In the final episode of our first season here on the In Reviews We Trust Podcast, Callum McKeefery show host and CEO of REVIEWS.io talks to Phill Manson, founder and CEO of PAASE Digital the marketing automation specialists, and Joe Marston and Liam Dean, co-founders and owners of For You Advertising, the leading TikTok agency that creates UGC that converts.
The opportunities and hesitancies of larger retailers on TikTok
The value of being able to access your customers data/ email
The fact you can’t get reviews/ feedback from TikTok customers
Clever hacks to create effective TikTok ads
TikTok Shopping's success in the UK
Agency management across both disciplines and planning for that all important exit
For You Advertising
Soar With Us
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Red Notice: A True Story of Corruption, Murder and One Man’s Fight for Justice: Bill Brower
Purple Cow: Seth Godin
Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You: John Warrillow
Standout or Die: How to Make Your Digital Marketing Agency More Visible, Desirable and Valuable: Gareth Healey
Midnight Podcast: Matt Kelly
Ep. 24: Email v TikTok: which channel is most effective? With Phill Manson, Joe Marston and Liam Dean
Callum: Today on the podcast we have Phil Manson from PAASE Digital Liam Dean, the co-founder of For You Advertising, and Joe Marston, the co-founder of For You Advertising. Guys, thank you so much for being on today.yeah, let's, let's get into it.For You Advertising, so we was born less than a year ago now. we one of the leading TikTok agencies globally. I would say. Not to blow my own trumpet, but No,
that's all right. That's what's here for Yeah, we want, that's why we have you on because you're the leading voice and,
Joe: Yeah, we do everything, everything TikTok based really, but mainly performance ads and UGC creative work with.
Some big brands, 6, 7, 8, and nine figure brands.
Joe: Other people might have heard of,
Callum: What's the biggest brand you work with?
Joe: Probably the Oodie.
Callum: Which one's that?
Joe: It's like a big oversized blanket with a a hood,
Callum: Right! I have seen that, but I didn't know the name of it. Yeah, I have seen that. The adverts for [00:01:00] it. I've not.
I've not seen the site, but I have seen the adverts.
Joe: Of course, it's one of those ones, whenever I mention everyone's like, is that what they do again? Then I mention they've got three at home.
Callum: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Joe: the kids wear, wear all those. But yeah, they're a good brand from Australia, Dave Fogarty, but global now, and I think they're on track to do a few hundred mil this year.
Joe: Yeah. Pretty incredible story. And yeah, so, you know, the agency was born out of another agency that I own called Soar With Us. We saw the shift in TikTok two years ago now, and we, we started realizing that we should probably jump this opportunity. Didn't want to completely rebrand either agency, so we combined forces with a creative agency and a good friend of mine called Lucas.
And then, yeah, For You was born.
Callum: Wow. I mean, if you jumped on TikTok two years ago, there what was there? Like six people on it at that time.
Joe: Yeah. It was a, a blue ocean.
Joe: It was a bit wild west as well. Like things didn't work very well and you know, it, it was a bit of a difficult platform to navigate, [00:02:00] but
Liam: Nobody knew why things worked.
Joe: Yeah. .
Callum: Yeah. And I mean, you did two years ago on TikTok, you, you, you know, you could go viral and build a massive following super quickly. Obviously that's, changed.
Joe: It's still pretty, pretty possible to do that quite easily, but it's, it's definitely changed like dramatically.
Callum: Every time I post on TikTok, I get like six people.
Callum: I think I'm posting the wrong things,
Joe: It's just the algorithm, you know, it's the mercy of the, the randomness of it.
Joe: We yeah, you just try post it again seriously, with a different hook and it, it might go viral.
Callum: Yeah. I think it's my age. I think they look at me and go, No, you're too old. You, you're not allowed on here. We're not, we're not, not pushing this post. So what's your role within the business?
Liam: So I'm co-founder alongside Joe.
Liam: I mainly focus on sort of creative strategy and being the go-between, between the performance side of things and the creative.
So using the data that we see in the ads and then using that to advise the next round of creative that we [00:03:00] use.
Callum: So how much data can you get out of TikTok? Because obviously the reporting it, it's not a, you know, it's not a mature ad platform like Google or even like Facebook's ad platform. So I, when I've looked at it for advertising, for REVIEWS.io, I've always struggled with the reporting side of, TikTok.
So how do you get more data out and to make decisions?
Liam: So the, the, the soft metrics that we use for creative analysis are all really strong. We look at like thumb stop ratio, two second video views, six second video views, and make decisions based on that. You can kind of tell how, obviously conversions are main indicator, and then the softer metrics define what makes a good hook?
Liam: What makes a good body, what makes a good call to action and then we also use a platform called Motion for Creative Feedback. And that sort of feeds, fills in the gaps between what TikTok loses.
Callum: Yeah. No, that's interesting. That's interesting. [00:04:00]
Phill, obviously we've had you one before on the podcast.
Callum: Talking about Klaviyo and how, you know, Klaviyo's expanded over the last few years. What's happening in that space for you in a minute?
Phill: I think since we last spoke as a bit, I think we alluded last time we spoke that we were moving away from solely focusing on Klaviyo as an organization. And we, we've now partnered quite closely with Bloomreach, Map p and we've even got clients on Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which is, you know, an interesting conversation.
Callum: How do you get on with that?
Phill: It has its challenges.
