Evaluating KPIs Throughout the Customer Journey for Sustainable Sales Growth Across DTC and Marketplaces

Sep 28, 2023 1:30 PM2:30 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Understanding your customer journey and accurately assessing your KPIs is essential for eCommerce brand growth. Yet, the challenge remains: How can brands effectively measure success and foster sustainable growth across direct-to-consumer (DTC) outlets and marketplaces?

Zachary Riegle, an expert in eCommerce marketing strategies, emphasizes the need for a creative data-driven approach to content creation and KPI evaluation. This approach helps generate content that connects with the audience, leading to a more significant impact and sustainable sales growth.

In this virtual event, Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson sits down with Zachary Riegle, the VP of Sales and Marketing at Blue Wheel Media, to discuss the importance of a data-driven approach in mapping the customer journey and evaluating KPIs. Zach provides in-depth insights on creatively leveraging KPIs, understanding content performance, and the importance of having complete and accurate data.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • KPIs and benchmarks of marketing success
  • What is the importance of measuring and optimizing multiple KPIs?
  • What is the Performance Commerce Effect (PCE)?
  • How to increase the value of an existing customer
  • The importance of analyzing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Factors that go into making CLV calculations
  • What is the CLV to Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) ratio, and why is it important?
  • Why should you start working on your data accuracy and completeness immediately?
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Event Partners

Blue Wheel

Blue Wheel is an omni-channel marketing and operational partner delivering excellence in digital commerce -- from click to ship. As a new breed of omni-channel agency, Blue Wheel supports brands from marketplace management to performance advertising, and creative services. With over $1B in revenue managed for our clients, we help brands from click to ship, scaling brand sales across D2C, Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and retail.

Connect with Blue Wheel

Guest Speaker

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Zachary Riegle

Zach Riegle LinkedIn

VP of Sales & Marketing at Blue Wheel

Zachary Riegle is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Blue Wheel Media, which merged with Retail Bloom to deliver end-to-end DTC, eCommerce, and marketplace solutions.

With over 12 years at the agency, Zach has served in multiple roles, including SEO digital advertising, strategy team leadership, and, most recently, business development team leadership. In his current position, Zach engages with brands and VPs of eCommerce and marketing, gaining valuable insights into how brands evaluate their direct-to-consumer (DTC) customer journey.

Event Moderator

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Zachary Riegle

Zach Riegle LinkedIn

VP of Sales & Marketing at Blue Wheel

Zachary Riegle is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Blue Wheel Media, which merged with Retail Bloom to deliver end-to-end DTC, eCommerce, and marketplace solutions.

With over 12 years at the agency, Zach has served in multiple roles, including SEO digital advertising, strategy team leadership, and, most recently, business development team leadership. In his current position, Zach engages with brands and VPs of eCommerce and marketing, gaining valuable insights into how brands evaluate their direct-to-consumer (DTC) customer journey.

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Need help with something else?

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Senior Digital Strategist Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

Schedule a free consultation call

Discussion Transcription

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  0:18

Happy Thursday, everybody. I am Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson and digital strategist with BWG Connect and we are a networking knowledge sharing group we stay on top of latest trends challenges whatever is shaping the digital landscape we want to know and talk about it. We are on track to do at least 500 of these virtual events this year due to the increase in demand to better understand the digital space. And we will be doing at least 100 in person small format dinner. So if you happen to live in a tier one city in the US, feel free to shoot us an email, we'd love to send you an invite, the dinners are typically 15 and 20 people having a discussion around a specific digital topic and it's always a fantastic time we spend the majority of our time talking to brands is how we stay on top of latest trends. We'd love to have a conversation with you. So feel free to drop me a line at tiffany@bwgconnect.com. And we can get some time on the calendar. It's from these conversations we generate the topic ideas we know people want to learn about and it's also where we gain our resident experts such as Blue Wheel, who is with us today. So anybody that we asked to teach the collective team has come highly recommended for multiple brands within the network. So if you're ever in need of any recommendations within the digital space, please don't hesitate to reach out we have a shortlist of the best of the best and we'd love to provide that information to you. Also note that we do partner with a talent agency Hawk Eye searched formerly BWG Talent that we can put you in contact with as well. A few housekeeping items. First and foremost, we want this to be fun educational conversation, I'll drop as many questions or comments you have into the chat the q&a bar you feeling more comfortable, you can email me at tiffany@bwgconnect.com and we'll be sure to get to them. We started here about 45 minutes after the hour rest assured we're gonna wrap up at least five to 10 minutes before the end of the hour to give you ample time to get to your next destination. So with that, let's rock and roll and start to talk about evaluating those KPIs throughout that customer journey for sustainable sales growth across DTC and marketplaces

Zach Riegle  2:12

Really rolls off the tongue doesn't it?

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  2:14

It really does. Right? And like, that's like a rap or something.

Zach Riegle  2:18

I need to know how do you determine a tier one city?

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  2:22

I do and see. To buy size So like Los Angeles, New York.

Zach Riegle  2:27

I'm just I have I'm from Detroit. And we have a little you know, we're always protective of our.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  2:32

Yeah, I'm Minneapolis. Kind of gotcha, gotcha, forgotten. But the team at Blue Wheel, you guys are awesome. So I'm gonna kick it over to us, Zach, if you want to introduce yourself, and then dive into this awesome information that you provided that would be lovely.

