In this episode of Ignite University Jesse Ness, Director of Growth Marketing at Ecwid, walks us through some of the best practices that have allowed the Ecwid business to grow.
Outside of this, Jesse also talks about Chatbots and why he is so excited about them right now. Jesse is an industry veteran and this is one podcast you don’t want to miss.
What You Will Learn:
- How to succeed in modern marketing
- How to use Google searches to get users into a funnel
- The importance (and drawbacks) of analytics in advertising
- Why podcasts and chatbots have a big place in the future of marketing
[00:00:00] John: Hello Ignite nation Welcome to another Ignite visibility University, today on the podcast I have director of growth marketing Jessie Ness who works for Ecwid.com. Jesse, thank you so much for being on how you doing today?
[00:00:22] Jesse: Dude, great job, good to, good to be on I, I do a podcast myself and so now I’m on the other side of this, so I hope, I hope I can do all right being the on the other side of the microphone.
[00:00:35] John: First time on the other side of the microphone…
[00:00:38] Jesse: Yeah. It is my first time going the other way so you know, here we go…
[00:00:43] John: Awesome. Well, let’s dive into it and just so everybody knows from Ignite Visibility University, Jesse and I do have a history. We’ve known each other for quite a long time. We’ve been colleagues we have taken Google Analytics exams together. I think I actually got quite a few tips from him the first time that I was taking my GA IQ back in 2010 and, you know, since then Jesse has had just an amazing career in digital and incredibly smart guy who I really respect and a lot of ways, and now Jesse’s at Ecwid.com. So Jesse, tell us just a little bit about what you’re doing now what’s, what’s your role looking like at Ecwid and break that down for us a little bit…?
[00:01:26] Jesse: Yeah. So director of growth marketing is kind of a new title in the industry. So I’ve been in the marketing side up, I would say director of growth marketing or related roles are I’m like the traffic guy, right, if you will. So I handle SEO, PPC, primarily, you know, Facebook and Google and kind of all different types of traffic acquisition all the way in we’re a SAS platform so all the way for getting people all the way through sign up in the paid.
So I touch a lot of different things all the I will say I get to do a lot of the fun stuff in marketing where, you know, we get to do videos on YouTube and, you know, Facebook, all the crazy stuff going on Facebook and Instagram. So it’s a good, good place to be.
[00:02:13] John: Absolutely, that does seem to be the title that everybody’s kind of going after now, director of growth marketing, you know, head of growth marketing, it seems to be very, very digital-focused a little bit, in some ways more digital, but in this case, it’s an overarching title of director of growth marketing. I’ve seen that title growing quite a bit and so Jesse, tell me a little bit about you know, kind of how you got to where you are today. So and I think you know, a lot of people on listening to this podcast with Ignite nation, Ignite visible University, you know, they really eventually want to get to a role where they’re like, Director of growth marketing. So how did you get started? And then how did you end up to, to be in this position?
[00:02:55] Jesse: Sure. So, you know, it’s actually a little funny and get the getting started was I started, I sort of talked my way into my first job in all honesty, I had done PPC for my own side business and I thought I knew what I was doing but just like watching a few videos and stuff, and then when I went to this interview, which I was not, like, qualified for, in all honesty, you know, I actually was learning things from the person interviewing me, I’m like, oh, wow, I didn’t track conversions, You can do that.
So, so anyway, I kind of talked my way, my first role, but from there was a really fast learning curve where, you know, like, when you have clients that are asking you questions, and you don’t know the answer, like, I was able to research and find the answer pretty quickly and so, so anyway, I did kind of talk my way into my first gig, but I will say from there, it was just, you know, it’s just learning quickly and of course, you can, you can always Google it. So there’s hopefully people listening know that like, yeah, you can always Google most of the questions you get, but then it’s just, you know, perform from, from that point on.
[00:04:02] John: No, I absolutely love that. That’s actually one thing that I always tell people that are industry specific. There’s a million blogs, you know, on every topic in digital marketing, you can always Google it, you can always figure it out, you can always get scrappy and find out the answer to something quickly. So that’s actually a great tip.