Phill: it's, I mean, you've only got to look at Marketing Cloud. We're all going slightly off tangent here, but Marketing Cloud, where the URLs are still the exact target URLs from what, a decade ago. It's not been invested in. It's, it's an interesting position. The client we, we've onboarded that I can't mention unfortunately. It is part of potentially a wider piece of them migrating off that..
Callum: It's only true enterprise that are using that type of thing..
Phill: Yeah. And, and that comes back to that age old [00:05:00] position of IT buying software versus marketing, buying software.
Phill: And I think that's, that's the big difference in that space. And you can see it with it wanting to bring in, you know, single customer view or CDPs, but then they're forcing marketing teams to try and deploy on something that's probably overly complicated and, and too much. So I think there's gonna be some interesting plays this year in, in that space in terms of, mm.
You know, does it become an IT led decision buying decision to buy a CDP for the reporting side and the data structure versus a marketing rapid deployment?
Phill: And maybe the balance is how do you get two systems talking thorugh our APIs to get the best of both worlds? So you've got a, you know, silo, CPP and a, you know, a marketing automation platform such as Klaviyo. Actually doing some of that delivery.
Phill: Although they don't call themselves marketing.
Callum: Klaviyo's still the major part of the business.
Phill: Oh yeah. Yes. It's 90 plus percent. Yeah. Yeah. It, it's just, you know, similar to your conversations earlier around identifying where the trends in the, in the market are, and [00:06:00] we were seeing a lot of the Shopify agencies starting to offer additional marketing services, and you're like, well, we don't want to become a price point commodity where it's someone's beating us up over 10 pounds an hour it's right, where do we add value? And it's in data and that's where we can come in and run other platforms and other systems. So yeah, be that Klaviyo, Bloomreach, Dot Digital, whatever it may be.
Callum: BloomReach I hear about a lot more recently is something that's, you know, being spoken about a lot more.
Phill: It's immensely powerful, but I still think it's a different business decision.
Phill: So I think for me, you have to have: an additional level of resource internally and expertise, I IT-led versus having a website. You need that alignment of all the data sources cuz you are buying a data, you are, you are buying a true SaaS product. You are buying the software and then saying, you go away, you fill it. Right. Versus Klaviyo, which is a little bit more, not self-service, but it's [00:07:00] straight straightforward. You've got a Shopify plugin, it plugs in. You've not got that so much with Bloomreach.
Callum: Right so
Phill: if you've got more bespoke platform, you need the expertise internally to develop it and get, get the best out of it,
Callum: Right, right.,
That seems, maybe a bit too difficult. Well, and the other for most,
Phill: The other side of that is you, it really then means you have to move away from having siloed. I don't know, an email marketing manager you know, someone looking after conversion on the site and really bring them together under maybe a direction of customer that's aligning the strategies across all of those touch points.
Otherwise, you've just got a very expensive email tool that can do the other bits, but you've got to have all those departments internally talking together and working together.
Callum: Which is
Phill: It's getting there. The bit, the bigger the organizations are that
Callum: Yes. That, that gets there when you're going more up market and you're going enterprise level.
But obviously they've got a, most D2C brands can kind of grow with Klaviyo can't. Yeah. They can grow with Klaviyo and, and cause it's easy to install, easy to use, [00:08:00] simple onboarding.
Callum: And gets more complex as your business gets more complex. So on that, is there any new features coming out at Klaviyo that you know of?
Any stuff coming down the pipe? Don't talk about their review solution that they might be launching.
Phill: I think what I've seen, this is fun stuff coming through, like countdown time was being built in. So again, I think they're trying to get to that point where rather than going off to another app, to drive a piece of activity, you'll be able to do it front end.
Callum: Haven't. I mean, Attentive purchased Privy.
Callum: But do you think Attentive will purchase an email?
Phill: Well, you've only got, you've only gotta look at, you know, Yotpo have done something similar. Shopify brought out their own email tool. It's coming full circle back into if you can own that email address.
Phill: And that like in effects, you know, I've done this for God knows how many years and people say email's dying.
It's still the primary identifier [00:09:00] in the internet.
Phill: So if you can have the email address, own it, I don't see why not. I think. You might get Attentive, get some traction, maybe at cost price lower than Klaviyo, you know the pricing is going up and creeping up a
Joe: They've got a while to go. Yeah. In the uk before they think about acquiring an email. Yeah. Service. I know that the team's only just set up in the UK.
Callum: The attentive team?
Callum: Yeah. I mean, but they've, because they've got so much data now with the Privy acquisition, Privy has got one of the most installed apps.
Callum: In the app store.
Phill: I, I still, I think it comes back to what we alluded to is around the brand, so in this case, the customers of these apps, Working out what is their customer experience because Privy yes, may be more powerful than this, but it's, there's still then siloed products.
Callum: I agree.
Phill: And I think it's not how does it kind of join together and work that way.
Callum: But you've got, so you've got Privy coming in, joining it with Attentive, you've got Klaviyo expanding into other areas. You've got all of this going on and then you've [00:10:00] got TikTok launching their own shopping service, live shopping service.
I is that live in at the moment,
Joe: Yeah. Yeah.
Callum: And when a customer buys from a retailer, does the retailer get all of that tracking data? Can they see whether they just, whether they've been on the site previously and then purchased through the through TikTok, or are they just on that one window
Joe: TikTok shop is mainly through the platform itself.
Joe: The, the advantage of it is minimizing that friction and it's ma they're wanting to make it a habit so you don't have to leave TikTok to even purchase. So they're pushing it quite.
