Implementing a Robust Omnichannel Strategy for Brand Success

Jan 31, 2024 1:30 PM2:30 PM EST

Request The Full Recording

Key Discussion Takeaways

With digital at the forefront of contemporary advertising campaigns, strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies accelerate annual revenue by over 9.5% year-over-year. Conversely, businesses that lack an effective omnichannel strategy only experience 3.4% annual revenue growth. How can you ensure omnichannel success for your brand?

Every robust omnichannel approach should begin with a digital-first, holistic creative strategy. This should be a comprehensive budget that encompasses each digital channel to convey a consolidated brand story. When analyzing channel performance, rather than focusing on a single metric like ROAS or ACOS, employ a performance commerce method that integrates a series of KPIs from brand awareness to LTV. This eliminates channel silos, allowing you to accomplish your revenue goals holistically.

In this virtual event, host Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson welcomes Jonathan (Jon) McGraw of Blue Wheel and Lauren de Wet of Edgewell Personal Care to discuss omnichannel brand strategies. Together, they address the challenges brands face with DTC advertising, the importance of diversifying channels and allocating budgets, and how to leverage influencers for holistic media campaigns. 

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

  • How to develop a digital-first creative strategy from budget to execution
  • The framework for evaluating omnichannel strategy performance 
  • Establishing and attaining omnichannel brand goals 
  • What challenges do brands face with DTC advertising?
  • How diversifying channels and allocating budget spend maximizes revenue
  • Influencers’ roles in holistic media campaigns
  • Segmentation and personalization: robust lifecycle marketing strategies
  • Holistic revenue measurement approaches
Request The Full Recording

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 Speakers

Jon McGraw

Vice President of Owned & Operated at Blue Wheel

Jonathan (Jon) McGraw is the COO of Blue Wheel, an omnichannel digital marketing agency. In his role, he oversees multiple independent business units driving 360 digital strategy for the company’s diverse client portfolio. Having worked with Blue Wheel for nearly 10 years, Jon has held various roles, including Content Marketing Director, Director of Brand Engagement, and VP of Owned and Operated. 

Lauren de Wet LinkedIn

Senior Digital & Media Marketing Manager at Edgewell Personal Care

Lauren de Wet is the Senior Digital and Media Marketing Manager at Edgewell Personal Care, which manages a portfolio of brands, including Schick, Skintimate, Playtex, and Carefree. In her role, she drives revenue growth for Edgewell’s grooming and skincare brands while managing an $11 million annual media budget. As a senior marketing leader with over 15 years of experience in beauty and CPG, Lauren has developed and executed data-driven marketing strategies to build brands, launch new products, and drive revenue growth. 

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.

Event Moderator

Jon McGraw

Vice President of Owned & Operated at Blue Wheel

Jonathan (Jon) McGraw is the COO of Blue Wheel, an omnichannel digital marketing agency. In his role, he oversees multiple independent business units driving 360 digital strategy for the company’s diverse client portfolio. Having worked with Blue Wheel for nearly 10 years, Jon has held various roles, including Content Marketing Director, Director of Brand Engagement, and VP of Owned and Operated. 

Lauren de Wet LinkedIn

Senior Digital & Media Marketing Manager at Edgewell Personal Care

Lauren de Wet is the Senior Digital and Media Marketing Manager at Edgewell Personal Care, which manages a portfolio of brands, including Schick, Skintimate, Playtex, and Carefree. In her role, she drives revenue growth for Edgewell’s grooming and skincare brands while managing an $11 million annual media budget. As a senior marketing leader with over 15 years of experience in beauty and CPG, Lauren has developed and executed data-driven marketing strategies to build brands, launch new products, and drive revenue growth. 

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.

Request the Full Recording

Please enter your information to request a copy of the post-event written summary or recording!

Need help with something else?

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

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

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant 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 Wednesday, everybody. I am Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson and digital strategist with BWG Connect, and we are a network and knowledge sharing group, we stay on top of latest trends challenges, whatever shaping the digital landscape, we want to know and talk about it. We are on track to do 500 of these virtual events this year due to the increase in demand to better understand the digital space. And we will do at least 100 in-person small format dinners. So if you happen to live in a tier one city in the US, feel free to check out our website, or send us an email, we'd love to send you an invite the dinners are typically 15 to 20 people having a discussion around a certain digital topic. And it's always a fantastic time, we spend the majority of our time talking to brands. That's how we stay on top of latest trends. We'd love to have a conversation with you. So you can drop me a line at 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's with us today, anyway, that we asked to teach the collective community has come highly recommended from multiple brands within the network. So if you're ever needed any recommendations within the digital space, please don't hesitate to reach out we have a shortlist of the best of the best and would love to provide that information to you. A few housekeeping items we started now five minutes after the hour, rest assured we're going to wrap up at least 10 minutes before the end of the hour to give ample time to get to your next destination. And we want this to be fun, educational, conversational. So we've been able to chat the q&a to ask questions. Leave comments if you feel more comfortable, you can always email me at And we will be sure to get to them as we move along. So with that, let's roll and start talking about implementing a robust omni channel strategy for brand success. The team at Blue Wheel have been awesome long term Friends of the network. So I'm going to kick it over to our panelists to give an introduction on themselves. And then we can dive into the information. So I will start with you, Jon. And thank

Jon McGraw 2:10
you all for joining. Thanks, Tiffany. Nice to meet everybody. I'm happy to spend some time with you today. My name is Jon McGraw, I'm the COO at Blue Wheel. I'm happy to introduce my host Lauren in a second but I oversee all operations at the company. I'm obsessed with solving digital problems and helping our e-comm brands grow Lauren

Lauren de Wet 2:32
and my name is Lauren de Wet I'm our senior digital media and marketing manager for all of our grooming portfolio brands that Edgewell Personal Care and have been working with Blue Wheel for several years now.

Jon McGraw 2:49
So just want to do a quick introduction about Blue Wheel for those who are not familiar. We're an omni channel agency and we're supporting brands through marketplace DTC management anywhere that really e-comm transactions take place. Our motto is that we support brands from click to ship. So really the full spectrum of digital marketing is something that we had on our our purview, we understand that at the end of the day that it starts from click, so overall awareness. And then we even specialize in shipping and fulfillment based services. And then catalog management, customer service marketplace expansion, brand protection. So a lot of problems that brands come to us with are very multifaceted, and we have a service to meet those challenges across the board. Quick obligational logo check. But one thing that we're really proud of is that we're vertical agnostic. But at the end of the day, we're ecommerce ecommerce centers that are here to solve problems for you. And at the end of the day, I think that our industries that we serve are very different. We talk to different audiences, we have different price points. So it doesn't really matter what your challenges are, our experience can ultimately help find those solutions for you. We've already done our introductions. So what I want to talk about today is just implementing a robust omni channel strategy for brands. We do work with Edgewell across the entire portfolio, I'm going to be talking specifically through the lens of Jack Black because there's so many pieces to it all the way from Creative all the way down to performance media. I want to talk about dismantling silos in these different channels. Then also talking about inflight changes and having flexibility with these budgets based off the performance we're seeing within these different commerce channels. Lauren would love to get a perspective on how Edgewell was approaching the omni channel strategy for all of your different brands and how we've been able to support you.

Lauren de Wet 4:48
Yeah, so um, one of my primary brands that I manage is Jack Black, and we are the number one prestige men's skincare body care and group meaning brands within the market, not related to the actor was actually a company that was formed before that actor got his big break. But we have we're at this critical point in our brands, growth, where are we really do that prestige men's grooming market. And we really need to grow, we need to find new consumers, we need to grow brand awareness. And so we came to Blue Wheel we were working with five to six different agencies on everything from influencer, Amazon media creative, and all kinds of felt disjointed. And knowing that our overall brand measure for success is that growth and brand awareness and top of funnel awareness, we were able to come up with a really solid plan for tackling across all of those fears. And I was very skeptical at first, because I've heard a lot of pitches from other agencies on how this could work. But it's been absolutely fantastic. I think we'll get into some of the specifics here. But that's really where we are with our brain. And

Jon McGraw 6:16
we're gonna take you inside the journey of Edgewell is omni channel evolution, how we partner with them. And really, it starts with creative, we're gonna dive into that in a second. But we're gonna take you through how did we build the brand strategy? And why is it important? And how can you think about that in your own daily lives? And then how does that translate to the channels that we operate? I think something that is a little bit of a misconception when thinking about something as large as omni channel strategy is that you need to have this absolute secret sauce and everything is connected at all times and everything needs to be informed. While that is true in many, in many degrees, I think that what we're going to show you is that our omni channel, Omni channel goals come from individual channel growth, and making sure that we have a precise angle on what KPIs matter most so that at the end of the day, they roll up into those omni channel goals. So we'll take you into that a little bit about that. And then obviously, strategy expands it changes. And so we'll talk to you about where Edgewell has started, where we've taken them and where we're taking them next. quick stat from the Aberdeen Group. So a strong omni channel customer engagement season 9.5% year over year increase in annual revenue, versus a 3.4% per week on a channel company. So these days being holistic, being tight from a strategy perspective across the board is more important than ever. Shopper shopping different places, they find brands in different places. And so being able to understand how to adapt that to tactical brand strategy is super important. So let's talk about digital first creative. The way that I like to break this down is that we are fueling a digital first creative strategy through creative centric strategy. So really, how do we drive digital through creative because this point creative really is the center point of everything that we do. It doesn't mean that it's the maker break or the end all be all, but it is a central point. And I want to talk about how we work with Edgewell to do that. So first and foremost, I think that some of the issues that we see brands undertaking is that based off of the way that their marketing teams are structured, their budgets are structured, they have siloed creative budgets, and they have siloed channel budgets as a whole. What ends up happening is that you cannot fund the type of creative that you need to run in your most important channel. You have a challenger channel that you know you want to invest in, but you don't have the creative budget for. And then ultimately, these things do not tie together. They don't feel cohesive, and they don't feel native. And so what we've been working with Edgewell is getting an understanding from the ground up of what are our key growth channels. What does the brand feel and look like? And then ultimately, how do we adapt that into something holistic so that when we run in these different channels, whether it's paid media all the way down to organic social, it feels like the brand it looks like the brand and it's ultimately achieving our goals all within one individual creative budget. So you can see here, we're looking at these different channels up at the top, we have paid ads, we have organic social, we have our e-comm touchpoints whether that's merchandising, the website or our Amazon PDPs. We have our more experimental CTV s TV or video ads display and DSP is something that will always be running within our marketplace channels, Amazon content and then where Does it fit in the funnel? Um, I want to talk to Lauren in a second to get an understanding about how they were creating their media traded or their organic creative in the first place. But let's talk about some of the goals. And you're gonna see a common theme as we walk through this within the presentation. So when we look at their fiscal year 2324 initiatives, we knew that we needed a stronger conversion upper funnel, we knew that we needed a broader dispersion of UGC and social proof, we needed to increase our social influencer impressions, personalization on site and workflows to lift our DTC conversion rates, it was lacking the creative was to spray and pray. And we needed to be able to tighten that up by addressing our creative advertising, or sorry, creative output, and an increase in marketplace performance. So creative few dual growth and visual base Amazon ads as well as brand certain PDB. Creative. So right now, when we came into the picture, there was too much baseline Amazon strategy, and we were missing out on the more visual nature of marketplace. It's changing by the day, it's becoming more visual in nature. And we needed to answer that within our creative output. And so Lauren, I'd love to hear from you. How you were creating creative before and some of the pain points that you experienced before that? Yeah, I

