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DTC Podcast

DTC Podcast

By Pilothouse
Weekly discussions between disruptive direct to consumer ecommerce brands and our amazing team about marketing, funnels, and everything scaling related. Subscribe to our newsletter for highlights and step by step tactical insights direct to consumer dot co.
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Industry Changing Innovation with Trade Coffee
This week on the pod we have Mike Lackman, CEO of Trade Coffee, a special subscription service offering home-delivered fresh coffee from the nation’s best roasters. Trade is such an interesting business because of the way it takes existing great products, and innovates the customer experience and logistics side of things to create amazing customer experiences that grow LTV like crazy. Listen to the pod for:  📦 Why personalization is everything 📦 How they find that perfect match 📦 Your weekly reminder to always let the data do the talking 📦 Trade's approach to subscription fees  📦 Customer experience as a service 📦 A killer organic referral program 
April 20, 2021
All Killer No Filler: $0 - $100,000 in 3 months with the Amazon Growth Guide
This week on All Killer No Filler, we have the Pilothouse Amazon team of Robert Russell, Clifford Donovan, and Seth Tubman-Watkins with a little preview of our upcoming DTC workshop, The Amazon Growth Guide, coming your way April 28, 29 and 30th.    This pod is PACKED with Amazon intel. Dive in for:    📦 Keywords strategy segmentation and bidding strategies across campaigns   📦 The #1 thing we see people getting wrong on Amazon their Amazon listings   📦 A breakdown of A+ Content  Why you need to register your brand on Amazon   📦 What kind of ads you need to think about on Amazon   📦 The interplay between Amazon Ads and organic sales   📦High-level strategy for building your Amazon store    Consider this your appetizer. Head to for the main course.
April 17, 2021
Brunt Takes on the $30B Workwear Market
On this episode of DTC Podcast we check in with Eric Girouard, founder of Brunt Workwear, a DTC brand catering to an often-overlooked demographic:  tradesmen👷.   Listen to the pod for:   📦  Brunt's origin story and product development journey  📦  A pre-launch roadmap that you can steal   📦  Why micro-influencers with a niche audience are the way to go   📦  A friendly reminder to always let research and data guide your decision making   Plus we've thrown in Good Will Hunting and Home Improvement references for good measure. Can I get an "Aeeuuhhhhh"!? 🔨 😉
April 15, 2021
All Killer No Filler: Is Your Brand Ready for DTC Convergence?
We’ve gathered the Pilothouse brain trust to talk about how DTC brands can foster the best relationship and results from any agency they work with. Join us as we chat with Pilothouse Co-founder Kyle Hitchcox, Head of Partnerships Dan Norcia, and first-time AKNF guest Onboarding Manager Megan Williams.  Listen to the pod for: 📦 Trends our team is seeing in the current DTC surge and how legacy brands are responding to the digital challenge 📦 The biggest mistake brands are making with their success metrics 📦 Our predictions for the future of DTC 📦 The necessity of risk and change in partnerships 📦 How Pilothouse finds alignment with the DTC brands we work with 📦 The challenges facing different brackets of DTC brands Are you craving a hot take about the potential for a Musk vs. Bezos space war? Well, this is the pod for you. 🚀
April 10, 2021
Building a Bold Brand with Ugly's CEO Hugh Thomas
Today on the pod, we have Hugh Thomas the co-founder and CEO of Ugly Drinks! We've been dissecting Ugly's strategy for the past few weeks in DTC Newsletter - you can catch up on our blog ➡️.    Listen to the pod for:    📦 How Ugly built its brand - and why it's fundamental to the business   📦 Why their no b.s. strategy pays off   📦 Ugly's commitment to creating an accessible product (and what that means) 📦 Why customer outreach is fundamental to their business model 
April 6, 2021
AKNF Update: Pilothouse Sr. Media Buyer Raven Dixon Takes Over DTC+!!
Drumroll please 🥁🥁🥁 Please welcome Pilothouse Sr. Media Buyer Raven Dixon as the new head of DTC+! Raven has been a superstar guest on previous episodes of AKNF, and we're so excited to have her expertise and energy on our team. She's joined on today's pod by Pilothouse Sr. Media Buyer Jacob Geary. Listen to the pod for Jacob and Raven's media buyer origin stories, Jacob's strategy for growing DTC+, and Raven's exciting plans for building the DTC+ community. 🚀
April 2, 2021
How Rumpl Blankets Achieves 3-4x ROAS Across Multiple Channels
Grab a hot cup of cocoa and cozy up, cause this week's poddy features Wylie Robinson, CEO and founder of Rumpl Blankets, and his head of eCommerce, Shane Roach. Shane and Wylie sat down to talk about how Rumpl turned high-performance materials into usable works of art that have been exploding the historically stagnant blanket space. Listen to the pod for: 📦 Why you should look to your life for product inspiration  📦 Advice for expanding one step at a time  📦 How Rumpl manages its analytics  📦 Finding balance in your SMS strategy  📦 Harnessing events as a marketing strategy  AND how Rumpl achieves 3-4x ROAS across multiple channels - enjoy! 🚀
March 31, 2021
🚀 All Killer No Filler: Make Email Segmentation Great Again
This week’s All Killer No Filler features Pilothouse’s Email CEO Julien Normand and ace email coordinator Graham Battie, diving deep into the world of email segmentation. Listen to the entire pod for: 🚀 The #1 thing DTC brands get wrong with email segmentation 🚀 The three most important types of email segmentation 🚀 What is a sunset flow, and how can you use one? 🚀 Campaign segmentation for your VIP customers 🚀 Launching new products with SMS campaigns 🚀 Utilizing predicted next purchase date Make sure you listen for the team’s mark-down marketing epiphany! 😆
March 27, 2021
Creating a Sustainable Subscription Box Model with Simply Earth
Get ready to relax and unwind, cause this week's poddy features Lee Veldkamp, Co-Founder and CEO of Simply Earth, an essential oils subscription company that aims to teach people about the benefits of essential oils so that they can live a toxin-free life. Lee breaks down the importance of adding value to subscription boxes and the massive role education plays in the customer journey.
March 23, 2021
All Killer No Filler: The Art and Science of Scaling YouTube Ads with Tru Earth’s Ryan McKenzie, Saul Garcia and Jacob Geary from Pilothouse
This week on All Killer No Filler we’re talking about the art and science of YouTube Ads with Ryan McKenzie the co-founder and CMO of Tru Earth, Pilothouse Head of Google Saul Garcia and Pilothouse Lead Media Buyer Jacob Geary. Want to hear more from this dream team? Look over the shoulder these expert practitioners as they give you the step-by-step playbooks they used to create crazy-profitable YouTube campaigns – LIVE on Zoom for FREE! Join our FREE two-day all-access sessions on March 25 - 26, 2021 from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm PST. Unlock YouTube Creative & Scaling Secrets From 2020's 2nd Fastest-Growing DTC Startup In our TWO one-hour, all-access sessions, experts from Tru Earth and Pilothouse will cover: How to create compelling, high-converting videos (on any budget). How to profitably find, refine, and scale your target audience on YouTube. How to optimize your campaigns and scale your DTC eCommerce brand on YouTube. Sign up today (FREE)!
March 20, 2021
Sustainable DTC with Stojo
Fill up your cups! This week we chatted with Jurrien Swarts and Meghan Holzhauer of Stojo, a DTC brand that aims to end disposable culture one reusable product at a time. Stojo was one of the first to market in their field, launching their collapsible cup in 2015. They have since built a loyal customer base that launched them to $6.5 million in sales in 2019 and they’re on pace to exceed that by 100% in 2021 😱 The podcast is packed with valuable insights from a founder/CEO perspective (Jurrien) and from a brand and growth marketing perspective (Meghan).  Have a listen for:  📦Tips for honing your brand story  📦Insight into the world of utility and design patents  📦Why you should be broadening your channel horizons  📦How Stojo ranks its affiliates 
March 16, 2021
All Killer No Filler: The Future of DTC - A Q&A with Pilothouse and DTC Newsletter Co-Founders
This week's All Killer No Filler features our social media manager Maia Sampson hosting a round of questions on the state of DTC with Eric, Pilothouse CEO Dave Steele, and Pilothouse CRO Kyle Hitchcox. Listen for insights on the future of DTC. 
March 13, 2021
Tuft & Needle and SheerID on Celebrating Your Customer’s Identity
This week we chatted with two heavyweights to get their outlook on how retailers handled the pandemic, Torrie Belknap, VP Marketing of Tuft & Needle (DTC mattress vets) and Nicole Campagna, Sr. Growth Manager at SheerId.    Here are some key takeaways from their chat:   📦  Why you should make a hate list  📦  Consider the role of customer identity  📦  Lead with value  📦  Invest in stories
March 9, 2021
All Killer No Filler: The Presell Page Blueprint [Part 2]
For this week's All Killer No Filler, we're offering you part two of the first day of our Presell Page Course!   If you are not using presells, you are leaving money on the table - listen to the pod to find out why! Then head to to start your $1 trial and access the rest of the expert-led course.
March 6, 2021
DTC Customer Retention & Community Building with Shopify’s Kristen LaFrance
This week's cast features Kristen LaFrance, Twitter’s Mayor of DTC and Head of Resilient Retail at Shopify, dropping value bombs like there’s no tomorrow! Kristen shares focused wisdom on the things brands get wrong about community building, walks you through the steps of community engagement, and shares her favorite community building hacks that brands have come up with since the outbreak of COVID! This is a podcast you can’t afford to miss! Listen for:  📦 Why you should prioritize relationships over sales  📦 Kristen's core blocks of community  📦 Why you should call your 100 best customers  📦 COVID-19 retail trends  📦 A five-step guide to starting podcast content 
March 2, 2021
All Killer No Filler: The Presell Page Blueprint [Part 1]
For this week’s All Killer No Filler, we’re offering the first part of our Presell Page Course! Part one of our course series features Pilothouse Creative Director and page design specialist Cam Wind. In his words, “if you are not using presells, you are leaving money on the table.” Listen to the pod to find out why! This presentation covers:  What a presell page is, and where it comes into play in the customer journey Creating a better experience for your customers Page formats that work Plus examples of Pilothouse presell pages! We’ll share part two of this presentation next week - see you then!
February 27, 2021
Looking Around the Corner of iOS 14 With Scott Desgrosseilliers
Need some help figuring out attribution? This is a topic every high level market loves to “geek out” on, but very few have it dialled to their complete satisfaction. With that in mind we sat down with Scott Desgrosseilliers, founder of Wicked Reports, an old school attribution wizard who built his first database at 10 and has put over 20,000 hours in on this topic.
February 23, 2021
All Killer No Filler: Presells to the People - FREE DTC+ Course Feb 24-26
We're going to show you how to build presell pages that can double your conversion rates! Presell pages are the most under-utilized yet most impactful levers of any good DTC funnel. Join this workshop and build (or refine) your presell page to find your audience, increase conversion rates, and boost your average order value.📈  The challenge is guided by expert practitioners who have tested 1000's of iterations of presell pages. ...and the best part is that it's 100% free. No strings attached. ➡️  Sign up today!
February 20, 2021
Super Growth on Instagram with Victory Front Media’s Dain Walker
Content marketing is a necessity for DTC brands or agencies as we all try to cut through the noise and engage customers in ways that steadily build your brand affinity and foster LTV. This week on the DTC Poddy, we chatted with Dain Walker. Dain is a brand strategist and Instagram expert who's grown a rabidly engaged 200k following in less than two years by simplifying complex and powerful ideas into compelling content. Dain is one of the clearest communicators we’ve seen, both on social media and in person. Don’t miss his engagement hacks for creating compelling carousels, as well as his personal development superpower and life-changing reading list.
February 17, 2021
All Killer No Filler: Presell Pages Every Damn Time (Copy Edition)
This week’s All Killer No Filler is the second half of our presell page discussion - and this time; we’re talking copy!  A middleman between your ad and shopping cart, your presell page acts as a salesperson by supporting the customer, giving them a nudge, and providing the info they need to convince them to purchase your product or service. The role of the presell is to eliminate any doubts and make the purchase irresistible. Pilothouse copywriters extraordinaire Alora Bossy and Brad Knell are here to break down exactly what you need to do to ace your presell page copy.  Inside this pod, you'll find:  📦 How to engage your audience by creating a strong avatar  📦 A gentle reminder that your copy doesn't need to be a literary masterpiece  📦 Why research and customer reviews are your best friend when it comes to presell page copy  📦 Helpful copy formulas to help strategize your messaging Take a listen to the pod, then sign up for DTC+ and join our Build a Presell Page Challenge, February 24-26.
February 13, 2021
Supercharging Your Growth with Super Coffee’s Ben Knox
This week the cast chatted with Ben Knox, VP of Ecommerce and Growth at Super Coffee. Ben was a treat to listen to, offering insights on how to thrive in today’s omnichannel environment. This podcast was PACKED with valuable info, so we recommend you give it a full listen. Here's a taster of some of the most powerful Value Rockets from the guys’ chat with Ben: 🚀Why you shouldn't be afraid of Amazon  🚀 Why you should be studying your funnel  🚀 Ben's guide to mastering acquisition through subscription and SMS  🚀 Why you should consider reducing your dependency on paid social  🚀 A Case for ROAS Agnosticism (!?)
February 8, 2021
All Killer No Filler: Presell Pages Every Damn Time 🚀
In our latest installment of All Killer No Filler, we have Tim Peacock, Cam Wind, and Raven Dixon from the Pilothouse team on the pod to talk presell pages, providing a sneak peek into our upcoming DTC+ course! Take a listen for: 📦 Why presell pages sell better than eCommerce stores 📦 How to optimize your bundles 📦 Different types of presell pages and when to use them 📦 A sample presell page outline 📦 Why presell pages will be even more important with ios14 changes Take a listen to the pod, then sign up for DTC+ and join our Build a Presell Page Challenge, February 24-16.
February 6, 2021
Sipping the DTC Cocktail with Avec Drinks’ Dee Charlemagne
How we drink is changing. The pandemic has seen a major rise in at-home alcohol consumption and a simultaneous call for healthy alternatives to spirits and mixers. Denetrias “Dee” Charlemagne is a co-founder of Avec Drinks, a high-flavour low sugar mixer challenger brand that launched in June of 2020. Avec Drinks has arrived at the perfect time offering premium mixer to pair with premium spirits, that appeal to calls for healthier (and tastier) drinking options. Not even a year old, the pod takes a behind the scenes look at Avec Drinks' early growth and DTC strategy including:  Their organic first approach  Plans for a 2021 paid strategy  The benefits of building a creative community 
February 2, 2021
All Killer No Filler: Building Teams that Scale 📈
This week on All Killer No Filler we’re unpacking our approach to team building and growth with Pilothouse’s team of super scalers including Jordan Chew, Cam Wind, Dave Steele, and Kyle Hitchcox. These guys know two things 1. How to grow teams that scale 2. their sports metaphors. Listen to this slam dunk pod for: 📦  Finding opportunity in chaos and harnessing that potential 📦  Why it’s ok to fail 📦  The importance of radical transparency, hyper-communication, and rapid feedback loops 📦  Why we look for and encourage entrepreneurial mindsets at PIlothouse 📦  A walkthrough of Pilothouse’s hiring process and onboarding workflow Come for the great team-building advice, stay for the synchronized swimming reference.
January 30, 2021
Declared Data and Product Matching with Jebbit & Pour Moi
This week, we’ve got a combo platter pod!  We’re chatting with Tom Coburn, the cofounder and CEO of Jebbit, a software tool that creates delightful, data-rich customer experiences that encourage consumers to provide information about themselves. Also joining us is Ulli Haslacher, the President of Pour Moi Skincare, a DTC challenger brand that utilizes unique climate-smart technology recently named one of the best inventions of 2020 by Time Magazine. Listen to the podcast for:  📦 Insights on how you should be collecting and activating on declared data  📦 Why surveys just aren't cutting it anymore when it comes to data collection  📦 How a Jebbit quiz resulted in zero product returns for Pour Moi
January 26, 2021
All Killer No Filler: UGC is Rocket Fuel for your Ads 🚀
Today on All Killer No Filler, we’re catching up with the head of Pilothouse’s newly formed UGC department, Angela Meadows, plus all-star Senior Media Buyers Nate Vankoughnet and Liam Robinson. User-Generated Content (UGC) is an umbrella term that covers everything from product reviews to celebrity endorsements. The Pilothouse ad buyers consistently saw UGC content killing, inspiring the establishment of a whole department for UGC at Pilothouse.🔥🔥🔥 Listen to the pod for insight on why you should be building out your UGC strategy. Listen for: 📦 How to match UGC content type to brands to scale campaigns 📦 UGC as a trust-building mechanism 📦  The importance of enthusiasm in UGC 📦  Why you should be testing first with in house UGC 📦  What type of UGC to activate across your funnel 📦  Behind the curtains insight into how Nate builds out his UGC campaigns for prospecting and retargeting
January 23, 2021
The Brick and Mortar Opportunity with Dylan Carpenter
This week on the pod we have Dylan Carpenter, host of the podcast Rich Ad Poor Ad and Founder/CEO of agency Koality Media.  Dylan has experience working with Fortune 500 companies and spent over $15 million on Facebook/IG ads. Today, he’s here to chat about the brick and mortar opportunity, what local businesses can be doing to grow, and what’s happening in the ad space. Stick around for value bombs on:  💣 Local campaigns vs. eCommerce campaigns 💣 Why it all comes down to creative 💣 Tips for local businesses 💣 Why you should think twice before trying to hack the algorithm  💣 A chatbox restaurant hack Take a listen to the full pod for Dylan’s plans for 2021, angel investing, his response to iOS 14, his crypto tips, and the wildest gift he’s received 🐢.
January 19, 2021
DTC Experience Design with Partner's Jesse Campbell
Welcome to part two of our brand experience discussion.    Due to a scheduling snafu, we were lucky enough to chat with Jesse Campbell twice!  Jesse is a designer and founder of Partner, specializing in design and branding for eCommerce and digital products and partnering with top 1000 Shopify Companies.    In this pod, we delve into Jesse’s expertise in the cannabis industry (a helpful listen for anyone working with a restricted industry) and unpack brand transparency and the many different ways brands can activate transparency to build trust.    Listen to the full pod for:  📦 Shortcuts to help determine your brand identity    📦  Why you need a two-pronged brand story    📦  Trust and transparency to determine brand differentiation, and the many facets of transparency    📦  Experiences and opinions on the rollout of legal cannabis in Canada, and transitioning from grey to white market industry   📦 Predictions for a personalization forward future for eCommerce
January 16, 2021
Designing eCommerce Experiences with Facebook Shopping’s Design Manager
We’re serving up high-end experience and design expertise for this week’s pod with Andrea Wagner, Design Manager for Facebook Shopping and Jesse Campbell, designer and founder of design agency Partner. Take a listen for discussion on building with the customer in mind, radical transparency, and predictions on upcoming digital experience design trends!
January 12, 2021
All Killer No Filler: Will iOS14 wreck your Facebook Ads campaigns? (NEW GAME-CHANGING RULES INBOUND)
On this week’s All Killer No Filler, the Pilothouse team catches up with Right Hook Digital Co-Founder and CEO Dee Deng to talk iOS 14.    This looming update or “global internet shockwave,” has the potential to change business as we know it, holding far-reaching implications for measurement, optimization, and business tools.    You’ll want to hear this team of experts unpack their instincts, plans, and strategies for surviving this big change.   Listen to the pod for:    📦  A breakdown of wtf’s happening with iOS14  📦  Facebook and Google’s response to the imminent change   📦  How does this compare to GDPR?   📦  What this change will look like for UX  📦  The role of agencies in this turbulent time   📦  Predictions for the future and how businesses will adapt
January 9, 2021
Radical Personalization with RightMessage's Brennan Dunn
Brennan Dunn is the co-founder of RightMessage, a tool that helps make automated segmentation and website personalization easy for any business. He’s also the founder of Double Your Freelancing, providing resources and training for over 50,000 firms and freelancers. We know that niched offerings outperform generic, but Brennan takes personalization to the next level. Brennan’s area of expertise is dynamic niching -  on the fly, data-informed curation of messaging to appeal to each individual customer. If you care about simple ways to increase conversions, and your customer personalization is limited to *|FNAME|*, THIS is the pod for you. Listen for value bombs on: 💣 Personalizing CTA’s based on where someone is in your offer funnel 💣 Using data to personalize your opt-in forms and increase conversions 💣 Low hanging fruit: are you missing an opportunity to convert returning visitors to your site?
January 5, 2021
2020 in Review: Top DTC Insights
Join Eric as he reflects on year one of DTC Podcast and unpacks the top takeaways, key insights and strategic formulas uncovered in 2020.  
December 30, 2020
Building a Sneaker Content Empire with Nice Kicks' Matt Halfhill
Our pod guest this week is Matt Halfhill, founder of Nice Kicks - one of the most popular content websites in the footwear/streetwear industry. Matt spent years as a sneaker reseller, eeking out a healthy margin on platforms like eBay, but he soon realized the value is in creating your own product that you have the creative freedom to promote as you see fit. According to Matt’s predictions - if you rely on other people’s products, your days are numbered. Every producer is moving towards a DTC model in this time of profound change as legacy businesses across all industries adopt to the new norm. (Hello and welcome to DTC - you’re in the right place 😉) This is why product creation is a major initiative for Nice Kicks in 2021. Services and products are investing so heavily in content that it only makes sense that content websites are looking to create products. Take a listen to the full pod for discussion of the above, plus:  ⚙️ Mechanics of a content machine 🧵Tailoring content for your audience’s audience  👟 2021 predictions 🔥 Hot takes on the sneaker resale market 👟 A sneaker aesthetics deep dive
December 22, 2020
All Killer No Filler: What Most Brands Get Wrong on Google Ads
On this week’s All Killer No Filler, we’re tackling the biggest ad platform of them all - Google. Google has been quietly growing its ad offerings while refining its algorithm, and our team of Google Ads heavy hitters Saul Garcia, Richard Clement, and Rafael Scott are your google guides here with up to date intel to help you on this massive platform. 💥 Getting specific with your SEO keywords 💥 Retargeting on Google 💥 Supercharge your audiences with branded keyword bidding 💥 The benefits of paid ads x organic listings  💥 Retargeting on Google  All this plus actionable strategies and resource suggestions to supercharge your Google ad presence. Take a listen, then get to work! 💪
December 19, 2020
The Power of Pinterest with Pins 4 Profit's Lindsay Shearer
📌  Pin Ads 4 the Win! 📌    With 2020 being a year of unpredictability & madness, a surprising contender for traffic & sales in Ecom has consistently shown up in Pinterest Ads!   As the algorithm continues to mature on Pinterest, we’ve been getting some powerful results that are def turning heads.   Here’s a snapshot of what we’re seeing: ✅  83% of people on Pinterest have made a purchase ✅   700M Users & growing on the platform ✅   $100K + the average household income of a :us: Pinterest user ✅   Crazy :arrow_up: ROAS opportunities on TOF & Retargeting ✅   Super :arrow_down: CPMs $.50-$2.50 ✅   Maturing algorithm   In the midst of the: ❌ volatility in both the world & consumer buying behavior ❌  unpredictability of almost all ad platforms ❌  account shut downs ❌  radically changing cross channel ad landscapes   How are you filling your funnels?   If you’re looking for another source of consistent high-quality traffic Pinterest has some serious power💥 !!   Eric sat down with Lindsay Shearer who has one of the largest & industry-leading 📌  Pinterest ad agencies in the world called Pins4Profit and asked a ton of hard questions!  Check out her deep dive into 📌 Pinterest ad strategy for Ecom brand owners & agencies.   It’s time to expand your traffic sources!
December 15, 2020
All Killer No Filler: Stop the Scroll with Performance Driven Creative
This week’s All Killer No Filler features the Pilothouse Creative Team sharing their top tips & tricks for creating scroll-stopping creative and balancing performance with polish.    Take a listen for key insights on:   🗝 Standing out on socials   🗝 Data-driven creative   🗝 Intentionally breaking from design best practices  🗝 Easily applied creative hacks  🗝 How we structure our creative team
December 12, 2020
Neville Medhora: How to Make Content & Copy Stand Out in a "Sea of Same"
Our pod guest this week is Neville Medhora, the brain behind copywriting agency and training business Copywriting Course. He’s also the author of three books, and an advisor to AppSumo, The Hustle, and His training videos have been viewed by thousands and he currently advises numerous companies on how to make their copy awesome and increase conversion rates across all the materials they produce. We know we have some big-time copy nerds in our audience - this one’s for you. 🤓 Take a listen for: ✏️Why you should write exactly as you talk  ✏️The not so secret sauce for building your audience ✏️Creating content that pops 
December 8, 2020
AKNF Black Friday Cyber Monday Retrospective with Pilothouse
As promised, we sat down with a full panel of heavy hitters from Pilothouse to break down their Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2020 experience.     Listen to the pod for quick hits on:    💥 2020’s record-breaking Black Friday   💥 Starting sales early & extending to Cyber Week   💥 Our inventory strategy & plans for next year  💥 Balancing prospecting & retargeting over BFCM  💥 Our two-pronged creative strategy   💥 How to approach “gifters” by building a 🔥🔥🔥  Amazon storefront    Save and share with your team so you can activate these strategies next year 💪
December 5, 2020
Mission Marketing for Hypergrowth with Tru Earth's Ryan McKenzie
Today on the pod, we have Ryan McKenzie, co-founder of eco-friendly laundry strip brand Tru Earth -  Canada’s 2nd fastest growing startup. Tru Earth has seen a two-year revenue growth of 8408% from $0 to a current run rate of over $30 million. Listen to this pod for insight on: 📦 Mission Marketing 📦 Starting Strategically Small   📦 Thinking of Retail as a Partner 📦 Influencer Strategies 
December 1, 2020
🔪 🚀 AKNF - Building a Content Machine
The Pilothouse team is slammed hustling for Black Friday - they’ll be back next week to debrief on highlights from the big day, so stay tuned. In the meantime, we’re checking in with Eric and Kyle on how things are going in the DTC world and what they’ve learned while building a content creation business. If you’re looking to enhance your content - this one is for you. Take a listen for: 📦 How to develop a content machine 📦 Building a quality audience 📦 The power of 3rd party brands *** Note: We had some technical difficulties on this one. Apologies for the less than ideal sound quality! We have AirPods on order so it won't be an issue next round.