Callum: Sodo they get a true email address? Does the, does the,
Joe: We work with like quite a big cosmetics brand who's run into this issue. They 90% of their sales will be going through TikTok shop. It's influencer-led. And we approach them, you know, to, to help out with more of an off, off platform Yeah. Strategy. And they kind of realize they have zero data doing like multi six figure sales a [00:11:00] month had.
Callum: So they must get the customer's name?
Callum: Because obviously they've gotta deliver some things so they're getting the customer's name and address, but then probably not getting email.
Joe: Yeah. They're just losing out on that ability to
Callum: that's exactly the same as amazon.
Callum: So Amazon owns the customer you can't collect a review afterwards. So you can't collect any feedback on the product.
and it comes back to that silo channels again of, well actually we, we were chatting pre sight, the recording around the attribution. Well if an email's driving someone to the website, but then they'll go to TikTok for example.
Phill: We might wanna stop sending them emails cause they've just transacted. And do something else. But if you can't tie those endpoints together
Callum: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. You, you're kind of flying a bit fine. I think they, they will obviously advance that they will make advancements, I would've thought
Phill: But then you could, you could argue the same that Amazon could have done and they, they've kept that identifier.
Joe: I think it's within their best interest to keep it on TikTok.
Callum: Yeah. [00:12:00] But I think, yeah, no, I think it's in the best interest to keep it on TikTok, but I think you've gotta be able to see that buyer journey. And you can't see that at the minute. You can only see that actual purchase within TikTok. You can't see that actually it was driven from an email.
Phill: No. Mm-hmm. But even, even down to a simple, could they hash hash and identify back out that.
Phill: You know, the, I Klaviyo could understand that you could exclude that customer from certain columns or Yeah. You know, that that piece, the fact that you've then got a channel really, that you know nothing about those consumers, you've got no idea what's driving that buying behavior. Why, you know?
Callum: Yeah. You can't, you don't know anything you. It's, it is a funny one. It is a funny one. I wonder whether from a reviews point of view, whether they TikTok maybe collect the review at some point and show that review within the, the live shopping element next to the brand.
Liam: Yeah. So they have like instant, they, they, they do have the ability to collect reviews and they show them within like instant experiences.
Liam: So, I've never seen them on live shopping, but [00:13:00] you can use them in ads.
Callum: So who's a good example in the UK or the US of someone using live shopping?
Joe: Well, US is quite new. So the UK was one of the, the beta, for live shopping
Liam: It's not available in the US, yeah.
Joe: This has just been rolling out very gradually this year.
Joe: One, one of our clients, Dose of Lashes is, is killing it with
Callum: Are they?
Joe: TikTok shop, yeah. Is you've gotta have the right products. It's not for everyone. You're not gonna be selling like rolexes.
Callum: And that beauty's brilliant, isn't it? Beauty's, it's made
Joe: Beauty like you lower average-order-value products, things that you can showcase on a video. Just, just think like shopping channel like, obviously like a lot of people use TikTok.
Callum: I would've thought Shein or someone like the BooHoo, one of the, these fast fashion brands would be all over this. Yeah.
Joe: Gym Shark did really well.
Joe: 24 hours streaming.
Callum: Do they?
Joe: Yeah. And where they're on, they're on, like whenever I see
Joe: Yeah, there's some big players on there. It's a massive land grab at the moment.
Joe: And TikTok are really rewarding [00:14:00] brands for, for using the feature in terms of like costs and,
Callum: And how are they charging the brand? How are they doing billing?
Joe: You just take cut of sales to the platform.
Callum: So it's like a commission.
Callum: So it's an affiliate commission. And what's the percentages at the minute?.
Callum: Is it?
Joe: I think
it's probably negotiable as well with TikTok.
Joe: Depending on the brand size, but
Callum: Right. I, I wonder whether, you know, some more traditional retailers will get involved in that then,
Joe: There's, there's a lot of big players that haven't even thought about it yet.
Callum: Yeah. That's forward thinking yeah.
Joe: Just like the politics of the big corporates,
Callum: Well, the big corporates always move slower you are not likely to get, you know, your big, your big multinationals on there straight away,
Joe: Takes some time.
Phill: What are brands thinking about compliance and data security with, you know, kind of that piece around, they're not only the customer, the data going backwards and forwards, cross board, is there anything kind of in that space?
Callum: Well, you've got the data all going to China, as well, thats
Phill: I was trying to, you know, go around that. [00:15:00]
Callum: Yeah, you've got, yeah, that, that is an interesting thing. You know, with TikTok, you have got this data leakage to China and China's kind of, sorry. I should, TikTok and China are not the same thing, but maybe they are.
We don't understand that. But you, I, you know, I've read recently about them having that heat button? Heating button where
Joe: Yeah, I read up a bit on that. I think it's, they, they're claiming that it, it's not used to, you know, to actually influence. It's more to help people's feed become more diverse. So they claim that 0.002% of your feed is, is made up of those heating posts. Right. It's obviously just come out a couple days ago, so I dunno.
Callum: Yeah, so what the heat heating button is, is a button that some TikTok employees can press that boost that post.
Joe: Yeah. It's basically to track the big players on the platform, I think.
Callum: But I think that just opens itself to [00:16:00] bribery because if I was, yeah, I'd be trying to find that team that had that button and going, please, I will pay you anything to hit that button on my post.