Lauren de Wet 11:20
think before we were very siloed, so we had our social media team, and they were curating our commissioning assets on their own, we had our eCommerce team and activation team that were simultaneously curating and creating a lot of the same similar types of assets just for those channels. And then we had a lot of brand creative. And it was, you know, I'm sure it's a familiar story for a lot of people, but kind of the old school approach of, you know, here's your creative brief. And it's going to be like a three to four month process to launch a campaign and getting all the individual tactics out of that. It is very time consuming, it's very expensive, versus kind of looking at it from a holistic approach. Now, we're able to create a bunch of content all at once that can be rinsed and recycled, and reused and remixed and has so many different so many different use cases. So our our cost for creative has gone down significantly, I would say our quality has gone up significantly, as well. And overall, it's just less meetings and less stress for my team, which is always a good thing.

Jon McGraw 12:45
Yeah, and I think that one of the things that we hang our hat on and pride ourselves when we're working on creative strategy in partnership with our brands is that we understand the cost of creative can be prohibitive in times, it's why a, we continue to pitch having a singular creative budget to fuel all these different channels. But we know that adaptation, innovation changes, those things happen throughout the calendar year, brands don't have the budget to shoot something every single month. And so we always shoot more content than we need, based off of the strategy we've built. Because we know that we're going to need to remix and repurpose these things. And I think that that's part of our success, because we are constantly refreshing the creative that we have. And we're gonna see the results of what happens when you do that. But I think it's I credit a lot of our success in partnership with Edgewell and that we share that same methodology and we have their dollars in mind.

Lauren de Wet 13:40
Yeah, and every week, you know, we have new media creatives we're releasing that are variations to of things we've done before, we're just being able to be more agile now.

Jon McGraw 13:53
This is not this customer journey is not anything new to the audience that we have. And we recognize that but I think that it's important that we look at our data all the time. And something that really stood out for Jack Black is at 67% of all conversions on site, it required at least three often crossed network touchpoints. So it's important that these things look the same. They feel the same. They have a purpose. They're driving KPIs across these different channels. But we know that we need to have the right creative at the right moment. Because where people find us is different, where they convert with us is different. So we need to be able to tell that consolidated brand story, drive guided selling the right way. So this is our creative evolution about how we really started to work with Edgewell so we came on and they needed assets. And I think this is where we were able to really infuse and inject our strategic mindset to creative and so we started saying look, our assets are too specific right now we know that you Meet these add assets, but we're often finding gaps and holes. We need an evergreen production that can ultimately fulfill all of the different things that we need, whether it's your product launches your product focused seasonal tentpole moments, how do we remain relevant with a singular budget. And this is where we pride ourselves to about overall collaboration. And so oftentimes, I think agencies, they would stick the creative team solely with their partners. But at this point, we know that there's multiple channels and multiple strategies running in coordination with each other, our teams collaborate, they understand what is our budget, what can we achieve, what are we focusing on, these are the different things that we need to be successful. And then at the end of the day, that cascades out into all the different things that we're doing, whether it's email and SMS, or it's social, paid media, marketplace, video based content for paid social and DSP really, it really matters. Because at the end of the day, if we don't have that coordination, we are not going to have what we need. And the brand is going to be frustrated that we didn't think of that in the first place. It's important to note that just from an overall portfolio expansion, we're talking about Jack Black right now. But we have a singular team that really represents the Agile portfolio, all of the philosophies that we're talking about today, they're present with the other brands that we work with. We love working with Edgewell, because it's not just e-comm, there's a retail component, there's a marketplace component, there's an overall brand lift components. So we're solving complex problems. And I think the thing that I want to hammer home is that creative is at the center of everything that we're doing. And through creative, we're able to drive the messaging and the scope that we need to get as well where they want to go. And so native content, and I apologize, this slide is misbehaving in our run through but native content is important because at the end of the day, paid ads, organic social feed us the influencer, it all looks different, it feels different. And it hurts us when we see brands trying to shove YouTube content into their Instagram feed when they are trying to shove organic content into their paid feed. And so really, I don't want to beat a dead horse here. But you can just see that we're always thinking 360 With all of the creative that we do. Something that's important, too, when we talk about the holistic nature. When we talk about the holistic nature of omni channel, too, not all of the creative that we make is going to be performance. And not all of it's going to be brand awareness. It's really, really important to call out upper funnel creative and what does that look like? What does it feel like? What is our call to action or what is our end result. So sometimes we are very low as focused, we know that we need to get the consumer to click, and then ultimately purchase in one shot. And then making sure that we're filling the funnel. So we're evaluating performance passerelle as we're gonna get to our omni channel perspective that shows how we work with Edgewell to tie it all together from a data analysis standpoint, but it's just really important that we are looking at every part of the funnel and having different outcomes for the creative that we build. We also work with field trip, I'm gonna send what you'll see that this deck can be cascaded out and we'll share some of this creative, I recommend you go through it, but it's important that you know you can start to see the look and feel of somebody saying This is organic snackable social. This is something we call TGC. UGC content is great. However, generally you are paying too much with an influencer. Or it's actually organically built and it doesn't follow the tenets of what paid media needs to look like how it needs to speak and then how we get people to take an action. We actually take paid models and script it so that it feels authentic in nature, but it feels native on the platform so that it doesn't stick out like a sore throat guys,

