Welcome to the e-Commerce Marketing Podcast everyone. My name is Arlen Robinson and I am your host. And today we’ve got a very special guest, Aditya Varanasi who is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Awarity, where they disrupt the advertising industry by making world class marketing more affordable and sustainable for up-and-coming companies. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He spent 14 years at PepsiCo where he pioneered new ways to unlock the power of digital media across a wide range of brands including Cheetos, Cracker Jack, and Lays Stax. Welcome to the podcast Aditya.

Aditya: Hey, thank you Arlen. Thanks for having me on. 

Yes, no problem. And, uh, thank you for joining me. I’m really excited to talk to you. You know, I was reading your intro. I, I didn’t realize until just now, you said you went to Kellogg School of Management at No. Northwestern University.

Yes, sir. Okay, great. Yeah, I’m, I’m actually originally from Evanston, Illinois. Which is where Northwestern is. Yeah. And that’s, it’s a small world. Yeah, so I’m, I’m, you know, very familiar with the whole area. That’s where I grew up. Those were my old, old stomping grounds. 

Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. Me and my friends. I remember in my high school days, we used to try to, you know, we, you know how it is when you’re in high school, you, you, you wanna be older than you actually are.

Yep. We tried to sneak into some frat parties and manage to get in a couple. In Northwestern. And so, you know, it was always a good time there. Yeah. The, the, the frat guys were there were always pretty cool, man. We were able to kind of slip in, man, without any problems and yeah, they had some, some really good days back there in Evanston.

Yeah, it’s a nice town right there on the lake. 

Yeah, it is very, it’s very, very scenic. Well, you know, I’m, I’m really excited to talk to you today. You know, the main topic that we’re gonna be talking about is, you know, really breaking through the noise as a business and really how to develop. Messaging that’s gonna resonate with the target customer, because that’s really the bottom line when it comes to, you know, any business success, you gotta reset right customer, because you know, if you’re not, um, if you’re talking to the wrong, wrong customer, you’re just gonna be burning cash.

You might as well just be taking money outta your wallet and you’re just sliding it on fire, you know? So, yeah. You definitely have to reach the right customer. So that’s what we’re gonna be diving into today. But before we do get into all that, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and, you know, how you specifically got into what you’re doing today.

Yeah, my journey’s long and winding and nothing, there’s nothing in it that’s traditional, I would say. Okay. I, I, candidly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a really long time. You know, my, my family immigrated. To the US when I was one. For me, I just wanted to, you know, get a good job, make a good living.

That was, that was kind of my goal in life. And so I started as a pre-med major at Purdue and thought I may not want to be in school for that much longer and added a chemical engineering as kind of a backup, but eventually went that route cuz you know, thought there were some great opportunities as a chemical engineer.

I started working at Frito la. Didn’t even imagine. That’s where I would end up. I thought I was gonna be in a technology company that I was that interned with. Yeah. But went to Frito la cuz candidly they were an industry leader and it was pretty exciting. Mm-hmm. To, to see what I could, what I could learn from an industry leader.

I. And be a part of that. And that’s really what attracted me to, to Frito Lay. Okay. And I worked on new products. I worked on lay stacks and worked on tostito scoops and, you know, a lot of cool, fun stuff. Yeah. Helping, you know, make, make sure scoops were shaped. Like a scoop. Okay. Uh, you know, improving, improving that or making sure the lid fit on lace, that’s just little engineering challenges, but along the way mm-hmm.

That’s where I first got exposed to marketing. Okay. Never thought about a career in marketing. Never really knew much about marketing other than watching commercials on tv. Mm-hmm. And as I worked with the brand teams at, at PepsiCo, I thought what they were doing was really cool. You know, I’d go to focus groups and we’d watch how customers interact and kind of see the follow up questions on how you try to harvest insights on what customers really want and need.

Mm-hmm. In a, in a snack product or packaging or otherwise. I would see how they try to marry those options against financial considerations, competitive considerations, even sales considerations to get retailers. To, to take on new products or new items. And it felt like it was really at the intersection of that art and science of of business.

