S3 E15: Finding profitability in 14 days with Josh Chin (Co-Founder & CEO, Chronos)


On this episode of Retention Chronicles, we’re joined by Josh Chin, Co-Founder and CEO of Chronos. We talk about:

  • Josh’s background in copywriting,
  • finding good influencers to work with,
  • finding profitability in 14 days,
  • 3 stages of the customer experience,
  • how to drive repeat purchases for subscribers and set the stage for repeat purchases,
  • how to properly attribute success in marketing,
  • & more!

Be sure to subscribe to our pod to stay up-to-date and checkout Malomo, the leading order tracking platform for Shopify brands.

Subscribe to Retention Chronicles on Apple Podcasts


This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors


retention, people, brands, profitability, customer, work, clients, business, purchase, josh, chronos, ton, happen, attribution, product, money, repeat purchases, ai, platform, offer


Josh Chin, Noah Rahimzadeh, Mariah Parsons

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:04

Hey retention pros. I'm Noah Raheem today and I lead partnerships here at Malomo. I'm super pumped to continue to chat with ecosystem experts alongside Mariah, who you all already know and love, say hi, Mariah.

Mariah Parsons 00:16

Hey everyone, as you probably know, retention Chronicles likes to bring in some of the best retention focused brands in the Shopify ecosystem.

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:24

Well, we don't just feature brands, we also feature some great thought leaders in the Shopify ecosystem that serve brands.

Mariah Parsons 00:31

And because we always want these conversations to be fun, you'll hear us talk with our guests about what they're excited about and what's helped them get to where they are today.

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:39

We hope you'll stick around to learn and laugh with us retention Chronicles

Mariah Parsons 00:43

is sponsored by Malomo a shipment in order tracking platform improving the post purchase experience, be sure to subscribe and check out all of our episodes at go malomo.com

Noah Rahimzadeh 01:00

Welcome back to the latest episode of retention Chronicles been a while since we recorded so I'm super super excited to welcome Josh chin today, founder and CEO at Kronos agency. Josh joins us from Singapore where it's currently 7am. But if for those watching on on the video recording, you'll see it doesn't look like he's only it's only 7am This time, so as to you, Josh, and thanks so much for joining us early in the morning.

Josh Chin 01:33

Your time. Yeah, my pleasure. And thanks for having me. No,

Noah Rahimzadeh 01:38

absolutely. Yeah, we're excited to dive into it. Got Mariah here with me today as well, which is always a pleasure. Hey, Mariah.

Mariah Parsons 01:48

We're excited today.

Noah Rahimzadeh 01:50

Yeah, we it's funny, because it's like morning, your time. But Mariah pinged me like an hour and a half ago and was like, I'm gonna go to yoga, and then I'll be back. Morning. So we're like, you know, ending and starting the day. It's It's pretty wild.

Mariah Parsons 02:05

Yeah, we had a webinar today to so I'm like, so excited, because that went well. Now. Like, we get to chat with you, Josh. So had to switch up my normal routine of having yoga after work and just put it up an hour. So I could, I could join this lovely conversation.

Josh Chin 02:22

Makes sense. Yeah. Awesome.

Noah Rahimzadeh 02:24

Thanks for. Thanks for getting that out of the way and joining us. Josh, first time on, we like to keep these personal and then get into some shop, talk and then bring it back here, side toward the end. So with that in mind, on a personal note, tell us one or two things that you're excited about in your personal life.

Josh Chin 02:49

Oh, well. One of the one of the projects I'm personally working on right now is my strength. So for a long time, as a kid, I was a really weak, weak and skinny guy. And I really didn't have much of a presence in the room and not a ton of self confidence. I've always wanted to be strong. So I picked up powerlifting of all things when I was 1615 years old, super weak, couldn't couldn't even lift an empty barbell. But over time, I got stronger. And every time I stepped into a gym, I added a tiny little plate, like one of the smallest plates you could find. You Yeah, yeah. 2.5 2.5 counts, right? Little tiny plates. And that meant that I could progress on a visible and tangible level every single time he stepped in the gym. And there was a concept in in strength training called progressive overloading. And it was great because then I felt motivated to come into the gym. I was doing something new via you know, a very tiny amount of increments, but I can see progress. So this year, I'm trying to work on my weakest link, which is my squats. I'm relatively strong and deadlifts relatively, okay, and bench, but squats have been the sticking point for me. So I'm trying to lift two times my body weight, which would be 140 440 245 kilograms. What does it translate to in pounds, man?

Noah Rahimzadeh 04:45

I gotta look it up.

Mariah Parsons 04:46

I was just about just before we treat,

Noah Rahimzadeh 04:51

polling 310 310 My god Wow.

Josh Chin 04:58

I'm a I'm Not a heavy guy. So it's about 70 kilos, which would be about man once again, under 55 pounds. I think.

Noah Rahimzadeh 05:08

I feel like it'd be like 150 pounds if it's 300. Yeah, yeah, there

Josh Chin 05:13

there abouts. Yeah. So that's, that's my goal. I'm currently at 110. I think my my current one rep max kilos. Yeah. So long way to go. And I'm fairly weak in that movement. And for for people listening, if you're in the, if you're an avid lifter, you know that that's not a ton of progress. It's not, it's not a lot to achieve. But it's the progression that I really care about, and only in the gym to three times a week. So it's all about efficiency for me this point in time. But that's, that's a, that's a fun one. And it's it's keeping keeping me motivated and just alive. That is one of

Noah Rahimzadeh 05:56

the most unique things that we've heard.

Josh Chin 06:01

And it's easy, right? Like, it's one of those things that doesn't divert a ton of my attention away from work. And that's still number one for me. And this is something I can work on, you know, in the middle of the day, which is what I typically do, like 12pm, when I'm on, on allow in my entry,

Mariah Parsons 06:17

gotta get some more energy and whatnot. Exactly. I feel like people who lift often it's like, either your squat or your deadlift is like, one of the two is like your favorite. And then the other one is just like, not it and, and it's like, always one or the other. I feel like everyone I've met, I feel like no one.

Josh Chin 06:36

You know what this is? This is what I think with deadlifts, you're literally just picking a really heavy weight off the ground. And if you fail, you just let go. Yeah. But there is no letting go and squats, right. So you have to fail. You could fail and get rid of the weight. But that's first of all looks terrible. makes a huge sale. Yeah. Yeah, everyone knows you fail. There's that ego involved. But most importantly, it's scary. It's really scary to be under the bar, and feeling all that weight on your shoulders and you know, way to go but up, right, and in the middle of the kind of movement. And you know what, while I'm training, I don't always feel this, but when you're in the middle of the movement, there's often a time where you get stuck, and you have to keep pushing. And that's kind of like life or work and often we get stuck, but there's no choice but to keep pushing or you kind of just bail and fail. And I think that a lot of those principles and how I think in the gym translates to how I feel at work. Yeah, even if it's just you know, subconsciously I think it helps. Well, it's

Noah Rahimzadeh 08:02

funny you say that because the first thing that came to mind when you talked about adding the smallest weight the 2.5 pound weight was like the business lesson in that which is like keep pushing, you know, like growing and all that good stuff. So I agree there's a lot of probably life and business lessons in that and also it's funny on the leg thing I literally wrote down like five new year's resolutions I think I'm like 345 so I'm I'm on track for three I'm off track for two the one one of them that I'm off track for is one day a week of leg day because I'm in the same boat I've like I hate so much so this is motivating me Josh maybe this is the kick in the ass I need to do a resolution

Mariah Parsons 09:03

next episode we're gonna check in be like No, you actually didn't love that one as much

Noah Rahimzadeh 09:15

That's great. Well congrats man that's super cool. That's an awesome accomplishment awesome goal sounds like you're you're working well toward it. All right, getting getting into some shop talk tell us about Kronos would love given we have a co founder on we'd love to start with like your background and what led you to Kronos and sort of the founding story. And then if you could bring us up to where you're at today?

