Digital Marketing Workshop for Retail and Ecommerce #1 - with guest Alireza Mehrzad Principal of Digital Agency Golden Seller
In this first Digital Marketing Workshop for Retail and Ecommerce Darius speaks with Alireza Mehrzad Principal and CEO of Digital Agency Golden Seller based in San Diego, CA.
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Darius 0:00 Welcome to the retail tech podcast. My name is Darius Vasefi producer and host. This interview is being recorded on clubhouse. And we'll be taking questions from the audience later.
You can hear the interview as see the transcript on my website retail tech podcast.com. We also do in depth research and analysis in areas such as livestream shopping store, a shopping center tech, customer acquisition, including digital marketing and advertising, and product management including engagement, retention, pricing and more.
You can subscribe at retail tech podcast.com to get notified when we have new content such as this great interview, and also join a retail Tech Club on clubhouse to get notified when we have rooms here including our weekly open chats. In this interview, we're going to discuss ecommerce digital marketing with Alireza Mehrzad, founder and president of Golden Seller, a top web and marketing agency in San Diego, California. Welcome Alireza. Let's start by telling our audience about yourself and the work you do.
Alireza Mehrzad 1:13 Hi there, I'm the founder and principal of Golden Sellers. We're a marketing agency based here in San Diego, we have been focusing a lot on digital advertising within the last year or so we've been shifting the attention more toward omni-channel marketing, sort of in addition to digital advertising, along with account based marketing, and neuro marketing, which seems to be the new trends of how to actually bring about results out of digital marketing.
Darius 1:48 that's great. So one of the focuses that we're going to have here is digital marketing related to e commerce and retail. And I know you've, you've been thinking about what to cover in that. That's a pretty large area of coverage by itself. Where should we start?
Alireza Mehrzad 2:17 So, I want to start everything by re emphasizing this message. And I want to end this rule, again, with the same message for all the e commerce people, generally business owners and the people in retail, especially if you're selling your products and items, both online and offline, you need to focus more and more on the behavior of your consumer.
It's all about attempting to understand how they would react to a content before creating, historically what has been happening, say like 10 years ago, when the whole field of digital advertising with Google and everything else start to emerge, the banner ads that you would get from Google or just generally the paid advertising, it would have like a 50% interaction. And that was huge. Today, you'd be lucky if you get a one to 3% interaction out of the eyes. And it just shows that your consumers have are becoming more and more numb to digital advertising, generally speaking. So in this is the part you have to dig through other behavior, you have to read through their psychology in order to be able to actually get results out of showing something to them. their understanding of this and this is actually just yesterday.
I was on a think with Google retail meeting yesterday, the one thing that kept emphasizing that there's you probably have seen this to consumer behavior is becoming more and more complex, that it's really hard to figure out what it is that they're doing, how they're out as they're making decisions. And this is becoming the bottom one of getting a yes. From a potential consumer toward you know, your ecommerce and retail to basically give you money. It I can't emphasize this enough is the huge impact that this has on different businesses.
Darius 4:29 Yeah, that's a really good point. So would this go into having the right personas and cohorts for your ideal customers?
Alireza Mehrzad 4:42 Yes, the sort of the success comes from two things.
One is it comes from understanding the psychology of your consumer, and
Second it comes from personalization of your business and brand.
With that understanding for the consumer I would kind of give an example as a starting point for us to talk about. And if I should have been reviewing this with quite so many businesses within the last two months.
I would cover three main things for the e commerce businesses to think about in in neuro marketing: One is a social proof concept. Two is loss aversion. And then three is anchoring bias.
These are the three main foundations of the things you need to address on your ecommerce in order to have any possibility of selling anything, if you're not addressing these. And if you do get a sell, you just got lucky. Statistically, that's not something you want to count on. So so going through those areas, the first one that it would cover is anchoring bias.
Anchoring bias is basically a cognitive bias by humans that says a person's decision making is heavily impacted by the very first set of information they're presented with.
So think about that. For a moment, I'll give you a specific example awfully, it will clarify a dimension if you walk into a store, and you see an item listed for $100. And then you come out of that store, you walk into the second store, that that product right now is priced at $75. When you see the $75 price tag, you think, wow, this is such a good deal. The reason you think that is because your decision is being impacted by the first set of information we're presented, which was this product is worth $100. Now, that product could be available for purchase in some other store for $50. But then your decision making is already in practice you you make an attempt to purchase that. This is the simplest simplest of all the concepts, especially when you're dealing with e commerce. And you will actually see this quite often, especially in bigger e commerce as Amazon and eBay, where there's a price that's oftentimes crossed out. And then there is a sales price. This is the simplest of the way to implement this stuff on your e commerce. Everything is flat out at a flat price, you're not really utilizing the anchoring bias to your benefit. On the other hand, if everything is listed, for sell at a some kind of a discount of sales on it, you're cancelling out the anchoring bias against yourself.