Phill: I mean, you've just gotta look at the, the Twitter files that are coming out Musk at the moment around every platform.
Joe: The FBI,
Callum: Well, they had a unheat button, didn't they? That was basically a nuke button, I think. Yeah. I don't think they had a heat button. I think they had. This doesn't agree with my political viewpoint, so I'm gonna unheat.
Joe: I think it's just like in the sales conversations I have, cause that's the majority of what I do within the business. US prospects, older demographic are more concerned about it. Australian business owners are quite concerned about it. UK, I've never had any business owner mention the data thing.
Joe: And any sort of like younger tech savvy, entrepreneur. Has never mentioned the, the China data thing either. I think a lot is driven by the media that people are seeing.
Callum: I agree. I agree. But I, I do worry with [00:17:00] it. I do worry with the data that have....
Phill: Well, you, you go back, what, a couple of years to the Huawei with the routers?
Callum: Yes. That, that's,
Phill: But my viewpoint with that is why Kate's going that going that way. Whereas if you'd put Cisco routers, it's probably going the other way to the US you know?
Callum: Yeah. But they have different. I do agree with that, but I don't, I don't know whether the US would be tracking the Chinese in the same way that the, the Communist Party of China does.
Phill: Well, I mean, you know, as we evolve through, you know Central Banking Digital Currencies and things like that, you know, the option is there if they put those in to start doing exactly what they are doing there. So we're getting more and more tracks and I think there's, I mean, I think I mentioned this last time I spoke to you when I first came into this sector sending a basket abandonment email, people were surprised about getting it cause they didn't know you could track that.
Phill: And then you [00:18:00] go another little bit of time. And the fact that the email didn't have the products they were looking at in the basket per conversion. So suddenly that, that erosion of level of data that's about you on and an internet session just becomes increasingly, and you, you know, you look at you, you, you mentioned dog food to your wife.
You want to get some dog food. Suddenly you, you, your paid ads on Facebook. You talk, you
Callum: Who's listening, who's listening? No.
Phill: Who's tracking the trackers type thing, isn't it? Yeah.
Callum: I, I think I agree with that, and i actually brought that up to somebody else and I said, how is it when I talk about something? Is my phone listening?
Is Facebook listening? Is Alexa listening? And they, they're like, no, we, they, it's just done in an algorithm and we can just kind of feel that you are, you are making this, you, you
Joe: Probably searched it last week and forgot so.
Callum: Yeah. You, we can feel that you are looking for a new car, you know?
Phill: Well, like you know, I've sat in a pub and chatting to an old school friend. He said, oh, do you know X and Y? I've never heard of them. Never met them. Go home, scrolling through Facebook.
Callum: [00:19:00] Yeah.
Phill: Do you know this person? You're like, oh, come on.
Callum: Yeah. It, it. I think Facebook's probably the worst. And you know what? I think they know that.
Do you, you don't touch Facebook shopping Facebook ads at all?
Not in For You Advertising. Where the agency we do Right.
Already spend on that. It's an interesting one. I think they've probably, I think they've dropped the ball a little bit the past couple of years.
Callum: And TikTok's had a huge boost because of that.
I don't think it's a very well liked platform. I think Instagram's was their saving grace, and I think the cool kids have almost switched away, switched off Instagram now the same way that we switched off Facebook, you know, and, and it, it's kind of now boomers have, have stopped using Facebook and Generation Z stopped using Instagram and never use Facebook.
And, and now they're, you know, TikTok, So what's, you've also got BeReal in the space. Do you see that as a competitor to TikTok?
Joe: No, not [00:20:00] really. Not just the way that the advertising is not a, you know, not a thing that is gonna take spend away from our clients now. Cause they don't. Yeah.
Offer that as a.
Callum: And how do you attract most of your clients?
Joe: Mostly been through Twitter and referrals, TikTok. Cause it's such a new thing.
Joe: Someone mentions the word TikTok and I got a quite a good connection with the private equity company just because I mentioned the word TikTok and he was like, we need a TikTok partner. Come into the office, like, please help us.
And yeah, he's an easy sell right now. And a lot of people that I speak to, a lot of brands that will have like a built out team for, for social. You know, paid performance, and they'll try TikTok. Cause they've done, you, they've spent millions on Facebook ads and they think, oh, it's just a new platform.
Joe: And they get on there and they're like, wait, this isn't, this isn't the same thing. And they're waste money. And then creative as a whole are another ballpark as well.
Callum: So I think that's it. I think, like, I, [00:21:00] I've tried TikTok ads right? Didn't, couldn't make it work. The, the Twitter's the only one that I've actually made work after all, you know, and, at LinkedIn.
They're the only ads I've actually made work over the years. But TikTok was probably the furthest outta my depth. Like I couldn't get really any conversion or any blend.
Joe: Creative's just so important.
I probably didn't have the right creative. That's the part, it wasn't fast enough. Have you seen a trend in how the, how the creative looks over the past couple of years and what's the hottest trend right now?
Joe: Well, in terms of creative in general.
Callum: Yeah. You know, like how everyone was doing the sped up videos and like everybody, you know.
Joe: It changes so quickly and it really depends on, on the brand, you know?
Joe: There's different themes of UGC that we have, like unboxing, testimonial, your trend base. But there's a new trend, there's a new sound every week. So being able to execute on those trend based.
Callum: So you've gotta hit that new sound.
