In Reviews We Trust

Ep. 13: The Best Way to Leverage AI in Digital Marketing: Ann Stanley

August 26, 2022 Callum Mckeefery Season 1 Episode 13
In Reviews We Trust
Ep. 13: The Best Way to Leverage AI in Digital Marketing: Ann Stanley
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Callum McKeefery, CEO of talks to Ann Stanley, CEO and Founder of Anicca Digital.

They discuss sequential and cross-channel marketing strategies, video review remarketing, use of custom audiences and first-party data, and data privacy issues with using Google Tag Manager. They also debate about TikTok ads and using AI to spot fabricated reviews.

Episode links:

Ann Stanley

Callum McKeefery:

Show notes:
Anicca Digital
Google Tag Manager
Introducing Google Analytics 4
TypeNet: Deep Learning Keystroke Biometrics X Anicca Digital Event:
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Ep. 13: The Best Way to Leverage AI in Digital Marketing: Ann Stanley


Callum: So today on the podcast we have Ann Stanley. Ann is the CEO and founder of Anicca Digital. She's a really good friend of mine. I've known Ann for such a long time, and I'm so excited to have her on the podcast today. Thanks Ann for being on. 

Ann: Thanks so much for inviting me. It was a great pleasure to be here and, and we do go back quite a few years, don't we? 

Callum: Yeah, we really do. Yeah. You, you are a veteran of the, SEO online marketing and all things digital world.

How did you, I always don't wanna lower a little bit about the backstory. How did you make your way into becoming the founder CEO matriarch of Anicca? 

Ann: well, I guess it's quite a long, it's quite a long time ago now. Cause I've been in digital for 20 years. So I've had two careers cuz I'm, I'm getting on the older end of the, you know, the, my career I spent the first 20 years in science, technology marketing sort of well, marketing came at the end of that, but I was in medical research.

. Yeah. I worked in manufacturing. I worked in clinical [00:01:00] research, so that was sort of basically getting people to take drugs for money. and then that's how I became, that's how I got into marketing. And then I shifted in 2002. I started working for a digital marketing agency up in Scotland and I was doing business development and my route to market was training.

So I was teaching other people and giving people confidence cuz there was a lot of Cowboys then. Yeah. 

Callum: Yeah. I remember you remember. Yeah, I remember that time and that was like just after. Towards the end of the dotcom crash it, yeah.

Ann: And eventually what happened was the property crash. We could see it coming cuz we were selling investment properties. So we actually went and created Anicca in 2007. So it's it had we're in our 15th birthday year, to be honest with you. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. We've been celebrating and, and not many agencies are 15 year old.

There's actually very few that have survived that long. Or they've been absorbed into something else. 

Callum: Yeah. So they've evolved mass like, well you guys have [00:02:00] evolved. That's probably the wrong word. They've yeah. Been absorbed. They're closed. They've been simulated. Yeah. They, they change your own. I mean, one thing I love about Anicca, your, the brand and what you guys do is that you're always willing to teach.

Ann: I mean, we were always famous for paid search, you know, and then we got into paid social, but you're right. We've alway we, I mean, the conference with this would've been our eighth year. you know, if it wasn't for COVID, but at the beginning of COVID, we started doing weekly webinars. and we've done over, you know, probably 250 webinars now.

and that's just information we give away and it's free every Friday morning . And that's been really valuable for people because it really helps them. And then, then we've also got a side business, of training. So we've always done digital marketing training for the whole of the 15 years.

Yeah. In fact, before then, and then two years, well, just before COVID we got accredited to offer the digital marketing qualification and this, this year that's taken off because now there's funding for people to do [00:03:00] digital marketing training, and we've done, we've trained over 200 people this year alone in digital marketing over a, over two sets of 12 months.

Callum: And I know you guys have national clients and local clients. Yeah. Yeah. What's it like running a digital agency? Leicester from the Midlands, what's it like compared to when you know, I know you've got experience, I know you go to like the brides and SEO and you do all these things and you talk at all these big events.