Zach Riegle  2:46

Thank you. Yeah, yeah, I really appreciate that. We've had a really great relationship with BWG for the last, I think, five years or so. So really appreciate these opportunities. I am Zachary Riegle , I'm the VP of Sales for Blue Wheel. I've been with the agency for over 12 years, served in a variety of roles from SEO digital advertising, leading the strategy team, to most recently in the last couple of years, leading the business development team. In that capacity, I talk with a lot of brands, a lot of VPs of eCommerce and marketing about their goals about what they're currently doing. And that's given myself in the agency some really good insights into how brands evaluate specifically their DTC customer journey. And what I'm going to be sharing with you today is something that we call the PCE, the Performance Commerce Effect, is essentially a paradigm for evaluating your, your DTC business. And we'll go through what that looks like the KPIs that we evaluate, and I'm going to show you a couple of examples we'll go through and kind of take a look at the numbers and then what those numbers told us and then what we were able to achieve because of that information.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  3:55

Awesome. Any questions, comments you have and put it in the chat q&a, and we will get to them as we roll.

Zach Riegle  4:00

Okay, great. Really quick background, in Blue Wheel, we are your performance marketing and operations partner, we like to think we can help brands from click to ship. So that's performance marketing, advertising, Creative Social lifecycle, to the Shipped side of the business. So catalog management, customer service, marketplace expansion, brand protection, we manage over a billion in revenue, and we work with some really, really great brands. So that is my one and only sales pitch. Hopefully, there's a lot of information in this deck. I was talking to Tiffany before this, this is kind of our first time really sharing this information. It does feel a little bit like our secret sauce or our you know, internal understanding of how this works. But I also think it's really relevant. I think it's going to spark a lot of good conversations and I'd love to hear back from other brands on whether they use something similar or different KPIs or whether this is you know, completely fresh and new for them to see. Kind of already told you this but we're talking about what is the performance performance commerce effect. We'll talk about KPIs and benchmarks. So what are those KPIs and where they were should they be, and then case study analysis of the PCE, so what the data looks like how we evaluated it, and what the ultimate result was. Growth happens from the first touchpoint to the last, it's pretty, pretty common knowledge. Oftentimes, we don't treat our marketing as such, right, we look at last click, we look at attribution windows, we don't necessarily think about how all of these touch points work together. And that's a miss. If we're going to create a strong DTC pipeline, we need to understand where our customers are the message they're getting at that time, and what those KPIs are telling us about the success of what we're doing at that particular stage. The other piece, this is literally my favorite stat, it will come into play several times here, the average person goes through over 300 feet of content per day. That is the set is the height of the Statue of Liberty, I also was on call with a British company, and I Googled, it's also the size of big band. So if you're across the pond, think about Big Ben, for us over here, it's the size of the Statue of Liberty, what does that mean? That means we have to break through the noise. That means that if we're just providing content or a message that gets lost, we don't get to get them into the rest of the funnel. So one of the big KPIs that you're going to hear me talk about is scroll stop. So it is how many people can we get to stop and either watch three seconds of our video, or to click that is a good indication that they are interested and that we can now get them into our pipeline. So I want you to kind of remember those two things that growth is going to happen from the first touchpoint. And the last. And there's this obstacle that we have to getting someone to hear about our product or service. And that obstacle is the complete flood of information and content and creative and messaging platforms that they have on a day to day basis that day to day basis. This is pulled more from an Instagram standpoint, our tick tock numbers show that the average tick tock user is on over 95 minutes a day. So I would imagine that this number is even larger with some of the advent of these other social channels.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  7:26

That's incredible.

Zach Riegle  7:27

The performance commerce effect. This is what we're here to discuss this is our PCE at first look, it is overwhelming. There's a lot of data, there's a lot of numbers, there's lines going everywhere. So I want to take a second to kind of identify what this is telling us what this is measuring. So we lovingly refer to this as our bow tie. Right? It looks kind of like a bow tie here. The big difference is that a lot of marketing agencies and a lot of brands are thinking about acquisition and thinking about their customer funnel. And they're just thinking about that traditional sales, funnel awareness engagement acquisition, or however, we were taught the verbiage. But we believe that growing a DTC brand actually goes beyond the acquiring of the customer. It goes to impact growth and lifetime value. So how are we measuring what we're doing here? How are we growing that customers contribution? And then how are we turning one time purchasers into lifetime purchasers? And what is the value of turning them into a lifetime purchaser. So essentially, this PCE tracks, the moment a person becomes aware of a brand, the moment they become a lifetime purchaser, we use the PCE several ways. The first and most pragmatic is it's essentially a diagnostic tool. It allows us to benchmark against these KPIs and see where are you below benchmark? Where are you above benchmark, this gives us some understanding so that when we go into platform, when we go into meta, when we go into PPC when we go into tick tock, we are now looking for the cause of certain symptoms, right? So if our CPM is way off from what our our benchmark needs to be, our team is going to go into that audit looking specifically for reasons why that CPM is high. And when we go into these channels, when we go into these platforms, it's really easy. If you don't have kind of a roadmap to look at, it's really easy to get lost, because there's so much in those accounts. So relationship wise, we look at awareness, engagement, acquisition, onboarding, impact growth and lifetime value. I will go through and kind of explain each one of these what it is and what the KPIs are. But in general, one of the big pieces that we talk about internally is that as a marketing director as a VP of eCommerce as whatever role that is, we're often given goals that are seemingly tough to hit right double revenue or increase my profitability by x. If we're only focused on one KPI, if we're just trying to increase conversion rate or trying to increase traffic, that's going to be a really tough, tough row to hoe, right? That is going to be, that's gonna be boiling the ocean. And instead, if we can break these down to like 15 to 18 KPIs, and we can impact each KPI by 10%, we can incrementally achieve so much more than if we're only focused on ro s. Right? So this is built over 12 years of managing hundreds of brands, we've grown and launched two of our own brands. And consistently, these were the data points that proved when we were able to control them, and improve them had the biggest impact on the return and growth of those brands. Tiffany, just because there's a lot here. Does this make sense? Is there any question that you have, specifically, before I go on?