Because of the anchoring bias, there's the bias when somebody enters a website, an e commerce website, and that is the perception that I need to buy some thing. Right. And that comes from the fact that Oh, some items are on sale, some items are not on sale. And then when they see everything is on sale, that the first anchoring bias is going away, they're thinking, Okay, well, I don't have to buy anything. Now I can come back to it later. Is this such a common mistake that I see small business owners make with their e commerce is Shopify wise. I mean, I understand it's a hard thing to deal with. You have a whole lot of items there as hard to go back, change your prices, you know, leave outsells, et cetera, et cetera, I get it. But this is the mistake that you're making. When you just the first time around, set up an e commerce put your prices, then leave it there for years. And you're not changing anything.
The very first recommendation I would have is for them to create a list and basically, sort of a timetable as to when they want to put one item on sale at anytime somebody comes to your website, you want something not to be on selling when something goes to the on sale, you want to give the person a reason to keep coming back to your website.
Otherwise, you're not going to have that you would train customers, they don't feel that pressure. I don't know if you guys have been on Macy's website, they do this so beautifully. They do this so beautifully. Anytime you go specific items, specific shirts are on sale, like you're drawn to a new book. And I was like, Oh, damn these pants that would go so nicely with those shirts as the recommended items. They're not on sale. So now you're drawn. And what ends up happening is you buy the shirts because they're on sale. Now you're monitoring, when the pants are going to, for example, go on sale, you keep coming back then that's how they continue to build up when they're sells. So think about this concept of trying to utilize it in your e commerce, you would have a significant change in your sales volume. And actually quite a bit of a short period of time. This is not something that you would have to wait for another two years to see an impact. You might actually see an impact in a couple of months.
Darius 10:02 So that's very interesting is that so? So how would you are there like specific tools or like different ecommerce platforms that allow the store owners and you know, ecommerce managers to automate this more.
Alireza Mehrzad 10:21 There are some apps. But in all honesty, I'm not really sure how beneficial they are for small businesses with smaller number of items on their on their websites. And the ones that are actually at a, you know, a good sort of a point that they can't deliver results, or too costly, a lot of actually offered by Google themselves are too costly for the small business owner. For a startup ecommerce, my recommendation is that would be the same thing to monitor their old trends to write out their own products, and alternate the prices based on that.
Darius 11:00 Okay
Alireza Mehrzad 11:03 Yeah, you can you can take through if you guys are interested, there are a couple of interesting apps on Shopify. Forgot, forgot the name of the company is actually there to three apps, but you can search in their app store for you know, automating price changes. And then there couple of apps at the issue that I have with most of them is their their offer randomizer. They're not based on any data trends, they just randomize the process. But then here's the part where the business owner themselves would have more information. For example, if you know, based on seasonality, or right now we're going toward the holiday season, a lot of comps are getting graded for it. Based on that seasonality, the business owner would have a much better understanding as to what items should put on sale, what not, you know, compared to an app that will just randomize the sales process.
Darius 11:57 Okay, yeah. And I think this is good to just go through some of these topics right now. I mean, so this is really the first room that we're doing on this topic, and we're going to, this is going to be a series. And in the future rooms, we're going to dive in in more detail and even talk about some of the tools and tactics for covering and actually doing things about these different, you know, like, areas that we're talking about. So and, you know, just another point that we're probably going to go for another, like 1520 minutes. And then, you know, we'd love to have anybody who wants to ask a question, even specific questions about your own business that you have, we'd love to have you come up and you know, engage with with us. So. Sounds great. All right, let's go to loss aversion, right?
Alireza Mehrzad 12:52 Yes, I'm gonna tie loss aversion of social proof together.
So loss aversion, as a super simple, yet super powerful neuro marketing concept. And it goes like this, people get much more upset about losing $10, than they get happy about gaining $10. So if your e commerce or your business or your retail, in any sense, allows you to come up with an offer, any type of content, any type of marketing material that can demonstrate how you can prevent losing money for your potential customer, that's a much more impactful marketing message compared to saying, Oh, you know, I can help you gain money, if that makes sense. And this is a very common mistake that I see, again, is not applicable to every business. But the common mistake that I see for businesses that do have that opportunity, they're not really utilizing it that well. Let me kind of give you an example as to how you can actually implement this. You may have seen this as this is a very powerful on single item based websites. You know, something you might have already originally started off with Kickstarter, or like some some adventure that someone has had has become more of a hit. You might see their ads on Instagram, you might see their ads on different social media platforms, what winds up happening, you click on the ad and go to the website, and it's giving you a sort of a timer. Five within the next five minutes to save like this, this $10 right is there they're kind of pushing you to to buy the cells because otherwise they're going to say what if you don't do it, you're going to lose this $10 the item still is on sales. So you started getting a good deal, but here's an extra $10 that you would lose and that pushes the person so much Because they want to avert that loss, like, Oh, I need to finish this transaction within the next 10 minutes is such a powerful tool, and it brings up so much sales. But then again, you kind of want to be very mindful as to when you're implementing this, if you have too many items on your website, in your sales process, your funneling system works off the fact that your potential consumer has to go through multiple pages, you're upselling different products want them to add more items to their cart, this is not a good method. Like I said, if you have a few items that a person can quickly assess and analyze, you can really use this loss aversion technique pretty easily and well. Otherwise, you're going to be shooting yourself in the foot, if you're forcing the person if you have like 200 items on your ecommerce. And then you're running this, obviously, you're limiting that versus time to really dig through your website and add more items. Could it make sense? There's I think it totally makes sense to
Darius 16:02 Yeah, yeah. So it seems like there's there is some kind of a separation between the tactics, when you have a certain number of products in on your store, like below a threshold, and then you know, something, you know, the different type of tactics, when you go above that threshold, is that correct?
