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Classics: How to Leverage Digital Media to Achieve Business Results with Blake Pinsker and Torii Rowe, DREAMLABS: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Jul 02, 2024

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

In this Classics episode, we’re talking how to leverage digital media to achieve business results with Blake Pinsker and Torii Rowe. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

  • Episode Summary & Player
  • Show Notes
  • Marketing Smarts Summary
  • Transcript

Marketing Smarts: Classics: How to Leverage Digital Media to Achieve Business Results with Blake Pinsker and Torii Rowe, DREAMLABS

Digital media can open doors for your business – no matter what type of business you have. But it’s easier said than done. How do you leverage digital media to the point you actually achieve business results instead of wasting money? We wanted you to learn from a duo who truly knows what they’re doing in the space, so we welcomed on Blake Pinsker and Torii Rowe. They’re the Founder and Head of Acquisition, respectively, at DREAMLABS, a performance marketing agency specializing in media buying, ad creative, and strategic investment. This episode covers everything from digital marking to agencies. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How do you leverage digital media to achieve business results?
  • What does good creative look like?
  • How do you know if you have good creative?
  • What is AOV?
  • How do you define ROI with a client?
  • Is digital media different for product-based and service-based companies?
  • How do you get started with digital media as a startup?
  • What’s your walk-up song?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

  • How to Leverage Digital Media to Achieve Business Results with Blake Pinsker and Torii Rowe, DREAMLABS

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

April Martini 0:00
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader no matter your leve. And, each episode will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. Now, let’s get to it. Welcome to Marketing Smarts. I am Anne Candido, and I am April martini, and today’s another Marketing Smarts Classics. This one is with Blake Pinsker and Torii Rowe of DREAMLABS, a performance marketing agency specializing in media buying ad creative and strategic investment. In today’s digital landscape, it can be extremely difficult to keep up with the one constant which is change, let alone know what approach will work best for you and your business goals. In the episode, we get down to brass tacks about what actually works versus when you might be wasting your money and everything in between. We dive into specific examples to provide applicables context so that it is easy to connect the dots between strategy and execution. With that, let’s get into how to leverage digital media to achieve business results with Blake Pinsker and Torii Rowe of DREAMLABS.

Nice to have you guys would you like to introduce yourselves and your company? Sure.

Blake Pinsker 1:10
Thanks for having us all kick it off. So my name is Blake Pinsker up in ecommerce and marketing. For the majority of my career I started back in 2013, I believe. And I started working as a side hustle for an early ecommerce company also known as MVMT, but actually pronounced movement. And we were actually the first direct to consumer Watch Company. I came on at a very early stage when social media marketing was really just getting started. And social media advertising was just getting started. And Right Place Right Time, we captured a market and online market for watches and fashion accessories. And we scaled the company from zero to a nine figure exit in just five years. And so there I got to learn the ins and outs of digital marketing, digital advertising, what works, you know, in Facebook and meta ads, what doesn’t work, influencer marketing, e commerce best practices, you name it, I really got to learn it all. And ultimately, after we sold, I decided to leave the company and take what I learned there and start an E commerce agency specializing in paid social advertising. And the reason was largely because I felt like a lot of agencies out there were getting a little too big for their own good. And then also there was a need in the market to marry both the performance and media buying side of things. And the creative side of things. It seemed like there was a lot of agencies out there that were specializing in one or the other. And I want it to be elite in both those categories. Because in order to succeed, the media buying team needs good creative, and for the good creative to get the distribution that needs. Obviously they need a media buyer who knows what they’re doing. And so along those lines, I teamed up with Tori, who will give you an introduction of his story and his background. But stories is probably the best media buyer or Matt and he oversees all the acquisition efforts in our business. And he’s also a business owner himself. So I’ll let him touch on his background and do a better job at introducing himself than I ever could. You’re

April Martini 3:20
already speaking our language, though.

Torii Rowe 3:22
Appreciate it. Yeah, when I started row similar to play kind of have my background by starting my own brand as well. So 2017 I left being a police officer for five years and started my own men’s jewelry company with my best friend for us. We started in 2017 scale that from zero to eight figures in three years. Same thing kind of along that way you need someone to buy from you paid media, we couldn’t afford to pay someone to get go. So someone had to learn it. I decided to take that challenge on and end up learning it. I don’t think there’s a much better way to learn than having your credit card tied to the back end. And go out of your own account.

April Martini 4:03
We’ve been there we’ve been there. Yeah. When you’re not profitable,

Torii Rowe 4:07
you know it. And so you know, that’s I feel it for the client side for us. So I think that does me justice. I still do that. So I still own mansion, still chasing that nine figure exit like these guys head over movement, things like that. A little bit of a different world now. So yeah, along that way, I started to do paid media for other companies as well and got into lead generation and things like that. I’ve spent close to hour probably over a half a billion dollars on paid media already. Hopefully I’ll hit that. That billion one day soon. It seems to be creeping up there. So that’s cool. But yeah, and so Blake was along the lines of the creative expert. We needed someone on that side of the spectrum to be able to tie the paid media together and we ended up linking up and forming dream labs.

April Martini 4:56
And with that, let’s get into how to leverage digital media to achieve business results. Alright, so the first one we’re going to tackle here guys is obviously you talked about you bring the media buyer creative piece to the table in one. And really the belief and same thing we hold here is that it has to be seamless, it has to work together. And when we talked, it was, you know, really ensuring everything from no finger pointing to being on the same page from the very beginning. And then also using lots of testing and learning and optimization to get to the right solution. So talk to us a little bit about your process, why this isn’t so important. And so fundamental based on your experiences and how you I guess how the sausage is made, if you will, a little bit behind the scenes.

Blake Pinsker 5:44
Yeah, so I’ll give you guys a little bit of an idea. And I think, times have changed five to seven years ago, I think media buying, there was more to do in terms of strategy in execution. There are a lot of different ways to scale and count. Today, the best practice is really to try to target as broad as possible, and allow the creative to really scale the account and do a lot of that targeting for you. Now, there’s still a lot towards doing on the back end, but it’s highly analytical, right, it’s just diving into the data, making sure you’re cutting the right ads and distributing spend properly. And then also just making sure you’re setting up the right testing environment. Having said that, though, if if an account isn’t scaling, it’s usually one of two problems, or three problems. One, the media buyer shooting themselves in the foot, they’re not giving things enough time to run, or they’re, they’re over diversified in their spend to the creative just isn’t good enough, or three, which is actually probably one of the most common problems is there’s not enough product market fit or it’s not a mass market product. And so people often blame that on the platform or the marketing, the creative, sometimes it’s just the product, it’s your margins, you don’t have enough to go acquire customers, or it’s just too competitive and too saturated. And so those are the three areas that I think are most important. And I think, you know, you need a lot of self awareness and the ability to not finger point in business or sports or anything where you’re just trying to improve. Because at the end of the day, you know, our mission is aligned with our clients. And hey, if it’s if it’s on us, and the creative isn’t good enough, we’ll be the first to say, Tori, what

April Martini 7:30
do you think?

Torii Rowe 7:31
I mean, as far as like Blake kind of hit the nail on the head there as far as like our creative process and things like that. And you know, like you said, how the sausage is made over here. I think it’s us working closely together kind of reviewing our clients every week, kicking the week off and just kind of saying like, Hey, what did we see results? Was this this week compared to last week, etc? And kind of being able to pinpoint where that issue may lie? Or how do we scale further so kind of like Blake said, media vines become more commoditized? You don’t you don’t do as much as he used to? And more more of it as analytical now of like, okay, why did we not be like Why were we not able to scale? You know, the accountant 10x In the last year, what happened? Where’s the the main issues, and us being able to diagnose that from the creative aspect of saying like, hey, maybe you know, the click through rates not higher, high enough, a thumbs down ratio is not high enough, whatever it may be. And then also going to the media buying side and saying, hey, you know what it looks like click through rate and everything was good, but conversion rates not there. What do we need to do here? So it’s just just having all hands on deck, I think you need to look at things more holistically than ever before. It’s not as simple as just driving traffic to the website, I think people are so used to getting hit with ads consistently. Everywhere we go, now it’s just an ad is in our face. So things have to be you know, dialed in, from the creative to the media buying to the website to the product across the board, and us having that open line of communication between us and the client is what makes us successful. Yeah,

April Martini 8:55
but like you said, something really interesting that I wanted to probe on a little bit more, because you were saying the strategy is to go as broad as possible and let the creative drive you. So I guess my question is, how do you then to decide that you have good creative? And how do you what’s your criteria then for actually creating that creative? If your audience is so broad, because I’m one thing we talked about, like if you’re not very specific about your consumer, your customer, your client, and they don’t know you’re speaking to them, it’s really hard to convert on any marketing content out there. So can you speak to that a little bit?

Blake Pinsker 9:28
Yeah, you’re 100% right, in a lot of what is happening on a paid social and digital advertising goes against everything you were ever taught about marketing.

April Martini 9:41
Which is so awesome. Right? Right. Right. rolling their eyes right now. They’re like, great. I just learned the other way and I have to learn something new.

Blake Pinsker 9:47
Right, right. And when I say broad, I mean, the most successful products online, speak to a very wide audience in a wide demographic and they’re able to scale to multimillion dollar company with a mass market product. And you could still, you know, be gender specific or age specific, but it should still appeal to a very wide demo for you to get the cheapest CPMs in the cheapest customers you can acquire, right? And the more niche you get with that, the more expensive it is. So for a startup, it’s actually really hard for them to scale profitably if their audience is very niche, because it’s very expensive to advertise to niche audiences. And I’m speaking strictly of paid social advertising, right? This may be different if you’re trying to use different marketing tactics to build a small business in our local community, or a brick and mortar store where you want to build a small niche local community or something like that, right? I’m talking broad mass market, paid social, how do we scale from zero to spending millions of dollars on paid social, typically, having a mass market product is extremely important to do that profitably, for those reasons, just because the way the numbers shake out, and also the amount of signal loss that we’ve lost from the whole iOS 14.5 has made things harder to target smaller audiences. And so Facebook is basic and Tory could talk a little bit more about this. Facebook has made it cheaper and more beneficial to target wider audiences and allow the algorithm to do the targeting because we as media buyers, and marketers don’t have the same data that Facebook may be able to feed back. Does that make sense? And Tory could touch on that a little bit more? Because he’s much smarter than me. But

Torii Rowe 11:58
I appreciate that. I don’t know if I agree with that statement. But yeah, I mean, from like a data standpoint, like the actual like how it actually works running abroad is basically we go in, let’s say, you know, Blake’s wearing glasses right now, you know, we’re gonna sit here and try to sell sunglasses to someone, we can go to target the demographic or like the interest based audience sunglasses, but you have to also realize that paid media, especially social is cold traffic. So these people aren’t going on to Instagram or Facebook and saying, hey, I want to go buy sunglasses. So you might be able to pique someone’s interest who hasn’t even been looking at that. So why are we going to go limit ourselves? This isn’t Google where we’re like, there’s a paid keyword that we’re searching for. This is just a cold based audience that we’re just trying to intrigue them by an ad and say, Hey, you want this. So if the ad is good enough, like Blake is saying to mass market, and you can convince someone that they need that even if they didn’t weren’t even looking for it, that’s where you really haven’t killer products, those things that like like fidgets spinners, when those got really big, or like, you know, things like that. Nobody even knew what that was yet. But people got online, they got hit by this ad and they go, Wow, I want this. And that’s what happens. Those are the products that get very successful very fast, is convincing someone they want something that they didn’t even know that they needed.

Blake Pinsker 13:17
Yeah, it’s a choice point. I think that that also answers the question like how do you know, the creative is good. And it is a mix of product market fit, and creative, to be able to scale within a margin, that you have to acquire customer, right. And I encourage people to have a budget, where let’s say you have $50, to go acquire a new customer profitably, anything over that you’re not profitable, you need to test and reverse engineer, what good creative is on these platforms, try to recreate that for your product, sell your product with that ad, and find a medium where you’re scaling for under that CPA of $50 to acquire customers, right? If not, at a certain point, once you burn enough cash, you could say, well, we either one don’t have enough margin, or there’s just not a market for this thing. And we’ve seen both of those things happen with startups, who sometimes there’s a product and the founder may think the product is just better, more unique than it actually is. Or they come to the market and they’re like, we’re just going to price ourselves cheaper to the other 100 companies that are selling the same thing, what they don’t really realize is that person is doing bigger volumes. So their their margins are better. And they’re charging more. So their mark now their margins are even better than than that. And so you’re never going to win that battle, just by having a cheaper product anymore, because they’re going to be able to outbid you to acquire customers and do it at a bigger scale. So, those are those are the two Things to look at. And I think it just comes down to testing creative and finding what that sweet spot is for you.

April Martini 15:08
That makes sense. I definitely agree with the test and learn aspect of it all. And I definitely agree with having something that speaks to your audience, the relative weight and having that that product market fit. I still am trying to like, like, put in my head, rationalize my head, which I know our listeners are gonna be very interested in is then Is there specific then criteria that my creative needs to deliver in order for it to meet what we think or we believe to be quote unquote, good creative? Are there specific things that you that you kind of like? questions that you would ask about the creative knowing it’s gonna be different for different industries? But are there specific, like checkbox? Things? You’d be like, it should have this or I should do this? Or you know if you can, specifically now? Yeah,

Blake Pinsker 15:57
yeah. So so every every product in Brandon is different. But there are best practices in all those are really direct response. Focused, right? And so we take on a lot of clients and check out their ads, and they’re not direct response focus. So that’s marketing one on one, how can you make a little infomercial, and 15 to 30 seconds to really sell somebody. And so the people on Facebook even say that first three seconds, is the most important part of the video, or the creative to really hook somebody immediately. Throughout that ad, zero to 15 seconds, the focal point of that entire thing needs to be whatever that product is. So like if there’s an ad, where it’s zoomed out, and they’re wearing the sunglasses, but they also have hot, they have shirt, you could see their pants, their shoes, you’re gonna get a lot of people who might be clicking or interested in the jeans, or the shoes, or the hat, because the focal point was never the sunglasses. And so making sure your product is pretty much 100%, the focal point throughout that ad is extremely important. And then third, I think it’s marketing one, one, why do people need this product? What are the benefits? What are they getting out of it? Why are they going to be a better person because of that? Where’s the value the value propositions that all needs to be intertwine in there, too. And so those are the things we really look at. And that that in itself will make a really good direct response ad, I encourage everybody to reverse engineer, people in that space or other people who are finding success online, and go to their ad library. Safe stuff, when you see it on Instagram, and Facebook, and start to take notes. What are these outs look like? What are the trends and the commonalities we’re seeing? Because you’ll find that even across different product categories, there’s there’s a playbook that all these brands are following. And once you get an idea of what those best practices are, you start to get your own inspiration of how you might be able to communicate that message that for your product.

April Martini 18:14
Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a really good approach for people to feel like they can be in the know and have some knowledge and understanding of how to create things that are going to work for them. One of the other things we wanted to talk about today is building the right ROI, or measurement with the client. So talk a little bit about I mean, you know, kind of building on what we just talked about, about how you build effective creative, how do you know it’s working with clients? And I totally get that it’s all different. They’re all different. They have different goals and objectives. But how do you in this world of marketing, where a lot of times we’re asked for ROI, we don’t have it? In this case? We do, right? Because we’re doing spend, we have these different metrics that we’re testing. What is the process to creating those goals from the beginning, since we’re trying to meet business objectives with our clients and then ensuring that we achieve them along the way?

Torii Rowe 19:06
I see Blake and I both smiling because he knows he knows I’m gonna tear this one up.

April Martini 19:12
I saw you guys making faces at each other. And I’m like, should I say this? Because they’re not gonna see them. But something’s happening behind the scenes here. So yeah,

Torii Rowe 19:19
here’s why is because I’m the exact opposite is I don’t believe in true attribution. I don’t believe that row as a true metric that people should follow. Where we always tell our clients like we’re not here to make Facebook look better, because I could do that in a second. I could do that just by picking like specific attribution windows, which is like one day click seven day click or will seven day click one day view meaning like someone views it today, and they complete a purchase today didn’t even click on that add it attributes to Facebook, to just that’s going to make me look better as far as like return on investment from a media buying standpoint. So we always tell our clients don’t look at the contribution on Facebook, look at your p&l at the end of the month. And let’s see if that looks better. That’s what we always tell people. So the way we kind of set our goals, like you said, it’s going to be different per business model. And this is like, the thing I love to do is basically coming in and asking the client what their goal is for their business, not necessarily what is your goal for us in the marketing company or media buying company, creative, whatever? What is the goal for your business? Do you want to scale this year, this year about profitability? Are you trying to get more subscribers? What did customer lifetime value? What isn’t? So a lot of it just depends if they’re a venture backed or if they have money, obviously, we can pay burn things down, and just try to acquire as many customers as possible. But let’s go into like the majority of E commerce companies who are low retention, single purchase items who don’t have a high customer lifetime value, the biggest way for us to like depend on that is let’s look at your margin across the board. Its cost per session, or sessions times conversion rate times govt is like our revenue, but then we’re gonna say what is our cost per session? So how much does it cost to get one person for the website. So it’s basically just a giant algorithm or a giant math problem of like, okay, what needs to improve here, if the cost per session is already low, and say, like, 50 cents, so it cost us 50 cents to get someone to the website. But again, the conversion rates a decent amount as well, let’s say three to 5%, somewhere around there, but a OB is only 30 bucks, it’s gonna be very difficult to scale here, due to this margin. So these are like things will go to our clients and kind of run these problems by them and say, like, Okay, let’s look at all this, where can we improve each thing, where is our biggest, our biggest lever is that cost per session is that great, oh, these conversion rate, et cetera, et cetera. Usually, the levers we can pull from the media buying standpoint, and creative standpoint is going to be your cost per session. That’s our goal. Most people struggle, they’re like, it’s $4, to get someone to your website and your EOB is 40 bucks, you’re gonna have to convert one out of every 10 people. And that’s a very difficult thing to do. So those are the kinds of ways we look at things. And so like when we try to measure that ROI, it’s more or less, we look at as a blended, holistic view, but we say what metrics are we improving month over month? And what are our goals month over month? And then at the end of that month, your p&l should look better? If we’re improving those metrics? It’s, it’s pretty simple.

Anne Candido 22:29
And just for our listeners Torii what what’s AOV?

Torii Rowe 22:33
average order value. So if someone comes to the website, and they on average, they are spending $100. So every, every order is worth 100 bucks. But then you’re like, Okay, our customer acquisition cost is $40. Now we have $60 margin. Now you got to take out the cogs, you got to take out overhead and you got to take out all these other things, and you slowly trickle it down, you’re like, wow, we’re only making $5 an order. Okay, so how do we improve that we can either drive up the order of value, meaning like cross selling, or upselling, like, Hey, I’m gonna buy this t shirt. But we’re also going to sell you this hat as well. And now we’ve gotten to $120. And now that margin has increased, that’s one way to do it. Or we’re going to get people to the website for cheaper, which is better creative, which is why we rely on the creative team that are assets for us to put into social media. Or the last one is conversion rate. We’re not displaying the value of our product well enough on the website to convince someone why they should buy we have a low conversion rate, whoever’s on that website is not seeing the value in your product, or might be overpriced, you might be underpriced. Either one can actually like, if you’re underpriced. Sometimes if you raise your price, 10 bucks, you’ll actually drive up your conversion rate, because people don’t see value like buying a $10 cell phone, you’re like, this thing’s probably going to be terrible. If it’s a $500 cell phone you have and it could be the same thing. You’re like, oh, it’s probably going to be very good. Like so. There’s this aspect of that as well that people have been testing and try out.

Anne Candido 24:07
I wanted to ask too, because we’ve been talking a lot about product based, is there a different mentality? Or do you approach it differently for a service based business or a b2b

Torii Rowe 24:18
100 set. So it depends on most b2b companies aren’t selling, it’s not necessarily always ecommerce, most b2b. I’d be like, because usually lead generation especially like SAS companies, stuff like that. You’re trying to do this one on one with a sales rep. So lead generation was a large background for me. I helped a company from Paris, come over to the United States and help scale them as their first like employee in the US. So I’ve, I’ve spent with ADT clover, some of the largest solar companies in the world and stuff like that. It’s it’s a completely different ballgame. There’s this back. So it’s like, the front end is the same. I’m trying to get people to the web. as cheap as possible and convert them as high as possible. But then on the back end of that there’s this sales quality are if I give you 1000 leads, and only five of them convert, who gives a shit? Excuse my language but, and then at the other way, if I give you 100 leads and 15 of them convert, like, you’d rather take the 100 that are more expensive. So it starts to get a little different there. And that also comes through through the creative and through the website as well, are we selling those people along the entire sales funnel, and telling them to make it easier for our sales reps, or make it easier for the business to end up selling those people later on?

Anne Candido 25:39
Yeah, I think that’s really great insight. Because a lot of times when, especially our b2b or service based businesses are looking to do something like this, it’s hard for them to get out of the mindset of the fact that they’re not a product. And then how does this turn and burn with that, and it is very different, it’s different from the creative is different to the execution, it’s different on what you’re trying to achieve, which is highly more relational based. And you know, I have a good in a new one a by my good type of thing, you know, elements still rooted in like the emotional connection that you’re trying to create. So I think that’s really helpful for everybody to hear. Because sometimes I think a lot of these businesses will opt out of any kind of high investments in digital or even just concentrating a marketing channel on digital or social for those reasons. How do you help them? And how do you talk them through those challenges of trying to get over like the digital that the fear of digital feelers, social when they’re in more than that b2b or service based businesses?

Torii Rowe 26:37
I think the majority of it is like, if you want to scale any business at all, like you have to invest in something to scale it, whether that’s going to be a sales team, and you’re gonna go cold calling, and that’s what you want to do anyone go by list, or if you’re gonna say, hey, you know, what we’re gonna do digital marketing, I think more and more digital marketing has become, you know, the leading, you know, thing here for all businesses to scale, SaaS b2b or b2c, direct to consumer, whatever it may be. I mean, you got to put your money where your mouth is, like, I think that’s the biggest thing, if you if you want to continue to do the same thing over and over and expect to scale like, if it’s not working, you know, you wouldn’t be contacting us anyways, you wouldn’t be thinking about digital marketing, you’re obviously not where you want to be, you’re going to have to do it. I think the hard part for most companies is realizing there’s gonna be an initial loss. There’s a learning to anything. It’s the initial investment of like, even a brick and mortar store, like there’s the initial investment of like, I have to open the store, I got to decorate it, I gotta get products, I gotta do all this stuff. It’s the exact same thing in digital marketing, there’s an initial investment for us to get data back into the platform, and internally for us to get data to the creative team as well and say, Hey, this is what we’re hearing, this is what’s not working. And this is how we continue to iterate. The good thing about digital marketing is there is data. So you can constantly see whether there’s improvement. And if you’re not seeing that improvement 30, 60, 90, 120 You can cut it off at any point, like that’s the good thing is you can cut it off and prove cut it off very seldomly Can you can’t do that with a sales rep. You can’t hire a guy W to him and be like, Hey, you’re paused for the next two weeks, we’ll get back to you reiterate, like it doesn’t work. So digital marketing is a pretty cool aspect that you can turn that faucet on and off whenever you see fit, whether that’s with seasonality, or whether you need to go back and restructure some things on the business side as well.

April Martini 28:35
Well, and I think you bring up a really good point with all of that, because I think it’s also a level of comfortability, and what people know, too. So when you give the example of doing brick and mortar people don’t even think about that piece of it. I don’t feel like any more because it feels less risky, because it feels familiar to people. And so I think it’s this whole I know enough to feel comfortable. I’ve opened a store before I’ve decorated it, I’ve done product mixes, I’ve walked the customer journey, those types of things. So how do you help customers stick in it for the long haul? Because that’s something we get asked a lot too is like, you know, you hit the 30 day mark and the clients like it didn’t work. We’re taking it off. Right? And so how do you convince people or what is the sort of the thinking behind it? You have to stick with it. And yes, we’re gonna change the mix. And we’re gonna optimize we have the metrics. But what does that sort of behind the scenes conversation look like?

Blake Pinsker 29:30
Yeah, it’s it’s difficult, like so handed back over

April Martini 29:33
to Blake there. They do, but they’ve had bad guys. They’ve done this before.

Blake Pinsker 29:39
Try not to talk over each other. Sometimes it’s inevitable. But yeah, I’ll answer that one. So I think the challenge is, just as you outlined, right, if somebody’s not making money, at a certain point, something’s got to give you as the agency even throw your hands up in the air like yeah, we should probably see be seeing results by now. So something’s off I think it’s important to show a progress, I think it’s important to show that the changes in tweaks you’re making are for good reason. And I think it’s important to also be proactive. And so when you’re in that learning phase, how quickly are you actually learning and adapting, and iterating? Right. And I think it’s, it’s all hands on deck until you figure that out. And you get things to a place where you’ve solved a lot of the problems. And you found success. You know, we go through this, when we bring on new clients who haven’t already figured out what works, sometimes it takes a few months to really see results, because we’re going to start testing, and iterating. And that’s just not something that anybody can necessarily do overnight, right. And so that process takes time. And we try our best to get there as fast as possible. But you just got to be proactive and actually make changes, because if you just keep doing the same stuff, obviously, you’re gonna have the same results.

Torii Rowe 31:20
Yeah, just to hit on that, I would say, see a couple of big things here is one big thing is showing the failures, as well as showing your success and failures showing that you are testing showing that you are trying new things. If people if they understand that you’re trying new things, and they understand that there’s an app into the madness here, like they’re gonna stick by your side, and they understand that they’re not everything’s gonna be a home run out the gate, I wish it was. But even sometimes we might go into a client to like a vertical that we’ve already had before, it was something completely different words for each client, it’s not always the same. The other thing is to for us at Dream labs, most of the clients we work with are already $10 million plus businesses with annual revenue. Those C-level execs, founders, and those companies understand that nothing happens overnight. And I think it’s a lot of thing that startups struggle with a lot of people who are just getting started, money’s tight, we got $10,000 in the bank account, and you know, things are getting tight, you know, you’re gonna stress out, you start to get finicky, you want to touch everything all the time, you want to try to make changes all the time. And especially with paid media, and social media advertising, like everything is data getting fed back in. And so the more you’re changing that data and not letting the algorithm learn, you know, the harder things can get for yourself. So a lot of it is just being patient. I like there’s not very many overnight successes out there. A lot of this is just a patience game, continuing to make small tweaks and small changes until you become that so called overnight success and 10 years that most of those are,

April Martini 32:51
I like what you have to say about the failures too, because I think that really helps to build trust as well. So people know that you’re looking at it, not just from a one trick pony, that you have a process and it whatever you do applies to everybody, but that there is an optimization timeframe, which I think helps people understand that you’re in the business, you understand the business, you have the business’s interests in mind. But knowing that you guys tend to kind of hit some of the businesses who have already been a little bit more established for our little bit more of our startups or maybe other smaller businesses here. How would you suggest that they get started here? Like what isn’t good just structure framework, budgets? And big question we get asked, I know that’s a loaded question, because it varies greatly. But if you had to give like a range of like, Hey, this is what you guys should prepare yourself for. And then knowing you need to prepare yourself for this because you’re probably going to lose more than you’re going to gain especially in the first couple months as you’re learning. Can you just kind of help people kind of internalize that a little bit.

Torii Rowe 33:53
Let’s just I mean, we’ll we’ll go right after the budget question. This is something a lot of people ask me, usually I tell people like, average order value is hard. If a lot of people don’t know about, let’s say like your a single product, and it’s 50 bucks for costs. I mean, start with 50 to 100 bucks a day, and you should be getting one to two orders to back that money back out. You’re basically just trying to breakeven or get very close to breaking even in the beginning, you’re trying to find like Blake said earlier product market fit. This is a proof of concept at this point for a lot of startups. That’s all you’re trying to prove. I mean, your creative has to be somewhat dialed but it can be very simple just like a good product image or a good product and use with a couple of key benefits listed over it doesn’t need to be something like a full blown video or something crazy here just show the use of the product or show what the product benefit has to be like T shirt companies all the time. Like Guess what? They’re not doing anything crazy. They’re usually just steal T shirts on models. Wild here like this isn’t like something crazy to going on here. So it’s like even at the top like it’s still pretty, like you want to try to keep things simple across the board. And to get started, it just being slow and methodical testing a few things two to three creatives with a low budget, let that run for a week, see what happens. If it doesn’t work, change those two or three out and try again, change those two, three up and try again. And you just continue and like, the biggest thing is like, let’s say you test three images, we’ll go back to the T shirts, and like, it’s a one’s a black T shirt, white t shirt, red t shirt. And the black T shirt has the best click through rate, even if it’s not converting that high. Go make three new ones with a black T shirt, because that’s your best metric. And then you just continue to iterate on that over and over again until you get to where you want.

April Martini 35:45
Alright, so um, the last kind of question we have here, which we’ve talked around this a little bit. But I know, one of the big things for you guys is around scaling businesses and Tori, you just touched on, you know, the good thing is we typically have ones that have been in the game for a while. And so we’ve spent a little time talking about the startups and such. But switching gears, when we initially talked, and we talked about like, what we’re trying to do is grow these businesses from six figure to seven, seven to eight. And beyond that, and so talk about that ride, if you will, or the journey of that, obviously, that requires you to build long term relationships with clients. What does that look like? Because I think that can provide some insight for folks into finding the right partners.

Torii Rowe 36:27
The big thing I think, when you no matter where you come from startup to the seven, figure eight figure nine figure is sometimes I think what’s hard for businesses is the business model sometimes has to change when you get to certain levels that people have to reassess like, what gets you to six might not get you to seven, might not get you to eight. So that’s one thing that I think a lot of the big businesses are good at is realizing like, hey, we might need to expand a catalog, we might need to change our pricing might need to test things, there’s more testing that goes on to the top, I would say for us those seven, eight figure companies that we work with, and we have companies doing multiple millions a month, right now who are trying to chase down that nine figure yearly, those companies understand that it’s still the same game that it was at the startup level. And I guess what I mean by that is, it’s still small improvements, one thing at a time. But the small improvement with more traffic, obviously makes a bigger dent in revenue. So for example, a lot of like, our friends, or you know, people reach out, okay, let me pick your brain about certain company. And we’re like, what should I do first, and you’re like, okay, like, focus on one over a day. And then like, the next thing is focus on two orders a day and you just scaled and doubled. Like, it’s that simple. I mean, it’s like, Okay, three orders for so like, we try to look at like it daily or weekly, usually weekly chunks of like, how can we scale 5% In the next week, what do we need to do? Well, conversion rate, it will be cost per session, click the rate needs to get better those things. It’s still the small little tweaks, it’s not a big thing, but a five cent difference on cost per session, if all your other metrics hold, like we spoke about before, with 100,000 sessions a week, this is a massive jump. And those guys up there at the eight figure nine figure level understanding that but honestly, the game doesn’t change a whole lot. Until I think you understand like, there’s points where it’s like, like kind of set with the mass market thing. Some companies just you’re never gonna get there, like, you’re never going to get to $150 million in annual revenue, your product might not fit, and might not be a large enough margin on your product to go acquire that many customers and pay for that customers or you don’t have a high returning customer rate, your retention is low. All of those things start to come into play. Like I can be full transparency with our business mansion, where men’s premier jewelry company, our retention isn’t super high, like because I don’t know how many necklaces a guy needs, like how many how many braces, they’re not buying 2030 But then you have like athletic greens or you have Lululemon or aloe are all these other things. Women are buying 35 yoga pants just for like this week, like it’s insane. So it’s like there’s, yeah, there’s a completely different business model here of like, what things need to do. And people start to tweak that as they get up there to make it easier to scale. It’s not always just like, your creative only gonna get so good. Your media buying is only going to get so good at some point. It’s just raise the budgets and let the business do what the business does, and it’s whether you’ve built a good foundation for that to happen.

April Martini 39:44

So we usually like to do some rapid fire questions just so our audience can get to know you guys as people a little bit just to kind of bring a little bit more flavor to what you guys do. So I’m gonna give it to these two you guys. Give me the quick responses right now. So if you were not doing what you’re doing now, you could do anything that you want in the world. What would it be?

Blake Pinsker 40:07
I actually thought about this the other day, because football season just started. I get super into the season, I love breaking down X’s and O’s. I love just the idea of leading a team, going through the ups and downs and sounds like you know what? I could be a coach. I like but I definitely don’t want to start at like, the collegiate level or the guy who’s like, getting the real coach coffee just to like, my way up. Here a tough career transition. But boy, it would be fun to be within a pro sports organization. Doing something like that. That’d be that’d be fun.

April Martini 40:47
Awesome. It’s a great, good. What about you, Tori.

Torii Rowe 40:49
Very similar, I think you’d probably be a pro golfer not good enough to do it. What I like to call to private jets, go golf, get paid to do it. You know, like, hang out with the boys all day. That’s a good time.

April Martini 41:03
Like that. I was actually I mind is a more along the lines of a place I want to be an NFL ref.

Blake Pinsker 41:10
Wow, that’s a tough job.

April Martini 41:14
time so you can make it work with everything else. And you know, females rise within all those great to see more feet. Yeah,

Blake Pinsker 41:19
we need people like you.

Anne Candido 41:25
Because I don’t think anybody would mess with me on the field. I’m pretty sure. Yes. And whatever you say and of course. Your mind. My second one is a favorite place that you have visited that maybe nobody has really heard of.

Blake Pinsker 41:43
Oh, wow. Okay, that’s tough. I want to go somewhere where I don’t think a ton of people have been but Tel Aviv and Israel is yeah, it’s obviously not unheard of. But a lot of people won’t go there because either they’re not Jewish or whatever reason. It’s one of the most beautiful, amazing cities I’ve ever been to. And the history there’s just out of this world. 10 out of 10 Probably the coolest place I’ve ever been. Highly recommend go in there checking it out.

April Martini 42:15
That’s a great one. Tory Yeah,

Torii Rowe 42:19
it’s a tough one, I would say, White Rock British Columbia, up by Vancouver. There are some places out and like, if you haven’t been to the west coast of Canada, it is one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. So we obviously have there’s more people in California than the entire country in Canada. So it is very unpopulated, and you can just like it’s great like I’m a big hiker and stuff like that. I live in Denver, so like going on hiking trails out there and stuff like that. There’s like untouched and waterfalls. Like there’s things that like people are you’re never on the same trail as other people and things like that White Rock has an ocean out there and lots of waterfalls. It’s beautiful place.

April Martini 42:58
That’s a good one too. I can see it. Okay, the last one so especially since you guys are both sports fans. What’s your at bat song?

Torii Rowe 43:05
It’s a good one. It’s an easy. Got the

April Martini 43:12
magic stick

Blake Pinsker 43:18
is a good one. I heard this after the Colorado game. Deion Sanders is playing it as the music. But it’s an old game twin song called halftime. Yeah, there’s a video of him playing it in the locker room and it just kind of got me fired up. And at that moment in that moment, I was like, I will run through a wall for Deion Sanders if I if I played the guy probably also got me on like the coaching thought like I want to be I want to be like Dion

April Martini 43:46
that was my first app that came to mind. So that’s kind of funny.

Blake Pinsker 43:48
Yeah, he’s he’s out of this world though. He’s kicking ass right now.

April Martini 43:53
This has been a great discussion guys. And the way we’d like to round it out is to ask you to let us know where our audience can find you if they want to continue the conversation or talk about working with you guys. Any last minute comments about things we didn’t cover and just kind of bring us home?

Blake Pinsker 44:09
Yeah, so you can find us at Dream labs site needs to be updated but if you’re interested in seeing some of our latest work, or case studies feel free to reach out either through the site or you can find this both on Twitter Instagram my my Twitter is at Blake Pinsker first name last name says my Instagram Tory believe yours is first name last name as well, right?

Torii Rowe 44:36
Correct. Yes. Same thing first name last name. Tr i The double lies there so hearts over the eyes beautiful.

April Martini 44:50
All right. Well, this has been a fun one. Thank you guys very much. And then with that we will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts! Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts? Contact us through our website: We can help you become a savvier marketer through coaching or training you and your team or doing the work on your behalf. Please also help us grow the podcast by rating and reviewing on your player of choice and sharing with at least one person. Now, go show off your Marketing Smarts!