[00:04:18] Jesse: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it should be obvious but yeah, just Google it and you’ll probably figure it out. And, you know, like, if you want to make it in digital, eventually you’re going to go into a new platform, and you’re going to have to figure it out. Like there’s going to be, yep, navigate around, look at the fields, fill stuff out and most of its obvious if you know, like get outside of your head and just think about it like, oh, it says, description, like, all right, well, right along description, and probably you use keywords that Google’s going to like.
So that’s kind of a, you know, you can always figure it out and even if you’re not, I’m not a developer, necessarily, but I know enough about dev stuff to talk to my dev’s so you can figure it out.
[00:05:01] John: Absolutely. So talk us through that career history a little bit though, just briefly. So you, I know you kind of got your way in your first job, but then you were a director at a couple different companies and then, and then now you’ve been at Ecwid for a while. So I mean, that was quite an evolution. I mean, you’ve been in the space for, I would say, over a decade now or near a decade. Is that right?
[00:05:24] Jesse: Yeah, it’s really weird and scary. Yeah, you know, I started out at a pretty, pretty low salary when I was a little, you know, actually took a step down from a different career and then, you know, I think in digital, LinkedIn is your friend and by that I mean, like, you know, you have the right title, you have the right job experience, like people, there’s recruiters in this industry, John, you probably have seen both sides of that where, you know, like the recruiters and they recruit out of your company as well and so that it’s it can be frustrating, but for people that are looking to build a career in this industry, like there are recruiters out there and they are paid only if they find you a job, and usually that comes with a nice little, usually there’s a 20% pay bump in that, you know, give or take.
So, so I actually got my first job and recruited out fairly soon to a rival agency and actually, the next agency was great. I had a good learned a lot there as well and, you know, like the hashtag agency life like, yeah, it was a, you had to work pretty hard and there was some late evenings every now and then, but it was fun, you learn a lot and then I got recruited out to another e commerce platform. Spent a couple years there and then I was recruited again and actually, you knows is really all kind of through LinkedIn and being recruited and then once I was at Ecwid, I was just, it was very comfortable place. You know, I just I liked what I do.
You know, like I’m in the e-commerce space in the digital so and I have a couple side businesses as well. So for me, this is great where, you know, when I’m at work I’m learning stuff for when am at home and when I’m at home, I’m learning stuff that I can apply at work and, you know, so but I actually liked the industry. I like digital. I like advertising and e-commerce. So it’s fun for me. It’s not really always a job.
[00:07:17] John: Yeah, you know, Jesse, Jesse, Jesse is a true industry expert and humble, you know, in a lot of ways, but running a variety of very successful marketing programs at different agencies in town and then now at Ecwid, which has been about five plus years now and you’ve had a great run, they’re growing that company, and we’ve worked together and we’ve done some, some pretty amazing stuff.
They’re like, man, you know, launching and, you know 27 different countries and languages and an SEO and SEM and Facebook and I mean, I mean, it’s been a pretty amazing ride with that business and so Now that we’re kind of, you know, we’re talking a little bit about the Ecwid side, which if you guys don’t know what they do, you know, they’re an e-commerce platform. Jesse won’t you maybe explain a little bit about what Ecwid is because I think it’s a pretty interesting model and not something you see a lot of online, you do have a couple of unique qualities. Right?
[00:08:18] Jesse: For sure. So I mean, I’ll give you a kind of the, the, the corporate answer first, and then I’ll give you the more off the cuff answer, but you know, yeah, don’t worry if this is for, you know, child safe, whatever but, uh, yeah, so they could be, you know, the corporate answers were a freemium, SAS e commerce platforms. So freemium means you can get started, it’s free. You can build an online store, make sales, you can, you can do a whole bunch for free for lifetime. So kind of like Dropbox where you can use it for free.