Joe: Yeah. Cause otherwise you look a bit stupid if you like running an ad, that trend that finished [00:22:00] a couple weeks ago, you know, people pick up on that and comments are quite you know, people don't hold back on TikTok, so they'll definitely let you know.
Callum: Yeah. There's not, they're not filtered. They're expecting a lot from the brand. Yes.
Liam: I think, I think you can use your comment section almost as like through free content ideation. So you kind of wanna let your comment section guide what people wanna see, cuz they'll tell you if they like a video, they'll tell you if they hate a video, they'll tell you what they like about your brand. They'll tell you what they hate about your brand and then if you can create responses to that.
Liam: You're gonna get more engagement and just snowball effect like that.
I can see that being what terrifies a lot of the mainstream brands.
Liam: They don't wanna take risks, you know,
Callum: Getting that feedback, having somebody go, I hate what you are doing here and this is why,
Phill: But you also got that, you know, the traditional businesses, like I can think of a couple of large brick, you know, almost bricks and mortar, where it takes a year for them to plan an ad campaign.
Phill: You know, they've got to be turning something, you know, it's got 55 rounds of compliance to go through before it's even thought about being filmed. And you are [00:23:00] probably doing something in 48 hours.
Callum: Yeah, they've been quicker, I think. Aren't you? Tries to be, yeah.
Joe: Yeah. It's, it's, it's hard to talk those enterprise level companies, but TikTok have some really good support on that. They've got all better than Facebook, for example, like they've got a full enterprise team that we're partnered with that their full whole job is to make it easy for these big platforms.
Callum: Enterprise level who, who's doing a good job,
Joe: We work with a brand called Turtle Bay.
Joe: You know those guys, restaurants. Essence Vault, they're.
Liam: We're not doing the organic.
Callum: You're not doing the organic. You're only doing pay. Right. Okay.
Joe: They're just paid ads. And are they doing it per location? Can you get right down toward geographic?
Liam: It's not, it's not as sophisticated as, as that at the moment. We're doing it sort of citywide.
That's the only level geotargeting that you can get. You can't get like postcodes, like Facebook.
Callum: Right. Okay. So it's just, so you could do TikTok just for Leicester Turtle Bay?
Liam: Yeah. Essentially. Yeah. You know, the, the whole point there was to either try and pump traffic into restaurants [00:24:00] that potentially weren't getting that many bookings or just give brand awareness to, new store, new restaurants, sorry, as well.
So yeah, we, we'd go citywide there for any new openings.
Callum: Wow. Yeah. And what's, does it obviously help with the bookings?
Joe: Yeah, we ran a campaign that was building up a email list actually was the main thing. And it was extremely cheap to get the list. Yeah.
Callum: Wow, that's really interesting. I've not thought about that
Joe: Strategy I would say people are just not even thinking about, cause it's so cheap, you know, CPMs are like five, 10 times cheaper than Facebook.
Joe: They're getting signups, qualified signups for under a pound and you know.
Callum: My eyes are lighting up. I've gotta get back in, I've gotta get back in. Honestly.
Joe: You mentioned before like one of creative trends. I think it's something that Facebook and Instagram are probably kicking themselves massively over the, the comment, reply feature.
Joe: If any brand owners or agencies listen to, to this and hasn't tried that.
Callum: So what is that?
Joe: So just you can basically show a comment like as a little sticker in a video [00:25:00] and run it as an ad.
So, and you can fake it, obviously not ethical, but you basically just comment your, one of your FAQs
Joe: And then reply to that as an ad. And it's just an incredibly important, a powerful way of showing. Right. You know, so someone might comment some abuse. If you can turn that into a positive and show off, each of the products that refutes that, you know, it's.
Joe: Very powerful. Cause some, if someone's asked it more people are asking themselves,
Callum: You're kind of handling the objection.
Joe: Yeah, exactly.
Callum: Yeah. You, you, you're nailing off that objection really, really quick,
Liam: Authentically as well. And like, it shows a level of transparency that I don't think you would get on like an Instagram and, and Facebook.
Callum: Yeah, I like it.
Joe: It's that endless creative. Sometimes you don't even need to think about a creative strategy, just look at your comments and it can give you a month's worth of,
Callum: Isn't it mad that I, you know, obviously TikTok, what it started as and what it is now Musically you know, like that, that amazes me, the evolution of this, this brand.
Joe: Yeah. They just like implemented things really quickly and things that you kind of [00:26:00] think, why didn't Instagram
Callum: Yeah, they should have done that, but they're probably not. Probably having too many meetings.
Joe: Yeah, that's right.
Callum: Too many meetings.
Yeah. I've been involved in tech for years. How are you gonna stay current? Obviously you guys are the cool young kids at the minute, but as you get, you know, like, have you thought about, right, I'm gonna have to meet this transition at some point. And what are you doing to make that, how are you learning to become more of a seasoned agency owner. Are you, are you reading books podcast. What are you, how are you learning?
Joe: Yeah, you've always gotta have a mentor.
Callum: Have you, so have you got mentor?
Joe: Yeah, I've got got a few consultants, mentors and sort thing. Right. And just Twitter's like a goldmine for everything.
Callum: Yeah, it is. It is.
Joe: You can count people on there as a, that have never spoken to you. I think.
Callum: Hundred percent. A hundred percent.
Joe: Just soak up information. You talk, even talking to competitors, that's something that. Probably neglected and, you know, learn now is, you know, don't try and be a [00:27:00] secretive and don't speak to your competitors.
Like, just try and try and be friends with everyone really. Yeah. Maybe you pick up stuff and everyone's happy to share stuff. So,
Phill: I think we've all been through the same challenges. You don't know what you don't know.
Callum: That's it. I mean, so yeah, I've always tried to like keep, obviously, and that, that's the thing I, you know, I.
I tried to learn and I've tried to learn in lots of different ways. And at the minute I've gone through a big transition at the moment with the buyout of reviews and I'm having to learn how to be a, a CEO of more staff. And I'm having to like change my skillset again. And I'm having to like read books and like podcasts and trying to, you know, get more info on how to be a more of a, an enterprise level CEO, But yeah, I just wonder, you know, what, what you are kind of reading where you are picking up that, but I can see Twitter. Twitter is obviously a massive resource.
Joe: Yeah. We just, we found people that, one of our mentors, coaches, they've sold agencies [00:28:00] before, they now coach agency owners. We spoke,
Joe: Potentially bringing on a guy as an advisor who has, who sold an age agency last year. Yeah. Some big number.
Joe: Just trying to find those people that are like five years ahead of you. I think
Callum: That's it and they can help you on that journey and give you advice on how to, to get there. Yeah. Where are you in your journey with PAASE at the minute? I mean, I know you've been through the pandemic and now you, you've got bigger and then
Phill: Yeah. We're. I mean, you talk to other agency owners, probably we're probably talking the same. So first time we met today, we've probably got mutual contacts across the board. You talk to those guys, we are probably two years ahead of where we should be in terms of size, turnover, et cetera, which is not without its challenges because some of you are, you feel like you're running to stand still.
I think it is talking to people and, and realizing you have to take advice and it's not a bad thing to take advice just because you've got from A to B.
Callum: Yeah, definitely.
Phill: It doesn't mean definitely C's gonna be a linear journey. [00:29:00] You know, there's a great book, stand Out or Die Gareth Healy, I wanna say really good interesting book for, for an agency own perspective Agencynomics is another good one, but I think it's just having conversations and going, actually, do you know what, it's not a bad thing that revenues flat month or month, or quarter or quarter. It's still a success in the market, etc. And it's looking, I think for one of my big transitions in the last, probably second half of last year, is I'm not looking at this month anymore, this quarter, I'm looking at the next two, three years as what does that look like?
And that's a big change of pulling out of operational day to day, to really thinking more strategically about the business.
Phill: And what does that look like? Does that, you know, one of the, the big questions in my mind is if our aspirations for PAASE are from going from, you know, A to f to use, you know, a a, a random set of letters, Am I the right person to be MD to do that? Or do I need to step back for the good of the shareholders - still me.
Phill: To, to, to go there. And that's that. I think, [00:30:00]
I think you've got, I think you should be confident in your own Yeah. Ability and just lying to be that person.
But I think it's about recognizing that you don't know, everything can actually, it's not a bad thing to bring experts in, like you say and go, even if it's just to validate what you're planning to do or go.
We did that, this happened, so we did this and we tweaked it. So you, you just speed up that time to market a little bit.
Joe: I guess being ahead of the other day, hands off, eyes on.
So knowing what's happening, but then, you know, delegating and letting people deal with it. Yeah. Because ideally, or I, I have the opinion that I should be, I should be the best at anything within the business.
Yeah. You know, we should always be hiring people better than me for every role. So when I get on calls, People sometimes surprise that I'm not gonna be running the ads. It's like, well, you wouldn't want me running the ads because. I'm rub spend more than like 50 on TikTok ads. Yeah. If hired someone that's, you know, spent millions and, and they've had all this training.
Yeah. It's like,
Phill: that's business. [00:31:00] One of the interesting things I've seen is we've, we hired really good people yeah. 18 months ago, two years ago. That took pressure off me. So you end up with your husband heads off or your directors, and now they're at the stage where they're hiring more people to take stuff off them and it's that transition down.
Knowledge spread is really good because actually we've had a transition, I'm sure you guys are the same, that you were selling yourself, really not the business. Now we're selling parcel as an agency. Yeah. And our service is not Phil as the expert within that. That's not to say I don't get involved on occasion and
Callum: yeah, I think that's a real.
Hard thing to do. Yeah. Hard thing to do. You've gotta build your own brand and you've gotta build this business brand separately. Yeah.
Phill: And I'm not, and you've gotta do side by side. Yeah. I'm not one for, you know, blame own trumpet. So I find, you know, that kind of Yeah. Some of that stuff on LinkedIn, but Twitter for quite hard cuz I, what I think we do isn't, you know, it's good, it's very good in some areas, but it's not, you know, Breathtakingly new, it's [00:32:00] expertise, strategy, deployment rather than something new and shy.
And then sometimes we just do it without even thinking about it. And it's great, but we don't, we don't talk about those little wins. And actually all those little wins add up to a really big positive change.
Callum: Yeah. I, I, I'm, to me, I kind of post, probably post too much . Something you mentioned a minute ago is the conversations with Competi.
You know, I, I, I've always been a massive advocate as the more, the more conversations you have, the more profitable you'll be. And whether that's with customers competitors or, or just people in the space like that, that's probably one my one bit of advice would be get out there and just like today, you're coming here.
You, you know, you meet in Phil for the first time, you meet me for the first time, and just keep doing that. Yeah. And if you do, Consistently for a long period of time that compounds And you, you, it's like a snowball, more conversations you have [00:33:00] the luckier you get. Yeah. And I hundred percent believe that.
