Friday Jan 13, 2023

Planning in Q4 - EP-049

Blake Beus  0:00  
q4 advertising like Black Friday just happened. Everybody's gearing up for q4. And you you were saying? You're getting asked a lot of questions about how to plan and prepare for the holiday season?

Greg Marshall  0:15  
Well, you know, in a lot of ways we all of us adults never quite fully grow up. Now, let me explain to you how I remember in school when you had a paper and you knew that paper was going to be due months in advance, but then you wait to the last minute to do it. Similar to the advertising strategies, and q4. If you're trying to do it in q4, it's too late and too expensive. No. And I actually recommend if you're going to do you should be planning your q4 advertising. Now for next year, yeah, right. So I usually advise my clients, they should be investing the most money possible in the month of January to about June to July. And the reason why I advise that is because that's when ad costs are the lowest. And ad costs are the most expensive, and q4. So what you want to do is you want to invest heavy early on, build up a big email list text messages, customer base, retargeting audiences. And then when q4 comes, you can keep your ad spent either the same, or even drop it and invest more into sending out the texts and emails. That's how you'll get fantastic returns.

Blake Beus  1:28  
Right? So and a lot of people don't don't think about this and don't think about what you're how our ad costs calculated. And so I always tell people, it's kind of like the stock market if you're bidding on on sets of eyeballs. Yep. Right. And so the more people that want those sets of eyeballs, the higher the cost is because you have to bid more. Yep. To get that attention. And so if you understand that concept, then you can plan based on seasonal thing. Yeah. But so yeah, you're you're saying spend more, put your dial in your strategy. Do all of that from July, with January, sorry, January to July ish. So you have everything down? Exactly. build your email list, because email, email marketing is cheap. Yeah, this is why it has such a high ROI. Yep.

Greg Marshall  2:17  
And email, text message, all that stuff, drives the most repeat purchases the most sales and and you pay the lowest amount. And you have to look at as you're investing for q4 early on. Yeah. And if you wait too long, your list will be too small. Your retargeting audiences will be too small, and you won't be able to capitalize on q4. And this is when most people want to really make things happen. So I feel like investing heavy, January especially, is a good idea. So yeah, I personally think January investing in January is the most important simply because that's almost a hangover, all the spin of q4, everyone leaves the market. And so then this your CPMs your ad costs will go down. You're just not competing with as many people as you are, right now the month of November and this specially November, right? Because of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Blake Beus  3:23  
So what do you like? Like, because the other thing I talked with people about? And I want to get your thoughts on this? Because I don't think we've talked about this specifically. But should should part of your planning process include what offers you're going to offer in q4, and then also in q1 next year or whatever. And yeah, what do you recommend people? How do you recommend people think about those offers? Everybody's looking for a deal on Friday? What like How should people structure

Greg Marshall  3:49  
those? Well, I still think you should come up with your offers, and then that will actually drive who you want to advertise to anyways, right? Because you want to make sure you have the list of people that would be attracted to those offers. And then when you think about offers, you have to think like, you know, let's say you're in retail, right? Or you're you're you're selling clothing or products, physical products, you have to think like Okay, can I get shipments in on time? Yeah, to make sure I have enough volume and stuff to sell. What is seasonal? Like, what is popular during that time? What are people like, willing to spend more on or less on? What are your biggest profit margins and really think that through? Because if you do instead of a last minute trying to think of a deal, you never make your best decisions. Last minute, like thinking about, I need to hurry up, put some out there. Instead, think about the offers away in advance and just think, what is it that I if I had like I have a client right now. I did a great job over the summer of planning on getting the inventory that she needs now to sell to basically not prevent her from scaling it up. And she's out At this most you did $100,000 in sales with this product. And before we've kind of done that multiple months, multiple times in the past, but we couldn't because we didn't have the inventory. But we use this strategy of planning out our offer is going to be this product when Black Friday heads on Christmas heads. And we did all that over the summer. Right.