November 28, 2020
Media Buyer Showdown (In House vs. Agency) with Smart Marketer CEO Molly Pittman
We’re going head to head into our latest DTC podcast debating agencies vs. in house media buying teams. Our guest this week is powerhouse Molly Pittman. Molly is the CEO of Smart Marketer and Train My Traffic Person, a training program for in-house media buyers. She’s the author of Click Happy, and she recently launched a new podcast, Smart Marketer. I’ll have what she’s having. Here are some highlights from the pod: So what’s the deal? Agency or In-house? We may have lured you here with a clickbait-y title; it’s less about in house or agency, more about relationship building. There is no one size fits all response; different businesses have different needs. The wheels fall off agency partnerships when business owners pass the buck; it’s naive to hire an agency, hand over ads, and expect to be hands-off from that point onwards. Joint accountability, collaboration, and hyper-communication are essential. With minimal information or insight into your business, an agency partnership is unlikely to thrive. It is the agency’s responsibility to insist on visibility into the business, and it is the responsibility of the business owner to maintain open lines of communication with the agency. When it comes down to brass tacks house vs. agency, Molly will pick in-house as that’s her background. Her take is that there is something special about having a team in touch with the day to day, who intimately knows the company’s voice. Again, there is no one size fits all response. If you’re just starting, you'll need agency support before you start buying ads. Some folks know they aren’t good at marketing - get yourself an agency! Maybe you need scale support or to delegate a specific element of your strategy? Time for an agency. Molly’s 6 Steps for  Effective Campaigns The Offer - Nothing will ever be more important than the offer. Is the product something people want? Where are you sending traffic? Is it optimized? Who - Go deep on avatars. Who is your customer? What are their interests? Avatars will inform the next two steps determining how you’ll develop your hook. Ad Copy Creative Campaign Structure - This is an agency’s time to shine. Everything Else - This is your post-launch maintenance, troubleshooting, pivoting, scaling and where agency/media buyer expertise is beneficial. If you're bringing in an agency for steps 5 & 6, they should be involved from step 1 to ensure all aspects of the campaign align with the end goal. Listen to the full pod for predictions on the future of agencies’, why you should hire candidates with service industry experience, and a reminder to monitor your screentime. Watch: https:// Subscribe: Join:
November 24, 2020
🔪🚀 AKNF - Comment Moderation Can Add 20% On Your Bottom Line
Today we dove in with Pilothouse's Comment Moderation team, where we handle clients' ad comments with wit, style, and grace to improve ads, audiences, sales pitches and ultimately, your bottom line (up to 20%). 📦 How to use comment moderation during the onboarding process to improve early results 📦 How to arm your comment moderators with the tools and resources they need when taking on a new account. 📦  The nuances behind when negative comments should be hidden, deleted, or even left in plain sight for everyone to see. 🟢 Subscribe: 🟢 Listen: 🟢 Join:
November 22, 2020
The Evolution of 3PL with Hook Logistics
Next up on the pod, we’re talking 3PL with Fraser Kinsley, CEO of Hook Logistics and Jacob Sussman, Head of Marketing.  Hook knows that logistics and fulfilment can be a full-on nightmarescape, and they are here to help with DTC-friendly solutions. We talk about their origin story, building brand voice, and the future of fulfillment on this logistics-focused pod. Here are key takeaways: 🗝  Meet your customers where they’re at Hook was built after recognizing that fulfilment infrastructure was geared for a different kind of commerce than the DTC market required. Seeing the void in the market, they custom-built Hook’s fulfilment services specifically for DTC, optimizing their systems for the new reality of ecommerce. They articulated specific areas where legacy 3PL systems weren’t meeting DTC needs and customized their offerings for DTC by providing integration with ecommerce platforms, reporting for inventory management, and transparent single-fee rates facilitating consistent month to month forecasting. 🗝  Separate your brand from the pack Again seeking to distance themselves from the dusty legacy brands of the 3PL market, Hook looked for a brand voice that was totally outside the industrial feel of standard 3PL websites. Knowing they were pursuing DTC business, they emulated the DTC feel with a casual, warm, and personable tone common amongst consumer brands. The Hook brand is very approachable and accessible - setting them apart from other 3PL brands and situating them within the DTC space. 🗝  The key to good copy You need to spend a lot of time with your language. Read it out loud over and over again until it sounds great. Will you sound a little deranged? Yes. Does the tactic work? Also yes. You want your coworkers to wonder whether you’re checking copy or hexing of the office under your breath - keep them on their toes, ya know? 🗝  DTC is here to stay From where these fulfillment experts are sitting, there will always be a need for direct to consumer. While COVID accelerated the need,  this change was imminent and accelerated 10 or 20x by the pandemic. 🗝  The future of DTC The Hook guys are keeping an eye on same-day delivery services as speed of delivery becomes increasingly important for DTC brands, especially in bigger cities. If you’re a staple product that people use consistently, you need to think about how you’re competing with whales. Amazon has set the gold start shipping standard with Prime, but unless you’re a luxury product, you can’t keep up with that standard of fulfillment. It’s time to think about how you will compete and stand out. Are you more interesting? Are you fostering a deep connection with your community? Do you have innovative distribution? Find your thing, and lean in. Take a listen to the full pod for a behind the scenes peek at how the Hook team is re-imagining 3PL for the DTC market.
November 20, 2020
Ops for the Win, with Brenda Mendez
Looking for growth support? Building a brand? Need an ops overhaul? Talk to Brenda Mendez, former COO of Snow Teeth Whitening and Branding and Marketing Specialist. This force to be reckoned with problem solver and ops mastermind is ready to roll up her sleeves and help. She specializes in building ops to alleviate pain points utilizing her lived experience and no-nonsense analytical approach to streamline your business. She’s basically business Mary Poppins. She wants to set up your business for success - so much so that you don’t need her anymore. Maybe a business Ghostbuster? 👻🚫 (...we’ll work on our analogy.) Here are the key strategy takeaways from our podcast you can try on your own ops stack. Approachable Ops Strong foundations start with operations and systems. Brenda’s rule of thumb? Anyone should walk in the door and immediately understand how your system works and why it’s in place. No guessing games. Only clarity. 3 Pillars for Growth Whether you’re growing a product, persona or service, Brenda uses this three-pillar framework to develop and elevate brands. Brand Equity - think about what you need to create from a brand perspective - obtain IP’s, IG handles, domains - everything you need for a seamless brand appearance across platforms. Community - investigate your customer journey seeking out any lost opportunities to convert. How are you talking to your customers? What rewards/loyalty program do you have in place? What is your follow up process? How are you retaining their business? Be customer-centric in all things and develop an experience that will emotionally evoke the customer. Associations - who do customers associate with your business? Whether pursuing influencer campaigns or retail opportunities - consider how your brand pairs with the brand you’re partnering with and whether or not this partnership maintains your brand’s integrity. Bypass Burnout Creating and scaling a DTC business is a major undertaking that requires serious mental stamina. Prioritizing your mental health is a must. Here are some tools Brenda employs (based on personal experience with burnout after a significant push when taking Snow to retail) Self Audit - Understand where you’re going and why. If you don’t have discipline and control as to where you want to take your company, it will grow into an unwieldy beast. You need to hone in on why you’re doing it, where you’re going, and how to prioritize your needs and values. 5 Non-Negotiables - Articulate five non-negotiables for your mental health, and book time for them in your calendar. Is it yoga? Going for a run? Facetime-ing your Mum? Make things that fill your cup non-negotiable to preserve your mental and emotional health. Communication Waterfall - As a founder, you only have so much bandwidth - preserve it! Brenda recommends setting up a system of stops and boundaries that empower your team to seek answers themselves before bringing it to your desk (Have you checked the google drive? Have you brought this to your manager? Have you googled it?). Listen to the full pod for more, including how not to be a bottleneck, how to best activate different influencer tiers, and why rebrands aren’t as scary as they sound. Watch: https:// Subscribe: Join:
November 17, 2020
🔑 Keys to Agency Growth with the Pilothouse Principals
This week we return with the Pilothouse founder team to discuss the agency's wild growth and how we've stayed aligned and in-sync while growing from 16 employees 74 during eight months.  📦  How to hire entrepreneurs and GROW equity  📦  Aligning incentives with all staff AND clients 📦  The next opportunities for Digital Agencies 📦  Instilling team vision and values 📦  Over-communication as a rule 📦  Making sure you have everyone on the right seats 📦  Becoming a DEEP integration partner and what that means for our funnel 📦  Business development via content (DTC newsletter anyone?) Subscribe to our newsletter: Watch this cast
November 14, 2020
Pushing Past $100M With Josh Elizetxe
As an agency partner to ❄️ Snow, we’ve enjoyed a front row seat to their journey of both category dominance, and category creation. We caught up with Josh on a podcast to discuss growth in all its dimensions.  Subscribe for the full breakdown: Elizetxe’s (pronounced el-is-et-chay) superpower is his commitment to challenging the status quo. His trailblazing attitude inspires others to think differently.  When it comes to growth, Josh is always willing to explore and experiment in many dimensions at once, both through ad-driven DTC, retail, billboards and more. What follows is an unpacking of Josh’s central ideas about growth that he’s learned throughout the process of scaling his company beyond $100M. Prepare to grow your operation 🔵 Head & the heart: It is essential to have clarifying conversations to determine what success means to you, and what end goal you’re looking to achieve. Is your goal to provide for 5 to 10 people? Are you looking to create a generational company you can pass down to your children? Dig deep to unpack what making an impact means for you and your business. As Elizetxe puts it, thinking about scale starts in your brain and your heart.  🔵 Brace yourself: Be proactive as you prepare to scale. Take what you’re doing and multiply it by 100. What systems and how many people will you need to accommodate that growth? Start to take the next best affordable steps to work towards that goal, putting in place the building blocks for that growth moment.  🔵 Macro management: Elizetxe advocates a high-expectation, low-pressure managerial style. Give your hiree’s full control. Be sure to brace yourself for growing pains in delegation and relinquishing control when scaling to a bigger team. A lot of stress can be reduced by due diligence in the hiring process - hire someone you trust to sit in the driver’s seat.  🔵 Swim with sharks: As you scale, hire those that share your risk appetite. You want your team filled with scrappy folks who are operating on your level. Only egotistical leaders are intimidated by hiring entrepreneurial forces to be reckoned with. 
November 11, 2020
🔪🚀AKNF: The Evolution of a Copywriter
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of the All Killer No Filler podcast where we hang out with the talented members of the Pilothouse agency to tease out the key insights, distinctions, and updates that you need to know to grow your DTC brand fast. My name’s Kyle Guilfoyle and today I’m super excited to be joined by Pilothouse co-founder Kyle Hitchcox as well as our in-house copywriting team Alora Bossy, Brad Knell, and David Franklin. Today we’re going to be nerding out about copy.  Subscribe to DTC Newsletter: What is copy, anyway? And specifically, I’m curious how you explain it to ‘non-marketers’? We like to start episodes with a ‘value rocket’ by asking the question: what’s one thing about copywriting most people don’t know that they probably should? Why is copy important? // OR more interesting → Can you take me back to the time you realized copy was an important skill? What does it mean to be a conversion copywriter? I often think becoming a copywriter is kinda like learning a new language. How would you describe the evolution of, say, someone who knows nothing about copy to becoming a strong copywriter? Also New School vs. Old School → Brad and David have been at this game a loooong time, and Alora, while experienced, hasn’t been at it for -- how long have you guys been at it? -- 15-20 years (or however long it’s been) What steps do you recommend someone take to become a strong copywriter in the shortest amount of time? So the skill of copy kind of has ‘sub skills’ -- offers, hooks, stories, transitions, voice/tone, etc -- do you see copy similarly? If so, what do you think is the most important ‘sub skill’ to master first and why? How do you approach offers? What makes a winning offer? What are your all-time favourite copy tools and resources? Favourite copywriters?
November 7, 2020
Hassle-Free Influencer Marketing in 2021 with Roger Figueiredo, Hashtag Paid
Not getting the results you want with your influencer campaigns? We’re here to help! Step 1. Sign up for our Flywheel Challenge (Only a few spots left and closing the doors on Saturday for REALS.) Step 2. Listen to our conversation with Roger Figueiredo the VP of Marketing and Sales Development for hashtag paid, a leading platform for executing influencer campaigns. We pick Roger’s brain on all things influencer marketing, take a peek at the highlights below: 🚫 Are you making the #1 influencer marketing mistake? Don’t micromanage your creators. Oftentimes businesses are hesitant to relinquish creative control to their influencers undermining the point and benefit of pursuing an influencer campaign. You go to creators for their authenticity - don’t steamroll them into one size fits all creative - they aren’t a billboard. Influencers know how to engage with their audience - let them do their thing. That said - influencers want boundaries! They don’t want to be dictated to, but they do want to be pointed in the right direction. Finding the right balance is key. 🔎 Celebrity Influencers vs. Nano Influencers Depending on the specificity of your product, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to influencer marketing. If your message is broad, appealing to a universal audience with limited targeting or segmentation, a large following traditional celebrity will absolutely do the trick. However, if you have a highly specific message it is a far more impactful strategy to pair with micro-influencers who share your niche audience - you’ll get way more bang for your buck. 📄 The Art of Whitelisting For the uninitiated, whitelisting is when you partner with a creator to run your brand’s ads through their account. Whitelisting benefits from both the authenticity of influencer marketing and the optimization and targeting of Facebook ads. With organic influencer marketing, you’re only targeting the creator’s followers. Whitelisting grants you access to a much larger audience, and it is an effective strategy across your funnel. TIP: Hashtag Paid has had success activating whitelisting campaigns to build client email lists in advance of Black Friday. ⏳ Take Time With Your Customers Successful marketers use influencer marketing across their funnel, over an extended period of time. Repeated interaction with a brand leads to familiarity, which leads to trust. Consumers already trust the influencer they have subscribed to, and therefore will grow to trust your product by proxy. Really good brands are using this familiarity focused strategy of targeting across their funnel for an extended period of time. 💵 Creator Compensation The unfortunate reality is, there is no standard when it comes to creator compensation and the unpredictability of rates can be a huge deterrent for those on the fence about jumping into influencer marketing. This is where Hashtag Paid can help out. In addition to cherry-picking influencers who like your brand, they pre-determine rates and approve creators for whitelisting. Listen to the full pod for a debrief on the COVID-induced creator economy, why legacy brands are reluctant to jump into influencer marketing, how to effectively measure influencer targeting and a laxative case study in influencer authenticity. Sign up for our Flywheel Challenge (Only a few spots left and closing the doors on Saturday for REALS.)
November 5, 2020
All Killer No Filler - Work Less, Save 20% with Automated Rules
For this week's Pilothouse podcast Ask yourself: what am I doing in the account hour-by-hour, day-to-day? Then, how can I automate that. 📦 This cast breaks down our favorite automations for testing, stop loss, and optimization. 📦 The ad testing automation that gives you scalable data at a fraction of the cost 📦 The Stop-loss automation that adds 20% to your bottom line 📦 What happens when you over automate things, and how to avoid it 📦 Ultimate naming conventions for campaigns Lots more Subscribe: Watch:
October 31, 2020
DTC Principles To Live by With Jason Akatiff
⏳ How much time and effort can having a set of principles for business and life that you've honed down to sharp blades to help you pare down to what's really important? The answer is in this podcast.. Jason Akatiff is the founder of, a powerhouse affiliate marketing network, as well as ecommerce brands BauBax and Boundery.   Jason has been a performance marketer since the 90’s and is an advisor and overall DTC strategy expert who has generated a quarter-billion dollars in affiliate commissions (and billions in ecommerce sales) throughout his career. He’s also a mentor of Eric’s - basically making him DTC’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Watch this week’s sneak preview as Jason shares his take on what has been happening in the affiliate space during COVID-19 and discusses his guiding principles,100 of which he has recently shared on his blog. Here are three fundamental principles he unpacks on the pod:  Never build something for cash flow alone. Always build for cash flow and value creation. You’ll make a lot more (with a lot fewer taxes) selling what you’ve created if executed right. Be efficient in your solutions and help. Synthesize long-winded answers down to the core of the issue (this principle led to the creation of Akatiff’s blog).  Train your talented people to be system builders. Focus on building and creating new and different things that other people haven’t been able to do.  You can find Jason’s other 97 principles on business, vision/planning, process, hr/culture, and tech/dev, over at (highly recommended). Take a listen to the full value-packed conversation on our podcast. We run the gamut from HR and structuring strategy to skill development, COVID-19 responses, to further Star Wars references, and why you should be taking 100+ days of vacation a year. 
October 29, 2020
🔪🚀All Killer No Filler - Listen to this URGENTLY
This week on AKNF we are joined by Pilothouse Senior Media Buyers Raven Dixon and Stu Mason for a rapid fire discussion of the tactics and strategies that are moving the needle for our agency this week. Off the top we discuss "what to do when you need to test new assets and Facebook continually wants to go back to the same well?" To Join the DTC Influencer Flywheel Challenge (course) Nov 10-13, join the waiting list here: Subscribe to our newsletter: We cover: 📦 How to create REAL urgency and leverage scarcity with your ads (especially around BFCM) 📦 Consider your MARGIN first when advertising on Facebook (and what to do if your product has a low AOV).  📦 Digging deep on Pre-sales landing page data to optimize and improve 📦 The POWER of Pre-orders (the ultimate brand flex) 📦 Don't be afraid of letting it all hang out and put your EGO in your ads 📦  How long do we have jobs? The Future of Facebook Ads in a world of smart automation. To Join the DTC Influencer Flywheel Challenge (course) Nov 10-13, join the waiting list here: Subscribe to our newsletter:
October 24, 2020
SEVEN Figures WITHOUT Instagram or Facebook: Molly Borman, JustNips
🤗  Hey y'all! This pod with Molly Borman from JustNips For All was a lot of fun and filled with high-value topics that we don’t often talk about on DTC. Check it out.    Subscribe: Listen: As marketers, our first impulse is to buy ads to grow our business. For many of us, this approach has worked wonders. But what if you couldn’t advertise on social media at all?  Meet the indomitable Molly Boorman, founder and CEO of Just Nips Fake Nipples, the fastest growing breast cancer nipple accessory on the market, and author of The Instagram Iceberg, a #1 New Release on Amazon.   After Instagram’s restrictive policies resulted in Just Nips being removed from the platform, Molly pivoted to a social media free strategy and is pioneering what she calls “The Iceberg.”  The Iceberg is everything other than social media that goes on under the surface to make your business grow.   Molly’s path found her scaling her company with attention to detail, word of mouth, PR, community and more.     Listen for Molly’s “marketing epiphany” and other impactful insights in the pod:    📦 The power of word of mouth, grassroots community building, and the shift to hyper-locality  📦  The necessity of authenticity and storytelling and how to sell your story to the press  📦  Why dumping your money into Facebook ads (blindly) is never the answer  📦  Experiences of a first-time founder, and a temperature check on the entrepreneurial climate Listen to the full pod for Molly’s Just Nips journey, along with her titillating takes, tips, and refreshing approach to socials.  Subscribe: Listen:
October 22, 2020
🔪🚀 All Killer, No Filler: The $100K Facebook / Amazon Bridge
We had a VERY exciting week at Pilothouse, due mainly to Amazon PRIME Day.  We've been growing our Amazon. This year for one client we did over $100K in revenue, just on Amazon this past week.  We go deep on Amazon and how to: 📦 Optimize your Amazon listing (images, bullet points, keywords, product description + content) 📦 PPC campaigns for maximizing Prime Day 📦 How to use ACOS to maximum effect (Amazon Cost of Sale) 📦 The Benefits of Maximizing Prime Day for BCFM and Organic (Getting on the Top 100 List) 📦 Promoting Amazon listings with Facebook Ads (Facebook Amazon Bridge) to Rapidly launch products 📦 How to leverage FBM (fulfilled by Merchant) listings along with regular FBA Subscribe for Weekly Digest of Insights: Watch this podcast on YT:
October 17, 2020
🍷 Uncorking DTC Wine Potential with Simon Solis-Cohen
Marketing in a restricted industry? Interested in subscription-based sales? This one's for you!  In our latest pod, we chat with Simon Solis Cohen of Highway 29 Creative - an expert in DTC wine marketing.  With a hospitality background and experience in the Napa wine scene, Simon took his passion for wine to the digital marketing space specializing in e-commerce, marketing, and DTC sales for the wine industry.  We’ve decanted key takeaways from our chat to help you crush your DTC marketing goals. Get it? Wine? Crushing grapes? No? You’ve stopped reading? Great. (or should I say, grape 🍇) 🍷 Build a one to one relationship  Marketing in a restricted industry like alcohol, CBD, or cannabis presents a unique challenge, restricted by changing laws and regulations. As Simon put it, you have one hand tied behind your back.  🍷 Be the star of your own story With the wine industry at a crossroads seeing oversupply and increasing competition, it is essential to stand apart. Simon hones in on vision, mission, and values as critical to differentiation. This requires more than, “We make great wine!” - to be successful you have to dig a little deeper and connect with your audience through your values, doing something outside the box, or origin story.  🍷 Lean into lifestyle  Simon seeks to get into the mindset of people drinking wine and then paint that lifestyle through content. Too often, content is created focusing on the product rather than the lifestyle that surrounds that product. High-quality awareness content is not just about “here’s a bottle of wine,” in fact, Simon has found his worst performing content is bottle photography - it’s hard to connect to an object. The most effective imagery? People.  🍷  Harnessing UGC reviews People are always posting UGC in the form of reviews. This feedback is essential for growth, but also make great ad content! If you’re in an industry with scoring, point allotments, or any common language used amongst consumers, use that to your advantage! Advertise your rankings/ scores, especially if given by known reviewers. Find those 5-star reviews and share them (giving credit to the source, of course). This is premade high-quality copy - what’s not to love? 🍷  OG DTC & Subscription Sips Wine clubs were one of the first subscription models out there, and have proved to be a great way to maximize LTV. In Simon’s experience, the high customer acquisition cost (usually looking at a $20-$30 spend) to acquire a subscription is worth the initial loss. Once secured, customers don’t usually fall off until the 11-month mark. If you can earn their loyalty over that first 1-year hump - you’ll most likely obtain a nice, long term, subscription.  Wine Clubs are having a bit of a reckoning at the moment, reevaluating their legacy structure in light of new offerings in the DTC Market. Historically, wine subscriptions have held a more old school “you get what you get and you don’t get upset” mentality, offering 1-3 shipments a year, with predetermined options. Now, looking at other subscription models of have changed this - wine needs to evolve. Rather than forcing your client to take six bottles of whatever you decide, when you decide - now wine club members can choose their frequency, their quantity, and their product - give the customer choice to cater their experience to their needs/wants.  Don't want to just hear it through the grapevine? To learn more about Simon’s 5 stage wine marketing funnel, why cab sauv is king, the legacy of Sideways, and harvesting geekiness in the wine industry. Watch the full video here:
October 15, 2020
All Killer, No Filler - "Even IF..." for 3x Lift
Can you improve your ads 3x with simple hacks like using "Even IF" at the beginning of your ads? YES! This week's AKNF features Pilothouse media buyers discussing the issues of the day including: 📦 "Even IF" for 3x lift 📦 28 Days Stayed (q4 relief from Big Blue) 📦 Bundling Kungfu 📦 Conversion API early return (and cash bonuses!) Featuring Kylh Eitchcox, @Liam Robinson @Taylor Cain Eric Dyck Subscribe to DTC Newsletter: Watch this episode: Join the Flywheel Challenge!
October 10, 2020
400% Growth Through Content Iteration with CrossRope Srdjan Popovic
For our latest podcast, we sat down with Srdjan Popovic, Chief Marketing Officer of Crossrope. He happens to be a DTC Newsletter superfan. 🙌🏻 Subscribe to our Newsletter: Watch this Video Podcast: Crossrope is on a mission to become a household name in the fitness space. They have innovated the jump rope with their weighted, interchangeable ropes and accompanying app providing portable workouts that can be activated anywhere. Crossrope has seen a 400% growth in the last year. How? Srdjan credits three key elements: Agility Iteration Access to an extensive library of footage 🔑 Agility & iteration are essential Iterative creative is essential. With a process of agile creative, and clear communication between teams to close the feedback loop, Srdjan and team have had success tracking and evaluating what creative approaches are working across different touchpoints and then acting on their findings as soon as possible in other campaigns. Their strategy requires data-based decision making and quick pivots - if something isn’t working change it, and change fast. 🔑 Create LOTS of content (more than you think you need) Have a comprehensive library of content and footage that you can work with to activate in different stages of your funnel. The benefit of an extensive library is that you can quickly pivot at a moment’s notice towards newly discovered opportunities (as outlined above) - you don’t want to miss out on the moment, so preparation is critical. For example, when COVID hit, Crossrope immediately pivoted to an at-home focus appealing to the new reality of isolation and work/play from home. They were able to shift immediately and reframe their entire campaign thanks to their bank of material. TIP: When filming creative, Srdjan advocates shooting multiple concepts. Shoot a few different intros and angles so that you have “play-dough” to work with, allowing you to pivot should your initial vision for your content not land with consumers. The first 3 seconds of any video are the most important, so be sure to film multiple hooky intros. Read on for other value bombs from our conversation with Srdjan: 🔑 Meet your customers where they are Srdjan advocates for meeting the customer where they’re at, appealing to their actual circumstances, rather than aspirational ones. Meeting people where they’re at can be as simple as pivoting your messaging based on seasonality. In the Crossrope context, their summer messaging pivots towards jump rope as an outdoor workout you can take on roadtrips. Where Christmas time messaging would shift to fitness goals and meeting your new year’s resolutions. ✈️ Build the plane as you’re flying it Srdjan’s career to date is based on his ability to solve problems on the fly. As he put it, “building the plane as you’re flying it.” You don’t need degrees on degrees to make things happen for yourself, but you do need to know how to solve problems and have a willingness to learn. Everything can be self-taught with the right tools and resources. Your top skill is your ability to learn and learn quickly as things move around you. In addition to all this actionable intel, Srdjan also gifted us with a promo code! Get 10% off any jump rope set with code DTC10. (Alexa, play Jump by Van Halen 🤘🏼) 📦 Watch your sneak preview of this week’s full pod for some insight on podcast ads, how to infuse comedy in your creative, how Srdjan activates on DTC value bombs, and to hear us bask in Srdjan’s praises -  it’s almost too much. (just kidding, keep telling us we’re great!) Subscribe to our Newsletter: Watch this Video Podcast:
October 8, 2020
🔪🚀AKNF: 28-Days Later, Conversion API, SnapChat and BFCM Prep
Join our @Pilothouse media buyer brainstorm, as we prepare for Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2020.  In this 30 minute value rocket, we cover: 📦 UGC Mashup mechanics (thumbnails, captions, and workflows 📦 Fall out from 28-day Conversion Window deprecation (what will it mean for Facebook Ads v. Google Ads) 📦 Limitations of Server to Server + Conversion API + Shopify  📦 BFCM Preparations! Roadmapping offers and Strategy! 📦 Top of funnel strategies on SnapChat (Unlock your conversion events!) 📦 Black Friday goes 100% Online, what will it mean? Subscribe: Watch:
October 3, 2020
Crushing SEO without Backlinks with Nick Jordan
Nick Jordan is a character. and a razor sharp SEO with results to back up his bombastic opinions. In his first three years in business with he's grown several websites from 0-100,000 in a year, some projects doing 500K organics already all with zero focus on backlinks. "There are 3 main things people think about when they think about SEO and I don't do any of them." ⛔️ Backlinks ⛔️ Technical SEO ⛔️ Praying to the Google Gods Watch: Subscribe: He lays out his entire methodolgy in this podcast, screensharing his private tools, giving you a clear picture of how all of it works, including: 📦 Why Content velocity is your biggest lever with SEO 📦 How to link sites internally to create the most juice 📦 How to create top, middle, and bottom funnel SEO content 📦 How to think about grouping keywords on pages 📦 How to find new dimensions within your keyword research 📦 Why content velocity is a moat 📦 How to do all this without the content hamster wheel feeling 📦 Why Efficiency Score it the #1 ranking metric 📦 The biggest missed opportunities for DTC and SEO Learn all about this and lots more in this action packed poddy from DTC and Nick Jordan Watch: Subscribe: KEY LINKS Keyword Grouping Tool: Quality Content is Key: Drive Your SEO Results with Content Velocity: Brandjacking 101: Hiring Your SEO Content Writing Team: Josh Fletcher's Growth Hacking Bible:
October 1, 2020
🚀🔪 All Killer, No Filler LIVES! FB Conversion Window Hacks, Shopify Native Upsells, Twenty Percent Text Changes
The Pilothouse agency leaders return for a fast past discussion of the top media buying issues of the day.  📦 One day click view campaign hacks 📦 Creating lookalikes from Google Click ID for higher intent 📦 YouTube Crushing in Lead Generation 📦 Pre-Covid Pixel Seasoning - Should you nuke your pixel? 📦 20% text rule overturned, how to take advantage 📦 Mystery Products Rule! 📦Upsell Landscape Changing Fast Subscribe:
September 26, 2020
Proving Packaging Performance with Kevin Smith from SmashBrand
How to Create Packaging that Performs with SmashBrand’s Kevin Smith The DTC Podcast sat down with SmashBrand’s Kevin Smith to discuss all things package design strategy. He delivered practical, implementable advice on reducing risk, differentiating your brand, and communicating your values to your customers. Kevin is the founder and managing partner of SmashBrand, working with clients such as Kraft Heinz, Duracell, 7-Eleven, and Paypal to innovate their packaging design, brand strategy, branding, and consumer testing. Kevin started his career as a CPG entrepreneur growing several brands to over $40M in revenue before pivoting to his true passion - brand strategy and creative direction. Watch the full conversation here or read on for key takeaways from Kevin’s data-driven differentiation-based strategies. ✏️ Subscribe: 📺 Watch:
September 24, 2020
Gut Instincts For DTC Growth with BIOHM Health’s CEO Afif Ghannoum
👋🏻 Greetings DTCers! This week we have a doozie of a podcast filled with valuebombs about radical differentiation via expertise, $200K individual ambassadors, and how to create an effective echo chamber with earned media to grow your brand on autopilot. Meet BIOHM Health CEO @Afif Ghannoum,  A biotechnology attorney, and FDA regulatory expert. In addition to his role as CEO of BIOHM Health, Afif has launched three biotechnology companies with over $15 million in private equity financing, launched products in over 25,000 retail stores, and licensed technology to a global pharmaceutical company for a product sold in over 100,000 stores. 🤩 Subscribe: His father is renowned scientist Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum, who made the breakthrough digestive health discovery that bacteria and fungi work together to dissolve digestive plaque in the gut. Recognizing an opportunity, Affif teamed with his father, leveraging his father’s expertise and landmark discovery to launch gut health company, BIOHM Health. BIOHM is currently seeing monthly sales approaching seven figures through tactics outlined here:
September 17, 2020
What Exactly Does a Head of Growth Do? Margaret Fortner from
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be in the mind of a Head of Growth at a top DTC brand? Learn how to not only think like a growth marketer, but also how to put together a small ‘n’ mighty growth team for your DTC brand in today’s cast with Hydrant’s Head of Growth Margaret Fortner. Tune-in to Margaret’s data-focused thinking and learn… 📈 What does the Head of Growth do, anyway? 📈 How can you make data clear so that it tells a story? 📈 Why simple testing goals will keep you out of the weeds 📈 How Margaret has grown an efficient growth team 📈 And lots more Subscribe: Watch:
September 9, 2020
Build An Ambassador Army With Crew Fire’s Alan VanToai
Build Your Ambassador ARMY Today!  In this cast, we uncover the exponential power that connection and community can have when it’s baked into your brand. Alan VanToai is the founder of Crew Fire -- a one-stop-shop for brands to build, mobilize, and incentivize their ambassador army!  📩 Subscribe to DTC Newsletter 📺  Watch DTC Video  With both Apple and Google making moves limit Facebook’s Pixel power and compromising advertisers ability to track and reach their audience, now is the perfect time to turn your customers into selling machines by building a brand ambassador community. 👊🏽 Alan started as a Red Bull ambassador himself back in 2007. He was able to see first-hand how an engaged community can rapidly grow a brand. "There was a directory of all the other ambassadors not just in the country, but around the world [...] and I was able to look up the local ambassadors and hit 'em up [...] and say, 'I'd love to connect with you, grab coffee, and by the way, my friends and I are hosting a party, could we get some product?' and they'd hook it up. Now I'm a Red Bull superfan." Fast forward to today and Alan’s helping others do the same thing for THEIR brand. This cast goes deep into the why and the how behind brand ambassador programs.  Some of the benefits Alan’s seen come out of his client’s brand communities include: ⏩ Increased Conversion Rates (While Cutting Marketing Spend) with User-Generated Content ⏩ New Customers via Word-of-Mouth and Referral Sales ⏩ Greater Efficiency & Effectiveness Across Paid Social, Social, and Content Channels ⏩ Increased LTV of Your Most Valuable Customers ⏩ A New Hybrid Between Owned, Earned, and Paid Media (Which Enhances All The Rest) Convinced? Tune in to learn more about how you can grow your brand through ambassadors 🚀
September 3, 2020
Seven Figure First Year: Building a Category Busting Bar in Public
This week’s DTC podcast with Mid-Day Squares Co-founder and COO, @Nick Saltarelli is dedicated to wives and partners everywhere! Subscribe: Watch: My wife and I love quality chocolate, and she’s a huge fan of protein bars. When she came across Mid-Day Squares, which, according to their ads are “Everything a chocolate bar isn’t, everything a protein bar wishes it was,” she knew she had to pull out her credit card. She told me about the company and I promptly booked a podcast with Nick Saltarelli, the COO and co-founder of Mid-Day Squares out of Montreal. Nick’s wife has been a true partner in business since they met, and the recipe for their category blending confectionary functional bars was her original idea. Multiple failed business attempts (plus one big winning exit), and a multi-year partnership with McGill University Food Science Lab and Mid-Day Squares was born. With product names like “Fudge Yeah,” and “Bust a Peanut” (coined by a female staff member, he’s quick to point out), Mid-Day Squares shot to $1.6 Million in sales in their first full year (in Canada alone). Now with US retail and DTC expansion in sight, they’re aiming for 8 figures in 2021. This podcast was an amazing deep dive on: 🍫 How to find and combine two niches ready to pop (quality chocolate + functional bars) 🍫 Breakfast is clogged, but the afternoon snacking market is a blue ocean 🍫 Name your company with how to consume your product 🍫 How to “build in public” and create content that drives unstoppable momentum with only your personal network 🍫 Why their first employee was a videographer 🍫 How to measure the true impact of your marketing, and determine retail lift from ad spend 🍫 How to leverage University partnerships to tackle high barrier product development 🍫 How Mid-Day went from 15% DTC to 50/50 when Covid hit. 🍫 The real job of a COO (moving sidewalks) 🍫 Centralized vs Decentralized decision making in your organization Nick challenged all DTC marketers to embrace a truly omnichannel pricing strategy that makes it so your product costs the same, no matter where it’s listed. The days of DTC companies passing savings on to customers for “going direct” are over, he says. The goal of building longevity in the space is to make as many people as much money as possible, while still being profitable. This is the reason he’d never undercut a retail partner by offering Mid-Day Squares cheaper online. Subscribe: Watch:
August 27, 2020
Napkin Sketch to $100 Million In Sales with Keranique's Tom Shipley
This week, we interviewed Tom Shipley who took Keranique Hair Regrowth from a napkin sketch to $100,000,000 in sales in 18 months. Subscribe: Watch: Some of the ear-nuggets you’ll find in this interview include: 📦How to maximize the lifetime value of a customer at each step of the funnel 📦 How to build a team that will crush your competitors  📦 The DTC blue ocean of merging product with content (hot product + great offer + story = next level of growth) 📦 What Tom considers to be the most important entrepreneurial skill 📦The “Simple Exponential Math” to increase your bottom line by 50% Speaking of the bottom line, our favorite quote from Tom was this: “I don’t give a shit about 10X-ing my top-line. I want to successfully 10x my bottom line while I’m delighting my customers. That’s the formula for long-term success.” Subscribe: Watch:
August 20, 2020
Scaling Knives to 8 Figures: Advanced Funnels for Ecommerce with Bokashi Steel
What happens when two funnel loving brothers join forces with a fifty million dollar iconic brand, that has never really advertised? Subscribe: Listen: This week on DTC podcast we jumped on with Jordan and Oliver Lamb from Bokashi Steel Knives to discuss their funnels, as well as their new partnership with OG DTC Icon Big Green Egg bbq. 🔵 High end ClickFunnels + Shopify setups 🔵 Use digital incentives for ecommerce lead gen (think knife skills) 🔵 Referral programs and post purchase flows using reversion 🔵 $100K in sales with ZERO Ads with this “Collection Box” strategy Subscribe to DTC Newsletter: Get us in your ears:
August 13, 2020
DTC's Most Intimate Connection - JustWears, Alex Walsh
🛑 This Just Wears DTC podcast is rated NSFW for irreverent underwear related copy like "palace for your fallus", and "Let your gonads be nomads" 🛑   Subscribe:   The DTC movement sometimes feels like a religion, or even a cult     (a really awesome one)   But that's only because a lot of very vibrant and intelligent people, engaged in meaningful work with disruptive startups and multinational CPG companies, all recognize a core aspect about how commerce is evolving.   At its core, DTC is about connection and about how, by going direct, you can create a new kind of customer relationship that's more personal, dynamic and valuable long term.   Alex Walsh Cofounder/CFO of JustWears is the PERFECT person to chat with about why DTC is such a big deal, and HOW to build a a brand with intimate connections in mind.   In this cast Alex gives a masterclass on DTC core principles, while Pilothouse team members Raven Dixon and Liam Robinson go deep on some of the copy and content marketing tactics that have helped them grow 5X in the last year.   In this cast you'll find   📦 The JustWears story 📦 What does DTC really mean? 📦 Alex's advice on Kickstarter 📦 Overview of Underwear - Afterthought product for Big Brands 📦 Establishing Brand voice with Humor 📦 How to clear the content bottleneck and keep your feeds fed 📦 Why Alex still replies to comments on his ads 📦 Dragons' Den Experience (and how to leverage it in ads) 📦 How to let success pull you rather than pushing so hard   For breakdowns of these casts and lots more subscribe:
August 6, 2020
Supplements in 2020: Stand Out, Scale Up, and Save the Bees with Microbe Formulas' Dave Huffman
Going from $15M to $50M, and from 1 - 15 in a marketing department is a tall order for any marketer.  After turning down the job multiple times Dave Huffman came up with a plan.   ✏️Subscribe to DTC Newsletter:   This podcast with Dave Huffman from Microbe Formulas answers 2 MASSIVE questions for any entrepreneur.   ① How to truly differentiate within your niche? ② How to structure your highest level strategy in a way that auto-manages your team? 🐝Bonus: How Microbe might just be able to save the. bees   Any real ones, know these are big ones. This cast is full of massive valuebombs along with these   📦 Free plus shipping still killing 📦 Sitewide promo strategy 📦 Growing from 1-15 employees in 3 months. 📦 Marketing the delivery mechanism as a differentiator 📦 Registration path traffic 📦 Best video editing software 📦 Podcasts as Flux Capacitor for your content marketing 📦 The strategic formula that sorts your team out 📦 KOLBE Assessment for team building based on action taking   This cast was just insanely valuable. I can't wait to break it down further in an upcoming DTC Newsletter.   ✏️Subscribe to DTC Newsletter:    
July 29, 2020
Pilothouse Principles Return to AKNF! 💥 UTM Lookalikes, Upsell Blueprint, Tai Lopez Buys Pier One
It was great to sit back down with the Pilothouse founders and friends to discuss some hot button issues happening right now in our space and on the front lines of our agency. 📦 Tai Lopez is buying Pier One Imports 📦 Sketchy store closing ads 📦 Boomer Businesses 📦 How is CCPA affecting our lead gen campaigns? (and how we're recovering) 📦 DCT (Dynamic Creative) built more for scaling than testing ✍🏻For these insights and more, subscribe to our newsletter: For the ultimate, full-stack digital marketing agency experience, consider
July 24, 2020
$5K - $10M - Scaling Watches with Google Shopping with Branzio's Ronnie Teja
With his last $5000 dollars Ronnie Teja flew to a watch fair in China secured the inventory to sell his first watches. He sold those profitably, and has never looked back, scaling three different men's accessory brands across 77 countries, with each reaching $10M in sales, in just the last 4 years.  In this cast: 📦Google Shopping bidding strategy 📦Acquisition of affiliate content sites 📦YouTube killing for Mens Accessories 📦Installing E.O.S. in your business to raise your game ✅Subscribe for all the best insights from this cast: 👂🏼Get us in your ears: Ronnie and I go way back in the affiliate game, so it was awesome to connect about all the ways he's grown as a marketer and as a business owner. In this cast we talk about how to get the most mileage from Google Shopping with your bidding strategies, how to find and aquire organic affiliate content sites, how YouTube is blowing up for men's accessories, and most importantly, how to install an Entrepreneur Operating System (EOS) extract yourself from the day to day grind of your business. All that and some cricket 🏏 ✅Subscribe for all the best insights from this cast: 👂🏼Get us in your ears:
July 24, 2020
DTC 1 - Scaling Streetwear with Ambassador Ads - FRONTRVNNERS Joshua Jackai
👋🏻 Today marks the first ever DTC podcast! Technically, this is a continuation of the Hot Seat series we've been doing with @Pilothouse but today's marks the transition to our own brand! 🎉🚀📦 For a weekly digest of insights from this podcast, subscribe to our newsletter here: 👉🏻 This episode has it all: first touch ambassador ads, selling masks PRE-covid, investing in influencers, streetwear brand building, low key spirituality, and even SOP flexes by Alex Stiehl It was amazing to sit down and riff with Joshua Jackai on his journey building a high integrity streetwear up to solid figures a month and scaling, using an interesting ambassador tactic that recruits an army of micro-influencers to buy a product, be part of the brand and recruit others. This episode has it all This Ad driven ambassador plan is only possible because he's built a brand and a message that resonates with his audience. His message? That's for you to figure out but we really vibed with the brand's low key spirituality and Joshua's super hungry appetite to grow this thing. Dan Norcia and @Eric Dyck provide some solid funnel feedback about how to make small differences to see big improvements. Hope you enjoy 📦 📦 Joshua’s brand story with Frontrvnners streetwear 📦 What’s Joshua’s background with streetwear (BAPE, Diamond) 📦 How to create apparel that resonates with streetwear consumers 📦 Brand Ambassador + Customer acquisition in a single campaign (unique funnel) 📦 How are your brand ambassador campaigns structured on Facebook? 📦 The numbers on Joshua’s brand ambassador campaigns 📦 Targeting true micro influencers who want to be influencers 📦 Why this approach works in the streetwear niche 📦 Started running masks with a Direct marketing approach 📦 How has selling masks worked (ahead of the curve selling 2 years ago) 📦 Streetwear and influencers. How he Joshua got started in Vancouver 📦 Book recommendation “Grouped” how to infiltrate actual social groups with your brand 📦 Dan suggests product inserts to create more ambassadors 📦 Eric suggests using Typeform rather than google sheets to extend the brand experience 📦 $50K investment question: where would you put it? Talent, consultants. 📦 What are the key aspects to your mindset that are helping you succeed? (integrity) 📦 Spiritual vibe to the brand (low key Christianity) Low Key Christianity is the next wave (eric’s prediction) 📦 Joshua edits diversity into all his images. Important theme. Subtle progressivism. 📦 Adaptability and surveillance 📦 Joshua’s approach to automated systems (big evolution of the biz) 📦 Weird power flex by Alex Stiehl hundreds of SOPs 📦 Eric’s CRO advice for Ambassador funnel 📦 The Power of Facebook Groups 📦 Joshua asks what Pilothouse is: “relentless iteration” 📦 How to use SMS deftly in Frontrvnners funnel (eric) For a weekly digest of insights from this podcast, subscribe to our newsletter here: 👉🏻
July 17, 2020
Quadrupling Conversion Rate: Contrast Testing for Ads and Content (AKNF #9)
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. For a weekly digest of insights from this podcast, subscribe to our newsletter here: 👉🏻 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 For a weekly digest of insights from this podcast, subscribe to our newsletter here: 👉🏻
July 17, 2020
Building Trust with Email Marketing for Ecom and Lead Gen (AKNF #11) with Julien Normand and Brett Turner
A wise meme once said 💁🏻‍♂️ "It's Free Real Estate." I don't think they were talking about email marketing, but they could have been. Pilothouse has been building our team for the past few months, sniping expert @Julien Normand to lead the charge. We're now trailblazing with several of our brands on the ecommerce and lead generation side. Today we dove deep with @pilothouse head of email @Julien Normand on email for ecommerce AND lead gen, with in-house lead gen expert @Brett Turner 📧Julien’s basic ecom email philosophy strategy 📧Building education into your email flow 30-40% promo 60-40% educational 📧We see brands using soft CTA to just get the email 📧It’s ok to give an offer right away in email, but the focus should be building trust and 📧Which ESPs are preferred (different on Ecom and Lead Gen) 📧Multi-touch point email campaign for lead gen example. Touch points increase conversion! 📧HTML vs Plain Text in Email 📧Headlines for Open Rate vs Click Rate (Does Clickbait work?) 📧Julien talks about headlines and open rates 📧Email marketing segmentation - How much is enough? 📧Post purchase flow for best LTV 📧Where and how to use emojis for best results 📧Julien’s final words on Email marketing “Do Better!” (*stinger potential) 📧Sunset Flows, or manual list scrubs are a must!
July 10, 2020
Facebook Ads for Food and Beverage - Slate Milk - Manny Lubin
Slate Chocolate Milk has reinvented chocolate milk and repositioned it for adults, with more protein, less sugar, and minimal, ethical packaging. Find out how they're driving 50% of their sales on DTC on FB and Instagram (and find out how they could 10X with Pilothouse advice).  Manny Lubin, as the DTC marketing focused founder within a duo, goes deep on his Facebook and Instagram strategy for Food and Beverage and Pilothouse opens up about exactly how to use 3rd party publicity like Shark Tank in your funnels to create engagement GOLD and big increases in AOV, EPC, and LTV. We discuss: 🟤 How covid has made them 50/50 DTC vs Retail, but how they want to be 20/80 with a focus on grocery 🟤 How they took milk back to the drawing board to reinvent this childhood staple 🟤 How their Shark Tank experience went south, but still had a massive positive impact. 🟤 How to use Shark Tank in your funnels for DTC Marketing as well as WHY using third party publicity in your presales works 🟤 Why ITERATION is the key when it comes to testing audiences and creative  🟤 How to increase "first moment of truth sales" and the Old Spice problem (better retargeting campaigns). 🟤 Slate's Post Purchase email flow 🟤 Slate's testing methodology when it comes to discounts and promos 🟤 Pilothouse squad sells Manny on Presales content...WHY does it work? Widen out your funnel 🟤 Relentless Iteration and third party brands 🟤 20x apparel company with Shark Tank 3rd party validation 🟤 How Apparel for chocolate milk supports the vision  🟤 $50K Grant - Love to see it - Would go RIGHT into DTC digital marketing 🟤  What's slowing Slate from Scaling RIGHT NOW?
July 9, 2020
Rebrand to Expand: Theragun Becomes Therabody to Sell CBD via "Jobs to Be Done"
💪🏻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: 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
June 29, 2020
Small Wins, LinkedIn, Amazon, and Getting Your ASS KICKED Disrupting Snacking with iWon Organics
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 💪🏻 We Covered - 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 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:
June 29, 2020
SuperCoffee's Jim DiCicco Turns Down Shark Tank, Drives $80M Bringing "Sips to Lips"
🔥🪑 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 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!
June 29, 2020
💎10 Million Diamonds: Scaling a Luxury Brand 10X
🚀🪑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.
May 28, 2020
Advanced Lead Generation in 2020
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
May 26, 2020
Kickstarter For Jeans - Duer Denim
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!
May 22, 2020
Influencer Collabs at SCALE With PureLei's John Hagan
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  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)
May 20, 2020
First Person Explainer Videos And More
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
May 20, 2020
How To Get 175k TRUE Followers
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
May 20, 2020
The Power of Giveback Marketing - Vessi Footwear
🛒🌎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.   
May 20, 2020
Email Marketing Hacks with Crossnet
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
May 20, 2020
Conversion Rate Optimization with Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening & Smoothie Box
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
May 20, 2020
Fix CREATIVE BURNOUT on Facebook Ads
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
May 20, 2020
The "It's True" Ad Copy Hook
🚀🔪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
May 20, 2020
Testing Insta Page vs To The Product Description Page Directly
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)
May 20, 2020
Traffic Is On Sale! Learn How To Ride This Wave!
🟢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
May 20, 2020
What to do when a client says "Hit the Gas"!
🚀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
May 20, 2020
Drop Your CPAs 20% - 50% With This Hack
👀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
May 20, 2020
How To Advertise During A Global Pandemic
👋🏻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.
May 20, 2020