On today’s episode, Kunle Campbell dives deep into the topic of rewriting your growth story in the ever-changing world of e-commerce. He highlights the challenges faced by businesses, such as declining order volumes and stagnant growth, and emphasizes the need to dig deep and find new strategies to overcome these hurdles.
Kunle introduces the concept of the ideal customer profile, urging listeners to approach their businesses with a blank canvas mindset. By asking the right questions to existing customers, lapsed customers, and potential customers, businesses can uncover the motivations that drive purchases and convert them into tailored benefits and individual funnels.
To illustrate this approach, Kunle presents a hypothetical example of a brand with a pocket muscle massager. He explains how identifying target groups, such as combat sports enthusiasts, triathletes, and office professionals with neck and back pain, allows businesses to refine their marketing efforts, work with creators, and create landing pages that speak directly to these specific audiences.
Throughout the episode, Kunle stresses the importance of staying agile and leveraging the power of data to reshape the e-commerce funnel. By adopting this strategy, businesses can maximize conversions, scale their operations, and rewrite their growth stories in 2023.
In the next episode, Kunle will be joined by industry experts to explore the elements that make an e-commerce landing page effective, providing listeners with valuable insights to take their businesses to new heights.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your e-commerce business. Tune in to the podcast and learn how to rewrite your growth story from the expert himself, Kunle Campbell.
Here is a summary of some of the most important points made:
On this episode, Kunle discusses:
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On this episode, we’re going to be talking about rewriting your eCommerce growth story and scaling up in 2023. It’s a great episode you don’t want to miss.
Welcome to the 2X eCommerce podcast. My promise to you, anytime you read this podcast, is you’re going to get fresh insights you can deploy as an experiment to grow or 2X a specific aspect of your eCommerce business. This podcast has been specifically produced to support the growth of your brands. The primary way or channel we speak to is through eCommerce as a channel. You’d either be hearing from me directly as is the case in this episode or from interviews with other operators or experts who are or have been part of remarkable growth stories.
Speaking of which, this episode is an interesting one. I want to talk about rewriting your growth story, that is your eCommerce growth story today. There are some caveats in this conversation. I strictly want to focus on eCommerce and I’m going to skew a bit towards CPG brand as that is where my interests lie at the moment. I promise to give a generic example. One of the examples I have top of my head is not a CPG brand so that would hold through in this episode.
Let’s, first of all, talk about the current situation of the business in general. We have gone past Q1. Congratulations on making it past Q1 of 2023. We’re well beyond the first month in Q2, which is April. We are in the month of May and what we’ve seen year on year from a lot of the accounts I have access to is order volume has gone down because many merchants have increased their prices, their year-on-year performance is either stabilized static year-on-year growth, or they’re seeing like top-line growth. When you look underneath the hood in terms of order volume, it’s down.
Let’s say you were processing 5,000 orders on average last April. This year, you might be processing 4,600. Because you’ve increased prices, your revenues look like they might have gone year on year, which is okay but what are you doing differently? That’s what I want to talk about in this episode. How are you going to rewrite your growth story? It’s from these doldrums you dig deep to figure things out again and form that basis, that launch pad, to truly grow.
Some of these things I’m talking about are what we’re applying to our eCommerce businesses and we are seeing remarkable improvement in these experiments we’re running. I want to share some of that with you. Where everything is going to gravitate to with what I’m going to talk about is the concept of an ideal customer profile. I put out a LinkedIn post speaking to this specifically and it was also a reflection of some of the conversations I had or I’ve had on this podcast and some of the real breakthrough brands we’re seeing like Athletic Greens, those examples, and many other brands.
I’m going to start this out by saying I want you to kick things off from a blank canvas perspective. Start like you know nothing. You know nothing about your customers, you know nothing about the market, or you know nothing about product market fit as yet. You know nothing. Approach this like a child. That’s all I ask from you from a mindset standpoint. Be open and malleable to understanding what is going on.
Once you start out with that approach and perspective, you want to begin to question or begin to ask questions or ask the right questions more or less to three groups of people, your existing customer base, your customer base that has lapsed, people who are no longer your customers but have patronized you in the past, and potential customers. I’m going to speak about how to address these. The objective is you want to extract 3 to 5 motivations for people to buy from your brand. Long term, you want to convert those motivations into benefits and individual funnels. This is how you’re going to sort out your eCommerce funnel.
Let me paint a hypothetical situation here. I came across a brand called Olynvolt. It has a product called Pocket Muscle Massager, which is primarily used for pain management. This is an example. I’m imagining I’m the eCommerce marketing director or I’m part of the eCommerce team and we’re trying to revive this brand. Not to say that this brand is dying, I’m just giving you an example. It’s a pocket muscle massager. You could use a DIY massager, it’s convenient, and you could put it in your pocket and put it on your tense muscles, and all that stuff for pain management if you have strained muscles. That’s the idea. It’s usually a recovery device.
Using this as an example, if we wanted to rewrite their growth story, which is what we’re talking about in this episode, how would I start out from a clean slate? How would I be almost childlike? The first question is, how do we identify ideal customer profiles? The easy thing is let’s focus on people going to the gym. Everybody goes to the gym. Not everybody but many people go to the gym. Let’s focus on that customer base and let’s write copy, let’s create ads, and speak to that demographic.
I want you to think a bit deeper here. Start off with a hypothesis. Hypothesize what’s going on. In this case, ask yourself the question, “Who needs a pocket muscle massager?” For my hypothesis, I think sports people. You could group sports people as either pro athletes or perhaps amateurs. You don’t want to stop at that. You want to say, “What sports would these athletes likely be into?”
Here, you could go a bit broad. You could say they’re athletes or triathletes, anything like track or field from an athlete’s perspective, or perhaps they’re soccer players or football players. They could be into racket sports, they could be golfers, or they could be into combat sports or MMA. You start to think about how broad these categories within athletes or sports people are. You categorize them into groups. You don’t want to go to one specific group unless it’s big like football or soccer in the American language.
If you go to like football, it’s huge. If you go to like basketball, it’s huge. You want to look at the sports and segment them out. You could then hypothesize, “Could they be younger than 30 at the prime of their career if they’re pro athletes? Could they be approaching their 40s when they’re about to retire? Could they be retired? Could they be amateurs in that bracket?” Have that in mind. At this point, you don’t know and you’re hypothesizing.
Another group of potential ideal customer profiles could be time-poor professionals that have developed neck and back pain as a result of sitting at their desks for extended periods of time. You might want to take that and another group of ideal customer profiles could be health professionals or massage experts who want to show up their range of equipment or they’re looking to recommend equipment to their customers. It’s taking those broad groups.
The next thing you want to do is ask questions from these people. This is where surveys come into play. Surveys are important. A lot of people think of surveys as one-off questionnaires you send to your email list and you get a customer survey out there. There are three critical places to embed surveys and collect information all the time. The first and easiest way of collecting surveys is post-purchase surveys, no doubt.
Every time you get a purchaser, you could run a post-purchase survey. In this case, with this example I have with this Olynvolt massager, you could ask them, these people, your customer, someone who’s purchased, “Are you an athlete?” Best describe yourself and give them the options that we’ve hypothesized whether they’re athletes. If they choose athletes, “Are you a pro, amateur, or part-time? Do you work at an office? Are you a regular gym user? Are you a professional?” Give them those options and you could further trigger sub-questions on there to better understand who they are.
You could also serve two different post-purchase surveys to profiles who are first-time customers or repeat customers. It’s key to ask these questions. You start to understand and prove your hypothesis, right or wrong, and always have that other button. They are more descriptive so you could further refine these questionnaires further down the line. If you have the means, work with a statistician to help you shore up those questions. It’s not complicated but it could help.
The second way of collecting customer data or collecting data that’s going to plug into this ideal customer profile is your pre-purchase surveys in exchange for something like a voucher or coupon code. Rather than saying, “We’re going to give you 15% off.” You could say, “15% off your first purchase. Answer these questions.”
Don’t ask too many questions or else you will have fatigue, you have drop-offs. Ask the right questions with the pre-purchase. “Who are you? What do you intend to use this device for?” All of that stuff. Try and make it multiple choice with obviously the option of another every now and then or make it almost two choices like binary, yes or no, a lot of the time. They go through that process. You’re collecting a lot of pre-purchase customer data. There are many other ways to do this. If you sell multiple products, you use the pre-purchase survey. The primary use of the pre-purchase survey is almost like a guided search for the products that are ideal for your customers.
The essence here is you’re zero-party data from customers or people who are about to be customers. The third is email surveys. Segment your email surveys to customers who’ve lapsed. Let’s say you expect customers to return to your store every 90 days and you have lapsed customers, you could email those. You could also email recent customers who did not complete the post-purchase surveys and then you could email your general email list.
When you have all these three, you start to get a solid picture of who your customers are and you start to get a solid picture of the segments. You start to see patterns in the broad segments your customers fit into and their motivations and then you can convert those motivations into the benefits of the motivations.
Now, which is the juicy part, you should split them out into about three. In this case, let’s say we realized that combat sports people like boxers and MMA fighters use this pocket massager quite a lot. What you want to do are two things. Let’s say we figured out combat sports, triathletes, and over 40 office or desk professionals seem to be key targets. What do you want to do then? You have to then start to look at them as different customers.
If your marketing opt-in has been general, you’re now going to granulate your marketing and your messaging so that it is specific to each of these groups you’ve identified that are key addressable markets for your solution, your brand, or your product. When you do that, you’re going to have to write copy. This is a landing page copy. I’m going to get to landing pages. A copy that addresses all the pain points, the benefits, and their unique situation.
In this case, with combat sports, their unique situation, the triathletes, and the over 40 desk professionals, all of that stuff. You’re addressing every one of them, all their needs specifically. This is the real fun part, which is where you’re trying to rebuild your funnel from the ground up. In this day and age, the two things you should be doing now in 2023 is you must be working with specific creators and you must have custom landing pages if you’re selling direct-to-consumer.
When you have those two locked down and you have your ideal customer segments with the profiles, with key interest, and with a key focus, then you can start to focus on markets that are channeled down and work with whatever social media platform you’re trying to advertise on whether it’s Meta, which is the mothership, or platforms like TikTok, or maybe even Twitter. I’m speaking largely to Meta.
What are the things you need to do here? The key thing you need to do in this instance is with that data, find creators. In this case, I’ll look for combat sport creators, triathletes, or over 40 professionals who share a lot of content on TikTok, particularly TikTok, and Instagram, and then engage them with the copy and with your benefits and your motivations. Engage them with scripts and guidance for them to create content around your product. In this case, it’s a pocket muscle massager. Work with them on that. They’re creating content for you for two reasons, both organic and to maximize through paid.
Within your own remit of content creation, the content creation you’re doing internally, you’d need to create content around specifically for the combat sports person, for the boxer, for the MMA person, or for the triathlete. Create content that would speak directly to that over-40 professional. You then create landing pages that show and speak to each of these groups.
When you’re buying media from Meta, you’re targeting combat sports people, people who have an interest in boxing and M&A, and then they’re seeing ads with their interest in action. They’re taken to landing pages that speak to them, to that tribe of people. You rinse and repeat with this. You keep improving. You keep adding more creators to each of these interests from the top to the bottom and that’s how you create a robust flow.
There will be overlaps but it wouldn’t be that much because it’s all siloed. It’s a siloed eCommerce funnel system you’re deploying. Brands that we’re working with that are doing this are killing it. They’re a lot more robust and there are fewer points of failure in their markets and funnel because it’s decentralized, it’s siloed, and that is how you are going to rewrite your growth story this 2023.
To recap, pretend you know nothing, ask the right questions, and figure out key groups not too broad, groups of people that will patronize what you’re trying to sell. Work with creators and copywriters to speak to these groups of people. Create landing pages that speak to those groups of people. Focus your media buying with people with that set of interests and silo the interest to the traffic, to the landing pages, and see much-improved conversion rates. You’re maximizing the traffic, which is getting more and more expensive, let’s face it, into conversions.
That’s today’s show. That is how to rewrite your growth story this 2023. I’m working on getting some toll-free SMS numbers you could put in questions to. I’m working on that. If you know of any solution, let me know. In a few episodes from now, what would happen is I will give you a toll-free number, it might be for the US and Canada exclusively, and another one would be for the UK and the EU. You text your name, questions, and email address to that toll-free number. We’ll make it more interactive.
I can answer specific questions. The next episode I want to address now is since I’ve given you this blueprint, I will go through what makes landing pages work. What elements should be on an eCommerce landing page? That piece of information is critical. I might get an expert. I’m trying to get somebody on the show who’s created tons of landing pages. I don’t want to mention him yet till we get something concrete. These principles I’ve spoken to in this episode are the way to be foolproof in 2023 and you need to dial these down.
It’s a lot of work infrastructure-wise because you need to do a lot of writing. You need to do a lot of landing pages. The upside is the fact that you can scale more. There are also media buying lessons to learn with this methodology. I’d also implore you to listen to my interview with Nirav Sheth, a good one. He speaks to this also because they build landing pages for the likes of Athletic Greens and Rothy’s. They’ve even done landing pages for Dollar Shave Clubs.
It is real. It’s not just landing pages, that’s the thing. You need to get the strategy all nailed down first. Once you get the strategy nailed down from an ideal customer profile standpoint and start from a blank canvas, you go from an unbiased point of view and you start to suck in data from the right places so you build out this ICP because that’s your target.
The beauty of all of this is the narrowing as well as the broadening of audience targets. Sometimes you realize, “We were too narrow in our targets.” Sometimes you say, “We’re too broad and we need to find that balance.” If you do have any questions, give us a shout. I’m always available. My email is Kunle@2XEcommerce.com. I will catch you on the next episode.