Weekly discussions between disruptive direct to consumer ecommerce brands and our amazing team about marketing, funnels, and everything scaling related. For video, find Pilothouse on Facebook and YouTube.
💪🏻We've got an extremely powerful episode of DTC: Hot Seat by Pilothouse today where we talked with Dirk MacGregor, VP Acquisition at Therabody about Scaling a global healing brand and selling CBD. 🌱
👂🏼Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ZB_N0Vpg6iB5HxdxWg8gQ
Not only is Theragun a massive, globally scaling, 9 figure ecommerce power house, it's also making the world objectively better for hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
When Dr. Jason Wersland invented Theragun, it was out of sheer necessity to heal a broken body. He ended up creating a whole new category of "percussive therapy" devices, and has created a healing revolution that's allowed individuals to take control of their recovery journeys like never before.
Today on DTC we're talking with Therabody VP, Acquisition @Dirk MacGregor, and pilothouse Co-founders Kylh Eitchcox and Jeff Shannon.
We talk about product developement, multi-channel marketing, and really dive in on Theragun's rebrand to include TheraOne CBD under the umbrella brand Therabody, following the jobs to be done theory we talk about all the time on DTC.
Other topics we covered:
- Theragun Story “built out of necessity”
- Dirk MacGregor’s DTC career and trajectory with Theragun
- Eric’s experience with Percussive Therapy
- Principles of the product: help you stay off the Pharma roller coaster
- Product with ACTUAL science to back it up. Dozens of trials happening now even.
- Refreshing to work on a truly great product that helps people “when those dials actually mean something to you, you become that much better of a marketer.” Not trying to sell people, trying to help people for real.
- 120 employees at Therabody, truly global brand. Using Pod structure
- DTC First, but then they cracked retail. Here’s what happened.
Retail experience = Theragun Reset...focused on making it an experience
- Hiring is key. Do they have the right contacts, inroads? Don’t settle for
- Customer experience drives product development. Example, making the device quieter with a novel brushless motor
- “The Moment a customer has a bad experience with our product, we’ve lost them forever”
- How do you design your customer feedback loop (it’s from everything, everywhere)
- How does Theragun’s marketing machine work? Make customers understand the “why”
- The Theragun Triangle
Theragun’s 2020 marketing plans, where are they going to grow? DR? - Mass Reach? Aligning with Athletes? More localized Support? Where do we expand out of the digital channels
- Launched a CBD Brand in 2020. What are the plans to open new channels with this new product.
- Jobs to Be done theory of rebranding to expand your brand
- Therabody vs Theragun vs Theraone
- Regulations around Marketing CBD. Topical applications doable on Facebook.
- Subscription for CBD on the roadmap
- Dirk’s take on presales content and angles for Therabody
Today on Hot Seat we sat down with iWon Organics founder Mark Samuel. His protein packed chip replacement is on over 5000 shelves, while his direct to consumer business is booming.
Disrupting CPG food and beverage is no cake walk, and Mark's tales from the front lines of grinding out the retail game are raw and honest.
We dive into some interesting uses of LinkedIn to grow relationships that drive sales, how to grow organic influencer networks, as well as how to build a product that gets 40% rebuy rate in stores and on Amazon.
At one point Mark mentions he worries he was being too low energy, but no one watching would think that. He's a powerhouse 💪🏻
- Intro to iWon Organics (300% Growth)
- Mark Samuels Story building a snacking empire
- How do you Synthesize a Snack? (Get your ASS KICKED)
- Did iWon use a food scientist? No - trial and error and working with copackers
- Inch wide mile deep again! Mark talks about how much you get your ass kicked as a successful entrepreneur
- What’s iWon’s biggest win? They’re AROUND, and making small wins every day.
- What to be most careful about? - CASH FLOW
- Repackaging fuckup (But doesn’t matter when you bank small wins every day)
- LinkedIn Ninjitsu - Done with Facebook, but makes a post every.single.day. being your self. Off the cuff, that minute.
- Does LinkedIn work for B2B retail marketing?