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  10:54

It makes so much sense and having been in that chair of being told, like, you know, yeah, get increase your revenue by X amount, bring down your, you know, budget by X amount, you know, it's this is makes incredible amount of sense. And the fact that you're like little bits, little pieces, and that's what eCommerce is about all about those like little steps that turn into big leaps. So very cool.

Zach Riegle  11:20

Yeah. And you know what, most of the people I talked to that have been in this industry, they say one of two things, they say, Yes, finally, someone's articulated it, we haven't been able to articulate it, our agency doesn't operate this way. It's, I've This is it, I didn't know I needed this. But this like, it's a pretty instant connection to Yes, it makes sense that we're going to break it down. Now, these KPIs sometimes change a little world brands that have different interests, different prerogatives. So we'll we can adjust those. But overall, these are the KPIs that we look for. For each stage. I'm going to go through each stage here, and I'm going to explain the KPIs give you a little bit more insight, I will point out that when we do an audit, we evaluate these 18 KPIs, these 18 benchmarks, we benchmark that against brands that are of the same size and in the same industry. So we recognize the product return rate is going to be completely different for apparel than it is for beauty, right, we recognize that the repeat purchase rate for shoes or for sporting equipment isn't going to be the same for beauty. So we don't try to take a one size fits all we really manage it and narrow it to give us some really accurate data.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  12:36

Totally makes sense.

Zach Riegle  12:39

So the first is awareness. Obviously, this is the first time a person is becoming aware of the brand. So we're looking at three really important metrics, we're looking at cost per impression. So our goal is typically around $20. If we see that that CPM is low, a lot of brands are excited. They're like, Oh, I'm only paying $10. For CPM, I will show you in this stack. And what we typically find is that when your CPM is drastically low, you're going to find that your click through rate, you're going to find that your conversion rate, you're going to find that your cost per landing page view are typically going to be underperforming, because you're not driving qualified traffic. Now, there are brands that can do that, that maybe have a broad enough product that they can go with a really kind of low CPM. But in general, we'll have really low CPM like $5 $10, that's an indication that we should be a little bit more specific with our targeting. And typically, like I said, we're gonna find some of these other KPIs that are off because of it. Scroll stop, this is our favorite. The amount of people that watch three seconds of a video or click through again, they've never heard of this brand. We're prospecting to them. There are so much that we want to educate them on, right. Everyone knows their product. And I guarantee in conversations within the marketing department, it's do we talk about that were founder LED? Do we talk about that it's made in America? Do we talk about that it's built with this Egyptian cotton? Do we talk about our process? Do we talk about 10,000 fans that love us? There's so many things that we can lead with. And there's so many attributes and UGC that we want to educate them on. We can't do that unless we get them into the funnel. We can't do that unless they engage and say, oh, yeah, I'm interested in that that looks interesting. If we're missing out on them, they're not going to give us the time and attention later. So that school SOP is incredibly important. And then we look at top line rev reinvested. So how much of our revenue that we're generating from D to C? Are we reinvesting in our advertising, we like it to be around 30%. This is another one of those caveats, right? If you're in growth mode, you're probably going to have a higher percent. If you're in profitability mode, you might have a lower percent if you're trying to get purchased, probably going to have a higher right so vo As fluctuate, and we're never going to tell you what your number needs to be if that number is impacted by other business decisions. So we have awareness, engagement, we have their attention. What are you doing to, to win that engagement? What are you doing to get a click to the site? The content that we're providing here is going to be UGC. It's going to be educational, it's going to be authoritative, right? If you've been mentioned by other publications, or have received awards, this is a great time to start filtering that in. And what are the KPIs that we evaluate? These are probably the ones that people are pretty familiar with CPC and CTR. So cost per click, how much am I paying to get someone to that site and click through rate, what percentage of people are going through, we also look at a different an additional KPI and that is the cost per landing page view. This is different than a click through rate or cost per click, because we're looking at the times that the landing page actually loaded. So I don't know if everyone has big fat phones like I do. But I'm often on Instagram and I hit something that I didn't mean to and then no one moves as fast as me hitting the back button after I've errantly pressed an ad, right. So just getting out of if the landing page doesn't load, that's a pretty good indication that they weren't an interested targeted user. So we'd like to look at that as just a further KPI to identify intent. So you get the idea. We need to have them aware, we need to make sure we're getting them aware in a cost effective manner. We need to make sure the content and the message that we're providing and engagement is driving them giving them enough to drive to the site. It's no longer enough that they're watching our videos, we have to give them reason to click through. So now we see engagement numbers not being where they're supposed to. It could be targeting, it could be creative, it could be the message right? Those are the things that we need to look at if we are seeing these numbers below benchmark acquisition was a purchase made? If not what caused the friction? How can we fit six that result into a conversion acquisition is all about finalizing that top of funnel right. So now we are looking at actually acquiring the customer. What we're cared we're we're really focusing on during acquisition is the AOV to CPA. So what is the average order value? And how much did it cost to acquire that customer, our benchmark is 2.7. And our percent revenue driven from paid, we're looking at about 39%. So it's kind of the inverse of the previous number that we looked at, we're looking at what percentage of our revenue is driven from our advertising, we want it to be low, we want it to have a healthy brand that is driving revenue from other sources from organic from influencer from social from PR. If we get too high, if we get into that 60% of revenue driven from from advertising, that's an indication that we're not sticking, we don't have email driving revenue, there's some other things that need to be done in order for that business to be a bit healthier. So it's something that we look at acquiring is great, getting a customer is great. But we don't want to get into customer and get into an acquisition battle, where we look up and we are spending way too much of our revenue on on that acquisition that is not sustainable. It also makes us susceptible to platform changes. So you know those costs go up, everything goes up, your profitability goes down. If you have a bit more support, if you're a bit more spread out, you're going to be more immune, if you're able to drive a lot of that from your email, you're going to be even more immune because you're going to have more control over your levers. So acquisition is incredibly important. We're looking at kind of a different metric for that. Onboarding, this is a really simple one rate of return. Are we returning? Are people returning the product? Generally, we're at 9%. Apparel were much higher. Other brands were lower, I have some brands that don't don't even allow returns. So why do we look at return rate? Because if we're not looking at return rate, we're missing a big piece of the puzzle, right? If our return rate is high, or higher than it should be? What are the things that we can do from the marketing standpoint to improve that return rate? Right? We're going to assume you have a great product. We're going to assume that when people the right people get the product, they use it and they really like it. So how do we ensure that those people that we're marketing to are the right people that understand the right elements of the product, we can communicate if sizes are small, we can communicate if the color can appear a bit different when you get the product we can communicate that sometimes the stitching appears a certain way. And that's not an issue, right? There are things that we can do to improve that onboarding rate and we just want to be connected to the business if we are not having those conversations. We miss a big A big piece of understanding of how the consumer is interacting with our product. So while there's, you know, a little bit that we can change, the information that we're gathering from this piece is absolutely critical.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  20:14