Lauren de Wet 19:01
if you want the dubious lips of your whole life you might want to try this because my lips are absolutely right. We'll talk

Jon McGraw 19:08
about tick tock a lot and on this call but tick tock especially if it's not supposed to be on the channel. It really does not work and it feels wrong. So the omni channel era, it's where we are today. And it's really all about integrative shopping experience, holistic brand strategy and then purposeful channel micro goals built to lift the brand. We'll give you an inside glimpse about some of those micro goals and how it rolls up. But let's jump into it. So you might ask, how do we run an evaluate omni channel strategy? We have something proprietary at Blue Wheel called the performance commerce effect. It is a stage driven KPI ecosystem that shows Have a series of KPIs that fuel all the way from awareness to LTV. The reason that this is important is that we Pete, we pitch looking at your data and your channels holistically. We do not want to be overly narrow as focus, we do not want to just blindly dump awareness dollars and not understand how that impacts the bottom line. We have a very calculated series of metrics that we are looking at to say, how are these things interconnected? And from a channel standpoint, it could be anything from enforcing brand protection to organic social to influencer. So all of these things are tied together. And the reason we built this is that too many brands came to us and said, How do I double my business? The answer is not always doubling your media spend or two axing your return on adspend. This seven point that sorry, this seven point staged approach, if we can improve a sales by 10%, you are looking at doubling your business. That is how we want to think from an incrementality perspective. And it's helped brands like Edgewell, understand where my dollars going? Where's my marketing effort going? And allowing them to understand how to assess performance as a whole? Lauren, I know that the agencies you were working with before were very real as minded. Can you talk about your experience, evaluating the performance commerce effect and how it's helped you fly your budgets or make decisions as a brand? Yeah,

Lauren de Wet 21:28
I think um, previously, we were working with agencies that were the North Star was the return on adspend. And we were falling into a pattern of investing way too heavily in lower funnel like brand search. And not really growing our overall audience, not growing incremental sales and not growing the brand as a whole across all channels. And then we also would find, in some ways our Amazon business was kind of competing with our data, see, business was competing with our brick and mortar business. And that's not what we want at all. So really, looking at everything holistically has been a game changer. We've seen our new brand purchases, and audiences increased significantly, and just have a lot higher faith that it's lifting all ships, not just making the numbers look good for the closing out the month on DTC, for example. So yeah, I absolutely love this approach. When I saw this, I was like we're working with you.

Jon McGraw 22:44
Thanks, Lauren. And this gives you a different viewpoint about how the PCE falls into the channel mix. And so something that I've alluded to and we're gonna get a little bit deeper into is that we are not just looking at our channels in silos, we're understanding that every channel realistically has some impact across this seven stage journey. And we need to be intentional about how we analyze those KPIs, how we run those channels, how they're working together, and that informs our strategy on a daily basis. So diving deeper into that individual channel activity, how are we driving the brands, greater omni channel goals? So we can really drill down our work with Edgewell into five things right now that that was important to them. And we had to get an understanding of how do we build strategy around all of these disparate channels, so that at the end of the day, no matter what those KPIs look like, we were lifting these five things, those five things were increasing top line opportunities, and DTC and Amazon, increasing upper funnel advertising conversion rates, increasing our nonpaged reach and traffic, supporting the important NPD retail activations. And just having that holistic viewpoint on DTC versus Amazon performance, we want to be able to move the budgets fluidly, and we want to be able to see how the sales channels are working together. Now, these goals don't really seem that different probably for a lot of brands, but it was a challenge because we did have an 83% lower budget on DTC and we knew that we had to increase top line and really what it broke down to is that there was too much focus on the lower funnel, and as Lauren stated bludgeoning their existing customers over the head, so we really needed to focus our tactics to be more upper funnel driven. I think a lot of the times brands think that that means that you need significantly more budget, we were able to use the PCE to be very calculated on these channels and say if we move our budgets upper funnel, a very important step sequence of events need to happen. Thankfully, those things did. But it just gives you a perspective about these are the big, holistic goals that the brand had. And we'll talk to you about how we hit those. I don't want anyone to think that as an agency that we are looking at things completely different than any other advertiser marketer out there. That's not the case, on paid social and paid search, we are still looking at return on adspend. We're looking at click through rate, we're looking at impressions. But what matters most is outside of those is that we have to keep the greater brand goals in mind. And so there are KPIs that on top of the standard ones that everybody looks at, we make sure that we are hitting these goals at all times. So for paid social, we needed to make sure that we were shifting our spend to be more upper funnel focus. So we needed prospecting conversion lift, we needed to make sure that when we shifted that strategy to be more upper funnel that the traffic quality didn't completely drop off a cliff. We knew that being upper funnel that the thumb stop and engagement metrics that we're seeing on these channels is super important. And thankfully, we had that in mind from day one when we built all of our creative, but these are things that they act as our compass and our Northstar as we're operating these different channels. For paid search, we need a new brand versus existing engagement. And we needed to make sure that it was more through p max and the other, you know, ad units within Google and paid search that were driving those new brand metrics, we're making sure that our brand search impression share is where it needs to be. We had a tighter budget, so we needed to make sure that we weren't buying unnecessary brand terms. And so if there was no retail competition, or a competitor conquesting we weren't buying those terms. on Amazon, there was a lot of ripe opportunity to flip the script and the way that they were buying media, the new brand spend ratio, we've essentially inverse it, we are now 70 to 30 focus towards new brand new brand, and then understanding through brand analytics and just overall data that's provided to us from our Amazon. What is our customer ratio, we actually increase our new brand metrics by 400%. Three other major components ecommerce merchandising, what happens when people get to your PDP what happens when people get to the website, we need to make sure that we're lifting asin conversions, we needed to make sure that the brand stores were seasonally relevant and focused on making sure that the messaging was right at the right time for influencer, it's not always about in studio or on location creative. There is a need to go and work with ambassadors, influencers creators and making sure that we get that into our paid media funnel. And then retail activation. Again, I'm gonna keep going back our budgets were smaller than the year before. So how can we use the channels at our disposal, we made sure that influencer played a key part through retail activation and within influencer content, and something that we're really focusing now on 2024 is monetizing the influencer activity lifecycle, everything that we were doing was built to drive new to brand that means an influx of customers for signing up for email signing up for the welcome offer, we needed to make sure that one that when they came in, they were nurtured and the content was personalized for them. And to that the brand wasn't over reliant on outbound sends. And so we really needed to bolster what the lifecycle marketing workflows look like for Edgewell. DTC advertising, so Lauren, do you want to talk a little bit about how you view DTC advertising in the grand spectrum of things and some of the challenges that you would face with your previous agencies?