Phill: we've built our whole business on referrals and networking. Yes. Yeah. We're only now at that point going, well, how do we start generating more inbound? Because
Callum: inbound's tricky,
Phill: isn't it? And it's, yeah. Hard work. Yeah. And it's. That speculate, you know, how, how, if I speculate now, how long is it gonna be before that money starts coming in versus Okay, I'll just go and have a meeting with someone.
But that, that network builds you to a certain point and then you, you kind of plateau a little bit and you have to have thought about,
Callum: have you done an outbound? We're
Phill: just about to kick off a project. Right. And I think we've spent a lot of time as a, as a business trying to identify who we are. Cause we've, we've been through an evolution of kind of me as a freelancer.
Bloody hell. We're an agency all over, you know, overnight, you know, it, it wasn't the plan to really last six months of last year really building what we call past 3.0, which is we've moved away from just being clavio to being a marketing automation agency with a defined [00:34:00] go-to-market stress. Yeah. Which is now, we've almost vet that in and tested that from the second half of last year, which is working really well.
Now we've got that, that we can start thinking about how do we bring marketing into really drive
Callum: that forward? How. Yeah. How have you, it, you know, with TikTok, has anybody managed yet to do outbound with TikTok, like selling TikTok ads on an outbound doing, you know, some things I saw, you know, in the past with Google in the past with Clavio and, and in the past with Facebook ads, that you'd have these people cold calling going, oh, you know, you wanna get a Google, obviously Annas very early days.
You wanna start 'em in Facebook ads and really, pounding the phones to try and get customers, and I, I don't, I've not seen that with TikTok. It
Joe: is. Yeah. We're using
Callum: Abound quite basically. Oh yeah. Okay. How many have you got on your app band team? Just one. Right? Okay.
Joe: Does it work? Yeah, it's working well.
It's just the whole, it's the new thing, like TikTok, isn't it? And [00:35:00] it's, yeah. We've not been that aggressive because we've, we went through like a period of rapid growth. Like start of last year cause it was so little competition. Yeah. To then like being shit, we need to like focus on infrastructure Yeah.
And build a team out. And you know, back end of last year really cemented that and now we're in a position where we can aggressively scale. So we're just firing it up. But yeah, cold emails I think's gonna be a pretty,
Callum: yeah. I think if you can really define your customer, I think that's the thing. With, with your business and the, the TikTok ads, I mean, Could you, instead of doing cold emails, you could cold, can you message on TikTok via the api?
Can you mass do that? No. It's
Joe: difficult. You have, they have to be following you back, right? It's, yeah, I don't think, I think even if you could do that, it would be the best channel. I think cold email's probably the best cold email. LinkedIn, like we are trying cold calling, but it's always difficult cold calling e-commerce companies.
Yeah. Yeah. So I think cold email's probably the [00:36:00] go to. I just trying to figure out that offer cuz Yes. Some people still don't think that their customers are on TikTok and Right. It's trying to just work out. We've, we've been trying offering training in-house training as a, a strategy recently. Yeah.
Because some people feel like they don't want to invest in an agency for. Because it's not got the potential to, you know, to actually work. So they prefer to just train. Cause a lot of big companies already have an in-house team. So
Callum: Yeah. Which they expect to do everything and now they expect them to do TikTok.
Phill: problem. how many influence did you work with. Mainly creators rather. Mainly creators. Sorry. Yeah, creators. I mean
Joe: there's the terms used like interchange, but we think it's important to define like a creator as someone that, so we don't make the content to post on their profile.
Callum: You make it for
Joe: the brand. Define people that fit the demographic of the client and that are good at [00:37:00] making videos. And if you've got that, sometimes works well. A lot of time works better than influencers gonna. Influencer Now, depending on the influencer, people see straight through it down there. So we've got like quite a large network, probably close to a thousand.
Wow. There's a few that we use time and time again. Yeah. Cause it just really
Callum: the good ones. Yeah. Yeah. The one
Liam: you can just trust to just rip
Joe: concept. Yeah. It says it is a bit of a bubble. I, because it's, you know, the core of it, it's making videos like TikTok videos, so everyone thinks it could be a creator.
We, we probably turned down 89% of people apply to work with us. Cause it's just not, not good at
Callum: all. I think if you go into any city center right now, there'll be. 10 girls and boys shooting TikTok content somewhere out some point. I
Joe: mean, yeah, I see people dancing like they saw at like the train station every day.
Someone just setting the phone up and just dancing.
Callum: Like, what are you doing?
Joe: Yeah. Street interviews are a good organic strategy. Have you seen that? Yeah. I think every brand should [00:38:00] try that. Right? So I think people. Getting clued up to the fact that it's like you, you see one now and you stop scrolling.
Callum: It's really authentic content, isn't it?
It's And unpredictable.
Joe: Yeah. A lot of funny moments on the videos. I think it's, what we've found is it's, it's difficult to find someone who wants to do the interviews. You have to have a bit of a character to do it. Yeah. If you can do that as a brand, if you can find someone to do that, it's a, it's a good strategy that's working right now.
Callum: We've definitely gotta do more on TikTok as reviews. We, you know, we've gotta go up and be doing that, those street stops or things like that. I think maybe doing that at Expose is a good idea for us. Yeah, I think that'll be quite good. Shopify events.