Mm-hmm. And that’s what pulled me into it. It was like, there’s no one right answer in how you approach a business problem, but bringing that engineering background to how you solve these more complex, multi-faceted process. Problems was really intriguing for me. So much. So I went back, got my mba, and then rejoined FritoLay and the brand in the brand marketing group.

Wow. And uh, that’s where I first got exposed to, to advertising in a, in a big way. Mm-hmm. And there were, there were kind of two lessons that became transformative to what I’m doing now. Like, look, I’ll be the first, I never aspire to be an entrepreneur. I never thought I’d be an entrepreneur and was never in the cards.

Mm-hmm. For me. But as I was working there, the first thing that stood out, and this probably comes from the engineering background, is how everything in marketing works together. You know, we ran this really complex regression where we put everything while I was on the Cheetos brand. I. Everything from in-store pricing to in-store merchandising to tv, to competitive activity, to you name it, digital to everything we were doing into a massive model.

Yeah. To say how much did each of those things lift so we can make smarter trade-offs and choices with our limited resources. Mm-hmm. And the model then was able to sign a coefficient to everything, and then we knew what it costs so we could basically get an out of each channel. And it seemed really smart, but I, I thought about it and I was like, this doesn’t make sense.

Even though the numbers made sense, it doesn’t make sense because you can’t do any of those things in isolation. Mm-hmm. And what we found, we did a separate analysis where we looked at what happens when you put the interaction of these variables together. Yeah. So for example, when you run a pricing discount on something like Cheetos, you can measure.

How many more units do you sell for every 10 cents you discount the product. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. What we saw when we went to that level of depth was when you have awareness building like TV running at the same time as pricing and merchandising, you would get more lift than when you didn’t have tv. 

Mm-hmm, and it makes sense. You know, you take a Cheeto, you see it on tv, you’re like, oh yeah, Cheetos. They’re orange. They’re fun. They make you feel like a kid again. It’s really unique in the world of, of snacks. Yeah, yeah, for sure. And, and, and snacks is, is so expansive. You’ve got healthy snacks, you’ve got salty snacks, you’ve got sweet snacks, you’ve got cold snacks.

You’ve got. Fruits and vegetables. You, I mean, you have so many choices when it comes to snacking. Mm-hmm. But Cheetos stands alone. So all the commercial was designed to do is remind you of Cheetos is playful, fun, makes you feel like a kid again, and go back, think about all the commercials you’ve seen recently.

Yeah. They all just reinforce that point. That’s true. So you see the commercial, you’re like, oh yeah, Cheetos, they make me feel like a kid again. Mm-hmm. Then you go to the store and you see it maybe in a high traffic, a merchandising location, like, oh yeah, Cheetos. I was just thinking about that. Then you’re like, it’s on sale.

Mm-hmm. I’m gonna grab a bag. It’s. It’s not just one of those things that ultimately got you to purchase. Yeah. And so the first thing that was really transformative of me and how I, I understood and, and what I was fortunate enough to be a part of at PepsiCo was to learn how all these things work together to ultimately drive the end result.

Yeah. The second thing that happened is digital really started to emerge and, and something called programmatic advertising, which is, you know, pretty much every ad you see on a website is served what’s called programmatically. Right. And what that means is, These ad slots are made available by the website publishers on ad exchanges, and then you can bid on it in real time.

And there’s a host of parameters like what zip code is it in? What LA long is it at? What content is on the page? There’s a host of parameters tied to which ad slots you want to, you want to bid on. Mm-hmm. And I was really intrigued by it because I felt like if you look at pretty much any ad channel, take social media.

Less than half of social users are on social channels daily. Mm-hmm. So that means you, if you wanted to reach me with the social media ad, you’re far less likely to do that cuz I’m not on there daily. Yeah. And so if you’re relying on social media, you’re only reaching a subset of the population. Mm-hmm.

If you’re rely on cable tv, you’re only reaching a subset that watches cable. If you’re relying on broadcast, you’re only reaching that and any ad channel has some kind of an audience bias where you’re only reaching certain people. Yeah. But what intrigued me about banner ads is every one of us is on websites every day.

Two-thirds of our time online is actually on websites. Mm-hmm. And with that, you can reach virtually anyone. Yeah. And so I was like, there’s something really powerful here, which is why I was so eager to bring it in our BA brands and mm-hmm. Why we had great success. I eventually left PepsiCo in, in 2015. I was hired by a private equity firm to run a startup.

And they were well funded, and that’s where I first learned about entrepreneurship. I had to register a business, I had to come up with the name, we had to come up with the logo, we had to do a host of things to set up a new business. I was like, this is, this is kind of cool. Mm-hmm. I’m really enjoying this.

Mm-hmm. After about six months, I parted ways with that firm. There were some unrelated, unrelated reasons, but. The big experience there was how hard it was to bring that PepsiCo playbook to a small business. Right? Right. Everything I wanted to do didn’t make sense from a budget standpoint. It didn’t make sense from a resource commitment standpoint.

And I, I, I didn’t do all the things I wanted to do from a pure advertising perspective because the solution didn’t exist. Mm-hmm. So after I left that firm, that’s when I started a warty. Okay. Our, our mission is to make world-class advertising affordable to everyone. I felt like my experience in programmatic advertising, coupled with this need, that there’s over 30 million small businesses.

That are just pouring all their money into Facebook and Google. Mm-hmm. And they have limited reach. They no longer can rely on newspapers or the Yellow Pages or other affordable local ad channels to reach new customers. I felt like if we could adapt what had normally been reserved for large companies and very expensive and make it efficient and affordable for small business, we could meet a need that not only would allow them reach the customers, but actually help them make their entire marketing strategy work harder.

Mm-hmm. Because you’re bringing more people into that funnel. And so that’s, that’s where we are. So, you know, we, we piloted the concept in 20 16, 20 17. Along the way. Yeah. I kept the business going nights and weekends. I took up a job at Capital One, running marketing for their auto refinance group, and had some marketing operations responsibility more broadly.

But after a year, the customers that we had here, We’re happy, they were getting great results, we’re getting phenomenal feedback. I said, we gotta go commit and try to scale this up. Yeah. So left Capital One in 2018 and you know, we haven’t, haven’t looked back. 

Okay. That’s, that’s awesome. Yeah, it’s quite a story.

You know, you, you came from a totally unrelated background, like you said, you know, chemical engineering. And you know, then got into entrepreneurialism marketing and yeah, I really love kind of what you’ve done by taking kind of your expertise, all the marketing knowledges that you gained at PepsiCo and then applying to small businesses cuz you would think that, you know, okay, we can just kind of take these things that are done just kind of almost as a template.

And just take it over here, apply it to small businesses, just kind of as is. But yeah, unfortunately it doesn’t cause ITT quite work like that. You do have to retool some things. You’re dealing with different budgets, you’re dealing with a different demographic usually. And, and so it take, takes a, you know, a bit of effort to do it.

But yeah, it, it sounds like that’s a great mission that you have and, and have been able to empower. Small businesses from what you’ve learned in, in your experiences. So yeah. Awesome, awesome stuff and thank you for sharing that. Yeah, thank you. Um, yeah. And so today what I wanted to really kind of start off with is just if you could, uh, briefly just explain just that whole concept of just breaking through the noise, you know, really, and it comes to the context of e-commerce marketing and, you know, why is it really essential for businesses to d
evelop a message that’s just gonna resonate with the, their attorney cus customers.

Yeah. You know, I think, I think the first thing that we always have to remember as a brand or a business is when we’re asking somebody to buy from us. Yeah. We’re asking ’em to change a behavior. We’re asking ’em to do something different than they were doing before.

Right. And put that in context for yourself and I’ll put it in context for myself. Change isn’t always easy. Mm-hmm. There’s a journey from what you’re doing to what you eventually end up doing, and there’s a number of steps along the way to make that change. And it’s not always as fast as as we would like.

So I think the first, the first piece of advice on how you break through the noise is, Put yourself truly in the shoes of the customer. What are their current choices? What are they doing and why? And how are you compelling ’em to make a change that you have a solution that better meets their needs than what they’re currently doing or not doing?

Yeah. Yeah. That’s the first thing to embrace. And I think a lot of times as a marketer or as a brand, we just want to be able to say, I put this into market and we got new customers. Mm-hmm. And it’s, it’s put, look at it from the other side. And ask yourself when you’ve made decisions that simply, mm-hmm.

Particularly when it comes to medium to high involvement purchase decisions. But I’ll even tell you, low involvement decisions can also be. Challenging as well to get people to, but I think you embraced that. Then the second thing to embrace, if you wanna figure out how to break through the noise, is we’re exposed to four to 6,000 ad messages a day.

Wow. By, by many estimate. It’s a lot. And an ad message could be the logos we’re seeing on somebody’s car, the or the wrap on someone’s car. The billboards we see as we’re driving banner ads on websites, TV commercials, newspapers, magazines, whatever. Whatever it is we’re consuming. We’re seeing ads virtually everywhere.

We turn. Mm-hmm. And I don’t, I haven’t met a single person that recall all 4,000 ads that they saw Yeah. In a day. Yeah. The ads that we remember are the ones that, that speak to us. Mm-hmm. Where we feel like the brand understands our pain points and they’re presenting a solution mm-hmm. That addresses that pain point.

Yeah. And the key to it is simplicity. Mm-hmm. If you’re, if you embrace the fact that people are seeing four to 6,000 messages, you’re not gonna be able to tell your full story in one ad. Yeah. Yeah. If you try to, you’re gonna lose ’em. You’re gonna drown into the noise. Mm-hmm. But if you can really simply articulate what pain point of the customer you’re solving and how you’re uniquely providing them a value, and it’s hard, it’s much easier said than done.

Yeah. Because I can tell you I’m guilty of this with our own business. I feel like we do so many things so much better than everyone else. I want tell that story to everybody we talk to. Mm-hmm. But at the end of the day, People ultimately make decisions on how they feel. Yeah. So the goal of good advertising is to make ’em feel something by connecting with them.

By showing them you understand, and you’ve got something that can help. Yeah. Yeah. And if you can do that and embrace, Hey, you’re trying to make a change, let’s go take time. And you have to keep it simple to the most important one or two points you want people to remember. That to me is the foundation of, of how you get to that, get to that message.

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. For sure. Yeah. You, you actually, you mentioned a couple things there. That, you know, as far as the challenge is concerned, a lot of times, you know, and it’s, it’s hard to believe that we’re, we’re, we actually are exposed to four to 6,000, you know, messages from different brands in a day. I mean, that’s, that just seems like overwhelming.

Yeah. It just can’t comprehend that. But you’re right. You know, when it comes to just, Your day-to-day activities, whether you’re online, whether you’re out, uh, or you’re driving around wherever you’re going. Yet it’s all of these messages from the logos to this small slogans, everything like that. It’s all, you know.

It’s all there. Yeah, its all, we just went to a restaurant for lunch and there was like six. Sticker logos on the door as we walked in. Wow. Yeah. Where they’re accredited, what payments they accept, whatever, whatever that is. Those are all ads. 

Yes, that’s true. That is very true. And so, you know, a lot of times as a brand, you know, we may have the, you know, feel like the need to really just fully explain our whole story and just, you know, tell everyone you know exactly why we’re the right one for them and you know, just kind of overdo it.

But I think it’s not, of course that’s not the right way to go, but what do you think are some other challenges? That, you know, an e-commerce business can face when they’re trying to just craft that message that’s just gonna stand out with their audience and, you know, how do they overcome these, these challenges?

I think honing the right message and the right pain point is it’s hard. Yeah. And that’s where that, you know, I talked about earlier, what drew me to marketing is the fact that there is a blend of art and science and there’s likely not one right answer. Yeah. And I think the best way to solve it is to really put yourself in the shoes of the customer, embrace it.

Go method, actor or actress. Uh, pretend you’re that person living that life. And what are you trying to ask ’em to do and why should they care? Yeah, and you have to be honest, like we all are really passionate about the businesses we work on or work with. We’re all really passionate about, so we feel like we’re the best.

Mm-hmm. We have to be realistic about what’s the cust, what does it look like from the customer’s vantage point. Mm-hmm. And so what we try to do is, We try to treat every sales call almost like a mini focus group. Okay. Or every, even client services call a mini focus group and we talk about it. Mm-hmm. We make it a point to talk about it at least weekly.

We end up talking about it much more than them. We have dedicated time. Where we’ll share themes and insights we heard that week. Mm-hmm. And what we’ve seen is, as we’ve slowly addressed either friction points or insights, those tend to evolve over time. Yeah. But the goal, the goal that I would suggest you’re is don’t expect you’re ever gonna get this a hundred percent right.

This is always a work in progress. I liken it to. Playing golf, you’re never gonna be good enough at golf. You’re always gonna wanna be better. Right? But the goal of a brand should be how do you be 10% better next month than you were this month? Mm-hmm. Or how do you be even 5% more ipo? You know, 5% more impactful than you were last month with your messaging, cuz you learned one little nugget, you applied that little nugget.

And think of it as just baby steps, but then, you know, you go to Warren Buffett’s concept of compounding. Yep. You’re 5% better a month. Mm-hmm. For 12 straight months, you’re gonna be doubling your capability pretty frequently. Yeah. But it’s that just concerted effort to try to get just a little bit better.

Don’t feel like you have to solve it all. And I think that’s what slows people down, is they wanna solve it all. How do you do one thing that’s just a little better than last month? Mm-hmm. And stay committed to that approach. And when you do that, that eventually iterates you down to the path you want to go.

We have a, we have a client where we’re working on right now, and you know, they have a lot of questions they want to answer about creative and products and pricing and different offerings. They wanted to test the number of things. Mm-hmm. And our advice to them, which you know, credit to them, they embraced, was let’s take a step back and let’s start with some basic questions.

Mm-hmm. Because if you put too many variables into a test, you’re never gonna know what moved the needle. So we narrowed it down to just a couple of variables that we’re gonna test, and then in a couple of months we’ll revisit that and see how we get better and how we get better. And I think. That’s the advice that I would, I would give.

So whether you’re starting at a spot where if things are working really well, or you’re starting a spot where you’re not even sure what’s working, if you embrace that approach Yeah. And give it time, you’re eventually gonna find yourself better than where you started. 

Yeah. Yeah. I really love that. You know, it really comes down to, I think, the mindset that a business has to take when they’re.

When their salespeople are taking on, you know, any sales call or any interaction that they have with a potential customer, you know, at the end of the day they may think that okay, they have a sales call or somebody comes to them in a live chat and has some questions, but you know, they don’t, they decide not to buy that.

Just that one interaction, no matter what that customer ends up doing, it’s valuable because you’ve learned it’s valuable. Yeah. You’ve learned something and I think a lot of times, Businesses get so caught up on getting that sale. At the end of the day, they forget about kind of going back and being reflective on everything.

They’ve, you know, learned what they’ve got from that customer. What did the customer say? What questions were they asking? What products were they interested in? 

Yeah. All that’s very valuable. Absolutely. And, and you know, I think to build on that, probably two, two considerations is one is don’t overreact.

You know, make sure you’re really capturing themes. Really look to see how I can turn these into themes. Customer A may say it’s pricing, customer B may say it’s value. Mm-hmm. Well, which one is it? And if you look at it and take a step back and look at it versus alternatives, you might say, Hey, maybe we just have to upsell.

Mm-hmm. And double the price, but offer three times the value. And that’s the way to solve. Yeah, the issue, it’s not always, it’s so easy to just say, I wanna go to a discount. Then when you hear that. But if you start thinking about the theme and not the words, but what’s the sentiment they’re trying to convey?

That’s the way to get to insight. Because, you know, one thing I could tell you, having sat in countless focus groups and customer research panels, Customers can’t always articulate exactly what their unmet needs are because Right. If they could, they would figure out a way to meet it. Yeah. Yeah. And so good marketers are able to hear that and then translate and come up with different, different ways to solve the problem that aren’t always the obvious answer.

Yeah, yeah. Ex, exactly. That’s so true. Now, you know, when we’re. A brand and we’re thinking about the messaging, how to reach the right customers. You know, there’s a, there’s a lot to consider and one of the things that, you know, I think that’s kind of gone on as a little catchphrase, I guess you could, you can say in the marketing world is stories sell, uh, facts and figures.

Don’t, you know, you want to tell that story and that we can constantly hearing that. What do you think is the role of storytelling, you know, in developing a message that’s gonna resonate with the target customer and, you know, how does that e-commerce business. Utilize storytelling effectively, you know, in their overall marketing efforts.

Yeah, I think I, I think I agree with you. Story does, story does matter. Mm-hmm. And it matters a lot. You know, I think we like to think humans make fact-based decisions and then feel good about it. Right. Really, humans, the, the vast majority of humans, not everyone, cuz I’ve met folks that do work that way and kudos to them.

Mm-hmm. But the vast majority of humans like to feel good about a decision and then they find the facts to justify. That choice. Right? Right. And if, and, and, and that then tells you story does matter. Now the hard part is going back to the previous sentiment, if we’re seeing four to 6,000 ads a day. Mm-hmm.

[00:23:51] And how do you really tell a story and keep people’s attention long enough to pay attention? Yeah. It still goes back to what I told you, which is it’s still gotta be simple. It’s gotta be something people can easily digest. The the worst thing you can see when you watch a commercial or see an ad is, I’m not sure what they do.

You’re right. And I say that a lot. Yeah. So kind of two or three rules that I’ll put behind it to evaluate if the story is, is, is accurate or not, is first, is it very, very clear to, if you showed the commercial to a second grader, would they understand what you do? Mm-hmm. And if you wanna, you could say it’s a fourth grader, but I like to say second grader, like, let’s go lowest common denominator because, and that’s because it’s, it’s, it’s accounting for the portion of our mind that’s actually engaged with the ad.

Yeah. Right. So set it up for that. And then, and then the second is, if you were to take your competitor’s logo and swap out your logo colors and fonts, and put your competitor’s logo, colors, and font, could they use the same commercial? Mm-hmm. Or not? Yeah, that’s a good one. And I think if you put both of those filters on it, it tells you, is your story easy to digest?

And is your, is your story differentiating you from the market? Mm-hmm. Yeah. And I think those are two key, key facts. You know, we do a, we do a thing now every year on our team. We’ll, we’ll rate Super Bowl commercials. Okay. And, and the reason we do that, I think it’s great for our team to just kind of continue to affirm, to build our own capabilities mm-hmm.

On how we see and perceive ads and mm-hmm. What’s out there and. Every year we come back with like, Hey, these are three to four incredible ads that make you feel something. They told a story that makes you feel something. And then the Google Pixel commercial where they showed the photo editing. Yeah. That was really powerful.

Mm-hmm. To me, that was one of the most powerful ads I’ve seen. Seen in a while. Yeah. Because they showed a customer pain point and they showed how they uniquely solve it. Mm-hmm. In a way that the alternative phone brand doesn’t. Yeah. It was really powerful and, and then you see others where they’re basically just done for the vanity of whoever’s producing.

The commercial and you leave it and you’re like, what do they do? Right, exactly. Like what is that brand about? Or Right. You see it and you’re like, Hey, I could swap out three of their competitor’s logos and they could run the same commercial. Mm-hmm. 

That’s very true. Yeah. I think a lot of times those brands that do the Super Bowl ads, they’re, you know, a lot of it is just more just the brand awareness and they’re looking for just, Shock value.

Not necessarily trying to tell a simple story, but they’re just looking to do something kind of outrageous. Do something that kind of catch your eyes, something that they know people may remember. They may not necessarily remember what the brand did, but they’re gonna remember that particular ad and be like, okay, wait a minute.

That was a really weird commercial. And then people may think back. 

So yeah, it’s, I think, but that, but there’s a role for that too. Like you take the, uh, the Super Bowl commercial. It’s a 2023 Super Bowl with Doritos. Yeah. Where they had that, that wrapper turn into a triangle play. Oh, yeah. Right, right. But only, but you put it through the filters.

Mm-hmm. Uh, are they telling, you know, are they, could you replace a competitive logo? Mm-hmm. No. Yeah. You really can’t. Yeah. Are they, are they sharing something very distinctive about that, about that brand? Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, but it still has the shock value in it because, They told us they, they told that story in a very clever way.

Mm-hmm. And I think, you know, to me it’s building blocks. If your brand is relatively new, sometimes you have to be a little bit more, a little bit more brass. You still wanna be attention getting, you still wanna be creative or if you wanna be bold in how you tell that story, but it’s building blocks to get to the point where you’re like a Doritos and able to pull something like that off.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. They, they can afford to take chances and just kind of do some things that are out of the box that don’t necessarily, like you said, Follow all of those rules per, so to speak. But yeah, unfortunately the not a lot of businesses are in that position where they can afford to blow, you know, millions of dollars and take a risk like that.

But yeah, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re all trying, striving to get there. Uh, yeah. Yeah. So, well, Adia, I, I was, I wanted to see, as we get ready to wrap up, if you could share some examples of some successful e-commerce brands that. You know, managed to kind of break through all of this noise and, and craft powerful messages that, you know, resonate with target customers and, you know, how do they achieve it?

Either these are either brands that you’ve worked with or that you’re just familiar with in general. 

Yeah. You know, I think rather than focus on the, on the brand in particular, if it’s okay, I’d like to share what I’ve seen as the characteristics Okay, sure. That have, have enabled the success. Mm-hmm. And I’ve seen, cuz I’ve seen, you’ve seen this play, you play play out across multiple brands.

I think one is patience. And so again, remember we’re trying to get people to do something new and different that they’re not doing currently doing. So you have to be patient. You can’t expect to turn something on and have it change. Change the world. Yeah. I had to embrace the same thing. I feel like not feel like the data shows we offer the best value in advertising in the world.

Mm-hmm. Yet it still takes time to build the business to where we think it can be. Yeah, and there’s still friction points that we are identifying and, and addressing. So you have to give things time. We, we read about these overnight success stories. Very rarely is anything really overnight or random.

Exactly. There is a lot that went into most of it. Every now and then somebody may catch lightning in a bottle. But there’s a lot of circumstances that contribute to that. True. And some of those are not out and not in our control. Yeah. So embrace the fact that it’s gonna take time to build to where you want to go, and, and that’s, that’s a key tenant.

Yeah. I think the second, the second key is move away from just thinking about cost per conversion. Mm-hmm. It’s really easy, you know, we’re in this world where everybody wants to measure everything. Everybody wants to know what the ROI and everything they’re doing is. It helps us feel like we’re making smarter decisions.

Mm-hmm. But here, How do you measure human influence? If I show you an ad for an e-commerce brand today, let’s just say I show you an ad for a new toothpaste brand, that’s e-commerce. Mm-hmm. I’ve got one in mind. As a matter of fact, I do great work and well, I’ve just stocked up on toothpaste. I don’t need anything today.

Mm-hmm. But maybe in three months when kind of that multi-pack I just bought at Costco runs out. I am in the market. How do you give credit to the ad I just saw in three months? Yeah. Or something you saw, you know, you a while ago. Mm-hmm. When I go make that purchase, that customer journey is long and winding and contains a lot of stops and friction points along the way.

Some in our control, some not in our control. So I think embracing the fact that. There is a journey and different metrics that happen before a conversion. Mm-hmm. And trying to be present and participate in different parts of that journey. That comes from how are you building awareness and just letting people know this is a brand that does this one thing distinctively.

Mm-hmm. To when they come to your website, how do you ensure it’s a very seamless experience where they can see those points of distinction and easily find answers? The common questions or. Or you utilize it as an opportunity to tell more of the story on why people should care. Still has to be simple though.

Yeah. And then how do you think about staying in front of them as they’re making their purchase consideration mm-hmm. Through the next month or two with remarketing, with utilizing other ad channels, with how do you create this? How do you create this where you’re almost surrounding ’em in different ways, not overwhelming ’em.

Mm-hmm. You don’t want ’em to see you 15 times a day cuz then you’re wasting money and not really moving the needle. Right. But how do you stay in front of ’em at some kind of an appropriate cadence up to that decision point? Mm-hmm. And there’s a lot of metrics that go into saying if you’re successful on that, that are not the cost per conversion.

Cost per conversion’s. Like I scored a touchdown. Yeah. But football coaches look at things. More than what plays score touchdowns. They look at for sure what plays get us a first down. What plays help us get four yards consistently on, first down, so we get in position to keep moving the chains. Mm-hmm.

It’s all about moving the chains and so think about your marketing strategy with that in mind. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Not the ultimate goal for everybody is to score a touchdown. Mm-hmm. But if you keep moving the chains, you’re eventually gonna score touchdowns. 

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that.

[00:31:38] And that really just kind of resonates with what you know, you initially said as far as. You know, taking all of these little things, you know, whether it’s you’re learning from customers or prospects, and then applying that to your business, any interaction that you have, and then just kind of moving the needle, moving that chain forward and forward.

So, yeah, it’s, you know, these days, like you said, everybody wants to just measure that roi and then a lot of times it’s, it’s hard to do, especially now because. There’s so many different touchpoints. There’s so many different channels that people are being exposed to. It’s really hard to really pin down somebody’s full customer journey and how they made certain decisions to the, when they got to you.

So yeah, that, that really. All that makes makes a a lot of sense for sure.

Yeah, and, and I will, I’ll share a little sneak preview for your, for your listeners. We are working on some pretty cool stuff that’ll help measure that, that you’ll see rollout. Okay. Okay. In the coming months. 

Okay, that sounds good.

Well, yeah, we’ll definitely keep our eye out. Well, this has been awesome, iy, Chad. I’ve definitely learned a lot and I know our listeners and viewers have as well. It’s great having you on. Lastly, before we do let you go, I always like to close things out and switch gears just a little bit so our audience can get to know you a little bit better.

You don’t mind sharing one closing fun fact about yourself that you think we’d be interested to know?

Yeah. Let’s see. A lot of people don’t know. I played violin in the Purdue Orchestra. Okay, awesome. I wasn’t very good. I sat in the back. Okay. But it opened the door to, I ended up teaching myself a few other musical instruments that I really enjoyed.

Enjoy playing from, you know, from piano to guitar to Okay. Some others. Okay. So I love, I love that there was a period of time I wanted to be, I thought I wanted to be a musician, but Okay. I, I think I, I elected to go to corporate route instead. 

Gotcha, gotcha. Well, that’s awesome. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that.

Yeah. It’s, you know, I’m not a musician myself, but, uh, I know what it takes, you know, to take on an instrument and learn it. Yeah. It’s definitely, you know, it takes a lot for sure. You know, a lot of practice from what I see. Well, yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. Well, lastly, before we do let you go, if you don’t mind sharing the best way for our listeners and viewers to, to contact you if they wanna reach out and, and pick your brain anymore about really anything, additional marketing.

Yeah. You know, I think there, there, I’ll, I’ll throw two options out there. Mm-hmm. One is, you know, visit our website, a warty.com, A A R I T y.com and on the top right, you can just schedule a demo Okay. Of our. Of our, of our platform. Okay? It’s a 15 minute demo, show you how it works, and then coming out of that, we learn enough about your business that we can even put together a proposal and talk to you about what you can, what, what we could possibly do to help get you in front of new, new customers.

There’s no obligation, okay? We’re just here to democratize advertising. So if somebody sees it and it’s not right for them, we’ll be the first to tell you it’s, hey. We’re not sure we can help you or your resources might be better spent in another area right now. Okay. But if you’re curious to see how we can help go there, and then something special for your listeners, if you go to a warty.com/slash theif mm-hmm.

We’ll provide a free marketing assessment for you. All I have to do is fill out the form there and we’ll provide a free assessment of what you’re doing in marketing and give you some thoughts and some actionable next steps. 

Okay, great, great. Those are some awesome items. Thank you for offering that.

We’ll definitely include the links to both of those on our, in the show notes as well as on our website so people can get really good access. Easy access to that. Well, well thank you for sharing that. We definitely appreciate having you on, and thank you for coming on the e-Commerce Marketing Podcast.

Thank you so much for having me on. Yes, it’s been a pleasure. 

Podcast Guest Info

Aditya Varanasi
Executive Officer at Awarity