The Unexpected Solution to the Acquisition Problem
How customer-centric are you? In this episode, Richard and Taylor propose an interesting solution to the acquisition problem, and it has almost nothing to do with the quality of your Facebook ads. “If we accept that the cost to acquire the next customer has a certain gravitational element to it — meaning the cost to acquire a customer always will rise — then how do we win this game?” Show Notes: Get a $200 credit from Insense, the UGC creator marketplace: https://bit.ly/3THck7S
Facebook’s Move into AI with New Advantage+
Choice is sometimes an illusion. In this episode, Richard and Taylor talk about Facebook’s move toward the Advantage+ model, which shifts away from human decision making and toward artificial intelligence. “They will say Advantage+ is a way to build campaigns with fewer inputs. But the secondary implication is Facebook has a performance problem. In order to solve for that, they’re attempting to reduce the variables and take control of the situation.” Show Notes: Get a $200 credit with Insense, the creator content & ads platform trusted by 700+ DTC brands: https://bit.ly/3eHyDLt
Predict Customer Value in Real Time with AI
What if you could see future results in the now? In this episode, Richard and Taylor talk about Common Thread’s unique relationship with Retina.ai, an AI platform that allows you to predict the future value of your customers. “You’re getting an instant view into the value of your customer within 96% accuracy.” Show Notes: Learn why Retina.ai is ecommerce’s magic 8-ball: https://bit.ly/3CzXGZ4
The Impact of Consumer Confidence on DTC
The latest Consumer Confidence Index paints a bleak picture of the economy at large. How does that affect DTC, ROAS, and forecasting for Q4? “It’s going to take more marketing resources to sell products. The practical output of that is less efficient advertising. You have to do more to get less action.” Show Notes: - Try Freshmarketer: https://bit.ly/3S5wXcH - Taylor’s tweet on CCI vs. MER: https://bit.ly/3fEosaB - Taylor’s Black Friday strategy article: https://bit.ly/3RDwspU
Andrew's Quitting The Pod
In Andrew’s farewell episode, he passes the torch over to CTC’s Taylor Holiday and Richard Gaffin. Andrew reflects on his time hosting the podcast, and what’s next for the show. “Moving forward, what you can expect from us is a conversation about frameworks, about large-scale thinking, and interesting things happening in the DTC space and what they mean for you.” Show Notes: - Try Freshmarketer: https://bit.ly/3S5wXcH - Keep listening to Andrew at “The Andrew Faris Podcast,” head to his new website at www.ajfgrowth.com, or follow him on Twitter @andrewjfaris.
How to Manage People to Grow Your Brand
Using your resources as effectively as possible is essential for growing your business at any pace. In this episode, Andrew talks about two ways to manage people well. “It’s not easy to be a great manager — and it’s not in the realm of tactics for growth — but it is an important part of building a great company.” Show notes: - Follow Andrew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andrewjfaris - Try Freshmarketer: https://bit.ly/3S5wXcH
The Antidote to Shiny Object Syndrome
Brands that are trying to grow really fast often try the next most tempting “shiny object” to get there. In this episode, Andrew talks about the importance of taking time to align your behaviors to your goals. “Where are you trying to go, how clear can you get on that goal as quickly as possible, and how much can you put your focus toward it?” Show notes: Try Freshmarketer: https://bit.ly/3S5wXcH
Financing to Scale with Obvi CEO Ron Shah
The right tools don’t change the fundamentals of running your business — they allow you to think about your business in a new way. In this episode, Andrew talks with Obvi Founder & CEO Ron Shah about their plans for upcoming growth, and how they plan to finance that growth. “Because we’re bootstrapped, it’s hard to make that fuel last long. When you have opportunities to scale, it actually costs more to do that. When you realize the cost is higher, you need to come up with more solutions to make that happen.” Show Notes: - Parker, the ecommerce financial soultion: https://getparker.com/ - Follow Ron on Twitter: https://twitter.com/obviceo - Ron's thread on how he built Obvi: https://bit.ly/3LdGVH3 - Ron's thread on his BFCM plans: https://bit.ly/3QsvtYX - Ron on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronak06/ - Follow Andrew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andrewjfaris
Why Your Customer Journey is Everything
Not all customers are alike. In this episode, Andrew talks about the importance of meeting customers at different points in their customer journey. “It’s really what your whole business comes down to, in terms of your marketing, customer acquisition, and reacquistion.” Show Notes: - Get net 60 terms on every transaction. Visit getparker.com to learn more about the credit card built exclusively for ecommerce.
What Are You Selling?
It’s a foundational question for any business: What exactly are you selling, and how is your marketing approach optimized for it? In this episode, Andrew cautions against using one-size-fits-all business advice, particularly for how you market your product. “How your product is sold may be fundamentally different than the way other products are sold.”
The DNA of a Resilient Brand
Is your business set up to withstand hardship? In this episode, we revisit a conversation with Common Thread Collective CEO Taylor Holiday about how businesses can remain resilient amid uncertainty. “Who are the businesses that will thrive even if the current situation does become a net negative?” Show Notes: - Visit getparker.com to learn more about the credit card built exclusively for ecommerce.
The Only Guide You Need to Grow Your Business
There's a lot of information on the internet about how to grow an ecommerce business, but none exists at this caliber of high-level strategy and detailed execution. In this episode, Andrew is joined by Common Thread Collective VP of Marketing Aaron Orendorff where he unveils the most significant piece of public-facing content CTC has ever produced: The Enterprise Scaling Guide. “It's without hyperbole the most I've bled, sweat, poured, shook-my-fists-at-the-heavens-in-certain-moments-thing that I've ever had the great privilege of putting together.” Show Notes: - Visit getparker.com to learn more about the credit card built exclusively for ecommerce. - Get the Enterprise Scaling Guide: https://bit.ly/3zNTALh
The #1 Key To Email Marketing
Email is an 80/20 game: 80% of the value comes from 20% of what you put into it. In this episode, Andrew shares his thoughts on the current state of email marketing. “The number one thing that generates more value out of email is to send more email. It’s almost annoying how simple that advice is, but it’s true.” Show Notes: - Subscribe to the Data Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3btYXqM - Get a free email marketing audit: https://bit.ly/3zttqxe
How to Finance & Fund Your Ecommerce Business
Funding growth is incredibly hard, especially for brands that are just starting to scale. In this episode, Andrew is joined by Stephen Duke, head of marketing and growth at Wayflyer. “The thing that determines the health of so many ecommerce businesses is their financial engine: how well they are using the right finance tools and thinking about finance.” Show Notes: Get started with Wayflyer: www.wayflyer.com
Learning From a Huge Facebook Ads Win
What’s the secret behind massive wins on Facebook? In this episode, Andrew goes back to Facebook ad basics: what works, and what doesn’t. “There are times when the thing that really moves the needle is the product. Or, put more simply, the offer.”
Everybody Has Too Much Stuff
First it was supply chain disruptions, and now it’s … warehouse disruptions? In this episode, Andrew talks about brands currently experiencing an abundance of inventory, the problems this is causing, and how businesses should respond. “Our warehouses are now so backfilled that there’s all these containers and nowhere to put the stuff. Even Target has said publicly they’re going to cut prices in order to move product.” Show notes: Fund your ecommerce business with Wayflyer: https://bit.ly/3arbACq
How Much Should I Spend On Ads?
How do you determine the percentage of revenue that goes toward your ad spend? In this episode, Andrew answers this question he received recently on Twitter. “This is a crucial question for any business. For ecommerce in particular, advertising is the key way you’re driving traffic to your site.” Show Notes: - Get started with Wayflyer ecommerce financing: https://bit.ly/3arbACq - Use the Unit Economics calculator: https://bit.ly/3P2DPWI
Bonus Episode: Building a Subscription Business with Judith Zhu
Retention is king right now, so what’s your strategy? In this episode, Andrew is joined by Yotpo Product Marketing Manager Judith Zhu where they discuss how to generate revenue with subscriptions for any type of business. “One of the most powerful levers you can pull is having subscriptions as a meaningful part of your business.” Show Notes: - Connect with Judith: https://www.linkedin.com/in/judithkayzhu/ - Try Yotpo subscriptions: https://apps.shopify.com/yotpo-subscription https://www.yotpo.com/platform/subscriptions/
How to Solve a Problem
What’s your greatest challenge right now? In this episode, Andrew talks through a problem he’s having trouble solving, and what he’s doing about it. (Spoiler: the key is breaking the problem down into smaller problems). “Despite the current macroeconomic moment, I still have to figure out how to help this client grow.”
The Bull Case for DTC
The market decline is real — but is there hope? In this episode, Andrew casts a positive outlook for the future, and suggests this is the time to invest in growth. “There is a moment right now to capitalize amid all the doom and gloom in the ecommerce space.” Show notes: - Get started with YotPo subscriptions: https://bit.ly/YotpoSubscriptionsEcommPlaybook - Statlas: https://bit.ly/3MV23AP - Andrew’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/andrewjfaris - Mehtab From Karta: https://twitter.com/MehtabKarta - Fan Bi: https://twitter.com/lifeofbi
Clarity > Everything
At the center of what you’re selling, what’s the most important? In this episode, Andrew talks about getting as clear as possible on the marketing messaging for your product. “You have to know what you are selling with total clarity, and in order to sell it well, you have to communicate that one thing more and better than everything else.” Show Notes: - Bambu Earth’s success: https://bit.ly/3xHG8ch - Get started with YotPo subscriptions: https://bit.ly/YotpoSubscriptionsEcommPlaybook
10 Topics With Taylor: Attribution, Shopify Audiences, & The Looming Ecomm Debt Crisis
What’s on your mind as an ecommerce owner or operator? This episode, Andrew and special guest Common Thread Collective CEO Taylor Holiday cover 10 trending and top-of-mind ecommerce topics. “We’ll go big, we’ll go broad, we’ll go bitter and angry Twitter wars.” Show Notes: Subscribe to the Data Newsletter: https://content.commonthreadco.com/ecommerce-data-newsletter Mehtab's Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/MehtabKarta
Your Facebook Ads Are Doing Better Than You Think
It is a fact that brands are pulling back on Facebook spend. They shouldn’t be. In this episode, Andrew explains why the return on Facebook ads is better than you think, where your money is going, and how your growth is happening. “When you start buying traffic of any kind, it affects all your channels. A steady decline in Facebook spend produces a steady decline in organic and paid. And, ultimately, creates significant revenue decline.” Show Notes: - https://bit.ly/3LHNobF - Statlas, CTC's data tool Andrew referenced on the show. - https://bit.ly/38eHjWr - CTC Weekly Data Newsletter from ~220 stores comprising $5B in GMV. - https://bit.ly/3lDBtB6 - Explore CTC's "Expert Strategy" program for your brand. - https://bit.ly/39QCh2K - View the graphs and charts Andrew mentions.
