Interview with Ryan Flannagan – Founder & CEO at Nuanced Media, Growth Driven Advertising Expert, Author

David 0:00
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Intro 0:46
Welcome everyone to the Firing the Man podcast a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and to know you were capable of more than join us. This show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

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Ken 1:10
Welcome to the Firing the Man podcast on today’s episode we have the privilege to interview Ryan Flanagan Ryan plan again as the CEO and founder of nuanced media, an international ecommerce marketing agency Ryan has over 15 years of experience in E commerce, multi channel digital marketing and third party marketing as founder and CEO of nuanced media, Ryan has worked with hundreds of companies to establish best practices focusing on the 20% of effort that produces 80% of the revenue. We’re really excited to get to share Ryan’s story and knowledge with the listeners today. Welcome to the show, Ryan.

Ryan Flannagan 1:39
Hey, Ken, thanks for having me. I

Ken 1:41
appreciate it. Yeah, absolutely. So let’s give the audience a little bit of background about you. Maybe some prior job experiences life story.

Ryan Flannagan 1:47
Sure. Okay. Nuance has been about 12 years now. So I’ll kind of start out there before I worked out law office I another venture that burned in a haze a fire so so we’ll just start with nuanced, right, so founded nuanced in 2010 been doing e commerce marketing for a long time, we’re doing more of a generalist marketing and you know, as well as ecommerce, and in about 2017, we helped clients so on the Amazon platform about $18 million in six weeks, and we said, hey, there’s something to this while we really continue to dive more into Amazon compared to general ecommerce, we still play with general ecommerce quite a bit. But it said, Hey, there’s something to this, why don’t we focus on that, and we’ve been diving hard and Amazon ever since with that got bo t agency got about 20, full time throughout the United States. And I have a number of contractors International. So that’s kind of where we play and what we do. You know, I’m a nuanced, what we really kind of found ourselves on is creating Win Win scenarios for us. And our partners are not really a churn and burn agency. Unfortunately, there are a lot Turner burns out there. So we won’t really work with a buy, unless we kind of do an assessment and we make sure we can make him money and really have a long term partnership, because I don’t really want to burn out my employees, working on people that are involved when in the first place. And I want to make sure that I can sleep at night. So those are some of the things that we do if everybody’s winning, it’s a significantly better relationship. I’ll just leave it at that.

Ken 3:16
Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. Win wins are always the best case for everyone. So sounds like a decent size agency, then been going for quite a long time. And focusing primarily on Amazon, We

Ryan Flannagan 3:27
primarily focus on growth driven advertising, which I’m sure we’ll talk about a little bit later. But we do also listing optimization, ucg videos and all that type of stuff. Because as you know, Amazon is getting a lot more holistic in nature, just like ecommerce is in general, right? We can dive into a lot of that stuff later. Yeah, absolutely.

Ken 3:44
I totally agree. And, you know, if you don’t have you’re just like a house, if you don’t have a solid foundation, you’re not gonna have anything on top of that. And so ads, ads are not gonna work unless your listing is optimized. And so as as we’re talking about optimizing listings, what are the top five ways to increase an Amazon conversion rate. So

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Ryan Flannagan 4:01
the first and foremost thing is make sure your listing is optimized. I mean, this is kind of everybody has heard this 50 million times, but it’s worth repeating good content, good images, spend extra money on images, because it’s really going to be what makes you stand out as having an optimized listing. This is how I kind of analyze this or use an analogy for his back when you used to go to Dillards or the mall or anything before you picked up or purchase the product. You could pick it up and hold it and feel it right. You can’t do that anymore on and that’s where the big pivot is. So what you want to do with your image listings, is really optimize them the most the highest level so people can almost feel it virtually as much as possible. If it was the Steinbeck novel, you’d say, I can smell it. That’s the type of literature you have. You want to do the same thing with your listings make it as you know, close to somebody picking it up as soon as possible. There’s also obviously the brand’s story that that helps with a variety of different things for cross selling. Oh, Sell for your catalogue. A lot of people aren’t leveraging the brand story as of yet. And then there’s obviously optimized Amazon a plus or aecb content. The other thing this is just kind of rolled out pretty recently is if you a plus content on 15 different listings, and it’s very bunch, you can actually apply for premium A plus content. And that means you get video featured and your A plus content and some other things, or if you go through the launchpad capability. So those are all the type of things of really, how do you build out what you’re doing on your platform on that listing. And then really focusing on that kind of conversion rate from a standpoint of when people fall there or land there, the next thing that you can really do for increasing your conversion rate is advertise on the right words are going to that are relevant to your listing, you know, one thing that we different people don’t talk about that just all traffic is equal equal, right. But if I’m selling yoga mats, and people are coming in there for fireman helmets, and probably not going to sell a whole bunch of yoga mats, right? So one thing that we do through our process is we analyze all the data when we’re kind of managing the pay per click campaigns through the growth driven advertising line, and we find out what’s actually converting for you, and then we update your listings based on that content. So you’ll rank more organically, and we’ll really lean into those keywords. Right? So that’s the other thing is what type of traffic are you driving? How are you driving it? So it’s not again, kind of going back to that holistic model. It’s not just the listing, you know, that’s like, Hey, I’m going in, I’m eating right, right. And then your ad spend is working out, right. So if you’re working out a ton, and you’re eating pizza every day, you’re not going to lose weight or get healthy. And if you’re eating right, but you’re never working out, well, you’re not going to hit the ultimate sales that you can do on that side. Right. So that’s the way that I kind of like look at it, we do some things with the Amazon DSP. And then we can kind of get into some multi channel things later, listing optimization, how you’re driving traffic into, they’re really looking at that. And then split testing is another key thing. And I have some stats for doing split testing, split testing was rolled out on Amazon, I’d say about six months ago or so as actually if you have brand registry, then you can actually get access through your brand on the back end of seller. And then you can start writing split tests. And it’s pretty impressive with what you can do.

Ken 7:18
Okay, I want to back up a little bit before we get into split testing, because I think split testing is a whole other deep conversation too. So you had mentioned so this this podcast going to air like said probably in January. And so if you’re if you’re listening to this, Ryan, just just sponge of gold nuggets on pay start to year, right go and do an audit on your listing, make sure you have all this stuff dialed in, you know, and if you don’t have it even created, just just get something created, I wanted to ask you about this at premium EBC. I remember seeing that we had applied for one of our brands on there, and it got approved. But we’ve we haven’t uploaded anything to it yet. So you’re saying that the premium one, you can put a video inside the EBC

Ryan Flannagan 7:56
Yeah, you get a few more modules. So like, typically, you’re limited to five, and don’t quote me on this, I think you get seven. So you get two more controls. And you also can put video in right and video, Amazon’s leaning heavy into video, if we see any indication of what’s working and social media channels and just kind of brand in general video is God, you know, user generated content in particular. So Amazon’s realizing this is a hey, if we have more video on here, how do we we can actually increase our conversion rates more, and then we can make more money ourselves. So so how do we do that? So that’s why they’re slowly kind of rolling.

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Ken 8:32
Gotcha. Yeah, that makes sense. I think it’s kind of it’s kind of interesting how Amazon, they only, at least for now, I’ve heard whispers that they’re going to start charging for UPC and things like that. But for now, it’s free,

Ryan Flannagan 8:43
Amazon would monetize. So

Ken 8:46
we will go down, we won’t go down that rabbit hole. But for now, it’s free use it. But the piece where I think it was 15 approved EBCs or something to unlock it. And so they’re they’re kind of trying to incentivize sellers to use to utilize EBC because they know it’s going to convert better. And then they’re given you a kind of a bonus if you’re if you’re doing that at a high level. So,

Ryan Flannagan 9:05
which is the irony too, because well, we see with a lot of the the partners that we work with is I call it The Pareto principle on steroids. The product principle being like 20% makes 80% of your revenue on Amazon, we typically see that it’s, you know, 2% makes 98% of your revenue, right? So like, if you’re a seller that’s making 100,000 to a million, sometimes that’s two listings are making 100,000 to a million, right, right, you got 10 Other ones are doing 30,000 A year or something like that, when you got the winners and you’re no the winners. How do you take the time and the logic particularly because Amazon’s game more competitive, it makes sure that they continue to win and you own that like top to be organic position or whatnot. Right?

Ken 9:50
Yeah, absolutely. And one one thing to add to that is you mentioned the 8020 Pareto Principle is like and especially for let’s say the solo solopreneurs that are listening to this If you have 10 listings, and like Ryan mentioned, you’re gonna have a couple couple of like leaders right in that revenue category. And if you have a limited amount of time to work on your business, go optimize those, those two that are that are bringing in the 80%, and increase your conversion rate, you know, go into your business reports, pull up your conversion rates, optimize those and split test them, and you’ll you’ll gain, you know that that 8020, you’ll be on the right side of that a 20, instead of

Ryan Flannagan 10:25
something that we do to kind of speak to this is like, before we engage with any existing seller, particularly sellers that have a larger catalog, is we can do what we call Amazon action plan. That’s a big catalog analysis to identify which ones are your top sellers. And sometimes it’s not just about your top sellers, but it’s aggregating things in the right product. Right. So most categories on Amazon, if you take five variants, and all those five variants have 20 reviews, when you aggregate them that parent listing will have 100 reviews, right? So there is some strategy behind this, of looking at your existing catalog and saying what actually fits into this can we make, you know, if there are two variations, let’s say you’re selling shoes, and you have five different product, families of shoes, and you have a sneaker flip flop and three other variations, we’ll just call them A, B, and C, well, what you may be able to do if they’re in the right category in the same category is make those styles and then color variations underneath, right. So if those five product families had 1000 reviews each now your apparent listing has 5000 reviews, right? So there’s some calculations and analysis you want to look at on that. Because one of the other keys to kind of going back to that reversion rate analysis question that you’re saying is reviews are king, right? And if you don’t have reviews on there, you’re never going to make sales. And you really need to be looking at your pay per click competition based on who has reviews and who doesn’t, right, you’re never gonna knock off the person that’s got 30,000 reviews if you only have 100 reviews, unless you’re basically giving your product away.

Ken 11:59
Right. So let’s get down in the weeds a little bit, I’ve got a follow up question on that. Let’s say we have let’s let’s do the tennis shoes or the shoes listing, for example, we have a couple of listings in one of our portfolio companies that has like over well over 100 variations. And so we’ve tried it a couple of different ways. I want to see if you what your experience is. And let’s say we have a listing of the tennis shoes, let’s say there’s flip flops, casual shoes, tennis shoes, and let’s say there’s five different styles, if you will, and then each of the styles have different sizes and colors. And so it makes up let’s say 150. Now, would you want would you rather have that listing with 150? And say, you know, 3000 reviews on it? Or would you rather have those broken out into you know, flip flops, tennis shoes, casual five separate listings with like, 30? Can you speak to that? Like, have you seen? Yeah,

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Ryan Flannagan 12:47
so there’s testing in this too. So the one thing that you have to really realize is if people search for your brand, for example, if you have 150 variants in one product listing, one variant will show up in organic search, right? So you have to realize that so you can lose a lot ran like self brand Defense on that. But there is a bigger argument for what’s across on the upsell this right? And if you aggregate those reviews, how much is that going to increase your conversion rate overall, the thing is, typically, with Amazon two, you had two variations, right? So your second variation, there was color and size. So that means when you do them, if you have a black left of a black eight, size, nine, size 10 side and all that you won’t be able to do the selection on that, right. And you don’t want those tiles to get too busy or anything like that as well. Right? So you really have to kind of do that assessment and say, What do I think the cross on the upsell opportunity is here by doing this? Is this going to affect my search results? Because I’m showing up? Is it really about the conversion rate, right? And what’s happening on this level? So there’s some internal like, kind of soul searching you have to do with this. At the end of the day, what I always recommend, and this can be a nightmare on Amazon, but split testing, and particularly when you’re doing product family split testing, that can be really difficult. That has to be a manual thing that you do. Right, but you want to look at the product families, that overall set. Okay. Yeah, fair enough. And then one other caveat, they do all have to be in the same category, right? So you can’t put if shoe casual shoes and sandals are different categories on Amazon, you could not put them in the same product family unless you start calling the sandal shoe and change account. Right?

Ken 14:28
Sure. Yeah, that’s something that we’re going to be testing in the new year, a couple different ways to see my take on it as I think splitting them up might do better in terms of revenue and sales, because you’re covering like you said more real estate on the bottom, you know, you kind of covered up more spots. The other piece is we ran into issues, split testing on Amazon maximum variation of 84. So if you have more than 84 You can’t split test and so you’re kind of locked in like if you’re if you’re optimizing your listing, then you’re gonna have to keep it under that.

Ryan Flannagan 14:56
And then the real question is what’s going on with your heroes here too, because you Each listing has his own organic rank in Amazon, right for different keywords and those type of things, right. So if you have five different heroes, those, each one of those will show up organically as the top one in the search result, right? But if you have two products, that one’s ranking number two and one’s number 10, organically and you probably don’t want those in the same product family, because then you’re only going to have the two there and not the 10. Right. But if you find that your black eight, size eight shoe is the one that’s ranking for everything, and nothing else is really ranking, then this makes more sense from this

Ken 15:35
t shirt. Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s more research and definitely have to look at it from a couple different angles before before deciding. But yeah, testing is key. Let’s get right into split testing. And you mentioned it earlier. So how can you run split tests? And which split tests do you prefer? Like which ones have the highest increase in conversion rate that from your experience, so