Josh Chin 09:44

Sure. This was in 2017. I was in school as my third year university in Singapore. Lots of free time. One of the pickup skill picked up copywriting and now I wanted to make money And I came across the world of Shopify. Prior to that I was kind of dabbling a little bit in on eBay, I made my first first buck on eBay, my first $1,000 profit on eBay. And that was a lot of money back in making 2017 as a broke University kid. So I took the money that I had bought a bunch of courses, books, and educated myself on what was available in the market. And what I didn't know. And when I came across the Shopify ecosystem that was growing and booming at that point in time, was like, This is it. And I could use copywriting as a skill set, monetize it, and add a ton of value to the people I serve. And that eventually evolved into email marketing, because email became such a powerful force for retention and therefore profits that we could measure as an E commerce operators. And so in my mind, if I could increase a business's revenue by 10%, that's massive, right, just from a single channel, I could charge a lot of money for that. That was my mindset. And so that evolved into the operation that we have today. And we have gone from a kind of side project to when I graduated university, we had a full team of 30 people. And today, we have approximately 80 in the team. And we spend across the globe, primarily serving clients based out of the US and Australia, with a couple of about 20% of our clients are international across Europe and Asia, as well. And the bottom line is, we are where our growth partner more than anything else, email and SMS is where we started. We know service clients on organic social. We have a partner on paid media and paid social at st as well. Creatives as well, we have a creatives arm that supplies ad creatives at high pace and high frequency to our clients. And all those things combined, is built upon a foundation of growing profitable profit profitably with a keen focus on profitability. And the reason for that is we've seen tons of DTC brands come and go with, you know, just an irresponsible measurement of money and how they think about growth and spending. Especially if the past couple of years with VC money being so cheap, and money being so accessible, it's really easy to fall in the trap of, alright, I'm going to spend as much as I can acquire customer, as long as it falls, as long as my acquisition cost falls below LTV, or what I foresee LTV to be. But that's a terrible way of thinking because you need a massive cash float at all times. And there's no way of turning a profit in that in the short term. And things can happen pretty quickly in the short term in the E commerce space as as you'd known. So where we come in, we first look at the goals of the business from a profitability standpoint, and where our clients want to be in a certain period of time, then we work towards those goals together and using a mix of channels.

Noah Rahimzadeh 14:06

Awesome. That is an awesome overview. So many questions first. So it sounds like you started this while you were in school. And you grew it before you graduated to 30. People like How How did you do that is that is wild is how you're going to school for was that like part of some sort of like, you know, exit course or something? Or was this literally just a side hustle that you are balancing somehow with university as well.

Josh Chin 14:34

It was a it was a side hustle. And it was well from so I have a co founder. Yeah, and my co founder runs operations and the majority of the team rolls up to my co founder Louis and I oversee sales marketing partnerships and the external side of the business. And what has worked for us is that the both of us were full time in the business, at least in our minds, and part time in school. So that helped a ton. And school is relatively smooth sailing and easy, because I didn't exactly take on a ton of responsibilities and take take on a ton of classes that I didn't need to, I actually dropped out of my, what we call an honors program, it's very similar to the UK system of universities. Yeah, and that gave me a little bit more free time. And I was in business school. So there were a tiny bit of overlap of what, uh, what I learned and what I could apply. But the reality is that business schools are, are kind of like factories, they're producing strong candidates for the enterprise ecosystem, the MNCs, and the big companies. So a large part of the curriculum was surrounding, operating and growing within a large organization and not necessarily starting one up. So we had to learn things from scratch. And that's why we diverted the majority of our attention on to the business. And that panned out well, from a growth point of view, we were lucky enough to have found key influencers and affiliates that we've done good work, or with eventually became our advocates. And that became a core part of our strategy. As we as we grew, finding people who had influence, doing really, really good work, and out delivering anything that people have expected of us. And letting word of mouth do its thing. But being intentional with meaning. It can be as simple as when we first started out, it was, hey, do you know anyone else that I should speak to in your circle of friends, that could benefit from working with us to eventually building up a more robust and practical referral program that came with commissions and additional benefits. So that was our journey. And eventually, when we stepped out of school, we had a good sized team and also part of it out of necessity. Being part time founders, we needed full time employees to really run the show. Yeah,

Noah Rahimzadeh 17:38

wow, what a story. Man, that is awesome. Congrats on, you know, all the success today. And I know you guys are continuing to do awesome things. Thank you. I'm curious to like you, you were in school, you know, in Singapore? How How did it end up that most of your clients are in the US? And what is it like servicing them from, you know, a day ahead, I think are behind ahead. Ahead a day ahead. In my