- Snacking psychology and changing behavior with Dave Steele
- Mark’s psychology for getting snacks on shelves
- Pilothouse’s angle suggestion for pre-sale content for iWon
- iWon’s trajectory throughout Covid
- iWon’s experience with DTC advertising - very new
- iWon’s Organic Amazon Strategy (variety pack is KEY - Adding bigger bag too)
- You can get as many customers as you want if you’re willing to pay
- 40% return purchaser rate on Amazon for iWon
- Mark rips into KETO and we talk about latching onto food trends
- iWon’s ORGANICALLY built influencer ecosystem, built on great product and authenticity
- Where would Mark put a $50K grant right now? Trials and promotion...maybe DTC.
- Free Trial idea for iWon
- What’s your favorite Flavor? Korean BBQ followed by Eric’s Korean BBQ chip rant
Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ZB_N0Vpg6iB5HxdxWg8gQ
It's true...testing is not the sexiest topic in digital marketing.
HOWEVER we at Pilothouse hold it to be self-evident that...
...Iterative, structured testing is the key to high performance creatives and funnels.
Today we gathered two high performance team members Jacob Geary and Taylor Cain , both with an amazing track record of building out structured tests of creative and presales content and improving clients CRO performance 4X.
Today we answer the questions:
🔵What are the structures and tools to use to find winners (angles, pages, ads) when you’re rapidly iterating
🔵What goes into project management when you’re testing so many things?
🔵What CRO metrics are your biggest levers in this process?
🔵What level of resolution is possible and optimal when it comes to CRO data
🔵What is Rubix and How Does it Change the Game for Tracking Funnels
Subscribe On YouTube for Video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ZB_N0Vpg6iB5HxdxWg8gQ
🔥🪑 Hot Seat #7 - SuperCoffee's Jim DiCicco
Today we follow Jim, CEO and the eldest of three DiCicco as he lays out the SuperCoffee story. Started in a dorm room from ingredients on hand, and now on thousands of store shelves across the country, and trending towards 9 figures of sales.
The product fills the need of providing energy for millions of Americans without being sweet.
Jim's "inch wide, mile deep" methodology was built from pounding the pavement and sampling his product around the country, building out markets one store at a time.
Jim goes deep on what it takes to build a company to this level, touching on fundraising, team culture building, and how to use Shark Tank to fuel your fundraising and your marketing.
03:24 - SuperCoffee Origin story
06:00 - SuperCoffee’s Ecom Vs Retail Split and Corona Numbers
07:00 - What is Jim obsessed with in his business right now
07:46 - Fundraising advice during Covid times
09:30 - The hardest part about building and fulfilling a complex product
10:48 - Learning on the fly and football metaphor (good as a clip)
11:58 - Inch wide, model deep (the key to the retail model) good clip
13:05 - 80/20 rule with building with individual locations
14:20 - How did SuperCoffee get on shelves? Pounding pavement!
17:20 - SuperCoffee’s direct to consumer marketing strategy and team
19:00 - How much sales are directly from ads?
19:43 - Building a business with your brothers
21:20 - What were your parents like?
23:00 - Looking for athletes as employees
23:35 - How did you build your team (28 strong)?
26:12 - Supercoffee Office vs Remote
27:12 - How do you instill company values in a remote team (super valuable minute here for clip)
29:23 - Shark Tank is GOLD - How to make the most of it (good clip too)
30:00 - specific Shark Tank story (so good Kiss barbra...so good, it could be stinger too)
32:00 - Fallout from Shark Tank (It Opens Doors!)
33:00 - How to choose investors? Institutional vs Celebrity
35:30 - Supercoffee hesitant about influencers
36:25 - We talk influencer whitelisting with Supercoffee
37:45 - What roas do we aim for for CPG products at Pilothouse
38:48 - Pilothouse’s sweet spot
39:53 - Supercoffee’s plan to get to a billion dollars
41:48 - Pilothouse playbook for traffic
43:18 - Pilothouse’s presale gospel + relentless iteration
44:23 - Get more UGC!
🚀🪑Welcome to Rocket Seat, where we talk with a current Pilothouse client to uncover their story of scale and reveal the tactics and strategies we've worked together to enact.
Amir Meghani is a watch man. He comes from a watch family with deep roots in the business. Now, with JBW, he's set over 10 Million Diamonds and iced the wrists of thousands of Americans.
In an accessories market decimated by Covid, and 40% down over all, JBW has continued to scale with its direct to consumer marketing program built as a near perfect partnership between JBW and Pilothouse.
Today we dive deep on the importance of deep product roots, influencer whitelisting, and in-house creative. We also showcase what an ideal client/agency relationship looks like. By bringing in lead buyer Nate Vankoughnet and creative director Cam Wind, as well as JBW's Head of Growth Frank Alfaro III, we give a complete breakdown of the strategies that have had the most impact.
In this cast we invite longstanding team member Brett to join us. We talk about what's working in lead generation, and the holistic approach to multi-touch marketing you need to make things work in today's environment. We also talk about what Ecommerce entrepreneurs can learn from lead generators and vice versa
‣ What's Working with Lead Gen in 2020
‣ Benefits from Lockdown for Lead Generation
‣ How has Lead Generation Evolved in the last 5 years
‣ Optimium form length (push the info onto the phone)
‣ multi-touch marketing for lead gen (incorporating SMS + Push)
‣ Lead Generation Ad Content (What Works?)
‣ Which Niches are Popping for Lead Gen?
‣ Automation and aggregation in the Lead Gen space
‣ Telemedicine Client with multiple Touchpoints
‣ Server to Serve Tracking - Benefits, what it enables, how to set it up
‣ Main takeaways: Smarter customers and more automated middlemen
Gary Lenett is a fashion industry icon. He got tired of predicting trends for the new denim wash and decided to make pants that served a simple function: pants so good, you'll never have to think about pants again. Duer look great and feel great, and can be worn for any occasion.
This fast scaling Vancouver brand was taking the Canadian retail, wholesale and ecom world by storm, when Corona hit. Luckily they were prepared.
Gary had long been planning NEXT, a new system for product distribution modelled after Kickstarter, a platform that Duer has already been massively successful with.
Pants on Demand, reduce the two biggest issues for apparel brands 1. by producing pants for people who order them you keep excess out of the landfill and 2. You'll never have to markdown goods again.
We also were lucky to have Calvin Roex, the head of their ecommerce platform where we discussed their most successful channels, the launch of their new program as well as suggestions for them to improve and expand on their angles.
If you've read this far, make sure to SUBSCRIBE!
Influencer marketing can be one of the most powerful strategies for ecommerce brands, but it is also one of the most difficult to manage at scale.
This is where John Hagan has made the biggest impact as Director of Growth at 3 year old German jewelry company PURELEI.
From 2018 to 2019, John helped scale Purelei in a competitive vertical 3X from high seven figures to healthy 8 figures with his advanced performance marketing skillset.
On a slow week his team manages 40 influencer integrations. Black Friday? He's thinking more like 400 🤯
Hear how he's built his team to handle these collaborations and how he uses Dark Posts to maximize and regulate the positive impact influencer UGC has on his campaigns.
0:00 - John’s Story - Lead Media Buyer at Structured Social - Nick Shackelford’s agency
04:45 - What drew John to join German Jewelry company PureLei.com
6:37 - Purelei’s story of 7 to 8 figure scale
7:14 - Purelei’s product selection strategy
9:15 - Purelei’s product launch strategy
14:18 - Why product launches are better than discounts
15:11 - SIXTY Launches a week! Purelei’s Scaling Influencer Strategy
17:45 - Localization strategy - 70% won’t check out in non-native language
19:45 - Germany vs US opportunity
22:30 - How Purelei leverages scarcity and MYSTERY during its product launches (Advent Calendars)
25:20 - my daughter is banging on the door. Probably leave it in.
26:05 - Detailed breakdown of how to use Dark Posts to scale influencer marketing
31:05 - Building creative for dark posts at scale
35:40 - How Purelei structures its team and staff
36:50 - Building coaching calls into team structure
38:15 - John’s 2:30 am meeting with Adidas
39:05 - Tic Tok, Snapchat, and Purelei’s key media mix (FB + Insta)
41:15 - 600 influencer collaborations planned for q4
42:04 - John’s deep thoughts on Attribution
47:50 - Best advice about keeping attribution clean and simple (one day conversion window)
48:53 - Tracking attribution for influencers dark posts
51:20 - who in the industry is doing attribution properly (nobody)
The team was a little light this week, but the actionable insights are HEAVY.
