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EPISODE 441 68 mins

How to Combine Google and Meta Ads to Scale from $1M to $10M+ → Sam Piliero (PART 2)

About the guests

Sam Piliero

Kunle Campbell

Sam Piliero is the founder and CEO of The Moonlighters, a media buying agency specializing in Facebook and Google ads. With a background at VaynerMedia and BarkBox, Sam brings a wealth of experience in scaling brands and optimizing media strategies. His agency focuses on providing comprehensive growth solutions tailored to each client's unique needs.

In this second part of the interview with Sam Piliero on the 2X eCommerce Podcast, host Kunle Campbell continues the conversation from last week, shifting focus from strategic to tactical insights. They delve into advanced strategies for optimizing Google Ads and Meta campaigns, providing actionable advice for eCommerce brands. The discussion covers Performance Max campaigns, cost caps, and mastering creative testing. Sam and Kunle also explore the synergy between Google and Meta advertising platforms, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a consistent marketing budget as a percentage of revenue. Sam shares practical tips on building content and engaging with your audience to stay ahead in a competitive market.

Listeners will learn how to effectively use Performance Max campaigns on Google to capture demand and the benefits of using cost caps on Meta for efficient budget allocation. Sam offers guidance on setting up successful retargeting strategies, leveraging dynamic creative, and balancing automated tools with manual oversight. The episode concludes with Sam’s perspective on future trends in digital marketing and his advice for businesses to prepare for the rest of 2024.

Topics Covered:

Google Ads Strategies

Sam discusses the importance of leveraging Performance Max campaigns and how to ensure a majority of the budget is allocated to Google Shopping for optimal results.

Setting Up Campaigns

Detailed guidance on setting up branded and non-branded search campaigns, emphasizing the use of broad match and exact match keywords for better performance.

Meta Advertising Insights

Sam explains the benefits of using cost caps on Meta to control acquisition costs and ensure profitability, along with a discussion on Advantage Plus for scaling campaigns.

Retargeting Techniques

Insights into effective retargeting on Google and Meta, including the use of customer lists and competitive conquesting strategies.

Creative Testing

Advice on testing different ad formats, such as static images and videos, and utilizing primary texts and headlines variations to determine the most effective combinations.

Long-Term Growth Strategies

The episode concludes with recommendations for building a robust marketing plan and the importance of integrating continuous content creation into your overall strategy.


02:25 – Google Ads Strategies
06:15 – Setting Up Campaigns
12:45 – Meta Advertising Insights
18:20 – Retargeting Techniques
23:35 – Creative Testing
28:10 – Long-Term Growth Strategies


  • Leverage Performance Max campaigns on Google with a focus on Google Shopping.
  • Use cost caps on Meta to manage acquisition costs effectively.
  • Implement broad match and exact match keywords in search campaigns.
  • Test various ad formats and continuously refine creative elements.
  • Integrate a comprehensive content strategy to support marketing efforts.



🔔 Book Announcement:

📈 ‘E-Commerce Growth Strategy’ by Kunle Campbell


Exciting news for our listeners! Kunle Campbell, your host and e-commerce expert, has just released his new book: ‘E-Commercer Growth Strategy.’ This essential guide is packed with strategies for attracting shoppers, building community, and retaining customers in the e-comerce space. Drawing on insights from the 2X eCommerce podcast and Kunle’s extensive experience, this book is a must-read for anyone in the e-commerce industry.


[00:00:00] Sam Piliero: Sure. Yeah, let’s hit it. So in that performance max campaign, we want that campaign. So performance max is going to hit Google shopping. It’s going to hit demand generation. It’s going to hit search. It’s going to hit YouTube and display. So all five categories of Google all built into one.

[00:00:23] First, you’re going to acquire customers as fast as you could profitably acquire customers. And those customers will eventually come back again to build some lifetime value. They might not all come back. Those are metrics you need to build over time. But some may come back.

[00:00:43] We’re targeting on Google. Could be done in two different ways from how I see it. The first way that we can get, we could handle retargeting on Google is hand in hand with that demand capture. Let’s just say I was again, shopping for Yeti [00:01:00] and then jumped off the search. I didn’t make a purchase.

[00:01:07] Kunle Campbell: So on this episode of the 2x e commerce podcast, we uncover advanced strategies for optimizing your Google ads and meta campaigns. including scaling with Advantage Plus and mastering cost effective creative testing. It’s a great episode. You don’t want to miss it. So stay tuned.

[00:01:25] Sam Piliero: This is the 2x e commerce podcast hosted by

[00:01:29] Kunle Campbell: Kunle Campbell.

[00:01:34] Welcome to the 2x e commerce podcast. In today’s episode, we delve Deep into the world of digital advertising with advanced strategies to optimize both your Google and meta ad campaigns. This is a follow up from last week’s insightful conversation with Sam Piliero, you’ll learn how to effectively scale your campaigns using advantage plus.

[00:01:54] Set up efficient cost caps and implement strategic creative testing to boost [00:02:00] your ads performance. This episode is packed with expert insights, practical examples, and actionable advice that will help you manage your advertising budget more efficiently and maximize your ROI or ROAS. Stay tuned as we explore the real world case studies and industry trends to keep you ahead of the curve in digital marketing.

[00:02:19] Before we dive into this interview, make sure you follow the 2x e commerce podcast on your preferred platform by subscribing to stay updated with the latest episodes and also help us attract even more interesting guests to share their expertise. So let’s get started.

[00:02:39] Hey Sam, welcome again to part two of our interview.

[00:02:43] Sam Piliero: Yeah, I’m, I’m happy to be back and part one was fun and, um, I think we were just scratching the surface. So, um, I’m happy to get more in depth here and, and really dig in. I’m, I’m excited to be here again. Thanks for having me. Incredible, incredible,

[00:02:57] Kunle Campbell: incredible.

[00:02:58] So I’ll just recap, [00:03:00] uh, because most people listening to this would have listened to part one. If you haven’t listened to part one already, um, just, Click back to the, to this episode on your podcast feed is it’s the episode before this one. Um, so they’re, they’re back on back essentially. Right. So when we had you on, you sort of shared your incredible entrepreneurial journey to what you guys are doing in Moonlighters, um, your experience in VaynerMedia.

[00:03:27] We talked about your agency structure, how, um, it’s kind of like singularized. Um, so you don’t really have the hierarchies flat. Um, we, we spoke to demand gen, um, and demand capture. The reason we did that is demand generation, essentially what you guys do from a meta standpoint, meta advertiser standpoint, demand capture is what you do.

[00:03:47] Predominantly, not all the time from a Google AdWords, you know, standpoint. And then, um, we, we, we, we, we spoke very briefly on, on contribution margin. Um, just the, the fundamentals, you know, people should, should, should, [00:04:00] should get a grasp around. And then, um, we spoke to YouTube advertising, just the role of YouTube advertising and then UGC, and we had to sort of wrap up and I kind of felt it.

[00:04:11] There was a cliffhanger there in, in the sense that. We didn’t really get deep into, like, meta. I know we spoke about attribution and, you know, and the meta structure and all of that stuff. But I would like us to start this conversation more around your, let’s, let’s, let’s, let’s use this mental model, you know, um, say we, we’ve built a 1 million business on one channel.

[00:04:38] Right. Um, say it was Amazon marketplaces, just, just as an example,

[00:04:42] Sam Piliero: sure.

[00:04:43] Kunle Campbell: And, um, we’re looking to, to essentially, um, you know, gets to a few million dollars in revenue, say 5 million with DTC and, um, Amazon in tangents. So, so meaning that the DTC is, is fresh, you know, um, off the back, how would you. Sort of [00:05:00] ensure that transition, um, from zero DTC to two, two, two, three, maybe even four million, who knows.

