheap. And they thought well, I could postpone that. I can wait. I don't have to spent 140 bucks on blanket. I'll just wait. But then they get a message, "Hey, this will entertain your kids for hours. It will be the most epic blanket fort you've ever seen." And so now maybe that's enough for them to say, you know what, that was a postponable, now I'm going to consider it a treat. It's worth buying right now, I've got the money, I'm just going to do it. So looking at these ways to creatively reposition your product. This isn't diverting from the core. It's not saying hey, we were a luxury brand, now we're a cheap brand. It's not that. It's just saying I'm going to slightly reposition my product to get people to take action right now.

Brett:

Love this. This is from our buddy Ezra Firestone of BOOM By Cindy Joseph. So you know, thinking about how people are stressed right now. A lot of stress, a lot of anxiety. So again, I like this way better than if they just came up with an email, here's all the things you can do because of COVID-19. People are bombarded with that. Don't do that. But send them tips on how to turn your home into a spa. So here's skincare, makeup alternatives, things like that. And what we've seen ... We've seen this across multiple ... We have multiple brands that sell skincare and makeup and stuff. Most of them are not down. Most of them are actually up right now because people still want to feel beautiful, they want to look beautiful even though they're not going out. And so this was more about relaxing, decompressing. There's health benefit. When you're not stressed it's good for your immune system. Things like that. But three ways to turn your home into a spa. This was an email. This went very, very well. And they kind of did a sale in conjunction with this also. So think about creatively, how has consumption of my product shifted? How has the way my product is perceived or used shifted? And then shift your message accordingly and it will make a huge, huge difference.

Brett:

Cool. All right. So let's get tactical. So the rest of these keys, five, six, and seven are very tactical and practical. We're going to talk about specific ad types, what we're seeing, how things have changed and what you need to do about it. So as we talk about maximizing now buyers, we're going to look at people that are actively searching for your products on either Google or Amazon and what to do about those. So let's talk about Google first. So people searching for products on Google, we've seen this increase and as Amazon goes through fluctuations of slow delivery times for certain products and things like that, there's going to be more opportunities for off Amazon brands selling through Google shopping. So looking at Google shopping, there's product listing ads or the text ads. A couple of things you should do right now. Let's talk shopping feeds first. This is what we're doing right now for all of our clients. We're thinking okay, if shopping is increasing, meaning people that are searching online for products is increasing, we want to make sure we're putting the best foot forward. So we're optimizing images, we're testing new images, running secondary images to our feed because the picture or the product makes a huge, huge difference.

Brett:

We're maximizing things in the feed like product type, which we don't really want to get into on this webinar, but if you download the ultimate guide to Google shopping, which is free on our site, you'll see some tips there related to product type.

Chris B:

And one of the most ... When we're doing audits of people's shopping feeds, this is one of the most missed areas.

Brett:

It is. Product type is either ignored or under leveraged. And basically what product type is going to all you to do, it's going to allow you to show up for more searches, for more search queries. Even competitive search queries and things like that. So maximizing product type, now is the time to do that. And then you want to bid aggressively, but also watch your search terms. Because there's going to be some interesting things popping up in your search term report because some of the new ways people are searching are changing. We're going to give you some examples here in just a second. The other thing you want to look at is anybody that's visited your site but has not purchased, and now maybe they're going back to Google and searching, you want to make sure you capture that. So we call these remarketing lists for search ads or RLSA's. But a couple of the audiences you really want to make sure you're focusing on visited your site but haven't purchased, cart abandoners, viewed video audiences, and then also layering in in market audiences. So people that Google has identified, hey, they're in the market for skincare or they're in the market for jewelry if you sell jewelry.

Brett:

So layering in some these audiences can allow you to bid more aggressively on these audiences meaning you're more likely to show up for people that fit into these audiences and then more likely to convert.

Chris B:

And just another little bit of data. Only about 50% of the eCommerce brands we evaluate are layering in audiences.

Brett:

Yep. It's a simple thing. It can make a huge, huge difference. So it's one of the early things we did for BOOM by Cindy Joseph. We run all their Google traffic. Was layering these RLSAs. And the number of sales we get from Google shopping now, just from these audiences is massive. Massive. And so it's a huge opportunity. But think about the way things are shifting. So consider what's going on in the news. Consider what people are talking about. So let's just use elderberry as an example. I don't know if this was mentioned on TV news or online or a combination or what, but elderberry, it's very much an anti ... What am I trying to say here? Just totally lost the word. It's immune support. So it's an immune booster. So if you look at about March 15th, this is the relative number of searches for a particular thing. Look at how that shot up in March. It went from where it was, like indexing 25 to hundreds, so it peaked. Huge, huge search volume. We have several clients that sell supplements and immune support supplements. We saw this in their search query report. Everybody was looking for elderberry.

Brett:

That seems to be tapering off a little bit. I don't think people are talking about it as much. And this also maybe, hopefully, means that some people are getting a little more hopeful about the situation or maybe less concerned about buying things like elderberry. But it definitely peaked and so it's one of those things where you hear something like that on the news, prep for it, know there's going to be a peak in searches. Also things like this. This was really interesting. One of our specialists found this. People looking for things like healthcare worker discount. If you're not selling something that's specifically for healthcare workers, people are looking for that. Are you offering a discount? Are you helping the men and women that serve in healthcare, on the front lines? Are you doing something to benefit them or help them? So that's a new thing you could consider. Maybe even create an ad. Discount for healthcare workers. One, it makes you look good. I should say one, it's the right thing to do, two, it makes you look good, and three you'll make sales. So that's a new little trend. Won't be around forever but likely for the next few months, so definitely consider that.

Brett:

This was also interesting. We've seen this directly looking at search query reports for our clients. Free two day shipping, same day delivery. Searches with those in it have gone way up. Now do you have any theories as to why that might be Chris? Why are people all of a sudden now looking for these types of delivery when maybe weren't before?

Chris B:

Uh, let's see. They don't want to go out.

Brett:

Yes. That is the primary reason. But also why, think specifically about who usually guarantees these types of delivery times.

Chris B:

Of course Amazon FBA.

Brett:

And they're not. Yeah, so Amazon is not delivering now so people can't go out, they're shopping online. These are usually delivery times that Amazon has in certain cities. They can't fulfill that now unless it's essential. So people are looking for this. So if you can provide this type of shipping speed, you will make sales right now, even if you charge for it. Because that's one thing. People are price conscious more so than usual but it's sort of fluid. It's like well, but I still want this and I can't get it any other way so I'll pay for the two day shipping.

Chris B:

Yeah. The other thing I'd mention is Brett ... Before you go to the next slide. The other thing I'd recommend in addition to your search term report and your Google ads account ... You and I are both old SEO guys from long ago and in your Google analytics, if you take a look in your Google analytics ... Actually it's in webmaster-

Brett:

Webmaster tools. Now it's search console.

Chris B:

Search console. Yeah. If you look into search console, go in there and look at the search terms that people arriving at your site. You'll get a huge list. But look at how those have changed in the last 30 days. You may find some nuggets there that you can roll over and into your ads and your promotions as well. So that's just anther tip outside of Google ads to look for what people are searching for.

Brett:

Yep. Absolutely. Yep. So look in your search query report in Google ads but also look at it in search console as well. I'm looking here at some of the other categories people have mentioned, so at home gym equipment, tools and home improvement. We're seeing both of those categories way up. Home gym and home workout equipment way up. That's also an area that Amazon has really struggled with deliveries on. So if you're able to deliver on your own and ship on your own. Big opportunity. You're going to have people that are going to Amazon looking for those items, seeing that they can't get it delivered for three or four or five weeks, and they're going to go to Google and search for someone else that can maybe deliver that. Same with tools and home improvement. Before things got real crazy with the lockdown we were buying paint and supplies because we're home. Let's get some stuff done. Truth be told, I'm not painting at all. My wife likes to. I hate to paint. But she's getting a lot of painting done and she's enjoying it. And I'm enjoying not painting. Those things are definitely up. I see some people telling me skincare. Not all skincare is up. We're seeing a few categories, but a lot of skincare is up right now which is great.

Brett:

Cool. This is something too that no surprise, but just finding things like this are super interesting. So we have a client in the jewelry space, they also have a physical store. But as we look at searches for things like near me, have gone almost to zero. Before, people were searching for, hey, this kind of skincare near me or this kind of product near me. People aren't doing that. Because near me is irrelevant. I just need it shipped to me and so people are definitely looking for that delivery, which is interesting. Here's another one. Masks for nurses. So again, looking at what area of consumption, what types of things are people looking for? Masks for nurses on Google trends has shot way up. So also look at your auction insights. Here's something that our Google rep told us which we thought was actually brilliant. Looking at competitive conquesting. So most of our clients will run a competitive campaign. So bidding on your competitors names as a key word. So if someone searches for your competitor, your ad pops up, maybe you can woo them to shop for you. Here's what's interesting, some people are backing off ... Just like Post in the great depression and other companies. They're scaling back their ad spend.

Brett:

A lot of them are scaling back ad spend on their own brand name because ... What are they reasoning? They're saying, I show up organically for that keyword anyway. So I'm going to stop paying for clicks for my brand name. That gives you an opportunity to step in. So one of ... Kind of a client of a friend of ours, they were looking at their auction insights report inside Google ads and they noticed that CPCs for their competitor's brand name were down 15%. So they stepped in, they created a new campaign, they bid for it. Now they're getting a lot of clicks, a lot cheaper clicks, stealing some customers from your competitor. So look at the auction insight report, consider what of your competitors are backing off or slowing down right now, great opportunity for you to step in-

Chris B:

And another little tip that I'll give you, because we find this on virtually every Google audit that we do. That their competitive campaigns are using, not necessarily the wrong bid type, but take a look at what Brett just told you but look at hitting on a target impression share bid for those kinds of campaigns. Because your quality scores for competitor campaigns are not going to be as good as your own. So that target impression share bidding method can really help you not only on getting those a lot cheaper than you used to, but getting a lot more impressions for those terms as well.

Brett:

Yep. And something to test. Now getting a higher impression share is going to be cheaper. So now's the time to do it. So also some of you experiment with the target CPA or target ROAS. Just play with the numbers. It's one of those things where you kind of have to experiment in your own business. But I think the bottom line is now's a great time to be looking at how can we creatively do some competitive conquesting, which is a super powerful strategy.

Brett:

So let's talk about key number six, looking at remarketing aggressively. So if anybody has shopped your site, added to cart, viewed a video, whatever, but they have not purchased, now's the time to remarket to them but with a creative message. So just like we we're talking about with Big Blanket, hit them up with a message that's slightly different. Or like Huckberry was doing, or like BOOM. So remarket aggressively with a creative message. And here's what we're recommending. We recommend this all the time, but now it's really important. Hit prospects from multiple angles and on multiple channels. So we recommend GDN, YouTube, and Gmail. Running all three of those remarketing campaigns to all three. And so here's kind of what we're seeing. And one thing that's newer to the Google Display Network is discovery ads. This is kind of a preview of what it would look like. You've probably seen these when you've been on the mobile app for YouTube. They're display type ads, but they show up right there in the results, or in that opening feed for YouTube and they're highly engaging and really appealing to click on.

Brett:

There's kind of this carousel ad on the right. And then there's more static ads there. But these discovery ads are very, very powerful. We're seeing that CPAs, or cost per acquisition, cost per sale, 30 to 60% lower than standard display ads. We're actually using discovery ads for top of funnel. So reaching cold audiences as well. But I wouldn't recommend starting there. I'd recommend starting with remarketing. But just know you're going to be more efficient. You're going to have better performance with discovery ads than you will just standard display ads.

Brett:

Another thing that not a lot of people are doing is when you're running remarketing campaigns, take your top YouTube ads, if you have them, put them into a display campaign. Basically what's that's going to do, and this was an example from BOOM. We run a lot of display remarketing. Even a little bit of top of funnel display. The top performing creatives for the display network are actually their YouTube ads. So it's going to look like this, the ad unit there on the left. It's going to be a clickable, playable video. You've probably seen this on different news sites and blog sites. So basically it's your YouTube ad, but it's appearing in the Google Display Network. So it's on news sites, blog sites, things like that. We're finding a ton of engagement, lower CPCs for YouTube ads that are on the Google Display Network.

Brett:

Gmail ads. This is something that we don't see a ton of people running. Again, Chris you talked about audits. This is one we see people either missing or not doing very well. The Gmail campaigns, they show up just like emails and they're a combination of videos, images, and text. And again, we're seeing some great performance. CPAs often 30 to 50% lower than standard display. And just extremely compelling to click on.