Alireza Mehrzad 16:25 100%, your 100% correct. If you're trying to come up with like a time to see if it would make sense or not, you can think about spending about a minute and a half to two per item that you have. So on bigger websites, they still run this and go back. And that's why their loss aversion time is this more of an extended time instead of a short period of time, they might tell you, you have like five days to buy this in order, you know, to lose this extra sales, but whatever it is that they're offering, on single item websites that time is much shorter, it's like 10 minutes, five minutes, seven minutes, or whatever. So yeah, you really want to be mindful of that process.
Darius 17:11 Yeah, I think, you know, another thing that I've seen myself is, both as a consumer and you know, as as a business person, is really the balance that you're talking about is you have to really balance the number of promotions with the number of products and even the experience, because people are very smart. And you can really lose people's trust when you try to sell them too much. And then the other thing is like this in a loss aversion that when you're mentioning it, I think it makes sense.
Definitely something felt more for me is if I offer you a discount which I say it's unique, and you don't select it today, and you come back tomorrow, and it's there again, that really doesn't tell me that I'm really losing anything now. It seems like just a gimmick.
Alireza Mehrzad 18:12 Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And even, it's so simple. And you explain it so beautifully and thoroughly. It's so simple to understand it. But I think what prevents a lot of startup Commerce's or smaller businesses to implement this is just an issue of pond, there's so many things on their plate, they tend to kind of push this as a side burden that they don't want to deal with it. But these are the things that are super, super important. And I want to take this opportunity to bring up another one of the points that was emphasized multiple times. And the think retail seminar that I attended by Google, and they talked about automation. You need to dig really deep into your e commerce process to see if you can automate specific things. Because they've collected a ton of data. They're realizing most ecommerce sites are so busy with specific operations that they tend to forget to actually continue to run their business. So if there is a software, if there is a platform that you know, you can sign up for $10 a month, $20 a month. Sometimes this could even be hundreds of dollars per month. You need to do a cost benefit analysis. And this is another one of the areas where I think a lot of small business owners fail. They mostly do a cost analysis and they go Okay, well this is going to cost me X amount of dollars. But they don't ask the follow up question. What benefit does this have for me? How much time am I going to save if I spend this much money or how many how much more cells Am I going to get if I switch to this much Money. So do a thorough cost benefit analysis to really know if the automation process makes sense for your e commerce.
Darius 20:11 Okay, that's a good point. I mean, automation definitely is one of the my high points for anything that we do. So I actually have the even in, you know, in our software, we call it the single use code, we try to have as low as single use code, which I call sucky code sec single use case. I keep telling my developers and everybody, you know, we don't want to have sucky code, because that just means that we spend a lot of time and it's only used for one thing. So I think automation is, is really key to success.
Alireza Mehrzad 20:53 Yeah, it reduces so much labor costs, if he's up a lot of time. And you really, you really want to have as much automated system as possible, maybe you're kind of down to just packing some items in your e commerce process. And then you know, you can kind of set this up with your accounts for the audience to be automatically picked up, you don't even have to take them anywhere. And if you're monitoring your numbers, these are all going to be small costs that you can pass on to your consumer, you simply will add 50 cents of dollars, different items you have on your e commerce, and essentially all the automation process technically is going to be free on the business end. And it's not something that consumers kind of care for as much. If they're buying an item, for example, I don't know 50 cents more, depending on your when your profit margins are.
Darius 21:47 Yeah, I think that's the same thing that I also look in the tools and services that we use, is how much automation Do they have enabled? So that it's just saves us time? and gives us a better consistency in messaging and communication with the customers?
Alireza Mehrzad 22:09 Exactly, yeah. Yeah. I think the people who have been in this space they, they have seen the benefits of it. But then again, the the conversations I have with small business owners, the the cost benefit analysis is not there's just a cost analysis, I'm really, really hoping to get this was for them to see that light at the end of the tunnel and come on board with it.
Darius 22:34 I think that's a good topic to actually maybe dive in deeper in one of the future areas to actually get in and do some examples. Yep, for sure. I love that. All right.