[00:05:09] So what are the fundamentals you want to see in place in, in the business to say, okay, these are the prospects and this, this, and this is what we’ll do.

[00:05:18] Sam Piliero: So I love this example because Um, I think it’s this, what I’m going to say is going to be exactly the same as if you’re zero without a sale anywhere else.

[00:05:31] Um, the exact same process. The only thing that the example with, let’s say you’ve done a hundred thousand or a million dollars on a different channel, like Amazon. The only thing that that expedites for us is that you’ve proven that the product is actually strong. It’s a good product fit. And therefore you kind of.

[00:05:49] Eliminate a lot of stages of like product development and product iteration and and potentially even some branding pieces So keep in mind if you know, obviously for everyone listening here, [00:06:00] I think just to keep in mind that This doesn’t matter if you’re at zero on all channels or if you have a bunch of money flowing in from a different channel.

[00:06:09] Um, and basically just to use the exact example that you gave, um, I think it totally makes sense that first off, you should definitely have a direct to consumer piece of your business. If you have potentially a million dollars plus. On Amazon, even if you’re not advertising or pushing to the direct consumer side, it’s still going to help you operationally and give you incremental lift because some people, believe it or not, don’t actually buy from Amazon and don’t actually buy from just one channel.

[00:06:37] Just like some people only buy on Amazon. Same idea follows. I think what I would do if I had a, if there was a million dollar business on Amazon, uh, regardless of the product, I always love to use, I use Yeti and a lot of my examples. And I just so happen to be drinking from it. Hold Yeti cup today. Um, and I think that that’s probably a solid example.

[00:06:58] We’ll go with a 30 [00:07:00] price point product. You have product fit. You’re doing a million dollars on Amazon. The first thing I would do obviously is we need to build the site. We need to build it as simple as possible and we can use all of our imagery, all of our Key, um, you know, any descriptors, any reviews that are from Amazon, everything poured it over into the direct to consumer site.

[00:07:20] Don’t worry if it’s not perfect at first. What we want is simple, fast and review heavy reviews have driven your business on Amazon. They’re going to continue to drive your business on direct to consumer. I think people get caught up when they think about like, conversion rate optimization and beautiful landing pages and perfect imagery.

[00:07:38] Um, and like funnels and flows. The reality is like that stuff helps, but it’s not going to get you from zero to one. It’s going to get you from one to 50 or 10 to 50. So first stage fundamental setup, right? Simple, sleek. Use what you already have. [00:08:00] I know we want to gear this conversation a little bit towards advertising because that’s what I know best So the first thing I would do if you’re driving already on Amazon is I would already set up Google You have probably some product market demand.

[00:08:15] And if you’re doing a million dollars on Amazon, chances are you have a lot of keyword data that you could use and port over to Google. So Google is going to be absolutely my first thing that I would do. I would set up a standard performance max campaign that drives only to shopping ads with your best images, your best reviews, and I would populate every single headline, every single primary text.

[00:08:35] Like just max this whole thing out. Um, once you set that up, it doesn’t necessarily matter what budget you’re setting this for because it’s truly going to be up to your tolerance on budget. Let’s just go with, we’re going to, we’re going to run with a hundred bucks a day, right? Don’t, don’t think that you can get away with 20 bucks a day and build a big business.

[00:08:54] Like start at a foundationally small spot. Crank it up day after [00:09:00] day after day. The beautiful part about, um, uh, especially if you’re not working with an agency or you’re not paying a consultant, if you’re doing this on your own, if you’re doing it with one partner or something like that, the beautiful part is it doesn’t matter how slow you grow.

[00:09:15] Now I know that feels. So contrary to everything else I’ve probably ever said, but basically you have the ability to sit back and move things up day by day by day, steadily into your targets that you’ve evaluated. The next thing I would do outside of that performance max campaign on Google is I would set up a both branded and a non branded search campaign.

[00:09:41] Very, very straightforward. The branded search campaign is going to be all your brand terms. You should have these already from Amazon. It should be your core terms. If you’re Yeti, it should literally just be Yeti, maybe Yeti cups. Very, very simple. You don’t need to overcomplicate here. If this only gets 2 and spend per day [00:10:00] or 0 and spend, it’s fine.

[00:10:02] It’s just protecting you against competitors, right? So when, uh, when Stanley cup bids, Against Yeti, we want to show up in the first position. We don’t want to show up in position number two or potentially get completely pushed down on the end of the page. Last thing, non branded search. If you’re running on Amazon, you have a ton of keyword data, like whether it’s organic or paid, you have a ton of data.

[00:10:29] So use all of that data, group it very simply. You don’t need to overcomplicate your groupings when you’re starting. Um, run a few broad match keywords and a few exact match keywords in the same ad group. That is probably the most Counterintuitive thing that we’ve heard in Google ads in the first in the last three to four years, but right now really over the last six months, we’ve been experimenting with this, what happens when we group together different match types in the same ad groups, and we see Overall better [00:11:00] results.

[00:11:00] We see more scale, uh, and we see no difference in cost per acquisition or return on ad spend, which is if you told me that three years ago, um, honestly, I, I don’t know if I would have believed you. Uh, but, but after rigorous testing against this against 20 some odd brands, I Um, it’s, it’s clear that it works better like that.

[00:11:19] So that’s the first thing.

[00:11:20] Kunle Campbell: And can you track, can you track keyword performance and when you lump them all up in, in, in an ad group?

[00:11:27] Sam Piliero: Uh, what do you mean?

[00:11:29] Kunle Campbell: So keyword, individual keywords performance. So if you, if you’re, if you’re lumping a phrase match, an exact match and a broad match into a single campaign, into a single ad, ad group, um, Are you still able to, to know exactly what keywords or, or, or search phrases, um, or match types actually delivered, um, you know, your conversions?

[00:11:48] Sam Piliero: Yes. Does it matter?

[00:11:50] Kunle Campbell: Okay.

[00:11:50] Sam Piliero: First, you could see the data at the keyword level, like how you’re setting it up, whether it’s broad, exact phrase, then you can go into little report. In your [00:12:00] campaign left hand side called insights and in the insights there’s a search term report and that’s going to show you exactly the word that was used to derive your product and showed up whether you got a click just impression or conversion all of that data will be there for every single search term that you ever showed up on.

[00:12:19] Um, the one thing Google’s doing there more often is they’re putting, they’re grouping things into other, other is basically, uh, terms that don’t happen too often. So if someone typed in Blue Yeti Cup with this, like, if they got really, really, really particular about what they were talking about in the product, and that’s extremely rare search.

[00:12:41] Google kind of docks that down now into an other category where previously you did get to, unfortunately. Or you did fortunately get to see that. Now, unfortunately we don’t get to see that.

[00:12:51] Kunle Campbell: Okay. Interesting. Didn’t know that.

[00:12:55] Sam Piliero: Um, I’ll hit you with the part two of this now, which is, uh, what [00:13:00] do we do on the meta side?

[00:13:01] Right? So, um, on the Google side, we’re, we’re really about capturing existing demand, right? There’s, I

[00:13:07] Kunle Campbell: I, I didn’t hear much about like Google shopping,

[00:13:10] Sam Piliero: um, in, in this

[00:13:12] Kunle Campbell: or Sure. Okay.

[00:13:13] Sam Piliero: Yeah, let’s hit it. So, um, in that performance max campaign, we want that campaign. So performance max is going to hit Google shopping.

[00:13:22] It’s going to hit demand generation. It’s going to hit search. It’s going to hit YouTube and display. So all five categories of Google all built into one. Now, we have to be really careful about Performance Max because what we don’t want it to do is run all in search or run all in demand gen or all in display.

[00:13:42] We want Performance Max to be dominantly a shopping campaign. Shopping is the core of everything we’re going to do in Google, right? Everything else I think of as supportive of shopping. So right now shopping holds the number one search or the number one spot, um, [00:14:00] on any Google search that’s product related.

