This week Process Creative's Founder, Andy Homan joined a panel of speakers on a webinar as they explored the topic of 'Scaling your Marketing Strategy'. Hosted by Okendo, the panel of industry experts included:
If you missed the session you can the full video below. We've also provided a recap below of the Q&A session with Andy. Grab yourself a coffee, settle in, and learn all about how to scale and adjust your marketing strategy as your business grows.
At a high level, I think THE most important thing.. is having a clear understanding what your brand actually stands for and how it needs to present itself.. and then delivering on that.
Everything else, is kind of secondary, or is about executing on that vision.
A strong marketing strategy is one that is intentional, has focus and is consistent. Sounds obvious and easy, but it's not the case for a lot of brands, who I think, frankly, get distracted.
They get distracted by their competitors, gimmicks, trends and way too much data.
I’m not saying those things aren’t important — but if you’re constantly looking at what everyone else is doing and reacting to every shred of customer feedback.. it’s easy to lose focus.. and your brand can end up feeling a bit bland, wishy washy and homogenised.
The reality is, there are very few truly unique, must have products out there. Most verticals are completely saturated. It’s really the positioning and experience where most brands differentiate.
So you want to have real clarity around your purpose, values, and target audience.
Then make sure that your entire experience is distinctive and memorable but most importantly it needs to be true to the brand right the way through the entire funnel — however sophisticated your tools or execution might be.
Finally, I’d also just recommend not casting the net too wide. Find your tribe and connect with them, think podcasts, events, PR activations. Some of the smartest brands we’ve worked with have gone to market targeting a super focused, niche segment and got quick traction before slowly expanding their reach.
If it’s an ‘ecommerce brand’ then I think the site design is THE most important thing.
You can have the most brilliant ad campaign or social creative but ultimately they’re all just driving traffic to the store. If the customer isn’t presented with an amazing experience, they’ll go elsewhere.
So that begs the question - how do you design for an incredible experience? It’s a tough one... I think it’s probably best answered by almost starting at the finish line.
How do you want someone to feel when they make a purchase from you or encounter your brand? What emotions are they experiencing? Then you want to think about all the ways to reverse engineer that response.
This is where consumer, or behavioural psychology is really important. We’re not nearly as rational as we’d like to think we are when we’re making purchasing decisions — they’re largely driven by the limbic part of our brain that governs our emotions.
Then, once you’ve got that locked in, you just want to be strategic and to consider what needs to be communicated and to whom at the various phases of the purchasing lifecycle.
The online experience is where you bring all of that together, through storytelling for those new to the brand, maybe a little social proof to get those at the consideration phase over the line. Through to some well thought out post-purchase messaging encouraging customers to continue their journey with the brand.
Well obviously Tropeaka…
But we started working with a brand called ZitSticka. An acne orientated skincare brand targeting younger audiences back in 2019.
They first launched with just a single SKU and I think having that focus on a single product really helped in the early days. They’ve since blown up and they have like a dozen SKUs now.
Importantly, they really understood their audience, and offered a product and experience that, certainly at the time of launch, felt really unique.
At the time, many acne / skincare brands felt a little dated and maybe a little sterile. They weren’t really connecting with younger audiences.
ZitSticka kind of flipped this upside down and really destigmatized acne. They featured real customers from diverse backgrounds, with imperfect faces, all set against vivid, colourful backgrounds that really got your attention.
They got loads of traction on TicTok, with quite entertaining influencer driven content that totally resonated with their demographic. I guess, a lot of similarities with what Caleb and his team from Tropeaka are doing.
That generated just enough initial buzz and curiosity to get visitors through to the site.
Then, the site itself does a great job of holding your attention and delivers a really unique and memorable experience. Which is super important as many customers don’t buy on their first visit — you’ve gotta get in their head.
They also really leveraged real results, testimonials and user generated content — all delivered via Okendo of course to further bolster social proof minimise any conversion barriers.