How Will Your Business Be Great?
“Get really good” might seem like unhelpful advice, but there’s a principle behind it. In this episode, Andrew emphasizes the need to be great at some aspects of your business, and why doing so will set your brand apart from the rest. “The brands that are winning have some feature or element of their business that make them uniquely good. They’re great at something.” Looking to scale your business in this unique climate? Get personalized ecommerce training from a team of experts, free for a limited time. Visit http://www.youradmission.co/
Make Bigger Changes
If you aren't happy with your business, it’s probably time to make some changes. In this episode, Andrew draws from his experience as a consultant coming in with a fresh perspective on a brand and its problems. “When I look at businesses, my only goal is to win for them. So I ask, ‘Why not do the thing that’s going to make you more money?’”
How to Generate Winning Facebook Ad Creative
Quantity alone isn’t always better than quality. In this episode, Andrew does a deep dive into Facebook ad creative strategy. “It’s not just about the volume of ads, but the quality of ads. I believe you need both to be successful.”
The Mechanics of Executing a Promotion
Ever made it to the end of your promotion and realize you forgot something? In this episode, Andrew zooms into the mechanics of effective product launch and promotion strategies. “I’m going to give you five elements of executing a great promotional moment from start to finish.” Show notes: - Overview of the Four-Peaks Theory: https://commonthreadco.com/blogs/coachs-corner/ecommerce-marketing-calendar - SMS capture page example: https://bambuearth.com/pages/text-offers - Landing page example: https://bit.ly/3khoynC
Eight Things I’m Doing To Stay Productive
If you’re a naturally productive person, skip this episode. For the rest of us, Andrew shares how he’s managing context switching and productivity. “I know I’m not alone in the challenge of working between multiple things at once.”
Is Pure-Play DTC Done?
The world of DTC as we know it is behind us … or is it? In this episode, Andrew throws it back to the first few episodes of the show with a brief reflection on a broad question. “Is pure-play DTC over?”
Scaling Teams is as Hard as Scaling Revenue
What makes a good manager? In this episode, Andrew follows up on a comment he made in a previous conversation with Common Thread CEO Taylor Holiday about his biggest leadership mistakes. “As your organization grows, think about how you are scaling the team’s ability to function effectively and efficiently.”
Building a Perpetual Facebook Ad Machine
More creative, greater efficiency. In this episode, Andrew explores the best creative strategy to get the most out of Facebook ads. “The basic idea is: How much creative can you put into your Facebook account and manage it as efficiently as possible?”
Where Will Your Business Create Value?
Where do you create value in your business? In this episode, Andrew demonstrates how to answer that question and why it is so important for your business’ success. “Where is the profit going to come from and what is going to make this worth my time? Get as clear as you can on that, and build everything possible in the business towards that.”
Defining Ecommerce Success with Nate Poulin
Why argue on Twitter when you can do it on a podcast instead? In this special episode, Common Thread Collective CEO Taylor Holiday and ecommerce heavy-hitter Nate Poulin (@DigitallyNative on Twitter) take over to settle years of Twitter debates in one podcast. “We both value the identity of being not just a public thinker, but an operator.”
The Ideal P&L for Every Business Type
What’s the right financial structure for your business? In this episode, Andrew applies Common Thread Collective’s Four-Quarter Accounting Principle across a range of different kinds of businesses. “One-size-fits-all heuristics are just a way to begin thinking and press into your business.“ Show Notes: Sign up for the Ecommerce Data Newsletter here: https://content.commonthreadco.com/ecommerce-data-newsletter More on four-quarter accounting: https://commonthreadco.com/blogs/coachs-corner/unit-economics-for-ecommerce
What’s Next & CEO Reflections
What does a former CEO do after leaving the position? In this episode, Andrew gives some insights and learnings on being a CEO, and shares about the next step in his career (he’s not going far). “That means, for the sake of this show, it’s going to keep going!”
Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned as CEOs
What would your boss say about your mistakes? In this episode, Andrew brings in Common Thread Collective CEO Taylor Holiday to “evaluate” his performance as CEO of 4x400. “It was such a gift to me, to get put into a position that I wasn’t ready for, and then to go and make a bunch of mistakes.”
Honest Reflections for Recruiters
What’s in it for the candidate? In this episode, Andrew shares his feedback on what he is seeing from recruiters during his job search. “My hope is to help you attract great talent, as well as to attract the right kind of people to your organization.”
6 Honest Reflections For Job Seekers
Do you really know what you want in a job? In this episode, Andrew shares candid thoughts about his next steps in the current job market. “If you’re at a stopping point and you’re not sure what the next step in your career is, the best thing you can do is slow down and take a step away.”
Why Bambu Earth: An Antifragile Analysis
What’s the best use of your investment? In this episode of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast, Andrew dives into the specifics of 4x400’s decision to go all-in on Bambu Earth. “If you’re like me and you love solving problems, it’s really hard to cut bait on stuff that has a lot to like about it.”