Alireza Mehrzad 22:51 Let's dig into social proof. So this is another one of those favorite neuro marketing topics of mind. That basically says people, they have a herd mentality when they're making decisions. To give you a super simplified example, imagine if you walk into a food court. And if you see there 10 people standing in line in front of one of the restaurants, you automatically assume that that's a better type of food than any other code. You don't even know why the line is there. You don't even know what the quality is there. But it's that herd mentality. You think if everybody thinks that I should be thinking that as well. So how do we apply this to the e commerce space? And what tools do we have to execute this better? The one of the main areas to focus on this one I used to talk about a lot about like customer reviews, I'm going to I'm going to shift that a little bit more towards influencer marketing. That is gaining so much ground. under an influencer marketing campaigns, you can sell up to six times more than a similar other types of campaigns. And that's huge. it this is the this is the part where the individualism is kind of getting into this space of people's space of living, where they're following different people when they're looking at other influencers. And they tend to gravitate toward the audience that are buying toward the things that are doing and that's why it's having so much impact. So this is one of those social proof concepts you really want to focus on at this point influencer marketing. And the reason I'm saying this as the first item is because of the heavy impact that has the second part of it.
Again, this is another one of the areas small businesses haven't tapped into start up e commerce haven't tapped into is the use of videos. If you have Have a video of your product on your ecommerce business. Your cells grow up by 800% compared to what you were doing before, just just by having a video. So if the person gets on your website, they see a video of 1.8 times more likely to buy than if they don't see it. So keep that in mind.
Other data that was presented by Google, for example, they talked about 80% of people have stated that they have already done it or they they're willing to do it if they watch your video. And they're willing to buy something directly because they watched that video. So they're emphasizing the impact of YouTube advertising. And that's the, that's massive, it just shows the mindset of people that behavior consumer, that's how, how that's changed toward washing videos. The other interesting data that they had was when somebody finds something like, let's say, on your ecommerce website, 55% of your average consumers, they hop on the YouTube, and they start researching your product. So this is very important for you not to just say, Hey, I got an e commerce website, everything's here. No, you want to continue creating content for your product, with different people, you know, customer reviews, explainer videos that could be much longer than what you potentially have on your ecommerce website, because they want to be doing more research there. And that heavily impacts their decision making. Going back to the analyzing consumer behavior. The sort of an old fashioned ways of doing this, you probably have seen a lot of them, I think this is losing its real impact is the part where you know, people show a lot of customer reviews on their websites or for their products. The common mistake that I see small business owners make, they just tend to showcase a review, without caring for how it's actually perceived by the consumer.
From an authenticity perspective. This is one of those reasons Amazon is such a sort of an accepted place for reviews, because people think these are real customers writing overall reviews. And it's not being tampered with. And that perception in terms of design, if there's a UI and UX is not really addressed on a smaller e commerce website. If you don't know how to design that on your ecommerce, my strong suggestion for you is to use other platforms that will do this verification, something like jasco
it basically is a sort of a third party application that allows the allows you to implement it on your website. And when people are writing out reviews, they all go to your for the write out, review the reviews, and then you can showcase on your website, then the great thing about it is, and this is this is something that's happening quite often people tend to want to protect the brand, they don't want to continue selling different products on the same name, a lot of times they want to kind of shift the name towards a different random restart something you can carry these reviews with you from one website to the next as is just, you know, it's a third party application you can install on a secondary platform. And
I really, really want to emphasize this is because you know, you have a text on your website, this is other great, that doesn't mean your consumers believing what's there. So you really want to dig deeper into it. If you're not familiar, for example, with heat maps, implement couple of heat maps, to to kind of see the click patterns around your ecommerce to see if they're actually caring for those reviews. If they've clicked on everything, except for reviews, there's very little time spent on it. It just means visually, they're not believing those, those reviews. So being very, very mindful of that. There's a come back to you.
Darius 29:12 Yeah, that's a that's a really good, you know, good, deep dive into the social proof is is far more a part of social proof or that is our loss aversion.
Alireza Mehrzad 29:26 Former kind of falls under the scarcity factor. That's how you can drive up the cost of your products under the perceived the notion that there's very little room left.
Darius 29:35 Okay
Alireza Mehrzad 29:38 something you brought that up, quite quite so many businesses are doing this right now. Since there's this general understanding of the market that there's a shortage of lot of items. A lot of unrelated industries are taking advantage. They're running very successful scarcity campaigns driving up the cost of their products with no particular reason. I was just the other day there's, I was talking to someone about the Perry heat read, you know that they're, they're our friends, they're very, very famous, but they have kind of stumped delivering protease to a lot of smaller local businesses. And when I asked him like, What's the reason? They said, Well, we've been told a lot of the people who are handling the products have done COVID in France. So they have decided, you know, to wait until these people are better, and they push the products out.