[00:14:02] Um, so we need to, we need to dominate those placements. So what I’d like to do is that performance max campaign should serve as your primary shopping campaign. Now there are scripts out there, there’s a lot of ways to view this data, but basically what you just want to do is when you look in your insights, You want to compare how much money you’re spending in shopping versus how much your total campaign is spending.

[00:14:23] So if your total campaign is spending a thousand dollars over a week long period, look at how much your products have spent. And if your products have spent, say 300 of that 1000, that’s a bad ratio. You want that ratio to be at like 80 percent shopping. Go ahead, go ahead

[00:14:43] Kunle Campbell: of shopping. So 80, 80, 80 percent of your budget should be on shopping as an e commerce.

[00:14:49] Sam Piliero: I think, I think, you know, that’s a, that’s a bold statement, but I think 80 percent of your performance max should be in shopping performance max. Okay.

[00:14:58] Kunle Campbell: [00:15:00] Even

[00:15:00] Sam Piliero: like 90 percent is, is cool as well. Like we have some brands that are 100 percent or 99. Um, and what we have seen has feels counter. Cause I’m basically saying.

[00:15:11] Build this campaign that does everything, but you only want it to do one thing. Um, what we have seen is that when we run performance max campaign versus a standard shopping campaign Even if we just compare the wasted spend on other spots like search display and other places that are a little bit less efficient It still outperforms the standard shopping campaign now I don’t know if that’s Google magic.

[00:15:36] I don’t know if that’s where they’re investing their cash and they just want people to spend there, but that has been true for the greater part of a year now. So we’re not pulling back on that until we start to see otherwise. Um, I ultimately my job is just to spend money where it’s most likely to make money and right now it’s most likely to make money there.

[00:15:55] I’m going to hop over to the meta side.

[00:15:57] Kunle Campbell: Yeah, let’s, let’s do the meta. So, so with, with, with, [00:16:00] with my, my, my takeaway from, from what you just said with regards to, to Google, the world of Google is essentially performance. Google rather than Google ads is, um, performance max and try and guide performance max to spend as much of your budget into shopping because it’s the best Google ads channel for, for e commerce at the moment.

[00:16:22] Okay. Okay. And then obviously, um, be very, then also, um, keep your keywords. There’s no points rather split in, um, ad groups by, by match type blends them into, into, into, into an AdWords, into an AdWords campaign. And, um, your, your, your, your, your final point was more around, um, just. Yeah. I think, I think those are the major points.

[00:16:50] Those are the major points. Yeah.

[00:16:52] Sam Piliero: I think the, the other part was just, um, making sure you’re protecting your branded keywords a little bit. Um, [00:17:00] especially if we use the scenario of you have an Amazon presence or you have a presence somewhere else already. And just to like, you know, set it straight a little bit, this applies also like.

[00:17:10] We, we deal with a lot of brands who have a store presence, right? We deal with a lot of fashion, beauty brands. So, it’s very, very common that these brands do a couple million dollars in, in Nordstrom or in, in a variety of warehouse stores. Um, and then they come to us and they try to, you know, really, really grow their direct consumer.

[00:17:31] And exactly this conversation is, is what we do. This is, this is the game plan. This is, this is phase one, right? Capture what’s out there first. The reason I go to Google first, Is because you’re going to get your highest ROI on Google. You’ve likely if you have if you’re doing if you have cash flow in a niche, um in a different channel You’ve proven out you can capture demand already.

[00:17:56] So Start by capturing demand in a place. You’re not already [00:18:00] then we go to that demand generation side on the meta half

[00:18:06] Kunle Campbell: Got it. Got it. Got it. Um, this is, this is super interesting. And, and in terms of, um, Bing, do, do you, is, is Bing still worth it? Would you, could you duplicate what you’re doing on, on AdWords on, on Bing and kind of get anything significant or, um, yeah.

[00:18:26] Do you just pass?

[00:18:27] Sam Piliero: Yeah, so being is interesting because being is so like push to the side and it represents I think something like between 8 to 12 maybe around 10 percent of the total searches or 10 percent of the size of the Google searches. So it kind of like, you know, it’s not perfectly there. It’s not that large.

[00:18:50] Their shopping tools are really poor from from my experience. Their search tools are very strong. Um, their search tools are completely fantastic. So what we [00:19:00] generally see is the person that continues to use being is someone who’s using a default browser on a computer. Right there. They’re using Microsoft edge.

[00:19:07] I think that’s what it would be. Um, and they’ve never gone ahead and downloaded Chrome or brave or Firefox or something like that. So, um, by using. Edge or by using Bing, you’re kind of grouping yourself into a different category, you’re, you’re likely less technical or you just love being, but, but you’re likely less technical if you’re not using one of the dominant browsers.

[00:19:34] So what we tend to see is that being clicks tend to be a bit older in age, they tend to be less technical, and then for certain products, they work super, super, super well. Um, uh, an example of a couple of brands that we work with and Bing are, I can’t give exact examples, but brands that are, um, are, they just skew older.

[00:19:58] Thank you. And even on price point, price point [00:20:00] doesn’t matter. So what we’d like to see on Bing is about 10 percent of the budget that Google could yield is what Bing could hit at the same return on ad spend. So if you spend, uh, 10, 000 a month in Google, you could probably spend a thousand in Bing at the same ROI.

[00:20:18] Kunle Campbell: Okay. Okay. And in the Google space, at what point do you start really taking retargeting and display

[00:20:27] Sam Piliero: seriously? So it’s a fantastic question and it’s honestly the hardest Google question. Um, we’re targeting on Google can be done in two different ways from how I see it. The first way that we can get, we can handle retargeting on Google is hand in hand with that demand capture.

[00:20:49] Let’s just say I was again, shopping for Yeti and then jumped off the search. I didn’t make a purchase. And then I went into the search bar and I typed in [00:21:00] Um, you know, metal cup or whatever these are insulated cup instead of searching for Yeti. I searched insulated cup, the retargeting method that I would want to use there is making sure that I am using a customer list to bid very aggressively on the person that was previously on my site to then show up in the non branded search.

[00:21:25] The reason for that is very simple, right? The user is clearly indicating that they’re still showing tendency, uh, or a likelihood to purchase. And what I didn’t want to happen was for us to put all our work with that user on the site, they’re sold. They know they need to get an insulated cup or they know they need to get a certain product, but they just don’t know what brand they want.

[00:21:46] So now we need to do our job to, to close the loop. The second thing you can do for that is, uh, What all the competitors should be doing in that scenario if anyone visits [00:22:00] Stanley we then want to show up as Yeti First and foremost top dominant every single time someone bounces from the Stanley site now We don’t have first party data.

[00:22:11] We have third party data that’s coming from Stanley. So it’s less informed But what you can do is you could set up retargeting audiences for people who visited URLs Um, which, which puts you at a massive advantage. You just have to take the time in these platforms to, to properly bid based on, um, based on what your users have done and what they’re most likely to continue to do.

[00:22:32] Kunle Campbell: Interesting. I only thought retargeting was, was, um, was based on your property. So, um, you know, um, visits to your URL with, with your cookie. So firing, although, you know, there’s, I don’t got cookies, but yeah, with, with, with, with whatever they used to track these days, you know, firing and then, yeah. Um, but, but you can target third parties.

[00:22:57] So, so you could, you can, in, in, in your [00:23:00] case, um, target all standing visitors, right?

[00:23:04] Sam Piliero: It’s not perfect, right? So it’s not it’s never it’s not as good as someone who’s visited your site. You’re telling Google people who have visited Stanley is someone who I’m interested in, right?

[00:23:15] Kunle Campbell: Okay.