Blake Beus  5:23  
And I think that's even more important now. Because ever since COVID, kind of hit we've had domino effects in lots of different areas in supply chain. Yep. Like getting products in and orders in and it hasn't been just COVID. It was. It's, it's been a bunch of things. But I mean, even even now I walk into Target. They're fully stocked here, Utah, except for there's some things they just don't have. Yep. And so yeah, that's that's a really good point to think about. What do you think about the people that do will do anybody? Does anybody ever come to you and say, hey, I want to want to run these ads, it's going to be a loss leader item, I don't even care if we lose money on this offer in q4. Is that a good strategy?

Greg Marshall  6:07  
Well, I mean, it'd be a great strategy. Not too many people approached me with that idea, because most people are thinking more short term, which is usually the problem. But I think it'd be a great strategy, if you have a product that's very popular, that you could use as a loss leader to prepare you for the following year, where you have a huge customer base of people that you know, buy these types of products, and then you're able to market to them next year, make your profit. But like I said, I think it's a good strategy. But you do have to have a strategy during these times. The companies that crush it, are the ones that have a strategy way in advance of thinking of all the clients that are doing very, very well, this month, and most likely next month. We have talked about their offers, like like I'm recommending over the summer, right? Like, what are we going to do during these months to absolutely like, yeah, crush it. So if you're not doing that, start now. Like it's not too late to start for next year, even though that feels like a lot of years go by like that.

Blake Beus  7:08  
Yeah. And I think like, I I struggle preparing and planning long term. Sure. Right. And so one of the tricks that I do is, is, when I whenever I think of I wish I would have done that for this year, I write that down. And then I scheduled an appointment for myself, a few months down the road when I need to, like address that. But But then I remember the things that that I should be doing. Yeah, I

Greg Marshall  7:36  
think it's also important to think long term, you know, I'm constantly preaching that because long term will be more cost effective for you as well, because then you're not wasting money, which is a lot of advertisers fear, you're not misusing it in a way that you're getting the lowest amount of returns, or you're just not positioning your company in the way that is best. Right? So if you plan and think about long term, you'll save a whole bunch of money, and a whole bunch of stress because then you're not stressing. Yeah. And the fourth quarter with oh, man, I have to do this. But I don't know if I have the funds or I don't know if I have the list or I don't know if I have this right.

Blake Beus  8:13  
Well, in total, the one thing I wanted to say in regards to the loss leader is if you don't have a plan to make the money back a loss leader is a bad idea. Yeah, like a really bad idea. And traditionally, Black Friday sales, I went Black Friday shopping, literally one time in my life, and I'm never doing it again. It was awful. But the companies that do the loss leader in it works is they know, I have this product that will get people in the store and then they'll buy other stuff where my profit margins are way higher, and it will work out. Yep. Whereas a lot of smaller advertisers, they think well, hey, Target and Walmart Costco are doing that. Yep, I should do that, too. Again, we talked about this all the time, there's different strategies for for different stages of business. Yep. And if you're a small business, and you're still working up your your, you know, strategy your offers and things like that, I think, I think something like a loss loss leader is a bad idea. Unless you have enough profit runway to make something like that work. You can do flash sale for a couple of days or something like that. But you you have to have that plan. And if you want to do a loss leader on Black Friday, or Cyber Monday or whatever, I would plan on then following up via email or something else with another great offer. That you could also have deeply discounted but since you're you're emailing it to people, instead of paying for ads, your margins are going to be significantly better. Oh, yeah.

Greg Marshall  9:44  
And I think it would do you it will do good to just start today, obsessing about repeat purchases. How do I get people to buy more often and more stuff? Because that's where other money is made, it's not on that first sale. Anyone who's trying to make profits just on like one sale one offer only, you're gonna have a very difficult time. Because at cost just, you know, you just do the math, it's just not going to work out. You have to have a game plan on how can I sell these people over and over and over again, think about like, Starbucks people go there every day, right? And so what's the lifetime value of that customer? Who knows they're spending $10 per day $70 to 80 a month, that's 3360 a year 10 years? That's $33,000. That person just spent just on coffee, right? And maybe you acquire it for 250 bucks. It's a fantastic investment. Yeah. If you think that way, how do I just keep getting people to, to do repeat purchases, that's how you're going to make your money, it's not going to be off of one offs, like, Hey, I have a cool deal. Sell this. And let me just try to sell this, you got to have a plan. And you have to be thinking of structuring your business to like, I know a lot of I've heard podcasts is and I agree. If you only have one product or offer, you don't have a business, you just have an offer of businesses, can they buy more and more stuff from you? Over and over again? Yeah, that's, that's, in my opinion, what you should be focused on. So become obsessed with repeat purchase,

Blake Beus  11:20  
right? And keep in mind, like if this is your business, you get to make your own rules, you can create new products all the time. Yep. If you're, if you're an E commerce company, that doesn't mean you always have to only sell physical items, you could maybe make an offer for some sort of a digital item, or it doesn't mean that all of your items need to be custom, maybe you make, maybe you find a way to bundle your items with something that's high value, but low effort for you, like I don't know, um, stickers, right, or maybe a digital add on for free that that they get with their purchase or something like that. There's lots of different ways to think about it. I was talking with a guy here locally that he has a CNC machine, right, so we can load up things and haven't carved stuff out. And he's done some really cool stuff, some some relief, 3d Relief maps and stuff like that. But he found this way, he can make these kind of ski signs and he can customize them. And he developed a system to do it very quickly, without a lot of effort on his part, the CNC machine does most of the work and the the materials are pretty low, low cost. And even though he does these really big expensive things he can sell these for for relatively cheap, making for people make them really quick and they're low, low effort, but high value for people because people love love having them in their in their home and everything. Get creative is what I'm getting, because this guy has traditionally done metal prints of his own photography on creative works, which is a lot of effort, but he does well at it. But he found a way to use us to use a similar, you know, creative outlet to make this thing that is low cost, low effort. high margin. Yeah, for him. Yep. And always keep looking for those kinds of things.

Greg Marshall  13:18  
Right, I think. And higher margins, obviously always help when you're doing advertising. And I was just thinking of a client and we should definitely do an episode on the benefits of high ticket when you're doing paid traffic. But this gentleman, I won't say the exact product. But he had a very high price product that he intentionally price it that way to knock it down during this time of the year. Okay. And it's a nice product see? It? It did awesome. Bunch of people bought a very expensive product directly from ads, just because it was knocked off at 50%, which was part of the strategy from the get go.

Blake Beus  14:02  
Right? So he's showing these ads for people at the regular price. Yep. And then come this time of year 50% off so all the people that didn't buy Yep. are like oh man that I've been seeing it for this price. And I know this is actually a good deal.

Greg Marshall  14:17  
Yep. Yeah, so basically prep them right all year, prep them to see this price point. Then Black Friday came and we cut it in half. Yeah. And the conversion rate was like, yeah, like everyone, like as soon as they saw they're just buying it because they just do it's like anything else. It's like someone said I have a 2023 Ferrari on sale for $22,000. You better believe that definitely is gonna sell out like this, right? Because it's perceived value is really high. So you knocked the price down really low for a limited time. You're gonna get a lot of action,

Blake Beus  14:50  
but you got to know your numbers. You've got to know your margins. You've got to have a plan

Greg Marshall  14:54  
and he also did it to where the profit margin even at 50% off was massive. Yeah. So it was still a huge problem

Blake Beus  15:03  
and you in you can definitely do that if you have a plan and you think it through. So anyway, let's wrap this one up. Yeah, right here. Greg, how can people get in touch with you?

Greg Marshall  15:12  
Greg You can go ahead and book a free strategy session call everybody,

Blake Beus  15:16  
just Blake

Greg Marshall  15:18  
All right, so next time see you later. Bye.


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