And who are typically the stakeholders that you're involved with, with this metric?

Zach Riegle  20:21

Yeah, that's a good question. I have found that it's the bane of everyone's existence, if the, if the product return rate is too high, so it tends to be everyone. But, you know, marketing operations, the back end support. And then, you know, depending on the size of the organization, it's trending up to, you know, C suite, is really caring about this and trying to figure it out. So they usually have their own strategies they're working through, you know, quicker shipping issues that they've identified. But from a marketing standpoint, like I said, it provides feedback to us about how that experiences and those things that we can impact, even minute way with our messaging that we tried to do.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  21:08

Absolutely, I just my experience of having been director of eCommerce was the siloed effect of operations and quality control that maybe we're working to make a packaging or product better. And then the marketing team that was still making amazing content about that product that maybe we shouldn't be promoting right now. Because it's under construction is just curious about best practice.

Zach Riegle  21:29

Yeah, you get a lot of a lot of bodies on those calls, right? It's touching a lot of responsibilities. It's touching a lot of areas on that accountability chart. So similar. It's one of those things where there's a couple of things here where we will identify concerns and issues, but it's not necessarily something that we can impact fully. So with marketing can help out great if not just another KPI that we need to be aware of, because the other thing is, it's going to, you know, it's going to impact gross sales. If we're returning 30% of everything that we sell, our Google Analytics numbers might look one way, but our actual profitability is going to look completely different. And it's as a marketer, if you're not thinking like that, if you're not asking those questions, and making sure that you're integrated into the actual business, and not just an advertising partner. That's where mistakes can happen. And that's where you might not be understanding the complete pie, right. So having your hands on that understanding, it is important to make this better overall decisions for the account. Cool. Impact growth and lifetime value. So this is where we measure ROAS. So a lot of brands ROAS, or some version of this is the number one most important KPI, right. It's what our leadership looks at, it's what our boss cares about. When I report to the board, they asked me what my row as is, this is where ROAS comes row as comes from impact. And that's where we start to measure the brand's immediate returns by examining the spend efficiency. So we know what's happening in those previous channels. Now we start to look at, okay, all of that acquisition that we did all that acquisition marketing, what was the return, and we look at it a few different ways. Number one, if you're not familiar media efficiency ratio, kind of an old school tactic, it's how they calculate the return on like a billboard. Right. So it's essentially all of your spend divided by your or all of your revenue divided by your spend. We also like to use row as our blended row as which kind of takes a look at not just last click, but all of the channels how they impact the customer journey, we're looking at our blended row as as being around two for acquisition, our key KPI that we really, really care about, I want to show you in lifetime, and that is lifetime to CAC, so lifetime value of your customer to the to the cost for acquiring the customer, that's going to give us the best understanding of how efficient our marketing is because the goal is to acquire the customer profitably, but ultimately, to nurture them and create them a lifetime purchaser, right. So that's where we get into growth and lifetime. That's where we actually get to expand the value of that particular consumer. If we are working on the Amazon side, this is where a cos and tacos and some of those other advertising metrics are going to be evaluated as well.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  24:26

Is there a reminder questions, comments, put them into the chat the q&a ee'll get to him.