Brett:

Let's talk Amazon. Amazon DSP. That stands for Demand Side Platform. These are display ads that you run on and off Amazon. And so basically what this allows you to do is run display ads on Amazon.com, on the mobile site, but also ads across the website on Espn.com and Yahoo.com and things like that, but sending people to your Amazon listing. And so, ads look like this. This is for Varidesk. That's actually the Varidesk that I have. I love that desk. But this is an ad that appears on Yahoo. Here are some ads that are on the bottom of an exercise machine page. So this is a StreetStrider. I'm not even sure what that is. But this was the product detail page on Amazon for the StreetStrider. At the bottom of that page, or just below the listing, there's an ad for Nordic Track and an ad for a smartwatch. So those are Amazon DSP ads. Here's a category page for some exercise equipment, and then there's an ad for Timex right next to it.

Brett:

Here's what we're recommending you do with Amazon DSP. Start with remarketing and aggressively remarket to people, starting first with people that view your products. People that have viewed your products and have not purchased. It's a great place to start with Amazon DSP. Then also consider cart abandoners. So people that have added your product to their Amazon cart, but have not purchased it. Hit them with display ads, wooing them back to your Amazon listing. Also look at cross-sell and reorders. So you can also build an audience of people that have purchased a particular product of yours, and then you can run reorder campaigns if it's a consumable. Or, maybe they bought one of your products but not another. So you can run a cross-sell ad.

Brett:

And here's where it gets kind of crazy, and these are working well right now too. You can also build an audience of people that have visited your competitor's products on Amazon but have not purchased, and you can run an ad for your product. This is one of those things that as a marketer when I first learned about it my response was like no way. This can't be possible. But it is possible and it works. And so, nobody has more shopper data than Amazon, and if you're selling on Amazon and you're not using DSP, now is an amazing time to start. Again, costs are typically lower right now. Ad costs are typically lower. So if you start with at least remarketing, then maybe consider competitive conquesting, now's a great time to be doing DSP.

Brett:

And then kind of finally, and we'll potentially open up to Q&A if we have time, but number seven, invest in top of funnel advertising. Because costs are low, and because people are at home, and because people want to shop, now's the time to invest in top of funnel. So go after those cold audiences, people that don't know about you. Try to reach them and get them to try out your product.

Brett:

I want to talk quickly about one of the hottest trends in Amazon advertising. This is an ad type that's working very, very well for us. Sponsored brand video. As I talk about it I'm actually going to play a sample here. This is what it looks like. You've probably seen this on the mobile app where you're scrolling through and then, oh, video pops up. Look at that. It's just super eye catching and powerful. It's the ultimate scroll stopper. And what we're finding is ... These ads used to be on a pretty limited beta. Now they're available in more of an open beta. So you should have access to those in your seller central. If you don't, give us a call, we may be able to help there. But what we're finding with this ad type is lowest A cost of any campaign type, and some great new to brand performance. So what happens is usually these ads show below the fold or on desktops at the bottom of the page. So most of the clicks for sponsored brand video are coming from category searches. Not brand searches, but category searches. So a lot of times the people you're reaching are new to brand. Not people just searching for your brand.

Brett:

So tremendous performance. We've actually got some cool things we're doing right now to help you with free video production for these types of videos. We'll talk about that in a minute. But sponsored brand video is super powerful. Now, we talked about that YouTube event that we did in LA a few months ago and so we're big believers in YouTube TrueView and all the ways you can use that for remarketing, but also top of funnel. So let's just talk about a couple things related to YouTube that are important to consider right now. We've seen costs on YouTube down 20 to 50%. This is not true with every audience but it is true mostly across the board that costs were down 20 to 50%. So now there's more people you can reach. A lot of people can't get out and shop. And your cost to reach them has gone down. Pretty powerful.

Brett:

We've got some proven ad formulas for top of funnel YouTube. I want to share these with you. We've actually got a free guide as kind of our top swipe file of best YouTube ads for eCommerce. We'll show you how to get that in just a minute. But we recommend if you're going to start with YouTube, start with some of these kind of bottom of funnel audiences. Audiences of in market people. So people that Google has said hey, they're in the market for grocery, or they're in the market for skincare or for jewelry or whatever the case may be. Or some of these other intent based audiences. So look for people that are actively shopping. This is another way to kind of zero in on those people that maybe their behavior has just shifted to online. So maybe they're comfortably well off or they're pained but patient. They're still buying. Using these audiences is a way to find them on YouTube. So these are two of the audiences we recommend you start with. Custom intent and/or keyword audiences.

Brett:

Because here's what's happening. This was even before the crisis started. 80% of people will switch back and forth between search and video, and 55% of people say they watch a video to learn more about a product before they buy it. I don't have updated numbers in the midst of crisis, but those numbers are growing in the midst of the stay at home orders and things like that. And this again was before the crisis, but one third of all shoppers purchase something that they discovered on YouTube, and that's only going to increase.

Brett:

So let's talk about a couple of resources here Chris, and then we'll kind of maybe open it up for Q&A. We can stick around a little bit longer. And then also want to talk about a couple of really cool offers. So first of all, some free resources, free guides. We've talked about the ultimate guide to Google shopping. If you go to our site, omgcommerce.com, click on resources and guides, you'll see these. We've got our ultimate guide to Google shopping. We've got the Amazon DSP roadmap. So if you want to learn about the ins and outs of DSP, how it works, some other ad examples, things like that, download that free DSP roadmap. I talked about our swipe files. So the top YouTube ad examples and templates. That guide's available as well. And then we also have the authentic guide to customer testimonials. Getting video testimonials is very important for YouTube ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads. So I put together a guide, I've actually done a lot of work in TV and stuff, on how to get authentic testimonials. So you can check that guide out as well.

Brett:

And then one thing I thought I'd mention. Brewer, you mentioned this at the beginning, the podcast. We've been trying to crank out episodes recently that would be helpful during the downturn. I mentioned the episode with Liz Germain. She's a YouTube influencer. She's generated over 100 million organic views on YouTube. We put together a podcast talking about how things have changed right now during the crisis. Roland Frasier, mentor of ours, friend of ours. He talked about how to market and how to get financial stability in a crisis. Then I talked to some really cool dudes at Original Grain Watches about how to build a brand, how to maintain your image, but also how to market in a crisis. So check out those podcasts as well. Also did a podcast recently with Daniel Harmon of Harmon Brothers. They're the group behind Squatty Potty and Poo-Pourri and some of those other viral YouTube ads. Did a great interview with him as well. Highly recommend you check that out.

Brett:

Now, let's talk a little bit about our stimulus package Chris. You and I were brainstorming a couple of weeks ago and we thought hey, how can we help people? We had the YouTube event and all these people excited about YouTube, then a lot of people kind of waiting and seeing what's going to happen. So we thought how do we help people take advantage of the opportunities that are there now because costs were lower, but also help them overcome any hurdles they have to creating content and things like that? How do we develop what we call our AMP plan, or accelerated marketing portfolio, which is really just a way that we look at how do your campaigns work together as a portfolio or how do they work together in concert? Rather than thinking about your campaigns as silos. Because YouTube works better when there's search and shopping and remarketing in place too, and they all kind of feed each other. So we've created these AMP plans that help you maximize your total return.

Brett:

So we want to help people now. We want to help people do that now. We want to help you take advantage of these low costs on YouTube. So we came up with kind of a stimulus package so let's kind of talk that through Chris. One of the first things you want to do is request a strategy session. You want to talk about that? Because you're the one that they're going to be talking to most likely in that initial strategy session. What do you do there usually?

Chris B:

Yeah, it's very simple. You just go to omgcommerce.com. Most all the pages have a free strategy session link. You click that link, fill out the information. That'll give us a good high level information on what we're looking at, what your challenges are. My assistant Aransa will reach out, maybe with some additional followup questions if needed. Get a time scheduled on our mutual calendars. And a lot of people are like, "Oh, so am I going to get a pitch here or whatever?" No. You're not. You're going to get a strategy session where we talk about your brand and your metrics and your data that you look at. And we primarily figure out is there an avenue where we can help you accomplish your objectives? And if so, then we'll figure out a way to move forward. So that's how you request a strategy session.

Brett:

Yep. And those are super helpful. We've gotten tremendous feedback. People love getting on strategy sessions with you Chris. And certainly we'd love to work with you, love to find a way to work with you, but when we can't we're transparent about that. And you'll walk away with good tips and good ideas regardless. If you then sign up for services in April and May ... So you decide hey, I do want to get started, I do want to run YouTube in April or May, then we want to help you with video production. So we are not a creative shop in the sense we don't have on staff videographers and editors and things like that. But we have a close relationship with multiple creative shops. And so what we're doing is we've created part of our stimulus plan, and depending on kind of the levels ... And it's going to be a minimum of $500 for you to use towards production, but it could be quite a bit more. Basically we want to eliminate that hurdle of can I get some assets that are ready for YouTube.

Brett:

And if you already have video you're running on Facebook or Instagram and you already have customer testimonials, then this package could be great for you because likely, we can take your existing products or your existing videos, we can edit that into a video that's just going to do really, really well on YouTube and we can cover the cost or at least most of the cost of production for you. So that's included right now and we want help you dominate. We want to help you take those steps to get past the competition, take advantage of the lower cost, take advantage of the increased eyeballs that are on YouTube and on Amazon and on Google. And so, we have the same offer as it pertains to Amazon. So if you're looking at ... Haven't even done YouTube but would love sponsored brand video, then we can help there as well and we can help provide some free video production credits to get that first sponsored brand video created on Amazon.

Brett:

And I'm telling you now is the time to do sponsored brand video because not very many people are doing it. Those ads are still new and they're still intriguing to people, and they just work. So we'd love to help you whether you're on Amazon, off Amazon, or both, and try to make this truly a win-win. Check it out. Go to omgcommerce.com and request that free strategy session, or download those guides.

Brett:

Why don't we do this Chris, we can stick around for a few more minutes. Or at least I can stay for another 10 minutes or so. Let's maybe open up this up to questions. What questions do people have right now that we could potentially help with?

Chris B:

Yeah, there was a question here Brett. What are some of the best practices for creating custom intent audiences on YouTube?

Brett:

Yeah. Custom intent audiences. I'll explain those for folks that don't know. Basically what you're doing is you're creating an audience, a list of people, based on what they're searching for on Google. If you think about it, I know for me, what I search for on YouTube is different than what I search for on YouTube. And so you can build an audience of people that are searching for immune support or elderberry, or whatever. Some other supplements or health related things. People that are searching for that on Google, you can build an audience of those people and then target them the next time they're on YouTube. What's interesting is, just like with a lot of things, whether it's Google or Amazon or YouTube or whatever, things are changing. Just about six months ago the advice from Google was hey, load up your audiences with tons and tons of keywords. So we need like 100 or 200 keywords in this custom intent audience. That has shifted. And we saw some of that as we were doing it. We're like man, some of these audiences just aren't working. Now the advice is more like 15. So 15 keywords and match type does not matter.

Brett:

So think about these all more like broad or phrase at least match type. But you do want to theme your audiences. So let's say that I'm selling ... Give me a product Chris. Just pick a product.

Chris B:

We'll use Canyon coolers. Dave just chimed in in the chat.

Brett:

Awesome. So let's look at coolers. We're saying hey, I want to reach people that are in the market for coolers. So the first thing I would do is I would look at, if you're running search and shopping, what are the top non-branded keywords that are converting? So people that are looking for things like high end coolers, high impact cooler ... Whatever. I don't even know all the keywords, but keywords specific to coolers. They're looking for those on Google. So we're going to build an audience of those people, target them the next time they're on YouTube. I would then look at, okay, now what if I just want to find people that are in the right category? So people that are like, best places to canoe. So think about things like that. Maybe looking at someone who's likely to buy my product. They're maybe not shopping for it, but they're likely to buy it. So then you're looking for people that are searching for activities related to my product or service. But start with those non-converting search terms. Actually the second audience I would build then would be your competitors.

Brett:

So build an audience of people that are searching for your competitors on Google, target them on YouTube as well. So those are kind of some of the first audiences I would try. And what we found with custom intent audiences, as we're kind of waiting for other questions to come in, is they often convert very well. They're not always the biggest audiences so we can't find as much scale there as we can in other places sometimes. But usually they're good converting audiences.

Brett:

Any other questions there Chris?

Chris B:

I have not seen any others pop up in the question box so I think we're good.

Brett:

Cool. All right guys, well hey, thank you so much for taking the time. I know your time is valuable. We would love to help. Please reach out for that strategy session or grab these free resources. Or if you know somebody that needs help with any of this, we're happy to chat with them as well. And so with that, Chris, thanks for hopping on man. Great to co-host with you as always. And thanks everyone for joining in.













Have questions or requests? Contact us today!

Thank you for reaching out! We'll be in touch soon.
Oops! Something went wrong! 

 More Episodes

Episode 129
Greg Powell - Tactical Marketing Co

3 Keys to Run A Successful Affiliate Program in 2020

I first met my guest, Greg Powell, while we were both providing consulting services for another agency. I instantly could tell that he knew

Episode 128
Ben Amos - Innovate Media

Using Organic Video at Each Stage of the Shopping Journey

Video can be your secret weapon along each stage of the journey - compelling customers, educating customers, and delighting customers.