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Katya Allison

Director of Marketing
Content at GRIN

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GRIN Gets Real

About GRIN Gets Real

Welcome to the GRIN gets real podcast, the show for people who want to maximize their marketing potential. From influencer marketing to eCommerce strategy and everything in between, each episode will feature industry experts that share their insights and provide actionable tips to help you achieve your marketing goals. Subscribe and stay tuned!

Subscribe GRIN Gets Real S2, Ep 24 featured image with Jordan West

Leveraging Ambassadors for Effective Marketing with Jordan West at Mindful Marketing

In this episode:

Jordan West

Agency Owner of Mindful Marketing Co

In 2019 we started the podcast “secrets to scaling your e-commerce brand” which is now in the top 50 business/marketing podcasts in multiple countries including Canada and the United States. I love connecting with people, so please connect. (I do have a no a**holes policy though, so don’t connect if that’s you.)

I talk all about scaling businesses using paid ads on “Secrets To Scaling Your E-Commerce Brand”.

GRIN Gets Real S2, Ep 24 featured image with Jordan West

Full episode details

On today’s episode, host Katya Allison is joined by Jordan West, Agency Owner of Mindful Marketing Co., for a conversation about how ambassador communities can act as a valuable marketing tool.

In working with brand ambassadors, Jordan recommends keeping a few important concepts in mind:

  • Ambassadors and influencers are not synonymous, and they should be treated differently.
  • Paying ambassadors often doesn’t encourage real commitment to the brand.
  • Ambassadors should be self-selected from the very bottom of the marketing funnel.
  • Before building an ambassador program, create a VIP customer group where ambassadors can be cultivated.
  • Leverage direct communication with your ambassadors through a platform like Slack.
  • Ambassadors are just one marketing channel and should be used in conjunction with other traditional marketing methods.

Effective marketing with brand ambassadors

A strong ambassador program is an underutilized marketing tool that can build customer loyalty and cultivate an organic community.

#Content #influencermarketing #ecommerce #creatormanagement

If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave a review and subscribe so you never miss an episode. For more information and links to all of the resources mentioned in today’s episode, visit Grin.co.

Quotes from the episode

Jordan West quote about effective marketing with headshot

“We want people to make sure that they feel like they’re a part of something.”

-Jordan West

“We have great connections with a bunch of different brands. We leverage those relationships to do giveaways with our ambassador program.”

-Jordan West

“Brands who do not have at least three legs on their sales stool are going to lose. It makes for a wobbly stool.”

-Jordan West

Katya Allison (Host) (00:02):

Welcome to the GRIN Gets Real Podcast, a show for marketers by marketers, to talk shop and share insights on the ever-changing landscape of the digital world. My name is Katya, and I am your host on this exciting journey as we talk to our experts who join us. GRIN is the number one creator management platform designed for that next generation of brands who recognizes that in the creator economy, authenticity is everything. To get insight on how GRIN can help you manage your creator strategy, visit grin.co. That’s G-R-I-N.C-O. Now, my guest today is Jordan West. He’s an e-commerce investor, CEO, and CMO of multiple companies, including upGrowth Commerce and The Kindred Studio, to name a few.

(00:51):

He started his marketing career at 22 when he bought a Taco Del Mar chain restaurant, and after five years tripled the sales at the restaurant with his creative marketing tactics. Now, he and his wife also grew their children’s clothing company, Little & Lively, from a small at home operation to one of the top 10 baby brand stores in Canada with, again, his advanced digital marketing techniques. Jordan’s business passion is helping e-commerce brands grow exponentially. Put your AirPods in, turn up that volume, and get ready for my guest today, Jordan West. Jordan, welcome to the GRIN Gets Real Podcast. Super excited to have you on here today.

Jordan West (Guest) (01:34):

Yes, thanks so much for having me. Really looking forward to this conversation. I’m hoping I’m going to be able to bring some knowledge that people don’t have yet. That’s my real hope for today.

Katya Allison (Host) (01:45):

Well, this is exactly why I’m having you on here. I know before we even got this booked, one of the things that we really dove deep into was just kind of your ambassador community that you have, you have two different versions, and then just kind of some marketing strategies for product launches that you have found to be really successful. But before we even dive into that, let’s lay the groundwork, the foundation, if you will. Tell us a little bit about who you are, high level, who you are, what it is that you do.

Jordan West (Guest) (02:15):

Sure, sure, awesome. I always love asking that question on my podcast as well. It just really opens things up. A little bit about me, I started in business when I was 23 years old. First business that I bought was a Taco Del Mar restaurant, which is a chain. I saw it and I was like, “Man, I really want to get into business.” 23 years old, didn’t know anything, didn’t know how to read a P&L, absolutely nothing, and decided to buy this business. Anyway, five years later, lost a lot of money. I ended up tripling the sales. Was really good at marketing, really horrible at running businesses. And that’s still true today.

(02:48):

I am not an operator. Yes, yes. Not a great operator of a business, but really good at finding people who are. Fast forward now, back in 2015, maybe 2014, my wife and I started a little clothing company called Little & Lively. It was out of our house. That’s now ballooned into four different brands. That’s a real Canadian sort of classic clothing company. We’re continuing to grow and grow and grow there. We own a few brands down in the States. Brand new one as of just a few days ago called Mountain Standard out of Boulder, Colorado. Everything sort of in the apparel outdoor kind of space down there.

(03:23):

And then I also run an agency called upGrowth Commerce. Anything e-com is really where I love to live, except that I don’t love talking about e-commerce all the time because I think e-com is just a channel of a brand. I think people have gotten that kind of confused. It’s like, no, no, I really love brands and e-com just happens to be my favorite channel right now.

Katya Allison (Host) (03:46):

Yeah, absolutely. I love that, and I love that you are also very focused from the brand perspective because I do think that oftentimes it is missed. Now, as I had mentioned at the top of our conversation, one of the things that you’ve really just kind of sunk your teeth into are ambassador programs. Tell me a little bit about the types of ambassador programs that you have found to be the most effective. Because correct me if I’m wrong, you have a couple of different styles of ambassador programs, ones that are free, ones that are maybe not.

Jordan West (Guest) (04:17):

Yeah, absolutely. I’ll walk back to where all of this came from. I’ve been hosting a podcast for years. We’re almost at episode 400. It’s called Secrets To Scaling Your Ecommerce Brand. I have people on all the time talking about the different things that they do. I remember years ago, this is probably two or three years ago, somebody was telling me about their ambassador program, but they couldn’t tell me how exactly it worked. They could tell me like, yeah, this is what they’re doing and the kind of results they were getting, and I’m like, I just want someone to tell me how you’re running your ambassador program.

(04:46):

I continued to kind of look for different solutions. Fast forward to this year when Shopify acquired Dovetale, which is now Shopify Collabs, and we saw Dovetale and sort of the uses that it had for it and we thought, I think that we can build something here. We just needed somewhere to house people to track our ambassadors. We decided at Kindred, which is our four Canadian brands, to create the Kindred Crew. We always had VIP groups, right? Our VIP group is incredibly… It’s about 10,000 people and we can launch there, and we’ll talk about those launches in a minute. We’ve got the VIP community, which essentially anybody can enter.

(05:24):

Now, we’ve got our ambassador, our Kindred Crew, which is now up to about 300 people. Those people we actually go through with a fine-tooth comb to see whether or not they’re actually Kindred Crew material, right? We accept about 50% of them. Now, since we’ve been running this program, they are accountable for about $50,000 of extra revenue a month. We’re continuing to scale this ambassador program up. Now, the problem was I could never figure out how to actually get these people all into one place. I was like, I don’t think a Facebook group is the right spot for them. I think Facebook groups are incredible for your VIP group.

(06:01):

I think Facebook groups will continue to get as much reach as possible. I really believe that Meta is still going that direction with Facebook, but I don’t think that that’s the greatest place to house a group like that, an ambassador group. We ended up actually putting them onto Slack, and that was a massive game changer to be able to immediately communicate with people. We thought that the uptake of going to Slack would be… We’re like, “Ah, maybe 50% of the people would,” because we’re dealing with moms who are with their kids all the time at home, or do they know Slack?

(06:33):

Yes, they do. Essentially everybody was able to join Slack. That was something that I was a little bit scared of to house them there, but I really encourage people when you’re building out an ambassador program to house them on something other than Facebook. I consider Slack a little bit more of an owned channel that you’re able to really message with everyone one-on-one at any time.

Katya Allison (Host) (06:52):

Yeah, absolutely. It sounds like for your ambassador program, what you were looking for, that housing was a place where you can create a community out of your ambassadors, and that community looks like an engaging one-to-one conversation or maybe one to many. Slack is a really great example of being able to use that. I also think it’s interesting that you think that it should also be outside of Facebook groups as well too.

Jordan West (Guest) (07:19):

I believe that because you can’t really do the one-on-one communication. Yes, Facebook is rolling out some messaging. I don’t know if anyone out there has noticed some of the beta kind of stuff Facebook’s doing with rolling messages into Facebook groups. I don’t really know if I like it or not. I don’t know if I like the functionality. I go onto my messaging app and I’m like, this isn’t a message. This is a notification from a group. I don’t know if that’s going to stick around. I don’t like the user experience with it. I’m one of three billion people that are on Meta’s platform. But generally, I feel like I’m just a very plain vanilla person who has similar thoughts and feelings as other people.

(07:56):

I don’t know if they’re going to keep that or not. That’s kind of the main reason there. Now, a couple things I want to talk about with the ambassador program. We decided not to give financial kickbacks to our ambassadors. We decided to just make it more gamified for them rather than financial kickbacks. Now, we’ve tried the financial kickbacks before. Gamifying it is absolutely by far way better. Now, not saying that we don’t want to pay people to post for us. Absolutely. When we’re working with influencers and micro influencers, and we’re really trying to really hone in on their audience, yes, 10% we’ll always pay an affiliate commission, but not with our ambassadors.

(08:34):

The reason being is that we really didn’t want there to be that shift in the relationship between them just really loving our brand. We give them a great discount. We give them 30% off, which we never do. We just don’t do that as a brand. They get 30% off anything sale price. That’s what they get. They actually love our brand so much that they don’t care about getting $50 back in affiliate commissions. I really do think that there is a shift that you can make as a brand when you start to pay people to do it, especially your ambassadors, right? And I just don’t like it.

Katya Allison (Host) (09:08):

I mean, that’s fair. Everybody has a different strategy. One of the things that I want us to walk back to is really defining what your ambassador audience is or who they are. Because one of the things that we had discussed was really turning those super fans into your ambassadors. When you’re talking about ambassador, when you’re using that term, I was going to say cold calling, but that’s such a sales term, you’re not blindly going out there and asking someone who doesn’t know your brand to come in and say, “Hey, be part of the ambassador.”

(09:41):

You’ve actually reversed that and said, “Hey, super fan, will you join our ambassador program?” Do you think that that is why you don’t have to pay out? Because the other thing that you mentioned was influencers and how those are different. Can you break that down a little bit for me?

Jordan West (Guest) (09:57):

Totally. I want to walk back to something foundational here to explain why I truly believe that this is the way to build this, right? I’m sure everyone’s heard the levels of traffic. Most people have heard of the levels of traffic of one through five. Let me just quickly explain them. One is awareness. They’ve never heard anything about you before. That’s super top of funnel. Two is they’ve engaged with your brand in some way. Maybe they’ve watched a video of yours, maybe they’ve engaged on a Facebook post, something like that, but they’ve never actually gone to your website. Number three, they’ve now gone to your website and maybe looked at a product.

(10:29):

Again, this isn’t just web. This is the way that customers become raving fans. We’ve got level three, website. Level four, they’ve actually taken some kind of action. Now they’ve added something to their cart. Maybe at home, they’ve talked to their husband and been like, “Hey, I want to make this purchase. It’s going to be a few hundred bucks,” that they’ve mentally added to cart. Number five, they’ve now become a purchaser. Well, that’s where most brands stop. They’re like, “Awesome. We got them to purchase. Yay!” No, that’s where we start. That’s where I get super, super excited. Now we ascend them to level six where they actually become part of our VIP group.

(11:05):

Now we excite them now that they’re part of the VIP group. In our VIP group recently, we’ve had anywhere between five and 20 posts a day from people just posting about them in our outfits and their kids in our outfits. What that’s doing is really building up that whole community idea around our brand. We’re now ascending those people into level seven where they get excited. They’re really excited, and now they’re starting to actually do some of the customer service for us.

(11:33):

I love when people complain about an experience on the VIP group, because there’ll be like 30 people immediately on them being like, “No, no. They have the best customer experience ever. You have to just send an email to them or go into the website and they’ll take care of anything.” And we really do. That’s one thing that we took from Costco and Walmart back in the day. I mean, even Amazon now. It’s like we just don’t ask questions. We just take returns. Somebody one time sent us a picture of a ketchup stain on a shirt and was like, “This is how I received it.” We’re like, “Absolutely. We’ll send you out a new one.”

(12:07):

After being at Disney for the last week, you understand that this works. I don’t know what it is about it. Anyway, we get people really excited. And then level eight is where they become an advocate or essentially an ambassador for us. We’ve done that hard work of getting them through the levels. They have to have purchased from us to actually love us to essentially ascend up to level eight. For us to ask somebody to be an ambassador who’s at level one who knows nothing about us is kind of funny. Of course, you have to pay them. It’s like paying them to be your friend.

Katya Allison (Host) (12:43):

Which sounds horrible, right? Say nice things about me.

Jordan West (Guest) (12:48):

On the influencer side, I think that there is so much there, but that’s much more of a transactional relationship at that point. These are not transactional relationships that we’re doing with our VIPs. This is us creating a community and creating clothing that they rant and rave over. That’s the one thing. We have a good product that people absolutely love and want to be a part of. I think that’s the big thing and the reason why. If somebody was listening to this and thinking like, “Oh, I’m going to build out an ambassador program today, but I don’t have a VIP group,” absolutely not. You can’t start from zero. I think that you have to build that community, or you can pay them.

(13:27):

There is that option as well, and you can incentivize them in that sort of way. But I don’t think that it’s quite as effective with an ambassador group to do that. Instead, we create all sorts of fun incentives. We’re going to be throwing a fun party for all of our local ambassadors in the fall. We’re always doing leader boards of like whose coupon code was being used the most. There’s all sorts of really fun things like that that aren’t monetary. Just remember, most people, they don’t actually care about money in that sort of way. Most people, it’s really a tool to do things for them. As soon as you make it, you turn it into that, you turn it into a bit more of a transactional relationship.

Katya Allison (Host) (14:08):

To your point, there’s a time and place to be able to pay for a post. I think influencer marketing 1.0 was very transactional. I think in the creator economy, it’s definitely evolving to let’s develop that relationship. It’s kind of taking that six to eight approach to the one to six approach. How do we get them there? We’re talking about nurturing them there to get them to the six. Now, let’s talk about six stages that you were talking about.

(14:37):

What are the guardrails to get to that? Are there guardrails, or do you just have people sign up to the VIP? If they’re posting frequently, then they get to the seven. At what point do they get to the eight? Do they get invited into the eight? Tell me about the guardrails for each of those steps.

Jordan West (Guest) (14:54):

Yeah, totally. Essentially, we’re letting them self-select to get to eight, right? We’re not letting anybody who’s not a part of our VIP group apply to be an ambassador. We open up applications once a quarter. Generally, we’re getting between two and 300 applications during that time. Every time that we run it, that same thing happens, and we’re letting them self-select. And then we go in and we’ve got certain criteria that they have to meet. Do they have a public account? If they don’t have a public account, they can’t be there. There’s a few other criteria, and we run multiple ambassador programs at different brands.

(15:26):

I’m trying to remember what these ones are. But anyway, come up with the criteria that makes sense for you. But don’t make it easy. Don’t make it easy for people. Otherwise, it’s going to seem cheap and it’s not going to seem like a great program that somebody wants to be a part of. Putting up guardrails and putting up blockers for people is incredibly effective. It’s incredibly effective. It’s really a good thing. I’m hosting a big dinner with another e-com owner in Vancouver next week, and we put up incredible guardrails for it.

(15:57):

We’re not telling them the place of the event until the night before, and people are flying in from all over. That makes it special. That makes an event special, rather than being like, “Hey, everyone, come here. Come here.” We want people to make sure that they feel like they’re a part of something, because they are. We can create that. We can create this thing that is an amazing community to be a part of, but not everyone’s a fit. And that’s okay. It’s really good to know that as a business center that, hey, maybe you as a customer aren’t a fit.

Katya Allison (Host) (16:31):

I think that’s so important that most people don’t talk about it. They think, “Well, I’ve got to let everybody in. If I don’t let this person in, how do I kindly reject them?” I don’t think it’s a matter of kindly rejecting. They either want to be part of it, or they don’t want to be part of it. The things that people want to be involved in, they are willing to jump through the hoops regardless of the types of hoops. I mean, they’re all different, again, based on brands. You said something that really leads me into that next section of what I want us to dive into. One of the other things that you’re really passionate about is gated content.

(17:09):

I only chuckle because I always have this apprehension with gated content. Tell me how you’re leveraging ambassadors with a gated content approach for a product’s launch. Something similar to what you were talking about with the dinner. I’m not going to tell them where to go up until the last minute. That’s what I’m envisioning when you’re talking about gated content.

Jordan West (Guest) (17:29):

That’s exactly right. That’s exactly what we’re talking about here. What we do when we launch… And I’ll talk about a launch that we did. This was in August of last year. Being an apparel company, we do seasonal launches all the time. We’re actually moving to a bit of more of an evergreen model with seasonal launches. But for the most part, we’re always doing seasonal launches, something new and fresh for people to see. What we do is for about a week to a week and a half before, we’re teasing the launch to people. We’re letting them know like, hey, we’re going to be launching this product.

(17:58):

Now, if you want early access, because generally we do sell out of the most popular sizes. That just happens. Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball saying, “This exact size is going to sell in this new product.” You just can’t forecast. We don’t know exactly what people are going to like. We have a general idea and we kind of go with that, but a lot of times we sell out. For two hours before the general public gets access to the website, we lock the website down, generally lock it down for about four to five hours before, and then people have to have a password to enter the website. This isn’t just to enter a collection.

(18:34):

This is to enter the entire website. We just shut the entire website down. Of course, you get all the notifications from Google and from everyone like, “Oh, your website isn’t accessible.”We’re like, “Yeah, yeah, we know. We know. That’s on purpose.” And so then we give the password to them in the VIP group, and that’s the only way that they can get that. We’ve actually tied together our VIP group and our SMS notifications. The reason that we did that was because not everybody gets notified when we post on Facebook, and sometimes they can forget. Instead, the immediate notification is SMS, in my opinion.

(19:09):

Everybody, as soon as you get a text, you’re going to look at it. We pair those things together and we make sure that it’s a really special channel together. We don’t abuse the SMS portion.

Katya Allison (Host) (19:19):

Okay, nice. I have a natural kind of this knee-jerk reaction to a website being shut down and getting also those notifications from Google. What are the ramifications for this approach for your domain authority, for example? Do you get dinged from a Google perspective with this type of approach?

Jordan West (Guest) (19:41):

Not that we’ve seen at all with our SEO. There’s been nothing like that. I mean, websites go down on occasion for hours for maintenance and that sort of stuff. We’re really not locking up for that long. We so far have not seen any ramifications with that. Maybe if Google happened to do a crawl during that time, maybe then we would get dinged. But as far as we know, we haven’t seen any ramifications. We still rank number one in Canada for baby clothes Canada. We haven’t had issues like that that we’ve seen, and we think either way, it’s worth it. I’d much rather have 10,000 people banging down the door than 100,000 eyeballs who don’t care anything about us.

Katya Allison (Host) (20:22):

That is very true. It’s definitely a unique approach, which is why I wanted to talk to you about it. Now, you talked about leveraging SMS and your VIPs to provide them access to the website. Do you also leverage your ambassadors to just share out that this is something that’s happening, or do you keep it just to the VIP and ambassadors, the six through eights?

Jordan West (Guest) (20:48):

For the launches, we just keep it to the six through eight, that’s it, for the gated portion of the launch, for giving them the password. Now, after that, we expect from our ambassadors that they’re going to post. We have hundreds of ambassadors posting on their Instagram and their Stories and Reels. Generally, lots of them get it ready before that and we’d say, “All right, guys, it’s time to post,” and then we start to see a big influx of those codes being used as well, which is awesome, and those links being clicked from our ambassadors.

Katya Allison (Host) (21:17):

Oh, I love that you just said that, because typically when people are thinking about ambassadors and influencers, especially with codes and links, they’re assuming that there is some money that’s tied back to it. You still use discount codes and affiliate links. Maybe not affiliate links. That’s not what we would call them, but links with your ambassadors to just kind of share things out, but don’t monetize that.

Jordan West (Guest) (21:41):

Exactly. We still track it, but we don’t monetize it. Interestingly, on our VIP group recently, our ambassadors would post pictures of their kids and then say, “Hey, for 10% off, use this code.” It just kept happening on the VIP group, and we felt a little bit funny about it. We’re like, “Hmm, it’s funny that they’re kind of marketing to our VIPs.” Somebody wrote a post and it was seen by essentially the entire group that was like, “Hey, this feels a little bit weird that they’re doing this. Do they get a kickback?”

(22:10):

People are like, “No, no, we don’t get anything. It’s just for fun.” They really felt sold to in that moment. We ended up actually changing one of the policies in the ambassador group saying, “No sharing codes in the VIP group. Only posts. That’s it.” And then we let people know, no one’s getting paid for any of this. This is just helping out the brand. The only thing that they get is an extra big discount to post this often.

Katya Allison (Host) (22:35):

It sounds like your VIPs, your six through eights, are so engaged in this community. Aside from housing this kind of conversation in this community in Slack, how else are you creating moments for them to engage so that they get that excited? Do you do quarterly things, monthly things? What are you doing to get them to buy in so strongly?

Jordan West (Guest) (23:04):

I’m terrible at a lot of things. There’s a laundry list of things, but something I’m really good at is making connections with other brands. Again, having 400 people on my podcast who run other e-commerce brands, we generally have great connections with all of these different companies. We also own a bunch of different brands. We leverage those relationships and those brands to do giveaways within our ambassador program. Actually as of today, we’re running a fun one where we gave them a whole script of something that we want them to do. Anyone who owns this certain pair of leggings, we’d love for you guys to do this.

(23:38):

We’re going to give you a $100 gift card to this shoe company that we know. All we do is we just trade with that shoe company. We’re constantly trying to engage them with things like that. We’ll get about a hundred Reels out of this to be able to use. Maybe 20 of them will be usable for ads or whatever, because we can’t be there producing them as they’re creating the Reel. But some of them, we just get this absolute gold out of it for content. And then we just have this constant content stream. We literally have 200 Reels waiting to be posted right now because of our ambassador group.

Katya Allison (Host) (24:11):

That’s insane. The value of the content for just from an organic social perspective, as well as something that you can use for email, and then on top of it, your paid posts is completely invaluable.

Jordan West (Guest) (24:24):

And page content as well, right? Putting those videos on the page. Because a lot of people will look at an item and they’ll look at just like, “Oh, it’s on this one model. This thing looks great on this one model.” But then they see normal regular people posting about it and they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t want that until I saw you wearing it because you look like me.” People want to come and see themselves in your website. It’s super, super important.

Katya Allison (Host) (24:48):

They’re essentially your brand storytellers, right?

Jordan West (Guest) (24:51):

Yes. Yes. We’re just nudging them. We’re just nudging them to help them tell our story properly in the way that we want it to be told.

Katya Allison (Host) (25:00):

I love your approach to creating a community of just super fans that are just doing it because they’re so bought into your brand, your brand story, and who you guys are in general. That’s fantastic. Now, I do have a final question before we wrap it up. It is our prediction time. I’d love to hear from you about what you see changing for marketers in the next year. There were a lot of things that you’ve touched on like SMS, your ambassador group, the gated content. What do you see changing for marketers over the next year?

Jordan West (Guest) (25:34):

I don’t think things are going to get easier. That’s one thing that I absolutely know. I think that if brands are not creating a creative suite, a creative company essentially, a media company within their company, they are going to lose. Those are the brands that we’re looking at that we’re like, “Oh no, I don’t know if you’re going to be able to make it.” Right now, we’re creating a three person media company just to support our brands. These are the people that I think are really going to win, the ones that can iterate, the ones that can put out hundreds of pieces of content and be like, “That’s the one that’s going to work for ads.”

(26:12):

That’s really what I see as the next year. And then the other part is automated targeting. We’re seeing Performance Max on Google just absolutely crushing anything else out there. The problem with it is, is that marketers hate it. Actually, marketers don’t hate it. It’s the old school Google people who hate it because they have no control. Marketers, like classic marketers, love it because it’s actually about copy and it’s about creative and it’s about offer. Those are the things that are really going to matter in the next year. If you don’t have those things down, if you don’t have good offers to get people into your brand, you’re not going to win in the next year.

(26:50):

You can no longer just boost a post on Facebook and have a 70 return on ad spend. It’s just not going to happen anymore. You got to get really good at your creative and your offer. And then you’re seeing Facebook with Advantage+ right now that’s rolling out to all of these brands. Advantage+ Shopping is phenomenal, but there’s no control for you as the brand. Some people are like, “Ah, I don’t want to do it. I can’t target these specific people.” Facebook or Meta has gotten that good again, post iOS 14.5, where just let them do it. But you better have a good offer and you better have good creative or it’s not going to work.

(27:25):

You could get away with that in the past. You just can’t get away with that going forward. The other just really quick prediction is brands who do not have at least three legs on their sales stool are going to lose. It’s a wobbly stool. E-com, wholesale, custom, all of these different ways that you can get out there and sell, fair. Fair is a huge one that I don’t see enough brands taking advantage of. We between our brands are doing multiple seven figures on fair and I’m like, where are all these other brands? Where are they at? Really thinking about that, whether that’s flagship retail, just something to make that stool stable.

Katya Allison (Host) (28:05):

Yeah, absolutely. It reminds me of omnichannel. That’s not the right terminology for what you’re talking about. I do love the idea of a stool. I’m a visual person. I don’t want to sit on something that’s wobbly. I think as a brand, you don’t want too. I also am obsessed with this prediction of creative, because I’m interpreting creative as content. Because you are right, you have to be able to reach the masses and creative is a great way to be able to do that. I want to see myself in what is being posted out there in order to know exactly that you get me. It’s an emotional connection to be a storyteller, and that’s how you can leverage creative and content for that.

Jordan West (Guest) (28:47):

That’s exactly right.

Katya Allison (Host) (28:48):

I appreciate you hopping on here and just talking me and walking me through all of your just kind of insights in regards to just product launches and your ambassador program. I really appreciate it.

Jordan West (Guest) (29:00):

Thanks so much for having me. This was really fun.

Katya Allison (Host) (29:03):

Absolutely. Now, I hope that you picked up some helpful insights from the conversation with Jordan. What really stuck out to me from this conversation was the way that he scaled the customer’s journey from one to five to one to eight, with six being his VIP and eight being his ambassadors. I think that that type of visualization makes the concept of ambassadors as a marketing strategy very digestible. But even more so, how this kind of elite group of super fans that are his ambassadors will share that brand story without having to pay them out. That’s truly building brand equity.

(29:46):

Do you want to hear more? Be sure to subscribe to the GRIN Gets Real Podcast to get the latest episodes. Give us some stars. I wouldn’t mind five of them and leave me a review. I’d love to hear what you like about it. Connect with me on social. You can find me on LinkedIn, Katya Allison. And if you’re interested in learning more about GRIN, visit our website at grin.co. Until next time, keep grinning.

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