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Marketing Fundamentals: Expert Advice and Guidance from Ari Gayer

Ari Gayer
Growth Consultant, @Ari Gayer Consulting LLC

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Decoding Strategic Marketing: Expert Advice and Guidance from Ari Gayer

New marketing strategies emerge every day, and many of them yield great results. To keep up, many marketers mimic the advertising implementations of the day’s hottest brands, hoping to achieve the same outcomes. However, this copy-and-repeat practice comes with risks. By jumping into strategies that are not specifically tailored to their own needs, they can deviate from the fundamental principles of marketing. Straying away from these basic principles can result in failed implementations, wasted resources, and, worst of all, the loss of time. 

To understand successful marketing strategies and the fundamental principles they’re based upon, the Nostra team sat down with Ari Gayer, a seasoned growth and marketing expert with nearly a decade of experience, including six years at Zola—an online wedding registry, planner, and retailer. Ari ascended from Senior Manager to VP of Marketing at Zola, steering profitable growth through impactful marketing practices. He now continues his work as a fractional CMO and Growth Consultant for successful brand names such as Mila, Brunt, Mejuri, and more.

Drawing on his expertise in growth and marketing, Ari covers everything a brand needs to know to enhance their marketing strategies while keeping their fundamentals intact. Below, we cover:

  1. How to best segment your audience for CRO
  2. Ad success best practices 
  3. Common marketing mistakes to avoid

Let’s dive in.

In this era of creativity, people have lost the idea of the fundamental marketing principles of who this persona is, who the audience is, etc. They just do a bunch of different content that might be beneficial in the short term but can lead to a scary hamster wheel of just chasing Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC). - Ari Gayer

Segment Your Audience for Increased CRO

A successful marketer knows that every interaction with a potential customer matters from start to finish. Learning who they are, how they found you, and their interests can make the difference between gaining a sale and losing significant money in wasted acquisition costs. That's why, to optimize for conversions, Ari suggests using customer data to stratify your audience based on their intent. Here are two methods on how:

Pre-Purchase: To stratify your users based on their intent, leverage pre-purchase data from your visitors. This data includes the user's origin (the platform or channel they came from), their device, and the specific ad or message that attracted them.

By collecting pre-purchase data, you can segment users into specific categories. These segmentations can serve as a foundation for adaptive strategies in onboarding flows, drip campaigns, and tailored site experiences that resonate more deeply with each user.

Post-Purchase: A customer making one purchase is an opportunity for them to make another. Based on Ari's expertise, the post-purchase phase holds valuable data, crucial for transforming a one-time buyer into a loyal, repeat customer.

Therefore, instead of allowing a customer’s purchase to be seen as a one-off, take advantage of your customer's data, segment them into specific audiences, and target them with personalized strategies—whether through SMS or email campaigns—to encourage further engagement and product exploration.

3 Tips for Successful Ads

Drawing from experience in successful ad campaigns, Ari was happy to share his top tips. Along with leveraging audience segmentation, here are three essential actions a brand can take to optimize its ads for conversion:

Creative Diversity: Automation has become a powerful player in ad distribution, resulting in many brands relinquishing a large portion of control when handing over their ads to platforms like Meta or Google.

 To ensure that such platforms are working at their full potential, Ari encourages brands to be creative and diversify their ads. This involves crafting new messages, creating unique hooks, testing different influencer models, and so forth. 

 By offering diversity, ad platforms have more room to play, test, and collect data, helping your ads resonate with its viewers. However, keep in mind that creatives should not be overproduced. Each ad should be carefully tailored for a specific target audience while maintaining a consistent representation of the brand throughout.

Integrate a Feedback Loop: Ad costs are continually on the rise, and to curb unnecessary expenses, it's crucial to monitor your ad’s efficacy. To do so, brands should incorporate a feedback loop that either validates or disproves the effectiveness of their ads.

To collect feedback, utilize sources such as:

  • Ad Quality Scores
  • Customer surveys 
  • Website reviews 
  • Social media comments

While these sources offer valuable feedback, incorporating them correctly into a feedback loop requires thoughtful consideration and organization. When executed well, this feedback loop will help you continually optimize your ad spend and its efficacy in generating orders.