[00:23:15] Sam Piliero: And then Google that has to decide in the auction where they’re going to put you in that in that playing field.

[00:23:21] Now, I’d imagine if Stanley is also aggressively retargeting their existing people who have been on their site, they’re going to outbid you very quickly, right? Because they’re more relevant to the, to the last person was there. Just like if we were doing it on our side, we’re doing a Yeti versus Stanley thing here.

[00:23:36] But, um, They’re, they’re just ways to get strategic. I wouldn’t necessarily call it like retargeting. It’s probably just straight up targeting, right? It’s like a normal target. Yeah. Yeah. I’m just thinking about it as like conquesting, competitive play. Um, it’s, it’s very tactical. It’s how you outmaneuver competition, especially when you’re dealing with big competitors in your space.

[00:23:59] Kunle Campbell: [00:24:00] Yeah. Yeah, and Facebook automatically does this, you know, um, for you. So if once you’re in the market, it identifies, okay, you’re in the market for insulated cups, Facebook would pull a number of brands and just cycle them through, obviously, depending on who bids, You know, um, whoever it would just cycle and cycle and cycle.

[00:24:22] And when he thinks you’re no longer in the market, it switches lane. Um, it wouldn’t because I’m in the market for, say, an activity strap in January, doesn’t mean Facebook will continue to serve me activity strap, um, um, ads by, by summer. It sort of has a cutoff time. based on obviously my, my, uh, my data, my behavior, but super interesting, super interesting.

[00:24:49] So on, on the meta side of, yeah, the other thing I want to talk about in, in, in the AdWords was Gmail. Gmail is, is, is big. A lot of people [00:25:00] feel it’s underrated, but Gmail, Gmail, I use Gmail and you know, I, I, my click through rates to, to their ads, their ads are first of all, quite relevant, I have to say, um, and they know quite a lot about me, you know, um, based on the emails that, um, I received.

[00:25:16] So is, is, is, should you do anything special with,

[00:25:19] Sam Piliero: with Gmail? Um, I used to love to run Gmail on its own. Um, it was something I’d done. I just was really heavy on because it works so well. It felt not invasive to the consumer. I think consumers are so used to getting so many emails. So if you just hit them with a good offer in Gmail, it would work well.

[00:25:37] Now Gmail individual targeting is now lumped into demand generation and performance max. Um, I think there’s ways to do exclusions on different placements to only hit Gmail. Um, honestly, it’s not something we run as much anymore. It’s been less effective. There’s, there’s two reasons for it too. Um, more and more people are downloading, uh, secondary mail apps because they’re so [00:26:00] sick of like the amount of spam, how hard it is to unsubscribe.

[00:26:03] So secondary mail apps like Spark and ProtonMail, a bunch of other ones are getting more and more popular. Um, and then second, um, and, and actually a note on that, you actually technically get the delivery on that, but it goes back and forth. So you don’t actually, you get served an ad, you may actually pay for that ad, but you don’t actually get the ad.

[00:26:25] It’s like an invalid click in a way.

[00:26:29] Kunle Campbell: That is when this third party mailing apps

[00:26:34] Sam Piliero: retrieve your data. Yeah. Yeah. I think it depends on which one, but you’re, you’re, you’re on, you’re on it. Um, And then the last, the last part about Gmail that if you’re doing this, if you are very specific to Gmail, if there’s, if you’ve had success in the past, um, just offer strong and one little tidbit of advice when you’re sending offers in honestly regular email or also on Gmail ads, [00:27:00] whatever your offer is, use the biggest number.

[00:27:03] So if you have 1, 000 products and you give 10 percent off, lead with 100 off instead of 10%. And then vice versa, if you have a 10 product and you’re giving 40 percent off, don’t say 4 off, say 40 percent off. That little, little hack, we’ll call it, switches the consumer behavior to actually understand This offer is big, and then, therefore, you, you could reap the benefits.

[00:27:32] Excellent. Did you want to dive

[00:27:33] Kunle Campbell: into Meta? Yeah, let’s, let’s jump into, into Meta. I think that, that was, you know, thorough sort of masterclass, um, to anyone listening, um, on, on, on AdWords, on, on Google AdWords. Um, last episode, we, we, we did talk about, um, YouTube to really talk about it, but those are the really big placements that, um, that, that, that stand out for me.

[00:27:55] Thank you. on, on, on AdWords. And, um, yeah, it’s, it’s really, really [00:28:00] interesting with this advantage, um, you know, plus, you know, set up. So, so thanks for that. So, so in, in, in Meta, what, what would you, how would you proceed?

[00:28:10] Sam Piliero: Yeah. So I think like, What everyone’s going to want to hear is the setup that we’re using in meta and how we approach that and why we do things a little bit different.

[00:28:19] So I’ll kind of spill the whole sauce and I’ll bring it down from if you’re at zero, how we would scale it up. So basically, fundamentally, we’d like to use cost caps on meta. I think I explained this a little bit last time, but basically what a cost cap is or what’s most common in meta is highest volume.

[00:28:37] A highest volume campaign is essentially you say, Hey meta, here’s 500. And it will spend somewhere between 498 and 500, like it spends your whole budget every single day. Basically. Um, there’s problems inherently with that based on demand, market behavior, day behavior, hour behavior, and so on. [00:29:00] Some people love it.

[00:29:01] Some people don’t have a problem with it. I’m not here to argue against those that love it, but really what, what I want to drill and what we use the most is cost caps. What a cost cap is, is it functions just like a target ROAS or a target CPA in Google. It’s just, we just do it on the meta side. Very straightforward.

[00:29:20] You say, Hey, meta, Hey, Facebook, I need to hit a 50 cost per acquisition. Put 50 in your notes there or in the machine and what it will do is after it gets through the learning phase usually somewhere in the range of like 7 to 14 days, it will only spend your cash if it thinks it can get you conversions on an average of 50 over the course of a 30 day period.

[00:29:47] I think when I say it out loud, it sounds so obvious. Like, yes, this is obviously what we should be doing. We should not just let it spend all our money. We should let the machine lean into a cost cap where it [00:30:00] actually gets us the target we want. There’s just problems when you’re, when you’re running cost caps and you have unproven products.

[00:30:07] The problem is very simple. If you have unproven products or unproven creative, It could be hard to scale it up and actually know what’s wrong with it, right? That’s, that’s a very fundamental, simple version of it. There’s two sides to this. One is, yes, I need to get my creative learnings. I need to understand what’s wrong.

[00:30:24] I need to, to really dig in and figure out what’s wrong. If you have that mindset, just run highest volume, get your data, then go to Cost Caps. I disagree with that. I think that you should run cost caps the whole time from zero with literally no data points in your account. And we’ll have your pixel set up, have your conversions API set up and that that whole jam.

[00:30:47] But I think you should run cost caps literally from zero and you should set your cost caps to the most aggressive point that you can. So I love to operate a business that’s [00:31:00] starting out at a break even. So figure out Where are, what’s your revenue, average order value, what’s your cost of goods, include other operating expenses.

[00:31:11] And get a rough break even where you need to be, right? So you know that if you have 100 average order value, cost of goods are 50%, everyone else costs you only 5%, then you need to get a 45, um, acquisition cost to break even on your product. I love this for two reasons. First, you’re going to acquire customers as fast as you could profitably.

[00:31:35] Acquire customers and those customers will eventually come back again to build some lifetime value They might not all come back. Those are metrics you need to build over time But some may come back and then that’s what I consider it like gravy so to speak. So when we think about the cost cap setup and why I think it’s so important to start at that break even and then build it over time is because you’re Setting [00:32:00] yourself up in a scenario where if your ads don’t spend You should thank Facebook.

