We are getting into 2023 here, and it’s a great show talking about growth strategies in 2023.Today, we have Chris Rawlings who is dropping amazing knowledge similar to what he does on his YouTube channel and we talk about different strategies of growing your Amazon or e-commerce business in general. Listen to us talk about listings, business and even a little bit of AI. Let’s tune in!
Topics Covered in this Episode
Introduce Chris Rawlings
You’ve been on the GFA podcast in the past (it was a fun one about your growing an ecomm brand while biking around the world), great to have you back and see your continued personal and business growth! Have talked to Andres on your team at Sophie Society and you guys are doing some excellent work on growing brands on Amazon.
Initiatives for 2023
We’re in the new year now – and sellers, business owners, humans – all look to improve in a new year. For Amazon, it is 2 things – listing optimization and PPC from what I have gathered at your agency, correct? Those have the biggest impact on ROI?
Tactics to Improve Listings (and why)
So the product is the listing, and that is what customers are viewing and reading. What are some new strategies you’re implementing lately to improve listings?
Tactics to improve PPC (and gauging where your brand currently is)
Now, I know you have a different situation for each brand based on how established they are – so maybe first we cover that insight.
Then where should brands be looking to maximize profits?
Cash cow, or milking the cow? Can you help share this mindset and thought process?
About your company, Sophie Society
Can you share with us some ways listeners can work with you?
People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode
√ Chris Rawling’s VIP Page
√ Sophie Society
√ Chris’s other GFA podcast – building his brand, starting a software startup
√ Visit our GFA partner – Mercury – for US banking solutons for your ecommerce businesss
Episode Length 49:56
Thanks so much Chris! I am really glad to have you here again.
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[00:00:00] Episode 392 of Global from Asia Podcast. We are getting into 2023 here, and it’s a great show talking about growth strategies in 2023, talking about listings and business and even a little bit of AI. With Chris, he’s a really amazing interview. Let’s do this. Welcome to the Global from Asia Podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken [00:00:30] down into straight up actionable advice.
And now your host, Michael Michelini. How is everybody doing today? Thank you so much for listening. watching reading the transcript. of Globalfromasia.com. We’re getting to 10 years, 10 years of this podcast. I remember when I was so scared to make an audio recording in October, 2013 when this had started.
We’re approaching our fifth cross border summit, save [00:01:00] the dates November 16th and 17th here in Chiang, Mai, Thailand. There’s a lot of amazing other events happening around here at that time. We locked in a nice resorts hotel, getting some good speakers. Actually has just confirmed he will be a speaker as well.
It’s gonna be amazing. So definitely cross border summit.com. It’s tickets are not open yet. Actually, we’re pretty comfortable, we’re gonna fill this one up. So we’re gonna be a little bit selective on this. [00:01:30] It’s just kind of building things up. We don’t wanna put too much pressure. So it’s quality, quality, quality and, and just good, good times.
So, Keep that in mind. Save the date. Get our newsletter,Global From Asia to be the first to hear about it or join our membership at GFAvip.com. Alright, let’s talk about this week’s show. I’ve been on a roll. I think we gotta do these maybe even weekly again, but we’re trying to make these. As valuable as possible.
There’s already other ones coming up. Today’s Chris Rawlings, [00:02:00] Sophie Society. This guy’s dropping amazing knowledge on various channels and his podcasts or YouTube channels, and he does the same today. We’ve had on a show a long, long time ago, and it’s a pleasure to have him back. We talk a lot about different strategies for growing your Amazon or e-commerce business in general.
His stories. His rollercoaster is in his journey, is talking about the good, the bad, the ugly, and also we have some fun talking about AI at the end. I mean, he’s studying it. I’m studying. I think it’s something we all need to be studying. [00:02:30] Without further ado, global information.com, episode 392. And you can find this full show notes, links, etc, etc, global from asia.com/ 2023 growth.
All right, thanks for watching. Let’s tune in. Are you looking for a cross-border logistics company from Asia to the east and the west? And look, no further cross better logistics is a solution for you. From ocean shipping to air freight from factory to [00:03:00] three PL warehouse Amazon FBA and Walmart for better Logistics is an experienced service provider for e-commerce sellers and B2B traders on TPS Trade As a GFA partner level sponsor.
Let them know we sent you and they’ll take care of you. Check them email@example.com today. All right. We have Chris Rollies back on the show. We were just catching up a little [00:03:30] bit in the preview, you know, before we started recording. And it’s been , we’ve been through a lot. It’s been so many years since we we’re both making a lot of moves, get, making things happen.
Happy 2023. I’m excited for this show. Yeah, dude, this is my first, I think my first show, I did one webinar, but my first actual podcast in the new year, so Great. I had to ring it in with you old buddy. Yeah, I mean, we were on a show many years ago and we were talking about your [00:04:00] biking, biking and selling online and crossing countries and continents with, uh, and now you’re doing amazing things at Sophie’s society.
Can you fill us in a little bit about what’s been happening lately? Yeah. Yeah. So last time we, we, we talked about me starting my first brand. Quitting my desk job. That tied me to a cubicle in New Jersey and moving to New Zealand. Yeah. Living off a motorcycle. Yeah. for like, the better [00:04:30] part of a year while running my, my first brand.
So that was kind of like, you know, the hardcore digital nomad phase. And then, so that brought me to then like getting really serious about. personal growth in business building and actually like laying down real foundations cuz I mean, I’m sure living over there in Chiang Mai , Mike, you, you and I have both come across the similar type of digital nomad characters where you just [00:05:00] roam or they’re never tied down.
You can, you have total freedom. You can, no one answers to you, you do your work, you can go wherever you. But for me like that, that eventually got old or not old, it’s a great lifestyle, but if you really want to build like something lasting, you have to have commitments. You know? So I learned that lesson and so yeah, I, I started Sophie’s Society, which is, we, our [00:05:30] primary goal is to use.
Science and experimental philosophies to manage PPC for brands effectively and to increase conversion again with using like scientific principles. Uh, so because of that, we’ve come up with formulas and we’ve discovered strategies that even Amazon didn’t know about and we’re an official Amazon ads partner.
So Amazon would sometimes contact us and be like, Hey, we saw this YouTube video where you described this or that you. [00:06:00] Ad strategy and you know, we’ve never heard of this, so we wanted to know is this like some hack or is this real? Like, so yeah, so we did that and I’ve been investing in brands, serving brands and growing brands.
You know, since we, we recorded that first podcast years back. Great dude. Yeah, we’ll link, we’ll link that in the show notes for those who wanna hear that? That was a fun one. And yeah, you and I are on the same page. Brands, right? Brands is everything. You know, [00:06:30] gross, evergreen, cash flow, you know, and, uh, And it’s really, you know, exciting to hear your growth and all these things you’ve been up to and we’re growing together, community’s growing.
Everybody is totally putting things together here to make it happen. It’s, isn’t it crazy, you, you, like you, you make friends in this industry. And then a couple years down the line, this guy sold his pets brand for 600 million. That guy sold his, you know, [00:07:00] e-commerce software for 50 million. , this guy over here had a mid seven figure exit.
That guy had a nine figure exit. It’s like, it’s a space where like it’s when when you meet people that like really execute, like you, you’ll talk to them a couple years later and they’re like, filthy rich . Yeah. It’s crazy. The space we’re in, like it’s, we’re in a space where like so many things are possible.
I, I’m really grateful to be where we are and I’ve had, I don’t, [00:07:30] I don’t know if we. When I think when we recorded this podcast, it was too early for me to have had this experience. Yeah. Yeah. So I think so. So another update for me was I was growing at that time a product launch service and software called Judo Launch.
It was also PPC software called PPC Kaizen. And uh, I had an epic failure with that company. Oh. And it was like absolutely identity crushing epic failure. [00:08:00] where we were growing like really, really fast from a revenue perspective, from a team, like number of employees perspective, from a not a margin perspective, , because we were just dumping so much money back into growth.
And you know, we engaged with SOSV. Yeah, I know. To, yeah. To raise funds. And I ended up taking investment from a partner or an investor that was. Not at all aligned with where we were [00:08:30] going, but I was moving so quickly and I was too confident in my own abilities, I would say, like mm-hmm. , it’s good to be confident in your abilities, but it’s not good to be blind to the dangers or blind to the weaknesses, and my risk assessment was not.
Not up to snuff. So even though we were healthy, we’re growing quickly, our, our, our software and our service was in super high demand and we were getting really good feedback from the quality. I was recklessly growing the company and it ended up being taken over by that, that [00:09:00] investor. And I’ve always wondered how this happens.
Like, you hear these stories like Steve Job kicked out of his own company or the, you know, you hear all these stories of founders getting kicked from their own company. , the Uber founder too happened too. Yep. Yeah. So like how does that happen? How do you start a company? How could someone kick you out of your own company?
Well, it happened to me. actually happened to me, so now I know. And so I, I lost that company completely. It, it basically split and those guys, that [00:09:30] group had enough leverage with the different types of contracts that we had with them, which is part of the reason they were able to do this takeover to.
Their own version of Judo, which was the company I created, and I basically took my resources and the people that were loyal to me and started Sophie’s society and that’s how Sophie’s society began. Wow. Okay. So that’s the story. Yeah. I didn’t, I didn’t even realize until when you started, you know, talking about our industry that we hadn’t.
Covered that since the last time we talked, cuz it was [00:10:00] that long ago. Wow. Thanks for sharing with us. I was curious, I think Yeah, when you were on the show, we were just kind of at the early launch stages of judo and I remember, uh, I think so. Yeah. We were making a new brand at the podcast and we were talking to your team.
Our team was talk, one of our team members. Talking to your team. Well, yeah, I mean, as part of growing though, you know, I mean unfortunately a lot of people don’t talk about. I’m happy. You know, I’m, I’m, I appreciate you sharing that cuz most people just talk about the good, right? They don’t, they cover up or never [00:10:30] bring up the bad or the ugly.
And so many, I think anybody to succeed has to hit that, right? Like, to hit, to hit, to hit the heights. We gotta hit the lows. If, if, if you just stay in, you know, your comfort zone, right? You’ll, you’ll never grow. And unfortunately push. That’s true dude. Yeah. And honestly, . I remember in 20, before we met in 2017, I was living in San Francisco and I was, I was so desperately trying to get into like the venture [00:11:00] funded world.
Yeah. And, and I had this, this healthy, growing, profitable brand that was a seven figure brand. And I remember I was having a phone conversation with my Dad. And I just begin experimenting. Judo Launch wasn’t even a company yet. I was just experimenting with the concept. Well, no, it was a company at that point, but it was early days.
And my dad, I was telling my dad what my focus was on and he goes, what portion of your time is spent on Judo launch versus your brand? And [00:11:30] I was like, probably 80% due to launch, 20% the brand. And he was like, and what portion of your like income. like that you’re personally pulling in is coming from your in ju to launch versus your brand.
And I was like, oh, it’s like 90% the brand, maybe 99, 90 5% the brand and like 5% or less ju to launch. And he was like, don’t you think that that ratio is off? Yeah. And, and he was right. But also I, I was making [00:12:00] decisions based on the things I thought would make me uncomfortable. Like you just said. Not in my comfort zone.
I already felt like I, I could learn so much from this other world, this other like place, this other way of doing business. And I was really making decisions not to bring more money in, bring more profit in, but to bring more growth in and bring more skills and bring more experience in. And that is a risk.
I mean, I could [00:12:30] have just stuck. Growing the brand, which was a formula that I had learned and known and, and worked and just kept doing more of what worked. And I think that is also a worthy path for people who are, who are gabbling into the branded space. But for me, and I think this, this would be really be my advice for like, especially younger people who are in their twenties, maybe early thirties or thirties, the the skills, the experiences, the relationships.
That you [00:13:00] get and the sort of protocols for business, the, the business protocols, the business mindset that you get to me, I feel like is more valuable at that stage of life than the money that you get from the business as you start. Because it, it compounds as time goes on. But yeah, so I love this. Yeah.
So I, I’m happy to talk about the failures. No, that’s great. And to second you like. . I, I think I was similar. I went through s s Sosv two in, in, I don’t even know if I’ve told you. It was like a way boy [00:13:30] API search tool that also failed cuz the a know building on APIs is, uh, is dangerous to say the least.
But yeah, that’s true. But I was similar, like I was doing okay with my brands and e-commerce, but I kind of got, it kind of gets repetitive, you know, the one like, you know, I think, yeah. That’s it. It’s actually now that we’re older. Right. And we’re wise, we’re like, boring is is usually where you make good good money.
Right, right. Yeah, exactly. It’s kind boring is money. That’s so [00:14:00] true. You wanna get this sexy, like this wanna say you got investors and you have this software. Yeah. And you have Yep. All this growth. Right. You said But when, when we’re older now sounds cooler at a cocktail party. Right. It’s true. Right. Uh, doesn’t make you more money.
It’s true. Yeah. Well, I’m really excited for today. You know, we we’re talking, this is amazing. I mean, this is a show by itself, what we’ve already talked about, but I do have some points about kind of the, some of your specialties and what you’ve been learning with, with your [00:14:30] agency and your brand growth.
And I’m curious to, to learn too. Also, we’re gonna share a little bit about some, oh, ai, you know, chat, GPT, taking over the internet , so, yeah. Yep. So we’re in 2023. We’re recording this. This’ll come out in early February. .and the thought is, it’s really two, two things like listing optimization. I know you work on a lot and ppp c, ppc or you know, traffic or, so, yeah.
Is that the formula? Is that, is that the [00:15:00] secret sauce here that we’re talking about in growing brands? Yeah. I mean it’s, it’s sort of like anywhere else on the internet. Like you need traffic to a thing and then you need the thing to. . It’s really like that simple. And that’s kind of like what all of internet economics is like what are better ways to get more traffic and what are better ways to get that traffic to convert?
Whether you’re building a funnel or you have an Amazon listing, or it’s a landing page [00:15:30] or a webinar, whatever it is, like everything on the internet. Is that right? True. True. So recognizing that, like that’s basically .What me and my team like Dove really, really deep into is what are the best sources of traffic?
What are the best ways to drive traffic? What are the best ways to get that traffic to convert on Amazon specifically? And so that, that put us down the path of like, we engage with anywhere between 80 [00:16:00] and 140, somewhere in that range, new brands per month. So we have a lot of kind of raw material to work with when it comes to.
putting out formulas for different types of content to see what converts better and different types of traffic to see what, what works best or what’s cheapest and or what converts the best. So yeah, it led us to create a formula for a plus [00:16:30] content, for example, that’s been spread all over the internet and it’s been applied to over 10,000 listing.
Yep. And now we’ve, we’ve come out with another one for premium a plus content as well, because that’s, that’s kind of the new thing coming down the pike that brands are starting to get access to is premium A plus content. And we came up with that, that seven part formula based on testing a bunch of different potential combinations of nations of ways to structure a plus content [00:17:00] to make it, make it convert better.
and we did the same thing with secondary images. You know, testing so many different paradigms of secondary images. There’s so many things you could do, right? A lifestyle image, a benefits graphic, a features graphic, a cutaway, a breakout, a comparison table. You know, there’s an XFactor, a flourish graphic.
In use graphic, there’s a whole long list, but you only have, you know, those seven slots. So [00:17:30] it’s based, it’s the science of putting together what sequence of images like quantitatively provides the highest conversion rate on the backend. And I think when you start to think of it scientifically like that, this is how I thought with my brand and I was always AB testing things, um, and isolating variables and trying to get.
The, the formula down and it never really is like complete, right? You could always like continue to update it and I would re-look at [00:18:00] my listings every quarter and see what could be updated or what needed to be changed. And we recommend that to our brands too. But yeah, that’s been our philosophy. Come up with a hypothesis for what would work, test it out on real in, in the wild, and then get the data back.
So the way that we’ve. Been able to do this with actual data is we, every single listing, no matter what we do to it, whether it’s a brand that we have ownership in or it’s a brand that’s just paying us [00:18:30] to do conversion or, or PPC services to them, we record everything that’s done on the brand and we have this master database of every single project that’s done.
And at this point we have over a thousand, I think between between 1200 and 1800. Like listing things that we’ve done to, to different listings. So we have so many different data points to look at. And so we can see, you know, we [00:19:00] did this on this date, we up say, say the example. We uploaded a brand story and an a plus content module to a listing that didn’t have those modules at all.
Um, on September 1st. Then we measured the trailing 14 day conversion. Again on October 1st, and here was the average difference in conversion, and you get enough of those data points. The other changes that kind [00:19:30] of happen that just randomly change conversion rate start to fade away, and you have enough of a data set to really say, okay, this is the impact that uploading a brand story module has.
If it’s done well, this is the impact that uploading a a plus conversion a a plus. to a listing that doesn’t have it will have, and you start to get really quantitative about it. And that’s, that’s essentially what we’ve done. Great. Yeah. I mean, like you [00:20:00] said at the beginning, like science and data and stats is, is key.
It’s especially e-commerce or anything online, right? You measure and you improve. I had a great session I call with Andres on your team. Actually, one of my brands, my partner, he loves your videos. He’s talking about you. So I, you know, I, I chatted to Andres. He’s, he’s really, really helpful. Yeah. Andres is great.
Yeah. Yeah. So there’s, so there’s listing optimization and like, like measuring the data. Is there, [00:20:30] is there a couple of, I know you have your formulas and, and your, your, you know, your sessions. I dunno if you wanna give us a little sneaks, maybe some, yeah. I know we chat about AI or chat GBT or some little hacks that we could Yeah.
Give some people for takeaways today on, on some listing optimization. Yeah, totally. Yeah. We’ve been, because there’s been so much like hype about chat GPT and AI since, for the past couple of weeks. Right. And so [00:21:00] I, my, my initial reaction to this was, okay, so part of what my team does is content to result that results in ideally a conversion increase.
and between Dolly and Chat GPT and some of these other AI tools that are coming out as well, that a lot of them use the a p I of open ai, the production of content is getting easier for people, for [00:21:30] anyone to do on their own. So, you know, I thought, well, it’s my duty to like look into this basically and like really experiment with it.
So we’ve started experimenting with not just. Chat, GPT and, and Dolly, but also open AI’s API. True. That gives you access to some of their other tools as well. Like chat GPT is just one of like dozens of, of [00:22:00] different tools that they have access, uh, availability to, this was kind of like the public, like release, but you can get way more granular and specific, like just working with their.
and so we started like experimenting with it and we’re still experimenting with it. Like I wouldn’t say we have it figured out, but we’ve definitely determined that there are ways that, that go beyond the hype that actually make this like really valuable to sellers and really valuable to us. I think it’s really gonna completely [00:22:30] change how the, the e-commerce space in the Amazon space, I can go through a couple of the ways that like, we’ve determined that it’s really useful, like a actually provides real utility.
But before I even do that, I mean, I, I think that so far I haven’t seen anyone make the claim or make the analysis or prediction that, that this will like, fundamentally change our space. People seem to be thinking that it’s like a hack or it’s like a productivity like. [00:23:00] I really think it’s gonna fundamentally change the entire space works.
I think there are gonna be whole businesses that create a whole new business model where they like use AI to determine what product to launch, to create the content for the product, to launch the product, to adjust the traffic sources and the bidding on that product and everything else where it’s like AI is actually the skill .
[00:23:30] underlying the, the business model of the business itself. And I, I haven’t seen that happen yet. Or maybe it’s happening and just, it hasn’t been publicized yet, but I think that’s gonna be one of the major business models going forward. So I was like, whoa, okay. I can see this is happening. Um, and to me it’s very clear that we’re going down that road.
Better start to become an expert of this. and it’s always a game, right? Because like you and I both know, this mic is that like you can’t [00:24:00] chase shiny objects in this space. You can’t distract yourself as an entrepreneur. It’s so easy to do that. Like we both, you know, learned with our experiences, you know, when we were at the accelerator in Shanghai.
But in a case like this, I really feel that it’s as paradigm shifting as like when Google. . Like I was like in middle school when, when Google came out and they started teaching it to us and we had access to it on the computers. And I remember being like, [00:24:30] oh, this is a thing. You can just look up all information.
Mm-hmm. . So all that stuff I learned about the Dewey Decibel system and like navigating a library is completely useless now. Uh, and it was, it was useless f rom that point forward, I don’t even remember how to use the Dewey Decibel system. Yeah. That was, haven’t been in the library in. , you know, and, uh, that’s, I feel that similar type of feeling now.
And so I was grappling with myself like, is this something I really should distract myself with and dig into? Or should I really just [00:25:00] stay focused? And I made the determination that, no, this is something I actually do want to dive into, is something I feel that, you know, up until now, the most powerful computer that you could buy was a human.
And so learning how to manage and motivate and inspire other humans was the key skill in business because the most powerful computation and the most powerful execution was with the human brain. [00:25:30] And you can get those fairly cheap, right? We all know we can get like a va. from somewhere like the Philippines for somewhere around $700 a month, right?
Some people can, you know, go even less expensive than that. A human mind is actually not that expensive and you know, it depends on the skill you get. Right now, I think we’re moving into a space where it’s not necessarily the case always, that a human mind is the best computation tool for a given task, and [00:26:00] therefore the most powerful skills.
Are not necessarily all surrounding controlling a human organization anymore, or motivating and inspiring people. That’s definitely part of it and will continue to be part of it. But I think more and more the ability to control artificial intelligence and make artificial intelligence do what you want it to do is gonna be a key entrepreneurial skill for every entrepreneur.
and it’s a complete paradigm shift. Yeah. [00:26:30] So that’s what I started digging into. And you know, at least at the point that these, these artificial intelligence tools like Chat GP T are at now, the critical skill to be able to control it is called prompt engineering. Yeah. Where you, you learn to create, to, to write the correct prompts, to get the type of output that you want.
So we just started experimenting with this . asking it to write bullet points in the voice of Mark [00:27:00] Twain. You know, asking it to write, you know, descriptions of different lengths and things that are actually valuable that we found are asking it to summarize things like, for instance, reviews. If you really want your listing to be written in the language of your ideal customer avatar, well then you can take a review that’s long and meaty and has a lot of character and, and, and spice to it, right?
that’s the ideal customer avatar. Say I’m selling to like middle-aged mothers. [00:27:30] Well, I can take a review from somebody who loves my product or a competitor’s product that’s very similar, that was written by a middle-aged mom and says all the things that she loves about the product. And I know that that review is popular cuz it’s top voted right?
So now I know it’s written in the voice of my customer avatar. It is. It rings true with other people that are my ideal customer avatar, and it says all the [00:28:00] things that they care most about the product, right? So now I can tell like Chachi PT, for instance, to use that voice to write something else, or I can have it summarize.
The, the major points are the major benefits in the same voice, but shorter, and then I can use that content in my listing. So it actually allows you to sort of hijack the, the perfect voice [00:28:30] of the perfect person to describe your product, which might not be you. You know, Ezra Firestone sold like women’s, like skincare products, right?
Yeah. She’s not a woman. He’s not a woman. He doesn’t use women’s skincare products, but now he can hijack the voice of the avatar of the person that he, he’s selling to love. So things like that, you know, there are tons of things that we’ve been experimenting with, I’m sure. Sure, sure. You guys, but must be.
But yeah, I really think it’s a [00:29:00] total paradigm shift. Dude, it’s crazy to start off the year like this with something so. New and so exciting like this, and there’s a lot of fear around it. Everyone’s talking about, oh, it’s gonna take, you know, take everyone’s job. But the good thing is if you’re listening to this podcast and the, our conversation right now, that means that you’re in the mindset of creation and, and entrepreneurialism and creating businesses.
And so you are actually the person who’s job can’t be taken, but [00:29:30] you know, somebody who does something that’s very straightforward. that can be done by some of these tools. Those are the people that need to start, you know, getting more creative. Yeah, I would agree. You know, my big thought is, I mean, I’ve, I think you, I think we’re on the same page, but brand is everything and I think when I, I, I, I wanna register so many more brands, like I want, I wanna own as much IP as I can right now because I feel like.
I’ve been talking to friends. I feel like that’s the only safe thing. Of course, anybody can [00:30:00] create a brand, but I feel like brands already exist that already have the TRA traffic or trust. Mm-hmm. are gonna have leg up because they’re able to leverage this AI now, and I think it’s gonna get harder. Yeah.
To stand out later because there’s, you didn’t have this first mover advantage before the AI world, you know? Yeah. Like Ron says, same page. We’re, we’re doing the same. I’m taking minority stakes and brands by making, making investments in brands that I think are, [00:30:30] are on a growth path, because like you said, the strong brand itself, you could do so much with it if you suck at P P C or even if you suck at like certain elements of content or convers.
or you suck at whatever else in business, you know, bookkeeping or whatever. Those are skills that can be learned. But when you have a really strong brand with a really strong character and really good products, like that’s actually the rare thing. Yes, it’s surprising how many, how many brands like get, you know, get somewhere on Amazon just through [00:31:00] hacks and tricks and little ranking, you know, tricks or hacks, uh, without having a strong brand and strong brands are.
Yeah, so I think, I think that’s been my big takeaway with ai because also most, there’s gonna probably be black hat AI and there’s gonna be white hat ai, right? So Of course, yeah, of course there’s gonna be the black hats that’s illegal, that can do bad things, that copy. Copy branded products or copy branded people or, but I feel like most AI people will [00:31:30] use will be just like Amazon or Google that are gonna only be able to use the algorithm or the system that.
That respects IP and copyright brands, so, right. Mm-hmm. , that’s what I’m just studying deeply as I study this. I think past the, the ultimate angle. It’s been really, really cool discussion. So, we talk about listings and we’ve got some tech tips and tactics on, on, on using AI chat G P T to voice of the customer, you know, ppp C I think also [00:32:00] there’s already been PPC software, right?
That mm-hmm. , I dunno if they call it ai. Now there’s probably gonna be, they do more, they did even before chat, G P T. Yeah. So I, I don’t know how you feel about ai ppp C or, or, or, or just ppp C in general. You know, like I know you, you have your, your amazing content and strategies and, and life cycles. We’ll talk about like the harvest after.
But you know, especially in an early stage of a brand, you know, what are your thoughts on [00:32:30] PPC now and this. . Yeah, I think I, I’ve known a lot of people over the past two years who have used AI softwares for their ppp. C like an example of that is quartile, where you basically set your, your parameters of what you’re comfortable with upfront, and you just let it constantly adjust bids and budgets and create and, and destroy campaigns like nonstop.
And it’ll, you know, you’ll look and you have no idea what’s going [00:33:00] on like there. Tons of campaigns for a single product being created or, or ended at any given time. And I maybe will be there at a certain point in the future where the, the highest performers are the ones with the best AI behind them. But that hasn’t been my experience up until now.
The marketplace for. placements, [00:33:30] PPC placements on Amazon is, is like an open market and it’s just like the stock market. There are people bidding different prices on different assets, which are are ad placements. So instead of bidding prices on stocks, you’re bidding a price. Yeah. To get the value of a placement, which you know you can use to then sell products.
Right. That’s the whole. , they’re advertisers and then there are placements that, that Amazon makes [00:34:00] available. And so because it’s in a market like that, it’s actually controlled not just through raw numbers but also through human things cuz they’re humans behind these products that are, that are making these bids.
So just like the stock market, there are like some keywords that are irrationally high CPCs cost per. and that may be because of some kind of market dynamic. And we saw this a bunch in like [00:34:30] the 2021, beginning of 2022, where aggregators were spending a ridiculous amount of money Yeah. To grow their, their brand’s revenue at the expense of their profit.
And so there are certain categories where you really couldn’t bid on the major keywords cuz it just didn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense even for. And we ended up seeing that because a lot of them ended up in hot water. Yeah. We, and some of them went under, some of them had to fire, you know, hundreds of staff.
And because they [00:35:00] didn’t, didn’t know what they were doing, threw too much money at it. So, since it’s such a human marketplace, my experience up until now, and this could change and I’m open to it changing, and I, I will definitely adapt if it does. But my, my experience up until now is that it needs to be managed by human.
At least partially like automation can definitely be done and there’s lots of automation that can be done, creating rules, creating, you know, branched rural trees. There are a lot of [00:35:30] tools that allow you to create rules and you know, for us, we’re an official verified Amazon ads partner. We have access to their partner platform, which allows you to create a lot of this stuff just straight up inside Amazon and creating, you know, bidding, general bidding automations that have to be checked by.
but in general, like the, the management of the P P C overall has to be done by a human because, you know, like you just mentioned, how do you manage PPP C for a brand that just launched? Well, that’s dramatically [00:36:00] different from a brand who launched three years ago, or a product, let’s just say a product.
The product that just launches in the given brand say it is the brand’s first product. They have very different parameters around what successful PPP C looks like for them. Then a brand who launched three years ago has 3000 reviews, and it’s like been on page one for months of their primary keyword.
You know, those are two [00:36:30] very different scenarios with very different goals, and also the brand owners in what’s going on inside the brand owner’s. Is also a factor of how you manage their ppc. Are they super aggressive? Do they want to grow really, really hard or do they want to go more niche and try to just focus on these lower volume keywords and just really own those and make a small amount of cash flow from a more specific search?
A few more specific search criteria. All these factors come into play when you determine [00:37:00] how to manage the PPC for a brand at at any of these stages. So like for instance, that brand that just. Most brand owners when they just launch a product, the way they’re gonna handle PPC and the way we handle PPC for them is like this.
We focus a, a majority, really a vast majority of the ad spend on the primary, highest converting, highest relevance keywords that have the highest possible volume while still [00:37:30] being high relevance. So we we’re determining that upfront through really solid and thorough keyword. and then focusing our ad budget and our ad spend towards those keywords, not for the purpose of getting profitable sales, but for the purpose of getting any sales from those keywords specifically to boost the organic rank of the product for those keywords.
So if I’m selling an omega-3 chewable supplement for dogs, I’m gonna already forget [00:38:00] about the keyword omega three cuz it’s gonna be way too. and it’s too broad, so the conversion and the relevance of that traffic is too low. I’m just gonna focus on chewable Omega-3 supplement for dogs, a hundred milligram omega-3 for dogs.
Omega-3 capsules for dogs, maybe omega-3 capsule chewable for small dogs. A couple of key keywords from my keyword research that I know are highly relevant to me. Have plenty of traffic, are searched, you know, [00:38:30] frequently and are are definitely gonna. And I focus all my ad spend on exact match campaigns for that, for those keywords until they start to, to really rank and I don’t waste any of my ad budget on product placement ads.
Well, I, I will do some product placement ads, but not, not so much. But I definitely won’t be doing sponsored display ads. I definitely won’t be doing any D S P, probably won’t be doing too much sponsored brand unless I have a really solid video then you know that’s, that can help as well, cuz you can put [00:39:00] those on keyword.
but a vast majority of that spend goes on, on ranking. Now, let’s go to the other end of the spectrum and let’s talk about that. That company, that’s years down the road, right, and they have a solid ranking and a good bank of reviews, a good review mode, and they’re selling well for a brand that has a product, at that stage, your priorities are very different.
You’re at that point, you’re really trying to. Dollars out of, of the product. You can’t always be [00:39:30] dumping money on unprofitable PPC campaigns just for the purpose of ranking. So you, you need to have a drip to continue your kind of ranking juice over time. , but there comes a point where you have to start to actually profit from these products, you know?
And so, you know, it’s, you, you kind of transition through these phases of a product. And once it gets towards these, these ladder phases where it’s really solidified, really like got its spot, it’s got a solid review mode and it’s, [00:40:00] it’s really well established, then the game is really getting lean with it.
What are the ad placements that are providing me like, The most profitable sales. And a lot of times with the product that’s really established like that, the retargeting campaigns can work super, super well. So the sponsored display retargeting can work really well. There’s views, retargeting, purchase retargeting, impression retargeting, and there’s also sponsored display.
There’s, [00:40:30] sorry, there’s also d s. . If you have a A D S P seat or access to a D S P seat, you can do a lot of retargeting through that. And then you can also even do retargeting within sponsored products. A lot of people don’t know this. This is one of the things that I was mentioning earlier that we just discovered through experimentation that we call self targeted product placement ads, where you create, uh, a sponsor product ad with ACE and targeting, but you put the ace in itself that you’re advertising as the only.[00:41:00]
So that means, you know, you’re trying to advertise on products, product listings, right? Not in search results, but you’re only targeting your own product listing. Well, what does Amazon do when you do that? It won’t show it on your listing because, well, if you advertise your own listing on your own listing, that’s like inception, like nothing would happen.
You’d click it and you’re already there, right? So Amazon doesn’t do that. It doesn’t show your ads on your own listing. But what it does do, Is if you click onto, if someone clicks onto your listing from search results [00:41:30] and then they hit the back button on their browser to go look at other products, now that they’ve been on your listing because you were targeting your listing, the shoppers will see your ad in search results since they’ve already seen your product.
And this can provide really low a cost. because it’s someone who’s already seen and might already like your product. They’re just looking at other options, and they’re more likely to see your option again and then buy it. Got it. So yeah, that’s, that’s a cool trick that we, [00:42:00] we discovered a while back. And any brand can use that.
It doesn’t have to just be the, the latter stage brands that I was mentioning before. Okay. But yeah. Yeah, there’s, that’s a little. Yeah, dude, thanks for this. Yeah. Getting, getting, I’m sure a lot of listeners and viewers are getting some ideas already, so this is, this has been awesome, man. Again, we’re getting towards the, the end of our, our session, so I just wanna learn more about Sophie’s society and, and, and how people work with you and, and some ways [00:42:30] people listening could move, move to some next steps.
Yeah. Yeah. So if someone is looking for like pro. and from the scientific per perspective to to manage their Amazon advertising. We’re definitely the guys. You can go to our website, sophie society.com, or you can shoot me an firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with us. And yeah, it’s a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time person to do your P B [00:43:00] C because we leveraged, you know, the power of the.
And, and also if someone is just looking to learn more or they, they kind of like the mindset or like what they’re hearing. We’re hosting an event, a digital event, a five day event Wow. At the end of February, from February 20th to February 24th. Cool. And it’s called the Profitable PPP C Challenge. So yeah, it’s pretty, it’s pretty exciting.
Last time we completely sold out, we, we hosted this back in September. Uh, we [00:43:30] are, Pretty selective with the, the sellers that come in. We, we accept one out of three sellers that applies because they have to meet two main criteria. One is they have to be actively selling with some ad spend already.
Otherwise you can’t apply the things you learn. And second of all, they have to upfront say that they’re committed to showing up every day to the event because that creates an environment where everyone is actively engaging and actively participating and also helping one another as well as learning.
So, [00:44:00] If those two things make sense and somebody wants to learn more, learn more of what we were talking about today and more of these, you know, cool tactics and strategies. That’s something to check out. And uh, you can also find that, that’s PPC challenge dot sophie society.com. If you wanna check that out, or you could search me on Instagram or LinkedIn, you’ll find it right on my page, just Chris Raw.
So you can just search my name and you’ll find it. Awesome. Great man. Great. Thanks so much, Chris. Really, really, yeah. Really glad to have you here again. And let’s Yeah, like keep [00:44:30] pushing the limits. Yeah. I think we all gotta learn ai, you know, it’s, it’s definitely, it feels like the new, it’s like the new Google, it’s the new phase.
It. The new stage. So this is, yeah, I think it’s a perfect time to have you on a show, like you said at the beginning of 2023, you know, new Year, new Paradigm, and I definitely like what you’re working on and and support, so thanks. Thanks again for sharing this. Thanks brother. It was great. Great. Coming on again.
Awesome, and thank you to our [00:45:00] sponsor, our returning sponsor, mercury.com online bank. Well, it’s a real bank, but you can talk totally online for us. Our Blimp program participants are going through this as well. Thank you, mercury. Travis is great there. It’s been on our show, it’s been in our events. We’re gonna have another event where we will have them attending as well.
And if you wanna get a little bonus for you and us, if you sign up and do some special circumstances, you can go to global information.com/mercury. I also have a video tutorial. Is even for the blimp people, they use the same exact video to learn [00:45:30] how to use it. I hope you can check it out totally free.
Why not see you there? Hi Alvin. I think he says I’m doing a good job with these new little intros on video. I got lights, I got backgrounds. I hope the microphone is good. I’m talking louder. I’m getting more excited. I’m getting more comfortable. Yeah, I’ve been in Thailand. You know, for almost a half a year, actually about a half a year and warming up, actually there’s so many more people coming on the show.
I just visited another [00:46:00] production facility, another market place. We’re adding new listings on to Amazon from, from Thailand. So we’re going deep into Thailand. I’ll just say that. I hope you enjoy it, but of course you can learn. You don’t gotta be a buying yourself from Thailand. You can do it from anywhere, but it’s something I.
Getting more comfortable about. I’ll just say that. And we want to add some more values, some more, some more things you can do if you do join us at Cross Border Summit this November. And [00:46:30] I am just fascinated by ai. You know, Chris also seems to be, and we are realizing how much is gonna change everything.
You know, I, some people think Google is gonna be irrelevant in two. I mean, do you think 2025, you’re not gonna go to Google anymore? It, that’s a hard one to believe, but I definitely am searching less on Google. But I mean, what do you think about Amazon or e-commerce, or how do you find products you want to purchase?
Where are you gonna search? Where’s the [00:47:00] originating demand of a customer going to come from? How are you? Product or business owner going to get in front of those people. It’s something fascinating. That’s why I think most of us that I know. Are doing the right thing. I’ve been attending some meetups. We has some meetups also here for major f b and we’ve other e-commerce events here.
I’m pausing, but I, I just feel like affiliate drop ship [00:47:30] co. I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t. I’m not as excited about them as I used to be. I, I don’t see them being as important and you might not like me for that, and you might be defensive because that’s what you do. But I think you gotta think forward thinking all these middlemen between the product and the customer, are they gonna be needed as much in the future?
People looking for a product are just gonna want the product, right? And they can get in [00:48:00] information from an ai. and it’ll be more about the brand experience, the story, the relationship and trust of the brand to the end consumer, brand to consumer. You know, I have friends, I have experts, you know many guests on this show.
I think that’s it. Brand, you know, they say B2C, brand to customer, right? Not factory. Factory will be irrelevant too. It’s brand. To customer, and that’s why I’ve been convinced and I’ve learned, [00:48:30] and I’m a student and I’m a sharer and I’m trying to share my knowledge, but I think it’s all about that. We will talk about it in the next episode.
I already recorded an amazing talk. I did a speech here in Chg Ma, a meetup. We had a full room, almost standing a room. I think we squeezed in more chairs into that room, but I kind of go a little bit crazy and I, I, I share a lot, a lot, a lot of stuff I’ve been studying, but I’ll save that for next, next, uh, show.
This is a. Global from asia.com/ 2023 [00:49:00] growth. I just see so much disruption. I just am so excited. I don’t know, I’ve been working so hard. I hope you’ve been working hard and we will be rewarded. I, I’m very confident we will be rewarded for our hard work, but you gotta think strategically and you gotta think about a lot of things becoming redundant and irrelevant and is.
Thank you and see you next show, like subscribe, whatever channel. If this is on YouTube, I hope YouTube goes away, man. . [00:49:30] But we’re on YouTube and run iTunes podcast. These gatekeepers. I hope the gatekeepers go away, but we’ll see. Take care. Bye-bye. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our email@example.com from asia.com.
That’s Triple w.global from asia.com. Also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.
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