Tagged in: Beyond Keywords Podcast

Where's Waldo?

Today's episode I focus on a question that has been haunting marketers for centuries - where the heck are their customers?

I give you some tips including combining NPS with machine learning and using a DSP or display campaign to follow your customers around.

Later in the episode I talk about audience suppression and how you can combine negative audiences with the work above to massively improve your return from marketing across all your mediums.

Listen below!

Where can I Find It?

All over the place!

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Or just use the web player, you can find it below!

Prefer to read it? Here is the transcription:

Hey my name's Kole McRae and this is Beyond Keywords, The Advanced Digital Marketing Podcast.

The title of this episode is a bit weird. I know the hide and seek thing and the million dollar game of Where's Waldo it sounds like I'm going a little bit off my rocker and I understand but it will make sense. I promise.

This episode is easy for me to do because this is something that's so incredibly important to me and kind of bounces off the previous episodes. The last episode I was talking about how I prefer to market to people instead of keywords, then I went into various ways I do that and what that means to me. But I want to get into depth on some of the things I do to actually accomplish that.

So first of all when I say people instead of keywords or placements and that was the invention of the whole name of this podcast, one of the main ways I go about doing that is by looking at numbers in a very different way from when I got into this industry.

You see, instead of getting in in front of as many people as possible I learned that it's more important to get in front of the right people.

When I first started in this industry it was all about volume. It was about getting as many impressions as possible so I can get those clicks and turn them into conversions. The more clicks I get especially at a low price, the better cause than I could get results. To be honest I didn't even have conversion tracking when I very first started. Conversion tracking was this amazing new thing at one point. That's neither here or there. So it was just about millions. Could I get a million clicks? If I could get that I could probably sell a lot and it was pretty epic. But in reality what I learned later in my career is that even if I got a million impressions, if none of them ended up buying anything, it meant nothing. If I could just get three people by spending a bit more doing something different to buy something, those were worth a hell of a lot more than getting a million people to look at my ad. So this episode I'm going to focus on just how to get in front of the right people.

I hinted at some of the strategies last time but this time we're getting into the gory details. And I hope you're into that.

So let's jump into things. The first one I want to talk about is... Mr. Robot voice... he's going to say NPS. hopefully... or I'll just delete that part... N P S or net promoter score. As a marketer you've probably heard those three letters thrown around enough to make you sick. So first I'm going to give a very quick overview of what do they mean. So if you already know what they mean maybe Fast forward a little bit or something but just a quick refresher: so Net Promoter Score is basically a number that a person can have attached to them. That's the way I look at it. I know it's different than others and that number is between zero and 10 and it's attached to a question.

That question can have some variations but it kind of boils down to a very simple one... from zero to 10, how likely are you to recommend our services to a friend? Most marketers are first thought. OK. That's awesome because I can get referrals and referrals are awesome.

So NPS is generally collected as a very basic data point.

So a lot of the time companies will even do a survey monkey thing they'll send out this survey monkey and one of the questions will be that Net Promoter Score question and then they'll get that information and then they'll have the answers there and they say "hey, overall our average NPS is X whatever it is." To be honest I don't really care that much it probably matters if you're especially if you're a startup or an entrepreneur and you're looking for funding in that having a high net promoter score means people love your brand and that's a very positive thing. It's also a show of your brand and the strength of that. So that's also positive. But me, well I want to circle back to actually using this in a way for your marketing and not just the most obvious way that your first popped in mind like "Hey we can advertise our net promoter score on our ads" yeah you can I guess but the average person doesn't care. They don't know what NPS means it's meaningless. It is a B2B term so maybe you can use it and B2B advertising that's totally cool.

So that's one way you could use NPS and that's whatever, I don't personally care, what I think you should do is connect the NPS to each individual customer. So instead of doing something like Survey Monkey or like just a basic data collection point have that plugged into their Google Analytics ID. NPS. One of the most common ways is asking via e-mail. And then you have links and that e-mail. So when they click a number you know their email address, you know the score now, take that score, push it into Google Analytics attach the GAID do that for as many people as possible. Then you've got an audience of all these people based on their NPS.

Yes you could build an audience people that are high in NPS and then shoot your referral emails to those people like "Hey you said you're highly likely to share your business to your friend. Why don't you. Maybe you can get X or whatever referral bonus you have" but that's just one thing I want to take that way further build several audiences: First: Build an audience of what's called promotors. These are the people that are high on the NPS score spectrum. Make an audience for promoters push it into your DMP or just have it in analytics that gets pushed your ad words and double click whatever way you want to set that up. It's going to build a lookalike audience based on this. When you have a lookalike audience of promotors you can get more promotors which means you get more word of mouth which is free and amazing for you. When you connect this higher NPS or promotors audience look a like audience with the one I talked about in the last episode. The people who have high high conversions or whatever, you get an amazing audience.

You could also do a lot with this. One of the things I remember doing when I worked for AquaMobile is people who were good customers of ours (which we measured with NPS) we gave them special offers or we gave them a little treat, send them a cookie or something send them a handwritten note for the really high ones because those people who then are going to continue promoting your brand. But back to having it connected and building to audience because that's what I think really important here...

Oh yeah.

Oh so the other audience that you want to get is the people the low score. These are people who give you one or give you three or even a five or six which yes I know is actually low but maybe keep it. The number is actually lower if you're going to do what I'm about to do. So have the ones through fours or whatever. Make that a separate audience push it in your DMP or analytics or whatever and use that as a suppression technique which I'm going to talk about a lot more in the exclusion podcast that I alluded to earlier. Suppression means there's one of two things you can either make them a negative audience so you can make a negative based on these people they've already given you a low NPS. Why do you want to advertise to them their lookalike audiences can be negative audiences or you can do it as just a negative modifier. So if you're doing it in adwords that I know I talked to death but it's kind of an important platform. You can simply do a negative 20 percent bid modifier to people who look like people who have a low NPS in what you've found. This means you could focus on people who are going to give a higher NPS and not people who are gonna have a lower NPS so you get a lot more word of mouth would get you better return in general.

Let's reverse a little and focus on something that isn't NPS. Because I've said those three letters way too much (and the transcription software keeps getting it wrong!) so a lot of marketers do some of the above that I just mentioned but do it based on sales. They are able to create a conversion at the sale point and then do optimizing and the like. And that's awesome. Someone clicks on one of their ads they go through they purchase a product. That person is sale you get a lookalike audience and then you have lookalike audience based on sales and that is fantastic and really really powerful and I reccomend you do that if you can.

But I want to take that to a new level. You need to look at two things. The first margin, not just sales not just revenue.

Look at the actual margin you're making. So some people point out something like return on ad spend and yeah it can work. But what about the cost of the product itself? It's not built into your return on ads spend. Make sure to build that cost in and you could do that with analytics if possible or you could push it into some other analytics system you have a custom dimension that's hooked into that customers ID. So if you have something like a CMS it makes a lot of this way easier. But if you have some kind of custom customer ID for every person that purchases something you can then connect the cost of the item which is pushed and then subtract the revenue they made. So you can have custom dimension for cost and then have a custom dimension for revenue or just use revenue. It's a normal e-commerce stuff and then you can actually subtract the cost of the item from the eCommerce and then have your margin. And then anyone who has a margin above x build the audiences for like I mentioned above or before I say above I have a whole bunch notes I'm scrolling through here and they're all above...

You can then build the lookalike audiences or normal audiences for them to try to get them to return and buy more stuff all that kind of stuff.

Along with margin, always make sure to include the lifetime value of the customer if you're using the e-commerce system that Google Analytics has built right in and build the audience based on a lifetime value. So if if you don't know lifetime value is basically you take the margin and multiplied by all the things they buy. So a customer might buy something from your e-commerce store and then come back later and buy something else a TV and then they come buy cables for it but also it could be something like they come buy one product and then they like the service and then will look at your store for another product and buy something. So actually a customer is worth a lot more than just that single purchase to the you know they'll keep coming back or you have them in the database and they're worthwhile to you in other ways because they're in your database now. So make sure you use lifetime value and margin rather than just revenue or sales because going down further in the funnel that way building these audiences will get you better results overall in general. How do you find where your customers are. Well hey Mr. Robot voice how about you tell me the history thing.

Let's go back in time:

So companies used to have to do a huge amount of research to figure out where their target personas actually spent their time. They had to analyze where those people hang out and what they'd like to do. This could cost millions of dollars. Take massive amounts of time and you know what wasn't that useful to be honest. A lot of the time they were just outright wrong. There is no way to really guarantee it. But we have technology now things have gotten a million times better. So all that stuff I just said above about using lifetime value but using NPF but using margin. Take those audiences, smash them all together into one really powerful one and then push that into a DSP or just your display network and then monitor what placements pop up.

Because your using the audience you'll see where they are and you'll see all these huge list of Web sites. And you'll see which ones get more people so you'll have a list organized by popularity of where your best customers hang out.

And it's not going to cost you much especially if you don't try to get conversions or clicks or anything from them and you just do it as a brand awareness campaign. What you do with that list of websites up to you. Maybe head over to one of those Web sites and offer them an affiliate deal so you don't have to pay advertising to them and they could just get a kickback for every sale they give you. Or maybe you pay for advertising on those sites more outside of that audience. Put a lot of lookalikes and use those placements to make it even more efficient for you maybe increase your bids on those specific sites. You get better results because you know those are the sites that are getting you your lifetime value customers

Next it's time to talk about something that I consider really fun when I hinted at it last episode.

We've talked a bunch about excluding people. It was the scary thing. You do not want to do especially if you're a small company excluding people means you are sending people away. They could not be buying your product. And that's never a good thing. Except when it is so. This section of the podcast I'm calling only let the cool kids in.

That's stupid right.

Yeah yeah that's stupid but one of the easiest ways to save an insane amount of money with your advertising is to do exclusions or what might be a better term is audience suppression.

This is something that's been around for quite some time actually before even the digital age it was something you did when you were doing direct mail but I want to focus on digital because that's kind of who I am and what I do. So audience suppression can start simple but the more you do it the better your overall results can get. So let's start with the most simple example which I think illustrates what I mean by audience suppression quite well. So you go to a website and you purchase a product. Doesn't matter. The website doesn't matter the product.

If it's a popular Web site the kind of Web site that maybe does. Oh I don't know dynamic remarketing. As soon as you leave that site and start browsing around to other websites you're followed around by ads for the product you just purchased. And that is frustrating and annoying. The worst part though is when they advertise a price because you're now seeing an ad for a product you just purchased and a lot of the time they offer a lower price or they offer some kind of exclusive to people who see that ad and it's very very very annoying.

It also means they're paying for the ads to annoy you.

And there's a possibility your company is doing that right now. So that's why he got to do audience suppression.

It's an old tactic to offer a lower price to customers when they leave they say a lot of the time if you left something in a grocery cart or if you looked at a product then left they would email you with a lower price because that was fantastic way to get you actually purchase the product. So there's a simple rule where if someone makes a purchase add them to a negative audience you're probably nodding along thinking exactly. OK. Have a negative audience for those who make a purchase. Cool and you're right. That's what I'm getting is pretty easy but personally I would call that crawlin. That's the crawling section of this advice. It helpsHey my name's Kole McRae and this is Beyond Keywords, The Advanced Digital Marketing Podcast.

The title of this episode is a bit weird. I know the hide and seek thing and the million dollar game of Where's Waldo it sounds like I'm going a little bit off my rocker and I understand but it will make sense. I promise.

This episode is easy for me to do because this is something that's so incredibly important to me and kind of bounces off the previous episodes. The last episode I was talking about how I prefer to market to people instead of keywords, then I went into various ways I do that and what that means to me. But I want to get into depth on some of the things I do to actually accomplish that.

So first of all when I say people instead of keywords or placements and that was the invention of the whole name of this podcast, one of the main ways I go about doing that is by looking at numbers in a very different way from when I got into this industry.

You see, instead of getting in in front of as many people as possible I learned that it's more important to get in front of the right people.

When I first started in this industry it was all about volume. It was about getting as many impressions as possible so I can get those clicks and turn them into conversions. The more clicks I get especially at a low price, the better cause than I could get results. To be honest I didn't even have conversion tracking when I very first started. Conversion tracking was this amazing new thing at one point. That's neither here or there. So it was just about millions. Could I get a million clicks? If I could get that I could probably sell a lot and it was pretty epic. But in reality what I learned later in my career is that even if I got a million impressions, if none of them ended up buying anything, it meant nothing. If I could just get three people by spending a bit more doing something different to buy something, those were worth a hell of a lot more than getting a million people to look at my ad. So this episode I'm going to focus on just how to get in front of the right people.

I hinted at some of the strategies last time but this time we're getting into the gory details. And I hope you're into that.

So let's jump into things. The first one I want to talk about is... Mr. Robot voice... he's going to say NPS. hopefully... or I'll just delete that part... N P S or net promoter score. As a marketer you've probably heard those three letters thrown around enough to make you sick. So first I'm going to give a very quick overview of what do they mean. So if you already know what they mean maybe Fast forward a little bit or something but just a quick refresher: so Net Promoter Score is basically a number that a person can have attached to them. That's the way I look at it. I know it's different than others and that number is between zero and 10 and it's attached to a question.

That question can have some variations but it kind of boils down to a very simple one... from zero to 10, how likely are you to recommend our services to a friend? Most marketers are first thought. OK. That's awesome because I can get referrals and referrals are awesome.

So NPS is generally collected as a very basic data point.

So a lot of the time companies will even do a survey monkey thing they'll send out this survey monkey and one of the questions will be that Net Promoter Score question and then they'll get that information and then they'll have the answers there and they say "hey, overall our average NPS is X whatever it is." To be honest I don't really care that much it probably matters if you're especially if you're a startup or an entrepreneur and you're looking for funding in that having a high net promoter score means people love your brand and that's a very positive thing. It's also a show of your brand and the strength of that. So that's also positive. But me, well I want to circle back to actually using this in a way for your marketing and not just the most obvious way that your first popped in mind like "Hey we can advertise our net promoter score on our ads" yeah you can I guess but the average person doesn't care. They don't know what NPS means it's meaningless. It is a B2B term so maybe you can use it and B2B advertising that's totally cool.

So that's one way you could use NPS and that's whatever, I don't personally care, what I think you should do is connect the NPS to each individual customer. So instead of doing something like Survey Monkey or like just a basic data collection point have that plugged into their Google Analytics ID. NPS. One of the most common ways is asking via e-mail. And then you have links and that e-mail. So when they click a number you know their email address, you know the score now, take that score, push it into Google Analytics attach the GAID do that for as many people as possible. Then you've got an audience of all these people based on their NPS.

Yes you could build an audience people that are high in NPS and then shoot your referral emails to those people like "Hey you said you're highly likely to share your business to your friend. Why don't you. Maybe you can get X or whatever referral bonus you have" but that's just one thing I want to take that way further build several audiences: First: Build an audience of what's called promotors. These are the people that are high on the NPS score spectrum. Make an audience for promoters push it into your DMP or just have it in analytics that gets pushed your ad words and double click whatever way you want to set that up. It's going to build a lookalike audience based on this. When you have a lookalike audience of promotors you can get more promotors which means you get more word of mouth which is free and amazing for you. When you connect this higher NPS or promotors audience look a like audience with the one I talked about in the last episode. The people who have high high conversions or whatever, you get an amazing audience.

You could also do a lot with this. One of the things I remember doing when I worked for AquaMobile is people who were good customers of ours (which we measured with NPS) we gave them special offers or we gave them a little treat, send them a cookie or something send them a handwritten note for the really high ones because those people who then are going to continue promoting your brand. But back to having it connected and building to audience because that's what I think really important here...

Oh yeah.

Oh so the other audience that you want to get is the people the low score. These are people who give you one or give you three or even a five or six which yes I know is actually low but maybe keep it. The number is actually lower if you're going to do what I'm about to do. So have the ones through fours or whatever. Make that a separate audience push it in your DMP or analytics or whatever and use that as a suppression technique which I'm going to talk about a lot more in the exclusion podcast that I alluded to earlier. Suppression means there's one of two things you can either make them a negative audience so you can make a negative based on these people they've already given you a low NPS. Why do you want to advertise to them their lookalike audiences can be negative audiences or you can do it as just a negative modifier. So if you're doing it in adwords that I know I talked to death but it's kind of an important platform. You can simply do a negative 20 percent bid modifier to people who look like people who have a low NPS in what you've found. This means you could focus on people who are going to give a higher NPS and not people who are gonna have a lower NPS so you get a lot more word of mouth would get you better return in general.

Let's reverse a little and focus on something that isn't NPS. Because I've said those three letters way too much (and the transcription software keeps getting it wrong!) so a lot of marketers do some of the above that I just mentioned but do it based on sales. They are able to create a conversion at the sale point and then do optimizing and the like. And that's awesome. Someone clicks on one of their ads they go through they purchase a product. That person is sale you get a lookalike audience and then you have lookalike audience based on sales and that is fantastic and really really powerful and I reccomend you do that if you can.

But I want to take that to a new level. You need to look at two things. The first margin, not just sales not just revenue.

Look at the actual margin you're making. So some people point out something like return on ad spend and yeah it can work. But what about the cost of the product itself? It's not built into your return on ads spend. Make sure to build that cost in and you could do that with analytics if possible or you could push it into some other analytics system you have a custom dimension that's hooked into that customers ID. So if you have something like a CMS it makes a lot of this way easier. But if you have some kind of custom customer ID for every person that purchases something you can then connect the cost of the item which is pushed and then subtract the revenue they made. So you can have custom dimension for cost and then have a custom dimension for revenue or just use revenue. It's a normal e-commerce stuff and then you can actually subtract the cost of the item from the eCommerce and then have your margin. And then anyone who has a margin above x build the audiences for like I mentioned above or before I say above I have a whole bunch notes I'm scrolling through here and they're all above...

You can then build the lookalike audiences or normal audiences for them to try to get them to return and buy more stuff all that kind of stuff.

Along with margin, always make sure to include the lifetime value of the customer if you're using the e-commerce system that Google Analytics has built right in and build the audience based on a lifetime value. So if if you don't know lifetime value is basically you take the margin and multiplied by all the things they buy. So a customer might buy something from your e-commerce store and then come back later and buy something else a TV and then they come buy cables for it but also it could be something like they come buy one product and then they like the service and then will look at your store for another product and buy something. So actually a customer is worth a lot more than just that single purchase to the you know they'll keep coming back or you have them in the database and they're worthwhile to you in other ways because they're in your database now. So make sure you use lifetime value and margin rather than just revenue or sales because going down further in the funnel that way building these audiences will get you better results overall in general. How do you find where your customers are. Well hey Mr. Robot voice how about you tell me the history thing.

Let's go back in time:

So companies used to have to do a huge amount of research to figure out where their target personas actually spent their time. They had to analyze where those people hang out and what they'd like to do. This could cost millions of dollars. Take massive amounts of time and you know what wasn't that useful to be honest. A lot of the time they were just outright wrong. There is no way to really guarantee it. But we have technology now things have gotten a million times better. So all that stuff I just said above about using lifetime value but using NPF but using margin. Take those audiences, smash them all together into one really powerful one and then push that into a DSP or just your display network and then monitor what placements pop up.

Because your using the audience you'll see where they are and you'll see all these huge list of Web sites. And you'll see which ones get more people so you'll have a list organized by popularity of where your best customers hang out.

And it's not going to cost you much especially if you don't try to get conversions or clicks or anything from them and you just do it as a brand awareness campaign. What you do with that list of websites up to you. Maybe head over to one of those Web sites and offer them an affiliate deal so you don't have to pay advertising to them and they could just get a kickback for every sale they give you. Or maybe you pay for advertising on those sites more outside of that audience. Put a lot of lookalikes and use those placements to make it even more efficient for you maybe increase your bids on those specific sites. You get better results because you know those are the sites that are getting you your lifetime value customers

Next it's time to talk about something that I consider really fun when I hinted at it last episode.

We've talked a bunch about excluding people. It was the scary thing. You do not want to do especially if you're a small company excluding people means you are sending people away. They could not be buying your product. And that's never a good thing. Except when it is so. This section of the podcast I'm calling only let the cool kids in.

That's stupid right.

Yeah yeah that's stupid but one of the easiest ways to save an insane amount of money with your advertising is to do exclusions or what might be a better term is audience suppression.

This is something that's been around for quite some time actually before even the digital age it was something you did when you were doing direct mail but I want to focus on digital because that's kind of who I am and what I do. So audience suppression can start simple but the more you do it the better your overall results can get. So let's start with the most simple example which I think illustrates what I mean by audience suppression quite well. So you go to a website and you purchase a product. Doesn't matter. The website doesn't matter the product.

If it's a popular Web site the kind of Web site that maybe does. Oh I don't know dynamic remarketing. As soon as you leave that site and start browsing around to other websites you're followed around by ads for the product you just purchased. And that is frustrating and annoying. The worst part though is when they advertise a price because you're now seeing an ad for a product you just purchased and a lot of the time they offer a lower price or they offer some kind of exclusive to people who see that ad and it's very very very annoying.

It also means they're paying for the ads to annoy you.

And there's a possibility your company is doing that right now. So that's why he got to do audience suppression.

It's an old tactic to offer a lower price to customers when they leave they say a lot of the time if you left something in a grocery cart or if you looked at a product then left they would email you with a lower price because that was fantastic way to get you actually purchase the product. So there's a simple rule where if someone makes a purchase add them to a negative audience you're probably nodding along thinking exactly. OK. Have a negative audience for those who make a purchase. Cool and you're right. That's what I'm getting is pretty easy but personally I would call that crawlin. That's the crawling section of this advice. It helps an insane amount but is really just the beginning.

So that's that's one thing right there. The next one is people who are annoyed with you. Back to audience suppression you have a customer service page and I'm not saying right away you might be thinking Oh ok so I do negative audiences for people who are saying no obviously not but if they click the actual help button and send an e-mail, negative them.

Maybe do it for that if they start a live chat in your customer service. Yeah that should be a negative audience in your advertising so you're not advertising someone who's annoyed with the product, especially if they go to a product page to find customer service for that product. Don't start advertising that product to them as soon as they leave. If someone is annoyed enough to require customer service yYour Ads are probably going to hurt with them rather than help.

Now another interesting unique idea might be to create a lookalike audience of those people and then do a slight negative bid because the type of person who needs customer service especially when you're looking at scale may not be the type of customer you want. You want less customer service.

Thank you. Thank you so much for listening.

an insane amount but is really just the beginning.

So that's that's one thing right there. The next one is people who are annoyed with you. Back to audience suppression you have a customer service page and I'm not saying right away you might be thinking Oh ok so I do negative audiences for people who are saying no obviously not but if they click the actual help button and send an e-mail, negative them.

Maybe do it for that if they start a live chat in your customer service. Yeah that should be a negative audience in your advertising so you're not advertising someone who's annoyed with the product, especially if they go to a product page to find customer service for that product. Don't start advertising that product to them as soon as they leave. If someone is annoyed enough to require customer service yYour Ads are probably going to hurt with them rather than help.

Now another interesting unique idea might be to create a lookalike audience of those people and then do a slight negative bid because the type of person who needs customer service especially when you're looking at scale may not be the type of customer you want. You want less customer service.

Thank you. Thank you so much for listening.

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