Zach Riegle  24:33

Cool. Growth. How can we increase the value of an existing customer so this is where we start to think a bit more holistically and outside of the advertising realm? What percent of your revenue is being driven from email? We want to see at least 30% of DTC businesses have a revenue driven firm email of that 30%. We want 25 to 30% to be driven from drip emails from automated emails based on replenishment based on site behavior based on purchase behavior, right? So you purchase this, it's 30 days later, it's time for you to repurchase or you purchased X, may we introduce you and Y and Z, right. That is how we continue to make them the most out of the customers that we have subscription and loyalty for the brands that where it makes sense, great place for growth, this is how we can increase the value of those consumers to us. Right now we're looking at about a 2.6 conversion rate for subscription and loyalty. And then top line revenue growth. So how was our company growing outside of the profitability, metrics and advertising? How are the other pieces of this puzzle working? Are we where we need to be? Oftentimes, I think top line growth and row as are kind of squished together or not separated properly, in a sense that these are row as will get you to growth. But there's other factors that are really important as part of growth. As you can see from all of these KPIs, right, it's not just row as we're looking at, it's literally 17 or 18 other KPIs that drive that. And then lastly, lifetime value. So how effective is the cross sell upsell, how much revenue is coming from existing customers? We kind of talked about that a bit with the automated drip email. This is where we start to look at lifetime to new CAC ratio. So what is the cost requiring a new customer? And what does that customer provide over the lifetime or over a year contribution, that should be a defining principle and how much we're actually able to spend on our advertising what our what our role as could be, because if we're focused just on first time purchase, or just on the purchase that occurs, we're missing out on the fact that these these purchases are going to purchase multiple, right, they're going to be cross sell, they're going to be up sold, they're going to have to replenish. So those are the numbers where we want to increase our repeat purchase rate. So right now, across the board, about 35% is standard. brands that are doing more are growing incredibly well, brands that are doing less have to focus on new acquisition continuously. And I understand for some industries, that repeat purchase rate just doesn't happen. So I'm going to show you a few in the examples here. One's a beauty brand, one's an apparel brand, one's a sports brand. And they all kind of have different sales cycles and different things that are unique and concern them and we perform the PCE or evaluated the PCE, rather, within those those confines.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  27:45

Question about setting duration. So on the long term value for duration for measurements, like the 60, for example.

Zach Riegle  27:58

How or what are the factors that go into making them? Yeah, so part of its data, right part of it is how much can you track? Do you have the ability to do this? Do you have historical values? You know, depending on what your platform is, I know Shopify makes it pretty easy, as long as you haven't screwed around too much to identify what the lifetime impact of the customer is. My belief, our belief, is long as we're confident in that data extended as far as you can. If we believe if our numbers are clean, and we're acquiring that customer, and that customer is then repurchasing, it is valuable to know what they have contributed in two years and three years, break it up, look at one year, look at three years, look at five years and see what that looks like. Take a look at the sources that are driving that. And that's where we take, you know, start to understand, okay, hey, we might have a better return on meta over Google. But our Google customers, they purchase for two years and our meta customers purchase for 12 months. Right? How does that impact our budgets? How does that impact where we put our expenses? Right? That's I think that's the biggest thing. So I wouldn't want to cut myself off from data. Even if it's going to make it messier. I think it's important to look at it and try to incorporate it if it's if it's relevant. If it's not just a couple of people, if you don't have the data, forget about it, do it with the data that you have. And assuming the data is clean, it's exactly you have to assume the data is clean, which is not always the case, especially if you've been moving platforms or databases or other ways that you measure this that can be an actual, a real challenge. I'm going to go into a couple of the examples. Now, are there any other questions that I can answer before we jump into the some of that fun stuff?

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  29:53

We did have another one roll in. So what is the best way to prove or disprove the M ROI channel specific results in paid media when looking at the full customer journey.

Zach Riegle  30:07

Say that one more time?

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  30:09

So what is the best way to prove or not prove the M ROI channel specific results in paid media when you're looking at the full customer journey?

Zach Riegle  30:19

Yeah, my recommendation is going to be to use third party tool. Triple Whale, I think Northbeam the other one, there are a few out there that are kind of server side attribution tools that track stuff, a lot of the data that we used to get in Google Analytics for all my little been here for seven years. Plus, we used to get all this information we knew, first click second click, last click, we knew all the search terms that people were using. That's been that's been taken away from us. And so there are platforms out there, and we use them to supplement our data that give us better understanding of full click so we can actually see the user their name, everything they do. And then we can put that into like a cohort analysis and look at 30, 60, 90. The other really cool thing you can do with those tools, is they will give you another layer, which is what is the creative that is working at each one of these platforms, and each part of the funnel. So we can kind of aggregate our information and say, This is the creative that works. These are the channels that drive first click, these are the channels that drive education. These are the channels that drive last click that kind of model is how you will make your better decisions.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  31:36

What were some of the examples you said?