And I tell them, Okay, I'm gonna use that as a benchmark to believe they're, they're telling you the truth. But if all of a sudden they came back in the price one was hired, that's just like a scarcity campaign, because they haven't said we have a shortage of the product is just saying the people who carry this over, they got COVID. So they're, they're indirectly telling people, we got no manufacturing problem, there's actually a ton of product left. So don't even think about switching to another brand. We're here just give us a little more time. And then under the perceived notion that they're not available, people would be willing to pay more for it. I'll see how that goes. I'm actually tracking very closely myself to see if they're running a scarcity factor. We're actually being truthful and honest about not having people to carry the products around.
Darius 31:14 That's pretty cool. So you're doing fact checking on Perrier.
Alireza Mehrzad 31:19 I'm a heavy drinker. So the cost of it actually does impact my monthly billing. So it's a personal
Darius 31:28 I'd like to ask you to add sanpellegrino to it, because that's what I drove through. Right. That's awesome. So, yeah, this is really, really cool. So one thing that I was just thinking, as you were mentioning these different things is, as consumers, we all have risks when we are purchasing products, right? Especially when we're buying it from a brand new brand, or website that we don't know. And I made a list of some of these risks.
- One of them is trust, do I trust this website or retailer?
- The other one is the product, is this the right product for me?
- And then price? Is this the right price for me?
- Service is another one is can I trust them that they're going to service me fairly when I have problems,
- And then there's a new one that's becoming more and more popular, and valuable and important is called values. Does this retailer's values actually aligned with my values?
Does this sound about right for you, to you?
Alireza Mehrzad 32:37 You can address most of them under the social proof concepts, you can address most of those things. And for smaller brands, that's why you have that About Us page to exactly communicate with your average consumer, what your values are, where the product is coming from, what the mission is. That so there is quite a bit of research on this, there's quite a bit of research on this. The research says the sort of the mission, or the good cause behind the product does not impact sales in a meaningful fashion is basically a secondary issue to your consumer.
Let me give you an example. Say, under your mission statement, you say every product of saw, companies have worked with a big shop, they they sell handmade leather sandals, great mission statement, we, we did couple of tests on them, they still have their mission. So they're still running this, they're still doing their donations. But the would be basically noticed was exactly the same thing that the general data set. When you tell your customer, for example, you buy a product from me, I'm going to donate a percentage of this to someone or to an organization to an NGO, whatever the case may be right to a nonprofit, do way your average consumer is hearing that message is I'm paying 10% more for this product that I didn't have to because they may not really agree with the nonprofit you've chosen or with a good cause that you have. Right? So as your e commerce, you do want to focus on still giving the best deal that would be more price sensitive than gold sensitive. The reason companies tend to use the whole value of processes emerging just generally into corporate and business space.
Now, this is the secondary research, it actually shows it impacts your workforce. You can keep your employment costs really, really down under this good cause because you're coming Balancing the moral compensation versus financial compensation you're having to your staff, it's a good cause for people to know, but it doesn't seem to really impact their sales behavior.
Darius 35:13 Okay, so that's, that's an interesting point. It probably also depends on your audience, right? Your your customers. So, you know, I can think of some of the most recent brands that have done really good, like direct to consumer brands, that have actually used this more effectively than others, like this company called allbirds, which is a shoe company. And I mean, they have a very strong social responsibility and environmental aspect to it, and they've done really good to the point that they're doubling down and even like, they're, they're gonna do an IPO, I think, in q4, and they're building in some really interesting, like environmental targets into their, you know, their, their their corporate strategy, even after the IPO. So I think it probably also depends on the customer and their customers are mostly, you know, millennial, professional, you know, educated probably. What do you think about that?
Alireza Mehrzad 36:37 So, again, like I said, I don't I don't discredit it. But what I would add to that is this, if they all of a sudden decide that we got to sell our products at a higher price point. That's when you can actually run a true analysis, if it's really impacting their customers or not. Like I said, you have to have a solid foundation of an e commerce you have to your price point needs to be right, your social proof needs to be read, everything needs to work, and then you can give them another reason to buy from you. My my guess is, again, this is based on the research they put out us how the sort of the Corporate Social Responsibility concept, which which it sounds like they're running, it doesn't impact sales as much, my guess is they're executing a flawless ecommerce concept. And then they're adding this good cost to it more as a PR, and then, you know, to give the customer something additional to, to believe, and you mentioned something quite interesting. Your father's social response pretty high. They also might be using this under a basically a UGC campaign, a user generated campaign, where to build social proof, you need people to say I trust them. So they might have used this concept to get their customers to say I trust them. And that's how they've overcome the social proof concept. Airbnb also did this beautifully. When they started their business, they asked their users to post up photos they offered, like I don't know, $500, gift rewards, etc, etc. And that's actually one of the ways you can combat social proof as a startup. Starbucks had the type recall correctly, they had the red cup contest for their their Christmas back in the day, asking people to do hash tags, they offered to give like, some rewards. And yeah, there was the key can't remember the name of the company, but they had the same thing with hotels, asking people to go to hotels take photos. This this, that's what my thought is that, again, I don't discredit the fact that they they're running a good cause. But from a marketing perspective, this is where our mind is gravitating toward.
