Learn from Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retailers and eCommerce Experts

EPISODE 250 116 mins

Brand-driven Performance Marketing (BPM) with Facebook Advertising

About the guests

Depesh Mandalia

Kunle Campbell

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.

On today’s episode, we talk about Brand-driven Performance Marketing (BPM) – a Facebook media buying methodology coined by Depesh Mandalia that is required in a new era of automation in the Facebook advertising space where; campaign budget optimisation (CBO), dynamic creatives and AI-driven media buying are dominant pillars.

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.

Third time on 2X eCommerce

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.

Covered Topics:

On today’s interview Kunle and Depesh discuss,

  • Depesh Mandalia’s Growth Story
  • Brand-driven Performance Marketing
  • Facebook Media Buying
  • Ad Campaign Structures
  • Market Segmentation and Targeting
  • Campaign Budget Optimization
  • 21X ROAS Case Study

Podcast Show Notes:

  • 01:56 – Join the 2xEcommerce Facebook Group
  • 02:57 – Leave a Review on iTunes
  • 03:15 – What to Expect from Today’s Episode
  • 06:14 – Get the easiest way to backup your Shopify or BigCommerce store and undo unwanted changes with Rewind.io… Mention you heard about them at 2x eCommerce Podcast and get a ONE MONTH FREE TRIAL
  • 07:36 –  Easily Grow Your Business With A Powerful Marketing Automation Platform! Check out Klaviyo
  • 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
  • 1:00:17 – Easily Grow Your Business With A Powerful Marketing Automation Platform! Check out Klaviyo and open a free account now!
  • 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.
  • 1:19:29 – Campaign Budget Optimisation
    • Facebook made CBO mandatory in ad accounts
    • 21X ROAS Facebook Ads Ecommerce Case Study
    • It’s like CBO was made for BPM
    • “Facebook is far more intelligent once you [feed] in the right ingredients for it.”
    • Revealbot – Ad Automation interface
    • Facebook makes the bigger decisions which eliminates the need for a third-party interface.
  • 1:25:00 – The Ad Testing Process
    • Review the number of impressions
    • 2,500-3,000 impressions as threshold for the testing phase
    • “The further away your event is from the click, the more impressions you need.”
    • Testing phase is predominantly top of funnel.
    • Going down to the mid and bottom of funnel, understanding of consumer is used to break down barriers to purchase.
  • 1:27:27 – Ad sets in CBO
    • Budget is managed at the campaign level
    • Multiple variables that need decision-making fall within the campaign for it to decide how to spend
    • 3-5 Ad sets is the magic number
    • Increase duration of ad sets to get relevant data or reduce the number of test elements when aiming for multiple ad sets
    • Manage the size and quality within a campaign by grouping them together
      • 1-3% lookalikes in one campaign, 4-7% in a separate campaign, 8-10% in another campaign and so on
  • 1:31:56 – Create emotional hooks for your products or service and then bring in functionality
  • 1:33:39 – Dynamic Creative Ads
    • Dynamic Creative Ads can’t be paused at certain impression thresholds.
    • Further down the funnel, you can try “Infinity Re-targeting Strategy”
  • 1:35:45 – Facebook takes away the complexity of media buying
  • 1:37:41 – 21X ROAS Case Study
    • Scaled ski accessories company to around $20 million
    • Spent 6-8 weeks heavily testing creatives
    • Peaked at $30K a day in ad spend
    • Fewer budget decisions to make due to CBO and proper data input
    • Both creatives and media buyers collaborate for the content
    • “It’s not the creatives themselves, it’s the angles and the approach that media buyers apply to the creative side of media buying that makes the biggest difference.”
  • 1:42:35 – Static images vs Video Content
    • Video is preferred for the reason of remarketing
  • 1:44:20 – Amex and Ad accounts
    • Maximum of 3 Ad accounts per Amex card
    • Take note of spend limit and billing threshold
    • Alert your payment provider and payment processor when you are planning to scale up on ad spend to prevent being blocked
  • 1:47:46 – Lightning Round
    • What advice would you give to yourself five years ago?
      • Don’t start an agency. It’s really stressful!
    • Are you a morning person?
      • No.
    • What’s your daily morning routine like?
      • Depending on how the kids start.
    • What are two things you can’t live without?
      • I think it would be my family and my laptop.
    • What book are you currently reading?
    • If you could choose a single book or resource that made the highest impact on how you’re building a business and growth, which book would it be?
    • What’s been your best mistake to date? By that I mean a setback that’s given you the biggest feedback.
      • Probably losing my job in ‘09 and it resulted in depression and probably one of the most difficult times of my life but without that, I wouldn’t have gone down the entrepreneurial route.
  • 1:50:22 – Join the 2xEcommerce Accelerator Mastermind Facebook Group

Topic Takeaways:

  • Expanding your marketing targets also means growing the back-end to support incoming clients.
  • Set aside a budget to test out ad channels, upsells, and other ideas to enhance conversion rate.
  • In testing out ads, fail fast and learn quick.
  • Make sure to utilize the massive user data of Facebook to target specific demographics.
  • Partner with different companies, communities, and influencers to increase top-of-funnel
  • Quality of data is of utmost importance when creating your custom audience.
  • It’s not the creatives themselves that makes the biggest difference but the angles and the approach that are applied to the creative side of media buying

Tweetable Quotes:

“Facebook media buying is about being clever about your marketing.”

“You want to target the right person, at the right time, with the right ad.”

Facebook Group • Continue the Conversation

The eCommerce GrowthAccelerator Mastermind Facebook Group has just launched.
It is a community…

✔️ for founders and experts passionately involved in eCommerce
✔️ for the truly ambitious wanting to make an impact in the markets they serve
✔️ for those willing and open to help and share with other members

Here is where to apply to join the Facebook group



This episode is brought to you by:


This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo – a growth marketing platform that powers over 25,000 online businesses.
Direct-to-Consumer brands like ColourPop, Huckberry, and Custom Ink rely on Klaviyo.

Klaviyo helps you own customer experience and  grow high-value customer relationships right from a shopper’s first impression through to each subsequent purchase, Klaviyo understands every single customer interaction,  and empowers brands to create more personalized marketing moments.

Find out more on klaviyo.com/2x.




This episode is brought to you by Rewind – the #1 Backup and Recovery App for Shopify and BigCommerce stores that powers over 25,000 online businesses.
Direct-to-Consumer brands like Gymshark and Movement Watches rely on Rewind.

Cloud based ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce do not have automatic backup features. Rewind protects your store against human error, misbehaving apps, or collaborators gone bad with Automatic backups!


For a free 30-day trial, Go to Rewind.io,
reach out to the Rewind team via chat or email and mention ‘2x ecommerce’

About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

Learn from eCommerce Entrepreneurs & Marketing Experts

Get Free Email Updates by Signing Up Below:

Podcasts you might like