I know you, you know, you used in London on doing a lot of conferences, you know, in the big capital. what's it like though, running an agency from Leicester, Do you get looked down on a little bit more or do you?

Ann: No, actually I don't think that's a problem. I think, there's an element that Leicester was a bit of Virgin territory.

There wasn't really any decent what I would call these, you know, premium agencies in the area. Mm. So for example all the Google agencies got rebadged, a couple of months ago and we've ended up being the only, premier, partner for Google in the Leicestershire area. Yeah. And the next ones are up in Nottingham.

So that was quite interesting. There's [00:04:00] been a lot, there's been a lot of competition. I mean, the problem. Having been in the industry for 15 years is that there's a lot of people that have come along copied what you've done and then they've grown more quickly. Yeah. And I, I, I think that's because sometimes growth is at the expense of quality and we were never prepared to sacrifice quality.

Callum: Well, I think I, I see these tech companies, you know, you know, one of our small, one of our competitors, much smaller thans as well. They've just raised, 10 million and I'm like, what? You know, like that's, that's madness to me because of what stage they're at.

Ann: Yeah, I think I agree with you on that. I think, I mean, I, I've not done that. I mean I don't, I don't own all of it because I've shared it amongst my cofounders and my co-directors because I believe in sharing the love and get if they do a lot of the work. But, but I think the difference is is that if you do it slowly and you prove the results, the people that you work with tell other people and you get some great clients.

So, you know, in the last few months we've started working with Uber. We started working with e-on, and both of those [00:05:00] are via either people we've worked with directly or referrals. Wow. And you wouldn't normally get in front of those clients. 

Callum: Never. You wouldn't.

Ann: Never. If it wasn't for the fact that you've got a good reputation and you do good work.

Callum: So is there any advice you'd give to any of these like startups on how they navigate this? 

Ann: Well, actually I'm a little bit more worried about the ones that really boomed over the last two years and thought that they, and then suddenly in April they suddenly realized that they weren't getting the sales and we, and I noticed it quite early on because we had a couple of people were saying they were really disappointed that we were only, you know, we were only matching what we'd done last year and, or we'd only got 20% growth.

Yeah. And we use a lot of tools and so a lot of the, competitor. Top tools were showing me that their sector was down 50%. And I'm sort of saying, hold on guys, actually, you're doing really well compared with everybody else. You know, maybe, you know, you know, we may need to readdress what good looks like.

But, I think the interesting thing about that is, is that some businesses have [00:06:00] almost had to abandon things like Google ads because they've become so expensive. And, if you think about it, a lot of agencies like, well, we don't, but a lot of agencies charge on a percentage of spend. Yeah. So if you've had a situation where all your clients have been absolutely booming for the last two years, those agencies and, you know, they're gonna be cutting their cloth as, as they get less income and...

Callum: Massively, massively...

Ann: And the eCommerce clients are going to, you know, they're gonna be struggling as well.

So I think you're gonna have to hold onto your cash and look at how you can compete and what you can do differently. 

Callum: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. 

Ann: I mean, there's a few things that we can do. Of course. I mean, the first thing is that, a lot of people that are gonna do well are the people that focused on developing their brand.

Yep. So if, if you've spent the last two years just buying Google ads or Facebook ads and not building up client base and not marketing to them through remarketing or developing that, or, you know, developing an email relationship with them, I think those are the people that are gonna really struggle.

Yeah. Yeah, [00:07:00] because the cost of the clicks are going up through inflation because as the market gets smaller, there's more people chasing the smaller market. So, you know, in a lot of cases, ROAS and things, particularly things like furniture. We know we saw between March last year and March this year.

And, some of the leisure stuff, big purchase that they would've purchased during COVID, but they're not gonna purchase again. They dropped 80 to 90%. So, you know, a lot of people were chasing very small amounts. Yeah. And the other thing we've gotta be thinking about is what's happening actually within the platforms.