Zach Riegle  31:39

Triple Whale, Northbeam, I want to say as the other one we've been using.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  31:45


Zach Riegle  31:46

Am I right? Yes. Yes. Omni channel recording. So Northbeam and Triple Whale are two out there. There's a number, Triple Whale's a lot of funding there and Israeli brand, we've been using them that I've spoke with and seen results from other companies that are equally beneficial. I will say that most of those aren't out of the box, set it up and forget it, they require a fair amount of tagging. And just like any system, you know, HubSpot is not going to work for you, if you just plug it in, it takes a lot of work to get it set up. So you know, your agency, hopefully can support there, it's definitely something that we include for brands that are typically north of that, like 100k 200k a month budget.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  32:34

Got it. Awesome.

Zach Riegle  32:37

Awesome. I mentioned this before, but I think it's good to just reflect and restate. If we can increase one of these pieces by 10%, we can impact much larger goals. And I would actually say if we can increase all of these by 10%, we can we can hit much larger goals. And so it's just that idea of when I am overwhelmed, I make a list, right? If I'm trying to do something, I break it down. And I'm like, Okay, if I accomplish this, then this and this and this and this and that hits our goal, it's the exact same thing. It is creating things that you can actually tackle, it will create focus for your teams, because now we actually know Hey, this is the KPI that needs to be addressed. Like I mentioned, now you go in platform. So our audit starts with a PCE analysis that gives us the high level, what are we seeing where things strong? Where do they need support? And then from there, our team goes in platform and actually conducts the audit with this baseline of information. So we'll take a look at that right now. And Tiffany, what time did you say you wanted to take this too?

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  33:45

We have about 15 minutes?

Zach Riegle  33:47

Oh, okay. Wow. Time flies. I was worried I wouldn't have enough to talk about enough. And I guess I forgot how easy I talk. Okay. A lot of numbers here. A lot of colors. This is kind of an old version looks a little bit better now. Right? Well, what are we looking at here? Right. So we had a beauty brand. They had really engaging content, but they weren't seeing the revenue that they wanted to. Right. So a couple of things that we saw and what we help them address. The first is there under their their investment into their top line based on their revenue. Just something to keep in mind their three second video views. So their click through or their scroll stop was really, really fantastic. What was really messing them up is in the interest phase. So they're paying way too much for their cost per click. They're paying $4 where the average is $1.58 and that's leading to a low click through rate. So we're paying too much and we're not giving them the message they need need it to get to the site. So we're at a four or 5%, click through rate, where our average is about a 1.18. Now, again, if any of seeing these numbers and go, Whoa, that's way too low, or Whoa, that's way too high. It's all individual, we take a look at each brand, we try to make sure it's industry specific. So for this brand, this is this, these numbers were relevant for them. What we saw then is that the messaging and interest wasn't hitting correctly, either because the audience wasn't right, or we weren't giving them the right information to click through, to be able to have, you know, our scroll stop, meaning people liked what they saw. So they're somewhat interested, but then we're paying way too much for such a little engagement. So that was the first thing that you said is okay, we need to make sure our messaging and interest is is strong, I will go through each one of these numbers are mer was not where it was supposed to be. Our robust, was underperforming as well. So about half for both. But we see a really nice conversion rate, we see a 4.6 conversion rate when our average is 2.7. So that tells us that this acquisition is working well, if we can get the right person the right message and get them to the site. They feel comfortable purchasing. That's awesome. That's that's a big challenge in itself. So what are we also seeing where we're seeing the lifetime, the new customer acquisition is low as well, it's at a 2.1. And the biggest factor of that wasn't something that was happening in advertising, it was the fact that email was driving only 17% of the revenue when it should be driven 30%. So we're getting people in, we're purchasing we're getting them to purchase, we can't get them to repurchase, we can't get them to continue their lifetime purchase journey, we can't increase the order value can cross sell and upsell them. So there's a few things that we knew we needed to address when we went into account. And what that ends up looking like is we saw over six months, 12 months 43% decrease in cost per click, we saw a 47% increase in lifetime value to new cat growth. We saw a 57% increase in repeat customer rate, a 34% increase in CTR and a 2.7x growth in email revenue. So I'm not gonna go through and kind of explain each thing that we did one because that's what you pay us for? No. But also just because it would be I'm just getting, if you if you get on a phone call with me, I'll tell you exactly exactly what we did. But just because we'll go into too much detail. So what is what is germane is that we saw these things, we identified that the content and interest wasn't where it needed to be. We identify the email wasn't carrying its weight, we identified that the repeat customers, the repeat purchase rate wasn't where it needs to be. So instead of just trying to acquire new customers or predict improve conversion rate or work on numbers that don't need working on like their scroll stop was really good. And they were at a 30% Scroll stop. We were fine with that. Instead, leave that working because it is it is generating the right audience, let's focus on all of those KPIs that are benchmark show are are not correct or underperforming.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  38:26

And what was the reaction of the brand? When this was divulged? Like was it like, oh, we had an inkling something was off? Or it was like Whoa, no way.

