“..But if you’re buying at the same rate as all your competitors, and then you’re paying a big portion of that margin to Amazon, Amazon’s eventually going to cut you out of the middle as they have again and again and again and again. And so I think that retailers should be very wary of Amazon’s motives, but if you see an opportunity and the math works out, that’s fine. I’m not saying they’re evil. I’m just saying the math has to work out and it rarely does. For direct to consumer, you have a lot more control. They can’t cut out the middle man.”
– Roy Steves
Channel Masters are very entrepreneurial in how they think and approach problem solving. In fact, when they have a problem they can’t find solutions for, they build the solutions themselves. That scrappy approach is what makes us inherently nimble. Roy Steves, my guest on today’s episode, is one scrappy problem-solver, and his client base is grateful for that. In this episode, you’ll hear right from the beginning – the founder’s story of Roy’s company Statbid, that he ushered in a new approach to paid search, one that put the client first.
That approach is more appreciated in 2020 than ever before for Statbid’s clients. Why? Well, Roy calls 2020 the year of irrelevant data. You need to know what he means by that, and in this episode he goes deep on why it’s important and how to act on that fact.
What’s in this episode is mission critical for marketers as they enter the last quarters of this challenging year. You’re about to witness the earliest onslaught ever of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Holiday 2020 promotion and yes, Roy has advice on how to set a plan that will get your brand through in fine style.
Roy also points out that going direct to consumer is no longer an added bonus, but an absolute for brands and retailers meeting the needs and expectations of today’s changing consumer.
We discuss what’s working best today for online discovery and traction building and explore actionable steps you can take to prepare your business for the upcoming Q3 and Q4 of 2020, as we continue to work through COVID-19 and the unexpected changes of 2020.
Roy Steves is the co-founder of StatBid, a paid search agency specializing in direct to consumer and retail eCommerce brands. Previously, he had been CMO of PoolSupplyWorld, where he started as a web developer in 2010, but struck gold designing and implementing marketing and attribution systems, then building a marketing and merchandising team, ultimately doubling the business in just two years. This led, in 2013, to an acquisition by Leslie’s Pool Supplies, the largest retail chain in their industry. During this period, he was a regular speaker at eCommerce conferences (eTail East and West, SuiteWorld, StatBid Summit) and podcast guest , where he thrived on conversations with fellow eCommerce operators. StatBid, founded in 2015, is the perfect vehicle for assembling an unrivaled team of experts, helping build eCommerce businesses, and talking shop.
Amazon, Direct to Consumer, Consumer Behavior Trends, StatBid, Google Ads, Google Analytics, 2020 Data Changes
“We’re going to be seeing a lot more shadows in data and otherwise, and at the same time where you don’t have data, we are going to have to rely on, your instinct and your instinct has been trained from all the years of you doing what you do to be, you know, that’s what experience means. It means that you don’t necessarily remember where you learned it, but it’s still true, you know, and then the accumulation of that over years is valuable. And so it feels weird to me as, as a very quant heavy person to be saying that we need both more statistical rigor and to trust our gut. But that’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m just saying that we should trust the data first if we have it and backfill with, with, with human assumptions because of that ability to digest external context.”
“…But if you’re buying at the same rate as all your competitors, and then you’re paying a big portion of that margin to Amazon, Amazon’s eventually going to cut you out of the middle as they have again and again and again and again. And so I think that retailers should be very wary of Amazon’s motives, but if you see an opportunity and the math works out, that’s fine. I’m not saying they’re evil. I’m just saying the math has to work out and it rarely does. For direct to consumer, you have a lot more control. They can’t cut out the middle man.”
“If you are manufacturing the product directly, which does give you an advantage, you still have to worry about things like knock-off products and the like, and there’s a whole other subgenre of people that specialize in detecting and combating that. But direct to consumer, at least you control the brand, you control the label on the product. And in that way, you are actually getting a little bit inside your shoppers minds because they have your label on their product when they get it. And so that does help some, but I think that the boom in eCommerce and the fact that Amazon’s own fulfillment took a while to sort of catch back up with COVID means that that eCommerce is going to continue to grow faster than Amazon’s share of that pie. So there’s a lot of reasons to be excited to be in e-commerce even if Amazon is only one part of your, go to market strategy.”