Lauren de Wet 28:52
Yeah, I think this past year, and I know a lot of organizations have similar story, but we were faced with some pretty significant budget cuts, there was a lot of talk of recession, we were seeing some softness in our brick and mortar sales. And so it was gonna make our digital kind of goals difficult. And I think it really forced us to be super agile and really look at what's actually driving the incremental sale. And so we were able to cut a lot of the fat I guess you could say from our media plan, and then also kind of shift our mindset from the DTC advertising only serving D to C sales to actually a substantial part of it is just brand advertising, especially the you know, upper funnel and things like that and kind of taking our ego out of it. If we don't care where they were, the customer ends up purchasing as long as their purchase Just seeing the brand and we're growing the brand. So through that, we're still able to see some pretty significant lifts. And just on the D to C channel, but also, as the brand is the whole.

Jon McGraw 30:12
So yeah, and I think it's, it's just important and I'm proud of our team for sticking to the goals that we needed to hit and their guns from a strategic standpoint. When most brands say that our budgets are cut, a lot of marketers think efficiency, they think, how do I stay efficient with the media dollars that I have? We knew that especially because Jack Black and Andrew all they're in it for the long run within reason, in terms of an efficiency standpoint, we needed to grow the brand, we needed to get new eyeballs on the brand that hadn't heard of them hadn't visited, the site had not converted on Amazon. And so it might have gone against conventional wisdom, but we shifted most of our budget to upper funnel, the previous agency was optimizing for traffic only. So we saw a lot of wasted spend there. Simply by changing some of the optimizations and the campaign types alone, we were able to find some pretty ridiculous efficiency. Um, we found some really efficient campaign structures that drove performance, we saw paid social traffic drive up 130%, we saw our conversions from paid social go up 62%, our conversion rate on paid social prospecting alone went up 800%. So we were able to really focus in on that part of what I can really push towards is how we got there, we know that we generate a lot of creative and not all campaigns structures are allowed or really allow you to do creative testing the way that we needed to. We are big believers in meadows ASC plus. And so that is an ad type and ad unit, a campaign type that does reward you for doing a lot of creative testing. And so we knew that going into it. So that's why we had hundreds of pieces of creative that we could filter and filter out so that we understand what's working and not being so stuck in the mode about well, we don't have any more creative, we know that we can repurpose this in the right way. Lastly, um, we know that Tiktok is here to stay, we firmly believe that one of the things that we'll be working with Edgewell in this year in a more concentrated manner is how do we build their tic tock shop to be a sustainable channel. But one thing we really shifted into because we were doing a lot of TGC content, getting a lot of influencer content was that we really wanted to take advantage of the lower CPCs, our large bank of content and really just the emerging the emerging quality of that traffic. And so tick tock is actually the number one paid traffic source for DTC. And so we're really excited to see how that plays out. But we have to evolve our strategy. It's not just meta and Google anymore. And channel diversification is something that we preach with all of our clients. Amazon ads and content optimization. So really, one of the things that we wanted to do is grow top line and increase the brand ship cogs, we needed to do that with a flat budget. So we didn't have the opportunity to expand into a million different tactics. But again, something that we're preaching across this presentation is that we really focus on our new brand activity and the metrics that drive that and so we're able to see 11% lift for the flat spend. We had a really good tentpole strategy for q4 and Prime Day and were able to see some really good and incremental lift there. As stated, we shifted our brand spend about 30%, non brand to 70% non brand. So that's really been able to help drive the brand. And we see it across the board. It's not just we don't do these things in a silo, as Lauren had mentioned that we're seeing these new two brand metrics really lived all over the place. And then after going back into what we talked about in the creative section, they weren't leveraging sponsor display. They were they weren't levering leveraging DSP, there was no visual element to Amazon. And so making sure that we pushed that over into the strategy was super, super important. And lastly, the agency previous to that were very, very a cost obsessed. And so while that drove really good, profitable growth, its ceiling and we had to figure out how do we move around that we generally pitch a taco centric scaling approach. And so working with our brands understand what their profitability thresholds are, and then scaling against that across the category across the top basins is something that we do with all of our brands, but it's really, really helped a lot. And then from a content perspective, we wanted to make sure that we are continuously optimizing the PDPs continuously making sure the a plus content is best in class, and that the brand store as mentioned To seasonally relevant, promotional irrelevant and focuses on the products that are moving, what we saw was actually a 40%, lift in brand store traffic, and then a 50% lift in brand store revenue. Part of that is using that as a more relevant landing page, we knew that we were finding new users all the time. And instead of pushing them to a single asin, we wanted to get them in a place that they can understand who the brand is, and what to shop. Just some example of some of the work that we did, whether it's Prime Day holiday, it's important that you're constantly refreshing these things. Now, we really are proud of the work that we've done to be able to move the brands Core Metrics are new to brand purchases in q4 were up 4,000%. So that job was done. But something that we wanted to also make sure that we're doing is experimenting on this platform, they're seeing a lot of left a lot of growth. And we wanted to make sure that we weren't staying stale. Not that there isn't plenty of work to be done within the advertising space, your content, but sometimes brands as big as Jack Black needs to react to big moments. And we want to talk a little bit about primetime on Thursday night football. Lauren, do you want to talk about how this opportunity came across your desk?