Ryan Flannagan 15:54
it’s not just conversion rate here, it’s also click through rate, right? So you want to be able to assess like standard marketer, right? Like, hey, let’s talk about CTR. Right? Sure. But there is that level is because I’m entrepreneur too, right. So what we find we’ve had the best results with so far is really testing the main image. So Amazon and their tos, as everybody knows, it’s a white background. And that’s very, pretty quickly, I think Amazon’s realized that they may have shot themselves in the foot with that tos. And you’re seeing in different categories that people are striving to put somebody holding it or like, you know, doing these other almost lifestyle images in the mainland, right, you may not be on a white background, there’s some other things that stand out. And we’ve done this test for a number of clients here. And we’ve gotten some pretty incredible results. So for a toy company that has a sword play sword, we got 102% increase in click through rate by playing a hand holding the sword prepare justice, all right, for a kind of personal alarm one by doing what we did on that we got a 678% increase, right by showing the alarm being pulled and kind of doing those type of thing. But the interesting thing, right, we saw almost a 700% increase in click through rate, but then we saw a 10% drop in conversion, right? So you go, Hey, at 6x top, it’s 10 here, then you have to kind of do the calculations and said, does that make any ground here? Right? Like, where is this? And then on the other side for the makeup line? You know, what we did was compared to just having a lip liner, they’re doing that it actually showed it being applied to lips. And by doing that, because somebody had imagined themselves playing through, we got a 64% increase in sales overall, just by doing that one split test. Wow. Right. And those who remain images, yeah, those remain images. Okay. All right. Now Amazon automates this in the background. So you can run split tests, you can put those up, and they’ll tell you the winner and all those right, so this is stuff that Amazon, you know, my conspiracy theories is Amazon essentially wants to be the hub for E commerce online. I know Shopify, no website, they want to own it all. It’s why they’re pushing on hard on the brand referral programs that you can get 10% back from those categories and referral fee. And those types of things because they know they have a higher conversion rate than the standard Shopify store. Amazon normally converts about 5x What your typical Shopify stores, right or ecommerce, so they’re like, Hey, we have better conversion rate, we want to keep driving the flywheel we can monetize and 5% of all e commerce is just as good as 15% of all ecommerce out there. So how do we do that? So they’ve done that with a brand referral level, because they know they have a higher conversion rate. The other major thing that’s going on in Amazon right now, too, is that they’re getting into be more and more brands, right. And what they’re seeing with the brand centric side of things is Amazon three, four years ago was literally a department store, you’d come in there you would search for white towels you buy from white towels, and then that’s all you what they’re focusing on with the brand story, the Amazon store front the following level, and they’re soon going to be launching. And this is actually in beta for some people capabilities to email people who’ve purchased from you before, you know, they’re really becoming more of a mall, if you will, on the focus with those things. So those are all the things that you want to start thinking about while driving while building while doing these type of things and building out your brand on AMS. Sure,

Ken 19:23
yeah, no, those are great. And those statistics for the main image split testing are pretty impressive. So we have not tried to use lifestyle images in our main images yet

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Ryan Flannagan 19:32
look at look at your category. Like the easiest way to do this is look at your category. See if anybody else is doing it. If somebody else is doing it, you probably can get away. Yeah, right now you have to check to see if you get suppression or anything like that. But right now, Amazon’s always a little risky with those things. Like don’t poke the bears. Real same for reasons. Yeah, right. Yeah, we’ve had some pretty good success with that. The other two areas that you can split test is the product title on that I don’t really like messing with that, because it just seems like innately as well. And that’s what that’s do, right and that type of thing. And then you can split test the a plus content area. The A plus content area, though is I think you have to be doing real money on a listing before you go to the plus content area, just because thinking through a plus content is a lot of work. And you have to really put together a high level to do that to find out if it’s lawmaker protesting and like low hanging fruit split testing image, you can pretty much turn that pretty quick and get that up a plus content, you want to think about messaging you want to think about the modules are so many different variables you could do with that. But if you have a listing that’s making half a million a year, well, it probably makes sense to really start looking at that and see if you can increase the conversion rate by one 2%. Yeah,

Ken 20:45
absolutely. If if you have if you have value, then it’s definitely worth it. We’re seeing similar like main images is we’re low at lowest hanging fruit, most opportunity ABC and then grew with you. We don’t split tests or titles it to me, it doesn’t even make sense to do that you should have

Ryan Flannagan 21:01
that’s a big presumption that Americans read. Right. And we know, we’re image driven culture. I’ll just leave it at that.

Ken 21:09
Yeah, although I know also, we haven’t tested we haven’t tested it either. So if you’re listening, and you’ve tested blood testing on title, and you’ve crushed it, email us, let us know. I have not heard of that from anyone yet. So I was kind of I’ve kind of laugh that when I seen the option to split test the title. I’m not sure he’s doing that. But maybe I need to find somebody that’s doing awesome. So can you share some of the do’s and don’ts of a successful Amazon advertising strategy?

