How To Build A Profitable Business

A bunch of you reached out after the last newsletter, wanting to know more about how to leverage merchandising in your marketing efforts.

I’ll be honest: I’m reluctant to share more about this topic because it’s never been popular in the past. Newsletters or posts with “Facebook Ads” in the title always drive a lot more reader interest. But I’m going to plow ahead anyway, because these concepts are incredibly valuable.

I used to ask people “What is the number one factor influencing the conversion rate on your site?”

If those people were members of the cult of “Best Practices”, they usually gave an answer like “site speed” or “offer”. But that’s not the answer; the answer is the product that you’re selling.

If you’re selling something that no one wants, the best marketer in the world will fail.

Most digital marketers and agencies feel that product is outside of their control. Part of this is disempowerment; sometimes designers and merchants can be incredibly territorial, especially when data threatens to turn a soft skill into a hard skill.

But a big part of marketing’s aversion to product is laziness and a lack of intellectual curiosity. If you can get promoted every 1.5 years by implementing vendors who show “big wins” using faulty attribution, why bother doing anything else?

I’ll tell you why: eventually, the “slap an app on it” school of growth stops working. To build a sustainable brand, you need to think of customer acquisition as an investment: what is the return on your ad spend, and over what timeframe will you realize that return?

And to build a big brand (like >$50M), you need a diversified customer mix. Here is how to use merchandising and marketing to manage your growth.

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