[00:32:05] You’re not wasting your money, right? Some people, like I said, they see that as, Oh, we’re not spending. Maybe it’s going to work. I think the 1 in 1, 000 times that it does work is probably not going to happen. Like, just statistically, you would not bet your money on the 1 you would bet your, your, your money on the farm.

[00:32:24] So I, can I interject? Yes. Yes. Yes.

[00:32:27] Kunle Campbell: I think it also gives you the opportunity to rule out certain things. So if, if it’s not spending, then there you say, okay, it’s not spending. Is it my creatives? That’s the issue. And then focus there. That’s just my point.

[00:32:42] Sam Piliero: A hundred, a hundred percent. Sorry. I, I get into this topic.

[00:32:44] So, um, I think you’re absolutely right. Like here’s, here’s how I would approach it from, from dead zero. Cost cap, um, in, in one primary campaign, you don’t need any retargeting. You don’t need any retention. You’re at zero. So all you need to [00:33:00] do is have one broad prospecting campaign. That’s it. And you might want to set up one that’s going to your homepage and one that’s going to a collection page.

[00:33:10] And then depending on how many products you have, maybe a campaign that’s going to, um, a product page or two or three product pages that, you know, are best sellers based on your Amazon data or a different hunch that you have and so on. You could have somewhere in the range of like a few ads per campaign, somewhere in like the four to six range is usually the sweet spot.

[00:33:31] But what I would say is if you launch these four ads and they run for seven days and they’re hardly spending, maybe you have a hundred dollar budget and it’s only spending 3 a day. Don’t worry about it. Just say, thank you, Facebook for not spending 700. And now you only spent 22. You saved yourself 600 bucks.

[00:33:50] Now it’s time to go make more creative. Figure out what new creative starts to build you up, right? Maybe you’ve only tried statics. Shoot some video. [00:34:00] Maybe your video is really polished and it’s too fancy. Make it ugly, make it natural, make it normal. Maybe it’s too normal. Make it polished, right? Maybe your hooks stink.

[00:34:10] Maybe they’re boring. Maybe they’re slow, right? Just really dig into your creative and And just plop new creative in your existing ad sets. Don’t worry about overlapping at first. We don’t care. They’re not spending what Facebook’s. Fundamentally going to do is it’s going to look at your impressions or it’s going to look at everything on an impression to impression basis, which is something that you and I don’t physically have the capability to do.

[00:34:38] No one could look at this and understand data on an impression level except for a machine. So Facebook’s going to see. What’s the, does this impression stay on this ad for a certain amount of time? Does this impression click this ad? Does this impression, how much does this impression, um, cost to click this ad?

[00:34:56] What’s the CPM of this impression? All, every key data [00:35:00] point is getting basically drilled into an impression level data. And then if that one impression looked good, You’re going to get another impression. And if that impression looks good, you’re going to get another. And that’s essentially how Facebook’s deciding where to spend your money.

[00:35:16] Now, what I’ve seen sometimes is that cost caps just take a little bit longer to get moving. And the big thing I would say here is. If you’re listening to this and you’re kind of in that scenario where you’re thinking about moving to a cost cap, you’re thinking about making a switch because you’re not getting, you know, the best return you want.

[00:35:33] You like the idea of, of, of having more control over your acquisition costs and less on the budget. Then you have to unfortunately pull the bandaid off. You can’t run highest volume and cost caps at the same time. Some may say you can, I disagree. Whenever we do this, we see our cost caps. Um, [00:36:00] and then we also see the cost caps really have a hard time scaling, like, like so, so, so hard scaling.

[00:36:07] Um, so really ripping the bandaid off is usually what’s best.

[00:36:11] Kunle Campbell: Interesting. So at the campaign level, do you, do you always opt for, for advantage, um, you know, advantage plus, you know, um, or advantage campaign budget plus.

[00:36:22] Sam Piliero: Okay. So very first, the top, what we like to do is set an advantage plus campaign. This is our scaling campaign.

[00:36:28] So, uh, I’m a visual guy. I like to think of things like kind of in blocks, the very, very top. of your account is an advantage plus scaling campaign. It’s obviously broad because it’s advantage plus only creatives that go into here are your proven creatives. They have to be proven in other ad sets and other campaigns.

[00:36:49] We kind of use like a graduation program. So when those campaigns or when those ads are proving to do well, meaning like tons of [00:37:00] purchases, Strong click through rates, strong CPCs for a valuable amount of time, like 7 to 14 days. We then graduate those into Advantage The second campaign that we have is your primary prospecting campaign.

[00:37:15] And I know you asked before, do we use Advantage Plus Budget? Do we use CBO? How do we function there? We do primarily use CBO or what’s now called Advantage Plus Budgets, um, which allows Facebook to basically decide how much spend they want to allocate to each ad set. There’s some controversy around this.

[00:37:35] And if we want to actually. Um, allow Facebook to have that power because it might not allow you to scale new creatives and so on. But my thesis is very similar to the cost cap thesis, Facebook’s going to figure out based on a hundred thousand signals that are way smarter than I can analyze where it should spend our money, right?

[00:37:55] So we need to lean into some of these machine learnings. And I think in this case, you know, [00:38:00] when I think about. What, um, what needs to happen here and what needs to happen in the ad sets. I don’t mind basically if one or two ad sets don’t get too much spend and two to three to four do get the bulk of the spend because they’re proving themselves out there strong, right?

[00:38:17] So every time we launch new creative. We launch it into that prospecting campaign as a new ad set, and we let it run on its own for about 14 days. Now, if it’s doing really, really poorly, then I might pause it down. But 9 times, I don’t actually need to pause anything down because we’re running cost caps, right?

[00:38:40] So we’re running a tool that We’ll only spend on creative and only spend on ad sets that are likely to hit the cost cap that we give it. So puts us in a really really advantageous scenario where we eliminate a cost center of creative testing. Now, we’re going to naturally move a [00:39:00] little slower when it comes to what creatives are absolutely the best because they’re not going to get spent straight away.

[00:39:06] However, we’re trading a tiny bit of speed. We’re talking like maybe one week of speed per creative for fundamentally better performance, like undoubtedly more stable performance.

[00:39:22] The last part of this setup that we’d like to use is retention. Now, there’s a lot of debate now still that advantage plus and normal prospecting campaigns do a tremendous job of, um, of retention and, and hit existing customers do retargeting for you. I think what we’ve seen is retargeting does work really well without doing anything.

[00:39:45] We could just let. Yeah. Retargeting do its thing or let prospecting handle retargeting for us because we’re not setting exclusions. Retention on the other hand is a little different. Retention basically means that someone has transacted with you. And I don’t mean they’ve signed up for [00:40:00] your email list. I don’t mean that they’ve been on your site for eight minutes.

[00:40:03] I mean that they have sent you money. Money has been transacted. There’s a huge difference between someone who says they’re really interested and someone who actually transacts with you. So, um, Those who have transacted with you, I like to still push them out into their own campaign. I think it still works better.

[00:40:21] Um, it’s very, very challenging to test properly, but what we’ve seen is that the clients that we work with, they like to spend a certain percentage on existing customers and they like to talk to them differently. Um, now you might not be there if you’re at zero or, or just kicking off and you don’t even need this campaign if that’s the case.

[00:40:38] Um, but if you’re, you know, a more mature business, It’s probably going to help to speak a little bit differently to existing customers than it is to people who have never even heard of you before. Um, you don’t need to show the functional benefits of your product as heavily. You need to show why your product is good.

[00:40:56] You need to talk about sales and offers and new products instead of, [00:41:00] uh, the, the basic benefits of your product for new customers versus existing customers. That makes sense. That, that, that kind of answer the, the, you know, the, the strategy, the, the structure.

[00:41:12] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Scaling at the top. You’re always prospecting.