Ryan Flannagan 21:34
Sure, when we’re looking at like Amazon advertising strategy, first thing is look at holistically, right? When we do the Amazon action plan, we do the analysis, we identify the top winners, what’s making the largest percentage of that what are your margins, like first thing on Amazon know your frickin margins, right? It’s really easy to go in there. And you know, be making a 20% margin and going, Hey, that’s great after the fee and the shipping, but then you find out that you have a you know, 40% a cost on something. Now that’s not looking at tacos, and I’ll have the conversation about tacos in second level. But know your unit economics because you have to understand where you are here is the you know, kind of take home normally, depending on how competitive your market is, your tacos, which is your total advertising cost of sale is anywhere from 5%. And I’ve seen as low as 1% to 20%. Right? So you basically just take one to 20% off your margin and say this is what I’m going to use for advertising as a whole for my brand, right? So if that’s going on, then if you have a 20% margin is 20%. You’re doing all this work for nothing, right? If you have a 45% margin, well, that makes more sense. And we typically see that higher tacos number in more premium brand categories, more expensive items where there’s a lot of competition, right? That’s not the norm, I’d say the norm. Once you’re established, you’re up and running, you got good velocity is you know, tacos of five to 10% across the board. So the second thing that’s really the big do’s and don’ts of advertising on Amazon is having the a cost conversation without having the tacos, conversation, right? Because they’re in Amazon and their dashboard, they lead you to that you go and you look at your A costs for this, but there’s no way to easily source what your total revenue is based on that, you know, a costs or return on adspend in the normal world makes sense, right? Because if you’re running Facebook campaigns to ecommerce website or anything like that, I spend five bucks I sell $20 worth of product. Great, I got a four row AWS, or in this case, a 25% A cos right. And that works great for Facebook or Google or any of those type of thing. But how Amazon is different is Amazon’s flywheel the more sales you make the higher you rank organic, right? So what happens on Amazon is I spent five bucks I made $20 Based on that ad spend, but then I actually sold 100 Because of organic. So now with our ad, right, so we’ll keep it even number so 20 based on adspend ad organically. So that means that your tacos is 5% right of the whole thing. It’s not 25% it’s 5% Because you’re fueling your organic rank with and that’s a major difference between the two platforms. So on occasion we’ll run campaigns that were at a particularly with brands are subscription brands or hire longtime lifetime value brands, anything like this will sometimes run a cost, you know, above 50% Because a cost is not the thing we’re looking at is tacos. And what percentage of that is of your overall spend is and how much is fending off competition from your listing, gaining these additional areas doing those types? Sure.

Ken 24:53
So to dig into that a little bit because I think it’s crucial especially as we’re hopefully we’re not but as we’re kind of heading into a risk Question and entrepreneurs and business, we’re actually like trying to squeeze out as much profit as we can, right. And so tacos is a really large conversation if you’re running a full time business and relying on that, because I’ve been in a situation before where selling everything at a 30% ecos or 35% ecos. And not monitoring organic will run you into the ground to your point of tacos. Let’s take. So two questions here. First one is, when you launch a product, let’s say we’re selling $100 product, and we’re sourcing it for 25. And we have a pretty in we’re selling it for 100 Pretty good margins, how long do you ramp that up to like a higher a coast for let’s say, a launch period until you get it ranking until you pull back into a into a maintenance. So what is your your 10 standard one that you’re saying for your clients? Where are

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Ryan Flannagan 25:45
we find the organic side is how sticky is it so I can rank I can spend a ton of money and rank from a sponsor position for number one for white sock selling a black sock, that black sock listing is never going to organically rank for that term. Because it’s not relative is not the right fit. It’s a variety of that. So what we typically do is run the pay per click campaigns run the auto campaign, and then you know, do the overall strategy run auto and then based on finding the winners, then you make you know kind of the broad modified and then you take it down to phrase and exact that kind of general strategy of you know, mining and building up from there. But once you find those winners that you’re actually getting a good conversion rate on pay per click, then we go really hard at ranking for those. The key with that is not to just run the Pay Per Click side of this, but run and the keywords and update the keywords on your listing too. And the priority with that, as I’m sure you know, and majority of your listeners know Ken is title is one of the main keywords are and then you have the body of the copy. And only the first 1000 words are indexed. Right. So if you’re building out stuff that’s past 2000 words, you’re wasting time and money on that don’t do that. And then you have the back entrance, right. So you look at the priority, you look at keywords, and a lot of people miss this with the keywords is if I have white hat, best white hat Best White had to buy now and I’m ranking for all those keywords, you don’t have to worry about ranking white hat, because you already have white hat and best white hat to buy now, right? So how do you stack those keywords in a way that makes a lot of sense with the frequency and some of these other things I bought without identifying the product for what’s actually converting for you, and what’s happening in that and then integrate in that the texts, you’re never gonna read, once you get to that level and you go aggressively, there’s a lot of variables going on that but we typically recommend going aggressively on it for a minimum of a month until you get up, they’re stuck, and you’re sticking up there. And then once you’re sticking up there, you know, go for another month or six weeks, right? Because Amazon likes continuity, and you don’t want to spend all this money to get there, then drop down because of that.

Ken 27:56
Okay, so you’re seeing a lot of your clients, you’re seeing between that eight to 10 week range of ramping up making sure it sticks and then kind of backing down after eight or 10 weeks.

Ryan Flannagan 28:07
And you know, as in split testing, as an all these type of things, the things that really change are that you have to test your conversion rate and run that auto campaign and run some of these things almost every time you hit the next review rate model. If you go from 60 reviews to 100 reviews, you’re gonna be converting significantly more at 100 reviews. If you go from 100 reviews, 1000 reviews, you’re gonna be converting a lot more on that list. So you have to rerun the analysis ever so often to find out what’s actually converting now compared to yesterday. Yeah,

Ken 28:42
that is crucial. I agree. If you’re listening, and you have listings that are two or three years old, or five years old, and you haven’t done anything to them, go back and refresh them and rerun them because you’re right, right, like conversion rates will be different, lots of things will be different. And that’s something that we’ve been adding into our own portfolio companies this year was like really refreshing the listings on like a quarterly or at least a biannual basis on going back through seeing if there’s new keyword, you know, seeing see what’s out there, because the ecosystem and environment change, you know, competitors change, Amazon changes. So everything changes. Yeah, and it’s it always changes. So one more follow on question. It’s an interesting one, and very relevant is the tacos model. And so you had mentioned you know, seeing five to 10% Tacos there, I think 5% Tacos is amazing. And so what levers and so let’s say so we just did the eight to 10 week launch, right so we launched this product eight to 10 weeks got it ranking and so we’re kind of going to go into a little bit of a maintenance mode now we’re so we’re gonna back off lower the eight coasts and that now how are you measuring and what levers are you pulling for the tacos in terms of are you measuring like keyword ranking for certain keywords that were that you’re going after? And then measuring those organic sales? Like what’s the process there?

Ryan Flannagan 29:53
Yeah, so tacos. I mean, it’s it’s simple. The hard thing right is looking at it under a microscope. compared to the macro level, right? Because anybody can say, here’s the product line right here is the black sock we’re talking about, we’ll go with the black shoe to kind of sit through to our early shoe conversation, right? Or you have that one. And you’re looking at that you say, Well, why is asking what is total sales? Let’s divide that up. And what’s the number? Now what you need to look out with that is you can kind of do that general level. But the hard thing is you don’t get the keyword data on the organic side. So I could tell you the conversion rate and all those types of things based on keyword based on the pay per click in the advertising side, but organically, I don’t know what you’re converting Sure, you can’t really close that loop, some different things have been coming out and brand analytics. Yeah, but that’s typical brand analytics, that’s not necessarily isolated to the product that you’re looking at. But there are I’m hoping there’s more movement on that in the future. But you know, that’s where you kind of want to be able to identify what’s happening in those types of things. There’s also the other big factor multigene, right. So we represent some brands that have like a 1% Tacos, but they have huge brand exposure right there. And CVS nationally, they have all these type of things or you know, they’re a big influence or whatnot, people are just already have brand affinity. So they’re coming in there. Now with that there’s capabilities to a go in and really put up your dukes and defend your brand. Because you just don’t want people doing that. And that happens all the time. But the other side of it is you can start doing conquest, right based on that what you can do through you know, the Amazon console to some levels, but what you really can do through Amazon DSP, and some of those things, is really do aggressive conquesting on your competitors to have the like mind of that premium, though? That’s kind of the argument for the multi channel stuff. And can I’m kind of going away from your original question. So I apologize that yeah, no, no worries, I feel like a politician here. What I’m saying is, you can track that you can look at the conversion rate based on some data to find out what is that converting at, you can look at your key metrics based on your pay per click, and then draw some assumptions from that per campaign that you’re that’s essentially what you do you always look at the macro level for that one listing, what are the tacos that what’s going on? And we’re right, so you’re tracking the keywords on those individual listings, you’re tracking the conversion rate based on your pay per click campaigns, you’re slowly minimizing how much you’re bidding on those campaigns and on those keywords. So it’s kind of all of them. Now, the answer your initial question, the bigger question here is, particularly as Amazon matures, as we go into more of a recession, as these things is really brand and what are you not just doing on Amazon, but why are you doing multigene? So when we work with clients, you know, a lot of people want to do tick tock and Facebook and Insta like immediately right? As soon as they listen. And you can do that tick tock tick tock, so great venue for you. But you’re selling yourself short, if you don’t Elise put up a Shopify website. He’s the Amazon MCF, you can use Amazon to fulfill all your orders on your Shopify site. So you don’t have to worry about that headache. You can do those things. And Amazon has multi channel fulfillment. You can Google it Amazon multi channel fulfillment, you can sync that way. But before you start doing all the big social media pushes or any of those type of things, get up a website, because when you do those, what you’re going to see is your Amazon sales are going to go up and your Shopify website sales are going up, or and I typically say Shopify, because that’s what we work in. We did WooCommerce for a number of years, do yourself a favor, Shopify, in our opinion is by far the best shopping platform because they’re launching marketplaces, they easily integrate to distribute to Etsy, they do a ton of things that just make your life a little easier. In fact, YouTube just launched shopping through YouTube on a Shopify platform. There were Amazon’s making their play within their ecosystem, Shopify as making the website we integrate with all the other solutions, the best stability play on the market, right. So on the multichannel side, if you’re going to do the big brand, push social media, doing those type of things. Stand up a Shopify website, because you’ll see that your sales will increase on your Shopify, you’re not giving that 15% to Amazon, even if they’re doing the fulfillment to you and your organic sales on Amazon. And when your organic sales on Amazon go up or sales attributed to people searching for your brand and your advertising go up. That increases your sales velocity on there as well. Right. And the real buyer journey that we see at this point is the litmus test. To give you a quick example, I love this example. But I saw a Facebook ad for this mosquito zapper that was developed by a 13 year old kid and got $25 million of funding and was supposed to kill mosquitoes for you know, a mile wide. I’m like, oh, I need this. I hate mosquitoes like everybody would write and then I go look at the Amazon reviews and it has like two and a half stars. I’m like, Oh, I’m not buying this right. And that’s the journey that happens. So as the marketplaces mature and they go through this you We have to start thinking of your multi channel strategy. And what you’re doing across the board.

Ken 35:04
Yeah, that’s interesting. I was reading a stat, I think it was a couple of weeks ago about customer research and how Amazon is becoming more and more the place where instead of Google, where, where shoppers are just research, researching price testing, and they’re bouncing around, and so yeah, I think there’s to your point, multichannel is having a presence, you know, if you’re building a brand, which you should be having a presence on on Shopify, you know, Amazon, and so shoppers can find you, you know, more places and more sales. So,

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  • English (Publication Language)
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Ryan Flannagan 35:33
and you’ve already done more than half the work if you have optimized listings on Amazon for those over to your Shopify, you know, get those up. And you already have a good looking website that has great graphics and images. You can pull the reviews over, you can do a variety of things like that, that has the literacy test. Yeah,

Ken 35:50
exactly. It’s it’s low hanging fruit. If you don’t have a Shopify store, and you’re building a brand new, you definitely should have one.

Ryan Flannagan 35:55
Yeah, Amazon’s 48% of ecommerce in the United States, and Shopify is about 35% of product search. Right? So between the two, you got 90% of product search?

Ken 36:04
Yeah, that’s that’s a pretty staggering statistic. And I think we have a lot more opportunity out there in terms of overall retail. So the next decade will be fun, for sure. Yeah. All right. Can you explain growth driven advertising one on one? And where does someone begin?

Ryan Flannagan 36:22
Yeah, so growth driven advertising is something that we practice here and only works for kind of those hero listings, right? Because it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of effort. And essentially first takes the first step is what we do is the Amazon Action Plan, the analysis of your overall catalog identify what are your top sellers? What are the best opportunities of those top sellers, we typically identify three or four, when we go through this level, what’s going on in Amazon, right? So the best thing about Amazon, there’s a whole bunch of data. So you can actually do segment analysis based on the top search items for the keywords that you’re looking at the the best performing ones out there, what’s the market’s growth rate? What are all these other things are happening? And more importantly, what’s your market share in that area for your top sellers, right? So you can analyze? Where do you do? What are you doing? Where do you perform compared to everybody else on that price area, all those things, you can potentially aggregate some product families to increase your reviews on those levels. And then what we do is start running the pay per click campaigns start mining the highest keyword relevant information from that. And then we say, hey, we recommend that you integrate these in your listings, because these are the keywords that are converting here’s our best practices on how to do it, you integrated your listings on that, then we started looking at split testing and say, Hey, can like we really want lip liner with somebody playing the lips on there, can you give me that image, you can provide that image and we can start split testing it. And then what we do through this process is you don’t focus on 500 listings at a time with this you focus on your winning listing the listings are actually funding what you’re doing with your brand. And then you basically increase the sales for that. And then the biggest thing that we do is we do the litmus test of how are we increasing compared to the market, right. So particularly in a recession, Amazon’s been growing 100% plus year over year for a very long time, not the case, depending on the category now it’s getting more competitive. There are still some of those categories out there. Don’t get me wrong, but it is getting more competitive. So what you need to pace yourself is What is the competition doing? And how are we doing? Like, you know, maybe our tacos went up by 5%. But we gain 30% market share over the competition, right? So we’re slowly getting out the competition, they’re gonna go out eventually, right? So because it’s very easy if you’re not looking at the segment that you’re actually playing and say, Hey, we’re growing 20% month over month, we’re kicking ass. I’m really happy about this compared to looking at the segments and the segment’s actually growing at 200%. Year over year, we only got a 10th of that we’re actually losing a ton of market share, because we’re not doing something right, or vice versa. We’re down 20% Oh, my God, this is horrible. Everything’s not working to find out that your market is down. 50%. Right. So you have to understand what that’s doing track that to be able to make really data driven decisions on how you’re doing based on the competition, what’s going on in the market and how you’re really building.

Ken 39:19
Okay, yeah, like that. That’s a solid plan. And one thing that I would definitely urge listeners to have is a solid plan, instead of just throwing a bunch of stuff at a wall and C’s and see what sticks and have a have a plan and have it go out over six months or 12 months and and slowly get that flywheel going and build on to it using that at 20 as well focusing on the top listing. So I like that how

Ryan Flannagan 39:41
we form long term relationships as we work closest to the wallet the way out because that’s how we find people working with us to write letters. It’s a really bad conversation. If you’re paying charging people 1000s a month and six months later, they haven’t seen the meat needle move right you want to have really good results within The first three months,

Ken 40:00
okay, yeah, yeah, Greg, grab the lowest hanging fruit early and make the biggest impact. So I like that. Well, cool. I definitely want to be respectful of your time, Ryan. So let’s talk a little bit about new nuanced media, you know, what are your specialties? What kind of customer is a good fit for you and your team?

Ryan Flannagan 40:15
Yeah, so we really work on the major thing that nuance does is growth, different advertising, we do have full service agency as well, if you need listings built and done all those types of things. But where we typically come in for most we’re partners is doing the growth driven advertising. And really, Ryan that if you have the capabilities to do good graphic design, and implement, and all those things, if you don’t, then it’s more of a full service. But with that being said, the clients that we typically partners that we typically like to work with are established clients that are either kind of stagnant on their growth, or really looking to grow. We’re getting a ton of people right now that have been tie used and abused by other agencies, because they’re not really looking at the multi faceted areas of like everything that’s going on. And you have people that are losing market share, and maybe they haven’t looked at their segment, it’s completely normal, or it’s not right. So our ideal client that we work with is established brand that, you know, at least on an annual basis in the US is they have a listing doing over 100 to 200,000 a year on that because that’s when start saying well, can we increase the sales by three or 4x? And what does that mean? Right? And you have to be that the lower level ones, we can work with you on those things, but you have to have a certain amount of data and sales before you can even turn on split testing and Amazon.

Ken 41:31
Sure, absolutely. Awesome. We have a fire round for every guest we put them through through the wringer and we’ve named it the fire round. So are you ready? Sure. What is your favorite book,

Ryan Flannagan 41:40
The Power of One by Bryce Conroy?

Ken 41:42
Excellent. What are your hobbies?

Ryan Flannagan 41:43
I like to read books, play with my three year old son game back into that teaching or how to game and do all that, but I’m a big strategic gamer as well. So I’m a d&d nerd from like, way back when like second edition, but I do a whole bunch of gaming I do a Sunday gaming thing with my guy friends. It’s

Ken 42:01
okay like video games or like, like board boards,

Ryan Flannagan 42:03
like strategic board like Dune, for example. And like, okay, like it’s a great game if you haven’t played it, man, it’s phenomenal. And there’s awesome even squirrel games out there. They don’t have to be as scary as Yeah, sure.

Ken 42:15
Awesome, but what is one thing that you do not miss about working for the man

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Ryan Flannagan 42:19
being accountable to one person? Right? Basically, you have kind of the fate of your life, somebody else’s. And so that can kind of keep you up at night. Sure.

Ken 42:26
Absolutely agree. Last one, what do you think sets apart successful ecommerce entrepreneurs from those who give up fail or never get started?

Ryan Flannagan 42:34
Dedication, a bit of insanity or delusion of grandeur. I know I’m delusional myself. But some of the things that I’ve done are kind of cast out there. And then honestly, having a fiscal mind, like looking at your margins, understand what the real revenue is having a real good sense of

Ken 42:50
that. Okay. Excellent. Excellent advice. Really appreciate you coming on the show. Ryan, how can guest contact you? Yeah, so

Ryan Flannagan 42:55
I’m on LinkedIn. If you want to reach out to me that way. You can also contact me through nuanced And we also have a Amazon growth strategy guide. If you go to nuance It’s a pop up. So if you wait, you know, three seconds or so it’ll pop up and okay, and give you a lot of the growth driven advertising things that we’re talking about today. You can get on the email list and all those type of things. And then I’m also on Twitter. Awesome. And it’s all at Ryan flan. Again, my look in the show notes. Mike Flanagan is spelled with three ends. So like no one has this dollar.

Ken 43:28
Yeah. I’m gonna fix that one. So yeah, if if you’re listening and you’re in need of advertising for Amazon, you know, reach out to Ryan and his team and they’ll hook you up. I really appreciate you coming on the show today Ryan and sharing all your knowledge it was it was awesome. And looking forward to staying in touch.

Ryan Flannagan 43:42
Yeah. Ken, it was great looking for we’d love to hop on again at some point Absolutely.

David 44:07
Before you go fun fact for all you Amazon sellers out there. When you start selling in international marketplaces, all of your reviews come with you. At the beginning of this year, Ken and I sat down and talked of ways that we could double our businesses in size and landed on international expansion as our number one initiative this year. We partnered up with Kevin Sanderson from maximizing e commerce and he has made the process an absolute breeze, walking us step by step through the process. If you want to grow your revenue and reach new customers head on over to and connect with Kevin Sanderson today. Now back to the show.

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