Zach Riegle  38:35

So the one caveat, this brand return wasn't where it needed to be. So they knew that they weren't where they wanted to be. And they knew there must have been issues. But they didn't know where they didn't know how to work. They didn't know how to ask, they just knew that their lever for their agency was increased ro s. And their agency's response was, we need to increase budget, or we need to increase conversion rate, right? These very like simple but very, very hard to manage changes. So a very common reaction is kind of like I knew it, this they look to each other I told you didn't they tell you Didn't I tell you that and other persons like he did. So that's that's kind of the reaction that we get is confirmation. And a lot of times it's relief, right to name it, you can name it. So to be able to say like, Hey, there is something going on, we work crazy. Look at the numbers, I now have benchmarks I now have other brands that are in the similar space, similar size that can give you that confidence that this is the direction that we need to go. So comparatively, not to bring it into the next one. This is a brand this is a sports brand. They were returning really well. So you can see that their lifetime their AOV purchaser rate that was 620 We're typically we're at $101. So they're doing really well. They have a lot of revenue being driven from current customers, their AOV is $507. Right? But what's happening is that that price of the product, the fact that they have a long, high lifetime value, is covering up some things from the awareness side that are underwater that aren't we aren't hitting metric. And so what we see sometimes, too, is a brand comes to us and goes, Yeah, we're hitting gold. But like, we think there's more. We think we can grow faster. We think there's areas of efficiency, we think that, you know, this is usually communicated under strategy. We don't think our brand or we don't think our agency is strategic enough, they're not thinking about and to them. Strategy is like creative and ideas. And, you know, who do we target. But really strategy should be rooted in the data so that they don't have to kind of come up with these clown car ideas of how we can change the brand every three months, we can just focus on what's working, and you know, pat on the rocket fuel. So what did we see here? Well, their cost per impressions isn't that bad, their cost per click is actually pretty low. Cost per acquisition is fine. Scroll stop, they're at a 4% for their audience. So we want to be at 15%. For some of our brands, we want to even be closer to 30%. This is a reflection, that we're giving them the right content, the content is meaningful, and the content is catching them in a manner that wants to get them to want to participate. We went into this account and everything was static, there was no gifts, we do this thing that a lot of brands do, which is you plop your customer right into the middle of the funnel, you don't get them excited, you don't explain what the product is, you just start with the product values. And that's, that's moving too quickly, there's got to be dance, we gotta get them excited, we got to show other people using the product, right? We know it's going to take seven to nine touchpoints, typically, to convert that consumer. So let's lean into that, let's have that first touchpoint specifically do one thing, which is get them excited, get them into the funnel. If that's not occurring, then it's going to impact your click through rates, it's going to impact your CPCs, it's going to impact your growth in your lifetime value metrics as well. And so this is a newer brand that we're working with. First thing that we did is we implemented a creative package. And all of our DTC brands typically have some sort of creative package, it's either editing what you currently have up to like a net new production. The idea is we want to create digitally native creative, so creative that is made specifically for a platform specifically for a certain audience, and to educate that audience on what we need them to understand at that time. Right? If we can do that, and we can think digitally first, our content is going to be so much more effective. Versus and I can't see anyone but I guarantee someone's going to nod when I say this. My company made content, they make it once or twice a year, they do this really good splashy video and content after it. And then the marketplace teams and the DTC teams get the remnants of the remnants of the reminisce stitch together, figure it out, it'll be fine, you know, but it's not. Because now you're trying to work something that was made for TV, or made for print or made for an end cap, and you're trying to convert that into digitally native creative. So when we're working with a company, the one of the first things we do is evaluate their creative mix. Do you have what it's going to take to drive awareness? Do you have the content and authoritative the UGC? To drive interest? Do you have the end content, the stills, the carousels to drive the acquisition piece, if you don't, that's the first thing that we need to address, right? Because we're not going to have different results using the same creative. So this is just a really good example of a place that we were able to start we've seen really great success, we've been implementing their content. And when we told this brand, that hey, there's more opportunity here. The reaction was, again, we knew it, right? ROAS is fine. C suite they're good, their numbers are being hit. But the marketing director knew that there was more growth, but there was more meat on this bone. And so that's why they brought us in to be an omni channel partner to help address these things. And to think, you know, again, and this is not to disparage another agency, I think it's very easy no matter what you do, to only look at the things that you can impact, right. So if you're an advertising agency, why would you look at scroll stop? Why would you look at creative elements if you can't impact the creative element? So I think for some agencies, it's just not part of their skill set. So they don't want to bring it up because then they're just going to send you on the road. To find more content, and that's not a really good fit. Or they pointed out and they have you figured out, okay, can you go make scroll stopping content? What do you know about scroll stopping content, you've made the stuff that's already there. Right? So that's the conversation that needs to happen as well. Is do we? Are we trying to achieve the same results using or trying to achieve different results using the same approach? Which I think at some level is the definition of insanity, right? Trying to do the same, the same thing and expect different results? It's the same thing here.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  45:35

Absolutely. Into it's takes the emotion and the guessing away, you're using numbers to justify the hunches. Like is everybody saying, Oh, I knew it, I knew it. But you couldn't prove it. And now you can prove it and run with it and be efficient and make an impact pretty quick.

Zach Riegle  45:52

We've done previous webinars on our data approach to creative that are out there, if you want to see him, I'll send you the link. But that's that's really where all this started is taking something that is typically emotionally driven, and bringing it into the realm of a data point, right? And it's like, Hey, I evaluate my audience, I evaluate my targeting, I evaluate my bid all in a very data focused standpoint, why am I not doing the same thing for creative? So in that webinar, we actually break down how we look at Creative quarterly and how we evaluate it based on what part of the stage it isn't. So we won't just say gifts are better than video, we'll say, hey, gifts for awareness and your scroll stop, do X video for interest when you're trying to convince them of something, it has this impact. If you use if you have a pet in your video, it does this, if you have two models that does we break it down? So specifically, so that we can then build content that, again, from a number standpoint, we know is going to have a better impact. So that's I think, if there's like the takeaways here that you can implement, or that you should start looking at is diversify the KPIs that you're evaluating, right. And then I think it's also understand how your creative is working for you, where it's working for you how it's not working for you. That's a really important piece. I we provide this creative evaluation all the time to brands, and they're like, we've never seen it like this. We've never looked at the data that way. And while it's a compliment to us, it's also kind of alarming that such a big piece of this, of this strategy isn't being addressed.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  47:31

Yeah. But like you said, it starts with the top and then created and then it the trickle down and die, that want to say scraps, but it is.

Zach Riegle  47:42

It is yeah. And I think a lot of brands have just, that's, well, that's how we've always done it, we've always gotten the leftovers. And you know, now there's a different way to do it. And again, if you want different results, we have to approach it differently. And so this is one of the ways that we help brands kind of reform, I think the other piece, too, is that lifetime to CAC, right? Getting ourselves teaching ourselves teaching our leadership teams teaching everyone in the business that well, we don't have to be, we don't have to ignore roe as we need. You bring in these longer term metrics to really understand the effectiveness of our marketing. And we have the ability to do that. We talked about myrrh and billboards, right? They have no other choice. We have it, it's there. The data is there. We're ignoring it. Right? Like it's it's available to us, let's use it, let's have it as a data point, so that we can at least make more informed decisions. I'm getting very passionate about it. But I, I conversation I have all the time and I'm and it's very rewarding to see brands, appreciate it, adopt it, and then see the success from it. Right. That's like the really exciting stuff.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  48:57

Absolutely. Just to confirm this is recorded. So we can get that recording out post events, no problem and questions about that. And will the presentation be shared?

Zach Riegle  49:10

Yes, yeah, we'll follow up. Members from our team will follow up. Usually BWG will make an introduction and then we'll send you both the recording as well as the actual deck.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  49:22

Beautiful. It's just absolutely incredible how you condensed a very sophisticated, intricate, complicated thought process here of like the process it takes to make this happen and put it into these bite size nuggets to be able to actually digest it within 45, 50 minutes. So kudos to you guys for putting this together.

Zach Riegle  49:45

Yeah, shout out to our team. I mean this the identification, the identification of the PCE and the fact that it was it was almost there the whole time but we rediscovered it if that makes sense. Like the data was there. It took us about a year to go through each one of these departments to identify the benchmarks to determine what the important KPI is, it's changed a lot, right? A lot of the original metrics, we determined eight, they don't actually get you to move the needle the way we think it's gonna happen. So shout out to all of them for putting such a great effort into this. The other piece that I would want to point out is that this is our D to C audit. So this is specifically for one piece of our business, if we're doing Amazon, if we're doing inventory management, if we're doing social media or influencer lifecycle, they have their own PCs, their own benchmarks. So if we're looking at other solutions, we're taking the same effect, the D to C is the most complete. And to me, probably the most powerful. So like social and influencer, they're going to have awareness, interest and some acquisition stats. But they're not really involved impact growth and lifetime value, lifecycle, email, SMS, hugely involved in impact growth and lifetime value, not so much in awareness, interest and acquisition. So that approach of this is our diagnostic, the diagnostic tells us where to look. And then we go in platform with this base knowledge of hey, I kind of know what's not right. What can I see in the platform? What can I see in Klaviyo? Or what can I see in Seller Central that that supports the reflects or give us more interest on it? So it is it is applied to other areas of the business as well.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  51:25

Yeah. Good take away. Awesome. Final questions, comments, you can get them into the chat the q&a, as we wrap up here. Final thoughts from you, Zach.

Zach Riegle  51:36

Kind of said it already. But I think expanding the KPIs that you're looking at, evaluating creative in a more meaningful way, and start looking at your lifetime to CAC. Now. And you know, I think the other thing is like the the health of your data, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today, right? So if the data isn't where you needed to be, work on it, so that you can get that data going forward, because the worst thing is to be in the same spot a year from now, and to not have that information. So don't get disparaged. Don't get you know, overwhelmed if you don't have that information, you can take baby steps to get it. But it is it is a data game, right. And the more data that we have, and the more accurate that data is, the more effective our marketing strategies are going to be.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  52:30

Beautifully said. Thank you so much, Zach for the presentation. Absolutely fantastic. We definitely encourage follow up conversation with the Blue Wheel Team, they have been long term partners and supporters of BWG Connect and we'd love to have a conversation with you. That's how we get the topic ideas for future events. So always feel free to email me tiffany@bwgconnect.com to get some time on the calendar. So with that it's a wrap. Happy Thursday, everybody. Thank you so much, Zach, till next time. Take care. Thank you all.

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