We’re also really strong and social. So if you want to have a store on Facebook, and then Instagram is kind of in a hot one lately, oh, it will say like, Instagram’s the hottest platform out there for social and we allow people to have shockable posts so they can, you know, take a lifestyle shot a product shot and then just like taking people on Instagram posts, you can tag a product so it makes those posts shop-able and stories, shop-able things like that.
So that’s been like a really fun campaign to work on, not really campaign, just like a huge, just a big thing. So, so we love that and I would say I was just at some conferences recently in in when you only have 30 seconds to pitch your company I was saying if woo commerce and Shopify had a baby, they would have Ecwid. So that’s my… I have tested it out…
[00:10:22] John: I like that. Yeah…
[00:10:23] Jesse: Just not at happy hours and stuff to was not, you know and like okay people can kind of get it more like yeah, like woo commerce, which only works on WordPress, but that’s like free downloadable and Shopify is you know, they’re kind of leading the market right now but they’re, they’re a, you have to use Shopify, you can’t put it any other place. It’s definitely on the more expensive side. So, so yeah…
[00:10:45] John: I never thought that Ecwid had a great model. You know, I love the distributed commerce angle. You know, I learned about that when we started working with you guys a long time ago, but this idea that you can sell anywhere and I feel like distributed commerce is something that Growing online right now and it’s becoming really complicated for a lot of people to manage because you can sell in so many different places and so how do you get the product in those places connected to your initial inventory and kind of have everything talking together and one thing that’s cool about Ecwid is it allows you to do that but on a micro level, like it’s not like a premium super expensive option or anything like that and a small medium business can get up and running kind of right away and be selling.
So it definitely is a pretty darn cool platform that you guys have going there. So, so Jesse you been running marketing there with you know other people as well but you know, you know now leading director of growth marketing and, and I know that you’re incredibly savvy marketer talk to me about like some of the ways that you’re seeing success in marketing right now for this type of, you know, SAS business like what’s, what’s really working, walk us through that a little bit…?
[00:11:58] Jesse: Sure. So I think the things that are working are, you know, this should be kind of part of everybody’s toolset right? Like this is the general blueprint is, you know, use Google AdWords or Google ads, whatever they’re calling it now for the, you know, to gather the most, you know, gather search traffic for people that are your best customers and then use Facebook…
Well, I’m simplifying a little bit but of course, you’re using Facebook more for the remarketing and you know, pushing them through your funnel, if you will. So, and of course, there’s crossover like you can use Google for remarketing and you can also use Facebook for prospecting but generally speaking, it’s people that are searching the keywords that I want they’re in Google because they know specifically what they want. They find us. Hopefully they sign up right away, but of course they don’t and then you use Facebook to target specific ads and videos, depending on where they are in the process.
So they just saw they’re going to get me marketing a little more general, raw, raw e commerce and then if they have already signed up and haven’t paid yet, we’re going to talk more about very specific features that they would get if they upgrade or more. You know, so kind of pushing them through the funnel or the, you know, the customer journey, whatever you want to call it, depending on your business. So those are kind of the two big ones and then now I know you’re an SEO guy, so…
[00:13:22] John: Okay, wait, wait, so Ignite visibility university, I want you to just get a second and listen to what Jesse just said. I mean, he just breezed over that but that is, that’s a super advanced, awesome paid media strategy. So somebody’s doing a search in Google. They’re looking for your product or service. They come to the landing page, they’re qualified, you turn that into your Facebook remarketing funnel or maybe you’re serving them a series of ads and videos and then pushing them further and further down, and that type of thing and then using that, of course as a next step to create things like lookalike audiences or similar audiences within Google. That’s the kind of innovative Cutting Edge stuff that is working pretty well right now. So Jesse, awesome. Keep, keep walking us through some of the other things that are working for you…
[00:14:07] Jesse: Yeah, and I think and to add to what you said there, it’s really about layering, layering all those different strategies. So like, yes, of course, if they type in a specific keyword, they’re super qualified, they typed in that keyword because they, you know, they really wanted it but if you can layer on had they been to your site before you bid up more on that particular campaign or if they’re going to look like campaign you bit more, and kind of layering all these different audiences and all these and that is more on the advanced side like I probably didn’t do that very well, you know, two years ago and I’ve been working on that as a strategy of the past couple years but like layering and then of course, once you get people to certain pages, Facebook knows a lot more about these people than we do so they’re look alikes’ are very powerful.
