Depesh Mandalia is often referred to as the 'Facebook Ads Chef'.
He is the CEO and Founder of SM Commerce and ZASR Digital, and is responsible for over $100M of revenue generated and over $20M of profitable Facebook ad spend.
Depesh Mandalia is on a mission to help entrepreneurs leverage digital marketing to build highly profitable businesses, faster.
Depesh also talks about the need and obligation of marketers to create customer personas, write copy the directly appeals to each persona and the importance of telling stories that sell your brand’s essence.
With the above in place Depesh drills on the importance of using effective audience filtering in funnels in the technical aspects of media buying.
Depesh has officially broken a 2X eCommerce Podcast record; he is the only guest we have had three times on the show! For those that do not know Depesh, he was a guest on episode 29 of the show, back in 2015 when he was Digital Marketing Lead at LostMyName, helping the then startup sell 600,000 copies of a personalized children’s storybook in just two years exclusively via Facebook advertising – he went on to scale them from 6 to 8 figures ($26.5M).
Depesh’s second feature on 2X eCommerce was in 2018, Season 3, episode 44, when he talked about how he had at the time profitably managed over $20 million ad spend on Facebook over the previous 5 years and guided us on how to prep up for Q4.
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09:03 – Introducing Depesh Mandalia
09:28 – Depesh’s Background
11:34 – Depesh’s Growth story
He started as a developer, then he went into Project Management, and stumbled into eCommerce.
He was a Website Project Manager in 2005, known today as Conversion Rate Experts.
Lost his job in 2009 recession, stumbled into affiliate offers.
In 2012, he lost organic traffic due to changes in Google and went into Facebook ads.
Started his ad agency called SM Commerce in 2017.
He made an SOP for ads which became an internal training course in 2018.
He published the course thus opening more opportunities for him to widen his network and open up the coaching/info product market.
18:20 – The Lost My Name Story
Depesh was leading the marketing in Lost My Name, selling personalized book products.
Took the company from $0 to $26.5M in eighteen months
Exponential growth cannot be achieved with Facebook alone.
Growth of the company’s support team is necessary to utilise a successful marketing strategy.
20:40 – Marketing through storytelling
Storytelling is where it’s at no matter what product you’re selling, it’s all about getting across the feeling.
People are less likely to interact with your product if consumers don’t feel anything.
Focus on strengthening related skills such as copywriting and public speaking.
25:37 – Nurture creativity in children so that it’s sustained towards adulthood
Children are naturally creative.
For adults, this creativity is hard to get back once lost.
Entrepreneurs should try to be more creative, but this starts in childhood.
27:58 – Brand-driven Performance Marketing (BPM)
Comprehensive SOP created in Depesh’s ad agency published as a guide
30:00 – Significant Changes in BPM from 2018 to 2020
2018: Agency’s SOP was called the Facebook Ads Playbook
2019: Added theming to the Playbook and called it the BPM Method
Updated the BPM Method to be more user-friendly based on student’s feedback
Included modules on funnel and conversion rate optimization
33:30 – Facebook Media Buying
Facebook media buying is about being clever about your marketing.
Route #1: Reducing your costs
Route #2: Getting your AOV (Average Order Value) up
Look through a holistic lens, not just what’s best for Facebook advertising but what is best for your business.
37:23 – Ad spend allocation to each channel to maximise profitability
Lost My Name mainly advertised through Facebook ads but the team constantly searched for ways to diversify traffic in 2015.
Separate budget was created specifically for testing on different channels–Twitter Ads, Facebook Ads, Pinterest
There were no ROAS and CPA goals, the objective was just to maximise insights.
Test not only the channels, but also the conversion rate regarding prices.
SM Commerce used Facebook Split
Test and created three separate products from Shopify.
From the ads with the highest conversion rate, what would happen if upselling is added to the mix?
“Always have the budget where you’re just going a bit left field and thinking differently about how you can enhance conversion rate, AOV, LTV. Cause often, without the shackles of trying to get good CPM/ROAS, you’ll find yourself experimenting with far more freedom and potentially quite better results as well.”
45:03 – Facebook Campaign Structure
Campaign structure has remained largely unchanged since 2015.
“You want to target the right person, at the right time, with the right ad.”
Facebook has a multitude of user information which is utilized for ad targeting and auctioning
Advertisers must pattern their ads to the specific demographics in each part of the funnel.
Understand the various customer profiles and figure out the barriers to purchase for each.
51:35 – Audience Filtering
When re-targeting top-of-funnel video viewers, figure out what they took away from your content and what they missed.
Impact for Facebook video ads must be at the beginning so that potential customers know if an ad would be relevant to them.
Duration of videos is ideally at 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on target AOV.
56:45 – Facebook Attribution Model
Facebook attribution works at the Pixel level not at the Ad account which means Facebook sees all the traffic sources.
Facebook looks at last-click attribution
UTM Tracking aids in differentiating campaigns
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1:02:36 – Best free top-of-funnel channels in the eCommerce space
Find niche communities that have an email list and subscribers to tap into.
E.g. Bounty, a UK company for mothers, had exchanged 1.5 million emails for a fixed CPA
The CPA requested was half of what was currently being spent on Facebook
The first run of the ad caused site instability due to an overwhelming number of visitors
Build post-purchase campaigns to help nurture and influence your audience
Create partnerships with different entities and influencers that are aligned with your brand
Take into account the kind of engagement and the comments of influencers to see what is the right fit
Make sure your incentives seek out your target customers
1:10:18 – Market Segmentation
There are tools such as Klaviyo which can create interesting segments
Media buyers miss out on opportunities when these segmentations are not utilised
Facebook uses your custom audience to create your lookalike audience based on trends and other data.
The broad campaigns are a form of a lookalike.
1:16:45 – Building your own lookalike audience
Quality of data is a main factor. The data of 100 people that purchased your product is higher than 1000 that added to cart.
500-1000 is a good number to start your custom audience, the higher, the better.
Custom audience plateaus after 10,000 inputs
Take note of the seasonality of your product to determine whether to add custom audience data from a month, 6 months, etc.
The more data your account picks up, the more stable it becomes in terms of determining your potential clients.
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