Darius 39:04 I think that's, that's a really good test that you mentioned. If you think your, your brand value is really high, try to raise the price and see how it affects your sales.
Alireza Mehrzad 39:17 Exactly. Because you have to have a price point when you compare two points to make a decision. If they have kept the prices low. They're there. They're doing our analysis over the market. They know what the value is. It's hard for me to conclude that their you know, their consumers reacted to them just because they have such a good cause behind it.
Darius 39:40 Okay, yeah, I think that's another good thing too good topic to maybe cover in the future is like how, you know, I mean, definitely the press does cover this as a factor, probably not the main factor, but as important enough factor to invest in so I think That would be a good topic to maybe dive in, you know, more in the future. So. So if anybody has any questions or comments or additions that, you know, would like to bring to the table, please raise your hand and come up with love to learn more from what everybody is working on. The you know, the goal here is to learn from everybody, not just you know, I'm definitely not the expert myself. Alireza is, but you know, I'm sure he's looking forward to also talking with some other people. So anyway, don't be shy.
Alireza Mehrzad 40:35 There's just just to correct something. Well, you can say an expert when you have solid data, what we what we get out of data is everything that we don't know.
So that's one thing that I don't know, but I tend to take clinical,
Darius 40:49 I try to find answer. I will confess to that. Well, that's also a sign of an expert that admits, appreciated. Yeah. Persian taught off, let's say, no, it's true. It's true. It's true. So all right, well, let's continue. What about experimentation. So I mean, testing and experimentation is a big part of marketing, right?
Alireza Mehrzad 41:17 Absolutely. In To give you an example, there's a test is called priming, that there's a priming research that was done as a test to test out anchoring bias. On an e commerce, the list that out exactly the you know, a set of products are all exactly the same same descriptions. And this is what they tested. And the first test when you would enter the website, the background was this sort of $1, greenish background with a whole bunch of coins on it. So the the the first impression, the anchoring bias was were all about saving money. And then they realized, just because of that background, people tend to gravitate towards items that are super cheap on that website, or they're heavily discounted. And then everything remained the same, they changed the background of that website, exact same websites to clouds, basically skies and clouds. And then they realize people are gravitating toward more expensive items that tend to solve the problems a little bit better. So they're willing to pay more to get that sense of comfort. So this is one of those things that you do want to test, especially as sort of a startup commerce to see, okay, what is having a good impact on on your average consumer? And how can you get your desired outcome from this if you're driving to push more sales, which I would presume is that the ultimate goal for a lot of e commerce is you really want to have the the right anchoring bias there.
And testing is the essence of figuring this out. Another common mistake I see, ecommerce has made this left months out, nobody pays attention. And the business owner oftentimes Miss identifies the reason why they're not having sales and think, Oh, this thing is wrong, nothing was wrong. It really, really starts with that learning visual really starts with e commerce as the very first place you want to go to so yeah, definitely test things out. You in this is, this is one of those areas where I personally disagree with a lot of my colleagues. Because I feel that there's this siloed mentality that a lot of people in my industry have they they get into this digital marketing bubble is the son of Intel, you think everything's gonna get addressed here, it's this a little bit beyond that. You need to allow the business to experiment. And I think the business owners themselves could be the main driver behind these experimentations. The what is you know, marketers should do to really help a business is to break this what's called the the curse of knowledge that the business owner has actually taught. Quite so many startups ecommerce is when you tell them hey, what's your product, they explain it so beautifully. You exactly understand what the product is all about. You understand the value of it, you get everything you want to buy. And often that will kind of tell you that you have actually I went to this show I had so many items sold, or someone called my business I explained to them and so many people bought from me, but then I don't know why I'm not pulling any sales from my website.
That's exactly the reason you know your products so well, you have lost the sense, the emotional sense of connection with someone who hasn't bought from you how it is for them. So someone has to ask all these questions someone has dig through your information, and then they get these answers from you. They're convinced, what you really need to do is just to make sure everything that you have everything that you know, you write down on a piece of paper, and then you ask yourself, Is this on my website? Is this information readily available at e commerce for people to see, if you get it Yes, on all those your success on your e commerce is likely would be a replicate of your in person's health process. And a lot of businesses tend to lose a ton of sales not to harness this power long line sells. And they don't they don't understand why their business gravity sort of different points in the reach some, unfortunately, unsolicited conclusions that oh, you know, what, I just need to, you know, get a bulk of my products and trying to sell it at a bulk price. Because that's, that's how anyone can make money. Again, getting the wrong information, reaching the wrong conclusions. Unfortunately, there's,
Darius 46:21 yeah, that's such a good point. And I am guilty of it myself. So I've done that before. And, you know, but it's hard as a founder of a company, you have these ideas, and you've, you've invested so much into it. That's why we're like, I'm personally investing in user research right now, more than I used to do before. And this is just like, we want people that have never heard about our company. And we want to see how they respond when we tell them about something when they go through the app, when they go through the experience. That's that, like, that's real data. What what I think people should know or don't know, is not really user, you know, useful user data. So that's a really good point. I'm glad you brought it up.