They know they know weird things about people that you know, if somebody is interested in this particular SAS platform, they know other people that might be interested in, they’ll show that so, so anyway, layering remarketing audiences on top of those strategies and you know, like for on the SEO side SEO is like, that’s more of the marathon than a sprint. So, you know, building content, you know, and, and actually, I use, we use kind of blogging as we boost a lot of our posts for blogging, and then certain, certain posts just get certain engagement, and then we’ll use those pretty marketing to so it’s kind of like a test, test bed and so SEO kind of just happens in the long run. You know, like, there’s a lot of things you can do, but if you just keep building content, you know, eventually Google will notice you. So am super simplifying …
[00:15:50] John: I love how you explain. Oh, you nailed that system and for our listeners, Jesse just hit on the tip of the iceberg for what is really a system that works incredibly well in digital right now and, you know, on the SEO side, they’ve done very well for a long time. There’s a lot more to that it goes deeper and deeper but do you understand how Jesse just said that they do a blog topic and then they do remarketing around that and then push them further down the phone awareness stage and do us everything together, the integration between paid and the integration between SEO and email, and all those things together, is what has allowed this business to cut through the clutter and do really, really well. So, so just so you talk, you gave us a couple great points. I mean, I think the Ignite University is really going to appreciate that. Talk to us about some of the paid points, okay and this doesn’t necessarily need to be for Ecwid industry-wide. Like your deep you’re, you’re at all these events, like where some of the needs right now. Can you talk to us about that a little bit? Like where to frustrations come up for you?
[00:16:56] Jesse: Yeah, so tracking is always a pain in the butt, tracking and attribution and, you know, and I will say, I’ve been working here six, almost seven years now and I will say we still don’t really have it figured out completely in that, in that I mean, oh, yeah, we have Google Analytics setup, and we’ve dialed it in, and we have filters, and we have Facebook, and we have all the pixels installed and then we have a database.
So we have all this information coming towards us but they don’t all tell us the same thing very specifically, Facebook tends to be very, very generous with their attribution and the systems we have to track Google. We’re a little conservative with it and so I might have a certain cost per acquisition in Google that’s quite a bit higher than my cost per acquisition in Facebook but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Google is performing better than Facebook and I have no idea what does each of those numbers should be so even many years down the road. I don’t, I couldn’t actually tell you if a, is a Google conversion work twice as much as it is it what Facebook tells me conversion is? I don’t know. So that’s a problem and I know I’m not the only person with that problem. So…
[00:18:12] John: Well the thing, Jesse, is that Jesse, everybody’s listening, Jesse knows more about analytics than most people. It’s almost like, you know, so much at this point that you don’t trust any of it because, you know, you and I have spent so many hours going through analytics, not recently, but about a year ago with a couple things and, you know, I have to say, it’s not just you, I talked to so many marketers out there, they have such an issue with digital attribution from start to finish. So I got to think that I agree with you that that’s got to be one of the main pain points and, you know, I think that Data Studio dashboards and things like that are kind of helping, but with all these different ways that you can kind of track and inflate data. It just it gets complicated when you’re reporting to a sea level or something like that. Right?
[00:19:00] Jesse: That is, that is the case and, you know, I’m looking at the data, and I’m discounting this, you know, conversion versus this one, but then I report it up to, you know, board level and, you know, people that I’m not even in the room with and they might say, well, well, boy, if this number is lower than this one, why don’t you just spend more money on Facebook? And it’s like, well, you know, Facebook is tracking view through and you know, like, that all gets lost in the translation. So, so yeah, anyway, that tracking attribution always a problem, even though there are all sorts of fancy tools that give you all sorts of fancy numbers and more metrics and graphs than you could possibly absorb. You still kind of have to take a look at the overall. All right, did, did the company make money to the company get new customers more so than we did the month before? And, you know, average across the whole thing? I mean…
[00:19:50] John: Hundred percent…
[00:19:51] Jesse: Broadly, you know, yeah. Yeah.
[00:19:52] John: So we talked a little bit about the bad stuff, right. You know, as far as the pain points were having and tracking is a big one. I think tracking and forecasting are big ones. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but we’re actually working on something around that space right now been working on it for a little while. So Jesse, you will be the first to know, when we get into things like new innovations. Right. So marketing, you and I are at a lot of conferences, you know, you traffic and conversion summit. I think you’re at Social Media World. I mean, you’re out there like, what? We’re both very excitable about new things and digital, which can be kind of bad because you tried too many things at once. Right? Yeah, it’s not about a good thing but yeah, tell us like what are you kind of pumped up about right now? Like, what? What are the things that you’re kind of excited about?
[00:20:37] Jesse: Yeah, and I do have shiny new object syndrome, for sure in marketing so yeah, I do like to chase, chase new things but I, you know, we have a pretty small team here. So we have to, we have to pick and choose and we can’t chase everything. One thing I will say on that, you know, like I do, I do a podcast as well and part of the I will say that kind of the hidden value in a podcast is that you know, you record it like right now we’re doing audio recording this pushing that out and people are listening but at the same time you can do transcripts.
So if you don’t like to write or if you just don’t find the time to write your podcast then becomes a transcript which then becomes content that Google can read. So that’s sort of a, you know, SEO on autopilot if you will, or content creation on autopilot. So that’s, that’s one thing and I actually like the medium I like talking to people I like to you know, pick their brains and things like that.
So that’s one thing but that’s not exactly new podcast has been out there for a while so but I think it’s kind of a big market so FYI, out there on that, but as far as more to will say, the bells and whistles, the shiny new objects. I’m definitely excited about chat bots as a in a couple different areas and that’s kind of what I was focused at Social Media Marketing World I was, I sat in most of the chat bot tracks and chat bots I see as there’s a lot of different ways you can look at what do you go to certain you go to a lot of e commerce sites right now and you’ll see the chat the live chat widget is connected to a chat bot. That’s one way but I think that’s more of a, it’s more of like a live chat replacement. That’s one, one option.
The other option is using chat bots in Facebook ads so you can in Facebook you can target people you know, like all the normal targeting you can you can have but you can also have Facebook set as a goal I believe it’s called engagement or might be engagement, might be chat messages actually. I’m not looking at it right now. So you can set it up so Facebook is wants people to engage with this chat bot and you know, you try to set up a couple different questions that are no brainer, easy questions that help segment them and then gets them excited about your brand.
So now with an ad that you probably only paying a couple cents per click, people have now engaged with your brand, a couple different conversations and then now they’re on their list. So that was the, the big thing that I kind of skipped over is creating a list a messenger list, or fill in the blank for other chat. You know, it could be WhatsApp, it could be telegram, it could be whatever but I think in a couple years, building your messenger list or whatever list is, is going to be very important, mostly because people are not reading emails anymore. They’re not opening them. They’re not clicking on them. So I think the stat that I remember and I’m probably going to butcher the numbers are, you know, the open rate of an email right now is above 20% but on a message that people get on their phone, the click through rate is 20%.
So now, you know that’s a huge, huge difference when you know there’s people or there’s email blindness or whatever they call it but now people are opening the chats because it’s on the top of their phone. There’s a little ding they look at it. They’re like, ooh, what is this but people don’t do that for your email at all. They ignore your emails. So I think, you know, for me, I’m excited about trying to build a messenger list and I think in a couple years, that’ll be a, you must do this not like a fancy new toy to play with. So…
[00:24:43] John: I have to agree with you 100%. I actually had a demo recently for a chat bot that basically works with Google My Business. It works with Facebook, it works with your website in a variety of other platforms and you can do a couple interactions within it, then it’s going to serve you a product, then it will actually show you the product you can try on the product within the chat bot through augmented reality and it was just literally the coolest thing I’ve seen. It was amazing and now, there are a couple different ads out there that will also let you interact with a chat bot inside of the ad. And Ad-lingo is the Google platform for this. But there’s other platforms out there to that within like an html5 ad, you can actually interact with the chat bot.
So I believe that a core chat bot technology, just like you said is going to be really important and you’re going to have to funnel in people from all the different traffic sources through your chat bot technology but to have one central chat bot technology is going to be really, really important. So I’m excited about that and I have seen huge open rates and click through rates also through messenger as well. So really exciting stuff. Anything else innovative on your on your mind right now or is it mostly the chat bot stuff that you’re looking at?
[00:26:03] Jesse: Boy, chat bots kind of the thing and I think for actually for people listening if especially if you’re new to the industry jumping on that and kind of like you’re volunteering, I think is going to be good for you because in a couple years it’ll be like there’s an email marketing and there’s a PPC person SEO person there might be a chat person at every company. So I think that’s a, and there’s just not any there’s nobody has the skills right now. Like it’s, it’s really it’s just the wild west of figuring this stuff out. So, so I jumped on that.
There was a presentation that was given that this is actually like a party the night before one of the conferences that I was like enthralled by… So I have kind of been ignoring our YouTube channel for some time and then we get a lot of, we have a lot of videos of people on it but there is a tool called to buddy to up buddy. It is like a will call like the SEM rush for YouTube channels and you two videos. So that’s something I was actually talking about it with a coworker this morning. I’m like, man, if we really want to, you know, crush our YouTube channel, this is probably the way so that’s something I’m excited about. I don’t do good videos personally. So that’s I have to work on that but so I’m excited about that.
I think I’ll give you a little bit of equity answer here as well. So I think this is something if you’re in the e commerce space, this is something everybody should get on is that Instagram shop-able posts. So in, by the way, you don’t have to use Ecwid for this. So if you’re not on Ecwid, you don’t have to have this but you should, should definitely go to Ecwid but the if you have a product feed that synced with your Facebook business manager that usually allows shop-able posts inside of Instagram, and right now, not enough people are doing it and as Instagram keeps taking over, people are going to start noticing those little shopping bags. That’s the little, little icon for it. That means that that post is shop-able right now it’s all free. There’s no, you don’t have to pay for it.
So I think if you’re if you don’t want to jump on an e commerce brand and you know, recommend that shop-able post throughout, I think that’s going to be huge gains and then a couple years, it’s going to be, you know, everybody’s going to be doing in two years. So right now, you know, when you do stuff early is kind of when you get the most gains. So I would, I would definitely look at shop-able posts and the variety of shop-able things on Instagram and beyond.
[00:28:28] John: I love it first to market and embrace change. Those are two of our core values here at Ignite visibility and things that I think should be core values of every digital marketer, Jesse, you and I could talk about amazing digital marketing things all day because we love this stuff but unfortunately, we’re kind of running out of time here. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us today. Clearly an expert in your field. Where can people find out about you online and about what’s coming up with Ecwid? Let us know about a couple places where we can we can follow you…?
[00:29:00] Jesse: Sure, so I think the best place for me if you, if you liked hearing what you have to say is check out the Ecwid e commerce show. So we do a weekly podcast. John, you’ve been on what? You know, several months ago, when I was just getting started so much better now, by the way. So check out the Ecwid commerce show on your favorite podcast player. For Ecwid, we generally have you know, at Ecwid hard hardware that nobody else is still in that one. So, Facebook, Instagram, we’re out there, YouTube, whatever your favorite channel is, you’ll, you’ll find all about Ecwid.
[00:29:35] John: Awesome. Thanks again for being on Ignite nation. Jessie Ness director of growth marketing at Ecwid. Check them out. Jesse, have a great day and we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks, man.
[00:29:45] Jesse: Thanks John.