Ari recommends analyzing performance data within your ad platform, such as Meta ads, to understand which ads resonate with specific personas by examining metrics like age groups and geographical locations.

Prioritize Site Speed: In advertising, every millisecond matters. When a user clicks your ad, you have captured their most fleeting interest. Keeping that interest is impossible if your site loads slowly. When you have paid for a user's attention, maximize your opportunity through fast site speed.

Ari emphasizes that all brands should prioritize their site speed, and for those looking for a top-notch solution, Ari recommends Nostra for the job. Ari has seen multiple brands, including his own like Mila and Brunt, benefit from the implementation of Nostra. The increase in site speed has not only helped in ad success but has aided in customer retention, average order value (AOV), and, ultimately, revenue.

If you have someone's attention for three seconds, how can you maximize that opportunity? The more information they have about the site, the more pages they explore, the more likely you are to convert them, as opposed to them spending those entire three seconds loading just the first page. - Ari Gayer

Avoid these 2 Common Marketing Mistakes

As mentioned earlier, it's easy to be swayed by popular strategies that may not necessarily benefit your brand. Ari is adept at steering brands away from such pitfalls. He underlines two prevalent marketing errors that often emerge in his work of aiding brands to enhance their CRO:

1.) Neglecting Marketing Fundamentals: With the relentless progress of AI, it's becoming more common for marketers to depend on its capabilities, especially when molding content to suit their audience. This reliance on technology can inadvertently sidestep basic marketing fundamentals, which still have a place in today’s digital age. 

As an example, Ari noted that while Meta is quite adept at automatically matching ad creatives to appropriate audiences, building out detailed buyer personas and creatives that target them specifically is still a necessary exercise. Neglecting to do so and relying too much on marketing technologies can lead to a tailspin of increasing CAC’s as marketers try to be “too much to too many.”

Each brand has its distinctive charm, and according to Ari, this is something to leverage. Understanding your customer base and identifying the factors that will make you their preferred choice is key. Ari suggests spending significant time developing the following:

       Buyer Personas: Detailed, semi-fictional representations of ideal customers based on market research and accurate data, designed to guide marketing plans and enhance understanding of the target audience.

       Brand Pillars: The core values, key attributes, and foundational elements that define and uphold a brand's identity, guiding its messaging and decision-making.

2.) Lack of Direction in Email and SMS Campaigns:  Email and SMS marketing pose challenges beyond what one might initially anticipate. It's not just about sending occasional messages; achieving success requires a deep understanding of your customers and the communication channels you employ.

Email Campaigns: One common observation Ari has of unsuccessful email campaigns is the tendency of some stores to distribute the same content to their entire list all at once. While this approach is better than having no campaign at all, there is still ample room for improvement.

 Take this scenario for example: 

Say you know that a customer will tend to order a specific skincare product every three months. Instead of bombarding them with different emails between their first purchase and the three-month mark (which can push users to unsubscribe), Ari recommends sending a tailored email, say about a new product launch, right before their third-month (and likely re-order date) approaches. 

Using a combination of thoughtful segmentation and strategic, automated delivery flows, emails can provide a more personalized touch, fostering brand affinity and increasing the likelihood of another purchase. 

SMS Campaigns: Brands have a tendency to either overuse or underuse SMS campaigns. Those who underutilize SMS are missing out on potential opportunities to engage with their customers, and those who overdo it tend to bother customers, pushing them to unsubscribe.

Ari suggests a pair of strategies to find the ideal balance. First, ensure your text message content differs from your email campaigns for two reasons:

  1. Nobody enjoys duplicated content
  2. They are fundamentally different channels. (Remember when your grandma signed off every paragraph-long text as if it were an email?)

Second, put into play a loyalty funnel strategy, providing privileges like early access, exclusive products, or even interactive sessions with the founders. Text is a more personal channel than email, and should be treated as such. This approach helps you engage your customers without being intrusive and fosters a personal connection within your brand’s community.

By leveraging Ari's expertise in audience segmentation, ad performance optimization, and marketing fundamentals, you can bring the efficacy of your brand’s digital marketing to unprecedented heights.  To arm yourself best, check out Nostra - with our support, you can notably cut down on latency, increase traffic to your site, boost conversion rates, and, ultimately, drive revenue. 

No need to hesitate! Book a free demo today.

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