Aging Beautifully with Look Fabulous Forever's Janis Thomas

Your host, Samir ElKamouny, talks with Janis Thomas of Look Fabulous Forever. Look Fabulous Forever wanted to create products specifically formulated to enhance the beauty of older faces. They also wanted to celebrate age rather than promoting anti-aging in all of their video makeup tutorials for older women.


Transcription

Your host, Samir ElKamouny, talks with Janis Thomas of Look Fabulous Forever. Look Fabulous Forever wanted to create products specifically formulated to enhance the beauty of older faces. They also wanted to celebrate age rather than promote anti-aging. With advanced marketing and CRO tactics, they’re one of the fastest-growing beauty brands. 

To learn more about Janis’ work, visit https://www.lookfabulousforever.com/

If you’d like to be a guest on Ecom Growth Leaders, click HERE


– Thanks for tuning into the Ecom Growth Leaders podcast. This show is intended to highlight marketing and conversion techniques taught by today’s leaders in the ecom world. I’ll be interviewing the top marketers that are influencing the market, making an impact, scaling faster than their competitors, and doing good. I’m your host, Samir Elkamouny, Founder and CEO of Fetch & Funnel, a performance marketing agency specializing in omnichannel media buying, creative production, and conversion optimization. If you enjoy anything from today’s episode, I highly recommend checking out fetchfunnel.com, and sign up for our email newsletter, where I promise to only send you content you can learn from and apply directly into your business to improve results and scale. At the end of each episode, my goal is to have you feeling inspired and fired up by learning from today’s top innovators, marketers, and entrepreneurs. Let’s dig into another amazing story about a unique brand crushing it and learn from their success and learnings. Hey everybody. Welcome back to another exciting episode of Ecom Growth Leaders. I have Janis Thomas here with me from an amazing brand called Look Fabulous Forever. Janis, thank you so much for joining today.

– Thank you for having me Samir. I really appreciate it.

– Super excited to talk about the brand. Would love to just kind of start off by you telling our audience more about Look Fabulous Forever, and what you sell and what the brand is all about.

– So Look Fabulous Forever is a direct consumer beauty brand. We sell makeup and skincare for older women. But generally in the beauty industry, older women is anyone over about 30, but our audience are predominantly in their 60s, 70s, and even 80s, that they’re post menopausal and they have very different needs from their skincare makeup than mainstream audiences do. So our founder, Tricia Cusden, started the brand eight years ago, and she essentially said that if those products weren’t out there for her, then she was gonna formulate them herself, design them all, manufacture them all, set up her own website, her own YouTube channel, all of those things. She is to the most incredible woman. She is 74 now and still very heavily involved in the business every day.

– Love it, love it. So what is your role at Look Fabulous Forever?

– So I am the e-commerce and marketing director, and that means that I lead both marketing from a technology kind of point of view, as well as our e-commerce platform, merchandising, those kind of things, as well as our kind of traditional marketing efforts, predominantly digital being a DTC brand.

– And you have a very impressive resume. So I’m sort of curious how did you get into it and what brought you to Look Fabulous Forever, and yeah, just for other marketers out there looking to either make a switch or continue in a very interesting and an awesome path like you’ve taken.

– Yeah, so my career has been very diverse as you say. I spent a long time in media and entertainment, particularly developing one of the first streaming platforms, even before Netflix was doing streaming, a lot of time in subscription, which then led to me going to watch for Birchbox because essentially Birchbox found they could teach a subscription person about beauty, but it was harder to teach a beauty person about subscription. So from there I’ve been much more an e-com specialist, particularly scale up is my superpower that I’m not really into that kind of startup, kinda early stage, do you have product market fit. But once you’ve got product market fit, that’s my thing that I will accelerate and grow your business. And that’s the stuff that I know well.

– That’s a great superpower to have. So I’m curious how you define success at Look Fabulous Forever and how is it measured?

– Yeah. So for us it’s really that balance between growth and profitability. That yes, we wanna grow rapidly, but we are not necessarily kind of looking to take on right now like a massive amount of investment is like, well, let’s do that self-funded growth. How do we do that and accelerate at a point where we are kind of at least breaking even, and kind of go as fast as we can at that point. So yeah, it’s about revenue growth, but it’s also so about profitability as well.

– Got it. Great metrics to be going after. Of course most important for most, do you feel like there’s other like super important metrics that you’re paying close attention to as far as your what you’re doing with digital or even internally as the company is growing?

– Yeah. So personally I have like four key metrics, which are revenue and profitability, but conversion rate and new customer revenue. And more broadly within the business, we have, essentially we’ll call it four pillars of growth, which are around conversion rate, optimization, reaching new customers, developing new products and kind of expanding the skillset of the team, kind of growing the team, but not necessarily in terms of headcount, much more in terms of skills and ability and kind of really that continuous improvement mindset and culture.

– And so I’m curious kind of along those lines too, because I know you’re paying super close to conversion rate and would love to talk about that more in a few, but I’m curious as you’re paying close attention to that, do you need to pay close attention to lifetime value as well or is it just you’ve got such a great target demographic that once they test try the product, they love it so much that they sort of continue with it or what does that look like?

– Yeah. So we certainly have a very loyal customer base because our product is unique. And when our customers kind of discover us, it’s a joyful moment of, “Oh my God! “I feel seen and I belong and all of those things.” But I think for us, lifetime value is almost separate from conversion rates like recognizing what are the factors that drive lifetime value. So for example, our customers who buy both skincare and makeup from us, their lifetime value is about twice that of customers who only buy makeup from us. So getting makeup customers to buy their first skincare purchase is a key lifetime value trigger for example. So it’s understanding what drives lifetime value is often around product activation, category activation, and replishment.

– So interesting. So then is there one side of that, that you are always trying to get a first time customer to buy the makeup or the skincare and as more of a lead in type of product or I know you push packages as well, like your skincare essentials and things like that.

– Yeah. It’s very difficult to get first time customers to buy skincare. It’s much easier to tell the makeup story. The makeup story is immediately obvious. You can watch a YouTube video and you can understand how our blusher works. Like for example, our blusher is one of our key products. And if you wear a traditional powder blush, as you get older, it sits in the wrinkles in your skin, and it’s not very flattering. But if you use a cream blush, older skin is really absorbant. So what happens is you put it on the morning, you look in the mirror and you look absolutely fantastic. And then lunchtime it’s disappeared and you’re as pale as a ghost. And so our blusher formula goes on as a cream, so it doesn’t sit in your wrinkles, but then it sits on your skin as a powder so it doesn’t get absorbed so it maintains that vibrancy. So it’s much easier to tell those kind of stories about our makeup products and then take people on a journey to recognizing that we know what we are talking about, and this is the difference our skincare makes, but that’s something that you’re gonna see much more over time that you’re gonna be using it for a few weeks or a few months before you say, “Oh, wow, this is having a real difference to my skin.”

– Got it. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Plus you’re doing a lot of really interesting things with, like you’ve got shot by tone where you can allow people to go after, look shot by their different skin tones. You’ve got your amazing color quiz, which yeah, I mean, it sort of speaks for itself. And then you’re spending a lot of time on education as well it sounds like where you’ve got the super successful YouTube channel, you’re forming communities, you’re doing all of these amazing things. I mean, how important of a role does sort of all of those things play? I know it feels a little obvious, but just our audience can really understand it, how much of a role do you think a lot of those different piece of content and personalization, all the things that you’re focusing on?

– Yeah. It’s really about that journey to purchase. And I think particularly our audience is gonna take, whatever it is, a standard I’ve heard this start of like 50 odd touch points on the journey to purchase bundled around. I’m sure for our audience it’s probably higher. And the thing that gets to through the door the first time is that content and particularly seeing Tricia and seeing, our customer sees herself reflected back and this is not some 30 year old trying to sell me anti-aging moisturizer. This is somebody who looks like me and sounds like me, and has the same challenges as I do. And then bringing them closer and closer on the journey to purchase as they get real value out of our brand, that that might be watching Tricia’s videos on YouTube, or that might be engaging with our social community or any of those things. It might even be here hearing Tricia talk about kind of what retirement communities should look like for example. Women come to our brand from all kinds of different places, but the first touch point is normally some kind of content. And then as they get to know us and trust us and believe that we know what we’re talking about, then they’re ready to make a purchase.

– Love that. You gave a little tidbit there too, which was an interesting one was creating engaging content that may or may not be anything that the brand has to do with, anything the product is, right? But it’s engaging content that your target audience is going to want to absorb and consume, right? I feel like that’s a little tenacious that you just kind of threw in there that I feel like is very interesting one.

– Yeah. And I think it is that. Having a brand that stands for something is easier to then kind of have those opinions on much wider issues, which then bring in a much wider audience that we have customers who don’t necessarily wear a lot of makeup. And I think that’s one of the most interesting things about our brand is. In 2020, lipstick sales dropped off a cliff. Why would you wear lipstick? For us, they went up. And part of that was that Trish’s message to our community is that we wear makeup for ourselves. We are not wearing it for the outside world. We are looking for, when I look in the mirror, I see myself and I see a confident older woman and those kind of things and that comes from makeup and you’re doing it for yourself rather than for other people. So that’s why our lipstick sales did really well in 2020.

– Look good, feel good, right? Love that. So curious, just what would you, I mean, you’re accomplishing a lot, you’re managing a lot, you’ve got a very important role at the company. Curious, what would you consider to be your biggest success so far? Could be more than one, but yeah. Any specific breakthroughs or…

– I think for me, it’s always nice to be right. And when I joined the company, the thing I said is we need to get our conversion rate up. That’s what’s holding us back from growing. Not just if we doubled our conversion, we would double our revenue obviously, but actually it would make new customer acquisition much more cost effective, and we would be able to scale faster. So it was like, this is the thing. And for me, my hypothesis was the things that we needed to do was to provide more personalized experiences. Because we were trying to do a kind of one size fits all, had the homepages like stuff with something for everyone. We said, “Look, if you’re a first time customer, “you need to understand how our products work, “what Tricia’s story is, why we exist.” And we really need to do that kind of storytelling piece. Whereas if you’re a returning visitor, you already know Tricia, you already know those things. You wanna get into product, you probably wanna get different types of product because you’re probably buying skincare from us as well as makeup. But if you’re a first time visitor, you’re more likely to buy makeup from us. And so all of these things and saying actually, do you know what? Let’s provide more personalized experiences, let’s provide more personalized advice, particularly as you mentioned the color quiz saying, how do I decide what color lipstick is going to suit me? And that’s really when you can’t go into a store and try it on the back of your hand, it’s really hard to tell and saying actually let’s develop something that looks at the data that our customers have. And so it’s things like, what colors dominate your wardrobe? Does gold or silver jewelry suit you better in your opinion? And things like what color do the veins in your wrist appear? That actually for a lot of people they’ll appear more kind of bluey or purpley and for other people that appear more kind of greenish and that’s actually a key indicator of the sort of colors that is going to suit you. So we take all that data from the customer and then we say to her, “Are you looking for a lipstick “because you’re going to the supermarket “or are you looking for a lipstick “because you’ve got like a fancy night out?” Then again, we’re gonna recommend something different. And kind of all of those things that say, do you know we’re recognizing each customer is different and needs a different experience and different recommendations and all of those things. And yeah, we have more than doubled up conversion rate as a result. So that’s really, really good news.

– Yeah. That’s amazing. Doubling your conversion. It’s very impressive. But we talked about a bunch of it really interesting things that you’ve been doing on the conversionary side, on the marketing side, a lot of success you’ve had prior to we were talking earlier. Curious, what are some of maybe the two or three of the biggest growth levers that you’ve you’ve pulled for the business?

– Yeah. I mean, I think for me I’m an absolute passionate advocate for paid social as a acquisition tool. And here in the UK, there’s a group that collects data from UK e-commerce retailers. And they have this stat that on average UK e-commerce retailers are generating less than 1% of their revenue from social. And I’m like, “What are you doing “that you’re not driving more revenue from social?” So that for me was a big thing. And I think joining the business. And we were social first business. Tricia’s YouTube channel is huge. We have thousands of subscribers, we have millions of views, all of these things. The Facebook channel’s been there from day one, but the business hadn’t necessarily cracked it and like coming in with that test and learn and particularly I’m a real advocate for that kind of full funnel marketing. And I think the industry is catching up to, I was out conferences four or five years ago, banging the drum for, you know what? It’s not just about bottom of funnel. You’ve gotta attract a pool of people who know your brand and are interested in it in order to be able to convert them. And that’s where like really rapid growth comes from is you’ve gotta fill the top of the funnel and convert the bottom of the funnel. And I think that’s the thing for be that I think businesses who are doing really well with paid social are doing that. They’re looking at like, how do you take people on that journey from the first time they’ve heard of your brand to the point that they’re gonna make the purchase and they’re making repeat purchase and all of those things.

– And paying close attention to probably where those touch points are and then what that customer journey looks like, because I’m sure someone coming from some organic YouTube videos first versus a Facebook account first and reading a blog article or getting some of your content or signing up for your $100 off or you’re win $100 and things like that must be very different customer journeys that then you probably are paying close attention to like, okay, like you said, how many touch points do I need to get in front of this person? How do I impact the conversion rate of each of those different people?

– Yeah. And I think as well, also still testing and having that hypothesis and being like, well, do you know what? this creative works really well over here, let’s just try it with that audience. And sometimes there’ve been things that have surprised us that you would say, “Oh, I didn’t think the customer “who had seen that particular video “would’ve then come in this particular route” but sometimes they do. And sort of trying not to be, there’s a phrase about if you go in to a conversation assuming that you’re right, then you’re not gonna change your mind. You’re not gonna learn anything.

– Yeah. Yep, yeah. Love to test. Don’t take… You can use assumptions to run tests. That’s totally fine. but don’t not test or try something completely random or unique because you have assumptions. I feel like that’s super key and love that. The full funnel, the multi-channel, not being afraid to test, paying close attention to conversion rate, trying to increase conversion rate, all very key things, which I’m super glad to hear and yeah, pushing to our audience so that they are paying close attention to those things. But of course some mistakes happen along the way. So I’m curious, maybe what are some mistakes that you have made and maybe some missteps that have happened, maybe from testing or assumptions or anything in between.

– I remember interviewing for a role a couple of years ago, and somebody said, “What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career?” And I was like, “I’ve never made any mistakes in my career.” And the thing is, is like, obviously I have done things that have not worked, but I really have this mindset of, do you know what? If you tried something and it didn’t work, you learned something. That’s massively valuable information. So I have this mindset that there’s no such thing as a mistake. Like for example, one of the things that we just A/B tested was this theory that says that rounded buttons perform better than buttons with square edges, because we have this kind of subliminal thing that sharp things, signify danger, and what have you. So I was like, “Oh, I’d be really interested “to test that particularly because our brand, “maybe those hard edges don’t feel like they fit “with our brand “so I’d be really interested to kind of A/B test that “and see what difference it makes.” What came back from that was that for desktop, it was kind of about even that both shapes kind of performed the same. But on mobile, the rounded edges performed worse. And so the hypothesis that I then kind of came out from there was because we were A/B testing it, essentially we were kind of filing off the edges. So what we were doing was we’re making the button just slightly smaller. So from a motor skills point of view, you were making it slightly harder to click on from a mobile perspective. And that is the theory of why that testing work. And actually we should be testing is bigger buttons first and then looking at the shape of the button. So technically, yeah, that was a mistake in the sense it didn’t work, but we’ve now got an even better, more valuable test to run as a result of it. So I don’t think there’s any such thing as mistakes. There’s only really, really valuable learnings. And I want to work in an environment where every day people think, “Well, let’s try it. “Let’s see. “Let’s know.”

– Yeah. No, absolutely. And that’s a key I think, right? If you’re not able to make, yeah, we should come up with a different name for it. But if you’re not able to come up with those mistakes, right? If you’re not able to test and then, I mean, that’s how we look at conversionary optimization at Fetch & Funnel, right? Is if the test didn’t result in a positive impact, whatever metric we were trying to improve, that’s totally okay because now we have data that exactly like you said, either that doesn’t work or maybe there’s a better optimization we could make or some learning from that. But love that you’re also saying, the differentiation as well that you need to be paying close attention to, desktop versus mobile. And I’m sure you have a large audience that is on tablets as well, which I feel like a lot of people don’t pay attention to as much anymore. They’re sort of like, “Well, the phones have gotten bigger. “iPad is such a small and amount of viewers.” But I feel like most of the family and women in my life that are of older age, if they’re retired, they’re pretty much surfing the web and doing everything on an iPad. They’re sort of like don’t want the computer because it feels clunky and it’s not as convenient for them. So yeah, makes it really interesting. Even more important to what you’re saying, because yeah, you’re gonna use your finger to interact with that. And it’s frustrating for anyone if you’re trying to click something and doesn’t work. Forget someone who’s older and is gonna have less patience or more patience. You never know. But yeah, love that. Love that you’re paying attention to that and know that’s awesome. So, I mean curious. I know you’re paying a ton of attention to conversion rate, I guess how are you looking at A/B testing or how are you doing that sort of how are you coming up with some of your tests and things like that? I love to talk about out CRO on the podcast and have anybody sort of learn from it and you have a very impressive skillset as it relates to that. So I’m curious what insights you could you have for a listener base?

– Yeah. So I joined the business not quite two years ago. And when I came in, I was like, “Do you know what? “There are a lot of things like personalization, “like the color quiz that I just think that we need to do.” Yeah, we could test it, but it’ll just delay us. And it feels like the right thing to do. So for about 18 months it was like, do you know what? This is the roadmap we need to improve our product landing pages, we need to improve our homepage experience, we need to do x, y, and z. We think that we need to do that. So it wasn’t until actually December just gone that we’re like, “Okay, now we’re ready to get into that subtle granularity “of what is the color of the button? “What’s the shape of the button? “What does it say? “What’s the font size, all of those things.” So it’s actually only now we’ve been getting into A/B testing and we’ve just got like this huge list of things that we want to try and we want to understand. And I think for us, it’s saying, do you know what? We can test this element of the product page, we can test this element of the homepage, we can do this element of the menu. And those kind of three things can run concurrently because they’re not actually kind of touching the same point and we can kind of accelerate our learnings. And I think we’ve been really surprised with the things that have worked really quickly were not necessarily top of our list of things that we thought that were gonna make a difference. Like one of the things that we just tested that did like really well in like days we could see that it was a winner was to do with kind of condensing some of the menu options that we display once you are in the basket and just actually kind of condensing it to kind of give more focus on the basket. And that was just like instantly like, yeah, you should do this. You should roll this out. And other things like the button shape is like, oh no, that didn’t work in the way that you thought it would. And that’s what I love about A/B testing. And I think, like I’ve always said, I love performance marketing because you could always drive more traffic from your marketing, better quality traffic, convert more of it and increase your lifetime value. And all four of those things have infinite potential. So just every day you get to try something new and something different and you learn something and you are a smarter, wiser person every day is just the most incredible thing and incredible place to work. And I love my career and I love the company I work for so I feel genuinely blessed.

– That’s awesome. And you are empowered to make those decisions, make those learnings, right? That we talked about, not mistakes which is great, right? That’s a lot of founders and marketers I feel like are penalized if it doesn’t have a positive impact, right? If that CRO test or A/B test doesn’t amount to more add to carts or more purchases. So that’s great to hear that you’re in a position where you’re like, “Hey, we’re 100%.”

– Yeah. And I think part of that is like having a lot of things on the go at the same time. Not having all your eggs in one basket, understanding what is the minimum viable product? What is the smallest version of this test that we can run that if you are continuously evolving, then it’s a less of a thing of, oh, let’s try this. It’s like, well, we’re testing stuff all the time and half of it works and half of it doesn’t, and one of the things that we just tested that didn’t work at all, and we were really surprised was online consultations. That there’s been huge within the beauty industry and so many brands are saying, “Oh, it’s worked so well for us.” And we just couldn’t get traction on it. And talking our customers they’re just like, “Yeah, I don’t wanna talk to someone over video. “I wanna talk to somebody in person.” And it’s like, well, fair enough. That’s our customer base and those kind of things. But I think just because we had, that wasn’t the only kind of card we’re playing. I’m always like, the thing about you just have so many bets in play that some of them are gonna come off and some of them don’t. And as long as you’re not spending stupid money on too many of them, then it’s worth it.

– Yeah, absolutely. Great advice. Love that. So curious what role is creative and content gonna play for the business in 2022.

– Yeah. I mean, for us, the both of those things are absolutely crucial that one of the things that we started doing when I joined the business is a quarterly customer survey. And one of the things that we ask now every quarter is basically, are there any products or techniques that you would like to see us demonstrate for you? And it’s just absolute gold. It tells us two things. One, it tells us what new content we should be creating. But it’s also hugely valuable for do you know what? People still wanna hear about eye makeup? People always wanna hear about our brow product. And as a marketer, often you think like, but I’ve talked about this. People must be sick of it. So actually having your customers reflect back, “No, we wanna hear more about that,” is just massively valuable. So that is huge. And just seeing what works and what doesn’t again, having so many bets in play. We had a video last year, tailored last year, and it was just like one of many, many videos that we produce that it’s just how to do your makeup in five minutes. We had over a million organic views on Facebook of that video.

– Wow!

– It’s insane. We have had over a million views on YouTube. It’s just the thing that actually if you create enough stuff, you’re gonna one day find the thing that resonates with your audience and resonates like beyond your audience. And that’s the great thing with the algorithms is when you find something that people love, they run with it. We were looking at our YouTube stats last month. And like over half of our views were from suggested videos that people watching other stuff and our videos were being suggested. And we’d never seen a stat like that before. But you just keep trying, you keep doing it and you find the thing that resonates and then you learn from it and you keep going.

– Yeah. And I feel like that organic content, the 80-20 rule happens so much. I mean, I used to work with Larry Kim, which his thing was finding those unicorn, right? Blog articles and things like that, right? Where it’s like that 20% of the contents, 80% of the views, 80% of the traffic. But like you said, it get that hit and then it just takes off and probably produces a great customer as well because the educational content is great. Obviously you’re gonna be using your makeup in that tutorial, going through all of that.

– And that long tail stuff is incredible as well. We’ve got webpages that we’ve like, okay, this is a specific issue like say hoodie eyes. I mean to be fair, hoodie eyes gets quite a lot of traffic. That we’ve got some pages like that, that get 100% conversion rate, Do you know what? we get like five visitors, but the people who visit that page are like, “Wow! “This is exactly what I want. “I’m gonna gonna buy.” So yeah, those high traffic things, those viral things, they’re amazing, but actually investing in the right thing in the long tail is also incredibly profitable.

– Love that. That’s amazing. So I’m curious because before when we were talking you let me know that you were in a very unique position when you first started where actually social was off and only almost all of your ads were off. And so you were in this really unique position to really find out what the impact of each channel was. And when you pulled those levers what happened. And so I’m sure you saw what that return was, what the track return in the platform was versus actually on the website. And so I’m curious sort of how you all that transition, but then now sort of post iOS updates, which I’m sure again, we were talking about, I’m assuming that a lot of your target audience is on iPads and a lot of iPhones and things like that. And you said you’re paying close attention to mobile. So yeah, I’m curious how iOS sort of affected the business, how you’ve sort of seen that conversion rate and the impact and the return and maybe how you’ve been able to pay close attention to that because you were in that unique position before knowing the positive impact social had and then sort of what it looks like that landscape now.

– Yeah. It’s been interesting times. And I think we were very, very lucky that we’d had that period of time where it was off and we can say, oh actually, do you know what? That’s incrementality. And my whole career working in paid social, you’ve always got like what does faith Facebook say? What does Google Analytics say? What does third party attribution models say? And they all say something different. So it’s about looking at a range of metrics and saying, “Where do I see a difference? “What did I change? ‘And what impact has that had?” So for example last summer we started advertising on YouTube. And YouTube is notorious that nobody clicks on a YouTube ad. I mean, why would you click on a YouTube ad? Because you’ve gone to YouTube to watch another video. You’re not gonna click on an ad. So we started running YouTube ads and we saw at the same time a big uptick in our YouTube channel views. And we saw a big uptick in our new customer revenue. So we were able to put together a hypothesis that said, do you know what? When we run ads on YouTube, we get more people searching for our brands on YouTube. They then watch our videos and then they go on to make a purchase. And that was a… We could see those data points. And I think in the best businesses that I’ve worked in at Look Fabulous Forever, at Birchbox was exactly the same. They had this democratization of data and that actually the availability of all the different data points and not people saying, “Oh, this is data. “You can’t see it. “I’m not gonna share it.” It means that you can see all these different impacts happening in different places and kind of follow them through. And I think, I mean, I’m lucky because I came from a math and stats background and I’ve always had this weird kind of hybrid why I got into marketing of math and stats and the arts. And I think that’s actually where particularly performance marketing is really exciting because it is about the numbers and being able to see patterns. But then at Birchbox they used to have this value they called grounded inspiration. And the idea is like, if you really know your data and your customer, you come up with the most brilliant ideas. And that’s what I think data does. It makes you think about, okay, what does that tell me? And what would I do creatively as a result of that information?

– Very interesting way to think about it. And yeah, love the democratization of data. Sharing that irrespective of anyone’s know-how or anything like that. I mean that’s awesome. So curious, what excites you the most in the year ahead, whether it’s in the ecom industry or within your own marketing?

– Yeah. Certainly at Look Fabulous Forever we’ve got some exciting tech products that I’ve got my eye on that I’m always like, “Can I drive incremental revenue by doing something better?” I’m working on search at the moment, particularly at the moment you can’t search content on our website, which is like a huge opportunity for us. So making that content search a delightful experience, it’s clearly a massive opportunity. But I think more widely in marketing what I really wanna see, and I dunno if it’s gonna be this year, but I really think and hope that it will come is just this fight at the moment between privacy and personalization. And it’s so politicized that whether it’s Apple or Facebook or what the kind of regulations say and customers are not educated enough about how to make a decision. And I feel like legislation isn’t fit for purposes. It is genuinely trying to help consumers, but it’s actually making it worse. Because we all just go on websites and just like, just make the cookie banner go away. It’s not in anyone’s interest. And I hope that we can start moving to something where we start to talk to consumers and say, “Look, you do have to understand this stuff “and make a decision. “That it’s not necessarily in your interest. “Do you really not want any kind “of targeted ads or personalization?” But let it be in your interest, let you know how to control your preferences and say no to… It’s like, “No, I don’t wanna see that company on Facebook.” How do I make sure that I don’t see them again and those kind of things. So I think there is a wider piece within the industry about educating the consumer so they can make informed decisions because legislation is not cutting it. It’s just annoying people.

– Yeah. They’re probably more uneducated on the subject than most, right? And I think that’s a very interesting one. I feel like every time I go to hang out with a friend or family member or whomever and I’ve seen them on an iPhone, I sort of asked them right away, “What did you click on Instagram? “Did you say to have it personalized or not?” None of them ever remember what they selected ever. I ask them if you were presented with this, which one would you choose? They always say, “Oh, I, I want it blocked.” I ask them how many things they’ve potentially purchased from Facebook or Instagram or anywhere, they say a lot. I said, “Were you upset about those purchases “or do you regret them?” “No.” And then I go, “Let me open your YouTube up really quickly.” And they open their YouTube and I’m like, “What about this video? “What about this video? “Do you wanna watch all these videos?” They’re like, “Yeah, absolutely.” I go, “Okay, let’s open YouTube “in an incognito tab really quickly. “Do you wanna watch any of these videos?” They’re like, “No, I’m not interested in that at all.” So it’s like my perfect example to show people, come on. I understand there should be privacy. We should have a lot of these things. They’re very important. I’m glad we’re paying attention to it and it is important. But at the end of the day, like you’re just a number on a server that no one’s paying most attention to.

– Yeah. Nobody really cares that much about what you’re doing. And do you know what? Staying safe online is really important. And certainly in the UK we’ve got huge scams, particularly around delivery messaging and people having their entire bank accounts wiped out. This stuff is important, but we are not educating people enough about how they actually make a decision. And it’s like Daniel Conman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” we are just thinking fast. We’re just like, “Just make it go away. “Just sort it.” We are not actually engaging the brain that says, what is this and what decisions should I make?

– Yep. Yeah, you got it. So curious, what advice would you give other marketers that are maybe trying to break some ceiling, 5 million, 10 million, 20 million revenue marks? What advice would you give them?

– Yeah. I mean, my number one thing is that full funnel thing. It’s so easy to say, I don’t have the money to invest in top of funnel. Just being like, I know that that bottom of a funnel, it drives revenue, I can see it. And it’s just about ring fencing. Even a small amount and just being like, “Do you know what? “I’m gonna say $10 a day I’m gonna try “whether it’s brand awareness or reach or traffic.” Try one of those top of funnel things and see what impact does that have. And it’s like for us, one of our top Facebook audiences is the people that we’ve been reaching with our top of funnel advertising. We put them in a pool and we retarget those people, not just the people who visited our website. That does incredibly well for us. And just thinking about what is the kind of the easiest version that I can do. As I always say to people who aren’t doing paid social, and then if they’re doing like Google shopping and other things, you’ve got a feed already. Just retarget the people who are visiting your website. Facebook have minimum row now. You don’t even have to say, “Oh, I’m gonna spend 100 pounds.” You can say, “Only give me customers “where you can generate five times more than I’m spending.” Why would you not? That’s free money.

– Yep. Yeah, you got it. And yeah, I feel like if you’re not running dynamic ads, you’re missing a big opportunity. And even testing that on top of funnel as well has been an interesting one that we’ve found. Some brands that we assume running catalog ads, top of funnel won’t do well. And then it does super well and then vice versa. Sometimes we think it’s going to do super well and it doesn’t do well.

– Yeah. I would say, do you know what? The top of funnel catalog ads are probably our number one revenue driver.

– Wow! Super interesting. I mean, in the feed, it’s clearly a product, right? And so you can skip it easier, but you can also pay attention to it. Like we see that in the fashion industry time and time again. You see a good looking person in a beautiful dress or outfit. You might skip past that faster than you may pay attention to. But if you see a pretty dress on a white background you’re like, “Oh, this is a product that’s being marketed to me.”

– And I think, I’ve always found with that kind of paid social stuff, you don’t want it to look too polished. That actually, do you know what? If it’s something that looks natural in your feet, like something a friend would’ve posted, you’re way more likely to engage with it than something that looks like an ad.

– Yep. Yeah, absolutely. I feel like we’d be remiss not to talk about, before we hit record, we were kind of talking about what you’ve done sort of with COVID and building community and also love for you to kind of touch on the aspect of your target demographic and actually how important they are as a buying power. I would love for you to touch on those two points.

– Yeah. So when the UK went into first lockdown in 2020, Tricia realized that our audience were disproportionately affected, that most of our base are retired. So their entire lives revolved around whether it was family or grandchildren or charity work or meeting friends for lunch or coffee. All of that stuff just went away overnight and she felt incredibly isolated. And she recognized that our customer base probably did too. So she said, “Do you know what? “I’m gonna start a private Facebook group “and just invite our customers “and see if they would like to just come “and just hang out with other women “who are facing the same challenges as they are.” And it’s just been the most incredible thing that the outpouring of love every day is so life affirming that these are women who most of them would feel very uncomfortable posting a selfie on social media, but they know if they put something up that they will be surrounded by other women who knew how difficult it was for them to do it, there will be this massive outpouring of love. We’ve just run a competition actually. And it was around like self-esteem and kind of what boosts your self-esteem. And some of the stories that came out of those, women are saying, “I don’t think I’ve ever had any self-esteem>” And it’s just like, it’s heartbreaking, but to see the community kind of reach back and say, “You know what? “You absolutely have achieved incredible things “in your life “that you probably don’t recognize how valuable you are.” And it’s just beautiful. And I think that kind of ties in, as you touched onto the kind of wider ethos of the brand, that we don’t just wanna sell skincare and makeup that we want to help our customers understand how to look better, but also to make them feel empowered and that they do put make up on for themselves that this is part of who they are in the face that they project to the world. And Tricia really believes that. She wants to challenge those stereotypes of older women in society and representation and kind of all of those things. And the message that I would give to brands is if you just think that it’s all about millennials and Gen Z, you are really missing a trick that over 65s are the fastest growing market in e-commerce. They have huge levels of disposable income, all of these things that just think about what you could be saying to these people. And I believe passionately as a marketer that for many, many years brands have aspired to be exclusive. That’s been the highest kind of mark of a brand, if you are exclusive. Whereas now actually I think being inclusive and saying, do you know what? I wanna be a place where my customers feel like they belong, that they are welcome, that they are valued, that they are important. That’s gonna bring you much, much more brand loyalty than “Oh, it’s sold out. “Oh, you can’t come in” or all of those things that come with exclusivity. I know let’s be in inclusive to our customers, let’s be warm and welcoming and make them feel that they’re important because they are. They’re the reason we exist.

– I love that. And yeah, empowering all of those women, making a difference. I mean, you said it earlier, have a brand that stands for something. I love that. Love that inclusive, not exclusive component. I think you’re right, right? Brands want to seek out being a Louis Vuitton and being sold out. Lululemon sold out the second a new drop hits. But they definitely could be missing out on huge opportunities and building that community, empowering your audience, paying close attention to them. I mean, selfishly I’m sure in that community, in the Facebook group, you’re probably getting these lessons and learnings of how to speak to your customer that are worth 100 times more. Of course there’s a bunch of benefits that are happening in the community outside of that, but selfishly I’m sure that’s just such a huge opportunity for you to understand how should I talk with them? Maybe we’re talking about self-esteem in the wrong way, maybe we’re not talking about it in the right way. That’s so unique to find those opportunities to reword things. I love that.

– Yeah. Literally, the next week or so I’ve got like 10 hours of interviews with our private Facebook group community booked in because I’ve got a new business idea and I wanna know what they think about it. It’s like, well, do you know what? I’ve got the perfect audience. I’m gonna ask them, what do you think? Am I onto something? Am I wrong? Am I right? Just having that base to just ask the question is incredible.

– Yeah. And you’re gonna get responses that you would know ever get from a survey that you’d never… Even if you gave them a huge gift card in return. I mean, that’s gonna be gold. That’s amazing. Well Janis, I appreciate the time. I feel like you’ve given our audience a bunch of gold nuggets here. I guess in closing, any last things that you’d love to mention or touch on?

– I think it is just that thing around inclusion and just think about who your customer could be. And it so many benefits come back that if you think about accessibility, isn’t something that is a barrier and a kind of drain on us. It’s an opportunity for us that putting subtitles on video, it helps people who are watching with a sound off as well as people who are hard of hearing that if you are making your buttons bigger and easier to click on, yes that helps people with motor skills and issues around that. But it also helps someone who’s holding a baby and trying to navigate your website at the same time. That actually just being more inclusive is better for everyone and not just a specific group.

– Love that. And I encourage anybody who has an older face or has someone who’s got an older face in their life, check out Look Fabulous Forever. It’s lookfabulousforever.com. They’ve got international delivery. So definitely check them out no matter where you’re located. Janis, thank you so much for the time. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

– Brilliant. Thank you so much for having me.

– Samir ElKamouny here. Thank you so much for listening to Ecom Growth Leaders podcast. If you are a successful brand that is crushing it and would like to be on this program, please visit go.ecomgrowthleaders.com/podcast-guest. If you got something out of this interview, please share this episode on social media. Just do a quick screenshot with your phone and text it to a friend or posted on social. Ecom Growth Leaders is sponsored by Fetch & Funnel, a performance marketing agency specializing in omnichannel media buying, creative production and conversion optimization. We’ve partnered with 100+ brands and generated over 500 million for clients using our trademarked Fetch & Funnel method. There’s tons of content over at our blog, fetchfunnel.com/blog, and also some amazing eBooks like “How to Crush Your Competitors” and “How to Produce High Converting Creatives.” Thanks again for listening to Ecom Growth Leaders. We are regularly putting out new episodes and content. So to make sure you don’t miss any episodes, go ahead and subscribe. Your thumbs up, ratings and reviews go a long way to help promote the show and it means a lot to me and my team. Wanna know more, go to our website, fetchfunnel.com or follow us on social. Thanks again for listening and we’ll see you next time.

Topics discussed in this interview:

– Positive reinforcement in a construction setting – Why apply this concept to job site safety? – What really motivates behavior change? – The role of company culture – Focusing on construction as the next major area of opportunity for innovation – Lessons learned from experiments and attempts – Safety unicorns? – What motivators are most effective? – How do different generations respond to different methods of motivation? – Rapid fire questions – What does working with Bill Sims, Jr. look like? – Consequences and behavior modification – Teaching leadership at Disney

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