Episode Description

In this week’s episode, Chris is joined by Michael Begg. Mike is an entrepreneur and expert in eCommerce, digital marketing and operational nearshoring. In this interview they’ll be diving deep on the subject of Amazon Sales Funnels. Mike is providing insight on the data and analytics that are provided by Amazon as well as how you can strategically approach that for your own business success.Check Out Our Show Notes

ASG 066 – Building an Amazon Sales Funnel feat. Michael Begg

Chris Davis: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the All Systems Go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot, learn how to deploy automated marketing and sales systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of Automation Bridge, Chris Davis.

Chris Davis: [00:00:32] Welcome to the All Systems Go podcast, I’m your host, Chris Davis, the founder of Automation Bridge and online publication for Small Business Marketing Automation, where we focus on turning digital marketing professionals into automation service providers. In this episode, I interview Mike Big of AMC Advisors to talk about how to build an Amazon sales funnel, how to be profitable selling on Amazon. And Mike Big, he’s an entrepreneur, an expert in e-commerce, digital marketing and operational nearshoring. He co-founded AMZ Advisers with his two partners in 2015 and has grown the business to managing over 10 million per year in ad spin and 100 million per year in Amazon’s sales. Mike and team. They also operate AMZ courses, educating Amazon sellers on how to maximize the sales on the Amazon platform, how to maximize sales on Amazon platform and Mike Love sharing his advice. You’ll see it. You’ll see it come out of them. It just flows out of them so easily to help on anything related to Amazon in building efficient businesses. One of the things that I’ll tell you to pay special attention to as we talk through this, this is a podcast and I interview him is the data and analytics that are provided by Amazon and how to strategically approach that for your business success. I won’t spoil too much of the episode. I’ll let Mike explain exactly what that data is and let your mind start to iterate around ways that you can strategically use it. So all that in this episode. Enjoy.

Chris Davis: [00:02:18] Mike, welcome to the All Systems Go podcast. Glad to have you on.

Mike Begg: [00:02:23] How you doing, Chris I’m doing great. Thank you for having me here. I really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you and hopefully provide some good insight for your audience.

Chris Davis: [00:02:31] Yeah, I’m looking forward to this as well. We got to touch base briefly beforehand and I intentionally don’t dive deep because I like to be just as enlightened as our listeners. So before we dive into the the Amazon sales funnel. Right. Give our listeners a little bit of information on you, your background and your business.

Mike Begg: [00:02:58] Sure. So my name is Mike. I am originally from Connecticut, grew up in the Northeast. However, now I live in Mexico. So I finally escaped all the cold weather. You know, I graduated school, started working in some corporate jobs, realized I wanted to do something for myself. And that kind of opened up the world of e-commerce for me. So I started building some brands, importing products from China, selling them online on Amazon. That was my first experience in e-commerce.

Chris Davis: [00:03:27] You what year was this, Mike?

Mike Begg: [00:03:30] Was like 2014. 2015? Yeah, a while ago. Um, so yeah, I was the first experience. We were really good at it. We realized that a lot of big multinational, you know, billion dollar companies were on the Amazon platform. We were doing better than them. So we saw a huge opportunity there to kind of provide our services and our expertise and our knowledge of how to sell on Amazon to other companies. And that’s what led me to build my current company with my two other partners, AMZI advisors. And what we do is we help all brands and manufacturers grow their sales in the Amazon platform faster.

Chris Davis: [00:04:08] Yeah, now that’s that’s interesting to me, because if I do if I jog my memory, if I attempt. Man, you said 2012, right. 2014, 2014. Yeah. No, no, I wasn’t. Maybe I was an Amazon Prime member back then, but it’s it was not what it is today. I like Amazon’s growth has been crazy and I don’t think people were selling well. I’m think I’m talking about small businesses. I don’t think they were selling on Amazon at that rate either back then. So I know what you’ve seen over the years is probably an exponential uptrend. Right. Amazon traffic and sales.

Mike Begg: [00:04:53] Exactly. I mean, more and more people come to the platform. I think some of the latest numbers I’ve seen from PRI membership standpoint is I think there’s one hundred. One hundred. Ten million or more. One hundred seventy. I can’t remember. But just to put that in perspective, I mean, sixty nine percent of all online product searches are starting on Amazon. So, you know, if you’re selling any type of physical product, you have to be there. Are you just like losing out on free traffic? Pretty much. So that’s the way we always approach it and try to help our clients understand the value of the platform. I mean, back then, yeah, it definitely was a lot more open. There’s a lot more. That were one person businesses importing stuff and selling it. Now there’s a lot more established brands. That doesn’t mean that, you know, whether you’re trying to start a business or whether you’re trying to scale a business, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in there and still be successful just because other people are already doing well.

Chris Davis: [00:05:46] Yeah, and that’s that’s why I want to talk about selling successfully selling on Amazon on today’s podcast, because you you get a mixed bag. I’m I’m you know, I usually default to both and I’m a both. And guy, when it comes to sales and marketing, I don’t like the hey, you either do this or that. It’s like, well, you can have e-commerce and you could be profitable on Amazon, you know, like, why not both? But I see a lot of times and you know, online there’s always the rivalry’s like iPhones better no Android. It’s like, well, Amazon, no Shopify. So it’s interesting. It’s interesting to say the least. But one more question I have for you. What was your entry? What was your entry into marketing? I’m always interested to know, like at what point did marketing catch your eye and you identify like, hey, I’m I’m actually really good at this.

Mike Begg: [00:06:39] Yeah, it’s actually funny because my background is not in marketing at all. I studied political science, international relations, economics. I worked in consulting, I worked in real estate before this. And yeah, I kind of just happened when we started selling. I mean, we the first time we put up our products, we, you know, we absorbed a lot of content and figured out the best way to do things. But we put up our first product. I think the first day we sold 30 units. And from there we were just we were hooked. We were like, awesome. We ended up growing our first brands about sixty thousand dollars a month in sales. Our second brand, we had some issues with it and get a successful and that’s kind of what I realized. Like, yeah, we’re pretty good at this, like, you know, figuring out how to make things stand out in the Amazon platform. How did you get paid advertising and things we were kind of figuring out on our own, but by figuring it out on our own, we were still so much further ahead from everybody else that never really invested in the platform. So, I mean, that’s how we got our start and that’s how we got a head start over a lot of the competition and a lot of other agencies that are out there now.

Chris Davis: [00:07:51] Yeah, I love it, man. I’m seeing a trend like the unintentional marketer is usually the strongest marketer. Right. There’s like I’ve I find myself in a similar pattern in a similar way with similar background, different path, because, you know, engineering, very much analytical driven writing code. And the only thing that I thought of marketing was like used car salesmen are people who try to come to my house and sell me magazines, you know, and growing up, it was hilarious because that was the only time where you would be hiding in your own house. Like, don’t think anybody that matters is, you know, and that was my relationship with marketing. So when the Internet evolves and introduces marketing as a viable means of growing your business and marketing and selling and connecting with people beyond your your your geographical location, it was it was initially hard for me to really embrace, like, can I do that because I had this negative stigma in my head this whole time. But man, you start to learn that marketing is really about relationships, right. Like relationships at scale and being able to identify what somebody needs, not convince them.

Chris Davis: [00:09:13] Right. Find the people who need what you’re what you have and strategically placed it in front of making that buying decision easy. So we get into Amazon. Crowded marketplace, crowded marketplace. I will admit, I will admit and maybe it’s covid, but I am an avid Amazon owner. There are times where I will I don’t know if this is bad or not, but Mike, there will be times where I’ll be in the store and I’ll see something I say, OK, I just ordered that off Amazon, you know, because I maybe I don’t want to stand in line. Mike, I’m in the store. Yeah. So I’m going to wait a whole day for this product. Yeah. I rather have the box shipped to me so we often I could get it cheaper. So I’d assume man that so many people are shopping on Amazon, yet so many businesses suffer with trying to with, with truly utilizing it. So what is break it down for us Mike. Treat us all like children. Give us the milk. What is an Amazon sales funnel?

Mike Begg: [00:10:20] So this is going to be a very, very deep answer, you know, when you think about when we think about what happened over the past year, you know, covid comes out, there’s all these restrictions on going into stores and that’s still happening. So a lot of store owners are suffering. There’s a bigger shift to get in the e-commerce and there’s so many options of where to go. And e-commerce. I mean, you’ve got Amazon, you’ve got Wal-Mart, you got Target, you know, building your own website, driving your own traffic there. There is no one right answer for what’s right for your business, the way I always explain it is that you kind of like what you said before the end. It’s like you should be on all of them. I mean, you should get your your products, your presence out there as much as possible. Yeah, I mentioned before that sixty nine percent of searches are starting on the Amazon platform. So when we think about brand awareness, brand discovery, more of that top of the sales funnel or the top of the funnel aspects, Amazon is great for that because that’s where you can get the exposure.

Mike Begg: [00:11:22] It’s where people are already going. So you just need to get the visibility out there. And the other great thing is that people that are going to Amazon have a high purchase intent. So when we think of the sales funnel within Amazon, it’s actually pretty shallow. I mean, you’ll get your people in and if they like the product, they’re going to buy it. Maybe they’ll click a couple other ones and see what else is out there. But Amazon is just one piece that fits within your broader e-commerce sales funnel and making sure that that sales channel is built properly or that funnels built properly is extremely important to seeing success across all your other platforms. Yeah. And I think that’s how I would start explaining it now, when we talk about Amazon specifically, you know, I mean, you probably know it since you shut down so much, what happens when you go to a product detail page or a listing and, you know, the photos are terrible or the copy doesn’t make sense or has bad reviews? Do you purchase the product?

Chris Davis: [00:12:20] Never, man. Never.

Mike Begg: [00:12:22] Exactly. So starting with the fundamentals, making all your content look good on the platform is the first key to get anyone to even consider your brand. What we always recommend is, you know, keep your branding consistent across different platforms. So, you know, if you have your own website already, you have your own color schemes, your own branding style guidelines, whatever it may be, make sure you’re using those across all your platforms, because that’s going to improve the customer experience. It’s going to make it seem more legitimate. You know, they’re going to have a better experience while buying. So that’s the first start. Then from there, we just need to start getting maximising the visibility. And that’s where the paid advertising comes in. That’s where we start filling the top of that funnel. And, you know, after that, it’s just trying to maximize that conversion rate by using different promotions, different tactics like that. So there’s a lot in that. I know. I’m sure we’ll go and do it more and more. Yeah, I would like to break some of it down.

Chris Davis: [00:13:14] Yes. So when you talk about advertising on Amazon’s platform. So the good thing about this is I have done no advertising on Amazon’s platform, so I feel like I can I’m going to try to harness the questions that somebody would ask that has no experience. Right. But I know I’m already skewed because I’ve advertised on other platforms. But is it am I saying this right when, you know, I search for something on Amazon in the first few results, say sponsored? Is that the advertising that you’re talking about?

Mike Begg: [00:13:47] It’s one of the different ad types. OK, and there’s there’s three different ad types then one within each ad type, there’s a different number of placements. So in reality, there’s probably, I don’t know, 30, 40 different places that ads show up on the Amazon platform and you probably don’t even realize it.

Chris Davis: [00:14:04] Wow. Wow. Because because each place does not is not labeled as sponsored like it. Like you would know it’s a corner like own on Google. I know if I don’t have my ad blocker on those first few results, they’re all paid so I can see who’s running advertising and who’s not. Same with Facebook. Yes, but Amazon you’re saying is not is a bit more discrete, depending on the location.

Mike Begg: [00:14:30] Yeah, it might, it may say it, but it may not be that clear on what exactly it is. So like, for example, you know, those first three products that show up when you go to a search page. Yep. Those are ads. You might get a headline at the top. That’s an ad. You’re going to get more of those sponsored products within the search page results. You’re going to get more at the bottom. You’re probably going to see another sponsored products related to the search. At the bottom of that, you go to the product detail page, you’re going to see an ad placement right below the Bible and another ad placed in below the bullet points for their ad placements further down. Yeah, they’re just everywhere. And sometimes they’re obvious, sometimes they’re not. But Amazon is constantly ab testing their platform, figuring out what ads are getting the best results, what placements are working the most. At the end of the day, what’s driving them have the most ad revenue. So, you know, they’re good at that.

Chris Davis: [00:15:25] Well, now that you say it, just in my memory now I’m starting to realize, yeah, I remember that. And then they’ll say, also bought this. Other people bought this. It is like this plus this. It’s like, oh yeah. I guess I do need that as well. So now it becomes, you know, traditional advertising. It doesn’t matter what platform you’re on it. It’s all about the copy right, the keywords. So is Amazon heavily keyword driven when it comes to like the title, or is it more so you’ve got you’ve got to have your description? I know it’s both, but how does Amazon prioritize what somebody is typing in that search bar, what to put in front of people?

Mike Begg: [00:16:07] So there’s a couple of things that when we’re talking about the content itself, you know, the priority of keywords like where you want to put your best keywords, you know, your best keywords should be in the title. Your next best keywords should be in the bullet points. The next best keywords should be in the product description. And then, you know, the last keywords are going to go in the back. And there’s actually a place to put additional search terms on the back end of Amazon. And all of that helps Amazon index it on the platform. So now that we understand a little bit of how the products are placed or what they’re indexed for, the way that you actually get your product ranking higher. So if we think about it in like SEO perspective, how do you get to page one on Google? Well, you have relevant content. You have a lot of other sources linking to your content, and that’s going to give you more visibility on Google. Now, if we take that concept to the Amazon side, how am I going to show up? Hired for the search term toothbrush, for example. Well, I need to get as many conversions as I can on the on the key word toothbrush or related keywords, the more conversions I get on that keyword, the more relevancy signals I’m sending to Amazon saying, hey, when someone searches this, they’re buying my product. That means my product’s relevant. You move further and further up. So starts with having the right keywords and then it starts and then it goes on to advertising on those keywords to make sure that you’re maximizing your your organic visibility over time. And that’s really how you’re going to be able to really game to game the system but start growing a lot faster when you do those two things are aligned.

Chris Davis: [00:17:43] Yeah. Yeah. Now. When it comes to setting expectations, you are helping a lot of small businesses navigate this space, right? What would a small what should a small business have in mind in terms of investment to be profitable on Amazon? And, you know, my definition of profitable, of course, you know, you have break even. But like, I’m doing this at a rate where I could I could see this for a living. I like what kind of investment wishes somebody have because I find that is different. Right. Is different for every platform and with all things. And marketing and sales is different per business, too. Don’t know the lifetime customer value. Don’t know your fulfillment. You know, there’s a lot of variables, but if you could give a rule of thumb, we’ll say a rule of thumb. If somebody says, man, I heard you on the All Systems Go podcast and I want to try this out, like where what state of what state of business revenue should they be in to to to have fair expectations of Amazon?

Mike Begg: [00:18:54] Ok, I think I’m going to try to break this into a couple different categories. I mean, a lot of times we have like this is a good example just because we’re coming through the covid pandemic, a lot of times you might have a business that has no revenue online right now, no e-commerce presence. So they need to start bringing money in the door. Yes, they should focus, obviously, on just getting the low, low cost keywords. Hiero as keywords, long tails are going to be great for that. You might not. The ad budget is probably going to be small. Probably one to two thousand dollars a month comes out to about 30 to 60 dollars a day on ads. And doing that, you know, that’ll generate sales and making sure their price points are correct. They should be able to generate a good margin there. If they’re targeting long tail kay words, where is going to be profitable for them? Go to that next step up. And this is kind of just the the evolution of the businesses within the Amazon platform. That next step is going to want to scale that. So now how do we. Maybe we accept a little bit of a lower row as but how can we maximize our visibility and get more brand consideration? Maybe they have other sales channels that are also bringing in money for them, know they might be they might be the ones that are looking for break even or, you know, just maximizing the brand visibility they made. Maybe they’ll accept a little margin. Nothing crazy. So that’s a whole nother level. And that’s, you know, that’s probably anywhere from two to ten thousand dollars in advertising to really start scaling once you get beyond that. These are the companies that are really invested in the Amazon platform, really invested in growing their brands, maximizing the visibility, getting their product out there to as many people as possible.

Mike Begg: [00:20:37] They’re doing probably ten thousand dollars a month or more on ad spend. I mean, I have clients that I manage 50 to 60 thousand dollars a month alone and ad spend and they’re getting, you know, three requests for Roizen. And so they’re when it comes down now at the volume we’re doing, not only so there’s two things here that we’re seeing is that because of the volume we’re doing, they may be making a smaller margin, but they’re selling so many more units that they’re actually generating significant revenue or because of the volume of units they’re doing, they may be actually actually actually able excuse me, to get volume discounts from their manufacturer when they’re going to purchase. So they’re increasing their margin that way. So those are two those are kind of like a three different tiers. I would say that people falling if you’re just getting started on the platform, trying to make your business, just starting to make some money, should always focused on the long tail stuff. It’s going to be the lowest cost, give you the highest margin. Overall, the volume just might not be as high because some of the keywords on the long tail side probably don’t get as many searches as you start growing online, get more comfortable in investing in the advertising. There’s a lot more things you can do even once you get beyond like that. First three levels. There is a whole nother world, which is the DSP side of Amazon that you can use to actually build your brand outside of Amazon. And there’s a ton of value in that. So, yeah, I mean, that’s the way I would kind of.

Chris Davis: [00:22:03] What’s that? That’s a new acronym DSP. I assume maybe the D for digital.

Mike Begg: [00:22:11] I’m pretty sure it stands for I just call it display but I’m pretty sure it’s the man demand-side programmatic advertising. OK, OK, so it’s all display advertising on Amazon with Amazon’s network and within other third party ad networks. And the great thing with this is that you can kind of link your data that you have from the seller side to the DSP. So now you have the access to the display network. You can do retargeting ads to people that have purchased your products before and push them back to Amazon. You can push them to your own website on Shopify. Now, you can start capturing those emails and start actually building, building a real brand and a real funnel outside of Amazon. So that DSP, you need to invest a little bit more in the money on the advertising side. But once you actually have kind of achieved that scale on the sales side, on the Amazon platform, it’s a huge opportunity to start using DSP, to start growing your business outside of Amazon.

Chris Davis: [00:23:12] Know that that is that is really good. Service is their display network where you can take them off of the Amazon ecosystem. Exactly. Now, that’s really interesting. So you’re saying now is that reserved for people who are selling at a certain volume? Because I can’t imagine they would just open that up.

Mike Begg: [00:23:32] It’s actually yeah, there’s definitely minimums, but there’s a lot of different ways you can do it. So you you can use the DSP whether if you’re selling products on Amazon or if you’re selling like like insurance or like non-physical goods, you can also use the DSP for it. But like I said, there’s a minimum. You usually have to work with another agency and they’ll combine your ad spend to reach those minimums. Right now, that minimum is about a million dollars a month. So you really have to pull your resources with a lot of other people to get to that minimum. And, you know, just to give you some perspective on how much that’s growing, I mean, you’ve probably seen the numbers that Amazon overtook all the other ad networks is the largest ad network right now. They did 11 billion in ad revenue last year, and it’s because of how quickly the ASP side is growing. So the minimum went from thirty five thousand per month to a million because there’s so much demand and not enough supply within the DSP network. So, yeah, it’s definitely super interesting stuff. You know, once you have that ability, once you have a good sales volume, once you’re making money there, you have that extra money to invest in the DSP. That is the next big step to really take that Amazon sales funnel and build it into a broader sales funnel for your entire brand.

Chris Davis: [00:24:55] Yeah, I. You see it, you know, not not having any fingers or toes in the space, but I can see the business model really forming, I would imagine, years you’ve seen this probably time and time again with your clients as they navigate different or they go through different phases and they’re able to start taking advantage of more and more that Amazon has to offer. And even though they’re growing, I still it still feels correct me if I’m wrong, but it still feels like there’s a lot of untapped potential in Amazon.

Mike Begg: [00:25:28] Oh, yeah. There’s always new opportunities to keep growing. Amazon’s always rolling out new ad tools or other tools to help you sell more on the platform. They have their own initiatives that they’re trying to push, like the influencer side of it. And, you know, a lot of more social media aspects to the Amazon app on your phone. But I mean, just ad network wise, there’s so many ways you can leverage all of Amazon’s data, even though you don’t get direct access to it to start building your own database of customers and then start growing outside the platform. So, yeah, I mean, once you once you understand that piece to it, the DSP thing, that’s that’s the big link. So, so many people stay away from Amazon because of they don’t control the data. The margins are low. They can’t compete on price point, whatever it is. But now, once you consider I have all the sales volume and all the sales data, now I can leverage Amazon’s other ad network to help me grow my business. That is the big transition that really opens people’s eyes to it.

Chris Davis: [00:26:26] And that was a perfect segue way, Mike, because all the while, you know, I like to feel know I could be off, but I don’t think I am right. But I like to feel like I hear my listeners voice in the future. And it feels like as we’re talking about this, somebody is like me and it sounds really good. Maybe we need to try Amazon again. And right when they say that they either hear a voice from a friend or a voice from their previous sales team, but they don’t give you all of your data. You there’s there’s no way for you to get customer information. This doesn’t get in before we’ll say, pre DSP. Right. What what should somebody approach be to Amazon? Because it’s true. It’s not a Shopify where you’re getting all of that information directly into your into your account. So what I come up with is what are some strategies that you’re helping businesses do, getting those repeat buyers in and navigating to success without owning the data that Amazon collects?

Mike Begg: [00:27:24] Sure. There’s definitely a few metrics you can kind of look at to measure your brand success or brand recognition or brand loyalty. I guess that’s a good way to put it. Good. One of them is to subscribe and save program. So maybe you’ve seen that Amazon, where it’s you know, you buy buying, get a five percent discount, you get a new product each month or every two months or whatever it is. If you see your subscribe and save numbers going up over time, that’s a good way to show that people are interested in your brand. They want your products. It’s going to continue to buy it. You don’t have access to who they are, but it’s a measure of how successful you’re being for our brand loyalty perspective on the platform. Another one is there’s a program called Brand Registry. And once you have your brand registered, so if you have a trademark, you can get brand registered, you get access to other tools. One of those sponsored brands, so sponsored brands gives you the ability to actually see your new to brand purchases. So every time someone clicks through your ad, if they’ve purchased your product before, they Amazon start all pulls that together. It’s recognized. If not, it’s a new to brand purchase. So you can see how well of a job, how good of a job you are doing finding new customers to your brand over time with the sponsored brands.

Mike Begg: [00:28:40] So again, this is another piece that it’s not you know, it’s not the customer’s email address, but you’re seeing how well you’re doing and finding new customers over time. And then the last piece there is with the brand registry, you have access to brand analytics and brand analytics gives you a few good pieces of data. One is search terms. So what search terms of people are you showing up the best for you? Converting the highest for it gives you, I think, three or four of the top. It shows what keywords you rank in. I think the top three places and how you’re converting for when someone searches those keywords. So it’ll give you the benchmark against how your competitors are doing on those top pages as well. The other one is market basket. So what products are they purchasing with your product, which is a good way to show you how maybe you can advertise on that product or how you can leverage that knowledge to expand product lines or, you know, figure out some type of marketing from that perspective. Alternative purchase is another one. What are people buying instead of my product? So there’s a lot of good stuff there. And then finally, they do give you some demographic information. So they give you age.

Mike Begg: [00:29:51] They give you an education income Location.

Mike Begg: [00:29:58] And there’s one more I’m blanking on, but you can also leverage that that data to a certain extent to use it within, you know, social media marketing, for example, on Facebook. So now you have some demo data. Let’s use that to run some Facebook ads and see if we can get people to our website. So while you might not be at the point where you’re ready to scale the DSP, there’s a lot of other ways to leverage the data within a platform to measure how well you’re doing in growing your brand over time.

Chris Davis: [00:30:25] No, that’s that’s refreshing. Man, I’m glad you broke that down, because you’ve got my wheels turning now because I’m looking at it as some of the data, some of the data that you mentioned is key for even content creation. You know, if you want to put a content out, I ran into a brand who who had really strong content marketing. And when it went on their website and when you went to buy it to take you to Amazon. Right. So I think having a strategic approach, because I’ve had that question in my mind, but now understanding a bit more of the analytics that are provided to you, there’s there are quite a few trends about your own product that you can identify and figure out just with what Amazon provides. It’s you know, they they they give you they may not give you the whole right. They may not give you the exact name and contact information. But within within the information that you’ve you’ve listed out with a strategic approach in mind that understands how to leverage their ecosystem. I mean, that could be very powerful data. Is that what you. So let me ask you this. What what other dimensions of marketing have you helped businesses with once you start to collect that data that Amazon provides you about their product sales?

Mike Begg: [00:31:44] Yeah, so we had a lot of partners there on that side, you know, on the social media side or email our email marketing once they get their website going. But we work with them. So we’ll kind of, you know, the way we approach it, we’re partners with them. We’re essentially slotting into their business. We’re managing the sales channel for them. So we’re leveraging the knowledge that we’re building within the platform and trying to help their other teams, whether it be social media, whether it be other networks like CRM or, you know, social ads or whatever it may be to leverage that data. I mean, there’s a great example of. You know, and obviously this depends on platforms, it depends on products, but if you’re selling a product that is primarily targeted to women. Women are primarily purchasing the product. You’re getting that demo, dad, on Amazon is telling you. Now, where can you take that data and go apply it the same way? The one that sticks out in my mind all the time is Pinterest, because Pinterest, I think, is 80 percent women. It’s one of the highest use platforms. I mean, that more or less is your target audience. Now, how can we use this demo data to help start building the ad network on Pinterest? Same thing on Facebook. It’s just working with other teams within their companies to help them grow. I mean, one day we hope to grow our business, to be able to provide these services ourselves. But right now, we’ve got to do what we got to do. And I think you brought up another good point there. Going back to what we talked about earlier. You know, your background in marketing. I mean, digital marketing now is so much about the data and analytics and understanding it and seeing the trends and how it all pieces together. That’s why engineers are really good at it. Finance people are really good at it. Just be able to pull all that together and make sense of it and maybe the creative side they don’t have, but they you know, they can hire someone to create it just pulls it all together.

Chris Davis: [00:33:34] So it gives you a full spectrum and it gives you a full spectrum of what it takes to be successful in digital marketing. Right. Yeah, that that I love, man, I’m trying not to get caught up. I’m looking out my window here because my, my, my you’ve got my mind going with just all of that data. You know, I’m just one of those people if you show me the trends. Right. Show me what people are doing. The next step is so straightforward, like just follow the steps that the data is telling you to take. Don’t get creative. Don’t get in your feelings and get emotional about it. Like, take all of that out and look at the data and see what is telling you to do. And it’s so I know I’ve got buddies that will know run a lean in PvP model using Facebook. They’ll put an idea out there, run some advertising to it, see how it’s see how it how the market receives it or see what demographic receives it more. And then they start to flesh out marketing around that. Have you have you seen that in Amazon? I don’t I don’t know if it’s a if that approach would work in the Amazon marketplace.

Mike Begg: [00:34:43] It’s just a higher investment to kind of do it that way because you only get that data once your brand registered. So you first have to have a trademark approval. So if you’re going to test it for the demo data, does it make sense? Definitely opportunities to test a product and we’ve done that ourselves. We help some people do that where you, Dell, will research a product idea by one hundred units, throw them on the platform, see how they sell, see what the margin is and see what the advertising cost is below. And then from there, see whether it makes sense to scale the product. I think that’s more of like. Yeah, sure. Flexible, nimble approach. Then once it makes sense on that point, then you can get the demo data with the trademark and things like that. So that’s the way I would really approach on the Amazon platform to try to see new product ideas and get them out there. It’s definitely gonna be a little different than Facebook, though.

Chris Davis: [00:35:33] Yeah, I love it, man, as we’re man. My God. And the more you talk, the more the questions multiply in my mind. The two things I wanted to ask you. Man one relative to you, you and your growth and then the other relative to the growth of your clients. Right. OK, if you look at your experience, you know, with Amazon and growing your business, learning the platform and everything, what would you say? I like to talk in growth levers. Like what would you say? Was that one lever that that you were able to pull that that added the most value? It could be revenue. It could be client, basically. What was that thing? That one thing that you said, man, once we figured this out, you know, we saw all the tide rolls, all boats in the ocean for us.

Mike Begg: [00:36:22] Yeah, for sure. I mean, when it comes to running the agency and growing this business that I’m in right now, product quality, you know, we think a lot of times we think of product quality as a physical product, you know, does it work? Does a break a lot. But the reality is that the product you’re putting out there is a service in a marketing agency is extremely important. You know, you might not be able to deliver amazing results all the time, but that’s not the only part of your product. Your product is your communication with your clients, your ability to help in to help them dive in and solve their problems, whatever it may be. That’s all part of the product that a lot of people don’t pay attention to. And I think once we started focusing more on the whole list, the holistic side, and not just maximizing the sales or getting the best results, we were seeing a lot more retention. You’re seeing, you know, the business grow the revenue grow a lot faster over time because we were retaining more revenue. So for me, product quality on the service side is extremely. You know, I think if you’re going to be growing an agency, that’s one of the most important things you should be focused on.

Chris Davis: [00:37:25] Man, I love that holistic product quality man. And you’re right. You’re absolutely right. People get short sighted real quick and they don’t understand or I should say they don’t. I won’t say they don’t understand, but they neglect to think about the holistic experience that their clients are going through. So that’s a great woman. And then the second is to your client base. You’ve seen I can’t imagine how many businesses you’ve helped in how many trends and war stories you could probably share. But if there were one thing that you saw consistent across all of them in achieving success with Amazon, what what would that one thing be?

Mike Begg: [00:38:09] Within the Amazon platform, I would say the thing that’s the most important is just playing by Amazon’s rules. A lot of people try to take shortcuts, try to do black hat stuff, try to figure out all these ways that just game a system, whatever you do, that Amazon is going to catch on eventually. I mean, you know, there’s so many different things we could talk about trying to purchase reviews to get for your product. You know, Amazon can flag you for that and not disclosing, you know, some aspect of your product that might qualify as a medical product and be restricted in certain ways or an adult product can be restricted in certain ways. We worked with plenty of people that have tried to do to go that route, and Amazon always catches them. I mean, it might take a while. They might see success in the short run. But what happens when you start achieving that success and then Amazon catches on and shut you down? I mean, you know, there goes your entire sales channel for that product that’s gone. Yes. It’s better just doing things by the book, making sure you’re all set up properly from the beginning, not doing anything wrong. It’s going to eliminate the chance of you getting kicked off the platform. It’s going to eliminate the chance of any real bad thing happening. So, again, playing by the rules, the best way to to be successful on Amazon platform.

Chris Davis: [00:39:20] Yeah, makes sense, man. Learn the rules, man. Learn, learn the rules. So at least you know, when you’re breaking them, the very least that’s important.

Chris Davis: [00:39:30] All right.

Chris Davis: [00:39:31] Well, Mike, man, I want to thank you so much for coming on to the podcast. This was great for me. I’m glad I did not dive too deep into this topic because I didn’t want it to go over people’s head. I feel like the questions that I had are natural questions that everybody else had. You did a great job with describing them or answering them, I should say. And it and I see opportunity, man. I do. I see a lot of opportunity. I don’t think you can just look at Amazon as a channel just to say you have to have a strategy and understand the different levels that your advertising and revenue unlock for you and then have a strategy for that, too. Right. Which makes sense why you are who you are. Right. Why your agency exists to help people navigate those growth cycles. So if anybody listening wanted to get more information with you, connect with you in any way, where should they go?

Mike Begg: [00:40:29] Of course. Well, Chris, it sounds like I actually did a good job explaining how you’re able to piece all of that together now. But the best way to get in touch with us is excuse me, either directly at our website, AMZAdvisers.com , or you can email me directly. It’s Mike@AMZAdvisors.com. I’m always glad to answer any questions or concerns that you have about the Amazon platform. And yeah, I mean, just send us a message, set up a call. We’re glad to talk any time.

Chris Davis: [00:40:57] So great. Great. Well, I’ll post those links in the show notes. So everybody listening. They’ll be available to you. Automation Bridge.com/podcast. Mike, again, thank you. Thank you for coming on to the podcast. This has been great man. I really appreciate it.

Mike Begg: [00:41:13] Chris, thanks for having me. I really appreciate your time today. And hopefully your audience learned something.

Chris Davis: [00:41:18] Absolutely. I’m sure they will be. Have a great day. All right. Thank you for listening to this episode of the All Systems Go podcast.

Mike Begg: [00:41:26] And here’s what I want you to do. Think of that product base business. It doesn’t matter if they’re on Shopify evolution. Well, Commerce, Magento, big commerce, put in any e-commerce selling platform and do me a favor and share this with them just so they have additional insight on how they could potentially use Amazon as another sales channel for their business. As Mike said, we really can’t afford not to take an omni channel approach to our sales. Amazon is not the end all be all, but it can be profitable. I don’t know about you, but my gear started turning once he started to talk about data and in the trends in everything that you could get from Amazon, I just really started to you all know my information. There is no automation without information. So however, however, you can get those trends and information on your business and on your products, it’s so critical and so vital. So I hope that this enlightened you for those of you who are looking at Amazon as a viable channel, a potential channel, maybe this was just that extra push that you needed. So be sure to share this with that product base business owner, whether their scales are their sales are scaling or not, share this with them and let them know. I’m also now is the time that I extend my personal invitation to you to become a subscriber of the podcast. We are available in Apple podcast, Google podcasts. You can subscribe on YouTube wherever you get your podcast to All Systems Go podcast is available. Your five star rating in review is appreciated in advance and every Thursday make sure you subscribe because every Thursday we release new episodes just like this.

Chris Davis: [00:43:07] That will help you become more well-rounded in the digital marketing space and Automation Bridge, we’re dedicated to training digital marketing professionals to become automation service providers. And that just means being able to efficiently navigate marketing strategy as well as marketing technology, put them together and build systems for your small business that will help you scale continually. OK, these these small businesses and enterprises are in dire need of marketers with that ability. OK, so if that’s you, if when you’re listening to this and you’re like, man that I want to do that for a living, I can tell you this. The space of marketing automation is an evolving and and and it is taking off. We are still in the incipient stages of this space. And it’s so exciting to see how many ways automation can impact a business. So if you want to be part of that impact, if you want to be part of the small business revolution where we’re equipping these businesses with automation done right, I will say I would invite you to go to automationbridge.com/ASP and take the next steps to talk to myself or someone on my team to assess if you will be a good fit for our program, where we can equip you with the exact framework that I use, I use and have used.

Chris Davis: [00:44:41] OK, this is not theoretical. This is practical. It works that I’ve used to scale businesses to millions, countless of times in all industries. So if that’s you, if you listen to this and it just it just it goes beyond piquing your interest, you’re like, yes, that is what I want to do. Automation, bridge dotcom for aspy. Let’s get a time set up where we can talk and discuss what the best next next steps for you are. The time is now and the need has never been greater than right now. My voice to your ears is the truth. OK, I’m seeing it with my own eyes. I’m serving it with my hands and I’m building an army. I’m building a community of of automation service providers who are ready to take on the challenge and grow the space and ensure that these small businesses are able to digitize their transitional business operations to be able to operate in this digital age.

Chris Davis: [00:45:42] Ok, all the show notes are all the show notes in podcast. Previous podcasts are accessible at Automation Bridge Dotcom for its last podcast.

Chris Davis: [00:45:52] You can subscribe there and listen to all episodes at your leisure. So until next time I see you online Otomi responsible for.

 

You'll Learn

  • How Amazon is prioritizing keywords and where you should be placing your best keywords to optimize your searchability
  • Mike’s rule of thumb for what state of business revenue you should be in to have fair expectations of the Amazon platform
  • How you can take your Amazon sales funnel to the next step, by using DSP, and begin scaling your business outside of Amazon
  • A few strategies and metrics you can use with your Amazon funnel for tracking and gaining repeat buyers
  • The one thing that Mike has seen consistently that aids most in achieving success with Amazon

Today's Guest

Michael Begg is an entrepreneur and expert in eCommerce, digital marketing and operational nearshoring. Mike co-founded AMZ Advisers with his two partners in 2015, and has grown the business to managing over $10M per year in ad spend and $100M per year in Amazon sales. Mike and the AMZ team also operate AMZ Courses, educating Amazon sellers on how to maximize sales on the platform. Mike loves sharing advice and help on anything related to Amazon and building efficient businesses.

Resources Mentioned

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About the Show

On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.

Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.

Chris L. Davis - Chief Automation Officer
YOUR HOST

Chris L. Davis

Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant