How to Navigate Performance Marketing and Data Analytics as an Art and Science - Ettitude | EP. #74
On this 74th episode of The E-Comm Show, our host, and BlueTuskr CEO Andrew Maff is with Chelsea Schulz of Ettitude, a fabric innovation company, and lifestyle brand selling sustainable bamboo-made products.
Coming from an analytical background, Chelsea is natural when it comes to data analytics. With experience in tech services, Chelsea now uses her profound experience and knowledge of data to do performance marketing for Ettitude. Listen to this episode of The E-Comm Show to learn about how to do traffic campaigns, A/B testing, and retargeting ads.
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How to Navigate Performance Marketing and Data Analytics as an Art and Science - Ettitude
Andrew Maff and Chelsea Schulz
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Chelsea is a marketing leader with an analytical background. She started her career in data analytics, later pivoting to a hands-on leadership approach to use those data-led insights to help companies grow. With experience in tech services, working with giants such as Ask.com, Match.com, and LegalZoom, she is now living in the eCommerce world with attitude (a fabric innovation company that sells the best bamboo bed sheets).
Get the end of the day. We know who we are. I've edited we know what we like, we know what visuals resonate with us. And that's who we want our audience to be.
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Welcome to the E-Comm Show, presented by BlueTuskr, the number one place to hear the inside scoop from other ecommerce experts. They share their secrets on how they scaled their business and are now living the dream. Now, here's your host, Andrew Maff.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The E-Comm Show. I'm your host, Andrew Maff. And today I am joined by the amazing Chelsea Schulz of Ettitude, who is the director of performance marketing, they're super excited to dig into this one Chelsea is ready for a good show.
Hi, I'm so excited to be here. This is gonna be awesome.
I love your whole role and everything you're all about. So this is gonna we're gonna end up needing out on data analytics and marketing. And this is gonna be fantastic. But before we end up going down that road, why don't I give you an opportunity here, to let everyone know, you know a little bit more about your background, who you are, and what your role is in attitude? And we'll kind of take it from there.
Yeah, awesome. So I am Chelsea Schultz. I am the director of performance marketing at attitude. brief intro of attitude. We are a sustainable textile innovation company, which is super fancy. I love talking about the attitude because our co-founders created these really gorgeous, beautiful textiles. These are stunning fabrics, super soft, and super silky. And we actually sell them as the DC side for bedding. So we have bedding linens, we have towels and bath robes, and really beautiful loungewear. And we're really putting out new fabrics every year. And right now our current fabrics are made out of bamboo. And they're just beautiful, beautiful if you struggle with sleeping, like I cannot say enough good things about our bedding. But all of that being said, I actually started my career in data and analytics, I went to my undergrad for actuarial science, where I worked in the insurance world for a few years and absolutely hated it. So I pivoted over to Data and analytics and marketing, and really fell in love with the marketing world wanted to be hands-on and went from kind of the data background into performance marketing, and growth marketing, where I was diving into sem campaigns, I was diving into direct mail and direct mail was really big. And obviously now Facebook and social media where I'm really ramping up, you know, the growth of the company and based on data and analytics. So I love what I do I get really nerdy about any sort of data and insights and marketing and creativity. I love it all. So I'm super happy to be here and talking about it.
Beautiful. Thank you for that. Okay, where do I begin? So, performance marketing is often sometimes thrown around a little bit, I've heard it, and the way you just described your role is how I would also describe that role. However, I've heard it as like if you're a marketer, thus, it's performance marketing, which I don't entirely agree with. However, so attitude, not a small brand, you guys are clearly, you know, well over the eight-figure mark so or annually. So obviously, you have to, you're probably working with some pretty good sized budgets, and you've obviously got on the data to go through with from a performance marketing side. And from a data-driven side, especially, as you mentioned, from the social media advertising side, that's a lot more of an art and science than the SEM side. So how do you kind of look at the data that kind of involves the art aspect of that as well?
That's such a good question. I feel like we have been diving into what is good for our brands this last year and like what is the visual and the creative and what do we want to put in front of our customers that like really resonates with us as attitude like what does it mean for us as a brand and is that the best creative in general to put in front of an audience or are we only focused on saying like, I these sheets now with these Kathy bold colors and like, weird click Beatty, we shy away from all of the click Beatty stuff. There's so much marketing, I think that you can do that entices people to buy. But it's like weird, spammy marketing. And I really encourage my team to shy away from that, like, at the end of the day, we know who we are in attitude, we know what we like, we know what visuals resonate with us. And that's who we want our audience to be. So we're really brand forward and brand focused and making sure that everything is through our brand blends of, you know, we want it to perform, we want things to have, you know, that revenue growth tied to them. But it still has to be edited at the end of the day. So it is really hard to have that balance there to make sure that, you know, you're making everything look as good as you want it to be. And then also have that revenue growth and that performance of it. But we use a data attribution platform that we can just really dive into each of the creatives to see also how it impacts the customer journey, as well. Like, if something more branded helps the customer come back to us. You know, maybe in a few weeks, maybe they're thinking about us later on. And they're not buying right away, but they're coming back to us after they've done some research. And maybe they have a better lifetime value. So we're now using those data and insights to really drive that paid-up messaging, and really figure out what attitude is when it comes to creative and put that in front of our best audience so we can merge that performance and that beauty of our brand.
What, a data attribution tool? Are you using it? I know there are several out there is that something you guys made custom?
Oh, I would love it if we could make something custom. But we are actually we are using North beam. I feel like they're newer on the scene. But we really love them so far. And their attribution platform really learns with you and your data. So it's not like a one size fits all attribution model. It's actually like learning from your touch points and your customer behavior. And we also use Shopify, and they integrate really well with Shopify, which I love.
Yeah, it was, that was my next question because I know you guys are on Shopify, but tends to be on the attribution side, we get a lot of sellers that are like, Oh, we're on Triple whale, and then a handful that are on high ropes, and it's already high risk. I think that's I say, our heroes, but uh, that's interesting. NorthBay love to check that one. I've heard that one. Yeah. So one of the things I wanted to ask you because to have a, your role, which is, to me like, deep, deep data diving, obviously, extremely necessary, in my opinion for every business. However, in E-commerce, the thing that I always find very interesting, especially in your category is that you're in bedding, right? The way you explained it, in the beginning, was fantastic. And I immediately was like, Okay, I gotta reevaluate all of my bedding. But that's a tough message to portray online. If you can't feel the textile, you can't like, try it for a night. Like, what? So what are some of the tactics that you have to get over that initial hurdle of you know, them wanting to try it before they do anything?
Yeah, to be honest, this is something that I feel like everyone struggles with. As an online seller, it is so hard when you're not having people touch something. Maybe in the fashion world, it's try something on which is what we saw with like our loungewear like people really want to experience fabrics and what they're purchasing to make sure that that's what they want to have at the end of the day. And for our bedding, we actually offer a 30-night risk-free trial. So all of your bedding, like you can buy it, try it and we promise you that you'll love it. And if you don't have it, send it back to us. And we are a sustainable focus company. So I always kind of like caveat this with when you return your sheets to us. It's not like they're going to the landfill like a lot of companies are. We have eCommerce and reinvention programs in place. Like especially in Australia, if you send our fabrics back to us, we can donate them and create something for animal shelters. So at least those fabrics are going somewhere to like a help guide something else other than going in the landfill. So that's why I really love promoting our slave trial because it's kind of the best of both worlds. Nothing's getting thrown away. But if you don't like it, you don't like it. You send it back to us or We promise you that you'll love it. So that's why we really stand by our trial so you can sleep in it. I think that sleep is such a hard thing for a lot of people, I feel like most people say like, Hey, I struggle with sleep, I don't wake up great in the morning. Am I every single attitude employee only sleeps on attitude sheets, like we are 100% full force in love with what products we put out in the world, which makes it really fun to market to because we're all obsessed with the product? But it is very hard to put that information in front of people to have them feel justified to make that final purchase, especially since our price point is a little higher. So if you are really struggling to make that decision of like, Yes, I'm gonna buy these sheets versus going to a target, maybe buying a $30 set of sheets, there's a lot of information that we have to put in front of you, which is why we brought on that attribution partner. So we can see how these customer behaviors happen over time, knowing that we introduce our products, mostly on Facebook, we educate them on the website, will maybe re-educate them through YouTube, or a tick-tock video or something that's like a little bit more fun and engaging. And then have your purchase but have the, I guess, like the background of this risk-free trial to really feel like you can jump into that purchase. But we do know there are a lot of touch points in our customer journey, which makes it really hard. But we're educating along the way.
Nice. You mentioned a couple of things there that I know. We're gonna get a lot of questions about it. So paid advertising, in general, is everyone's favorite thing to talk about. Because it's an easy, quick win, right? Like you spend the money you make the money. That's it. It's not like SEO or just like traditional social that takes time. Like, it's not an investment in the future as it is from a revenue standpoint, but it's like renting the space for now. So it's very quick wins, right? So you mentioned that you're mostly, it sounds like most of the top of the funnel from an advertising perspective is from Facebook, and then you're re-educating them on other platforms. So are you only retargeting off Facebook and Instagram? Or are you also doing more prospecting-focused campaigns on other platforms?
We are the very prospecting focus but do have all of those retargeting efforts in place. We also think when it comes to education, a lot really weighs on your email journeys and your welcome flows. So we have a very robust email program, and we have one individual really focused on our retention, just like making sure that all of that information that you want to know about our products before and after your purchase is given to you. So that I think is very crucial to have it in place, even before you spend any ad dollars. Because that's pretty much your best retargeting program if you have a welcome flow that is before the purchase point. If you're collecting an email or anything like that, so we have that in place. We do have a lot of retargeting efforts both on like Google, on Facebook, and then like prospecting across a ton of different, you know, social media channels. And Google as well is really good for us for prospecting. It's really hard. I feel like a lot of people are shopping directly through Google Now, as well as on Facebook. But with Google, I think people are just a little bit more. I need this right now. And it's a really interesting behavior. People as I think are aspirational when they're on social, where they're thinking about like, oh, this would look great in my room, I should purchase this or this would look great on me, I should purchase. Well, I will Google is more of a need of like, I need this thing right now. Or this is filling a need I have, but I need a replacement for it. So we know that those behaviors are a little bit different. Even though they're both prospecting audiences for us.
Yeah, I always kind of put Google almost as if you're actively going to a store to buy something. And then Facebook is kind of like when you go to Target and you walk out with 500 Other things you didn't know. Yes, yeah. It's kinda like, you know, Google, they're actively looking for a solution to a problem that they know they have. Whereas on Facebook, you're presenting them with stuff that they may not have been thinking about at the time. So that's usually why I see like, Facebook's cost per click might be lower, but the conversion rate is much lower. However, your Google cost per click is higher, but your conversion rates are also higher. So you kind of have to like, Wait, you're too. But so something else you had mentioned there about, you know, your welcome series and everything you have, after your once actually someone converts, at least from an email, all of your advertising, I imagine, from a social standpoint, at least, is it all with the goal of getting them to purchase or is there also Hey, we have some gated content of you know, whatever, like maybe not an ebook or something like that. But something downloadable, just to get that email to put them in that flow.
Right now, we don't have any of the gated content, like the ebooks. But what we do is we have a few campaigns that we are driving just to that email, welcome flow, because we do educate not only about like our products, but our fabrics, and like why bamboo is better as a fabric than cotton. And then having that explanation and a welcome flow. So we'll drive some traffic audiences. And I feel like traffic when you're talking about campaigns on social media is such a like, hated concept. I don't know, like, people seem so angry. If I, if I help people that like we're driving traffic campaigns like they lose their mind, I feel like people think that it's too expensive. But if you're putting something in front of your audience you know that you're targeting the right group of people that you can retarget them as overall web visitors. I just don't see that this is something that we can lose on and we have been running a traffic campaign for Facebook driving to or an email flow, just having them sign up and saying, like, look, we're gonna tell you all about our fabrics. And like what you should expect, we'll give you a discount code, given just kind of like the basic stuff, and people sign up and people purchase at a great rate. So it's, I guess, not a best practice. But it's something that we have found that is successful for us. So we just use that as an education point to get people in the door. So we can like really drive that education home.
Yeah. I love that. Did you say that? Because Okay, so we've done a bunch of traffic campaigns to write. And so my thought was, you know, you had the iOS change what, like two or three years ago at this point, or whatever it was. And what I realized was, obviously, everyone's doing lookalike audiences, Facebook's just leveraging your third-party data. And I was like, alright, well, why don't we just use Facebook's first-party data, if someone is going to click on something, or they're going to watch a video, there's no limitation on the iOS, their Facebook knows it. So we actually did the same thing. We started doing a lot of traffic campaigns, and essentially just focused on Okay, let's make sure we have a really strong retargeting. If they're watching the video, or they're clicking. That's just another retargeting audience to work with. But those traffic campaigns, those costs per click are way lower than if you're targeting purchases or something. So it's kind of like we don't even need to use as much budget. So I completely agree. I love that I'm not the only one doing that. Because otherwise, I mean, like, maybe I'm not doing this, right. Yeah,
absolutely. And there's so much data that for us, we're bringing them into a, like I said, our welcome flow, we can actually track you know, in play Do you can see those audience lists and know how many people are purchasing? So if you have that campaign split out in Facebook, or whatever platform it is, say, a Pinterest that you're driving traffic into your welcome flow, you have that welcome flow audience split out of like this as our social media, you know, your costs, you know, your orders, you can back out that cost per order and make sure that it matches the rest of your goals. And if it doesn't, okay, then maybe that doesn't work for you, you can shut it off. But we tested this time and time again. And every time it came into a positive target for us, where it was like, there's no reason not to do this, even though people still like me, I feel like I see a lot of content about marketing on Instagram and Tiktok. And everyone's like, never run a traffic campaign. They're the worst kind of campaigns. And like, I don't think that's true. If we did that you probably messed up on your targeting whether or not Facebook knew who you were going after. Maybe your targeting was too broad. Maybe it wasn't broad enough. And like you need to figure that out. Because I bet to anything it would work if you have an enticing, like remarketing flow, like as we've been saying, so yeah, I love that someone agrees with us. We can battle like No, no, I'm sticking to my targeting campaign. So
you say that because that's like, you know, all we do is marketing. So it's a running joke with us internally of finding these guru coach guys, posts, and stuff. If Instagram was like, Don't read, don't do traffic, or don't do this and don't do that. I'm like, that's not right. You're wrong. Yeah. And that's why you're selling courses and peddling your Instagram stuff. But so you mentioned, you mentioned Pinterest, you mentioned Tik Tok. So obviously, you guys have ventured out of the traditional Facebook Instagram stuff, when you're going into a new platform, where you've got data, obviously, from the Facebook, Instagram side, and what's working and what's not. But you're still going to Pinterest, which obviously creative, there's different, you go to tick tock, which is very different, in some cases, what is your approach when you're going into a new platform on how to start that testing process?
Oh, great question. I feel like there's so much time that our team takes of dislike slip with stepping back and being like, if I am browsing this, what would I want to see? And it's nice when, you know, you kind of are your target audience for the product or whatever you're selling. So I get that not everyone can do that. But at least for me, I can kind of sit back and look at, let's say, the Pinterest feed and say this is me, I am our target audience. What would stand out to me? What would make me enticed to click on this or learn more or even remember, and come back at a later date? So our team brainstorms a lot when we're talking about a new launch of like, what would we want to see and really just leveraging both our creative team brand team and our other like marketers paid marketers that we have just to say, what would you like to see what would be enticing? I also heavily recommend leaning on a rep for that platform, if you have the opportunity to do so. I feel like right now, a lot of companies are pulling back on ad spend. So most of these platforms are either offering deals or specific launch support. So if you need to harass like, customer service at Pinterest, or whatever it may be for three weeks before you get someone to answer you, you might want to do that, because leveraging their team and just sitting down with them to say, this is the audience I have. This is the campaign setup. These are the creatives, what are your thoughts? Before you go live, I think is such a valuable tool to have, that I always have all of our reps double-check everything before we launch it, because they see everything like they know the ins and outs of the new launch. So we really rely heavily on those reps to make sure that we're doing the best practices, and then also just coordinating within our team. But also like a big part of it. As we're kind of a smaller team, I report directly to our co-founders, I want to make sure that our co-founders are really in on this and like have buy-in and support us. So all say like, we need to make sure that we have $10,000 of the budget set aside for Pinterest testing this one. And we may lose absolutely all of it and get nothing back. But that is the risk that we want to take. Because we want to have enough data to see what the actual outcome was. And sometimes with our latency, we'll run something for a month, pause it, and wait to see if anything else came through. And that latency time period, through our final recap of how it performed, and then determine whether or not there should be an evergreen or always-on campaign understanding that latency and how it impacts the rest of our channels. Which, again, going back to those data tools is such a valuable thing to have. So you can follow that customer journey. But I just I personally really enjoy having the buy-in of all of our teams to make sure that that's a space we want to be in. And that's exactly how we want to promote our brand. But I do say it's a little easy for me because I am the person that I'm trying to target.
I love to hear you say all of that because it's a common thing that we hear with other sellers when we're working with them of testing out a new platform first-year reference of you know, putting 10,000 aside and saying you may get nothing. I'm also a very conservative person with everything in my business. And I always go into something saying I'm spending this expecting zero except data. And then I'm just going to see what happens. And that's I love that. You know, that's your same approach because the other side of that too is if you start that budget too low on a new platform, it's going to take you got much longer to figure out if it's working. You basically have to go in with like a buy-in of, okay, we're going to test out this platform, it's gonna cost me this, and I may get nothing, but I'm gonna learn whether it's going to even have a chance or not. So yeah, I love that approach.
Yeah. All right. Give a little example here as we ran Pinterest ads during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, we were like in the week, or like launching a whole bunch of stuff and was like, let's just pop something up on Pinterest. I'm really curious whether or not this will work for us. So we threw something up on Pinterest for ads. They performed well, they hit the target CPA that we went after. And we had a lot of questions from the rest of our team of like, after Black Friday, Cyber Monday, we shut off the ads. And everyone was like, Well, we know that that works. Like why aren't we really continuing to run it? And I was like, there are two things here. One, we know that seasonality dips right after Black Friday. So if someone bought something, they're not buying really the first like two weeks of December, so it was like, kind of want to pull back on everything anyway. So that's the first thing. But it was like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is a totally different deal than the rest of the year, I was like we you know, we have proven that this is a good sales channel for us, potentially, and I will like even that has like a caveat on it of like, Labor Day might perform poorly in comparison, just because there's, you know, fewer people in the middle of that shopping behavior. So even though we technically tested something that had this huge success for us, it was a huge success in such a small area. And I was like, this doesn't really relate to Evergreen, we're going to have to retest it, we're going to have to see what that seasonality is like for that platform throughout the year. So I feel like sometimes my team thinks that I'm such a downer when it comes to testing. Because all of our recaps when it comes to a new platform. I'm like, Yes, this is great. But XYZ here is all of the reasons why this data is like this. So we can remember that and put that into further testing. Because I promise you, there's nothing worse than saying something is successful for you and going full speed into that thing, when you haven't had the proper testing, and it will just bomb. And then everyone is asking questions like, what did you do? How did you not know this? I was like, yeah, now it's like, okay, you really got to think of all of the reasons why your test was winning. Before you can say, this is something that we fully want to roll out. And it kind of does make you seem like a downer when you're having those chapters. I love having those conversations, because I'm like, Look, you're thinking about all of the outcomes. You're constantly testing and learning to make sure that you're always doing what's best for the company. And nothing is just a given of like, oh, we should always be there, you should always be considering why you're there. And like whether or not that channel continues to perform within seasonality within changes in brand. There are so many different changes that your company goes through. So it feels like you just have to continue testing and learning and really stick with that mentality.
I agree. Chelsea, thank you so much for that I don't want to take up any more of your time. That was everything. I was hoping that they thank you so much. I'd love to give the opportunity here to let everyone know where they can find out more about you and obviously more about attitude.
Yeah, absolutely. You should go to editor.com and check out our wonderful products. That is ettitue.com It's eco attitude if that helps you remember, but definitely please come to our website. If you want to email me it's email@example.com and you can find me on LinkedIn at Chelsea Schulz.
Perfect Chelsea thank you so much for being on the show. Obviously, everyone who tuned in thank you as well you know the usual drill rate review, subscribe, all that fun stuff on whichever podcast platform you want, or head over to the ecommshow.com to watch all our previous episodes or listen to them, whatever you for what as usual. Thank you all for joining us and we will see you all next time.
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