Vlog – BFCM prep, Where BidPixel came from, tools of titans and ethics in our industry

Dave Granfield: Alrighty. Jay Janus, Chief Operating Officer of BidPixel; and myself, Dave Granfield, one of the co-founders and CEO, let’s have a chat today, mate. So, we’re going to talk. I want your opinions on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and how that’s going to affect Australia this year. I want to have a real good chat about an ad campaign that we’ve found and unpack it. Full disclaimer, it’s not one of our clients. We’ve never heard of these guys before, but I found it while I was scrolling through my feed. We’re going to unpack that today and pat them on the back. We’re going to talk about agency building, so where we came from, and who we were, and the journey that we went on, only the first two years or three years of our journey.

Dave Granfield: Then, I want to review a book for you. I’ve got a big, fat book sitting down here, and no, it’s not the Bible. I’ve got a big fat book down here that we’re going to have a quick chat about. Then, we’re going to talk about ethics in our industry, mate, and how we’re putting ourselves out there and polarising, and saying that we’re doing things a little bit different. So, Jay, welcome to this episode. Let’s have a chat about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, first.

Jay Janus: Absolutely.

Dave Granfield: When is it this year?

Jay Janus: Looking end of November, so November 29th to the 2nd of December, a little bit later this year than last. It comes off the back of the U.S. Thanksgiving period. So, yes, looking forward to it. Last year, some of our clients had an absolutely cracking week. It was phenomenal, that-

Dave Granfield: I remember one client last year, you and I were still up at 11:00 at night. We had this Shopify dashboard open in live view, and we were just watching the money tick in for the van. At the end we had done like seven times a normal day, and now we’re already a seven-figure business, and it was just crazy watching them grow.

Jay Janus: Oh, it was ridiculous. I mean, just texting you back and forth, going they’ve just done this and they’ve hit that and-

Dave Granfield: Just kicking goals.

Dave Granfield: So, that’s an interesting fact though. So let’s talk about Black Friday. Oh, I can’t say this fast, Black Friday, Cyber Monday in Australia. Now, we haven’t adopted it as well as or as much as the US in the past, but things are changing, aren’t they?

Jay Janus: Yeah, I think the world is becoming smaller. What we’re seeing in one country just filters through to another. Yeah, the US, whether Australians like it or not, they’re a big country and it affects the buying behaviour here.

Dave Granfield: I guess at the end of the day, we might be superior where we are down here, but we’re one tenth of the size of the US, right. So everything we do is such a small proportion, and we’re probably five years behind in some things, although that bridge is getting smaller and smaller with the worldwide webs these days. So, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, how as a Facebook or Google advertiser should you be getting ready for it now?

Jay Janus: Yeah, absolutely, now. Now is the time. Middle of September now, so you have a month and a half, if my math is correct. Also, to get ready. So, looking at your content strategy, looking at what you want to do. Are you going to run sales? Are you going to run promo codes? Are you even going to have the stock ready for then? Just being very preemptive and thoughtful and planning because not only Black Friday, Cyber Monday, but it’s only a couple of weeks out from Christmas, too. So it’s an exciting time of year where it can really help boost businesses bottom line.

Dave Granfield: So let’s talk about sales. So, Black Friday, Cyber Monday sale, if you’re not doing more than 20 or 30%, don’t even bother. People don’t even bat an eyelid in a 5% or 10% offs on a weekend like that. How can brands and businesses operate their business, and what’s the long game or the lifetime customer value if they’ve only got 40% profit margin in their products, how can they sell it for 40% off?

Jay Janus: Well, that’s when you’re thinking lifetime value. What is your customer worth to you over the long term, over 12 months or 5 years or 10 years. If they are coming back, and they’re repetitively purchasing $40 products every month or every six months, that adds up over time. The beauty of digital is that once they’re in the system, when they’re in your ecosystem, you can then get back to them and retype them and continue to grow and grow your relationship with them.

Dave Granfield: So I guess, it’s a top of funnel strategy almost. It’s a lost leader or you’re spending money on a busy sale weekend where everyone has got their cards out ready to go, and you’re not going to make anything off that sale that weekend, but you’ve got to delight them, and you’ve got to have a fantastic customer experience. Is that what you’re saying?