Alireza Mehrzad 47:12 Yeah, again, I can't, I can't emphasize this enough at this. Now at this point, we're kind of on to the behavior of the business owner, we're kind of down to the flaws of the business owner in terms of communicating this information is the the simple simple example of it is, we can everybody can easily relate to this. When you were trying to learn math, at an early early age, something like a two plus two minus sound is such a hard concept to grasp. It took you quite some time to understand it, you know, teachers use fingers, toys, objects, etc, something to help a child grasp such a simple concept. The moment you learn it, it's so simple, you have a hard time explaining it to another truck. Right? In my first novel was actually the tutoring space where I would observe interactions between parents and their kids, parents would get so frustrated that kids wouldn't understand the simple concepts.
Because it was so natural concept for parents, it wasn't as natural to the child. And that was the whole motive behind the tutoring industry, just as a whole the education industry is because that emotional connection is broken. So you really want to dig deep within your information of that your product without your grant about business, and make sure all of that is communicated non verbally through you sort of an interrogation process method through by a customer, but it's actually readily available everywhere on your website, on your social media. So you will see the impact of it pretty quickly. Pretty quickly. I was actually talking just a few days ago, a repeated conversation I have with a lot of sort of ecommerce stores and how to how do I make this look good. Give them a simple example. If you tend to forget what's important to your customer, just go to amazon.com find a competitor's product, read through every information that they have. Make sure you've answered all those questions on yours. So you use Amazon as a benchmark for your e commerce super simple concept.
And, you know, like let's say if you're trying to sell a table, you take a photo of the table you put it in the background is white. I looked at him I go How big is this table in comparison to maybe a chair and maybe another item maybe a TV and for you since you see that you walked by this table you're trying to sell every day you exactly know how much is but you fail to communicate that well. And then because I don't know what I'm buying, I'm not going to buy from from If remember, to get this as sort of a common denominator of all thought processes, if the brain cannot make a decision, if it's onshore, it's not going to make a decision. It's not going to make a wrong decision that risk and oftentimes when there's uncertainty, the brain does not make a decision. And when you have too many people on your ecommerce, your analytics will show you this, and they're not buying a you may want to ask this question that why is it that their brains are not making a decision? This is one of your touch points, you want to analyze in the process yourself?
Darius 50:35 Yeah, that's, I mean, that the psychology of product creation, and sales is so important. That's another fault of my, my own personal when we went through the university, in I studied engineering, and we just like wanted to get away from studying psychology and sociology. And now I understand those were probably the most important topics for business. Right out of paper submitted, you're missing all of my flaws and problems. Yes. Thank you. We all been there, done that. I'm guilty of it. Yeah. So now, here's another question I have.
In today's world marketing, is probably not as well defined, or gardened, as it was before, so right now, you know, when you talk, especially when you talk to ecommerce companies, you're probably gonna have marketing people, you're gonna have product people, you're gonna have growth people, what's the difference between these? I mean, you know, there's definitely differences. But how, how are these now tied together? Because marketing is not just a separate function all by itself anymore?
Alireza Mehrzad 52:00 Correct? Great, great question. In months of me being on clubhouse of attending a ton of rules, a ton of conversations. And even you know, just just generally this conversation seems to be missing. And the answer to that question, is what's called omni channel marketing. That's the the thought process where you address and you confess that my consumers behaviors are complex, I'm having a hard time understanding it, you need to get out of this siloed mentality of having multiple marketing channels, where you have, you know, your your pay for marketing people, where you have your web people where you have your digital marketers, they all are kind of running in these bubbles, and running their own races trying to pull in sales. But the truth of the matter is, data backs us up multiple times in different platforms, that consumers are not that siloed in terms of their decision making, I just gave you an example, the person looks at a product, they jump on YouTube to research that product that's 55% of that, and two people, one person is doing this, to jump on there to actually research your product. Now imagine in this process, if they find a better video of another competitors product, all of a sudden, they're gonna hop on their website and purchase.
Or if you have a better video explaining what the product is, you might grab some from somebody else. So this this system, the dynamics of it has become super complex. And this is what we all need to remember that the decisions are not made in the same old ways. But you may learn something with a coupon offer, the person takes out that piece of mail says, Oh, I want this coupon to be applied. There's this is no longer the case, with omni channel marketing, what you're doing, you're combining all concepts of your sales and marketing together, online and offline. And you tend to readily share data between these channels. So you're kind of breaking out of that silo mentality. Right? And that's how you can improve user experience. That's how you can drop upsells the the data that I remember was reading just a few weeks ago, by running it on the marketing channel, on your business, consumers are 26% more likely to purchase from you and the amount that they're willing to spend with you goes up by 9%. That's huge. That's basically a sort of a profit margin we didn't even know you could have that you could basically get it by creating the uniform message between all your marketing channels and it creates a consistency for your brand and also helps with personalizing messages because like, let's say if in on your website analytics, you learn something about your average consumer, you should quickly communicate that with for example, let's say you're running any radio ads, you quickly want to communicate that with or if you're sending out an email marketing, you quickly want to implement that. And vice versa.
If you're running any sort of a radio campaigns, and then people are calling the station given specific feedback, and then you get that feedback, you quickly want to get that in implemented on your website. So it's, it's breaking out of this channel way of doing the marketing. Now, when you think about the attribution, and how you can basically do the attribution of your omni channel marketing, there are two methods, there is an M method, and there's an MTA method, the the mmm method that stands for the media max modeling. So you have more of a holistic approach. So you're mostly looking at trends, you're not trying to identify, okay, what direct impact does this marketing have on my overall sales, you tend to find general trends, General patterns, and compare that with previous year cells or previous month cells. So it's more of a holistic approach, that you're having the opposite side that you've drawn to MTA and multi touch attribution, where you're trying to dig through the touch points of your sales process to really try to figure out okay, what marketing channel impact is this having versus the other? In this is this sort of a conclusion that we're coming to that MTA is becoming harder and harder to, to identify and specify in terms of their impact? Because again, the behavior of consumers is changing, they're all over the place before they make a decision.
Darius 56:55 Okay, so that's, that's, that's really interesting. I did not know about the Mmm, and MTA. So thanks for bringing that up. I think that I'm making notes on future rooms, topics for future roles. And that attribution is definitely something we can we can clarify, and, you know, learn from a lot. So thank you for that. What about metrics? How do you how do you measure what what are the like the most modern metrics as far as on the marketing side? What do you exactly mean metrics metrics for doing what they give you specific specific how to measure? How do you how do we find a goal? Yeah, how to measure if what you're doing is successful.
Alireza Mehrzad 57:41 So the most platforms that you advertise on, they tend to provide very useful information in regards to quote unquote, success of the content view, right. Now, you need to remember that the information they're providing is mostly in comparison with other advertisers. I'll give you an example. If you're running Facebook paid campaign, which you know, it gets extended into Facebook and Instagram. Facebook does provide this data as to how your ad is ranking, and how its engagement is ranking. compared to the rest of the advertisers. based on user behavior, it kind of classify classifies under, oh, the high 75%, high 25%, middle 50%, below average, both in terms of the ad content and the user engagement.
So you have those types of data that is being provided to you. And it's in the interest of all paid advertising platforms to easily provide this information for you. Because if you can be successful with that paid advertising, you got to continue. And they're aware, they're very well aware that the average business owner doesn't really have exactly them a good metric system into figuring out okay, is this good or bad. So they're trying to share that information with them. So they can adjust an address when, for example, Facebook tells you and I was just like, review the campaign just this morning that Facebook tells you, you're on the low 10% of engagement. You really need to stop that campaign, you really need to come up with a different content, and rerun an app, and they're trying to get that to you as quickly as possible. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time, depending on how much money you're putting in and how much data the speed at which data is coming in. Work with that AI kind of does this configuration for you. So there's actually a lot faster.
So there's a ton of those metrics provided these days by these platforms, you can have your own. You can run these ad tests. For example, Google also allows that even when the inventory as For the smart shopping campaigns, they're allowing for AV testing they in an automated fashion, they tend to guide the user to do an AV test. And, you know, sort of a bottom of barrel, let me do it by myself sort of a strategy, you can do this on your own e commerce. If you're not sure, just kind of going back to the timing research, I told you just changing the background from $1, green to a skies in blue, you would see the impact that it would have.
And that the best analytics that really is available today is Google Analytics, I honestly do not know, of more of a robust platform that shows so much information in an understandable fashion for the average business owner that I can spend maybe an hour two hours with an average business owner go over different details of analytics, and they seem to understand what the state of means. It has a huge impact on on their future sales.
Darius 1:01:03 Yeah, Google Analytics is great. I think Facebook's analytics, you know, add analytics is also really sophisticated. And they are trying to like, you know, use a lot of different like, ai in a different technology like AI to predict things and give people like recommendations. So I don't know if you do a lot of Google, Facebook or Instagram as well, or?
Alireza Mehrzad 1:01:33 Yeah, we basically do both. But the issue that we're having right now, I think last week, we were talking to Brian about this too, the issue that we're having right now is most platforms that used to be used for, for data collection, they're they're making it more and more difficult for a company like Facebook, to to collect data and provide meaningful information to to the advertisers.
A very specific case, I can I can mention to you, clients, roughly around $24,000 a month in sales, just from the follow up as on Facebook. In, you know, in a very short period of time, that amount went down to little less than $3,000. Just because we use, we lost basically the way that we're tracking users. And they're, we're putting out the right offer in front of them at the right time, we just lost those metrics.
And Facebook basically said, Hey, that data is no longer available. So it's as if you're running a brand new ca<