Josh Chin 18:07

head? Yeah, we're in the future. So that's our advantage. We see the future? Do you know what it's like? Yeah. It's it's not easy. But there is a there's an advantage in being where we're based out of, and we have access to global talent that most companies would kind of overlook, for instance, Malaysia is a great talent, a great place for talent. I am actually from Malaysia, I grew up in Malaysia, and I moved to Singapore when I was 12 years old. And there's an abundance of talent. And the only gap in in assessing these talent would be time zones, and just bridging across time zones. So we have US counterparts within our agency, that are that are liasing with our clients, and coordinating between internal team members, as well as client facing members based out of Asia, who also interact with clients. So that there is no gap in in the understanding and information flow. And we all we coordinate all of this via slack and the communication channels. And and so there is a I'd say there are a ton of processes and systems that are built to support the frameworks that we have built around our teams and our our people in order to support our clients in the best, best way possible. From a cultural point of view, that's something that we actively do. screen for making sure that people are under are comfortable, at least within our agency comfortable and open minded to work with and deal with different cultures and people of different backgrounds, because that's something that we found to be the most important. We have team members from 14 different countries, I believe it was 10 to 14 Different countries from all around the world. So that's people from different backgrounds, different upbringings. And it's incredibly diverse, which we also carry forward to how we deal with and work with clients.

Noah Rahimzadeh 20:42

Ya know, that's, that's something I guess I wouldn't have considered right off the front is, you know, the diverse talent that being based there provides and the unique perspectives as well, I think, you know, like most, I would imagine that most US based agencies, almost everybody if not, the entire team is based here. And so maybe there's, you know, I'm sure there there is some advantage to having people located across various countries with with diverse backgrounds and diverse viewpoints. That is a great advantage not just to you, but obviously to your clientele as well.

Josh Chin 21:28

I want to definitely,

Noah Rahimzadeh 21:29

I want to shift a little bit to something you said before, which is, I'm so happy you did it's something that I talked about a lot I've probably said it on this podcast multiple times now so Mariah, forgive me. But you talked about your extreme focus on profitability. And what I find it interesting and Mariah, you can back me up on this probably like, we really haven't heard the mention of profitability, we've definitely heard retention a lot. That's in Chronicles, we talk a lot about it, it comes up because we forced our guest doesn't want it to I think most people have gotten around to the idea that retention is more important now than ever before in E commerce. But we don't hear the word profitability from brands and from agencies as much as I think maybe we should, just in terms of how important it is today. And one of the stats that I talk about a lot on webinars and podcasts is that in 2013, the average brand lost $9 For every new customer that they acquired. Today that's wanting $9. So 10 years later, reacts. Right. So to your point, Josh, like, it's such a great point. And I'd love for you to double click on it. If you don't have a plan to keep those customers coming back, there's like, not only is there no point in acquiring them, you're like you will go out of business, if you if you don't have a plan to keep them coming back, because you're losing so much money on that first customer in most cases, rising ad costs, you know, compliance issues, return of in person shopping, all these things that sort of feed into that. That, you know, if you don't have a really tight retention, focus, and on a broader perspective, profitability focus, you're really in grave danger as a as a brand today. And I'd love for you to talk about Cronos as approach to that, like whether or not you agree with everything that I just said, and how you go about solving for it.

Josh Chin 23:35

I, I think that there is a there is a there's there's good, there's good and bad. And there's there's two sides, there are two sides to this topic. On one hand, I agree that's how we operate. And profit comes first. And when you think about the economics of it all it makes total sense when when you think about the importance of retention, for instance. But on the flip side, it may also make sense when you look at what's happened over the past couple of years, where money was cheap and accessible. It just made sense when it came to the race for market share, assuming that you have a really unique product where once people got their hands on, they would love it, they would start talking about it on social they'll tell their friends about it. And by again, it makes sense for for capturing market share to be the priority and not profitability. But we're not playing that game anymore. And things have have changed and we're in a different era. Money is a expensive interest. Interest rates have gone up and it seems like it's going to stay up for a little bit of time. So what that means for DTC marketers would be that profit profits coming from the first purchase, or maximum two purchases would be key. I like to look at the metric a little bit differently. I like to look at profitability within a time period. And often that's two weeks, one to two weeks maximum, to call it 14 days. And the way we think about that, is, when you look at the economics of an initial purchase, you have cogs, which accounts for call it 30%. The cost of acquiring customer, yep, going to ad spend, and well, mostly ad spend, that's going to be about 50% or thereabouts, on average. And that leaves a tiny bit of margins for OpEx. And for most businesses, that 20% isn't even there, because the cost of acquiring customers is just so high. And when you look at retention, and what email, SMS and all these channels can do, it effectively removes the need for cost of acquisition completely by diverting all these resources into sending sending an email sending a text, which costs you a quarter of a sent. And when you look at that, it dramatically shifts the level of the levels of profitability within a 14 day 14 day period. So what I like to do is, I like to maximize the profitability of a customer within the first 14 days, while interest levels excitement is at its all time high. So that includes and Malomo is a great tool for this as well. The post purchase experience, what we like to do is during the post purchase experience, we'd like to identify key moments of interactions where excitement and interest at its is at its peak, and introduce new products that are relevant and exciting for the customer at an unbeatable price, offer package or whatever. And once we get over the hump of the second purchase, what we found is that the third and fourth purchase becomes a lot easier because we have now had two moments of, of truth versus just one. So that's that's how I've been thinking about it, and how I like to position and start most of our strategies with our clients from because that's just the right thing to do in today's market.

Noah Rahimzadeh 28:00

Really interesting. I think we're getting a lot of like, first time thoughts here. Mariah, which is awesome. That's

Mariah Parsons 28:05

great. Yeah.

Noah Rahimzadeh 28:08

So um, thank you for the Malema shout out. We agree I think the post purchase is vastly under utilized for those driving those repeat purchases, especially for first time customers. Outside of that, I'm curious, like, one of the one of the popular use cases that a lot of our brands will will enable is separate experiences segmented is what we call them experiences for subscribers and non subscribers. So what that looks like is if you're a subscriber, Josh, we don't want to get you to subscribe in the post purchase experience. You're already subscribed. But we know that you're probably really excited about the brand. You you have a package on the way so you know that excitement is even higher. Since you're already subscribed. Let's not show that. But let's show our refer a friend program because you're excited the package is on the way you've been a loyal fan, which is why you're in the program. Like let's turn that retention channel into an acquisition channel and kind of create this this flywheel. Where's the subscriber, the number one thing we can do to increase overall LTV is to get me into the program. So let's send me to a page while my package is on the way that's mostly focused on getting me to sign up for the subscription program. And I think that these two things, what I'm describing and what you're describing are somewhat similar, but the subscription program itself isn't necessarily going to increase revenue in the first 14 days. So outside of the scenario where you just talked about additional purchases in the order tracking experience, like what are some things that brands should be thinking about to drive repeat purchases or additional revenue for their first time customers within that first two weeks?