Lauren de Wet 36:18
Yeah, so we were offered a beta test slot with Amazon. This was a new placement they were offering this season and came across our desk, early November. And you know, originally, we're going to run the week after Thanksgiving. So it was going to be like a two and a half week. turnaround time. We also did run in a couple of December games too. So that was exciting. But this was kind of just a really exciting like beta test opportunity that we've never we're being a smaller brand have never been on primetime NFL definitely hits our target market. So immediately, I was able to, after talking with my our Amazon, rep get on the phone with Blue Wheel with media with creative and we came up with a strategy, we were able to develop this spot in, I think it was maybe eight days total. We had one of our quarterly shoots planned already. So we were actually able to do a couple extra pickup shots for it. And then on the media side, they were able to, you know, make sure we're executing on all of our retargeting and DSP and all of the analytics and tracking and kind of more data geeky side of things. So this is actually something that is still an ongoing test for us. Although Thursday Night Football has ended. We're doing a lot of like follow ups on this now. And I think it just speaks to how quickly blue wheel works. And I was like very amazed that, you know, a campaign like this previously, with previous partners, I don't, there's no way we would have been able to pull it off in two and a half weeks and kind of take advantage of this kind of bonus beta test that we were offered, which is a huge bonus for us as a small brand.

Jon McGraw 38:19
And I think if we were just an Amazon agency, it might have looked a little bit different, but I'm really proud of of what we're able to do from an overall omni channel strategy standpoint here and that the ad ran on TV. There's a QR code that actually drives back to the DTC website that had a bespoke landing page with the coupon codes that we can track that it's then fueled that traffic is then fueling our DTC advertising campaigns, bottom funnel, and then all of the engagement we got from the ad, we're able to actually leverage in our DSP campaign. So it's really truly fueling all the things that we're doing across the board. And I think that if we were just living as an Amazon agency, we would have stayed in our lane, but this is going to lift the entire brand across the board.

Lauren de Wet 39:06
Yeah, and I forgot to tell you, Jon, but turbowash in the month of January is up 300% year over year, and that's the product we're we're focused on here with our best selling bodywash.

Jon McGraw 39:22
Amazing. Talk about where influencer fits into this. And so, again, we're working with limited media budgets in comparison to the previous year. We are no strangers to building holistic media campaigns that can lift brands and retail whether that's in store, whether that's online or both. But we needed to make sure that we were driving enough attention to the brand's Costco activation and so we built a tailored influencer campaign that went after a bunch of different personas, but really the output was the same and the goal was The same to make sure that in a very tight window of time, we're able to drive awareness that cop that Jack Black is back in Costco, there's a turbowash pack. And so this is just a quick example of some of the content that we got this thing found at Costco. This week. Jack Black is back in Costco, a two pack of the turbowash cleanser for hair and body abuse Jack buy products for wild now, this is a great deal. $30 Just a quick sneak peek there. So that's been a really, really great success there. Lauren can allude in a second about how that did performing within Costco. But the other there's two other core components of this. So one, we need good UGC content from creators that know what they're doing. And so what we have been doing is we're going and generating creative that not only infill some an influencer affiliate capacity, something that we're really trying to expand upon in 2024. But we need this content for paid media as well. This is just an example. I like to use the Jack Black products, I really needed to do the beard care, but AJ was Blue Wheel all UGC as a part of our paid social strategy across every brand that we work with. I pulled some stats here. So we're seeing a 3.3 conversion rate on all of our upper funnel, UGC and a 1.5 average row as we only run UGC, generally upper funnel as an awareness tactic. So these are some pretty good metrics to drive around. But influenza plays a really good part in terms of making sure that we get a different type, a different angle of content, and then supplementing that costs through paid media. From there. Our goal is to turn that into affiliate dollars so that it really drives a profit. Lauren, would be interested to hear what your influencer strategy was before this and some of the challenges that you're facing that you're you're solving now, with the model we have. Yeah, previously,

Lauren de Wet 41:58
we were working with an agency, the lead times to kind of vet the influencers, get the brief, do the creative revisions and get a final piece of content could be upwards of several months. And it was extremely expensive. We were paying kind of a flat rate for a set number of influencers versus negotiating rates individually with the influencers, which is what Blue Wheels team does now. So we're able to really balance our budget quite a bit more effectively. And even support some of our retail activations where, once again, we're not actually going to be seeing the return on adspend on our end, for Costco, for example, in a direct way, like we would for DTC or Amazon, but we're able to support those like special retailer. tentpole moments as well, in a very cost effective way. This particular Costco placement was sold out within the first seven days on e-comm. So that was a huge win for us. And yeah, it's just been working with, we've gone from working with maybe like six influencers every quarter to or now 10 to 15 dedicated ones, every single month covering a wide range of all of our target audiences.