[00:41:17] You’re using, um, you’re, you’re using, um, cost cap to, to ensure that spend is allocated to, to ads that, that, that actually will convert. And if over time. when they show that they convert quite consistently, you graduate them into, into, um, into campaign one. And then for, for more established businesses, uh, retention, which, which almost mimics the messaging you have in your email, you know, email retention messages, um, offers new, new product launches.

[00:41:48] And yeah, um, just encouraging them, you know, over that time, sometimes you throw in content in the retention. Okay. So that makes sense. What about, um, ads? So. you [00:42:00] know, there’s, there’s dynamic creative. Um, so I’m suspecting that, um, your setup with ads is essentially, um, individual ads. How do you test copy with, with ads?

[00:42:10] Sam Piliero: Yeah. So, um, we definitely run individual ads. We don’t run any dynamic. We don’t, um, we don’t run anything necessarily special or unique from there. Um, some people like to, Not something that we’d like to do. Um, we like to see performance by ad very straightforward. The one thing that we have been doing more this year, and it’s not like There’s a hundred percent of a proven data point on this, but, uh, logically it just makes too much sense.

[00:42:38] So, um, one thing we’ve been doing more for copy specifically is we will give Facebook all five primary text options that it allows us to upload and all five headlines that it allows us to upload. There’s also a little button under there. Um, it basically says something like use description sparingly or, or creative per person.

[00:42:59] [00:43:00] The text has changed a few times, but that little button we select. Um, and the reason for having those five headlines and five primary texts is very simple. We get to have the same ad in so many different permutations. Um, that is just way beyond what we would be able to even not, not even do with unlimited time, but you can’t even set up that many ads in one single ad set because the limit is 50.

[00:43:26] So if we have one creative, five different headlines, that’s five right there multiplied five times. It’s like five to the fifth power. We have 25 ads. That is awesome. Automatic, um, and then that would only allow you to have two different ads in your whole ad set, which would talk about breaking the system.

[00:43:43] Um, it would, it would really hurt us. So we don’t really care as much about figuring out what exact copy works. Um, I’m not, I’m not a copy, like I’m obsessed with copy. Um, what I will look at is if one [00:44:00] specific permutation of that ad works very, very well, then I actually will look at. What was that copy that worked well, and then we’ll just try to gear more copy to that the creative itself Whether it’s a video image gif carousel of catalog, whatever That’s gonna be the primary factor to drive the difference All of the primary texts and so on are just going to be supportive in a better way

[00:44:24] Kunle Campbell: Okay.

[00:44:24] Okay. Okay. And, and to use the, the, the Facebook, um, you know, Facebook has a caption generation generator. Do you produce that, you know, all the, the, the variations, the headline and description variations yourself internally, or do

[00:44:40] Sam Piliero: you let Facebook

[00:44:41] Kunle Campbell: do it?

[00:44:42] Sam Piliero: We do a little bit of both now. Uh, a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago, it was all off the dome, right?

[00:44:49] It was all, all whatever you can think of would be best. Now it’s changed pretty tremendously as like, you know, AI platforms have just gotten so much better. Um, so basically [00:45:00] nowadays, um, we’ll use, we’ll try to build out as many as we can on our own and then we’ll feed it to, um, like a chat GPT of sorts.

[00:45:10] And I think what’s important to mention here is like, Get the paid version of, of chat GPT, don’t use GPT 3 or whatever version they’re on right now. Just get the best one because that 10, 15, 20, whatever we’re paying for it is going to be the difference between an ad that sounds like a real person wrote it and an AI wrote it.

[00:45:31] Um, so we got to stay ahead in that regard. So use a paid version or the best version of, of ads, get a bunch of them, ask for 30, put them out into a sheet. And just sift through them and make your own edits. So that’s, that’s ultimately, I would say with our process right now for, for creating headlines and creating primary texts.

[00:45:50] The great part, once you find a few winners of how your consumer likes to be talked to and, and, and your messaging, uh, You could then [00:46:00] easily ask for more, um, from any of these, these AI platforms.

[00:46:03] Kunle Campbell: Moonlighters, how do you brief your customers or your clients for, for creatives? What’s, is there a process there?

[00:46:12] Yeah,

[00:46:12] Sam Piliero: it’s, it’s quite detailed. So, um, cause it’s so important, right. And we don’t make our own creatives. We, we work with the client to get the creative that we want. So what we do on our side is, uh, we have a brief that’s. meant to do two different things. The first part of the brief is we want iterations of an existing strong performing ad and we’ll give the, we’ll show the ad that’s working.

[00:46:36] We’ll kind of explain the differences we want, but ultimately we want the creator to be creative. and not just listen to the exact words that we’re saying. Now, from time to time, we do have like fundamental, um, like structures that we’d like to follow. One is a long form explainer. That’s one of my favorites to run, and it’s as [00:47:00] straightforward as Hi, my name is Sam.

[00:47:02] I do this. This is my product. And this is why it’s better than everyone else. And talking, talking, talking, talking. So I might tell a founder, can you just do this intro almost spot on? Like, can you just say your name, who you are, what your product is, or what your company is? And then just talk about your product for 10 minutes and then they could go do their creative part.

[00:47:24] So we don’t script, we don’t brief, um, ultra detailed. We’d like to ride the fine line between, um, you know, partially detailed and, and let the creator create.

[00:47:38] Kunle Campbell: Interesting. Okay. Okay. Um, then UGC versus, um, studio produced videos, um, videos versus static images. That, that’s controversial also. It’s as controversial as, as, as, as, as, um, CostCap on Twitter.

[00:47:53] Um, so, so what, what, what is, what’s the temperature right now and all that?

[00:47:58] Sam Piliero: All of it. [00:48:00] CostCap setup is that if it

[00:48:08] Like, just try all of it. Um, now what I will say is most of the time, if four things aren’t working for you, number five probably isn’t going to be your silver bullet. Um, so if there’s, if no creative formats working, then you probably need to work on product, product pages, um, Overall messaging of your product.

[00:48:30] Um, usually what we’ll see is each creative format, depending on the client, works somewhere in the range of like 10 to 30 percent better than the other. Um, it’s, it’s very rare we see a, this video works 10 times better than statics or statics the whole work 10 times better than all video. Um, of course, there’s sometimes standout creatives that are that one in a thousand, but generally speaking, um, that the types we’d like to just have [00:49:00] a mix all the time.

[00:49:02] Kunle Campbell: Okay. Okay. Okay. Facebook shopping. We never talked about Facebook shopping, which is, um, you know, feed driven channel or, um, placements on, on Facebook. Do you, do you care for it? A ton. A ton.

[00:49:17] Sam Piliero: Yeah. Um, and I know it’s probably, A bit surprising, but, uh, actually yes, is, is a short answer. Um, we use, we try to use website and shop for every single campaign that we’re running.

[00:49:31] Uh, we generally have catalog in a unique campaign. And if you have two products, you don’t need it. But if you have 500, you absolutely need it. Um, and then we’ll break our catalog down by different price points. Um, use some tools. There’s some good tools out there depending on how much of your, uh, You know, your creative is coming from your catalogs.

[00:49:53] So if you have 20, 000 SKUs, which is surprisingly not that uncommon, uh, you may want [00:50:00] a, uh, a system like Mar Pipe or something. Um, if you’re, if you’re. 50 skews. You might just be able to edit the photos on your own. Um, or use something more simple, like a flexify just to, to expand things a bit more.

[00:50:15] Basically, each of these tools just does little tweaks to your catalog. And I would just say, it depends on how much of your spend is driving to catalog versus standard imagery.

[00:50:25] Kunle Campbell: Um, there was a, there was a surge in, in the uptake of like, um, conversions on static images on static ads, static image ads. Is that, was that, um, Just a bump or, um, it’s just, there’s something there in terms of statics.