Josh Chin 29:58

That's a great question. And I think that when you look at new revenue from a holistic level, including new revenue that you otherwise would not have had, for instance, a referral, then that paints a bigger picture of what has truly happened. I think the referral place is interesting for a subscription customer. new revenue is going to come in a second purchase within the first 14 days. But if a referral does happen in the next 14 days, that's a massive win because you've saved on acquisition costs by you know, that 50% or more off of your initial ARV. How I think about that is the, the repeat purchases can only happen organically based off the customer's lifecycle and how they interact with with with the brand, it cannot happen based off push. So by what I mean by that is, you can't push a product, you cannot push a discount offer at like random times and random intervals in a customer's lifecycle. And create a ton of follow ups and expect a conversion to happen, you might be able to. But the more intentional way of doing so would be to identify key moments of, of interest excitement, like I mentioned, for instance, the time period that it takes between an order to be placed, and shipment to happen. That's a fairly chunky amount of time for most businesses. But even if you think about it, two days is a long time to wait when you're really excited to receive a new product. What can happen in those two days can set you up for success or failure beyond those two days. So when we think about that, when we set the stage right, by either creating content that's relevant, additional value added content, products, or things that you can give at a minimal to no marginal cost to you. That would set the stage for what happens beyond the shipment date. So once the once the product arrives, that's when the game starts happening when that's when repeat purchases can happen. From the moment a product arrives on the doorstep, that's when the actual experience the physical experience of the product happens. So when you break that down into call the three stages of first excitement receiving the product unboxing experience, right, that's the first moment of, of true realization. And then you have the second moment, which would be the usage of the product actually using it. And for most people, that's going to be quite close. The third would be the remorse stage, oh, I maybe I should have bought this or maybe there's something else that's better. Or maybe this isn't for me. So between those three stages, there are instances where you could add additional value, create additional opportunities to build further connection with your customers that could lead to when you do introduce a new offer a new product as an upsell or cross sell. It becomes a lot more a lot more organic, and a lot lower friction to achieving than, than otherwise. So I'll give you an example. After purchasing that I recently I got into drinking matcha and it's just matcha and water. Okay, at first it was pretty disgusting. Powder kind of thing. Powder martra. Yeah, powder matcha. And with the bamboo whisk with that little bowl, and it's a relatively tedious process was pretty quick. Right? And it's great. It's like it's a caffeine but it keeps you relatively calm and it gives you a nice little level level headed energy across a longer period of time. But yeah, so I like my truck, and I bought my truck from this company. And when the shipment arrived, I received a text and in this instance it was it was kind of an order confirmation text. Following that, it was a thing Thank You message plus a, an offer that I just could not refuse, then in this case, it was a free plus shipping offer for an additional lower quantity amount of a different product that I've wanted to try, but didn't, didn't decide to at the start of my interaction. So it was a different form of matcha. Very premium, typically. So it for 30 bucks, retail for 30 grams, right, and they're offering it to me for free. Just shipping and handling. Pulling in my mind was sick. And in my mind, I was thinking this is a terrible business decision, you're losing money on on the product. But when I sat down when I actually thought about the what they were doing the shipment fee that I was paying for collect like five bucks or 10 bucks or whatever, more than covered for the cost of shipping, plus, probably offset the cost of the product itself. So they're probably breaking even on that second product. But what they've done is they've created a second purchase opportunity. Now my relationship with that brand has duplicated. So I have now to purchase experiences with the brand trust is now at least 50% Higher. And when I think about much the next time I need a refill, I'm going to go back to them. Because you have given me a good experience, great customer service at the right time, the right message and to the right person at the right time. And we've done a segmentation the segmentation is really really well, because there are different types of match drinks as well, right? I'm the I'm the type of guy that likes macho with just water and no milk, very weird. But there are also people that like matcha with milk, and only with milk right? And I'm pretty sure if they're doing a good job here. They have also segmented their customer base into these different segments and created unique offers for each of them. And and so now my next purchase is going to happen within the next 20 days for sure. Because there's only so much much a in a single serve in a single cam or a single canister and it's only going to last me for that many days. Yeah,

Noah Rahimzadeh 37:32

I love that use case let's give the brand A shout out which Which brand is it?

Josh Chin 37:37

Yeah, it's it's Naoki Masha and I think they sell in the US as well. And a OKI mucha in Singapore to selling it that's gnocchi, Masha Asia.

Mariah Parsons 37:49

Let's see. Awesome. I have while you're pulling that up. No, I have a quick question. You mentioned Josh, how they knew like who they were marketing to, and that they knew that you just liked water with your maca. So was that from like a review? Like a, like a quiz that they had? Or was it like you would left it like abandoned cart sequence type thing? Or how did they have that information?

Josh Chin 38:18

That's a great question. They, they collected information from for me, so it's zero party data, I provided that information to them. But alright, here's the here's the part where I feel that they could have done a lot better in the information was collected the I believe it was, um, I can't exactly remember what the platform was, but maybe Google Google Forms, but it's most definitely not connected to their CRM and their CDP. So that's probably a missed opportunity, because they would probably have to kind of manually make those integrations happen and so that your data is unified. But yeah, they asked about my my, my habits and drinking Marcia, what do I typically go with the other styles drinking, the products that I've, that I that I liked, and what else? I think those those are, there's the key key questions that they they asked, and that you just give them a ton of information, right. And then on the back end, they can now create content offers and bundles that are specifically made just for people like me, right?