So Google and Facebook are really going down the automation, AI route and, What can happen is, is that people, if they dunno what they're doing, or they just sort of set their ads running, they're all gonna be doing exactly the same thing. So the only people that are gonna win in that scenario is 

Google or Facebook.

Callum: Facebook. Yeah. As always, yeah. As always. 

Ann: Well, it's very easy to make mistakes now because although, Google's sort of going down this route and it's, all of the platforms are going down the route, trying to make things really simple.

It's also really easy to make [00:08:00] mistakes. It's very difficult to compete. Yeah. So you get this polarization of the agencies that, and clients that just do the really simple stuff, stick it on automation. And that's okay if you are a plumber or a builder, and you're spending 500 quid a month, but if you are spending reasonable amounts of money and it's your only income and, you know, and you want to get at least five to one return on your ad spend or more, you've got to be much more sophisticated.

And that's the area that we go down. So it's that, it's the it's, it's trying to understand how Google and Facebook work to take advantage of the automation, but also to bring in elements that Google and Facebook don't control, which is otherwise your data. Yeah. To actually enhance it. And that's the stuff that I'm really excited about.

Cause I think that's where we can, significantly grow.

Callum: It's a really interesting take that, that you are looking at the automation algorithm and then going, well, the automation algorithm's gonna do this, we need to do this. You know what I mean? Because if everybody who's [00:09:00] clicked, you know, smart ads.

Yeah. They're all gonna be doing the same thing. It's gonna push up costs, but their ads are all gonna appear in a, in a certain way. You know how they do. Yeah. 

Ann: Well, they're facilitating some of it themselves. So for example, there's, it should highlight gap. 

Callum: Shouldn't it in the market. It should, 

Ann: it's it, it depends what type of automation you're doing.

And also, I know a lot of your customers are eCommerce, so, but, one of the best ways of bringing in data is if you think about it, you and me, when we're talking to a client, we generate a lead, it might be from, you know, a webinar or a podcast, or it might be some content or SEO or whatever. Yeah. And we get a lead on our website and then that lead has to be converted into a qualified lead, an opportunity.

And then months later it becomes a sale. Well, if you can feed back to the platforms, the quality of that lead, cause I don't know about you, but I get, you know, for every one lead, I get, I get 20 lots of spam or people offering to do blogging for me and you know, a load of crap basically. Yeah. But if you [00:10:00] can actually feed back the quality of the lead and actually.

Educate or train the, algorithm that, that ignore those conversions they're rubbish, but actually look at these ones, then this enhanced eCommerce data that sorry, enhanced conversion data that you can feed back. And I know Google, I know Facebook's announced something very, very similar in the last week on a very similar to performance marks.

But the way they work is it's like a Seesaw balancing act between how much revenue you want and how much return on ad spend or ROAS do you want. So how much profit do you make versus how much revenue you wanna make. And if you try and put your profitability, your ROAS target too high, you just star the volume.

So actually, you know, you can make it really profitable sales, but very few of them. So there's this sort of tipping point where you have to keep on increasing or decreasing that target until you get the magic balance between the two and so I think there'd be automation that sits on top of automation and that's the stuff [00:11:00] that we are looking at. 

Callum: It's really interesting.

That's, that's really, really, really interesting. And I'm a, you know, I've been doing AdWords since well, that's how we met day one and, and it's just, you know, it gets more and more. There's more and more complicated. Every, every update. Yeah. But simpler to start with, but more complicated at the same time.

It's brilliant. It it's, you know, it's great that the guy spending $5 for his new Shopify store starts of his launch, you know, selling hats can spend $5 a day, but then, you know, your big people, you know, your insurance people who you're spending, you know, I know one of our clients who's spending like his budget.

I think he's 22 million on PPC with Google this year. 

Ann: Yeah. Huge, huge. 

Callum: And how, you know, I've, seen that campaign running and how complicated it is. 

Ann: Yeah. Yeah. Well, if you think about all the other stuff that you can do, I mean, a lot of the stuff that we do, which I really like is the [00:12:00] sequential and the cross channel remarketing strategies.