21 Antifragile Ecommerce Tactics (Roundtable)
Resilience is often the key to success. In this episode, Andrew is joined by Common Thread Collective executives Orchid Bertelsen, Taylor Holiday, and Aaron Orendorff to discuss the seven characteristics of an “antifragile” ecommerce brand + 21 tactics. - Read the full article on developing an antifragile ecommerce brand: https://commonthreadco.com/blogs/coachs-corner/antifragile-ecommerce - Watch this podcast on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6BkM1vbTYSM
“Aggregator Madness” and Major Changes at 4x400
Transitions are on the horizon. In this episode, Andrew provides his assessment of the aggregator model, the landscape for aggregators as a whole, and how that assessment informs incoming changes at 4x400. “We are now about four years into this journey of running an aggregator, and we have learned a lot.”
Black Friday Results & Lessons Learned
Lose, win, and draw. Three brands with three different outcomes. In this episode, Andrew follows up on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the lessons he’s bringing into 2022. “I’ve done Black Friday a lot of times now, and every year there’s more to learn.”
Expectations for Black Friday, Cyber Monday
The supply chain, inflation, product volume — a multitude of factors went into ecommerce planning for the holiday season. In this episode, recorded prior to the big weekend, Andrew shares his expectations, offers, and reasoning behind each of his brands’ Black Friday, Cyber Monday strategies. “Like everything related to the time that we live in, it is so hard to forecast.”
Ecommerce Data from ~230 Businesses & $2.3B+ in Revenue
In this bonus (dare we say, “emergency”) episode of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast, Andrew is joined by CTC’s VP of Marketing, Aaron Orendorff, and CEO, Taylor Holiday. Go behind-the-scenes as they share, benchmark, and examine the DTC metrics that matter most. “What we’re hopeful to do with this information is to help add another layer of context to your questions and struggles in a way that provides a richer narrative than an individual anecdote or response.” ???? Full article with all the data https://bit.ly/3quFFXF ???? YouTube video to watch https://bit.ly/3qz1SUj ???? Ecommerce data newsletter https://bit.ly/3qvhGrd
The Anatomy of a Well-Executed Product Launch
How do you create products that generate value over time? In this episode, Andrew shares the what, why, and how of a recent Modern Fuel launch. “When you launch a product, you need to keep the fundamentals in front of you and keep moving forward.” Link to Legends Collection: https://modernfuel.com/pages/legends
We’re getting tactical. This week, Andrew shares strategies for using email and SMS subscription lists to acquire customers. “How do I turn those lists into dollars?”
Operational Leadership & Building Meaning into Your Business with Orchid Bertelsen
In this special episode, Andrew Faris and Taylor Holiday, CEO of Common Thread Collective, talk with Orchid Bertelsen — CTC’s new Chief Operating Officer. With six years of experience at Nestle USA, Orchid explains why operational leadership is no longer a luxury for DTC ecommerce brands. “The problem isn’t that people aren’t willing to take hills. They’re willing to take hills, but sometimes they take the wrong ones.”
The Failure of Genuine Canine
Nobody has the Midas Touch. In this episode, Andrew shares four things he would have done differently with the Genuine Canine brand before ultimately selling it. “When you’re losing, you don’t want to keep doing that thing over and over again.” As mentioned in the show ... Kynship Influencer Marketing: https://kynship.co/
You Need Convictions, Not Just Affirmations
Do you feel like you’re running your business based on what others have told you to do? In this episode, Andrew shares how his team at 4x400 is working to develop real points of view, core beliefs, and values. “What I am experiencing right now as a CEO is the things I believed were true before are just starting to be internalized. I wish I would have done that sooner.” Now through Sept. 23, visit youradmission.co and get free access to our exclusive online community with trainings, tools, and support for your ecommerce brand.
Product Development Is The Future
The number one way to build your brand is to put products in peoples’ hands. In this episode, Andrew shares how 4x400 thinks about product development. “I’m betting a lot of the future of 4x400 on our ability to develop awesome products for our customers.” BONUS: Visit youradmission.co and get free access to our exclusive online community with trainings, tools, and support for your ecommerce brand. Limited time only, Sept. 14–23
Revisiting Our 31 Bits Influencer Marketing Strategy
The best influencer marketing starts palms down — giving without asking for anything back. In this week’s episode, Andrew is joined by Cody Wittick, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Kynship, to discuss the ups and downs of 4x400's influencer marketing strategy with 31 Bits. “If you are serious about building influencer relationships that work, it’s going to have to be authentic, and it’s going to have to be real.” Show Notes: The episode where we discussed the original plan: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1cnFSBEukHdaRP4QtRvP1P?si=bddb82ce727d4710 Cody's Twitter Thread (And Account– DM Him!) https://twitter.com/cody_wittick/status/1420046506841710594?s=21 Kynship's Website: http://www.kynship.co/ Andrew's Twitter Account: http://www.twitter.com/andrewjfaris
Solve The Next Problem Next
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be? In this episode, Andrew shares the number one thing 4x400 is doing to improve as a team. “The most important thing you can do when things are challenging is to solve the next most important problem next.”
Our Biggest Revenue Day Ever
Over $100k in one day?! In this week's podcast, Andrew and special guest Dave Rekuc — VP of New Brands at 4x400 — share the secrets to the highest revenue day in 4x400's history. “The 100% locked-in promise from this show: Guaranteed highest revenue day ever.”
5 Easy Wins
Ready to jump in and get some wins? In this episode, Andrew shares five things you can do right now in your business to generate more revenue. “Last week, I talked to you about losing streaks. So today, let’s go from ‘therapy’ to super practical!”
On Losing Streaks
If you’ve ever played sports, you know what it feels like to be on a losing streak. In this episode, Andrew shares his personal experience of pushing through periods of loss with 4x400’s brands. “One thing that I’m doing with losing streaks is reminding myself: This too shall pass.”
Bad Brands Are Going Away (Here's How To Be A Good One)
Measure what matters! Now more than ever, the 4x400 team is wrapping its heads around every number. In this episode, Andrew shares how they’re attacking KPIs in the ever-changing ecommerce landscape. “At the end of the day, we are trying to create brands that people love and operate efficiently”
Know Your Numbers (No, Your Real Numbers)
Simplistic advice? It’s not. Even the most analytically minded operator can easily make costly mistakes. We did. In this episode, Andrew shares his biggest mistake of 2021: “Even if we’d been ‘successful,’ it would have been far too long for those dollars to turn into more dollars and not more costs.” https://www.youradmission.co/podcast
How To Handle Worthless Facebook Data
ROAS is plummeting. Reporting is a mess. And the sky is falling across paid media. As a guide through the storm, Taylor Holiday joins the pod to answer one question: “How in the world are we possibly analyzing Facebook ad data right now?”
“We Bled”: Product Development with 365 Holdings’ CEO Kelcey Lehrich
Tune in for a candid conversation with special guest Kelcey Lehrich, the CEO of 365 Holdings, an ecommerce holding company with six brands in its portfolio plus a fulfillment service. Together, we tackle one of the most difficult challenges ecommerce brands face: product development.
Don't Give Up Too Soon On Your Email List
Week-over-week, join Andrew Faris — CEO of 4x400 — where he shares the real-life numbers, struggles, and everything in between when running multiple ecommerce businesses. 4x400 is an ecommerce holding company that acquires, launches, and grows DTC brands (owned by Common Thread Collective). That means you’ll get to go behind the scenes into the raw truths. Even if it sounds crazy, this is the unpolished story: from failures to successes, from “the high highs to the low lows.” Let’s take this journey together.
The Downside of Tactical Marketing
Andrew Faris — CEO of 4x400 — shares the real-life numbers, struggles, and everything in between when running multiple ecommerce businesses. On today's episode, Andrew shares the upside and downsides of approaching business decision-making from a tactical and data-driven lens, rather than via brand marketing efforts. 4x400 is an ecommerce holding company that acquires, launches, and grows DTC brands (owned by Common Thread Collective). That means you’ll get to go behind the scenes into the raw truths. Even if it sounds crazy, this is the unpolished story: from failures to successes, from “the high highs to the low lows.”
Should We Have A Sale?
Should you run a sale to earn some cash in the short-term or work on a longer-term plan instead? Today's episode will answer that question and bring you in on the thinking behind how we weigh strategic decision-making for our businesses.
Today's episode focuses on the importance of traffic channel diversity. More specifically, we share an easy-to-implement email segmentation strategy that our team is seeing great results with and how you can replicate that for your own brand.
You Need To Get Serious About Search Ads
On today's episode, we cover a topic that we've never talked about on the podcast before ... Search Engine Marketing. In host, Andrew Faris's words: "Is there anything less sexy in marketing?" It might not be sexy, but we will get tactical. Here's how we're approaching SEM strategy, why we're doing it, and how to get it right.
How To Build An Anti-Fragile Business
What kind of businesses aren't afraid? What kind of businesses actually get better under pressure? What kind of businesses will thrive in the aftermath of iOS 14.5? We answer these questions and share how to build an anti-fragile ecommerce brand in our monthly installment of the "One Topic with Taylor" series featuring Taylor Holiday, CEO of Common Thread Collective.
On this week’s episode we answer a question submitted by one of our listeners: how to build your resources against the best possible outcomes.
Capture The Demand You Generate
In this episode, we share one of our most crucial digital marketing lessons — the relationship between demand generation and demand capture. Show Notes: We originally put together this video for Black Friday, but we explain the delayed attribution concept brought up in today's episode further here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saQk-67X73w
How to Launch a Product on Kickstarter
We launched a new product on Kickstarter (which we've never done before) and it went well! Following the launch, we’re sharing how to set up a successful campaign along with the steps we took to do so. Featuring guest, David Rekuc, VP of New Brands at 4x400 Show Notes: • The Modern Fuel Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andrewsanderson/adjustable-bolt-action-pen • Dave's Pricing Sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16hSDSJKMi8UWmw4WG5cHHTpzYzvXicPAC6kj1atHBpg/edit?usp=sharing • Successful Ad #1: https://fb.me/2SNaw1L3JjSS46W • Successful Ad #2: https://fb.me/1ERbtXYQ7MMwMU9 • Dave's Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/DaveRekuc
On this episode, we unveil what makes someone "great" as a digital marketer. Beyond the "what", we also share the "how" — with actionable steps on how to pursue marketing greatness for you and your team. Show Notes: https://twitter.com/AaronOrendorff/status/1368326610525425665
Marketing For Meaning Addicts
We changed a customer's life. That’s a bold statement, but this past week, we received an email from a customer that demonstrates just how much a brand can produce real value for their customers. In this episode, we’ll unpack its implications for other brands and share (1) how to produce meaning for your brand along with (2) the methods to achieve that impact.
Why Aren’t People Buying Our Product?
Our brand, 31 Bits, still isn’t working. True to the original mission of our podcast, we’re updating you on the real numbers and vulnerable struggles we’re experiencing trying to grow the brand. Host Andrew Faris, let’s you in on the despair that all boils down to one question: “Why aren’t people buying the product?”
Last week you learned about our side of the story: the sale of FC Goods. This week: we're bringing on the buyers, featuring Eric Weisser(CEO, Weisser Distributing)and Mike Childers(President, Weisser Distributing).
10 Takeaways from a 15,500% Ecommerce ROI: We Sold Our First Brand & Reveal Everything
Pop the champagne and drop the beat … We just sold our first brand. And, yes, the math in that outlandish headline is right: a 15,500% increase from our initial investment. In early 2018, 4x400 — Common Thread Collective’s ecommerce holding company — acquired 80% of FC Goods. The price? $5,000. In Oct. of 2020, we sold it for $1.2M. Minus the founder’s 20% and less broker’s fees, that nets out to $780k. From $5k to $780k: 15,500% ROI. Of course, that clickbaity calculation is far from the whole story. That’s why this is a special episode of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast with guests Taylor Holiday and Aaron Orendoff … to reveal everything. All the numbers. The entire journey. Every struggle. Every loss. Every win. At the end of the episode, Taylor and I share 10 takeaways — the biggest and most-tactical lessons we learned. Best of all, I’ve summarized them all with examples and illustrations in this article to make the takeaways easier to take away: https://bit.ly/36HjDGf
One of the hardest things about running an ecommerce business is that the future is unpredictable. Or in the words of host, Andrew Faris: "the only certainty is uncertainty". Here's what to do about that.
Our Best Performing Creative Was (Almost) Free
We did not see this coming… but we stumbled into a giant Facebook ads win for one of our 4x400 brands. It was our biggest win in months, and it was pure luck. On today’s episode, we’ll give you the exact numbers and the exact process put in place that unlocked this high-performing creative campaign, so that you can get lucky too. Show notes: Full Length UGC Ad: https://www.facebook.com/115977923900/posts/10159209765208901 1x1 Cutdown Version: https://www.facebook.com/115977923900/posts/10159278228173901
How Influencer Marketing Will Save Our Brand
Influencer Marketing that actually works? We've never done anything like it, but as we take the next steps to grow our brand 31 Bits, influencer marketing will play a key role. Cody Wittick, the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Kynship, joins us on this episode as we lay out the influencer strategy. You can reach out to Kynship by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or reaching out to Cody on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Cody_Wittick
We won't delay, Black Friday & Cyber Monday went below average for the six brands we operate this year... Here's why, plus five takeaways we learned.
This Has To Work (Again)
As we head into Black Friday again, the same sentiment holds true: "this strategy has to work". Andrew Faris gets transparent on the impact of what a win and (more importantly) what a loss would mean for business during BFCM. Here's how we are preparing for both options.
Pre-Black Friday Anxiety Check
We're gearing up for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and it's natural for the business anxieties to sink in. To face the uncertainties, root yourselves in the certainty that comes with building a data-backed strategy. Host Andrew Faris, talks us through the holiday strategy for each of the six brands under the 4x400 umbrella and how they're planning for success.
You don’t have time to read this episode description, because Black Friday is right around the corner! So, we'll be quick – today's episode will teach you five holiday marketing tactics it’s not too late to try.
Product First, Brand Impact Second (S2: E16)
We’re diving back into the story of 31 Bits, one of our newly acquired ethical jewelry brands. From its acquisition to proving viability, the growth journey has been a struggle. This week, we’re taking a whole new approach – making changes that center in part on talking less about the brand’s impact in the world, and more on how great the product is. Here’s how we’re approaching this new strategy.
We Acquired Our 6th Brand: Modern Fuel
This episode, we have an exciting announcement to make… ???? We’ve acquired our 6th brand: Modern Fuel ???? From its founder story to early-stage strategy, we cover all things brand acquisition on today’s episode. Shownotes: - Sadie’s Design Tweets: https://twitter.com/sadielewski/status/1314744909237309440 - Dave’s Modern Fuel Growth Plan: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZxDKtAdB5ysKNvftEYNKyUiONekwvs8lgD8LgjUGqVU/edit?usp=sharing
One Topic With Taylor: Is Discounting Bad For Your Brand?
Back by popular demand, is the second monthly installment of “One Topic with Taylor” series on the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast. CEO of Common Thread Collective, Taylor Holiday and host, Andrew Faris get together (*socially distant) to talk about a highly debated subject: whether or not your brand should discount. Shownotes: - DigitallyNative’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/digitallynativ/status/1315290781679325185?ck_subscriber_id=942738930 - CTC's Analysis Of Great Brands’ Discounting: https://commonthreadco.com/blogs/coachs-corner/holiday-campaigns-successful?utm_source=ecommerceplaybook&utm_medium=podcast
A short message and a notice of a one week break from the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast
We Ran Out Of Inventory Somehow (S2: E15)
The ongoing narrative of what it’s like to run a new ecommerce business goes something like this: 1. Trying to prove brand viability in the early stages 2. Failing and learning post-launch 3. Then finally, growth If you’ve been following along on the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast, then you’ll know that our brand 31 Bits has been hovering around “step 2” on that list. And if there’s any indication on how it’s going, host Andrew Faris’s quote from this week’s episode says it all – “I was hoping I wasn’t going to have to do an episode like this.” If you can relate, then ... listen now.
Signs of Life (S2: E14)
You read that title correctly – we have signs of life in the ad account of our newly acquired brand 31 Bits. We've had some bumps in the road getting the brand off the ground, but this week we may have finally solved it's problems. Here's how.
We Relaunched Our Ad Campaign. And It’s Going Badly. (S2:E13)
From acquisition, to relaunch, to this episode. Every weekly episode of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast up until this point has been leadup to this moment. Our newly acquired brand, 31 Bits, is a fully-built player in the ecommerce space. But, even though this is one of our favorite growth phases – brand redesign, supply chain locked down, etc – that doesn’t mean scaling it through ads going well. Actually, it’s going badly. Here’s why.
One Topic With Taylor: Where Did The Marketing Campaign Go?
The first in a new monthly episode – CEO of Common Thread Collective, Taylor Holiday and host, Andrew Faris each bring one topic they've been wrestling with over the last month and talk it through. Shownote Resources: 1. QALO "Mark Of A Maker" Quality Campaign: https://bit.ly/2ZodSJZ 2. QALO "Mark Of A Maker" Quality Campaign Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5f7-ObdsvQ 3. Western Rise "Wear From Anywhere" Campaign: https://bit.ly/2Zk1dHN 4. "Mud Bogging" Facebook Group: https://business.facebook.com/theMudBog/?business_id=1514355852207761
Failure To Relaunch (S2: E12)
The episode title pretty much says it all … But, when we started this podcast, we committed to sharing it all – the raw numbers, struggles, and growth. And after our brand relaunch for 31 Bits did not go as planned, there’s an emphasis on the “struggle” piece of our podcast title. Here’s what happened.
We finally relaunched our newly acquired brand, 31 Bits. After months of planning and research, we share how it went. Plus, get the exact strategies we used, so you can replicate what worked for your own business.
We Solved Slick's #1 Problem (S2:E10)
Our brand, Slick Products, just had it’s biggest. win. ever. That’s because we (finally) solved the problem of customer retention. How? This Richard Thaler quote — a Nobel Prize winning economist — from our new episode of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast sums it up: “If you want someone to do something, then make it easy.” Seriously though, this realization may have unlocked the account for us. And we’re still grasping what just happened. P.S. These are the exact assets we used in the campaign discussed in the episode. Feel free to check them out and follow along as you listen: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3z5ylequ3hhl5ag/Ecommerce%20Playbook%20Podcast%20-%20We%20Solved%20Our%20Brand%E2%80%99s%20%231%20Problem.zip?dl=0
Growth vs. Profit: How the Age Old Debate Is Unfolding (S2:E9)
On this week’s episode of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast, we talk about the challenge of sorting out profit vs. growth. Truthfully, it’s something we battle with for our own brand (Bambu Earth), but we know we’re not alone. It's a live issue for many operators. Knowing that, we get really transparent and talk a lot about the numbers – so that you can take these learnings and apply them to your own brand.
Building A Brand Homepage: Design & Copywriting Strategies (S2: E8)
We are right on the cusp of rolling out all the work we’ve put in to get our newly acquired brand, 31 Bits, firing on all cylinders. That’s because we've just finished building out 31 Bit’s new homepage. For this week’s update, we’re taking a break from the numbers and focusing on the marketing substructure of our homepage – telling you the “why” behind strategic design and copywriting decisions onsite.
The Headaches & Rewards of Building an Ethical Supply Chain (S2: E7)
The challenge and beauty of our newly acquired brand, 31 Bits, centers on its mission of ethical manufacturing. While we’re always striving for ethical business decisions, it doesn’t mean business ethics are easy. When applied to the supply chain, a list of challenges can ensue, but the rewards are worth it. On today’s episode of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast – Andrew Faris interviews Rob Clemons, Director of Supply Chain at 4x400 – about setting up a supply chain that is “ruthlessly focused on caring for people well.”
Resisting The Tyranny Of The Urgent (S2:E6)
C.S. Lewis said it first, and we’re seconding it today on the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast. Regardless of what the gurus say, jumpstarting revenue isn’t necessarily easy – especially coming off the back of a new brand acquisition. And, to be frank, revenue for our brand 31 Bits is getting destroyed right now. But, here’s why we’re not too worried about it ... [ BONUS: If you’re interested in diving into this story even more, here’s a link to what 31 Bit’s gameplan calendar looks like: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1024/1659/files/31_Bits_Calendar_-_Uganda_Close_Bali_Focus_Campaign.pdf?v=1595437790 ]
We acquired our fifth brand into the 4x400 ecosystem! Listen now to find out... Featuring: Taylor Holiday, CEO of Common Thread Collective
Product Development By The Numbers (S2:E4)
On today’s episode of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast we’re talking about the product development approach for 31 Bits. It’s built not just on what we think looks good – but, on what fits the unit economic approach we’re going after.
The 4 Steps To Fix Conversion Rate (S2:E3)
We’ve analyzed the problem, now it’s time to fix it. But, before we get to any solutions, we have one last question about conversion rate to answer… From website session to add-to-cart to initiate checkout to purchase – where did visitors drop off in the funnel? Once we determined the answer, we came up with a 4-step plan to fix conversion rate. As an added bonus, here's the Strategy Deck for 31 Bits: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1unKoo-tmjOC9BIx0YuFix4EAPdNGLqj8/view?usp=sharing
How Do We Know If We're Successful?(S2:E2)
On today’s episode of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast, we’re defining success, putting a number on it, and pointing to metrics that indicate it. As we walk you through the journey of both acquiring and growing a business in real-time for this new season, one thing is still clear – you’re learning it, while we’re learning it.
The Exact Plan For Growing Our Brand (S2:E1)
Welcome to Season 2 of the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast! Coming off the back of acquiring a new brand, this season will focus on pulling back the veil of how we approach growing a business from the ground up. First up, how we solve the problem of customer acquisition.
Stop Running Small Tests (Episode 15)
There’s big business opportunities in front of you if you stop with the small stuff. How big? Well, let’s just put it this way: our brand Slick Products had one of it’s highest revenue days ever this past weekend… … and on today’s episode we’ll tell you exactly how we did it.
The ONE Thing We Have To Do To Win For 31 Bits (Episode 14)
Fresh off of the new acquisition of ethical fashion brand, 31 Bits, into the 4x400 portfolio – we talk about the ONE metric that will determine our destiny with the brand. We could either get this right, or get it really wrong. Listen now.
From founder story to the future, we cover all things brand acquisition today as we add a new business to the 4x400 ecosystem. + Special guest, Taylor Holiday, CEO of Common Thread Collective.
Should We Buy 6x The Inventory We Bought A Month Ago? (Episode 12)
Today on the Ecommerce Playbook Podcast, we talk about one of our brands that’s finding remarkable success in the age of coronavirus, the exact tactics we used to double it’s ad performance, the implications of it on our cash system… … And why that is absolutely terrifying. Seriously, the implications of it on the rest of our business are straight-up scary. So (as always), here’s the real numbers, struggles and growth behind our business.
Bonus Episode! Featuring Jake Cohen, Director of Product Marketing at Klaviyo.
Why Do We Sell So Much Stuff On Sundays? (Episode 9)
For most of our brands, Sunday’s are drastically outperforming any other day of the week for sales revenue. But, before I make any sweeping generalizations about consumer behavior to come up with my answer as to why – it begins with looking at the numbers and the data. The first step to solving a problem is understanding the problem. So on today’s episode of the Ecommerce Playbook, I share the strategies our team is using to break down the question, in search of the answer.
250% Improvement on Facebook Ads: Here's How We Did It (Episode 8)
This one's for all the data nerds. On today's episode, we're getting a little more tactical – sharing the process we use for customer acquisition and how we improved our Facebook ads by 250%. Plus, we're even sharing the assets we use to do it – IG ads: 1. https://www.instagram.com/p/B-p0bXojvY_ 2. https://www.instagram.com/p/B-QLGWtjxhf FB ads: 1. https://www.facebook.com/115977923900/posts/10158450367973901 2. https://www.facebook.com/115977923900/posts/10158450368268901 Landing page: https://bambuearth.com/pages/skin-detox-1 ... And, last but not least, a discount code for listening: https://bambuearth.com/discount/EcommercePlaybook20
We Are Crushing The Coronavirus (Episode 7)
We went from getting destroyed last week, to flipping the table and having the most profitable week in 4x400 history. On today’s new episode of the Ecommerce Playbook podcast, Andrew Faris is singing a new tune – sharing how his businesses went from getting crushed to crushing it.
The Coronavirus Is Crushing Us (Episode 6)
We don’t always get it right, and things are not always going well for our business. Now is one of those times for us… When we started this podcast, we promised a level of transparency around numbers, struggles, and growth. So, we’re holding ourselves accountable to sharing the struggles – because the truth is, the Coronavirus is crushing us…
Constraints Generate Creativity: Profit and Growth Amidst the Coronavirus (Episode 5)
E-commerce playbook podcast coming back at you again in the midst of all things Coronavirus. I'm trying to figure out what the heck the right thing to do is in the midst of all of this, with sorting out all kinds of new workflows, and all it's a real challenge. So, one of the things I want to say right away is that: it is a fact that constraints generate creativity. I explore more about what that means for us during this unprecedented time in today's episode.
Returning to work after 6 weeks of paternity leave, I'm reacquainting myself on what the heck is happening in my business in the aftermath of Black Friday, Cyber Monday.
The Black Friday Results Are In(Episode 2)
I’m back giving you the second update in this content series about what is going on with 4x400, the holding company for the brands that we at Common Thread Collective own ourselves. Last time I talked to you, I told you about how we were in a cash crunch. We basically had $300k in liabilities against $120k in the bank, plus a $70k payroll — and it was a huge challenge in front of us. That was going into the Black Friday,Cyber Monday weekend. Now that it's over, the results are in. Here’s a big takeaway for me from Black Friday this year that I saw across the board: our brands, CTCs, and everybody else ...
We Need Black Friday To Work(Episode 1)
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Ecommerce Playbook. Each week we’ll be releasing a podcast from the frontlines — the numbers, struggles, and growth. Week-over-week, join Andrew Faris — CEO of 4x400 — where he shares the real-life numbers, struggles, and everything in between when running multiple ecommerce businesses. 4x400 is an ecommerce holding company that acquires, launches, and grows DTC brands (owned by Common Thread Collective). That means you’ll get to go behind the scenes into the raw truths. Even if it sounds crazy, this is the unpolished story: from failures to successes, from “the high highs to the low lows.” Let’s take this journey together. First up, "We Need Black Friday to Work" (recorded on Nov. 19, 2019)