🎥 How to make a first person explainer video (these are crushing)
📈Listicles continue to pay dividends in the form of cheap engagement
👨🏻⚖️Facebook Ads Rep Reports - Auction Competition is heating back
🛍Shopify vs. Tesla - which valuation is more nutty?
🏘Should you buy an office in this down market or continue to rent?
🩺Keeping a pulse on all accounts and staff as the weeks from home drag on
This week we interviewed friend of the Pilothouse Team, Dan Vas who's built a steady 7 figure income by vlogging his journey as an Amazon Seller and growing an organic following of over 175K TRUE followers. On this cast we talk about the mindset of success, University vs online education, and a redefinition of the term "GURU"
00:00 - 02:32 - Intro To team and Dan Vas
02:33 - 11:00 - “I just wanted freedom” The Dan Vas Amazon Success Story
11:34 -13:35 - GURUs and The future of online education and ecommerce
13:36 -16:40 - University education vs School of internet hard knocks
16:42 - 19:38 - A Lambo Audience vs 1000 real fans
20:15 - 22:50 - Never ran cold ads, YouTube as top of funnel
22:52 - 26:05 How to make videos that go viral, (Window washer to $1K per day)
26:10 - 29:50 - 1000 real fans vs a million fake
30:00 - 33:30 Every ecommerce brand needs a YouTube Channel. YouTube is the New TV.
33:32 - 37:00 Businesses can’t rely on 100% cold traffic. Organic foundation is key.
37:01 - 42:39 - The Golden Mean for launching campaigns
43:23 - 46:50 - Is Amazon Dead? (NO!)
47:58 -52:20 - Lambo Fans vs No Lambo Fans - Revenue Per Subscriber
52:25 - 58:00 - Can’t chase two rabbits or you’ll catch none. Focus on info, or focus on Amazon FBA
58:01 - 59:40 Goal with Dan’s products 10X revenue vs cost of course within 3 months
🛒🌎ECOM COMMUNITY SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
If you run an ecommerce brand or aspire to, you are hereby advised to watch this Hot Seat. Not only will it help you grow your business with seriously next level ideas, but it might just help make the world a better place by inspiring a quality capitalism :D
🚀🔥🪑 Hot Seat Episode 3 - Vessi Footwear's Tony Yu drives a 90% decrease in CaC through give back campaigns, (3x sales growth and 7x ROAS) through choose what you pay campaigns), Kickstarter, YouYube Integrations and LOTS more.
Reviewing this cast I have to give my head a shake. The sheer amount of knowledge and value dropped by Tony Yu here is astounding.
If you're building a direct to consumer brand, or know someone who is, give yourself permission to watch and share this whole Hot Seat.
When Chris messaged us over LinkedIn I was PUMPED. Crossnet is taking the world by storm, innovating a combination of Volleyball and Foursquare to create a truly NOVEL product that the world is lining up for.
🥾Hear how they BOOTSTRAPPED the company from flipping 10 orders to making orders of 22,000 units a pop.
🛒Hear how they used Linked In and classic content marketing to reach the influential retail merchandisers at Target, Dicks, and Walmart.
📩Learn how an education focused email marketing strategy and correct use of Wheelio went from driving $3K a month to $150K in just a few months.
🏋🏻♀️See someone working out on a balcony for the first time ever on the Hot Seat!
02:20 - Origin of Crossnet 04:45 - The Design and Rules of Crossnet
05:20 - Prototyping a Novel Product
06:45 - Using LinkedIn and Content Marketing to Get Crossnet into Dicks, Walmart, and Target
09:30 - Chris' Entrepreneurial Journey
10:30 - How to Bootstrap your product from minimum shipments - 22K orders a pop
13:15 - Who's buying your product, and who's the end consumer (are they the same?)
14:30 - Premium Products vs Quality Products (expectations)
15:50 - Visual Grassroots marketing and Customer education
18:05 - Crossnet Email Marketing Strategy ($3k - $150K)
20:00 - Wheelio when it works
20:48 - Video creative strategy (Budget video works!)
22:45 - Crossnet and COVID performance
25:30 - How to reach the moms who actually buy your product
26:15 - Online vs Offline breakdown for Crossnet
28:00 - Breakdown of Traffic sources for Crossnet + content marketing
29:50 - Importance of a unified voice for brand copy
30:40 - One area to improve more: email still
31:25 - $100K Grant - Use it to build a Podcast!
32:55 - Eric's Advice on starting a podcast
34:27 - How Crossnet does FB Ads
35:15 - Crossnet and SMS
Conversion Rate Optimization for Subscription Ecommerce Products...could there be a sexier topic for brand owners? 💃🏼
🤓Nerd out with Eric, the Pilothouse team, along with legends Josh F Elizetxe from Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening and Vinny McCauley from SmoothieBox for a golden nugget filled talk that fills in the details on how each has built, optimized and pivoted their funnels to reach 8 figures in sales.
The whole interview is worth it's weight in frozen mango, but skip to the timestamps to hear deep ecommerce wisdom on the following topics:
01:51 - Josh Snow's overview of Snow right now
04:45 - Vin's overview of Smoothie Box right now
06:10 - Dave and Kyle's overview of Pilothouse right now
08:30 - Vin's thoughts about the lasting positive effects CV will have on Ecom (US Ecom % = 20% vs China 36%)
10:50 - Josh's outlook on CV and how it's helping him hire elite talent
23:05 - Smoothie Box CRO Story (and follow up from Barcelona)
28:25 - Post Checkout Upsells vs Pre Checkout Upsells
30:45 - Josh's CRO Obsession
38:45 - Josh creates a new angle for Pilothouse to test LIVE and on the fly for how to capitalize on cheap traffic
43:15 - Josh talks about the first female self made millionaire (CJ Walker)
45:40 - Free Credit Report Funnel Hack
47:30 - Branding vs. Roas in the Corona Age (Smoothie Box)
51:10 - Josh's take on ROAS vs. Branding (Snow)
54:20 - Influencer experiments that each (and turn off) certain audiences (Charlie Sheen and Snow = bad combo)
59:09 - Snow's first ever angle and landing page
1:01:08 - How Smoothie Box is "Messaging the Moment"
1:04:01 - Snow Subscription Model Progress
1:08:43 - Vin's Tips for extending life of subscriptions
1:10:00 - The 6 core models for subscription businesses
1:17:00 - Vin's core software stack for subscription businesses
1:19:00 - Josh talks about pivoting to subscription for Snow
What do you do when the Facebook Ad creatives that brought you to scaletown BURN OUT?
That's what this week's AKNF found us asking. We brought in our Senior media buyer, Nate Vankoughnet and Creative Director Cam Wind to join co-founder Kylh Eitchcox and myself for a round table discussion on:
1. The Facebook Power 5 and why you need to embrace it for longer lasting audience and creative
2. The Pilothouse Creative process (and the importance of aligned incentives on the creative team
3. How to create purposeful, angle driven creative
4. How build creatives and campaigns for launch (and the place for dynamic ads.)
5. Creative testing at Scale through isolated variables
6. Restarting a MASSIVE campaign after creative burnout strikes
🚀🔪AKNF #5 is LIVE 🚀🔪
This week we discuss:
🧔🏻 Nick Shackelford's "It's True" ad copy hook and our experiment testing it across most of our clients campaigns
👟We bought Vessi shoes and this happened (experiential marketing)
🛠Anthony Ulwick's concept of Jobs to Be Done and how that should impact how we think of and talk about all our products
🍫Rogers Chocolate, Accountants and the big Covid Pivot Winners
Today we share some raw stats on the angle that Josh F Elizetxe freestyled on a previous podcast (Ever had a dream your teeth were falling out?), as well as some actual numbers of running a presales page in Insta Page vs to the Product description page direct. Oh yah, also during this pod, all of our Google Home Bots synced up and we may or may not have created Skynet. Sorry about that John Connor.
00:00 - The Ad that Beat Kim Kardashian
01:38 - 🤖Skynet comes online (Google is listening)
01:50 - [REAL STATS]Josh Snow's angle (Ever had a dream your teeth fell out?) 🦷
03:05 - [REAL STATS] Instapage vs Product Page direct on Mens accessories
05:45 - Instapage Improves AOV
06:14 - Global Pixel Outtage! (Best practices for recovering)
11:00 - Overcoming Supply Chain Issues with Variety Packs
14:12 - Who's really buying your products? (Not always the end consumer) How to reach the real buyers
17:01 - VESSI Hot Seat Tease (Giveback Funnel, Thank You Page Referrals, and Novel Community Building Emails)
🟢It's GO TIME - This week I surprised the panel with an ambush AKNF session. Good thing our team is always ready to rock 🤘🏼Here we discuss the success we're having across the board, as traffic is on sale, and clients are scaling hard and fast. Watch this quick cast to glean some insight onto how YOU can best ride this wave with your brand! 🌊
0:00 - It's GO TIME across the board (and how best practices allow you to ride the wave)
2:50 - Double, or Triple your Budgets yesterday!
4:00 - Exodus of certain traffic vertical advertisers (travel + + ) means inventory is on sale
4:40 - ROAS vs Volume in these BOOM times (invest now at a discount)
6:00 - Email Story telling and education tactics from Chris Meade and CROSSNET
7:28 - Lifetime Budgets still CRUSHING (are you switched over yet??)
9:00 - Control campaign overlap with FB Experiences, Facebook's native testing platform
11:35 - Pre Sales Magic - Use presales page to align your angles fully (shout out to the master, Mohamed Ali Aguel!)
14:12 - Advertisers and Ideas we LOVE: - Novel ideas - Brands reinventing themselves - Info Product Deluge (The GURUS are coming( - DIY and Hair Dye is the new TP
18:25 - Is this the new normal for Ecommerce? What happens when the economy rebounds?
20:15 - 🍷Are you drinking more or less? Box wine vs Bottle?
21:35 - Shoutout to Moez Ali's new podcast "Exit Strategy"
22:10 - Team member personal growth through #WINNING
23:10 - No such thing as a bad Dragon's Den experience
🚀Welcome to All Killer, No Filler Fridays, the Easter Addition 🐰🍫
We're coming at you with insights and updates about the strategies and tactics that worked for our ecommerce and lead generation clients THIS week.
In this episode you'll find some tasty Easter Eggs 🍬🥚 on the following topics:
1. Promising start to building quizzes in messenger flows natively
2. How to "creatively refresh" a campaign that needs a reboot
3. How to scale from $10K to $50K when a client is bullish
4. The importance of investing in your Facebook relationship (and hacks on getting a rep)
5. Update on Lifetime Budgets, Polls, and Comment pinning from last week
6. Brands and Trends we love RIGHT NOW
👀Watch this 20 min vid to learn the tactic (that we learned from Josh F Elizetxe, that's LOWERING our CPAs 20-50% (!!!) for our Agency clients across the board.
Find out how switching campaigns to lifetime budgets could make a big addition to your bottom line.
🚀Welcome to All Killer, No Filler Fridays, the pod where Pilothouse principles get together to discuss what worked this week in our agency with examples and data to back it up.
Skip to -12:00 to hear our Lifetime Budget Scaling hack that's working well right now, or blast the whole "all killer, no filler" cast for other tips on:
1. Crushing with Facebook Poll Ads
2. Quiz funnels for ecom and Lead Gen
3. Ad comment kung fu
4. Lifetime budget hacks that lowered CPA 30%!
5. Testing old tactics, finding new wins
6. New client runways coming out of the crisis
7. Custom calculations in ad reporting
👋🏻Hey everyone! Eric Dyck here with my new WFH studio all built out! What better time than a global pandemic to get five digital marketing veterans with over 50 years of performance ad buying experience into a #zoom call to discuss high level strategies and in-the-trenches tactics for brands and media buyers to keep their campaigns scaling throughout these uncertain times. If you're a brand or a media buyer looking for guidance, then check out this value-packed call where we discuss the angles that are working right now, how position your brand during this time of low cost traffic and high anxiety, compressing the customer journey with campaign structure changes and lots more! Check out the timestamps below to jump to the most relevant sections. If you dig it, we'll do it again and again.