So if I give you a simple one, which works, but really, really well in Facebook, Really well with YouTube and AdWords or Google ad, sorry, like giving my age away now and also works really well in LinkedIn. Believe it or not. And that's to go down a video views approach. Cause video views are really, really cheap, even in LinkedIn.

Yeah. You're talking about, and then re-target and then re-target. So basically what happens is, is you create an audience of the people that have engaged. You're using that video as a way of filtering out the warm audience, but you have to do it within that platform. So if you are in Facebook or Instagram, you have to do it within there.

Yeah. If you're in LinkedIn. So what you did, particularly for LinkedIn business to business, cuz nobody talks about business business very much. But if you do, video views, an animation or something to educate, the user in LinkedIn at 10 to 50 Pence, and then you work out, who's watched that video and then you follow up with either a lead generation ad.

Or get them over to the website, then that's when the [00:13:00] magic happens. But you're only having to do that on a fraction of the audience and the thing with LinkedIn ads, as you know, they're so expensive, five, six pounds a click. That's where the magic happens. 

Callum: That's an awesome way of doing it. I I've done, I've done that with, I did it on YouTube.

I created something similar years ago. Yeah. On YouTube. 

Ann: We, well now, because you can link YouTube, Google Ads campaign, anybody that's engaged with your YouTube Ads you can then do your remarketing.

Callum: That's what we did. Yeah. Yeah. Because we didn't have, we wanted another remarketing list. Yeah. But I don't, I've never done that on LinkedIn, like you're talking about. 

Ann: Yeah, well, they didn't have, they didn't have video review remarketing until probably 18 months ago, so you weren't able to do it. Right. and the other thing that we are really keen on is creating of custom audiences from your own lists, which is similar to what we were talking about with uploading your enhanced conversion data, which is either the data from your cart where people put in their email address or, a lead form.

And then what Google's doing there is they're using the email. It's all encrypted, but they're using the email [00:14:00] address to try and understand what a good conversion looks like. So when you've got conversion type bidding, so you bidding on, you know, you bidding on CPA or maximize revenue conversions, whatever it is, it's using that data to make more intelligent decisions as we get less cookie data.

So that's really important to click through. Yeah, but if you are, if you are doing that and you are importing your data from your CRM system, the other thing you can do is you can, if you know that they're already a customer is you can upload custom audiences in nearly all of the platforms now with the people that have converted.

So you're not using cookies anymore, you're using your first party data. Yeah. Now the good thing about that is is you can either create audiences to target them either to resell to them or whatever, or you can create the lookalikes, which is where you find more of the same. So another technique that I'm really keen on working, another area that we're really keen on working is is if you've got a really huge data.

And you are say, for example, you are a utility company or you are a phone company. And at the, every, at the end of every year, you lose [00:15:00] a, a big load of your customers should share because you've not been talking to them or because you've put the prices through the roof is actually what you can be doing is you can have a multi, integrated strategy across a number of channels.

And this is what we're also doing for our own marketing. So if you get that list of all the people that are about to effectively, contract's about to terminate in the next month, let's get them through Facebook ads. Cause that's the cheapest way. Then get them through an email marketing campaign. And then if you need a tele sales guys, you can do that as well.

So effectively if you've got thousands and thousands of people and you wanna know when they've become a customer, you need to be uploading that list through some automation. So it's basically taking that data and bringing it back in. Now that's fine in Google in the sense that you could probably do your yourself, but what we are doing with our partners, we've got, we're partnering with this amazing agency in South Africa and we're, we, we got a strategic partner with them is they've basically built this technology to [00:16:00] go into a cloud based server because if you wanna load custom audiences up in Facebook, you can only batch 'em at a thousand at the time.

Yeah. Well you could be having a thousand people a day, you know, and more or more, you know, So the sort of things that we're working on is, is how we can use the data that we own, to, which could be on your site, in your CRM system, in your, shops, in your retail system and how you can utilize that to feed it back into analytics, to feed it back into your ad campaigns, to actually do things in a, I think a smarter way.

Callum: First party data is the way forward. Without any doubt, you know, you've gotta have it, or every site, whether it's an ecom, you know, an agency, you know, a review platform, you've gotta, you know, utilize that first party data and make sure that you've got campaigns set up for it. Whether that's email SMS or your ad campaigns, you've, you've gotta.

You've there. There's not, you're not, you can't rely on anyone anymore. You've gotta use the data you've had got. 

Ann: [00:17:00] Well, well, the other thing you're gonna have to do is you're gonna have to look at, you know, most people have heard of Google tag manager that, you know, watch your podcast. Yeah. And you can use that for all your tracking.

Well, most of that's done browser side at the moment, which again is gonna be completely useless, in the next couple of years with all the changes...

Callum: Oh my gosh. Yeah. Yeah. It's gonna be, it's a, it's such a fast learning curve and, I honestly didn't like it. I, I came out, I was slightly enough. I'm going back. I've not got time for this. And I think a lot of other people are gonna have the same problem.

Ann: Yeah, I did too. It's gonna, it's gonna take a while. I mean, we've done a couple of good webinars on GA4 and I know that we are, you know, I know we're doing a, we're doing a, an event with you, aren't we in September and we're gonna be doing some sort of stuff on some tics that we're talking about. 

Callum: Yeah. We talk about AI and bringing all that data in automatically. 

Ann: Exactly, exactly. 

Callum: Pushing it out automatically and getting leads.

The, the cookie thing interests me, cuz I just think the mass adoption of that I don't, I think Google's obviously got this service side cookie thing up their sleeve. Yep. How [00:18:00] that's gonna work for everyone else. I don't know. I dunno. 

Ann: Yeah. And there's a lot of court cases going on. Isn't there antitrust cases going on around the world on this?

Callum: Here's one, what just happened to me? We had. We've got Google tag manager on our German stores. Yeah. EU stores. And the EU have said that we can't have it on because it drops a cookie and that data is then shared to Google. Yeah. It's the IP address that they shared, wasn't it? Yeah. Yeah. And actually the, you know, the guy was wrong, you know, what he was talking about was actually wrong. But people are like kicking up in, especially in Germany, it really kicking up with us with Google tag manager over there. and, or, you know, everything, even if you wrapped it in, they're still kicking, you know?

Ann: Yeah. Yeah. It's awkward because they did have a, they, I can't remember what it's called. They did have this sort of agreement, to allow the transfer of data between the states and yeah. And the US. But the problem is, is that over this, any service over in the US, the government can go [00:19:00] and, and, and look okay.

And so that was what the problem is. I think they're solve it, but the problem is, is that a lot of the sites over cuz we've got a lot of clients that have got sites over in Europe as well. Cuz they've got domains there as well. And a lot of them have taken, they've had to take analytics off and put other preferred products on that are maybe not sending that information across.

And I think what will happen is, is that because they've not, you know, people have either done nothing or they've reacted really quickly. And the ones that have reacted really quickly, I don't think Google will get those sites back. because I know a lot of, a lot of German clients, they prefer Adobe.

I mean, it's still American. It's, you know, it's still this general still the same issue. But I think they've just got different views about privacy. 

Callum: I wouldn't prefer Adobe over anything. Anything. They're not on my top list of good companies to be honest. 

And Any of your clients pushing TikTok ads yet?

Ann: Yeah, a few. We find it's good for awareness, but not [00:20:00] necessarily conversions.

Callum: Yeah. 

Ann: But it does depend on target audience. So we've got a, actually another local company that sell kids books. So they're doing quite a lot. We've been playing around with that, but we don't have, because we tend to have a lot of the, sort of the unsexy brands, you know, a lot of techs science, medical, manufacturing, you know, the construction industry.

Those are our sort of main brands. We don't have a lot of fast moving consumer goods, you know, those sorts of ones. Would do much better in TikTok. And it also depends on the audience. So interestingly, we're more likely to do things like TikTok ads, if you're doing some health or awareness from say the NHS.

Yeah. So when we were doing a lot of NHS stuff, we were aiming for a younger audience. Then we go into something like TikTok or Snap. So we definitely find where the audience are and focus on that rather than, oh, well we've gotta be on TikTok now. Not necessarily. 

Callum: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Definitely.

Yeah. Snap's got its ad platform as well. Hasn't it? That's where it sounds separate. 

Ann: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Callum: Which is apparently gets great [00:21:00] results. Not, you know, obviously again...

Ann: Yeah, I don't think, I don't think it's a sophisticated, I mean, interestingly our TikTok rep called us, you know, email me today about another demo with small functionality.

So they're adding a lot of functionality all the time. Cause they're moving really fast and they've taken a massive market share from Facebook.

Facebook under 24's dropped like a stone because you know, my, nine year old granddaughter, she plays with all her friends on Roblox and she's on there communicating, you know, so gaming and them.

Callum: Yeah.

Ann: The Metaverse, you know, it's gonna be huge. And, I think Facebook are bit slow in that younger audience. 

Callum: Definitely. Definitely. And it, I don't think the branding is necessarily no one, you know, no one wants to hang out where their mom and grandma hangs out. You know, that unfortunately that's just our...

Ann: Well that, well that's why businesses have got to take notice of things like TikTok because you know, you know, that's what happened with Facebook.

It was youngsters and then, you know, all the other generations followed in. 

Have you seen the, DALL·E which is the start of DALL·E WALL·E hybrid, which actually there was, there's a really good, again, the [00:22:00] webinar from, we, what we've been doing is the Leicester Digital Live Conference we've been rebroadcasting them as webinars.

So again, if you go to the website, you can pick up the webinars at the top, but Martin Broadhurst did a thing about that. And how interestingly, a few years ago, all the creatives and graphic designers says, Hey, AI's not gonna affect us. 

Callum: Never. 

Ann: But interestingly, I think that that's gonna be the area that's gonna be, you know, go really, really quickly.

Callum: Yeah.

Ann: Because the creative, it's a mixture of WALL·E Disney film or the Pixar film and Salvador Dali, who's my favorite, artist.

Callum: Yeah. 

Ann: and, and the imagery is incredible, you know, like Panda riding a motorcycle with a green helmet, you know, and, and they just produced photo realistic...

 And the thing about it is, is that they've had to sort of keep it under a beater so that it doesn't get out in the world. Yeah. Because it could be, so it's like the DeepFake videos. There's, there's so much opportunity, but have you tested any of the AI copy, tools? 

Callum: Yes, I use

Ann: Now, some of them are really good. [00:23:00] 

Callum: They terrify me as well because I see that in the review space that people could get really good at fake reviews. I mean, really good. I mean the, the fake reviews out there now are pretty much garbage. We can spot them really easily and we can really spot the AI fake reviews.

And so the tech that we came up with to spot, those was, a couple about, I was stuck in Nashville and I had this brainwave. I had to give my password as my voice. That was okay. You know, to HSBC, and it was the fluctuations. And I thought, how can I use that to spot fake reviews? And I did keystroke biometrics.

Ah, really interesting. So how long you hole the S button and down and all this? It took me for literally I, I went away and for three months, that's all I worked on was this keystroke biometrics thing. And it kind of stops the, AI automation people because they have no keystroke [00:24:00] biometrics. They're just no, no copy and paste. And I've only got, I've only got three keystrokes for my actual input window. It's clearly a fake. 

Ann: But it's brilliant if you are any, you know, again, talking to your main audience who are mainly eCommerce for product descriptions and things like that, which are awful, you know, we used to do Deichmann shoes.

We used to do 200 a month and it was it was, it was a lost leader because we did so much other work for them, but it was, you know, we just about covered their cost of the staff to do it. Cuz the previous agency had shifted off to India or something. So we want.

Callum: Mechanical, turked it. 

Ann: Exactly. Exactly.

But now, you know, particularly titles and descriptions and some of that copy, you know, you just have to give a few, you know, a few words to describe what that shoe looks like. I don't think we were at the point where you can do an image and do it that way around quite yet. I don't think that's quite as good.

Yeah. But if you've given some bullet points, the, the copy is really good and you get about four different versions, so you need a human to say, Hey, this is the best one. Yeah. But yeah, we've been, you know, for the [00:25:00] bulk of 

Callum: It is interesting. 

Ann: Work. It's really good. 

And I feel like we're just about to go through one of those other.

Callum: Do you think so?

Massive change? 

Ann: Pardon?

Callum: Do you think that'll be automation?

Ann: Yeah, automation, integration, you know, that sort of side of things. I mean, you know, trying to integrate across channel, integrate your content, integrate your, your data.


You know, we we've had to bring in creatives, because you know, you can't do all the paid social and paid display. We've, you know, that's the first time we've ever, you know, Anicca is offering that now for the first time, because you know, when you're doing such.

Callum: That's creating the images and... right here's one, how many do you create? 

Ann: Me personally?

Callum: No, that your creator. How many is he creating for one brand on one campaign? 

Ann: See, so basically what happens is, is you get, you get the, you get the sort of the brand guidelines and then for every you're running, you run at least three and then you test in and then you try another three.

So it's, so that's why I think the AI technology's gonna massively improve that because it gives you the experimentation, [00:26:00] but you have to do it iterative this is goes back to my science background. You always have a control and you try three things. You tried 16 things. You're spreading that data across too many, you know, you're not getting significant.

And you, what you wanna do is you wanna find what works and then you wanna improve on what works rather than just trying, you know, mega millions of things so you can overdo it. So, so what was your, what you were gonna say something then? 

Callum: No, no mine was, I mean, for reviews, I'm now having to create on ad content.

I'm having to create so many ads now. And I'm having to treat, treat ads almost like I treat like, just as, as you know, posting to LinkedIn or posting to Twitter, or I'm having to create ads at that scale. 

Ann: That's really interesting because I do agree with you that after a few days, the ads go stale, but there's certain stuff you've gotta think.

Callum: I agree. There is certain stuff you've gotta leave up and it just runs. 

Ann: Yeah. But what you've gotta think of, of is do you have a [00:27:00] pond where your audience is all the same or do you have a river going past you? So if you think of search.

Callum: Yeah, a bit of both. Oh, I am. 

Ann: Yeah. So if you think of search, you're always, people are searching. It's new people. So you can almost keep that same ad going. And if you think of it, of Facebook, if you've got a static audience, and it's always the same people that have always got the same interest, but actually if it's a product where they come in and out of the market, you probably can keep some of your best performing ads running for a lot longer because it's new people seeing them all the time.

So actually the frequency that they see them is very different. So I think you've gotta, I think this river and and pond approach.

Callum: Yeah. 

Ann: Is really useful. Cuz if you are fishing in the same pond, they're gonna get bored of that bait. You need to change a bait, but actually if you are in a stream and you've got different fish going down past every day, you know, that, that, that ad that you've tested and you've worked out that sweet corn is better than spam.

Callum: Yeah.

Ann: Why not use sweet corn? 

Callum: Well, the problem is, is that my, I have to change. Well, my best performing ad ever was " [00:28:00] has trust pilot got you by the bulls". 

Ann: Okay. You can't probably use that anymore. 

Callum: I can't use it forever because yeah, and that was my best performing ad ever, ever. 

Ann: This is a little bit controversial and people aren't gonna expect you to say.

Callum: But that's it.

I did one. Yeah. Well that's, I think that's what worked in the early days. I really do. I think that.

Ann: Yeah, but then everybody knows you now and they know that you're, you know, that's right. You and me have got the personality and the authentic, they know what we're like, but when you've got people that don't know you, you know, you, you know, you can either have something that's very professional or very shocking, but, you know, I think 

Callum: I had to go out and I was like the little guy out going cool fights out.

I'd be like, poking the bear and just like, come on.

Ann: Yeah. Well, who's gonna be who's there gonna be people poking you going forward. Does that change you? 

Callum: Just definitely. Definitely. And I cannot wait. I cannot wait. It is definitely gonna happen. It's probably gonna be my kids. no, no. No, I think I, [00:29:00] you know, there are, there, there are probably, I think if I, the new people coming through, I don't think they'll necessarily compete with what reviews is now.

No, I think I, you know, I'd look at it totally different now with the technology that's out there. I think I'm still a mad man and still creating these mad things like keystroke biometrics. 

Ann: Well, that's what I like about you guys. And, and in a way, that's what I'm trying to do with this, partnership with the guys in South Africa is, is to keep on pushing the envelope and just not do what everybody else is already doing.

Yeah. You know, I wanna be doing the stuff that the agencies that are a hundred to 500 people are doing, and they've invested, you know, loads and loads of money and.

Callum: Competing with them at a lower cost automatically. 

Ann: Yeah. Yeah, exactly and being the friendly face that actually, you know, cause a lot, a lot of our bigger clients, what they say is the reason they come to us is because if they went to one of the really big agency, they'll probably get the junior staff and they'd be a small client in a massive pool.

Whereas if you are you know, we are, we're 30 staff at moment. You know, we are hoping to get [00:30:00] to 50 in the next couple of years. But if, if you are the, if you are a big client in Apple, you, you, you get, you get, you get treated like royalty, not, I say we don't treat the little guys like royalty as well.

Okay, so we are running a, a joint event, at your, your wonderful office, which used to be used to be a bar. Didn't it? 

Callum: Yes. I've got a thing with bars. 

Ann: Yes. Well, ours used to be a pub too, so I think they've got something in common there so that both of us have, you know, got converted pubs , which, you know, no reflection on our culture at all of course. Oh yeah. But, I I'm just checking the date. And we are gonna be talking about all things to do with . AI and, how we can improve. And you're gonna be doing some talking. Our team's gonna be talking, there's gonna be a breakfast at nine o'clock.

and I think, at the moment the booking are going through you guys. I'm not sure if there's any event, like 

Callum: no, we we've got loads of peo... Loads of our clients coming along. it's, it's done really well. We've put some stuff on LinkedIn already and had a lot of feedback. I think it'll be a sellout it's nine o'clock in the morning.

So I will have [00:31:00] very bloodshot eyes. I will look like I've had got a hangover, but I've not. It's just.

Ann: Well, I've got the topics that we're suggesting, but I'm not sure if this which one. So the things we're suggesting is how to compare your site performance, compare with competitors. So this is sort of understanding what's happening in your sector.

Smart shopping and performance max, which is gonna be really, really important for eCommerce, but also there's a sort of a non, there's a non eCommerce version of performance max as well. All the AI techniques that we were talking about earlier and how to integrate data and then integration again around search and social.

So those are the sorts of topics that we were talking about. Yeah. And then I think you were gonna be talking about some of your new innovations work. 

Callum: Yep. We've got some new stuff coming out that we're gonna be talking about and just about getting that first party data, how to use that first party data then in your campaigns.

Ann: Yeah. 

Callum: And, and really getting that flow from reviews into your ads, getting it all, all automating. All of your first party data so that it all gels.[00:32:00] 

Ann: Brilliant. Well, let's hope we get lots of people attend. 

Callum: Yeah, we will. We will. I know. So just be me and you and we'll have a coffee and.

Ann: Well I, I think if it's in the bar, we should be having a one bit too early.

Callum: I know. I know, but we might look a bit out, you know, our keys, but we can have it at the end. Yeah. Yeah. Ann thank you very much. It's been an absolute pleasure. I'm gonna put loads of the stuff in show notes. 

Ann: Okay.

Thanks a lot, guys. Lovely to talk to you. Bye 

Callum: Cheers and bye.


Callum: Thank you for listening today. In reviews we trust is a bi-weekly podcast where I hope to be bringing you advice and insights from brands that are taking the e-commerce world by storm.