[00:50:45] Sam Piliero: I think, um, I think statics are, so I love static ads, um, and I know it sounds crazy, but like video ads tell a story, they show your product better. Static ads tell someone [00:51:00] to shop pretty, pretty simple. I think you could just think about anything you have around you and say, yes, to make the informed decision, I’m probably going to watch a video, but a static ad is going to tell me to buy now.

[00:51:14] And most of the time the consumer journey is just so frantic. I hate the idea of a funnel these days. There’s just no such thing. Like I might see 75 different ads over the course of, of two or three weeks. And I think I said this last time, but like I might see 75 ads. And then my dad says, yo, I saw this, uh, saw this, This phone case that looks real cool, man.

[00:51:40] And I’m just like, yeah, I’m just going to buy it now. Like, tell me how that fits into the funnel. I have no idea where and maybe someone will say, Oh, well you guys got served all these ads at the same time, which I’m sure there’s some science to it. But like, You know, until we get to, uh, running Nike’s budgets, I [00:52:00] think that I think we’re at the point where we just need to say like the funnel is pretty frantic and we just need to understand that showing, putting our best foot forward, it’s literally a one step at a time game sometimes.

[00:52:11] Um, with the best creators we have with all the data points we have and leaning into the machine that’s smarter than us, um, is going to get us the best result.

[00:52:20] Kunle Campbell: Okay. Makes sense. Makes sense. And then decisioning. Um, how do you process all of the data coming through from, from Facebook? How do you know things are working?

[00:52:31] Um, things need to scale. Um, what, where, yeah, what, what’s your thinking there? Yeah.

[00:52:36] Sam Piliero: So, um, fundamentally is the business growing? Yes, or no, not is Facebook growing. Not is Google growing is the business Shopify is whatever you’re running your platform Is your revenue going up or is it staying stagnant?

[00:52:54] That’s a and then building the marketing dollars into a forecast [00:53:00] I mentioned this on our first part of this I’m a dose of forecasting not a focus on forecasting now That dose is still important because we need to understand not only is marketing having an impact, but what percentage of your revenue is marketing.

[00:53:18] And you can kind of expect general growth based on the percentage. 10 percent would be stagnant growth, 20 percent would be growing safely, 30 percent would be growing aggressively. Um, the higher you can go, the faster you’re going to grow. The more risk you’re taking on. Most of the businesses that come to us in that one to five to 10 million range are in that 20%, maybe 22, 24 percent range of, um, uh, of, of total marketing spend to revenue.

[00:53:48] If you could live there profitably and healthy without like stressing about it, then you, you take away a huge lever for yourself and or lever, you take away a, uh, [00:54:00] a risk factor in your business. And you basically just say, 20 percent of my business goes to marketing, wipe it clean, right? It doesn’t matter.

[00:54:09] 20 percent of my business goes to marketing and we’re just going to spend it as, as effective as possible. Um, so that’s definitely what I would say when we start to think about what’s the next level. How do we know if things are working?

[00:54:22] Kunle Campbell: I like that mentality. Yeah. I really like the mentality of the 20 percent going to marketing and we need to efficiently, you know, spend, spend that 20%.

[00:54:30] It just puts things, puts things into perspective. It’s kind of like, you know, what you’re talking about, the cost gap, you know, um, in terms of just, it’s, it’s, it’s given you assurance, right? Um, there’s predictability there and it’s up to you to take destiny, destiny into your own hands. Okay. So let’s step.

[00:54:49] A bit top level now again. Um, so we talked about Google ads. We talked about, um, Facebook ads. What, what kind of spend allocation, like budget [00:55:00] allocation do you think will, will, will, will go where? And, and how do you think, how do you see Google ads synergizing with, with Meta? What are your thoughts there?

[00:55:11] After like 6, 12 months of spend, um, the way you’ve described it.

[00:55:15] Sam Piliero: Capture 100 percent max out on Google first. Met like just max out then Well, I guess it depends max out in an into an ROI because your capture effective capture is going to be the best for you We talked a bit about, like, do you trust the platform data, how to use the platform data?

[00:55:39] Um, if you could just use click data, whether it’s in your Shopify dashboard or triple whale or, um, a whole lot of different platforms out there, um, or even just using the platform, click data only, uh, that’s going to give you an idea of what the platforms are actually driving for you and ignoring the view through, which is going to create a lot of crossover.

[00:55:59] [00:56:00] Um, and, and the, the simple version of it is. Use your click data as and and get derive your row as or your cost per acquisition from your click data and then spend into the platform that is driving you the best ROI from that click data. The only caveat, ignore your branded search.

[00:56:25] Um, it’s, it’s someone didn’t wake up and type in your brand, right? They didn’t just magically have the thought to type in your brand name. So we have to take that out of the equation. What I wouldn’t do is go as far as when you look at shopping, when you look at performance max, those campaigns are still going to have branded search mixed into them.

[00:56:45] Don’t worry about that. Okay. Because that’s the same thing as the natural retargeting that happens on the meta side. So we have to be a little bit apples to apples.

[00:56:55] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Because, um, when you look under, under the hood of many accounts, [00:57:00] you just, you just find that, um, the, the performance numbers you’re seeing, uh, really down to majority branded, branded ads, you know, uh, It’s interesting.

[00:57:10] Just due to keyword inflation, right. Um, keywords are just like generic keywords are just so expensive. I mean, if you’re selling phone cases, it’s just no point, you know, bidding for phone cases. Yeah, it’s over. Cause some, some advertisers are ready to, to lose money just, just for show, you know, just to, to make sure that, um, they, it’s, it’s a branding activity for them now, you know, just, just to be there.

[00:57:35] Yeah, sure. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Yeah, super. But you know, you know why, why I like to speak with you, Sam? It’s really down to how you simplify things. You, you break things down so, so very simply. And, um, I’m so grateful for, for that. Um, so it captures the attention of a lot of the audience, you know, um, a lot of people will be, it’s, it’s not like a, an [00:58:00] advanced class yet.

[00:58:01] We’re discussing advanced. You know, um, um, you know, topics here. Um, but you just keep it in simple English and I appreciate it. And I’m very grateful for, for you for that. Thank you. Um, what, what are your prospects for 2024? How, how are you seeing things panning out to this 2024? And, um, Do you have any final, um, final advice to guests in terms of, um, you know, just growing over the next for the rest of the year?

[00:58:27] They’ll be listening to this on, I believe they’ll be listening to this on May, May, this will be coming out on May 21, I think. Yeah, May 21. So just looking forward beyond that, um, yeah. We’d love your thoughts.

[00:58:41] Sam Piliero: Yeah. Build 4Q4. Right now. So, um, the Q one was, was very tough for a lot of businesses. Um, don’t expect to beat your 2022, 2021, 2020 numbers, 2023 numbers.

[00:58:57] The last three years were a fluke. Um, we’re [00:59:00] getting back to the normal cycle here. So if you’re growing, you’re, you’re in a very good position. Facebook’s more expensive. Google’s more expensive than ever. Twice as expensive than it was a few years ago. Um, and then tack on inflation to that gets it We’re more, um, you know, we’re more expensive than ever so My advice for for folks would just be I think think about marketing as a fundamental must have in your business, um, and Allocate, like I was saying also, a percentage of spend associated to that marketing.

[00:59:37] Don’t stress about, uh, like, does it need to be more or less, whatever. Just set yourself a percentage that works within your margins. And spend it and then it will get more efficient over time and percentage could flex but basically Keep it as steady as possible. Make sure it works within your business.

[00:59:56] Don’t try to be Uber and overspend eight [01:00:00] times over. Like some of these unicorn companies, the amount of unicorn companies that have failed on the way to try to become a unicorn is way more than the ones that were successful. And those folks spent money like it was fake. And this is not fake. If you’re in the one to 10 million game, you’re not playing with fake money.

[01:00:19] You’re playing with most likely dollars that are either yours, Or close friends, family, or tight investors. So I would just generally warn, like, make sure your marketing budgets are set safely so that even if they return nothing, you’re okay. They’re going to return, but even if they return low, you’re okay.

[01:00:41] Um, and, and, and just the very last note, like, If you don’t know what you’re doing in these platforms, hire someone like it’s so critical. You would never take any other part of your business and just try to figure it out based on especially [01:01:00] that you’re, that are cost centers. It’s not only are you, the ROI on a good media buyer is so high.

[01:01:07] It’s crazy. It’s like, it’s, it’s crazy to think about.

[01:01:10] Kunle Campbell: And also scary. Yeah.

[01:01:12] Sam Piliero: I mean, it’s like incredibly. More beneficial to have someone who knows what they’re doing, not to mention the time. Um, and like I said before, like, it doesn’t need to be us. Just get someone who knows what they’re talking about.

[01:01:25] Someone you can trust and someone that you can afford and factor that person or, or agency or consultant into that total marketing spend budget. So that never messes you up. You’re, you’re always safe when it comes to the amount of revenue that you’re making. Um, a

[01:01:41] Kunle Campbell: lot of us are caught up with how much are we spending on meta, how much are we spending with, with, with ads, with, with Google, but we’re not even, you know, taking the, the, um, the talent, you know, cost, cost of, um, you know, people on there.

[01:01:55] This is this question. I’ve not asked any, any agency, um, [01:02:00] you know, um, owner, um, on this podcast, which is if you sort of step back and look at your entire portfolio of clients, you don’t need to mention any names. Sure. Why do you think your top three clients that are doing really well, really, really well now are where they are?

[01:02:17] What, what are their, their core characteristics starting from the top?

[01:02:23] Sam Piliero: My My number one client, the client that spends, I don’t want to say number one client, but like, they spend the most amount of money. They’re on my mind. Profitably. Very profitably. Yeah. Um, they get the highest return on ad spend. And to just keep beating this dead horse here, like they, uh, they think about marketing as a percentage of their total revenue.

[01:02:49] So they have a very high goal for it. But if they do a million dollars in a month, they spend a certain amount on marketing period every time, no matter what it’s clockwork. [01:03:00] So we forecast. A year and then we forecast the next month before the months over for the previous months over we think about how much we’re going to spend in that next month and and every time we get really close because they look at their year over year they look at the trend right it’s it’s not that complicated doesn’t need to be perfect and we spend into And ROI, and we check that every single day, basically, that’s, I would say the first, like from a forecasting perspective and second, this exact client and all the clients that are in our top, um, spenders, they create content as the owner of the business.

[01:03:39] They dedicate a percentage of their entire time, not a budget, just time to making content about their business. That’s it. They talk about their products publicly. They talk about, and these are not public figures by any means, I just want to be very clear. These are not celebrities. These are normal, everyday folks, just like me and you.

[01:03:58] And they talk about [01:04:00] their product, their brand, what they’re doing publicly. They tweet about it. They make YouTube videos about it. They go on LinkedIn about it. They just talk about their product because they love it. They’re in it. They know it better than anyone, right? They, they’re obsessed with their products.

[01:04:14] And if you have a product, you should be talking about it. Like the thing is stapled to the top of your head. I mean, like absolutely always. And once you do that, you build a character around the product and beyond a character, you build trust around the product. If you’re willing to say, This is the best product, period.

[01:04:35] Even if you’re selling snake oil, people, people respect a face to a

[01:04:40] Kunle Campbell: product. I, yeah, I, as in that, that, that makes a lot of sense. What about their social following is, uh, with, with a regular posting of, of this sort of content around their product, do they have a, do these people, I’m speaking specifically to your top three current, do they have a [01:05:00] sizable social following?

[01:05:01] Sam Piliero: They do now. Yes. They all, they all do now. Yes. They all have over a hundred thousand dollars, a hundred thousand followers on Instagram. Um,

[01:05:11] Kunle Campbell: do they, do they do take talk or is it Instagram? Yep. Mostly.

[01:05:15] Sam Piliero: So I like to think of tick tock. I mean, um, Instagram is like your storefront, right? It’s the first place people go to just check if you’re legit.

[01:05:22] And then think about tick tock as like, this is where we can get views right now.

[01:05:27] Kunle Campbell: Yeah.

[01:05:27] Sam Piliero: Very educational on TikTok. Most, most of these are

[01:05:30] Kunle Campbell: educational. So, so their, their personal, their personalities and their personal brands, um, that are very linked to their products. And then they’re, they’re essentially tapping into advertising.

[01:05:40] So for the scale, the word of mouth that they’re generating on the other side, do they speak outside of like, you know, so let’s say like I have a health product. Do they speak to like health related stories or tips?

[01:05:57] Sam Piliero: Yeah. So these three examples, not really. Um, [01:06:00] and actually they don’t really push their personal brand very much.

[01:06:03] They just push, they are the face of their brand. Within their own handles. So, um, they will really like just be everywhere on their own Instagram page. Um, and, and that’s, what’s grabbing so much attention.

[01:06:18] Kunle Campbell: Interesting.

[01:06:19] Sam Piliero: It’s like a blend. It’s not quite the personal, it’s not an influencer pushing a brand by any means.

[01:06:24] It’s a CEO owner explaining.

[01:06:28] Kunle Campbell: Explaining regularly. And so would that be one of the. tips you’d have for this Amazon brand to, to, to take on.

[01:06:36] Sam Piliero: Yeah.

[01:06:38] Kunle Campbell: That’s what I’m

[01:06:39] Sam Piliero: doing for my own brand. Right. And it’s, it’s what everyone should do. Um, it’s talk about your product all the time, everywhere. You can think about it, the same principle has applied forever in, in any sort of sales and marketing.

[01:06:56] If I was, we didn’t even have computers and there weren’t even [01:07:00] cars, if we’re hiking across the United States of America and I was telling everyone about. this product, everyone. I would sell more than if I wasn’t. Okay. Absolutely.

[01:07:11] Kunle Campbell: Absolutely.

[01:07:12] Sam Piliero: That’s, that’s the basics of it for sure.

[01:07:15] Kunle Campbell: So I’m just want to thank you again.

[01:07:16] Appreciate you. Um, yeah, we, we, we, we, we, we look, I’m looking forward to pushing this one out again. Um, and I’m just full of, of, um, of gratefulness.

[01:07:28] Sam Piliero: Thank you. Yeah. Likewise. I really do appreciate you having me here. Um, round two was fun. I’m, I’m looking forward to round three, which

[01:07:38] We’ll make sure there’s a gap between round two and round three, so that we have more new information.

[01:07:45] Kunle Campbell: No doubt. No doubt. No doubt. If Facebook comes up with something new, you know, you, you tell us the, the war stories. Yeah. I know. I know. So I think, yeah. But. But really, really, really good stuff. Um, and you know, not many people get to [01:08:00] do two full episodes, but which, which you prefer one or

[01:08:02] Sam Piliero: two?

[01:08:03] Oh man. I mean, one, we just set so much foundation. It was nice. Um, it was, it was more story. I think today was just like, you know, real tactical and, and, and hit some of it. Like you said, I, I don’t get into the. Ultra nitty gritty of it. It’s like it’s too complicated for most and let’s just let’s let’s think about the basics of things.

[01:08:24] Lean into these machines, right? That they work. Yeah, they work.

[01:08:27] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Be

[01:08:28] Sam Piliero: human. Awesome. Awesome.

[01:08:30] Kunle Campbell: Okay. Have a good one. Thank you so very much and cheers. Thanks.

[01:08:33] Sam Piliero: Appreciate it. Cheers.

[01:08:34] Kunle Campbell: All right.

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.

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