Jon McGraw 43:30
Yeah, it's a really great story around being able to achieve multiple goals within an individual channel. And the budgets are, in many cases remaining relatively flat, so just repurposed in a different way. And I know we're running up against time, I want to make sure we have time for questions. So I'm going to speed up a little bit here. But lifecycle so email, SMS, super important to any ecommerce brand, as stated before, and you can hear this common theme that we're driving around, we have to get new traffic, we have to get new users, how are we going to get people onto the site? And how are we going to get to convert them? And so we've done a ton of testing around the pop ups and the messaging and where are they coming from? And how do we speak to them and drive conversion rate up. Um, and something that to call out to that I think every brand should be doing is that we have an engagement with Edgewell and Jack Black and all the properties around making sure on a quarterly basis, we're doing a very deep dive around segmentation, creative workflow strategies so that it's always being revamped, because I think that too often brands use it as their comfort blanket channel, it gets stale. And so that's something that we always want to push on our brands is making sure that at least on a quarterly basis, we're doing a macro deep dive into what's going on. Um, one of the challenges that we had faced is that we saw that the brand was pushing out a lot of outbound sand and in order to drive that work Anik revenue, and it kept getting more and more and more and more. The lifecycle space right now is getting continuously more difficult from a deliverability standpoint and open rates standpoint, spam, inboxes, or promotion. inboxes are really filtering the daily user from seeing these things. So we needed to make sure that a couple things one, we had personalization at the center of everything that we're doing through creative and content. And additionally, we needed to make sure that we expanded the amount of workflows so that it wasn't just basic, abandoned cart and brown abandoned cart and welcome. But how do we build personalization through browsing behavior? How do we build it through the products that they buy? How do we cross sell new products, and so we did a lot of work there, we expanded out of these different workflows, and we saw some pretty large lift across the board here. So we saw a 52% increase in how much revenue was driven from automated workflows versus outbound send. And in general, we saw 108% increase in flow revenue during h2, those numbers are large, because an h2 Obviously, that encompasses q4, and in general, the channel is just driving 10%. More. So outbound is still a significant part of what we do. But it's important that we're always evaluating personalization. And again, I rewind back to what we're doing from a creative standpoint, we knew this is something that we were going to be doing that we wouldn't be harping on. So we had to make sure that we had enough product content, ingredient content, value prop base content to fit into these different emails so that when these users are getting them, they ultimately convert at a higher clip. Lauren, anything to add on the lifecycle side?

Lauren de Wet 46:47
Yeah, this was just an opportunity, where as we were doing media planning, and I think actually, we had, we had, you know, our base level media plan set. But as John mentioned, it's very fluid, which is a huge benefit that some of the, you know, analysis that the blue whale team was doing was that this was a huge gap in our overall strategy. And would, you know, money spent on developing all of these workflows would actually significantly increase revenue and have a higher return than maybe money spent on meta, for example. So my team we had recently just migrated to a new email platform, it would have taken us months to execute all of this on our own. We I'm a very small team. And so it was just, I think, three weeks where we got all these 10 workflows up and running.

Jon McGraw 47:45
Awesome. So let's talk about holistic revenue, revenue measurement. So we have the PCE, we are looking at these things together. I want to show a moment in q4 that allowed us to run the strategy we wanted to run without being overly profitability focused or singular minded. From a channel standpoint, we believe that you should be taking a look at your ad budget ad budgets holistically, and recognizing trends and peak shopping seasons, or in general it doesn't have to be peak shopping seasons can be evergreen, but I think when your investment during these peak shopping seasons are at its highest, you know, the microscope is on to make sure that you're spending them wisely, but if you don't look at it holistically, you might miss the bigger picture. So this is just a quick graph around what four months at the end of the year look like. And so, our DTC ad budgets doubled in September month over month while our Amazon budgets remained flat, we saw Amazon revenue increase 13% So that's the first part of this journey. When we get to October, our DTC ad budgets double again October and traffic increases 60% across both marketplace and DTC. Obviously there's a fall prime days we expected a bit of a bump but we're talking about spending a lot of money here specially upper funnel and so we're hoping to see that there's a long tail effect of this November as expected, we have a big month across both DTC and marketplace. Our forecasts were built around DTC having a strong December and M marketplace, staying about flat or tailing off. But what we actually saw was really interesting is that our spend on DTC and Amazon remained flat. Our sales on DTC started to taper quite a bit but we saw Amazon explode due to the expedited shipping times and the increased brand traffic and so we even saw the ability to spend into our brand terms more on Amazon increased because we were driving so much awareness for the brand and as Lauren had called out before they view their DTC spend at least upper funnel as brand marketing. So we're really excited and happy to work with a partner who can help us look at the data in a way that we believe in To drive holistic growth across the board, if you're not looking at it like this, I think we would have cut our spend in December, we might even cut at the end of November. And then I think that we don't see the same results on Amazon. But this is something that can catapult the brand from a marketplace standpoint into 2024. And we're seeing some really good growth there to start the year. And I'm gonna run through this. So it's important that any omni channel agency is now expanding and say, Okay, what do we do and what we need to do DAX? Well, basically something that we uncovered is that on b2c customers that buy through, subscribe, Subscribe and Save. They order three times as much as a one time purchaser. So we exploded and new to random metrics in 2023. It is now our focus to say how do we keep these customers around through retention efforts? And then how do we even use seasonal tentpole moments or an acquisition strategy around discounting to incentivize Subscribe and Save and so right now, across the brand 5% of the total orders, have a Subscribe and Save attached to it. We are working towards hitting 10 to 15%. And across the board, we expect to see CLV LTV lift significantly, customer churn decreased significantly. And so this is what we're working on next. It doesn't mean that we wind down our new customer acquisition strategy, it just means that it looks a little bit different in 2024. And then 2024 secondary focus, I'll call it one be expanding our commerce lanes. And so what do I mean by that? One, we're continuing down our path for influencer affiliate content creation and then ultimately supplying media creative, but we want to monetize it, we really want to focus on how do we monetize it. And that opportunity to come can come easily from DTC perspective, making sure that everything we do has a commerce mindset. But we're really excited about the opportunity for tick tock shop, blue whale is a tick tock affiliated partner. And so we want to take them into the next evolution of E commerce, which we believe is going to be really sticky. So this is where influencer where affiliate paid media all kind of meet in the middle. And so that's something that we're working on as we expand into 2024. And to wrap, what are the key takeaways, I think the things that we talked about essentially here is that you need to be thinking creative first. Everything that we just talked about, had some creative element. And it drove off of a brand strategy that was holistic in nature without sacrificing individual channels. On top of that, I think that I'm looking at your data in one spot and trying to understand how it's all interconnected and not being so ro as or a cos or profitability minded is understanding what are my goals, you have to have profitability goals, you have to but if we don't look at it in this holistic nature, we don't have something like the performance commerce effect. We simply don't have the tools to scale the brand. Lauren, anything you want to add as we wrap up Yeah, I