Jay Janus: Yeah, yeah. I think so. Every business is different. Many businesses can’t afford that loss, so working out what’s right. Even if it’s being present in that week, even if you’re not offering discounts, people are active then. Not only is the sales around, people are aware of the sales. They’re aware of the content. They’re aware of this Black Friday, so get amongst it whether you’re offering a discount or not.

Dave Granfield: So, one of the things we have been doing for customers in e-commerce lately is if we know they have got a sale coming up. We’re actually doing advertising in the lead up about the sale. It’s interesting I know one of the customers that we’ve got, who’s in the pet industry, we were advertising their sale coming up on a long weekend like this, but they were generating even more revenue in the lead up without discounting anything purely by putting the ads out there. It was actually surprising that they did almost just as much in sales on full price ticketed items before the sale than they did on the weekend of the actual sale. What sort of strategy would you recommend for people in the lead up, on the weekend and the followup after?

Jay Janus: Well, Jay, lead up, during… I think just being specific to your audience. Calling your audience out. Who are they? How do they relate to you? How do they relate to your products? Also, the branding, calling them out, and how you can benefit them. That can go through a seven-day nurture process or a two-week nurture journey over leading up to it. Black Friday is coming up, get ready for it. During the Black Friday event and then for the following Cyber Monday event, and then afterwards, if you’re running with video or lead gen, then you’ve already captured their details, you’ve captured them in an audience, so you can then get back and funnel then remarket through.

Dave Granfield: Perfect. All right. So let’s unpack this a little bit more over the next coming weeks. We’ll start talking about Christmas as well. Let’s break down ad creative and asset creation. When to start getting involved? Or you need to get involved now you said with your video creation, your image creation, you need to make sure you got stock on the shelves ready to go. Let’s break down how we would then build out some ad campaigns and strategy for a long weekend sale like a Black Friday, Cyber Monday.

Dave Granfield: Mate, I want to change tactics now a little bit. As part of the segments that we do, I want to talk about what makes this ad campaign great. I don’t want to discuss one of our clients ad campaigns. It’s just not something that you or I or one of our team sees, as we’re scrolling through Facebook. We’re there every day looking in it.

Dave Granfield: I want to share one that I found today actually. It’s from a company called Shift. So Shift is, from my quick research on them, they do a single kind of inbox for your Gmail. So when you have got multiple Gmails, it collates it all together and makes it work for you. The thing I was looking for when I was looking for an ad that’s made me think it was great was the use of creative. So these guys have done a fairly substantial video, which they’ve done some good motion graphic overlays. It’s a really clear infographic of what they do. It’s really educating customers about what their product is.

Dave Granfield: Ad copy, there’s lots of variations in their ad copy, and I’ll show you some of it in a second, but they could do a little bit more with their ad copy, I believe. What got my attention was lots of engagement, a heck of a lot of comments for a single ad. So 222, sorry, 220 comments and 20 shares. There was some comments, there’s a little bit of negativity in there, but that’s Facebook advertising, right? You’re never going to get away from that. There’s a lot of people asking about free trials, and a lot of people asking about the particular product.

Dave Granfield: So I jumped into their ads library in Facebook just to have a look at how they’re running their ad campaigns. As you can see, tons of different ads, lots of different ad creatives, a lot of video work. In fact, everything that they’re running is video. So they’re really investing time into their creative.

Dave Granfield: One thing I’ve noticed, I was trying to find that particular ad. It looks like it’s here, but that’s not it because that’s a portrait. So they’re building out story centric or Facebook verticals, Instagram vertical ads. They’ve got different variations of that. But you scroll down, and then you start finding the ad that we were looking at. So remember, we’re in square format or a one by one, and we found it there. But I don’t know if many people, when they look in their ads library, notice that there’s five different variations of this ad. They’re running dynamic creative. So these guys, whoever is running these ads, is testing and measuring and finding the best options.

Dave Granfield: Mate, hats off for what makes this ad campaign great. I just wanted to call out Shift, have no idea who these guys are, but it looks like they’re testing and measuring. They’re using dynamic creative. Lots of their ads have only been running for a couple of weeks. So the fact that their ads are fairly new, and they’ve got 220 comments on it, it looks like they’re probably driving a bit of a tougher funnel strategy as well.

Dave Granfield: Now, there are a few that are a little bit older, a month older here. The fact that they’re probably doing Facebook engagement, they’re obviously then looking for conversions and people to click through and then doing dynamic creative. So Shift, well done.

Jay Janus: Well done. Now, just to interject, I’m in a side now which we weren’t planning on talking about, but I think a lot of businesses don’t even understand that you’ve got the ability to look at a Facebook ads library. As a business, you can; and as a business owner, you can jump on and look at any of your competitors’ Facebook pages and look at their ads library and see exactly what they’re running.

Jay Janus: The right way for a competitor analysis.

Dave Granfield: I took that for granted because we do it every day. But let’s actually break down how you can do that. So let’s go to Shift’s Facebook page. Here, they are here. If you scroll down on the right hand side, there’s a section called Page Transparency. You click See More, and that will come up, and it will tell you if they’re running ads. So this page is currently running advertising for ads. You can go to the library, and that’s where we were looking at just then. It opens up and actually gives you a bit of an insight. Like I said, you can see countries that they’re running ads in, you can see ad copywriting, you can see ad creative. You can’t see a lot about the metrics other than that, but you can tell what kind of strategy this brand is using when they’re running their advertising on Facebook and Instagram. So, Shift, well done. If you guys ever watch this, thumbs up.

Dave Granfield: All right.

Jay Janus: Yeah, a little crowd pleasing, a crowd cheer sound behind that.

Dave Granfield: Ivan, our video editor, can you add a crowd cheering and a little thumbs up into that for us. Thank you. Thank you very much, mate.

Dave Granfield: All right. Next thing we’re going to talk about is agency building 101. Do you want to share a story, or do you want me to?

Jay Janus: Yeah, either, or. Or you can jump in. So, I came aboard Bidpixel a couple of years ago, I think, or coming up to a couple of years I came. It feels like forever ago. We’re all family.

Dave Granfield: By the hours that you work, it would be about 10 years ago.

Jay Janus: When I came on, it was off the back of a move from the previous agency’s name over to BidPixel and going from full service to niche-ing right down to Facebook and Instagram or Facebook platform only advertising. I think what the guys found and me coming onboard was that it’s very easy to be the jack of all trades and master of none, especially, when there’s so many moving parts. So I think, the decision was made to let’s niche right down and let’s become the best of breed, let’s focus, put all our eggs into one basket, and focus heavily on the Facebook platform and understanding it as thoroughly as we can and being as good as we can, and offering the best service.

Dave Granfield: Just go right there.

Jay Janus: Yeah, right there.

Dave Granfield: Hasn’t that worked out fantastic for us?

Jay Janus: Oh, it’s been ridiculous, as Dave said. I work a lot, but we love it. It’s been an amazing journey. I’m a firm believer that skills transfer, if you can niche down, you can become brilliant in one thing. That will then translate to other areas of your life. The digital world, that translates to other platforms as well.

Jay Janus: Yeah, so we went back to the Facebook platform and best of breed for that, and then built our teams up, built our clientele. Numbers rose dramatically. Once we had our strong systems and processes in place, we’re able to start going, okay, now is time to, as a business and as an offering, to spread the net further and look into Google and LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc.

Dave Granfield: Yeah, awesome. So, Liam, amazing co-founder of BidPixel and what was 7&7 Digital. He’s also a good friend of mine, good friend of Jay’s. We started and we built up to about 12 or 13 staff, and we had web designers, SEO guys, front-end, back-end developers. It was that full-service agency model. What got to us was we were in Red Ocean. There’s this amazing book called Blue Ocean Strategy. It’s about swimming out a little bit deeper and getting further away from the sharks and finding that niche or that room to breath where the sharks aren’t feeding.

Dave Granfield: For us, at the time, it was Facebook advertising. We went from 12 or 13 staff down to literally two of us. Liam and I just cut everything and went down to the co-founders again and just swarmed up and went again. It didn’t take us long before we had to bring Jay on because we’re getting to busy and we’re getting a lot of respect in what we were doing.

Dave Granfield: We started winning awards for what we were doing. That was 18 months, two years, however long it was ago now, we’re back up to 12 staff. We’ve got an amazing team of ad buyers and now Google ad buyers. Josh, who we’ll interview in a week or two, who’s our conversion rate optimisation guy, all he does is help customers get better results on their websites. It’s actually pretty cool. As Jay said, we’re moving into LinkedIn, Snapchat, Spotify, Native Ads. Jay, you’re going to talk about tomorrow maybe, we’re going to have a chat about TikTok advertising and where that’s going.

Jay Janus: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s exciting. What I value so much about the process of niche-ing right down is as we’ve grown, we’ve tried to keep that same mentality is we want to be the best. We don’t want to be dabbling in everything. We want to be the best in everything that we’ve put our hands to, which is why we’ve brought on ex-Google staff who literally work in the Google ads platform for Google. On staff now is amazing, so that we know that we want to be at the cutting edge. That’s been such a fun, fast journey.

Dave Granfield: That’s it, and it’s been… The team that we’ve got is fantastic.

Dave Granfield: Look, so, it’s cool times ahead. So, while we are broadening out our horizons again, we’re being very specific to stay in a performance-based model. No, we don’t want to build your website. No, we don’t want to do SEO. We’re not really interested in doing your organic posting. But if it’s all about ad spend online and getting a return on your investment, it’s 100% our game and what we love doing. We’ll share more about that as well later on, kind of where we’re going and some other stories about what we’ve done. Actually, I want to share some stuff about how we’ve failed. Let’s be open and say when things have just kicked our ass and not worked right because that’s all part of building a business. Awesome. All right. So that was agency building.

Dave Granfield: The next section we want to talk about-

Jay Janus: Your book review.

Dave Granfield: My book review. So, this is a book that I reference all the time. It actually sits on my desk. If you don’t know who Tim Ferriss is, get out from under a rock and Google him. This is amazing website called Google. Tim Ferriss has-

Jay Janus: I’ve heard that’s all right.

Dave Granfield: There’s a good website called… Let me Google that for you if you don’t want to use Google. So, Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. He’s written quite a few books. He’s known for the four-hour work week. He spent a fair bit of time, it’s like two years or something, writing this book. It’s really just a snippet out of some of the biggest names in the world. There’s iconic people, there’s even down to Navy SEALs, that you might not have ever heard of, but just President Obama is in there, but just to hints and tips about healthy, wealthy and wise.

Dave Granfield: So, let’s split into those three sections. How to be healthier, how to be wealthier, and how to be wiser. He just interviews people. So, Tools of Titans, Tim, we’ll get the royalty cheque from this one day soon, but fantastic book. You can’t read it all at once. Look at the thing, it’s massive.

Dave Granfield: But just when you need some inspiration in your health or your wealth or your wisdom, that’s a pretty cool book to pick up, and have a read a chapter or two from. He actually in the forward of it. He tells you do not read it all at once. If you don’t like a section, skip it and come back to it later.

Jay Janus: Yeah. So much benefit in just taking that time out and just, I don’t know, investing into yourself, whether it’s through books or podcasts like this one or-

Dave Granfield: Listen to podcasts.

Jay Janus: Yeah. I listen to them all the time. Just the amount of value and insight that you get is just phenomenal.

Dave Granfield: Hey, Dean, can you chuck me that book, that’s on your desk. We’ll talk about this book as well. This book is what the team is doing. We’ll do this another day. But Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead, that’s a cool one that we’re all sinking our teeth into at the moment. Well, we might do that later on in a couple of weeks as well.

Dave Granfield: All right, mate, last section for the day. Let’s talk about ethics, a pretty dirty word in our industry, yay?

Jay Janus: Yeah.

Dave Granfield: Let’s talk about how industry polarises itself. You’re either a show pony promising what you can’t deliver. Pretty much that’s what it all is, right? So, what [crosstalk 00:18:42].

Jay Janus: Mate, we’re marketers at the end of the day.

Dave Granfield: Some people are just good at marketing and some people are good at bullshitting, to be honest. So ethics, how are we polarising our marketplace at the moment and when do we say no?

Jay Janus: Gosh, if we don’t see a clear path like going back to the Red Ocean, Blue Ocean strategy, we want to make sure we’re seeing blue ocean for our people who want to work with us as well. We don’t take everybody on. If they’re not ready to invest in digital because of who knows, whatever reason, the website is not right or they got all their eggs in one basket, and they’re not doing anything else, and they expect us to be the be-all end-all and solve their business problems, or they don’t have the mindset of digital, then we would rather say, “No, you’re better off spending your money elsewhere.”

Dave Granfield: 100%. We did that recently actually. So Kirsten, she runs a business called My Big Adventure. I’ll put a link to the testimonial that she gave us in the YouTube comments and find it on our website. It will be in the blog posts, there’s a video there from her. She came to us after being burnt by another agency. They had taken a lot of money off her and not performed. She wanted us to fix it, she wanted us to get her results, and we actually said no. We said, “You’re not ready, your website is not converting. You don’t have enough proven strategy.” No, she won’t mind me saying this. She didn’t have enough products on the shelf to actually run advertising for. If we turn that fire hose of ads on and got success for her, she wouldn’t have been able to fulfil these bloody orders.

Dave Granfield: I think for us, that ethical side of the business is something that we are truly, truly trying to focus on. It’s something that a lot of people aren’t doing. They regurgitate information. Everyone these days seems to, in our space, seems to want to say how many millions of dollars they’re making or what car they’re driving, or it was like, it’s just not needed. Just get down to business and give people results.

Jay Janus: Yeah. We talked about it yesterday, just the level of transparency that I think… and really hope that the industry is moving into needs to be deeper. I had a call with a client the other day, who wanted to work with us because they weren’t getting results. When we dug down and in our discussion realized that the agency they currently with don’t… they’re running the ads under the agency’s account, not under the client’s account. At the end of the day, the client leaves. They spent several hundred thousand dollars in advertising money, and they don’t own any data. That sort of stuff is just wrong.

Dave Granfield: There’s nothing more unethical than not giving your client their data and not showing your client what you’re doing. It’s actually against terms of service of Facebook. So these advertising agencies out there who are not sharing this data, and it’s actually against the rules of the platform that they’re advertising on. It’s crazy.

Dave Granfield: So Jay, mate, you’re awesome. Thanks so much for your time. Guys-

Jay Janus: Thank you.

Dave Granfield: … if you like this, we’re going to push it across Facebook. We’ll chuck it in a few groups, as many groups as we can until we get banned. We’re chucking it in our own groups. No, we don’t get banned from that. Look up agency secrets by BidPixel. It will be on YouTube. It will be on the podcast platforms. We’d love to know. Comment, review it, like it, share it, tell us it’s crap if it’s crap, and that way, we can improve it. We’re going to keep doing these. It weren’t just always be Jay and I. We’ll get some of these other boys in and some of the rest of the team. We’ll get some external people in. Let’s talk about things like the legal side of an agency and the legal side of running advertising. Let’s talk about the wellness and the mindset of what you have to do. But we’re-

Jay Janus: Yeah. If you have questions, let us know.

Dave Granfield: Yeah. If you have a question, post it below on whatever platform you’ve got this on, except for podcast, obviously. Hunt us down on Facebook or Instagram. Ask your questions, and we’ll answer them. We’ve actually set aside some time to do shoutouts and talk about questions next Monday, I think, is the next time we’re actually going to go through questions that people ask us. So guys, Jay, you’re awesome. Everyone else that watches, which no one will the second episode, but bless you guys heaps. Thanks for tuning in, talk to you soon.

Jay Janus: Cheers.



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Get your copy of our eleven digital marketing mistakes to avoid report and find out how much money you are leaving on the table.