Joe: Yeah, I think just try and make it funny. I worked with a brand called Balls, so like Scaping
Right, okay. And those
Joe: is just hilarious, you know, like just you going up and asking people if they shave their balls. It's quite, quite funny content. Trying to add
Callum: that. Is it a girl [00:39:00] going up or a guy?
Joe: No, it's just, yeah, this ball bloke, quite aoke, quite a funny character himself. That crazy bible cause.
That's interesting. Yeah, it's good. Check 'em out.
So normally I end the podcast by asking any books, newsletters, podcasts that are.
Callum: Have influenced you recently and you would advise our listeners to try out. I'm re reading the book about, it's called Red Notice. And it's my guy called Bill Brower, who was a hedge fund manager in Russia and. And went through all loads of trials and tribulations.
I think he was on the hit list and most wanted by Vladimir Putin, . And he, a lot of people, it's a true story. A lot of people dead from him. running a hedge fund. Jesus. Yeah. It's a crazy book, but it teaches you a lot about business in Russia and the [00:40:00] mindset of,
Phill: of is that your next expansion ?
Callum: I'm definitely not going into Russia after reading it.
I'm like that, send somebody else. I won't even fly near Russia after reading that book. I mean Netflix series. Yeah, that's definitely got, it's called Red notice. It's definitely got Netflix series. Yeah. All over it. Yeah. And it'd be mad. It'd be like, it's crazy. It's like a, it's a true story, but it's definitely a, got Netflix roads all over it.
Phill: I, I mentioned it earlier, but I'm, I'm working my way back through Standout or Die by Garth Heal. So from an agency perspective, it's a really interesting mantra that we were looking at of, you know Similar to you? I think my, my, I suppose my, I'm never satisfied. I, I'm always looking for the next thing.
And actually it works really well that you don't wanna stand still as an organization. You wanna stand out. And it's been really quite useful. But just even just to go, yeah, that makes sense, or you're already doing that, but to validate what you are doing and just question yourself as you go through that process of.
Is this just standing similar or is this really pushing what we can do as [00:41:00] a platform or as a business? Yeah.
Callum: Have you read Seth Goding? No. The Purple Cow. No. I'll have to have a look at that one out. Read that. Cause that's very similar to what you're saying. How do you stand out? Yeah. In your space. That's definitely a good read.
It's a bit of, it's an old, old school marketing book. No, I've that it's good. Very good guys. You got anything? Yeah.
Liam: I've just finished reading John Warlow. Right. That is mainly around systems and processes for, for scaling a business,
Callum: if, if, and is it sales team? Yes. Or is it the whole business? No, the whole business.
Yes. Sorry. Yeah. Right. Wow, I've not heard that one. Right. I will
Phill: really, really good for
Liam: anyone looking to scale different elements of the business. Coming from the angle of building to sell. So Right. We approach it as, you know, you really should approach everything as an exit. As an exit. Yeah. And this has sort of given me the tools to think
Callum: about that a bit more.
So you're thinking long term on what it looks like. Cause I know from my past experience, I've [00:42:00] just kind of had an exit, although I'm still involved in the business and I didn't think about an exit when I started reviews and. When I exit, when I was in that process, I wish I had because there were certain things I wish I'd set up differently.
Yeah. So, yeah. Is that helping you set things up now? Yeah. So, so we're
Liam: quite lucky in the fact that it's such a young agency that you can build these processes with that in mind. So building systems and processes that's scalable. You can just rinse and repeat in in various other areas. And then
Callum: he's only broken Liam's, only broken class
Phill: I think it's, I
Joe: think it's important to do that within an agency as well. Cause a lot of agency owners bonds the trap of like silly things that will literally make it impossible to sell. Such as like 30 day rolling contracts them be in the face of everything. Yeah. But if, if you only have clients on 30 day rolling contracts, you pretty much can't.
Agency, right? Because they could just, all the revenue could be gone in 30 days. Yeah. And if [00:43:00] it's, you know, if you are the face and you sell, then nobody wants to work with you. It's, it's dangerous trap to be in. And so many I talk to are in that, in that trap. So,
Callum: So they're just gonna be always on that.
Joe: Yeah. When you say like, do you wanna sell your age at some point? And then you ask them, you know, how many clients have we got on 12 in the contract? Oh, we don't do 12 months, so we don't do six months. Don't do three months. So you can't sell. Right. Agency most likely. Yeah. And recommendations. Go midnight podcast that hosted by a friend of mine.
It's quite good. It's quite a new podcast. It's e-com
Callum: I'm gonna get that one. Midnight, midnight podcast. Hold on. Gonna write it down. Yeah,
Joe: loads of like people in e-commerce that you might not have heard of, like, you know, young kids and like crazy numbers and guys got a good
Callum: network and are.
what's the, what's the host name? Mark Kelly. Mark Kelly, right? Matt. M a t t. Matt.
Joe: Kelly. [00:44:00] Yeah. He's he's at like three massive e-com starts in his. Launched a new one recently called
Callum: Space Goods. Oh, wow. I, I love finding new podcasts. That's why I literally do the end of the, yeah. Podcast like this. Cool.
Just to learn new things because it, you know, it gives me stuff that I can listen to and read different books to read, and hopefully it helps the listeners as well.
Guys, thank you so much for joining me today. Honestly, it's been a pleasure. I've learnt so much and hopefully the listeners have ha learned a lot too.
Thank you so much.
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.