Lauren de Wet 53:14
think I'm really excited for the next year. I think we're just getting started and you know, I think it's been a it's been an amazing journey so far, but go by Jack Black if you see it when Amazon obviously our website Nordstroms Ulta. Beauty at Target Ulta Sephora. Yeah, that was my little plug.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 53:45
Jon, this is fantastic Intel. Thank you so much for sharing, and congrats, Florida on such an awesome success story. And thank you for sharing that as well. Great stuff here. So we do have a few questions that we'll run through real quick. And I know we're running out of time, but we'll move fast. So here we go. Do you use any specific data tools to stitch together customer profiles across different channels, especially for anonymous browsing?

Jon McGraw 54:12
Yeah. So obviously, it's something that the brand needs to invest in. I don't know if I can speak to uncovering persona profiles off of anonymous browsing, you know, based off this cookieless world that we're living in. But we do use tools like triple well to understand customer cohorts and where they actually came from and what the performance looks like across channels holistically. We also use market share tools like SimilarWeb together to try to get a better understanding of customer segmentation, built in tools like Amazon brand analytics. But I don't know if I can point to a singular tool. I think that those the brands that we work with can find some of those tools to be prohibitive and cost and so that's why we do tap into Things like triple Well, similar web. But at the end of the day, I think the native platforms that we use can give us enough customer cohort cohort data to understand how that should inform our training strategy, how it changes the audience targeting that we're doing on paid media, a little bit different for every brand, but from the brands that we're partnering with. Now, that's really what the tool stack that we're using,

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 55:20
awesome. For user generated content. Are you directing individuals to direct to consumer site or Amazon or Costco more? What is your most successful destination for individuals at this time,

Jon McGraw 55:35
so I can speak for just the Blue Wheel portfolio. Right now, DTC is our most successful channel. We do use tools like grand to be able to understand the attribution and the affiliate code generation, I will say that we are partnering with some brands and a pretty deep manner on tic tac shop and that that's something that we're seeing a lot, a lot, a lot of stickiness around and I think it's going to be here to stay. But we've tested Amazon, the attribution side of things can be a little bit difficult can be a little bit of a clunky experience. But I think what we're working towards is a seamless commerce environment from an influencer affiliate standpoint. But right now, I will definitely say that DTC, UGC affiliate is the strongest channel connecting the two together. Awesome.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 56:20
And one final question, Lauren, this is directed towards you. Were you happy with the rate of the QR code scanning during that 30 minute football spot? And if the QR code wasn't scanned at that moment, do you feel like the recall lift would be significant post event to be able to go back to

Lauren de Wet 56:39
the brain? Yeah, so since this is a beta test product for Amazon, they had warned us ahead of time that the QR code scan was going to be low. They they're doing similar tests with like the north face right now and larger brands. It was about 1%. So actually, I was pretty happy. But the great thing about this spot, and the real opportunity is that we're able to take the Amazon audiences. So anyone who saw this thought we don't need them to come to our site in order to retarget them. And so that's really where the the main value is, I think we can kind of guide them down the funnel. And it's okay if they just saw it once and don't recall it. And, you know, noted on the brand logo, too. That's an internal discussion right now. But that's really where the real power of this new placement is, I think is that you can tap into the Amazon owned audiences. It doesn't have to be someone that hits your site.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 57:53
Yeah, what a great opportunity to turn around in eight days and how it's

Lauren de Wet 57:57
like, yeah, I mean, I knew I was calling up their team, like, I know, you're gonna think I'm crazy. And they're like, Oh, this is exciting.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 58:06
But we're doing this we have to do this. Yeah. Well, thank you, Jon, for sharing the Intel the expertise as always, we encourage follow up conversation with the Blue Wheel team. They are awesome, obviously very knowledgeable. So definitely feel free to reach out to them. Lauren, again, congrats on everything super exciting times at your organization. So we are very happy for you both. With that it is a wrap. Thank you so much, y'all. Happy Wednesday going into the weekend. So take care and see you on another event. Thanks, everyone.

Read More
Read Less

What is 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.
envelopephone-handsetcrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram