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The Future of Amazon Ads – Return on Podcast Ep. 18 with Ritu Java

The Future of Amazon Ads - Return on Podcast Ep. 18 with Ritu Java

The following is a transcript of Episode 18 of Return on Podcast, the show where we help e-commerce sellers improve their ROI in business and in life. For more episodes, subscribe to our YouTube channel or listen on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

Tyler Jefcoat:
All right. Welcome to Return on Podcast, where we talk about the experiences, the obsessions, and the habits of the most successful e-commerce entrepreneurs. I’m your host, Tyler Jefcoat, and I’m gonna welcome you to this episode of ROP.

I would say that for Seller Accountant, for our clients, we’re experiencing some challenges here in 2022. Pressure on profits, those pressures are coming from continued increased container cost, the hikes in the FBA fees from Amazon, but the, one of the most important categories that my CFO clients are seeing across really all categories within Amazon is pressure on TACOS, having upward pressure on the advertising budget needed to really get product to move.

And there’s a lot of confusion around what kind of marketing strategy, what kind of advertising strategy on Amazon is really current, is really working right now in 2022. When should we be happy with a slightly lower return on ad spend to drive our brand? And when should we really not be asleep at the wheel and make sure that we’re generating the right value with our campaigns?

And so to talk about these important topics, I wanna bring in my friend, Ritu Java. Ritu, you are the CEO of PPC Ninja. You are a dynamo in the Amazon space. You are one of my favorite speakers at the conferences that I’ve attended. And I just wanna thank you for joining me today on Return on Podcast.

Ritu Java:
Thank you so much, Tyler. Yes, we have known each other for at least a year, if not more. And it’s always been a pleasure to, engage with you, interact with you even in your masterminds and, at conferences and stuff. So I really enjoy talking to you and I’m really looking forward to this.

Tyler Jefcoat:
Well, likewise. And Ritu, you are just for me, I’ll let you talk a bit more about PPC Ninja here in a minute, but you know what your team does is you’re providing those customized strategies for Amazon brands trying to help sellers optimize their PPC efforts so they can get maximum impact.

And I think there’s never been a time where that’s more important than right now. So I do wanna dive into that. We’re gonna talk about the, for those of you listening, this is gonna be a pretty technical topic, right? How do we get our strategies and campaigns to align to be profitable before we do that though?

Ritu, I want to hear a little bit about your journey. I think the inspiration to jump into a business takes a certain kind of mindset. And I’m, I’ve been fascinated to get to know you because you’ve had such an amazing journey. Would you give us a little – give us a little bit of your story. Like, how did you, what was happening in your life where you’re like, you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna like buck the system here and I’m gonna start a company.

Ritu Java:
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Would love to share my journey. So yeah, I was born in India as you can tell from my accent and I have, lived and worked in many countries. At this point I identify as a sort of digital nomad, accidental nomad, whatever you may wanna call it. But I have paid taxes in four countries at the same time. This is kind of, I know taxes and Tyler kind of, both starts with a T, but yeah it’s crazy. When you become a digital nomad, you have to think about these other things, like paying taxes and paying attention to what governments want out of you and, visas and things like that.

So my kind of backstory is that I lived in Japan for a very long time. So I lived in Japan for about 17 years and I got my permanent residency of that country thinking that I would maybe live there forever. And, it turns out that after 17 years I was like, okay, I’m done with this place. Don’t get me wrong. I love Japan. And everything about it, the timeliness, the punctuality, the convenience of living in that country. And, I had gotten to learn the language. I’m a native, kind of native Japanese speaker, in that I’ve cleared some exams that give me that status.
But I wanted to move to the west. And so about seven years ago, I moved to the US, and I went back to school. So I’m an engineer by background, but I went, I wanted to do more. And one of the reasons why I wanted to go back to school was while I was in Japan, I started my first online business.

I was into jewelry design, and I decided that, hey, if I can buy so much jewelry on my own, and now I’m creating this jewelry, why not kind of try and find an outlet for it somewhere? So I started small with just asking friends and family, if they were interested, like I would make things for them, and they would be like, oh, wow, this is so pretty. Why don’t you sell it? And, and with the encouragement of my family and my friends and so on, I started kind of putting these pieces up for sale. And I saw that people were interested in my jewelry. And so then the next step was to find an online outlet. I looked for many different portals and I found Etsy, which was at that time pretty new and was kind of growing.

And so I decided that, okay, why not? So I started my Etsy. And I started listing and then I was like expecting people to come and buy stuff, but nothing happened. Like it was like crickets for a long time. It’s like, what’s going on? I have these beautiful pieces. I think people like them, but no one’s buying them, what’s going on?
And so that’s kind of when I started teaching myself marketing, like the basics of marketing. Like it’s not just a website, you’ve gotta have content, you’ve gotta be a content producer. You’ve gotta attract the right kind of audience. And so I learned all of that stuff, just try to get my small jewelry business off the ground.
And it taught me a lot. It taught me all about Facebook advertising, Google advertising, blogging, YouTube. I created my own YouTube channel. Doing everything possible to make my jewelry sell. And, and then I was like, gosh, at the bottom of all of this actually is data.

Like, if you can read data and if you can act on data, you can win. So I just got so convinced that it had to be data. And so when I went to the United States I decided that’s what I would study. I went back to school and I took a course in data science and it just, one thing led to another, and I found myself a job at an e-commerce brand where, you know, they were in need of a marketing person.

And because I had some real life experience in marketing now that I had my own Etsy business and this whole data science background, it was perfect for me to kind of just jump into advertising. The moment I learned about Amazon advertising, I just fell in love with Amazon advertising.

I was like, gosh, this is it. Everything works so beautifully. The data, the numbers, the eyeballs, everything works fast. It’s not like how I was struggling back when I was trying to get Etsy off the ground. So that’s kind of how I got myself into Amazon advertising and then fast forward to today, it’s been five years since now I’ve been living in Canada, and this is my home now. And I’m the CEO of PPC Ninja. And so we have both software and services of helping Amazon sellers with their PPC and DSP. We also do Walmart and Google. And so all of that has been possible because of that interest and that single minded focus on data and trying to understand the numbers and just making sales happen.

Tyler Jefcoat:
It’s such a great journey. Thank you so much for sharing it. Speaking of PPC Ninja let’s ninja here our efforts when it comes to paid ads on Amazon. So I guess, let me just start with a broad question. I know that we’re gonna talk about kind of sponsored product versus DSP today, but let me just kind of make it broad. What’s, what are you seeing right now in the kind of paid advertising market within Amazon?

Ritu Java:
Yeah. One of the KPIs that we focus on a lot is the PPC contribution to sales. So this number basically tells you how much of your sales is actually coming from PPC versus organic. And we’ve seen a shift happening over the past couple of years. While it was quite possible for us to run PPC with maybe 20 to 30% contribution from PPC sales and you kind of grow the organic side of things through like an indirect way of influencing the algorithm and the algorithm kind of starts to get relevancy for your products and so on. That has started shifting dramatically.

And now we’re seeing like, it’s, it’s going in the opposite direction where, you know, a majority of your sales are coming from PPC. And it’s, it’s because Amazon has become very pay to play. Your search results page is just saturated with ads. Like wherever you look, especially the ones at the very top of the page, you have a sponsored brand ad.

And then following that you have, everybody knows this, but the first row is no longer organic, right? It’s mostly ads, for the most part, and you scroll down and you get some other kind of distractions and recommendations and so on. Mostly pay to play. So in some accounts we have noticed that the PPC percentage or contribution has shifted to as high as 60 or 70% of all sales.

Now that makes it extremely hard for sellers to, to be profitable. And I think everybody’s been experiencing that and feeling the pinch. That’s not all. The CPCs are also rising, so there’s a twofold kind of attack on your profitability. It’s like, first your search results page is getting saturated with ads, and then you have to pay more for getting visibility. So you’re really eating into your profit margin. Everybody is like hurting at this point, I think.

Tyler Jefcoat:
Well, and so actually I was leading my mastermind this morning, Ritu, and that’s, this exact question came up with these seven- and eight-figure CEOs. So I would just ask it to you, ’cause I didn’t know. This is a troubling trend where we’re seeing share of our sales coming from organic going down, and the share of our sales coming from paid going up, where maybe it used to be 40/60. Now it’s 60/40, something like that. The question is, what do you do about it? What are you finding that can be helpful in those situations, if anything?

Ritu Java:
I interact with brands that have more or less managed to keep their TACOS pretty consistent despite these shifts, despite the shift from organic to PPC, they’ve managed to keep their TACOS pretty consistent. And one of the tricks that these successful sellers deploy is that they diversify. There’s a lot of different ad types that Amazon provides us.

A majority of the people stick to keyword-based sponsored product manual campaigns. That’s the focus for a majority of the people. And guess what? Those are the most expensive. The most expensive clicks are keyword based clicks in sponsored products. Now you can’t get away from that because that’s the reality of life.

That’s how we have to exist. Most sales do come from sponsored products, given the amount of inventory we have on sponsored products. There is something you can do about the other ad types that require a lot more effort, first of all, to set up. And secondly, those other ad types are not very reachable.

Like you need to go through a process of setting them up. Let’s say, if you’re talking about a video ad, for example, you need to produce a video first. So the bar is pretty high on kind of getting into that type of advertising. So most people kind of just stick with what they know, and it’s easy, and they just continue doing what they’ve been doing all this time. However, a lot of people have woken up. They have realized that you have to diversify your ad types. Your ad strategy needs to cover every single ad type that Amazon produces. And there’s some early mover advantage to all the new ad types that Amazon provides us. If you can get in there early, you can leverage those.

You, you can get better profitability from the early phases also before it kind of gets saturated and then you get, get onto the next thing. Then a lot of sellers especially the established ones, are also taking advantage of DSP, which you know, is out of reach for most people. The big brands in order to stay big and in order to stay profitable, but they’ve gotta have a DSP strategy along with their sponsored advertising strategy. And this kinda has been proven even through the numbers that Amazon shares with us, those who use a combination of DSP and sponsored advertising see a much better return on investment than those who don’t.

Because your customers don’t just live on Amazon. They’re everywhere. And so if your ads can live beyond their session on Amazon, they can be convinced to come back because they’re experiencing advertising from everywhere. They’re being bombarded with ads from everywhere. It makes sense for you to take those spots in their Facebook feed or in their, in, in their blog feed and so on.

And that’s one of the things that DSP is really good at. It’s really good at bringing people back. And so I, I would say that. If you wanna, if you can’t beat them, join them. You have to kind of go even all in, all in on advertising even more than you were in the past, because that’s the only way to kind of stay on top of things.

Tyler Jefcoat:
You mentioned two things I wanna make sure we circle back to there. One is we need to dig into DSP a little bit. And then I think another one is you mentioned the more traditional, I think sponsored product is the most expensive click and there are some other, there was kind of an “other” tactics.

Are there, video is one that you mentioned. What are those other kind of, so that’s topic number one here is, what are those other kind of pay for keyword kind of on Amazon advertising strategies that are maybe more blue ocean than the traditional? So we’ll go there and then we’ll pivot into DSP after that.

Ritu Java:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Amazon started giving us access to product targeting about two years ago, two to two and a half years ago. So product targeting is, I would say, a blue ocean. It there’s a lot of products out there, right? There’s a lot of competitors that you have you may not be targeting, and you keep getting more and more competitors added into the mix every single day.

So I, I think that where there’s a tremendous amount of focus on keyword harvesting, we also need to have that same amount of focus on product harvesting, product targeting, harvesting, right? Because that is where you’re discovering new products to go after. And the best thing is that product targeting can be accessed through all four ad types.
So through sponsored products, through sponsored brands, through sponsored brand video, and through sponsored display, you can use all of them, or any combination of them to kind of go after your competitors. Now, one of the tricks to go after competitors more affordably is to kind of latch onto or piggyback off of the big guys, right?

If the big guys are getting tremendous amount of traffic, then why not target those pages where you already gotta see a lot of foot traffic when people are coming there, checking those people out. If your product has a better offer, let’s say it has some coupon running or something that is more attractive than the product page you’re on, you can actually steal sales from them.

And in fact, Amazon’s algorithm favors cheaper products. Like we keep getting bombarded with recommendations from Amazon for products that are cheaper, better, and so on. So if we don’t take advantage of this, then we’re just gonna miss out and someone else is gonna put their ad there, or maybe it gets, that space gets taken up by a category targeting ad or just a general ad.

So I would say product targeting is one of those tactics that is kind of underutilized. And it’s also one of the tactics that can get you on page one without spending on keywords, right? So if you are targeting a product through, let’s say, even a product targeting ad, and you have a high top of search multiplier on that ad, then you can actually show up on page one, wherever people search for those products that you’re going after. You’re likely to show up on that first page as well. So without paying for keywords you’re getting there by association with this other product.

Tyler Jefcoat:
And by the way, just a quick CFO question, ’cause I’m ignorant to this. So I think what you’re saying is that I identify kind of the biggest baddest national name brand that’s my competitor, and I’m bidding on their brand or on their product. So that I pop up when people search for Nike, then all of a sudden, Jefcoat’s sneakers pop up there also. Is it that kind of thing?

Ritu Java:
It is that kind of thing. Yeah. And some people might say, okay, nobody’s gonna buy my product, but how many times do you buy a no name brand yourself?

Like I buy no name brands all the time. I’m looking for something big, but then I end up buying for something small. So there is an audience for that right now. Of course you’ve gotta see the numbers and see if it’s profitable or not. Suggestion here is not to say that, lose money, and go after these big brands.

No, my suggestion is to look for opportunities and wherever you find those opportunities, then you double down on them. You lay all these traps. You diversify, you find out where things are working because. You can’t see, it’s almost like Minecraft, like not Minecraft. Sorry. What’s the game. It’s a game from back where – mine?

Oh gosh. Nevermind. Minesweeper. There we go. There we go. Yeah. So Minesweeper where you don’t really know where the mines are, right? So it’s almost like. The way to find out where there, there are gems hidden is to actually diversify and create all those ad types. Then you will be able to identify the gaps and gaps where competitors aren’t bidding or where there’s opportunity.

No one’s even looking at those opportunities or those products. You can go in there and find those, and then double down on them. So that would be my kind of recommendation to diversify beyond the keyword based, the keyword only based strategy, which has been around for so long that there’s tools, in fact, that just talk about keywords, all day long.

Which is important again, like I said, don’t get me wrong. Those are very important. But you’ve gotta find other ways to kind of make up for the fact that things are getting so topsy turvy now. You’re getting extremely high PPC contributions and extremely high CPCs. You’ve gotta find those other niches and other ways to kind of make up for those disadvantages there.

Tyler Jefcoat:
How much of our budget, Ritu – so let’s just, let’s say we have a hundred percent of our budget. How much of our budget should we consider? Cause I’m agreeing with you. The major highway here, which is keyword based PPC is still the most important way to get from point A to point B, but because it’s getting so crowded traffic is slowing down, right, on it. Finding alternative routes with some portion of our budget is probably a really good idea. Like, is there an anecdote you have there related to, is it 20%, 50%? How much of our budget should we be considering alternative Amazon advertising strategies with?

Ritu Java:
Given the amount of inventory we have on sponsored products, you can’t avoid doing at least 70 to 75% of your sales from sponsored product manual campaigns or even auto. So sponsored products will take the lion’s share. So 75% ish would come from there, but then the remaining 25%, it’s up to you how you wanna diversify. You can create a nice mix of remarketing with video ads, with sponsored brand ads and maybe some DSP even, right? So a combination of all of them would be your 25%.

Now I would say use data to guide. So it’s not like you need to keep aside only X amount of budget for sponsored brands. If your sponsored brands work well, well then keep even more than 15 or 20% on that. One of the strategies we use at our agency is to look at ad type based performance, which is a different view of data.

So we, we try to look at SKU based advertising type based kind of graphs that can give us an idea of, okay, for this product, these ads are working really well. This ad type is working really well. So double down on, on that. So unless you do that analysis yourself, you won’t be able to see or make any good judgment about where to spend your money, but if your data is analyzed that way, even visually you will be able to let the data guide you and then figure out where you wanna spend your money.

Tyler Jefcoat:
That makes sense. So let’s dig into DSP a little bit. So what kinds of brands need to be involved with DSP? And what’s possible with Amazon DSP this year?

Ritu Java:
Right. So I think we can’t talk about DSP without talking about sponsored display because those two are beginning to look very similar, right. Especially when it comes to remarketing or to kind of upper funnel tactics. Sponsored display is actually a pretty good alternative for those people who don’t have access to DSP. So I would say, for those who haven’t kind of made full advantage, taken full advantage of the, of sponsored display, you don’t need to go to DSP yet. You can leave that for maybe a later day. But if you have the budget for it I think DSP is great in, in terms of precise targeting, audience building. And we can talk about a few different ways that we don’t have access to in the sponsored display side of things.

We, we can use DSP for those kind of tactics that have a much wider reach and they have like plenty of inventory that, it’s not crowded at all. Like, there’s a lot that you can do with with DSP that seems unlimited almost. So it’s, it depends on how much money you want to spend there.

I would say the tactics that are most popular, start with remarketing. So you basically, what you’re saying is that these people have purchased from you in the past, let’s say 12 months, right? They have experienced your brand and they know your brand. They’ve encountered it once.

The statistic out there is people are nine times more likely to purchase from you if they have purchased from you in the past as compared to purchasing from another brand that they’ve never heard of. You have a product that has a repeat value, which means that people will want more of that. It’s not like you buy a TV and then you’re done for five years.

I’m not talking about those types of products. I’m talking about products that have a life. And once that life has been lived, they’re ready to buy more of it. So like consumables and so on. So for those types of product, remarketing is amazing, right? So you can always reach out to your own customers and say, hey, we have this, or we have another product or, whatever, you can bring them back.

And sponsored display is perfectly fine for that type of advertising. With DSP, you can get a little bit more precise. So for example, if you are selling supplements and you have these bottles that will run out every 30 days, then you can time your ads to whenever they’re about to get, the bottles are gonna empty out.

And so you can do that type of targeting very precisely with DSP. With DSP, you can also layer in multiple audiences, you can create and/or/not type of audiences that will give you even more precision. So let’s say you wanna go after your past customers, but you only wanna target women, for example. You can create that layer with DSP, whereas you won’t be able to do that with sponsored display.

Similarly, you can also target certain age groups. You can layer that in to your audience and so on. So a lot more powerful, but of course, DSP is CPM based, which means you get charged for impressions, not for clicks. And so it tends to be expensive for that reason, that despite let’s say people are not interested in your product, but they see your ad, even from the corner of their eye, you will be charged for it. So that’s the downside of using DSP advertising versus sponsored display.

Tyler Jefcoat:
It’s interesting, ’cause it’s just, it’s further up the funnel. It’s an effort to address a client further away from when she’s gonna pull the trigger and actually purchase it. I’m asking you the question, which brands should consider DSP. And I think my answer as a CFO would probably be brands that have higher margin, maybe a slightly larger ticket or more likely to have repeat buy kind of products. But I would wonder what your answer to the question is, what kind of companies really need to get serious about DSP? If they’re not already.

Ritu Java:
Yeah, absolutely. I think having margin is always a good thing because you can kind of be more profitable that way, regardless of whether it’s DSP or not. So higher ticket items definitely will be a better fit for DSP because you can absorb the cost of the impression based advertising that we’re getting into here.

But I’ve seen, even with DSP with slightly less expensive products, you can still, you can still be profitable. It’s not like it’s just gonna be a negative investment. It is it is possible that the way you set up your ads, you can get a certain ROAS that is acceptable. And I think the one thing that we mustn’t forget is that DSP also helps with assisted sales. So a lot of our DSP ads might be showing up in a way that helps close the deal, like, some especially research based ads or sorry, research based products that you need to kind of look around a little bit before you make a decision.

Those ads will actually do quite well with DSP because it shows you those ads outside of Amazon and kind of helps you, kind of go back to Amazon. And that’s how they kind of work to assist the final sale. So you might see the final sale actually happening through a sponsored product ad or an organic listing.

But the fact that the idea, the seed was planted outside is actually quite valuable, right? So assisted sales, so anything that, any brands that have products that have a research period that is considerable, let’s say two weeks long maybe, and people are looking around, that’s when you wanna keep bringing them back, staying top of mind, and that’s where DSP can really shine.

Tyler Jefcoat:
Well, this is so interesting because it’s just a quick comment. It’s so fascinating because I think this is really gonna force us to unpack our buyer journey a little bit. So much of this, if we were a traditional CPG brand, we would be doing focus groups or we would be doing all sorts of testing to try to understand when Tyler buys my product, here’s what his journey looks like. He’s going to either be very impulsive and need a very quick fix. That’s gonna tend to be your products that are lower ticket item, maybe less than $50.

How sensitive is it to Tyler’s picture of himself, right? If it’s a camping item, I might be a little bit more willing to pay more for a differentiated brand, ’cause it’s a little bit more core to my identity. I also play guitar. So like that might be you sell me a slightly higher end accessory for my guitar, I’ll pay more for it, ’cause it’s closer to my identity. If I’m, if you’re selling me a white paper bag, you’re gonna have to be pretty commoditized and it’s gonna be very algorithmically driven. And so I think maybe one of the things I’m taking away from this discussion, Ritu, is that we need to be careful not to ignore our customer.

Make sure we understand what the real buyer journey looks like for our category. And in instances where there’s a more complicated buyer journey, which tends to happen when you have a bigger ticket item, right? If I’m selling a thousand dollar grill, there’s gonna be more research and less off the cuff purchasing than if I sell a $10 whatever, baseball or something like that.

And so if you understand that you have a more complex buyer cycle being, spending additional money to be front of mind, right in front of that customer when they’re getting closer to the bottom of the funnel is a really, I think is a really good strategy. Anything else you would say about that? How to deploy that kind of DSP strategy?

Ritu Java:
Yeah, absolutely. So I think just two thoughts as you were speaking. So one is definitely where there’s like a research component that those are really good candidates for DSP. Another one was where you have a customer lifetime value that is, beyond just that one single purchase.

Like it’s, let’s say, you have a customer lifetime value of five or six, right, products purchased after the first one, you definitely wanna invest in DSP even if you have a lower ticket item. And, but it has like a repeat replenishable kind of component to it that you can take advantage of.

So those customers are valued at much higher rates. So I think numbers in that case, the KPI that you would look for is let’s say the subscribe and save, or the new to brand numbers so that, once you have them in your funnel, you can keep running cheaper remarketing ads using sponsored display to them and keep bringing them back. So the value of winning that one customer becomes much, much higher than in the case of let’s say one time purchases. So yes, every single product would have its own kind of requirement.

And then the second thing you mentioned was the buyer journey, right? So the buyer journey is actually very hard to capture with the tools that we’ve had with DSP and sponsored advertising so far, but now Amazon is making it much easier right? Now they have AMC, which I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but Amazon Marketing Cloud is this thing that combines data from both DSP and sponsored advertising and gives you like a consolidated dataset that you can then analyze through BI software and so on to kind of build out that buyer journey.

In addition, there are tools coming up now that actually tell you how many touchpoints you had. Where did the buyer journey kind of originate and where did it end up and like what kind of paths it took. So up until now, it was very hard to kind of get that analysis. But with AMC it is becoming, it, it will become much, much better. And I’ll see, I think we’ll see a lot of bigger brands taking to AMC and using a lot of the data comes from there to make their decisions of where to spend more, DSP versus sponsor.

Tyler Jefcoat:
I love it. I love it. Hey, one more thing. It just popped in my head. I just I don’t even know if this is good advice.

This is my intuition, but I, but in addition to having like a supplement that might be or consumable where you can resell it, where you may wanna spend more to acquire the customer, ’cause the lifetime value is larger or in, in addition to the second avatar that Ritu mentioned, which is just a higher ticket item, like you’re selling a grill or something like that.

A third one that I just thought about that is probably worthy of retargeting almost every single time is a very, is a highly giftable product. So like if I have a product that lends itself, like, I, I don’t know. I don’t know about you, Ritu, but I tend to be the kind of person that if I buy something and I love it, I’m like a pretty strong evangelist for the product amongst my friends.

That’s just how I’m wired. And so if you have a product that if one mom loves it, she may wanna buy it for all of her nieces and nephews. That may be another candidate, even at a moderate, again, if it’s a $5 product, you may not make sense to do DSP, but if it’s $20, I may make the choice to do DSP, especially as we get closer to the holidays.

In the effort to acknowledge the reality that people are nine times, that’s what you just said, nine times as likely to repurchase a product from an existing brand they have a relationship with, well, if I bought something from – my kids are eight and 10. If I bought something from them, and it was like, dang, they really love that toy, I’ve got like what 12 nieces and nephews? I’m gonna turn around and spend money on the same product I already know that works for those nieces and nephews. So just something to kind of keep in mind.

Ritu Java:
Yeah, I totally agree. Yes. Remarketing is so powerful, especially if that product has a giftable component. I think that’s pretty, pretty powerful. Yeah, I agree.

Tyler Jefcoat:
All right. Anything else? Just kind of, closing, closing shots, closing, parting thoughts related to advertising strategy in 2022 or DSP?

Ritu Java:
Yeah. So I think I just wanna give you like a quick kind of, how I would use DSP for, very creatively for different types of situations and what kind of features there exist with within DSP as of 2022.

Maybe I’ll just go quickly. I’ll maybe mention about five or six of them. So I think the first one, which is pretty obvious is the remarketing, which we’ve already talked about. The second one is streaming ads that I don’t know if you’re familiar with the term OTT, which is over the top. More and more people are switching from linear TV to connected TV. And what that means is that when you have connected TV, you’re basically wired to the internet. And if you’re wired to the internet, your identity is known, even if it’s anonymous. You’re known, right? Your habits, your browsing history, your, your purchase history, all of that information is known.

Compared to traditional TV, which was like a broadcast medium, which just kind of blasted out ads to people who were, or weren’t interested in them, connected TV’s actually making it very interesting, because you can actually cater your ads specifically to the avatar that your product is most likely purchased from.

So video is actually becoming more and more important. And so you can actually run 15 second or 30 second video ads on through, through a, through DSP on many Amazon owned and operated properties such as IMDB. There’s so many others in the ad exchange that DSP has access to.

Definitely consider that as well. Like if your brand is something that might benefit from a brand recall, then running these kind of streaming ads is also kind of a really nice way of building brand awareness and then targeting, very, very precise manner. So that’s one another kind of advantage of using DSP.

Another one is using Twitch. So Twitch is one of these it’s a gaming platform, as you guys know, but most of the people who live on Twitch are either Millennials or Gen Zs, and they are very hard to track or capture on Amazon. They don’t live on Amazon. But does that mean that they won’t buy on Amazon? No, that’s not true. They might end up buying some stuff on Amazon, but they don’t spend a lot of time there searching, and I’ve noticed or I’ve been reading about how search has completely changed these days for, especially for the younger people, they don’t type in stuff anymore. They are more aligned with immersive experiences.

So like they will hang out with their peer group or their community, and they will get recommendations from that community based on something that was suggested or is in use or whatever. They’ll catch onto means really fast. So I think knowing your target audience, if they belong to that age group, then Twitch is a really good way of reaching them. You can either create ads that run onto it, or you could create audiences from Twitch, and then market to them wherever they go. So that’s another kind of interesting use of DSP, which so brands can really take advantage of a third.

One is Whole Foods and remember, Whole Foods is owned by Amazon right now. Whole Foods has a lot of buyer data that you won’t get anywhere else. Amazon can has given us access to Whole Foods data through their, to their DSP platform. So you can actually look up things like keto, for example, and see all the people who have purchased keto. You can build an audience from that group and say, okay, my products are complimentary to people who are looking for this type of product. So you can build these these audiences based on products that are purchased on or within Whole Foods. And to kind of get this, you get this combined retail plus online kind of audience group that you can target to then very effectively through DSP.

And there’s a whole lot of others. Other tactics on DSP as well that people can leverage such as pixel remarketing. So if people have visited your website, you can remarket to them through DSP. If you have a substantial email list, you can not only target that email list. You can also target lookalikes of that email list through DSP so many different options.

I just feel that we’re just scratching the tip of the surface because there’s so much that you can do with DSP, and I’m really excited that more and more brands are opening their eyes to DSP. And if they use them in the right way, they can see brand lift across all channels, including their own Amazon pages as well as their website, and so on. So I think, yeah, that was kind of my kind of last bit of DSP pitch there.

Tyler Jefcoat:
It’s beautiful. It’s really, it’s obviously something that’s really a great opportunity. It’s, for me, for the layman listening to it, I’m like, oh my gosh, that’s overwhelming. I am assuming Ritu that PPCNinja.com could potentially be a place someone could go if they needed help, because what you just said felt like an overwhelming set of instructions. Is that true? Can you guys help sellers that are trying to figure this out?

Ritu Java:
Absolutely. Yes. With DSP, you can either go through Amazon and they require a minimum of a $35k spend over two months.

You can either go that route and let Amazon manage your DSP for you. Or you can go through an agency like ours, and we can run your DSP for you. So yes, definitely. You can check us out at PPCNinja.com or reach out to me or to our support team, support@PPCNinja.com. And we can help you with your DSP because we have access to the actual platform. And we’ve been running DSP for a while now. So we’ve got the experience there as well. Yeah.

Tyler Jefcoat:
Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Okay. So let’s talk about some fun for a little bit. So you and I are busy e-commerce entrepreneurs. We are, our lives are full but some of the audience really is interested in knowing what brings us joy?

What is it that you do when you have time when you’re not traveling to and from one location to another, what is it that you do that you enjoy?

Ritu Java:
Yeah. I love Zumba. Like I, I love to go to my local rec center. So in Canada we have these recreational centers where you can kind of join a, a bunch of people and, do fun stuff with them, like dance or aerobics or whatever. So I like to go for my Zumba classes and I just love to move my body ’cause it gives me joy and energy and just yeah, keeps my brain sharp and my body happy and so on. So yeah, that’s my favorite go-to.

Tyler Jefcoat:
That’s great. And so as you, ’cause you travel a lot, so are you able to generally find like Zumba kind of regardless of where you are or is it like, eh, when I get back home, I’ll go to the class?

Ritu Java:
Yeah, no, I think I prefer dancing with my group right now in Canada, but when I travel I like to just like walk and hike and do some stuff like that. I’m also an outdoor, outdoorsy person, so I like to just be in nature and just yeah, de-stress that way.

Tyler Jefcoat:
Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.

Okay. Well, our last section as we kind of land the plane here, but our last section of each of these episodes, Ritu, is related to just kind of habits, hacks, practices that are giving you, Ritu, in your life or in your business practice, the best results. Man, if someone out there just applied this, just did this thing a little bit each week or each day, they would see, I believe they would receive an unusual return on investment. Do you have, does anything pop in your mind when I say that that’s really been useful for you here?

Ritu Java:
Yeah. So I think like two and a half years ago, I started intermittent fasting. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that concept, but yeah. So intermittent fasting basically is, like keeping this window where you don’t eat anything. And so like I tend to finish dinner by 4:00 PM and eat the next morning at about six or seven. So I try to keep like a 14, 15 to 16 hour window where I’m not eating and believe it or not, it’s been a game changer for me.

It’s like helped me sleep better. I wake up fresh. I’m a morning person. So I like to kind of, get up and get going. That’s my style. So, for, yeah, and I know that people have different preferences of morning or night, but you can align your fasting period with the majority of the fasting period could be aligned with your sleep cycle.
If you’re sleeping for eight hours, then you only need to spend like two hours before, two hours after and just kind empty that out, not eat anything. And what that’s helped me do is kind of, I feel less bloated, and it helps me think better. My headaches have disappeared.

I used to spend so much time just curing my headaches. I had migraines and whatnot. And after I started intermittent fasting, all of that has gone. So I think it’s helped me be more effective and productive and I enjoy life more. And yeah, if you guys haven’t tried it, do give it a shot. It’s amazing.

Tyler Jefcoat:
Do you do it every day or is it just a few days a week, Ritu?

Ritu Java:
I do it every day. I might have exceptions or cheating days or treating days, whatever you wanna call it. I might have those exceptions, especially when I go to like, like a conference or something you can’t really do fasting then. But other than that, I do it every day. It’s just been amazing.

Tyler Jefcoat:
I was ’cause I’ve experimented with it some. I do it, I do, I tend to do it two to three days a week right now. And for me I also agree, it’s really a nice tactic. I use it as a, I was reading a Tim Ferris article about just hormone reset. And so I was like, you know what, even your bodies need to be – the reason that CrossFit is so popular is that muscle confusion is a great way to work out. And so I just thought it was like, well, heck I’ll take his advice and kind of do like digestive confusion. But the downside of the way of doing it is that you actually do feel hungry ’cause you haven’t kind of gotten used to it each day.

And so when I was doing it every day, I was like, oh, this is not even work. It’s easy. And now that I only do it occasionally I’m kind of almost punishing myself on purpose. I’m like, that’s right, wait a minute. I like have a bunch of rich guy problems and like, I’m grateful for food and I’m not, I don’t have to eat in this morning.
I’m also like a little bit overweight. So it’s good to remember that, but it’s really cool that it’s working for you and you just do it every single day. It’s simple. You just do it all the time.

Ritu Java:
Yes. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.

Tyler Jefcoat:
Cool. Cool. Cool. Okay. Well, listen, we’re gonna land the plane here. Ritu, it has been absolutely amazing to have you on Return on Podcast here with me this week. Guys, if you have not heard Ritu Java on any of it, she’s on, she’s everywhere. She speaks at almost every conference that I go to. I always joke, there’s only about 50 of us that speak at every damn Amazon conference in the world. It’s like there aren’t a whole lot of us, and you speak at about twice as many as I do.

And I’ve met a bunch of them. So always love hearing your thoughts, your, I respect you greatly as a practitioner in the space. And just thank you again for being on the show.

Ritu Java:
Thank you so much. Absolutely. Thank you so much, Jeff. Tyler, sorry. I have been, so fortunate to be in, in touch with you and just, meeting you everywhere. I just enjoy conversations with you. And thank you so much for having me on your show today. Thank you.

Tyler Jefcoat:
You are so welcome. And then guys, thank you for sticking with us through 45 minutes of the show. We’re just grateful. Ritu and I do not take this time for granted. It’s your time. It’s precious. And that you would spend it with us as a gift. We sincerely hope that you have grabbed a nugget or something out of this discussion related to DSP, related to profitability and advertising, related to life, habits, and hacks that’ll help you be more successful as you drive forward. That’s our sincere hope for you.
And so until we meet again next week, we just wish you the best. Hope that you have an amazing week. Go kill it. Take care.

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