Noah Rahimzadeh 39:42

Yeah, that's awesome. I know there are a couple platforms solving for that zero party data. Challenge with like quizzes like Mariah you mentioned I think fairing is one of the up and coming players in the space. I think Oh, kendo now has that functionality as well? I believe so. Yeah. Which is really cool. And I think Josh to your point, like huge opportunity for Naoki or any brands to sort of like, more seamlessly connect that because like, for Chronos, for example, you work really closely on the email and SMS side, it would be so much easier if that data automatically fed into clay VO for segmentation, rather than having to do some sort of copy paste and or go into each cash customer attribute and you know, fill out a profile manually. So I basically think that's a great call out do you guys do anything like that with with clay VO and, and also I'm curious who you use for SMS? Are you using clay vo now? Or are you using attentive postscript?

Josh Chin 40:49

How do you think about that? So I'm with our talk about the survey forms to begin with Playfair has a pretty decent signup form feature that most people just don't know about. Because it's kind of just built into clay, VO and most people are looking for a standalone tool. If you're looking for a really sophisticated standalone tool, for instance, for pre purchase, we use Octane AI very, very well and what we're trying to achieve, and then there are bunch of tools out there, right. And with collecting data and information at the end of the day, what you really want is a tool that allows you to piece together information into your customer profile, and kind of build properties around your customer profile. And if you're using clay vo that accomplishes the whole thing, because it's native into the platform. And most brands would use clay VO as a kind of like a pseudo CDP. And what what I've seen done really well is on the pre purchase level. If it makes sense using a quiz, a quiz funnel, and using that opportunity to kind of just collect data points over over time. post purchase as a retargeting inline pop up, that targets only customers that have made a purchase before. That works out really, really well. And you can do that with clay, VO for SMS, we use clay vo PostScript and attentive depending on our clients preferences, and some tools are better than the other given certain circumstances. But what I'll say is with SMS you, you typically run into a similar issue when introducing new new channels, which would be attribution. And that's difficult to do. So we optimize on platform based off the metrics that we see on platform. Meaning if I'm if I'm trying to optimize for my SMS campaigns, or automations, I'm going to look at and I'm using postscript, for instance, I'm going to look at post scripts, data points, because if they're, if they're inaccurate, or if attribution is off, they're most likely going to be inaccurate, consistently. So that's still gonna give me a good sense of where I'm trending towards upwards or downwards. But when you're looking cross platform and cross channel, it's mostly a lot more prudent to to look at a platform like Google Analytics or triple will. Yeah, yeah, just won't do.

Noah Rahimzadeh 43:45

Attribution comes up all the time on these.

Mariah Parsons 43:49

It's, that's a fresh new take about like, how attribution that if you if, because it is such a beast to tackle, like, just look at the platform and stick with that platform. Because if you try and compare, like I've heard, right, like HubSpot and Google Analytics for us, when I'm trying to even look at data, it's like, you can't, you can't necessarily compare them because how they're pulling data and attributing different things across the board is going to be different. So even though like attribution always comes up time and time again, it's a fresh perspective to just say like, Hey, even if it's inaccurate, you can't totally trust these numbers. You can still see trends like even if it isn't exactly to the dollar to the number amount.

Josh Chin 44:34

Yeah, I agree. Yeah. They're still winning and attribution. And so you will never be able to fully get a yes, you'll never be able to get a full grasp of things and we've, we've done so many audits for so many brands, for some of the biggest brands in the world they can think of for the fortunate 500 type companies, and everybody's saying the same thing like there is no clear way of properly attribute thing success in marketing. And the only thing that you can do is when you're optimizing for channels, you're within channels, or at least when you're not looking cross functionally, across multiple channels. Just look at the platform and make decisions off the data that you have access to.

Noah Rahimzadeh 45:28

Yeah, that's, that's an awesome perspective. mer. I totally agree. Like, we haven't heard that one. And, on that note, we only have a few minutes left, Josh, so because you've you've given us some hot takes, I gotta ask you 2023 trends that you're keeping an eye on that, that you recommend our audience here sort of keep an eye out for and and what your take is on them? Like, where's the industry going? And how should our audience sort of consider that when they think about their own businesses?

Josh Chin 46:04

back to fundamentals, I think that's, that's a, it's just a big wake up call for DTC brands and for businesses in general. Be prudent with how you're spending money, be prudent with returns. And when you think about returns, think about returns from a blended perspective across multiple channels. MVR is a great way of looking at things. But when you're looking at optimizing specific channels, it's really helpful to look at 14 day period returns or maybe even longer, 30, day LTVs. That's going to give you a full picture of where you're at, and how we can optimize towards profitability. Some other trends I'm personally really interested in well, we recently had aI day at Kronos at our company. And of course, we did everyone, everyone there. And what I'm really excited about is augmenting production, using AI, and doing more of what we've done well in using AI, and give us some examples. So the brief that I gave our team was that alright, every department go look for it, the top three tools that would allow you to save 10 hours of work per week, it's a it's a big ask. What I've come to find is true that process with real realized that there are there are things that we are currently doing like ideation, drafting, copy, for example, drafting, editing designs, that are really low value tasks that we're still having our team members do that they could be used using their time for something else, instead, that are of higher value, like thinking about copy strategy, or building out the better design persona, or thinking about strategy in the higher level. A couple of tools that we've recently tested have done pretty well. Copy AI, was the one that we found some success with, there's a tool that's really interesting, that requires a little bit of, it's a little bit more, a little bit open ended. And what you can do with it, is browse.ai. So browse on AI is this, this nifty little tool that acts like a person browsing the internet. And you could have it extract data as a as a person browsing a page. at specific intervals of time, essentially turn a website into an API, if you're, you know, if you're if you're not able to, to build an API there are and that's where it gets pretty great because you could do some really funky stuff with it. That may go against Terms of Service for certain companies and certain websites. So I'd say avoid that. But for, you know, speeding up tasks and just making life a little bit easier. This could be a lifesaver. Interesting.

Noah Rahimzadeh 49:37

Are those both are those both like free tools or caught? Like cost wise? What are you looking at?

Josh Chin 49:45

I believe they have free credits available, but when you want to do more or there are certain limitations with the free tool with copy AI, it's it's fairly affordable and very, very accessible for most people. So um, To browse with browse on AI, that's where it gets a little bit tricky. This is also credit based and is used, the credits are used per based off each task that's performed. And for certain tasks, it takes up a lot more, a lot more credits. For example, if you use it on LinkedIn, I think it takes up a lot more credits than than average. I'm not sure how much that falls in line within through the service of LinkedIn. So. Right,

Noah Rahimzadeh 50:36

right, interesting. Well, that's glad that if we're gonna have an AI discussion, we have some like actionable takeaways on it, which is very cool. It's cool, because like, you know, up until this year, really, or maybe like, halfway through last year, there was a lot of talk about it, but there wasn't a whole lot that you could actually do. And now it's like, I mean, I just typed in, you know, copy.ai. And I could start using it right now, to write a blog. It's just, it's awesome, how fast that whole sort of space is moving. Josh, really appreciate the time, man, we were at time. So if you could leave our audience with one more question for you. You've obviously had an awesome career started Kronos out of school. It's now one of the leading I think, agencies in this space from our perspective. So what what's one or two things that you would pass along as a piece of advice that's helped you get to where you are

Josh Chin 51:40

today? Ask the dumb questions. Don't be afraid to ask. That's, I feel what's that's a part people who progress quicker than those who don't satisfy your ego. Ask the dumb questions, even if you think you're stupid, the stupidest question in the world. You have to, you have to go through a period of not knowing and really sucking in order to be good so. And you'd be surprised at how many connections you get, and how many opportunities they that you get by just asking dumb questions over time.

Mariah Parsons 52:27

That's great. I feel like I asked No, like a dumb question every day. So that makes me feel way better.

Josh Chin 52:33

And the great thing about dumb questions is that you only ask it once. It's all part of a dumb question. Right? So

Noah Rahimzadeh 52:39

Josh is like, I've never thought that your questions are done Mariah. So that's awesome, man. I love how simple it is. and practical. And I totally agree. It's sort of a hidden skill to be able to do that. So appreciate that. And appreciate you. Thank you so much for joining us. 7am your time. So just starting your day. Hopefully, this wasn't a too terrible way to do that. And looking forward to getting great.

Josh Chin 53:09

Yeah. Appreciate it. Thank you and looking forward to seeing more of retention protocols.

Noah Rahimzadeh 53:19

Absolute Absolutely. Thanks. Have a great rest of the day.