And finally.. the cheapest customer to market to is the one you already have, and ZitSticka do an amazing job of really incentivising their subscription model to maximise LTV. It obviously helps that their product naturally lends itself to a subscription model.
If it’s something that makes sense for your brand then I would 100% go for it. Recurring revenue is where it’s at.
The big challenge of course is that ads cost more and are generally less effective. So we have to do more with less traffic.
It’s really not the worst thing, it just means that brands are really being forced to deliver an exceptional experience that has customers wanting to keep coming back. I mean, isn’t that what you should be doing anyway?
So I guess in terms of touch points there’s all the obvious ones like:
Email and SMS lead capture
Chat and social engagement are a goldmine for getting customer feedback
But we’re starting to see a lot more product quizzes. Which I quite like, as a great way of getting zero party customer data. You can, of course, sync that feedback up with Klaviyo to define customer segments from which can drive quite nuanced customer journeys and personalised experiences.
In terms of customer insights though I love post purchase or exit surveys — think like Net Promoter Score, customer satisfaction etc. They take almost no time to set up and can provide invaluable customer feedback.
I also like the idea of building some kind of community around your brand that facilitates two way communication.
We recently launched a site for another skincare brand that had a 6 week community program, that was available to customers who purchased their products. They had dermatologists following along with your progress via a forum in which customers were encouraged to post.
It was a great value add and differentiator but also an incredible way for the brand to learn more about their customers.
Finally, I think one of the best ways to learn about your customers though is to talk with them. We interview customers on behalf of clients all the time — I’d strongly recommend it. It’s actually kinda fun!
It differs based on the specific brand and their vertical but there are certainly a few that pop up on most sites.
First thing I’d actually do is set up Google Analytics 4 from the get go. It’s a little tricky to set up on Shopify right now as there’s currently no native support, but the sooner you get this sorted the better as far as I’m concerned.
Next would be Klaviyo or some kind of email/SMS marketing platform. Even before your site is live, throw up a splash page and start building out that list.
If you’re on Shopify then I think Flow is pretty under-utilised, it’s now available on most Shopify plans for free. It’s great for those little automations that can really make your life easier when you’re starting out and resources are tight.
We all know how important social proof and product reviews are, so we usually just get that installed from the get go on every site.
Gorgias or some kind of help desk platform can really help you stay on top of customer feedback and support. If you’re just starting out there’s probably going to be some bumps along the way with your service or products and you’re going to want to pounce on those fires before customers start trashing your brand.
Things to hold off on, well, I’d just do my best to avoid unnecessary complexity. There’s plenty of time to go nuts with advanced merchandising, personalisation, loyalty and complex custom logic but you really want to establish a bit of a rhythm first before exploring those options later down the track.
There’s quite a few things you need to consider. I guess the first is whether you want to run a single international store or whether you want to set up separate stores in each region, such as a US, UK and an AU store.
There’s pros and cons to either approach.
If you’re just dipping your toe into cross border commerce perhaps just experiment by allowing customers to check out in their local currency. That keeps things simple — you’re only running one site and shipping from the one location.
You can even stick with this approach if you want to serve up region-specific languages or pricing using Shopify Markets.
It gets a little tricky when you want to offer different products in specific countries, have localised content or fulfil locally. That’s when, at least for the time being, you are going to need a separate site in each region. That can impact your acquisition strategy too as you now have to promote multiple sites.
If you’re going to ship locally perhaps because you have bulky products or are trying to minimise shipping delays and cost, you’ll need to perhaps think about a Third Party Logistics provider or setting up a warehouse.
Then you need to consider things like local laws, if you’re selling items that may be restricted or local privacy legislation such as GDPR in Europe or in California their California Consumer Privacy Act and General Data Protection Regulation.
Last but not least there’s customer support, you’ll just need to give some consideration to how you’re going to provide support for customers in various countries.